Random Craft Post Three


Not sure this is actually a Craft Post because the book I’m going to talk about is not exactly a craft book but more as the title (How I Write) says – one author’s take on writing for publication.

That author just happens to be the hilarious Janet Evanovich, creator of the very popular Stephanie Plum books. I must admit I’ve only read about three (not 1,2,3 either) in the Plum series. I enjoyed them all, just have very limited reading time at the moment. However, when I saw Janet had written a book ABOUT writing, I had to have it. Surely someone who has hit the bestseller lists time and time again would have something useful to say.
I read this book in one sitting and got many nuggets of gold from it. Some were reminders of things I already knew, some were light bulb moments and other just particularly fitting because I’ve just finished a first draft. One of these were the saying she quotes from Stephen King: ”A Second Draft = A First Draft minus 10%”. I’m hoping this is the case for my recently finished wip, cos it could do with losing a few ks.
Right… now before I go, I’m gonna do what a random craft post is supposed to do and open the book at a random page and share what lies there. Here goes….
Janet’s take on plotting:
Plotting isn’t my favorite thing, but here’s how I do it. I listen to some cheesy disco music to get my energy up. Then I sit down with a yellow pad and a big bag of chips. I think about a crime and why it would occur. What were the bad guys thinking? What did they want? How did they do it? Why did they get caught? How did the capture go down? I see it as a movie. Then I write out my little time line of action.
I really enjoyed reading Janet’s book. As I said, it’s not a How-To write book exactly but more an insight into how this really talented author does her stuff. I wish more of my favourite writers would publish books about their process.
So… you guys read any good craft books lately?

How long do you give?

Following on from my blog the other day about my book-buying addiction (yep, bought another on the weekend, this time while at the hair dresser’s would you believe it), I thought I’d talk about how long I give a book before I give up on it.

Years ago, when I was still thin (although I thought I was hugely fat) because I hadn’t had three kids and had all the time in the world to read and write, I’d usually read the whole of a book even if it didn’t really grip me. (NB. The exception of this was in high school English classes – my teacher chose some really boring books and let’s face it, at fifteen I had more important things to do than read. Like talk boys with my best girls!) Nowadays things have changed a LOT.
Me-time is a thing of the past or very, very rare at least. I have three sons who are adorable but demanding and a business with my hubby that takes a lot of my time too. Not to mention all the stuff that goes with running and house (of which I’m not particularly good at). And the fact I’m trying to write another book so I’m not a one-book wonder! All these things mean that the time I have to read is VERY limited. I try to read every night before I go to sleep but sometimes this is only for fifteen minutes. This means the amount of books I can read have been drastically reduced.
So nowadays, I give a book a couple of chapters max and if the author hasn’t got me desperate to keep turning the pages by then, I ditch the book and pick out another one from my MASSIVE TBR pile.
How long do YOU give a book before it gets swapped for a more worthy one?

It’s an addiction!

Okay… there may be worse addictions but I am well and truly addicted to buying books.

I have more than enough books that I haven’t read to keep me going till the end of the year, probably longer, but I still can’t resist the lure of one more. I’m scared if I don’t buy IT now, it’ll vanish and I’ll never get the chance again.
I’m not sure how many unread books I have on my e-reader, but I have at least 50 on various shelves throughout the house.
I decided it was time to do something drastic, so I banned myself from buying any books until the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August. This was about two weeks ago. Yesterday I ordered a book from Book Depository.
Whoops!!!
Some of the books on my shelves waiting to be read:
*The Woman He Loved Before – Dorothy Koomson
*Yours To Keep – Shannon Stacy
*Negligee Behaviour – Shelli Stevens
*The Making of Us – Lisa Jewell
*What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty
*Can’t Stand The Heat – Louisa Edwards
*Ondine – Ebonny McKenna
*House Rules – Jodi Picoult
*Getting Away With It – Julie Cohen
*The Inherited Bride – Maisey Yates
And this is only a tiny slice of my assortment. So you can see that I really didn’t need ONE MORE BOOK!!
I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse but I’ve discovered Book Depository’s Wishlist – so now every time I think of a book I’d like, I go there and add it. Then, every time I feel like getting a package delivered, I go and order another one.
Does anyone know if there’s a twelve step program for this!?

Global Read In Bed Day!

Did you know that next Sunday 24th of July is the inaugural Global Read In Bed Day??

That’s right.. you have permi
ssion to stay in bed and read all day! Why? Cos it’s for a good cause. The idea is that you stay in bed and read all day – forgo the housework and the othe
r mundane tasks, demand breakfast in bed and order takeaway to be delivered for lunch and dinner! READ!! Then after the event, make a
donation to your favourite literacy charities.
The event’s official charity of choice is: Dymocks Children’s Charities, but in case you’d like to know about other literacy charities, I’ve done you a favour by linking to a few literacy groups below:
So, you love the idea, don’t ya? I’m pretty certain with my three little boys and one big boy, I won’t be able to spend the WHOLE day in bed but I’m gonna be sure to spend some time reading in bed – more than I normally would anyway!

If you want to participate in this awesome day. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t, sign up to the Facebook event at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123341761089282
Oh and if anyone knows of any good literacy charities, please post them in the comments section of this blog post 🙂

My first guest blog as a published author


I’m over at the fabulous and extraordinarily talented, Kylie Griffin’s blog today. If you don’t already know, Kylie writes paranormal and her debut book Vengence Born is out next Feburary from Berkley. See her gorgeous cover.

Anyway if you have time, I’d love you to pop over and say hello at http://www.kyliegriffinromance.blogspot.com Hopefully I’ll get there this evening once the heroes-in-training are in bed to comment 🙂

The Book That Won’t End

Forgive me for the title, I’m reading Harry Potter with my oldest son at the moment and therefore am in a ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’ mood.

Anyway, I thought I’d just say HI quickly because I know I’ve been very quiet lately. It’s because I’ve been writing. I know… who could guess? 🙂 Unfortunately that means I’ve barely been reading anything and have been hanging out little on Facebook, so I really have little interesting to say.
Except I thought you should all start praying that I finish this book soon. It is now 99,000 words and refuses to end. It reminds me of that song my sons sing to irritate the hell out of me. You know, ”The Song That Never Ends.”
I hope to be able to report by the end of the week that this book has been banished to the drawer to sit for a month or so, but in the mean time, has anyone else got any stories of writing a novel that simply refused to finish?