28 March 2006

The writing life

At some stage someone asks you, "How long have you been writing?" or "Why do you write?"

These two questions never fail to make be feel inadequate. Answer to the first question, seriously, for two and a bit years. I tried a number of times in my life and always gave it up. I'm not one of those writers who's always written and feel bereft and half a person if they can't write. Instead I was (and am) one of those writers who wants the words to flow perfectly from my fingers onto the page. For a long time I thought if I couldn't achieve that, I wasn't a writer.

So I lived in my fantasies. Elaborate alternate lives that were a solace from my own. I'm not sure why I decided I had to write. Maybe something about getting older and feeling a whole part of me had never been expressed.

That partially explains the second question, why do I write. Again I'm not the kind of writer who responds with, "But I have to. I have no choice!" It was more a conscious decision to peel off the layers of my self and get to some elemental core that was struggling for expression. A type of therapy I think.

It's developed since then, thankfully. Ones therapeutic ramblings don't make for interesting reading. But I can't imagine not writing now. Even when I'm stuck, I constantly think about it. It's become essential to me but often not very easy.

23 March 2006

The evils of feminism

Thanks to Bitch Phd for this link to Ilyka Damon who's blogging against staw feminism. Follow the trail to get to her post on why feminism gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in the world today, particularly the phenomenon of eight year olds who are into porn chic.

22 March 2006

New erotic romance author

My fellow Romance Writers of Australia and Passionate Ink colleague Denise Rossetti has just been picked up by Ellora's Cave. Her two books Gift of the Goddess and Tailspin will be out soon so keep and eye out for them. I've read bits and they are fantastic. Romantic erotic fantasy. Denise is an incredible world builder and her work has solid plot and characterisation as well as imaginative and very erotic sex. Go and check out her site and read some excerpts. There aren't many Australian Ellora's Cave authors so we hope she's starting a trend.

Why haven't I posted much lately? I'm brewing and thinking. I'm determined to break this creative drought and my way of doing that is to think a lot. I've started a new short story and I'm gradually getting back to the wip with some new ideas.

14 March 2006

Internet all fixed!

Finally! So now I feel like I've really moved. I'm all set up properly and feel like I'm connected to the world again. You'd think not being able to check my mail in the morning would free up some time for writing but not as much as I wanted. I have been reading a lot though, which somehow I needed to do. This morning was the first time I did some serious writing and if felt great.

Good news as well. My story "Laying Down the Law" has been accepted into an anthology of the best of writing from ERWA called CREAM. And I'll get paid! My first time in print and my first payment for my writing. A red letter day. Not sure when it's out but I won't fail to post the date here. I'll also have a 100 word flasher published called "Domestic Bliss."

And another story called "Angel" will appear in the Story Gallery at ERWA from 1 April. So all these bits of good news makes me think maybe I can write after all.

I'm sure all newish writers are told to write everyday, but sometimes I feel paralysed about this because my wip or my short story has come to a halt. Then I feel guilty because I'm not writing. But I read someone (can't remember who) the other day who said just write anything. Letters, journal entries, anything that makes you think and create. That seems to work for me. When I feel stuck on a story or a longer piece, I write about nothing much and something emerges. It's a good piece of advice to remember.

09 March 2006


What a nightmare it is! Moved on Saturday, only just got the phone transfered and still the internet account isn't working. Grrr! So I'm using someone else's computer which just doesn't feel right. Lots of email to catch up on, lots of blogs to read, not much writing happening. Although I'm thinking. At least that's something.

I've read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking which was moving and sad, J D Robb's Origin in Death which I think is her best so far and am in the middle of Nabokov's Lolita which I can't belief I haven't read before this. I'ts sly and wicked and funny. Also reading Memory in Death which after a hideous day at work I can sink into with relief.

Feel the need for short stories. What are you reading?

02 March 2006

Library Thing

My obsession continues. If you look at the left sidebar and scroll down, you'll see a cartoon/logo designed by Sara Donati for The Library Thing. I have 885 books entered and have another couple of bookshelves to go. I did become ruthless but just couldn't let go of some.

If you go to my profile and click on the link that says author cloud in the upper right hand corner, you'll see what I read. Amanda Quick, Doris Lessing and Margery Allingham seem to be the biggest. Which is strange because I had no idea I had so many Amanda Quicks. Last year I had a bad flu that seem to drag on forever so I think I bought a whole lot and went to bed with her.

It's been great going through all my books. I see some that I must read again, particularly some of the biographies. I remember loving Arthur Miller's autobiography Timebends and Katherine Graham's too. But where to get the time?

Tomorrow I start moving house. I may be gone for a while. Didn't some famous Antarctic explorer say that and never came back? Moving is a bit like that.

01 March 2006

More on fear and crits

In this post I talked about fear and Magdelena said this:

I completely relate to your comments regarding creativity. I have brief spells where words flow but they are interspersed with a black hole of self doubt and fear. It doesn't help when people make negative comments, that's food for the damned inner critic.

I have a tendency to seek out crits for my work before it's really ready for feedback. Partially because I need someone to tell me I'm doing OK. I've resolved not to do this anymore because I'm not yet resilient enough. Crits tend to throw me into a spin and take me away from what I want to do. I'm not saying they are not useful, but I think I have to be in a space where I can hear them and not take them personally. Sometimes I can't do that. Although curiously I have no trouble with crits from ERWA. But like lots of other romance writers I enter RWA contests and have had mixed success. I'm holding off from them for a while until I've worked out exactly what I want to write. That continues to be a problem for me, I just don't think I have a romance voice. I get pulled more and more to a dark, crime/thriller style of writing.

On that note, one of my favourite places at the moment is Flashing in the Gutter, where you can read some great flash, fairly noir fiction. And Sarah Weinman reports here that Julia Kristeva has published a detective novel. Since I agonised over her writing in my university days, I'm curious as to whether she can pull it off. Possible another to add to my out of control TBR pile.