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What I’m giving up… And what I’m not

So many writers whinge they don’t have time to write. Yeah, I’m absolutely one of them.

I have writing goals. They’re not set in stone but they’re always there, sliding in and out of my head like melted ice cream. I want to write two novels each year. Ideally, I also want to have two novels published each year, but as I work with a publisher, that one is largely out of my hands. I can’t control publishing schedules.

I’m a fairly fast writer. When I’m in the groove, I can manage 1800 words an hour. When I’m not in the groove, I’m lucky to manage 500 words. Staring into space is so time-consuming.  Even so, I should be able to knock over an 80K novel in, oh, 60 or so hours? Even at 6 hours a week, that’s only ten weeks. And that schedule allows six months per novel. Six months!  That is so much time.

Wrong.

Continue reading “What I’m giving up… And what I’m not”

Tennis Season!

Amelie MauresmoI’ve lost count of how many times I’ve used this photo in a post. A lot. Because I love it.  I love it for many reasons: tennis is my sporting passion and Amelie Mauresmo (now retired) represented the pinnacle of women’s tennis for me. Huge skill, power, supreme athleticism, grace, fire, and persistence.  An all-court, attacking game with a huge variety of strokes. She won two grandslam titles: the Aussie Open and Wimbledon. She was gracious and calm in the face of criticism about her personal life, her physique, and her temperament.  When she was 19, she outed herself at the Australian Open after winning the final, when she jumped into the arms of her lover.  She basically shrugged at the backlash, called the detractors “a little stupid” and carried on.  Amelie Mauresmo is forever and always my Number 1 tennis crush. 🙂

Putting aside the sheer enjoyment of watching (and playing) tennis, it’s also one of the few sports where women earn the same as men (more for some of them, once endorsements are factored in), and where the sport receives equal viewing coverage. Continue reading “Tennis Season!”

Hello, 2017

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Farewell, 2016. Seldom has a year been so up and down. Let’s start with the ups, because I’m a glass-three-quarters full kind of person. And I’m a writer, so this post is mainly about writing.

2016 was the second year I focused on writing longer fiction. Novels. It still feels like a big scary jump for this little black duck who spent the first fifteen years of her writing career writing short stories.

Continue reading “Hello, 2017”

Performance Review

ID-100360107It is that time of year again in my day job. Everyone’s least favourite hour in their working day.  No, not 8:00am on a Monday, but performance review time. Two pages of inane questions to which you have to answer what is basically the expected path. You can’t say what you really think. You can’t make a joke and  move on.  After all, the annual pay rise at least partially depends on it. Continue reading “Performance Review”

What to do when not writing

20160313_140658I’ve had my head down and bum up on the writing front for the last few months.  It’s been terrific, and I feel I’ve made good progress. But this weekend, the only writing I’m doing is this blog post (oh, and a shopping list, but that doesn’t count).

I like to take little mini breaks away from writing from time to time. It keeps things fresh, and even though I’m not consciously thinking about my story, I’ll quite often have a little random thought pop into my head that time away has allowed to surface.   The last random thought was “must check the range of green tree frogs in Queensland” (Answer: pretty much everywhere, especially where you least expect them. Especially any toilet where someone left the lid up.) Continue reading “What to do when not writing”

2015 in review

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2015 was a good year in many ways for me.  It brought much pleasure and achievement, much laughter and good times.

I continue to live in south east Queensland, one of the most beautiful parts of Australia.  I live in a rural community, in a house perched on the side of a hill with views forever (that’s the view above on a misty morning).  The joy and inspiration this setting brings cannot be underestimated.  I love the sub-tropical climate, the ability to grow my own vegetables and source much of what we eat from local small producers.  So much better than the mass production supermarkets, with their dubious ethics and lack of accountability. Continue reading “2015 in review”

First Drafts

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, although you would be forgiven if you said, “So? What’s different?” Continue reading “First Drafts”

The Running Writer (and Three of Hearts)

I’ve often compared running and writing.  They’re both things I love to do, they’re both mostly solitary pursuits, and require setting your mind to a task and not stopping until it’s done.  Both can be done pretty much everywhere, and need minimal equipment.  A body. A mind. Running shoes. A laptop.  The bells and whistles of wicking socks, a running watch that takes my heartbeat, and a MP3 player are like writing software, books on the craft, and a glitter pen that writes in turquoise:  very nice, but not essential.

In most stories and in most runs, there’s a point at which I want to stop.  “No more,” I think despairingly, “I can’t do this any longer.”  And in most stories and most runs, if I can get myself past that point, the end is worth it.  The satisfaction of completing a story knowing I’ve told something good.  The joy of completing a run when I didn’t think I could run that far or that fast.  (Running ’til you puke is a whole ‘nother topic). And in the long haul of training, or a writing career, there’s times in both when I’ve thought, what’s the point of continuing? I’ll never get faster, no one will ever want to read this.   But getting past those mental blocks brings great rewards. Continue reading “The Running Writer (and Three of Hearts)”

The writing process meme

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There’s been a meme going around for a while now, about writing process. I was tagged by the wonderful Harper Bliss (Check out her new series, “French Kissing”. Go on, what are you waiting for?).

The meme asks these questions:

1) What am I working on?
I have a few things on the go. I’m working on a couple of different lesbian short stories for a couple of different anthologies (yes, Harper, including yours!). Both are around 75% completed to first draft, but that’s when the real work starts.

I also am playing around with writing something longer. Long novella, I think. All I’ll say about this is that it’s lesbian erotica, and it’s not for any particular call, and it doesn’t have a home. It may never have a home if I don’t stop wiffling about it and finish it.

And of course, I’m also editing an erotica anthology, Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire which will be published by Ladylit later this year. I’m very excited about that!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

To be honest, I don’t know. I read others’ work and I can see their trademark style: humor, a particular way of telling a story, favorite words or scenes, but I can’t see those same pointers in my own work that would enable anyone to pick it.

I do have a liking for giving stories a very strong sense of place. Maybe that’s my trademark. Maybe not.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I started writing erotica 14 years ago – my first published story was in 2000. Back then, I wrote erotic short stories as a way of writing about life and characters and how they react in different situations. Life through sex-colored glasses. That’s still my reason for writing what I do.

4) How does my writing process work?

I’m a pantser who is trying to become a bit more organised. Generally, I let an idea roll around in my head for a while before I start to write, so that I’ve a good feel for the characters and what’s going to happen (apart from A meets B, they have sexxx. The End). I like to put my characters into a situation and see what happens, which is all well and good, but before I start writing I have to know that there’s a full story in there, rather than just a reaction (or a one line gag, or a description). Sometimes I will start writing to find that the story won’t work, in which case I shunt it over to my huge ‘unfinished’ folder where it may sit for years. This folder is normally my first stop when I want to write something specific. I check it to see if there’s something I can finish in a different direction. Often there is. My story in “A Christmas to Remember” was first started back in 2007. My story in “Cowboy Lust” has several much longer drafts dating back to 2008 before ending up as the current version.

There’s also several jottings, opening lines, and character descriptions that I hope will someday find their way into a story.

My first drafts are always horrible, but I edit a lot. A LOT.

I’m supposed to tag someone else for this meme, but everyone I asked had already been tagged or was standing aside on this one. If there’s anyone out there who still wants to play, shout and I’ll link you in.

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