Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Blogging at Marie Treanor's Scottish Romance Theme Party

Comment on Marie Treanor's blog for the chance to win a copy of STORM WARNING.


"Storm Warning is an intense, provocative paranormal romance with a suspenseful twist...This is a book that I am unquestionably adding to my keeper collection." ~Night Owl Reviews.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our own backstory

Unlike most kids in Britain I grew up surrounded by weapons. My dad was a champion rifle shot in his youth and when he went into the Army he was a machine gunner in the Paras. I've never forgotten his descriptions of jumping out of an airplane carrying equipment that weighed more than he did. (Plummet, anyone?). When we were older he regularly got into trouble in museums because he could never resist stripping down a Vicker's and putting it back together again.
Not only was he into guns, but he was/is fascinated by the English Longbow and was always eyeing Yew trees, looking for long straight boughs. Yew trees were so prized for making bows that during the late 16th century they became almost extinct in northern Europe. I love the fact the Brits got the famous 'V' sign from taunting the French with their bowstring- pulling fingers during the Battle of Agincourt. (See how many useless facts I know about military history?) When I was about ten he took me snaring on a local farmer's land and insisted I knew how to gut and skin a rabbit. (An unrelated fact: he also insisted I knew how to check the water and oil in a car engine and could change the tire on a car. And he built us igloos in the field behind our house.)
Why am I telling this?
At the time, growing up, I felt like a bit of an oddball. I mean there was a time he left the house in full camo-gear with a string carrot bag over his head and I'm pretty sure he did that just to embarrass his three image-conscious teenage daughters.
It worked.
But writers use their life experience (combined with research and their imagination) to create stories bigger than they are. As a kid I craved convention, craved the idea of fitting in with so called 'normal' people. But it didn't take long as a grown-up to realize that being unconventional is more fun and liberating.

And nowadays, my unconventional childhood gives me a wide array of characters and situations to draw from when writing fiction.

So thanks, Dad.

I do believe there's a little of the writer in every character we spawn, from the most selfish, narcissistic ass to the sweetest, smartest heroine. But they aren't us. All those sex scenes and love scenes I've written are not me playing out my fantasies. All the gory murder scenes are not an outlet for my twisted natural inclinations--well, okay, sometimes...

I'm not about to go chasing drug dealers, or hire an assassin to get my revenge, I'm not looking for a sperm donor and I'm not about to start bludgeoning people to death. You know why? Because I'm too conventional--at least on the outside :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Frostbite

For the first time ever on a walk I didn't want to poop scoop. 
The radio announcer said the windchill was -38C so I drove DS to school and then came home and put an extra layer on to take Holly for a quick scoot around the block. Whooza. I've been in colder temps but wherever this wind came from was as cold as I've ever experienced.
Even Holly looked miserable and she doesn't seem to mind the cold.
The problem with walking a dog in these temps is not walking the dog. It is trying to pick up the poop.  I'm one of those slightly holier-than-thou people when it comes to certain issues: poop scooping, drink driving, drugs. I have my vices, but those don't make the list. Today as Holly poops on the edge of the main road, no sidewalk, I'm not feeling so pious. I made the mistake of wearing fingerless gloves under my mitts. So I'm ripping these babies off with my teeth (and swearing) and even in the fingerless gloves my fingers are starting to get frostbite within seconds. Then you start to fumble while trying to move faster and then you drop the lot and have to rip out another bag and start again, pausing to hide your poor exposed flesh every few seconds. I couldn't even tie the knot in the bags, I could barely get my gloves back on.
We've all felt that biting chill of a north wind but extreme cold--killer cold--feels like putting your hand in a dull flame.
Anyway, I can maintain my halo but the cost was pain and fingers that are still stiff and puffy.  Ah well. Just thought I'd give you a taste of my life :)

Romance anyone?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My eReader

I have my lovely shiny new Sony eReader Touch edition but I have to confess I haven't been using it that much yet. I did read Tia Nevitt's The Sevenfold Spell, a fresh retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale--(great read:) My problem is I have so many print books to read--mainly because before Christmas Ames dropped off about 100 wonderful novels after clearing off her shelves. Time is also a problem. Most of my time recently has been taken up reading non-fiction research for the WIP.
I feel guilty!The real test for the ereader will come on January 18th when two of my autobuy authors release long awaited books in hardcover. These are the books I usually pre-order and curl up on the couch as soon as they arrive. These are the books my kids roll their eyes at because they know they won't get fed anything more complicated than a sandwich and they might have to make it themselves. 
These are going to be the real test of my lovely new ereader for me.
I cannot wait to download :)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Dishwasher

With a bit of luck my new dishwasher arrives tomorrow. It broke down on the 23rd December and was out of action for the 12 person Christmas meal and the 50+ people NY party. It hasn't been so bad but those 'bonding' moments DH mentioned about all those missed conversations around the kitchen sink failed to materialize.

It hasn't been such a big deal. I mean most of us grew up without a dishwasher, right? That's what you have kids for (or was that just my parents?).

My favorite dishwasher moment (aside from DH's misdemeanors last month) occurred about 10 years ago. My grandad was wondering what to get my mom for Christmas and I said 'Get her a dishwasher.' At that time she was feeding 6 people for every meal and that wasn't including us when we went to visit. My grandad looked at me and gave me a very wrinkled frown (think of the old guy in UP) and said, 'I don't think she wants one.'

Ha, bloody ha!

I persuaded him and she LOVED it. Ironically it was just after the dishwasher was installed that my dad started washing dishes. That has to be a man thing right? That sneering at technology after decades of watching someone else do the dishes? Don't tell him I said so :)

So fingers crossed for the next chapter of the dishwasher saga. Let's hope the plumbing goes a bit more smoothly than the un-plumbing.

And the picture of Ryan Reynolds? Well I bet he'd make an excellent dishwasher. And he's single again.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

K.I.S.S. Resolutions

Two New Years Resolutions this year. Both are simple and yet require constant application.

1) Give up plastic bags in grocery stores. I have at least 20 cotton shopping bags I constantly forget to take out of the car and use. This year I will find a way to make myself remember. Even if it means dashing out to the car and back inside because I've been dumb enough to forget them again.  (Advance sorry people behind me in the queue.)

2) Don't stop writing. No matter what life throws in my way.