Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The book has gone! I emailed it off today. And now ... we wait. (Said in Hollywood blockbuster voice). I'm actually pretty happy with the book now that it has undergone its gastric bypass and plastic surgery (it slimmed down a lot - from 100,000 words to 75,000), and I have all my fingers and toes crossed hoping that it will come to something. Wish me luck!

I was in cosy mode today, as I finished the final changes. This sweater is the most deliciously soft thing I own - it's from the 1970s, and still had its tags on when I bought it. I suppose a vintage purist might not have cut them off, but they would be very uncomfortable.

In other and completely irrelevant news, I'm so looking forward to cutting my hair off next week. It's driving me crazy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Just a quick note to say that the lovely Leah of Creative Every Day interviewed me for an article about colour ... and it's up! Thanks so much, Leah.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The evolution of style

Another cold autumn day! I've been working on the changes all day, and I think finishing them all by tomorrow night is within reach.

Lately, I have been thinking about the evolution of style - perhaps since this past year and a half represents the first time I have felt really comfortable with the way I dress. Sometimes I look at my favourite bloggers and wonder how they dressed in high school, at university, or even when they were little kids.

I have a theory that a lot of stylish women start out as people who dress 'weirdly', who experiment, who make a lot of mistakes before they find their own particular look. What do you think?

I remember wearing a white jumpsuit to high school, with a leopard-print scarf around my neck. What was I thinking? And I went through a phase of wearing different ponchos every day for about a month. Oh, and to Prom I wore this enormous sequinned 80s dress that had belonged to my mum. I loved it, but it looked dreadful. I wish I could find a photo of it.

At university I used to wear a big, black, Matrix-style leather jacket and lace gloves. And I carried either my guitar or my sketchbook with me everywhere, purely to look arty. Poser!

Sometimes I look at old photos and don't even recognise myself.

How did you dress when you were in high school? Do you remember any particularly mad outfit you wore? I'm interested!

P.S. Can you spot me in this last photo? Even I have trouble.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way." - Charles Dickens

Who knew the French Revolution and manuscript revision had so much in common?

I have almost finished the bulk of the changes on the manuscript, and have a satisfying number of pages with big blue ticks on them (as in, the tick symbol, not big blue blood-sucking insects). Tomorrow's job is to write some missing scenes that I need ... and then I'll print out another typescript and give it to my beta reader. I have learned that revision is the most torturous and tedious part of writing a book. It is also, in a way, the most exciting, as you chip away everything that isn't your story to reveal what will be, hopefully, a tight, polished version. Hopefully.

It has taken over my life and turned my brain to chewed bubblegum, but it is also immensely satisfying. I'm going to crack on with the rest of the changes now, and then go to my mother's to watch American Idol. A dose of Adam Lambert will be a suitable reward for a long day of work, I think.

P.S. Ooh, and if you live in Christchurch, try to see Miss Saigon before it closes! It was absolutely glorious and I'm still on a high. Amazing evening. The only low point was the dreadful man sitting behind us who complained that our friend was "a big lad" and he couldn't see past him (he's really not, he's average height), and made us switch seats. We did it, to avoid drama, only to be stuck behind his enormous bald head for the rest of the night. You see, he was "a big lad" too.

P.P.S. My friend Hannah has started a blog: she's new to the blogosphere, so if you have a chance, stop by and say hello. She's such a glamorous lady, and I'm so looking forward to seeing all her outfits online.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Running away for a bit

I have been a bad blogger lately, I know - everything is so crazy with work that I've had hardly any time to visit your lovely blogs and respond to comments, so I do apologise for that. There is a Potentially Very Exciting Thing (PVET) in the works regarding my book, but I can't tell you about it yet (although I would love to). Simultaneously exciting and panic-making, it does mean the pressure has heightened and I'm scrambling to get things done. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment with everything that's going on, so I think I'm going to take a few days off blogging (of course, having said that, I'll probably post something every day!). Take care, and I'll see you all soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Various disconnected ramblings

I'm crazily busy at the moment with the book and with client work, and am really looking forward to kicking back with some friends and a bottle of wine tonight. I have developed a new technique for squeezing out a few more drops of work before I stop for a break. You probably all do this already, but I'll tell you anyway - I pick a page of the book at random (just edited page 113, for example) and edit it ferociously. Just that page. And then I have a cup of coffee. It is somehow less of a slog doing something entirely random and small, and it's a nice surprise when I come across an already-edited page in the normal course of things.

I will leave you with a couple of great quotes on revision that the lovely Annie King shared with me.

“First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about. Revision is working with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to reform it….The first draft is the most uncertain—where you need the guts, the ability to accept the imperfect until it is better. Revision is one of the true pleasures of writing.” -
Bernard Malamud

"My method is one of continuous revision; while writing a long novel, every day I loop back to the earlier sections, to rewrite, in order to maintain a consistent, fluid voice; when I write the final two to three chapters of a novel, I write them simultaneously with the rewriting of the opening of the novel, so that, ideally at least, the novel is like a river uniformly flowing, each passage concurrent with all the others." - Joyce Carol Oates

I hope you're all having a great week!

P.S. Just realised I used the phrase 'in the normal course of things' twice in this post. In the normal course of things, I don't use that phrase at all.
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