Tuesday, June 27, 2006

bad muse!

here I am, inundated with edits, snowed under with contract deadlines and books that need to be finished, and what does the muse do? Throw another book idea at me, of course. One it wants to write right now, not ten months down the track. To say this is a little frustrating would be the understatement of the year, I think. :) It nagged me all day yesterday, filling my head with ideas and scene images, so much so that in the end, I stopped editing and actually wrote down all the bits and pieces, as well as the beginning few lines. This one is set in the same 'world' as Destiny, but it's about a private investigator who has 'visions' and who happens to be a phoenix. The hero is a suspended cop under investigation for his partner's death, and he has a whole herd of nasty critters after his hide. I was going to make him a sea dragon originally, but I might well make him something else. What that something else will be I'm not sure until I do some more research. But I'm thinking something a little more obscure in the fantasy ranks (in other words, not a shifter, were or vampire). Of course, I can't do anything more than jot down ideas because of all the books that need finishing first--but I guess it is always nice to know the muse hasn't been stomped down by all the edits and that she continues to work in the background.

Speaking of edits, I'm hoping to get those finished and choofed off to Bantam either today or tomorrow, and by then, I'll probably have the back teaser scenes for FMR to check over. After that, I'm hoping to get back to Destiny. But at least I did manage to sneak in some writing over the weekend and I've crawled past 251 pages completed. Not making any predictions on page count this week--but as long as I get some writing done, I'll be happy :)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

well, golly gee...

guess what arrived on my doorstep yesterday? Yep, the Tempting Evil line edits. And I have to get them done and over there by next Friday. Joy, joy. ;) Guess I'll be working my butt off on Monday and Tuesday to get them done, because I'm actually busy this weekend and just won't have the time (though if it rains Sunday like it rained Friday, I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to stay huddled up in my nice warm house.) But the good news is that I managed to get five more pages of Destiny done yesterday. I'm beginning to really like the direction the muse has taken this story--so not what I'd imagined, but good all the same. (though as I said before, I'm the author so I am naturally going to think that. The true test of suckiness will come when someone reads the whole thing for the first time.) I'm actually sitting here in the dark this morning (got up at six, thanks to the fluffy one and the leaping lab deciding to bark at something lame), with everyone else still asleep, and I'm about to do some writing before I have to go out. It'd be nice to roll over the 250 pages mark before the edits interupt the flow again (but this time, I have been jotting down notes of where I want it to head!)

Friday, June 23, 2006

writing, writing.....

well, the muse's need to play won out over writing on Tuesday, so all I actually managed to do was read the last couple of chapters of Destiny to catch up with where I'd left it. It's actually becoming something of a pattern with me--after 'deep' edits, anyways. Seems I need to 'shake loose' the threads of one story before I get back into another.

But get back into Destiny I did on Wednesday. I managed six pages then, and another 7 yesterday, so we've hit the 240 pages mark. But this story has deviated a whole long way from the path I'd originally imagined. I guess that's one of the problems of stop-starting a story--once the flow is interrupted, it's hard to pick up the threads exactly where you'd left them. Well, for us seat-of-the-pants writers, anyway. I guess that's where being a plotter would be an advantage--you'd know where the story was going, and wouldn't have to keep starting all over again. Anyway, Destiny has just killed one of her tormentors, and then did a runner--only to be caught by our very irrate hero. Who's making some threats that shock even me. Which is good--just unexpected. I love it when the muse takes the story in unexpected directions. And yep, sometimes those directions can absolutely stink, but that's what rewriting is for :) Right now, the plan is to get as much of this story done as possible before the next lot of edits come in. I've already been advised the line edits for Tempting Evil have been posted, so it's only a matter of time before they arrive on my doorstep. I hope they take a few days longer than usual to get here--I need more writing time for poor old Destiny!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

the edits are done...

for the moment, anyway. I think this lot has sharpened up Dangerous Games a whole lot, and that the logic now all connects and makes sense--but I'm the author and I naturally tend to think that anyway ;) We'll see what Anne says. It did take me longer than expected, but that's probably because we had a somewhat busy weekend. The househunting continues--we actually saw a house on Saturday that we all adored, but cost wise it was a little bit more than we wanted to pay, and it had a few problems. Like, it was on tanks, and the fences were regular old farm fences. The leaping lab can clear 7 foot suburbian fences. Farm fences would prove no hassle at all--and she's not the sort of dog we can let lose. Beside the whole being run over factor, she's a lab and she loves chasing things. I don't think the neighbours would appreciate having their stock rounded up willy nilly. And of course, you know needle nose (aka Finn or the fluffy one) would be right there in the middle of it all, yapping away. So, we'll keep hunting for a place in Greenvale, and in the meantime, keep fixing up our current place.

I'm back to writing Destiny today, and I'm hoping to do my regular five pages. Though the muse is tending to want to play again--games, that is, not writing. I'll let you know how I go :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

more edits...

I got some more edits in this morning for Dangerous Games (the 4th Riley book). Nothing major, just a bit more streamlining so that all the changes make complete sense. There was a couple of bits I missed in my edit run-though--bits that are a left over from the original and don't really fit in the rewrite. So, that's what I'll be doing today. In between going to check out a new car. Oh, and have I mentioned we may be selling our house? Yep, it's all happening in the Arthur household at the moment. :D

Thursday, June 15, 2006

an okay writing day...

I managed another six pages yesterday (thanks mainly to the fact that Channel Ten here in Melbourne stuffed House viewers around yet again, putting on a biggest loser special instead of House. I mean, geez, do they really want us to stopped watching the program or what?) Anyway, I'm still on the questioning scene with the scientist, and Destiny has had her big revelation about who and what she is. I've also explained how she can use her powers during the day, which is pretty cool because up until that point, that wasn't something I'd actually thought about. My biggest problem at the moment is the fact that I'm not sure whether I like the whole scene or not. The scene is sort-of flowing, which doesn't usually happen if I'm going somewhere the muse secretly thinks is 'off', but I've still got this whole 'I don't know' feeling about the scene. Not that I intend to cut it right now. I'll finish the darn book, and let it sit for a while. Then I'll go back and see how it all hangs together--and whether this scene fits in with the story as a whole. As I've said before, I'm not a huge believer in doing a ton of edits--mainly because I've seen too many people literally edit the life out of a story. Sometimes rawness is a good thing. Sometimes it can sparkle more than polished-to-the-nth-degree prose. Which is not saying you shouldn't edit, and shouldn't try to present the best story that you can. It's just saying be aware of going to far, and editing out the one thing all editors look for--your voice.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I actually managed to get a decent amount of writing done for a change yesterday. Ten pages all up, and I'm pretty pleased with that. The plot for this story continues to take unexpected turns, though. I'm still in the middle of the scene where Destiny is questioning one of her hunters, and what's come out has totally managed to zap the scene I'd intended to follow this one. So, I'm rudderless again. I just have to hope the muse knows what she's doing! Of course, I still have a general idea of where I want this to end, and I even know the last few lines, but the getting there has me worried. And as usual, I'm now starting to panic that it won't be long enough. You'd think after all these years of not writing short, I'd learn to trust the muse, but no...

Anyway, I'm hoping for at least the minimum of five pages today. I've still got to finish the current scene, and then have Destiny finally remembering what she is. Plenty of writing in that, hopefully.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

a good weekend was had by all...

which means, of course, I did zip in the way of writing :)

We went house viewing on Saturday. Discovered that freezing in Melbourne meant flaming freezing in Woodend and Trentham. Thank God both houses had woodheaters to thaw out next to. We also checked out a 50 square house on half an acre in Greenvale. Now, you'd think a 50 square house would actually have some decent sized bedrooms, but you'd be wrong. At least, this place didn't. The main bedroom was huge, but the others were barely the size of the bedrooms we currently have, and our little place is only eighteen squares or so. Still, the half acre was nice. Just a shame the house didn't match. The day did solidify our desire to move no further than Greenvale, though, so I guess it was successful in that way.

Sunday Pete went to the footy (and the doggies won, so he was happy, happy when he got home) and I went out plant shopping. I love visiting nurseries and checking out all the plants that we can't grow because of our clay soil. I did buy some--got some advanced shrubs in the vague hope that the dogs won't run over these ones like they have all the others.

Monday we all trundled over to the in-laws for lunch, and came back full and happy little piggies :D

Today I actually wrote! I'm currently sitting on four pages completed, and I'm planning to write at least one more page. This story has definitely taken a sharp right turn, but I think it needed to. I do like it when my characters get gruesome, and Destiny is about to kill someone. With the help of the sea, of course. And in the process, she'll remember exactly who--and what--she is.

It's all good! (I hope!)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

like teeth being pulled...

that's how it felt trying to write Destiny yesterday. Like every word was being pulled from my body by some nasty dentist with horrible breath. (had one of those when I was younger...one of my brothers actually ended up punching him in the mouth when he was in the chair. He still hates dentist, thanks to that evil little fellow) Anyway, I did the read through, got to the scene where I'd left off, put fingers to keyboard, and....nothing.

I have absolutely no idea where I'd intended that scene to go.

Zip. Zadda. Zilch.

And stupid me didn't jot down a few notes at the end line as a prompt--something I usually always do when I have to finish writing in the middle of a scene.

So, here I am, stuck with a half-finished scene and totally no idea what to do next. Ah, the joys of being a pantzer!

How did I get out of it? I did what I usually do when I'm stuck--rabbited on. As the old saying goes, words on a page can be fixed--blank pages can not. By the time I got to the fifth page, the muse had figured out where to take the scene--but I'm totally sure where the scene is going now is not where I'd originally intended it to go. But still, I think it'll be good. And I think it'll show Destiny's more ruthless side, which we really haven't seen up until now. This scene will also help her remember who and what she is--we're halfway through the book now, so I think it's time for a revelation. Don't want to draw out the lack of memory for too long, because it's just not believable plotwise or characterwise.

But I'm not writing any more today. I may tonight, but today we're off househunting. It's become something of a pleasant afternoon day out for Pete and I. We check the paper for what houses are open for inspection, write down the ones we're interested in, in the areas we're interested in, and tottle around to look at them. Sometimes they're houses way out of our price range (you know, the 'only if we win tattslotto' houses) and sometimes they're houses we can afford. So far, we've only seen one house we love, and unfortunately, it's in the 'only if we win tattslotto' range. We'd really love to get a bigger house--well, a bigger block of land. Our current house is fine size wise, but there's just not enough room for the dogs to run around outside. But given the house prices around our area, we'll probably have to buy a weekender out in the country somewhere. I'd love a house by the sea, but you practically have to be a multi-millionaire to buy anything within cooeee of the sea these days.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

no writing, just lots of catching...

Well, I think I've finally caught up with just about everything. Though I still have to sort through my email and see if there's any I've missed replying to, but that shouldn't take long. For those who are interested in RT pics, I've finally started adding them to the website. I also added a nifty little background to my site too. Nothing too over the top--it just relieves the monotone black a little. And I've just completed the RT report I had to do for Kris Alice Hohls' romance mag in Germany. Now I've just got to start reading Destiny. I've spent such a long time in Riley's head recently that I need to get a feel for Destiny again--otherwise we're going to suffer character swap! (And the two character do not sound the same, so that just can't happen)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


the Dangerous Games edits are done and dusted, and the book is off to my editor! Much happy grinning is happening at the moment--though I think even grinning is making the brain hurt right now. I feel like I've been working on these edits forever--I've certainly read the book at least four times since getting back from RT. I've had to, because I've changed several major threads and added a number of whole new scenes. I usually make major changes one thread at a time in an effort to catch all the little mentions. And then, of course, I do the line edits and a final read-through. Even in the final read-through I was catching stuff. It'll be interesting to see if Anne catches any blunders--I wouldn't be surprised if she does. I think I knew the story so well by the last read that I was probably reading what should have been there rather than what was there.

Anyway, it's off and I can finally get back to Destiny. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow I need to catch up on all the other stuff I've ignored over the last few weeks--like updating my website, updating RWAust's website and answering fan mails.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

a worthwhile link

I'm still in the middle of edit hell (done the major rewrites, just gotta do the line edits), so not much of a blog from me today.

However, I saw this over on Miss Snark's site (and as I've said before, if you're a writer, you should be a regular visitor to her site. She's a goldmine of information--and very funny as well)

check this link out -- writers will understand the emotion behind this one :)