Thursday, May 28, 2009

99% Hard Work, 1% Inspiration

Don't under-estimate that inspiration. It can move mountains.

As anyone following this blog knows, my word counter has been static for far too long. I hit a bit of a wall towards the end of the middle section. I'd written the end, but somehow the transition from (sagging) middle to Happy Ever After eluded me.

That's where the Hard Work bit comes in. With my husband out of town on business the last few nights I've sat in bed every evening with the laptop in my lap and forced myself to write. It was a slog. The words came very slowly. Then at about 11pm on Tuesday night the hard work paid off. It was like a veil lifting. Suddenly I could see clearly. I knew what I had to write. Inspiration had struck.

Alternatively, it might just be that I was already so exhausted at that point that my characters took over writing their story and did a much better job at telling their story than I was doing. Either way, I'm not complaining. Even though the changes meant I had to delete an entire scene, the word counter is finally moving again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A rose by any other name

I know I should be thinking about my current novel, not the next one. But that would make this blog way too dull. So to liven things up around here, I'm going to hold a vote to look for a suitable name for my new hero.

He's a European prince who has lived in the States for several years. He's fun and easy-going and adventurous. Now he has to give up his nice life of freedom to return to his duties in the principality, which lies between France, Germany and Switzerland, so names that suit any of those cultures are ideal.

I love the name Sebastian, but used it for the hero of an erotic short story I wrote last year, and though the characters are poles apart, I'd like this one to stand alone. Anyone have any thoughts?

Here are the options up for vote:
A - Sebastian
B - Christian
C - Tristan
D - Fredrik (Rick)
E - Nicholas (Nick)
F - Any other suggestions?

And this is the inspiration for my prince...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have finally waded through all the comments from my wonderful on-line crit group and am doing revisions on the first three chapters of my wip. Already the story feels so much stronger.

To my inexperienced mind they almost feel polished enough to submit. But as I'm submitting to the RNA's New Writers' Scheme rather than HMB, three chapters is just a drop in the bucket. Is that a whip I hear cracking?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

RNA Conference

With great reluctance I've finally decided that I won't be going to this year's RNA conference in Cumbria. I was really excited about going, especially as I'd planned to couple it with my sister-in-law's birthday party and a visit with my oldest and dearest friend.

But as much as I really want to go, even I have to admit it would be supremely selfish of me to leave my kids for yet another 10 days, having already been away from them twice this year for work.

I keep reminding myself that there will be another conference next year. And my dearest friend will be visiting South Africa in June for the Lions tour, so I won't be missing too much. I will just have to satisfy my curiosity by devouring every blog post I can find by anyone who attends this year's conference (hint, hint).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back in business

I'm back home and mostly recovered from last week's film shoot, so now it's back to business. It seems I've been missing some interesting conversations on various blogs and forums that I need to catch up on.

My self-imposed deadlines are all looming so I really need to make a final push to finish the wip. Problem is, I'm bored with it already and want to move on to the next one. First step I think is to go back and re-read all that advice I received a while back on how to fall in love with your story once again.

I know this is not the most exciting blog post ever, so to spice it up, here's the setting of my current scene, courtesy of the website of Adventure Balloons in the UK:

Friday, May 8, 2009

One more sleep

Just one more 'sleep' and I will be home with my babies! As a writer, I should be able to put my emotions into words, but I can't.

I've worked such long hours these last two weeks that I haven't really had time to spare on missing them. But now, knowing that by lunch-time tomorrow I am quite literally going to be holding them in my arms, I just cannot wait.

Right now I am doing everything else but the one most important thing, which is working on my novel. In this last week I have only written the grand total of 2,000 words.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Have you ever?!

I've done long shoots before. I've done some very long shoots before. But this one takes the cake.
Six shots in 13 hours is not good going, especially when the shots are not that complicated. (A usual 14 hour day is good for at least 10 or 12 setups.) I like this wine farm, but not enough to do a 24 hour day and still have to drive an hour to get back to my bed, and certainly not enough to watch my profit share being haemorraged away on overtime.
Thanks for letting me rant.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Atlantic Marina

This is where I'm currently staying in Cape Town. My apartment is in the building on the extreme right of this picture.

The entire complex is high security, ultra modern luxury. Each apartment has views over the marina and each building has a penthouse apartment. There are gardens and pools and walkways everywhere. Definitely a location that inspires romantic fantasy.

And this is the view from my colleague's apartment:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Smiling again

Today is the first day since I arrived in Cape Town that I haven't worked a full day. I managed to sit out for an hour or so this evening on my balcony overlooking the marina and watch the sunset as I hammered away at the keyboard. And the words just flowed!

1,256 words in just a little over an hour. I sincerely hope that means the drought is over and my creative juices are flowing again. I feel pumped enough to keep going but unfortunately I'm expected to do dinner out with the clients tonight.

Please keep all fingers and toes crossed that the words keep flowing all week. I just might crack the end of this first draft if I can keep it up until then. And I'm sending an even bigger prayer skywards that this ad shoot runs without a glitch so that I can turn my attention to James and Ally's Happy Ever After.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

AWOL again

Anyone who follows this blog will know that I've been unusually quiet. Simply, it's because I'm back in Cape Town and working silly hours. Next week we're shooting cheese commercials for Europe.

The apartment I'm staying in this time around is simply amazing. The buildings are modern and stylish, with views over the yachts in the marina. It is the ideal location to set a Harlequin Romance. So far I haven't seen much of the place in daylight, but I plan to take a few photos before I leave and I'll try to upload them here for everyone to have a drool ... all in the interests of writing of course (to get those creative juices flowing).