Category: Personal


A New Home

I’m finally doing something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, both in this blog, on my Facebook page and maybe even in  my real life (soon, not right now on that score).  I’ve known for a while now that I had no intention of keeping my married name, Tkachyk, once the divorce was finalized.  The thing is, as we all know, I have so little patience that it’s almost not funny.  Add to that my feeling that I need to switch over for writing reasons and I’ve decided to launch my post-marriage name, the one I’ve intended for a while now to publish under. J. Elizabeth Hill.

With that in mind, this blog is moving to a new address: http://jelizabethhill.wordpress.com/

Everything from here has been exported over to that address, all the posts, comments, pages, etc.  WordPress is very handy that way, I must say.  They make it easy.  Those of you who wish to continue following this blog will, of course, need to add/switch to the new one, as I will not be updating this one further after this post.

I’ve simply decided that it’s time to take this final step away from that old life, the old self.  Besides, can you imagine people trying to find my books by this last name? 🙂

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My friend Amber, at Conversing with Novels was so thoughtful as to pass me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

The funny thing is that I am the last person I would ever point others to when looking for inspiration, but I think that has to do with a rampant case of it’s-not-impressive-if-I’m-the-one-doing-it. I’m in treatment, the doctors say it’s not life-threatening and that I can safely live the rest of my life with it if treatment doesn’t work.  They have, however, informed me that it’s not covered by any Healthcare system, and so they have been forced to mail me my invoice for services rendered.  Wait, what’s this slip of paper in the envelope with it? It looks a bit like a prescription.

  1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
  2. Write 7 things about yourself
  3. Nominate 7 blogs

Oh, wait, those are the instructions. Apparently they found them when they were researching my case. Curiouser and curiouser…

So, many more thanks to Amber for thinking of me. Now, for the (not very) juicy tidbits of information about the (very) crazy writer-lady.

  1. The first SLR camera I got to use was my Aunt Sandy’s, a Minolta X-700 that’s more or less been on perma-loan to me since she found out I wanted to get into photography. I’d still be using that if Agfa hadn’t stopped making my favourite type of film, more or less turfing me into the digital photography age.
  2. I talk to the characters in my books.  A lot. Especially when I hit a road block in either the notes or outline stages. Sometimes they tell me surprising secret things, sometimes they just tell me off.  They’re a loudmouthed, mutinous bunch, but I love them, and talking to them has so far gotten me out of every jam since I started writing all the time last fall. Thank god I live alone, though sometimes I get funny looks from the cats.
  3. Many of the writing inspirations I’ve shared on here were so shared for two reasons. First, I wanted to make sure I recorded them somewhere other than just my wall of lessons learned, and second, I’m not so much trying to inspire people as save them from bashing their heads into some of the walls I’ve bashed mine into. I know it hurts, and I’d like to try to save someone else that pain if I can.
  4. I’m never happy with my progress. In anything, really.  It’s never enough. If I write 2k per day for an entire draft, I feel the need to top it, even if that’s not reflected in my goal. The actual stated goal this time, as I write Possession, is the same as when I wrote the second draft of DM (which is ambitious to begin with since I wrote most of that draft of DM while on vacation from the day job) but I’m not satisfied with just writing 3k per night (my average at least during the portion of last time that included going to the day job). No, this time, I’m not entirely happy with myself unless I’ve written 4k, despite the fact that pace is only 2.5k.  That’s just a little sick and I’m wondering when it will be forced to end by a serious case of I-don’t-have-any-more-hours-in-the-day-for-this. I’m pretty sure you can’t get treatment for that.
  5. I rarely plan posts out ahead of time. I mean almost never. Okay, I think it happened once (not including the one I have planned for after this award post). I find it odd that they don’t ramble more because of this. I mean, I edit them. Trust me, I even tend to edit my comments on other blogs.  But strangely, all of these unplanned posts seem to stay more or less on subject, and even usually have a nice flow to them. I’m a bit amazed at that.
  6. Though I have trouble being inspired by anything I do, even when I know intellectually that it should be viewed as inspiring, I often find others very inspiring and love to tell them so, to encourage them to keep doing whatever they’re doing that I find so awesome.  In that spirit, I’m looking forward to the nomination section.
  7. If I were successful enough to do so, I probably would quit my day job and just write. It’s not because I don’t like my day job. I do like it most days. But I think that by the time I became that successful, I would need to quit the day job just so I could feel like I had time for things other than work.  Currently I work 37.5-40 hours a week on the day job and somewhere in the 55-60 hours a week range on writing. I really do dream of having just one full time job again one day, and I know I can’t give up writing. The implications are obvious.

And so, now we move on to the main event, the Inspiring Bloggers I wish to bring to people’s attention:

  1. Though I don’t wear jewellery myself, I love her work as being beautiful in their own right and, as I know her in real life, I know exactly how inspiring she is, which is to say tremendously.
  2. This gentleman often says the things I think out loud (out word?) for me or prods me into thinking about something differently.  I think that’s good for my brain, which I need for all this writing.
  3. This lady lives her life with such honesty and a beautiful mix of self-confidence and self-examination that I find it inspires me to do the same.
  4. This fabulous photographer also writes wonderful accompanying pieces that never fail to touch me.
  5. This lady makes me look back at myself at that age and realize how little I had my stuff together. But that inspires me to keep it together now, so it’s all good to me.

Yes, I know that’s only 5.  I’m cheating. Again. I’ve just done enough of these things to realize that the number they ask for is arbitrary.  I would rather people just nominated those they feel it’s appropriate for, rather than adding to the list just because it isn’t long enough. That and several of the people I would love to give this to already have it, which just means other people have good taste too. 🙂

In closing, I want to leave you with this link, which made me laugh and think at the same time, my favourite kind of inspiration. I couldn’t not share it.

Daniel Abraham’s Private Letter From Genre To Mainstream

7 Times 7 Times My Age…

Actually, lets not go there.  I refuse to admit that numbers go that high when they’re in the same sentence as my age. 🙂

Jmmcdowell was kind enough to nominate me for the 7×7 award, with comes with such a long list of instructions that they give you 7 trophies so that they can write them all on it.  My, that mantle is getting full. I need to build a bigger fireplace.  Ohhh, bonfires and s’mores indoors!  Yay!

So, onward!  To the lists, I mean instructions.

  1. Share some things about myself
  2. link to 7 of your own posts: Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated, Most Popular, Most Beautiful, Most Helpful, Most Controversial and Most Pride-Worthy
  3. Nominate 7 blogs

Hmm, okay, I can handle this, though I might engage in some judicious cheating.  Again.  I’m incorrigible, I swear.  I blame my characters for that, by the way.

So, about me:

  • I love Skull Candy over-ear headphones, particularly their Hesh series.  My old ones died recently, but after like 3 years of daily (ab)use, I don’t think they owed me anything.  I got new ones just a couple days ago, black and blue.  Only purple would have been better.  I miss the inline volume control my old ones had, but I can learn to live without it.  Best ear muffs/self-dense in the mall ever.
  • I feel like I’m cheating on Tavis when I make notes on my newest idea (non-Mirrors one), because I absolutely adore the main character in this new one.  The fact that I can even think of it like that slightly disturbs me (well, only a little), but then I view authors as crazy people.  It’s what we do.
  • The reason I think of authors as crazy (in a general, non-threatening, non-commitable kind of way) is because we keep imaginary people (multiple, not just one) in our head, and often imaginary places, and then we take them out and make them dance for other people’s entertainment.  I challenge you not to think of it as crazy when put like that.  I can’t.
  • I love discovering new (to me) authors and letting them seduce me into their worlds.  Yes, I really do think of it that way.  I love this almost as much as I enjoy new books by favourite authors.
  • No one can possibly be more surprised than me at this blog being successful.  I write about my writing.  And apparently my awards.  I mean, I never expected this many people to pay attention to that.  You guys came to see me, no kidding, 1006 times in January.  WTH?  I know it’s not discrete visits, but I mean, wow.  You guys knock my socks off.  I suppose I have to try to do even better in February, don’t I?  Damned short months…

Okay, enough talking about me as I seem to do that a lot already.  Time to talk about my blog, and the cheating I’m about to do.  Did I say that out loud?

Most Surprisingly Successful: Take A Number At The Counter Please.  Usually it’s my awards posts that seem to garner the most comments or likes, but this one is all about writing (mine of course) and yet is my second most commented post to date, and that was quite touching.

Most Underrated: Writing is Like Ogres.  Okay, I admit it, the extended Shrek reference was not as funny when written down as it sounded in my head.  But I do like the post in a general sense, the importance of layers and how you get them into a story.

Most Popular: Where’s My Fancy Dress And Speech.  This one’s easy.  Do you know that still gets searched for?  I have no idea why, either.

Most Beautiful: The Biggest and the Smallest, one of my few posts touching on the truly philosophical, rather than my philosophies on writing.

Most Helpful: I Think I Found My Brevity seems to have started off a lot of ruminating, for me and a few others from comments, about self-publication and how authors can take control of their own works.  On a side note, the other day I noticed I had search terms pop up for “My Brevity” and collapsed into laughter as I thought to myself “But I already found it” 🙂

Most Controversial: I’m skipping this one (aka cheating) because we all know I don’t do controversy.  It’s hard to get controversial about yourself with yourself.  Doesn’t work, trust me.

Most Pride-Worthy: Catastrophe or Opportunity?  One of the hardest things as a writer, that I see more writers stumble on than anything else, is being honest about their own work.  Also, it’s hard to realize that the thing that is totally broken can be made better, that out of disaster can arise something good.  We won’t go into how much worse I felt later that evening as the realization set in.  Only a couple people know, and no one else needs to.

I know, they are almost all fairly recent, but my brain is too full for long-term memory, really.  The buffer keeps running over and losing the old data.  But either way, I prefer to look forward as much as possible, and not dwell on old stuff more than I need to.  Always moving forward, that’s the ticket.

And, last but not least, my 7 blogs:

  1. The Joys of Writing
  2. Lifeinthefarcelane
  3. dex raven
  4. Tim Kane Books
  5. Words From the Night
  6. Constantly Living As Myself
  7. Meredith Mansfield

Well, there you have it, my blogs and fellow bloggers, and peak into my twisted mind.  Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think I have to go break up a fight in my subconscious.  Long story, I’ll explain next time, promise.  Devan won’t let me forget, I assure you.

Of Sunshine and Steam Engines

Oh, wait, there’s that light at the end of my perpetual writing tunnel, and I think it may not be a train… this time.  No, it’s the swanky Sunshine Award!

My friend Amber was kind enough to nominate me for this as she called me a writing machine.  I think that has more to do with the inescapable nature of being trapped in this tunnel with my story ideas.  Wait, what do you mean this is actually my brain?  Then what was that train I saw earlier that nearly ran me over?  Um, never mind.  *chants* If I have to ask, I don’t want to know. Well, back on topic after that small diversion. I’d read the instructions, but this thing is blinding me.  *grabs industrial grade sunglasses that look just like sexy Oakleys*

Much better.  I’m amazed those instructions haven’t caught fire.  I mean, how do you even pin them to sunshine?

  • Thank the person who gave you the award. Check!  Thanks Amber!
  • Write a post about it. Check!
  • Answer some questions down there. See below
  • Pass it along to ten people and let them know they received the award. Hmm, we’ll see how many I can get this time.

So, questions and answers for the curious.  The rest of you will just have to suffer. 🙂

Favorite colour: Fake Grape Purple.  You had to have seen that coming.
Favorite animal:  Horses.  I miss riding (from when I was a kid)
Favorite number:  13, because it’s my lucky number.  Good things usually happen to me on Friday the 13th
Favorite non-alcoholic drink:  Hot Chocolate.  Anyone surprised by that has not been reading this blog. Alternatirely, Citron Tea (for those of you who needed a surprise).
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.  I have trouble with the idea of expressing a complete thought in only 140 characters.  I don’t think I can do that…
My passion:  Writing. In all it’s aspects, oddly, I love it.  I’ve figured out that I average 50 hours a week working on writing, and yet it never seems to make me tired or feel overworked.  I think that’s what the day job (37.5 hours) is for.
Getting or giving presents? Giving.  I’m actually terrible at accepting presents.  Or compliments, which are like verbal presents.
Favorite pattern:  the veins of leaves.  In clothes, solid, because I don’t do patterns!
Favorite day of the week: Saturday.  It’s post-work without being pre-work, which is why it’s better than Sunday.
Favorite flower: Lilies, of any sort, really. You might have noticed that a bit in my pictures.

So, right, ten blogs, let’s see how this goes.

  1. I’m sorry, but anyone who makes me nearly snarf my coffee as often as this lady does has to be up for a Sunshine Award, because that’s happiness right there (less so for the monitor or lost coffee, but she’s worth it). Let’s everybody love the Kiwi. 🙂
  2. This lady of images and words often makes me reach for my own camera, which, in winter, is a hell of a feat.  I have yet to see her post something that didn’t make me smile and feel a sense of wonder.
  3. Sometimes it’s the journey and struggles shared that can bring a smile to our face, and help us keep perspective on any off days.  One of my fellow writers reminds me of that often, and I really look forward to her posts of progress, learning and deep thoughts.
  4. Another source of laughter and shared wisdom, I know I just nominated her recently, but I really want to add this one.
  5. I love the insightful posts this lady makes, and it doesn’t hurt that she made my whole year recently (a bold statement in January, I know, but I stand by it.  Most of the good things that might happen this year are now gravy).
  6. More laughs and head-shaking happen from his blog (on my part at least) than any outside that of my favourite Kiwi
  7. Because I don’t think a list of amusement and hilarity would be complete without him.  There’s nothing I can say that doesn’t give him away, and I’m dying (figuratively) to see what he’s going to do with this.
  8. She’s going to hate me for doing this to her shy, introverted self because it’s my spotlight and not hers, but I have to include her, because she makes me smile so often.

Well, I got most of the way there.  Eight’s a good number, nice and round.  And I can manageably let them all know.  I have to remember to do that.  I believe that’s enough of me trying to get a sun tan from my award, so I think I’ll head back to my world of words.  Thank you again, Amber.

The Beach Writer was so very sweet to nominate me for the Versatile Blogger Award, which she recently received herself (well deserved, I might add).  I would definitely like to thank her for the recognition.  It’s always nice to know that others like the things you have to say, rather than just smiling and nodding at the screen when they see your post.

Now, I think I still have the instructions around here for this one. Right, here it is, I took a charcoal rubbing of the engraving last time, just in case this came up again (reading engraving is hard in the darkness of my blog theme, you know).

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post. (Done)
  2. Share 7 things about yourself. (Thankfully, I’m not one of those shy writers)
  3. Pass this award along to 15 others. (I’m going to cheat a little here, as I’ve done this once before, so I may not get 15)
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award (I really should remember to do that more often)

So, now, talking about me… What don’t you already know?

  1. I’ve recently discovered Gotye, fabulous musician.  His song “Somebody That I Used to Know” has been spinning since I bought it last night.  Non-stop.  This may go on for a few days.  Sometimes that happens to me.
  2. When I’m not writing or gaming, I have a tendency to crochet, which a friend of mine and I call “Playing with Yarn.”  This term also applies to knitting.
  3. On the subject of knitting, I’ve been informed (repeatedly) by said friend that I knit “wrong.”  This is probably a result of teaching myself.  According to her, I knit a beautiful, single-sided pearl stitch (I think that’s what she said), but that I do it totally wrong.  It drives her into fits every time she sees my knitting, which I almost never do anyway.
  4. I’m rarely impressed by the things I do, but I still think the title of this blog kicks ass.  It’s also highly appropriate for the current state of my writing life, which is funny, since it was thought of while I was working on a now dead novel-attempt (55k, on a vast plain with no idea where I was going with it)
  5. I have a writing charm, a wonderful chain maille key chain with a dragon charm on it.  It was a Christmas gift this past year from my friend SJ and now it’s always at my side when I write/outline/make notes/do anything writing related.  I think I’m becoming almost as superstitious as baseball players (I promise, I change my socks regularly)
  6. A song I write to a lot, which I have spun for as much as two or three days straight (I lost count) is “Mmm, Skyscraper I love you” by Underworld.  And before you start doing the math on just how many times in a row that means I listened to it, keep in mind that the song is 13 minutes long. 😀
  7. I am unbelievably glad to be back to rain here in Vancouver, even though I forgot my umbrella at home yesterday, the day of the worst rain we’ve had in my area all fall and winter.  Figures. :p

And on to my own Noms, keeping in mind that 15 is entirely unlikely.  I do, however, have some new blogs I’ve discovered that I haven’t had a chance to share, so it works out in my books.

  1. Kayjai’s Blog
  2. On Diversion
  3. p u t n i k
  4. The Digital Bookshelf
  5. Simon Read
  6. jmmcdowell
  7. Ben Shotter’s Blog
  8. Gayle Francis Moffet

Well, I made it a little over halfway, which isn’t bad since I did the full 15 last time, so I’m up to 23 people I’ve nominated for this award.  Thank you, again, Beach Writer, for the award. Now, back to the grind.  Silly stories not writing themselves as I think of them…

So I had a good night tonight, very productive, which means I feel better than yesterday, where I would have gladly died.  Headaches should not be allowed to travel in either packs or series’.  I started yesterday with a migraine and when I got that under control, I found out that a massive pressure headache was waiting for me behind that.  So unfair.  So I spent yesterday alternately passed out and trying to die, in spite of comments made around WordPress.  I was trying to distract myself from how wretched I felt.  I must say, terrible way to spend a Sunday, feeling that god-awful.

But in better news, as I said, better night tonight.  I didn’t work on the outline at all (yet, the night is still relatively young here on the west coast), but I wrote a short story.  I cried while I was writing it, which is entirely abnormal for me.  I’m normally much more dispassionate when I’m writing, but I couldn’t help it.  Let me say that again, I made myself cry, with my own writing, even though I knew exactly how things would turn out.  Is it sick that I feel good about that?  It’s certainly a major step for me.  The short is 3400 words approximately, and involves a couple of the supporting cast from the Mirrors Trilogy.  You’ll all meet Keari one day, when DM is out, but I wish I could give him his own book, especially after writing that short story tonight.

The funny part is that the idea for writing the short really only came this morning, as I arrived at work.  I jotted down a couple of notes, not nearly as much as I wanted to because I had to dive into work, and was promptly too busy to think about it all day.  I looked at my paltry notes when I sat down at home, nearly cried thinking it wouldn’t work, said what the hell, hauled out the netbook and opened my manuscript formatted template.  I didn’t stop.  I wrote the whole thing.  It was all there.  It was amazing, almost like when I wrote my first short story, when it felt like it had been waiting for me, but better, mostly because I think this is already better written on first draft than my first short was (I know more about writing now, and I’m more practiced).  It’s going in a drawer for a few more days before I read it again to see how it is, what it needs.  I’m of two minds about sending it to my test readers before they get DM, because it will spoil a bit of a reveal in that book, but again, not patient, and I love how this one feels. We’ll see how it holds up in a couple of days, and by then I should have reread DM itself.

On that subject, I’ve been thinking about DM (damn multi-tasking brain that can’t seem to leave well enough alone) and I think I know something that it will need work on before I send it to test readers.  It needs more description, but not on just everything.  I’ve been thinking about perception, how to use it as an author and where I need to accent the importance of certain things.  I think that is something I need to do more of, using the characters’ perceptions to show the important things, the details that either make the character who they are, or the things that make them stand out from run-of the-mill nobodies who, lets face it, are practically scenery in the real world.  I find that’s the way I tend to view the world, seeing the different, the important, though I do it with almost everyone I see, picking out something distinctive about them as I find and perceive them.  It’s an interesting tool to play with, as I’m thinking about it, and it’s making me ask myself some good questions.  That said, I don’t think it’ll take me that much work to do this, as I know I’ve done some of it naturally through the process of writing and editing the book already.  Mostly, I’m thinking about places where I need a little more, or some oomph to it.  That will likely be the task for next weekend, and part of me fears to think how much it will add to the book’s length, not that there isn’t room to add.  Besides, if the book needs it, then it needs it.

I’m feeling very happy and mellow right now.  I swear, the more time goes on, the more I think that writing is my version of Prozac.  Worse things could be said of me though, I’m fairly sure, probably have been in fact.

And, to top it all off, picture time.  This one came from the Musical Gardens in downtown Toronto, which I have visited a few times.  I’m already thinking about some summer trips I might take around downtown Vancouver, places I want to shoot, even if it will take some time away from writing.

Must Not Eat My Award!

One of my best friends in the world (and a fantastic fellow writer) was ever so thoughtful as to give me this Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  I think it’s because she knows I’m hopelessly addicted to sugar.  Though tempting, I will not eat my award.

Though it makes my mouth positively salivate, it’s not for eating…  Mmmm, tasty noms!  No, wait, not eating my award. I am in full, firm control of myself… Oh, who am I kidding?  *takes a bite of yummy award, then picks something out of her teeth*

Man, they hide the instructions on these things in some of the strangest places.  It’s like they expected me to do that or something.

  • Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Pass the Award on to 10 deserving blog buddies

Hmm, I think I can do that.  Things you don’t all know about me already, hmm.

  1. I’m an only child (probably for the best) and I often think it was because my mother was afraid if she tried again, she’d get another one just like me, or worse, twins (runs in the family).
  2. I read my first non-children’s-section book at the tender age of 11.  Nancy Drew and such had gotten boring, plus I could easily read two a day, so I needed a bigger challenge.  I never looked back.
  3. I have the most fabulous, hand-knitted scarf ever made.  My friend SJ made it from black wool and cream and green hairy yarn (my technical term for the stuff) knitted together.  When she gave it to me, I said it looked like she had skinned a Fraggle.  It has been known ever since as my Fraggle Pelt.  Getting to wear it regularly is just about the only good thing to winter.
  4. One of the VERY few TV shows that has ever held my attention for more than a few episodes is Fringe, because I like a TV show that makes me think, lets me think I know what’s going on, then throws a total mind-fuck at me 3 seasons later.  Seriously, keeps my creative juices flowing for some reason.
  5. I don’t feel even slightly daunted by my next writing project.  I only feel torn in a million directions as to which one to work on next instead.  Life could be infinitely worse.  If they’d only stop all yelling at me at once…
  6. In addition to the fabulous hot chocolate I’ve now shared the recipe for, I like to make Chocolate Wafer Cakes.  Imagine chocolate Oreo wafers, stuck together with real whipped cream in a log, then the whole log coated with more whipped cream.  Sometimes I like to shave chocolate onto it, but that seems a bit overboard to do it all the time. *giggles*
  7. My winter coat is my favourite that I’ve ever owned.  When I saw it in the store at the end of last winter, very much on sale, it actually stopped me in my tracks.  It has white accents, but what stopped me is that it’s the most fabulous shade of fake-grape-purple.  It’s totally awesome.

That was actually rather fun, probably because I wrote most of it while still a little high from finishing the edit.  It explains a lot about that list, actually, now that I reread it.  Hmm.  Oh well.  Now, on to 10 bloggers I think are sweet enough to deserve cake… I mean an award.

  1. LifeInTheFarceLane – So many wonderful things to say about my favourite Kiwi.  I know of no one else who can nearly make me snort my coffee in the morning.  It’s only through sheer will that it doesn’t happen every time, and that’s mostly because the coffee I get is far too good to waste on my computer screen’s unrefined palate.
  2. Limebird Writers – Such nice, encouraging people full of great information on writing and blogging, among other things. They also have a nice forum for asking questions about writing and otherwise interacting with other writers.  Yes, I’m still lurking, when I’m not running through edits or otherwise working on writing.
  3. Of A Writerly Sort – Definitely a very sweet fellow writer, who has infinitely more patience with others than I shall ever possess.
  4. On Diversion –  Does some incredible craft work, as well as jewelry and writing.  I’ve been more than a little envious of some of the things she’s created.
  5. Conversing With Novels – Amber always makes me laugh.  She also very sweetly makes me feel better about talking to my characters… mostly where other people can’t see, but sometimes I slip.
  6. Peggy Isaacs – Peggy is a recent discovery for me, but I’m very glad I did.  The things she writes about, the thoughts and experiences she shares resonate for me quite a lot, both as a writer and as a person.
  7. The Accidental Novelist – I love her observations and thoughts, as well as the writing exercises.  She’s always encouraging and thoughtful with her words, including instructions for loving your novel, like printing it out and giving it a real hug.
  8. The Joys of Writing – As she’s a recovering social media addict, by her own admission, I sincerely hope that this award does not cause a relapse, but I couldn’t resist giving it to her, really.
  9. The Beach Writer – I love the way this blogger writes, the use of language and the honesty of their thoughts.  That and I love beaches (true story).
  10. Diatribes And Ovations – Another one that makes me laugh, partly because I’m apparently the same kind of curmudgeon, according to a recent post, because I think the same things about some of these so-called fashion trends.  Oh wait, I knew I was one of those already.

Wow.  Those lists get harder every time.  Thank you again, Em.  Now to find some cake I’m allowed to eat. 🙂

Going To Need A Bigger Mantle

Now here’s an award I never thought I’d win, in large part because this blog is mostly about my writing.  Except now that I think about it, I’ve been including my photography and I do touch on other things as they come up.  *realizes she’s been turning herself into a pretzel lately* Wow.  It’s probably a miracle I can type with my body in that kind of shape.  I didn’t think I could bend that in that direction.  Hmm.

My favourite Kiwi has very kindly passed on to me a Versatile Blogger award, which caused surprise and delight in my over-worked brain last night.  I would have written up a post immediately, but exhaustion wasn’t even my big problem last night (but definitely present).  You’ll have to see my next post about writing to find out what the real, primary reason was for the delay.

Now, these things always come with instructions on how to not blow yourself up with them…  *turns it over, sees nothing, checks around clothing and shoe bottoms for a fallen slip of paper but finds nothing*  Um…  Well…  Wait, there’s an inscription on the ring… I mean award.  If I squint right I can read that.

1. Thank those who nominated me.

2. Nominate 15 other bloggers who I think deserve it.

3. Share 7 random facts about myself.

4. Add a picture of the award to this post (see above)

Wow, that’s some seriously fine print.  Well, LifeInTheFarceLane, you are most thoroughly thanked.  I suspect that this is payback for that hot chocolate recipe.  🙂  That stuff’s evil in it’s wonderful deliciousness, isn’t it?

I have to say, I feel so loved every time someone gives me an award.  I think that’s universal, but it’s also one of the surest sign that I joined a wonderful community the day I decided to set up my spanky writer’s blog on WordPress.  That’s one of the best parts of being here I find, is the other people you find and get to know.  On that note, my 15 Bloggers:

  1. Conversing With Novels never fails to make me laugh, and also feel less crazy about the amount of time I have spent talking to my characters when trying to figure out a difficult or unruly section of story.
  2. Maggsworld is a recent find for me, but as I have read back through her posts, I am very glad to have found her.  She makes me smile and it’s always wonderful when you find someone who sees on their own the simple wisdoms that you’ve found.
  3. Objects Gross & The Unseen Soul is a photography blog I discovered recently and love.  His work is beautiful and makes me want to go tramping around with my camera every time he posts.
  4. Improvisations on Reality discovering the blog of another writer who is editing while you’re going through the task yourself is a great experience and one that can bring a bit of solace and make you feel better about scary decisions you make as you wrestle with the beast of your own creation. And that was just the first bit of amusement and wisdom I got.
  5. Winsomebella has a little bit of everything and I always find myself smiling when I see a new post by her in my feed of blogs I follow.
  6. Dex Raven always amazes me with their Flash Fiction, something I know I could never write.  I don’t have that kind of brevity in me.  I can’t even do a short story.  Maybe that’s why I write novels…
  7. 4amWriter often says the things I’m thinking about writing but don’t always know how to get out unless someone else says it first.  Thanks for saying it first for me.
  8. MrTinney often makes me laugh so hard with his posts that I have to stop, grab a tissue for my streaming eyes and clean up before I can finish reading.  Usually it manages to come on a day when I needed that too.  Bravo.
  9. Of A Writerly Sort makes me smile, commiserate and laugh, and I always enjoy people who can do that.
  10. Coldfire Writer is never one to mince words, and I always look forward to her next post, about writing or anything else.
  11. Fictional Impulse is the only person in the entirety of WP that I know outside of the blogosphere.  Though her blog is new, I know how versatile she really is and the way she writes about the fun of trying to balance family and writing is always amusing.
  12. Johnsep has been sharing with us his experience in his new military life, and it’s been both eye-opening and fascinating.
  13. Novice Journal shares with us her poetry and sometimes makes me see things from a different perspective.  It’s often inspirational for my own writing, for which I am grateful.
  14. Peggy Isaacs is another recent find, but I find her insights and honesty about her own journey in writing something both relatable and a little inspiring.  I also love the included pet peeves, as many of them are so familiar.
  15. Tim Kane Books because I love anyone who refers to themselves as a word wrangler.  Also, humour is the best thing in the world in my less-than-humble opinion.

Wow, that was way harder than it looks.  Now, where was I in my to do list?  I think I’ve lost my place… Oh right, random facts.  Some new ones preferably, I think, since most of you seem to have read the last one.

  1. I have friends scattered all over the world largely because I prefer to socialize with people online (not sure why), but it drives my mother crazy because she thinks I spend too much time alone.
  2. I am the designated bartender at all family functions I attend because, after a couple of hours, I at least still remember how to mix the drinks because I don’t drink myself. I prefer Kahlua-filled chocolates if I really need alcohol that badly, and chocolate does the trick for me better than booze.
  3. I’m getting entirely annoyed.  After blissfully enjoying a winter thus far sans snow, I have now woken to fresh white crap on the ground for two days running.  I am presently refusing to open the blinds of my apartment window in hopes that the snow will take the hint and go away.  Preferably immediately, leaving no trace but moisture I can pretend came from rain.
  4. I like to treat my apartment as my own personal gallery for my photographs.  I have a bunch of framed 5×7 prints of my pictures up, and more prints that I need to buy frames for.  I really should do that sometime this year.
  5. I am blessed with two of the most awesome best friends in the world who are there whenever I need them, even though I now live across the country from them.  Can’t wait to see you guys this summer!
  6. Sometimes I like to turn my face to the sun with my eyes closed and let the energy soak into me.  I refer to myself as solar-powered whenever I do this.
  7. In spite of the title of my last awards post, I hate wearing dresses, to the dismay of the above mentioned best friends.  I’m an unrepentant tom-boy, always have been, always will be.  In fact, after a quick check of my closet, I just realized I don’t even own a dress anymore.  Cargos are very much my preference, even though my current pair hardly fit anymore due to weight-loss.

More difficult things on a Sunday.  Thank you very much for this award, LifeInTheFarceLane.  I always knew Kiwis were awesome.  Now to do laundry for the weekend and think about writing.  Why don’t we live in the world of my imagination, where there would be roving bands of house-work fairies who come in and do all housework for you for no better reason than that they enjoy it a hell of a lot more than I do?

I didn’t know we had an awards season around here!

The amazing people over at Limebird Writers have so kindly given me a shiny Kreativ Blogger Award. Such a wonderful way to start the new year!

Now, these things usually come with rules or instructions…. *turns it over and frowns at the blank bottom*. Um… Oh, wait, there it is, it fell off and got stuck to my dress. Oops.

The rules:

1. Share 10 things you don’t know about me.
2. Pass the award onto 6 other bloggers.

Okay, hmm, 10 things you don’t know about me.

  1. I’m not originally from Vancouver.  I’m a refugee from Toronto who thinks she properly should have been born out here on the west coast in the first place.  I love it out here.
  2. I wrote my first fiction piece when I was 16, a short story for english class about Vampires that even my old-school English teacher loved.  I was hooked on writing, and wanted to be an author in the worst way.
  3. My writing is generally fuelled by a strange combination of bizarre thoughts (that occasionally scare even me) and hot chocolate made from Fry’s Cocoa.  If anyone wants the recipe, just ask.  Trust me, it’s sure to make your brain zing.
  4. I have two cats, one of whom likes to help me write by laying on my legs, pinning me in front of my netbook for hours at a time with his cute, warm furriness.  It actually works.
  5. My current surge in writing was kickstarted early in 2011 with a post in a writer’s forum I’ve been on for years.  It was a repost of someone else’s blog, who’s name entirely escapes me so early in the day/year, about that guy you meet in the bar who says he’s a writer, talks about his ideas and then you find out he never actually writes ANYTHING.  I saw myself in danger of becoming that guy (well, girl in my case) and I sincerely don’t want to be.  It was quite the wake-up call.  Between that and a few other things that I have mentioned before, I decided it was time to stop talking and start doing.  Haven’t looked back since.
  6. I write to a variety of music, some of which comes from movie soundtracks, some from video games, and some is old school hour and a half long trance.  I switch when whatever I was listening to stops working for me.  Once, I listened to the same song all day.  😮
  7. I love rain and can’t stand snow (hence the moving to Vancouver) except on a ski slope.  I’ll go visit it there if I need some, really.  It’s been a fabulous winter here so far, a little wet snow yesterday that didn’t even accumulate because it got washed away by subsequent rain.
  8. The author I would most like to be like is Carol Berg.  One day, I dream of being that good.  I’d like to think that I tell stories in a similar style, but I’d best leave that judgement to others, as I might just be day-dreaming there.  If you haven’t read her and you like fantasy, I heartily recommend her.  So looking forward to her new book in 2 days.
  9. I know that I don’t post about my photography much at all, but that’s because I don’t like to shoot in winter and my writing is currently taking up all of my non-work time.  But I do love to go around with my DSLR camera and shoot plants, buildings, whatever strikes me as evocative or beautiful at the time.  One of these days I’m going to get around to putting prints of some of my best work up for sale, probably on Etsy or something like it, but that’s going to take courage, and all of mine is being used up at the moment by, you guessed it, my writing.
  10. And last, but not least, before I committed so entirely back to my writing, I was an avid gamer.  Mostly RPG’s, particularly Japanese ones, but I lost most of two years to World of Warcraft.  Quitting WoW was part of what I sacrificed to be able to write more, but I don’t regret it.  I miss one or two of the friends I had made, but I don’t regret the sacrifice.  That said, I think some of these games have provided nuggets of inspiration, and I still sometimes take a break for an hour or so with the non-MMO ones.  I don’t think I can risk getting addicted to MMO’s again if I ever want to get this writing career off the ground.

Wow, that was harder than it looked.  Now for the other list that needs to go with this.  6 Bloggers I would like to award myself…  After some thought:

  1. Of A Writerly Sort
  2. LifeInTheFarceLane
  3. It’s a Big Man’s World
  4. Meredith Mansfield’s Blog
  5. On Diversion
  6. Klextin

So there’s my list of people who I admire Kreativly, who I think deserve some recognition.  I hope you enjoy their blogs as much as I do.

I Have A Fabulous Fan!

I know I already said this on her blog, but thank you very much, lifeinthefarcelane for this spanky, wonderful Liebster award!  It’s wonderful to be liked.  Now I have to think of what to say, which is a problem because my brain is just sitting there, awed at being given an award.  But then, I’ve been posting a lot lately without the benefit of a fully functioning brain, so maybe you all won’t notice too much.  🙂

Now, this thing comes with instructions, I think.  *turns it over and looks*  Yup, there they are:

In accepting this award, the recipient must agree to:

• Thank the person who gave them the award and link back to their blog – Done!
• Copy and paste the award to their blog – Um, look out bellow!
• Reveal the 5 blogs (with under 200 followers) they have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog – This is going to be hard!

It’s a very nice way to end the year (still NYE here), receiving this from one of my absolute favourite people on the blogosphere!  Of course, the list of 5 blogs that I love is going to seem wildly incomplete without putting lifeinthefarcelane on there, but I suspect it’s bad form to pass it back to the person who gave it to you, and maybe I can get sneaky and put her somewhere near the list…  Now, these are supposed to be blogs with fewer than 200 followers, but some people don’t have that information up on their blog (at this time) so I’m doing a lot of guesswork in some cases.

So, without making you dwell in darkness further, I give you my list of favourites:

  1. Crawling King Snake who says some wonderful, honest and very introspective things.  I look forward to reading more of them in the new year.
  2. Limebird Writers who I will admit are a smudge over 200, but I don’t care.  They have offered some very insightful, helpful words to all writers out there, myself included, and I’d like to get more writers reading these fine people’s words.
  3. The Accidental Novelist her writing advice and exercises are always interesting and make me think about my own work, past, present and pending.
  4. Full-Time Musings of a Part-Time Writer This is another of the writing blogs I follow, and have thoroughly enjoyed, found thought-provoking and generally wish there was more (always a good sign if you ask me)
  5. Conversing With Novels I love the conversations she has with her novel, which remind me forcefully of when my characters argue with me about what happens in the story.  Any writer out there will understand what I’m talking about, though I admit it makes us look a little crazy to the non-writers out there…

There are other wonderful blogs I’ve been following, more as I find them, but it’s a good list.  If you aren’t on the list, it isn’t that I don’t love you, honest.  I may have thought you wildly over the 200 follower cutoff.  It’s been a wild year and I’ve enjoyed the community more than I could possibly say.  The people I’ve met, am still meeting, around here are great.  You all bring laughter and thought to my day, and I want to thank you all for that.  I hope I can do the same for you as we go down the path of 2012 together.  Merry New Years!

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