Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday Surprise...Courting Distractions

This week at The Pink Heart Society, editor Ally Blake talks about some of her favourite distractions, figuring maybe it's like THE RING; so long as she passes them on maybe they won't kill her...inspiration ;).

In my most recently written Harlequin Romance, BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP, the heroine is an artist. A painter. Her current work in progress is not going all that well. As such she has become highly adept at courting distractions.

People often ask if there is any of me in my characters, and I would have to admit that there is quite a bit of me in Maggie! I consider myself a professional procrastinator. Surely that's what I do for a living. I sleep, I check emails, I go outside to check on my chooks, Laverne and Shirley, I sit down to eat a fifteen minute lunch but I have to watch an entire episode of Grey's Anatomy at the same time - just so that I can delete it off our DVD hard drive and in between times I write books.

I think being a writer we are given distractions on a platter.

For starters most of us work from home. Even if we are lucky enough to have our own office, we are likely within sight of a comfy looking couch with a TV right in front of it, a fridge with the potential for many long staring sessions as we let all the cold air out, and a window with views of sunshine and blue skies just begging us to go outside. And that's not even mentioning the fact that we might have kids, a partner, or a pet scratching at our door wanting attention.

But finally, when we rein in our will power enough so that we are seated at our desk ready to write, how many of us have the internet on the very same computer? Me! Me! And now I have broadband!!! Heaven help me!

Anyway, being that I am such a giving sharing type, I thought now was as good a time as any to share some distractions kindly writing friends have sent me in the past.

Yahoo Avatars

Wasting time? Want to present yourself to the Internet world without using a photo and a bio? Why not create a Yahoo Avatar. It's like playing Barbies but you can pick your own hair colour, eye shape, pet, emotion...

Or research? And then again, it you too are a budding romance writer, how about your heroes and heroines? You don't need to just pick a picture from a magazine or close your eyes and see the picture in your head, create your own couple right there in front of you with pets, hats, backgrounds, seasons and all.


Wasting time? I can spend hours taking these quizzes to find out the most inane ridiculous things like:

What kind of pie are you? Lemon Meringue Pie (mmmm... see Natasha, it’s all coming around in a big circle!)
What 80s heartthrob should you be with? Jason Bateman (ta muchly)
At what price would you sell out? $1,105,578 (I feel so cheap)
What artist should paint your portrait? Klimt (ick! my least favourite!)
Which of Santa's reindeer are you? Rudolph (was hoping for a cheeky one)

And I mean, seriously, how can you go another day without discovering your funky inner hair colour??? Mine's pink. Go figure!

Or research? Could you use this the way many authors have conversations with their heroes and heroines? Answer the qustions as though you were your heroine and find out if she is a sunrise or a sunset. What kind of candy they are. Or even how open they are. See, I’m not making this stuff up!

My Heritage

Wasting time? Find the celebrity in you! You just enter in a picture and they come up with the 8 celebrities who look most like you!!! Could there be anything more fun, yet lacking in actual reason?

Or research? At a stretch, the site also has looooots of pictures of celebs in their database, so when you find one you like, you can click on their piccie and find another 20. which of course helps with hero and heroine casting, right?

Okay, so I’m a lost cause. But it’s not too late for you I’m sure!!!

What are some of your favourite internet distractions?


Ally’s latest book WANTED: OUTBACK WIFE, a Harlequin Romance, is out now in North America and the UK.

Check out the behind the scenes section of her website for more!


  1. Oh, Ally, you picked lots of my favorite distractions. But then there's watching sports, which can take mega-amounts of time. Being deep in the baseball play-offs here, and with the football season only a month underway, there is almost too much to pick from. And then there are all those books on my teetering TBR pile. Surely they would be more appealing then figuring out how to revise chapter three!

  2. Crikey, Ally! Now you've given me even more distractions to work with!

  3. I like asking Google random questions and see if I can manage to figure out an answer from the links that come up. Of course all my other internet related activities are purely work related...

  4. YouTube can take up hours and hours of time. I just wasted ten minutes with this little gem:

    Chad Vader Episode 4

  5. Blogs are my favorite internet distraction. I love discovering new author or group blogs...once I do, I have to visit each day (sometimes more than once to read comments).

    Oh, I also visit The Atlanta Zoo website to watch the new baby panda occassionally.

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