Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dorkus helps with the editing - NOT!

Dorkus decided he wanted to help me edit. Which is all well and good, but it makes my task a little harder, trying to read around him.

Well, it seems that everyone's a critic. I left the pages out for him and he slept on them. Next morning, he'd given his considered opinion by throwing up all over the manuscript.

Beautiful! Thank you very much. Lucky I wasn't the one to discover it, and my partner cleaned up the mess. Hehe!

But this version of the manuscript was chucked out after being chucked up on. Thankfully, I had finished transferring all the corrections to date to the computer file, and printed a new and clean edit copy which is safely encased in plastic.

Yesterday I finished my Cinderella short story and mailed it today for the short story competition. Because I was working so close to the deadline, there was no time for an edit after my beta reader checked it out today, but she thought it was very funny and politically uncorrect. So the premise is...what happens when the Prince and Cinderella are having trouble conceiving the heir to the throne? And I take potshots at tabloids and paparazzi, and modern royalty and celebrity.It was challenging to write a story with a beginning, middle and end in under 2000 words after writing 50k, 80k, 100k - you get the idea! In 2000 words, I'm just getting warmed up.

I also reserved a place in the blogosphere for Nambucca Valley Writers' Group, who are my favourite bunch of people. I have been posting the 2006 Year in Review for the group. You can check it out here.

Because it was relatively quiet at work today, I started working on the One-Pass Manuscript Revision on Making the Cut. And yes, I have worked through all the steps of Part One, including condensing the novel into 25 words. I'm still working on the 250 words - that will need a few more revisions.

Another work day (hopefully reasonably quiet again) and then another three day weekend. I just wish every weekend would last three days!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Christmas Round-up

First thing - open the pressies! Dorkus scores a new water bowl, a catnip mouse and numerous toys.
I score a Virgin mobile phone and MP3 player and cooler with speakers, a cardigan, a colourful scarf, and DVD's including The Young Ones, Six Feet Under Season 1, Sommersby, and Northern Exposure Season 2.
Robbie scores The Dukes of Hazzard season 1, Reservoir Dogs, Black Dog, and others I can't remember now, diabetes cookbooks, an Austin Powers talking cooler, plus combined presents of framed pics for the wall.

Lunch is roast chicken, veggies and ham, and the weather is kind to us, not too hot despite the temperature of the kitchen.

Dinner is slices of turkey, ham and salad followed by Christmas pudding and ice cream.

A very relaxing Christmas day!

It's an exhausting job being Santa!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

All I want for Christmas is a hot shower.

Two days without now...after the hot water system went kaput. At first we thought it was just a fuse, and that was replaced but looks like the bang we heard the other night came from inside the house, not outside, and now the system is being replaced. Hopefully, it will be flowing again tonight.
There's an article about messy desks in the New York Times: Saying Yes to Mess. So at the moment, my desk has a container of pens, my diary, a book on using photoshop, a Target catalogue which I was flicking through this morning, my laptop, and my cat. The desk is lot clearer since Dorkus has decided that this is his bed. I don't mind sharing with the cat, it makes me keep enough room on here for him and I like the company.
My partner is a Virgo, so he hates mess! But it doesn't stop him from being messy. His idea of cleaning up is dumping everything into a box, off the surfaces, out of sight, but still not sorted! And I'm a Sagittarius so what possible hope have we got?
I don't consider myself to be very organised at all, yet I managed to collate the collage poetry diary with no trouble, and I'm secretary of the writers group. But I admit, I do waste a lot of time searching for stuff. I think it's easy to be organised for the stuff that's important i.e. my writing, the collage...and I've learned that if I don't put the special words and phrases away safely for the collage, they are likely to disappear, courtesy of my partner, who thinks he's doing me a favour by cleaning up. Jen has the same problem with her mother not understanding the creative process at all and tipping half collated collage poems into a box.

I bought a colourful set of cardboard drawers the other day. Very bright and attractive and big enough to hold a lot of words for my collage poetry creations. So now I have a drawer for black words, another for small colour words, another for big fonts, and another for pics. It still won't help the creative mess when I'm in the middle of composing a collage poem and it needs time to gather the ideas and the words.

I'm over half way through Making the Cut, and adding in the edits I've done so far before I can print out my working copy for a proper edit. Wow - that took all day! But I feel that I'm making progress.
Haven't looked at it again yet today - instead I've been playing around in Photoshop to make this Christmas greeting so I don't have to feel slack about not sending paper cards:

And I've been spending the last week or so reading the crapometer on Miss Snark's blog. Very interesting, and I know from this, I don't think I could be an agent.
Only two more sleeps to Christmas, and I'm looking forward to unwrapping the stuff under the tree. More clutter to add to the pile. How do you weigh in on the clutter debate?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Holidays

Oh yes! The first day of my six-day Christmas break. How nice to sleep in, to wander leisurely around the shops, battered by holiday makers and the seasonal invasion of tourists. But six days, and several of those where I do not need to drive anywhere! That's what I call a holiday.

There are still a few copies of the Ransom Notes Collage Poetry Diary available so I have put up a couple of Ebay auctions to sell them.

The first cover is a green design and the second is a black design. Only 130 of these were printed so they are definitely limited edition. The diaries are a week to an opening, and feature quotations from famous writers, flash fiction, haiku, ransom notes and 12 full colour collage poems.

Here are a couple of my poems featured in the diary:

I want to take advantage of lulu's offer for Nano winners and print a copy of Diary of the Future but I have to edit it and upload it by January 16 to be eligible. Along with editing Making the Cut, I'm piling a lot onto my plate. Still I'm determined. I just need match the determination with focus. I'm going to try Holly Lisle's One Pass Revision Method. I've bought a new ink cartridge and a ream of paper, so I will enter the corrections I've already made, and then print out a new, clean copy to do the One Pass Revision. (We won't count the previous passes at this point.)

The short story is coming along. It's about Cinderella and Snow White, and what happened after 'the happily ever after' because it really it isn't happy especially when you consider the pressure on modern day's princesses - life is not a fairy tale. The deadline for the short story competition is 31st December so the plan is to finish tomorrow and then edit on the weekend, before posting it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Writing Deadlines

Yesterday our writers' group had a monologue workshop, as preparation for our next big project. We watched and listened to some of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads monologues, and then lunched at the local RSL and then had a drink at the Sports Club to soak up the ambience for our project.
This means that my writing/editing timetable has now expanded:
1. Write short story for competition. Deadline 31 Dec
2. Write essay for competition. Deadline 27 Jan.
3. Edit Making the Cut and write cover letter, synospis. Submit by end of Feb.
4. Write monologue by end of March.
5. Finish first draft of 'I'm with the Band' by 31st May
6. Edit Diary of the Future by 31st July.
I like the famous Douglas Adams quote about deadlines whooshing by, but I will not be subscribing to it at this point. I am committed (or maybe I should be committed!)
And at the same time as all of this writing and editing, keep working the day job and updating the Chickollage shop with new designs.

Jen and I both have bestsellers at this point:

This is Jen's Smile design.

And my Erotica Writer design:

And Jen has given me a few more designs to upload over the next week.

We had our work Christmas lunch at the Botanic Gardens and it was very relaxing. I must get down there more often and walk around, spend some time with nature because I spend way too much time sitting in front of one screen or another: at home on the computer, watching TV, or at work on the computer.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

How's the Christmas shopping?

Ok so the Christmas shopping is done, just one or two more presents to buy, and then food to buy. No relatives for Christmas this year - we're just going to stay at home and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of our lovely home.

Last night I watched the final four episodes of Six Feet Under. Very impressive, great writing, and the way it was wrapped up was very fitting. I discovered the first season DVD set on special on Thursday night so I bought it and it is now wrapped up under the Christmas tree from Dorkus the cat, much to his disgust.

He wasn't impressed with his new Santa hat and scarf either.

This morning I woke to no electricity. So I couldn't jump onto the net and check my email as I normally do. When I went shopping on Thursday night, I had no idea what to buy my brother for Christmas and came home with nothing for him. So this was playing on my mind, and I was considering venturing into town again to find something. Instead, I started sorting out through some boxes in my study, and found the perfect book for him that I had bought several months ago, and forgotten. Duh! So, he's now set. And I also went to the local occasional market and bought a bag of tomatos - everything else was just junk. No inspiration there. When I arrived home, electricity was restored and was swiftly followed with a courtesy call from the power company to ensure everything was okay.

So while I have almost completed my Christmas shopping, I'm wondering if everyone else has.

I have uploaded a heap of Jennifer's new designs to the Chickollage store.

Here is just a small sample available on t-shirts, journals etc. Face it, Jen has the bug:

And here is the Queen of Collage Poetry herself, Ms Jennifer Gordon, launching the Nambucca Valley Writers Group 2007 Collage Poetry Diary.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Party Animals

Last night I went to my work end of year party. You know the old cliches - when the workers get flirtatious and drunk, and say inappropriate things to their superiors. Didn't see any of that. The function was held at the Pet Porpoise Pool, so I spent the evening surrounded by animals, and not just the party animals from my workplace. I played catch with a dolphin, and was kissed by a seal. A unique experience and not one I would usually expect at an end of year gig.

In my post Nano life, I have been spoiling myself with rewards for reaching my Nano goal. This included buying the Countdown Spectacular DVD (watched half of one DVD so far) and having a Six Feet Under marathon (I watched 8 episodes in 2 days). And I enjoyed reading a new young adult novel, Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell. But now its back to the editing of Making the Cut.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Jacaranda Films blogspot

My partner has got himself a blog, so the times that I can't access the net, its because he's updating Jacarands Films at half the speed that I would work.

Hopefully, I have now taught him enough about blogspot that I don't have to answer questions every fifteen minutes.

Check out Jacaranda Films!

You'll make him happy.