Thursday, 13 October 2016

‘Fall’ing into Autumn

See what I did there? Fall (US term) and Autumn (UK term)? J

Okay so it’s a little (maybe more than a little lame) but I can’t tell you how excited I am that we are now in Autumn.

Sorry to the sun worshippers out there. While I do love the summer and the heat, on a vain note, the problem of sweating when trying to look my best is always a problem. Not to mention, with my colouring, the bright shades of summer make me look like a sorbet gone wrong!

Autumn though, according to the book ‘Colour Me Beautiful’, which places your colouring into certain seasons, I am literally an Autumn.
When I was younger, I used to have a problem with this as I wasn’t a fan of Autumn colours- red, yellows etc. That and it always signified the start of another school year *dread*.

However, as I have gotten older I have grown to be happier in my own skin and developed an appreciation of the Autumn palate. Don’t get me wrong, it took some time and years of black hair dye trying to perfect the ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ ‘Winter’ colouring!

Now I love to wear all the shades of red, oranges and greens although I must admit some hesitancy to the various shades of yellow (mustard I am looking at you) but thanks to that Bermuda Triangle of apps- Pinterest, I have also found other colours and their shades to wear.

Not to mention that now Autumn is building a worldwide momentum all its own the love the Americans have for the Fall, including the yummy scented candles, are beginning to catch on over here across the pond, including their love for pumpkin related tastes.

Autumn to me is about crispy leaves that crunch under foot, jackets that are just the right weight for me to pull on fab accessories such as cute scarves and hats and matching gloves and curling up with a good book/film with scented (sometimes not always) candles and the obligatory hot beverage – usually tea.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Are they/Aren’t they? The Mysterious Case of #Hiddleswift


Okay, so I guess I may have told a little fib when I said I don’t comment on the relationship status of celebs- only this one has garnered so much attention that as a romance author, this particular one seems to scream trope!

A trope, if you’re not sure, is a kind of story line ie secret baby, friends to lovers, Cinderella style make-overs etc. Looking through most books that have a romantic element, the above tropes can be seen if you look hard enough.

Now the #Hiddleswift relationship has caught everyone’s eye because (a) it’s seemingly come out of no where; (b) it’s appeared on the coat tails of her former relationship (what a way to rebound!) and (c) she’s had famous men in her music video before (the lush Scott Eastwood).

Like my last blog that mentioned Depp/Heard, I, like many others have no real knowledge of what is going on (unless someone wants to ‘fess up and tell us) but after speculating with a fellow romance author- this seems like a trope from a romance. The trope being they pretend to be in love till… they end up falling in love for real!

I love these kind of stories and even though there are people out there who are happy to hate on the couple and question what the hell is going on, I for one am enjoying watching the PDA play out. If Poirot or Sherlock were on the case (not that I think they’d bother tbh over something so trivial as celebs relationships) I think they’d remind us that sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants and there is no sense in that.

So, good luck to them and if it is all for show then well done them and actually wouldn’t it be really cute if they did end up in their own HEA!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

What is your character's reputation?

This idea came to me as a result of a certain news headline- Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Now, I’m not coming down on any True/False sides. I think domestic abuse (or any abuse!) against anyone is vile and I know that there are people, like during the time of the Michael Jackson allegations, who say the person in question simply couldn’t be guilty because of XYZ and what they’ve seen in their behavior with them BUT what caught my eye was when I read the comments (Note-never read the comments:/) on an online newspaper article that basically went along the lines of ‘Captain Jack Sparrow wouldn’t do a thing like that!’

I mean- really?! I actually think they were being serious. Jack Sparrow is a fictional character. Fair enough, people who know JD as a real man have spoken of their shock in hearing this news but to the rest of us- we only really know him through the characters he plays. In this day and age of social media, we appear (I stress the word appear) to be closer than ever to those celebrities we admire and see the pictures (filtered or not) and see the causes they support and want us to see. (Again stress on the want us to see- see a theme?)
This consolidates their reputation as a nice/bad guy or a nice/bad girl.
I’ll add a quick note on the above: this isn’t a ‘all celebs are false/ celeb bashing rant’. I’m sure many celebs are as genuine as they appear while others are given an unfair deal because they refuse to ‘play’ to the crowds in the social media arena but stick with me- I’m getting to my point.

Reputations. This kind of fits with the show don’t tell idea. What reputation does your character have within the book and what have you done to show this?
Have you layered them like an onion? Is the protagonist a villain because they want to shut down the town factory where the other lead’s family has worked for centuries or, at the same time, is the protagonist a hero/ine to their own family because they have sacrificed their teenage years to work 2 jobs and help their sick parent to raise their siblings?
Does your protagonist have a reputation only to have a secret side- a faux reputation that they have deliberately built for themselves and why have they done this?

On another point, would your protagonist ever want to change their reputation (a la Megamind) and what actions could they do to show this? Could they try and change but find that everything they do ends up backfiring? It doesn’t even need to be a 180 degree change- maybe they had a reputation at high school and matured into a different person at University (did someone/thing push this change or was it organic?) Rightly or wrongly- everyone has some sort of reputation- the bubbly do-gooder, the sensible one, the adventurist one…
The question is- what is your character’s reputation? Is it deserved? Who did they get it from? Will they/do they want –to change it? How can you show any of these things?

Happy writing J

A quick update


I apologise for the MEGA delayed post. The last time was in November last year at the start of Nanowrimo so here is a quick update- I DID IT! Okay, I was adding to an existing novel but I did write 50K words in November and ended the year with a novel that stood at 111k words in length. Since then it has seen three rewrites and now stands at 94K words. On top of which, it has been seen by an editor from a major publishing house and though it didn’t go any further, I did get some positive and helpful feedback that will help me to edit into round 4.
Fingers crossed and as Dory would say- keep on swimming (writing)

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Time Has Come...

This is not so much a call to arms as the start of a poem in one of my favourite children's books, 'Alice In Wonderland'. The rest of the line is 'The Walrus said, "To talk of many things". Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax, of cabbages and kings".'
I love this book because her imagination runs riot and she has some insane dream.
But that is not the reason for this post.

The 'time' that I am talking about is November which for a lot of people means 'Nanowrimo'. Otherwise known as write a novel (50K) words in a month. This equates to roughly 1,666 words a day and depending on fast you write and how much of your muse's good side you are on, means you can get it done in an hour.
This year, like many years before I will set off with the good intention of writing only this year I have made a decision that it will not be the start of a new novel. No friends, I will finish what is turning out to be my greatest epic yet. Only because I really do want to get my first 70/80K book (I've already done 20K words) finished.
I figure that any kick up the rear/compeition is better than none and although I have been writing short brain breaks, I have left my other book to one side. Not because I am not inspired but because it is proving harder than others to write. So I have been making excuses to put it to one side. My main ones being that to obviously be a good writer, I should read and so far seem to be making my way through the 'F.Scott Fitzgerald' books as well as a very lengthy one about the reign of Charles II of England (one of my personal favourite monarchs from history).

You may have noticed from my brain break story that it wasn't your usual 'romance' and this seems to be my general direction at the mo. I guess that is why I am finding it hard to write my 'epic' tentatively titled 'Not Like I Planned'- the inspiration board can be found on Pinterest under my name 'sopherodger'. Mainly because it is not a boy meets girl romance. It's a woman has to confront herself and broken love then heal then love kind of romance.

It is 2nd November today. Day 2 of Nanowrimo. I should be adding 3,322 words to my story.
I will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

3 Minute Scribble Story

Just something I did as a brain break so that I am still writing but it helped the creative juices flow for my main project.
                                                            "A Tragic Love Ode"

I want to tell you a story. It’s a love story but it’s not about a love between men and women or men and men or women and women. It’s not about a love for a pet. It’s about a house. You’re probably wondering why or even how this is a love story. Or maybe not. Maybe you too have known places where you felt at peace, enchanted and mesmerized all at the same time.

The house was never mine but then sometimes the things you love aren’t and sometimes the love is unrequited because it will never be yours and it belongs to someone else.

You see I fell in love with this house because it was magical. At least it seemed that way to me. There were musty rooms that had adventure in every nook and crany. To a child it was a house that was filled with promise. The promise of a discovery.

There were discoveries of lands I had never been too. From a time that were a distant memory for the owners of the house and a history you could only read about in the history books for me. Dark paneled stairs led from a basement room, seven floors up till you could see all the streets below. Other attic rooms became your nearest neighbours and then just when you thought there was nothing else left to see, you would come across a paneled wall that could be nothing but could be everything. Usually it was nothing but unopened, the promise was there.

Corner chairs that reeked of moth balls sat under large bay windows. Ceilings so high you wondered how anyone could reach them, especially the inhabitants of the house.

The nooks and the crannies were made even more interesting by the human residents. Their stories were like something out of a storybook. Their experiences passed down to you if you cared to listen.

But this love story isn’t about them. It is about the house. It is a house that children can explore. Even inquisitive teenagers. But not all teenagers are inquisitive. Or maybe they are but they don’t want to show it.

The outside of the house, its garden and walls were high and mighty. Always a curiosity but never one that detracted from the main event, the house itself.

This doesn’t even sound like a love story does it. I guess this is more of a tragic love ode. Because the house has to be sold and all those memories ended up in boxes. Sorted, filtered; some even given away to charity shops. Some given to those curious children who grew up into adults who had adventures of their own they wanted to seek in the ‘real’ world instead of making them up based on the contents of an old dresser that once belonged to their mother.

Those same items look out of place in their new homes. Homes decorated with well placed ornaments and such. Homes that have no real place for ‘brik a brak’ and ornaments from a bygone era that ‘clog up’ the pristine house.

In their real home, they stood proudly covered in dust. They were the order in the chaos and madness and noise.

The house still stands. With its new owners. The spaces, the corners, the twists and turns are now used by new children who are making their own memories, having their own adventures.
It has never known my reality- its bills paid by my hand, its faults fixed by the breaking of my sweat. In my mind it will never tarnish, never be sullied. It is always a perfect. Maybe like great unrequited loves it is not in the holding on, but the letting go.

 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Review: Vettori's Damsel In Distress by Liz Fielding

Vettori's Damsel in Distress

Blurb:
Angelica Amery came to Milan for a fresh start, only to find that the apartment she rented in advance doesn’t exist. But when irresistible bar owner Dante Vettori comes to her rescue, Angelica can’t help thinking her run of bad luck might be over after all!

Link Stories:
Tempted By Trouble
Anything But Vanilla

Release Date: July 2015

Review:
I loved this story. It had all the wit and sizzle I have come to associate with Liz's romances which made it a very enjoyable read.
I have included the other link text as Angel is the third of the Amery sister's whom we have met through the previous two books.
Her chemistry with Dante leaped off the page and their blossoming romance made you smile especially when she tried to rescue some kittens.
His reluctance to get involved and fight the attraction made you route for them even more and like her sisters, Angel, despite not having the best time to her start in Milan is a plucky heroine and came through.
The descriptions of the locations made it sound heavenly and made me want to book a holiday there immediately.
I will be sad to say goodbye to this family as I love sequels and these sisters and their husbands were fab.

5 Stars!



Biography

Liz Fielding

Best-selling author, Liz Fielding, has more than 15 million books in print. She has been nominated seven times for RWA's prestigious RITA award; The Best Man & The Bridesmaid took the prize in 2001 and The Marriage Miracle in 2006. A Family of His Own won the RNA's Romance Prize, and was named Reviewers' Choice Best Harlequin Romance by Romantic Times BOOKreviews in 2005. She has also been given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Romantic Times.

For news and excerpts of her latest releases, visit Liz's Web site at http://www.lizfielding.com. For gossip, competitions, chat and a chance to talk back, drop in on her blog at http://lizfielding.blogspot.com.