Friday, 30 March 2007

Happy Friday!

Pop over to Alison Kent's blog if you have a minute - I'm guest blogger today!


Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Daily Success Habits

Heading over to Creation Thoughts for my daily dose of inspiration, I came across a neat idea that challenges people to list 5 to 10 things you do on a daily basis to help you become successful. So, here's mine, in no particular order:

1. Make lists. I can't survive without my lists, and if I write things down it frees up my mind for other things.

2. Think positive. Sometimes I slip (well, many times I slip) but this is something that's important to me, so I work on it. I'm constantly amazed at the power of the mind, and how easily we can change the course of the day by simply changing the flow of our thoughts.

3. Be grateful. Sometimes I'm so focused on my goals and what I want to achieve, that I forget the fantastic things that are already in my life. So, every night before I slip into sleep, I offer a silent 'thank you' for the gifts I've been given.

4. Schedule things that are important to me. It's so easy to get swept up in the day, especially when you have a day job you love (as I do) and an evening and weekend job (writing) you love even more. But I have other things that are important to me, too. Like spending time with my hubby, with my friends, pottering in the garden, having a facial, seeing a good movie. Most days I try and aim for a balance.

5. Spend time with my hubby. Essential! After 30 years of marriage we're obviously doing something right! And he's still the person I most want to be with :-)

6. Dream and just be. Spending time with my thoughts, letting my imagination run wild, dreaming up plots and characters ... so essential to my well being. I couldn't live without my "dream" time.

7. Read. Nothing like a good book to make me feel that all's well in the world. I need my daily reading fix. Stephen King says if you're not a reader, you can't be a writer ... and that's good enough for me.

8. Write. Every day, without fail. If I don't, it feels like something's missing.

9. Surf the Internet. I mean, what a wonderful tool. I use it to research, to contact other writers, to find out what's happening in the world, to get inspiration for heroes (especially pleasurable) and just for the pleasure of blog-hopping.

10. Keep healthy. I try and eat well and to get some exercise every day. Yoga is my exercise of choice, and has been for over thirty years. It gives me everything I need, mentally and physically. Like writing, a day without yoga makes me feel a little off balance.

So, there are my daily success habits, the things that help me feel good about my world. What are yours?

Whatever else you do, enjoy your day!


Friday, 23 March 2007

Dream Away

As a writer I've never had any problem finding ideas for stories, in fact, I have too many floating around at any one time, so that I have to really focus on my WIP otherwise I'm not sure I'd ever get anything finished. For a while now I've been playing around with a romantic suspense, always stalled by the hero who, while giving the outward impression that he's cool, relaxed and flirtatious, hides a darker side that he just won't let me see.

For some reason I was thinking about him last night, wondering about his past, and what made those barriers of his so impenetrable. What was his story? As usual he remained tight-lipped, cockily assuring me that he was fine and it was all in my overworked imagination. But I can be relentless when I want to be and got so annoyed with him that I told him to leave me the hell alone, and not bother me again until he was ready to spill.

About half four this morning I woke up, and running through my head was an old Frank Sinatra song ...

For the last time we have tasted
love's sweet tears by the fire's glow.
If our hearts are strong there'll be
no long good-byes when it's time to go.
But the strongest torch is sometimes broken
As the deepest vows aren't always spoken,
And the greatest wounds, we hide inside ourselves
Where they never show.*

Saul's image floated in front of me, with his cocky smile and easy charm, but I noticed the glint in his eye was gone and in its place a poignancy that set my pulse racing. With a jolt, I realised he'd given me a little signpost to his past and, while cryptic and cautious as ever, had allowed me a peek through the barrier and into his heart.

Well, it's something ... and I only hope his heroine can manage to pierce through his secrets faster than I can, otherwise it'll be a long, long book ...


*Dream Away
(J.Williams, P.Williams)

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Funny how just one line from a song can set the creative juices flowing, and before long those lyrics have inspired a new story idea. Then off goes the imagination, on goes the computer, and before you know it you have the bones of a plot.



Something to think about ...

This morning, while waiting for my new refrigerator to be delivered - the old one finally conked out last week - I watched from the kitchen window as a bird painstakingly hopped around the garden gathering twigs and such for a nest. The little thing was obviously a perfectionist as not just any old twig would do. No. It hopped and discarded, gathered and hopped some more, discarded and gathered and hopped some more. It was lovely to watch. But got me thinking how much I take my lovely warm and comfortable home for granted. I didn't have to build it twig by twig, or spend energy gathering raw materials to make it fit for habitation (shopping doesn't count ;-)) But that little nest is being built with love and care, and it made me take a fresh look around mine.

So, I put some extra food and water out for the birds today, and a silent thank you to that little messenger from nature for making me stop and think and be grateful.


Saturday, 10 March 2007

The cop rules, true?

Wow ... and double wow! J R Ward's latest Black Dagger Brotherhood novel has been worth the wait. While my heart will always belong to Wrath (Dark Lover), Butch is proving to be a 'male of worth' and then some. I'm about half way through (trying desperately to slow down, as we have another six months to wait for V's story) but I already know this is going to be a favourite of the series.

Mucho kudos to the WARDen!


Thursday, 8 March 2007

Sex on the Page ...

There. That got your attention ...

Last year I made a decision to really improve my craft as a romance writer by taking a series of online workshops. One of them really stands out as a) being a whole lot of fun and b) offering so much information I'm still working through it six months' later! But if you want to write the sort of romance I want to write, sexual tension is a vital element (if not THE vital element) you need to master.

Sex on the Page: Understanding and Writing Sexual Tension is offered again this April by awesome workshop leader, Mary Buckham. If you are interested in improving your skills as a romance writer I can thoroughly recommend this class. Mary goes through the 12 stages of intimacy and, well ... here's a summary of the class from the WritersOnlineClasses website:

How do you write great sexual tension? That’s the question Mary Buckham posed to Linda Howard, Stella Cameron, Susan Andersen, Nancy Warren and more Romance writers who write great sexual tension from sweet to spicy hot. In her workshop, Mary combines these lessons from real-writers with the practical understanding of the 12 stages of Intimacy, based on Desmond Morris' works, and more recent findings by scientists on the amazing role biology plays in mate attraction and selection. Findings that can be directly incorporated in our creation of powerful sexual tension. So if you want to learn how to increase the sexual tension in your work, don’t miss this opportunity.

For further details click HERE

Don't delay, give yourself a treat and register for Mary's class right now.

Have Fun!


Tuesday, 6 March 2007

It's Butch day!

If you're a fan of J R Ward's wonderful Black Dagger Brotherhood vampire series, you'll know what today is ... it's Butch day! Brian O'Neal is the sexiest cop on the planet and today his story is released. Course it's released in the US so I have to wait until Amazon delivers my copy, but at least it has despatched. Yippee! Come on postie, do your stuff!

Oh, and if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, hot foot to your nearest book store and get yourself a copy of Dark Lover, Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened. You're in for a treat!


Friday, 2 March 2007

A little bit of 'crastination does you good

Okay ... so I have a day off work, my chores are pretty much up together, important phone calls have been made, and I have all day to write. So what have I done? I've surfed the net, I've had my morning coffee break ... I surfed the net some more, then had lunch ... I surfed the net a little bit more 'cause there was this one site I just had to check out. Then I popped downstairs and made myself a fortifying cup of tea and brought it up here ready to start on the wip. Now, I really need to loosen up my fingers to get them moving adeptly over the keyboard (clicking the mouse with the index finger doesn't really count) so I'm updating my blog. Well, it's writing isn't it? Oh, and I really should check my Google ranking ... and my emails ...

Then, I'll have another cup of tea and maybe a couple of biccies, after which I'll be ready to get back to (I mean, start) work towards my daily writing goal.

But hang on, there's the postman. He's late today ... Ooh, look what I've got here - my latest Amazon delivery. Think I'll just go and put the kettle on ...

TJ ;-)