It's all about the tea and terror here

Reading Meme

What are you currently reading?

11/22/63 by Stephen King

I’ve been avoiding this one for awhile because while I love Stephen King and have a major hankering for pretty much everything he writes, I tend to get stuck on the political ones.  I read Dead Zone about ten years ago and the most I can say is, “Well, I finished it.”  I’m English, he’s American, I’m not good on my own politics, let alone anyone else’s and honestly, political commentary is not what I read horror for.


Time travel.  Freakin’ time travel.  To 1958.  And yes, my King-addled mind wondered idly if there would be a reference to It in there.  After a few pages, the book teased me with the reference, then delighted me with an entire scene (also a continuity error, but let’s not go there).

So, thus far, I’m enjoying.  I read King slowly, so I’ll probably be on this book for months.  Unlike Carla, who can read It in six days.  Seriously.

What did you recently finish reading?

Buddy, Buddy’s Song and Buddy’s Blues all by Nigel Hinton.  Recalling my youth and revelling in the books written and set during the time I was growing up.  I really love books set in England, naturally I identify more with them.  The last one was a major let-down though, for one thing they’ve made the peculiar decision to describe the BIG SPLASHY ENDING as the synopsis on Amazon, for another, it feels like the BIG SPLASHY ENDING was just there because one was expected (and to be honest, with YA/coming of age/romance/issues stories, it wasn’t – it’s not like it was horror or action where a final showdown is required).

What do you think you’ll read next?

Bumped and Thumped by Megan McCafferty, they’re both in my reading queue, and I’ve read a couple of chapters of Bumped, since it takes me ages to get through Stephen King now (I used to be able to read fast, but now there’s not enough time in the day).

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Mega Outline

So, uh, when you’re facing an A plot, B plot and C plot and each of these plots have a foe, and the story takes place over a matter of days… you’re looking at a hell out an outline.

Biggest outline ever.

Posted in UK Horror Series, Writing Stuff | Tagged , ,

My Thoughts on Wrestling

My thoughts on yaoi wrestling

I’ve realised that I talk about wrestling a lot, so maybe I should list what I like and dislike about it.

Also, I noticed that I missed a couple off my “Fave Five” on my about page, (Dean Ambrose, CM Punk, Paul Heyman, Heath Slater, Seth Rollins, Edge, Christian, Kane, Daniel Bryan, the Bella Twins [Nikki being my favourite], Nattie and AJ), which are Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Things I like:

  • The Shield as a stable.
  • When Punk does a swinging neckbreaker, preferably on someone agile, like Bryan, and it looks awesome.
  • When Seth and Bryan wrestle. I could watch them for the whole three hour show.
  • The divas division. And, for that matter, Total Divas on E! It’s very uncool to do so, but I will take the divas getting screen time any way possible. And while I have favourites (Nikki Bella), I have no interest in ripping anyone who isn’t my favourite to shreds. Don’t be a bully, fandom, be a star.
  • Staying up for pay per views (every month, without fail) and live tweeting about it (not through my girl_canfield account at twitter – I try to keep the wrestling off my real twitter). Also, watching the pre-show with Carla via Skype.
  • They way Paul Heyman clearly is lying and yet I believe every single word he says. That man owns me every time he speaks. As a side note, I went to the live show in Leeds on 14 November, and he greeted us with “Ladies and gentlemen,” when we booed, he responded with, “Oh, you boo when I call you ladies and gentlemen? Fine. Things that live in Leeds…” To quote Carla when faced with something too awesome: DED.
  • The commentators on the last show before Christmas, they tend to be a little more weird than usual. Actually, any time the commentators go off topic and get each other laughing (Josh’s “Stone Cold! Stone Cold!” moment; JBL recently using the phrase “heat” and Cole trying to cover; and, naturally, when the entire team stole Booker T’s catch phrases).
  • Heath Slater’s hair.  It is the exact shade I would love my hair to be.
  • The incredible selling skills of Dolph, Seth and Slater.
  • The tag team division.

Things I dislike:

  • When the WWE decides they’re hot on someone and ram them down our throats at every opportunity – I’m not talking about Cena, we just have to learn to live with that one, ok, IWC? I mean when they go through phases with people, Big Show and Sheamus are the ones that spring to mind. At some point both were wrestling and promo-ing on both shows at least twice. And then they feuded with each other, at which point I started praying for the infatuation to end. If I didn’t love the Shield, I would hate them because they’re on TV so much.
  • The way I can’t pick a side on the Cena thing. If you consider yourself smarky (a smart mark – someone who knows it’s pre-determined, but still enjoys it), you’re supposed to hate him because he’s Super Cena, the undefeatable, unbreakable super star. And yet, I really like him. I hate the way he’s booked at times, but he seems like a nice guy in real life, he’s dedicated to the company, and he can definitely wake up the crowd.
  • And going on the opposite of the above, the way I can’t force myself to like Del Rio for longer than a few minutes at a time.  He is a fantastic wrestler and I really wish I liked him, but he is a world of bland, now he’s lost Ricardo.
  • The fact that tornado tag team matches (where everyone is in the ring at once, no need for tagging), are just a thing that no longer happens.  And also when tag team matches are no disqualification and nobody takes advantage of this and turns it into a tornado match.


  • I wish Wade Barrett, William Regal and Damien Sandow would team up and form a well-spoken gentleman’s club.
  • That Dean Ambrose would be a little more Jon Moxley when the Shield eventually dissolves. When I refer to him as Moxley (or Mox), I mean the character he had in the indies, the guy who gave us quotes such as, “You won’t quit? Fine. I’ll make you bleed to death in the ring!” (paraphrased) and “You, sir, are a coward, and I can defeat you with a fork and a spoon!” (verbatim). I’m not one of those strange fans who think you get extra points by referring to WWE stars by their indy or real names.
  • That Rob Van Dam would hurry back. Ditto Jericho.
  • The Ricardo was back on my screen.
  • That there was a divas tag division.

Yeah.  That’ll do for now.

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Writing Process: Outline

So, a bit of backstory on who I am, who Carla is, and things like that.

Carla and I met online back in the days when everyone had a GeoCities site, and those sites were divided into districts, depending on the topic of your site – for example, hers was in Hollywood because it was about a movie.  Her nephew/our intern/bossy guy who keeps us from slacking off is actually the same age as our friendship (referred to as Intern).

I sent her a gushing email telling her she was awesome and I was going to stalk her until we were best friends, and I can’t remember exactly what she said in return, but it was very friendly and encouraging.  Then we bumped into each other on a mailing list.  She seemed pleased to see me, despite the threat of stalkage.  Since then we’ve followed each other to various places online (due to my stalking her to LiveJournal, I met my soon-to-be-hubby, but that’s another story).  We started co-writing back in 2001, and despite our very obvious differences (she’s American, she’s all about threatening atmosphere, delicious description and a ruthless addiction to plotting and outlines; I’m English, and into dialogue, strange characters, and a slap-dash approach to writing, which is basically: type something, see where it takes you), we seemed to click writing-wise.  Even back then, if you ignore the English/US spellings, it’s actually hard to see who wrote which chapter.

Carla has worked her tail off trying to get me to be a more functional writer.  After thirteen years, we’re at the point where she has got me as addicted to outlines as she is.

Our writing process for the outline is this:

  • Open a new doc in GoogleDrive.
  • Argue over what to call it.
  • Wait patiently while I format the document to my liking.
  • Waste ten minutes while I whine that “keep with next” is not an option in GoogleDrive.
  • Briefly outline that A plot, B plot and, if necessary, C plot.  Waste 60 minute coming up with wrestling metaphors for our plots/discuss the merits of Paul Heyman.  Get side-tracked for a further 30 minutes by either complaining about how Cena is booked, or speculating on what will happen next with The Shield (the wrestling stable, not the TV show).
  • Decide on POV characters.
  • Type the words “Chapter One”.  Then bold them.
  • Discuss wrestling until one of us reminds the other that we’re supposed to be writing.  This goes a lot faster if Intern is in the background, he will then set his timer for 30 minutes and want to know how many words/chapters we’ve done during this time.
  • Get chapter one done in a flurry of activity.  Until one of us mentions the wrestling.
  • Speculate on which wrestlers might not be opposed to being in the movie of our book.  Which we are currently not outlining.
  • Get stuck on chapter two or three.  Bitch about it.  A lot.
  • Revise chapter one, until two and three behave.
  • Suddenly get excited over the book, and outline 15 chapters.
  • Realise Character X has a different motivation.  Amend previous chapters accordingly.  Put notes in previous book outlines that this will require tweaking.
  • Sit back, all satisfied and check Ringside Confessions.  Discuss the contents from every conceivable angle.  Once more fangirl over the sheer presence and charisma of Paul Heyman.
  • Repeat as necessary.

I love the outlining process.  I get the same amount of satisfaction on a completed outline as I do on a completed book.

Carla and I are trying something new at the moment.  We are trying to outline an entire series (the UK horror series) before working on the books.  Books 1 and 2 are already written, but need revising drastically, given that we wrote them as stand-alones separately (Book 1 is mine, Book 2 is hers), before deciding they could work in the same universe.  With that in mind, we started outlining the whole series, so we couldn’t be blind-sided by later plots that develop that we didn’t see coming and should have seen – and more importantly, should have foreshadowed.  It’s an awesome process watching our world come together.

As an update on my last post, we have now finished the outline for Book 3, and have started 4.

Cross-posted at

Posted in UK Horror Series, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , ,

Obligatory First Post

So, I have set up WordPress, I have fought with Twitter (and lost) and now, here I am, with my creepy green blog, all prepared to fill pages with… something.  I have no idea.

A quick “about me” style post? Ok, I’m in my 30s, I live in Leeds, I love horror movies and tea, preferably together, and every Saturday I have “Tea and Terror”, a horror movie watching/tea-drinking day, with one of my best friends, Kim.  When I’m not watching horror, I’m attempting to write it with my other best friend, Carla.  Carla was the one who suggested I start blogging again.  Sadly I miss the heady days when LiveJournal was the height of the blogging experience.  I was cool on LJ back in the day.

So, writing.  I’m better at fiction than blogging, third person past tense being a much easier way to write.  With first, I change tenses all the time.  I’m working on that.  I write what I love to read: strong, awesome young women; ghosts that do not rattle chains; the occasional vampire; and plenty of people with a whimsical approach to life.  Also: Garden Gnomes.

Current projects include:

Nox Series

1: Isolation
This is currently in third draft, with third readers for their comments.  We hope to send it out to agents by the end of the year.

2: Rage
Outline stage – part 2.  We outlined it thoroughly, and realised on the writing stage that it wasn’t right for the series or the characters, so we are looking at a major rewrite.

Very shallow outline stage.  Overall arcs outlined, but not chapter by chapter.

UK Horror Series

1: The Talking Dead and 2: Monsters and Music
Fully outlined.

3: Forgotten Love
Halfway through the outline stage.


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