Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo is over


My official total is 53,219.
So I didn't quite get to my hoped for 60,000.

And another cartoon from Inky Girl.

And so to bed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who decides what you are?

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You, right?
Well, not always. We've had a number of whacko cases here where someone else tells people what religion they are - and then punishes them when they don't agree, by taking their children away or incarcerating them.

And today I read the sad story of a Malaysian woman married to a British man only to be told she has to return home and reapply for a UK visa from here. And The Star newspaper here has made a point of calling the woman "he" throughout the article, even though she is not male in her own eyes.

Her husband doesn't think of her as male.
She doesn't think of herself as male.
They why does The Star persist in referring to her as male?

Can't we just agree that the person concerned knows best?

I wish Fatine Bahari Young all the best in her efforts to live with her husband in the UK. Here, of course, she'd end up in jail for daring to do so.

And I so wish we had a little more understanding from The Star.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!

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Ok, my NaNoWriMo total is now 50008 for the month! And two more days to go, too. Of course I did say that I was aiming for 60,000 in the month, which means that I now have to do 10,000 in two days...hmmm. Somehow I don't think so.

And another milestone today: TWO-THIRDS of Stormlord Rising first draft is now completed.

Study table during a writing frenzy

Chaos. How I wish I had a PA. Or a maid. Or a nice domesticated wife.

And here's how I organise my book - this being Book 3 there are so many characters, threads, themes and plot lines to come together. So I colour code, for characters and places and point of view and time. Every colour means something different. And then I have to have a decoder because I can't remember them all...

NaNoWriMo total: 47150 at midday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 myths about writers and writing continued...

5.Writers lead a fun life.
Actually, writing is tough and it involves many, many hours sitting in front of a computer screen when other people are having fun, watching TV, playing with the kids, socializing, or whatever.
If you think it is all wonderful book tours, getting to meet fascinating TV personalities who are begging to interview you, cocktail parties and lunches with publishers, think again.

For most of us, it also involves many hours of self doubt and despair.

My latest book is 625 pp. If I told you to read it from cover to cover once a week over the next 3 months for a total of 12 times, would you be overjoyed? I doubt it. That's what I will be doing over the next 3 months. Reading and correcting the same book, over and over. Fun, right?

(Actually, it is. But is is also a lot of solitary, lonely work. Will I ever stop? I doubt it. Writing is partly fun, but mostly it is fulfilling, rather than fun. And a writer's life is about as much fun as everybody else's. That is, it is sometimes. Fun is mixed in with work, despair, stress, woe, frustration - and sometimes joy.)

6. Published writers, publishers and agents hate wannabes and actively work to make sure they don't get published.

This is one of the most peculiar beliefs that I have come across on the internet. There are actually people out there who believe this. I know so many writers who spend much of their free time helping others for no remuneration that I wonder how anyone can credit this kind of nonsense...

The latest silliness I heard was that agents were the ones who wanted the Harlequin Horizons affair to fail because they thought it might impact their income. Or something. They didn't want writers to be able to circumvent agents... Huh???And the idea that publishers do their level best not to read good MSS from good new writer is even more laughable.

Other writers help me now, becoming beta readers, offering career advice - the list is endless.

7. Writing a publishable book is so easy anyone can do it.

You hear this one from time to time. "Oh, you are a writer? I've often thought if I had the time, I'd write a book too." (Tell me, do airline pilots and heart surgeons hear the same thing? "Oh, you're a heart surgeon! I've often thought I'd do an angioplasty on someone one day..." or ..."Oh, you're a commercial pilot!! I've often thought I'd fly an airbus to Europe one day. Just for the heck of it, when I have the time.")

8. Wanting to be a published writer badly enough will make it happen. Being persistent will make it happen. Wishing will make it happen. Reading The Secret will make it happen. Praying a lot will make it happen.

Er... no. Sorry. Being a skilled writer who tells good stories is what will lead you to publication. My advice:
  • Read a lot and widely, especially but not exclusively, in your chosen genre.
  • Practice writing.
  • Show your writing to fellow writers who will critique you.
  • Read widely about how to write your particular type of story.
  • Attend writing workshops or similar.
  • Read more. And more still.
  • Be persistence about all the above.
  • Then be persistent about sending out your MS to agents or publishers.
The last two is where the persistence comes in.

9. I would love to have $US 100 for every time someone has said this to me: "Oh, your book would make a good movie..."
Hmm. Possibly. Possibly not. It is certainly unlikely to happen. There are several hundred thousand books published every year. Just how many movies each year are based on books? And not all good books would make good movies anyway.

10. The goal is to get published
Maybe, but it shouldn't be. At least, only partially. The goal is to enjoy what you do. If that's your only goal - and you do get published - what's left to do?
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10 Myths About Publishing, Writing and Authors.

All of this has been said before, often. Yet if this Harlequin Horizons affair has showed anything, it is that myths are alive and well. Evidently, we can't say this kind of thing often enough.

In no particular order the first five myths (5 more tomorrow):

1. Writers make stacks of money.
I wish. This is like saying that "all singers make fortunes". It's not true. Most singers eke out a living, singing far too infrequently to small audiences. Looked at as a whole, published writers more often than not hold down a second job to make ends meet. Few writers can write more than one book a year, and few will get more than USD 10,000 a year for their effort, especially for the first few years. Sure, there are the superstars out there, but they are the ones skewing the statistics.

2. You can't get published unless you know somebody in the business first.
Ok, so then how did I do it?
I had never:
(a) met another fiction writer
(b) met a publisher
(c) met an agent
(d) been to a sff convention.
I had:
(e) no money to bribe anyone
(f) no access to the internet
(g) knew no one to ask about getting published
I was:
(g) living in a country that had no sff fiction-publishing industry

No one recommended me anywhere. No one had ever heard of me. And I still got published.

3. The best way to get published is to pay money to have your book published.
Yep, there are people out there who think authors pay to get their books into book shops. No, authors don't do this. Publishers pay authors to write books and publishers pay distributors (or have their own distribution system) to place the books in bookshops and other outlets.

4. Publishing and printing a book are the same thing.
No, they aren't. My publisher pays me an advance, edits my book, copy-edits my book (2 different things, btw), proofs my book - all with my input; they design the cover and pay the cover artist, pay for printing and binding the book, inform booksellers about the book, distribute the book to outlets for sale, market the book (to varying degrees); they arrange for the book to be reviewed, pay me royalties if it sells well, reprint it if it's sold out...etc, etc.

Printers print and bind the book. If you are arranging this for yourself, they use the files you give them, and do some minimal formatting. You pay them. Pay a little more, and they will help you with the design. That's all. They give you the number of copies that you asked for - and that's it. Their job is finished.

5. Self-publishing and vanity publishing are the same thing and they are both great ways to get published.

Self-publishing and e-publishing have many advantages for certain kinds of books, especially non-fiction, niche market books.
--Grannie wants to a family history to give to members of her family, the local school and the local library? Ideal! It will cost her a bit, but the pleasure she'll get out of it will be worth every penny.
--You have a hobby of growing pansies for perfume making and you want to tell other people how to do it? Self-publish, set up your own website and sell the book through the website. People will come because they will google pansies/perfume or whatever. Better still, sell the book in digital form through the internet for a lot less hassle.
--Self-publishing fiction is possible and has on rare occasions led to a more conventional publishing career, but only by people who read widely about how to do it first. If you do it well, it involves paying for editing, copyediting, proofing, printing, design, cover art, marketing and distribution.

Vanity publishing on the other hand is a rip off that will print (not publish) your book for you and charge you a whole lot of money for the privilege. Beware.

More myths tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Putting things in perspective

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There are a great many things out there that I think I can do without quite easily: make-up, fancy clothes, high heels, T.V./video player, microwave, handphone, aircon, icecream, hot water and yes, even chocolate.

I was having that conversation with a friend from India, and then we got on to what we didn't have when we were growing up, but had now and just couldn't do without...

I said: The internet, because it is my way of keeping in contact with my scattered family - on a daily basis if we want - as well as a valuable tool for my work as a writer and a way of maintaining friendships.

My Indian friend said she had once posed that same question to an elderly Indian lady, to which the woman replied without hesitation: 'Running water.' As a child and young adult, much of her day had been spent getting water from the river.

I'm still grateful for the internet, but ... yeah. There are other things which might be a tad more basic. Which many folk still don't have.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Aargh

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A tooth broke off - completely - at gum level. It is driving me crazy and the dentist can only see me on Wednesday.

There are times when I am tempted to get them all ripped out and replaced with stainless steel. Seriously.

Gnash! Gnash! Gnash!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Harlequin Horizons Horror Story

If you haven't been following the Harlequin Horizons Horror Story, here are possibly the best accounts, written by Jackie Kessler, in order of writing:


They should be required reading of all want-to-be-published-writers who aren't sure how to go about it. Although this is all about romance writers and a romance publisher, the principles apply across the board. If you aren't a writer, you still might find the story interesting! All the elements of a good tale are there: greed looming large, self-delusion, scamming, corporate villainy in disguise, heroes standing tall in defense of the naive, smack-downs and ...
Well, sort of.

John Scalzi has another good commentary here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Working...and no, I don't know what day of the week it is

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For those of you who don't Twitter or Facebook, the lovely person doing the final, final proofing of Stormlord Rising for Harper Voyager contacted me to clear up a couple of points about the text. At the end of the email said she was being slow because she was distracted by the story ... and she thought the book was fantastic!

So I'm happy.

Comments like that help, especially when I'm at the stage with book 3 where I am quite sure it's terrible, no one will like it, and I can't write for peanuts and should retire somewhere where nobody reads anything.

I shall put up the new total of words before I go to bed tonight...and I refuse to turn in until I am up over 100,000.

Has anyone in Queensland seen the Courier Mail review of The Last Stormlord yet?
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Photo time because...

...husband is back from all his VIP meetings in the USA.

So here the evidence:
daughter from Pony vs Tiger djing in Houston,
other daughter with family in Washington.

Lucky him.






Thursday, November 19, 2009

Podcast patter

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No writing done today, alas. No, not alas - I enjoyed the day. Time with friends, discussing books and a stack of other interesting stuff: what could not be enjoyable about that?

And I don't think I have ever linked to this podcast I did way back for Bookbabble, an online bookgroup that spans the world. So if you want to know what I sound like...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is this a Joke?

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Sites like the Writer Beware Blogs and Writer Beware have been around for ages, doing an excellent job, warning wannabe published writers about the countless scams that try to cash in on their dreams.

The last thing I ever expected to see was an established publisher with a long publishing history - in this case Harlequin - jumping on the bandwagon of getting money from wannabe writers for what up until now was pretty much a scam. (Note: I do not consider PoD books a scam, and I see nothing wrong with getting your unpublished book printed for the benefit of friends and family. What I don't like is outright scams that encourage writers to believe they are getting something else for their money: a published book they will see in a bookshop.) I think what Harlequin is offering is sailing very close to scam territory.

And if that wasn't bad enough, this turns up: fork out 20,000 USD and let's see what you can get as a book trailer, apparently to entice genuine film makers to your book, complete with a spam email campaign? If it was anything except a reputable publisher, I would be screaming: 'Scam, scam!!'

Please Harlequin, tell me this is not associated with you.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Velvet revolution

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Today is the 20th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's velvet revolution, which in the end resulted in the replacement of the Communist government by a democracy.

Actually the disturbances started slightly earlier, when we were in Prague.*

October 28th was the anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia as an independent state in 1918. In the main square as I recall, they were putting up a viewing stand or something similar, as we strolled through the main square on October 27th 1989 - my husband and younger daughter, then aged 14, and myself. We left the next morning for another part of the country, which was probably just as well.

Here is an extract of a letter I wrote to my mother on Sunday the 29th October, after we returned to our home in Vienna.

We are safely back in Wien, having missed out on the riots yesterday (much to T's disgust.) Looking at T.V last night here in Wien, I think the shots of the demonstrations and the police bludgeoning people into submission was taken from our hotel window - the very room - overlooking Wenceslas Square. Those young people are so brave; Czechoslovakia is an unforgiving country.

I was a great admirer of Vaslav Havel then, and later too, when he negotiated the splitting of the country without the horrors that were to come in Yugoslavia**.

I think my first real inkling of what the fall of the Berlin wall really meant to people was a few weeks later. I walked down to the tram stop in Nussdorf and caught a tram to Heiligenstadt U-bahn station. And there, in the station, was parked a train of a strange colour. I stared at the writing on the side and my jaw dropped. It was from Czechoslovakia.

For the first time - in how many years? - a train had crossed into Austria. And Vienna was full of people with no money but a boundless joy in at last being able to catch a train, or drive their noisy little Trabants and Ladas, to visit their neighbour.
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*which gave more fuel to the rumour that my husband dragged revolution and mayhem in his wake whenever he travelled. Either that, or he lost his luggage - and yours too, if you travelled with him. That expression "to be noramlyed" was not lightly earned.

**NOTE: I originally used the expression "when freedom came to Yugoslavia". It has been rightly pointed out to me that Yugoslavia did not lack freedom. The country was non-aligned and in no way comparable to iron curtain countries in its politics, economics or liberalism. My sincere apologies for my moment of careless thoughtlessness. Not sure what I was thinking, as I did know this, having been living next door. Sigh. Sometimes I wonder what, um, doesn't go on in my head...
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Of mad writers and crazy cows...

Day 16 of NaNoWriMo

Have reached 30,000 words - half way through my target of 60,000 words for the month.

And in weird news from Malaysia:

A villager was savagely attacked from behind by a predator cow that almost ripped his hand off. He yelled, 'Tiger, Tiger' in panic before he realised what his assailant was. That's right, a tame domestic cow. The poor fellow is still in hospital, with a savagely mangled hand.

A new variant of mad cow disease?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo continues

More from Daily Diversions For Writers by Debbie Ridpath Ohi:
(Honestly, this site is worth checking out on a daily basis if you are a reader or a writer - never mind the NaNoWriMo)

NaNoWriMo Day 14

Saturday, November 14, 2009

One of the Best Books of 2009?

NaNoWriMo news first. Tomorrow is the halfway mark. So theoretically, everyone should have 25,000 words completed. I'm already over that, but then I am aiming for a full count of at least 60,000 rather than 50,000, so by tomorrow night I want to be on 30,000. Hmm. We'll see.

Today I had a write-in with some of the Kuala Lumpur NaNoWriMo folk, including a 14 year old. Lovely to see! They all write rings around me, mind you; I blame it on being ancient...

And here's something interesting. You may remember the kerfuffle recently about Publisher's Weekly and their list of the Best Books of 2009, where there wasn't a single book by a woman author listed. A bit odd, seeing as women writers produced some wonderful books this year. Anyway, I was really chuffed to see the Guerilla Girls on Tour have produced their own list of great books by women writers for 2009, and blow me down if The Last Stormlord wasn't up there! Which was pretty amazing considering the Guerilla Girls are an American theatre collective, and The Last Stormlord hasn't been published in the States yet!

There are good days pretty often, and this was one of them.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Which of these stories shows humanity at its best?

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And who here should be ashamed of
their inhumanity and lack of charity?

The Huffington Post had these two separate stories linked from their site.

Will Phillips, an elementary school student in Arkansas, refused to recite the Pledge of allegiance in school because of discrimination against gay people. Says Will: "I really don't feel that there's currently liberty and justice for all." He's 10 years old. See here.

And then there's this:
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.
Er...i.e. if gay folk can marry, the Catholic church refuses to feed the homeless? Hmm.

I know what I think.
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And I think I had better retract my usage yesterday of the quote about youth being wasted on the young - in this case it's probably the old fogies who waste their time on earth with their prejudices, their lack of both logic and science and their nasty blackmailing tactics.
Will Phillips, on the other hand, will go far.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Springsteen in Budapest...

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When I was writing yesterday's blog, I forgot about about another incident that told us that the wall between east and west was about to crumble.

In September 1988, my elder daughter - just turned 17 - asked if she could skip school with seven or eight of her friends (all final year highschool students) to catch a train from Vienna to Budapest to go listen to the Bruce Springsteen Amnesty International Rock Tour to promote human rights. Budapest was the only Communist destination that agreed to be on the world tour route.

How cool is that? To play hooky by crossing the border between East and West. To go to a concert on human rights in a Communist country. To hear Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Youssou N'Dour - and the relatively unknown Tracy Chapman, all in one 8 hour concert.

Of course I said no.

Just kidding, just kidding. I said yes.

The school (Vienna International School) took a very dim view of the whole thing afterwards, and wrote - as I recall - a very snippy letter about it to the parents concerned, telling us - in effect - that our kids would fail their finals if we let them behave in such reprehensible manner, and what kind of lousy parents were we, blah-di-blah.

My daughter received the only detention class of her life and was heartily unimpressed with the school. (She went on to Oxford, so somehow I don't think skipping a day's class affected her career.)

Last night I asked her on Skype what she remembers about the day. Mostly, it seems, gadding about Budapest with her boyfriend and other friends before the concert! Oh, and Tracy Chapman.

One would have thought hearing The Boss sing Born in the USA in front of the Prime Minister and other Communist officials would have left some impact...

Ah, youth. Wasted on the young.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where I was 20 years ago...

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I was living in Vienna. Vienna, Austria, that is. And the Berlin wall came down. We spent that night quietly at home, not listening to radio or TV, so knew nothing about the momentous happenings in Berlin late that day.

Of course, we were living in the midst of change, we knew that. Quite apart from what was in the news, there were the odd things that happened to us, personally. We were Hungary in October 1988, for instance, and there was a good-natured student demonstration taking place; I remember watching it from the Citadel in Buda - a steep hill that rises sheer from the banks of the Danube. The young folk held hands and wended their way across a bridge and along the riverside, and then back over the river by another bridge.

They were demonstrating against the building of a barrage on the Danube in Austria - but the reason was not the huge significance. It was that a demonstration was allowed at all. I remember a tourist ferry gave them three blasts on its horn, and there was a rousing cheer in response.

In Poland, earlier in 1989, Solidarity had already - impossibly and remarkably - won Communist-staged elections. I remember we picked up a Polish hitchhiker and he was full of hope for the future as he made his way (virtually penniless) to the West to take a look. He was full of confidence that the US would be pouring money and aid into his country. My husband and I were more dubious.

Anyway, back to the fall of the Wall. I woke up the next morning and turned on the radio to hear the news. The station I listened to always started with the news in German, then in English. As I listened to the German version, I couldn't believe my years. I shook my husband awake. 'I think they just said the Berlin Wall was down,' I shouted.

He thought I had misinterpreted the German. "No, no,' I said, and dashed downstairs. In those days (if I remember correctly) there was no morning TV in Vienna, but I switched it on anyway, knowing that this day there would be. And sure enough, they were broadcasting scenes from Berlin of the night before.

There is an image that has stayed with me ever since:

An elderly lady, surrounded by crowds of celebrating, happy people - and they are in West Berlin. She is dressed in an ugly dark coat, but she is being interviewed by the TV reporter. She is an East German, she says, and she lives near the checkpoint. A friend had telephoned to tell her the wall was down. 'So I rushed out to see for myself, and here I am! I waited 30 years for this, and I couldn't wait any longer! See?' she asks, and opens up her coat. She is dressed in a nightgown, and on her feet are bedroom slippers. She had not spared the time to dress.

After 20 years, I may have misremembered the details, but the image stays with me.

I know how I felt then. I had grown up with the cold war, with the fear it engendered, and now it seemed - it was over.

And there, like that elderly woman, I stood dressed in my nightgown, and watched the wall come down as the tears of joy welled in my eyes.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gloriously Googling to my blog

Here is some of the googling that brought people to my blog:

  • Wearing wife's stockings. (This one is an amazingly popular google item. Why bother to google it, people? If your spouse wants to wear your stockings, just tell him he can damn well go and buy his own!)
  • Modern machete makers. (Sorry, wrong blog)
  • Picked it up with her toes. (So what?)
  • Lime green artificial flowers. (No, please. Just - No.)
  • Write date Australia. (Huh?)
  • Wasps bathroom. (You have my sympathy, really. I routinely have frogs, wasps, honey bees, squirrels, rats, shrews, moths a handspan across, centipedes, millipedes, spiders; it's a bloody zoo in there.)
  • Gay glory holes in Grafton. (Now look, I have NEVER mentioned gay glory holes anywhere, let alone Grafton. I swear. And why do you want to know anyway, hmmm?)
  • What was the name of the Canadian lady who started poppies? (I haven't a clue. And I'm not sure how you start poppies anyway. Plants seeds maybe?)
Now here's a couple who truly, truly don't understand the concept of googling for information:
  • When I was a kid I remember a book I had. (Wow. Only one? Can you remember the title? No? What it was about, perhaps? No? Are you sure it was a book?)
  • If you will prune my orchid I will pay you Rs600 a day for the work, as soon as you have finished. (Just one orchid? Rs600 per orchid? Where do you live again?)*
*This last one took the googler to this site on my blog. Which just goes to show that google has a lot to learn about the art of googling.

Monday, November 09, 2009

More from NaNoWriMo...in Kuala Lumpur

Hard at work!! (as the morning wore on, another three people came...)

On Saturday morning we had a write in at a coffee shop in Bangsar. Good fun to meet fellow NaNoWriMo folk. Most of whom did more writing than me... I was too busy making everyone's aquaintance. Still, managed 1,000 words in spite of the chatting.

I have not quite made my 2000 words a day goal. If I had, I would now be on 18,000 as day 9 comes to a close. Instead I am on 16,444 words - which is still above what is needed for the NaNoWriMo target of 50,000. But my target is 60,000 words. Minimum. Got to work harder!!


NaNoWriMo Day 9 - Productive

Inkygirl can be found here. Daily Diversions for Writers
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

So, do folk think women writers' themes are trivial and not worthy of prizes?

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Interesting discussions going on in the blogosphere.
Publishers Weekly, which is not uninfluential in the business, have named a list of 2009's best adult books. Not a woman writer in sight. Wow.

Here are some excellent comments about that.
Look here from Lizzie Skurnick and here (Mumpsimus) and here (Tansy Raynor Roberts) and here (Tammie Pierce with a summary of other links). Thanks, Tansy, for the heads up on this one via twitter.)

Honestly, I think they say it all without me commenting as well.

And to young women writers starting out? If you are interested only in praise and money, and aren't interested in showing the turkeys what you - a woman- can do, use a male pseudonym. Sigh.
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Friday, November 06, 2009

Writing continues

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Friday's NaNoWriMo count:
2083

Back on track with the over 2,000, but didn't manage to catch up what I missed yesterday.

Quote from Carl Sagan:


“Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?”

Via.

Hiccup in the progress...

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Yesterday things conspired to keep me from reaching my target of 2,000 words. Only 1,460 achieved...

Total for NaNoWriMo is just short of 10,000 after 5 days.

For writers: Do check out this site Daily Diversions for Writers at Inkygirl.com

Adverb Discrimination

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day 4 of NaNoWriMo

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NaNoWriMo Day 4
Check out the Inky Girl site here.

And yes, the competition element is still working. I will not give up until I have done 2,000 words...I won't...I won't...

Today (day 4) I scraped in with 35 minutes to spare...

Today: 2038;
Total for 4 days: 8,164

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

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Yesterday's NaNoWriMo : 2044, bringing total up to 6,122. Getting there, getting there. Just wish I could go a tad faster...

Weird stuff from Malaysian politics

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From the New Sunday Times Nov 1st, 2009, p22.

"I support the Auditor-General's report but what has happened now is that it gives a very bad impression and it is nauseating. If possible, the government should filter the report before making it a public document."
--Statement by Datuk Wira Ahmad Hamzah, MP for Jasin

My take:
1. Yes, it does give a bad impression. The reason it gives a bad impression is because a great many people cheated the government and the tax-payer.
2. Yes, it is nauseating. It is nauseating to think this can and does happen.
3. Er, say what? You want to hide the bad things because you don't want the tax-payer to know that his tax dollars are being stolen?
My conclusion:
1. MPs who want things covered-up give an extremely bad bad impression.
2. MPs who don't have the moral judgment or the intelligence to realise just how amoral/unintelligent they sound are...........*

* supply your own ending.
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Yesterday's NaNoWriMo total: 2038

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Review of The Last Stormlord

Not sure whether it is quite kosher to post a whole review on the net when I am (obviously) not the author of the review. Anyway: above is the heading of the book review section of the newspaper, so that was really, really great to see for a start!!

The newspaper was The West Australian, Saturday 31st October - the main morning daily in my home town of Perth, which gave me a nice fuzzy feeling.

Ian Nichols, the reviewer is a very talented and polished writer himself, so a good review from him means a lot personally to me.

And here's some more of the review. It begins:

In her previous novels Larke has demonstrated an enviable skill. With this novel she moves into the realm of sheer virtuosity.

The middle section of the review is a brief look at the story, and then it goes on to say:

The plot is engrossing and the characters fascinating. In bookshops where bland fantasies line the shelves, Larke stands out from the crowd.

Yep, I'm happy.
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NaNoWriMo day 1 total: a shade over 2,000 words.

NaNoWriMo

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I found my writing race with Carol and Helen so helpful that I am joining the write-a-novel-in-a-month folk this year. November - in case you didn't know - is National Novel Writing Month, where those who sign up strive to write (a very short) novel of 50,000 words.

Of course the aim is not to actually have a saleable novel at the end of it, but rather to have the makings of a whole book which can then be worked on. It's to using the incentive of a lot of people working towards the same goal to keep your nose in a book. Oh, ok, fingers to the keyboard.

I've never done this, but I need the incentive to get STORMLORD'S EXILE* - book 3 of the Watergivers trilogy - towards the finish line.

So if you are part of NaNoWriMo this year, friend me, ok? You'll find me here. And nudge, poke, encourage and otherwise nag me into getting it done. Well, actually all you will have to do is post your daily totals. I have discovered I am very competitive!

I am only a bit over 60,000 words into the book as the month of November begins, and I hope to double that. So think of me for the next 30 days...

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