Thursday, January 31


My maternity leave comes to an end in just a couple of weeks now, and Little Frog is booked in to have a trial day next week with the lady who will hopefully be his childminder. My feelings are mixed about the whole thing (as I imagine most mothers' are). It will be the first time he has been looked after by somebody who is not family, which makes me feel weird and nervous, but equally I am really looking forward to working again. Ah, the guilt...

Oh, and did I mention that he finally has his first tooth? It broke through quite suddenly last week and he's been enjoying testing it out on his baby board books.

So, back to my January To Do list. Did I complete it? Almost.

Tax return? Done. Article about motherhood finished and submitted? Done (but yet to hear back from magazine). Short story? Done (just needs a final check-over before it is sent out).

And on to the final item on the list... Completion of plot and first chapter for Truck of Luck? Not done. Sigh. Although I am much further along with my plotting. I got distracted by another story idea halfway through the month, on which I spent quite a bit of time, so if that hadn't happened I imagine I would have achieved my target. This one will have to be moved on to my February To Do list (look out for it tomorrow) and I think I should expand my goal to include the completion of chapters one, two, and three.

Just finished reading: English Lord, Ordinary Lady by Fiona Harper -- which is a finalist for the RNA's Romance Prize 2008, so best of luck to Fiona (and the other nominees)!

Wednesday, January 23

Me in a Glass

Liz Fenwick had this on her blog the other day -- What's the Recipe for Your Personality? I did it for myself and came up with the following results.

For my real name:

3 parts Grace
2 parts Fascination
1 part Panache

Splash of Prosperity

Finish off with an olive

For Jessica Raymond:

3 parts Warmth
2 parts Sass
1 part Style

Splash of Intellect

Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

Interesting differences between the two!

I've also been tagged by Nell for a list of six random quirks/things about me. I'm always terrible at thinking of amusing things to put in the list, but here goes.

  • Link to the person that tagged you
  • Post the rules on your blog
  • Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
  • Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
  1. My toes are always more presentable than my fingernails. If I haven't got nail polish on my toes then something feels very wrong, so they are never without some decoration. My fingernails, however, are lucky if they get painted once a month and then the poor things have to cope with gradual flaking for a couple of weeks before I finally get around to removing the remains of what's left.
  2. Every now and then I get inexplicably addicted to some teen-targeted schlock TV show. At the moment I have to catch every episode of The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll, even though I know who wins and I know she jacked in the job about two seconds later (what a cheek!). I've also taken to having MTV's The Hills on during the day. Save me, someone.
  3. I'm very picky about how I have my tea. I need to actually taste the flavour of the tea leaves, but I also need to have enough milk for it not to be mega-strong. The balance is delicate, and not many people can achieve it.
  4. There is a lamp-post almost directly outside our bedroom window and in the two and a half years that we have lived here it has never bothered me -- until Little Frog moved out of our room and into his own. After that it felt like our room was flooded with light and it really started to get on my nerves. I guess it's because sleep became such a precious commodity. So now I have to plaster on a pink silk eyemask that is embroidered with the words "In Your Dreams" (it's the only one I could find, okay?) to ensure I get to sleep quick-smart.
  5. Lately I can't stop eating junk food. I know it's gross, I know it's bad for me, but almost every day I want to eat some McDonald's or a KFC or some egg fried rice. Guess what I had for dinner last night? A Big Mac. Sigh.
  6. I can't have a bath without a book. I always read in the bath before I had a baby, but now a nice bath is one of very few precious periods of Me Time, and I always use it to catch up on my reading.
I tag: Fiona Harper, Judy Jarvie, Julie Cohen, Karen Templeton, Phillipa Ashley, and Sue aka Ms Creativity. Sorry ladies!

Monday, January 21

Little Miss Change-Her-Mind

Thanks for all the comments and input on how to settle on a project. The last couple of days have seen my Libran trait of indecisiveness hit an ultimate peak. I started off the weekend wanting to work on the pregnancy book, changed my mind to Truck of Luck at lunchtime, then back to babies later on in the day. Yesterday I did some plotting for the baby book, but today I've been plotting Truck.

I'm wondering if the best way to handle this is just to plot both, start writing both, and see which one wins. I'm almost certain that one will take the lead. At the moment I think Truck is winning. I've worked on my characters more today and they're feeling a lot more three-dimensional now, and I find that always gets the story moving properly.

We can but wait and see!

Friday, January 18


So I have just under two weeks to check off the last two items on my January To-Do list: writing a short story and finishing my plotting for The Truck of Luck. The short story's in the works, but the book plotting is being a bit troublesome.

What do you do when you are trying to work on the initial stages of a book but you keep getting distracted by another idea? Because that is what's happening. I keep thinking about another story (pregnancy-related, by the way) when I should be working on Truck.

Since I am writing to my own schedule and not to a contract or a proposal, I am technically free to work on whatever I would like. So what do I do? Continue with Truck, or back-burner it and take on the other story? I guess that, practically speaking, working on the pregnancy book might be a bit more sensible while I'm still close enough to the condition to remember what it was really like...

Votes, please!

Just finished reading: Taking the Leap by Judy Jarvie

Wednesday, January 16

Waiting to Hear

My motherhood article is finished and I am waiting to hear if the features editor of my targeted magazine is interested in it. Fingers crossed.

At the weekend I read a horoscope for my year ahead. It said that I would be very motivated and approach my career with sensibility and concentration. Hurrah! I have high hopes for 2008; hopefully Mystic Meg is telling the truth.

We've also been finalizing our childcare plans for Little Frog, since my maternity leave comes to an end in a month's time and I will be resuming my proofreading on a part-time basis. It will be strange not to spend all day/every day with the little one, but I am looking forward to giving my brain a regular workout and snatching back just a little bit of my 21st-century career-girl persona.

Wednesday, January 9

Item number one: Check!

That's one item crossed off my list -- the tax return. I filed it online and it's a lot easier. I still have trouble understanding most of it, though; the guidance notes can only be so clear to a person who isn't very maths-minded. I dream of the day when I might be able to afford an accountant...

Item two on my list is also half-done. I've finished my motherhood article and now I'm just researching markets. I hope to send it out on submission by the end of this week.

Next up after that it's either a short story or my plans for TRUCK OF LUCK.

Tuesday, January 8

My "To Do" List

I've decided to make a "To Do" list at the start of every month to keep track of my goals and put pressure on myself to achieve them. I'm feeling very motivated at the moment, but that may not always be the case!

January's "To Do" list:

1. Do my tax return.

2. Finish my article about the surprises of new motherhood and submit it to a magazine.

3. Write a short story.

4. Finish my plotting for TRUCK OF LUCK and write the first chapter.

Wish me luck!

Just finished reading: Holly and Mistletoe by Susan Mallery

Wednesday, January 2

Fresh Starts

Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable time on the Big Night and that your Christmas was also wonderful.

I'm always a little relieved when the festive season is over -- not because I don't like it, because I do! But I always find myself reflecting over the year that is about to finish and planning ahead for the one that's about to start. For that reason I'm always quite excited by the start of the new year. It's a great time to get rid of all that you don't need, like house clutter, extra poundage, and internet distractions (*cough* Facebook *cough*). Then you can put into motion all the new changes you want to make, like room redecoration, fitness regimes, a new book idea, or a new hobby.

I admit that I don't always keep to my resolutions, but I like to make them anyway. Mine are:

1. Be more productive with my spare time. This is why I am quitting aforementioned Facebook and getting my life back!

2. Eat more fruit. Veg I'm fine with, but I know I don't get enough of the sweet stuff.

3. Stop accumulating rubbish in the house. I've already started a decluttering session and I am not going to fill the fresh empty spaces with new stuff I don't need.

4. Write a LOT more than I did in 2007. I want to finish one full-length book, preferably two, ideally three. I also want to write one short story a month.

What are your resolutions, and do you think you'll stick to them?

Oh, one other thing. The Moonlit Romance Authors Blog has relocated and can now be found right here on Blogspot. The first post goes up today, and if you post a comment any time between now and Friday you could win a free e-book!