Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happy endings.

As a romance writer a happy ending is part of the deal and I couldn't have written a better happy ending than this one. I'm in Sydney at the moment visiting my son who is just finishing high school. We had his presentation assembly on Thursday and he made me cry. Not only is he almost 18 and about 5 weeks from his final exam but he managed to keep his grades up while the rest of his family left the country. We knew he had first in year for Biology and English and second in year for Maths but what we didn't know until the assembly was that he was receiving the Academic Excellence Award for excelling in 4 or more of his subjects. He also received the Reuben F Scarf Award For Commitment, this award is voted by the teachers and only goes to one student. I haven't watched the video yet to listen to the speech made about him but his Nani said I better get the tissues ready. It's a bit of a shock to realise that we've produced such a wonderful human being. I'm really not sure how we did it and I'm not sure how to do it again another three times. For the boy who often struggled with school, to watch him do so well because he wants something, (to be a marine biologist), I'm reminded that it's all up to us as individuals to go after what we want. So once I'm back in Singapore it'll be head down and nose back into that MS that's been giving me so much frustration in the last few weeks. For now I'm going to sit back and soak up my very own happy ending.

All birds most leave the nest to build their own, but it doesn't mean they can't come back to visit.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sanity? Is it a relative thing?

Sanity? Is it relative?
I can honestly say that I'm relatively sane. Most of the time. There are other time when I think I have to be completely insane. But when I look at it closely I'm not sure I'd want it any other way. I'm mean, really, if everything was calm and peaceful would we feel as alive? I know I wouldn't. Without all the people around me and in my head trying to get out my life would be very boring, that's not to say I don't want a bit of peace and quiet now and then. I'm getting lots of advice and sympathy from fellow authors about the editing and polishing process and I'm grateful to find I'm not alone in my struggles. One such author was kind enough to offer her experience with the editing process after sale, all I can say is, at least she's sold it. We really are in an interesting industry. I might produce something fantastic that should be published but gets rejected because that editor on that day had something better cross her desk, or I might produce something complete unworthy of paper but get published because it was the shining light of the day. Go figure. A lot of it comes down to luck as much as craft, skill and the three P's. Patience, persistence and perseverance. Of course the middle one should read stubbornness but I like the three P's, they sound good. When I finish the MS I'm working on I had planned for it to be long gone by now but with the move to Singapore, and the adjustment to our new life minus one child, it's been almost twelve months since it was finished. I've changed things and then changed them back again, if I didn't know better I'd think I was on a merry-go-round. Oh no, wait a minute, it was the giant swing and that was over a week ago. LOL
So, after succumbing to a couple of drinks to drown the sorrows we're back to work and hoping for the best. When all is said and done the only thing I can be sure of is that I've given it a go.

Don't regret the things you do, only the ones you don't have the courage to do.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Editing, editing, editing....

Why is editing so hard? Why does everything seem to suck? How come everything felt so right the first time and now it doesn't?
I've asked around and it seems I'm not alone. Published as well as not are saying the same thing. As a not published I was hoping someone would say it got better. No such luck. The worst bit is I don't want to read the bloody thing again. No choice. If I want it out there on the shop shelf it's got to be edited, polished, primped and pruned. Grrrr....
I've got to the point where I don't want to get published with these 70,000 words, it's just too hard. When do you give up and start again? When do you cut your loses and move on? The answer is simple, you don't. Not if you want it. The hardest part about this is perseverance and practise and patience. I'm thinking stubbornness myself. So taking a breather should help but I want it now! Damn that patience fairy, she forgot to visit.
Okay, enough ranting and raving and back to the book. I'm really beginning to hate the thing. I guess that's just the way it'll be. I suppose if I hate it and I send it off and it gets a rejection letter I won't care. Ha! Of course I'll care. That's why I'm doing this to myself.
You know all those times I thought I might be insane having all these people living in my head might not have been far from the truth. Surely putting myself through this and then waiting for someone to tell my it stinks is insanity? Then again, having someone tell me it's great let's put it in print wouldn't be insane. Well, it would be insane, insanely great.
Okay, it's official, I'm going mad.
I'll leave you with something John F Kennedy said.
We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Smooth sailing all the way.

Now that the boat's no longer rocking I might be able to get back to work. Well, nothing like a couple of little earthquakes to shake things up. Nothing's been right since yesterday and I'm just waiting for the kids to go to bed so I can have some peace and quiet. Melma's hovered all day, I'm sure she thought I'd leave her behind if I left. There's no way that's happening, who'd do all the work while I write? The kids have been noisy and annoying since they got home, more than normal. Chris is out to dinner, thank God, or he'd be a pain too. And to top it all off, I've got nothing done today. Well, I did read the final lecture for my course and I did read the piece I need to critique and I did start my homework for this week and I've updated both my blogs, twice. Wow, I did get a bit done. It didn't seem like it but now that I've put it in writing it's quite a bit. I don't feel so bad now.

I've been receiving emails from some of the writers on the romaus online group. I even got one from a fellow Aussie who's just moved to Switzerland. And being new to this online chat business I nearly fell over when this flashing started on my screen while I was checking my emails. I thought I'd killed something, again. But no, there I was chatting with Switzerland. Live! It still amazes me that we can do that. So, I learnt how to msn when we moved up her 5 months ago and now I'm learning to IM (I think that's what it's called) on yahoo! Sometimes I scare myself. I'm learning so many new things about cyber-space, who knows, maybe I'll find all those missing things I've sent out there over the last few years.

Tomorrow's going to be a non-productive (am I making up words again?) day, what with Robbie's teacher interview and a visit to the tax man. (shudder) Gotta finalize all the Aussie stuff.

Spread the sunshine, smile it costs nothing.


Oh, no, not again!

This is not what I planned for when we planned the experience of a life time. Moving to a new country, experiencing a new culture, living the expat life. I did not sign on for a geology/geography lesson. All this shaking is disrupting my muse, she keeps thinking up the worst disasters. You know buildings crumbling, the ground opening up and swallowing things whole. Damn, she's a scary bitch!
Not sure what to do, the nausea is the worst for me. I feel sick every day as it is, but now that I'm swinging from the chandelier, so to speak, it's not that appealing. No water movement out front, we're in our third tsunami warning. There telling us on the TV to go out to open space, has anyone been in Singapore? There's very little open space. The only open space I have around here is the beach out front. Not much choice, really. I can stay inside and hope the building is fine, or I can go outside and hope there isn't a tsunami. Mmm.....
Mother nature is a fickle thing.
Live every moment, you have no idea how many you have.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I feel the earth move under my feet.....

Oh, yeah! I fell the earth move under my feet.....
Yeah, Baby! Was it good for you, too?

Where's the best place to be when the earth moves?
Not sitting at your laptop on the 11th floor, that's for sure. It's kind of like standing on a floating jetty, and for someone that suffers from vertigo it's even worse. I thought for a minute I'd been drinking and forgot to tell myself. It starts with nausea, then that dizzy feeling we all loved as children. I even grabbed the desk to make sure it wasn't me moving. It wasn't. The kids freaked, the cat freaked and Melma wanted to know if we should go down stairs. Having been through an earthquake up here before I wasn't too concerned, but then I remembered where Chris was. Indonesia. Luckily for him he'd already taken off from Jakarta and was in the air happily oblivious to our earth shaking experience.
So how many stories can I get out of this?
Can't wait to see.
No matter what happens always keep your feet firmly on the ground.

Writing and reading up a storm.

Three short story book reviews over the last few day, homework for my online class, giving feed back on another class mates work and writing about 5,000 words. Okay, breathing now. I'm not sure how I've managed it, there seems to be a lot there and it is only Wednesday. The good news I'm busy, the bad news, nothings finished and ready to go off to the submission gods. It's getting there though, so I shouldn't complain.
I've joined the online group for Romance Writers of Australia, so I can keep in touch with what's happening in down under. Forgive me for getting star struck every time a recognisable name pops up. And there are so many I recognise. I can't believe we moved up here the year the conference was in Sydney. There was no way I could fly down for it and then back down for TJ's farewell assembly. This time in two weeks I'll be in Sydney seeing my baby for the first time in five months. That's reason enough to write up a storm so I can take the whole week off while I'm down there.


It's wonderful to be inspired, but even more so to do something about it.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!!

On the advice of a fellow writer busy tapping her way to publication, I signed up to be a reviewer for Fallen Angel Reviews. After becoming a member of Passionate Ink, (for those out of the industry it's a chapter of Romance Writers of America), I've become quite good at the message boards, (anyone that thinks otherwise please be quiet and let me dream). I thought no worries I can handle the computer element of being a reviewer. Wrong! I had to get my 14 year old to come and help me. But I think I've got it now. I better have or there won't be any reviews from me. I read so many books for myself that I thought why not read them and offer my opinion, I mean who doesn't want to offer their opinion. So now I get to pick books and they send them to me so I can read them and send back what I thought. How cool is that! Did I mention I don't have to pay for the books? Or that I don't get paid for my opinion? The free book bit makes Chris happy. Mind you, I don't smoke or drink, well the drinking bit is changing but that's because my lovely friend Danielle can't be expected to drink alone. (LOL)
I have to say that after all the years I spent at home with my four kids and then working part time and doing all the housework, taxi services etc, I've fallen into this life of luxury really well. After spending a couple of hours by the pool the other day and getting a lot of re-writing done, I can see how someone could get very used to the expat lifestyle. The kids are all gone by 7:30 in the morning and aren't back until 4:00pm. And Melma, the best domestic home helper ever, does all the housework. So if I'm not able to get myself in gear and published before I'm 40 someone better come and check the pool area for the layabout Aussie.
I'm taking a break tonight, we're off to dinner, just me and the hubby. It's his birthday today, so we're the same age again. No more but you're older comments for 5 months!!! It's okay, though, he looks older. (LOL)
The only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Going on the record!

Here it is, the record of my journey to publication.
Things are getting serious now.
I'm just about finished an on-line course at Gotham Writer's Workshop. I've 'met' some great girls during these last few weeks. Five of them are in the US and one is in the UK, which gets confusing when you think about all the time differences. My writing has been getting back to a steady flow since I signed up. I have to tell you I was getting just a little concerned that my muse had some how been packed in with the things that went to storage or was lost on the trip up here. But she found me again. Good thing too, because I was about to send out a search party.
I had such plans for my writing when we moved to Singapore from Australia and finally they're falling into place. So if I'm having to put down here what I'm up to and what I've sent off, it'll motivate me to keep pushing forward.
Speaking of pushing forward, yesterday I sent off two entries for a contest. Only small ones, the contest is called High Five, and as the name suggests, it's the first five pages of your MS. So polishing done, I sent the first five from my fully finished MS and the first five of the one I've moved onto. I don't even know when it'll be judged. It's been so long since I entered anything that I just wanted to get something out there. You gotta be in it to win it, right?
As well as the course, editing and re-writing my MS and moving onto the next one, I'm working on a small word count story that I'm thinking off submitting to an e-publisher. This is a new thing for me, having only just discovered e-books, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I've also got an idea for a story set here in Singapore, but I think I'll just put it in my ideas book and get back to it later.
Well, I'm off to get some more editing done, I think I'll take it down by the pool as it's another sunny day in Singapore.
Hope all are well and dreams are coming true.