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

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's all this TV I've been watching?

I mentioned TV a bit in my last post.
But what have I been watching you ask?

Well there's been some of this....

and a bit of this....

But let me tell ya, I just saw the pilot episode of THIS:

And believe I have a new favourite show. Hope the rest of the series can live up to the pilot. Love the Show Choir version of Amy Winehouse's Rehab.



Sorry for my tardiness

I've been a little bit quiet of late, I know.Erm...sorry about that.
Truth is, it's that time of year University assignment-wise and I've been a bit like this:

Except less board looking. Well. No I retract that statement. Totally as bored looking. And more nail chewing. And tired making. And sleeping. There's been lots of sleeping involved. Well, more sleeping during the day because I haven't been sleeping at night. Been trying to sleep at night so it all comes down to a lot of time TRYING to sleep. And TV watching. There's been a lot of that as well. 
And all of that = PROCRASTINATION. Yes, when it comes to academic study, I appear to be a firm believer of "If I don't look at it, it'll go away". Which it never does. It just gets harder cos you have less time to do it in.

When it comes to my creative writing, the times that I utilise this method, it, well it DOES go away. At present, no one's waiting with baited breath, tapping their watch and scowling at me if I don't get cracking. So sometimes the motivation flows away...
But I do have to cut myself some slack. Last year I wrote two books. Neither of which I wrote during term time at University.
So I'm not too phased. As soon as exams etc are over I'll be back to writing.
I have to make the most of my time here, living on Res with the friends I've made...wanna know why?

Cos I'm not coming back next year!

Yes, there have been some developments in the past week or so.
Firstly I FINALLY made the decision: Teaching is not for me. Not a whole classroom anyway. What do I love most in the world? Well, books of course. Being the blog of a writer, I reckon any one of you could have figured that out.

So what industry should I REALLY be trying to work my way into? The publishing industry! I mean, DUH.

So next year I'm going to move back to Melbourne and do a Writing & Publishing degree - get to move straight into second year because of previous qualifications. Woot! Plus might get a little bit of credit for what I've studied here which will be awesome.
And the degree involves two things: Writing (writing a novel is part of the course work!) and Publishing (industry placements at publishing houses!) so I reckon it's going to be pretty sunny.
Yes, I do realise there will be assignments, and I know how I feel about those, but it's looking a bit brighter than this Education track is, for me.

I'm really looking forward to moving back to Melbourne actually, seeing all my friends, my old haunts and interests. As much as I love the peace and quiet of the country, there is a lot more on offer in the big bad.

But before I can do that I have to get back from the WORLD!

Caught a bit of a snag in my Visa application for the UK, and it turns out I won't be allowed into the country until within a week of class starting. Which is kinda crap considering my plane ticket gets me there THREE weeks before class starts. Do they not want people to enjoy themselves as WELL as study? See their countryside, and bask in

Keep ya posted how all that turns out.
Still being nice and patient in and impatiently patient way when it comes to the two fantabulous agents who have my full MS. Another two weeks and I can give one a polite tap on the shoulder and ask if she's had a chance to flip through it yet. We'll see.

Until then, I have other stuff!

Bye for now. Going to watch some TV. Then do some study. Then watch some TV. Then go and annoy someone, cos they're likely to not be on campus anymore. Who will the lucky person be??

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feeling like Big Kev

I feel like Big Kev today. Do you wanna know why?
Cos I'm excited!
For some reason the picture of Big Kev isn't uploading but you Aussie's out there will know what I'm talking about. But unlike Kev, I'm not excited by cleaning products. Why AM I excited, you ask?

I started my next book today. Yeah. You read correctly. The battle is over, one character is sitting on her arse in the dirt giving the other, victorious character a steely death glare as she raises her fists to the sky in celebration. And she's being written about as of today.
It's going to be slow, because I've been itching to get writng and haven't done as much planning as I need to, and really I don't know anything about guitars yet - but I will - but yeah. The point is that I am no longer a crazy lady being bullied by two figments of her imagination.
It's all okay now.

I am however having major career dilemmas. As I am not a fantabulously popular, thousand upon thousand book selling author as yet, I need a day job. And I'm just not SURE that teaching is it for me.

I love books and reckon I'd be happier somewhere in that industry.
So I need to have a good proper think about whether or not I stick out my current Uni course or scrap the lot and start again.

I'm not in LOVE with teaching, but there are more jobs in it than there are in publishing. And if I did get into publishing, even though I love books and writing and writers, would I become all disgruntled and unsatisfied in my job because I'd be helping other writers get published and not myself?
Frankly I just want to be happy in my life and career. I guess the only way to really ensure that is to keep writing and BECOME that fantabulous best selling author I'd like to be, where I'm comfortable enough financially from writing that I don't need the day job.

One day it's going to happen. But in the mean time...

But anyway. I started my new book today, so I'm excited.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm being bullied by my characters

Yes. I've decided 'to hell with it all, I want to start my next book'.
Good thing right? Well...
The MCs of 2 different book ideas are ganging up on me!
They both want to be written first. Now. 
There is of course, MJ. I know her well, the little brat. But she doesn't have a huge amount of plot. Like the big story arc plot that propels the book along is what's missing here. I have lots of smaller plots, but not that BIG one I need for her.

And then there's Nameless Girl (See, I don't even know her name!) who sure has a plot. She has a doozy of a plot, and the book even has a NAME, (why don't YOU try it, MJ?) but I don't know this character, or her supporting characters nearly as well as I know MJ and her world.

So it's a dilemma.
Okay, I'm gonna try and coax some of those plot bunnies out here. See if I can plot out MJs book, and then I'll grab some character dinosaurs and see if they can help me figure out who this Nameless Girl really is.

Dammit. I wanted to start NOW.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My name is Sarah. And I'm a Twitter Addict.

Twitter is the new Facebook. No longer do I check Facebook constantly for updates from my friends who I may have just seen an hour ago.
Now I get up to the minute info from published authors who's styles I love, with quirky sensibilities that I'd love to have in my social circle as well as publishing houses, editors and agents I could possibly (a couple of whom I have already) submit to in the future. Wow that sentence was weird. Past and future all rolled into one.
Moving on.
I got the Tweet Deck app thingy the other day, which is awesome cos you don't have to press refresh all the time, it just pops up with a little message in the corner of my screen every time someone, anyone I'm following has said something. And I can group everyone, like authors, agents, friends, celebrities. I am a pop culture addict as well as a Twitter addict. Have I ever mentioned that?
Anyhoo. Twitter is awesome.

My online critique group has expanded all of a sudden, once I handed over the power to anyone to invite and moderate and administrate the group we've been growing and growing. We have 21 members, which is a bit daunting. But they're all really friendly, and it's probably a good thing that not everyone is posting at the same time.
I've been getting some good feedback, for what little I've been posting of late. Uni is taking it out of me, man.
I'm getting really frustrated. I want to do creative work. I want to write a NOVEL for God's sake, but I's so...I can't do it when I have an assignment due every week. And in my down time I'm watching TV over writing stories. But I'm gonna try and change that asap. When I've finished this blog I'm working on my psychological studies assignment and THEN I'm going to start plotting out my book. Ooooh yeah. Looking forward to that. The ORIGINAL MJ book. Because my NaNo about her was clearly book 2. It's a long story how that happened and I don't think I've mentioned it before. And I'm really not gonna mention it now.

Oh! Another reason I'm not writing creatively so much is because I've been getting publishing opportunities, but for non-fiction. So I've been doing a lot of that.
My interview with Comedian Mark Watson was published in the local paper recently. It was a little annoying that when sub editting it they wrote 'Journalism student Sarah Billington...'. Yes. I'm taking ONE journalism subject as an elective. I already have the qualifications to be a journalist I've just never really used it. But anyway. Another clip. Nice big 3/4 of a page thing too.
I have a review of his show and a fashion review in Lots Wife and I'm not sure but I THINK also a Monash Abroad article in the next edition.

Speaking of Monash Abroad, I went along to the compulsory pre-departure meeting last week which was exciting. There were over 300 students there, all travelling to different parts of the globe.
The 71 students going to America had already embraced their inner American, and whooped and cheered a lot when the speaker asked where the Americans were. Twas funny.
A couple of past exchange students spoke, and one guy gave advice that everyone appreciated. "Just say yes". He realised what he'd said and took a bow. Then finished the sentence with "to all of the experiences you get offered, and places you are invited to go".
I met a couple of others heading to my uni, there are 11 of us in total and a couple are also applying for the same residence as I am. Mind you it houses like, 500 people so it's not like they'll be right next door. Necessarily.
Found out that a bus pass for 1 semester costs something ridiculous like 400 pounds. Considering the accomodation I want to stay in is a good 3.3 MILES away from campus, I was thinking I might need one in the winter - plan to walk when it's nice weather though. Hopefully I only have a couple of days on campus and can get away with single tickets. Or find a car parked in the parking lot and wait there for hours until the owner comes out, and I can be all desperate and make friends with them, just for the ride.

Paid for my SCBWI registration. Conversion into Australian dollars was painful. I think I'm freaking about financing this trip so much because at current I have no money, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'll be getting a bunch of lump sums while I'm away which will get me through. I might have to see less of Europe than planned though. And I'm thinking a part time job will be a necessary option for me. Back to retail. We'll see what happens when I get there.

I've joined a writing community, which I'm finding to be pretty fantastic already, and I'm not even a full member which means I don't have access to most of the message boards etc. You join up and in the first month you have to be an active member of the community, posting 50 times at least, and then at the end of the month you get to submit some work and if it's deemed that yes, you are in fact a good writer, then you get full membership and meet heaps of other writers. If you don't make the grade you get to keep trying, resubmitting until you are deemed fantabulous.
It's really great, I'm not in a writerly bubble so much anymore. Makes me sad for people who wrote and felt isolated from the writing community back before the interweb. But it doesn't have to be that way anymore. There are millions of other fantabulous people out there to connect with. I hope one day I can find another contemporary YA writer who's writing style really clicks with mine and we can collaborate on something. That's down the track a bit, I guess.

Okay, time to work on assignment, me thinks! Most exciting Saturday night ever. Ooh, someone wrote something on twitter!
Buh-bye now