Today is Tuesday in NZ and we’ve just had our Queens Birthday long weekend. I went bush with
Sian, Sandra, Andrew, Catherine and Audrey as well as the dogs Sable and Otis. Now if you’ve read my book I’m sure those names are making your eyebrows quirk ;p Yes Sian and Sandra are whom the characters Sian and Kassie (Kassandra) are based on and I also borrowed Sandra’s daughters names for my main character Catherine and her beloved dog (based on my fur baby Sable) Audrey. And no it wasn’t in anyway meant as degrading when I used Audi’s name for the dog, she has quite a similar personality to Sable in real life (excessive, lovable, FAST, boundless energy and utterly loyal) so it worked nicely. Also I was getting quite a few names that began with S so Sable wouldn’t have worked (and that’s the reason it’s Kassie not Sandra, in the first draft it was actually Sandra). And Andrew is Sandra’s lovely husband.
(this really doesn’t showcase the height difference – but trust me, it’s there ;p)
All six of us plus the two big dogs crammed into our wee cabin and had a fabulous time. My throat is now killing me and I suspect it’s due to me speaking more (and singing…) than I have in the last 6 months combined *lol* and that’s with been on the phones at work!! Wow those girls can chatter. I did have a laugh on Saturday when Sandra’s clan arrived.
Sian was already in the house and wandered over to peek out the window at the girls. She hadn’t seen them since my birthday last year. Anyhoo I’m getting some gear ready and Sian races back into the kitchen with wide eyes and hisses at me, ‘OMG, they’re HUGE!’
I nod, bemused, as I’ve repeatedly told Glenn and
Sian that the girls have grown lots but it looks like they thought I was exaggerating.
Sian shakes her head at me, as though I don’t understand, ‘Catherine is talking to the dogs over the fence. She’s on TIPTOE!’
Now our fence is taller than me and I’m 5.5 and Cat is all of 13 years old. I had to laugh at
Sian‘s astonishment (and Glenn’s when he reiterated the point to the two of us before the clan entered in the same shocked tones). It’s all made more amusing because of course Sandra just scrapes in at five foot and her younger daughter is already a few centimeters taller than her (at eleven..). Apparently there are some TALL genes on Andrew’s side.
So yeah our cabin was jammed full with us and the dogs but we had a great time and the dogs have been pretty much comatose since arriving home yesterday. It’s good to see them so worn out!
On the weekend I had the pleasure of critiquing a fellow bloggers work, something I always enjoy but don’t always have the time for. Of course, in the middle of no where, with no electricity, it’s the best place in the world to read and ponder writing. The piece I read had some intriguing concepts but like most first/second drafts needs some development in those ideas and it made me think back to my first and second draft…
I remember the utter joy and sense of achievement at finishing my first book. A feeling which will never get tiring I’m sure *grin* I also remember the first critiques, and how much they STUNG!
Not that people were mean but when they can’t see the image that you thought you were portraying so clearly, it’s a little devastating. I know now, looking back that it wasn’t until I finally let go of certain thoughts, that my re-writes improved. What were those thoughts? Silly things like ‘Oh my gosh, what if my grandmother reads this!?! I don’t want to give her a heart attack!’ and ‘eck I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to write that‘. Until I let go of those, my writing didn’t really improve. But a couple of fabulous (and by fabulous I mean harshly honest) critiques slapped me back into order. And re-write number 8 was a full 200 pages re-written thanks to those critiques. Looking back now (re-reading The Arrival) a tiny portion of me would re-write it as darker. But I think that’s more due to where book two and three are heading. The larger portion (rational voice, if you will) knows that the first book needs to be as light as it is. It’s essentially the ‘honeymoon’ book. Book two is the beginning of the major spanner in the works and Book three is fixing that major spanner.. and that’s as many spoilers as you’re gonna get out of me there *grin*.
So critiquing this friend’s work brought all those thoughts up. Especially when part of you hesitates at giving such honest thoughts.. this is however part n parcel of developing your craft as a writer. If everyone told you your work was fabulous when it really could do with improvement would you thank them in the long run? I wouldn’t. The truth hurts for sure, but I personally would much rather my beta-readers and critique buddies whip my butt into shape prior to me releasing my work and really embarrassing myself, especially when the public are SO harsh on Indie authors.
And what am I breathlessly waiting for? MY KINDLE!!! Yes that’s right I’ve finally ordered one! When the kiwi dollar was high last week I jumped at the chance and have saved myself around fifty dollars (and the dollar dropped about two hours after I hit the buy button – wooo! Totally aced it timing wise ;p). I can follow the tracking information and I know it’s somewhere between
Auckland and . I’m practically chewing my nails off here, I want it in my hot little hands already!! Look at all these exclamation marks ;p do you get the sense of urgency yet *grin* Wellington
I’m getting the basic kindle (no 3g) with a burgundy lighted cover. Did you know the light in the cover actually runs off the Kindle’s battery? I didn’t. So it means you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries etc which is awesome! It’s the most effective way to distract me from my sore throat at the moment and of course couriers keep turning up with parcels but none for me as of yet *mooch*
Patience is a virtue.. right? ; p
Take care all!