Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Having a mini break!

Hi everyone : )

I may be out of touch for a bit as I tackle this re-write.  After skimming through my current version I've realised that the line of conflict I want to add is going to require around 100-200 pages re-written *gulp*  And I've been really bad with procrastinating of late so to resist this I think I'm going to have to ban the internet for a bit *pout*   I will see if I can sneak on for a couple of picture posts and of course the Darwin Award of the month.  Take care and I hope to be back sooner than later : )  And welcome to my new followers!  Thanks guys I really appreciate it and hopefully I'll be able to share my secret with you soon!!

and this one just cause it made me laugh... I must be tired ;p

Monday, September 27, 2010

Prophetic dreams.. plus Quake update

Warm nights make for nutty dreams.  At least they do for me.  Last night I dreamt I was in a workplace with my mum.  It was a combination of all the places I've worked at and there were people from each workplace too.  I was making up the dips for Friday night nibbles (something I do in my current job) and my mum was sitting at a table taking phoncalls.  After one phonecall she sighed and looked at me.  Then she said.
"There is going to be a 5.9 earthquake in Lower Hutt at 2pm" and then I woke up.  When I checked the clock it was 2am...

Okay so as fellow writers you understand the overactive imagination thing which I have to say is currently in high gear!  I can't remember the last time I dreamt of my mum.  I just don't seem to dream about my parents much.  And even with all the earthquakes we've been having I haven't dreamt about one till now...

However I can totally and reasonably explain all this *grin* for those logical types out there rolling their eyes (yeah I saw you!).  I saw Mum on Thurs and Sat and it's a kind of big deal as she lives in the South Island.  So it was on my mind.  Christchurch had two decent aftershocks on Saturday which I read about in the paper.
So there we go no reason to panic. 
But just in-case I wore flats today and am letting my kayak buddies know in the chance we do have to make a mad dash across the harbour... and they can all tease me this afternoon when nothing happens ; p 
(and if it does happen, you read it here first!)

Quake Update

Yay!  No shaky ;p All is well *whew*.  I was all prepared too *grin* I went out to lunch at the waterfront park so as to be away from falling glass in the event it actually happened.  It was very pleasant.  A beautiful sunny day with heaps of families as the school holidays have just started.  Which explains the mini-yachts I’ve been watching zip about on the harbor.  It appears to be a holiday programme and was rather hair raising to watch with all the close calls they kept having.  It’s a windy day in Wellington so their sails were full. 
Then I wandered over to where they have this neat bouncy thing for kids.  Here’s a pic.  The kids are strapped into a harness that has two long bungy cords attached, one on either side.  They connect to the teepee style poles.  Then they can bounce around a much as they like – it reminds me of that scene in Lara Croft Tomb Raider *grin* I soooo want to try it!

Want a laugh?  While I was watching 2pm tick over, my MP3 player which is on shuffle flicked to a new song.
Aptly titled ‘Lucky’ – made me giggle.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tagged for eight!

A blog I follow An Author's Quest has a tag post and anyone reading it is tagged. They then pass it on, so here is my part and consider yourself tagged *grin* You don't have to answer in a post, feel free to answer in the comments if you prefer : )
You answer eight questions, and whoever's reading said post is automatically tagged.
Consider yourself tagged. (This is totally optional, so please don't feel obligated to make a post for yourself. It's all simply for fun.)

Here are the questions!

1.) If you could have a superpower, what would you have? Why?
I'd have wings!  Is that a super power?  Well if not wings I'd be an elemental with the gift of fire ;p

2.) Who is your style icon? 
Marilyn Monroe - as a fellow hourglass :) - did you know only 8% of women have a true hourglass figure?  I didn't until recently

3.) What is your favorite quote? 
One I saw on a blog not long ago, 'I don't write I rewrite' something I can totally relate to ;p

4.) What is the best compliment you've ever received? 
I had the nickname legs!! My legs have never been my fav body part so I was astonished ;p

5.) What playlist/cd is on your iPod/cd player right now? 
My running playlist, a mix of enthusiastic and dramatic tracks.  They help me think of my story when I run :)

6.) Are you a night owl or a morning person? 
I'm an early bird and anything I do after midnight is useless

7.) Do you prefer dogs or cats? 
Both.  I have two dogs and a cat and I'll never choose :)

8.) What is the meaning behind your blog name? 
Girls kick ass and I don't need to be rescued!! Not to say I don't desire having a partner who is my equal (and I do - so lucky!) but DON'T tell me what I can or can't do and DON'T make the mistake of thinking I can't handle a little distress myself ;p

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Positive thinking.. it can really screw with your writing

As I’ve mentioned before I am an eternal optimist.  I always, always always believe my thoughts create my future so yeah they’re pretty darn extreme and exciting.  Which is great.  For my future. 
For my writing?  Maybe not so much…

I’m realising I find it very difficult to put conflict into my story.  As I’m now adding a line of conflict I can see its value.  The problem I have is that in reality I deal with conflict head-on and get.it.GONE!
I guess if we do the whole ‘psyche assessment’ of this it would result back to a couple of things.  The desire I have to make people smile and laugh (and trust me, stand-up comedian is NOT an option) while an absolute refusal to allow anyone dominion over me.

Remember that cute pic of me as a kid?  I’ve added another one incase you didn’t ; p
That kid was a total sweetie and completely gullible.  She didn’t really understand why or how people could hurt one another.  She truly believed everyone wanted to play with her in the make believe world she created.  When she got laughed at and teased it was a hell of a shock.  Been the odd one out from age five isn’t fun (as so many know!).  Eventually she learnt not to be so nice.  Or gullible.  She learnt that not all smiles are nice.  And the popular kids are usually bullies.  At least at her schools they were.  And apparently she had a giant target on her back.
After a truly heinous third form year (year 9) she decided she’d had enough. 

She ignored the ‘cool kids’ – at least to the best of her ability.
She made sure no one saw her cry in public.
She held her head high.
She succeeded.

Now as a twenty eight year old I can chat to strangers with ease and won’t hesitate to tell ar$@holes exactly what I think of them.  In a corporate style too if required *grin*. 
But can I intentionally cause decent people pain?  I realise they’re characters but they’re so real to me!  I can put them in freaky challenging situations that they fight their way out of because I would too!  But can I give them conflict?  When in reality I’d drop-kick any idiot who attempted such a thing on me.

It’s an interesting experience.  And I’m now insanely grateful that I based a lot of the main character on myself and my friends.  I’m putting my characters between a rock and a hard place and it SUCKS

But you know what?

It makes for rather good reading….

If I can only let go of this sense of self deception.  Such a strange thing, the emotiveness that is writing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

Reading out loud is invaluable. 

And guess what our crazy weather is up to at the moment *grin*.  It snowed last night!  Just on the tops of the hills in our valley and a very decent dumping on the Tararua Range.  Just to put this in perspective it hasn’t snowed once during this winter in our valley.  But along comes spring and hello snow!  Eeeh crazy NZ weather ;p  We now have weather warnings for fierce gales, flooding *yadayadayada* - they lifted the thunderstorm warning! *pout* So much for entertainment amongst it all *grin*  But aren’t the pictures of it pretty!

Back to the reading aloud.  The bestest thing EVER. 
Next to fabulous critiquers that is : )  As I’ve mentioned before I read aloud to my friends Sian and Loi who love the story as they are two of the four main characters.  So they like to add input as I’m reading… rather naughty input a lot of the time too! 
As I was reading through one scene I had one of those revelations.  It was boring – with a capital B.  Just the scene not the story but it means that today I’m working on removing bits of it and adding the ‘conflict’ I spoke of yesterday.  Which is pretty exciting. 

Actually there seems to have been rather a few posts lately by those I follow regarding conflict.  So if you’re one of them feel free to add a comment with a link to your post : ) No sense in me repeating it all *grin*  What I will say is that the line of conflict I’m adding will make all my beta readers happy.  It adds to the story, reveals the characters personalities more and throws in a hint of angst without making me wanna scream ; p  It also means I still keep my very awesome story line (OMG am I aching to start book two.. must finish current project!!).

And as a side note here’s a shout out to NZ designer Sera Lilly – your show was AWESOME!  And you had to have the sexiest models out of all the shows. Picking girls & women off the street for models was a fabulous concept (and yes they were trained to walk the runway – and looked stunning!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Top Ten T.V Shows (and sorry for the delay Alex ;p)

I couldn’t actually decide which was my absolute number 1 so they are all equal but still my top Ten choices.  Let me know yours!

1.                  Sailor Moon – preferably the first season but I love them all.  I hope to get the Japanese version with English subtitles sometime because apparently it’s quite different to the English version *grin*

2.                  The Gilmore Girls – such fab dialogue!  Really how can anyone not love this??

3.                  Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!! – Just the first few seasons though cause later on it gets thoroughly weird..

4.                  The Big Bang Theory – Glenn recently introduced me to this and I love it!

5.                  The real Housewives of New York – okay a little shameful I know but I really enjoyed this *hee* the drama!!  Took me straight back to my school days (a well to do all girls college – I was not well to do..).  And I love Bethany and Alex and her hubby best with Ramona and Sonja the newest addition close behind.  And OMG is Kelly crazy!

6.                  Project Runway – Heidi is brilliantly evil (she actually inspired the evil chick in my story *grin*) and I love working on sewing projects while watching this.  Makes me feel positively chummy with them all *hee*

7.                  True Blood – but I am concerned for the fourth season.  Feels like it’s doing a bit of a Buffy and going from ‘crazy good’ to ‘crazy weird’.. I hope not.

8.                  Friends – an oldie but a goodie

9.                  America’s next top model – although my fav season was the petite models.  I just adored Nicole!  Glenn and I were voting for her from the beginning.

10.             Extreme Home makeover – I can’t watch it too often as the gushyness does me in but when I’m feeling soppy it’s the perfect thing.  I love seeing people so incredibly happy.  Makes me glow

The muse has returned! Welcome glorious SUN!

YES! Feeling awesome today! The sun is shining (I actually needed sun glasses this morning *gasp*) and the birds were singing their hearts out on my dawn breaking run. When I could actually hear them over my obnoxiously loud MP3 player that is *hee*.

A couple of lovely ladies I see every morning that I run stopped me so they could fuss over my dog *grin* one even knelt down to give Sable a proper hug and manfully took all the excited sloppy kisses that followed. Just makes my heart sing when strangers do that, they really have no idea how ridiculously happy it makes my pups (and thus me). It now of course means both dogs will drag me to the ladies when they see them on their run days (I run them separately cause they weigh more than me combined. 70kg of excited dogs is quite the handful – better to trim it to 35kg ; p).

My fabulous friend Kerrin has got back to me with her critique of the first four chapters of the seventh re-write. So now I have an exciting new challenge! And Vicki you’ll agree 100% with her on this – that’s what made me do the ‘ehhh fine then’, the fact that you said pretty much the same thing too...
I am going to merge the first two chapters into one. Obviously some cutting and re-writing is going to be required. This way though it means that the first chapter will end with the intention to cast the spell. Which gives the reader something to be interested/excited about. The second chapter will include the casting and then WHAM BAM into the action in the third chapter. So that’ll neaten up and really POW the beginning of the book – can you tell how excited I am *grin* look at all these capitals!!

My next big task is to add conflict in the developing relationships (and yes that’s the sound of me sticking my tongue out at you Vicki! Darn it why do critiques have to be right?? *giggle*). 
I came up with an awesome concept *hee* And no I’m not telling ; p you have to read it for that! But it’ll add more grittiness and depth to the characters. It’ll also add lots more words to the whole MS which is a good thing seeing as I keep shaving it in other places… but that’s okay!

Onwards and upwards, no looking down allowed. I’m spreading my wings and SOARING! Weeeeeeeee

And incase I didn’t make this clear enough. To all those insanely patient people who critique my work


Check out this AWESOME contest - you can win a three month mentorship!! Click here

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cursed wind!!

I shake my fist at it *grr*  Here at work on the 21st floor I have spectacular views.  First class.  And I'm happy to say that our building is Earthquake proof (on rollers or something - so we sway not break) which is great in an earthquake prone place.
Not so great when hurricane strength winds are battering the capital at the moment.  The building is swaying.  I'm getting motion sickness just sitting at my desk - now thats weird!  You don't actually realise at first.  It just creaks madly but then you realise if you stare straight at your screen (as you are required to do while typing stuff... funny that) that it looks as though it's swaying, like a boat on the ocean..

Bleaahhhh.  Really not a great start to an already grouchy Monday!  But that's okay : ) after all this rubbish weather Summer will seem like a godsend *grin*  And I got my bonus!! YAYYY Guess what I'm spending it on (or at least a large portion)..

Emergency supply kits for the house and car and one for me to take to work *lol* better late then never huh!  Of course I don't get the money till October as we're having tax changes here so it makes it worth my while to wait till then and save a little extra of it ;p  I'm hoping to be able to get a batch of bumper stickers with my blog title on it too.  I thought it'd be a fun giveaway for followers!  Not many for the first batch (incase you hate them *grin*) but it's a cute idea... and I LOVE stickers *hee* Did anyone else used to have sticker collections?  I remember been sooo excited when I was 12 and discovered Sailor Moon stickers in the $2 shop.  I wish I'd kept them!  Now I finally own the T.V anime series (I'm a huge fan of it, I dream of owning the full manga set one day *sigh*) and the stickers would have been neat to look at again : ) Oh well. 

Have a great Monday/Sunday people and yay grouchiness is gone : ) if you want an awwwww moment check out this link from Loi and yes I based a character in my book on her - now she is famous!! Well maybe one day ;p

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Need blog buttons!!

Thanks to the amazing Clarissa at Listen to the Voices I now have a super neato spinny blog button thingee!! It got me so excited I used it on my awards too *hee* But I need more blog buttons, so anyone out there wanting their blog button splashed about, let me know!  I'll do an easy straight swap *grin* I'll paste yours into the neat spinny thing if you paste mine on your site.  If anyone else is looking for this very cool gadget here's the link to the info on Clarissa's site, so you don't bombard her with demands for it (like me ;p)

Thanks heaps Clarissa  (and everyone.. is two spinny things too much....?)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And the winner of CHOCOLATE is!!

Miss Ali of Just me and my words congratulations!!  A yummy scrummy block of Whittakers Fruit and nut chocolate is going to be winging it's way to you shortly... as soon as I know your address *grin*
Thanks to all my awesome followers and please don't forget to spread the word about the first 500 competition. Have a fantastic weekend everyone and I appreciate all the comments on my snippet - well done reading it *hee*  As a thanks here's a collection of the ever lovable LOL cats : )

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The promised snippet!! (and sorry for it's length)

The first full on action scene in BirthRight The Arrival, I hope you enjoy : ) I apologise for the length, please don't let it turn you off, give it a shot! To set the scene, the lead characters Catherine (Cat), Laura (Loi), Kassandra (Kassie) and Sian along with Cat's dog Audrey (Audi) and Kassie's cat Lucky are camping out in a forest on the Planet Sytas which they unintentionally landed themselves on (be careful what you wish for!).

I scrunched the leaves into a better shape and placing the hood of my cloak on top, lay down. It didn’t make too bad a pillow, I guess.

Laura was watching me with an amused expression. “Can’t manage without a pillow?”
“Not yet anyway”. I grinned at her, “but with leaves crunching in my ears all night I might learn to”.
“Why don’t you use Audi as your pillow”, teased Sian. Audi looked up at hearing her name then snuggled back down with Lucky.
“Shuuuussh”, mumbled Kassie, who was curled up like Lucky and Audi, snuggled down in her cloak. I sighed. Not going to work. Scooping the leaves up I crawled to the entrance and dumped them out. I could learn to manage like Kassie.

Crawling back to my cloak I stuck my tongue out at Loi who was still giving me that amused look. Wrapping the cloak around me I pulled my knees up and tucked myself into a foetal position. Only till we reach the castle, then I’m getting a pillow.
Sleep came to me quickly and it must have been around midnight when Audi’s soft growl woke me.
What? What’s she growling about?
Blinking I peered around in the semi darkness, it was a full moon at the moment so I could see quite well. I whispered her name and Audi crept to my side then gave another low growl. Placing my hand on her back I was shocked to feel her fur, erect, like when we’d been chased by the Elgrids.
Oh god, what now? It couldn’t be anything little, considering Audi hadn’t raced out the shelter to scare it off. Audrey isn’t a chicken, but she is sensible. With trembling hands I knelt and strapped my sword and daggers on. I could hear shuffling outside and what sounded like breathing. It was getting closer.

My stomach seemed to have sunk to my feet and I felt a wave of dizziness as fear swept through me. Not again. The village is half a day’s walk away. There’s no way we’ll be able to make it back. I crawled over to Kassie and shook her, placing my hand over her mouth. She mumbled then her eyes flashed open in shock.
“Shhh, something’s outside and Audi thinks it’s bad, strap your sword on and get ready”. Kassie nodded and I turned quickly repeating the process with Loi and Sian. We packed the loose gear into our bags and Loi placed them at the very back of the shelter into the tree’s roots. “When we jump out we’ll pull the shelter down quickly so the bags are covered, we can dig them out later”. We nodded in agreement. Kassie scooped Lucky up and wrapped her round her shoulders, wincing as the cat clung tight. Lucky knew what was out there was nasty and she wasn’t going to be left behind.

Sian crouched at one side of the shelter’s opening and Laura at the other, with Cat and Kassie right behind them. Audi, pressed to Cat’s side, growled again. Sian nodded to Loi and they both ducked low, stepping out of the shelter, the others following.
Loi turned back and kicked the main support branches in the shelter down, the roof collapsed covering the bags as she’d intended and she turned back to the others. “Right, back to back till we sort out what we’re facing, have your swords ready and if you go to strike, step forwards so you don’t clip the person next to you”.

We stared white faced at one another for a moment then turned out, peering into the forest. The rustling in the undergrowth stopped and odd noises could be heard. Soft snarls, whines and a strange husky grunting. I shifted into my fighting stance, aware the others were doing the same and pulled my sword out.
The rustling and strange noises started again, moving closer. I felt my eyes widen in shock at the number of creatures that stepped onto the path in front of us. Fuck.

This was not the few uglies we’d been warned could possibly be in the area.
This was a heap of them. I counted at least ten on my side and from the hiss of surprise from Loi, I knew there were likely that many behind me too. Fumbling with the straps I wrenched off one of my daggers and reached blindly towards Sian.
“Sian” I hissed “take this”, I felt her grab it. “Thanks Cat”.

Kassie’s pulse was hammering in her ears as she stared at them. Holy fucking hell, they’re so close! They had to be the freakiest things she’d ever seen. Just under five foot, with broad shoulders and long arms that came close to touching the ground. Large pointy ears that stuck out and an almost flat head with tufts of fur or hair. Wrinkled faces with slanted eyes that appeared black in the moonlight and short muzzles with pointy teeth, visible when they snarled.

All of them were armed. Maces, evil looking cudgels, pretty much anything heavy with spikes, blades or stakes. Somehow I didn’t think this was the welcome wagon. The creatures seemed to be all arms with heavy strong shoulders. I had a horrible moment of clarity. Surviving this is going to be a mission. ‘Well then start planning!’ Snapped the sensible voice in my mind. Right. I mentally slapped the silly voice that was shrieking in circles and shut it off, far away in my brain. Only sane sensible thoughts allowed. Frantic ideas for survival pinged about in my head and I jumped on the closest one. “Loi”. I hissed, “we should be using Sian as a sniper, is it possible for you to get her to a safe spot?”

Loi groaned inwardly at the thought. “Technically I think I can, but that’ll start this”.
“It’s not like they have good intentions” Kassie called softly “and someone has to start it”. Steeling her stomach against the sudden urge to vomit Loi tensed her shoulders and turned to look at Sian. Sian stared back, her expression stern. “Lets do this. The boulder behind us can be my starting point”, she gave a brief grin. “I’ll shoot, you slash”.
Loi nodded. “Right then lets go”. Feeling her stomach plummet to her feet at the realisation of what was going to happen; Loi turned and strode forwards clenching her muscles.

Kassie shifted closer to my back as we prepared to cover each other as well as Sian and Loi. I pulled my other dagger out and crouched, ready. The creatures in front of us seemed to take that as their signal and surged forwards.

A huge sword, possibly a claymore, swung towards her. Loi jerked backwards out of its arc and before the owner could swing it again, lunged forwards thrusting her sword through them. She shuddered in disgust at the sensation of the sword penetrating live flesh and the blood that spurted over her arm when she wrenched it out. Adrenaline flooded through her, blacking her vision for a moment and she fought hard against the urge to run screaming from it all. Kill or be killed, that’s the way it works. Keeping that grim thought at the forefront of her mind, Loi swung her sword hard at the creatures, focusing on the boulder. Got to reach it!

Sian released an arrow and felt rather than heard the thud as it struck one of the creature’s foreheads. A wave of nausea hit, at the sudden realisation she had just killed a living being. ‘Snap out of it,’ her sensible voice roared at her, ‘this is survival of the fittest. Kill the mongrels!’ Thoughts on track, she ripped another arrow from her quiver and shot a creature advancing on Loi. The boulder was close enough now. Sian glanced around then sprinted the final distance, scrambling up on it. Just in the knick of time, she thought, as she released a volley of arrows at the creatures surrounding Loi. Loi looked astonished at the sudden collapse of her foe and peered through the semi light at Sian. “Thanks!”

Kassie and I continued fighting back to back with Audi ducking around us, snapping at legs and thankfully darting away swiftly. I wished she’d stay out the way but knew she wouldn’t. Kassie hissed in pain, alarmed I twisted to check on her. “Kass! You right?!”
“I’m okay”, she grunted as she slashed out with her sword, removing a creature’s arm. “Lucky just took off up a tree and used my shoulder as her launch pad”. I barked a laugh in relief and noticed Audi bound away to the base of the tree where Lucky was. Thank god.
Laura was suddenly at my side, slashing and lunging. “Glad to see you two are okay” she yelled over the din of the battle.
“We’re good, so far. And Sian?” I hollered back.

Loi started to reply when a flash of lightening lit the forest. Oh crap, she groaned inwardly, as the rain started to pelt down. “Sian’s good” she bellowed and at that moment two more creatures dropped dead, the arrows in their heads still quivering.

So I see. Huh, looks so oddly comical. 
I’m glad she’s watching over us. The temperature started to drop, the wind picking up. All in all this night was getting darker, longer and nastier. My torso was wet with blood, none of it mine and my arms seemed almost numb from the weight of the sword. If we survive this my arms are going to be black and blue. ‘If we survive this’, my sensible voice thought, ‘it’ll be a bloody miracle’. Glancing at the others I saw the same drawn, determined expressions as they fought.
The thunder boomed overhead and I ducked without thinking. Whoa. Loud! Lightening lit the sky and the landscape, illuminating the creatures around us. Where the hell are they coming from? For every one I brought down another was in its place.

“Duck!” Loi yelled as she swung her sword over me removing the head of a creature. I dove into a roll and slammed my dagger into the shank of a creature before me. The creature shrieked and swung an arm out striking me across the head.

Cat yelped in pain and Kassie jerked around to see her stagger up from the ground then rip her sword up the torso of a creature. As Cat turned to retrieve her dagger from the body Kassie saw blood running down her chin.
“Cat!” She shrieked in alarm.
“I’m bokay” Cat yelled back, her voice oddly thick. “It bade be bite by friggen thongue”, she spat a mouthful of blood out.

Sian yanked another arrow from her quiver, setting it to her bow. Drawing, she quickly sighted and released, hitting a creature behind Kassie’s back. Seeing the feathers sprout from its forehead gave her a quick sense of satisfaction. It wouldn’t get up again.
A hard slam to her back sent her sprawling off the boulder. She jerked to the side just in time as a mace smashed into the ground where she’d landed. Grunting, she heaved herself to her feet, whipping out the dagger Cat had given her and thrust it into the throat of the mace wielder. Blood spurted from its mouth and over her arm. It slumped to the ground, dead.

Grimacing in disgust she pulled the dagger out and spun around. Nope, nothing on her tail yet. Looking over to the others she saw a creature draw its sword back to skewer Cat, whose attention was apparently elsewhere. Cursing under her breath Sian seized an arrow and had it off before she could blink. The creature slowly toppled to the ground revealing a surprised looking Cat. Seeing Sian with her bow drawn Cat grinned and nodded to her then moved back into the fight beside Loi.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Kassie feint a high jab then drop low with a slash, the innards of the creature she’d attacked spilled out. It uttered a horrific snarl. I felt Loi close to me.
“This isn’t going particularly well” she hissed at me.
No really, I hadn’t noticed.
“Any better ideas?” I snapped.
We looked at each other for a brief moment and saw the answer we already knew. Unless something drastic happened shortly we wouldn’t be here any longer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doomed relationships, the ‘good’ bad guy and other clichés..

Okay. So first off I will not state that my personal MS is entirely original. It isn’t. It was inspired by a large variety of things that may give it an original twist but I can’t honestly state that it’s completely original. That’s one of the hard learning curbs for every writer I think, realizing that their idea – no matter how original and off the-bat they thought it was, isn’t. Really nothing is original anymore. But that’s okay because with a different voice and in different packaging it can feel completely new!

Which is why I find some cliché plotlines sooooooooooo annoying that they put me off what in some ways are very good books. Not being a lover of romance novels I’m frequently turned off by ‘the good girl falling for the bad boy’ story. Or the misunderstood lead character – bleah. And why when everything should be going straight forward and well a crazy occurrence is thrown in or a character who’s normally totally cool starts having self-esteem issues.

Really just writing that makes me wonder why the hell I read Twilight!?! It also explains how I think I’ve had my ‘quota’ of that stuff for a while. Quite a while....

Recently I read the first book in a series about a girl who is a banshee. The book was awesome. I loved the concept and it was well written. Then she led into the love triangle between the ‘perfect’ guy, his brother and the banshee girl. *sigh* I won’t be reading anymore. Maybe this is small minded of me but after all the angst of the Twilight series I just can’t take anymore!!

And what happened to the series that ‘lead’ you through the journey, rather than the one off book that’s then hastily followed by several more.
I love the Belgarid by David & Leigh Eddings. It’s a fantastic (no not entirely original but totally lovable) story that takes place over five books. Each book progresses you further along. At no point are random and wild plot ‘hiccups’ thrown in because the author has run out of ideas.
Plot ‘hiccups’ are something you see often in TV shows that only intended 1 season but because they hit off so well end up with 3-5 seasons on their hands. Or in exceptionally long running shows like NZ’s awful soap Shortland Street (brain mushing stuff – so don’t recommend). Actually True Blood seems to be heading down this road a bit.. Which is disappointing.

What’s your pet peeve in plots? Do you have one? Or are you easy *grin* Did an ‘epic’ book series put you off anything (and I’m meaning epic in sales people – don’t get excited ; p).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sourpuss moment...

Okay.. I'm having a momentary pity party.  Please excuse me.



*deep breath*

Okay.. I think I'm good now *grin* Hey nobody ever said anything worthwhile would be easy!  Onwards and upwards.  Kicking and screaming if necessary ; p  Ooooh I'm feeling better now *hee*

Unusual differences

I’ve been getting reviews back from Beta readers as mentioned in the previous couple of posts and I was pretty excited to get my first review back from a boy!! ; p

The review made my eyebrows shoot up. Almost everything he questioned was different to the previous reviews. So I thought I’d write up my own wildly unscientific theory on it all *grin* Here are my thoughts.

Boys like blueprints. The first monster description according to my male reviewer needs to be more detailed.
This reminded me of how my father loves the Jean Auel’s Earth Children series. The intense descriptions completely enthrall him. Unlike the sex scenes which he flicks through *hee* actually me, mum and dad love this series and you can tell when we hit the x-rated scenes. The pages get flipped. It’s what makes me so hesitant about sex scenes… Eeek lost my train of thought – back to the differences.

Boys like blueprints and the more detailed the exciting and weird stuff the better! Girls are quite happy to have a series of ‘descriptive’ words to create their own images, even if it means everyone has a different view of a monster. Boys however want to be able to practically build the creature/item and argue over the minute details. A good example of this is the reviews on books 8 & 9 of the Sookie Stackhouse series were the male reviewers are positively vicious about mistakes in certain names. Apparently Charlene Harris doesn’t use an editor (I really hadn’t noticed.. but then I’m not a boy ; p) and these reviewers weren’t impressed..

Boys like new and exciting creatures. I had a complaint about using Centaurs cause they are too common. This one made me blink (and I don’t care I love’em ; p). But then if I think to the reviews of Avatar I guess I should have seen this coming. Here in NZ there were more than a few snide comments about the creatures on Avatar. For their lack of originality. I was dumbfounded by it cause I think the creatures are WOW but more than one boy was exceptionally unimpressed by the six legged horses.. On the bright side I have lotsa freaky creatures appearing in Book 2 & 3 – book 1 is just The Arrival people!! Give the girls a chance to see the world *lol*.

I am thrilled no one complained about the names I created. Course I probably shouldn’t have said that (touching wood! Touching wood! – and NO not that kinda wood! Ugh such disgusting minds ; p)

I’m hoping to find a couple more male reviewers out there (any offers?) so as to compare some more of my ‘scientific’ thoughts *grin*

Entry into a Romance Comp and another beta reader reply's!

No not me entering a romance comp *giggle* don;t be silly!  There's not that much romance in mine... or at least I define it as action/fantasy/drama and then romance *grin*  No my friend Kerrin whose work I've been critiquing has entered her first chapter into one.  Here's the link if you'd like a read so please do!! 


And thanks to my latest beta reader for getting back to me!!  You actually gave me the best 'overveiw' I've had yet : ) But then like every writer, every beta reader has different strengths.  Kerrin also beta reads my work but she does the line by line style which is pretty hard going and MUCH appreciated so this review I just got back was exactly what I was looking for!  It's got the creative juices stirring *grin* Can't thank you enough V : )

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A worthwhile read for writers

I just read this on How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.  I thoroughly recommend all writers have a read, especially any newbies out there who may be getting down on themselves about their writing skills.  This is the best description on the writing process I've seen yet : )

And on a sombre note my thoughts are with those who lost loved ones on that fateful Sept 11.  Such a strange and surreal event that still makes my heart and stomach twist when I think of it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blog Giveaway!

Part of our office floor at work is leased by people who do marketing.  They occasionally ask me for favours as they don’t have a receptionist and being the lovely person I am I’m happy to oblige     ; p 
Specially when one of the boys there promised me chocolate!!  One of the companies they work with is Whitakers who make chocolate and they get freebies *grin* gotta love that.  I was only expecting a block when they got round to it but instead he gave me four!  WOWEE!  So I told Glenn they gave me three *hee* and now I have one available for one lucky follower.

A yummy scrummy block of Whitakers 33% Cocoa, Fruit & Nut chocolate.  Whitakers is a New Zealand brand of chocolate made in Porirua which is a city quite near to Wellington.  They don’t market overseas so this is a special glimpse of our stunning chocolate, beats our other brands hands down and is fair trade guaranteed.  All my followers are in the drawer and you have until next Friday to get in the drawer (cause I get paid then and until then have no free cash for postage ; p Ahh the joys of monthly pay..).
So let any chocolate lovers know and this might be a reoccurring event as he promised more in the future.  OOooooo!  But we’ll wait and see *grin*  Have a great Friday everyone!

Ahhh the craziness of the English Lesson

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England ..
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

I got sent this in a e-mail and thought it was awesome : ) hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

WOOHOOO! 200 followers and a beta reader finishes!!

For anyone else out there waiting for their beta readers to get back to them - I sympathise.  Five people are going over mine and it looks like it'll take months which is nail-bitingly frustrating!  So imagine my delight when I got home and checked my gmail (can't at work ;p) and discovered SH had sent his final thoughts back!  Cue delighted squeals and happy dance!  He is the first guy to read my MS and the difference between what men and women pick up is fascinating, I intend on blogging about it in a few days time : ) But now is for celebrating - I'm just over 200 followers so getting closer to that golden number 500 *sigh* so looking forward to that!  So here's some fun, cute and silly pictures - enjoy people! 

okay.. who else wants an invisible speeder bike ; p  and a HUGE 
to all my new followers : )

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Snippets – yay or nay?

As I work through my MS again (yes again) I’m wondering if I should post ‘snippets’ from it.  Would you be interested?  I know I enjoy reading some but often get put off by the length of them.  What’s an appropriate length do you think? Hmmmm.  Well maybe I’ll post one later this week and we’ll just see what your response is and go from there *grin*.

I received a parcel today!  Who doesn’t love random parcels, really?  It was from the lovely Sharon at Random Thoughts blog.  I responded to a post and won!  Look at these cute little things : ) Makes me soooo envious that NZ’s postage isn’t cheaper, it would probably cost me around $10 to send that, which is why I’m excited and terrified bout someone winning the 500 followers prize.  Still it’ll be worth it – then I can tell you my secret! *grin* I hate keeping secrets (at least good ones that is) so looking forward to spilling. 

Anyway back to the pressie from Sharon.  It includes gum (real gum from USA!!), lip gloss (always in need of – yummy orange flavour), two highlighters – perfect timing or what! A selection of adorable plasters, two with cool looking girls and four of puppies and kittens, so very cute.  The last item is what I’m guessing is a fortune stick?  Correct me if I’m wrong.  This made me gasp.  Why?  Because literally two days ago my horoscope said the same thing.  Weird huh!  Here’s what it said.
‘Accept an opportunity that is offered to you’
Hellllloooo!?! Mr/Mrs opportunity where are you?? I’m waiting *grin* Well I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

This parcel has given me an idea of another thing to add to the 500 followers prize.  So it now consists of.

1.   Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents 2010

2.   A t-shirt of my own design following the theme of my blog (three designs to choose from and several colours)

3.   A piece of jewelry designed by moi for the winner with their input.  I can make a variety of styles not just what you saw in the picture the other week.

4.   My absolute favourite lip balm/salve from Kereru.  Kereru is a New Zealand brand which makes everything from natural materials they grow and source.  They don’t send over seas so this is pretty special.  It’s made with calendula and tea tree and lemon essential oils and you can use it for so many things!  Like scratches or cuts, eczema even the dreaded zit.  I have three or four of these floating around the house in constant use – but don’t worry the winner gets a brand new one *grin*  Here’s their website if you want a nosy, I think a testimonial I sent through is still on there ;p 

5.   A note pad for scribbling thoughts, ideas, perhaps future plots??  And of course a nice pen.
    So it’s looking like a pretty awesome parcel all in all!  Anyone who is one of my first 500 followers is in the draw and if you add my blog button (and link it  to my blog!  Most important) to your blog you get an extra chance.  I will also add your button to mine – make sure you let me know *grin*