Tuesday, November 29

Saving It For the Weekend

I'm saving writing until the weekend now -- I'm just not going to have the energy this week. We have a big rush on at work on a psychology dictionary and I worked late tonight and will be doing so again. I've just had a nice long bath and am now drinking a hot chocolate with some baked potatoes in the oven. Aah, relaxation bliss...

P.S. Nell -- my PC is now marginally okay and emails are working. However, as yet I have no software, e.g. Word etc, and so although your last two chapters are sitting safely in my Inbox, I have nothing to open them with! Hopefully this will be sorted in the next couple of days... hopefully even tomorrow. Sorry!

Just finished reading: Still Thinking of You (Even Though I Shouldn't Be) by Adele Parks

Sunday, November 27

A Visitor at Midnight

Power came back on yesterday after about an hour. However, was so addicted to my latest book (which I have now finished and will name at the end of this entry -- a new thing I've decided to do every time I've finished one) and random internet trawlings (curse the Amazon wish list), I didn't get any writing done. Have a feeling it wouldn't have been that great anyway as I wasn't really in the mood.

On a separate topic, when I created my blog my critique partner Nell told me about the "statcounter", whereby I can see who visits my blog and when. Well, not who, really -- there aren't names or anything -- mainly just country, time, ISP and computer platform.

For some time I have been receiving regular daily visits from somebody and all I know is that they are on Pipex and are in the UK. No town given. Maybe this is you as you read this -- I know you tend to come here somewhere around midnight or even later. Yet you remain silent, making no comment. Do I know you?

No pressure. Just curious.

Just finished reading: Daydream Girl by Bella Pollen

Saturday, November 26

All Apologies

So I know my entries have been rather sporadic of late, but my mind has been completely on other things for the last week or two. Including the fact that we have had no heat in the office for the last week (but was finally fixed yesterday afternoon) and -- oh yes -- that when I got in on Monday morning, my PC was bust and had to be taken off to be repaired. It came back yesterday afternoon too, but reloading software etc was taking so long that I never even got to sit in front of it. I have spent the last week living a nomadic existence at work, carrying a pile of notebook, pens, copyholder, file log etc around and nicking people's PCs when they disappear, like an office cuckoo.

Hopefully though, I'll be able to get back on to my PC on Monday.

Then I woke up this morning to discover we have no power in the house. That was over an hour ago, and we still have no power. Luckily my laptop was charged and broadband seems to be able to connect without using the electrics. I am starting to worry, in the style of my mother, about the freezer defrosting.

Concerning my writing, I'm hoping to get on with the last three chapters of the haunted house book this weekend, presuming the power comes back on and I can recharge my laptop at some point. I had a busy weekend last weekend so for this one I have nothing planned except a roast chicken dinner tomorrow night at my sister's... mmm...

I kep having lines pop into my head for my next story -- the thriller-ish one. I've also had another idea, for a book not related to romance. Well, not as strictly so. It's something I think I might work on here and there once I go part-time in January.

Wish me power.

Tuesday, November 15

A Revelation.... and What The Cookie Said

Just had a revelation on chapter thirteen, which I still haven't written. And now I know why I just couldn't get myself to do it. It wasn't because I was nervous, really, it was because I'd put it in the wrong place! It's too early for them (despite the fact that I am three-quarters of the way through the book), so I've adjusted the scene and am now going to carry on with my original plan, which still fits, with the sex scene coming in one or two chapters' time instead. *I breathe with relief*

Had lunch with my Mum at the noodle bar today. My fortune cookie said "Your heart is a place to draw true happiness". I'm not really sure what this means -- it could be one of several things. That when I'm feeling down, I can just look into my heart to feel better? That I can only be happy inside my heart? That others can find happiness in my heart? I know fortune cookies are deliberately ambiguous (apart from the one on The Simpsons that told Homer to cheat on Marge or some-such), but it's still confusing.

P.S. Who are you, Pipex? I can't help wondering when I see that you're reading my blog at 3 in the morning...

Sunday, November 13


Finished chapter twelve. This is hard work! My characters are not even undressed yet and I'm still nervous as hell. I plugged my earphones into my laptop and was listening to Massive Attack's "Mezzanine" album through iTunes to try and help me, because I always think that album sounds really sexual. It helped a bit.


I am now, however, just a little short of the three-quarters mark, which is pretty cool. I am hoping to finish the first draft of the book by Christmas, when I'll take a couple of weeks' break and not look at any of the work I've done. Then in January, when my working week at the office decreases from 5 days down to 4 (arranged specifically so that I can try and take my writing seriously), I can start all my editing. God knows how long that's going to take.

Saturday, November 12


Saturday. My "alone" day, where I get to shop, meet friends, sleep in, chase the dog around the house, eat toast and read books, or write. The whole day's schedule is of my choosing.

I left it empty today, planning on finishing up chapter twelve. It's now half-past four and I am just getting round to that. I have unconsciously been putting it off, by staying in bed til 10 am, having tea with my Mum until 12 noon, sorting laundry, showering, lounging around on the unmade bed finishing a romance, and doing some food shopping that wasn't really that necessary.

Why? you ask, since I seem to have been doing so well recently. Well... I'm nervous. I'm about a third of the way through chapter twelve, and the end of it will be the start of the love scene. Not just kissing -- we had that in two previous chapters -- but the whole enchilada.

And I'm nervous as hell! I have never really written a love scene before, apart from a very wordy one I did a couple of years back. But that's when I wasn't as immersed in my writing and my characters as I am now, and it was merely then about putting words together. Now, I have to do justice to my characters, their feelings, their story, and bring all the sexual tension to one amazing culmination of passion. No pressure, then....


Wednesday, November 9

I Don't Believe Myself

I've just finished chapter eleven. I've even written out my detailed summaries for chapters twelve and thirteen, which came to me while I was...

...can you guess?...

...washing my hair in the bathroom. *rolls eyes* My bathroom is obviously a literary hotbed.

Anyway, must stop now. Have read back through the chapter and it looks OK, and besides, Lost is on.

Uh, Hang On...


It turns out that I have been doing my word count all wrong! I've been using the Word Count tool in Microsoft Word, whereas there is a different way of doing it that involves the number of words per line and per page, multiplied by the number of pages per chapter. Actually, that's not a very good way of describing it. But anyway, I was given the correct formula by the lovely ladies in the eHarlequin.com community, and have just worked out my 'real' word count.

It's actually 49,125. This means I unknowingly passed the halfway mark some time around chapter eight, and I'm actually now about 61% of the way through the book! Which is kind of good, because as I mentioned previously, I was starting to worry about running out of story, as I'd got a fair way through the story arc but seemed to have many more words still to go to reach the elusive 80,000. Turns not there's not as many more to do now, though!

Tuesday, November 8

Broken Barrier

I've done it.

Finished chapter ten (don't worry, Nell, I'm holding it back for now!) and my total word count is now 40,485. I am henceforth on the home stretch! Kinda...

If I could buy myself a present to celebrate, it would be this:

'Tis pity, however, that I cannot pop into Tesco to pick up a Sawyer for my very own... : )

Teetering on the Brink

Got some more of chapter ten done this morning, since I've been quiet at work. I've just stopped so I can go out and get lunch and my total word count now stands at...

*drum roll*

39,261 words. I am so close to halfway I can taste it!

Monday, November 7

Tickets // Ten

Got home today to find that my Foo Fighters tickets had arrived in the post! *Grin* Our seats are OK -- we are in the top tier, but our block is right next to the stage, so although we'll be looking down on Dave Grohl et al, at least we won't be needing binoculars.

I made a start on chapter ten this evening. I am just under 1,500 words into it and it's going alright so far. I've started to worry a little bit that I might actually not have quite enough story for 80,000 words seeing as I've got quite a fair way through the storyline I'd planned but am only just about halfway through word-count-wise. However, I am going to do a lot of re-editing when my first draft is finished and I'm sure I can fit in some extra scenes if need be as I'm certain I haven't explored certain things in as much detail as I should have.

Stopping for the night now. Was up until practically midnight writing last night and I don't really want to do that two nights in a row. I need to catch up on a bit of sleep!

Sunday, November 6


Why... why when I'm always in the bathroom?!

So after I did my last post I went to have a bath and not long after I'd got in I thought of where to go next in my chapter. Obviously, I knew where my chapter was headed, but I wasn't sure how I was going to get there. Then the answer came to me as I was soaking in the tub.

So I got out, got dried, threw on my nightrobe and turned the laptop back on. Nine is now complete, and as the heroine acknowledges in the last paragraph... there's a storm coming.


It's Sunday evening. I'm tired for no reason, really. My weekend wasn't particularly busy, but it wasn't lazy either. I think it's just winter coming on.

I got a few thousand more words done on chapter nine. It's a bit of a difficult chapter as I'm trying to fit in a bit of backstory without clobbering the reader over the head with it, and it's quite hard to find a balance.

I've also had an idea for what could possibly be my next work. It's a lot more thriller-ish and I've already got some motivations for the hero and the heroine. He's bloody hot, as well! I've written some scant notes down when things occur to me, but I'm not working on it too much because I want to concentrate on finishing the haunted house story first.

The halfway point is in my sights...

Friday, November 4

Morning Sickness


Got to work this morning to find that somebody had thrown up right outside the front door. (There's a bar next to our office.) After managing to unlock the door without stepping in it -- difficult to do at a 90-degree angle -- I took numerous trips up and down the stairs with a bottle of water to try and wash it away before everyone else got in.


Good thing is, though, I didn't retch once. Quite unlike me.

Thursday, November 3

Lyrics and Nine

This morning I sent chapter eight to the wonderful Nell for a critique, and am now over 1,000 words into chapter nine already. I wondered this morning if my progress has anything to do with the money I dropped into the wishing pond at Jamaica Inn (of Daphne du Maurier fame) when the sis and I went to Cornwall in September. Ever since I got back from there I've been steaming through my chapters...

Here are some lyrics from the Foo Fighters song "Generator". It's been a favourite of mine for a while now but I've only really listened to the lyrics properly recently. They remind me a little bit of my characters. (Oh yes, and it's now just over one month to go until the concert!)

Lately I'm getting better
Wish I could stay sick with you
But there's too many egos left to bruise
Call it sin, you can call it whatever
Eating deep inside of you
Well, if it were me it's all I'd ever do
Steal me now and forever
I'll steal something good for you
The criminal in me is no-one new
'Till you find something better
When there's nothing left to use
And everything starts going down on you
I'm the Generator, firing whenever you quit
Yeah, whatever it is -- you go out and it's on
Yeah, can't you hear my motored heart?
You're the one that started it

Wednesday, November 2

And Relax

Because chapter eight is finished! I feel a bit better about it now. I think that when I was working on it yesterday I wasn't in the right frame of mind. A lot of other thoughts were crammed into my head at the time and I think that was my problem -- I couldn't concentrate properly on my characters.

Anyway -- I've broken another barrier, and am now past the 30,000 mark. I can't believe that 50% is looming ever closer on my tally bar (as it stands at the time of writing). Once I get past that point, I'll start thinking of myself as being on the home stretch. That's when it'll get scary and I'll have to start thinking about things like the last sentence. Oh yes, and something else that would help -- a proper title.

Tuesday, November 1


Well, I've got a few pages further with chapter eight. It's going a little sticky, though. I think I excited myself so much with chapter seven that this one now seems a bit... anti-climactic. I have a feeling this one's going to need considerable re-editing when my first draft is done. However -- you can't edit something that hasn't been written, so I'm going to plod on.

Want a sample?

"Her pulse began to race. The mere vision of his half-naked body made her recall every plane, every muscle, every movement, and every heartbeat she’d felt when she’d been wrapped in his arms."


Pieces of Eight

I've now started chapter eight and, at the start of today, am just under 1,000 words into it (have updated word count bar accordingly). Hopefully I'll get more done today though -- it's been a few days now since I finished seven and I'm scared of letting the story go stagnant.

It's still weird for me to realize that I'm on chapter eight -- it seems so far! Soon I'll be approaching the halfway mark, and that will truly be weird.