Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New Composter

I am a darlek. I am a darlek. We will destroy you. We will destroy you. Exterminate. Exterminate!

Isn't exterminate a weird word? I mean terminate means end (possibly kill) so why doesn't ex-terminate mean un-end?

Dumb question I know.

Christopher Eccleston :) Enough said.

Who else gets canker worms? Man they are so gross. They are caterpillars that strip trees of leaves (and I mean strip) and then dangle from the trees off silken threads. So we are cycling through waves of these vile things. They then turn into canker moths. Little buggers. I hate them--I also hate mosquitoes and the season is fast approaching--sob. Sob.

Can you tell I'm working hard :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Ok--I was researching Greenwich Village for the opening scene of my wip and going through the info I gathered for the few NY scenes in Her Sanctuary.

I think I wrote an entire escape and evasion chase scene that took place all over NYC, Elizabeth shaking lose the Feds and the mob. Wow--it was like 30 pages long and really CLEVER!!! LOL. Thank God I cut it. I wrote a stake-out, a rape scene, a nightclub bloodbath, all sorts of stuff that never made it into the book.

I wrote the rape scene with the intention it never made the edit. I needed to know exactly what happened to Elizabeth and what drove her to extremes, but it seemed gratuitous to put it in the book.

Anyway, while researching this, I found a post card to DH who'd already moved back to Scotland by this time (1998), leaving me to finish my contract.

I was at an American Fisheries Society Conference in Connecticutt with two friends and I dragged them to NYC for the day. A South Dakota boy and a quebecoise girl.

It read:

I am so knackered my hands are shaking. We saw: Time Sq, Broadway, 5th Ave, Rockerfeller Centre, Central Pk. Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Empire State, Gramercy Pk, Park Ave & The Chrysler Building--my personal favourite. On the bus home to Hartford now--knackered & very, very hot! Rich is still talking, but Julie is dead meat. Nice day, very non-threatening and easy-going. I think being a Sunday helped. Hartford stinks, our hotel is crap, but Julie, Rich & I are holding up and enjoying the time in the US.

We took one taxi all day, from Upper West Side to Greenwich Village :) I'm a hell of a tourist if I do say so myself. ;-) I would recommend taking more than 1 day to do all the above. I REALLY want to go back for a longer visit.

Monday, May 29, 2006

I know you Americans & Brits are on holiday (have a nice one :))--thankfully we are not and school carries on as normal this week! I'm signing DS up for 3 days a week after September. 3 whole days of kid free time. Can you imagine?

At the moment I get 3 hours two days a week and I'm grateful!!! Somedays I organize playdays and get a whole day writing, but not as often as I'd like with no relos in the area. The point I'm fumbling towards is this. At the moment I feel like the slowest writer in the world. I have projects and I'm usually moving forward with them, but it is SO SLOW!!!! But from September, I will finally have real time to devote to my stories, real time to dive in and submerge my mind, and not be dragged out of the void by hungry, bored, poopy-pants children.

And next year I'll be cursing bank holidays--because DS will be home, but I'll still be paying :( But I am really really looking forward to it. (As it is only May I guess you can probably tell :))

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Hey guys--I did it :)
Updated my webpage. Would you do me a favour and check it out--see if you spot any problems and if it loads in all your browsers? You're my guinea pigs (not that I'm insinuating anything hog-like about any f you :))

PS. It isn't finished until you see feet!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Blade Hunter.

What do you think of my tentative title? It is a serial killer book LOL, though it might need something with a little more romance in it. I am so excited, about writing it and about working on my website. I think the new website is looking seriously cool and I might even throw a contest/party to unveil it.

It should be ready this week.

Here are my new hero and heroine. Marsh and Josie from Her Sanctuary.

Friday, May 26, 2006

What's it Worth?

I can't express my disgust any better than Edmund Hillary does...

Story Link

Sir Edmund Hillary has questioned the actions of New Zealand climber Mark Inglis, who left another climber to die on his way to conquering Mt Everest.

Inglis, a double-amputee, was one of many climbers who passed British climber David Sharp, 34, on his way to the top of the world's highest mountain a week ago.

Sharp, a 34-year-old engineer, later died on the mountain.

"In our expedition there was never any likelihood whatsoever if one member of the party was incapacitated that we would just leave him to die," Hillary, the first climber to conquer Everest, told the Otago Daily Times today.

On Monday night, Inglis said his own party was the only one to stop and help Sharp from among about 40 climbers who walked on past Sharp as he lay in Everest's "death zone" above 8000m.

Other climbers reported seeing Sharp trying to work on his oxygen system, but Inglis said the Briton had no oxygen.

Sharp had climbed alone, after two previous unsuccessful attempts in 2003 and 2004, without oxygen.

Both times he was forced to turn back at 8470m. This time, he apparently reached the summit with the help of two four litre oxygen bottles from a trekking company.

Hillary said that on his expedition there was no way you would leave a man under a rock to die.

He said people had completely lost sight of what was important.

"There have been a number of occasions when people have been neglected and left to die and I don't regard this as a correct philosophy," he said.

He said the difficulties posed by operating at high altitude were not an excuse.

"I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mt Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top," he said.

"They don't give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn't impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die."

A scientist who has studied oxygen use on Mt Everest told the Otago Daily Times he believed the life of the British climber could have been saved.

University of Otago scientist and mountaineer Dr Phil Ainslie said it might have been possible to revive the climber with bottled oxygen and even get him down to safety.

However, he said that one chance of making the summit would have dictated events.

Many on the mountain had paid upwards of $US75,000 ($99,000) and were effectively being dragged up by guides, he said.

About 160 people have died while attempting Mt Everest since 1953, when it was conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This is a gorgeous design based on Moorcroft pottery but turned into cards. You can't quite get the detail, but it is beautiful. I love Moorcroft pottery. Thanks Janny, for the card!!!!

I went to a book signing last night by Elizabeth Thornton. She was lovely, but I had a mixed overall impression that I don't want to blog about yet till I have mulled it over.

Enjoy your day--I'm hopefully writing...if not I'm pulling out my hair and dealing with a six year old. JOY :)

PS--Happy Birthday Carl!!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Story Magic

I haven't been achieving much balance lately, with family, writing and everything else.

With the long weekend it has been family time, lots of time spent with DH and the kids, which has been really nice. But I have been thinking and yesterday I finally sat down and brainstormed for 3 hours and, using Discovering Story Magic, got my major characters nailed down in terms of strengths and weaknesses and hopefully how those weaknesses tie together with the villain and how the H/h finally overcome those weaknesses and work together to defeat Mr Nasty.

This is Josie and Marshs' story from Her Sanctuary and it is going to be a serial killer plot. I haven't worked out the details, but it should tie together her backstory in HS and get Marsh into more and more trouble when he has to confess to a few things that don't quite go with his 'by the book' image.. it's coming together in my head and on paper. I've even been thinking about my soundtrack--no country this time, which I'll miss. More Avril Lavigne and Robbie Williams.

What have you been doing?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Read any good books lately?

I just finished 'Someone Safe' by Lori Harris. Now I've read a lot of Intrigues because I wanted to write for Harlequin Intrigue. I am still thinking about it, but to be honest I have reconsidered slightly in the light of what I like to write and what Intrigue like to publish--except this book!! I love single title stories and this one had a real ST feel to it. It could have been a Silhouette Intimate Moments book (soon to be retitled Silhouette Romantic Suspense), except the bullets were more real :) Lori Harris is someone I'd pick up again quite happily.

I'm also catching up on my Elizabeth Lowell books (check out her joint blog) and trying to figure out exactly why I love her writing. There is something she does between the hero and the heroine that really makes a deep emotional connection--and I can't quite work it out. And she head hops--as does Nora, as does Suzanne, as do numerous other bestselling authors and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, until I became a 'serious' writer I didn't realize there were so many damn rules about the whole thing.

But I remember the martial arts philosophy.

'First you know nothing about anything'
'Then you train to the point where you have mastered the skills, the moves and the mechanics'
'And then you get to the stage where you realize even with everything you have learned, everything you have mastered, you still know nothing'

It isn't quite right, but you get the picture. And I've been there in other fields of my life, I mean I have a PhD right? But I still know nothing about the subjects I investigated for 4 years, because once you start digging, you actually open up more questions than find answers. I think that is what is happening when we are told about the rules for writing. We have to attain that second level before we can get to the final level of ultimate confusion and mastery :)

Happy Birthday Pop!! Hope Rome is treating you well!!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Best Vacation Ever

What's your best vacation ever?

I know it is corny, but mine was our honeymoon. We were living in Canada, but got married in England, so we stayed in Britain for the honeymoon. We'd had a conference in La Rochelle 2 weeks before the wedding, so we 'did' Paris then (and very nice it was too) and got home with a week to spare. The perfect way to plan a wedding.

But our honeymoon was in Cornwall. In this ancient, one-bedroom cottage with a four-poster bed, and blessed peace and quiet. We hiked the coastal paths, scrambled over the Cheese Wring on Bodmin Moor. Shivered going through Princetown with creepy Dartmoor Prison crouched in the mist. Supped at Jamaica Inn, and climbed all over Tintagel. It was gorgeous and wonderful and lovely.

The only downside of our honeymoon was finding out my granny had died the morning we returned. Bittersweet memories. Always.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Richard Burton

I've decided against Richard Burton as a role model for my next hero, but I couldn't resist posting a couple of pictures of him and Liz Taylor. I hear she's very ill.

Wasn't she the most beautiful woman? I know they were terribly spoiled and childish. They led charmed Hollywood lives before Brad & Angelina were even twinkles in their parents' eyes--makes you wonder if times really do change or do we just convince ourselves they do because of our gadgets.

I always feel sorry for Burton's last wife, Sally, because these two Hollywood legends are linked forever in many peoples minds as the classic 'can't live together, can't live apart' lovers.

For me it was Richard Burton's voice--actually the more I think about it, the more I realise I am very attracted to voices--DH's too. Richard Burton had the sort of voice that you could feel. It wasn't the Welsh accent--I was born on the English side of the Welsh border, which makes for keen enemies. But there was some vibrant living quality to Burton's voice that still resonates today. His looks aren't bad either--an early Russell Crowe--and he was one hell of an actor :)

I wonder WHY he never got an Academy Award--and why John Wayne did, LOL? John Wayne tried to give Burton his oscar when he beat him in 1969? Something like that. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Duke, but Burton beat him hands down as an actor. What do you think? Wayne or Burton??

Friday, May 19, 2006

Bye bye baby

I'm a little lost this week. I just had to take down my pictures of my hero and heroine, and to be honest I'm going to miss them. I might not miss them so much if I have to put them all back up again and revise this book again--but you know these two people are a lot of fun to look at, darn it.

I'm not quite ready to work on the next project--I have two proposals I want to write and I need to decide which to work on first. I guess my brain is processing and will let me know when it's ready.

I've been planning out the rest of my YEAR in terms of writing time!!! Good lord how did it get to May already?

So I'm looking for my next hero and heroine. I kind of have some images, but they're not nailed down yet (and no, I don't write S&M :)

At the moment I'm working on making myself a banner and thinking about I'm going to make a couple of minor changes to the blog again--in the top bit--that is if I can do it without screwing everything else up. You'll be the first to know LOL!!

So adios Eric & Caroline. Ben & Sorsha. Hasta la vista.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

If you need a little boost

Which Tarot Card Are You?

You are the Empress card. The Empress is the archetype of the Mother. She creates and nurtures life. She represents the abundance of Mother Earth. The Empress is capable of using nature in a productive way. She espouses art for art's sake. Her planet is Venus, and she embodies love of beauty and a strong value system. Here is also found initial sensation. This is the first really physical experience of the world that The Fool has entered. The Empress has a rich understanding of the world based on her five senses. In a reading, The Empress represents pregnancy, actual or metaphorical. She indicates an act of creation and a sensual experience of beauty. The Empress is a nurturing force that wishes to see the product of her experiences reach the next stage of development. Image from A Photographic Tarot Deck
Take this quiz!

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My horoscope

Verticle Oracle card Taurus (April 20-May 20)
"Nothing would be done at all," said Cardinal Newman, "if a man waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it." Let's forgive his sexist language and concentrate on the truth he articulates, which is profoundly apt for you right now. It's important that you try to do what you can't do very well--that you not use your lack of mastery as an excuse to avoid practicing an immature skill. Be willing to look foolish as you improve, and paradoxically you will often appear brave and inspired.

Need more help with your riddles? Crave more support in your efforts to build your courage? Check out your Expanded Audio Horoscope for the week ahead.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Hi guys--sorry I didn't get around the blogsphere yesterday. I tried but people kept turning up with wine and cake :)

Thanks for the wishes.

Please check out my blog on the Trisk loop today.... Elizabeth's story

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Look what my mom and dad sent me :) Thanks mom and dad!!!! For having me :)

I've had an interesting few days. Dyed my hair to get rid of the grey and DH didn't notice--there wasn't much visible grey but I knew it was there!!

I got pancakes in bed on Sunday morning--with blueberries. Yum. Then we cleaned & resealed our tile floors, not a relaxing mom's day, but a job well done :)

Found a stray chocolate lab in the street this morning. I got him and tied him up because I didn't want him to get run over, but I had to call animal services to pick him up. He had no tags, and I asked a few neighbors but no luck on finding his owners. Fingers crossed he gets back to his people soon.

Finished my query letter and synopsis(es) and can start thinking about getting this baby in the post.
Your Birthdate: May 16

You're incredibly introverted and introspective. You live inside your head.
You spend a lot of alone time meditating and thinking.
People see you as withdrawn, and at times they are right.
You are caring and deep, but it may be difficult for you to show this side of yourself.

Your strength: Your original approach to thinking

Your weakness: You tend to shy away from others

Your power color: Pale blue

Your power symbol: Wavy line

Your power month: July
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

On this day in history from Wikipedia...

Monday, May 15, 2006


I've watched a couple of good movies in the last few weeks. Funny enough they had some of my favorite male leads. I grew up with these guys from their first TV roles and have this huge admiration for them (and they look pretty good too :)

Flightplan. Every mother’s nightmare of losing a child made worse because nobody believes her. There’s suspense with guessing who the bad guy is, and whether Jodie is losing her mind or not. The poor woman has just lost her husband so it isn’t out with the realms of possibility. The storyline is pretty unbelievable, but the acting is great and, although airplane sterile, the cinematography is well done. And I love Sean Bean. Nothing more to be said except I’m planning a Sharpe day soon. Isn't Jodie pretty at the premiere? And don't Sean and Jodie look like they got on like a house on fire. Always wondered about that simile. :-/

The second movie was Derailed. I'm not going to spoil the plot, but I will say I really didn't like the first half of the movie--just shows how we get programmed to expect our heroes to act in a certain way, so a cheating husband (even with enormous family pressures) wasn't what I wanted. I cringed through those scenes up until Clive Owen finally took control and got one over on the bad guys--who were VERY convincing. Vincent Cassel was wonderful, a Frenchman with a mean streak. Beautifully done. I was trying to remember when I first saw Clive and realized it must have been in the 80's in a TV series called Boon. Then he started his rise to fame in Chancer and I think I fell in love with him in Second Sight. Sigh.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day for everyone who is a mom.

The bond is so special I'm spending the day relaxing with my babies--after I've phoned my mom and m-i-l.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Liverpool win FA Cup

Liverpool 3-3 West Ham (aet)
Liverpool win 3-1 on penalties

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lifts the FA Cup

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lifts the FA Cup
BBC story(if you're interested)

First Review

I got my first review yesterday from Loves Romance. Part of me is slightly disappointed Penny only gave it 3.5 hearts (out of 5) and the other part of me is elated she gave it anything at all LOL. I am not known for my brimming self confidence, I am also not known for being a wallflower. I'm one of those people who veer between total self belief and absolute horror at the thought of anyone judging me. But the author in me is not going to be a wallflower.

This is my first review :)

HER SANCTUARY touches an array of emotions in the reader. Eliza is a heart-warming character in a heart-wrenching situation. She has been through so much and is totally disillusioned with everything that she held as a constant in her life. Nat is doing everything in his power to save the ranch that his mother and father loved so much, even turning a couple of cottages into guest housing for rich city folks on vacation looking to spend time on an honest to goodness working ranch. With all of his worries, Nat is not in the mood for games. He also is very suspicious of their new guest who arrives earlier than expected and in the dead of night. Author Toni Anderson does an amazing job creating these two very different yet similar characters. Both are well written, multi-dimensional and very believable, and penning the tale in a way that lets the reader know that these two characters are saving graces in each other’s lives, but for very different reasons.

The storyline is fast paced; the situations are detailed and cleverly written so that the readers feel they are actually in Montana living it with the characters. HER SANCTUARY does have some slow moments that did distract this reader a bit, but they pick up before too long, keeping this reviewer interested and intrigued. Don’t miss out on Eliza and Nat’s tale. They are just waiting for you to join them in the modern wild west of Montana.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Ok--I admit I'm getting the ebay bug. I have this favourite clothing brand called Boden. They call it boutique on the internet, but it is actually what we Brits call catalogue shopping and you North Americans refer to as mail order.

Anyway if these clothes were any cooler they'd be having sex (oops--didn't mean to write that out loud). The reason for this outburst is two-fold. Firstly, and yes Peggy that is a word, firstly, I got this fantastic gift in the mail on the weekend from my friend Karen. Check it out--and the model wearing it IS the heroine in my wip. It is gorgeous and lovely with sequins and I have to wear a decent 'feminine support garment' beneath it, which means I actually have cleavage (turn your ears off, Pop) so DH approves.

Secondly, I was browsing ebay for an MP3 player, which I failed to find and accidentally typed in the word Boden. LOL. OMG. :D Cheap Boden clothes :O So I have been following the things I like and bought this gorgeous navy rain jacket for my DD. Their kids clothes are awesome but the boy stuff goes for a bomb second hand? I really don't understand that, but anyway...

Writing news... drum roll please. I finished Storm Warning. Got my finger out and buckled down :D I need to rewrite the syn and get this baby out the door. Then I'm going to work on my next proposal.

American Idol news... Elliot stayed and Chris the rocker got the boot. Man he was surprised and a little annoyed I think. Anyway the man has a fabulous future ahead of him and I wish him good luck.

ER news... Ohhh. Sad episode last night. Great acting. Very political, but I love that. I hate sissy on the fence stuff. Give me conflict and controversy in a story anyday. Really like the characterization.

Off to bed--any typos are the result of the celebratory bottle of wine DH and I opened.

May is my favourite month!!!!!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

North Wales

I guess this is what many people expect of North Wales. Dark jewel-like greens, slate grey and rocky hillsides. Many of the hills are nothing but opencast slate mines that are dire and miserable--but most of Wales is beautiful, as you can see. This is Harlech Castle. The ramparts are high and the fall long--I HATED taking my kids there.

Every single year of my childhood my parents and us four kids camped on a beach about 30 minutes north of Harlech. It was wonderful when it wasn't cold and raining :) I remember getting lost on the beach aged 3 or 4--the Coastguard were called, my parents frantic and I'd wandered off to find a man selling balloons. Can you imagine? I was gone for about an hour and they thought the worst. Kids!

Below is another part of North Wales, a tiny, unexpected island of Mediterranean beauty, complete with palms and bright colored architecture. Portmeirion. Check out the website--it is where the prisoner was filmed in the 60s.

Clough Williams-Ellis built Portmeirion from 1925 to 1975 on a peninsula off the coast of Snowdonia to show how 'the development of a naturally beautiful site need not lead to its defilement'. He fought for Beauty - "that strange necessity".

Isn't it gorgeous? When I'm rich I'm going to buy myself a peninsula and open it up to writers, families and conservationists. But I'm in charge :D