Tuesday, 15 November 2011


So I'm plowing through my first draft of--what I'm temporarily calling--The One With Lots of Kissing and Lots of Sand (or Towlokalos... hey, that's actually pronounceable). *insert proud smile here*

It's an interesting project which is made more interesting...

Let me explain.

Monday, 7 November 2011

So what's this story about?

I sincerely hope the following videos will help shed some light into what my project is about.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Cushions, Fluff and Beef... Oh my!

I was reading some of the forums on NaNoWriMo late last night (read: I was distracted) and I read something that really got to me...

Some of the participants were talking about ways to, I believe the phrase was, "cushion [their] word count". Meaning, ways to simply add more words to their manuscript, furthering their way towards their 50,000 word goal.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

NaNoWriMo, Inner Editor Pulverisation and Character Interrogations

Some of you may remember last November, as I set off to conquer NaNoWriMo and how seriously pissed off I got (1) because I felt out of control (I may or may not have a compulsive need to edit) and (2) because I got ill and couldn't open my eyes for about a week.

Anyway, my biggest struggle this month (read: every month, ie: all the time) is to kick Inner Editor in the face so she bleeds, neglected, in the corner of the room until draft one is out of my fingers. *straps on karate belt*

Thursday, 29 September 2011

House-cleaning & Tree-climbing

Writing a book is like... cleaning the house.

It's a mess. Socks hang off the lamps, last week's take out is still on the counter, there's a pile of laundry the size of a beluga at the foot of the bed and I think there's something growing under the sofa. I told you, it's a mess. The book, not my house. Well... no that's a lie, my house is a mess too. But before it can get tidy, it's going to get messier.

I don't like the initial mess. It's gross and smells I and wish I could magic it away with a *flick and swish*. It's horrible to begin with, so this whole getting messier bit... well, let's just say I wouldn't be having him around for tea anytime soon. In fact, I'm quite inclined to throw hammers at him and shove him out the window, because the messy getting messier bit makes me like this:

Thursday, 14 July 2011


Sorry about my leave of absence, but I'll be back soon. I promise.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

So... About That Time Machine

A while ago I flashed-back to one of my many journeys from my Kings Road dorms to South Kensington tube station, where I found on an empty platform and a time machine disguised as a Cadbury's chocolates dispenser.

And that got me thinking... thinking about something we all know is immensely true, but probably don't think about enough: time has a lot to do with setting and has a great influence on a story.

Where to set a story within the space of TIME?

There's so much choice! I could go from 'Ancient History' (let's say, 3000BC) to anywhere in the future (how about 3000AD, just to put a limit on it).

Friday, 20 May 2011

How Characters Change

Let me start off by saying I'm a bad blogger. I mean a REALLY bad blogger. I think this is namely because when I start blogging, I start thinking I should be doing something else: writing some chapters, deleting some words or moving scenes around--something, anything to make The Manuscript better.

That said, I want to blog... I need to blog. I need share a little about what I've been working on with The Manuscript. Today I've been working on how character's change.

So what happens is that the narrator and her family go through The Really Horrible Experience (ie the inciting incident), which, I'm pleased announce, thanks to a little editing magic, now happens in the second chapter instead of the sixth. PHEW! Let's hear it for editing magic. It's my fave.

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Picture + Words Prompt

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration. Below is a writing prompt or story starter. Use it in whatever way works best for you—develop a story, character or a scene. And so let me know if you come across anything particularly interesting.

Click here and use the first picture on this page.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Learning Calculus and Listening to Music

Currently Playing: The Claire Robinson Band

Yesterday I...
...did not learn calculus, despite working on it for about 2 hours. Turns out it takes longer than that to learn. Yes, I know 2 hours really wasn't enough time to learn an entire subject, but I couldn't focus any longer than that. There is just too much drama with the boys (family and otherwise). It makes my mind feel like soup. So, in attempt to solve the Julia-is-failing-calc dilemma, I scheduled a meeting with my teacher for Monday—a real dent in the very little pride that I have left.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Ask the Editor:
What's the best way to get published?

I would like to ask a question! I have written a children's picture book, amongst others. What is the best way to get it published? Who would you recommend to contact? I don't know why other books get out but I can't. Please let me know.

Unfortunately, there is no short answer to this. Most importantly, I want to stress that just because you've finished writing your book, doesn't mean your work is done. You're really only about half way there.

WHAT, you say. Half way? But I've just written, edited, rewritten (wash, rinse, repeat, multiply by 30) a freaking BOOK!

Yes, well. Truth hurts, sunshine. There's still LOT of reading and research on different agents and publishers. Also, be prepared to work on your query/submission letter until it is bang on.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Poems, Pancakes and the Zombie Apocalypse

I do a section on my blog that trawls through my web history, because I'm a writer, I generally end up perusing the web at some point during the day looking for information, inspiration or procrastination. The websites are random, sometimes morbid, sometimes bizarre, but always interesting.

A selection of my web history this week:

Before I settle down to start writing or researching, I need some grub to get me going. I really must say that Nigella Lawson's American Breakfast Pancakes are a winner. Pancakes are like my favourite breakfast food and Nigella's are the best! They're really easy to make and they always turn out wonderfully.

If you want to learn how to survive the 2011 Zombie Apocalypse, head on over to Nancy Coffey's Agency Blog, where they detail everything from how to spot zombie-ism to how to fend off a rabid zombie attack.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Time Machine is Out of Order

The other day, whilst walking to the tube, I almost stole some children. It was an impulse emotion, undoubtedy sparked by their cuteness. I mean, they were the most adorable children I had ever seen. A brother and a sister, with ashy blond hair and bright eyes filled with giggles. They ran up and down the street in front of their mother, who trailed behind pushing the stroller.

The odds were against me. I knew I didn't have a good chance of a successful kiddie-heist and I knew they would probably quickly become an unnecessary financial burden, so I kept walking to the tube.

I also knew that it was probably wrong to steal children. Yes, I'm pretty sure I knew that.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Contagious Crying, Infectious Laughter.

It's my wedding anniversary. Eddie and I have been married for two years now. This one is for you, my love.

My husband has been dying to read my old online journal. I wrote it when I was a teen, but it is now completely private. Yeah, that probably makes it more intriguing, doesn't it? Well, my dear. Here you go. As you well know, I was a lot to handle back then—quirky and willful. So, I'm going to give it to you in tiny bites. Baby steps.

Today begins a series of flashbacks to an earlier me, a younger me, an absurdly aloof me. Me as a

Monday, 17 January 2011

What has happened to the YA genre?

Amidst the visa applications, tax... things... and launching myself into my own episode of DIY SOS, I am (as ever) consumed by the thoughts of books and the book market...

It's obvious, but I'm just going to say it: The YA genre is inundated with paranormal, namely paranormal romance.

Yes. Still!

I just had to say it. Get it off my chest.