Monday, June 30, 2008

Work is manic!

Completely manic. And busy too. So I know it's boring, but not much to say, other than, I'm working. I promise to come back as soon as I can with fun and frolics.

In the meantime, Polly (dog) was bitten on the nose while at soccer on Saturday. She's fine now, barring two healing pink spots, but two questions:

Will the black dog-nosey bit ever grow back over the new pink skin?
What should the owner of the other dog have done?

Actually, these answers could make this post quite interesting. I withdraw my boringness for today.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Still working on this...

The Woman in the Wall is up to just over 10,000 words, which is good progress considering how manic life has been for the last couple of weeks. I'm still tinkering with the pitch, and if you're not too bored with me yet, please let me know what you think of this one!

Jac Thompson thinks she's escaped her neglected childhood in Glasgow. Now she's the perfect employee, waging a one-woman war against untidy desks, long lunch hours and post-its with puppies on them.

When Jac loses her job, her estranged father reappears, claiming to be sober, repentant and ready to help her pick up the pieces. Within days he's betrayed her trust, discovered a skeleton in the walls of her isolated cottage and walled it back up again. When a baby's body is discovered near her childhood home, Jac's father builds a priest's hole in the wall and hides alongside the skeleton.

Who is the baby? Who is the woman in the wall? Jac sets out to discover the identity of both.

Neglect is only the start of it. Like her cottage, Jac's life is built on bones.

The only thing that bothers me is that I don't mention the disembodied voice. But maybe I don't have to. It's not as central to this as it was to the original short story, although it does still feature in the early pages.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pinched an idea...

from PJD.

I've covered this much of the world:

Hm, some big gaps there. *looks for passport*

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Hand

Robin has triggered a new craze. Voices. Wow. Here I am.

Powered by

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Everything is relative

It's been quite a week. Client meetings on Monday and Tuesday; urgent work slid in around them and all day Wednesday. School committee meeting on Tuesday night, gym class Wednesday night, girl party here on Thursday night to help a friend who is setting up in the party business, preceded by a day of tidying, cleaning and scrubbing so they could actually get into the house; and cooking to keep them fed once they were in. Plus the usual, volunteering at school and all the kids stuff - homework, sport, feeding time at the zoo etc.

Then today I was at the funeral of a three-year old. Suddenly a few other things seem a lot less urgent.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not dead, just working

After weeks of little or no work, suddenly I've got heaps going on. It's all work and no play here for a while. I've skimmed past a few blogs, but I'm clearly missing all the good stuff. So help me. Your mission for the rest of this week is to tell me where to go. Whose blog is a must-see? Where's the scandal going on? What's the funniest post of the week?

In return, I'll let you know tomorrow's Must See Blog. See, although I'm working hard, my Fun Radar is already twitching and forecasting a big announcement of the Top Secret Project that I've mentioned a few times and it's happening over here, at Chris Eldin's blog.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Calling Team Koala!

I've been having a fine old time with the Woman in the Wall. For a disembodied voice she's great fun.

Stats for the past couple of weeks...I'll keep it to Woman in the Wall, because I've ignored the rest and it's getting so dull posting '0' all the time:

Stats for the past fortnight
Planning/structuring WiW: 4750
Editing The Woman in the Wall into a cracking start to a novel: 500 - but they're good words!
Also, research.

Here's the pitch. It's a bit long and I suspect it can be cut at the start in particular, but I'm not worried about that at the moment. I'm interested to know what you think. Would this intrigue you? Would you pick it up? I would, but maybe my taste is weird.

*stop here new version in comments!!!*

"When Jac Thompson's carefully-constructed life of lies as a privately educated middle-class daughter of the manse falls apart, she loses her ice maiden image and her job. Does the world really need Jacqueline-Marie, child of a drug abuser and alcoholic? Jac thinks not. Suffering pneumonia in her isolated cottage in Scotland, she descends into delirium, her only companion the ghostly woman's voice she imagines coming from the walls of the cottage.

She is saved from death by her own neglect by the unexpected reappearance of her father, claiming to be sober and repentant, and ready to help her pick up the pieces. But the woman in the wall is still talking to her and her father's repentance is undone by the discovery of a skeleton in the walls of the cottage – or is it by the discovery of a baby's corpse back on their home estate in Glasgow? Jac's father hides from the police by building himself into the wall of the cottage alongside the skeleton while an increasingly distraught Jac tries to puzzle out the connection between him and the baby. And what about the woman in the wall, who is she and what does she want?"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's just not authentic without the sharp edges!

Another blow from the Health & Safety Department!

Sword dancing without the swords!

Monday, June 09, 2008

What's in a name?

When I first started commenting on blogs ('twas the late, great Miss Snark that finally made me crack - pause for a moment to remember...), I didn't want to use my real name. I used to use a version of my name on a social site that had several trolling problems and once a woman with serious psychological problems that some of the people on the site got drawn into. So when I got my internet courage back up again I wanted to stay anonymous - but I didn't want to be one of the great flock of anonymi. I wasn't afraid to be identifiable and to show at least some of my personality.

And so, and you all know this bit, McKoala was born. She's me, but fluffier. And vegetarian.

However, recently I've begun to wonder about the sense of this. When my agent took me on a few months ago I created a web site in my real name, but didn't link it to this blog. In the past week or two I've become involved in a Top Secret but Very Exciting Project That You Will All Love and I've decided that that is a place where I would like to use my real name. I've dropped a big fat clue in This Secret Place as to my dual identity, so I think you'll spot me.

And yet... I still don't want my real name on this blog, or in many of the place where I post as McKoala. The most rational explanation is that because I'm trying to sell young adult writing, the utterances of McK, and some of her friends, *wavey*, are not anything I would particularly want my kids reading if they fell into that age group, so why would I want somebody else's kids to read them? That then begs the question, should I be posting anything I wouldn't want my audience to read at all?

But you are also my audience *more waveys*. You are an important part of my network as a writer; many of you have critiqued me, many of you have supported me, many of you have made me laugh and all of you have been nice to me. I like you. And I like not to have to mince my words around you. So I thought I would see if I can handle a dual identity. I'll stay McKoala here and at EE and most other places, but I'll use my real name where I'm being sensible (hah!). Not that I'm planning on being that sensible.

Other people have approached this issue in different ways. Robin and Precie choose to keep their blogs secret, although they post widely under their blog names. Church Lady pushed Takoda's bunny down the canyon, and then was herself pushed by Chris, who felt there was more benefit in using her real name. Conduit has never made a secret of his real name, and has now linked his real-name website to his blog. Others manage dual identities that are clearly connected to one another.

For now, I think I'd still like to retain a level of privacy for the real me. Of course, this could fall apart very fast. I'll need to create a new profile as the real me so I can log under the right name at Top Secret Project, and feel free to place bets on how long it takes me to post using the wrong name in the wrong place...

Bets aside, I'd be very interested in your thoughts on this and your own choices, and, of course, your advice on what you would do in my situation.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

And the winner is...

...pjd. For modesty, Wayne's World and pointing out that since I'm in his list he darn well ought to be in mine. Enjoy your position at the top. in all good competitions there will be first second and third...JJ de Benedictis. Call yourself whatever you want, you'll always be a goblin to me.

And in third place...Sarah. For being nice. See, the rest of you never even thought of that one, did you?

Honorable mentions to Whirlochre, SS@S (wasn't your fault that JJdeB brought up your argument first...). Ello gets her place in the middle and Robin and BT can continue to be happy at the bottom. So to speak. Disgraceful mention to rhinothongbutt for never returning to justify her placement, but some leeway given as I suspect she's been distracted by Top Secret Project. I've added a few other people too, let me know if you want to join 'em.

In a few weeks I may get around to some descriptive stuff, letting the innocent know why they should visit your blogs. Or it may just be funny stuff. Depending on my mood.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Some koalas give other koalas a bad name

As you all know, I'm an innocent, dewy kind of a bear, but check out thisnaughty boy.

More to come on the power of names, also the results of Linky Lovin' (I'm frightened to say that now...). Am busy working on Top Secret Project so it may be tomorrow, so keep posting your arguments as to why you deserve top billing on my link list on the post below.