Saturday, February 25, 2006

Have you read...?

And if not, why not? :)

Press release from ERWF member K M Frontain:

Friday, February 24, 2006

It's off!

I finished checking over all three stories, added a few words here and there, bundled them into one document and sent the whole thing off to Torquere for their Taste Test series. Fingers, eyes, toes and pretty much everything else crossed that they like the stories - although I'll understand if they have problems with 'Wild Thyme, Bitter Honey' because it in no way has a happy ending. And most publishers these days seem to prefer happy endings, because it's what sells. Oh well, now all I can do is sit back and wait and see.

I suggested a couple of overall titles for the collection - one was 'Watery Graves' which sums up the 3 stories to perfection but might be rather downbeat. It kind of suggests they're all tragedies which isn't the case at all. So just in case, I also suggested 'Mystic Waters', which hopefully doesn't sound too drippy. I enjoy thinking up titles for my stories but a whole collection is always that much harder because the title has to reflect not just one but all of the stories involved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Spent some time working on a short story about the King of the Leeches. LOL You wouldn't think it was possible to write erotica about leeches, would you? But I seem to have managed it. I worry about me sometimes. ;)

This is one of three stories with a similar theme (mild horror, water in some form) that I'm hoping to submit to Torquere Press for one of their new 3-title 'Taste Test' series. I'll have one story out of three appearing in one of those in April (the other two, both fantastic, are by Emily Veinglory and Kay Derwydd and the collection has a centaur theme) and it seems like such a good idea I wanted to try and see if I could get one all to myself!

The leech story was too short by a few hundred words so I added a whole new scene where the leech king tries to drag the hero under water and the hero has to plead for his life. Hopefully it's added a bit of extra tension, too, which was rather lacking in the original version.

Now I just need to run the hoover over the other two stories and hopefully I'll be able to get the submission off in the next few days. After that, it's back to the edits. Oh joy. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back to work

Straight back in at the deep end after the holiday (nice break, shame about the weather *grin*) with four sets of edits that have all arrived at once. Most aren't too bad - just typos, punctuation and the odd comment but one seems more severe and I'm going to have to spend more time over that one.

The editing process is never the most enjoyable part of writing - watching someone else pulling your work apart is rather like having minor surgery without the anaesthetic - but usually it's an important part of getting a book or story just right. With the best will in the world, and no matter how many times I check them before I send them off, my manuscripts still have mistakes in them: spelling mistakes, typos, wrong punctuation, occasional glaring contradictions and howlers. Clearing those up makes for a cleaner and better piece of work and although it's tedious I don't mind doing it. But sometimes the editing becomes a disagreement over a point of style and that really is hard. There's nothing specifically wrong with what I've written - the grammar is fine, it makes sense, it even sounds good - and yet I have someone telling me it needs to be changed. I think of all the different facets of writing, I find that the harddest of all to deal with.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Wheee - holiday!

We're off on vacation for just over a week and going to the wilds of Scotland where they're unlikely to have internet access. So I probably won't be able to update this for a few days.

Looking forward to the break and seeing mountains, hopefully covered in snow as it's been cold enough the last few days!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Messy ghosts

Picked up another old work-in-progress today (heck, I've got a whole folder to choose from) - this one's about a (real) estate agent who specialises in haunted properties. It's a lot of fun and there's some decent creepy bits in there too but oh boy! The structure is a complete mess. There are minor characters galore, some of whom seem to serve no purpose whatsoever; there are love interests by the dozen; there's a whole sub-plot involving Oscar Wilde; and I have absolutely no idea where it's going next.

I can't figure out whether to get the pruning shears out now, or carry on regardless, see where it takes me and then fall about laughing when I arrive. Focus! Yeah. That's what I need to do. Um. What was it called again?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Splashing out

I've headed off into the dangerous uncharted waters of non-fiction writing and my first successful effort is currently on show at Velvet Mafia - a book review of Sebastien Beaumont's The Linguist. Why not brave the sea-monsters and take a look for yourselves? :)


The *official* poll results are out now - that's the ones without all the M. Mouses listed, presumably. ;) And guess what? I made ninth place in the Publication Editor section for Forbidden Fruit, and the zine itself was twelfth in the Fiction Publication section. I'm absolutely over-the-moon, especially as the zine is distinctly 'niche' rather than mainstream popular romance. Can I just say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me, and/or the zine? THANK YOU!! LOL

On top of that, the stunningly gorgeous artwork by Billy Tackett for 'Elfmeet' was sixteenth in the Book Artwork category and deserves every bit of it. I still swoon every time I look at that cover. :)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Weird research

Honestly, the things us writers have to research sometimes. I spent part of yesterday afternoon up to my eyebrows in details of racing pigeons for a story idea I'd had for the latest Torquere contest. It's not something I know much about (ok, make that 'anything' LOL) and I found myself immersed in facts and figures. Did you know, for instance, that the depth of colour of a bird's eye shows how good it will be at racing? Or that different breeds are called 'families'? Nope, nor did I. Here's hoping it comes in useful, though.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Drowning in admin

I'm really struggling at the moment to find time to write. I realised the other day that I'm trying to combine writing, editing Forbidden Fruit, promoting my books and critiquing for other writers. Any one of those could be a full time job and I'm trying to do all four. I think something has to give.

One of the worst offenders is forums and mailing lists run by the publishers. On the face of it, it's a very good idea because it unites writers and their readers in one place and gives excellent opportunities for marketing. Unfortunately, some publishers have several lists and forums *each*, and when you multiply that by several publishers, the end result is that I spend all my time downloading and reading messages. And in some cases, membership of the groups is mandatory.

I bailed out of several private groups just after Christmas but I'm still struggling to keep my head above water and think I'm going to have to boot out several more. One of the first things to go will be the critiquing, which is a great shame as it's something I always enjoyed in the past. But if it's a straight choice between that and writing, the writing has to win.