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.