Saturday, October 29, 2005

Amanda Ashby!

I've been sitting on this news for weeks - but finally I can announce the sale of my great friend Amanda's debut novel!

I'm thrilled for her because not only is she a great writer, but also a fabulous friend and brilliant CP and so totally deserves this success. It only goes to prove good things do happen to lovely people!

I'm not going to spill the title here, in case I'm not allowed to (hahaa!) but it's really cool and unforgettable and what's more completely sums up the premise of the book (always a good thing!)

So GO AMANDA! We're all so proud of you!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Squeezing it Out

Well, I don't know what you thought I was talking about, but I am, of course, referring to my outline. I managed another half page today and thought I was doing pretty well okay until I realised I'd gone off on a right tangent and was talking about the heroine of my next novel. Oops. Never mind, because luckily she just so happens to be the neighbour and best friend of Daisy so I think I'll leave it in so I don't get too confused when mentioning her.

It's weird because I never set out to write a series of linked books, but when a chick like Kim grabs hold of your muse and won't let go until you write her story, it's kind of hard to say no. And then of course Daisy wandered into the rock concert scene with a whole secret life of her own to tell.

It's a good job I'm a writer and can talk about my imaginary friends without being thought totally crackers, huh?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

No Emails!!

Last night dh decided to swap our hard drives around. The reason for this is because he won a graphic card (or chip??) but when it arrived the pesky thing wouldn't fit in his computer. However, there just so happened to be space for it in mine. Oh no!!

I tried very hard not to panic as he dismantled the big box thingies and reminded myself I have all my work backed up in about six different places. He was oddly unappreciative of the many helpful comments I offered in his shell like and in the end pleaded with me to go to bed and leave him in peace to work... I'm sure I don't know what he meant by that?

Thankfully everything seemed ok this morning, apart from the scarily empty incredimail boxes. All my folders need to be transferred... I am sooo looking forward to that job. Hmm. But then I discovered that during the period of transferral last night, emails to me went AWOL . Argh!

Who knows who might have tried to contact me last night down under time? And I'll never know! Omigod! I hate it when emails go walkabout!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Recommended Reading!

I finished reading A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court last night and just want to say how much I enjoyed the delicious Lancelot. Umm, I mean Kat's adventures with Lancelot. Heh heh.

If you love reading chick lit, paranormal, medieval romance or all of the above, this book delivers in sassy kick-ass (or can I say arse...?) style. I laughed out loud at some of Kat's misadventures as she tried living a millennium before she was even born and as for yummy Sir Lancelot... oops did I mention he was tasty already?

I'm sooo glad there's a sequel... you'll have to read the novel to find out why. I'm evil like that...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Guilty Pleasures 30.05.05

I keep telling myself it's okay to have a short rest from writing. However, it doesn't help much as I still get those withdrawal jitters if I'm not working on something. hehehe. It has nothing to do with PMT or the fact I'm a moody cow most of the time. Oh no. Absolutely not.

Anyway, today I'm just going to indulge myself and read A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court by Marianne Mancusi. I've been waiting to read this book for ages!

As a side note, I've just discovered how to do pretty coloured font. Did anyone notice?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Daisy, Daisy...

Daisy is the name of my new heroine. I started writing her outline today and managed a whole page. Oh wow! I can see you're impressed. Actually I wasn't going to start anything for a week or so, as I feel pretty much brain drained from writing two 100,000 word novels back to back (and then rewriting the first one but not sure if that counts... if so that makes three...) but the trouble is when I'm not writing I feel Guilty with a capital G (just to clarify things).

However, I got completely inspired when my brilliant CP Amanda came up with a fabulous title. It's so perfect, and really gave me motivation to get the basics down on the page.

So, what I'm saying is - it's all your fault, Amanda. Heh heh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Tagged?! 25.05.05

I had a little nudge from my friend Nikki (okay it was a blinking great shove haha) to remind me I hadn't blogged for a couple of days. Umm, okay, a couple of weeks. So she tagged me. And now I must answer some questions! So always being game for a laugh, here goes.

Total Number of Books I own

This is a tricky one. Do I count all the books I kept from my childhood? Pass... I gave loads away before we moved to Australia but there are still books in all odd corners of the house and falling off the bookshelves. 100s I'd say!

Last Book I Bought

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Last Book I Read

Diary of a Blues Goddess by Erica Orloff, thank you Sara for lending that one to me!!!

Books that mean a lot to me

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel
Katherine by Anya Seton
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Stephen King's earlier books (especially The Stand which I read on my honeymoon. Don't ask...)
Defy the Eagle by Lynn Bartlett
Banners of Gold by Pamela Kaufman

and I could go on... and on... but I won't... heh heh.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Flying Pigs 06.05.05

Hmm. Yes, unfortunately there were a lot of flying pigs around my area yesterday, but onward and upwards hey.

So on a more positive note... my first chicky babe. I'm now half way through the rewrite. YAY. I can't remember if I'm on target or not to finish within my three week deadline, but it feels like it.

That's about it for today. Riveting stuff, huh?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Today is 05.05.05

Oh yes. I love this date. 05.05.05. Something wonderful, amazing and fabulous is supposed to happen today so in future years I can say, 'On 05.05.05 my favourite agent signed me up...'

Stop laughing in the back row...

Sigh. The post has been and there was nothing of interest. No exciting emails offering representation or requesting more of my work. Or faxes, or phone calls. Not even a carrier pigeon or Hogwarts owl.

I still love the date though. It's the reason I wrote this post, so I could immortalise the numbers 05.05.05.

But hey, I am 12 hours ahead of New York. There's still time for a little magic to happen, right?

mind the flying pigs...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Hard to Say Goodbye

I just typed THE END on my WIP. Sniffle.

As I was racing towards the last couple of paragraphs I was getting all choked up inside! But Kim and Jack had talked enough, there was nothing left for them to say in the context of the novel, and I just had to do it.

So I did.

One hour and 15 minutes before my kids broke up from school for two weeks, so how's that for brilliant timing?

But it still hurts! I love Kim and Jack and don't wanna say goodbye.


I guess I need to sort out agent subs now...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Hopping on the Last Leg

Only half a chapter to go and I've finished my WIP!


Hey why am I so excited? Although I'm always relieved to reach The End on the other hand I get awful withdrawal symptoms at having to say goodbye to my main characters.

It's like saying farewell to very close friends. Oh dear, how sad is that!

Then again I am a writer and half the time I live in an imaginary world, populated by imaginary people living exciting (although, um, imaginary...) lives...

Oops. Yeah, pretty sad all round really!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

It's Not Me...honest 24.02.05

It's not that I'm paranoid or anything. Well okay I don't think I'm more paranoid than most other writers (!!) although I'm sure some people would beg to differ on that point (my family thinks I'm crazy as hell).

It's just I discovered today that two editors I've had requested submissions with since Christmas have both left their publishing company. Yep, both of them, within the last few weeks.

Oh just coincidence, you say! I agree. Except...

Six years ago I was working with a lovely editor. I undertook two rounds of revisions for her. Bliss. We got to contract stage and then, sadly, the publishing company went into liquidation.

Three years ago an editor at Harlequin showed an interest in my work, enough to encourage me to submit proposals to her. Wow! I was sooo excited I could barely leave the bathroom!

I submitted my proposals. And waited.

Finally discovered, three months later, that she had left the company. Bwaaaa!!!

I was moved onto another editor who read a requested full and then - yes, you guessed - she left the company!!

Now I think about it maybe I should be just a tad paranoid...?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Kind of Magic 20.02.05

Daughter #2 just told me she googled herself and her website popped up, first and second no less. Wow! That was so exciting. I jumped on my computer and immediately googled myself.

Uh, nothing.

Unperturbed, I re-googled, this time adding the word 'writer' after my name. Still nothing (well okay I exaggerate. There were maybe a million hits out there, but I wasn't on the first page!Bwa). So then I tried 'romance writer' then 'contemporary romance writer' and when I still didn't make it I got just a little bit pissed off!

So then I tried one more time, and instead of doing it properly - Christina Phillips - I did this - christinaphillips. I knew it wouldn't make any difference, but hey I had three more minutes to kill before I needed to baste the joint.

Eek! There I was - not my webpage but my blog! - and in the number two spot no less! YAY! Man, I felt so famous, haha! But what's more right underneath was another mention - in my friend Nikki's blog! Omigod! Two mentions on page one!

Okay I admit it is just a little sad that I got so excited by seeing my name in a google search but what can I say - I was excited! I had to go and find my daughter and make her (um, I mean ask her) to google me as well.

Now I'm left to wonder why my webpage didn't show up when I put in Christina Phillips. It's all very mysterious to me. Do I need other key words on my site?

Excuse me. I feel the need... the need to google... my new motto is... go forth and google oneself...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hooked Online 15.02.05

How did I survive without the internet?

It's a serious question! When I first started writing, six years ago this Easter, sure we had the internet but I only used it for emailing family back in the UK - we'd recently moved to Australia.

Well, six years later I have a fantastic network of like minded writer friends, with whom I'm in constant cyber contact, I belong to a couple of excellent writer groups/loops, and also have a vast resource of research at my fingertips.

Last night the email and internet facilities on my computer decided to go awol. Bugger, what a nuisance. Must be a Telstra problem.

This morning, still a big fat nothing, and withdrawal symptoms set in. How am I supposed to function without my daily fix of gossip and giggles from my fellow witches? How am I supposed to write, when I can't type another word without finding out which coffees my heroine can order from Starbucks? Argh! Nightmare.

Turns out it's not a Telstra problem ... yeah okay... apparently our modem is not talking to the computer, or something techie like that. Clever hubby does lots of complicated fiddling and finally does that Time Machine trick and voila! We're back in the world of the living.

So now I'm feeling all happy and secure again, knowing I'm back online. Being out in the cold was like being left on a desert island, stranded, isolated... paranoid and neurotic haha! But it's quite scary really, being so dependent on a machine.

Reminds me of Terminator, actually.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Procrastination is an Art Form

Not that I ever procrastinate, mind you (I have to say that in case my cps are lurking, hehehe)

However, why is it some days the words flow like wine, um, I mean like water, and other days it's like trying to squash wool through a tea strainer?

Now, I have excellent reasons why I wasn't in front of my computer screen forcing my heroine into uncomfortable positions (she's an exotic dancer but that's beside the point), but no matter which way I look at it, if I'd really put my mind to it I could've opened up that document and got some wordage down. Ug.

So after lunch, and before I had to take daughter #2 back to college for the second time today, I parked my butt and forced myself to do something I tell the world I absolutely love doing. Write. Yeah. Soooo hard.

After 4 pages I was gagging to surf the net, check out my fave blogs and read my e-loops. Hey it's all research, right, so I wouldn't really be skiving off!

Wrong! I'm a writer, and to be a writer I must write. No two ways about it. I whined and whimpered and threw a hissy fit but I wouldn't let myself hit Close. I sat staring at the screen for a few minutes having a bit of a sulk, but in the end I put my head down and managed another couple of pages.

Yay! Hm, okay 6 pages is nothing to throw a party about, but on the other hand it's six pages better than a big fat zero. I hate big fat zero days! They really get me down, even though I have plenty, usually at weekends!

And I tell myself this is all brilliant discipline for when I finally have an agent, an editor, a book contract and a DEADLINE!!!!!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Never say Never

After a weekend of doing absolutely zilch on the writing front (well unless you call creating a blog writing related - hell yes! Of course it's writing related! What am I thinking?) I finally managed to finish Chapter 8 this morning so am feeling happy about that.

My current heroine has taken me over. She's the me I never was and never could be. My big mouthed alter ego who says what's on her mind before she thinks about the consequences. It's also my first foray into trying out first person present (another something I told everyone who cared to listen that I would never do... hmm, is there a pattern emerging here?)

But, it feels great to stretch my creative writing wings. For almost five years I concentrated solely on writing category romance, and now I've tried my hand at single title/mainstream... chic lit... and I love it. Of course, up until the middle of last year I swore blind I would never attempt to write a 100,000 word novel because I was only used to creating novels of half that length.

Yeah... my new motto is Never say Never, cause as soon as I swear I'll never do something I immediately rush out to try it.

There's a moral there somewhere. I think.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Blogging Begins

I was so sure I would never start a blog. As late as last week I told my friends, 'I don't have time to do a blog...'

Yeah yeah, famous last words! I blame Amanda myself (hello Amanda!) but that's okay, she's used to me blaming her for great ideas.

So here's my blog. I think I'll keep it as a diary of my writing life, as a reminder of the ups and downs, not to mention the interesting little detours and smelly swamps, of my rocky road to publication. For sure I'm going to be published. It's just that tricky little question of when...

A Wonderful Mother

I got up early this morning, all fired up to get a couple of hours writing down before my darling son emerged. Being a conscientious mother I let him stay up until gone 11 last night, secure in the knowledge he wouldn't crawl from his room for, ooh, at least another eleven hours.

Or maybe not. Seven thirty he bounces into the garage where I have my computer (okay it's a converted garage!) red eyed and bushy tailed. Do I greet him with open arms and loving words?

'What are you doing up at this time?' I demand, seeing my plans for finishing Chapter 8 of my WIP gurgling down the drain. 'Go back to bed!'

Half an hour later, consumed with guilt and a rumbling stomach, I seek him out, only to discover he'd woken early because of a nightmare.

Ouch. Sometimes I just know I'm the worst mother in the world.