cover, enter the parrot, got kung fu

NaNo blogs

Don't forget my blog can now be found at

The gorgeous girls over at 50k in 30 days have invited me to blog with them. How could I say no? Especially since one of them is my fantastic crit partner Diane *wave*?

So every Sunday, you can read me over there, too. Every day is a different blogger, so if you want to read about seven people (plus commenters) slowly going crazy over the next month and a half, head on over.

We’re going to have a party!

Where are you blogging during NaNo? Or if you’re not participating, where are your friends and fellow authors at?

  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
faking it, love

This blog is closing down.

Thanks for playing, everyone!

I've decided to close this blog and move everything over to my new home at
Why don't you stop by and drop me a line? Grab a box or some furniture to help with the move. We'll have cookies and tea once you get there!

Also, there's a new link list, so why not make sure that your name's on there, too, so people can find you?

It's been fun.

  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
never too old to learn

It's a digital world.

I like to think of myself as a late early adopter.
I'm not fast enough to be one of the first to get into a new technology, but I usually get an item just before it takes off amongst the geeky.
Enter the e-reader.
After handheld gaming (you should see our Graveyard of Old Consoles and Handhelds) and iPod, mobile reading and writing was the next step to go.
Laptops always struck me as supremely unsatisfying, and PDAs were just so...meh.
But I'm incredibly excited about my new, shiny iLiad. I have high hopes that it's going to make both my reading and my writing life a lot easier.
It's charging right now, but expect more detailed reviews over the next month as I bring to you
The iLiad Odyssey!
cover, enter the parrot, got kung fu

The Wild Rose Press takes its reputation seriously.

The Wild Rose Press, a small electronic and print romance publisher of impeccable taste (after all, they are *my* publisher), takes its public image very seriously.
It's alos a publisher that goes out of its way to communicate with its authors, trying to address any and all problems as they arise. Authors are on a special announcements-from-the-boss e-loop where issues are brought up as they relate to TWRP in general.

This morning, I found a post pointing towards Piers Anthony's website, where he talks about TWRP in his list of publishers. Apparently, someone has pointed out to him that TWRP are slow to start edits, taking up to a year.

Well, I want to chime in there, too. Obviously, I don't speak from vast experience, but I speak from mine.
TWRP and everyone of their staff that I've had contact with has been courteous, friendly, fast and enthusiastic. My edits for Enter The Parrot got started within the month, and I've gotten the feeling that it's me that's the limiting factor, not the other way around.
The artwork was fast and fabulous, and all communication has been punctual.

Enter The Parrot is not finished yet, but I'm very confident that things will go well from here on in. And if they don't, I am assured there are ways to communicate with the publisher directly.
What more can you ask for?

What's your experience with either TWRP or your publisher and their reputation? Justified, or not?
bukkake, snow

Get your board on!

Only a week to go until it's time to hit the slopes for winter fun. I've got my gear, a week's worth of dried food goodies and a DS for the looooong bus trip up into the mountains.
I've got some brand new gear this year (including a helmet and boots!), so I'm excited to try it all out.
Last year was my first year snowboarding (after three years of skiing), and while I didn't lack in enthusiasm, my skill was, well, varied.
But never fear! this year I intend to get the hang of that whole staying-upright thing. No more going face-first down a black run of doom for me. Well, okay, maybe.

This year, we're also joined by a bunch of people from kung fu, so I expect the weekend to be especially made of awesomeness. And soreness.

I've got a week of LOTS of editing work ahead of me, so maybe the next time you'll read from me, I'll be enjoying a metre of fresh, powdery frozen goodness -- face-first!

All you snow bunnies out there, got any last minute tips and tricks I should know about? How do you get your boarding (or skiing, or tobogganing) groove on?
  • Current Mood
    excited excited
rotflmao, mao

The hidden meaning in your name

Did you know that what name you go by can say a lot about your personality?
Yeah, no duh.
But did you know that the actual *sounds* of your name will give you a clue as well?

This page talks about the consonant sound(s) and vowels in your name's stressed syllable (or only syllable, as the case may be) and what it says about you.

For example, Kiki is unstressed (or stressed on the first syllable, if you want). Not that it matters, since the syllable is KI. K plus short I.
Which means:
'short i' - moves up-up-up, light and a bit tense
'k' - a room where some things are allowed in or even captured, and where other things are definitely not cool. The 'k' is in the know and keeps its secrets. It's the most caring and intimate of letters, but when it's not careful, 'k' gets snobby and cuts people off.

I must admit, I'm liking this.
What's in your name?
cover, enter the parrot, got kung fu

Pitching - or: What's the point anyway?

Whether you're going to RWA's National Conference in San Francisco or attending RWNZ's or our very own RWA conference here in Melbourne, you're probably thinking about pitching to an editor or agent.
After all, time and time again, the one thing conference attendees want the most is pitching sessions.
We're all desperate for that look inside the head of someone who could potentially make or break our careers. but how useful are pitch sessions really?

JenWriter stresses that she does her research beforehand.
I told them why I chose to pitch them. “I decided to pitch you because you are the agent of [author], and I’m a huge fan. Plus, my work is in the same genre so I thought you might be interested.” Every time I mentioned a client’s name, instant connection. Their faces lit up, they smiled. For the ones where I mentioned only genre from reading their bios, they also seemed pleased I did my homework. But the ones where I mentioned actual clients seemed to make better impressions.

Anne Mini has a clear goal in mind before she hones her pitch. She wants the editor/agent to *want* to read her work. her advice? Don't start by summarising your book. She has a lot of great advice, in fact, she even wrote a second post on the subject matter.

On the other side of the fence, agent Rachelle Gardner has a couple of gems to offer pitching writers, mainly about taking things one step at a time. You don't want to finish your pitch only to have the first question be "Hold on, what genre is this?"
She offers this as a pitch starting pint:
My name is _____ and I wanted to meet with you because _____.

I'm represented by _____ (agent name if applicable).

I'm writing ______ (what genre).

My publishing history includes _____. OR I'm currently unpublished but have been writing for ___ years.

Today I want to tell you about my book called _____ which is a ____(genre).

This book won the _____ award (if relevant).

I'm writing about this topic because ____ (if relevant. For example, you are a police officer and you're writing a cop thriller).

My tagline is _____ (20 words or so that capture your book).

Then, launch into your pitch.

What a great idea!

Agent Kristin Nelson suggests that you don't have to try to sum up your whole novel. Instead, just focus on the first 50 pages ore so and find the catalyst, the moment that really sets the story soaring. She also has some specific advice about a contemporary romance and a romantic suspense.

Agent Nathan Bransford has a more cynical (or honest?) outlook on pitch sessions, saying more often than not, he just requests a partial because it's easier than saying no.

Agent Scott Eagan shares this view, saying that often, editors and agents will ask for the full MS, just so they can weed out those who haven't completed their project.
He also warns that while editors might acquire across the lines, it won't mean they'll be the ones to read your project.

So what can you do to make you and your work stand out from all the others?
It's all about the branding, says Jen n at AuthorMBA. In other words, present yourself how you want to be perceived. For most of us, that means professional, savvy and classy. So no sweats and lunch-stained T-shirts, please!

Does all this discourage you? Maybe you don't want to pitch a project. Maybe you're just keen for some one-on-one time with an industry professional. You figure you'll give them a little break, pick their brains, chat about your marketability, get some feedback.
Be careful, warns Rachelle Gardner. Not everyone will be happy to do this. Especially agents are there to find new clients, not hold your hand and help you along.
She does concede that editors might be more open to this approach. Be very careful, and just in case, have something to pitch.
You could always ask if the agent/editor would mind you picking their brains instead, stating that while you do have a pitchable project, you are much more keen on having your questions XYZ addressed in these few precious minutes.
Use discretion.

So what should you do?
Be prepared, be professional, and above all, know yourself and your work.
Be polite and interesting. It doesn't matter how introverted you are in real life or how nervous you get.
Practice at home in front of your friend, cat or mirror until you can pitch while doing cartwheels (or at least without tripping over your own words).
And above all, try and have fun with it.
Odds are good they'll look at your stuff.
And then you can send that coveted --requested materials-- envelope and let your brilliant writing do the talking.
cover, enter the parrot, got kung fu

Kung Fu Panda

I went to see Kung Fu Panda yesterday with my fellow kung fu peeps.
OMG, it rocked so much! It had everything! Kung fu, buns, a panda... Well, okay, so it's kind of hard to explain, so just take my word for it. If you like martial arts, or pandas, or the idea of China, or just a fun, sweet believe-in-your-dreams story, KFP is for you.
As it says in the opening, it's made of awesomeness.

It made me think about my own kung fu training (something I've been woefully neglecting lately), as well as Enter The Parrot, of course.

So in the spirit of things, I've got to ask: what's your favourite kung fu movie, and why?
eat me, pork

The tooth fairy returns

Yesterday was what will hopefully be the final chapter in the Teeth Wars saga.
You know you're onto something good when your dentist calls his colleague to have a quick peak, too. Freakshow teeth? Check.
But it's all good now (or so we hope). The dentist couldn't have been nicer or more helpful, and all things considered, it went well.

Except that my tooth damage was all along the nerve and the anesthetic didn't quite take so I had to get a second shot. Which led to me looking like a new brand of superhero as I left the clinic:
Fugu Face! (if you want to see the photo, check out my Blogger mirror post, or my Facebook)
Fear my pufferfish powers and poisonous slack jaw!

The anesthetic (and swelling) lasted for over 10 hours, which meant eating was pretty much impossible. Grrrr.
But today, I finally get to eat solid foods again.
So bring on the CRUNCHY!