Archive for the ‘crows’ Category




jigsaw puzzle

Filed under: crows, Girl from Mars, writing

I’ve been working on my revisions for Girl from Mars (which should be out in May, by the way) and I’m finding it all very puzzling.

My editor has asked me to tweak the heroine’s motivations and feelings a little bit, to give her some more depth and conflict, and that involves writing a couple of new scenes. I’ve spent the last three days working on one of them, which is a scene where the heroine’s best (male) friend, Jim, meets the guy who she’s supposed to hate, but really is attracted to (Dan), and they take an instant suspicion to each other. The best friend Jim, having more to lose, dislikes Dan more, and gets all protective of the heroine. Dan is just sort of bemused and feels challenged by Jim. The heroine basically wants to crawl under a rock at the sight of all this testosterone.

The thing is, when you write a new scene to go into an already-written book, it’s like fitting in a jigsaw puzzle piece with the rest of the book. Actually, it’s more like forcing a whole new piece into an already-finished jigsaw. You have to readjust every other scene so that the new one fits.

In this case, the new scene could go in two different places–before chapter seventeen (where it fits better structurally and thematically, and makes the following conflict worse) or before chapter twenty-one (where it produces more conflict in itself, and makes everything that seemed okay before, more complicated).

I have no idea where to put it.

Oh, and did I also mention it introduces two new characters (one of whom is “George” from One Night Stand)…and I have to figure out what to do with them now, too?

throws self down on floor in fit





So, Julie, how’s your book going?

Filed under: crows

I SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






Filed under: crows, writing

I’ve finally got some bookcases for the bedroom, so I was dismantling my old bedside table and underneath it I found, to my surprise, my first ever rejection letter.

It’s from Harlequin in Toronto, dated March 19 2002. It’s a form rejection, though it’s printed on lovely heavy cream headed paper. When I first saw the envelope last night, I thought my address had been typed on it in capital letters, but when I looked more closely I saw it was actually my own handwriting, mathematically precise. I remember throwing away a couple of envelopes because I hadn’t made the writing quite perfect enough.

When I received this rejection, just over six years ago, I was very disappointed. I’d thought that Harlequin would at least be interested in seeing the full. Now, I know that that story was very far from being publishable. It’s the only one of my unpublished mss I’ve resigned forever to the attic.

Now, I am working on my tenth contracted book and though right at the minute I am a teeny weeny bit stuck on it, I can see how far I have come.

12 Point Guide to Writing RomanceBy the way, one of the people who helped me come this far, Kate Walker, is celebrating the second edition of her wonderful 12-Point Guide to Writing Romance. If you haven’t read it–here’s your chance. And go on over to her blog where you can read her writing advice and have a chance to win lots of books.

Comments are off




caw caw

Filed under: crows

My agent liked my proposal, so tomorrow it goes to my editor.

One crow down, several million more to go.

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Filed under: crows

crowHave just sent a blurb/proposal to my agent about my next book, which has the working title Girl from Mars. It’s about a female comic book artist who takes a vow not to get a boyfriend.

So I’m waiting to hear about that.

I’m also waiting to hear what my editor, who has been away but now is back, thinks of Honey Trap.

And my friends and readers of my blog are now, following my pickle craving, convinced I am pregnant.

Crows, anyone?






Filed under: crows

Have not posted for a couple of days because I’ve been convinced that every word I have written, ever, SUCKS.

Usually I get this much sooner in my first draft. I am probably very lucky it’s held out for this long.

crows!!! aaaaghh!!

You would think that holding a gorgeous hardback in my hands and reading the bits I like out of it, would help reassure me that I can write something that I, at least, can enjoy.

Nope. Don’t work. I suck. The teensy good bits in my last book are purely down to chance. A thousand monkeys with typewriters would probably produce the same thing through primate good luck.

Also, I’m just about to write the climax, which should take two or three chapters, and I am, for some reason, gut-wrenchingly scared to write it. Like, I actually feel sick when I think about it.

I post this not in a bid for reassurance. I know I have wonderful cyber-friends who will do their best to buck me up, and you guys don’t need to because you’ve done it so many times already. I post this because I know I will get through it, and I want it on record that I feel this way, so that it may make other people feel better, and it will make me feel better when I read it at some point in the future when I’m feeling the same thing all over again.

Do feel free to tell me that you also suck, though. And I’ll tell you that you don’t.

(And also go wish Biddy a happy birthday.)





control freakery

Filed under: crows

For various reasons I had to send my editor my unfinished first-draft manuscript today.

Oh my God. What an awful feeling. I am such a control freak. Usually my first drafts are only read by my bosom friends, about whom I know blackmailable secrets. The thought that someone else, MY EDITOR, upon whose opinion hangs my career, is reading my first crappy draft makes me chew on my nails.

I’ve taught three courses in the past two months and in each of them I’ve said: “Write crap in the first draft. You can fix it later.”

I never said “Unless your editor asks to see it, and then you will be facing a pit of humiliation as deep as the seventh abyss of hell.”

I think I will go hyperventilate now and attempt to forget all the stupid things I’ve put in this draft which has not been edited at all. (In contrast, I’ve edited this blog post four times.)





work crows

Filed under: about me, crows

I go back to work tomorrow.

And I thought I had crows of doubt about writing.

I have an excellent childminder, quite a well-adjusted baby, and a job I’m good at and can step back into without overwhelming worry or effort.

Please, please, please let me sleep tonight.


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