Friday, October 31, 2008

Farewell Cape Town

I fell in love with Cape Town but it's hard not to. The weather was perfect, the people friendly, and scenery spectacular. I had no idea what to expect to be honest. One sees photos of Table Mountain but it doesn't prepare you for the experience of this mass dominating the city. One reads about the Cape of Good Hope and yet I was overcome standing on ground I had only ever imagined I would read about and watch in tv documentaries. Even in this shrinking world I had never really believed I would make it to the end of Africa.

I had thought it might be spoiled like so many places I have dreamt about but what I found was a place almost too beautiful and colourful. The landscape pulled bits of memory from me. The architecture here and there was reminiscane of Martha's Vineyard and Maine. On Cape Point I saw glimpse of the bleakness of Goonhilly in Cornwall and the Majesty of the Rockies in Canada.

I had to fight back tears by the end of the Robben Island tour. I knew it would be emotive but I hadn't expected the sight of Nelson Mandela's cell to hit me so hard. I was also struck by the fact that my children knew nothing of Aparthied. At first I was shocked at their lack of knowledge then I realized that they are global kids who have no concept of this sort of racsim. I walked away lifted knowing that at least part of the world had changed for the better.

I hated leaving yesterday but I know we will return to explore with more leisure. This flying visit was a taster and I certainly want more. Plus I didn't make it to the vineyards although I sampled many a good bottle of wine with the fabulous seafood.

P.S. JJ the penguins were adorable and just the right size to slip into your handbag but they are rather too fragrent to do so :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008


The fog lifted showing us Table Mountain again........then, well, there is so much. We went down the to the Cape of Good Hope and on the way stopped to see these guys.......I felt I was doing my Attenbourough bit...
Will try to post some more tomorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cape Town Bound

Sorry for the silence. The boys have been here for half term - in fact I still have one with me as I sit here in the airport. We're off to Cape Town as DH has a conference there. I know it's a tough life but seriously someone has to do it.

Will post from from there........

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Links and Other Things

I have been lazy. No, not on the writing front. I have to say that is flowing nicely and the word meter is happily being fed most days. I have been lazy about posting some fabulous links......where to start - with the funny, with the writerly, with the warning?

I will start with the writerly just in case you don't have to make it to the end!

Over on Graeme K Talboy's blog he has posted the best and most evocative description of the rewrite/edit process. Here's a teaser but you MUST read the whole post - it's not long but packed.

"Tearing words out of my head that accurately represent the pictures in there is especially difficult, but gratifying. It’s like putting down a heavy suitcase, knowing you don’t have to pick it up anymore. "

The onto to Kate Harrision's posts on commercial fiction here. Sorry I can't seem to link to the individual post but they are not far down - just past the one on the agony of waiting!

Over on Nathan Bransford Blog he's talking about opening a book with dialogue - thinking about it the read it here.

I'm sure there is more but I have forgotten. Now many of you may have seen the YouWriteOn offer. Well before you proceed further visit How Publishing Really Works.

Finally for the laugh drop by Ray-Anne's blog for a writer's view of heaven and hell here.

Finally my own little tale of woe. I have been waiting to hear back on my RNA NWS submission. I didn't want to push as I am happy writing the new thing but I thought I should check. Well, it was posted back on 12 September. So now my script and report are lost somewhere in the post........I am hoping to receive my report at least by email and I am trying not to be cross but somehow it isn't working too well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


First thank you all for your input on my dead bodies. I now have enough to be able to move the story along and will do the fine digging at the end of the first draft.

How do you cope with research? Are you a full-on digger before the writing begins? Or do you dig as you go? A bit of both?

For me I think the seed or seeds of books evolve out research I have done on other books. I know when I was looking up old manors in Cornwall for this current work I stumbled on something and thought ahhhhhhh. But generally I am a dig as you go sort of person with a double check at the end. This of course is why I don't write historicals which I love - I am too lazy to do that level of research. However I obviously can't let go of the history thing either as each of my books (the recent ones) has thus far had at least one strong historical element - I guess this limits the research nicely.

For the wip I needed to refresh my mind on part of the Helford River a bit further towards Gweek than is our normal stamping thankfully our stolen weekend in September provided the weather and as the boat was still in the water I could actually visit the part of the river that I wanted for a scene where Victoria takes an early morning swim. (I shiver at the thought but then I am not Cornish!).

The problem is that looking at them makes me long to be back there but the weather here in Dubai is improving daily!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Help Dead Bodies

Two posts in one day! And relating them - maybe I do need to pause on wip for research which is definately a different part of the brain to writing.

So here's my problem - the wip is not a mystery or a crime novel but thus far, 17,000 in, I have two dead bodies. Which in themselves is not a problem except that I have no experience of what to do with them. What I mean is my heroine Demi is a suspect for the first dead body- her sort of boyfriend- and intially for the second. So what I need to know is what happens in a interview with the Metropolian Police and for the second - she has discovered the body already dead with a pool of blood around his head. When she calls 999 what happens? Abulance first? Police first? Together? Timing? Would she be interviewed on the spot or taken to the station?

Looking at the above I could see I could easily turn this into a crime novel but I am resolutely sticking to women's fiction..........unless of course more bodies turn up!

New Book -New Look

With the words happy flowing I found myself becoming deeply frustrated by the wonky word meter. Then I wondered if it was just the blog layout that wasn't accepting it........and voila. New look and no wonky meter! Not sure if I like it as much but it doesn't have to stay forever.

I now have a wip is going so well but I have had a crit back on ACH not the RNA NWS report but another. I have two open doors waiting for ACH. Do I run with this crit now and polish it so that I have submissions out there again? Or do I keep with the new? Or maybe just until I receive the NWS report?

If you are wondering what the crit was positive. I have suceeded in turning the story around! Yes, there is work to do but thankfully nothing major..........

What would you do?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Landed at 2:15 am and arrived home at 4:15am. I think I'm here - well atl east 90%. It was a fabulous time in the UK even though I seemed to be on the road for most of it. From book launch to rugby matches to drama competions I loved it. The bonus - I wrote! See the new word count on the side. This might not rise dramatically in the next few days while I try to catch up on all that needs doing here. However the story is still buzzing inside and I'm just loving writing this which means it may well be crap!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Great Fosters

Having a bit of "If it's Tuesday this must be.........." week. Have just spent a wonderful night in Great Fosters in Egham - once the home of Anne Boleyn. Off to next stop - sil.
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