Thursday, July 29, 2010

Keeping Track

When I'm editing, I'm bad for keeping a million different copies of my chapters. Okay, maybe not quite a million, but a lot more than I care to admit.

I find that every time I go into the chapter I save it as a different name just in case I change something and then decide I want to go back to what I had previously written. And, of course, because I'm getting older, I can never remember the exact wording.

Hence I have a lot of the same chapter with just a few changes, which can be hard when you're trying to figure out what document is the most up to date. So with this book I've been using dates in the name, which so far is working well.

What about you? Do you save your chapter each time you open it or do you just rewrite and forget about what was once written?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random Tuesday that will be read on Wednesday

Last Saturday, as me and my 8 year old daughter drove home from shopping, she turns to me and says, "Mom, I'm hungry. I've been eating air and drinking spit all morning."

A conversation between me and my sons.

Me: I've been a bad influence on you guys. I've taught you to be pessimistic and a little judgmental.

Middle Son: You didn't teach us that, it's in our genes.

Me: If only, if only.


Do you ever find yourself sitting down at the end of the day exhausted, but wondering what you did all day long?


I don't speed, I just reach the speed limit faster than everyone else.

Monday, July 26, 2010

2 totally different books

So over the past two weeks I have managed to read a couple of read good and completely different books. First off I'm really bad at reviewing books that's why I haven't done it before, so bare with me.

Some Kind of Normal by Heidi Willis

All that stands between her daughter's life and death is a tenth grade education, a zealous group of baptist ladies, and 1.8 million Google hits.

What I liked best about the book is that Heidi has created such a unique voice in the main character Babs that it remined me of Perry in Patricia Woods book Lottery. It was distinct and fit the character so well. This book hit home for me as I have a few people in my family with diabetes including my 17 year old niece. I also related to the religious struggle that Babs goes through. I can't tell you how many times I've written a grocery list or a to do list in the middle of church. Overall I learned a lot about diabetes with this book, but wasn't hit over the head with so much information. That's why Heidi's book is being recommended by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. Yeah Heidi.

The second book I read and one that's completely different is The Body Finder by Kimberley Derting.

A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

First off I wouldn't recommend reading this book late at night when your husband is gone for the weekend and your home alone with two young kids. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep. Besides the great plot, fantastic suspense and gruesome crimes, what I liked most about this book is the romance between Jay and Violet It was a refreshing change from the whole love at first sight, obsessive relationship thing.

I highly recommend both books.

After reading these books it got me thinking. In your crit group do you all write the same or different genres, and what do you think is good or bad about either?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The need for constant reassurance

Last night, instead of playing a striker, I played an attacking midfielder, which I haven't done all season. I felt a little lost, in people's way, and generally of no use.

After the game this is how my conversation went with my husband:

"How did I play?"


"What did I do that was good?"

"You passed well and you got the ball to the wings well." "

"Anything else?"

"You looked tired at times and you needed to move into open space."

"Did I do anything right?"

"You played well."

For the record, I had kind of a hard game. I gave the ball away too much and I really didn't know what I was doing, but I wanted some praise even though I maybe didn't deserve it.

I think that's why I get my family to read my chapters before I send them off to beta readers. Generally I don't get critiqued too hard by my nieces and sister. They give me rave reviews, which feeds my need for reassurance just before reality hits when my beta readers tell me what I need to change.

What about you? Do you give your chapters to your family to read first knowing they won't say anything bad?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting from Point A to Point B

When I first started writing I thought I needed to account for all of my main characters time. My writer friend called it pedestrian writing.

She got into the car. She drove to her friends. She got out and went inside.
(horrible, but you get the point)

In the past I spent more time trying to writer creative descriptions about moving from one scene to the next when all I really needed to do was end the scene and start again somewhere else.

So that's what I'm trying to do. I don't have to tell the reader everything the main character does. Readers are smart and they can make the right assumptions about what your character has done between scenes.

How about you? Do you feel like you need to account for all the time or not?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Thursday

I think that this might be a new theme for my Thursday posts, which invariably I write late at night on Wednesday, so really it's a Wednesday post, but everyone reads it on Thursday. Now that I have you thoroughly confused, I'll move on.

Random #1
I'm totally in love with books on CD, as I have mentioned. I've gone back to Jane Erye and I have 6 more CD's left. It's 20 hours long. It's really made me listen to every word, because sometimes when I read I have a bad habit of skimming.

Random #2
I stole this from my niece's facebook.

I'm dreaming of a better world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

Random #3
Yesterday, my husband had a client come to the house in a cowboy hat and boots and my daughter thought he had "Mantracker" for a client. (A Canadian show where a cowboy hunts down two people by following their tracks. It's quite entertaining.), which goes to show that all cowboys look the same, at least to an 8 year old girl.

Random #4
We went to Lake Louise on the weekend (by Banff) and my son thought he could cross a bunch of logs that had collected near shore, but fell in. Instead of being the concerned parent, I asked him to do it again so I could catch it on video. Here is is after he got wet up to his waist.

That's it. Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Everyone has their own thing...

For those who have been reading my blog for a while know that me and family are fully engaged in sports. I play soccer, my boys play basketball, and my daughter even did baseball this summer. When our weekends aren't full of driving to gyms and watching a few games then we are usually out in the mountains biking, rock climbing, or hiking.

What I've found interesting over the past little bit, is that everyone has their own thing that they do. I have a friend whose life is spent putting make up on her kids, making customes and driving everywhere to watch them dance.

Others are more entrenched in the arts. They go to plays, festivals, and spend most of their time downtown and probably go out to eat a lot.

I know lots of people who have horses and they spend every weekend going to rodeos or show jumping.

Everyone spends their time differently, so it only stands to reason that we all write differently. That's the one thing that I've learned while critiquing. No one quite writes like you do, nor should they. When I first started reading others work, I found it difficult not to instill my way of writing on them. I failed a few times, but through doing it more I've think I've gotten better at not doing that. In the end we have to let people discover their own way and just try to help them find it.

Side note: I want to thank everyone who has let me read their words and comment on them. I have learned a lot about critiquing. I have not always been right. I have not always caught things that could make it better, but once in a while I think I help.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All things sports

Sorry this post has absolutely nothing to do with writing. I'm telling you this now so you are not disappointed. The last thing I want is for you to read through my post, hoping to discover a fantastic analogy (because in case you didn't know I'm the queen of them) only to find nothing. This way no ones mad at me.

First off, go Spain. I love this team. They play so well together, pass the ball magnificently and are mostly unselfish, except for Pedro at the end of the game. Frankly I thought Germany would have killed them with their fast transition play, but Spain hung in there. So I'll be cheering for Spain on Sunday.

Second, this Lebron James crap is just plain annoying. I think his decision tonight to leave the Cavaliers will tarnish his image of being one of the great players of basketball. Kobe Bryant didn't leave his team, Michael Jordan didn't leave his team. They led their teams to victory. I hope the Heat get booed everywhere they go and they don't win a championship.

Third, well actually I don't have a third, because well it's summer and I don't follow baseball.

Hope the two people that might read to the end of this post have a good weekend.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What I wish for...

I wish that when kids get the flu it didn't happen in the middle of the night.

I wish that I could see a good movie this summer.

I wish I could figure out our summer holiday.

I wish that I wasn't so tired.

I wish I could walk up stairs without my body hurting.


This is a tiny wish.

I wish agents would send something, even a standard rejection instead of nothing.

I know some agents say, "silence means no", which is okay if you have an option on your voice mail that lets you know when someone has read your email, but if you don't, well then you're left to wonder if they got your email at all.

I know sometimes they don't respond because they don't want to enter into a dialogue, and I completely understand that. Maybe if they had an automatic reply telling the querier that their email was received. I think that would be good.

I know it's just a tiny wish, or maybe it was more of a rant.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Finding the Compliment

So I've been trying to look at the positives in life and lately when people say the smallest things I try to take them as compliments.

Last week me and my husband were in a store when the sales lady starting talking about "Pat" from SNL, then she says "You two would be too young to remember that show" - Excellent compliment.

After one of my soccer games my daughter asks me if I'm naturally good at soccer - Another excellent compliment.

Teaching 11 year old boys in church. "Of course you know more than us, you're like 28" - my favorite compliment.

My nieces telling that my kissing scene was the most disgusting they have ever read - loved that one.

It's always good to find the small things in life that make us happy.

Happy 4th of July and belated Canada Day, which was on the first.