Tag Archive: Reading

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.

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 Ten Rounds And Winning

As 2 of the last four chapters I’ve edited felt like knock-down drag-out fights, I felt that this was an appropriate title for this post.

So, here’s the good news.  I’m halfway through Dark Mirror now, a little over even, depending on how you’re measuring.  When I finished Dark Mirror’s second draft, it was 20 chapters long.  I have now edited 10 of those, thus halfway.  But the manuscript also sits at 302 pages (so far), and I’m at 166, which would suggest I’m a little over half.  Either way, I’m happy with the progress I’m making.  So far, only two of those 10 chapters have required any sections be extensively changed, and those two are parts I struggled with the first time around (if my hazy memory of those brain busting 15 days is to be relied upon, something I’m not remotely sure of).  I am much happier now with one of those two, and plan to go back to the other one as soon as I’ve done the whole book once through, to see if I can tweak it a little more, to the point where I’m at least okay with it.  Then it will be a quick read with no pen, no editing tools and, unless I am majorly unhappy (doesn’t seem likely at this point), off to my test readers.  I’m hoping that will be in the next week and a half, but I’m not sure, and I’m definitely not committing to that timeline.  There’s a lot going on for me at work at the moment, and some of it might spill a little into home time, even though I hate the very thought of taking the day job home with me, especially when it then cuts into writing time.   Oh well, something has to keep food on the table and a roof over my head.  More importantly, I have to keep electricity running to my many writing devices.

In the meantime, the ideas have been a little slow, mostly I think because I’m focusing so much on the edit.  I haven’t gotten anymore work done on the outline for Possession lately, but I did just figure something out about the goals in the third book, The Nine, which might influence Possession some.  I have to think about that part though, as I’m still not sure if it will be in Possession.  Decisions, decisions.  Also, I think the other problem is that Carol Berg’s new book, Daemon Prism has taken over my brain every moment I’m not working on DM or at the day job.  Very awesome book so far.  I love her writing, her stories and her characters.  If only I was half that good…  And none of you get to argue with me on that, because you’ve never read my writing beyond blog posts, and that’s not even close to being the same thing.  One day, we’re getting there, I think.

I really wish I had more to say, but the past few days have left my brain feeling like a wrung out sponge.  Le sigh, you’ll all have to make due with this and a picture.

This statue/water fountain is in downtown Vancouver.  I’ve shot it a couple of times, because I love the lines and shapes it makes, combined with the water.

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