Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pant... Pant... Done!

It's officially January 31st here, and I finished my book!

It was a struggle, I tell you.  Finding an ending that worked for this story had me pacing the halls and ripping large quantities of hair from my head.  I usually write the ending of a book early on so I have something to aim for throughout the writing process.  But I didn't do that this time, so I wound up without an end point.

But after much angsting and procrastination, I came up with something.  I'm not entirely happy with it, but it's a first draft and I'm sure the perfect ending will come once I've been through all the revision I need to do.

So, as promised, here's a small snippet from Ozzy (I have to find a title soon)....

When I wake up, it’s to pain.  A lot of pain.  Huge, overwhelming, all-consuming pain.  I’m in Hell with all the flames and demons with sharp, jabbing pitchforks.  The Catholics were right.  Suicide is a mortal sin.  And because I wanted to escape my stupid mangled body and pathetic broken heart, I’m damned to this torture for all eternity.  What irony.  I kind of wish I’d bothered with religion now.  If I had, I might be able to figure out a way out of this.

I ease my eyes open, expecting to see a sea of fire and brimstone.  Instead I find myself looking at the same sterile white room, beeping monitors and dangling tubes.  I chuckle even though the pain in my legs is unbearable.  Guess this is Satan’s joke on me.  My Hell is where I wake up each day to find my legs chopped off, I’m in agony and there are no painkillers.  That dude has a twisted sense of humor.  

I thumb the button which is still within reach.  Nothing.  Figures.  It wouldn’t be Hell if there were narcotics readily available.  But seriously?  I press the button again.  Still nothing.  Fuck.  I hurt.  I hurt a lot.  Too much.  I can’t stand it.  It hurts all the way down to my ankles and toes.  But do I even have these things in Hell?

I struggle to sit up further.  The bed’s still raised, but I’ve slid down it.  The pillows that are supposed to be elevating my stumps are crumpled somewhere under my lower back.  And I can’t drag myself back up.  My legs hurt too much.  No, not just my legs.  Everything.  My entire body - corpse? - is a seething mass of pain.  It’s like someone’s stripped a few layers of skin off me and left my nerve endings raw and exposed.

A strange whimpering sound fills my ears.  It’s high-pitched and painful to listen to, like a small animal dying a slow and agonizing death.  They grow in volume until they’re so loud I have to cover my ears with my hands.  It’s only then that I realize the sounds are coming from me.

What do you think???

Monday, January 28, 2013

Writing update

I'm so bad.  I promised updates on my Ozzy progress, but I've been so busy writing, I've forgotten do it!

I'm almost finished.  My deadline is January 31st, so I have 3 days.  Right now I'm sitting on 34.5 chapters and 65K.  I foresee another 3 chapters which will add another 5-6K.  Very do-able, especially since I have all day tomorrow to write.  I had the full day on Sunday too and managed to knock out 6K easily, so I'm feeling positive that I'll get done by my deadline.

As for revising afterward, I already know a few things I want to tweak and change, but overall, I'm pretty happy with how things have panned out as far as the plot goes.  Not bad for a total pantser.  I've gone a few places I wasn't expecting to go, but none of those places led to dead ends, so I feel like I'm no the right track.

And I can't wait for you guys to meet Ozzy.  I might post an excerpt for you after I'm done.  I've never written a character like this before.

And on a completely different subject, I'm considering doing the A - Z Blogging challenge again this year, but rather than rambling on about random things each day, I was thinking I'd theme my posts this year.  Is there any particular theme that might be of interest?  I was thinking maybe I could post a film review for each letter of the alphabet.

Is that something that might be interesting you, my loyal readers?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reading amazing stuff

As you all know, I read a lot.  So it takes a lot to totally wow me.  To blow me away.  So when I find a book that does that to me, I hang onto it.  I need to own it, to keep it close at hand so I can re-read it later and remember what it was that made me fall in love.

Sometimes it's the writing.  Sometimes it's the characters.  Other times it's the story that takes me to new, unexpected and wonderful places.  I love books that do things I don't expect, that take me down a path I would never have followed on my own.  I love characters who do unexpected things (but only when it makes sense for them to do it - nothing loses me faster than a character who does something odd just to advance the plot).  I love writers who manage to string words together in new ways, who create unexpected images or descriptions that are so evocative they're lake paintings in words.

I'm reading a book that has all three of these elements right now, and it's very unusual to find the holy trinity in one book.   It's a memoir, and the writing is so vivid, the character voices so real and the events so fascinating, I'm finding it hard to put down.

But at the same time, I don't want the book to end.  I'm so engaged with it, so involved, I don't want to read the last page and know I don't have it to go back to next time I jump into the bath or crawl back into bed with a second cup of coffee.

Do you ever find books like that?  What makes you fall in love with a book?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

And I'm back!

Hello, hello!  I'm back from vacation.  And eager to dive back into everything after spending just over a week doing nothing but swimming, kyaking, bush-walking and lazing around.  Oh, and eating wonderful food and drinking probably too much wine.  Yeah.  It was nice.

Not quite so nice was getting back to work yesterday and dealing with the 295 e-mails that had piled up....

I took my WIP with me to the beach, but I didn't work on it.  So I now have 9 days to finish the book.  Can I do it?  I think so.  I'm getting to the place I need to be.  And the kids are still down at the beach with my parents, so I have two less distractions to keep me from writing.

I shall keep you updated on my progress over the next few days.

How are you all doing?  Any news I've missed while disconnected from the Web?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


It's that time of year again.  Tomorrow I head down to the beach house for nine days, so will be without much in the way of internet.    It's always a frightening thought, because in my day to day life, I'm increasingly reliant on my online friends.

But I think getting offline for a week or so will be good.  Refreshing.  But it will mean I won't be posting on the blog until I get back.

I hit the 50K mark on Ozzy last night, which is where I wanted to be before I went away.  I was going to leave the book at home, but I'm kind of on a roll with it at the moment, so I'm going to take it with me.  I may or may not write, but at least if I have it, I can.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I'll catch up with you when I get back.  Hopefully I'll even have a tan....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Process

Everyone has their own process for writing a book.  There isn't a right way or a wrong way to go about it.  Some people like to figure out the whole story in advance and outline each chapter.  Other people like to just dive in.

The book I'm working on now is my 9th.  And I'd like to think that in the process of writing the 8 others, I've learned a few things.  Certainly, my process for writing a book has been changing and I think that can only be a good thing.

Essentially I'm a pantser.  I've tried the outlining thing and it sucked all the joy out of writing the book.  Because I knew what was happening next, I didn't feel any great need to jump in front of the computer and write.  The thing I love about writing is how the unexpected often happens, and what you think you're writing about may turn out to be something totally different.

That said, just diving in without any kind of plan leads to a long and painful revision process.  So I've compromised.  I don't outline, as such, but I do tend to jot notes down on a scrap of paper.  Not more than a sentence or two for each chapter, but it's enough.  Although I have to say, in my new project, I've already spun wildly away from my notes.  I'll have to see if I can spin my way back or I won't hit the ending I have in mind.

The biggest thing I'm doing differently with this project is that I'm letting my CP read my chapters as I go along.  I pity her for having to wade through all my clunky first draftiness, but having her feedback on the plot points as I write has been fantastic and has kept me from going off on too many tangents.  It's also meant I have to write in sequence.  I usually don't.  It's something I may do again with future projects - if Laura can bear it!

How has your process refined and changed as you've written more books?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking for new ideas

I'm brainstorming ideas at the moment for getting more people to come to the cinema.  There is rather an overabundance of screens in my hometown, so getting people through the doors is extremely difficult and very competitive.  And with so much available online and TVs getting so big and flashy, the reasons for coming to the cinema are getting less and less.

So I wanted to ask all of you.  What would drag you up off the couch and into the theatre?  Cheap tickets?  A free glass of wine?  A mystery movie?  A session you could bring your dog to?  One you can knit in?  A clothing optional session?

This isn't about the actual film showing, but more about things that would drag people in regardless of what movie is playing.

So let your imagination run free and tell me what you would like to see at your local multiplex...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Best of 2012

With 2012 ending, I've had to do my usual round up of the best films of the year.  So I thought I'd share them with you here in case you're looking for some quality cinema to entertain you.  I don't like the Top Ten List format because it's always way too difficult to rank films in any particular order.  I mean what's better: the film that made you ache with melancholy and stayed with you for weeks or the one that made you laugh out loud?  They're both great movies, but you can't compare them.

So, in no particular order, here are my top picks of movies in 2012.

The Sessions
Moonrise Kingdom
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Searching for Sugar Man
The Descendants 
Sound of My Voice
The Imposter
King of Devil's Island

What were yours?