Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sharing some pix.

I just thought I'd quickly share these pix with you guys. They're off a much younger me and my Grandparents. You all know that my Grandma died at the beginning of the year and Grandad has been gone for almost 12 years now. I was updating our family blog and I put these photos on there and thought you might like to see 'em too, cause there's only a few of you that have access to the family blog and I don't advertise it here. Just not comfortable sharing it with the world. Young kids and all. So these were taken when I was about 3 or 4 not sure which, we found them in Grandma's photos.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Re-working the WIP

Okay, the smart ones will have noticed the word counter on the sidebar has changed. It had to. Since Trey and Lana are tearing down the road to the big ending I had to re-think the word count and look at some things that didn't need to be in shorter book. So I've dropped about 8,000 words. All stuff that just bogged the damn thing down, (well, that's what I'm telling myself) it's hard to let those words go but they need to go. The word count now stands at 20,034, with 6 and a half chapters and over 90 pages, I'm taking a break because they're having an intimate moment and I..., oh all right, they're having sex, hot steamy sex that quite frankly just got a little too much for me. There's nothing worse than getting caught up in the moment and missing something. So they're, umm..., well they're enjoying themselves while I cool off a bit and finish playing with my new toy. Yep, I got a new toy, it's a big old white board, with my very own set of magic markers. It's covered with all the stuff I need to remember about my pair. You know, so when Lana starts talking about the Horde I can just look up and remind myself what she's talking about. I love it. I've even put a running word count total on it, how many pages in each chapter, that kind of thing. I've got three days to finish to make my goal and with Hubby away and the kids at school I think I'll make it. Plus, I want the weekend off because, gasp! it's my birthday on Sunday. Guess what I got? Everyone that knows me knows how much I love Nora Roberts, and the lifetime channel in the US made four of her books into telemovies.
I GOT THE DVD's!!!!!!!
Now I know the kids and Chris are gonna hate me but I'm watching at least one on Sunday. It's my birthday and that's what I want to do. I can't wait, I know Nora was pleased with the way they turned out so I don't think they'll done damage to the stories, don't you just hate it when they make a book into a movie and kill it? For the curious the movies are: Montana Sky, Carolina Moon, Angels Fall and Blue Smoke. All the books were great so hopefully the movies will be too. I'll let you know.
Okay back to the book, see where Trey and Lana are now. Hopefully there still where I left them, but then I should know by now that anything goes with this pair.
Hope everyone has a great week.

I'm not getting old just more experienced.

Rachel C

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Before I left for Sydney last year I sent off an entry in a competition, I actually sent it from the airport. So yesterday I'm doing emails and I see one from Expat Living magazine and I think, what are they putting on now?! They're always sponsoring some fair or show or something, so I thought I won't bother with it now, I'll look later (as in tomorrow, maybe). Yes, you can kick me for being slack, I've already kicked myself. I kept going for about another three hours, I was reviewing and I got caught up in the book, sue me. I went back to my emails because as you know my cyber-friend and author (do you like the way I plugged knowing an author?) Nicole Austin (plugging Nicole now, website link on the side) was having a fun time with her bookmarks, which she's sending one to me, anyway, I actually looked at the subject.
Curiosity got the better of me, I know curiosity killed the cat but this time the cat got cream!
Hot damn, I won that competition!
Yep, that's me the winner!
So here's what I got:-
An overnight stay for two in the newly renovated Pan Pacific Singapore, breakfast in bed, champagne and strawberries, and a specially-prepared candlelit dinner at Global Kitchen - which the chef promises, will make use of plenty of aphrodisiacal ingredients to get you both in the mood! Also a door gift, flute of champagne each and a rose. Total prize valued at over $900 Singapore dollars!
It's for the month of Feb which besides having valentine's day in it also has my birthday. How cool is that? So now we have to work out when Chris is away so we can decide when to go. I can't wait. I've never won anything this good before, well, personally, I did win the critique from Amie Stuart but I put that in a different ball park.
So as much as these last few months have been bad, they've also been good. Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come.

You've got to be in it to win it!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Bad Customer Service!

Leaving the hot seat for an important news flash.
Print Place (I'm not even telling you the website)

They're in the US and a cyber-friend of mine has just been royally shafted by them. No, not that kind of shafting, jeez people get your minds out of the gutter. No poor Nicole was so excited when her new bookmarks finally arrived from the printers that she was telling anyone that would listen. Imagine her complete horror when she examined them more closely and found that one side was shiny and one not. Even worse, the shiny side was the back, and all those lovely (read hot) pix on the front were flat and dull! And it gets worse! When she emailed the company to tell them they'd stuffed up, because they had, who wants dull, flat pix of hunky men?, they called her and explained that that's the way the bookmarks come out, one side shiny the other not. So Nicole says, well fine, but the wrong side it shiny!
Reply - Oh, we can't predict what side will be shiny.
How could they not know which side would turn out shiny? Forgive me for being ignorant of the printing world, but surely it's a matter of which way the paper goes in the machine? No?
Okay, so we're all having a rant about this because they refuse to fix the problem. Well, judging by they're reply, they don't know how to fix it.
So, pass the word along, tell every author you know and every writing or reading group you belong to. Actually, anyone that gets stuff printed.
DON'T BUY FROM PRINT PLACE (website not provided)
Well, I'm getting back to the hot seat, and Nicole, lovely as she is, says we can have a bookmark if we want, even thought she hates them, so I'm off to her goodies page to get me some great free stuff. You should check it out.

Always check the fine print, actually, no don't, the damn printer might have left it off!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hot seat update.

First day back went well. Another chapter done. The words were flowing well up til then, but when I finished it hit me. It's ending! This novel isn't going to make it, I had such high hopes for the word count only to find that Trey and Lana have other ideas. I should have known something was up when they hopped into bed so quickly. So now I have a Novella. I've never thought of writing one before, don't ask why, it just never crossed my mind to write that few words to tell a story. But now that I have I'm actually quite intrigued by the idea. I'm a bit impatient when it comes to stories, which is probably why I'm a speed reader, you know, have to get to the end. So why has this never come up in my writing before? It's quick and just think how many more you could get done. I guess because I'd always been looking at the print market and Harlequin in particular, I was never really exposed to this length before. Don't get me wrong it's not that short, but it'll definitely be shorter than any other story I'm working on. come to think of it a couple of my wip's would be better suited to a smaller word count. I'm going to have to take a closer look at the shorter length and see where it takes me.
Anyway, there's probably another couple of chapters to go before Trey and Lana see there HEA, so I better get back there. They're about to have a big black moment, and Trey's gonna be pissed when he finds out Lana has the keys to the car he's trying to drive.

Don't let something pass you by because you're too set in your ways.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Back In The Hot Seat.

Okay, back to work today. I'm just popping in to post my goals for the next couple of months.

January - Finish On A Wing And A Prayer.

February - Polish/edit On A Wing And A Prayer.
- Submit On A Wing And A Prayer.

March - Polish/edit finished 60,000 ms and submit.

(can some one pass me a bucket please, I think I'm going to be sick!)

I'll also continue to read and review for FAR plus add to the many wip's I have going at the moment.

Other than the submitting part I'm actually quite excited about my goals, I think they're very attainable and I'm looking forward to finding out how Trey and Lana get on. Well, I kind of know already but my characters often take a look at where I'm driving, hijack the car and head in the direction they want.

You might remember my post about paying it forward and the little comp that author Amie Stuart was running, well, I won that so I got to choose to have critique of 30 pages or she'd pay for a workshop or course up to $30. I've chosen the critique, so this morning I sent her the first 30 pages of On A Wing And A Prayer. (God, I really need that bucket.) Plus the lovely Devon is still on board as my CP and she's great because she's really good at spelling and grammar and I suck. Big time. I'm looking forward to seeing what Amie has to say, having Devon's input is great but having an actual published author look at it? (Damn! Where's that bucket????) Remembering this is the piece that got down to the bottom 25 of the Karin Tabke One Line comp. Amie did check it out then so she's seen the first few lines already, but now she's got two whole chapters plus a couple of pages, I think, I can't remember now. I'm really nerves about it. But I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to AMIE STUART for giving me this opportunity.

I did some reviewing before Christmas for author Nicole Austin and was so excited when she emailed me to say thank you. We got to chatting and I joined her yahoo group TandA_Fantasy Playground. She's also part of The Hussies. Please be warned, neither of these groups is for anyone that may get offended by things of sexually explicit nature. There are no-holds-barred on either site as all the authors write in the erotic genre. Nicole has been great in answering some questions I've had about the e-pub market and she's even offered to read my wip. This from a multi-published author who has plenty of writing of her own to do. I am still waiting for the next in her Corralled series.

I'm having so much fun getting to know all these wonderful woman. They're so generous with their time and advise and without them and other authors like them us newbies would be wondering around in the dark. So another big THANK YOU to NICOLE AUSTIN.

In the next few weeks I'm going to be busy with writing so to keep myself form going insane I'll be checking in regularly with updates and a new list of wonderful author websites. Until next time, be safe, be happy but most of all be grateful you're alive.

Remind those you love how you feel, yes they probably know but it's so nice to here it said.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank you.

Thanks to all who commented on my last blog. Things are a little depressing in this neck of the woods and after have my own health scare last year I was thinking things would be going well from then on. Only life doesn't work that way. Everything is in continuous motion and nothing remains the same. My Grandmother's death was in many ways a blessing, she was tired of being sick and trapped in her house and she'd always been such an independent woman, always prided herself on looking good. She even told my mother that if her grey roots were showing when she died to get some one to die them. It wasn't until her funeral that I found out she drove trucks for the army in WWII, she'd lied about her age to get in, maybe that was a sign of how tough she was, after all, she did have emphysema for 15 years and was on oxygen almost as long, the woman should be the symbol for tough. After much internal debate I'm now okay with her death, I think because I've spent the last year living in Singapore I was feeling a little guilty but I think she'd be pissed at me if she knew that so I'm giving myself the okay to move on.
So, to my Dad, he's out of hospital and eating and drinking again. The last I heard he was almost back to his old self. I still don't know the full story, what with having to pack up and come back to Singapore, so I'll be ringing him soon to get the whole tale.
Well, the kids start back at school on Monday which means I'm back in the hot seat. Yes, things are going to hot up. I'm planning to finish On A Wing And A Prayer by the end of Jan, edit/polish and then submit by the end of Feb. I'm not working on anything else, except in point form, no matter how much noise they make in my head. I'm going to do one review every two to three days and no more. Even though I love doing them I can get a bit obsessive about it. Actually, I can get a bit obsessive about a lot of things. Editing/polishing is one of them. I've decided that I write the first draft, give it to a CP (yes Devon sweetie that's you) then do one edit/polish before sending it out. (God, I feel sick already.)
They're my goals for Jan and Feb. Once I decide on my goals for the rest of the year I'll let you know. I'm thinking I need to do the final edit/polish on Perfect Strangers which has been finished for over a year but I keep getting tangled up in the edit/polish process and taking on every piece of advise. Okay, that's March's goal. Do up Perfect Strangers and submit it. (Where's the bucket, now I know I'm going to be sick.) Small steps along the road to publication.
Check out some of the new sites I've added in the links section.

The only thing that doesn't change is change itself.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Catching up.

I'm not sure where to begin with this blog. It's been so long since I checked in and so much has happened, not all of it good. First, I guess is we arrived in Sydney safe and sound to find half the family waving signs and a welcome home balloon. It was nice to see them all so excited to see us, of course the first thing Corki asked for was money, but hey she's a teenager what could I expect? Two days later I found out I'd been bumped from the Karin Tabke One Line Comp. But I did make the last 25 which for a first time was a great achievement.
Four days later my Grandmother was admitted to hospital. She's been sick for a very long time and hospital trips are not a new thing for us, but this time was different. I can't say how we knew but all of us did. Even though they kept her five days and sent her home she was back in again two days later. After living with emphysema for 15 years and lung cancer for about 3 she gave up the fight and left us on New Years night. At 83 she'd had a good life and really hasn't been the same since my Grandad died 12 years ago. In the words of my daughter, 'now she can breath'. We'll miss her but she'll be fondly remembered.
Christmas with the family was great and everyone found the changes in the kids amazing. We found a few little pressies for people from overseas that got some laughs too. I got some great books, (nearly all of my wish list) and I'm looking forward to reading them. I've started the Leigh Michaels book On Writing Romance, and already I'm picking up some great advice. I got some great reading books too, some Aussie authors I've been keen to read among them. I also go the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English with Writing Assistant and 88,000 Spoken Examples. Not sure what that all is but I can't wait to get back to Singapore and take a good look at it.
After all the Christmas festivities we packed the car and headed for our on site caravan at St Georges Basin two hours south of Sydney. It was great to meet up with people we haven't seen since last year and New Years Eve saw us partying and watching our very own fireworks. After drinking all night Hubby wasn't too happy making the drive back to Sydney to say a final goodbye to Grandma, good thing I needed to do something to take my mind off what was happening.
Spending the rest of that week at the van was a great distraction, and between then and the funeral I held it together rather well. The funeral was lovely but I felt it was a little sad that the only people there to say goodbye were family. You don't realise how isolated people get in their old age, especially when they're ill.
On the way back to the van from the funeral I received a phone call to say my father had been taken to hospital. He'd been sick for a while with what the doctor said was a virus but after weeks of feeling ill and not eating the toll on his body has been too much and now they're doing test after test to find out what's wrong. They keep asking how much he drinks but he hasn't drunk anything for over 20 years, I'm not sure what that says about what they're thinking. We still don't know what's wrong and with me heading back to Singapore next Thursday I'm feeling a little stressed about it.
With all that's been happening I've done no reading, reviewing or writing. That's depressing. I need to write. I can't write. I've had internet access for three days now and other than checking my emails I've not blogged. I'm hoping this will break the drought. I'll point out not that this has taken me all day, I keep going away and coming back to add a bit more. I guess it doesn't help that I tear up every time I mention Grandma or my Dad.
I jumped on a couple of blogs to see what every one has been up to and was delighted to see my best cyber-buddy, Devon Grey, mentioned me in her blog about the great things she's achieved in 2007. I'm a high light! I have to say she makes my list too. I'm going to have a think about all the good things to happen in 2007, after all that 2008 has had to offer so far I need to remind myself of the good things.
Until my next blog stay safe and happy.

Take nothing for granted, let everyone you love know it, you might not get another chance.