Scrambled links…

It’s been another busy week but I seem perpetually late. So without further ado here are links to the best blogs of the past week:

http://samanthagraceromance.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/should-i-enter-a-romance-writing-contest/

http://amydetrempe.blogspot.com/2009/11/television-quotes_18.html

http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/11/to-my-good-friends-ye-postmasters.html

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2009/11/understanding-complications-vs-conflict.html

http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2009/11/really-good-might-not-be-enough.html

Happy reading…. :o)

Friday Fess-up (late)

It’s not really Friday but I’ve been editing all week – staring at my computer screen so much that my eyes have begun to protest and I’m running late. Anyway, I have seven projects underway, so many that I’m starting to get a little confused by what I’ve done and to which project. I think I need to create a checklist.

The week that was:

New words – 3740 on His Man of Business
Chapters edited – 10 across two stories
Struggle – enjoyed a yummy breakfast on Friday with DH but couldn’t get back into writing when I got home. I know – bad Heather.
Biggest Disappointment – Australia Post has lost my Hula Hoop. Someone better not be using it. I don’t want it worn out!
Unexpected Achievement – wrote a 1000 word short story for fun Monday Night and will post it later as a free read.
High Point – an editor is reading one of my stories so I did a little happy dance.

Fingers crossed and back to editing !

 

Scrambled links…

It’s been a busy week on the web. So much to read, so much to write and edit but here’s the best web posts I found.

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2009/11/writing-with-purpose.html 

http://historyundressed.blogspot.com/2009/11/guest-blogger-lori-brighton-on-india.html

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2009/11/lack-of-action-is-killing-me.html

http://janitesonthejames.blogspot.com/2009/11/visit-beautiful-burghley-house-at-my.html 

http://www.romancingtheblog.com/blog/2009/11/10/no-more-room/ (I really, really need to do this)

Happy reading!

Back to editing …

Finding a blog topic this month has proved difficult. I was all set up to do NaNoWriMo again this year but while I waited out October a funny thing happened.

I couldn’t not write. It was so strange. After three days I started a new short story (to fill in the time, you understand) – that’s now stretched into a 20K novella. Oops.

I was still editing an older story but had planned to stop on the 15th. I was doing really well with that until I got a rejection. Rejections seem to kill my day. They shouldn’t – I know that but getting form rejections is frustrating.

So the next day, wondering what I could do better, I started reading the rejected story. With my head still in editing mode I got ruthless with the paper copy and a red pen.

A week before the 1st I put everything away and had a few peaceful days. That only gave me time to think up another novella, and its now stretched into a full erotica series centred around a family run brothel. *hands on head* Clearly, I shouldn’t be left alone with my imagination.

Editing what I’ve already written is my priority leading up to Christmas. I just couldn’t stay in the NaNo groove. If you’re not doing NaNo, what’s yours?

What about the plot?

I am currently between writing projects. Ah, the chance to breathe, read for fun, and let the mind stir up trouble. Yep, have already come up with another story line. Ménage this time even though I don’t read it and haven’t attempted to write anything involving so many limbs. The wretched trio have been given drinks, a plate of food each (although they seemed keen to share), and directed to the green room to wait out their turn. I might have to renovate that little corner soon. But, I can’t think about them now, I have to prepare for NaNoWriMo.

My plans are going well. I have my progress calendar printed – rewards picked. The first reward (50,000 words) is for me. I have earmarked Jess Dee, Maggi Anderson and Janet Mullany books to read in December. The second reward is for my family. I’m taking them on a full-on picnic lunch as a thank you. They might need buttering up come the end of November – I was a wee-bit manic by the end of last year.

My soundtrack is compete too – 70 songs, 4.8 hours of writing time. itunes rock! I like writing with music. It blocks out the rest of the world, covers the sound of the family conversations just outside my door, and helps me focus on my regency world. The music isn’t regency though, it’s energetic and fast to keep me going. The notebook sits pristine on my desk waiting impatiently for my mid-challenge thoughts. Pencils sharp enough to use as a weapon.

What about the plot?

The plot is still evolving. I’m writing a regency romance set at a Christmas House Party and I have to write a two week story. Last years project was set roughly at 30 days, the length of NaNoWriMo. Writing two weeks seems harder to pace.

So I’m researching regency games that might be played indoors, Christmas traditions that might differ from Australia. Don’t panic, I know the seasons are totally reversed, but there are some similarities my own family has continued since my ancestors changed continents. Oh, and I have to learn about snow. Don’t laugh at me, it doesn’t snow where I live, and I’ve never travelled to see it.

Do you have any tips for writing a regency period house party? Do you know any games, British traditions that you could share? Do you know about snow?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

NaNoWriMo Countdown

Last year I participated in NaNoWriMo and its official, I’m going to torture myself again this year.

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a month-long marathon where writers start writing frantically on November 1 and finish November 30. The only thing that matters during NaNoWriMo is writing 50,000 words.

I shocked myself last year by not only reaching 50,000 but exceeding it. Here’s my summary from last year:

-*- reached 50,918 by the 20th November
-*- reached 77,537  & THE END on the 28th November
-*- endured 1 migraine & lots of body aches from sitting so long
-*- bludged 6 days – no writing done
-*- highest wordcount day – 5,782 words

nanowrimo_participant_icon_small2    309360   

So, what can you do to participate in NaNoWriMo? First sign up on the NaNoWriMo site and read some, or all, of the great tips and prepare for November 1. Particularly join a chat room – I found fantastic inspiration in the erotic fiction forum.

Since I’m already signed up I know what else I need :

       *  A killer idea and outline to write from (yes, I’m a plotter)
    **  A notebook for recording my random thoughts & plot ideas during the writing day
  ***  A calendar to track my progress and with pretty stickers as rewards
****  Pictures & a music soundtrack to keep me writing when things get hard

A hint for new participants. Stock the shelves with groceries, pay the bills, and have a cleaning frenzy before November 1. To reach 50,000 you really have to let a lot slide during the month and when you’re not writing, make sure you spend all your time with the family.

NaNoWriMo is an exhausting month but a fantastic way to write that book. Are you brave enough ?

If you are up for the challenge let me know so I can cheer you on!

Characters that surprise

I’m not a regular viewer of the British TV series TORCHWOOD but this week I was glued. Why? Well, aside from spotting James Marsden (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) taking a turn as Captain John Hart, I happened to turn on at an interesting spot.

I could see a fight was coming – Captain Hart was drinking alone at a bar and then Captain Jack (the shows hero) comes through the bar doors. It had all the hallmarks of the westerns I endured as a kid. Except – the hero and villain kissed, and then they had the fight.

torchwood 1     torchwood 2     torchwood 3

That was definitely not what I expected to happen and the novelty of being surprised kept me glued for the remaining episode (apologies to the RWA Friday Night chatters). Even now, that scene has me grinning and I realise that the stories I love the most have complex characters acting outside the norm.

We all want to surprise our readers but can you think of the last book you read, or wrote, where a character did something that really threw you?

The last story I read that totally surprised me was an upcoming release from Jerrica Knight Catania, For the love of a Viscount, where the hero asked the wrong question. I think I yelled at him. *grin*

Shameless self promotion encouraged!

Times a wastin’

Blogs, facebook & twitters are messing with my life. There is so much information coming in that very little solid writing is getting done.  I have some exciting stories to write and more keep popping into my head when I sit still for longer than ten minutes.

At the moment I can write pretty much full time but I’m finding the distractions of the internet really hard to resist. The need to network, research sites to visit, and of course checking out the cabana boys the RWA Australia chickies like to flaunt uses up a lot of valuable writing time. But hot bodies won’t increase the word count.

So what can?

The answer is GOOGLE READER.

I currently follow 41 blogs by subscription. I know its too large a number of blogs to open on a daily basis. I already had an account with Google and under the “more” tag I found this nifty little helper. When you subscribe to a blog, Google Reader will list all posts by reverse date order (so you see the newest at the top).  All I have to do each day is click on the top one, read, then click next until all the new blogs are viewed.  I’m done without fuss and with far less time wasted while the blog pages update.

It’s a great way to manage my blog surfing. Have you found anything similar elsewhere?