Be the first to know about new releases - and even read them early!

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,