Thursday, April 30, 2009


I hate driving at night. You have nothing to look at except the headlights coming towards you, which always gives me a headache. I especially hate driving home late at night in the country and everyone else in the vehicle is asleep. It’s times like this when I most tired and have a hard time staying awake. Then I see the bright lights of the city and they wake me right up because I know I’m close to my destination.

Yesterday my sister in law sent me this quote:
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.

Think of your novel as a long car ride towards to the big city of "Published". Here’s hoping that everyday we all get closer to those big city lights.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I was in need of a change so I went to the Cutest Blog on the Block website and tried on a few templates. I picked this one because I'm thinking of painting a wall in my house green and I want to see if I like looking it.

When looking at all of the templates what I found interesting were the names.

This one is called "Stenciled in Time"

Others included:
I'm torn
Touch of Sweetness
Pieces of Heaven
Dainty Draft
Remember me red

and my personal favorite - Feelin' Lucky (I wanted this one but the template was down)

That would be quite the job; blog template namer. I can't quite decide which one would be more fun, elf sensor or blog namer.

What is the name of your blog template?

Friday, April 24, 2009


Sometimes deadlines can be good. They force you to focus on the task at hand instead of thinking about a million other things you have to do.

We’ve lived in our house for eleven years and it is in serious need of some repair. We’ve been procrastinating fixing things for almost a year now but due to some issues with my son’s schooling we’re now thinking of moving. In fact we’ve been thinking about it for a few months but I still haven't done anything. Then my husband made an appointment to have our furnace cleaned. Now I have a deadline. I have to get all of the walls fixed and all the windowsills sanded before May 6 so that all of the dust will be cleaned up.

Now take into account that I work part time, my husband just had ankle surgery (he can’t walk for six weeks). Plus he can’t drive so I’ve been playing taxi to our three children. And I’m still trying to get the edits done on my book. I’m exhausted but still the deadline looms.

I have to say that I’ve risen to the challenge. My basement is in shambles. All of the furniture has been pushed into the centre of the room and there are white patches all over the walls waiting to be sanded down and re-plastered.

What can I learn from all this? Deadlines help or at least they help me. I need something or someone forcing me to get something done because deep down I’m really a procrastinator at heart. I’ve tried to make my own deadlines but they always come and go without me reaching my goal.

After I get my house painted I’m going to try and refocus on a deadline of June 1st to get all of my edits done. There I’ve said it here. June 1st is the date to be completely done. I hope you all hold me to it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Tree

I love this tree.

I consider it to be mine even though it stands alone in a farmer’s field over-looking the mountains.

For the past eleven years I have driven by it on my way home from the city. I’ve wanted to take a photo of it for a long time but I never remember to stop when I have my camera. Finally on Saturday I had the camera and no children so I ventured onto the road with a no trespassing sign so I could get a picture of my tree.

My goal is to get a photo in each of the seasons. I’ll take another one in the summer, hopefully this summer and not eleven years from now.

I think it would be a great place to sit in the summer, under the shade of the branches, looking at the mountains. I find it very inspirational. I think I’ll blow up the photo and hang it by my desk. The next best thing, I guess.

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Book Tomorrow

Katie Alender's novel Bad Girls Don't Die is coming out tomorrow and I'm super excited to read it.

Here's a description:
Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger.

Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

If you go to Katie's blog, she's having some great contests. You could win a signed copy of her book, either for yourself or for a teen (or non-teen) reader of your choice. She might even name a character in her next book after you. Go check it out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


In the process of completing my next round of edits, I have found myself completely stuck on Chapter 6. I know I should skip it and go the next one except I’m kind of a sequential person, which is a whole other topic.

Here is how the last week has gone:

Go to my desk
See chapter 6 sitting beside my keyboard
Turn on my computer
Take a sideways glance at the first paragraph
Go to facebook and see what my family’s doing
Flip through the first few pages
Check my email
Open up Chapter 6, make one correction
Return to my email and confirm attendance at a soccer executive meeting
Switch back to Chapter 6, read paragraph one over and over again, shaking head
Read blogs
Make two more changes
Look at watch, time to make dinner

Last night I finally took a few deep breaths and sat down at my computer determined to go through the chapter. When I was finished I still wasn’t completely happy with it. This morning I couldn’t sleep (for a completely unrelated issue) so I got up at 5:45am and worked on it but only got four pages done before I had to get ready for work.

The problem is, chapter 6 is where I establish the setting for the rest of the book. I introduce the MC and the readers to a new world. I want to make sure I’m careful not to overload it with description. Instead I need to try to reveal things through the character and plot.

It’s tricky.

I’ll be back at it tonight. Wish me luck. All I need to do is get past Chapter 6 and it will be clear sailing. Ha Ha!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Everyone’s Different – thank heavens

Last weekend I spent a night in Banff with my sister in laws and mother in law. I know what you’re thinking but I actually get along really well with my in-laws. Anyway we were discussing books that we’ve read recently and what we look for in a book.

Some loved interesting characters, some loved reading detailed description, some loved the plot.

I have to admit I fall into the latter category.

I am all about plot. I love reading and writing a fast paced story where there’s always something happening or on the verge of happening. I like good characters as well but I like them doing something.

I also don’t love a lot of description. I have a hard time reading pages of what a mountain looks like (just a random example). I’m a minimalist when it comes to describing things and I’ve had to work hard to change that. Although I still fight it on a regular basis.

Lots of times when I’m writing something new I’ll write in (ADD DESCRIPTION) so I can get on with the story.

What about you? Plot or Character or Setting? What do you like writing or reading the most?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

More editing…

Editing is a never-ending spinning ride and I’m starting to get nauseous.

I’m really beginning to wonder if I have one original sentence left in my manuscript. I’m amazed at how I can go through a chapter that I’ve already read like seventeen times and think of a better way to say something or see a spelling mistake or realize I don’t need a whole paragraph.

Does it ever end… Will it ever be good enough…

The answer is….I’m not sure. What I do know is I’ll keep plugging away, chipping away at it, one sentence at a time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hours in a Week

So last week I decided to keep track of how much time I'm actually spending on the editing process, (since I'm not writing anything new).

Monday: 2 hours
Tuesday: 1 hour
Wednesday: 3 hours (I was slow at work)
Thursday: 3 hours (slow day at work as well)
Friday: 1 hour
Saturday: 30 min.
Sunday: nothing

10.5 hours, not bad for me but I could probably stand to put some more time in. I'm on chapter 10 of 24 in my editing. Then I'm going to leave it for a while and read one more time. Not sure when I'm going to submit. I'm not sure I can make it good enough by May so I might wait until September. Patience is something I'm definitely learning.

Anyway how many hours a week do you write?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hidden People

Last Friday my mother in law called me all excited about a radio program she was listening to. It was all about elves and hidden people in Iceland. It started off by saying if you want to do business in Iceland you better be nice to the elves.

The conversation had been sparked by a Vanity Fair article written by Michael Lewis about the economic meltdown in Iceland.

According to Lewis, when the American aluminum giant ALCOA decided that it wanted to build a smelter in Iceland, the company had to first verify that it wouldn't be trespassing on land occupied by "hidden people" or elves.Now, as far as we know, most ALCOA officials don't believe in elves. But ALCOA does acknowledge that it paid hard cash to make sure the future site of its smelter was elf-free.

The host then went on to interview Magnus Skarphedinsson, headmaster of the Icelandic Elf School. He said that ALCOA isn’t the only company to pay good money to go chasing mythical creatures. In fact highway engineers built around a boulder when it was discovered that it was home to a group of hidden people. If they hadn’t done so then their project would have been subject to sabotage.

Big companies use a consultant to see if elves or hidden people are living on the spot where they want to build. That would be quite the profession.