Sunday, 17 October 2010

Light Relief

For those of you who don't already know I've just received my 3rd set of revisions for my medical romance and am going to have to and retreat into the Bat Cave for a while.
Meantime Heidi Rice got me crying this week when she put a clip of 'The Way we Were' on her blog, I haven't even seen the film but the last seven minutes had me crying buckets.
So for some light relief I decided to compile a little list of my favourite films.  Now not all my favourite film actors even feature in some of these films, so hats off to Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage who are nowhere to be found.  I am also about to reveal myself as a true eighties girl. 
I tried to compile a list of ten, failed miserably, and only got it down to 13 by amalgamating some together.
I make no excuses for some of the stuff I like, I only know that if any of these films are on the TV there is a strong possibility I'm going to sit down and watch.
So, in no particular order, here goes
  1. Back to the Future - everybody loved Marty McFly and I really, really wanted a shot in that car....
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark.  One of my absolute favourites, with one of the best lines EVER "Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?"  I loved Indy, and none of the other Indiana Jones films ever matched this one.
  3. Star Wars.  Because I'm a Sci-fi geek and I always will be.  I could watch this again and again and again.  And oops!  there's Harrison Ford again - how did that happen?
  4. Star Trek First Contact.  Do you see a theme here?  Captain Picard is my all time favourite Star Trek captain and I do think I should be cast as his daughter.  But this film had the best baddies ever - The Borg!  Even the name sends a chill down my spine.
  5. E.T  I told you I was a sci-fi geek and I do have son called Elliott.  The reason I chose this picture is because there is a ride at Universal Studios where you climb on Elliott's bike, go up in the air, and ET appears in your basket!  It is magical and I felt a tear in my eye as I sat next to all the kids on that ride.  And I really loved the glowing finger...
  6. Dirty Dancing.  "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" yet another great line, delivered by a man who will always have a special place in my heart.  The tunes in this film were beyond fabulous and no, I didn't like Jennifer Grey, but then again, that's because she was dancing with MY man!
  7. Pretty Woman.  What a fabulous story.  How beautiful, vulnerable and fiesty was Julia Roberts in that part?  She nailed it!  And I really, really loved it when she back into that shop and gave them what for, go girl!
  8. Beverly Hills Cop.  Okay so I know that Victoria Beckham has now nicknamed him Beverly Hills C*ck because he done the dirty on her friend, but this film was magical.  The theme tune was fabulous and even my six year old hums it.  The one-liners were great too.  Watched Daddy DayCare the other day and he had me in stitches for that too, but this was definitely the best.
  9. Die Hard.  The common theme here is that none of the follow up movies have ever trumped the first ones.  Bruce Willis was the perfect hero for this, reluctant, hard ass and definitely fit.  Everyone should have a Bruce in their corner when the chips are down.
  10. It's a Wonderful Life.  Because I love Jimmy Stewart and I loved the fact he was so despondent in this film, absolutely rock bottom and he learned the value of life.  I loved the message behind this movie.
  11. Musicals - The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain.  Because I spent hours and hours watching these as kids and they don't make films like these any more.  And because I played the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz at dance school.  Remember Donald O'Connor running up that wall in Singing in the Rain, and the fabulous scene with Gene Kelly dancing in the rain - do you know how much of a perfectionist he was and how many hours he spent practising that?
  12. The Slipper and the Rose.  Does anyone remember this Cinderella story with Richard Chamberlain and Gemma Craven and really snide singing.  Well I loved it!  Every second of it and I don't care if you are all screaming with your heads underneath your pillows.  We are all allowed one really bad film on our lists and this is mine.
  13. White Christmas.  So I know that I've done musicals but this one is special too.  And I have to watch it every year because I love schmaltz and this one does it to perfection.  And do you remember the little girls on pointe at the end, who were WAY to young to be doing that??
Okay, so that's me.  So what gets your vote?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

How do you pick your setting? Or how I discovered Pelican Cove

So I had a rough idea of what I wanted my next story to be about.  The only thing was - this medical had a little twist.  And this twist required the story to have an American setting.  So, since I don't live in America, how was I going to pick a setting?
Then it appeared, via Murder She Wrote.  Shown at present every afternoon on British TV.  Cabot Cove.  Perfect.
Then I discovered that the Cabot Cove set at Universal Pictures was also where they filmed Jaws and that kind of put me off.  Then I made another discovery - although Cabot Cove was set in Maine, some of the outside settings were actually filmed in Mendocino, California.  So that made me think a little harder and do a little research.
And here's what I found

Gorgeous!  Absolutely gorgeous!!  And just perfect for my setting.  So I did a little more research and found out about the nearby medical facilities, what was available, what would fit with my story.  I found out about the surrounding area and the beautiful nearby housing stock.
so I'm loving it.  Perfect.  My characters have the perfect setting for falling in love.  And now I find out about the local industry so I know what kind of accidents can happen that my characters can deal with!  Then it happens - I find out about the Pelicans.
The pelicans that are native to Mendocino valley.  And now I have my name for my fictional setting PELICAN COVE.
Now, just be glad I didn't want to tell you about the research I did for The Venetian Doctor, all set on a cruise ship!
So how do you pick your setting for your story?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Early NaNo Writing Month

It's time to admit I've been lazy.  It's very nice to have a story sitting the midst of Mills and Boon somewhere.  But this is the point where I should have been rapidly writing the next one.  And I haven't.  So it's time to get my head down and start writing.  Last time around I definitely had a slow start.  It took three attempts to write the first chapter, probably because I kept starting in the wrong place.  However I finally had something I was happy with.  This time around I've planned my storyline, worked out my conflict (well some of it anyway), did my lovely character profiles (courtesy of Kate Walker) and have a good idea of what I want to achieve.  I have also spoke to my lovely critique partner and my blog friend Wendy Marcus as this story is set in America, so I have two lovely American nurses who can point me in the right direction when I have any queries.
I have also been HEAVILY distracted by New Voices.  (Note to slap the back of my hand and stop going on to the website everyday).
So it's time to set a goal.  So I've decided to set October as my own personal NaNo Writing Month.  Yes, I know that I'm a month early, but this is a good time to start.  I'm going to aim to have the little word counter moving in an upward direction on a daily basis.  Hopefully by the end of the month I will (almost) have a dirty draft and spend the next few weeks editing after my critique partner has given me her thoughts.
It will also help to keep my mind off of Mills and Boon land.  So if I get a YES I can scream and shout and say, Yes I have written something else.  Or if I get a NO I can smile sweetly and say "Well that one might not have worked, but what about THIS one."
Time to get writing.  If you see me anywhere, tell me off and send me back here!