Thursday, December 29, 2005

You Know I'm Feeling Better When

The book angst returns. Ahh - back to this. Now instead of not sleeping well because I'm chilled and achy, I'm not sleeping because I have too many minor characters and not enough action. No one wants to watch my character sit around and think. Or do they? Doesn't Bridget Jones sit around and think? She had a few madcap moments, but her thoughts are pretty funny. Hmm I better re-think this thinking thing.

I am not 100% but the achy breaky feeling has gone and the brain fog has cleared, and I can sit up so it's a big improvement. Linda said my room smells like popcorn and humidity. I suppose there are worse smells, but this unique odor was caused by the microwavable heating pad I've been using for the past 2 days nonstop. Finally I can put it away and my room can go back to smelling like -- ? Printer paper and running shoes? Not sure.

Need action. Hmm - my character gets the flu and sits around watching Firefly and microwaving her heating pad. Now that's a gripping story! Where does the inspiration come from?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I got a flu shot in November, but I am achy, chilled, and unable to do anything but lie in bed and think about getting up. Sounds like the flu to me : (

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Boxing Day

" . . . for it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child himself." - Charles Dickens

I had a wonderful Christmas with the Strattons. I finished one book so far: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. Now on to the next book... ahh - to me the perfect day - no schedule, and a pile of good books queued up next to me : )

Quinn and Nate are building Harry Potter lego sets and Emma is playing with Disney Princess mini dolls - they look like Polly Pocket, but they aren't Polly Pocket.

I hope everyone had a fun, relaxing day. Linda is actually en route to a mall right now. I can't stand the thought of it. I worked retail 2 years at Christmas and now I can't stand to be anywhere near the mall at Christmastime.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Neglecting Nate

I was in charge of getting Quinn & Nate onto the bus the other morning, which I did, and it isn't easy - it involves finding coats, backpacks, boots, gloves and hats and getting them to stop monkeying around long enough to get out the door. Quinn is pretty self-sufficient - give him a heads-up on the time and he goes into action.

Nate is another story... I was sure I'd end up driving him, but he managed to make it to the bus. When he got home he handed me the note pictured above. I was not instructed to do any snack double-checking. Linda put Quinn's lunch and Nate's snack on the table. Quinn managed to get his, but Nate forgot his and somehow it was MY fault. What are they teaching kids at this coddling school? If it were my school I would have had Nate write this note:

Dear Self,
If I want a snack during the day I should put one in my own backpack in the morning. I should also be thankful that snacks are allowed. In my Aunt Karen's day, there was no snacking during the day.
My Aunt Karen had to make her own lunch and then walk to school every day. If she forgot her mittens she just had to be cold. I am very lucky to be me.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas, Little Merry

Mom and Dad just drove off with Merry. They are taking her to live with them and their kitten. The cat situation here wasn't working very well, so hopefully the new situation will work out better. Merry is a sweet, cute, fun cat, and I hope she will be very happy with her new family and kitten friend.
I am sad to let her go. I found her a couple of years ago when she was a kitten - someone abandoned her and another younger kitten in the lobby of the apartment where I was living. She was flea-ridden, hungry, and obviously had not been cared for. I cared for her as best I could and hopefully sending her on her way will make her happy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Not Quite Back in The Groove

Made it back to Plainfield just before 41 cm of snow hit Montreal. Unpacked my snowshoes and stomped around a bit Saturday before Mom & Dad showed up for early Christmas. Since then it's been a whirlwind of activity. After the holidays I plan to take full advantage of my day of beauty relaxation gift certificate at a local day spa - the perfect gift!
Haven't been writing yet - probably not until tomorrow afternoon once Mom & Dad are en route to Ohio. Linda gave me a chick lit book for my birthday - I'm dying to carve out the time to read it. Hopefully I will be inspired and insanely jealous at the same time and it will motivate me to get moving again.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Facing Fear

That's me, ice climbing!

I agreed to this back in July. Sitting on the porch at the cottage it sounded great. Flash forward to a cold day in December.
E:Hey you know what we could do tomorrow?
me: (thinking movies, wine by a fireplace) "No, what?"
E: Go ice climbing! Remember, you said you wanted to try it.
Me: Where? (stalling..)
E: Right downtown. It's easy!
Me: "Uh, ok"
I don't think fast on my feet, plus there is no excuse that E couldn't out-manouvre. He has extra equipment, extra socks, extra gloves, extra everything. All I had to do was muster the courage. I was barely able to, but I did. I'm glad I did - it was a lot of fun - really! There's this place to go right downtown in Montreal next to the McGill campus where you can be roped in from the top so it's very safe and secure. If you want to see more pictures, you can visit my flicr account.

Time to go pack - I leave Montreal today. I am sad to leave E, but happy to be seeing the Strattons and my parents for early Christmas this weekend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Practice Rejection

"..... first round finalists of the 2005 RWA Chick Lit Writers of the World GET YOUR STILETTO IN THE DOOR CONTEST.
FALLING UPHILL by Wendy Tokunaga
STARS IN HER EYES by Chandra Years
STRAIGHT TALK by Tera Lynn Child "

Please note the absence of my name on that list. This is the contest I entered back in September. The point was to force a deadline on myself to get moving and to get some feedback. I should receive my feedback by the end of the month. So yes, it is a success either way. Still - did I harbor fantasies of winning and being heaped with praise and accolades? um, yes.... does that make me delusional or human? Anyway - I am still moving forward and still happy with what I have so far. I have to admit that a little bit of me is a little bit deflated, but not enough to stop or to go back to the "I can't do this" place. It's early. I'm still getting warmed up.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Happy Birthday to Us

12/12/66 = my birthday
12/12/64 = E's birthday
12/12/05 = us celebrating our birthdays together :)

We actually started Friday with a trip to E's cottage. Wood fire, snow lightly falling outside, chilled sparkling wine. mmm perfect : ) : )

Saturday we went snowshoeing - to me the best part was walking along nice, flat wide open trails, but E quickly got bored with that and led us into a more wooded area. At one point I was having a little trouble finding my footing because the path was narrow and made of sharpened, jagged branches sticking out in all directions - not the kind of place you want to fall. I looked down to my left to see a 2 foot drop and running water and to my right, pooled water.
"What are we walking on?"
"Beaver dam"
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"Keep walking"

Can you see where this story is going?

That's right - kersplash!

At least I fell to the right, into the shallow, pooled water. In retrospect I should have been more suspicious when E insisted that I borrow a pair of waterproof pants instead of just wearing my cool weather running pants.

I got up and managed to traverse the rest of the beaver dam fueled by venting my aggravation with a stream of expletives.
"What the hell were you thinking?"
"You know I just got those snowshoes - I wanted to just try them out."
"And you did. You can't test them on flat trails."
"I fell into a beaver dam!"
"Actually you fell off of a beaver dam."
"Grrr. I'm all wet"
"One hand is wet, and you've got waterproof pants on."

At this point I was just shaking my head. The worst part is I knew what I was getting into. Any time you go on any outdoor activity with him, you have to expect that he will push your physical and mental limits to the point where you want to kill him. Every time. I'm not sure if that reveals more about his twisted mental state or mine since I keep asking to go on these outings.

As a grand finale to the afternoon of showshoeing, I was given a choice of more slogging through the woods or going on the road. I chose road, but after 30 minutes of lugging my snowshoes uphill I started to doubt my choice.
"I thought you said we were close to the cottage."
"We were only abut 100 meters away"
'Why are we still walking?"
"That was through the woods. The road route is about 5 times longer."
"Why didn't you tell me that?"
"You didn't ask."
If I hadn't been so freaking tired, I could have killed him. Again.

Ahh, but it's never dull, always interesting.

Tonight we are supposed to have a quiet dinner for two. I don't know if it involves skydiving or heli-skiing. I'm hoping the only extreme part of the meal will be the calorie count of the chocolate, but since I didn't ask I can't be sure.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Changers versus Stayers

I'm reading about characterization and I'm finding it interesting to really think about and examine favourite characters. Stayers are the characters that don't change - they're consistent and reliable - Stephanie Plum, for example. I liked her for a while, but now she's starting to bore me. Can a Stayer change? I suppose it would be next to impossible to get Stephanie to change at just the right time to please all of her fans.

I like the way Elizabeth Peters handles Amelia Peabody. While she is more or less a stayer, Peters moves time along, forcing Peabody to change as her life circumstances change from single to married to mother to grandmother. While her basic values and attitude don't change, we see different aspects of her personality revealed at those different times of her life.

Back to it... I have a character that I'm struggling with. I think I need to embrace his darker side. I'm having a hard time with my not-so-good characters. I guess it's because I'm sooo good... I just can't relate :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

How Does This Happen?



I finally had a quiet day to get work done and I couldn't even get to the desk!! Someone piled tons of bags all over the floor. Spookily similar to what happens to my room in Plainfield, but now it's happening in Ile Perot. What a strange coincidence.

It's now all cleaned up and I am happily writing away. I'm close to the halfway point!! How did that happen? Of course that's halfway through draft 1. Still lots of editing and polishing to do after that, but still... still... excellent : )

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Getting in the holiday spirit

I think he did this on purpose so I wouldn't even consider suggesting putting up lights. The plan worked. That's the most horrifying tangle of lights I've ever seen.

Apart from lack of in-house holiday decorations, everything is going really well. I finished my 4 weeks of contract work Friday so this week I am back on book duty. I found a chick-lit lover who has graciously agreed to read some of my draft and give me some honest feedback. I am torn between hoping she can be brutally honest and fearing that she will say something like "uhhh - yeah.. it's uhhh... good..."

Going downtown tomorrow to hopefully see a few friends, have some overpriced coffee and just enjoy downtown. The only bad part is it involves waking up at 6. At least I don't have to be dressed for success. I'm back to wanna-be novelist attire. ahhhh