Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ten Interesting Things - I hope

Yesterday, I received the Kreative Blogger Award from Connie Keller. Thanks so much, Connie.

I'm suppose to list ten interesting things about me, which is hard because I'm really not that interesting.

Here it goes. Hopefully you find them somewhat interesting.

1. When I unload my grocery cart, I organize my food in the order of how I want it bagged and get very annoyed when the cashier doesn't do it. But I never say anything, because I'm a people pleaser.

2. I have a streak of grey on the right side of my hair and I'm pretty sure if I let it grow, I would resemble Rogue from X-men.

3. I cannot wear black and navy blue. On Sunday, I thought I had put on black nylons, but when I got outside I realized they were navy and I had to go home to change.

4. I hate exercise, but I love the feeling after you do it.

5. I think I've mentioned this before, but I hate wearing socks, almost as much as I hate folding them.

6. I am a plotter wannabe, but my brain just doesn't seem to work that way.

7. I like my bed made a certain way, but I often leave my clothes on the floor. Makes it hard to yell at my kids to clean their room when mine's a mess.

8. My favorite political show is The Daily Show - I think John Stewart should moderate the next Republican debate.

9. I have this thing with hidden entrances. I seem to use them a lot in my writing.

10. Even though I'm Canadian, I really don't enjoy watching or playing hockey.

Alright you're done. Now for passing this award onto six fellow bloggers.

Ali Cross (have you checked out NiNoCon)

Go check them out they are totally worth knowing.

How about you? Any interesting facts you'd like to reveal?

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The other day while flipping through channels, I started watching the end of a movie about witches. It was at the climax when the bad guy was fighting with what I assumed to be the good guy. Bodies were flying about, equipment was being thrown with the toss of their hands, but the funny thing was – I couldn't tell them apart.

They both were about the same build, had the same color hair, which was cut the same way. They both even wore the same kind of clothes (long black coats). I didn't know who to root for.

Right now I'm working on a book where I have two male POV. It's tricky. I have to make sure you know who is talking just by their voice. I need to make sure their names don't sound the same.  (I once had a chapter with a Finley and a Finrod - head shakes). I need to make their character arcs completely different.

So that is what I'm working not this week. Trying to make sure my two male leads are very different.

How about you? What are you working on?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

My favourite thing this week is having perspective.

Let me explain...

Remember the post I did on all the soccer drama I had endured this past year. If you don't, here it is. On Tuesday I was scheduled to play against some of the ladies who have been less than sportsmanlike. I've been stressed about the game for weeks.

Then something happened.

My husband had been experiencing pain in his leg for the last week. He thought it was a calf strain, but on Tuesday we found out it was more serious. I got a call at work telling me that he was being sent to Emergency because he had two blood clots – one in each leg. His doctor told him that he was a ticking time bomb, which is kind of a scary thought.

We spent the afternoon and early evening at the hospital. He got a shot and some medicine to thin his blood and we went home. I went to the game that I had been so worried about and had a much different perspective. We lost - badly, but it's just soccer. What could of happened and might still happen is so much more important.

That is why perspective is my favourite thing this week.

How about you? What's your favourite thing this week?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hoping for Perfection - One Day

Last week I went to my critique group and felt pretty confident about the chapter I submitted. I even volunteered to go first and then all my confidence burst. Granted, it should have burst like a balloon on a sharp needle because they were dead on.

I went home and wondered when or if I'll ever get to the point where everyone thinks my chapter is good to go. Don't get me wrong, I love the feedback. It's invaluable.

But I'm looking forward to the day when that chapter is perfect or at least very close to it.

How about you? Have you ever had a perfect chapter or are you like me and still hoping it will happen one day?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Left me Hanging

I just read a book this weekend that ended in a cliff hanger. It wasn't the second or third book in a series, it was the first one. In fact, I didn't even know it was a series when I started it. I literally finished the book and threw it down. I couldn't believe it ended that way. Now I have to wait a whole year before to find out what happens. Although the book was really good and the story intriguing, it kind of ticks me off. I know the Hunger Games left book two in a cliff hanger (which kind of ticked me off as well), but that was the second book. I really didn't expect it in the first book.

My CP Jessie wrote about falling out of love with series and I have to admit I kind of agree with, especially on mediocre books. It would be interesting to find out the sales numbers of series, to see how many go up with each book and how many go down.

I have a lot of book ones, a few book twos and even less book threes. I'm finding my love for series waning. Part of me likes to be done with the story.

How about you? Have you ever read a first book that ended in a cliff hanger and how did it make you feel? And what are you feeling on series? Do you still like them?

btw: great prizes over at Chantele's - just because she wanted to.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites

There comes a point when you’re reading a book that you really like when you have to make a decision.

Do I read the book fast because I love it?


Do I read the book slow because I love it?

I try to do the latter but invariably I end up reading the book as fast as I can.

This is the decision I had to make this week with my favorite thing.

On Wednesday while I was at Costco, I picked up The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Frankly, I knew I’d buy this book as soon as I heard the title. What a great title. It’s made me reconsider mine.

It had me hooked by page five. I loved the voice. I loved the pacing. I loved the story. It made me laugh. It made me cry. And I couldn't stop reading it

Here’s the blurb:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal. But when a diagnosis plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazels’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

There are some books that entertain you, and there are some books that make you think. This one does both.

I don’t usually recommend books, because then people see what weird tastes I have, but I highly highly recommend this book.

It is my favorite thing this week.

What’s your favorite thing this week?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The trickle effect

On Sunday I went to my critique group and read some fabulous chapters, we had great discussions, but there was an underlying theme to the afternoon.

All of our work had been edited from previous versions and everyone had places where we wanted more explanation or something seemed out of place. Here was what we all said, "I explained that in a previous version or there was more to that section but I cut it out."

Invariably when you delete something, you forget that you mention it again later on, but without the set up that you deleted it doesn't make as much sense. It's like a domino. Once you take one out, the rest of the dominos don't fall at the right time any more.

The only advice I have is to edit, edit, and edit. Then let other people read it. Get another set of eyes to review your work with the sole purpose of finding things that don't make sense or need more explanation.

How about you? How do you avoid the trickle or domino effect?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Do you ever feel...?

Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day?

Do you ever feel like you should be able to lose weight after one really good day of exercising and eating?

Do you ever feel at a loss for what to make for dinner?

Do you ever feel like you should buy a months worth of socks and underwear so you don't have to do laundry every two days?

Do you ever have a thought only to forget it a split second later?

Do you ever wish that if you could just get what's in your head on paper you'd have a best selling novel?

Do you ever feel like you're getting worse not better?

If you ever experience any of these, you're not alone. I feel them on a daily basis.

That's why it's important to have people in your life you can turn to when your feeling like this. Talk to a blogging friend, your spouse, your BFF, or your mom - you can always depend on your mom (well, hopefully you can).

To my American friends happy Martin Luther Day. To everyone else, happy Monday

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friday Favourites

This week I don't think it will come as any surprise that my favourite thing is my new shiny laptop

I've written and edited more this week then I did the whole month of December. That's because I can do it at the kitchen table. I'm not stuck downstairs in a dark part of the house away from my family. I can write while my kids mull around, while I give my daughter a spelling test, while I cook dinner, or even while the basketball game is on TV.

Basically, I'm having a lot less guilt about spending time on the computer because I'm still around my family while I'm doing it as opposed to being hidden. Does this make any sense?

Anyway, it's been great. You'll have to excuse the photo, I just got home from soccer practice and nobody wants to see a picture of my red face.

How about you? What's been your favourite thing this week?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Following Advice as a Rookie

Back in the day when I was still trying to figure out this crazy publishing industry, I came across some advice that I totally disagreed with.

Only send out a few queries at a time then wait until you hear back before sending more. 

In my ignorance, I thought how dare the industry tell me I can't send out twenty to thirty at a time. They actually wanted me to wait up to six months to hear from an agent before I could send out another query. That's crazy!!

But in my infinite wisdom, or maybe it was more my people pleaser personality (didn't want to tick anyone off if by chance they found out I sent out so many queries at once), I decided to only send out a few at a time.

I can honestly say it was the best advice I adhered to, because back in the day, my query sucked and my novel sucked! Honestly I read it now and I wonder what the heck is this book about and I'm the one who wrote it. If I had sent that out to twenty or thirty agents then that would be it. They all would have said no and that would be it for my chance with them. So I sent out a few, got rejections, edited my manuscript and query letter. Sent out a few more, got rejections, edited again. Hopefully now I've got it right and if not then it's been a great learning experience.

Sometimes the advice we get can seem a little crazy, but if the majority of people are saying it, then we should probably listen or at the very least consider it.

How about you? What's some advice you heard when you first started writing that you thought there's no way I'm doing that, but ended up following it anyway?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tablet or Laptop

I am terrible at making decisions.

Everything from what to wear and what to make for dinner to where to go on vacation or should we move?

This Christmas, my husband and kids gave me a tablet. It was super cool, especially the kindle app, but it didn't do everything I wanted it to, namely help me write a novel. My computer is dying and my husband thought this might replace it.

We soon discovered it wouldn't, so he suggested I take everything back and just go get a laptop. Believe it or not – I couldn't decide.

The tablet was cool. I could read, go on line, and play games, plus see what the weather was at the push of a button. Also my kids loved it. What to do?

It took me four days to decide to get a laptop, because the only down side I could think of was that I couldn't use it like a kindle and yes MS Word still worked on my old computer, but nothing else.

So what do you think? Did I make the right decision? Do you have a hard time making decision?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Friday Favorites

So I've decided to start a new feature this year and I'm hoping to stick with it. That was one of my New Years Resolutions – to stick with things.

Anyway, every Friday I'm going to feature my favorite thing that week. Whether it be a book, a movie, a TV show, a new gadget, a quote, a tip etc.

Today it's a TV show.

ONCE UPON A TIME is my favorite show this year. I absolutely love it. It has everything: great story telling (think Lost), great characters, a spin on fairy tales, fantasy, real life, love, villians, an evil witch. I could go on and on.

If you are one those people who don't really watch TV, I highly recommend watching this one. A new episode airs on Sunday on ABC - check your local listings.

Here's a clip to let you get a feel for what you can expect.

Is anyone else watching this? If not what's your favorite TV show?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Remember Where You Are

And when I say "you", I really mean your characters.

Tell me if you can identify what's wrong with this passage.

I swing my legs off the bed and slide into my hunting boots. Supple leather that has moulded to my feet. I pull on trousers, a shirt, tuck my long dark braid up into a cap, and grab my forage bag.

I'll give you a hint. You put one leg on at a time.

Still haven't got it. The character put on her hunting boots before her trousers. While I guess technically you can do that. I don't think many people do. This is a little thing, but we need to keep track of where our characters are. Are they sitting one moment, then standing in the other room the next. The easiest way I find to keep track of my characters movements, is to read it out loud and keep track of it on a piece of paper. That way I don't have my one legged character moving around too much or another character laying down when they should be standing.

How about you? How do you keep track of where your characters are?

btw: that excerpt was from a NY times best selling novel

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Musical Montage Month

I'm back and I hope everyone had a great holiday season.

January is typically a time to set goals and I'm no different, so  I've decided to make January my musical montage month.

What does that mean?

In a lot of movies there comes a point when the main character decides things need to change. They need to learn a new skill, fix a house, repair a relationship etc. This is usually accompanied by some peppy music that takes the viewers through the character's transformation in record time.

This is what I'm hoping will happen to me this month. I need to see a transformation, not just physically, but mentally. So here's to seeing a difference within the next thirty days, even if it's just a little.

A few pounds lost
A few more minutes spent writing
A cleaner house
A few better meals on the table
A couple of extra books read
A healthier me
A little less stress

Hope you have a great musical montage month and are able to start and reach some of your goals.