Tag Archive | Dan Brown

Sunday 14th ROW80 Check-In

Another check in day, and another check in (again writing up on Sunday, and I’ll post when I get internet tomorrow). Awesome. Just a shame about the writing.

I’ve done nothing. Nowt, nada, nothing.

I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to get into it since I’ve been back. I was ill last week, so not feeling that up to it, but it was more than that – I didn’t even think about writing. Yesterday I should’ve done some, but again, I didn’t really think about it until it was too late and I headed out to a wedding. Today I’ve been hungover, then since I started feeling better I’ve done a full roast dinner, and baked a cake.

I was also going to go on a diet this week. My boyfriend said I had to have no excuses on eating bad things – I always make excuses to be able to let myself have a chocolate bar here, muffin or something there etc etc. I’m just the same with writing. I find a reason and go with it. I need to have NO EXCUSES this week with writing and the diet. NO EXCUSES.

I think I’ll start tonight by typing up what I wrote in Sweden last week, that should work by reigniting my interest in the story. I hope.

Although I’m not writing, I’m reading! I’m still going with the A-Z Challenge, and have just finished P. Of course, I’ve not finished L or O and have had to miss Q. L is a book that I’m a little embarrassed to read on the tube – Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee. It’s chockablock full of sex, and I don’t want people reading that over my shoulder, I’d be so embarrassed. I’m reading it at home, but it’s taking a while.

O is the book I left on the airplane. I need to go to the library to get it replaced, then re-borrow it, but until I get paid, I can’t afford it (rubbish eh!). That’s on my list for next week, then I’ll get back to O sometime.

I’ve missed Q completely cause I finished P last night and really want to start another one on the way to work tomorrow. I’m a little torn on my R though.

I’ve got a choice of Trans AM by Rob Ryan, or Surf, Sea and a Sexy Stranger by Heidi Rice. I’ve had Trans AM for years and not read it, it sounds really good, and I’ve not read a thriller for ages and really fancy it. But then I went to a Mills & Boon workshop with Heidi Rice a few months ago, so kind of really want to read that too.

Writing this I’ve just realised which one.

It has to be Trans AM. SSSS is a book I should read just before I edit Italian Infatuation, to get my mind into the Mills & Boon place. Trans AM then. Can’t wait.

P was brilliant. It was Still Thinking of You by Adele Parks. Of course it was going to be great, I’ve enjoyed every single thing I’ve read of hers. I want to read another of hers – now! In some ways I’d love this A-Z challenge thing to be over!

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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…

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. . .

Late December’s goals

Over the summer I got into a good habit of making monthly writing goals. Then Nano happened when my only goal for November was 50,000 words and because I was busy with Nano I didn’t review October’s goals, then I was out of the habit (and forgot) to do any for December.  I’m half tempted to say as we’re notw half way through, I’m not going to make any, but having a goal encourages me to write, and as I’m not doing any writing at the moment I am going to make some. 

The second half of December’s goals are:

  •  Write 250 words per day (fiction). 
  • Do 12 blogs.  Include at least one weekend blog.
  • Read 2 novels – Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress and The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson (not on my To Read list, but one I picked up a while ago and have been dying to read since)
  • Write a magazine article for my writing course.

I can do that – no problem.  Hell, if I can write 50,000 in a month I can do this. 

Better crack on with it…

Cold Monday’s woes!

So much for blogging this weekend.  Saturday= hideous hangover.  Sunday= work + helping boyfriend move.  Therefore no blogging or writing. 

I still haven’t made any decisions over what I’m going to work on next.  I want to do holiday, but there’s just something stopping me.  I’d quite like a small project to work on next – maybe a short story or something, but I don’t seem to have any ideas.  Is this the lull that people say can occur after NaNo, or is it just me being lazy?  From tomorrow, no today actually, I’m going to set myself a 250 word a day goal.  I know I can do that pretty easily, I managed it in October anyway, so should be able to do it.  Work’s pretty quiet at the moment so I have the time (although I’ll use the excuse I’m spending a lot of time looking for Christmas presents on the internet so using it wisely!).

I’ve not got very far with the book I’m reading.  It’s Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress.  I like it so far, it’s almost started as a love story, which is a great way to get me hooked!  I’m not sure I’m going to understand it, I don’t understand the synopsis on the back cover, so who knows how I’m meant to understand the book.  We will see.

Meg Gardiner asked her readers on her blog today, what were their favourite books they read this year.  When I first read it I though that would be a great question, that I’d read loads of books, and it would be great fun going through them all to find which were my favourite.  Oh dear.  I’ve actually only read (or recorded here anyway) 17 books this year.  That’s shocking, I swear I used to read about 3/4 a month.  I need to step up on my reading next year. 

I then read through my list of books, and found that I read quite a lot of books that I wasn’t very impressed with, and loved?  Not many.  I wanted to do as other people had done and create a top ten.  I can’t put my hand on my heart and say I have 10 favourite books of 2009.  Out of the 17 I’ve read, I really enjoyed 3 and only loved 3.  6 out of 17.  That’s terrible.  The rest were either terrible (only a couple) or just ok.  The three I loved are:

The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner

High Society by Ben Elton

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

And the three I really enjoyed are:

Singletini by Amanda Trimble

Brown Girls by John Wesley Ireland

Perfect: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Not much to show for a year’s reading. But at least there’s six I really enjoyed.  I will read more next year!  Better stop this and go read some….

Today’s thoughts

After the madness of Nano, I decided to take a bit of time off writing.  Actually I didn’t really decide before December, I decided it on 1st when I couldn’t be bothered to write anything.  On 2nd it also sounded like a good idea, so again I did nothing.  Yesterday I did nothing, until 5pm when the realisation hit me that I NEEDED to finish Italian Infatuation; especially as I was only about 500 words away. 

So I picked it back up, and finished it. Yay! I couldn’t believe how hard it was to do that after only 2 days off.  There’s a lesson to me – don’t stop until you’re done.  I finished it, in just over 500 words.  Bringing my total to 50,600 ish. 

I’m now going  to leave it alone until the new year when I’ll read it through then start the editing process.  I think.  The problem is, I’ve just read the Nano website’s ‘What next?’ blog, and I really want to get on with it.  I’m not going to though.

I spent a lot of time last night thinking about ‘Holiday’.  It’s such a mess, I think my first task with it will be putting the different documents together.  That in itself will be a massive job as there’s probably about 8 of them, each one a different scene, most of them not finished!  But I loved writing II (as I like to call Italian Infatuation)  because it was just one document, and easy to pick up because I was writing the same thing daily, not flitting about over different scenes. 

Having said that, I used to like deciding what to write on that day, so having different scenes was good.  No, I’m going to put it all together and do as one.  I can always miss bits out and go back later if I want to jump to another scene or something. 

It’s December:  I’m allowed to buy books again.  After October when I bought about 6 books, which caused my ‘to read’ pile to become two high for most of the length of my bookshelf, my boyfriend decided I wasn’t allowed to buy ANY books in November.  He had no right to say this, as we don’t live together, share money etc. But he was right, I have too many books, and I keep borrowing other books from the library instead of reading the ones I have.  So I agreed, and stuck to it.  But now it’s December.  Woo hoo.  But I’m now broke after so much time off work (my company don’t pay ‘sick pay’ and Statutory Sick Pay is a joke – less than £16 a day – WTF!!!) and with the hint of Christmas and present buying presents, that I think I can’t afford to buy any.  Why is life so hard??  There is a silver lining though, I get presents too.  And I have people asking what I’d like for Christmas.  I need to start my list.  Actually I can just copy it from my ‘To Read’ page.  I need to update it then…

I’ve just realised how much faster, and accurate, my touch typing has got in the last month.  I now hardly ever look at the key board; I do more when I’m thinking about typing not typing what I’m thinking – if that makes sense.  Another good result of Nano!! 🙂

I keep thinking I’m done with this post, but then remember something else.

I changed my mind about reading the Dan Brown book.  I decided instead of borrowing a book off my boyfriend, I’d read one from my to read pile.  (Actually it hadn’t even made it to the pile, it’s been hovering on my desk in a ‘I’m about to read that so not going to put it away’ way.)  I thought it was chick lit, but I having read the first 30 odd pages I think it probably qualifies as Young Adult instead.  That surprised me, but as I’ve not read any from this genre since I was a ‘young adult’ myself, I’m quite happy about it.  I’m expanding my reading base 🙂

Right, now I’m done!!