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mistri's witterings
where I talk about writing and whinge about life
Recent Entries 
22nd-Apr-2011 08:18 pm - Where you can find me
Snow Bunny
Hello, if anyone is still reading.

I've decided it's pretty unlikely that I'm going to start using livejournal regularly again. Not because of recent issues (I haven't been here so am unaware), but because I can't keep up with my flist as it stands and lots of old friends have moved on.

I've started a website at http://www.helenfrench.net - blog at http://www.helenfrench.net/blog/

I'm happy to do some reciprocal linking if anyone's interested? I will be posting (at least once a week from now), about writing, books, television, random life stuff.

Hope to see some of you over there.
12th-Nov-2010 01:16 pm - Mostly friends only
Snow Bunny
I've decided to make this journal mostly friends only for the forseeable future. No real reason except that words float about forever on the internet, so I thought I would be a little more private. I will do public entries from time to time, but after a week or so they will become friends-only too.

If you're from one of the writing or TV forums I visit, someone I know in real life, or from one of the LJ communities I'm in, feel free to introduce yourself and/or friend away!

I mostly post about creative writing, television obsessions (anything from Merlin to Supernatural), and random things that have been bothering me lately. Exciting, eh?
18th-Apr-2010 07:42 pm - New home, new start
Snow Bunny
We're all settled into our new house now and I finally feel able to sit down and post again - we still have stuff in boxes, but I can't unpack everything at once, right? :)

The house move was relatively smooth. The new place had been left in a bit of a state (mainly as they had lots of dogs) by the previous owners, so we spent a few weeks just cleaning everything and painting the living room so that instead of being yellow, pink, dark pink and peach it is now the boring but safe colours of magnolia and white. And for once BT managed to get us set up online straight away.

It's weird, being a responsible adult and having a home we can actually paint or hang pictures in. Weirder still will be having a baby in approximately nine weeks (if he's on time - unlikely!). I've got hamsters, but a baby might be slightly more difficult...

I've got five weeks left of work. It's crazy busy there too at the moment (otherwise I'd probably have posted sooner). I have one of the biggest projects of my career going to press in three weeks, plus all our regular monthly deadlines are crashing down at about the same time. There isn't much leeway for being pregnant (it's not an illness - but I am *so* tired), so I just need to get on and do it all, one day at a time. I'll probably survive.

Writing... let's just say I haven't been very disciplined, though in my defence I have had a lot going on. In the fantasy world that is my head I'll be able to do more on maternity leave. I do have four weeks before the baby's due (and then nine months off after), so let's see what I can achieve.

One day I'll say I'll post more and actually do it - so heck, I might even start posting more often! Hope everyone's well :)
23rd-Feb-2010 01:47 pm - The hidden drawer of manuscripts
Snow Bunny
With the news that Pyr is accepting unagented submissions (full manuscripts no less, and over email), I had a look at some of my older completed books to see if anything was up to scratch.

I almost sent something.

I wrote the email, even attached the document. But I couldn't bring myself to press send.

The book in question was Plague's Perfume, a fantasy book I completed a year or two ago - I talked about it a lot on here. I'm really proud of it and was pleasantly surprised to see that it held up okay. On the surface it was polished, the chapters hung together well, it told a good story. But...

This isn't about rejection fear. I sent the book out quite a lot after it was finished and got a couple of requests. But I think there may be some weaknesses in it that would take too long to overcome when my time could be better spent elsewhere. Some people stumble over the premise (how exactly does someone ban perfume?) and I'm worried the characters don't have individual voices.

Yes, I could revise, but I always find it tough to revise anything that's more than a couple of years old. And this has already been seen by agents. I'll be better off, I think, putting my energy into something new (currently revising my urban fantasy, which is going quite well!).

Maybe some of you reading will find something you can send?

In rl news, we have completed on our new house now. We have some overlap with the place we rent so looks like we'll be in there properly at the end of March. It needs a proper clean in the meantime - we vacuumed three rooms and the vacuum filled up three times with all the dog hair it pulled up from the carpet (we have allergies so it needed to be done), but I'm really excited.
15th-Feb-2010 11:23 am - Not dead, just busy
Snow Bunny
That thing called living
Remember how back in July we'd put an offer in on a house and were thiiiiiiis >< close to buying? And then it all fell through when we got gazumped? Well, two houses later and it looks like we're finally getting to buy. It's more expensive than the first house, but bigger - a three bed semi with garage, on the same road. Should be quite nice providing it hasn't fallen apart since we were last there. I was getting really panicky towards the end of the process, particularly because I knew that if we didn't buy this one, I'd be unlikely to find anywhere before giving birth. Even so we had to get our mortgage offer extended as we'd gone a few days over the original agreement. Will say that Natwest (the bank) has so far been very good to us.

As ever, one of my goals is to read more this year. I also want to read more of the books that I already own, rather than constantly buy four or five whenever I get the urge, only to read a couple of them before the next purchase. One of the ways I'm tackling this is by always having a book on the go. Sounds simple, but often I finish one, then spend days choosing another. Now I pick another one straightaway (from the titles already on my shelf) and just ensure it's to hand for the next time I get that reading urge. It seems to be helping a bit.

Writing has been slow since the beginning of the year but with the moving and baby stuff I'm not going to be too hard on myself. I have made some progress, just not as much as I'd hoped for.

Anyway, back to the books I've read this year.

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4th-Jan-2010 01:42 pm - Resolutions, etc
Snow Bunny
Happy New Year,

I hope everyone had a good break over the holidays.

2009 was a pretty rubbish year in a lot of ways and I'm really quite hopeful that 2010 will be different. We might actually buy a house (we have been in the process of 'buying' one or another since July) and there's the baby to come in June, which still doesn't feel entirely real to me.

  • Be nicer
  • Procrastinate less
  • Reject pessimism
  • Eat better
  • Write more
  • Read more
  • Post on Livejournal more

The Decade       

The last ten years have seen a lot of change for me and encompassed my twenties. For the 2000 New Year we went into London and sat by the banks of the Thames as we waited for the Millennium to chime in. It was freezing cold and the fireworks were rubbish. It was a memorable night, though.

I was already with my now-husband. We were in our second year of university, both studying English at King's College, London. Can't say I learned a lot from the degree, but I did get some useful life skills and met Michael through it.

We graduated in 2001 and got married in 2002. After uni, I started off working in bookselling, went into book publishing for a little while (Harlequin Mills & Boon), then when we moved to Bath I ended up in magazine publishing instead. We moved back to the South East in around 2006 and now work for the same company, though in different roles (I'm a sub-editor).

I've completed two manuscripts - one that will definitely never see light of day, and one that almost certainly won't. A couple of projects almost got that far but died at the final hurdle, and I'm about 2/3 through one WIP now. 'Procrastinate less' and 'Write more' need to play a part in finishing it. It's been eons since I needed to generate some new ideas. This WIP and the next one I want to do have both been in my head for years.

It'll be interesting to see what the next ten years will bring. I'd like to think it'll be family, a home, maybe even publication. We'll see... :)

(I really need to do a post about Christmas television next...)
25th-Nov-2009 01:35 pm - Nano-update
Nano rebel
I'm now 38,000 into my Nanowrimo Rebel Novel. Should be at 40k by now but felt rough last night and had to take a day off - never mind, I'm off work on Friday and plan to finish by end of Sunday if possible. Should be doable. Unfortunately I've just run out of preplanned outline and I'm not really a 'panster' when it comes to writing.

I can't wait to start getting eight hours of sleep again once all this is over.
23rd-Nov-2009 09:54 pm - Voice Post
Snow Bunny
67K 0:21
(no transcription available)

Posted so people on a McDean forum can hear me. The rest of you don't listen, I hate my voice! :D
16th-Nov-2009 02:05 pm - TV all the time

Livejournal made me watch Merlin. Yes - it's all your fault. First I noticed it on a few friends memes in various communities. Then people kept talking about Merlin/Arthur and I was intrigued.

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Doctor Who - The Waters of Mars

Let me say up front that I am often a bit cynical when it comes to Doctor Who.

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Other misc shows

Vampire Diaries - this has got really good. Really! I thought it would be naff and cheesy, but by episode four it had become a town/ensemble show, rather than a straightforward vampire romance and Ian Somerhalder is brilliant as an arrogant, rather evil, how-can-he-stay-in-the-show-for-years vampire.

Big Bang Theory - love. Though I don't think Penny/Leonard have any chemistry. And Jim Parsons better win some awards this year.

Flash Forward - I gave up after the first few eps. Annoyingly, it's one of the few genre shows that people at work watch, probably because there are no 'spaceships, aliens or magic'. Might tune in again if the overall season sounds good.

Dollhouse - not surprised it got cancelled. Liked elements of the show, but overall think the premise is a bit flimsy (for television) and Eliza Dushku isn't strong enough as the lead. Think many of the other actors should go on to great things, especially Dichen Lachman and Enver Gjokaj.

Supernatural - this season feels like it's just for the fans. Enjoying it as always but wish it'd get more plotty and perhaps slightly less meta, though meta is fun. Misha as Castiel is just made of awesome. Jensen continues to light up the screen.
8th-Oct-2009 01:27 pm - Aiming for a non-NaNo NaNo wordcount
I've decided I can't do NaNo this year (after my previous post on the subject). After all, I still have more than 50k to go on my current WIP (which incidentally was itself a NaNo project two years ago, but since then I've torn it apart and am now starting from scratch again).

Which has left me thinking...

Can't I just run my own project alongside NaNo? Obviously I can't sign up to compete on the forums or anything, but while everyone else is doing their 1,667 words a day, I'll be aiming for the same goal. I'll have it easier in a lot of ways, I know, as my project has already been started, but it might be a good way to motivate myself.

Anyone know if there are any comms for people doing a non-NaNo NaNo-wordcount-in-November? Anyone else doing something similar?
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