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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a nice long nap afterwards

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hope Santa brought you what you hoped for, and what you bought for others was appreciated as well as you hoped.

Santa dropped the ball abit with my Mum this year. Or he just knows her too well, because over the last couple of days before Christmas, my mother bought for herself some items...and then the exact same things were found under the tree.

She and my father bought each other the same book, and my dog's eyes near popped out of her head when she spotted her Chrissy present. A set of new tennis balls and one of those fancy schmancy ball throwers. So that you don't have to pick up slimy tennis balls and when hitting them with a tennis racquet, get a nice shower of spittle all over yourself. Really a present more for us, than her I guess. But she liked it.

We celebrated Christmas two days ago, as I and my sister are working this evening.
Then my parents and I went to a friend's for Christmas dinner last night, and in an hour off we chuff to a local pub for some christmas fare again. All this food...crikey. At least at the pub it's all very civilised with civilised serving sizes so that you don't need to pop the top button at the end of the meal.

I have received two Christmas presents on the writing front today and yesterday.

Yesterday, I received an email from Allen & Unwin (the editor who has my manuscript Life was cool until you got popular" who had wonderful things to say about my work. She said that at the moment it's not quite strong enough, but she had two pages of feedback, things she loved, things she thought were a bit weak and if I want to resubmit in February then I'm welcome to.

So oh yes, I'll be resubmitting. She had some really valid points too, and though I know the re-edit will be confusing and difficult, I AM looking forward to getting stuck in, because it's just going to make the book better.

Secondly, I'd given up on the website for about a month and when at Borders the other day, bit the bullet and bought the Dummies Guide to Web Sites.

Well. It's currently uploading the web, and FINALLY I have managed to get rid of the webcity's index page. Don't know how it's looking yet, but over the next couple of days if you check out you should find my brightly coloured YA writerly web site in all its glory. I have my fingers crossed.

I had better start getting ready for Christmas lunch. Enjoy your day! And don't spend too much at the boxing day sales! :)


Monday, December 15, 2008

Ain't the government grand...sometimes

I'd heard about this little christmas gift to the impoverished masses that Ruddy's handing out - a cool $1000 to you and you and you...and not me. I didn't expect I'd be getting it, my parents are cos they're pensioners and retirees and stuff. I'm a student. What do we need money for?
Well yesterday I heard rumours that some friends of mine from uni got it...and today I called up Centrelink to find out and lo and behold I'm RICH!
Tomorrow I get my $1000 smackers into my bank. The whole idea is to spend it, boost the economy, keep our shop keepers from tearing out their hair.
I've been stressing a bit because I'm not saving too speedily for my upcoming international soujourn (sp?) next september. So it's kind of between FINALLY getting myself one of those fantabulous flat screen TVs I've been wanting for years (and my parents just bought one, which we all have done a collective: "ooh, isn't it clever" sigh before I never get a chance to use the ruddy thing) or the money goes into my overseas trip erm, keep international shop keepers from tearing their hair out.
Sorry Ruddy old chum, I am SO grateful for the Christmas gift - better than anything I expect to receive - but I hope you understand the emotional well being it has afforded me, if not helping our economy.
So yeah, I guess the decision has been made. Into my savings account it goes. Might even pay for my Visas, how very exciting.

On to other news, my family homestead is occupied not with tradies any longer, but with its family. We're back in, still boxes everywhere and manuals are very much in use to work out how to use the appliances - yes, you need to read the manual to use the oven, but still. We're home. And all my books are back. Sigh. It's so nice to see them. And my DVDs. I loves my stories.

Speaking of stories, I pretty much think I have two or three paragraphs to write to finish Miss Jem's Blogiverse, but with the move and me coming down with this WRETCHED cold, and my mattress being on the floor and not having a chair at my desk and sort of being out of the writing mode...I haven't done it. As soon as I write those paragraphs I can start the next book, and that might be what's holding me back. This one needs a bit more work done before the writing process begins. And I guess, I've seen the opening couple of scenes in my head so much that I don't want to do a shoddy job when I write it. But it's cool, it'll get started. Before New Years I will have 5,000 words done on my next book, and will have finished at least ONE of my assignments for my certificate III. And I won't have this bloody cold anymore.

Speaking of cold - what happened to summer? I'm wearing my big fleecy dressing gown around the house.

Tonight is my first shift back at my summer job after eight months away. I'm pretty psyched, but would be happier if my eyes and throat weren't stinging and my nose wasn't acting like a faucet.
Ain't I a charming lass? I'll leave you with that lovely image.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Winnah and champeeen

Behold me lovelies. Find me in a wondrous mood and assist me in basking in the glory that is reaching (and passing) the finish line of my very first attempt at NaNoWriMo...and 3 days early.

(Can you tell I've been watching the BBC Robin Hood lately?)

I feel goooood. Can't believe I wrote 50,000 words in 27 days. And it didn't kill me. There's still more stuff that has to happen in the book and a good...10k to write? Give or take, and a couple of scenes half way through that I need to add to sort of bring it back on to the track it was SUPPOSED to go in, but yeah. I won NaNo! Currently doing my sitting downy happy dance.

PLUS just after I uploaded my word count to NaNo,I discovered the Uni results are up already (due out tomorrow) and I got a Credit, Distinction and High Distinction for last semester. Bringing my GPA up a coupla points. YAY!

Plus I'm all psyched to start my next book, which is a total departure from what I've been writing of late - which is basically girl books about being stupid and hating your parents and especially being stupid around boys.

This next one's gonna have a ghost, a coupla vampires and lotsa other monsters in it and some juvenile delinquents. I'm going for horror with a bit of funny in the mix and a whole lot of complicated relationships ta boot.

I actually started writing horror, as a kid - did I tell ya that? HUGE R.L Stine fan. When everyone else was reading Goosebumps (if they were reading at all) in grade 4 I was reading Fear Street. 'Let's kill us some teenagers' territory. And that's what I wrote.
I guess you can call me versatile.

That's all for now. So hurrah to me and all of you who have and will be passing the finish line. It's been rocky seas, as the NaNo team understand, hence the viking ship, but even when I was hating it, I knew it would be a worthwhile journey.

Contented sigh.
Buh bye!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Birds hate me.

I swear to God the birds from the oval at my old house have sent word on the grapevine that I was coming.
Went for a walk today. I'm an hour and a half from my old place, and the birds SWOOPED ME AGAIN. They hate me. They really do. And I didn't do nothin'!

Though not as much exercise as I'd hoped, I got what I mostly wanted out of the work, and that was some fresh brain activity on my novel front. There was an iffy bit a week or so ago when I wasn't sure I was going to finish it - but that's over. 9,000 words to go in 7 days to win NaNo. I can SO do this. The book isn't getting wrapped up in 9,000 words though, it's got a fair bit to go, mum goes into labour, someone gets caught in flagrante (gasp!) and there'll be a bit of a hissy fit and tanty to come as well.

As I haven't had any readers as yet, I have NO clue how it's going. but that's okay. I think it's going well.

I'm psyched to write my NEXT book idea when I finish this one, which is going to be a COMPLETE turn around with juvenile delinquents and monsters. I seem to write more about character than plot, and I have a goal of writing a plot based book and this is it. I only got the idea yesterday so there's a lot of fleshing out to do.

Website - yeah, well. I've done everything right that I can see, but it's still not showing up. I'm gonna get back onto that after Nov 30.

Tomorrow is an exciting day for my family. Due to the house fire that descimated the kitchen and has also destroyed a lot of belongings, we've been given a shopping list of electrical goods to take to Harvey Norman tomorrow and we can go mental on a shopping spree.
I'm getting a new laser printer, 3 disc cd player and mobile phone. You have no idea how excited I am about the mobile phone. I hate my phone. I've had to send it back 3 tmes to get a replacement (refurbished - 3 don't give brand new) and they won't let me out of the contract.
I lost my old phone and called 3 and they said I was eligible for a free upgrade so in I went to get a snazzy new one - it's white with a touch screen and very ooh la la. They didn't tell me I was on a NEW 24 month contract, with my free upgrade. I'm ut of it this coming April and I gotta tell ya - it's not coming fast enough. I LOVED my old phone. Which I found the day after getting my upgraded phone. My mum uses my old one (she's never be able to handle a touch screen) and I get exceedingly jealous whenever my parents marvel at the simplicity and superiority of my old phone.
But tomorrow I get a new one, so tra la la!

Still haven't heard back from Allen & Unwin, who currently have Life was cool until you got popular and are perusing it for suitability for their Girlfriend Fiction collection. I have my fingers crossed. I haven't received it back in the mail yet, so that's a good sign, but I haven't received a phone call or email from them either, so that's NOT a good sign. I'm going with no news is good news.
Alas, the potential fantabulous agent declined. I'm not sending anything out to agents at the moment, since the book I'm pitching them is currently with a publisher. Not really fair if I tell them: "You can make money from this book!" and then they sign me, but I've already sold it and they get bupkiss. Soon I'll have ANOTHER fantabulously publishable book finished to be enticing agents with - after some serious editing, mind you. It's a tough industry. But I was made for it.

I've been doing lots and lots of reading at the moment and was very impressed with myself that in 2 days I read 3 books: Knocked out by my nunga nungas and dancing in my nuddy pants by Louise Rennison as well as Better off Famous? I can't remember who by at this very second, but I enjoyed them all. I'm ALSO currently reading City of Bones, Star Power and Nightmare Academy because I'm a big ol' book whore and share myself around, wanting to enjoy as many books as I can at once. I've switched back from watching heaps of movies to reading heaps of books, which is nice.

Okay, that's it from me!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Wow. NaNo's hard, man.

Yes, I'm at the very end of week 2, which is the week where you think your whole manuscript sucks, but still - it's a lot harder than I thought.

I'm pretty confident that I am not getting this story right. And I want to stop and tinker with it - I actually think I have some subplots that belong in a sequel, but I've already woven them into this one. And I'm getting myself all confused - do I continue? I pictured THIS scene a lot better in my head, whereas THIS scene came out fantastically...but it was supposed to be mostly blogs but the blogs are a bit of a side effect...

30 days is not enough time, and I know I'm not aiming for a masterpiece here, but I'm feeling the pressure to keep writing, regardless of whether it's shit or not. Because they say blue skies are coming. I'm going to stop thinking it's shit, in week 3. Actually, week 3 started 28 minutes ago, so technically, I should be thinking it's fantabulous right now. I'm 28,000 words in (28,007 to be precise) so I'm over the halfway mark with 13 days to go. But I don't WANT to write a sub-par novel, because the revision process will be a bloody nightmare.

The last book I wrote I did in a 6 week period, and I found that really good. Not nearly as stressful as this one is. I suppose cos the deadline wasn't hard and fast.
Who do I let down if I don't do 50,000 words? Just myself. And the shame, since I've told everyone I know I'm doing this. Which is sort of the point because it kicks you in the bum to reach 50,000 words.

I gotta keep going. I'm going to finish, but I don't know how happy I'm going to be with it. There's a lot of editing to do.
However, brighter skies are on their way.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Fan Fiction and stuff

Wow have I been busy the last week. But in a good way.

Uni is over, I'm almost the last person left in our house on Res - Arj is half out and he's gone to melbourne for the weekend, so it's nice being alone for a bit, and I'm moving back to the parentals on Monday. Got some heavy lifting and cleaning to do. And packing.

Been in Melbourne seeing friends and doing a hell of a lot of driving, which has tuckered me out significantly, but the friends part was fantastic. I love my people.

Still having trouble with the website, but I'm that little bit closer to getting it up. I'm floundering in a lot of unchartered waters at the moment, with photoshop and web design and html, ftp and pah! (Pah's not one, that's me just going "pah!".

I'm doing super fantabulous with my NaNo, I'm just the teeniest bit behind word count, like a thousand words or so but I'm SO catching up tonight. That's not bad for having taken 2 days off writing so far this month, and I'm STILL hanging in there. Twenty thousand words in 13 days - even I'M impressed with myself.

But mostly I'm impressed with winning the Melbourne Libraries Fan Fiction competition. Yay me!
I'd never written it before and I got my Vic Writers Centre newsletter in my email and saw the comp listed so I decided why not? I'd just been reading Louise Rennison's "Angus, Thongs and perfect snogging" (the movie version, so it was 2 books in 1. There's some value!) and was SO impressed with Louise's writing voice. Georgia Nicolson is so funny it's insane. So I gave it a go, writing Georgia, and the fan fiction theme was Zombies. So of COURSE I had to make Angus come home rather zombie like. And the judges liked it! I'm pretty proud of it, actually. I think I did a good job capturing her voice.

It'll be up on the libraries web site when they've done their upgrades, and I'll put it up on mine too when...I get mine up. I'll work on that tonight too. After NaNo.

But as for now, I must go shopping. I totally have my priorities in order.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

The midway slump. But early

I'm 10,000 words into my NaNo. That's frickin awesome, I say. Except that I feel like I've hit the slump already. I'm tired. I need a day off. Technically, considering I'm about a day ahead on my word count, I could totally take a day off. But then I would be right on deadline and have no more leeway for slackness. Like only writing 800 words yesterday, and the rate I'm going today, getting none done.

In 3 hours I have work, and when I finish that, the end of exams party will have well and truly started. At our house. And some of my housemates have decided that it is definitely time for Sarah to get schnookered. I've never been drunk before, because I generally don't like drunk people, am scared of getting a hang over and really, alcohol is gross, but I'm thinking of joining in the frivolity tonight. But what about my words?
I've been having a kind of shit day so far, with yet another hoop to jump through when it comes to my application to study overseas next year.
BUT - the good thing? Totally posted off my book to Allen & Unwin today. The synopsis was a killer to write, but I think it reads well and I KNOW the book would be a great fit in the Girlfriend Fiction listing, so we'll see how it goes. Scary, because I've been pinning my hopes on this for about 10 months now...what if she rejects it?
Then I keep writing, which I'm already doing. Not giving up. And keep applying to agents.
My web site is coming along pretty well, it's a tough job considering I really don't know what I'm doing, but it looks good. It's not live yet, but when it is I'll totally let you know.
This blog doesn't overly suit it though, so there might be some tweaking to the appearance happening in the near future. But not just yet.
The book I'm co-writing with Kore is going well too, we're over 10,000 words into that as well.
THAT'S why I'm so tired. Not just exams, work, building a web site, applying for overseas study and doing NaNo. I'm doing my co-writerly duties every single day as well. I'm doing bucketloads. I think I have a right to have an off day.

I'm gonna go watch TV.
Write tomorrow. Hopefully without a hang over.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Exams are over!

I had my last exam today. Just got back ten minutes ago with a big ol' grin on my face. Yes, twas harder than anticipated. Actually really different to the past 2 years exams that we used as practice material. But oh well. It's over! I'm confident I passed. So the Uni year has officially finished and will be celebrated with a shin dig at ours on Thursday. Plus a house-crawl of all the other houses having parties that night. After work. I have work until ten-thirty, but jeez louise, these are uni student's your talking about. The party'll just be beginning!
I have plans to - for the first time ever - get a bit trashed. So we'll see. I'll have some catching up to do, that I know.

NaNo is going well, I'm a day ahead of schedule, having written 5,100 words in 2 days. I'm trying to KEEP ahead of schedule, for the inevitable day I just can't get any written because of commitments or the muse refusing to cooperate.

Kore and I are nearly 10,000 words into our collaborated piece, and it's going strong. We're getting into our stride and it's turning out pretty well.

I'm staying on res until the end of November now, as my summer job doesn't start back until december sometime. Better being here where I can NaNo in peace, than in the temporary accomodation my parents are at, while the house is (STILL!) getting fixed from the fire. They keep pushing the end date back, but I'm HOPING we'll be in by Christmas. We should, right?

Anyhoo, lots of writing and celebrating to do. In that order, unfortunately.

Til next time, ma cheries,


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Simon Pegg. Need I say more?

Two days ago, I was going through my checklist. I'd had a study group for the exam this monday, I'd done some writing, I'd sworn at photoshop but then blessed its cotton sox as I managed to create something half way decent, I officially have a web site now, well, I have the domain but the content is still coming. I've been busy. Check check check check check. So I decided to stop ignoring my house mates (some of which when they are bored or procrastinating like to come into my room and throw things at my head - you know who you are) and go out to a movie.

So we, plus some of our neighbours went and saw How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Simon Pegg. Need I say more?

I mean look at this.

Okay - don't look at this. It seems that maybe my computer or Blogger - I'm hoping blogger, for my sake - is having a bit of a tanty when it comes to putting in pictures at the moment. I actually tried to do this post last night but it did the same thing when I pushed the image button. It sort of stopped and went "Like...whaaaaaat?" and stayed there blinking at me stupidly for the rest of the night. Completely forgot I was trying to post a picture, let alone an actual blog. Wasn't even "Not responding" or anything. But believe me. It was not responding.

So pretend you saw a funny picture of Simon Pegg, being the every man he plays so well. He's full of awesomeness.

Well Photoshop is looking at me with a touch less disdain today, as it's starting to train me in how to use it. I think I've made a couple of good items for the website which will be up and running some time before the end of the year. I hope. I'm going to the library today to get a book along the lines of "web site building for dummies". Because I am indeed its target reader.

Last night was the booklaunch of Offset Literary Journal which, though it's sad to say I find book launches boring, it is in fact the truth. However the contributors who got up and read samples of their work (which are inside the book) were actually pretty amazing. I was very impressed with the company I'm keeping inside it's covers.

Unfortunately for me, the book launch was held at a Readings bookstore and I found a bunch of books by favourite authors Sarra Manning and Rachel Cohn that I haven't been able to find anywhere, so my bank account grumbled a bit when I left. Hehe. Oops. But I'm gonna have a great time reading them when I get a chance.

Watched Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (perks of working at a video shop) and though it's not as good as the book, I say they did a good job. I just love Louise Rennison's vocabulary, and I make an effort to make my teen voice as full of flavour and juicy goodness as I feel she achieves.

I got some passport photos done yesterday, which turned out horribly. My mum says that if you look like your passport photo, then they know you need a holiday! I need them for my application for study abroad next year, and fingers crossed, when approved will need them for an actual passport too. Woo!

Got my summer job back, starts in December, so I get a 2 week break between finishing my other job, to starting my new one. The break will be much appreciated. Especially since it's the second half of Nov and I can NaNo like crazy.

Have nearly got my submission package complete for "Life was cool until you got popular" for the Girlfriend Fiction books that Angus and Robertson do. They're expecting it too. I just have to write the synopsis and then off it goes. It's huge too. 156 pages is a whole bucket load of paper (not tested with actual buckets).

Lastly, at midnight last night, NaNo began. I was up and at em until 10:50pm, but I've had such long, tiring days that I decided: Bugger it. I'm not starting at midnight. So I went to bed, got up at 9am this morning, mentally cracked my fingers (didn't ACTUALLY crack my fingers cos it grosses me out and I have a friend who does it all the time, but he does it to relieve pressure, so I pretend it doesn't gross me out and he pretends he doesn't realise it grosses me out. I think he got the better deal) and got to work.

I wrote 2,055 words in an hour and twenty minutes. I'm pretty happy with that progress. And I'm over the 1,667 word minimum daily requirement. Yay! And I'm gonna do some MORE writing later. Hopefully I can build up a surplus on the word count for the days I fall behind and loathe and hate it and can't think of anything to write.
Cos I know they're coming.

But considering it's still not Nov 1 in America (and I know this because I can't upload my word count yet and feel all full of awesomeness because I'm over the word count), and I've started already - is that cheating? Cos it IS November in Australia...

Leaving you with that thought,


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My big sister's back in the country!

Looooong day yesterday, driving the hour and a quarter to my parents place, then the two hour trip to the air port, then an hour and a half wait for her plane to actually arrive and then YAY!! My big sis is back in Australia!!! Then my dad taking the video camera from my sister's luggage and making Kate and I reinact our big YAY! My sister's back in Australia! moment for the whole international arrivals lounge to enjoy. We heard much laughter and a couple "Oh my god, that is so embarrassing"s. They were feeling sorry for us, not mocking us. It was THAT tone of voice.
Then an airport dinner and the two hour trip back to my parents place. Phew!

And today I wrote and swore at Photoshop as I try and try and fail and fail at making a wow-worthy banner for my forthcoming web site. I am unperterbed. Actually think that's the wrong word. I am annoyed, but proceeding anyway.

Kore, wonderful chickee I met through the NaNo forums and I are writing a YA book together consisting solely of emails from our characters. Much fun. I love my girl, MJ. Received Kore's latest post and sent one of my own. Wrote a fan fiction story - my first one ever! And entered it into a Melbourne competition. Actually think it went really well and I have a sneaking suspicion Lili Wilkinson is the judge, or organiser or whatever. (She's my aussie idol, 28 with a couple of books out. I want to be her soon.). It was fan fic for Louise Rennison's Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and I have to say, I made a pretty convincing Louise Rennison. Those books are so funny. She does a wonderful job.

That brought me to time to leave and head back the hour and a quarter drive - first time back on the road that tried to kill me, I wasn't thrilled - to work which is where I am now. But this whole blogging at work thing is our little secret. Then home to start swearing at photoshop again, do a practice exam and then bed.

Tomorrow I have a study group coming for the exam on Monday (eep!) Have decided considering in NaNo (in 2 days!) I'll be writing book 1 and book 2 of MJs story simultaneously (one with Kore, the other by myself) I REALLY need to plan out each one. So must do that tomorrow night. Trying to spend as much time as I can with my house mates too, because they'll be gone by the end of next week as well. Won't see them (very often) for four months!

What are my priorities? That pesky exam thing?
Outlining my books so my head doesn't explode?
My housemates?
Probably should do some washing too, huh.
So as I said before. Eep.

Oh, and the book launch in Melbs (2 hours away) is on Friday night, so another long drive day.

Plus side: I finally got my assignments back for Education - a Distinction and a HIGH Distinction. Can ya say "Hell Yeah"? I think you can, I think you caaaan!


Monday, October 27, 2008 is TAKEN?

This is me.

Okay so not in the most literal sense of the word 'me', but still, you see that look of shock on the Bush man's face? Uh huh. Now we're talking.
I'm making my official authoress web site. (Official, me - He he!) So you'd think I might go for my name. Sure. Understandable. Logical even. How about y'all go check out right now.

Been there? Done it? Seen what I saw? Okay so you'll agree with me when I say "What the hell?!?" My website is a travesty of advertising! What on God's green earth would they choose MY name for? Am I being searched for all ready?
Yes, I am being a bit dramatic, as is NOT taken. But still. Hmph.

On a brighter note, after a couple of rejections from agents (which alas, comes with the writerly territory) including Meg Cabot's american agent (my friends know me as the chick who wants to be the next Meg Cabot, so that one particularly bummed me out) I have a nibble. Indeed, an agent is nibbling at my manuscript. I'm sure she has more edible foodstuffs around, but nope - she wants to try my book. So we'll see. :) I'm psyched. Trying not to get my hopes up. Horrendously competitive field and all.
But it's going to happen for me one day. I'm confident in that.

By writing I get fit

I really must be in the zone, I'm updating this thing all the time. It's official - my writing brain is switched on!

I'm doing lots of thinking about the plot for my novel, and I find that walking around the soccer pitch which is about 5 minutes away is such great inspiration.
Yes it sounds dull, but I'm not finished. When I was writing my first book mid this year, I'd go for walks there and just ponder, stare into space (that's what's so good about the oval - nothing to fall over unless you count your own feet. Actually I did fall over once, but that's not unusual for me lately. I'm not counting that time, anyway) and think, let the characters tell me what's going to happen, how to get past problem scenes. After awhile it started to be as soon as I hit the pitch the ideas started coming.

Well yesterday I went for my walkies (clearly I have dogs), cos I'm a bit tense about the book I'm going to write for NaNo. I've probably already posted this, but it's more serious than I'm used to, and hell the main character is alone for a good solid chunk at the start and hmm...I'm not that in love with it.
But yesterday on my walk some little tidbits came to me about how to make it funnier. A bit lighter. Still with some darker stuff going on, but more me. Woohoo! This was after I relegated the back quarter of the pitch to the birds that were swooping at me and telling me to bugger off in no uncertain terms. When I wasn't worried about a gaping head injury, then my characters started talking to me.

Need need need to do my character profiles. Helps to have a WORKING printer...
4 days til NaNo! Not to mention good ol' Halloween. Jeez, reckon it might get a bit rowdy here, considering I live on a Uni campus and all. Maybe not cos a lot of people will probably have gone home.
Eep. Must get dressed and go to work now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wait...younD adult extraordinaire?

I JUST noticed right then that I am not a young adult writer extraordinaire, but in fact, a youngD adult writer extraordinaire. To me, that's a whole different kettle of fish. What the hell's a YounD? New word. Needs a definition.

I've been scowering the NaNoWriMo forums, finding some fantabulous sounding people that are plotting, and have already written, fntabulous sounding books. I want to scoop them all up and be friends with everyone and collaborate with some so that we can be fantabulous together.

I loved what Rachel Cohn said about writing with David Levithan, how they wrote a chapter and sent it to the other, and then they'd write a chapter and send it back and it continued like that. It was free, and unstructured, and it worked. Twice! So I'm hoping to find me the perfect YA writer to collaborate with. But in letter and Blog form. I reckon I should give it a bit of leeway and we can have some real honest to god scenes in there as well.
Two characters who live in different places, with different social circles, but are friends. These are their stories. Wow, I could almost hear the whole NYPD Blue music then. But maybe that's just me.

So it's official, people, I am totally NaNo-ing it. Yes, my last exam is on the 3rd of Nov, and I should probably do some study for that. And yes, I have to pack up and move house, and yes, I have to get my old job back and start working pretty much full time again, but bloody oath I'm gonna NaNo like it's nobody's business! If I don't hit 50,000w I'm not worried. If my book is complete at 45,000w then woohoo! I finished the book! Whatever happens, I want to finish the book.
Good luck to me!

On Friday night I have the Book Launch of Offset Literary Journal which I'm being published in. That's right, watch me swagger. Hope it goes well. And hope my sister doesn't freak when she reads the story which is basically about what a little terror she was as a kid. Hehe. Welcome back to Australia, babe!


Sairz (who is no longer a YounD Adult writer extraordinaire.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The beginning of the end

Well the semester has ended, one exam down, one to go and I have lost two of my five housemates already. That part sucks. I'm glad the exam is over though! And who says cramming doesn't work. It does. It really does. Well, luckily for me it did THIS time. I'm not recommending it for others who are studying, let's just make that clear!
I'm getting all back into writing mode again which is exciting, and ideas are brewing for my next book. I decided to put off The Himbo's, as I need to do a bit of work and research into writing from the male psyche. Guys just don't seem to be as complicated as girls. And they think about ...stuff. All the time. You know what I'm talking about. Don't think I could write that book convincingly just yet, so it's on the back burner.

In the meantime, I'm back to an idea I had earlier this year, which has the working title of "Taking the looong way home". The idea has changed a bit since its original inception which might be why I'm tackling it again.

Unfortunately I have that too-many-ideas syndrome. I've got a half dozen older reader chapter books I want to write as well but can't make myself pin one down and just write. Actually, no. That's a lie. I'm in writing mode and tomorrow, my friends, tomorrow I am going to finish - yes, FINISH "There's a Dinosaur Drinking my swimming pool". Don't know exactly what stopped me, but I'm gonna break through that barrier and do it! One thing at a time Sairz, one thing at a time...

I've finished polishing my YA chick lit novel, Life was cool until you got popular and have been sending agents some queries. I read a blog written by one of the agents I queried, and she had some pretty interesting, and disheartening stats at the top of each entry. It went along the lines of:

Queries read this week: 237.
Partial/Full manuscripts requested: 1.

There were always over 150 queries read in the week, and only ever one manuscript did she want to read. That doesn't mean she was going to represent them, she was just going to check it out, see if it was any good.
This is going to be a long process, but I'm perservering. This writing thing is going to happen for me. You're not a real writer until your walls are covered with rejection letters. Or so they say.

Ooh! I'm in the process of starting up a web site for Sarah Billington : Author. As well as publishing previously published short stories on the site, and of course, linking it to this blog, I plan to write a "column" if you will, called Orientating Olivia, about a chick handling her first year at Uni, away from parents and being a bit grown up person.

Okay, my presence is required elsewhere now. That's all I had to say anyway.



The kindness of strangers and other stuff

People surprise me almost every day.
Like strangers. They don't know you. They have no reason to care. Why should they stop when at dusk, one finds their car, after having skidded out of control (it's a dirt road, and there was a build up of sand) into an embankment, the car's face in the dirt and bum in the air. Why should they stop and help?
Well they did. While I was on the phone with RACV trying to get across that I was surrounded by bush on all sides and really it was a couple of kilometres walk to the nearest cross street, 3 cars slowed to see if I needed help and after I got off the phone with the RACV one car stopped and decided it was worth a shot them trying to help me get out of the ditch. What troopers. All of them! And they DID get me out of the ditch. As soon as it was done they patted themselves on the back for their good deed done for the day and continued on their merry way. I love that amidst the crime and crap, there are still good people who do the right thing because it's the right thing.

There was a puppy hanging around Uni the other night, so I called her owner and took her home. I guess I'm a good person too. :) Hell, honestly it's the only thing I would have done. I would have taken care of her until she was safe and home again, regardless.

I've experienced the kindness of strangers a lot actually, which might be why I never really see the bad in people until it's pointed out to me by others. I'm not the most trusting person in the world, and I do have a touch of gullibility about me (okay, they are sort of contradictions, aren't they? Oh well. Sue me for thinking people don't lie to my face! My housemates take advantage of that. Revenge would be sweet if I ever did that sort of stuff).

Anyhoo, I had a car accident a couple of years ago, just me and my dog Tessa - my best friend in the whole wide world (and she's still my best friend, so foresee a happy ending, guys) and she was asleep beside me and when I hit the erm...milk tanker truck...she was thrown into the dashboard. Thinking along the lines of "What the f did she hit me like that for?!" as soon as the doors were open she shot out and ran down the country highway into on coming holiday traffic. This was a couple of days before New Years.
Well we put posters out in the area and went from one farm to the next, and before we got to the second one the bush telegraph was well underway. They'd called ahead and soon everyone was on the look out for my Blue Heeler. A man who saw the sign in the pub called to see how I was, had we found her etc. He sympathised because he had some Heelers and knew just how special those dogs are.
Finally she was found (hiding under the house on a farm we'd been to that day) and she came home waggily tailed, smelling like cow poo having had a fantastic adventure (after the initial shock of it all). But yeah, the police from the accident scene were checking in, having a bit of a scout for her and the whole community were pleased for us, that we were reunited again. Kindness of strangers. They really went above and beyond. The community of Bass, Victoria - I salute you, and will never forget you.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's been awhile

It's been awhile since I updated this. Didn't realise it had been a whole month. And I haven't read back over what I'd last said. What did I tell you about. Did I mention how well the Melbourne Writers Festival went, and how I've been putting some of what I learnt into practice?
Wait. Yeah, that was aWHILE ago now. Jeez the days are zooming past.
Well, writing wise I've sort of paused at the moment. I just finished doing an edit of my novel - and it's still good, after putting it away for 2.5 months - there's just a couple of scenes I need to add in and then it's good to go!
I wrote a picture book called "Splonk the Mischievous Martian" which I've sent out but mostly I've been going to Uni, going to work (oh, I got a new job!) and hanging out with my fantabulous house mates. It's kinda sad that it's all coming to an end soon. The end of next week brings the end of our house being full. I was going to say sixtet but I'm not quite positive that's a word. Sextet? Is that it? Slowly slowly everyone's finishing and pissing off back home, wherever they are. One housemate is finishing this year, so I won't likely be seeing him again much, or even...gulp...ever! It feels weird. A bunch of my friends are graduating and it's going to be so strange not having them around.

Me, I'll be heading back to the parentals as I don't actually have a place of my own at the moment, aside from here at Uni. But I'm wanting to go back to my old job as summer staff, which is a bit of a distance from here, but totally do-able at Mum and Dad's. Plus my dog's there. It's not all bad. I love my parents, but at 24 I don't really WANT to be living with them again, cos I will always be their child. "It's midnight - don't you think you should be going to sleep?" and of course they must know where I'm going when I leave the house. It's nice to feel cared for, but at the same time...Anyhoo.

That's about all the news I have at the moment. Exams in 2 weeks! Eep!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Ball - ee gads!

I'm letting myself down here, by not being more diligent in my blogging.

I don't think I've even mentioned the ball. The ball! The big University once a year shin dig at which everyone frocks up in their finery, the girls help boys buy shirts - cos really they don't know what they're doing (and then one finds themselves hearing screams of horror - 2 of my male housemates were wearing the same purple shirt! It was a very nice shirt...)
I was happily not going, and looking forward to some peace and quiet at home. The house is never empty so it was going to be a relaxing night.
Two hours before it all started, while the girls were off getting their hair and make up done, and the boys had their mates from town round already and had started on the booze, I received a phone call.
"Guess what?" he said. "You're coming to the ball!"
Say whaaaaaat? Someone had dropped out, there was a spare ticket and everyone wanted me there!
I put up a bit of a fight cos really - SO not my scene, and formal wear UGH (to prove my opinion of formal wear - I don't own any) and dancing - stupidifying and just the whole experience didn't really appeal to me. But everyone wanted me to go. And I figured, it'd be a good experience for my writing, right? Luckily the one skirt I had on campus - which was in a bag ready to be sent home - was pretty enough, so I spent the next two hours freaking out a bit and trying to make myself look presentable.
It actually wasn't a bad night. I didn't have to dance. Yay! My friends got drunk but mostly in a funny way and everyone I knew there was pleasantly surprised I came. (They love me!)
I bookended my night by falling over in the mud. Once before my shower, as I headed down the slippery hill to my car to get my shoes, and once on the way back inside from the ball. Yeah, I walk the long way around now and laugh at anyone who falls on their faces cos I have told them so.

But yeah. The ball.

The Writers Festival just finished, and I had a great time at the kids program with Andy Grffiths, Terry Denton, Leigh Hobbs and others, helping the kids and talking with them. I asked for some opinions about what characters would do in stories and they gave me some doozies. I now have a little girl character, when she is faced with herbivorous dinosaurs...she plays Barbies with them. Okay so I chose not to do that one, but it's awesome all the same.
And how else do you get a cricket ball out of a tree if you don't throw a cat up there?

The YA masterclass I volunteered at which was run by Rachel Cohn of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist fame, was fantastic. And she said to me, upon me reading out some of my work: "The teenage voice can't be faked. You either have it or you don't. And you have it!" So consider me chuffed.

The piece of work she said that of is right below. There was a second letter as well, a reply to this one. I'm seriously considering turning them into a book. Solely consisting of letters, emails, sms's, chat room conversations, e-cards, notices and that sort of thing. It's kind of complicated, but it's coming along.

The HIMBOs has slowed a little, as I started writing it and well and truly decided that I do not have the male voice happening. So I need to read up on some male authors who write the genre, like Nick Hornby, and make sure I've got what goes on in guys's heads right. The opinion on this subject of the guys I know: Nothing. Nothing goes on inside their heads.

Okay well I better skedaddle and get to work.

Sorry for the belated blog!

Here's the first letter that we wrote in the Rachel Cohn masterclass.

Dear Ness,

I lie all the time now and I hate it. You know what I’m talking about. I mean, he’s everywhere! We broke up like a month ago and it’s killing me because he’s everywhere I go.
When I went to Cami’s birthday – you remember Cami, from the gym? Well I went to her birthday and he was there! He doesn’t even know Cami. I fully couldn’t believe it. But guess what. She knows Cami. That slut bag whore has been friends with Cam for like ten years. They met at kindergarten or something.
So she brought him to the party and it was totally awkward because whenever I was talking with a guy he was completely watching me, even though she was all over him, totally feeling up his arse.
And when I took Davey to Disney on Ice – he was there with his cousin Isabelle! I mean, what?! And then I went shopping with Mel and we went into that new skate shop on Bridge – you know the one? Anyway guess who works there now. And then the scum bag had the nerve to call me a stalker. I mean seriously – who’s stalking who?
God! He’s just…I can’t get rid of him. Like everyone else, Mel asked me how I felt about it. Him. Them. I said I didn’t care. I hated him, he was a jerk and the whore bag could have him. I mean, I’m over it! He doesn’t mean jack to me anymore!
But I had to say that. It’s what she expected, right?
Ness I lie all the time now and I hate it!
I totally need to talk to you.


Buh bye!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Moving house and starting a new book!

Hello hello. I'm pretty psyched as I just moved into my new house today. Yay! I have fantabulous housemates who are lots of fun. I have to say I'm feeling very welcome!

Still have some heavy lifting to do tomorrow, but that's cool. I have lots of people willing to help.

I'm looking forward to my placement at a primary school for the next 2 weeks - well, 5 days over 2 weeks with some grade 1 and 2 kiddies. :) I hope it'll be lots of fun. I really enjoyed grades 5-6 so we'll see how I go with the littlies!

The Melbourne Writers Festival is coming up and I'm volunteering there, which is really exciting. Bit of a drive on the weekends, but still. It'll be great. And no sooner will that be over than I've started helping out in the hair and make up team of a local musical theatre production.

Plus I have a couple of assignments to do somewhere in there. I'm going to have an extremely busy, but fun month or so.

Ooh! And I quit my job today (2 hours per week, was earning about $25 per week so I really wasn't gonna miss it) and not 20 mins after the end of my last shift, I was hired elsewhere. Mail delivery 1 hour per day, earning $22-23 per HOUR, so my income has quadrupled. Nice. :)

I'm currently plotting out the chapters of my new book "The Himbo's" about a power pop band on tour and the price of fame and lots of juicy stuff like that, and I'm having a ball scouring YouTube for behind the scenes footage of some of my favourite bands, for inspiration of boys being boys. I'm now living with some pretty rowdy ones so I'm sure they'll be inspiration enough!

C'arn the Aussies in the Olympics! Woot!

Better get to work,


Monday, August 4, 2008

Trojans and Viruses...

I haven't updated my blog in a little while for a couple of reasons. Haven't really had much to say, being one of them. Actually no, that's not true.
Another is that my anti-virus software, I discovered is actually quite shit. Judging by all the pop ups, the lagging - writing emails (or blogs!) was a nightmare because of how the computer couldn't keep up with what I was writing, therefor missed letters, words, whole sentences. Uber frustrating.

Anyhoo, my new antivirus seems to be working (no pop ups so far, and typing at normal speed and it's legible!) but I was aghast to discover it found not 1 or 2, but TWENTTY TWO Trojans and Viruses in my hard drive. Can anyone see Eep? So yeah - old anti virus? REALLY SHIT.

Uni has started back, and I just can't make myself get back into the studying thing. I've managed to cut back a subject, to do more writing and stuff (among other reasons) and I haven't been writing, but ruminating, and it hasn't helped me do all the readings and not be a lazy sod.

With the next book I'm wanting to write, I reckon I've figured out just why I haven't started writing it yet, why I've been putting it off. Yes I've done character profiles, and worked out lots of plot stuff...but I reckon I'm just not that excited about it. I'm not fired up to write it, (plus it's a more serious idea and vulnerable and scary) so who would want to read it, if the writer doesn't even want to?

But just last night I got a NEW idea, which will be heaps more fun to write and I'm firing on all cylindars with it so fingers crossed I get my a into gear and DO IT!.

I haven't actually been a lazy bum of late. I've been run off my feet with OTHER commitments. Like I had to run a meeting with a guest speaker that I organised - there were initially 2 out of 16 of us there, which increased to 4. I was mortified for the speaker but it went really well - and then I hosted a Trivia night and learnt to drive a mini bus, I worked at the Uni's Open Day this weekend and was bored stiff, and tonight I head to melbourne for orientation for the volunteers of this years Writers Festival. I've never volunteered at it before, so I hope it will be good. I'm hoping to meet some agents and publishers.
Sessions are selling out fast, and there are some workshops I want to go to, but their like $100-200! Alas, I REALLY can't afford that.

I've buggered up one knee recently and am getting pain in the other, and when I get the opportunity, I've gotta get an X-Ray done.

Oh! And I'm moving house this weekend/next week, depending on when I get the keys. Yay! I'm excited to be moving in with my new house mates. It'll be lots of fun.

Even though I'm not enrolled, I've been going to Philosophy lectures because I'm interested in the subject matter. Heaps easier than enrolling and doing all the assignments and reading!

So yeah, not really a lazy bum after all.

I still feel like one though, because I'm yet to go to Rock n Roll class, self defence or start helping with Scouting - oh and I'm going to join Toastmasters because public speaking is a skill I am in dire need of. I'm doing all this other stuff and not the ones I really wanna. Hmm. Need to work on that.

That's all for now. Must do SOME reading before class today.


Friday, July 11, 2008

I finished writing my book today!

Okay, not 10 minutes ago, I wrote The End below 3,772 lines of text, or over 43,000 words.

It's not a long novel, but it's a complete long work which is actually a bit longer than the series of books I wrote it for are supposed to be but that's okay because soon comes editing!
Today comes celebration and relaxation and 'Oh my God I did it'-ation.
And a bit of mourning. I'm gonna miss those characters and thinking about what they're doing and thinking every day.

But NOW I'm thinking about my next lot of characters, and what THEY will be getting up to. Their personalities are coming through, and some stuff that has happened to them, but I don't have names yet. But that's what my baby name books are for. Writers get more use out of them than pregnant ladies. We need hundreds of names. New parents only need a couple and it gets dusty on the shelf.

Anyhoo, that's all I'm about today. Finished my book! With 3 days to spare! Ya-hay!

And I got my results for first semester this morning, and got 2 credits, a distinction and a high distinction which I'm completely stoked about. I didn't even think I was going to PASS Sociology, but I got 66% for the subject! Woo frickin hoooooo!

Oh and I went to the movies last night and saw Mamma Mia and it is awesome. Very funny and just plain fun! Enjoy.

Looking forward to Hancock which I'll see soon.

Ta ta! Gone to smile a lot and wonder what the hell to do now.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The fire

Okay, we're not a fire family.

My theory is that every family has their thing, you know, the bad thing that happens to them a lot. Some families have cancer, some get burgled, some have fires.

My family, we're car people. Cars hate us, they break down at really inconveniant times (my last car was quite vindictive, because the day before I got a new car, the battery completely died as I was driving in the country between acres of paddocks. In the rain. At night. Alone.) we have car accidents - not always our fault, and acts of God - God killed one of our cars, by dropping a whole tree on it.

So we're car people.

We are NOT fire people.

So when, hanging at my sister's place in Melbourne having a social butterflyable 5 days away (and not getting much writing done, but we'll get to that) my sister received a phone call.

There had been a fire at my parents house. The kitchen was completely gutted, and there's smoke damage and melted items all throughout the rest of the house.

It was ironic, because this was 2 days after one of the builders came in for something completely unrelated and commented that it was 5 years to the day that the kitchen renovation was completed. Reckon the warranty ran out just then? :)

My parents and the animals were all safe, and the insurance company have been absolute troopers, they set up my parents and the animals in an empty holiday house two houses down, and EVERYTHING in the house is being hauled out, all the clothes from wardrobes are being cleaned, and then the house will be fixed, walls scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and the kitchen will be's been made so easy for my parents, which has been amazing.

And the chick who saw the fire!

At the same time as calling 000, she grabbed the hose out the front, ran up the ramp and was hosing through the window. Then the glass blew out. Can you believe that? She was fine - didn't get hit by it, which is a miracle, but we're all so amazed that she did that. My sister and I think we would have called 000 and stood back going "Oh my God, oh my God oh my God...", praying that the fire brigade arrived soon.

And boy did they arrive. 4 fire engines blocked the road, emergency services, police...

Seeing the fire damage has been a really interesting experience for me, as a writer. I'd never thought about how the whole house would be coated in black soot. That the paint on the ceiling would melt and dribble down the walls. And the outside of kitchen cabinets and drawers were destroyed, but the contents of the drawers was all fine!
Really interesting. I reckon I could write a convincing fire scene, now. :)

Plus - I've been summoned to Jury Duty! I'm so psyched. As a writer, this will be awesome. Probably really boring in actuality, and a huge responsibility, but it'll be interesting all the same. Stay tuned!

Writing wise, I've got maybe 2,000 words to go. Very much on the home stretch and trying to not think too hard about which project to work on next, until I'm done.

Uni starts back next week, which I'm looking forward to, seeing everyone again.

That's it from me for now. I'm knackered.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nearing the end...and stalling at the finish line

This is really weird.
I've nearly finished my book. I'm so close I can smell it. I'm a mere 2,000 words to the deadline (I'm gonna go over by a couple, up to 5,000 words) and my writing ability is petering out.

It's not like I don't know what's going to happen. I do. But something's happening that I'm having a hell of a time getting down into the computer, and out of my head.

Doesn't help that the wind is gusty and the nights are frickin freezing, so I can't/won't go for my mental health/inspiration strike me now, walks.

I still have two full weeks until my self-imposed deadline is up, but it's not like I want to wait until then to get it done if I can do it now.
And I haven't even been doing important stuff, when not writing. I've been watching loads of TV, reading books, surfing the God I sound like an honest to goodness writer, don't I?

I've come to the conclusion, that I'm prolonging the end, because I don't quite want to let go yet. I like Kaley, and Maiyuki's heaps of fun, and Travis is an all around nice guy and Coby is your lovable but very very stoopid teenage boy. And I really can't see there being any more to write about these characters after I've typed 'The End' on the last page.

It's not like I don't have other ideas and characters to fall in love with...but I'm not ready to make new friends when I like the ones I have. However flawed the writing about them may be. :)

It's a weird sensation. One I'm sure I'll get used to over time, but this is my first novel that I'm absatively going to finish, dammit. So yeah. Weird experience. My word count has petered down to 500w the other day, none yesterday and about 800w today.

I frustrate myself.

Okay. Venting over.

I'm going to Melbourne tomorrow until Sunday and I have this whole big social life planned. It's exciting. Drinky-poohs and then tipsy bowling tomorrow with the girls, movie with a girlfriend on Thursday, movie and dinner with a social group (meeting new exciting people - scary, but awesome!) on Friday, going to the Zoo with a friend on Saturday and then seeing Wicked on Saturday! Then brunch on Sunday and homeward bound, to fall in a heap.

And I will write, and try and squish in another couple of friends in there as well. I don't get to Melbourne much, so I wanna fit everyone in!

It'll be fun.

Keep well,


Saturday, June 28, 2008

okay, so NOT so up to date

When looking for that photo of Henry, I found a Yahoo7 answers the season final was aired in the USA ages ago? I've only seen up to episode 8...ooooooh.....exciting.
People seem to be liking Gio, huh?
Okay buh bye.

Ugly Betty & those Mother Fu**ing Snakes on a Plane

I started watching Ugly Betty when it first started on TV, and was really hooked, loved the show.

But then when you get really busy and forget to tape an episode to watch, and then forget the next week and you're a couple of weeks behind...or you DID tape it but never watched it and it's been a month and you've sorta lost the passion for the show...well that happened to me with Ugly Betty, way back when.

However, I have just had an Ugly Betty marathon, I'm all caught up, and can I just say - how much do I love Henry, the Accountant. He's adorable and goofy and just the kinda guy I want one day. Though I could do without all of the embarrassing conversations, and oh my God, Henry and Betty - King and Queen of cuteness and bad timing, don't you reckon? But yeah. Screw the hot guys, like Daniel etc.

Henry's my man. Phwoar.

You know how people say to be confident, that's what others look for? Well I sure as hell don't! Confidence can be intimidating. Especially if you reckon they're good looking.
I say be a wall flower, look a little uncomfortable and voila, that'll make ME more confident! :)

And I love how passionate he is about maths. Passion about something is so awesome, I reckon. People just light up when they talk about it!

Be passionate about something, people.
Anyhoo, I was also gonna blog about Snakes on a Plane, which I just finished watching half an hour ago (My sister visited me today on her way through to our parents place for a couple of days and I decided to tag along, so there's a whole lot of lying in bed, cuddling my doggies, watching movies going on. And napping. There's lots and lots of napping. But yeah - movies.
I had heard Snakes on a Plane was quite comical etc. There was so much hype about it when it came out in 2006. Well. Can I just say, if you're already just a bit afraid of snakes (as in the idea of them is scary, but you haven't come into contact with one that wants to kill you, so you have no real reason to be scared. Like spiders, those teeny tiny little insects like a billion times smaller than you that make some of us run screaming from the room. Or call a man - any man - in to get rid of it cos you don't want to get too close. But I mean, it's not like that's ME I'm talking about...I'm just saying.) So yeah, if you're a bit scared of snakes to start with, then perhaps Snakes on a Plane is not for you. There was just a bit too much death and carnage for my liking. Well - no, I can handle my horror movies. But I guess I wasn't expecting it so much from this one. Like when I watch Rescue Dawn sure. I'll be prepared then.

I'm not gonna go into how it was a bit formulaic - as in 'Yes! We're safe! The snakes are trapped downstairs (with all the dead people and the dude being swallowed by an anaconda) we just have to wait it out until we land!' and moments later: ' Oh. Okay, so the pilots are both dead and we're kind of crashing.' You know what I mean? Erm. Sorry. Spoiler...back there.

Alright well that's it from me.

Enjoy your weekend!


Friday, June 27, 2008

School formals and proms and stuff

Afternoon all,

I am slowly slowly becoming positively nocturnal. By the time Uni starts back I'll be sleeping all day and up and about and writing all night. Man, it's gonna be a tough couple of weeks back.

Anyhoo, I'm blogging today about what I'm writing about.
And I'm WRITING about getting ready for the school formal/prom, whatever you wanna call it. Actually, is a prom a different thing altogether? Like with a parade, and a king and queen etc. Or have I watched too many movies?

In Australia we just have boring old formals, and writing about it is sort of taking me back to the anxiety and stupidity I felt when going to one, and organising to go to one. Like why did I INSIST I wanted to go alone? Cos I was going just cos I felt it was something I SHOULD do, to have a proper high school experience, and I didn't want to make it a weird night for someone else, while I sat back and observed and shook in sheer terror at the idea of getting on the dance floor?
And felt stupid all dressed up and stuff?
I had a friend who would have loved to go with me, I'd organised for his twin brother to take a friend of mine, but I didn't even THINK of adding him to my arm and table and stuff. Pfft. I sucked as a teenager.

So writing about this and those sort of feelings in my book has been bringing up a bit of anxiety in me, which is stoooopid. I mean, it's not going to happen to me again, or anything!
Hmm. But it is going to happen to one of my characters. She's convinced herself that she doesn't want to go to the formal anyway, and then at the last minute this great guy asks her, and she actually starts getting excited about it...and then he stands her up. He's not a cruel guy, he has some problems of his own...but *cries* maybe this is why I'm getting anxious. I know it's COMING. And I like her. Why am I doing it to her then? Unfortunately...cos I have to.

Sigh. Stupid dances.

On a brighter note - I bought hangers!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Losing my phone. Again.

I hadn't even gotten out of bed this morning and realised my phone was not beside me. I use it as a clock and since it wasn't there, I remembered I hadn't actually seen it since I got home yesterday. Or heard it.

So I scrounged around in my bag. No. Braved the wind and trekked to my car and had a good ol' looksy in there. Nope. I did however find some longlasting Gobstoppers (which SO don't last long) under the car seat, as well as a teeny little roll on perfume I bought - a fake of Cool Water which smells really nice when you put it on but the smell's gone by the time it dries gads. My EFT card!

It was under the car seat. How it fell out of my bag AND wallet and slid back there I'll have no idea. But I found it before I knew it was missing, which deducts a bit of anxiety and heart ache so I reckon I came out on top, right?

But there was no phone.

So back inside, I found one of my house mates up and she rang my phone whilst I dug around in the ever growing pile of clothes by my bed. There was no noise coming from my room - but apparently it was ringing.

So I took her phone out to the car, just to double check and voila! My phone was ringing and vibrating and flashing indignantly at me from the rubbish bag. Thank cripes there wasn't anything really icky in there, and I hadn't decided to piff it out between yesterday and now.

So my phone is home and happily charging away, and my EFT card is sitting beside me, about to be taken home to to my wallet, and I'm smelling all Cool Water fresh!...for now.

Ta ta!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I am a Tool

Okay, so yeah - I had 2 things to do today, right? And one of them involved leaving the house. GET HANGERS.

Well I was woken up at 10:47am this morning - the indignity of such an early call, don't you think? I've learnt to do a lot of throat clearing before answering when I've been a lazy bum and slept in - otherwise you get caught out, and it's embarassing.

Anyhoo, woopee! The DVD I ordered came in so I decided I'd head to Traralgon, might as well drop in those job applications I'd been meaning to do on the way.

So since my printer has the paper jam from hell, I called my friend Dave and asked if I could pop around and print them off, it was on the way.

So off I went and he, his mate Ross and I had a good laugh - he too, is obsessed with, and I sat there in awe as Ross played some songs on his guitar, and Dave sang along. Ross taught himself in under a year. And he's good and everything. Bastard.
I was learning the drums a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed it, but I didn't practice enough. And I'm a bit unko. And I'm stupidly conscientious of other people - there's only one volume setting on drum kits. And that's Really F-ing Loud!

Anyway, so that done I toddled off to Trags, bought my DVD, handed over my CV with a smile and decided to fin'd the library while I was there. I'd been meaning to do it and I never go to Traralgon. And that whole buying books to read the popular authors and see how they do it can get really expensive...

So I found the library, joined it, headed back through Morwell - dropped off another CV (in a shopping centre, the significance of which was totally missed on me while I was there), headed back toward home, singing along to the RENT! soundtrack, dropped off one more CV and got back home, feeling proud of myself for getting so much done when really I only had one thing I was planning to do out of the house today.

When I opened my bedroom door and saw the huge pile of clothes lying on the floor beside my bed (they were on the bed yesterday ready for putting away, but erm...I had nothing to hang them with)...This is when I remembered: "Oh yeah, the thing I was leaving the house for WASN'T picking up my was coat hangers."

Refer to the title of this blog.

I don't wanna go out again. Yes, the sun may be out but Winter has created a force field around us that is repelling all warmth it might be trying to lay down.

I hate Winter.

Think I'm gonna go read one of my library books. Then I'll get back to writing MY book. When do you work best? I'm better at night, but not like night that is actually early early morning night. You know what I mean?

Since I'm in a bit of a downer, here's something to perk me back up!

Like I needed a reason...



Shiny and new: My first post


Here goes it, it's my first blog, it's 11:52pm on a Tuesday night and I should probably be tucked up in bed. I was gonna go for one of my favourite "mental health walks" but the wind is blowing with just a bit too much of a chill so I've decided to stay snug indoors.

Plus I wouldn't want the wind blowing through the trees to make me kill myself. (Have you seen the Happening?)

Actually it's minutes before Wednesday in the first of 3 glorious weeks of holidays before semester 2 of Uni starts, and I have no finite plans tomorrow so may as well be a night owl. What the hell, right?No - wait, I do have some plans. 2 plans, actually.


Buy hangers.I don't seem to have enough, here on Res at Uni. I end up with clothes all over the floor and then divide them into clean and dirty. The dirty I bung in the washing machine whilst the clean get hung up. Voila. Tidy room. However, when the NEWLY clean washing arrives back in my room (not by fairies - they don't work here) they stay in the washing basket because I don't have anything to hang them on. Then newly dirty washing ends up on the floor and on top of the clean washing in the basket and the cycle reverts to the start again.So yeah. I'm buying new hangers.

And Two:

Keep writing my fantabulous YA novel 'Life was cool until you got popular'.It's coming along really well, I have to say. But I'm getting myself confused at the moment cos when I get stuck on important scenes (and I was stuck on the MOST important scene for 2 days) I'm just plodding ahead with writing other scenes, some of which I want to pop in somewhere before the part I was writing. So I'm getting myself confused a bit as in - so Kaley and Mai are going to the open mic night, but is this before or after that whole non-date thing with Harvey...and should Kaley be the sugary sweet Kaley or embarrassed get-me-out-of-here Kaley when she goes to talk to Travis? (It'll make sense if you read the book) Anyhoo, I'm getting myself confused and having to tweak bits I've already written, so that the stars align and I have a coherent first draft.I'm over the 30,000w mark now, which is uber exciting, because the goal is 40,000 words. I'm writing it with the hope of getting it published in the Allen & Unwin "Girlfriend Fiction" range of books, which are 40,000 words. If I put in everything I WANNA put in, I might just go over the word limit though. Hmm.But anyway. I sent queries to two big NY literary agents today, which is exciting. One is the agent for Janet Evanovich (they'll so get my sense of humour) and the other sounds really impressive and like we'd be a good fit too. So we'll see how they pan out. Meanwhile, I have a couple of other agents I want to apply to as well, for when the time comes that I'm rejected. I'm slowly slowly getting used to that part of the writing process. I'm just starting to get into the swing of sending them off anyway. Can be an expensive process when you're not getting paid, mind you.

I go through phases of being strong and confident enough to send it off, and of being a bit too shy and with an attitude of "why would they want ME?"The question should be: Why WOULDN'T they want me? I have ideas coming out the wazoo, and I've been writing for a good sixteen years...yeah, that's about right. Since I was eight. So I've sure had the practice!And I've had a couple of publications too. I'm just waiting for that ellusive one I get paid for....I've also had a nibble by an agent, but unfortunately, not a bite. Hell, I wasn't ready then, anyway.

So that's me in a nutshell at the moment. With less than 10,000 words to go, and just under 3 weeks until my deadline. Self imposed deadline. Semester 2 starts Monday 14th July. I really feel I can do this. Novels aren't as huge and scary as I thought they were. And they're heaps and heaps of fun!

For now, I leave you with a taste of one of my favourite websites:

How funny are they?! I swear - when you're feeling down go to that site or for funny kitty pictures and you'll come out of it in a MUCH better mood.
There's more where they came from. But for now...