Monday, November 30, 2009

Straight-jacket anyone?

I’ve never understood poker-machine addicts.
My mother was one. On the sunniest and most spectacular of days, her favourite thing was to sit inside a dark room at a machine and drip feed coins into it hour after hour (I believe they take notes now – oh dear!).

She barely stopped for food in those days – a ciggy and a Riesling usually did the trick.

Not for me! You wouldn’t find me inside on a sunny day, sitting in front of a machine and....oh dear! I guess you would.

It appears I’m addicted to writing. Worse still, I’m addicted to writing competitions. To me writing competitions are the ultimate tease. It’s just like mum used to say, “One more coin – just one more. I can’t walk away now. The next one might be the winning coin.” I now hear myself saying, “Just one more writing competition. The next one could be it. If I walk away now, I’ll never know, or worse, another person could step up and take the winnings and I’ve spent so much time feeding words into this blasted thing...blah, blah, blah."

Oh dear! I think I need help. Straight-jacket, anyone? Better still (since it's hard to type in a straight-jacket) is there a Writers’ Anonymous out there anywhere? name’s Jenn...and I’m a writing-comp-aholic.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nano Cruelty

Still buoyed by my Bootcamp buddies (wow - I loooooove alliteration!) I decided to do Nano this year (that’s National Novel Writing Month for those who don’t know) and I have to say it’s been the most enlightening writing experience. I think it’s actually shown me the kind of writer I might be. To date I have struggled to define my writing style – plotter, pantser, character driven, plot driven, yudda, yudda. Now onto my third novel (yes hopefully I’ll actually sell one sometime), this writing-like-a-crazy-person is working for me (no fancy prose, no dialogue tags, etc – oh but I do manage the odd alliteration).

The cruel thing about Nano is that I recently scored myself some new books and I have no time to read them. (Thanks to Eleni Konstantine's Eleni-fest in October, I have Nikki Logan’s ‘Camera, Lights...Kiss the Boss’ and Anna Jacobs ‘Freedom Land’. I also recently got Janet WoodsThe Convict Woman’ and Erin Grace's ‘Secrets’. Plus I have just discovered (thx to Bronwyn Parry) Fleur MacDonald and Fiona Palmer – both Australian authors whose books look and sound amazing.

The cruelty is that I have sooooo many books I am dying to read, but no time until post Nano. Instead they sit stacked on my nightstand teasing me. By December I hope the break from my own work – 'A House For All Seasons' – will mean I can look forward to these great authors inspiring me when I do get back to phase two of my WIP – revising and editing (like adding ample alliteration – LOL)

PS. Re Nano - Surely I should get extra Nano points for actually including NaNoWriMo in my ms. Yep – decided one of my characters is going to do it. Gotta be worth a Nano brownie or two!!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The year that was, but it ain't over yet

As 2009 winds down (or up), it's time to reflect on the benefits of being a member of the Bootcamper 109 team.

Personally, I've been privileged to meet (at the national conference and online) a group of inspiring women. Through Bootcamp 109 I learnt so much about the 'art and craft' of writing.

But that's not all!

Afterwards, the mentoring continued - in generous doses. I was lucky enough to join the Bootcats with Shelly, Mon and Anita. To have the amazing Rachel Bailey as our team leader was an added bonus. This girl could teach KRudd a thing or two about hard work!

Whenever I have a query or a problem, my Bootcat mates are quick to respond. Between them they have enough romance-writing knowledge to stock a library.

Without them, I would still be floundering in a sea of mediocrity (just wanted to throw in 'sea of mediocrity' somewhere).

Because of them I've joined the Romaus loop and I'm having a go with my writing goals.

Here's to Bootcampers 109. This is just the beginning.