Saturday, 23 September 2006

good times

Yesterday was the annual AMBA (Association of Mills & Boon Authors) lunch in London. My first ever one. Writing can be a very solitary pursuit and it’s always lovely to meet other authors, but I was especially looking forward to this as I would get a chance to see some online friends that I hadn’t met in the flesh.

I was feeling very famous after a couple of people said they recognised me from my photo in the RNA’s ‘Romance Matters’ magazine. How bizarre is that? And Abby Green, new author for Modern Romance, is forever in my good books for saying I didn’t look old enough to have a nine-year-old daughter. God bless her!

And after the lunch it was off to the famous Brooks’s gentleman’s club for a party thrown by HM&B for their authors. The champagne was flowing, but I stuck to water as I’m on anti-sickness pills to combat an ear infection. Still, better to be able to go to the do than be home feeling queasy.

I left the party with the phrase “send it in” ringing in my ears. I had all three of the Romance Team: Kim, Meg and Lydia, chanting this in my ear while I was warbling on about having finished the second draft and being too close to it to see where it needed work. Looks like I’ll be sending Nick and Adele’s story in on Monday. (Once I’ve had a little chance to read through and tweak, of course. Perfectionist? Moi? Never.)

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Haircuts and other horrors

I've been too busy to blog for the last few days. The current book is in the editing stages and I don't seem to be changing much - which is worrying me. I think I'm too close to writing it to be able to see the holes at the moment but, as my editor asked if I could possibly get it in a little earlier, I don't have time to slow down.

I've also fallen foul of life's little hiccups this week:

I got a parking ticket, even though I'd bought a pay and display ticket and stuck it on my windscreen with the little sticker they give you. It was a hot day and the sticker gave out and my ticket fell on the floor. The local authority don't consider I made a proper effort to display my ticket correctly, so the won't drop the penalty notice, even though I could produce a valid parking ticket. Grrrrr. It's either £40 now, or £80 if I risk a formal appeal. What more could I have done? Stood by my car for the three hours it was parked there to make sure the ticket didn't fall off?

Then, of course, I spent most of yesterday waiting for a piece of furniture to be delivered. should have arrived by 2pm. My husband phoned the helpline and, after being on hold for an hour, hung up. My phone bill is going to be huge. Furniture arrived at almost 5pm.

And on Friday I had a haircut. I decided to splurge and go to a salon I haven't been to in a while and get a really good hairdresser to do my hair. While this bloke has cut my hair before and it's looked fabulous, this time was the one that bucked the trend.

I have naturally curly hair and, at it's longest, it was reaching my bra strap on my back. Since it had got a bit too long and heavy, I asked if I could have a few more layers and have it shaped round my face a little more. However, he definitely took more than four inches he said he was going to take off the ends and when my hair gets cut it can spring up and go a bit mad. I walked in with ringlets flowing down my back and left wearing a curly football helmet that barely reaches my shoulders. I went home, lip quivering, and washed it myself and, thankfully, the result isn't as bad as I first thought. If it were a few inches longer it would be just what I wanted. It'll grow, so I'll just have to be patient.

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

One more under my belt

Phew! I've finished the first draft of mt latest book. Now I've got a couple of weeks to lick it into shape before I send it off.

I'm quite amazed at how much I managed to get done when I knuckled under: 28,000 words in the last sixteen days (since I got back from holiday).

I tend not to edit much as I go, so reading the opening chapters should be somewhat of a surprise. I've probably forgotten a lot of what I've written. I know I'll read some back and think, 'Hmmm, better than I thought it was going to be', and I will read some bits and think, 'Euch!' Funny thing is, the bits I considered the good bits when I was writing them invariably make me go 'Euch!'.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

A thing of beauty

I have a new toy.

When I won the RNA's New Writers' Award, I decided to spend a little of my prize money on a PDA. I've resisted getting such a device for ages, always preferring using a pen and paper whenever possible (I just like writing). But my filofax was starting to feel like a brick in my handbag - that's if I could fit it in there in the first place.

In the spirit of 'going the whole hog', I later ordered a foldable keyboard to go with it. Both PDA and kyboard fit into my handbag more easily than the brick did and I think they weigh less too. The darn thing was out of stock almost everywhere and I've had to wait over three months for it to arrive, but it was worth the wait.

Now I am truly portable. I can write wherever and whenever without having to scribble in a notepad and type up later (although, sometimes that helps. I might blog about that another time.) And the design is so clever. I'm far too busy drooling over it to actually have used it much yet.

Sunday, 3 September 2006

Rolling down the hill towards the end

I've had a rather productive week! In total, since Monday, I have written 12280 words - a quarter of my current book. If I could write like this all the time, I'd be able to get a first draft done in a month. But I'm not going to get my hopes up; I know I need fallow periods between the times when the words won't stop flowing.

Hopefully, the flow will continue long enough for me to have the book off to my editor by the end of this month. This is a good stage of the book for me. I've got over the end-of-chapter-three hurdle and waded through the chpaters-seven-and-eight-bog. Now I'm rolling down the hill towards the end.

Kind of like this picture of my eldest rolling down the hill in Greenwich Park. Once you get started you just can't stop, even if it's a bumpy ride along the way!