Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Random #31 - Is This A Resolution?


I think I am going to start recording quotes and passages from books.  I see other readers doing this all the time.  I used to when I was in school, but that was because I was studying the book and needed these quotes, topics, themes, etc., for whatever project or essay I was working on.  I think school made recording quotes seem like work to me, instead of allowing myself to be immersed in the story.  That's not to say I've never written down a quote since school, but it seems to be from only one book a year.  Sometimes passages do jump out at me, but I don't get up to write it down, I just smile, maybe think about it a bit, then keep reading.

Does this count as a resolution?  I don't know.  It's just coincidental that I'm thinking about this close to the new year.  I feel like if I resolve to do it, then it's destined to fail.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last Week #15 - My Latest Queries

I queried 5 (five!) agencies about my non-fiction project the last week before Christmas.  That's five opportunities for someone to say YES (and five for someone to say NO).  I read all their websites and didn't see anything about simultaneous submissions, so I hope that this is okay.  Except for one, I addressed the letters to specific agents.  I stared at the letters for a long time, hoping that they are good enough.  I guess all writers must feel this at some point, hoping that the words that they've put on a page (or screen) are good enough to entice an agent to represent them. 
I feel good that it's done.  I feel like I can let this manuscript sit and wait and I don't have to worry about it for a while.  I feel like I can focus on my fictional works now instead. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random #30 - Merry Xmas

Part of me always gets a little sad during the holidays because I don't get much writing (or reading done).  I get loads of other stuff done, though.  My gift shopping was done ages ago.  I've bought groceries for the different holiday dinners I will be hosting and attending.  I've cleaned.  I've baked cookies.  So, I've definitely been busy.  It's just the time of year, right?
I am excited for all the dinners and parties.  I'll be spending time with friends and family.  I'm excited to see those I don't see very often.  There will be hors d'oeuvres, chocolate and shots.  There will be laughter, twinkling lights, and music.  There will be hugs and kisses, and children running under foot.  The family time is going to be a blast!
I hope everyone out there (whether they celebrate a holiday at this time of year or not), has a wonderful week, filled with laughter and love.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Random #29 - Considering Social Media

I'm thinking about social media. Specifically, the social media I don't use. Instagram, Google+, and Facebook.  It seems like everyone has them.  Which do you like?  Which would I like?  I have Twitter and Pinterest already.  I enjoy using them.  I try to keep them updated and interesting too, though I'm not always successful.  I have a Goodreads account too, but that doesn't really count, does it?  I feel like I would like Instagram, but I don't know if I can keep it up as much as I do my Twitter. I'm also weary of posting my life in pictures on the Internet. I feel like Facebook and Google+ would only be useful if I actually had something published (whether self or traditional.)  Thoughts?  What do other people think of the social media out there? 

I don't think I would do any of the video type social media, YouTube, Vine.  That's a little too "out there" for me.  I'd feel exposed, anxious, then slightly crazy.  Who knows though?  I could change my mind one day.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Last Week #14 - Uninspired

Last week was my last writer's group meeting until 2015.  I'm not sure about what I wrote, but it's always nice getting together and writing from interesting, random prompts.
Have I worked on my actual novel?  Not really.  It seems like every night there's something going on.  I've tried getting up in the morning to work on stuff, but my children keep waking up before me.  Not good.  December always seems to throw everything off.  I am trying to sneak in a paragraph or two everyday, but progress is at a crawl.
Also, my computer is on the fritz again.  So, I have to use my Hubby's when I get the opportunity. 
Let's just say, except for Tuesday, it has been an uninspired week.  I'm looking forward to the week coming though.  I have hope for myself.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quote #45 - Philip Pullman

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Random #28 - The Mail

I didn't get an important letter in the mail.  It was sent in the summer.  I just found out about it today.  Why did no one check after I didn't respond after a couple months?  I'm stressed out now.  Unhappy.  Also, on hold trying to fix this new mess.  The day had been going so well up until now. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quote #43 - Mark Twain

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” — Mark Twain

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Random #27 - Mom Power

What I drink when I have a cold
or am feeling nauseas
I have a cold.  An icky one.  I lost my voice.  I'm tired and freezing.  That's all fine and nothing I haven't dealt with before.  What is challenging is taking care of my little children while sick, especially when I have no voice.  I'm either whispering sternly or croaking (only during the rare instances when they aren't listening, of course.)  The sounds I am making are not enough.  They lack some of the Mom Power that I usually have.  Time for some more lemon-ginger tea. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Last Week... #13 - Slump

Nothing much happened last week for two reasons:

1) My word processing program is not working.  This is a multi-level problem, which I find frustrating and discouraging. It leaves me unmotivated until the problem is solved.

2) I was recently in a bit of reading funk/slump.  I had stuff I was reading, but nothing was grabbing me.  I find my reading and my writing connected. If I'm not energized by what I'm reading, not only does my writing suffer, but so does my sleeping (I've had sleep issues since I was a teen. Reading is part of a good sleep routine I've created).  My blogging also lags because I'm not motivated.  

Is this crazy of me?  If' I'm not engaged with what I'm reading, my output dwindles away?  Maybe I was just in a general funk and everything was awful.

However, I did want to pull myself out of this funk, so I stopped trying to read the stuff that wasn't helping and I picked up Maggie Stiefvater's latest novel, Blue Lily, Lily Blue and I loved it.  I'm also sitting here typing this post, so maybe finding a good book was just the motivation I needed.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Last Week... #12 - Keeping the Flow

Last week I started going back to my writer's group.  The group breaks for the summer, but starts back up in September.  I hadn't been going.  One thing or another always came up.  My hubby encouraged me to go, made sure I was ready to go on time.  It makes me happy, the freeflow writing from prompts.  I enjoy talking to the people there.  I think going helps me keep my creativity flowing, while also letting me take a break from whatever project I'm working on.  

I also queried some more last week.  Still difficult.  Still nervous.

I wonder what next week will bring.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Random #26 - On Diverse Reading

Today I posted about diversity in my reading over at my other blog.  I thought I'd post it here as well....

I like to think that my reading is diverse.  I don't try to make my reading diverse, but when I see authors from different countries, with different backgrounds sitting on my shelves, I feel like I don't have to try.  I've never had a set reading list (except in school), so I just go where my mood takes me.

Red over at What Red Read, wrote a post last month about her reading stats and trying to diversify where her reading comes from.  It was an interesting post and got me wondering about my actual reading statistics, not just what I felt that I read.  I eyeballed my reading list from the past year and could tell that it was an even split between male and female authors.  I quickly realized that I've been reading a lot series lately, which I felt might skew my stats, because several books would be by one author.  Also, reading a lot of series meant that I was reading a lot more newer books than classics.

I analyzed my reading stats, some of it was what I expected, some of it was not.  I decided to choose a twelve month period, from October 2013 to September 2014.  I thought that would give me a good look at where my reading has taken me.  In that time I read 50 books (I think that might be the most I've read in one year).  25 books were written by women, 24 by men, and the final one was a short story collection including both sexes.  That is what I expected.  What I found surprising was how many of these men and women were white Americans.  Previously, I read a fair amount of Canadian literature (being in Canada) as well as books by English authors, with a few from other countries.  I was very surprised with my findings and wondered why this was (Excel helped a lot).  In that 12-month time frame, 33 of the books I read were in series!  That's more series than I have ever read before. Not that I never read series, but they were much fewer than the 13 I read.  I didn't finish all the series, but from the spreadsheet, that's only because not all the books are out yet and many were books I or my Hubby already owned.  All these series were by Americans. 

As I compiled all this information, I remember, about a year ago, looking at my bookshelf and realizing that I had picked up a few Young Adult series recently decided I should really read them. So, I guess I started to and just hadn't realized how that decision had changed my reading habits.  I also wanted to catch up on two series I have been reading for years, but had been neglecting.  That hasn't left a lot of room for anything else.  I've also read much less classics than in previous years. Previously, I read something like 12 classics in one year.  That's way down for 2014.

This new realization concerned me, so I decided that I would look further back at my reading habits. If I take a look at all of 2013, not just the last few months, my stats improve.  There are many more Canadians and English authors on the list.  There are a few more classics, but not as many as I would have liked.  I eyeballed my list of read books for the last few years (it's a lot of books to actually analyze) and it's more what I thought it would be.  Still a lot of white authors, but not as many as this last year.  That means (to me) that the choice to read through a bunch of the YA series I own has left me with a less culturally diverse reading list.  Now I wonder why that is.

What does that mean for my reading choices going forward?  Well, I still want to shrink my to-be-read pile and the easiest way to do that is to read easy books, but I plan on being more conscious of reading too many of them.  I might research authors more; often times I don't know about an author's background until after I've read their first book.  I'm also going to get back to reading more classics. I've got a list I want to finish.  I still think I have been doing a good job, I just also think I can do better.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Last Week... #11 - Agony

Last week I sent out a couple query letters regarding my non-fiction project.  I stressed and edited and stressed some more when I sent out those queries. Was I doing it right?  Were they horrible?  Many other stressful thoughts went through my mind.  What could I do though?  I couldn't not send out queries. So I did.  I will be sending out more.  I will agonize over them again.  But I will do it.  I am hopeful, while also pessimistic.  We'll see what comes of it. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quote #42 - Sylvia Plath

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Random #25

T-shirt weather is over.  I seem to be having a hard time accepting it.  I love t-shirts.  I don't know why.  They can't have longer sleeves though, just enough to cover shoulder and armpit.  I changed out of the t-shirt I was wearing this morning into a long-sleeved shirt.  I was cold.  Why am I thinking about this now?  I don't know.  Why am I posting about it?  Maybe someone out there will commiserate with me.  Maybe not.  

Also, I think I'm going to go make lunch for me and my son.... and stop eating cookies.  It's not even noon!

.... and those are my random thoughts today.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Quote #41 - Virginia Woolf

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Random #24

Over at my other blog, I decided to do the Classics Club Meme October topic.  I decided that it was a great topic and wanted to share it here as well.  It's all about classic poetry. What is your favourite poem? Poetry can be so inspiring, the words, the rhythm, the picture it paints.  So much can be said in just a few short lines.  My long-time favourite poem is by Romantic, William Wordsworth:  

A slumber did my spirit seal;
 I had no human fears:
She seem'd a thing that could not feel
 The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
 She neither hears nor sees;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course
 With rocks, and stones, and trees.

It is lyrically beautiful, while also being so very sad.  I first read this poem in University.  It has stayed with me since. 

I went through poetry overload after University.  I took an entire course on poetry, plus there was poetry in other classes as well.  I spent so long dissecting classic and contemporary poetry that I couldn't read it anymore, just for the enjoyment.  A couple years ago that slowly started to change with Disney Princesses, and Rime of the Ancient Mariner (which for some reason I never read in University.)  Since, I have kept up with reading poetry here and there.  I also decided that there were some classic poems and poets I had to read.  This past spring, I started reading the complete works of Emily Dickinson.  I decided to do it slowly, as so many poems would just blend together if I read it all at once and I wanted the opportunity to savour each poem.  From the collection, I have two favourites so far:

That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

and

Death is a dialogue between
The spirit and the dust.
“Dissolve,” says Death.
The Spirit, “Sir, I have another trust.”

Death doubts it, argues from the ground.
The Spirit turns away,
Just laying off, for evidence,
An overcoat of clay.

I know that The Chariot is Dickinson's most well-known poem, and I do think it is wonderful, but I can't have the same favourite as everyone else.  As soon as I read Hope it stuck with me and I think it might be like Wordsworth's classic, a poem I will think of for years to come.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Links Today

I miss putting links up.  I see so many great blog posts and articles and want to share them.  I just get caught up in my day sometimes....


R.L. Stine Short Story Contest - GalleyCat
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/wattpad-contest-invites-fans-to-collaborate-on-a-r-l-stine-short-story_b90753

The Color Thesaurus - Ingrid's Notes
http://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/the-color-thesaurus/

Do You Write for the Market? Or Yourself? Or Both? - Fiction Notes
http://www.darcypattison.com/novels/write-for-the-market/

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Random #23


I don't know what to read next. Sometimes it is obvious which book I should pick up, but right now, I'm just not sure. I thought I wanted to read Sleeping with the Fishes, but then I started thinking about Dracula's Guest. Two books that are very far apart. A fluffy paranormal romance or a classic? One is a paperback, the other is an ebook. Are either right for me right now? Should it be something completely different?
 
If I'm not reading a good book, it doesn't do well for my writing.  It doesn't have to be the same genre or type of story, it just has to be good.  I have to be enjoying it.  But I also don't typically analyze my choices in regards to whatever I'm writing.  I usually only see the results after or during the reading of the book.  Now, however, that I'm deciding what to read, I've lot the flow to the next book, so I'm analyzing.  I can't take a break from reading, because that's just crazy.  Ugh, I need to make a decision.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Last Week... #10 - WIP Page Change

Picture by me. Don't know why I
included it. Probably so the post
wouldn't look boring.
I think I have finished the revisions for my non-fiction project. Yay!  I also started work on the query letter for that project.  I don't think it's right yet.  I'll probably stress over this one page letter for at least a week.  It's mostly done, but it's not quite right...  Though when will anything ever be quite right?

I've also done a little work on my novel.  It's the one where I was writing a page a day, with no outline.  When I decided to focus all my energy on my non-fiction, that project fell to the wayside. I don't think I'll be able to make up months of pages, though I will try. 
I'm also going to update my Works In Progress page.  It's not accurate anymore since I've decided to put my completed manuscript in a drawer for a while.  Hopefully it'll see the light of day again, maybe part of it, but for right now, it has to go away.   I need to focus my energy on my non-fiction and my novel.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quote #39 - Toni Morrison

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Random #22

I still don't have my computer back.  I'm sad.  I can use my Hubby's, but not as often or when I would like.  Let's see what I can get done today.
 
I've started work on my query letter for my non-fiction.
 
I read Animal Farm recently and it was great.
 
Also, why will my son eat carrots and cucumbers, but not the hot dog?  Even when he asked for a hot dog?!
 
I guess I'm feeling more random than usual today. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quote #38 - Maya Angelou

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quote #37 - Stanislaw Lem

“Good books tell the truth, even when they're about things that never have been and never will be. They're truthful in a different way.” — Stanisław Lem

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Random #21

Picture of Motherboard from here.
My computer is currently out of service. I'm using my Hubby's now.  But since he uses his own computer frequently for work, I don't plan on getting a ton of time on it.  So, I'm feeling a little disconnected. I can't blog as much as I'd like.  I have edits to my non-fiction that I did by hand that I'd like to put into the computer file.  Also, I just like having my own computer and not having to ask my Hubby if he's using his.  It'll only be for a while longer, until it's fixed.  
 
Also, I read a couple great Emily Dickinson poems today.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quote #36 - Winston Churchill

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
― Winston Churchill

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Random #20

The beginning of September is so busy!  My daughter is back to school.  Getting back into the routine of making lunches and getting up early is so tiring.... for all of us.  No more getting up whenever for the kids, I have to wake them.  That is not always fun.  This last week and half has been so draining, I have no energy to do anything lately.
 
I also miss having my daughter home with me (I'm still unemployed.)  It was a fun two months with the kids.  We did lots of activities, visited friends and family.  It was such a different lifestyle than having her in school and me at work.  While I miss her, I'm happy she's back to school.  Now, I only have to entertain one child.  Plus, she enjoys school.  I know in five or ten years, that will likely change.
 
Does anyone else find September tiring?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quote #35 - Marilyn Monroe

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Random #19


Sometimes I wonder if I should print out all the story bits I have on my computer. There are loads of files. Some are transcribed from my notebooks, some are ideas that have popped into my head while working on something else, others...I'm not sure where they've come from.  So, I have all these files.  A lot of them.  I continue to put things, save things, on my computer so that I know they're safe.  They're also easier to find if I want a certain something, versus flipping through the stack of used notebooks.  But should I print them out, put them in a folder maybe, so that I can casually open it up, grab a piece of paper, and continue?  Would I come back to these half-formed ideas if they were more tangible, existed more physically?

I'm about to type up another one of those pieces.  A great beginning to perhaps a short story, I think.  I want to finish it, I want to finish all of them. Maybe I will print them out, make myself my own little book of ideas and beginnings.  I like to think that they all have potential.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last Week #9 - Non-Fiction Draft Done!

I finished my most recent draft of my non-fiction.  I'm so excited that it's finally done.  I feel like I've been working on it for ages.  I'm putting it aside now, as I always do when I finish a draft.  Then I'll come back to it in about a week.  I'll go over it, I think, one more time.  Then I'll be making a query letter.  I'm very excited and also scared.  What will happen to my little non-fiction book?  I can't think about it too much right now, or else I'll drive myself crazy. 

Here's a little snippet: 

They shut down, went out of business.  I heard from a store owner in the same plaza, that one day a big truck showed up and emptied everything from inside.  They broke a contract with one of their suppliers (or something like that) and some of their equipment was perhaps repossessed?  I wouldn't be surprised, but that's rumour and speculation.  All I know for certain is that they are no longer in business and this happened not long after I was laid-off.  The owners had been local, but maybe they moved away.  I haven’t seen them since my last day.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quote #34 - Michael Jordan

"I can accept failure.  Everyone fails at something.  But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Random #18

Every have a movie trailer get you to pick up the book?  That's happened to me with The Giver.  I don't know what it is about Jeff Bridges.  I watched a bit of an interview with him, talking about looking for something, and coming across The Giver.  In the trailers I watched the lead character running with a baby, trying to save the child and it got to me.  So now I'm immersed in Lois Lowry's story.  Why was he running with the baby?  After reading about half the book now, I have a feeling I know why he's running with the baby.  I hope they get away.  I suppose I'll know soon enough.

So, a good movie trailer can do two things, get you to buy the book and watch the movie.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Last Week... #8 - So Close To Finishing (Non-Fiction)

I did a lot of work last week.  I'm so close to finishing the revisions and additions to my non-fiction, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm actually thinking about my query letter now, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself.  I'm waiting until this latest draft is completed before I change my focus.  Since I'm finally using the computer to type stuff up, instead of writing it by hand, I thought I'd include a quick snippet. Hopefully it doesn't give too much away.  

*

Where will that leave me eventually?  Will I lose the job I currently have?  I don't know.  I don't think so. My boss has talked about the future of the company and how much he expects it to grow over the next few years.  Yet, other bosses/owners talked about the same thing and what did it get me?  It got me unemployed, desperately seeking a situation that wouldn't leave me penniless.  Over-dramatic?  Maybe.  But I did lose my job four times.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quote #33 - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Wishing is not enough; we must do." - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Random #17

It has come to my attention that there is no Gamora merchandise anywhere. I've read a couple articles and been unhappy.  Where is Gamora?  I just saw Guardians of the Galaxy.  I LOVED it. But I can't own any Gamora stuff?  Is this true?  If there is some Gamora merch, I would love to see it.  Mostly, I'd love a t-shirt, with all the Guardians or, I think one with Gamora and Nebula; it would be cool.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Last Week.... #7 - Creativity and Downside

Last week I managed to get done all the hand-written additions to my non-fiction. I enjoy writing by hand.  I feel more connected, more creative.  The downside? Now I have to spend time adding all the handwritten stuff into the draft on my computer.  That will be my focus for the next week or more.  Hopefully, I can get it all done and maybe throw up a sample here.

I'm also thinking of including all the previous week's blog posts here.  Too much work?  Maybe, maybe not. We'll see what this coming week brings!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Random #16

I also posted this as Out of Sight, Out of Mind; or, An eBook Conundrum, on my other blog...
 
I love print books, but I think ebooks are cool too. I've read a few and appreciate being able to read into the night with no lights on that keep my hubby awake. I like books being saved on clouds, so that when my son deletes every app on my iPad, recovery of the books is easy. I really like being able to quickly and easily look up words I don't know. I take notes without having to look for a pen and paper (I can't write in books, I use sticky notes typically). Ebooks have all sorts of conveniences.

Here's my problem. I forget about them. My print books are on shelves, overflowing shelves, in my living room, so I see them every day. Different titles catch my eye, I think about the books I want to read and the ones I have read. I think about how many there are, if I could bare parting with any of them. I think about how I felt, what I thought, when I read them and when I purchased them. I see them.  My ebooks exist in the digital world.  I only see them if I open the app.  I don't think about them, because I don't see them.  When I have read an ebook, I have made the decision before hand that the next book I'll read will be Villette or UR, reading an ebook I don't think has ever been a random decision, where I just pick up a book on a feeling. I've always suspected this about myself, but only fully realized it recently.
 
I was out with my Hubby and his dad. We were in a shop when I saw a super cool mug, the banned books mug.  I was reading off all the books I've read with my father-in-law when I got to Animal Farm.  He said, "You've read Animal Farm." in an obviously kind of way.  I said, "No, I've read 1984, not Animal Farm." He was quite surprised.  I told him, "It's because I have it as an ebook, I forget it's there." It's true. 

I have so many ebooks that I'm excited to read... like Animal Farm. I have Cat's Cradle and Mansfield Park. I have The Scorpio Races, Shatter Me and loads of other examples I can't think of because I don't have the apps open in front of me right now.  What do I do?  Schedule my reading more?  Make notes for myself?  Open every ereading app I have before choosing my next book?  Definitely not the last one.  Maybe make more notes.  That seems like the least obtrusive option.  Because really, I want to read Animal Farm and all those other books.  I also feel like if my book-loving father-in-law, thinks I should read Animal Farm, I should.  He also almost exclusive reads ebooks now. Reading in any form is good, and reading all the books I own would be great.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Last Week... #6

I did some work on my nonfiction, which I really liked. I just hoped to do more. I hoped specifically to do more today, but I spent too much time in the morning waiting for my car. We've been having issues with our car since May 31. It seems like they will never end. So instead of spending 60 more minutes today with my story, I spent it hanging around the service waiting room. I'm unhappy. I was hoping to get these final revisions done today, but I doubt that's going to happen now. Oh well, it's real life's job to get in the way, right?

Here's a bit of something I already posted this week. 

Why was I really there?  After just a few weeks, I knew one person could do both our jobs.  At the most, one position could be part-time, a 20-30 hour week instead of a 40.  Yes, there were busy times when we'd get a few extra hours, but it wasn't a daily occurrence.  So why was I there?  Was it so she wouldn't have to work hard, but still get paid?  Was it there for her convenience?  Maybe Bob hired me so more work would get done, knowing he couldn't fire her.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Random #15

Right now, I'm working on my non-fiction project. Of course it's mid-sentence when I remember that I want to do a Random post today.  So, though I was writing by hand, I'm going to type out a few lines....

Why was I really there?  After just a few weeks, I knew one person could do both our jobs.  At the most, one position could be part-time, a 20-30 hour week instead of a 40.  Yes, there were busy times when we'd get a few extra hours, but it wasn't a daily occurrence.  So why was I there?  Was it so she wouldn't have to work hard, but still get paid?  Was it there for her convenience?  Maybe Bob hired me so more work would get done, knowing he couldn't fire her.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last Week.... #5

I didn't get as much writing as I wanted done last week.  It was just so busy.  It was my Hubby's birthday on Thursday, so the day was all for him and I had prep for that day too.  I was taking the kids to various places. Helping my parents out. Appointments.  Responsibilities.  I sneaked in a few sentences here and there, but not as much as I would have liked.  I also barely blogged, on both blogs, which always makes me a little sad. I did play a decent game of golf though (for my Hubby's birthday), so that was nice.
Image from here

What were you up to last week?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Last Week... #4

I've gotten a lot more of my non-fiction done.  I've finished the last section.  Wahoo!  I'm now working on re-writing the third part.  Again, I'm doing it all my hand.  I love the pen and paper feeling.  I've had a busy week and there's a busy week ahead, but I'm hoping to get it done by the weekend.  No samples here until I start typing it all up.  Editing is hard work!

Also, I'm wearing some bright pink nail polish that my daughter picked out for me.  It looks cute on her and it's a great colour, but it's not really me.  I'm a dark polish or metallic girl usually.  I'm keeping it on for her though, so we can match.  I do quite like the brand though, it does dry fast, which is why I bought it for her.  Little girls don't really want to wait long for their nails to dry.

Enough about nails!  Gosh, what kind of tangent did I go off on?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Links For You

In case you're interested...

The Ontario Arts Council gives money to writers (and literary festivals, journals, publishers…) - The Quick Brown Fox
http://quick-brown-fox-canada.blogspot.ca/2014/06/the-ontario-arts-council-gives-money-to.html

10 Writing Tips for Aspiring Authors from HarperCollins Canada Editors! - The Savvy Reader
http://thesavvyreader.com/2014/06/18/top-10-writing-tips-from-harper-collins-editors/

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quote #30 - Madeleine L'Engle

“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” — Madeleine L’Engle

Monday, July 7, 2014

Random #14

When do you give up on a manuscript?  When do you decide that it isn't publishable?  When do you decide to put it aside and focus on other works?  Been thinking about this a lot lately.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Last Week... #3

Last week was pretty productive.  I've almost finished the last section of my non-fiction project.  It was a bit difficult to write, since it was something that angers an upsets me, but I did it.  I still have to re-write the third part, hopefully this coming week.  Everything I've written lately has been by hand.  I'm enjoying the pen to paper feeling.  Though, that means I don't have an easy sample to copy and past into any posts.  I thought about taking a picture, but my handwriting in certain areas is embarrassing.  I'm looking forward to getting more and more done in the coming days
.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Quote #29 - L.M. Montgomery

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” — L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Random #13

First thing to pop into my head today.... Frozen!
 
I know it's summer, but Frozen currently lives in my Blu-Ray player.  My daughter knows all the words to the song and the dialogue.  I know it is something a lot of parents have to deal with.  But it's okay.  The movie is fantastic and I don't mind watching it a few times a week...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Random #12

Ever been given a personality test at a job interview?  Ever gone to an interview without any actual interviewing being done?  That happened to me.  Last week.  It was so weird.  A PERSONALITY TEST.  I checked off boxes in categories and columns.  I guess if they've used it before and it worked, then okay.... but still weird.  It makes me not want to work there.  Well, if I fail the test it's not like they'll be calling me anyway.  It's all I could think of when I opened my blog today.  I'm going to have to put it in a story sometime.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quote #27 - Alexander Pope

"True ease in writing comes from art, not changes,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance."
- Alexander Pope

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Random #11

I still have no car.  It is very frustrating.  The longer it's in the shop, the more dollars signs I see.  I don't know what's going to happen.  It's stressful and getting in the way of everything I want to do.  I can't even go grocery shopping without some fancy planning.  Anyone else have real life problems stressing them out?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quote #25 - Ransom Riggs

"I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen." - Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Random #10

My car broke down on the weekend.  It sucks.  It can (hopefully) be fixed. It's just going to take a long time (and more money than I want to spend). So, I've been stuck at home with my son all week.  I think we're both going a little stir crazy.  At least there's a play group tomorrow within walking distance.  

I know this isn't my usual random thought, but it's what is on my mind right now.  

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Last Week... #2

I think I was productive last week.  I finished the edits for section five and the first half of the conclusion for my non-fiction.  I started work on the second half of the conclusion.  Yes, the conclusion will be longer than I intended.  It was all work that had me feeling good.

Below is a bit of what I wrote while at my writing group last week.  I like it a lot and wonder where it will take me one day.

Being Flung Up Into the Sky

I squeal, as the wind rushes by my ears.  My hair blows around my face.  I stretch my arms and my legs out, my excitement cannot be contained.  I don’t know why I hesitated.  Being thrown, launched, flung into the air is amazing.  I reach out and touch the sky.

I feel my descent, the downward journey of my arc.  I look below me and see the air cushion waiting for my arrival.  I don’t want to land.  I don’t want to touch the ground.  I want to stay in the air.  I want to run my fingers through the sky.  I want to kick my legs at the clouds. I want my hair to ripple back as I swim forward through nothing.

Then I stop.  Two metres before the cushion, I am suspended.  I hover.  I hear shouting all around me.  At the cushion and from the canon where I was launched.

Friday, May 30, 2014

In Which I Link

A few quick links this week from a few great sites!

Reading & Revising - I Believe in Story
http://www.ibelieveinstory.com/2014/05/reading-revising.html

Locations and Ideas - Heroines with Hearts
http://heroineswithhearts.blogspot.ca/2014/05/locations-and-ideas.html

... okay, so I was trying to link to a post titled "Do I Have Writing Talent?" from Writer Unboxed (www.writerunboxed.com), but for whatever reason, it isn't working.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quote #24 - Maya Angelou

"We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans--because we can."
- Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Random #9

Why is revising so difficult? I know it has to be done, but once the first draft is complete, there is such an amazing feeling of completeness. Edits feel like slogging through a swamp. Is it just me?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Links!

Here are a few links I've collected recently. Hope you find something helpful.

10 Ways to Sneak Extra Reading Time - Book Riot
http://bookriot.com/2014/05/06/10-ways-sneak-extra-reading-time/

5 Steps to Handling Query Rejections - I Believe In Story
http://www.ibelieveinstory.com/2014/04/5-steps-to-handling-query-rejections.html

5 Websites for Writing Inspiration - I Believe In Story
http://www.ibelieveinstory.com/2014/04/5-websites-for-writing-inspiration.html

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Quote #23 - William Shakespeare

     "All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."
- William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Random #8

Is it okay to let a work in progress wither a little? Not die, just put to the side, so that time and energy can be focused on a more pressing item?

I'm behind on a schedule I set for myself for a novel. I fell behind when real life got very tumultuous. I've been trying to catch up. However, in doing so, I haven't finished the edits for my non-fiction, which I expected to have done a while ago. Do I just let the novel lie for a while as I finish my non-fiction and work to catch up later? I think that's what I'll do. What would you do?

Thanks for listening. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quote #22 - Virginia Woolf

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Quote #21 - William Blake

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Fiction Writer's Handbook

This post has been sitting in my drafts for ages.  I don't know why I didn't get around to finishing it.  I guess I just wasn't sure what to say. I didn't know what to expect when I won The Fiction Writer's Handbook from Goodreads.  I was very excited. There's a forward by Christopher Moore, followed by some interested instructions for how to use this book. The Fiction Writer's Handbook isn't necessarily a book you're going to read from start to finish. Though Moore and author Shelly Lowenkopf do recommend that you read the whole book. It's structured more like a reference book, but after reading several entries, I can see what they mean.

I thought that I'd try to read the book from the beginning, but it didn't feel right.  My next thought was to begin my journey through the book with an entry that had already jumped out at me.  I started with Agenda. Agenda referenced 18 more entries.  With that kind of start, I figure by the time I was done, I would have read the whole book or at least close to it.  I started with the first reference term, Character, read it, then instead of going back to the next term mentioned in Agenda, I went to Narrative, the first term referenced in Character.  So many terms are referenced in each entry that after a while, I knew I couldn't keep reading it like this.

In the end, I'm treating it like a reference book.  If I want to know something or am stuck somewhere, I can pick it up. I can also pick it up and browse a few terms if I'm feeling stuck. Moore's introduction was definitely worth the read.  I think one day I might read it from beginning to end.  The descriptions of each term are in depth and interesting.  I keep it nearby when writing as I think it is helpful.  To read it like I would another book, I just can't do it.  If you are a writer or interested in writing, however, I do think this is a great book to have in your reference collection.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

I Added A Page About My Works In Progress

I decided I ought to include a page on my Works In Progress.  It's right up there, between Who Am I? and Currently Reading (by the way, I'm currently reading Generation X).  On the page, I give a brief description of the three main items I currently working on.  The first is my short story collection, then my non-fiction, and finally my page-a-day novel, to which I am severely behind.  I'm also trying desperately to get the non-fiction done.  Hopefully, things go well.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Quote #20 - Mark Twain

"Don't part with your illusions.  When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live." - Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quote #19 - William Blake

"What is now proved was once only imagin'd." - William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Random #7

What is taking me so long?!  I can't seem to get through the edits for #2.  I don't know why.  It's isn't that long.  I finished the first third and now I'm stuck.  Why?  It is time?

Do edits take anyone else a long time?  Do you hesitate before slashing out a piece of the work - like it's a piece of your heart?  Or do you find it freeing?

I'm considering going to a workshop on self-editing next month....

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Last Week In Writing #1

I'm not sure how to intro this.  I think I want to blog weekly about what I've accomplished in writing that week.  Whether it's something new that I've written or a kind of status update on submissions or editing. I haven't decided if I want to do this on Saturdays or Sundays. I suppose it just depends on which day allows me the opportunity (aka a few child-free minutes). I'm doing this partly for myself, so I can reflect on what was accomplished, but also so I can share it.

The first bit I want to share is something I wrote in my writing group. It's completely rough, except for maybe spelling.  As I may have mentioned previously, in the writing group I attend, we typically write four pieces based on prompts, then share two of them with the group.  The prompt for this was an image which looks much like how the character describes it below.  It's just a few minutes worth of writing, but I hope you like it as much as I do.

Elizabeth loved going to Mila’s house.  It was the opposite of her own.  She could see the pink flamingos a block away.  Pinwheels with flags of the world and different coloured birds spun in the garden.  The flowers were rich, lush, beautiful and completely unorganized.  There was always something hanging from the maple tree.  A rock-lined path lead the way to the back gate.  Elizabeth paused once she reached the house and grinned as blue and yellow streamers hung from the tree.

As she opened the back gate and took a few steps forward, her hear began to race. “A giant, plastic hamburger!”  She couldn’t contain her excitement.

Mila ran over, grabbing Elizabeth’s hand, led her deeper into the large yard. “I know this stuff makes you happy.” She said softly into her smiling friend’s ear.

“A giant plastic ice cream con?  Fries?  This is great!”

“Better than the jungle animals?  I know you loved that elephant.”

Elizabeth paused.  She became thoughtful for a brief moment, but still grinned. “It depends what’s for dinner.”

Mila giggled and gestured widely, “This.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quote #18 - Mae West

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before - Mae West, in Klondike Annie

Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Bookish Links

This week's links are just too.  They aren't as writerly as they are readerly, but I enjoyed both articles.  I hope you do too.

Is Owning Books as Good as Reading Them? - Book Riot
http://bookriot.com/2014/03/24/owning-books-good-reading/

A Beginner’s Guide to BookTube - Book Riot
http://bookriot.com/2014/04/02/beginners-guide-booktube/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quote #17 - Alice Munro

"I wanted men to love me, and I wanted to think of the universe when I looked at the moon. I felt trapped, stranded; it seem there had to be a choice where there couldn't be a choice."
- Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women

Friday, March 28, 2014

Links From Home

I'm home now.  Not on my own though.  My little boy, 2 2/3 years old is home with me.  That doesn't leave me with a ton of free time as many parents know.  I'm adjusting to this new schedule (only to have it change in a couple months, I'm sure).  So, it is time to get back to what I like doing.  That includes linking!

Sleep Your Way to Creativity And 9 More Surefire Methods For More Ideas - The Buffer Blog
http://blog.bufferapp.com/creativity-methods-more-ideas?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creativity-methods-more-ideas

5 Tips for Running a Little Free Library - Book Riot
http://bookriot.com/2014/03/24/5-tips-running-little-free-library/

10 Literary Facebook Pages You Should Like - Book Riot
http://bookriot.com/2014/03/21/10-literary-facebook-pages-you-should-like/

6 things every author needs to know about Wattpad - Stand Out Books
https://www.standoutbooks.com/6-things-every-author-needs-to-know-about-wattpad/

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quote #16 - Winston Churchill

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Winston Churchill

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ways to Say... Cold

Even though it's Spring, Winter has not released its icy grip.  So, here are ways to say, cold.

Icy
Frigid
Cool
Frozen
Chilly
Brisk
Chilled
Crisp
Frosty
Wintry
Snowy
Polar
Numbing
Nippy

How would you say, cold?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday's Links

Happy Friday!  Enjoy the links!

Writing Prompts - Bisky Scribbles
http://biskyscribbles.com/2014/02/writing-prompts/

False Teeth and Blue Eyes: Keeping Track of Characters - Fiction Notes
http://www.darcypattison.com/characters/tracking-characters/

The Perfect Color Scheme For Your a Blog - Parajunkee
http://www.parajunkee.com/2014/02/27/bb101-the-perfect-color-scheme-for-your-blog/

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Quote #15 - Haruki Murakami

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
- Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Random Thought #6

The fireworks are the ideas I get
from the prompts.
I was thinking about joining a critique group.  I am currently a member of a freeflow writing group.  Twice a month we gather and write from prompts. There are typically four prompts and we all take turns providing them.  We read two of the pieces. There is reflection and comments on what we write. It's not really a critique and we don't bring currents works in progress. It's a great way to keep the juices flowing, to find new ideas, get great starts or even additions to other projects.  I really enjoy the freeflow writing group.  But - Should I join a critique group too?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ways to say... Walk

Everyone walks.  We have to get from point A to point B.  However, the way we walk differs depending on the person, their mood, their personality. Someone might stroll, while someone else marches.  The way a person is walking can tell you about how they are feeling or what the path their are walking on is like.  If they hiked instead of ambled, perhaps the terrain is rough.  Here are a few ways we can say, walk.

Image from here.
hike
jaunt
parade
step
stroll
tour
circuit
constitutional 
march
pace
perambulate
promenade
amble
saunter
stride 
traipse
tramp
tread
turn
trek

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Quote #14

"What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies withing us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Random Thought #5

More readerly than writerly, but....

Maybe I should start a book jar... so I can remember to read books I've forgotten that I own.

Sorry Cloud Atlas.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Quote #13

"Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now."
- Annie Dillard

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Random Thought #4

Image from here.
As a writer, how do you choose which path to take when your characters reach a metaphoric fork in the road?  I was struggling with this yesterday.  I needed to make the decision between having a sudden, loud noise and not.  If there is a loud noise, the characters would take cover, be prepared for what would happen.  If there was no noise, they would be somewhat unprepared and potentially sitting ducks. After a lot of thought, I ended up deciding on the noise, I thought it would add to the tension in the scene. Though there is a possibility that later I may change my mind and have to re-write the whole thing.  How do you decide which path to take? Do you later change your mind?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ways to Say... Happy

Since my last two "Ways to Say..." were a little negative, I thought I'd think of some positive words this week.  Here are ways to say happy.

Image from here.
content
cheerful
delighted
ecstatic
elated
glad
jubilant
merry
overjoyed
pleased
thrilled
blissful
chipper
chirpy
exultant
gay
gleeful
gratified
jolly
mirthful

I've decided that I'm not going to have more than twenty alternatives. Anything more that that seems excessive. Hope you enjoyed this week's happy words.  What words make you happy?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Quote #12

“It is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble your foe.”
— Anne Brontë

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Added a New Page!

... instead of working.  Yikes!

Check out what I've been reading lately!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ways To Say... Mad

(as in angry, not crazy)
Image from here

Angry
Enraged
Furious
Vexed
Displeased
Outraged
Miffed
Pissed [off]
Ticked [off]
Galled
Irritated
Fuming
Incensed
Infuriated
Heated
Irate
Cross
Ferocious
Riled
Wrathful

... There were more words, but I thought I'd stop at 20.  Different words express different levels of anger. Someone who is miffed does not seem to be as angry as someone who is enraged.  This is just my opinion, of course.

Anyone have a favourite (or over-used) "MAD" word?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quote #11

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L'Engle

Friday, January 17, 2014

One Link I Couldn't Resist Sharing

Even though I'm super busy today.  Please enjoy.

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing - Mashable.com
http://mashable.com/2013/08/20/elmore-leonard-rules-of-writing/

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

I'm not sure what I think of Jeff Goins book, You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One). There are two reasons I read this short book. One, I wanted to feel a little more writerly. I've been busy at my new day job and I don't want it to take over. I thought a book about being a writer might help. Two, when I downloaded it, it was free. A free book about writing I couldn't resist.

It's well written. Goins can turn a phrase. There's an energy to his words, so I never found You Are A Writer boring. It was an easy read, though I stopped part way to read something else. It was a bit repetitive. If you're a writer, you write. Yes. Okay. I get it. I'll write. Can we talk about something else? No? Ok. I'll write.

Though Goins continually emphasized that the most important thing a writer can do is write, he also wrote about all the other things writers have to do. Like building a platform.....  So I found some of it contradictory, but I also found some of it encouraging. What I took out of the book is the need to find balance. You of course need to write to be a writer, but you also need to create your own platform and brand.  I liked his advise for branding, using a recognizable photo and fonts. He also really encouraged blogging, which I appreciate, since I love my blogs.

I think You Are A Writer is worth reading. Once I was in the second half of the book, I found it informative. I'll be checking out Jeff Goins' website and social media.

http://youareawriter.com/


Friday, January 10, 2014

What Am I Linking Today?

Just a couple quick links today.  More personal related items than writing tips.  Enjoy!

The Personal Challenges of Being A Writer - Heroines with Hearts
http://heroineswithhearts.blogspot.ca/2014/01/the-personal-challenges-of-being-writer.html

Mantra For the Novelist - Writer Unboxed
http://writerunboxed.com/2014/01/06/mantra-for-the-novelist/


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quote #9

I thought this was a good quote to start off the new year...

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
- William Shakespeare

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Random Thought #3

How many people keep their New Year's Resolutions?  Seriously.  Have you already broken yours?

I don't make them anymore.  Not really.  They usually had to do with writing, but something always happened and I didn't finish whichever project I "resolved" to complete.  I often make reading resolutions too, a list of books I've been wanting to read, but haven't, and I "resolve" to read them before the year is up. I didn't finish my resolution reading list from 2013.  So, I'm not making one this year, though I'm still thinking about it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

What Am I Linking?

I'm hoping by the end of today, my energy level will be up.  I don't like being sick.  At least this post is going up.... :)

What I’ve Written In - Whatever
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/12/14/what-ive-written-in/

The Death of the Blog, Again, Again - Whatever
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/12/19/the-death-of-the-blog-again-again/

10 NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF AN AUTHOR WEBSITE - I Believe in Story
http://www.ibelieveinstory.com/2014/01/authorwebsitechecklist.html

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Note About My Winter Break

I was sick.  I AM sick.  Since about the 19th or 20th of December.  I thought I had a really bad cold and I tried to push through it.  That made all the Holiday dinners a little rough.  I went through the last couple weeks with a filter on between me and the world (I still have it on).  I'm exhausted from not sleeping properly.  It all makes me a little sad, because I didn't get to fully enjoy all the Holiday craziness like I normally do.  I did eventually go to the doctor.  I always take my children to the doctor when they're sick, but me...  I got some antibiotics and other things to make this go away.  But it's still here.  It'll probably be a week before I'm back.  

Not only was I unable to fully partake in the Holiday fun, but I also didn't read.  I didn't write.  I didn't blog.  I didn't play any of the awesome games I now have in my house.  I barely moved.  There was me, the couch and a fuzzy blanket.  I can't believe I came to work today.  At least I'm not busy.  I miss the couch, though.  I'm not even sure what I'm typing here makes sense.  It's taking a lot of effort.  There's so much I want to do, but the urge to lay down and sleep is taking over.  The end of the work day can't some soon enough.

Did you get any time off?  How was it?