Tuesday, 29 November 2011

It Didn't Move The Romancer In Me

Haven't blogged in a while, so thought I'd better pull my finger out and get typing! Especially as I've been awarded the Liebster Award by Rebecca Bradley (which will be another blog post when I get the time to sit down and think about it).

Last night I went to the cinema with a friend to watch Breaking Dawn Part 1. To be honest, I wasn't that fussed about going, but it was a good excuse to get out of the house and socialise with a good friend. (We went to the pub afterwards!) Socialising is research for a writer after all.

I wasn't overly enamoured by the Twilight books if truth be told, and Breaking Dawn was the last straw for me. I really didn't enjoy it. The end redeemed it somewhat, as there is a good fight scene (how Stephanie Meyer seems to end all her books) and I think I gave it two stars on Goodreads. But there were times when I wanted to just chuck the book at the wall. I had to remind myself, 'It's written for teenagers,Teresa'. Maybe teenagers 'got' Bella better than I did, I just wanted to give her a slap.

I have found the films to be better than the books - which is odd as it's always the other way around with a book and a film. I was more moved by the trailer for War Horse than I was watching this film - and I'm a romance writer! I'm a sucker for romance and happy endings, even if it means getting a box of tissues out and having a good blub!

This first part is about the marriage of Edward and Bella - I wanted a bucket! It never put a lump in my throat, or a tear to my eye. I think because I don't like Bella.

Jake is rather cute...

But I think I prefer Alcide... (not that I've seen Season 2 of True Blood yet, but it's on my Christmas wish list - and you can see why!)

Maybe because I'm that bit older now... I like a man, or werewolf... whatever, enjoy ladies. (You didn't think I'd blog without putting top tottie in it, did you?)

In other news, my letter was published in Writing Magazine - January 2012 edition. I wrote to them about Jean Saunders and her family donating our writing group some of her books. I'm so thrilled to finally see my name in Writing Magazine - that made my evening last night, discovering this little nugget of information. (I'd not even unwrapped the magazine when it arrived yesterday, as I'm still reading December!)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Small World

Adam Levine fix anyone?
Does anyone else think the world is a small place? Or maybe it's just Weston ...

As you know my writing group was donated some books from Jean Saunders' family. When they came along to the group last month, I instantly recognised her husband, Geoff, as he comes into the shop regularly (where I work weekends).

I saw Geoff again last Friday, and commented on how I'd finished reading one of Jean's books (The Craft of Writing Romance) and enjoyed it. We got talking, as I do while bagging customers' shopping (because I can be a bit of a chatterbox), and found out he lives round the corner from me.

I've lived in this house nearly ten years. I've lived around the corner from a very successful writer for nearly ten years! We were practically neighbours! (Admittedly, I only started to take my writing more seriously, as in I wanted to write professionally, since 2009 - but hey).

I think I've been subscribing to Writing Magazine since 2009, and would read Jeans' columns. Probably a good job I didn't know she lived around the corner... for Jean's sake. 

Then, (it all happens at work) talking to another customer who comes in regular, I found out he comes from Thorpe (in Surrey) - he went to Thorpe School - that's where I went to school! He is twelve years older than me but he was saying how when he was there the swimming pool was being built. I learnt to swim in that swimming pool!

And then, later this week, chatting with my dear, newly acquainted friend, Talli Roland, who I sat next to at the RNA Conference and had a good natter with (because I'm a chatterbox), she tells me she worked at Magna Carta School in Egham. I went to Magna Carta School. Okay, so I left in 1990 and Talli worked there between 2004 and 2006 but even so - Mr Smith and Mr Wilson (two of my favourite teachers) were still there at that time.  

I'm just finding the world can be incredibly small at times, but in a good way. 

(And yes, and the picture of Adam Levine is to draw you all in, plus I needed my fix. Really should be writing, but at least I've done a blog post. That's writing related, right? Does anyone else find doing a blog post helps get you in the mood for writing? Or am I just procrastinating - again?)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Opinion Poll - Who's Hero Material?

I would like to do a very quick opinion poll. On Tumblr I reblogged a post about protesters. They believed Ryan Gosling should have got Sexiest Man, not Bradley Cooper. (I know there are surely more important things people should be protesting about.)

Anyway, I disagree... being a Bradley Cooper fan. So (and, ah-hem, this blog post maybe slightly biased), what do you think, ladies (and gents)?

Bradley Cooper 
(who has the most fabulous eyes - and body!)


Ryan Gosling
(who has eyes far too close together)

Please leave your opinions below. And of course, this is writing related! How dare you suggest otherwise? Which one gives you the most inspiration? Ryan Gosling looks a bit of a bad guy to me. Where as Bradley is certainly hero material.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Book Review: The Craft of Writing Romance by Jean Saunders

The Craft of Writing Romance (Writers' Guides)The Craft of Writing Romance by Jean Saunders

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was donated to my writing group, Wordsmiths of Weston, by Jean Saunders' family. So thanks to them, we have a little library of writing advice books etc.

I read the third edition, but it is still a bit dated. (I think it was published around 1995). It talks of mailing submissions, whereas nowadays most are done by email, and things like that.

However, the general content about writing romance and the advice it gives is still useful. Jean had a lovely style, and you could hear her voice throughout. You can imagine her chatting to you.

One thing that really stuck out for me was her advice on editing, and not to overdo it. You can remove some of the spontaneity of your initial first draft writing, and even your voice. It was nice to read this from a professional.  

The last chapter, 'Further Help', talks of writing classes and finding writing friends to help with critiques etc. I can't help but think how lucky we are with the age of social networking, forums, and emailing, how much easier it is for a writer to make 'friends' with fellow writers. But remember, and Jean even shares this advice too, it's important for a writer to get out and about, not sit indoors all day every day hidden away. It can be a lonely career - although not that lonely as we quite enjoy talking to the characters inside our heads - and to get away from our manuscript and interact with real life, meeting real people helps the plot bunnies to breed.

So when you're sharing a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with a friend, never feel guilty that you should be writing. You need to live a little too.

Thank you Jean for your words of encouragement and some wonderful advice.

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(Gosh - I needed to update my blog. So glad I finished this book!)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A special gift of local author’s books - News - Weston Mercury

Look! My writing group (Wordsmiths of Weston) made it into the local paper this week. We were presented with some books by Jean Saunders' family. I realised she lived in North Somerset, I didn't realise she was that local! 

A special gift of local author’s books - News - Weston Mercury

You'll recognise Jean in issues of Writing Magazine - her column was usually at the back discussing short stories.

She also has a few pen names: Jean Ellis, Rowena Summers, Sally Blake, Jean Innes and Jodie Nicole.

I'm currently reading The Craft Of Writing Romance by Jean Saunders, as it's one of the books donated to us. We now have a mini library of writing guide books. Some written by Jean, and some were hers that she'd purchased and used over her writing career.

It was lovely to listen to Geoff and Janet talking of Jean's dedication to her writing. 

Rest in peace, Jean Saunders. Or may there be a huge typewriter in the sky!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The One That Didn't Get Away

There was an interesting article in The Guardian which I read on Facebook today. QR Markham has been caught with his novel 'Assassin of Secrets' plagiarising James Bond novels and a like.

Amazing how someone can think they can get away with it, too.

Did it give him any satisfaction using someone elses work? As a writer, really?

He's not a writer, he's a conman, trying to make a quick buck off someone else's hard work.

Plagiarism is not cool, and certainly not professional.

I always fear that I might 'borrow' something that I've read - unintentionally of course! I suppose we all may worry about that and what our subconscious can do. But however crap my writing is, it is my own work and I'm proud of that.

Well, you can safely say QR Markham has burned his writing career... unless he is able to come back as another name. Rogue traders, anyone?

The amount of money he has probably cost the publishers, it wouldn't surprise me if he's sued. Boy, is he in trouble.

Okay, and now for something light hearted, less depressing, and totally unrelated - for all you girls to look at. Hot pic of Adam Levine! Yes, I am obsessed! And it wouldn't be my blog without a bit of eye candy.

Hmmm... maybe I should consider something for any male readers I may have... Nahhhh!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

New Found Inspiration

I promise this is writing related! Honest. No, really, it is.

Last night, in my tiredness and lacking enthusiasm to actually write, I was watching You Tube videos.

With my lovely new radio that I have in the kitchen, courtesy of my dad, I've been listening to Kiss quite a lot because they play non-stop music sessions. Radio 1 is great in the morning, but sometimes I find it a bit dull during the day.  With Kiss I get to boogie in my kitchen!

My dad and I have been discussing music videos, because he usually puts a music channel on in the background when there is nothing on the TV, and has been telling me about some clever videos. So with this in mind, too, last night I was searching them out.

My favourite song at the moment is 'Moves Like Jagger', and I wanted to listen to it. I found out the band was Maroon 5. (Yes I know, I should know this stuff, but before the arrival of my radio I have been very ignorant to the muscial world).

So, watched that video, then watched some more of Maroon 5... and couldn't not stop watching Adam Levine. As you can see, he's not my usual type. I tend to prefer blonds. Yet, the occasional tall, dark, skinny guy takes my fancy too. He will be inspiration for a hero, I know it!

This particular video (below) is very sexy in my opinion. (Plus I've put another on Tumblr which features Rhianna where he looks so hot in a suit).  Let me know what you think. Is he your type, too? Great voice all the same! (I'm loving the music, which always inspires my writing).

So guess what album I'd like to see in my Christmas stocking...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Book Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**spoilers** but it's been around 200 years, so I'm not so worried in showing them here. But read no further if you don't want spoilers.





I did enjoy this book but I must admit Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. Maybe the 'heroes' in this book weren't so compelling. Also, although satisfied with the ending, I don't know if it was me, but I was sort of thinking Colonel Brandon was growing attached more to Elinor, rather than Marianne at one point. Maybe that was Jane Austin's ploy... or did I misunderstand it?  

It could be that I didn't get enough of Edward to believe he was right for Elinor. He was talked about, and thought of, but not really on the page as much as I'd liked, so I couldn't 'see' the love/attraction between them.

This book is still worth a read, if you're into Jane Austin or classics in general. In fact, maybe read it before Pride and Prejudice, so that you don't go comparing too much, which I think is what I was doing.

But I've read it now, so I can watch the DVD that I've got and see how television adapts this book! 

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35 books read!