Tag Archive | Digital Fortress

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…

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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.

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….

What now?

What do you do when you’ve just spent a month doing Nano?  Writing on average 1667 words a day?  Where do you go from there? I can’t decide. 

I know that contradicts what I said yesterday, that I’m going to get on with my writing course in December.  That is my plan.  But, I want to write fiction.  Not real life stuff.  Or maybe I just don’t want to do this damn assignment.  Also though, I’d really like to get on with ‘Holiday’.  During NovelPI I managed to write about 26k I think.  Add that to the words I’d already written and I’ve probably done about 1/3.  But it’s a bit of a mess.  I’ve got different scenes as different documents and bits missing which would connect them all.  I’ve got a feeling I haven’t even finished a scene!  I think I’m going to find it hard to get back into.  Saying that, I really didn’t want to put it down at the beginning of November to start on Italian Infatuation so maybe it won’t be that hard.

I should do the course.  I just feel so stuck with this assignment.  I need to write an article for a magazine.  I think if I could just get a subject I’d be able to write it, it’s just finding the subject I’m finding hard.  I’ve brainstormed it, got loads of ideas, but nothing that really screams ‘Write me’.  I also need to do a review of the magazine I’m targeting the article to.  I’ve already done that, but it was March or April’s edition so slightly out of date – I think I’ll do that again, it might give me some inspiration.  Hopefully!!

For the last 2 months I’ve been concentrating on writing, not doing my usual daily blog read to see what other people are writing about.  I’m so excited I don’t HAVE to do things that will take up my time, so I can go back to doing that.  In fact, I can probably take up a few weeks of this month checking out what happened in November. 

I tried to add my ‘Winner!’ banner for Nano to my page yesterday.  ha ha, I had no hope.  I used to think I was pretty good with computers, I’m really not!  Luckily I have a boyfriend who’s a bit of a geek, and he’s kindly volunteered to help (although after calling him a geek, maybe he’ll withdraw the offer!).

I picked up Dan Brown’s ‘Digital Fortress’ to read this morning.  I’ve read the other 3 ‘old’ books of his, and really enjoyed them, so am looking forward to reading it.  I’ve read a lot of people saying recently that his actual writing is terrible, just his stories are good.  During reading the last books, I didn’t notice it being bad, but then I didn’t used to notice much about style etc., I used to just read. I’m looking forward to reading this so I hope I won’t find what some people do in it!

I think that’s as much time as I can spend wobbling on for now!