Friday, January 27, 2006

Page count zero

I know, I know, there are tons of people who work full-time, raise six kids, deliver meals on wheels AND find 'hidden' hours each day to write. I am not one of those people. When I'm at an office writing all day, it leaves me with little desire to sit at the computer and write more at night. So I don't. Sad but true. I might be winding up the last bits of my current freelance project so hopefully I will have time for book writing soon.
I'm torn between wanting more freelance work ($$) and wanting more time to write the book. I'm still searching for that sweet balance point.
Unfortunatley, I also haven't been reading at all and I don't like that. I MUST find time to read this weekend.
PS I'm annoyed at Oprah. What is her actual opinion? How could she have supported Frey in the first place? Can someone explain what she meant by having her thoughts clouded by the emails and emails from Frey's supporters? I never liked her book picks, but I used to respect her opinion. Used to.
My opinion? If your life isn't interesting enough for a memoir, write a novel. I also think it is the publishers responsibility to at least do some minimal fact-checking. Maybe I live in a dream world, but it's kind of nice here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

God Save the Queen

Official photo of the newest Canadian citizen. I think it was knowing when Newfoundland entered Confederation that put me over the line.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

O Canada

I'm here, but I've been so crazy busy I haven't had a chance to unpack yet. Lots of freelance work coming in. Have NOT been making my page count, but on days with *paying* work, I cut myself some slack. Feast or famine. Book pages will be prioritized during the famine.

I got a crap critique from someone in my critique group, but Linda and I decided that the person is crap, not my writing, so I'm moving on. I did receive useful criticism from others, just not this particular person. Good practice for rejection, I guess.

Linda sent me the following re-write that incorporates the crap suggestions from the crap critiquer: "Mona gazed across the apartment, her eyes resting on the mauve couch with the throw pillows depicting dragonflies and....." zzzzzzzzzzzzz......... Who CARES!!! "Mona RAGED against the injustice of being laid off from the job she hated. The thought of the generous package her company had offered her, making it possible to pursue other avenues, made her so angry she threw her throw pillow. She stopped to muse over the irony of throwing a throw pillow while she examined the details of said pillow, which I will now share with you for an entire paragraph....."

I actually kind of like it. I'm dying to know how big and what color the dragonflies were. Embroidered or silk-screened?

Do these blog posts need more detail? Do you need to know my heart rate, what beverage I have next to me, and what color socks I'm wearing? I don't give a crap, so this is new territory for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How do you pronounce Iqaluit?

I am in the process of memorizing all things Canadian. 10 provinces, 3 territories. What's the capital of Yukon territory, quick? I always think of Calvin losing Hobbes when he was acting stupid in the Yukon.

Yesterday I finally worked up the nerve to post a chapter of my novel to my online critique group. Today I had two encouraging replies with useful suggestions. Excellent. One suggestion was to add sensory detail of my character eating a muffin. I think this will require much research and taste-testing : )

Current location: Ashtabula OH en route back to Montreal.
Current mood: happy and motivated by critiques
Current weather: blowing snow. pretty.

Apparently the weather in Montreal is crap: wind-driven rain on top of ice. Would someone please appease the weather gods before I get there? yuk.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pulling my own teeth

I don't know what's going on with me - Monday and Tuesday I had no problem hitting my 10 page mark early. I guess I got complacent - yesterday I only did 6 and today I'm up to 5 but that just makes up for yesterday.

I keep coming up with excuses to check other things on the Internet - suddenly it's URGENT to see what movies are showing this weekend. I feel the URGENT need to send hello e-mails to friends. It's URGENT to create a new 'working background music' playlist.

What the hell is wrong with me? As my own boss, I'm telling myself to get my shit together and write the freaking pages already. That means stop blogging.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


The mom who sent invites to Emma's entire class, then when Linda called to RSVP she said she doesn't want Emma there. Linda was wayyy too nice about it. Instead of saying, "That's a really shitty thing to do and I hope you get yours you she-beast devilwoman." Linda said,"That's why it's a good idea to mail the invitations instead of handing them out in school.
I feel bad for that woman's daughter, growing up with an evil warped mom. I'm having fantasies of being in a position to help that woman, but instead crushing her with my boot heel. Evil, evil. If you have any venom to vent, send it her way. We HATESSSS you, Mrs. Harrington!

Monday, January 09, 2006


Made my 10-page quota for today : )

My new system is off to a roaring start. If I just do this 36 more times, I'll have a complete first draft. Doable.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Comments deleted?

The last 2 comment posted got deleted so I deactivated Moderate Comments. grrr

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Now I'm developing a weird quirk

My new *thing* is to go to bed at a reasonable hour only to have my head fill with scenes and dialogue for my book. I sit up, flip the light on and write it down. repeat 3 times. Then sleep in until 10:30. I suppose I have to make do with whatever schedule works - can't have the man trying to stifle the muse, but honestly...

Tell me if I'm getting weird. - weirder...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Still working on this character thing. I need quirks - those weird little 'things' we all have that make us human. I'm looking for something fun and not cliche - no food or weight obsession things. I found a role-playing site that lists quirks, but many are unusable (Uses the same hand gestures in conversation as they do when casting spells.)

Do you have any *friends* with quirks you wouldn't mind sharing with me? I'm trying to think of everyone I ever knew, but I'm really not coming up with much.

This character analysis stuff is so in-depth. I don't think I even know myself as well as I'll end up knowing these characters.

Do I have quirks? I don't like my feet to be dirty, which is funny because I go barefoot a lot. I hate chipped nail polish on myself and others. I will develop a preference for a particular mug or glass and not be happy if it's unavailable when I want a drink. I hate premixed fruit salad that allows the flavours to mix so that all the fruit tastes the same. I like color. I get depressed if I'm stuck in a white or grey room. I can't think of more, but there probably are more...

Tell me yours or any you can think of - pleeeease!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Applying Pressure

I don't make resolutions - I am in the 'set goals all year' camp. The only time I ever made a resolution that actually worked was when I decided to try a new fruit or vegetable every month. Ahh, the wonderful world of kale.

That said, I did a mental recap - where was I last year, where am I this year, where do I want to be next year kind of thing. Obviosly my #1 priority this year is to finish the book. I am not happy with it right now. I am in the process of making some major changes to the storyline. I'm also having a lot of trouble with characterization. I'm also not happy with my productivity. I think I work a lot harder for other people. I don't like what that says about my personality. I'd like to work harder for myself. I spent a lot of time over the weekend trying to find ways to make myself accountable. Should I sign up for a class? There's one in Chicago and several online, but they cost $400-$600. That's a lot of money. I could join a critique group. I found one online that looks good. It's closed to the public - you have to be accepted and then you can log in. You can post bits of your work for critique, and you are expected to give critiques. Would this help? I'm not sure. I suppose I could try and if it didn't work out I could quit.

I do have deadline. I signed up for a conference at the end of April. Part of the deal is a 'pitch session' with an agent or editor. The editor of Red Dress Ink - a major chick lit publisher - will be there. I ranked her as my #1 choice. Being able to do a one-on-one pitch is HUGE. Otherwise, all you can do is send off letters that sit in piles. This is an incredible opportunity and I need to have my A game ready. So I'm putting pressure on myself and freaking out. Gotta stop blogging and go work on my damn character.