25 December 2008

Happy Christmas

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, have a wonderful day!

23 December 2008

Stocking fillers

5 things I'd quite like in my stocking (apart, obviously, from an end to war, hunger, disease, poverty etc)...

1. The Call
2. a device that transfers thoughts to text without the need to type
3. a chair that exercises the bottom while writing for stretches at a time
4. a building licence (for which we've been waiting 7 months)
5. James Purefoy or Rupert Penry-Jones or Toby Stephens (preferably all three... or is that just being greedy?)

Hmm, I don't think my stocking's going to be big enough. I need a duvet cover. Who or what would you like in yours?!?

21 December 2008

Decking the halls

In the past Christmas has been spent with my family in the UK or my in-laws in South Africa. This year my husband and I are staying in Spain and family is coming here.

Tomorrow I shall be decking the halls of a house we've rented in the Andalucian hills. It's about 30km from the Mediterranean coast and has views of Morocco. Unlike my uninsulated icebox of a flat, the cortijo also has a open fire and central heating. Bliss...

I'm off tomorrow in a car laden with a husband, a mother-in-law, fairy lights, a turkey and a rather alarming amount of alcohol. Can't wait!

19 December 2008

Catching up

Now that I've finally delivered my manuscript, I'm planning to spend the weekend catching up with stuff that's lapsed over the last week or so. Seeing daylight. Breathing fresh air. Sleeping properly. Eating vegetables. That sort of thing.

There's a pile of Christmas cards to look at, shopping and washing to be done and a flat to decorate. But first, newspapers to read because it's Very Important to keep up with current affairs. So far I've found an article on Mills & Boon's new advertising campaign in the Guardian and a debate about men's chests in the Daily Mail. Very improving.

18 December 2008


It's finished. As am I.

12 December 2008

Why is it taking so long?

I'm going to London tomorrow morning. Will I have finished this ****** book by the time the plane leaves? Rather ambitious but as I have all day today to write, here's hoping...

08 December 2008

Slowly slowly...

Am getting there. Veeeerrrry slowly, as I still seem to delete only marginally less than I write. Got a bit distracted on Saturday by an invitation to spend the afternoon drinking sherry with friends. Oops.

04 December 2008


My plan to get my book to my editor before Christmas was to have finished it by the end of November, let it rest for a couple of weeks and then polish, perfect and send.

This hasn't quite happened. In my day job, I do 40 hrs of marketing a month. I can choose when I do them, but generally break it down to a couple of hours a day. Perfectly manageable you'd think. But you'd be wrong.

It doesn't help that emails needing attention come in thoughout the day, but this week every time I've settled down to deal with them, I've felt guilty for not writing and whenever I've started writing I've felt guilty for not racking up my hours. Consequently I've achieved nothing except a huge inadequacy complex.

So last night I came to a decision: not to write anything today or tomorrow, but to concentrate on the marketing. Then at the weekend I'll be able to look at my story with fresh eyes and attack the last 5000 or so words with gusto.

Bit nuts with my self-imposed deadline looming, but the alternative is total meltdown. How do you juggle writing with everything else that's going on?

03 December 2008

Do blogs have personalities?

I popped over to Liz Fielding's blog and look what I found. A blog personality reader. What does your blog say about you? Utterly irresistible. This is me - apart from the driving race cars and firefighting it's spookily accurate!

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment and are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like to seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

Check out your own blog here.

01 December 2008


A recent post on romancingtheblog highlighted the issue of writers using references that some readers may not get. This particular post was talking about abbreviations, but I guess it applies equally to specific geographical locations, personalities and language. As long as they don't pop on ever page it wouldn't bother me (I find carelessness far more irritating - I once read a novel in which characters were selling shoes on eBay, sending emails, using slimline mobile phones and watching DVDs in 1985.). But given its timeless international appeal, category romance tends to avoid things like this.

I have a scene in which my characters discuss the whole auction thing and why the hero bid for her. Here's a snippet.

‘I think you’re piqued because I didn’t bid for you out of some overwhelming desire for your body... Admit it, your vanity’s stung.’
‘I’ll have you know my vanity is very much unstung. I just don’t appreciate being batted back and forwards like a commodity between two bored bankers.’
‘We’re not bankers.’
She arched an eyebrow. ‘Rhyming slang.’
Luke winced.

OK, so it's not a particularly obscure example of rhyming slang and should be fairly easy to work out (and hopefully not too offensive!), but if you didn't get it, would it annoy you? How far would/should you go to avoid such references?