Monday, 28 March 2011

Masala Monday

When ordering curry, do you have a 'fall back' dish?  As in, -can't decide, last person to order and smiley waiter is tap-tap-tapping his pen on his notepad, so I'll just have...'the masala please?' You hand back the menu satisfied you finally made a decision, bring your chilled glass of wine to your lips, only to have the waiter raise his eyebrows..."Will you be wanting anything else with that, Ma'am? Mango Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Raita, Spicy Lime Chutney?

Eating is like writing, cooking is like blogging, food is, you know chocolate?  Chocolate is like sex...  There's so much choice, you can never make up your mind, sometimes you want it spicy, other times, maybe extra coriander, or just...well, vanilla with a dash of cinnamon? * Pensive expression * Are we still talking curry? Yes! No! Maybe?  

Truth is, firstly - I've been working on the 'love scenes' lately, and surprisingly I've made myself blush...did I write that?  It's a little spicy!  So I need to add a little mango lassi, tone it down.  Secondly, I have been lucky enough to win an opportunity for two critiques, one being a critique of a 'love scene'.  I know -great! Right?  So why has it had this profound effect on me?  On a loop, every couple of hours I feel like this...

1.  I just want to edit a certain scene to death.  Edit to perfection, and then some more...but isn't that the point of the critique from an expert?

2.  Risk the ultimate embarrassment... 'You're good, but like, have you tried it this way? Much better. Yes!'

3.  It literally scares the 'pants off me'.  Am I ready for someone else to read this scene? *Faints*

4.  Um, pick the most tame of the scenes?  So what if it's just a's a pretty damn hot one. 

5.  Hot-Cold-sweat...

So, you see - curry, sex scenes, cooking, writing, chocolate,'s all the same really.  Tell me though, how often do you edit-re-edit-edit- a love scene before you are satisfied? Ahem, and I didn't mean it that way.  Really...

A/N:  Hello Everyone! Hope you are all enjoying Monday!  My post is a little later than anticipated, things got a little crazy in a parallel universe today, but hey ho - I'm happy.  Hope you are too!  I shall be working on edits this week, am almost finished the second draft of my main WIP.  Have a lovely week!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fare-Thee-Well Dame Elizabeth Taylor

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a little obsessed with movies, and old school starlets', yes, indeed, there is something nostalgic about these divas of a bygone era.  Glamorous, styled to perfection, softly spoken...I know, the on-screen persona is not what you get off-camera, but like I keep saying, I'm a romantic, -I like to think these ladies were well-mannered at all times, ahem.
This week, the passing of Liz Taylor bought back memories of rainy afternoons spent reclining on my sofa, watching 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, - my favourite of her movies, sassy and sizzling, as all good siren's should be.  I mean, who wouldn't act like a pent up cat, having to sit opposite Mr Dreamboat himself, aka Paul Newman?

Another thought crossed my mind, -who would replace her?  Do we even make stars the way we used to?  These days, we have overnight sensations who are like, 12 years old, cue-that-Bieber- kid...what? He's like, 17? know what I mean, those kids, who just keep popping up.  'Pop-up' acts.  Very temporary.  My attempts to ponder this question were futile, it's a no-brainer, the only figure who popped into my tiny grey matter, was the stylish Julianne Moore, always, always looking old school glam...thanks to good genes, and her BFF Mr Tom Ford.  Anyway, I digress - what I wanted to say was this...

Fare-Thee-Well Dame Elizabeth Taylor!  Thank you, for being a wonderful supporter of charity, and for speaking your mind, you great big fabulous Hollywood-Icon-of-Yesteryear!
Photocredits via weheartit

A/N: Secretly, I'm hoping Ms Taylor is reunited with Mr Burton.  They belong together.  That is all.
How are you all?  This week has been super busy, I've been editing, re-writing, re-reading.  Tomorrow, I shall be up early writing as I'm off to see a play in the evening with a dear old friend - very excited about that.  Cocktails at the ready!  How about you? How's your writing project, and what's going down in your neck of the woods?
Have a fabulous friday and a wonderful weekend!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Tea for Two

'Ten Poems About Tea' by Sophie Dahl, caught my attention yesterday as I scrolled through my twitter feed.  I can't really explain it but I thought, -Sophie Dahl can write 'Ten Poems' and have it published?  Fabulous, I could do that too! Right?  Okay, less of the guffawing laughter please.  I realise who she is, in fact she's a favourite of mine, statuesque, voluptuous and practically Amazonian standing beside her man.  My point is, I would love to write ten poems about tea, or something whimsical like, er, -tea...and have that published.  So, I tossed up a few ideas about my favourite passions in life, things I could easily whip up some whimsical pose on.  Here's what I came up with, and please don't judge me, -I'm just a lady trying to write funny love stories, ahem.

I could write Ten Poems About...

1.  Martinis.  Shaken, stirred and very persuasive.
2.  Champagne.  Bubbles all the way please!
3.  Shoes.  This of course, would require at least a trilogy.
4.  Hearts.  Everyone has one, sometimes it sings, other times it bleeds.  I love my hearts!
5. Afternoon Tea.  Yes, indeed.  An Ode to the Humble Cucumber Sandwich, and a few Sonnets for Scrumptious Scones. 
6.  Children's Laughter.  There is nothing like it, the carefree sound of innocence.
7.  Winter Snow, Summer Sun.  The seasons, always changing, always inspiring.
8.  Death.  Inevitable.  Eventually the heart stops.
9.  Angels.  Yes, there are Angels amongst us...and they don't all have wings.
10.   My Mother.  Storyteller of my life, she still inspires me.

How about you?  Any passions that you could compose a Poem for?

A/N:  On closer study of Sophie's book, I've found that she didn't actually write the 'Ten Poems'...just the Introduction.  Which, makes me think... I could definitely do that.  
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, mine was spent relaxing mostly, antiquing, lunching, and writing. 
Have a lovely week!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

This week, the delightful Carol has received a plethora of awards and bestowed one award to my blog, incredibly it's my 18th award...yes, I am choked up!  * sniff *  Since starting my blog last year, this journey has been an incredible experience for both developing my writing, and just building such wonderful friendships.   Ahem, and now before I start to waffle, the rules in accepting this award state, that I must share 7 interesting facts about myself, and pass the award to 7 lovely bloggers.

So, some enlightening facts about myself eh? Please follow me down this rabbit!   These 7 fantabulous facts were crafted for a previous post, I hope you don't mind if I'm like, really green, and recycle them? And, remember to climb back out of the hole, I haven't finished yet.

* Sounds trumpets, plump those pompoms vigorously, throws pink sparkle everywhere* 

I am sending this Stylish award onto to these lovely souls! 

Michael Di Gesu @ In Time
Misha @ My First Copy
Colene Murphy @ The Journey
Writing Nut @ Writing In A Nutshell

Congratulations to all!  
And Happy Friday to everyone, do grab some bubbles whilst you are here!!


photocredit purchased via Getty images

A/N: Hello Everyone!  How are you? This week has flown and there's still much to do.  I feel like the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland, which is strange because I don't wear a timepiece of any description.  Gave them up years ago.   Can I say, -welcome and thank you to my newest followers aka fabulous fellow bloggers, pull up a chaise lounge or hammock! 
Plans for the weekend?  Where ever you are and whatever you get up to, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I have a ton of errands to run, and will continue on my writing projects.  Remember, live life to the fullest right?!  And get some sleep in between.


Monday, 14 March 2011

When She Sleeps...

Fasting beneath the Winter snow,
She draws shallow breaths, pure and cold,
Gently forging arctic winds,
Thrusting ships at whim,
Across blackened seas

In Spring, she lays bare,
Blossoms, lovingly kissed,
Vibrant hues, brilliant blues,
New grasses, softly caressed,
Borne anew, 
By her own hand

Yet simmering below, 
A storm may brew,
She lashes out,
Crushing land, smiting lives,
Splintering man's glorious places...

Her Summer smile covering skies, warming faces,
Calming oceans, screaming gulls,
Laughing crowds, golden beaches,
Yet again, she will awaken,
A wicked sea witch, 
A seething beast.

Autumn brings her favourite gown,
Darkened evenings, eerie sounds,
Ever changing leaves on blustery gales
And in the black of the night,
She lays, talons poised,
Stowed away,
Beneath the mossy green country lanes
She stays, quietly waiting her prey.

Our Lady Nature, 
A torturous Banshee, 
Seemingly cruel without reason,
Impossible to guess, 
Her child-like smirk
Belies her outward grace.
When she sleeps, she sleeps in peace,
When she sleeps, she sleeps in seasons.

Photocredits via weheartit

'When She Sleeps' Copyright © T.Loto 2011 All rights reserved.  Please do not reproduce without written consent.

A/N: Hello Everyone,  I hope you are well.  This weekend has been good, though difficult at times to concentrate on writing.  This poem is a tribute to everyone in both NZ, and Japan whose lives have been deeply affected by the recent natural disasters.  I am extremely happy to know that my friends and family in both countries are accounted for, but still feel strongly for those who are currently searching for their loved ones.   If you are able to help at all, the British Red Cross is collecting donations.  

These disasters remind me that, life truly is fragile, and that our dear Lady Nature really is in charge.  I've been pondering on how short life really is, and that we should do everything in our power to live it to the fullest, be who you want to be, spend time with those that matter.  That's what I'm musing on right now.  How about you?

Have a lovely week!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Why Writers Abandon Novels

It would be dead to me for a reason: because it should be dead to everyone else. Oh yes, dead, most dead, deader than dead. - Joshua Ferris.  

Would you, could you, should you abandon a novel?  These initial questions popped into my head after reading a recent NYT article ' Why Do Writers Abandon Novels?'  I pondered this one long and hard, poured another glass of wine, and pondered a great deal more.  Here's what I came up with, Team-Stick-With-It vs. Team-Let-It-Go.  I'll let them duke things out amongst themselves, let me know which team you are batting for.  And, I mean that purely in regards to this post...

1.  You've invested so much blood, sweat and tears in your novel thus far, stick with it!
2.  It was a great concept 12 months ago, -stick with it!
3.  Ignore Little Miss Self-Doubter, stick with it!
4.  You're getting great feedback, -stick with it!
5.  You've already scoped out Books 2 and 3.  Um, like...yes, that could be true.
6.  You promised Great Aunt Ethel, a special dedication on the foreword, -stick with it!

1.  The other voices inside your head are so much stronger, let it go...
2.  You've lost that loving feeling, let it go...
3.  Some stories are for your eyes only, let it go...
4.  YA Paranormal is SO, like, 3 years ago.  Let.It.Go.
5.  You're already been two-timing on the novel with a new project... Let it go, gently.
6.  Great Aunt Ethel has lost her marbles, you shouldn't have promised her anyway.  Let it go.

For myself, I'm passionate about writing and I have never ever abandoned a story, in fact I go into Lara Croft ala mode, bungee-jumping-across-gargantuan-canyons-to save- an ancient manuscript.  No wait, not Lara, she's a Sissy...  Maybe more a Marine, that's right-I am Team-Blackhawk-No-Novel-Gets-Left-Behind, if there is life, we will rebuild it, if it's flat-lining, call in those Special Forces, aka your critique partners, sound out new beta readers, 'leave no stone unturned', you can finish it!  So, if you are having a dilemma as to keep or leave a novel in the making, my vote is, keep going, the satisfaction in finishing it, -would be a sweet, sweet reward.  And who the devil is Lara Croft anyway?

*Whispers*  Have you ever abandoned a novel?

A/N:  Happy Friday all!  Hope you are all well.  This week has flown, and I'm happy about that.  Plans for this weekend? I shall be celebrating dear friends birthday, more lunching and writing.  And, a great big dose of relaxation.  I like to keep at least one of the days unplanned, it makes me feel like I'm spontaneous... * laughs to self *  How about you?

Monday, 7 March 2011

"Baby, what's in a name?"

How do you pick your character's names?  You have a brilliant idea for a new story, you know the setting, the outline, how it ends, heck you even know what your Main Character will wear the first time she meets her beau!  Ahem, but for some reason, only known to your Muse, and the-spooky-tarot-card-reading-lady-at-the-local-fun-fair, -you just can't settle on a name, so what do you do? Well, here's what I consider when choosing the name of my new babies aka my new MCs.

1.  City/Country/Planet of the Story.  Are there any names common to the setting of your story?  For example, Edward is great for a turn of the century romance, or a Vampire, but as an Alien fighting Zombies? Possibly not.  Think, like, really hard, -what name fits your setting?

2. Sexual Ambiguity.  And, I'm talking about the symbols on the bathroom doors here, you know the circle with the arrow, and the circle like, with the cross?  Yes, those ones, -Male vs. Female.  Avoid confusion, try to steer away from androgyness sounding names.  There's nothing more frustrating than reading the first few chapters of a book before realising that Alex is actually Alexandria, Sam is really Samantha, and well, 'Jacks' really is Jack the bloke version, not derived of our dear Jacqueline variety.

3.  Avoid the cliche' - as in, names that have already been around the block recently, like, several times.  Look at the recent bestsellers in your chosen genre, -do we really need another Bella, Dan, Luce, Harry, Sam, Hermoine?  Oh wait, -Hermoine?  It's your story, it should be original! Start afresh, give them brand spanking new names, puh-lease!

4.  Names that fit your genre.  YA vs Period Romance vs Sci-Fantasy vs Steampunk vs Womens Literature, the list, like the possibilities, is endless.  And so, if you are tossing up on Harold, James, Jana, Sam (there's that name again), Zaza, Nana, Alice, Pete, Sylvia, -pick the name that fits your genre and time period.

5.  Age-clothing-style-appropriateness.  So, I could've just stuck with age, but here's the thing -keep your character in character, start with a great name that fits.  Like any good lady knows, one must dress one's age, and it helps if your writer clearly defines this from the outset.  Don't give the black-robed spinster a name like Jade, nor bestow a young rockstar with Camilla. Keep your characters happy, give them the best names you can find, after all a happy character makes a happy story right?  This is me, assuming you're writing happy endings again. 

Tell me, how do you pick your characters names?

A/N:  I hope you had a wonderful, restful weekend.  I certainly did, and I managed to keep moving with my edits, which makes me happy. One last tip for characters names, if in doubt, do what millions of humans do daily - 'google' names, baby names, characters names,  'google' like there's no tomorrow, because...if you 'google', you will find one.  Trust me.  Have a great week!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Movie Review: The Black Swan

'It's like, 127 hours, -only you're stuck in a ballet full of fragile egos and a single nail file.' - My twitter review of Black Swan in less than 140 characters.   I'm learning to keep my posts short and sweet this week.  Black Swan is an amazing psychological thriller set in New York, the central protagonist is a young ballet dancer, Nina, who finds herself both struggling and revelling in the lead role of Swan Lake.  Nina is an incredibly talented dancer who only sees her flawed self, she must fight the 'dark forces' of her own mentality to 'let herself go' fully, to unleash the passion and intensity within her own mind that embodies the true spirit of the Black Swan.

Natalie Portman plays Nina, and some of you probably know she won an Oscar for this role.  Enough said.   Aside from fighting her own insecurities, we watch Nina's daily battles with her relentless-over-bearing mother, brilliantly played by Barbara Hershey,  * whispers, Barbara gave me the shivers...just plain scary, like, worse than Joan-Crawford-scary. *  Beware though, this film is not everyone's cup of tea either, there is a lesbian-dream-fantasy-sequence, an underlying theme of self-harm, hence the nail file reference above...and of course the voyeuristic parent factor.  Vincent Cassel is superb as the all consuming creative director for the ballet, ahem, I have to mention that I first fell in love with Monsieur Cassel in 'Brotherhood of the Wolves...which was quite wonderful too!  Winona Ryder gives a class performance as the out-going-over-the-hill-ballerina;  Milla Unis is perfect as the ambitious sexy understudy.

If you enjoy a good thriller where you are never too sure which way is up or down, and who is actually telling the truth, -then you may just like Black Swan.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Would I watch it again?  Yes, in fact, even before the credits rolled, I thought - I need to re-watch that, like, now?

Photocredits via weheartit

A/N:  I hope you all have had a lovely week!  It's been good for me on the editing front, and I hope your writing projects are coming along swimmingly.  Plans for the weekend?  Relaxing, an art gallery or two, shopping, lunching, and catching up with old friends.   How about you?