Thursday, January 29, 2009


How do you know when your manuscript is ready? That’s the question I keep asking myself as I re-read chapters over and over again. How much editing is too much?

Right now when I finish editing a chapter my niece, whose almost 16, is reading it. Even when I think I’ve caught everything she’s pointing out a few errors (grammar, punctuation and one paste and copy mishap). I’m hoping for one more go through before I begin submitting, which is whole different worry. I suppose you could keep reading your book forever and find flaws in it. Plus it’s not like I won’t be doing a lot more editing if it ever gets published.

What I’m reading right now?

In the bedroom I have - "The Penny Tree" by Holly Kennedy
By my desk I have - "Alex and the Ironic Gentlemen" by Adrienne Kress
In the living room I have - "The White Bone" by Barbara Dowdry
In my purse I have - "So you want to be a wizard" by Diane Duane

Quite the variety. Recently on Nathan Bransford’s blog there was a question about writing different genres. I have to say I’m undecided about this because I like to read different genres and I have story ideas for other genres but I also see the need to establish yourself in one genre. I guess I’ll write the other stuff for fun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Time - Where does it go?

Time seems to be way more precious the older I get. I find I’m choosier about the way I spend it, although there are still times when I waste it.

My week is spent at basketball practices, soccer practices (my own), soccer games, basketball games, cubs, scouts, and gymnastics. I also work three days a week at a Forensic Engineering firm so my weeks seem to fly by.

I find I don’t do write well when I only have twenty minutes here and fifteen minutes there. I need a good hour so I can get into a rhythm, which only can be had when my kids go to bed or on my days off. Since my days off are often spent cleaning house, doing errands and attending soccer skills I don’t have a lot of time.

Here I am writing this blog when I should be writing but I’m putting my kids to bed in ten minutes so I figure why get started when I’ll just have to stop soon. So I’ll be burning some midnight oil because I don’t have to work tomorrow although I do have to volunteer so there’s three hours gone then my niece wants to go grad dress shopping then it’s the kids homework then I have a soccer game. Time, time, time where does it go.

Anyway I’m trying to finish off the editing, mostly going through and making notes on each chapter what isn’t consistent and what needs to be added. Right now I’m trying to decide whether to reveal a certain secret and I’m leaning towards doing it. I’ll try it out and see how it reads.

That’s it for now

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ancestors are a Great Resource

One of my favourite songs:
Jack Johnson: Flake
Best Line:It seems to me that maybe pretty much always means no
(I use it on my kids)

A few years ago I was quite obsessed with genealogy. I loved finding stories about my ancestors, especially my ones from Iceland. When I came across an excerpt from my great great grandmother’s life I knew that I had an idea for a book…

When I was a child it was said there were people who lived in the cliffs under the ground. Every once in a while someone would see and talk with them. Whether they belonged to the lost tribes or not, they didn't know. When I was a child we had a little green mossy place where we played and we called it our church. One night a person came to one of the homes of the children parents and told them the children were disturbing them and they were not to play there anymore. One lady used to always set a quart of milk out every night before she went to bed and it would be gone in the morning. It was only certain people who were permitted to talk to these mysterious people. Father said when he was a child he saw a woman hanging out clothes and when he went close to where she was he could not see her. He told his parents about this and they told him never to go near them again for it was only certain people who were permitted to see these people and talk to them. It is hard to tell if this is just superstition but it does seem to be true.

I began to do some research and on one website it said that bout 10 percent of Icelanders believe in the existence of a "huldufólk" or a hidden world of elves, dwarfs and spirits with magic powers. Several organizations in Iceland either currently or have employed a full time folklore researcher to determine the impact of construction projects on hidden communities, which are under rocks and in cliffs. Most notably, the public works department created this position for a time after a number of unexplained equipment malfunctions and injuries. They even have an elf school in Rekvajik.

I went further and researched the island my ancestors were from and found a very long and troublesome history beginning with a group of Irish slaves being murdered on the island by Vikings. I used that event as a back-story for my novel.

Still doing a few re-writes but I can’t quite get one of the Chapters to my liking. I’m hoping to enlist the help of my husband who has a very sensible approach to most things.

Hope everyone has a good weekend. Mine will be spent on the basketball court actually I’ll be sitting on the sidelines watching the basketball court.

That’s it for now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's a Brand New Day

It’s a new year and I have a new computer. Well, it’s a few weeks into the New Year and my new computer is only new to me but it’s still exciting.

Now that I have the capability to see the internet on my computer at home instead of sneaking time during breaks at work, I thought I’d start a blog chronicling the trials and tribulations of trying to get my first novel published. I also figured it would be a good record for me to look back on and appreciate one day.

I believe you can tell a lot about a person by the music they listen to so I thought I’d start each blog with some of my favourite songs.

Long Line of Cars by Cake
is one of my favourites because I love the line: “There’s no single explanation. There’s no central destination” Also I like listening to it as I drive home from work in traffic.

A bit about me:
I’ve loved reading ever since I can remember and have loved writing about that long as well. I grew up reading almost everything from C.S. Lewis to S.E. Hinton. When I read the book The Keeping Days by Norma Johnston I knew I wanted to create stories and become a writer.

After that I wrote plays for my cousins to perform in front of our aunts and uncles I began carrying coil binders and bic pens with me wherever I went.

I’m just now finishing the final revisions of my first YA novel and hope to have it ready to be submitted in a month. The idea for my book came from reading my Icelandic ancestor’s histories about the legend of hidden people. That's all I'll say for right now.

I’m also a mother of three, two boys and a girl. I play women’s competitive soccer and enjoy watching my boys play basketball every Saturday.

That’s it for now.