Archive | December 2009

New Year goals

With every will in the world, I doubt I’ll do a post tomorrow.  After the madness and running round at Christmas I’m planning on staying at home doing nothing for the next four days.  Maybe with the exception of NYE night, but I don’t even know about that – we might stay in.  So I guess this has to be a post about resolutions.

I HATE making New Year’s resolutions.  In fact the only one I’ve ever kept is never to make them again.  I just can’t keep them.  I start off with good intentions,  but then something happens and I can’t keep it.  Then the next one and the next one.  Then I find myself, usually in February, having broken them all. 

Keeping that in mind, I’m not going to make any New Year resolutions this year.  Not by name anyway.   I’m just going to make a plan and goals for 2010.  If my monthly goals are anything to go by, I can do that.

Without further ado then, my ‘goals’ for 2010 are (drum roll please):

  • Finish writing ‘Holiday’
  • Start and finish editing ‘Italian Infatuation’
  • Complete AT LEAST HALF of my writing course
  • Take part in NaNoWriMo and write a novel in November (I’m also thinking about doing one in the summer, but I’m not sure if that’s too much for one year!)
  • Read AT LEAST 24 books
  • Write something at least 5 out of 7 days a week
  • Blog at least 5 days a week

So that’s it.  I’d like to do way more than that: write 6 out of 7 days, read 30 books etc etc., but I think this is doable and I’ll probably have lot of other things that will keep me busy next year so don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.  I think I can do these. 

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you have a great night, and that 2010 is Brilliant for you.

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Christmas – Done!

It’s all over for another year 😦  I’m now back at home and back at work – but at least only for two days before I get another four off.  Gotta love New Year being before a weekend!

Christmas went well.  I went up north with a few books to give to my step mum, she’s an avid reader like me, but came back with an even bigger stack of books.  Love it.  For presents I got given the first two novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy.  I’ve also had promises that I’m going to get (they had to be ordered specially and didn’t arrive in time) Stephen King’s On Writing and Cathy Yardley’s Will Write For Shoes. Yay!

I also got a stack of books in return for mine from my step mum.  I told her about my Thriller & Suspense challenge and she suggested I read Michael Connelly – the guy I was saying last week I’d like to read.  She gave me a few of his books and some other thrillers. 

During a couple of shopping trips I found: two very cheap Mills & Boon books (yes cheaper than normal), I couldn’t help getting them for more ‘research’; Then in a couple of cheap books in a supermarket – The Crush by Sandra Brown and a chick lit one.  My stack of books is getting bigger and bigger.  I could do with another bookshelf soon (my room’s too small so I can’t and because I rent I can’t spread out of my room- damn).

I didn’t do much reading over the festive period.  The book I’m reading is good, so I would have liked to, but there just wasn’t the time.  As we’re so quiet at work today, we’re taking really long breaks, so I’ve already got some reading time in today – will have loads more by the end of the day.  As it’s pouring with rain I doubt I’ll be going out so it’s reading all the way for me! 

I gave three copies of the first draft of Italian Infatuation away for Christmas.  One to my mum, one to my step mum and one to my boyfriend’s mum (see a pattern there?).  My boyfriend offered to print them at work, but also got them properly binded.  They looked pretty cool.  I was really impressed.  Hopefully so will they be.  I’m just waiting for their comments now…  Ony 3 days until I let myself touch it, yay. 

When I start editing, I think I’m going to read through it all not touching it to start with.  Then once I’m happy with the story as a whole, I’ll go through it with a fine tooth comb.  I’m not sure if that’s the best way to do it.  I’m open to suggestions if anyone else thinks another way is better!  I think I’ll set the end of March as a deadline to revise it.  Having never done this before I have no idea if this is a realistic target or not, but it’s a target and that’s what I need. 

I also haven’t done any writing since last week.  It was Christmas – I’m letting myself off.  I’m getting back on it today.  Not sure what I’ll write, but I’m sure something will come to me!

The other thing I gave away for Christmas was the first draft of a children’s story (well three very short stories).  It/they were inspired by my boyfriend, so he got a copy of that.  I don’t know much about children’s stories, so not sure where that will go.  He’s not read it, so I’m waiting for his reaction, but my mum has – it made her cry.  Not sure if that’s the reaction I was looking for, but it is quite sad to start with so guess I should expect it.  I didn’t think it was that sad though.  Think I need to look into children’s stories.  I’ve got a friend who has illustrated a children’s book which is about to be published – she said she’d love to do a few pictures for mine, yay!

Mainly books today

I am so tired.  Soooooo tired.  Why?  Cause I’ve now stayed up until 1am two nights in a row to finish my book.  Had to give up last night, but finished it on the tube this morning.  I LOVED it.  It was Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.  I did try to review books when I first started this blog, but that fell down after a while, but I might start doing it again. 

It doesn mean I get to start another book though.  Yay.  I think it’s going to be The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson (I think I said that last time, but I really mean it this time).  Should have loads of time to read over Christmas.  I hope.  Although as I’m going back to where I grew up I’ve got loads of people to see in a short space of time.  I may not get a chance.  I guess it depends how good the book is – if it’s great I’ll always find time to read. 

I’ve been exploring other entrant’s blogs for the Crime & Thriller Challenge 2010 to try to get some idea of authors I could read.  I have a feeling I’m going to be reading more than 12 books in this genre cause the ideas are coming flooding in.  So far the authors other people will be reading that I would like to (or I found on amazon) are: Lisa Gardner, Michael Connelly, Tana French and Harlan Coben.  Ooh, I can’t wait for January.

I finished typing up Italian Infatuation yesterday.  I just need to insert the extra bits then that’s Draft One done.  I wanted to read through quickly to fill in a couple of blanks and check it works before I printed it off and gave to people, but I just don’t think I’m going to have a chance to now.  I also haven’t got a name for the MC’s sister yet.  Should really find her one, ‘FIONASSISTER’ isn’t all that good.  Also no one has surnames yet, and they need them.  Oh well, it is only draft one.  And people are only going to be reading it to check the story works!

On with it I guess…

Reasons to be positive today

So I nearly got back on track yesterday evening.  Although I didn’t make up for missing three days writing, I did do more than my goal for the day.  Yay.  Pretty happy with that, especially as I finished the first draft of something I’ve been working on, which is always good.

Today I need to focus on typing up all of Italian Infatuation so it is in a suitable condition to be able to be given out at Christmas.  Last week I typed some of it up on a colleague’s computer (Mr Journalist) and left it on his computer to read.  It was just a 1,000 word part of a scene, but he really liked it.  He liked it!  Properly liked it.  He didn’t just say that he did, but he listed the reasons why he liked it. It made me so happy.  He totally got everything I was trying to convey!   My first positive comment, YAY! Lets hope it’s the first of many.  I’m so looking forward to reading all of it 🙂 

I’m down to the last 100 odd pages of Digital Fortress.  I’m now at the stage where I want to spend every waking moment reading it – a problem when I have Christmas shopping and sleeping to do.  I was shattered yesterday so wanted an early night – the damn book kept me up until nearly 1am.  This is why I don’t let myself read as much as I would like – it takes over my life. 

Hey… It’s nearly Christmas, only 2  days of work left!  Woopie!  Oh, and I made Almond Chocolate truffles last night.  Yummy!   How creative am I being at the moment.

Minor fail

I totally failed on my goals over the weekend – no blogs and no writing since Thursday.  But, on Friday I did type up some of Italian Infatuation that needed to be done.  Small consolation.  I’m disappointed, but kind of, nearly, ok about it.  Saturday I worked then went straight out.  Sunday I got over my hangover, helped my boyfriend move then went to bed. 

I planned to make up for the writing today – 1,000 words, but been pre occupied at work so not got round to it.  I may at home tonight, but I’m supposed to be going to a friend’s for dinner, if I don’t I’m supposed to be making chocolate truffles.  What excellent excuses. 

I have somehow managed a lot of reading though – I nearly missed my stop on the tube AGAIN this morning cause time flew by so fast and I was so ingrossed my book. 

I’ve just found a book I like the sound of about santa and his sexy young sons. I think I may buy.  You can get it online, so should help with the boredom of the office over the next few days.  I know, I know – I should use it to write!  We’ll see.

Right, I’m going to go do a little writing – even 10 minutes is better than nothing!

Thriller and suspense reading challenge 2010

Don’t you love it when things fall into place.  A few days ago I was talking about how I’ve not read enough books this year, and I’m going to make myself read lots lots more next year.  Then yesterday I was roaming about the World Wide Web, when I stumbled upon this reading challenge on ‘Book Chick City’ for next year.  What an excellent idea.  Read all about it and join in the fun here.  I’ve never done anything like this, but was inspired so much by Novel Push initiative and NaNoWriMo that I figure it’s a good way for me to go.

The challenge is to read 12 Thriller/Suspense novels from January to December.  I’m already thinking what I’m going to read. Meg Gardiner and John Grisham spring to mind immediately.  I’m a little annoyed I’m reading Digital Fortress now as that would be perfect for it, but hopefully Dan Brown’s new one will work for it.  I’ve read one Linwood Barclay book so this will be a good chance to read some more.  I also think I’ll use it as a way to discover new authors.  BCC is encouraging people to post reviews of the novels they read, so should be able to get some good people there.  Yay. 

In other news, I’ve nearly finished typing up the  bit of Italian Infatuation that was hand written.  By the time I go to sleep tonight it should be all done, I’ll just need to read it before I can print it for the mums in my life for their presents. 

I’ve just bought a magazine to do a review of for my writing course.  I’d like to get a big chunk of that done this weekend.  I’ve done it already, but it was for April/May’s issue, so slightly out of date.  As I know the set up, should be easy.  It’s just time-consuming as I need to count article length etc.

I read a forum a few days ago where people were discussing how long it takes them to write articles.  It made me realise I’m probably thinking too much about the article I’m writing for my writing course assignment.  I just need to do it.  It will take minimal research so really shouldn’t take forever.  Especially not the 8-9 months it’s been hanging around at the back of my mind.  I want to get a chunk of it done this weekend too.  I don’t know where I think all the time is going to come from this weekend – I’m working tomorrow, have a drinking night out tomorrow night, then have Christmas shopping to do on Sunday.  Maybe an early night tonight…

Reading, sex scenes and writing

How do you know you’re reading a good book?  When you’re sat on the tube and only just realise in time that you’re at your stop.  Grabbing bags, coat, and hat and running out the door is not all that easy.  So yes, I’m really enjoying Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.  I’m only about 50 pages in, but the story’s really pulled me in, I can’t wait to read more to find out what’s going to happen. 

At one of my (three) Christmas parties in the last week, I was discussing writing with a colleague.  He’s just done a journalism course and knows all about my writing, so when we meet up we chat about what we’re up to (although thinking about it, it’s more often what I’m up to).  I was telling him that I’d finished the first draft of Italian Infatuation.  Him being him asked if it was full of sex (it’s not), but that got me on to telling him how hard I had found it to write a sex scene.  Years ago, when my Mills & Boon book idea was just a thought that passed through my head every now and then, I thought I might need one, so I wrote one.  Or I started to anyway.  I found it so hard, I had to end it mid way through and it just be a dream. 

Mr journalist didn’t believe it would be that hard, until he sat down and thought it through.  I’ve sparked a bit of curiosity in him, so he’s now going to try to write one.  I’ll be interested to see how he gets on, although I think it would be a little strange reading a sex scene written by a colleague.  I may have to pass on reading it!

After talking to me last night about sex scenes in novels Mr Journalist found this article in the Independent today.  It’s talking about how ‘Bonkbusters’ from the 80s are becoming more popular again – replacing chick lit.  When I first read it, I got worried.  ‘Holiday’ is a chick lit story.  If chick lit’s on its way out, what’s the point in even trying?  But then I realised, it’s what I like writing and reading, therefore my passion for it will hopefully show through and create a good story.  I can’t write something I’m not passionate about just because it’s ‘in’ at the moment.  Plus, like I said I can’t write sex scenes.  Although having talked about it so much recently, I’m tempted to try again. . .