Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Random #68 - Looking Forward to 2016

I can't believe it's almost 2016. One year seems like a long time, but it can go by so quickly. Especially when so much as happened. Time doesn't just fly by when you're having fun, it can escape you when you're not looking. So, what happened in 2016? The children are a year older, 4 and 6. My youngest started Junior Kindergarten and my oldest is in Grade 1! I got a new job. I started an online writing class. I decided to rework and hopefully in 2016, finish a novel. And so much more! I celebrated birthdays and visited old friends. I lost loved ones. It was a year of ups and downs, but aren't they all? I'm looking forward to the future, while trying to remember the past.

I am also looking forward to the Holidays being over and getting back to a normal routine. December often tends to shove regularity out the window. I miss my old habits, which I have temporarily lost time for. I don't do resolutions, I never used to meet them, so I stopped making them years ago. Instead, I just continue to strive for balance.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happy Boxing Day! - Merry Day After Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate. We've had a great, though busy time so far. My children got a ton of Lego.  I didn't realized when I mentioned it, that every grandparent was going to get that for them. We also got some for them, so I imagine we will be stepping on tiny, pointy pieces for the next few months.

I am really excited by the presents my husband got for me.  I tweeted it yesterday.  
Look at how well my husband knows me. Every present I opened was a gasp or squeel of joy. It was so thoughtful.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and is relaxing with their wonderful new gifts, friends and family.

For those of you braving the malls today, Good Luck!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Last Week #51 - Holiday Season

The Holiday Season is in full swing. Busy time, shopping, dinners, parties. Plus, all the stuff that goes along with having small children, kids' parties, holiday concerts, special days. Yay for the fun, boo for less time to write. I wrote just a little this week, just enough to make myself happy.

I'm stuck with my reading a bit though.  I'm finding it hard to move forward.  I'll be concentrating on Emily Dickinson's poems soon, so we'll see how that'll change my writing motivation, as I often find my writing and my reading connected. Looking forward to good reading, writing and fun times this month.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Random #67 - Book Storage

I have run out of shelf space. More than run out. I have 4 bookcases, with shelves doubled up with paperbacks and others fronted by hardcovers. I don't need just one more bookshelf, I need at least two. To try to alleviate the weight and allow my book buying to continue, I thought I'd make a "book tower". Basically, I stacked a bunch of hardcovers up to my chest. I made the tower two books wide, to try to distribute the weight and leaned my husbands Ivanhoe sword against it (yes, we have some replica weaponry), to try to hold it up. After a couple weeks, it can tumbling down. (I'm going to blame the children.) For a while now, they've been left in small stacks on my living room floor, behind the rocking chair. 

What do I do with them?

I think they're going to end up on the shelf in my room. On the bottom of the shelf I have boardgames. I love boardgames, but these are ones we haven't played in ages and they're just sitting there. Do I remove them to the basement and put the books there?  I might be able to jigsaw them into fitting. The games would go into the storage in the basement. Why don't the books go there? Well, I've realized that it's about emotional attachment. When I see the games, I don't really feel anything. I don't even really notice them. When I look at books, I think about their stories. I think about what happened, what they mean and how I felt when I read them. I remember and it makes me smile. Having the books closer to me, might just add a little happiness into that corner of my day. So, I move the books, right?

I was browsing Pinterest, when my sneaky daughter came up behind me and announced, "We should do that!" What did she see? A book Christmas tree. I told her that would be nice and we have more than enough books to do it, but not enough space. We'd have to get rid of our actual Christmas tree to do that and no one wants that. I could build one in her room, but there wouldn't be much room for anything else. Plus, this doesn't seem like the permenent solution I want.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Last Week #50 - That's Not What I Wrote About

I think I had  pretty good week with writing.  More than recent weeks, which always makes me happy. I went to writing group this week and for of the prompts, I found inspiration for scenes for my work-in-progress. I always love when that happens. But that's not what I'm going to write about here! One of the prompts was "mini disasters", then from a pile, we picked out a first line and began writing. 

Unedited (except for spelling):

“Damn. It just snapped.” I whispered to Ariana. I clutched at the thin strap to my black dress, trying to be causal as the bride’s father made his speech. 

Ariana began to rummage around in her tiny clutch. “Damn it. Sorry, Cat, I thought I had a safety pin.”

“I could feel the back of my dress slipping below my shoulder blade. “I knew it was loose earlier. I should have done something about it before the reception.”

“It’s an expensive dress.  I thought it would hold up too.” I watched Ari look at our table of work friends. 

No one paid us any attention, they were all engrossed in the father’s speech. It must be pretty emotional, since our stoic receptionist looked ready to cry. I couldn’t pay attention to anything, fearful this wardrobe malfunction would have me flashing a room full of people I didn’t know.

I tried to lean closer to Ari, “I need to get to the bathroom.”

She nodded and we tried to turn our attention back to the wedding party. The room broke out in thunderous applause. While Ariana could join in, I was not letting go. Taking a cue from the receptionist, I pretended to wipe a tear way with me free hand.

I had a couple of the women at the group relate to this tale. I think it's something a lot of people can relate too. I had fun with the prompt and enjoyed that infusion of humour into my writing.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Last Week #49 - Writing and Wine

All I can think about lately is either my work-in-progress or whatever book I'm reading.  Good, right? So, I was out a friend's place on Saturday night and had some wine. Not a ton, but enough. Out with friends, playing boardgames and having a few drinks.  A nice, fun, relaxed kind of evening.  We didn't stay out too late. For some reason, before going to bed, I had the urge to write the beginning of a scene. I wrote about a page. Not a lot, but apparently, I had to get it down.

I read it the next morning. The action of what I wanted to happen is there, but the language is awful. I used the phrase "his dark eyes" too many times. Was it Hemingway who said, write drunk, edit sober? Not that I was drunk, I just had a limited vocabulary. I am glad I wrote it though. Wine or not, when I have an idea, I must write.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Random #66 - Choices

When The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Jessica Jones premiere on the same weekend. How do I spend my Friday night?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Last Week #48 - All About One Story

I went to my writers group this week. It was great, I was really happy with my writing. I got a really great reaction to what I wrote to one of the prompts too. It made me feel amazing and embarrassed. Everyone was staring at me silently for a moment when I was done reading the piece. Of course, I thought that meant it sucked. Then one of the wonderful women at the group was like, we're quiet because we're stunned and want to know more. Then I wanted to shrink into myself. I was happy, but, well, also wanted to hide. 

Of the four prompts I wrote to this week, three ended up involving characters in my current work in progress. After the session, I also found myself even more connected with the novel. I'm excited to see how my story develops. 

Also, I'm not including that piece here because I'm still weirdly embarrassed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Random #65 - The Flash

I've been really enjoying The Flash this season. (How long before Patty joins the club?) I am so happy about everything that's happened this season so far and I look forward to what else the show has in store for us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Random #64 - Books I Don't Want to Want

You know when you read a series of books and you finish, and you think you're done with that series forever, then surprisingly another book in the series comes out? What if you were torn about whether or not you should read this new book? I mean, I enjoyed the series when I read it, but after time and reflection, I realize it wasn't as good as I thought it was. But I still enjoyed it, a lot. When I was reading it it was all I could think about. I found it exciting and engaging and I was desperate to know what happened next. I have the hope that this new book would still excite me, but having reflected back on the series I'm not sure how I would take the new installment. Do I leave it alone? Do I let my enjoyment of the series stay in the past or do I succumb to the urge to buy this new book?

There's also this feeling of the series being incomplete on my bookshelf. I have all the other books, if there's a new one, I should have it too, right? However, I've been trying to not let my book hoarding get out of control. I have so many other books that I want to read, should I let this one go? (At least for now?) I was thinking I might, but then I saw it... 50% off. It is so tempting....

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Last Week #47 - Halloween Takes Over

You know what happens when you buy the wrong Ninja Turtle costume for you son? Yes? So, I had to go back to Party City to exchange it. Which was actually a fine experience. The people there were helpful and the exchange happened pretty quick. There was no wandering around, just talked to the employees and got what I needed. Also, apparently for the week before Halloween, they're open until midnight! That's crazy! Why does anyone need to go there that late? It must be worth it for them though.

In other news, I went to my writer's group on Tuesday, which was an interesting one. The person handling the bulk of the prompts decided to make them Halloween themed. The first one was to focus on dialogue, the second on the description of the main character from the first prompt. There were a couple other good prompts, it was a nice couple hours of writing. I thought I'd include a bit from the second part of the prompt, unedited, totally rough.

Dark-hair, twisting in her fingers, dark eyes staring out at the night. Flared jeans, the cuffs flap against her legs. Red shirt, long, she pulls at the hem. Black leather jacket, classic, old and well-loved. She touches the softness and things of her sister, who gave it to her before she died. She zips up her boots before grabbing her back of supplies masquerading as a purse.

She walks down the street with purpose, trying not to stomp. She glances quickly into the store-front windows, taking inventory, judging. Her eyes dart from face-to-face, taking inventory, judging. She doesn’t know where she’ll stop today. She pauses at a red light and takes a deep breath, gathering up the scents of care exhaust, perfumes, sweat and worry.

She feels the pull of anxiety, she looks quickly around her before the light changes. She sees a girl, maybe only a couple years younger than herself. Too much mascara and peroxide. She bites at her lip, the girl does too. The light changes and the girl moves, she falls into step behind her.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween, filled with candy and costumes!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Quote #47 - D.H. Lawrence

I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having  good sneeze.
- D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Random #62 - Do My Book Covers Need To Match?

No?  Yes?  Sometimes?

Let's use examples.

Last week, I would have said, no, I do not need my covers to match. I own Stephen King's Dark Tower series and the covers do not match.  I have a mix of paperbacks, trade paperbacks and hardcovers. The designs on the covers themselves are different. I bought the first three novels years after they were released, when I first started the series.  I got others in the series at different points after their release. It didn't matter to me that the covers didn't match, I just wanted the stories. I have a couple other series like that.

Recently, I read The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde and loved it. I had to find out about the other books. I believe there are currently seven books in the series with one more set to be released. I don't know why, but I really wanted the cover of the second book to match the first. Do I just like the look of it better than the others? Yes, I think so, but like The Dark Tower it shouldn't matter, I should just want the stories. I looked at different sites and checked my local bookstore. No copies of the second book were at the bookstores in town. I looked at four different sites. I found the cover I wanted, at a pretty good price too. Why was this so important to me? By the time I purchase the last book, will the editions have changed? Will the covers I have now match the others I'll get in the future? Maybe, maybe not.

I guess I don't understand why it was important to me this time around. Maybe it's just this series, just these covers.  I don't know.  I guess I'll find out the next time I buy a book for a series I'm reading.

* There were more than just the three covers.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Last Week #46 - Birthday

Today is my birthday.  I'm in my mid-thirties and I cringe whenever I think about it.  You know what made me feel better.  Two days ago, I got ID'd at the liquor store!  Wahoo!  Legal drinking age in Ontario, Canada is 19!  What!?

Sometimes, it's the little things that make you feel the best.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Quote #46 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Or a woman or a frog, as the case may be.)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Random #61 - Thanksgiving!

I am so excited for turkey and pumpkin pie this weekend. It's all I can think about right now.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Last Week #45 - Not Weird At All

I have to do what?
I started working on the next lesson of the writing course that I'm taking. This one is all about character. I was so excited to be focusing on characters. Whenever I read a story, it is the character that captures, that pulls me in. You can have a crazy, amazing plot, but if the characters aren't engaging, that plot isn't enough for me. 

After the little "lecture" at the beginning of the lesson, it got weird.  The first instruction is to go out somewhere and people watch, which as writers, I think most do anyway. Lots of people watch other people, right? The odd part was the notes. I was instructed to go to a coffee shop or restaurant or somewhere, pick one person, and make a page full of notes about them. Really focus on them, their eyebrows, the soles of their shoes, the wear and tear on their clothing. Focus on them without them noticing, of course. While I am guilty of sometimes seeing someone and taking [mental] note of their hair or the top they're wearing or their facial expression, I've never studied them. So, though I was hesitant, I did it. I took the notes on my phone, so it would just look like I was texting. I don't think I got quite a whole page out of it, the person I was watching (out of the corner of my eye) got up and I wasn't going to follow her. Though I understand the importance of the exercise, it was still weird. I'm supposed to do it again. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. We'll see what happens.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Quote #45 - E.L. Doctorow

"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way" - E.L. Doctorow

Monday, September 28, 2015

Last Week #44 - Dialogue

At my writer's group last week, we had a prompt that I found really interesting.  Write a scene only in dialogue. To me, that meant not only the conversation between the characters, but also establishing the scene. How are they feeling? What are they doing? I tried to show that only through dialogue. This is a bit of what I came up with.

“What do I do? He’s been there all day.”

“Have you seen him? Has he come over?”

“No Anderson, he’s still at the neighbour’s.  Hold on, I’m going to put you on speaker…There.”

“Why am I on speaker?”

“I don’t want him to see me peek out of the window with a phone on my ear.”

“Are the lights in your house still off?”

“Yes, but it’s Sunday.  He has to know that I’m at home.  Where else would I be?”

“You could be out with your wonderful friend and co-worker.”

“That’s true...and I can hear you smiling.”

“Taryn, you’ve stopped returning his texts and calls, right?”


“Why do you sound so distant?”

“Sorry, I was just looking up at the grey clouds. They threaten rain, but nothing has happened.  I wonder if anything is going to happen.”

“Happen with the rain or happen with Ben?”


“You’ve just fallen over onto your couch, haven’t you?”


“Next time you meet one of you neighbour’s friends, what are you going to do?”

“Not go out with them.”

“And why is that?”

“Because they might turn out to be the smothering stalker type and when they are friends with the people next door, they can watch me come and go as much as they want.”

“That sounds as creepy and terrible as I thought it would. Why don’t you call the cop?”

“I can’t call the police because I think maybe this guys is nuts.  He hasn’t actually done anything.”

“I didn’t say cops, I said the cop.”

Trying to establish the scene using just the conversation was not easy. I think I did an okay job. I like what's there, but I think I will go back over it and put in some descriptive phrases and narration. I was inspired to make the conversation between two characters in my work-in-progress. I think it might be too light for the overall tone I am going for, but I can change that too. I wonder what this conversation will look like when I'm done with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Last Week #43 - Writing Practice

I sadly haven't worked that much on my WIP.  The beginning of school is always a busy time with the kids. Any free time I've been getting, I've been working on the writing course I started recently. I like the lessons so far. I'm looking forward to more in depth work though. I do like what I've written through the practice and assignments involved in each lesson. There are definitely bits that could be potential stories in the future.  It has been nice to carve our some time to connect with my creativity.

Here is a rough, unedited snippet from one of the practices I did this week:

I stopped.  I could feel the panic rising in me.  I thought this was a forest because of what I felt when I was seated, the tree and the dark outline of leaves above me.  But I couldn't see very far into the darkness.  I also couldn't remember how I got out here.  I was wearing a jacket with pockets. I began searching.  There was no mobile phone, no source of light, no wallet.  I thought about where I had been sitting, what if something fell out?  I took a step back and crouched, finding dirt, dried leaves and pine needles.

As I stood and dusted me hands off, I call out again, "Hello?" I shivered, what if I didn't want someone who was out there right now to find me? I walked around the tree trunk, but it told me nothing except that it was a big tree.

I couldn't stay there, I felt exposed to the unseen.  When I thought I was once again in the place where I started, I put my back against the trunk.  I inhaled slowly and took one step forward. I kept my arms out in front of me, slightly bent.  I toke another step. I breathed again and kept moving forward, one small step at a time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Random #60 - Cold Medicine at Night

I don't even know what the point of trying to write at post after having taken night time cold medicine (NyQuil) is.  At least I can breathe.  At least I'll be able to get to sleep tonight.  This just won't be one of my most productive evenings.

It's a little disappointing, getting a cold now.  The first week craziness of school is over.  I think I have a new routine down, with space for writing, blogging, and maybe getting some exercise, but not right now.  Now, I feel cold and hot at the same time and I just want to rest.  NyQuil and writing might produce some "interesting" stuff, if I could get myself to sit up long enough... I don't think that's going to happen.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quote #44 - Emily Dickinson

“The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul—BOOKS.”
—Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Random #59 - The Omnibus

How do you feel about Omnibuses?  I understand why they are created, popular trilogies (or quartets and quintets) are collected into one volume and sold at a good price. People buy, read, it's great. Sometimes they replace the individual novels.

Here is where my question really comes from: Do you read the omnibus as if it were one book? Typically, when I read series, I break them up. I like variety, I like to think and ponder. It's been a long time since I binge read a series. I can't even think of an instance. Maybe when I read Harry Potter when only the first four books were out? I haven't felt the urge to binge-read either. Recently, I read Seed to Harvest and Underwater Love (two completely different books).  Seed to Harvest is the collection of Octavia E. Butler's Patternmaster series. Underwater Love is the collection of MaryJanice Davidson's Fred the Mermaid series. In both cases, I broke up the series, reading each book, then something else, then coming back. Neither omnibus was that long, but I chose this option anyway. Patternmaster is a series of such different books, I don't know if reading them all together would have mattered.

Part of me feels ridiculous for doing this.  Am I ridiculous?  This is just how I've always read series, interspersed with other books.  The omnibuses have just made me think about my choices.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Last Week #42 - I Started A Writing Course

It is back to school time. The long weekend is coming to a close and we hope that the children have enough clothes. That means another upheaval. Changes to routine are about to occur, though it will mostly be going back to the routine we had until the end of June. There are a few little tweaks though. I am hoping that everything will find a good rhythm by the end of the week, though who knows.

To throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing, I've decided to take a writing course. Today I finished the first lesson in Sarah Selecky's Story is a State of Mind program.  I enjoyed it.  It was all about freewriting. I've mentioned the writer's group I go to, which is a freeflow group.  So it was nice to start with something I'm familiar with.  I found the practices and the assignment very interesting. I also like that the course encourages (requires) you to write away from your computer, in a notebook.  I liked the readings too. They were both sad, but had a freeflow kind of feeling to them.  I'm looking forward to more lessons and readings.  Of course, I'm interested in the writing that will come out of this.  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Week #41 - Semi-Colons

Looking at a few early pages of my WIP and I wondered, what's with all the semi-colons? I took them out. Like a lot.  What was I thinking?  Seriously, like 5 on one page?  Who need 5 semi-colons on one page?  It's all much better now, of course.  In general, I don't think fiction needs a lot of semi-colons. Maybe 5 in an entire novel, not on a single page.  Maybe I hadn't learned that when I wrote that page.  I wonder what else I have to learn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Random #58 - First Sentences

I recently changed the entire first page of my work-in-progress and that got me thinking of first sentences. The first one that popped into my head was from Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." While I enjoyed Jane Austen's most famous work, part of the reason I thought of this quote was because that line gets a lot of air play. Then I wondered, what were the first sentences of some of my favourite books...

The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be, I remember no comment uttered till somebody happened to say that it was the only case he had met in which such a visitation had fallen on a child. – The Turn of the Screw, Henry James

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. – David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. – The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. – The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches. – Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo

There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name. – Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rusdie

The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry. – Undead and Unwed, MaryJanice Davidson

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. – The Gunslinger, Stephen King

Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. – Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. – Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

A few years ago it dawned on me that everybody past a certain age – regardless of how they look on the outside – pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives. - The Gum Thief, Douglas Coupland

My mother thinks I'm dead. - Legend, Marie Lu

All this happened, more of less. - Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Across genres and eras, the first sentence of a novel is important. It can captures a reader's interest or make them roll their eyes in annoyance. I've learned that not all first lines hold mystery, sometimes it takes the first paragraph or first page. I have a lot of respect though, for writers that can take you away, pull you in, grab and never let go, with that first sentence.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Last Week #40 - A Whole New First Page

I was reading the first page of my current work-in-progress and decided to rewrite the whole thing.  I just read it and thought, this is awful. So I started changing it.  At first, I was just making changes on the actual page (I've printed out a hard copy of what is finished so far), but there just wasn't enough space and I was slashing through paragraphs. I got out my notebook and just started writing. The old first page became basically an outline of what I wanted to happen to the character, but now I was using the words that would convey her indifference, fear, and worry. I wrote it out by hand, which always makes me feel good. I'm happy with the work I've done this week. I wish it were more, but I'm going to look at the quality instead of the quantity.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Quote #43 - Bruce Lee

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.
- Bruce Lee

Monday, August 17, 2015

Last Week #39 - Real Life Was Busy

Work was busy, as I had to cover for someone who was on vacation.

My cousin got married.

My Hubby has been helping friends build a deck, which often means we end up at their place for dinner. Not that I'm complaining.  They're great people, with great kids, and excellent taste in beer and wine.

Two play dates.


I've been reading Mansfield Park, though, and that's been really great.

A little bit of writing, mostly notes about things, not actual creation of scenes or anything.

You think you're going to have more free time in the summer, but that's never the case for me.  I'm always busy in the summer and can't wait for the Fall (sorry summer people).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Random #57 - Katniss & Superman

So, I have totally been distracted by the internet for the past couple days (procrastinating?) and I read that Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the part of Bella Swan and Henry Cavill auditioned for the part of Edward Cullen (he also auditioned for Cedric Diggory).  Could you imagine Twilight with the two of them?  Though it may have been disappointing at the time, I think it was good for their careers. Because we got:


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Last Week #38 - What Happens When I'm Left Alone

I did some writing this weekend and it was great.  It only took being left completely alone for more than a day.  I would have liked to get more done, but I was still at home and there was still housework.  Oh well.  I liked what I did.  I'm not sure how much of it will get kept, but I like this snippet:

        “Did you know they were bad?” I asked his reflection.

He raised his head, I could see him follow my gaze to the television. He looked back up at the side of my head. “I’m not sure how to answer that.”

“Because of your job or because you don’t want to hurt me?” I sat down in the armchair, putting some space between us.

He looked at me, seemed to be taking everything in, from the shine of my hair to the wool socks on my feet.  He furrowed his brow, “Yes.”

“Ah.” I lean back and tucked my feet underneath myself. I gazed down at my hands, folded in my lap, “Too bad we couldn’t have met sooner, or differently.”

“I was just thinking the same thing.”

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Quote #42 - Quentin Tarantino

A writer should have this little voice inside of you saying, Tell the truth. Reveal a few secrets here.
- Quentin Tarantino

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Random #56 - More Social Media Thoughts

I've recently been thinking about social media again since I've come to learn that Instagram has just about as many users as Twitter. Right now my social media consists of Twitter, two blogs and a sprinkling of Pinterest (I use Pinterest for myself, but I also post things I hope others will enjoy.) I know people who own their own businesses and use social media very actively. They have commented about how much work being active on social media can actually be when you're trying to promote your presence or product, while still being interesting and engaging. I also feel that using social media should be at least in some part fun. I think the possibility for fun exists with using Instagram and since I have recently purchased a new phone, the idea has become more attractive. But still I resist. How much time would using Instagram consume, when I often feel that I don't ever have enough. I am totally over-thinking it, aren't I?  If I want to use Instagram, I should just use it and post when I feel like it. Am I right?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Last Week #37 - Just A Few More Sentences

It was another busy week family-wise. Lots of playdates and appointments.  Oh, real life.... Today is also my mother's birthday. I'm sneaking in a little writing time before more family time starts. I did happily get started on a new scene, written by hand, otherwise I'd post a little tidbit here.  It made me feel good though, just to get those few pages done.  Okay, well, time to get going.  I'm taking my notebook with me for the car rides though, so I'll hopefully be squeezing out a couple more sentences.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quote #41 - Stephen King

And as a writer, one of the things that I've always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that's what we're supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react.
- Stephen King

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Random #55 - Digital Parent

When I had my first child, I used to write everything down, all her milestones in a red notebook that a friend had given to me.  Not a baby book (though I have of those too), but a book filled with lined paper, writing down all the little details, like a diary or journal entry.  I did it for a long time, until that book was filled.  Then I got a new book, a Dr. Seuss journal, which my Hubby bought me.  I tried to continue to write down all the things that happened, first teeth, steps, funny moments, as my second child was born.

What happened?  Were my hands full with two children now, an infant and a two-year-old?  I was still making notes, but more often they were on my iPad (which my Hubby got me for Christmas the year our son was born).  I think back on it and it's not the same.  Even now, with my children 6 and 4, I don't write things down, tell the story.  I take a multitude of videos and pictures on my phone.  I take pictures and post it to social media with captions for my friends and family to see.

I have all these digital notes, saved and backed up, but I still want those paper to turn through.  I want the book sitting on my shelf, whenever I want to open it.  But I don't have time to write all those notes out. What I am considering is a bit of a copy and paste project.  I print all those notes, maybe edit them for spelling, and glue them into my Dr. Seuss book.  Then I think I might have what I wanted, though not in the way I intended.

I am left now wondering if this happened because of the "digital age" we not live in, where it is easier to take a picture with smartphone, then a camera and we can transmit it to whoever, wherever we want. Or did it happen because I became busier, I had two little ones who demanded my time, I worked full time, I had projects that needed my attention? Did the smartphone and tablet actually save things that would have been lost 30 years ago? I can message a photo or video to family members who haven't seen the children in a while, instead of handing them a stack of photos or an album filled with months of memories, like my parents used to do.

Am I disappointed I didn't keep up with the notebook?  A little, but I had to balance my time (and sanity). Do I think my cut and paste idea is a bit like cheating?  A little, yes, but if I want it done now instead of in five years, this is how it will happen.  I also like to think that when it is done, I might start writing in it again, since it won't feel like I'm behind anymore.  Also, I'm glad for my smartphone and tablet, always being right there, grabbing all the cute pictures that needed to be taken.

Should I have been working at my day job instead of writing this?  Maybe.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Last Week #36 - The Outline Is Done! (Sort Of)

I finished working on this outline... I've been coming to it and away from it for what seems like months.  I knew I needed it when I was feeling stagnant with my work-in-progress.  I like this guide, I feel that it is still going to change, but that it will also tell me where the story needs to go.  I finished writing it by hand, of course.  I knew it would be the only way I would finish it. Writing by hand definitely taps into a different part of my creativity.  Now, I am typing it up. That way it will be clear (I don't have to interpret my own scribbles) and easy to access.  There is also some kind of editing that seems to happen when something goes from paper to screen.

The other thing that has happened, I've decided to change the name of a character.  He's an important character, especially through the second half of the story.  I changed one male character's name a few months ago, now another.  I'm happy with his first name, but he needs a last name.  I'm thinking of just throwing "Doe" in there until I find something I'm happy with.  I've been searching for a bit, but now I feel like I'm wasting time.  

I don't know why I'm so happy to be done the outline though.  Maybe because I've never used one before.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Links From a Favourite Author and More!

I've got two help posts from some great authors that I came across in my internet wanderings.  I also have two character based writing tips.  I always find good characters, which inner turmoil and motivations, who feel read, are in the best stories.

Look, Do You Want This Or Not - Maggie Stiefvater

Resources on writing a character with mild PTSD - ANC Writing Resources


Character Motivations - It's a Writer Thing

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quote #40 - Ernest Hemingway

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

– Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random #54 - Is The Toothfairy Cheap?

My daughter has recently lost her fifth tooth.  (She's getting so big!)  She comes into our room the morning after, crawls into bed with us, then hold up the coin she found under her pillow.  A twoonie ($2.00).  After a few minutes, she huffs and says, "Why can't the toothfairy leave bills? They're money too."  I look over at my husband and we stifle our laughs.  What is the going rate for teeth these days?  Is the toothfairy cheap?  My daughter then states that she wants to leave the toothfairy a note (under her pillow) asking her this question.  My hubby tells her that the toothfairy might not get it until the next time she loses a tooth.  We left it at that.  It was time to get up anyway.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Last Week #35 - Summer and Colouring

Summer is always so crazy. I'm trying to work. The kids are done school and it doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else. So, why not do a writing course?! My friend Tanya messaged me this week because she wants us to do a course together. I can't do the big one because of time and money, but I am probably going to do the less expensive online course. It looks interesting, helpful, more affordable, and Tanya and I would be able to do both at the same time.

I did a little work on my outline for my novel. Not as much as I'd like but enough to make me feel like progress was made. I'm also thinking about doing a 10 minute writing prompt every day. Maybe in the morning, maybe not.  I'm already squeezing writing time in whenever I can.  I like the idea of it, but I don't know if it's something that will happen every day.

One more thing, adult coloring books. We were at my in-laws' last weekend and there were coloring books there for the children. The kids coloured for a while, but in the end it was my nephew who is 16, coloring the book. While my husband made fun of him a little (which is his prerogative as his uncle) I commented on how popular adult colouring books seem to be at bookstores right now. Lately, whenever I am browsing online or in person at Chapters and sometimes on Amazon, I see a new colouring book being promoted. There was even a contest to win one on Goodreads. As I read about the benefits of colouring I wonder if I should get one for myself. I did used to draw as a hobby, but haven't in sometime, as I have gotten busier with family and work life. Trying to schedule one more thing into my day and feels overwhelming. However, I'm wondering if a coloring book or a little drawing might lead to greater creativity. I wonder how many people out there are using the adult coloring books, or if it's just something that the bookstores are trying to sell. My nephew seemed really into it though, and I know I've enjoyed helping the children color their superheroes and princesses. My days are crazy, this could be the calm I need.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Random #53 - The Anti-Hero

I've been thinking about the anti-hero lately.  I'm currently reading Promise of the Witch-King, a fantasy novel by R.A. Salvatore.  The novel stars Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle Baenre, formerly antagonists in The Legend of Drizzt series (they might be villains again, but I'm only about 2/3 of the way through the series).  The characters proved so popular among Salvatore's readers, that he gave them their own series.  Why are anti-heroes so popular? Why do I love Entreri?  Sometimes I find Jarlaxle a bit frustrating, but I do enjoy his character as well. Entreri has evolved so much since Drizzt first met him. Now, he's helping people, sparing lives, following Jarlaxle whereever he wants to go.  But he isn't nice.  He doesn't romance the ladies.  He's rude and dark and brooding.  He watches from afar.  And I can't get enough.  

I've just ordered your death. Next time
you see me, I'll be dating your husband.
Is that what an anti-hero is?  Someone who is just behind the line from being a villain? Is that who the Evil Queen became on Once Upon A Time? (After this last season, she's definitely on the hero side now.) That's Deadpool, right? Severus Snape?  It's a fine line they all have walked.  Anti-heroes are compelling, am I right?  What made them go bad, then take a turn for good?  Will they go bad again?  I've been wondering a lot about this reading Witch-King and I look forward to seeing what happens at the end of Salvatore's anti-hero series.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Random #52 - Dictation

I recently got a new phone and the phone on the keyboard has a little microphone button that I can use to turn what I'm saying into typed words (like in this post). I've used it a couple times to send text messages while I've been busy. I'm trying to decide if I can use it more often. What I've discovered is that after a certain number of characters, the microphone stops recording and the keyboard pops back up. It's not perfect, I still have to go back and fix little things, but it's pretty good if I want to get a quick note down or multitask. It's a little weird though because I'm talking to myself.

Now that I think about it, I think my old phone had that little mic on the keyboard too, but it did not do as good a job as this one. The phone was getting a little (maybe a lot) old. But now I have a new one and I'm trying to use all the features to make my life easier. If I'm going to own a "smart" phone, I should be smart while using it, right? Let's see if I get into the habit of talking to myself.