Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you for the music

I'd like to thank Stephenie Meyer for introducing me to a whole range of wonderful music I'd never heard before. Thanks to her dedications to Muse in every single one of the Twilight novels, I decided to have a listen to the music. At the risk of using a seriously over-used word: Awesome!

So I made a new year's resolution for 2010 to broaden my music experience, and so far I've had a good run. Each month I've tried out a new band and along the way I've discovered some real gems, like Thirty Seconds to Mars and the inspiring Coldplay (yes, I know, I must be the last person on earth to catch on!)

But it's only mid-year and I've run out of ideas. Anyone have any suggestions on what bands I should try next?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fairy tales really do come true

To every critic who says that romance novels are escapist (well, okay, they are!) and unrealistic, all I have to say is ... bah humbug!

Ordinary young girls really do grow up to marry princes. It may not happen every day, but every 2-3 years, give or take, is still good odds. For the most recent in a string of European royal engagements and weddings worthy of any self-respecting romance novel, click here.

Okay, so the ages of hero and heroine are not exactly category romance material, but this story still has Cinderella stamped all over it. The young woman who has won the heart of the playboy prince is a former school teacher. (And she's South African too!)

Though perhaps the best fairy stories of all take place quietly around the world every day, as young girls grow up to be princesses. And most magical of all, these days they don't need a man to make all their dreams come true.

Though I'll admit that the princes are a wonderful bonus!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Burn out

I've been running at full tilt for so long that I just can't seem to stop. I've always been a strictly 8 hour's sleep a night person, but this year I've learned to survive on just six a night. I thought I was coping fine, but I finally realised it was just the momentum keeping me going.

On Monday, when I posted the wrong message to the wrong Yahoo group (a promo ad to a group that bans people for posting promos!) I suddenly realised that I'm not coping, and I'm headed for burn out. Even worse, that burn out will probably hit the moment I slow down - or in other words, as soon as I arrive at the RNA conference in July. As I don't want that, I'd better start taking things easy, starting right now!

I was told a year ago that one of the issues I need to deal with in my life is creating boundaries. Or in simple terms: learning to say 'no' to things. Over this past year I've learned to say 'no' quite well in my personal life, but it's something I still struggle with at work. How do you say 'no' to a boss who is paying you a salary you really need? I finally have the answer: you hit rock bottom and you just stop jumping when they say 'jump'. On Monday I was handed another project to do. I still have three open projects on my desk that need to be closed. I may not be able to say 'no', but this new project is going to sit in the inbox and wait it's turn. And if anyone has anything to say, they're about to discover the monster I can be when I'm sleep deprived.



So if you don't see me hanging out in Blogland, or I take a while to respond to emails, please forgive me.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I have a release date!

Let's Misbehave will be available from The Wild Rose Press from 7th July!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Have to Haves

The world has to keep turning. Our planet has to have a sun for life to exist. The human brain has to have oxygen. People have to have access to clean drinking water. Babies have to be fed. We all need to love and be loved.

A film shoot for a TV ad does not have to lock off a busy double carriageway during rush hour traffic in order to put a camera crew in the middle of the road.

It is so easy in our hectic, over-stimulated modern lives to get our priorities mixed up. And it is exceptionally difficult to maintain balance and stay focussed when you work in an industry as surreal and self-obsessed as advertising.

For a while now I've been attempting to de-clutter my life, and I'm discovering that it has more to do with a state of mind than material possessions. To gain true happiness in life we need to return to basics. We need to get our priorities straight.

Yes, earning an income is important for survival in the urban jungle. But for our sanity, and the health of our souls, we need to put that income and how we earn it in it's rightful place. If you work as a nurse or a paramedic, a fireman or a police officer, or even a teacher, then what you do to earn that income might possibly take precedence over common sense, consideration of others, and over your loved ones. Might.

For me, I'm slowly learning to put my priorities back where they belong. Front and centre on my family and friends, and on my own soul's health. And so I'm compiling a list of the true 'have to haves' in life. Those things that we need to stay focussed on and put ahead of every other consideration.

What do you consider a 'have to have'? Do you feel your priorities are well balanced, or influenced by the demands others place on you? I'd love to know what you think - please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vote for your favourite hero

Please pop over to http://saromancewriters.blogspot.com and vote for your favourite hero. Warrior, Latino, or All-American ... drool over the pictures and cast your vote.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Unputdownable

I have a confession to make.

Last night I agreed to a Minxy Write-a-thon and then dropped out.

I had every intention of spending at least an hour or so on my rewrites, but I was just so exhausted that the laptop screen was waving before my eyes (much like it's doing right now!) I need 8 hours a night of sleep to function well so the 5-6 hours I've been averaging lately is catching up with me. I climbed into bed early with every intention of getting a really good night's sleep. Before going to sleep I decided to read just one chapter of India Grey's recent novel Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper.

I finally went to sleep at 1am. So much for a good night's sleep.

India Grey's books are unputdownable, so I should have known better. My pillow was soaked with tears and I just couldn't stop reading until Sarah got the Happy Ever After she so deserved.

If you haven't already read this one, do. It's worth sacrificing a night of sleep for. And worth my bleary eyes today too.