Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
It is the oldest, longest course in the world and modern bikes get up to speeds of 200 mph. The guy who holds the lap record averaged 129 mph over the entire course.
Averaged 129 mph...
Every year over-zealous tourists die before the race even starts. I think they forget which side of the road to drive on and get wiped out by oncoming traffic. The whole event is kind of crazy, but in a controlled setting that I can understand. If someone needs this sort of excitement then I respect the fact they do it on a track where the only person they're going to hurt is themselves or other like minded souls.
Races start June 2nd. There's a live feed on the website.
When I was there I stood on the first big corner and the bikes whizzed by about ten feet away and lifted the hair from my neck. The noise was overwhelming, and I remember feeling the vibrations off the exhaust pipes through the soles of my shoes.
Oh Gosh--I've also been to the Horse of the Year Show (twice) and the women's World (field) Hockey finals in Wembley Stadium (the week before the FA Cup Final when Liverpool were playing, Deb and I wanted to hide out for a week in the stands), one Premier League Football match, an NBA Raptors game, two or three international rugby matches (which were the most exciting). That's not counting any minor league stuff.
And I'm not even into sport... So, what sporting events have you attended?
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
All the craft books I've been reading have been confusing me, paralysing the creative process until I was staring at my story and wondering, 'what the hell does that scene MEAN?'
It isn't that the information isn't being soaked up in my unconscious, but I can't think about every bitty detail while writing the first draft.
And it's okay. The story is okay. It will work. The characters fit. The mystery fits. The villain fits. It all fits. (Panic--is that bad? Should okay be good enough? or should I have delusions of brilliance? Then again I'm British and my 'okay' equals 'good' in American, so I should be good/okay).
Now I have to write the second half of the story and try and make it fit brilliantly, while trying to set up the story as a possible series. Is there a greater audacity? Firstly, that you might be interested in my story and, secondly, that you might be interested in more...? I think not.
It is up to the writer to make you want to come visit again.
Others have done it...
I wonder what Agatha Christie's first drafts were like? And Nora Robert's POS drafts?
Monday, May 28, 2007
Last weekend was a long weekend and Friday was an inservice day, so I only had one kid-free day last week. Plus DH started on a project with our neighbor on Saturday and the weekend was also a bust for writing.
I have been reading: STORY by Robert McKee and MARS & VENUS IN THE BEDROOM by John Gray, and THE OCTOPUS AND THE ORANGUTAN by Eugene Linden for craft and research purposes (not that impressed by John Gray's book, but it was printed in 1996 so maybe a bit dated).
But I'm going nuts not able to dig into my wip and with summer looming in front of me in this long drawn out unrelenting stretch of mom time, I'm feeling these tendrils of panic begin to crawl into the edges of my mind.
How about this for an Irishman's idea of a suitable thing to do on a rainy day?
Friday, May 25, 2007
This is Madeleine McCann
abducted three weeks ago.
She could be anywhere. Have you seen her?
Pass on her picture around the world and see if we can find this little girl and send her home to her distraught parents and little brother and sister.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Little-Known Favorites Meme Rules:
AMERICAN IDOL. I was chuffed for Jordin, but we all know Melinda was the best singer LOL.
LOST. Great great great. But the only reason Charlie had to die was the Hobbit wanting out of the show.
ER. How could they be SO cruel to my favorite characters?
Did I mention the Bachelor?
PPS. I'm kind of grumpy.
PPPS. DH will be kind of grumpy if he reads this LOL. Let's hope his conscience is clean and he isn't checking up on me :)
PPPPS. Great link on consumer power BBC
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
One thing I detest about North American TV is the constant advert breaks.
DH (who moaned through the whole thing, but was equally glued to the TV) and I, picked Tessa as the nicest girl in the bunch for Andy way back. She's cute and smart and seemed totally bewildered as to how she'd ended up on this show. She didn't bitch, she kept her feelings to herself, but she was also really warm and sweet to the other girls and Andy. So last night when Andy kept going on about the passion and spark he felt for Bevin (the blonde lady shown here as she is being dumped) I was nervous for Tessa...
Remember the whole body language thing? The course on sexual tension I did last month and not to mention my own 39 years of experience? It was all screaming at me that Andy really liked Tessa, and the spark he was talking about feeling with Bevin was a natural reaction to someone hot finding you scintillating in every way and throwing themselves at you--especially when you're on international TV and the girl you really like, isn't as obvious about her feelings.
I'm not convinced the passion with Bevin was all that hot or real, because it was always Bevin (or the psycho as DH called her) who was flinging her arms around Andy, and he responded as most single men would (and boy will he have some explaining to do when he and his fiance watch this series back :)
I thought Tessa's reaction to the whole process much more how I would have reacted--I guess I identified with her more, holding back, measuring his reaction and wondering if the attraction is worth the risk of opening up your heart when you might be hurt. It might not appear to be as outwardly hot or spontaneous, but it doesn't mean there isn't fiery passion just beneath the surface.
DH thought everyone was plied with drinks the whole time and plastered. I thought that wasn't such a bad idea :)
Many parts of this series made me cringe. I was devastated for the women who were hurt, the only saving grace being, 'what do you expect going on a reality tv show trying to find the man of your dreams?' But I was so happy for Tessa and Andy and I hope they have a great, fun life together.
I guess I'll find out how it is going on...
Monday, May 21, 2007
BLOOD DIAMOND is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
It is the harsh, but beautiful story of a subtle kind of redemption. Leo plays his role of diamond smuggler with exquisite excellence. His ex-Zimbabwean/South African accent is incredible (at least in my experience of Zimbabweans which includes sister-in-law, niece, nephew and three second cousins), and his character felt authentic, as does Jennifer Connelly's action-junkie journalist. But the real acting honor goes to Djimon Hounsou who plays his role with the fierce determination and courage of a desperate father trying to find his family.
I can't imagine living his life.
I can't imagine living in a land where life is so cheap and violence so expected.
I can't imagine that the diamonds in my engagement ring might have come from a conflict zone. Next time I buy diamonds (or any other jewels LOL), I WILL ask the origin and if possible proof of origin. Consumerism is power.
Another great African movie is BEYOND BORDERS that I picked up for a few dollars. Loreth recommended both these movies and they were wonderful.
Again this deals with issues that make you uncomfortable. It starts in the Sudan during the big famine in the nineties. My brother had a friend who went there to work for Oxfam. It destroyed him. He turned from a lovable, cheeky rogue to a depressed junkie. Anyway, Clive Owen plays a rough, tough man who's desperately trying to save people's lives and it is killing him that he's failing. He's not your average lovable hero (the language is very British--and why can some people say fuck without offending (like Hugh Grant?) and others turn it into such a power expletive?).
And so enters the beautiful and innocent Angelina.
I won't spoil the story. It is a love story and quite beautiful, but not perhaps your happy ever after variety.
Last, but not least. CASINO ROYALE.
My favourite Bond movie of all time.
Now my DH is a big Bond fan. Bear in mind my husband is a very intelligent man. He has this vast knowledge of hormones, biochemical pathways in numerous different animal phyla. He's really very smart.
Anyway. He didn't get this movie. He liked it, but it confused him.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Although I avoid politics I would urge everyone to check out the Editor's Letter in this month's GREEN ISSUE of Vanity Fair. Called 'On Borrowed Land' by Graydon Carter, it encapsulates much of what bothers me about the current US administration's environmental policy. I've always believed science (like the church) should be kept separate from government, and I have personal experience of the powers-that-be in more than one country, wanting to manipulate scientific data to suit their needs. I can also see the difficulties for politicians needing votes and cash to get elected. Not exactly an ideal system, but what is the alternative?
In the UK it is always fishing quotas that grab the headlines. The argument against scientifically recommended restrictions is that fishermens' livelihoods will be affected if the quota is too low. How will the fishermen feed their families on what the scientists allow them to catch?
This is a valid point, but has never made any sense to me. Preserving a sustainable fish stock is the only way to have a long lasting fishing industry.
No fish, means no fishing, means no feeding of families.
If you don't believe me just research the collapse of the cod stocks off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1990s. Nearly twenty years on and it still hasn't recovered, and there is no guarantee that it ever will.
Theodore Roosevelt summed up my feelings about the environment.
"The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others."
Address to the Deep Waterway Convention, Memphis, TN, October 4, 1907
Thursday, May 17, 2007
My birthday was great, even if it started a little early. 6.20 a.m. DH got up and walked the dog. 6.40 a.m. my son came in with one of those finding things books. 6.50 a.m. my daughter appears with birthday wishes. Most days I can't pry them out of bed, but this morning they were up with the birds. I'm not a morning person--which reminds me, for some bizarre reason DH proposed to me at 7 a.m. on my 27th birthday. Best day of my life :) Finally trapped a man ;)
I got two Happy 40th Birthday cards, from my sister and beloved grandfather. I will save them for next year :) I got loads of book tokens and anti-wrinkle cream and an ice cream birthday cake. It was an absolutely perfect birthday.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
What does this mean? Well, BLADE HUNTER will not be released in June as an ebook and HER SANCTUARY is no longer available online.
I'm looking for an agent. Someone who loves my writing and can bear to work with a frazzled mother who often forgets to eat because she's writing (except cookies, I live on cookies).
I also entered BLADE HUNTER in the PASIC contest, along with STORM WARNING.
I wish all the other authors at Triskelion nothing but success--it just wasn't the right place for me.
Nothing but good times ahead...
PS. You may remember I was offering an ARC of BLADE HUNTER, the winner to be drawn from my Newsletter list. Well I can no longer offer that, but I will be offering an Amazon gift token instead, so sign up :) Friends, family and lurkers. All welcome. LINK
Sunday, May 13, 2007
It isn't Mother's Day in the UK, but happy mother's day anyway, mom.
Wish we were closer.
And that's my dad too :) At my brother's wedding last year. Did I mention my brother and his wife are expecting a baby? And DH's brother and his wife?
Must find something Canadian to send over when the time comes.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Shane's Wish--from Stacy's blog
However, despite the bad news, Shane has managed to keep a positive outlook on his situation and has made a heart-warming wish... He hasn’t asked for money or toys or anything of the sort. Instead, his birthday is on May 30th and he would like to break the world record for the most birthday cards ever received. His goal is 350 million cards. With every card, Shane’s courage grows. Something as simple as sending a birthday card could be enough to help Shane find peace and joy in his current circumstances.
Please take the time to send a card to Shane and make his dream become a reality. Share his story with your friends, family and co-workers. If at all possible, get your youth groups, church congregations, employees, neighbours or communities to set aside a few minutes to write a thoughtful note to Shane.
If you’d like to help Shane in other ways too, then take a look at our “How Can I Help?” page for more ideas. We’ll add more ways as soon as they become available.
Friday, May 11, 2007
French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)
Triskelion are no longer promising to print any of the books they produce, so Her Sanctuary will not be available in print format.
Not sure what the future holds there.
To cheer myself up (and as DH was away) I borrowed Pride and Prejudice from the library and wallowed in Jane Austin. The BBC/ABC version, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehles. And last night the stupid disc stuck on the lake scene--you know, when Mr Darcy finally starts opening up and Lizzy realizes what a terrible mistake she's made. ARGH!! It stuck and wouldn't play (me balling like a baby).
I ordered a new copy
Thursday, May 10, 2007
1 slice whole-wheat toast
1 cup skim milk
1 small portion lean, steamed chicken with a cup of spinach
1 cup herbal tea
1 Tim Tam
The rest of the Tim Tams from the packet
1 tub of Gino Ginelli ice cream with chocolate topping
4 bottles of wine (red or white)
2 loaves garlic bread
1 family size Supreme pizza
3 snickers bars
LATE NIGHT SNACK
1 whole Woolworth's cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer)
"stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts"
Send this to four women and you will lose two kilograms
Send this to all the women you know (or ever knew) and you will lose 10 kgs
IF you delete this message you will gain 10 kgs
Here's some advice for you:
Dr. Neil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the
things you have started.
So I looked around my house to see things I started and hadn't finished;
and, before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of
Merlot, a bottle of Cardonay, a bole of Baileys, a butle of Kehuha, a
package of Tim Toms, tha mainder of bot Prozic and Valum scriptins, the res
of the Chesescke, some saltins an a bax a cholates.
Yu haf no idr who gud I fel.
*Peas sen dis orn to dem yu fee ar in ned ov inr pece
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Sorry for the brief posts. Life has hit me at high speed again and I'm pretty much swamped. I wanted to recommend a fantastic online course called the Language of Liars by Lucinda Schroeder who's a retired federal agent, being run in September by the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.
If a character lies in your writing, or if you conduct police interviews and you want your characters to figure out whether someone is lying or evading the truth or being honest, you need to take this course. Lucinda is awesome.
I'm also doing a writing romantic suspense course in June with one of my favorite RS authors, Lisa Gardner. How cool is that?
Monday, May 07, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
8 random facts/habits about me ...
Number 1. During the birth of my first child I kept talking about David Beckham. I have absolutely no idea why.
Number 2. I have passed driving tests in UK, Ontario and Manitoba. Driving exams are my least favourite thing. If I have to take another one, I'm going to offer sexual favours instead.
Number 3. I didn't read a proper chapter book until I was eleven.
Number 4. My first memory is my mother burning my Humpty Dumpty and lying about it. She told me the foxes had run off with him and I found the remains in the bonfire.
Number 5. I've never failed a test in my life.
Number 6. I hate tomatoes. I don't just hate them, I can't eat them. I'll throw up.
Number 7. I dress like a boy. Jeans and t-shirt 99.9% of the time.
Number 8. I took up diving to cure myself of a fear of water and discovered a much greater fear of compressed gas cylinders. C'est la vie.
Bailey, Brandy, Jill, Scott, Siobhan, Melissa, Stacy, Rene,
Friday, May 04, 2007
British women spend up to 31 years of their adult lives, or six months of each year, on a diet - more time than they spend sleeping or raising children. Nearly two-thirds are unhappy with their bodies and think being thinner would make them happier.
Now, I'm all for science, but this causes me a little trouble.
a) Messing with hormones without really knowing what function they serve always makes me nervous. Look at HRT.
b) What are the consequences of this for young women, teenagers, who already have the thin-is-beautiful-fat-is-ugly mentality? Are they going to start popping pills to make themselves skinny, that also make them want to shag anything in trousers? Eek. I mean I appreciate a lack of libido can have an adverse effect on relationships, but sometimes the underlying cause for a drop in libido is unhappiness or depression or some other problem that needs to be addressed. I'm not sure a pill that makes you want to have sex is the answer (although I can see it making the male gender very happy :)
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Here's a tiny snippet because it is quite a long review.
"This tense, exciting book is Suspense/Romance at its best! Can Josie survive and will she let down her guard long enough for Marsh to prove he cares? Anderson's sharp, tough book is sensual and compelling. If you love Suspense/Romance you just can't miss this one! Award, five red roses. Anne"
Thank you Anne of Red Roses for Authors!! (Hey, my mom's name is Anne, you don't think...?)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Ow ow ow--look what I just received. Another review for Her Sanctuary from Red Roses for Authors Review site.
'Her Sanctuary is a story filled vividly with suspense, revenge and love and will keep you on reading nonstop. Highly recomended! Award five red roses. MP.'
And I'm going to enter everyone on my newsletter list in a contest to win an ARC of my ebook Blade Hunter due to be released in June (argh, next month!!). So if you aren't a member join up!! I'm creating my first ever newsletter right now (I don't exactly cram people's mailboxes).
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Thanks Michele :)
1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings:
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18 The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44.The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58.The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)9
96.The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
PS. Name those Sean Bean movies...