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Posts tagged ‘muse’


Last week I finished the first draft of About Time.

The pressure had been mounting for weeks.

At this point, it is worth bearing in mind that, everything being relative, our lives are comparatively stress-free. Right up there at the top of the Stress Scale is what to eat for breakfast, followed closely by when/where to go biking and whether I will get a flat tyre.

So I was totally unequipped for the extremes of anxiety leading up to The Deadline.

You will be glad to hear I epitomised grace under pressure. I was serene, confident and overflowing with gruntledness.

Regrettably – particularly for Husband – this physically manifested in an unpleasant shrillness of voice.

I am now waiting to hear back from my agent. Some might suggest that Peter does not pull his punches; others that he fights dirty.

I could not comment personally, since he might sue me for slander.

Also, see above.

I am, however, looking forward to his perspective (unfortunately, I misplaced mine). He will no doubt ask me to rewrite vast tracts of About Time – I’m guessing the last third, where I literally lost the plot – and it will be a better book for it.

I decided to take a week off and enjoy not having to write anything more creative than a shopping list. (Note: normally these are models of creativity with footnotes, appendices and surprising application of nouns. However, at the moment my shopping list consists of nothing more imaginative than mushrooms, ginger ale and scouring pads).

I am only just starting to feel half normal again.

Everything being relative.

Savaged by context

The Creative is playing hard to get. I had the best intentions this morning. After an early morning walk with Husband, I went to a local cafe to work on About Time. I sat for a while, then had a scone, and sat some more. Eventually, I came up with the word:


I thought, that’s not a bad word. Two syllables, pleasing onomatopaeic effect in the middle. It’s a start. Now, only 499 more to go.

Then I realised this was the product of half an hour’s work. Talk about being savaged by Context – as if the weight of Expectation wasn’t enough to be coping with.

So for this post, I thought I would upload some pics from our Christmas hols in South Island. Sorry. Best I can do.



Morty: Wanna PLAY?


Stick makes a run for it




Stepfather-In-Law’s boots


Stepfather-In-Law’s boot, Morty & his human

Qualified author

I have just been offered a publishing contract! Yippee! Apologies in advance for the number of exclamation points in this post – I’m not proud of it! Little Black Dress Books have offered me a one, two or three book publishing deal!

This afternoon, Husband and I went into Borders at Sylvia Park to check out Little Black Dress publications in the romance section. Husband demonstrated an uncanny ability for opening books at the paragraphs detailing hot shafts and throbbing rods. He did a rather unheroically unmanly amount of giggling.

When I thought about Smart/Casual fighting for space on these shelves I got quite squeaky and overexcited. With any luck the cover won’t feature martini glasses, fluffy mules, poodles in raincoats or female apparel.


A hard day’s work

I’ve considered setting up a blog for some time, especially after my monthly email list hit the 30 mark. Although the idea is appealing, the reality is that I’m an irregular writer who spends more time trying to locate her wasted muse than writing. It will be interesting and/or depressing to see whether I can muster the discipline to post daily.

Ok, let’s not be too ambitious: weekly.

One problem is that, now that Husband and I have settled into Turanga Road, we rarely leave the house. My working day looks roughly like this:-

08:00 Get up

08:01 Shower

08:15 Chew on Husband’s ear a while

08:20 Turn on coffee machine

08:27 Open garage door and walk down the driveway to check post

09:00 Go to office to Write

09:01 Check email, write responses to incoming

09:40 Pick fingernails

10:20 Look up waffle irons on Trademe

11:09 Read new threads on discussion board

11:55 Research (MacGyver on Wikipedia)

12:04 Secondary research (methods for defusing nuclear warheads, the melting point of iron, Clayton County, entomophagy, online radio stations, balloon fetishes, symptoms of anaemia, the Piri Reis map, pictures of facial boils, Gothic cemetery art, squirrel hazing)

12:30 Is it lunchtime already?

13:10 Digesting

15:00 Go to office to Write

15:01 Return to kitchen to make coffee

15:15 Go to office to Write

15:16 Think up excuse for not Writing

15:20 Return to living room to rearrange sofa cushions

15:30 Go to office to Write

15:31 Check out the time in Adelaide, Ireland, Albania, London, Spain, Dubai, Jordan and Auckland

15:39 Definitions of the word ‘harrow’ on

15:50 Look up exchange rates: US$ to NZ$, AED to NZ$, Euro to NZ$, Euro to US$

16:30 Go to kitchen, look in fridge

16:47 Return to office, look up recipes including ingredients: red cabbage, dark chocolate, blue cheese, crackers, sherry

17:00 And we’ll call that a Hard Day’s Work

My muse

It appears my muse is still on a panda breeding programme in an Alaskan nature reserve

Starving writer

Finally it is crunch time: time to find an agent to represent ‘Smart/Casual’.


Recently, my muse went on a drugs and alcohol fuelled bender. Eh, it’s been threatening for a while, the addled old lush. When I tracked her down, I reluctantly admitted her to rehab. Since then she has been out on day release once.


While my poor muse dried out, I revised and edited Smart/Casual. I discovered there is little I hate more than editing my own work. It makes my head tingle – and not in a good way.


The positive aspect to the editorial process is that it gave me confidence in my writing. I may not be able to fashion a finely honed point but my sentences often make sense, my grammar is fundamentally sound, and you would be hard pressed not to admit that my spelling is phenomenal.


At the same time, the editorial process highlighted how little I know about plot, structure, narrative, character development and characterisation, tension, point of view, pace . . . the list goes on. In short: being able to write is just the tip of the iceberg – or the spore of the mushroom (dodging cliché being another necessary skill).


A few weeks ago I joined an online writers’ group, which has been a marvellous source of technical advice, encouragement and discouragement in equal measure. It is interesting to see how my sense of humour polarises people: for every member that loves this line, someone else hates it.


The community members helped me put together the submission proposal for Smart/Casual; it is good. It is ready.


I am terrified

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