Monday, March 29, 2010


I received a most unexpected phone call this morning - my entry has finalled in the Romance Writers of Australia First Kiss Competition! I'm absolutely thrilled. The final judge is Sally Williamson at HMB.

It's the first competition I've entered with my new manuscript, and just the confidence boost I needed after tying myself in knots second guessing and doubting myself (rather than just writing!) after my R.

I'm particularly thrilled that this means I get to erase my fashion faux pas of the RWAus Awards Dinner in 2007 where I accepted my First Chapter Competition win wearing jeans (<-- there I am). I'd had no idea what a big, formal do the awards night was (*blushes*). It was my first conference... but still!

Good luck to the other finalists - Christien Hickey, Bec Sampson (TWICE!) Rebecca Skrabl and Alli Withers.

I've got a few other entries in contests floating around at the moment - since the 2007 award I'd only entered one competition (had a big break from writing), but having contest deadlines is really helping my motivation

I've had mixed results in competitions - but I figure it's a great way to get in front of editors. Have you entered competitions? Do you find them useful?

Monday, March 22, 2010

One hell of a storm!

Here are a couple of photos I took on my phone on the way home from work today. I had cycled to work, but my partner came and picked me up when I heard the extreme weather warnings on the radio. He brought the dogs so they wouldn't be frightened at home. My dog curled up in the foot rest, poor thing was terrified of the thunder - I reckon the lightening must have been right above my work, I've never heard anything so loud!

Perth isn't exactly known for these types of storms, I've never seen anything like it. Was very glad I didn't have to drive home, visibility was almost zero with the horizontal rain. We turned around twice due to flooding, although some people still drove straight through tyre deep water. We saw other cars stranded surrounded by water, so we weren't game to risk it.

To make things even more dramatic, tonight the ceiling collapsed at work! Fortunately no one was hurt, but the department is closed. I've just had to call my team to tell them all to stay home tomorrow, but I'll be in to help assess the damage and put in place our continuity plan. I'm hoping my bike is okay!

I've been looking at photos of some of the hail damage across Perth - feeling very very lucky.

Have you experienced a storm like this (or worse) before?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So much to learn...

I was reading Rach's latest blog post, and one sentence kind of freaked me out:
I've learnt that he needs a goal that would still be there if I removed the heroine from the equation.
It freaked me out, because just as I thought I was starting to get the whole GMC thing, here's something else I had no idea about. I have the same problem - my hero's goal is connected to the heroine. Sure, I could add in a bigger goal, but it would add a new thread that needs to be weaved into the book, and therefore add even more complexity. I'm not convinced the book needs it.

I'm not doing the online course that Rach is doing at the moment, so can anyone shed any light on the "hero needs a goal unrelated to the heroine" thing? What do you think about this rule? Do I ignore it at my own peril?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two firsts...

First blog post (hooray!) ... and first rejection (boo! hiss!).

This is my second attempt at a blog. My first one, years ago, was very short lived - mainly because I just wasn't at a point in my writing career (and I've decided that yes, I will consider this a career, not a hobby) where I was even close to submitting. And so had very little to talk about.

Now, I am very proud to have one finished book behind me. Another hooray! Sadly it was the book that was rejected, but after having had two days to think about it, I'm feeling quite upbeat. There are lots of good things for me to take from the experience:
  1. I actually finished writing a book. A WHOLE BOOK! 49,149 words that I wrote.
  2. The book (the full manuscript) was requested by Harlequin Mills & Boon
  3. I learnt so much writing it. I wrote the first chapter with no idea about internal conflict, or plotting, or saggy middles, or anything. At least now I know about these things, even if they (particularly internal conflict) need some work
  4. I learnt so much writing it, that I understand the reasons why the book was rejected. I had already suspected some of them (h/h spent too much time apart, using too many plot devices, heroines internal confict is not quite right)
  5. I got some fantastic feedback in my two page rejection letter, particularly about my voice. That gives me a lot of confidence.
  6. And best of all, I have a request to send my next three chapters + synopsis direct to an editor at HMB.

So all in all, this rejection is not the end of the world. Onwards and upwards!

During my six month (argh!) waiting to hear back on my full, I've been reading many many blogs that I have found incredibly helpful. But I've just been lurking - I think I had some weird idea that talking too much about my writing would jinx things. Well, given not talking about my writing still ended in an R, I've decided to leap into the wonderful romance blogging community. If you'll have me!

I have no idea how anyone will find me, but if you do - hello!

Now, off to read my notes from Laurie Schnebly Campbell's fantastic Plotting via Motivation workshop before getting back into Book 2.