Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Fun. Fun. Fun.

Britain may still be covered in a blanket of snow stopping the traffic, but tomorrow on the blogosphere will kick of December with a bang.

1) It is Mystery Agent contest day over on Operation Awesome. Polish those one-sentence pitches folks. The agent is, as always, awesomesauce.

2) Tomorrow is the eBook release of Talli Roland's THE HATING GAME. So join me tomorrow for the Taking on Amazon web splash. Together we can help rocket Talli's eBook up the Amazon sales ranks.

Now I'm off to have a nice cup of tea, read some blogs and post my review of The Hating Game on Amazon. Can I just write 'IT'S AWESOME' 200 times?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Snow Day

The UK has snow.

I know this isn't something I shouldn't be getting excited over. Snow is a pain in the bottom to drive in. It comes with a side order of ice and frost. It has an annoying way of soaking up the hem of your jeans without you noticing until you sit down (and tuck your leg under your bum).

Did I mention that it's cold.

So there are lots of reasons to hate snow, but I love it (minus the driving in it part). There comes a day when you just need to embrace the small child inside you and go build a snowman.

I kind of see snow like writing. The blank word document/snow covered field waits for me to write/step my mark on it. Anything is possible where the surface is fresh, the idea is forming and the creativity hits. I don't know about you, but I find there is something very satisfying about making the first footprint/word on an untrodden canvas.

So a word document is kind of like being the first to walk in a fresh snowfall. It's satisfying to be the first leave your mark on it. Mistakes can always be erased later by delete or a fresh snow fall.

Until then just enjoy playing in it.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


While we don't celebrate the day here in the UK, I figure I can still wish everyone who does a wonderful day. And, because I can, I wanted to take the time to give thanks to some wonderful people:

The Operation Awesome gang: Amparo, Katrina, Kristal, Michelle, Kelly and Angie.

The B.B.W (Best Beta in the World), Renae.

And the blogging community. That means YOU reading this (yes, I see you!). This journey is a million times better for travelling with all of you.

So I gobbled together a little picture:


Note: I don't think many of these delicious birds will be happy today. Mine is. Why is my turkey happy? Because the little guy (who I've named Colin) is British (naturally). This means he gets a reprieve until December 25th. I call the leg! Mwahahaha. 

Now I'm off to indulge in my edits. Enjoy the holiday and have a big slice of pie for me. :)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Revision Face!

So I'm revising my 'scare me to death' wip. I've got seven chapters to finish until I'm done with the first pass. Woot. 

So I thought I'd share a bit about my revision technique. And, for the funny, I'm using the awesome pictures from hyperbole and a half to demonstrate!

Now I'm sick because I love, love, love revision (don't hate me, I'm only little.) I enjoy chopping into my sentences and making them shiny. The one thing I don't like is waking up (this probably explains why I write while sat on my bed. Hmm). So I may start my revision process like this:

But once I get into the swing of things:

I'm in my own little world. It's MY time. I lock myself in my bedroom like a teenage boy with a stash of... whatever teenage boys lock themselves in their rooms with these days. I only come up for air to either a) get a drink b) eat c) perform whatever cleanliness/hygiene related function is needed. I wield the red pen of doom/delete key on all who cross my path until stupid hours!

Sometimes I fall into my procrastination place:

Because there's always something fun happening on Twitter, the blogosphere or YouTube that I NEED to see. But I know this is no good for my MC, who I may have left dangling off some precipice to topple to her death (don't panic Amparo, she isn't really):

So I eat that last cookie, drink my tea and begin again:

And I repeat the cycle until all my pages are edited.

The I start round two.

So how do you edit? Got any fun revision tips/procrastination tools you'd like to share? :)

P.S. I'm also over at Operation Awesome today.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Apologies for not being around much towards the end of the week (blame the awesomeness of Harry Potter, migraine and my edits).

We all know how awesome the writing community is. We support each other, cheer success and hug when it gets rocky. So when Angela Ackerman mentioned Critter, the unofficial mascot of the kidlit community, on the OA blog on friday, Katrina went deep undercover (okay, she did an interview really) to find out about critterpalooza.

Not only is Critter having fun adventures travelling the globe, he's also helping benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital. For more details follow the link.

So tell me, what have you been up to this weekend?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Half-Way Day

Yay it's Wednesday. It's also cold and getting dark early.

I don't know about you, but it makes me want to wrap up warm, watch the previous Harry Potter films (my The Deathly Hallows countdown for Friday) and eat cookies. I also want to attack my MS with the red pen of editing death and do some more plotting/writing on my wip, but that's a given. :)

But there's the slump of doubt that kicks in this time of year. Holidays are fast approaching along with the daily routine. It ends up feeling like there's so little to do and so much time... strike that, reverse it.

How to combat this? I would suggest copious amounts of cookies/chocolate or any other treat of choice. Also, pop over and see Elana.

Oh, I'm also posting over on Operation Awesome today. 

So what do you do to combat the winter slump?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Query Sushi.

Yesterday I had lunch at Yo! Sushi.

For anyone who hasn't been before the idea is you sit in front of a conveyor belt and choose what you like from a selection of dishes. Each dish is colour/price coded. And you can order off a menu if you want something in particular.

(Image: Voucher Mum)

So I'm sat watching all the yummy dishes going round, waiting to be chosen and enjoyed, and I realised that this is the same as querying.

I imagine an agent is pretty much sat at the table looking at all these dishes going around. We know they have a huge number to choose from depending on their preferences, but they only have a short moment to make up their mind before they pass. What they choose could be different on any given day.

Just like what you pick from the sushi bar.

Some days all you see are California roll/urban fantasy and you want Katsu curry/dystopian YA.

But the agent could still pick your California roll query out if it looks appetising.

The job of the chef/writer is to make our dish/query stand out from all the others on offer.

So next time that 'I'm afraid this isn't a good fit for me' email pings in your inbox it just means the agent wanted a different dish that day.

One day an agent will pick your yummy California Roll/query off the conveyor belt.

It's just a matter of appetite.

*No sushi was harmed during the writing of this post. It did make me hungry though. :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

It's Almost Time...

So release day is almost upon us. Release of what?

Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1.

And I booked my ticket today. On Friday I'll be cinema bound (not for the midnight screening though, I'll be asleep) to see my first HP in the cinema.

Yes my first! I waited to see all the others until they were out on DVD, but I can't wait this time.  I need to go see it on the big screen.

There's also a bit of a theme around the blogosphere today with HP related posts. So, without further ado, here are links to some of my favourites.

Amparo, one of my awesome CP's, is hugging the world building of HP tight.

Renae, my fantastic beta (and excessive TBR book partner in crime), is taking part in a HP blogfest. Pop over to enjoy her daily fix of all things Potter this week.  Today she has awesome quotes.

Jen over at Unedited has a letter to J.K.Rowling.

Before I go, Laura Diamond has a fabulous guest post over on Operation Awesome on writers perseverance.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

I Knew Harry Potter Was Educational!

Yes, Harry Potter is a writing tool. Why? Well all I can say is check out Nathan Bransford's post on writing tips from reading Harry Potter.

Also today is my post day over on Operation Awesome. Feel free to pop by and say hi. Now I have to go and play, I mean write with the new Scrivener Beta edition for PC. If anyone uses Scrivener, please share your shortcut knowledge with me. I'm a newbie to it.

Finally I leave you with these thoughts. There are some things in life that puzzle me.

Why is it that when I spend an hour looking for something, I've been sat on it the entire time? Hello pen...my you're warm.

Why do ideas for scenes pop in your brain just before you are going to sleep or wake you up at 3am?

Can you answer my pondering? Any other thoughts you want to add to the list?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

If I were...

I saw this on two of my CP's blogs and decided I wanted to play. The idea is just to fill the sentences in with the first thing that pops into your head. So here I go...

- If I were a season, I’d be Spring.

- If I were a month, I’d be May.
- If I were a day of the week, I’d be Friday.
- If I were a time of day, I’d be Midnight.
- If I were a planet, I’d be Venus.
- If I were a direction, I’d be North.
- If I were a tree, I’d be an oak.
- If I were a flower, I’d be a daisy.
- If I were a fruit, I’d be a banana.
- If I were a land animal, I’d be a rabbit.
- If I were a sea animal, I’d be a dolphin.
- If I were a bird, I’d be an swallow.
- If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a bookcase.
- If I were a liquid, I’d be water.
- If I were a stone, I’d be an emerald.
- If I were a tool, I’d be a hammer.
- If I were a kind of weather, I’d be the snow.
- If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a guitar.
- If I were a colour, I’d be blue.
- If I were a facial expression, I’d be a smile.
- If I were an emotion, I’d be empathy.
- If I were a sound, I’d be a sigh.
- If I were an element, I’d be the wind.
- If I were a car, I’d be a Mini Cooper.
- If I were a food, I’d be spaghetti.
- If I were a place, I’d be Italy.
- If I were a flavor, I’d be mint.
- If I were a scent, I’d be jasmine.
- If I were an object, I’d be a pen.
- If I were a body part, I’d be an eye.
- If I were a song, I’d be "Starlight," by Muse.
- If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be sneakers.
- If I were transportation, I’d be a boat.
- If I were a fairy tale, I’d be The Little Mermaid.
- If I were a holiday, I’d be Christmas.
- If I were a novel, I'd be Pride and Prejudice.
- If I were a movie, I'd be The Princess Bride.

Oh, and check out Katrina and Kristal's choices.

Finally: I let out a huge squee when I read Jessica Bell's good news. Jessica is going to be published! Woot. I'm sure most of you know Jessica's news, but I had to add my squee to the list. Oh, and don't forget to enter her 400 follower contest  for a chance to win Amazon gift cards (or something Greek!). Deadline to enter is December 2nd.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Repetition Is Delicious

I love that toddlers are like human sponges. I also like that they are kind of repetitive when the talk, especially when they find a few words they like.

Some words I've heard on repeat last week:
Delicious. Wow (which said by a toddler with curly hair and big brown eyes is adorable). Gosh. Yay.
No. I'm ready (said as soon as she's in the car seat before I've clipped her in). No. Clever girl. No. Hot dog, hot dog hot diggity dog. Mickey Mouse.

And it's the same in writing (come on, you knew I was going somewhere didn't you!) We all have our crutch words, favourite descriptions and phrases (I myself am having an excess word vomit of 'skin,' 'lips' and 'mouth' at the moment). We pepper them into our manuscripts without thinking because they feel natural to us.

It's kind of like word poop, but repeated a few times a chapter.

There's nothing wrong with repeating words. Sometimes it is an effective tool, sometimes it's just a mistake or a habit -- like stuffing in that extra cookie in your mouth while watching TV, or eating the crusts you've cut off your goddaughter's sandwich (I really need to stop that habit, btw). But the best thing about being a writer is finding new ways to describe or write things. Like a toddler sponge in the quest for the new, next time I find myself going for the tried and tested crutch word I'm going to stop, think and write something else.

Oh, and even though I'm sure you know it already, here is somewhere I love to visit for inspiration: The Bookshelf Muse

Because learning something new is just as delicious.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Why Am I Talking About Poop?

This week think of me as the blogger answer to Where's Wally (or Waldo, I believe he's known as to my U.S. friends).

Today you can find me over at Operation Awesome. My topic?

Even famous writer's poop.

So please feel free to pop over and take a look. I really wanted to use poop over and take a look, but I changed my mind. Darn it, I used it anyway. hee hee. :)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Remember, Remember It's NaNo November

There's been something in the air this weekend...and I don't mean NaNo starting today.

Nope, I spent the weekend in bed with the stomach bug from hell. I've pondered the reasons for illness. Maybe it was over-excitement from the query chat, finishing my first draft or getting ready for my first NaNo. But I'm ready, rested-ish and (hopefully) excited to face the task of 50k in a month.

Can you hear my brains seeping out from my ears?

But today there is awesome abound. We have a Mystery Agent contest over at Operation Awesome and, get this, the agent accepts YA/MG and Adult fiction. So head on over and add your one-sentence pitch. There are fifty spots up for grabs and the winner gets to submit their full MS. In case you didn't know, one of the October entrants to the agent contest (who submitted thir query and first five) was offered representation by Mandy Hubbard. Woot!

Keep your eyes peeled for the tweet announcement when the post is live! Good luck.