Monday, September 29, 2014

PD Day

The "P" in PD Day does not stand for productive. Or prolific or profitable. At least not in terms of writing. 


Friday, September 26, 2014

Driving force of stories...

I don't write action packed thrillers... I wish I could, they're fun to read and sell well. So far my stories have been driven by emotions.

Game Plan was driven by my frustrations and fears waiting to adopt and the new emotions I had for my daughter's first mother when we finally found her, paired with the mixed up emotions I remember from being a teen.

Nine was driven by my love of baseball, the rest of the story grew up around that.

My second story was driven by my love of words and writing and my love of love stories, especially one against the odds.

My third story was driven by my wonder of and empathy for kids with autism, my apprehension of sending my kids into the world every day where they'll meet with friends and bullies, enthusiasm and apathy and try to figure out which is which.

So already this morning I've been amused by my fashion forward daughter, frustrated by my antagonizing son, worried about my apparently sick puppy and brought to tears watching an enemy on the field walk off for the last time. This is where the fodder is. All of those emotions can be applied to a new situation to build a new story. You don't need a car chase :)


Monday, September 22, 2014

Random Updates

WEllll, I had a very sweet Reese PB Cake for breakfast - a dessert I got when we were out last night that I didn't feel like eating last night. It was yummy but OMG so sweet so now my heart is racing and I feel flighty and confused... maybe that's not the cake's fault, though.

This weekend was a big one...

1. My ball team raced back from third place (of four) to play in the championship game at the tourney!!! I wasn't there for the final game though. We didn't win, but we made it close and that was good enough.

2. I had to leave ball b/c I was invited to the Word on the Street welcome gala! YES! An opportunity to mingle through a room full of people I don't know! I don't know about anyone else, but that is THIS writer's most feared monster... There is a reason why I'm most comfortable at my computer with my cat. It was so exciting to be invited though, and it's healthy to push oneself into uncomfortable situations, right? So I ditched my uniform hoodie, put on makeup and went. I accomplished the two goals I set for myself: 1. Talk to someone I don't know, 2. Don't puke on them. SO all in all it was a successful evening, with good food.

3. Word on the Street! How awesome was that? A whole street festival about reading and writing. There were tents with authors reading aloud, spoken word, book sales, pitch the publisher... I've said it before, there is something special that happens when literary folks (readers and writers) get together, some kind of glow or aura of energy that hovers over everybody. And I didn't puke when I did my readings either! Two for two!

4. Hockey started! Elliot's four ice times into his tryouts and doing well... As much as I try not to be, I'm a terrible hockey mom - not one of those crazies that yells at everyone from the stands, but one who gets terribly anxious and stressed out about tryouts. Since I had my ball tournament and WOTS, I only saw one of Elliot's practices, but I bugged other parents for regular texted updates.

So now I'm sitting trying to digest a month's worth of sugar and focus my brain long enough to figure out what's next. I have to WIPs in the infant stages, trying to decide which deserves my energies at this time, or better yet, which I have energy for. (Yes I know that's grammatically incorrect but remember the whole buzzing on sugar thing).


Friday, September 19, 2014

Word on the Street

Today is a prep day for Word on the Street Halifax!

Think Halifax Buskers festival but literary. Authors, publishers, book sellers, all gathered on the waterfront to talk about BOOKS. How awesome is that? There are readings for all ages, I think Theodore is already full for his reading cruises. There are signings and meet and greets, pitch the publisher. Browsing. I'm so excited to be a part of it! And the weather looks like a perfect day (knockonwood, fingers crossed). I'm sad to say I didn't even know it existed last year, so I'm hoping to get the word out.

Except I'm also terrified! I fit the stereotype of a reclusive, introverted writer. I like to peck my stories out on my puter in part because I don't like putting myself 'out there' in a performance way. I mean, if I did, I'd act in plays and stuff! Doing public events like the book launch, readings and workshops has been a huge learning experience for me, and one wherein I've had to face some pretty big fears head on... but I'm up for the challenge. Sorta, maybe.

So today I will spend time figuring out which parts I'll read and making sure they're the right length. I'll make sure I have my purple pens ready for signing and my business card collection stocked. Wish me luck! Or better yet, come by on Sunday.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Bits and Parts

I've got a concept for a blog entry floating around in my head and I'm struggling to pin it down in a concise enough way to make it make sense...

Here are my last several FB profile pics:

And it got me wondering... how could a layman like me psycho analyze what my choice in photographic representation might mean about me. Does it mean anything?

I am the picture taker. I'm always behind the camera. I have crafty ninja skills when it comes to ducking behind things and avoiding cameras pointed at me... as if they were sniper guns. I hate having my picture taken. I hate looking at pictures of me. So these pictures are a compromise... here, you can see PART of me.

How does that pertain to writing? Since I'm the one doing the writing, arguably I can let the parts of me I want in there slip by and hide the parts I don't, right? But how honest does that make the writing itself? And does writing that allows a fuller version of myself ring more true? The WIP I am struggling with carries some very dark experiences... not my own non fiction, but built from some of those deep dark emotions that drowned Atreyu's horse. Could it be that the struggle I'm having is rooted in the fact that that's a less attractive part, that I'd really not like it exposed?


Friday, September 12, 2014

Crossroads and kinda lost

It's FRIDAY! I get to sit at my desk, under my spotlighty desk lamp, eat cereal with a fork (b/c the spoons are all either in the dishwasher or lost at school) and type around the fat cat in my lap. Okay, I lied on that one, she's not in my lap right now, but I anticipate her coming back.

Except today I'm not sure what to do.

I've been working on the latest WIP. Sometimes a WIP comes as a story and I have to make up the characters. This one came as a character. I think she needs to be explored and presented, but I have NO IDEA what the story is yet! I have the beginning - 7K pretty good words of a beginning - and I know how and where it'll end. I have NO idea where the middle is, like how long is the timeline? what is she doing? who is she meeting? what brings about her development?

Monday I tried 'writing through it' - you know, just keep pecking away and see where it leads... except I'm worried that it's not worth it in the end? Maybe this is only a short story? or a character sketch? Maybe it's not meant to be novel length. argh. I go back and forth on whether it's worth hashing though or whether I need to put it aside and start a new idea for a while.

So I've been procrastinating - putting my time into other tasks that seem important at that moment.  The things writers do, like boost social media platforms (FB, Twits, Wattpad) and write rambling blog entries. It's not getting me anywhere. Obviously.


Monday, September 08, 2014

Goooood Monday Morning!

I'm dragging today... after very little sleep.

I stayed awake until after 2:30 to finish The Goldfinch. I was determined to get it done. Some books I like to soak in and read more and more slowly as the end nears because I don't want to be finished with them. This was not one of them. I liked the book, I actually liked it a lot, but (Dr. Phil says a 'but' there repudiates anything said before it but I don't agree) but I found it a very hard, slow, trudging read. Not slow in action, there was lots in there, but slow to get through. I started on August 23 and read til September 7 - well, early hours on the 8th. That's over two weeks for one book? And not pick up here and there, I mean an hour or more a day (well, in the middle of the night) of reading. Way longer than usual for me. And what about that Pulitzer? I mean, it may sound like sour grapes, but I didn't think it was Pulitzer worthy. But it was good and I'm glad I read it.

I think I struggled with my own naivety. There was a lot of drugs and petty crimes in the book, stuff that was just par for the course in the story, but it really bothered me. I wanted the MC to raise above it, even if that would have created more of a fairy tale than a true story. I guess I like clean lines and happy endings. Because of their choices, I struggled to empathize with the characters and at points really didn't like them very much.

The characters were well developed and well defined. Perhaps my favourite part of the book was Boris' dialect and grammar... very true, very consistent, I could hear him talking in my head. For him alone, this book might make a good movie.

Read it if you get the chance!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Back to School means back to Writing!

I love summer with the kids. On days I'm not working we'll find something fun to do, or hang around the house and swim in the lake. I love having them around and back to school makes me sad. BUT with them back in school I get my writing days back!!!

I know I posted similar before and after pics before... here's my return to productive writing days after a summer of finding time willy nilly and wherever I ended up sitting:

Ahhh, clean desk for a clean start... which is kinda daunting b/c my latest WIP and I are not really getting along that well. We're actually not on speaking terms at the moment, which means I sit at the puter and pound my head against the keyboard, pound my fingers against the WIP trying to draw out words and thoughts and ideas while it sits in a dark corner laughing at me. Who said writing was peaceful?


Wednesday, September 03, 2014


It's so nice to get a good review... this one came via a friend:

"Got this book from one of my besties Colleen McKie for my bday. Her company published it... started to read it at 1pm on Monday & finished it before 10pm. A FANTASTIC read! Whitty, touching, everything a great book should be.Warning I cried & laughed through out it. It has been years since I read a book in one sitting! I highly recommend you grab a copy"

Sounds awesome, no?


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Ten Book Challenge

There is a challenge going around FB wherein the recipient lists ten books that "have stayed with you in some way. They don’t have to be ‘right ‘ books or great works of literature." 

I thought it would be interesting to post them here:


Is your favourite on this list??? The strange thing is it sounds daunting to write a list, but once I got rolling I could have listed many more. 


#GoodDay Reviews

Charlie's Story on Wattpad

Game Plan on Wattpad

Nine on Wattpad

My other Distraction