Saturday, 28 April 2007

On a clear day ...

Myspace Layouts
I've been battling with a plot point for the last couple of days, just couldn't seem to move forward with it. Then, this morning, I read an article on Feng Shui which suggests that clearing clutter can help when you feel stuck in life for any reason. Would it work on my plot point, I wondered? Well, I read further. Cleaning windows and any mirrors in your home can also help if you want to "see" things clearer. Couldn't hurt ... and my windows were in urgent need of medical attention. As was anyone who opened my wardrobe doors, attacked as they were by missiles masquerading as overstuffed hangers, shoes and handbags, which came tumbling out at the speed of light. So I set to work ...

A few hours later my clothes are colour-coordinated, the charity bag is filled to the brim, and my windows sparkle and gleam. So, here I am at the keyboard ready to type my way out of that plot point which, strangely enough, seems clearer now.

Problem is ... I feel so knackered after all that housework, I'm going to have to lie down for a while! Hmm, wonder if that article has any tips on how to persuade someone else to do the housework for you ..?


Thursday, 12 April 2007

Thirteen Reasons I eat Chocolate

1. It tastes sooooooo good!

2. The dark variety has iron in it, and that's good for me.

3. If I buy Fair Trade, that's good for other people too.

4. Eating chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, which makes me have happy feelings (can't have too many of those).

5. It contains phenylethylamine, which has aphrodisiac properties ...

6. It's cheaper than buying shoes (see 4 above)

7. The caffeine in chocolate gives my brainpower a little boost - just what this writer needs.

8. It tastes sooooo good!

9. Some scientists have found that eating a little chocolate may help thin the blood, helping to prevent clotting. Gotta look after my heart ...

10. It's cheaper than buying handbags (see 4 above)

11. I can drink it. Well, makes a change from herbal tea and decaffeinated coffee.

12. It's easily accessible. I get my daily aerobic activity on my walk to the local shop.

13. It tastes sooooooooooooooo good!

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Wednesday, 4 April 2007

An ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory ...

A writer's mantra! I've read countless how-to books about writing; plot, character, structure, adding description, writing sensually ... and I've learned from each one. I've also devoured writing articles in magazines and on the web. In fact, when I first decided to write with the aim of getting published, I printed out what seemed like hundreds of these articles and popped them in lever arch files - my bookshelves groan under the weight.

But there comes a times when you have to put the books and articles away and just write. Not as easy as it sounds. Because with the acquisition of new knowledge we want to apply it, and if you're like me that means questioning yourself as you write - the "editor on your shoulder" syndrome. This can stifle production and cause a sort of block, so that you convince yourself that everything you get down is pure and utter tripe. I don't want to write this way. I want to enjoy myself, I want to whisk myself away and explore new worlds. To get that heady feeling that comes with the pure joy of just creating. Of course, it's vital we know about structure, plot points and other writerly stuff, but why not just allow ourselves to fly with the first draft? Why not just let our characters take us where they want to go, watch them overcome their obstacles as they fall in love, sigh and cry with them as they battle toward their HEA. Then, with their story told, we can worry about structure and form. But let's just get the words on paper first, get out of our own way and just write.

That's my Easter present to myself ... to go with the flow and allow myself the sheer pleasure of just writing.

What about you? Are you a practitioner or a theorist?


Monday, 2 April 2007

In sleep she came to me ...

I'm constantly amazed at the power of the mind. Last night I was pondering my current heroine's backstory and it just didn't gel. So I slept on it, and just before I slipped into dreamland I put the question to my subconscious. Woke about 5am from a really strange dream (which I put down to watching A Nightmare on Elm Street before going to bed) and promptly went back to sleep. Then about 7am I woke with that dream still very vivid. As I lay contemplating what it meant, I realised it was my heroine's backstory - all there in glorious technicolour. Of course, I had to unscramble it, sort out the detail, but it was there.

Oh, yes. The mind is one amazing and powerful tool.


Sunday, 1 April 2007

April's here!

I love April, it has such a feeling of growth, of renewal, of hope. Yesterday, I spent the day in Glastonbury with my best girlfriend and we wandered the Chalice Well Gardens, a beautiful place which left me feeling relaxed and revitalised. I always come home inspired to write something mystical and magical, and feel inclined to research more about the Arthurian Legends.

But I'm not going to do either right now, as I have to get my priorities right this week. I have to clear away all those niggling jobs, tidy my desk and clear my computer space, because my editor said to expect first edits for my August release this week. And, strange person that I am, I'm actually looking forward to it!