Checklist, where my writing is at

Novel number 1 – Kiki
(a children’s book about magic and another world.)

Malingering. I am determined to give the first three chapters another rewrite and then try submitting those to a publisher or two. If they say no I’ll chalk it up to first novel syndrome and backburn it for good. Feeling distanced from this project, almost disgusted with it.

Novel number 2 – What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
(Superhero chick-lit)

In the query letter stage. I’m trying it on American lit agents…Feeling hopeful, have confidence in the manuscript, although if I get one more rejection I will rewrite the first chapter, want to make it more awesome.

Novel number 3 – Amy/book club/not sure of the title
(Kid’s book with huge series potential.)

First draft written up longhand, waiting to be typed up and redrafted. I will do this once Rain is finished to get some mental distance. I have sufficient distance from this project now that I don’t really feel anything for it. Best time to redraft it!

Novel number 4 – Rain
(Young adult supernatural romance)

Currently demanding all my writing attention and writing itself. Rain is pushy, I get panicky if I don’t write ‘enough’ (which is two thousand words in a day now) and I’m looking forward to getting it finished. I want to write some other stuff! I’m also ridiculously pleased at how easy this first draft has been. I feel like one of those wanky Romantic poets describing themselves as a harp that the wind of inspiration blows through. I just sit down and write and I don’t have to think about it. Perfection.

Short Stories: Infection

Accepted for publication by Enamel magazine! All sorts of win.


I need to make a decision or two about this story and rewrite with those decisions made. Once that’s done, I’ll be able to start on the submission cycle with it again. I have a couple of likely possibilities lined up. Must find The Point of this story and make it punchy.


Needs another edit I think. I might stretch the time line out a bit, make things a little more dangerous for my protagonist, make sure the story has the impact I mean it to. Once that’s done I can start shopping it around.

To do:
Moar short stories!
– I wanna try another erotic story for Filament, there’s a few online magazines that are looking for spec fic, I should try some children’s short stories so I can shop those around.
Type up the Amy/book club book

A Great Face for Radio 2

In some ways I feel like I shouldn’t review this show, since it’s almost totally sold out, so if you want to see it after reading this, it will be hard for you to get to. On the other hand, it’s a rainy Saturday morning and what else are you gonna do?

My darling friend Regan also known as Sok, was a back up singer in Great Face for Radio 2. Of course, the title back up singer isn’t really indicative of what she did. She was epic, singing up a storm with two others, one other or in a chorus of 7 or 8.

The show is set in a radio station, with two presenters who hate each other various guest stars, the sound mixer, and the station staff including tea ladies. It was very silly, lots of skits full of puns and innuendo broken up with epic medleys of songs of the sixties performed with a live band. It was loud and visually stunning. The costumes were all perfection, stylised and bright and pretty.

I really liked Regan’s children’s show host bits, so cute, and also so mean! The news reader guys were awesome too, little stories leading to a terrible pun each time. They lost us on the Bermuda triangle one. Like, we were with them, laughing away for pun after pun, and then on the Bermuda triangle one there was silence…then the audience started booing! People were like ‘no, too far. We were willing to listen, but that was one step too far.’ Then the booing turned into clapping, so they knew we still loved them, or because it was so awesome that we booed a specific joke…I dunno. It was amazing anyway.

The music is infectious, so familiar, so fun and so boppy. I especially loved ‘Unchain my heart’, ‘Calendar girl’, ‘Hit the Road Jack’ and the slightly weird stalker song ‘Silhouettes’. The guy that took the lead for ‘In the Country’ should totally do a John Denver tribute show, he looks right and his voice is just perfect. I really wanted him to sing ‘Annie’s Song’, but it wasn’t the right show for that!

Overall, a rollicking good time which I’m sure I would have enjoyed even if my Regan wasn’t in it, but she was, so it was awesome. Giffy and I couldn’t resist calling out her name a couple of times. Of course, that might have been all the sugary treats we’d eaten. Hard to say.

(Image from the facebook page for the show: )

Things I Love Thursday

  • Getting Infection published! It’s really nice to look forward to seeing, and I’m chuffed that it found a happy home eventually. Plus, now I can add that publishing credit to my query letters!
  • Lunch with Steve in the sun. Sunshine, salad, Steve, kid across the lagoon practising parkour. All good.
  • My Lee, who took me out for dinner and improv comedy last night and it was awesome.

Honourable Mentions: Friends new and old, Geek soaps, Spring Awakening soundtrack, wordcount increasing, opportunities, thinking about awesome things that could happen in the future, sleeping in, sunshine, Christmas coming and burger fuel burgers.

You’ve probably already seen this, as it’s been doing the rounds, but it’s awesome, so check it out: Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody:

And you? What are you thankful for this beautifully sunny Wellington day?

Wednesday Writing

So, short entry today because I have a driving need to bask in the sunshine which is coming into my lounge.

First, a huge celebration because my little spooky story Infection has been accepted for publication. It will be in Wellington lit mag Enamel when it next comes out – March 2010. Awesome awesome awesome. I was *that close* to giving up on it and just sticking it up here on my blog. Now I don’t have to!

In other news I churned out two thousand words of the work in progress today, moving them through the start of the climactic battle and shuffling some stuff up. Good times. Good times. This (and the other writing sessions I’ve had through the week) bring my word count up to 58,018, so yay!

Woops, forgot a couple of linkys….

Matt’s short story ‘Murray the Sex Machine’ is up here. Go read it and comment. I haven’t commented, but I have read it, and it’s awesome.

The final part of The Event is up and the site has had a redesign to look more swanky. Go check it out…

Point of Fashion: One Fine Day
Current Obsession: Wheeee good things happen.

more old posts

Making fun of spam is fun times.

The first time I played Mountain Witch and also…AMAZING MONKEY ADVENTURES. So much fun times.

The Mega Roleplaying weekend where I ran the Big Brother superheros game. The quotes still make me laugh. “I love you Streak”. These quotes too.

Huh. My first impressions of reading Twilight were very good. But New Moon made me a bit angry. By the time I got to reading Eclipse I was a bit over them, especially since the Bloody Jack books are so freaking good.

Writing is hard.

I still have so much love for the Steampunk Justice League.

More roleplaying Bad Family.

generic funny links which are good.

The text of the first novel I ever wrote, The Quest: Part one, Part two, Finel part.

Query this

I’m a little obsessed with querying American agents at the moment. It’s a terrifying thing to be doing, but I feel it’s necessary so I’m doing it regardless. I can’t have my Rich and Happy life as a published author without getting published.

As you know, I sent my first one out on Tuesday. I got a rejection on Thursday, which was a little sad but to be honest, I wasn’t that sad about it.

I was entirely tempted to re-write the first chapter, because it could be more punchy and attention grabby, but I am reasonable, and I listen to the voice of reason (Steve) and I’m shopping it around a bit more before I do that. So, I read a whole bunch more advice online, found a list of other agents to try and just now I’ve send it off again. This time to someone who says they are particularly interested in in sophisticated women’s fiction, so I’m hoping it’s a good match. I send these things out with a lot of hope attached, because I know the universe wants to help me out here…

My pitch for the book is ever-changing, but the one I settled on today is, I hope, pretty good. Let’s take a wee look at it…

Shelley is a single woman with a 9-5 desk job and a superhero. Her power to see the worst possible outcome of her actions can be useful in a fight but it makes dating difficult. When Shelley and the other day-shift superheroes are called to a hostage situation, they get their big break. But how can Shelley cope with being thrust into the limelight when she can’t cook dinner without having visions of disaster? And how can she balance solving the sudden crime spree of the Recently Dead gang with dating the city’s most eligible bachelor?

You’d read that book, right? You’d pick it up at the library and take it home?

Some more awesome query letter linky because if I’m feeling the angst I’m sure there are others out there who are as well…

What should a query be?.

Query letter checklist from the wonderfully upfront and honest Janet Reid. Check out all her advicey links down the side-bar too, especially the Rules For Writers, really valuable stuff there.

Oh and the awesomely titled How Publishing Really Works has a list of agents and their blogs, which is what led me to the above…

Hormones vs brain

Who will win? Welcome to the ongoing craziness that is my mental state and my post-30 hormones.

Back in June I posted this entry about how conflicted I am about reproducing. I want to say that I have improved my mental stability on this issue since then. I want to say it, but it would be a huge lie.

I’ve been crying more than ever before when it comes to ‘that time of the month’ because my body is ramping up the hormones and panicking that I am running out of time. I know, logically, that the optimum time for baby having is right now, and my hormones have taken this logic and turned it into a 2012-level end of the world scenario. My body is telling me that the only thing worth doing is having a baby.

And, as you will recall, this terrifies me. I don’t know how to deal with babies, and quite frankly, I don’t want to learn. I am happy for my friends who have babies, I can see how happy it has made them, and I find their babies incredibly charming and cute, but a large part of this is the ability to hand them back.

When Lee and I were in Rarotonga, we both agreed that we would never have children. We would live on as we are now, with just each other to worry about. About a month ago, I woke up convinced that having babies was the only possible choice. I made the mistake of telling Lee this. I said to him ‘I think we do have to have babies. It’s just something we have to do.’ Then I went to have a shower. When I came back after my long weekend shower, Lee was sitting exactly as I’d left him, he was actually physically paralysed with fear.

I had a great talk with Sok about this on the way to Giffy’s baby shower, I’m really thankful that I feel I can be open and honest about this kind of thing, because it makes me feel like less of a mutant freak. Plus I can think of people I know, or famous people whose blogs I read who do not have kids and still lead happy and fulfilling lives. Just because I don’t have my own kids doesn’t mean there are no kids in my life. I could start hosting children’s birthday parties, for example, or helping out with Capital E’s events. Go back to the library and take storytimes again. Then I can still come home and sit quietly and do writing.

I am yearning (really) not for a baby, but for a child, and then a teenager. I look at TV characters like Bekah from Californication and Alexis from Castle and I want my own version. I want the future, without dealing with the immediate ramifications of the choice.

I guess the real conclusion to come to is that I’m just not emotionally ready. I’m so conflicted, and I think about all the things I am working towards now which a child would conceivably (forgive the pun) interfere with. It’s also telling that when I did my Big Five for Life exercise, the images I came up with did not include children. It never even occurred to me. So….if that’s true, why does writing it make me want to cry?

(I really wish I was a boy.)

Things I Love Thursday

  • I put up my Christmas tree on Monday night, which seemed to elicit fairly equal responses of ‘You’re crazy, it’s too early’ and ‘Yay! Now I can put mine up’ amongst my friends. I am very pleased that I have enabled people to start Christmas early. I think the longer you have a pretty tree that lights up and is covered with sparkly things inside your house the better, really. I have been drawing the decorating of said tree out slowly, putting on a couple of decorations a day. It’s looking pretty good now, with fruit flavoured candy canes adding a bit more colour. And deliciousness.
  • I’ve been coming down with/valiantly fighting off a cold this week, and I’ve been appreciating wrapping myself up in my duvet and achieving all over warm. Nothing like cocooning when you’re feeling less than your best.
  • This is just amazing: My Mom, the style icon
  • My strawberry plants have yielded sweet, delicious fruit! I have a picture…
  • Off the Ropes, the Wellington Pro Wresting show that I was in the crowd for has started up. You can view the episodes on Prime TV on Sundays at 1.30 or you can watch them online through the link. Chelle, Pip, Margie and I are visible in some of the crowd shots.
  • Old Buffy, we’re up to Bad Eggs in season 2. I’m really enjoying the re-watch. The last time I watched Buffy again was 2007 and I started from season 4. These early ones I haven’t seen in years and years. They’re pretty funny.
  • My parents are fans of James Galway, and there’s this one song that he plays in that my sister and I used to love. I just tracked it down on youtube. When I listened to it again I got goosebumps at the chorus. It’s very old school folksy and you’ll probably hate it, but I had to share it all the same.

    “Piper, piper play your song
    Play it and we’ll sing along
    Piper, piper play toodle, doodle all the day
    Nothing in the world is wrong!”

Remember: Nothing in the world is wrong.

Honourable Mentions: New TV: Glee, Supernatural, Gossip Girl, Californication. Thinking about new Christmas decorations I could buy or make, roleplaying, people saying my cupcakes are delicious, chocolate sundaes, being silly, ‘Allow me to explain through interpretive dance’ and the candy canes on my Christmas tree.

And you? What are you thankful for today?

Actual Play – Fall ‘Finding Somebody part 2’

Megan decides to try the ‘find named’ spell to locate Travis Beard, because Darius is still not at home. Since she has a photographic memory and she’s seen Darius do it a couple of times, she is confident that it will be fine. They make sure that the spell isn’t taking place in front of the magic mirror.
Megan reaches over to take a bit of Calvin’s hair.
Calvin: Man, I’m just gonna, put a stack of my hair in a drawer or donate my hairbrush or something.
Alex: Or you could cut your hair.

The spell appears to work, the wee stick with a crystal is wiggling around. Cue yet another drive through town following a divining stick. It leads the characters across to the other side of town. At a T intersection it starts swinging two different ways, in much the way it did when the guys were trying to track Megan and she was through the mirror as well as being in town. It leads to a high chain link fence. The Fall River tip. Calvin picks the lock on the gate, they arm up and head into the tip.
Alex: I think I need a leather jacket.
Calvin: Okay?

The stick is pointing up a big tall pile of rubbish, which Megan and Alex manage to climb up with no problem at all. But Calvin is a big guy, too heavy for the trash heap. He sticks his foot in a paint can and falls backwards down the slope, clearing a lot of rubbish as he does it. There’s a smell, the swathe of rubbish that has fallen with Calvin has revealed a headless dead body. Continue reading

Tuesday writing

I sent a query off to an American literary agent, including the first chapter of What’s the Worst That Could Happen? It’s kind of awesome, but for the last two weeks I’ve been whining and agonising about how hard it is to find an American lit agent and all of a sudden ways to find them pop up all over. Not the least the incredibly helpful link Debs sent me back here to lit resources and Cynthia Leitich Smith’s site. I’m pinning all this on the universe helping me become Rich and Happy, because I am determined to be published. Now, if you can just send good luck vibes, excellent timing and extreme readibility along with my query, it would be much appreciated.

Rain-wise I have had a slow week, I just got past 52k (or 100 pages). I was pretty busy over the weekend and the time that I did have I used for other stuff, like looking at book agents. Also book I’m reading is pretty good 🙂 I’ve got all afternoon tomorrow though and I shall get some serious work done then.


Query letter advice. I can never get enough of this. I am terrified by query letters and I get heart palpitations when I send them, convinced that I’ve done everything wrong OMG.

Don’t read Shiver and a rather good account of how awful enfeebled teenage heroines are. (Mental review of my character Rain: stubborn, quick to anger, dealing poorly with grief, tells her boyfriend off, determined to kick ass. I think I’m OK.)

Inky Elbows is sharing her list of inspiring articles she knows she will read again.

Manuscript length opinions/guidelines. Good, valid arguments for keeping on the low end of the word count scale.