November 30, 2011


I wrote my last paragraph and hit the validation button and...

I'm a winner. Let's not talk about how hard that last 2000 words was. If only Open Office hadn't let me believe I was so much closer than I was. In fact, I needed a whole scene, two, to round out my total. It was excruciating to hit that validation box and find out I needed another 600 words, another 200. What does it take?! Well, it took having a second take on another event, a paragraph of exposition that is almost definitely getting cut, and crossing fingers, but I made it!

If you're interested in my zombie time loop story... are you nuts?! Who is interested in a zombie time loop story? Also, it's in the worst form of first draft ever and I have a sequel and complete MS that need attention, so this puppy is getting boxed. Zombies will be popular again when I dust it off. It might be 2015 (the year the novel takes place in) but I hope it's soon than that.

If you're looking for a critique partner to go over your NaNoWriMo, shoot me an email ( I'm not making any promises, but we can always help each other, right?

November 26, 2011

Pick me Up

I was in my first yoga practice in over a year last night, and just before corpse pose, I took assessment of my day. It was a good day. No, it was an almost perfect day. I can't remember the last day as good as yesterday.

I woke in the morning and moved fluidly through my routine: no dropped and broken dishes, no spills and falls, easy and slow. No rush either, thanks to the fact that I was walking Delilah to class before coming back home to write. The walk wasn't cold, unusual for this late in November, but we've had a lovely Chinook warming things up. It gave me a terrible migraine the day it arrived, but has been beautifully pleasant since then, leaving the temperature just below freezing, some melting, but very little and generally drying immediately afterward — no ice. Perfect.

From there I can home and blasted out 3000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel. That got me over par for the first time since the first week. I've been worried that I wouldn't reach my word count as my writing is naturally sparse and it didn't seem I was going to have enough time loops in my time loop story to fill 50 000 words. I was wrong. I found one suggested loop in my original outline (written back in July) and it was perfect for jump starting me and giving me two more loops to round out my final 15 000 words. Perfect.

I finished in plenty of time to pack up a few copies of Cargon and walk two blocks to Stratford Junior High where I read to a Grade Eight class that was a little lulled as I started reading, but became more interested the further I got into Eve's internal struggle over whether or not to play the game. As we discussed some of the themes of the book, MORE students became interested. I return on Monday to read for a Grade Nine class, and I think some of these students will pop in at the end of that period to buy a copy. The library has already agreed to buy two. Perfect.

I walked over the grocery store, filled a prescription, and wandered home for a quick lunch and a quick pop onto Puzzle Pirates, my current, non-writing, time killer. Before that, I rode the high given me by the students of Stratford to send a similar request to speak to students at six other Junior High Schools within walking distance of my house. Then, with leftovers in hand, I had just enough time before catching my bus to my 2:00 appointment for one navigation mission, one attempt to memorize a route on the ocean. The navy I randomly got jobbed to was one at an island where there was only one route I didn't have memorized. Of course, that was the route it randomly assigned me. Because it was short, I could sail there and back in plenty of time to make my bus. Perfect.

Well, it might have been quite less than perfect. The wind was quite bitter that afternoon, and according to my app, I'd missed my bus by two minutes and would have to wait 27 for the next one. But, the bus was late! Arriving only a minute or two after I checked the app. Perfect.

Then I headed to my appointment, which I expected to take most of an hour, as the one previous with this doctor had been. I had brought my Library copy of Shiver, by  Maggie Stiefvater to read rather than my netbook to work on my NaNoWriMo. It was a lovely change to read rather than write, and although my wait for my appointment was not long enough for me to become engrossed, the meeting was short enough (only ten minutes!) to give me ample time at a tea house to become quite swept away in the story and I look forward to finishing it soon. In fact, I had so much time before my yoga practice, and took so little time at my one other errand (buying new yoga pants) that I arrived almost an hour early for class! So, I walked a few doors down to the Chapters and sat and read for another three quarters of an hour until it was time to walk back to class. Perfect.

I expected, having not been to a yoga class in so long, that I would struggle, a lot. However, everyone in the class was looking for a slightly easier session, so rather than moving quickly through many difficult poses, we took long, five and six breath extensions, in the very familiar ones that let me transition back in with ease. It was probably the best practice I've had ever. Perfect.

My family came to meet me at the same Chapters and wanted to go shopping, I bought a book from an author there for a signing. It's not quite my taste, but I think it will make an excellent gift this Christmas. We picked up a couple more books for my voracious reader of a child and one for my husband. Then we came home, had and easy supper, and I logged back onto Puzzle Pirates for a very lucrative pillaging job. Perfect.

Almost perfect. My stomach has been bothering me, and by the end of my pillage, I was feeling quite ill and crashed hard. Today, I am expected in Sherwood Park, one of Edmonton's neighbour communities, for a signing, and I am very sluggish. Still, I'm clinging to that high, that pick me up that I was fortunate enough to get yesterday to float me through today. I'm sure it will. It was such a wonderful day.

November 11, 2011

Review from

Thanks right, I got a review! I'm pretty excited, especially because it is so positive. Here is an excerpt:
This book is impossible to describe…you simply must read it. The author is very descriptive but at the same time very vague. We don’t know where they are, we don’t even know what time period this is in, we are simply given clues. For example, they talk briefly of stories told about buildings higher than the trees that look like skeletons and paths made of tar-like substances that seem to go on for miles and miles. The characters are regularly excited about things such the use of steam engines…it’s like a neo-steampunk era!
I like to call Cargon a post-apocalyptic renaissance. Neo-steampunk is a pretty awesome description. Thanks so much, Susan. To read her whole review, head over to MyVampFiction. While you're there, if you're over 18 and have a strong constitution, you might want to check out my novella Blue Moon House which is posted there. You'll have to hit the story link yourself... age consent and all that. If that's not your thing, there is other original fiction in the dungeon and more reviews on the main site.

November 6, 2011


Is everyone posting about this? It seems like it. It's a pretty big event. If you are one of those who don't know what Na(tional)No(vel)Wri(ting)Mo(nth) is, try reading between the lines. This challenge has been going for several years (can't seem to find a start date on the website). I participated last year, writing the bulk of Thickness of Blood (around 58 000 words) in the month of November. This year, I'm taking up the challenge again.

If you've ever wondered if you could write a book, check out the webpage. You might not finish the goal of 50 000 words this year. You might decide that writing really isn't your thing. Or, you might find the contacts and support to help you develop a kernel of an idea over three weeks (all that's left now) and be eager to come back November of 2012 with the intention of making that mark, of completing a novel (first draft).

I have heard some established authors use NaNoWriMo as a time to pull one of their closet ideas out and dust it off. It's a good time to really hash out an unfleshed idea and see if it has weight. If you get to the end of the month and it's still not a novel, well, you only wasted a month instead of many months or years slowly adding a couple hundred words at a time. You immerse in the idea for those thirty days instead of slow perking over months to find enough pieces to stitch together into a story.

There aren't any real rules to NaNoWriMo. My husband claimed last night that I can write sh*t 49998 times and finish with 'the end.' Don't listen to him, but do feel free to write ANYTHING. Stream of Conscious 50 000 words about a character who has been invading your dreams. Don't worry about a unifying theme, don't worry about protagonists and antagonists, don't worry about developing tension. The point here isn't to make a pretty novel. You aren't going to come out at the end of November with something you can pitch (unless you're really good, of course), but you should come out with a number of scenes, a cast of characters and the threads of a plot line. Now you're ready for draft two!

The 'point' of NaNoWriMo, in my opinion, is to find all those pieces. To take your nugget of an idea and build it into something bigger. It might be a tower of blocks leaning precariously to one side, but there's a structure there, there are pieces. Hopefully there's a beginning, middle and end. Now you can hit all those diagnostics. Who is the antagonist and why? Who is the antagonist? Do you have a companion character, more than one? Are there enough obstacles in the protagonist's way? Can you add more tension between and within characters. Don't ask these questions in November — get the words on the page. December is when the work begins.

But, if you're new to NaNoWriMo, and joining a bit late, don't feel intimidated. Set yourself a shorter goal, 30 000 words. Find those contacts, the other writers and editors and beta readers and contacts you will need if you find this is something you want to pursue. Give it a go. What's the worst that happens? You spend some of your free time writing instead of watching TV. Sounds like a good trade to me.