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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Opening Lines

Julie Cohen is challenging people to post the opening paragraphs of their book and comment on how they create character and conflict right away.

So, here goes. This is from The Second Virginity of Suzy Green. I have a prologue that shows how Suzy was in the past, but I decided to start with chapter one.

“Bye Dad,” I say, opening the car door and swinging my legs round to ease myself out.

New state, new school, new start.
New state, new school, new start.
New state, new school, new start.

It really helped when Maddie (aka best friend and person who knows nearly all my innermost secrets) and I were singing it the other night on the phone, but now it’s doing absolutely nothing to quell the nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I couldn’t sleep a wink last night worrying my butt off about today. What if they all hate me and won’t talk to me? I’ll be a right Larry Loner. Or what if everyone there is really weird? I mean, if the uniform is anything to go by I’m in serious trouble. I glance down at my way-too-long green and grey checked skirt, which no-one at my old school would be seen dead in, and shudder. And having to wear a tie really sucks. It feels like I’m choking.

This is a fish out of water story. Having Suzy talk about a new start indicates something's happened in her past. I also wanted to show with this opening that Suzy is an outgoing teen and she's confident in familiar situations, but can lack confidence when she's out of her comfort zone. But she needs to fit in, and will do what it takes.

Anyone else going to take up Julie's challenge?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Reality TV..... love it

I love reality TV. Always have done. But even I was shocked when I realised how much I do watch at the moment: NZ Idol, 10 years younger in 10 days, Extreme Makeover, Amazing Race, America's Next Top model, Dragon's Den, Strictly Come Dancing.... I think you get the picture, - and that's just the shows which are on at the moment (and I can remember). Every week there seems to be another show to add to the list.

So, what is it that makes Reality TV so compelling? Seeing ordinary people doing extraordinary things? Seeing ordinary people doing dumb things? Seeing ordinary people doing what you'd give anything to do, given the opportunity? For me it's a mixture of all of them.

What do you reckon?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I've just been tagged by Alyssa Goodnight, and have to write 5 interesting or unique things about me.... yikes!!!!

Here goes:

1. As a teenager, on Saturdays and school holidays, I used to work for my father in his shop - he sold children's clothes. On a regular basis I would stand in the shop window like a mannequin (when he was out, obviously) and suddenly move when people were staring in the shop window - it kept me amused for hours!!

2. When I was 6 I broke my leg and had plaster on it from top to bottom. To this day, one of my calves is thinner than the other.

3. As a student I worked in a pub during the holidays. One evening, to celebrate the landlord's birthday, a group of us (including his wife) dressed up and did the can-can for him (yes, we did get totally wasted before doing it). When we bent over at the end, the writing on all our knickers spelt out 'happy birthday' (I was 'bir'). That was the evening I met my dh!!

4. I have such a bad memory, it's not unusual for me to put something on to cook and then go out. I also have no recollection of the time my children were born, how much they weighed, when they cut their first teeth, took their first step etc.

5. I'm such an anal list writer that I put things on my list AFTER I've done them, just so I can cross them off my list!

I tag: Amanda Ashby, Christina Phillips, Erica Orloff, Maureen McGowan and Allison Winn Scotch

We're off on the road to......

Seriously, I am NOT old enough to remember the Road To films with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby....... (okay, I might have seen them on TV, when they showed old b/w movies...).

Anyway, despite that I keep singing the theme tune, because FINALLY I have started my next ms. (Hands up anyone who's singing too). Those closest to me have been bombarded with different outlines as I try to come up with something that has sufficient hook/plot to sustain it.

I'd really set my heart on writing a YA paranormal mystery, the trouble is I suck at developing the sort of intricacies needed for a mystery. The top and bottom of it is I write 'normal' best. Normal with a twist is good. My new one (that feels good to write) involves a girl who does have an undeveloped gift to see into the future which she tries to harness... but that's as far as it goes.

Are there genres you'd like to write in, but struggle with?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I write because.... um......

Now here's the thing. I've come across two types of writers. Those who love everything about writing. And those who love writing once they have the finished product in their hot little hands.

Actually... now I'm thinking about it, there are those in between. Those who enjoy the planning and the writing of the first draft. And those (and I'm seriously struggling to empathise here) who love the revision process more than anything.

So when my father asked me today if I enjoyed writing... I said... of course, or I wouldn't do it.

But, whether I enjoy the whole process is debatable. Wherever I am in the process, I'm anxious to get to the next bit because I think I'll enjoy that more. So, when I'm planning I can't wait to write. When I'm writing, I can't wait to get to the end and go through and revise. When I'm revising I can't wait to start my next one.... and so it goes on.

And now I've sold, I can't wait for my cover, and I guess then it will be the publication date, then the royalties.....

I suspect this says more about me than anything else. I'm an impatient, short attention spanned person - a perfect fit for someone wanting a career as a writer, hahahaha.

How do you feel about writing????

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The wanderer has returned....

I'm back, fully revitalised and raring to go...... okay, make that sort of rested and would love a few more days (weeks) in the sunshine!!! Noosa was a totally fab place and our apartment overlooked the beach.... AND we saw two koalas when walking in the National Park. Unfortunately, the kangaroos and dolphins avoided us... but there's always next time. And there most definitely will be a next time.

I even managed to make some notes for my new book - the outline is really taking shape and I can't wait to start writing it.

I have a question for you. When on the plane I got really excited (sad, I know), because on the arrival documentation where it asks occupation I decided that as I've sold I can put writer.... or author. What? In the end I put writer, but dh thought it should be author. What do you reckon?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm gonna get on my horse, and get the %$@* out of here.....

Yes, guys..... in 4 days time I'll be on a plane to the SUNNY, HOT, BLUE SKIES of Noosa, on the East Coast of Australia. And I can't wait. 6 days of doing nothing but reading, sunbathing, walking up and down the beach and eating..... is it any wonder I'm getting the warm fuzzies just thinking about it....

At times, owning a motel is an experience not to wish on your worst enemy. When they say a job is 24/7 this truly is! I could eat my breakfast at 4 in the morning and still get disturbed.

The day starts when we get up, at 5.45, and ends when we go to bed 11pm - apart from when customers try knocking the door down in the middle of the night when they've lost their key, partner, way, marbles......

Having said that, it does give me the chance to write - only because I'm good at writing in five minute bursts and don't mind constant telephone/reception interruptions. And it does give us plenty of laughs - like when this woman came to the door when dh took her breakfast and she'd just got out of the shower and was holding a towel in front of her, not realising that the wardrobe door was open behind her and it had a full length mirror!

Of course, along with the laughs are the times you want to reach for the nearest bucket, but I guess you won't want to hear about some of the disgusting things people do to rooms/towels/bedlinen.....

Anyway, I probably won't have time to blog again before I go, but rest assured I'll be thinking of you all when I'm away (yeah, right). And I look forward to starting on my new ms on my return.... if only I can think of a plot......

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