Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Monday 21 March 2005

pack your smiling muscles

Having once been a professional cheerleader I learned early on to live by the motto ‘Smile and the world smiles with you’. One way to make me smile is by sending me on holidays, especially to locations that inspire my writing: New York, London, or anywhere throughout Italy will do the job nicely.

Other things that make me smile are the gracious city of Melbourne, the gritty Collingwood football team, and my gorgeous husband. Don’t forget lukewarm coffee, bowls filled with M&Ms, "The Little Mermaid" memorabilia, and Christian Bale movies... See, the number of ways to make me smile is endless!

And as for my career as a writer? It gives me a perfectly reasonable excuse to indulge in my stationery addiction. That alone is enough to keep me grinning every day!

So if you plan on coming along this journey with me, only toothy grinners need apply...


welcome to my world, or how one author gets it done...

Take today for instance...

I woke briefly with the dawn only to blindly search out the snooze button on the alarm clock. Gave it a good smack. Returned to slumber. The alarm was in fact for hubby. Yet hubby hadn’t stirred. A swift kick in the shins later and he was out of bed, getting ready to go to work. Note to self: why is the alarm clock on my side of the bed? Hmmm, must find answer to this important puzzle before day is out.

I awoke again briefly half an hour later when hubby leant in for a kiss goodbye. I managed to mumble out something pithy and intelligent such as ‘leavemealoneI’masleep’ before slipping blissfully back into the land of dreams.

Apart from those couple of hiccups in my preferred daily schedule, anytime before midday is always my time to do with as I please. I can use the time to sleep, watch TV, check up on emails that have traveled through the miles from friends and workmates far away, sleep, try to teach all too clever puppy how to use new doggy door, send hubby an apology for grumpy morning behaviour by way of cutesy text message, sleep…

Eventually today I arose, without any need of a buzzing clock, thank-you very much!

After a shower and change, I wandered into my office decked out in my regular glamorous work ensemble of cotton t-shirt and velour tracksuit pants, hair tied back in a ponytail and feet encased in fluffy pink slippers, my daily bowl of M&Ms and cup of lukewarm coffee cradled protectively in my arms. I slumped into my office chair surrounded by piles of important paper (which I will organize tomorrow), shelves of books (which I will read eventually), and an inspiration wall covered in happy quotes, song lyrics, pictures torn from magazines, business cards, character notes and travel memorabilia.

With the laptop happily humming away, the open window letting in streams of Melbourne sunshine and fresh air, and the CD player blaring cheerful, sing-along, eighties music from the lounge room I was in position. I was on the job. I was battle ready! I again wondered why the alarm clock has always been on my side of the bed. He has a clock (though it is a Thunderbirds clock and it does make silly airplane noises when it does go off). He has a watch that beeps and buzzes when told to do so. So why have I always had to be the one in charge of the snooze button? Hmmm…had to ponder this conundrum extensively while I had the chance…

I finally came to from daydreaming about taking a trip to Lake Como aboard a Thunderbirds plane, about what we might have for dinner, about a gorgeous outdoor setting I saw in a furniture catalogue the other day, but I was none the wiser as to alarm clock mystery. Had an hour really gone by so fast? Yep. Oops. Coffee was now dregs, M&Ms were all gone, fridge and TV were both calling their siren songs, new words on computer screen were decidedly uninspired by happy quotes, song lyrics etc… I shook my head and told myself to get cracking. I decided to be like a puppy in training – do good job, get reward. Until I had written a thousand words, I would get no lunch. I remembered the West Wing episode I had taped last night. I was itching to watch it. Maybe I could watch just ten minutes – No! Only another thousand words and these treats could all be mine!

Then it happened. The thought of rewards kick started me into a writing frenzy and once there, the rewards didn’t seem so important anymore. When the words took flight, when my heavenly hero and sunny heroine finally began to fire sparks off one another, when the dialogue sparkled and the emotion tugged, no amount of food or must-see TV could draw me away from the keyboard.

Until suddenly a car door slammed. Hubby was home. Argh! It was six already? Double argh! But I was only just getting started. At that point I could have written all night. Who needs food? Who needs rest? Who wants to peel oneself away from one’s office chair when the prose is singing like that? But since he is the one thing that can drag me out of a writing frenzy, I saved my two thousand new words, I made quick plot notes on the corner of an important piece of paper, and heartbreaking as it was to do so, I switched off my computer.

Hubby and I took actual puppy for a walk. We nattered. We ate dinner cooked by him (angel!). We watched TV chosen by me (am I spoilt, or what?). I asked why the alarm clock has always been on my side of the bed. He told me it is so that I am at least semi-conscious when he kisses me goodbye in the mornings, as he loves nothing more than seeing the involuntary crease at the corner of my mouth when he does so. Mystery solved.

Off to bed past midnight, this time not quite so disgruntled by the thought of tomorrow’s looming alarm…