Tuesday, October 31, 2006


This was kind of a strange book. Firstly I love this woman's stories, but this was a little different from her usual set up--definitely not the norm. The pace was a little slower, but I felt I was better able to connect with the characters. I was intrigued by the idea that the heroine, a widow, had been totally ignoring a hot alpha male living right under her nose, and kind of de-masculating him in her mind. Now that was a fresh way of dealing with an evolving relationship ;)

The characterization was good, the romance was good. The only thing that was a little crazy was the plot, but you know what? For a good story I can suspend disbelief and I would recommend this book with a happy smile :)

Personally, yesterday was a good day. Wood arrived. A very nice man helped me move it. I got 40 pages edited. Carved the pumpkin. Did the laundry. Made lunches for today. Shoveled snow. I am about to put my feet up and hope nobody poops/vomits/pees anywhere they shouldn't. That would really make my day :D

PS. Happy Halloween

Monday, October 30, 2006


Sooo... the time change. Totally screwed up my day. On Saturday night I smugly put all my clocks forward at 9 pm and went to bed. At Midnight (really 11pm) I turned out the light and went to sleep. Great. Actually slept through the night for the first time in over a month. Kids got up early (excited about a Halloween party we just went to) and I let them watch a video and I stayed in bed until 10 a.m.!!!! It was fabulous--until I realised it was actually only 8 a.m. because the clocks should have gone back not forward and the kids had already been up for hours!!!

And because I was waiting for wood to be delivered by the country's dimmest inhabitant (the man does not know how to use a phone) we couldn't go out. It was hell. Two overexcited, tired, overexcited, tired, kids to entertain until it was time to get ready for the late afternoon party (which apparently I pronounce as part-tay as everyone was taking the mickey).

Sooo... how was your weekend??

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friends of the Earth have a bunch of petitions if you want to do some environmental campaigning from home :)

And an informative article at the BBC...

Isn't it scary? I'm waiting for my wood to arrive and need to drive my Subaru this afternoon. It pisses me off that my choices are limited. I would spend more money on cleaner options were they anywhere near my budget.

The time for guilt is over--we, the people ROTFLOL--need better choices.

I want a windmill on my roof and solar panels butted up right next to them. I want a geothermal system planted in the garden and an electric car for about town. And while we're at it I want a horse dammit, and...organic food, and no nasty chemicals in the water/detergents/cosmetics.

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :):) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

How she writes

Well I am nearly finished with this book--and like Janet's novels this is a really fast read!! The advice is pretty basic, although some of her comments on characterization made me think.

Janet, her daughter and Ina Yalof put together this book from the questions most frequently asked on Ms Evanovich's boards (internet chat boards). So some of the information is repetitive because people often ask the same sort of question but vary it slightly as if the first answer was a trick, LOL.

But the reason I liked this book was simple--we share a similar approach to writing (although I do not get up at 5 a.m. to write, ever).

Janet says "Writers write."

That isn't some little bubble coming out of there brains as an abstract thought. It is sitting at the desk, putting in the time, producing the pages and writing. If you want to finish a book don't talk it to death. WRITE!!!

I don't really believe in writer's block, or at least I believe you can just start writing and work your way through it. If you are genuinely stuck, I think maybe your mind is busy sorting something out subconsciously, like a scene that doesn't work, or a thread you can't tie up. Otherwise you just have to start typing and fill in those awful white pages.

She also looks at her stories like mini movies inside her head. I do that too. Now, if I could just give birth to a character half as compelling as Stephanie Plum, I'd be sorted.

And she made me realize it would be OK to use yourself (or parts of yourself and your life experience in a novel), so maybe I'll start writing comedy too :) (kidding)

And doesn't she look fabulous??

And have YOU voted yet?????
Time is running out :)
Tell your friends & your family.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


My name is Toni Anderson and I'm a chocoholic. I fell off the wagon and with Halloween just around the corner, it isn't looking good. I ate 4 miniboxes of smarties during 15 minutes of Criminal Minds. I guess it is better than gin (although maybe not LOL).

Good luck DH!!!!!! I think??

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I finished my first draft last Wednesday. I have anxiously bitten my nails until they bleed, desperate to get back at it.

But I didn't.

I reread Margie Lawson's Empowering Character Emotion workshops, I started critting my CP's proof (then realized I'd done the wrong edition, sorry Kendra) . We took the kids to Boo in the Zoo and DH flew off around the world.

So tomorrow it will have been one week and I will allow myself to go back to my WIP. Finally.

I love edits, love them. But I also know I have a huge task ahead of me.

I have loose ends. I have unresolved issues. I have issues :) I have details and freshness to add. Character traits to strengthen. OK I'm getting faint thinking about it--I hope you are having a good day :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


There is a fantastic story in the Globe & Mail this morning, all to do with a mob informant and it got me thinking. Link

My first story (Her Sanctuary) was based on mobsters and organized crime investigators forcing my heroine on the run. I read a lot of biographies from real mobsters because even though mob life wasn't the focus of my story, it was a massive part of the backstory and obviously provided my villain.

I must have cut 50 pages of Soprano-style house bugging and carefully constructed gangster hierarchy LOL. But I believe I achieved some minor level of authenticity. I did make things up, I did invent an FBI unit so I could control the scenario more easily and more effectively.

One thing I have noticed about Karen Marie Moning's book 'To tame a highland warrior' (and just to note, I loved this book, and this is a critical appraisal from someone who'd give it 8/10, and I'm VERY fussy). There is no authenticity in terms of accent and even plain old geography.

I've been shaking my head as the hero and heroine head north into the Highlands to Dalkeith. Ahem. You're going the wrong way seems kind of stupid to shout at imaginary characters, but what can I say?

And the dialect? Urgh.

Well yesterday's post probably demonstrated that using authentic dialogue would kill a Scottish romance novel deader than the dark side of Pluto, but putting a cockney barkeep in the Highlands isn't so hot either (we don't ave barkeeps, an' I ain't neva 'eard of a cockney 'Ighlander)

So my question from my rambling post (and yes I have had a series of very disturbed nights, thanks for asking), is what pulls you out of a story? Do you need the details correct or do you just let them go and enjoy the flow of words on the page?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I've posted a funny on Killer Passion today :)

I'm not Scottish but I can tick most of them *vbg*

And I meant to say, hubby and I found a cure to the (un)common cold. If you have a child who is slowly getting peely-wally and whose one nostril dribbles for a week and then starts to reek, get a torch, shine it up said nostril and then remove whatever gross object said child has inserted.

Not doctors for nothin' you know ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Well, I was listening to some Romance Writers of America conference tapes and I suddenly hear my name mentioned. Shock, horror :O

In a class presided over by Diana Love Snell, Sherrilyn Kenyon and the wonderful Kim Daniel AKA Kendra Clark no less.

Plotting versus Pantzing.

So that was cool--famous authors have heard my name--and not in a bad light. Very cool LOL. And Kim, I have to say, working with a pantzer is very good for my plotters brain :)

How's your weekend?

I went to the local raise-money-for-sick-kids-second-hand-book-sale at the mall. I bought SEVEN books there and went and picked up Cindy Gerard's To The Limit too. That brings my TBR pile to 82, plus 5 ebooks. Ahem (not including research books I dip into). And I have at least 10 novels on hold from the library. And one ordered from my bookclub, though that is my subscription there finished. Part of me is stockpiling in case we end up moving to Australia (books are expensive there), the other half is working so hard I don't get as much time to read as I used to.

So my question this weekend--is exactly (count it) HOW BIG IS YOURS???

I'll think of a prize :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

OK--bloggers. I am visiting but BLOGGER won't let me comment. Just so you all know :(



Okay. So my friends Loreth (Check out her online read) and Meretta(VOTE RISING SIN NOW!!!)--you know them both well, I believe. Well, they say to me, "You have GOT to watch LOST." And I say, "I've missed the first two series, I'm not watching LOST." So then Meretta (the minx) sends me the second series on DVD, with the proviso that I HAVE to watch the first season before I watch the second season. Now being the sort of woman who always eats dessert first, and always reads the end of the book before I read the start, well this wasn't an easy promise to make. But I did it :)

In the last two weeks DH and I have mainlined 30 hours of LOST and we're still going. The characters are intriguing, the writing tight and they keep mixing it up. I like that.

(SPOILER***) I did NOT like the fact they killed off Shannon, sheesh. So much for romance, although I can see the resultant increase in conflict and as we all know, CONFLICT is story :)

I love Sawyer--I wondered what the fuss was about, but he's got a wonderful character and backstory. I really like all the main characters, but I think my favourite might be Sayid.

Hubby is a little concerned as he is flying to Australia next week :? I'm sure he'll be fine :/

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tagged by Kendra

1) One book that changed your life: Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson. Fantasy was my first love, followed by romance. This book also taught me the power of a linked series of books.

2) One book that you’d read more than once: Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. It's a very emotional read (I read all my favourite books more than once :)

3) One book you’d want on a deserted island: Hmm. Tricky. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. Perhaps then I might actually get it finished???

4) One book that made you laugh: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

5) One book that made you cry: Bambi--I forget the author. This is such a SAD book.

6) One book you wish you’d written: Lord of the Rings.

7) One book you wish had never been written: Not sure there is one. Anything that incites hate, but then you don't have to read it do you?

8) One book you’re currently reading: To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning. I got it from the library, expected to hate it and love it. She reminds me of Julie Garwood. I do hate the title though. Obviously it's a winner for the book buyers, all that plaid :) (not that Scots people call tartan plaid--they might wear a plaid but it would be a tartan plaid--confused yet?)

Tagged--well, I think anyone can play :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Natural History Museum

This is the Natural History Museum in London. My husband had a longheld ambition of showing his kids this wonderful museum (he'd never got the chance to visit it himself so this was new for them, and a wonderful revisit for me). TNHM have a wonderful website and this baby--like most London Museums--is FREE!!!! The building is astounding and designed in the 1870s by Alfred Waterhouse. The driving force behind the need for this building was Richard Owen who is famous for annoucing the discovery of a whole new group of extinct reptiles, which he called the 'dinosaurs' (terrible lizards), and he was also famous for being opposed to a fellow scientist of the era, Charles Darwin (who BTW comes from near my hometown so don't knock him).

And isn't it funny how the world is still divided on that point? Just for the record, I believe in evolution. I am perfectly able to accept not everyone does, and that is their right. Enough said.

Can you see the tail end of the diplodocus? He was too big to fit in the camera shot so I bought postcards in their fabulous shop instead :) And then there was the carving on the walls. I was in heaven. Nature and art intertwined. You know I was a biologist, right? Maybe I still count as one? Not sure :)

And they had these wonderful moving, roaring creatures that were fabulous. Go visit Dino Jaws for another look.

I haven't even mentioned the exhibits. We saw maybe a 1/4 of the display in 3 hours. There are millions of samples and manuscripts that are never on dispay too. It is just massively huge and wonderfully presented. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Plus it isn't far from Harrods ;)
75,908 words

First draft--check :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


What have I been doing these last few weeks? Well a couple of things. One was updating my website. You can now read the first 3 chapters of Her Sanctuary for free on my site. Also there's info about my other wips. If you see any mistakes please let me know :)


I'm hoping to catch up with everybody this week.

Blade Hunter Progress:
72,130/80,000 words

Monday, October 16, 2006


You see these two books? These two books are the previous winners of The American Title contest run by Dorchester and RT Magazine. Real books, real authors, real contracts.

Publishing isn't just about talent.

It isn't all about writing the best book ever. There are many fabulous writers who never make it off the ground, sometimes because they don't finish the book, sometimes because they just can't get an editor interested in their particular story. And the competition in today's marketplace is death-grip squeeze.

But this contest isn't like any other writing contest. The winner of this contest gets a publishing contract.

You could say--well this is more of a popularity contest than a talent contest. And you'd be correct. BUT, the way I see it, all the finalists must have manuscripts worthy of publication (though I know Meretta Pater's is the BEST).

So why would they turn this into a popularity contest? Why would they want this contest to be all about gathering support and votes? Why? You're asking why in today's world of reality TV??

Getting a contract is the tip of the iceberg in the publishing word.
PUBLICITY is the key to creating a bestseller, be it word of mouth, internet, newspaper articles, TV, airplane banners. Creating a BUZZZZZ. Many good books and authors go unnoticed just because nobody knows they are there. So this contest is a win-win situation.

Great stories, massive publicity and the chance to start an author's career.

Go vote for Meretta.

BEST FIRST LINE VOTE HERE http://www.romantictimes.com/news_amtitle3.php

Please :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rest in Peace, Mary Mardis. You have a daughter to be proud of.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Winter is here. I don't care what the date is. Winter is here...

We have a forecast of 90 km winds and light snow. Grrrh.

I am not ready for this--we don't even have our wood delivered yet.

Funny how quickly you forget, and how quickly you remember, the routines of winter. I have to set the thermostats at night. I have to not feed the dogs outside, else their tongues stick to their bowls and start to bleed. I have to allow an extra ten minutes for every journey, just getting into snow gear, hats, mitts, scarves and boots. And I have to adjust all the kids seatbelts, because they can barely squeeze into them with their Michellin-like bundled up figures.

Did I mention DH has a job interview in Brisbane? Did I?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tastefully Naked Rugby Players***

Blade Hunter progress:

68,272/80,000 words.

The end is getting near, I am gearing up for the finale. Here's hoping I can tie in all the loose ends and plotlines I have begun. It is like a blindfolded person knitting a sweater. You have the pattern in your head, but it's complicated and until it is finished you don't know whether it'll all fit together, look right or be the correct size.

OK--to cheer us all up, below are a few pictures of naked-ish rugby players (no bits). If nudity offends, please go away until tomorrow, when normal programming will resume.

PS. No one mention this to DH ;-) Gotta love the Italians...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I'm going through a hard rock stage. This is kind of strange because despite being a Brit, I'm a country music sort of gal :)

But I love Nickelback right now. I can't write to it, but I can do everything else.

I love looking at songs and drawing parallels with writing novels.
Firstly, no words are wasted in a song and no words should be wasted even writing a 100K story. We need to use those words wisely.
Every line of a song paints a picture. Just the same way we paint pictures and design scenes in a novel.
The chorus provides the theme of the song and every good novel needs a theme.
The melody of a song is similar to the rhythm and tone of a book. The voice of the lead singer is the voice of a band--just the way the author is the voice of a story.

I'm sure that someone else can say it better than I!!



I'm through with standing in line
To clubs we'll never get in
It's like the bottom of the ninth
And I'm never gonna win
This life hasn't turned out
Quite the way I want it to be

(Tell me what you want)

I want a brand new house
On an episode of Cribs
And a bathroom I can play baseball in
And a king size tub big enough
For ten plus me

(So what you need?)

I'll need a credit card that's got no limit
And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
Gonna join the mile high club
At thirty-seven thousand feet

(Been there, done that)

I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
Somewhere between Cher and
James Dean is fine for me

(So how you gonna do it?)

I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even cut my hair and change my name

'Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP with the movie stars
Every good gold digger's
Gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny
With her bleach blond hair

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
Sign a couple autographs
So I can eat my meals for free
(I'll have the quesadilla, uh huh)
I'm gonna dress my ass
With the latest fashion
Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
Blow my money for me
(So how you gonna do it?)
I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even cut my hair and change my name


And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I'm gonna sing those songs
That offend the censors
Gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser

I'll get washed-up singers writing all my songs
Lip sync em every night so I don't get 'em wrong


And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

[Thanks to Ephram Arco Veloz (earcoveloz@hotmail.com) for these lyrics]
[Thanks to hoosier_x_daddy@yahoo.com, dont@worry.about.it, corydahlinghaus@woh.rr.com for correcting these lyrics]

[ www.azlyrics.com ]

And I know this is kind of a childish view of what a rockstar would be--the perks from a teenage POV, but it rocks.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving--I'm very grateful to my cyber friends and writing buddies and family and 3-D friends. Take care of yourselves--I'm not coming into Blogdom unless it is to visit you guys, until Tuesday :)

Good luck Loreth--go wish her well, she's running a marathon on Sunday!!! And don't forget Bailey--that lady deserves big cyberhugs for what she's going through!!!

Love and hugs and all good things....


Haven't been on the internet much this week. DH has been working like a dog. He's been in at work at 2 am or 5 am all week. That means I get to do everything with the kids which kind of wears you down as the end of the week approaches. Not that I'm complaining--life's too short to moan about everything--and I'm not the one getting up in the wee hours of the morning.

So--today I realized DH invited 6 people to Thanksgiving on Sunday. Ahem. That'll make 10 altogether, though half of them are little and so are less bothered by the culinary delights served in the Anderson household. They might notice the thick clouds of dog hair floating around the ground floor as both mutts are molting and I haven't vaccuumed or mopped for a week. I have been too busy (hang my head in shame).

Didn't I mention I don't do roasts???

So what the heck do people eat for Thanksgiving? I'm pretty much assuming the same sort of meal we'd eat back in the UK for Easter. Turkey, roast spuds, and veggies. Followed by a traditional pumpkin pie and apple pie because DH hates pumpkin. Actually, as I am making the pumpkin pie from scratch, I'd better make a BIG apple pie just in case :)

The good news is DH cooks roasts (yum yum).

I also just bought some jalapeno pepper jelly which I'm going to spread over some warm brie--and maybe I'll get a shrimp ring because I love shrimp. I figure Thanksgiving here is all about food--so I'm trying :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

You Are an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

On the surface, you're a little plain - but you have many subtle dimensions to your personality.

Sometimes you're down to earth and crunchy. Other times, you're sweet and a little gooey.

What Kind of Cookie Are You?

LOL--well that beats me moaning about my kids :) I'm just content they are healthy and happy--if not well behaved :/

PS. If you want to win LOTS of romance books or a years membership to RWA--go check out Loreth's blog and check out who's reading her Sultan :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sorry it is tiny writing, but I thought it was wonderful :)
From Deb

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Premature what??


Blade Hunter progress:
59,496/80,000 words
291/390ish pages

Disaster because I am fast approaching the story's climax!! Grrh. I hate it when that happens. And I did say 70-80K to my editor though she did write down 80K. Darn it.

I figure I have another 50 pages of story to go and I guess this is the first draft and I tend to build my book up like putting flesh on a skeleton but still...

So I'm pleased that the book is almost typing itself at the moment, but a little nervous about the reduced number of words on the page. Grrrhh..

Did I say grrrhhh???

Monday, October 02, 2006


Sorry--I love that badge :) OK I had a weekend with no writing but I did learn a few things. Firstly, I found out what a 'described edition' of a DVD is. Duh... I know I'm dumb, what can you do?

So for anybody similarly afflicted a 'described edition' is (I assume) for blind people, where there's a voice over describing the scene and what the characters are doing.

It revealed a couple of really interesting things to me. Author intrusion should be kept to a minimum because it is irritating!!! And the need to write 'fresh', especially when describing the facial expressions of the characters is extremely important. Simpered, grimaced, smiled, do not really describe the nuances of a face. That's OK for those quick sentences we sometimes need for speed or brevity, but at other times you want a mouth to twitch or an eye muscle to tick. And I guess the occasional nose-picking would be OK under the right circumstances (he he).

PS. I also achieved a lifetime ambition... is it
a) Juggling four things at once
b) Doing the monkey bars
c) Waxing my eyebrows?????