Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Make McKoala's New Year Resolution List

I never make one, so thought it might be fun for you to do it for me. Whatever you like - writing, food, bad habits (not that I have any, of course) - post 'em for me.

Try to keep away from the dark side, but knowing some of you, I reserve the right to pick and choose! If any of them are vaguely attractive to me, I'll give you monthly updates as 2008 moves on.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay!

I'm a Scot, so I will persist in my traditional greetings, however politically incorrect.

Many of you have posted kind festive greetings on the pickled brain thread, and thank you so much for your good wishes, but I thought I would pretend to be elegant by putting a special post up to return the holiday happiness.

It's been a fun year; I'm glad I started to blog at last and met so many nice people. Have a wonderful Christmas season, whatever you are doing and whatever you believe in. See you next year if you're taking a break! I'm not, so I'm happy to chitter chatter with anyone else who is just hanging out over Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I have pickled my brain

I do have some quite interesting, well, at least vaguely relevant things to blog about, but not today.

'Tis the day after the School Mums' Night Out. I missed almost all my other Christmas nights out due to illness, so I went to this one determined to have a good time. I did. Today is not so good. Funny how it's not until the next morning that you realise that last bar was a really, really bad idea.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am so exhausted

Nonetheless, I dragged myself to my keyboard to share good news.

I finished the Christmas gift shopping today!

I know you're happy for me. Really, I do.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Where I am with my writing

Slightly on hiatus! This is my busy period for work - everyone wants copy for brochures and web sites they hope to have ready either before Christmas or in early January. So I'm writing thousands of words, but it's all commercial copy. There is simply no time or head space for anything else. The good news is that things slow down later this month and most of January is pretty dead so then I will have the opportunity to get back to some fiction.

My aim then is to finish redrafting 'Ghost Boys'. This is a young adult ghost story which I first drafted around the middle of the year. It's now in second draft after some great suggestions from Conduit who very kindly read the first draft. I did 'complete' a second draft, but I wasn't happy with it, so now I'm changing something very specific, which runs through the whole story. I've started doing it, but then the work pressure was on so I had to abandon it. I'm not too perturbed about having to back away from it for a while as I know what I want to do and how to do it. I hope it won't take too long to actually put it down in words!

I'd also like to write a few more short stories along the lines of 'Sand Baby' or 'Preparing the Body' - some of you may remember those from the Crapometer. I should be thinking about writing more womens' stories, as I seem to actually be able to sell those, but I have very little desire to do that at the moment. I want to explore other things. Writing womens' stories does take more effort than some people think and, like all other kinds of writing, you need to be dedicated to do it properly and I just don't have that dedication at the moment.

I also think I need a web site. Now there's a challenge.

So that's where I am with my writing. Where are you?

Monday, December 03, 2007

What's in a name?

In some ways, mostly daft, certain parts of my fuzzy brain are set in stone. One of the daftest Stonoids sometimes affects my reading.

It's my utter loathing for the name Gillian. I just cannot handle it. If I read a book about a supposedly sympathetic character called Gillian, I have no sympathy. To me, a Gillian is automatically the bad gal. I wait through the entire book for her to turn on every other character and if she doesn't I am utterly dissatisfied. And I still have no sympathy for her. Whatever happens.

That's probably the most extreme example of Name Stonoid Disease, but there are others. To me, the name Caroline exudes confidence. That means that if I run into a heroine called Caroline who is weak and soft, I simply lose all belief in her. 'Pah, Caroline, pull out those sharp bitch nails i know you have under your fluffy paws and give 'em hell!'

As for characters called Louise or Emma, I'm afraid I can't even pick those books up off the shelves. Nothing personal. There are just too darn many of them in too many books. Rightly or wrongly, to me it says 'bland'. Probably wrongly, but that's Name Stonoid Disease for you.

If this is the day I find out all my readers are called Gillian and have written books with heroines called Louise and Emma, not to worry. I'll just set Caroline on you. And, by the way, can I call you Jill?