Monday, January 31, 2011

The Final Book From: What Is Stephen Harper Reading?

It's the end of an era! Yann Martel will no longer be sending Stephen Harper books. Martel's final letter is an interesting one.  Will Harper actually reply?  I've wondered if he even realizes this is happening or does one of his staff just deal with it. 

Book Number 100: Scorched, by Wajdi Mouawad, translated from the French by Linda Gaboriau

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Article from The Sharp Angle

Lydia from the Sharp Angle writes a great post on writer rejection by paralleling it to rejection on American Idol. It makes for a funny, interesting and realistic article. Thanks for great words again!

The Sharp Angle: More About Rejection a la American Idol: "Why do the contestants on American Idol get so upset when the judges say, 'You're good, you've got the potential, but you're not quite ready..."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Short Story Sample

I sumbmitted a short story to one of the contests I previously mentioned.  This is just a sample of what I sent.  I like it...

There was a honking outside below the window. The couple ignored the sound as they attempted to shed themselves of the day. It must have nothing to do with them, yet it persisted. They could hear people yelling. Who would be honking like that? Kiandra wiped her face and looked up at Ethan. Curiosity now led their actions.
            Kiandra reached the window first. “Son of a bitch!”
            Ethan looked over her shoulder. The day wasn’t as over as he’d thought it was. “What is he doing back here?”
            Below their window, in the circle of a streetlight, Vincent stood outside his bright yellow car, which glowed in the darkness. He honked the horn again. Someone, a neighbour, had already come out of the building and was trying to talk to the angry young man. His words were being ignored. He began shouting. Vincent stopped honking to yell at the older gentleman. There were few people in the street, but they had all stopped to stare.
            “I’m going to need to go downstairs,” Kiandra whispered tiredly.
            “This time I’m coming.” Ethan motioned to follow and Kiandra did not stop him.
            They walked out of their building and onto the sidewalk. Kiandra whispered, “Sorry,” as she passed her neighbour. The man backed away but stopped at the front door. Ethan stood on Kiandra’s left, waiting for her to begin. Vincent stopped, waiting for the same thing.
            “Why are you here?” Kiandra’s voice was low.
            “I wasn’t done talking to you.” Vincent glanced at Kiandra, then glared at Ethan. He moved around the car to stand just a few feet from the couple.
            They didn’t move, just returned his stare. Kiandra breathed deeply. “I’m done talking to you. I don’t know how many times I need to say that I don’t want to see you again. Ever.”
            “You don’t mean it.”
            “I’m done repeating myself. Leave… or I’ll call the police.” She felt her voice shaking but hoped no one heard it.
            “The cops? For what? I haven’t done anything.” Vincent was growing more enraged.
            Ethan decided he had stood silently long enough. “You’re harassing my girlfriend. You’re disturbing us and our neighbours.”
            “Oh, you talk?” Vincent was growing more antagonizing.
            “Leave.” Ethan stepped forward, putting Kiandra behind him.
            Vincent matched that step. “Kiki, doesn’t want me to.”
            “You don’t listen! You never did. This is the last time I’m telling you to leave.” Kiandra felt in her pocket for her mobile.
            Vincent rushed forward to grab Kiandra’s hand, but Ethan blocked him.
“Don’t touch me!” Vincent shrieked.
            “Don’t touch her!”

Friday, January 21, 2011

15 Authors in 15 Minutes

I found this exercise at Whatcha Readin’, Books? (and decided to put up my results on both my blogs). The instructions are pretty simple and I enjoy the results. So:

• List fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you or who stick with you.
• Select the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. No particular order required.
• Don't take too long to think about it.

Here is what who I thought of:

1. Stephen King
2. Margaret Atwood
3. Michael Ondaatje
4. William Shakespeare
5. Douglas Coupland
6. William Wordsworth
7. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
8. Virginia Woolf
9. Mary Shelley
10. R.A. Salvatore
11. Gwendolyn MacEwan
12. H.G. Wells
13. Hanan Al-Shaykh
14. J.K. Rowling
15. Khaled Hosseini

This didn’t take me as long as I expected it too, only about two minutes. I actually had more than 15 for when I finished, but then I looked at the list and saw that I was reaching, trying to be too intellectual about my choices. Of the authors I have here, some of them I’ve read quite a few of their works, others I’ve only read one or two. Each of the authors have influenced me as a reader and a writer.

That was the official (?) exercise. However, instead of just giving you a list of authors, I thought that I’d also give you a title by each of them, if you’re so inclined to try one of them out and are not sure where to start I have a suggestion.

1. The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger
2. A Handmaid’s Tale
3. In The Skin Of A Lion
4. A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream
5. The Gum Thief
6. A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal
7. Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner
8. Flush
9. Frankenstein
10. The Crystal Shard
11. Trojan Women
12. The Time Machine
13. Only In London
14. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone
15. A Thousand Splendid Suns

What authors have influenced you? Leave a link below if you make your own list and I’ll stop by.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ward Six: Are You a Double-Spacer?

An interesting post from Ward Six about double-spacing after periods.  Do you do it?  I admit I do.  It was a habit from high school keyboarding class, now it's a requirement as part of my duties at my job.  I know that here on blogger, the software automatically takes out the extra space.  I know that printed material doesn't include it.  I expect that eventually it will be the all-around standard, but for right now, I do it. 

Ward Six: Are You a Double-Spacer?: "image lifted from You've probably seen this article in Slate: the author works up quite a lather about people who stil..."

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Scoop

I know it’s been a while since I posted.  It’s been a while since I’ve really written anything.  This can be attributed to two words.  Morning Sickness.  That’s right, I’m expecting my second baby early this summer.  My husband and I are really excited. 

I’m hoping that since I’ve hit the second trimester, I’ll be writing and blogging back at my normal pace.  We’ll see how well that works out, but I’m optimistic.  I miss writing.  I think about the stories I could be working on, I think about the novel that hasn’t moved in months.  I want to get reacquainted with the characters I’ve created.

In this new hopeful mindframe, there are a few contests I’m looking to enter:

Will I be able to do all of these by their due dates?  I hope so.  I have plans in my head; it’s just about finding the time to get them out on paper.