Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Holidays....and waiting...

So we have just got back from a fabulous Mediterranean cruise on a beautiful ship with Swarovski crystals in the stairs.  Yes, you will have to look hard at the picture to see them but I swear they are there!  I could also tell a few tales about a terrifying visit to the Medina in Tunis and a very annoying man at Heathrow who rebooks your flight when you've been delayed.  But this is not an adult only blog and swear words are definitely not allowed!
So a week spent in Genoa Italy, Pompeii, Palermo Sicily, Tunis, Palma Majorca, Barcelona and Marseille was certainly something to dream about.  Can I pretend it was all research for my next story, which incidentally is set on a cruise ship?  Actually, I wrote it last year and am currently revising it.  Not because any of the geographical details are wrong, just because I managed to write a whole romance novel with no POV.  Yes, I did.  55,000 words of it.  Actually I think there should an award for that and I do mean a raspberry type award.  Never mind, revising is fun and it gives me something to do, it also means I can see improvements in my work which I am eternally grateful for.

I wanted to post some really cool pictures of Pompeii but when I looked at them all I realised that I had lots of pictures of the artefacts and practically no pictures of the family.  Ooops. 

So decided to take a bit of artistic licence and show you a picture from Chateau D'if in Marseille.  It was the prison that inspired Alexander Dumas to write The Count of Monte Cristo and was absolutely fascinating to visit.  See, it is connected to writing! The cell I am pictured in held one prisoner for 19 years.  All the prisoners names and length of stay were above each of the individual cells (including the one that inspired the story and - no - he wasn't a Count).

And now for the waiting.  Because that's what I'm doing.  I'm still waiting to hear about the revisions that they want done on the current book.  Patience is a skill I have never been very good at (and being a nurse and a mum that almost seems a criminal offence) so I guess it's time to learn.  I know that right now M & B are fast-tracking all medical submissions in the month of August. So I think I might have to wait until that is completed.  I actually would really like to submit the other story I've revised but I know that I can't.  I also would like to try and submit to the New Voices Romance is not Dead competition - have you seen the fantastic prizes??  But I know that I won't do either of these things.  Both seem like fabulous opportunities but I've been really lucky and am currently working with an editor so I think it wouldn't seem fair to try and do this too.  I remember the furore last time around and wouldn't like to be part of that when right now, I have an opportunity of my own.  I also wonder if I really have the guts to submit a chapter that everyone in the world gets to read.  I mean, really, what if everyone thought that it was rubbish and said so??
So I'm going to sit here patiently waiting.  But I'm not back at work for the next ten days and my fingers are itching to type.....
Anyone else submitting?


  1. Hi Susan!
    Your cruise sounds AMAZING! I'm glad you had such fun. Should I say 'good things come to those who wait'? No? Hang in there. Hopefully good news is on its way!

  2. I never knew Chateau d'If was a real place! I loved the most recent film version of the Count of Monte Cristo. And BTW that picture is actually a really nice one of you. Pity about the bars!

    Sadly, I'm not waiting on anything. And right now I'd rather be waiting with you than not have anything out there!

  3. Hi Susan - we've just come back from a mini cruise to Bilbao. No Swarovski crystals, it was all pretty basic, but boy have we got the cruising bug. Am now saving my pennies..... Isn't waiting absolutely, 100% hideous. I blogged about it recently because it was driving me insane. I checked e-mails every second for about 4 weeks! I'm sure yours will be good news but am keeping fingers and toes crossed for you anyhow (it's your fault by the way if I fall over). I sent off my short story for the M&B/The Lady/National Trust comp the other day, but at least I know that's a fast turn around as they promised to publish winners in August. I shall be having a go at the medical fast track and soooo envy you proper medics. It's the research that gets to me having no medical experience at all. I'm also going to have a go at the new writers comp they're doing although haven't started anything yet. Which really means I should get off here and down to writing! Thanks anyhow for the distraction and remember, toes crossed.....

  4. Wendy - thank you. I've known for a long time that patience was a gift I was going to have to learn. Most people on the eharlequin boards tell stories of waiting months and months to hear anything, so I know that I've been lucky so far. If I do, I will let you know and I expect the same from you! Also heard you and Barbara got to meet at the conference, sounds fab.
    Romy - are you back in South Africa yet or are you still jet-setting aorund the world? The Chateau was really inspiring, pity M & B wouldn't like stories set around a prison! Even my other half and the kids liked it, so it must have been okay. I have to say that I stood at the top and looked out over the water thinking "That doesn't look too far to swim" - a thought that apparently some of the convicts had too, apparently none had success in trying to escape and swim to freedom. Time to pick the pen back up Romy and start again - what about the New Voices comp, you only need one chapter for that?
    Cara - I thought you had already been on holiday, you had a fabulous tan at the RNA conference. Good luck with the competition and I think you are very brave entering the New Voices. But please do, I want to see names of people I know up there. And there's lots of medical detail online, anything else - just ask. If I don't know I can ask one of the docs I work with x

  5. Looks like you had a fantastic holiday with your gorgeous family!!! I reckon you'll be published by the time the New Voices contest breaks :)

  6. Loved the pics - glad you had such a good time. Hang on in there with the waiting: a lot of people have faith in you :o)

  7. What a great trip you had. Beautiful descriptions and the pictures of you & your children are wonderful!

    Very sweet blog with vivid writing. You make me want to go travel! & I do!

    Following & will be back!

  8. What a fantastic holiday.

    My daughter would go mad for those stairs - she's been collecting Swarovski crystals since was was five years old.