Tuesday, December 25, 2007

White Christmas on the Coast...

We have a white Christmas! Ok, so it's mostly blowing around and not sticking to the ground, but it's snowing on Christmas day on the mountain nonetheless :) Yay!! (If you click on the image below, you get a better sense of the snow falling):


The wind is howling and gusting - very cool, though some people have already lost power. We're crossing our fingers that no trees come down near us and get caught on a wire! Or hit the house (though Sean assures me this is highly unlikely).

We're home for a while to nap (Sean) and make cranberry sauce (me). That's the great thing about being so close to my in-laws - we can pop back and forth. No big deal and the cats never get too lonely!

Off to do that cranberry sauce now - Merry Christmas, everyone :)

Teresa

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas, everyone :)

Thought I'd better pop by and post Christmas wishes for all. Things here have been crazy busy and now, to top it all off, I have a cold. It's still at the nasty sore throat stage. Yuck. Am hoping that ends soon.

But I won't let it ruin my Christmas :) This evening we're celebrating Wigilia here with the family and tomorrow we'll do a traditional English style Christmas at my in-laws. Our niece and baby nephew will be with us for both, which is fantastic! Having children around at Christmas really does add a certain something to the festive season.

And now, as I still have a few things left to do and am moving more slowly because of my sore throat and achy limbs, I'd best sign off here and get going.

Happy Christmas!

Teresa

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Outdoor Christmas tree...

Due to our crazy kitten, Cleo, we can't have an indoor Christmas tree. So we decided to put one out on the deck.

But first, here are some photos taken just over a week ago, during a heavy snowfall (the snow all melted the following day):











Last Sunday, during a much lighter snowfall, we set out in search of a tree on the property. Instead of just one, we found two growing side by side and as that area needs thinning anyway, Sean cut them both:





and dragged them home:


Once there, he strapped them together and put the lights on, then left the rest for me to decorate:



You can just see me in behind, hanging more ornaments:



It was frosty on Monday morning, so the tree looked really cool:







Christmas madness is pretty much my life right now, but I hope once all my packages and cards are in the mail, that I'll get a little more writing done.

How's everyone else doing, juggling writing and holiday prep?

Teresa

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Snow!

We had snow the other night and woke up yesterday to this:

Posted by Picasa

and later in the morning saw this:



My deer friend came back!





What I saw while driving back from Nia:



The house with sun-tipped trees in the background:



You can see more pics in my Picasa album.

We're supposed to get more snow/rain today. And glad as I am to see snow now, I'd rather see it in time for Christmas, but as I've learned here on the Coast, that is a crap shoot!

No writing over the last couple of days. I'm completely stuck and have to research a couple of things. And need to brainstorm some scenes. So this year's NaNo won't be quite as successful as last year's, but it still got me started on this ms, which is further along than I was before, so I'm not complaining.

I'm off to do errands now, before the weather gets any worse!

Teresa

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Chugging along...

I'm averaging about 1000 words/day. Not bad. One of the scenes will likely need a full rewrite, but I figure at least I got down what I wanted to do with it. Today's words will be harder to produce as my shoulder is acting up again AND I have my library shift this afternoon. Ouch!

It was such a gorgeous day yesterday, we lit a fire to burn some brush and I spent 4.5 glorious hours outside dragging deadfall and feeding the flames. Meanwhile, back in Ottawa, they're getting ice pellets and snow today. Hmmmmm.

And last, but not least, Sean moved the final items out of our storage bin this morning!! So we're now officially completely moved in :)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! Enjoy your holiday :)

Teresa

Currently Reading: Book for review

Monday, November 19, 2007

Character work...

Instead of actual writing on Friday, I managed some character work. I think part of my problem right now is that I don't know the black moment, and for a plotter like me, it's getting difficult to tell the story without knowing where it's going. So I decided I need to know my characters better so I can figure out what will be the worst thing that can happen and threaten their relationship.

My hero, George, is the best friend of my hero in What the Heart Remembers, so I already know a little about him. But Friday morning, while sipping a latte, I discovered some interesting details about his childhood and scribbled them down. I'm letting those mill around in my brain for a while and when I get a chance, I'll type those into the computer. Won't put that towards my word count though.

Things were crazy last week - lots of little things to take care of. And we STILL have boxes in storage. Even so, I hope to get some writing done this week, if possible. Our weekend was super busy as well, so I didn't have any time to write then.

UPDATE - I managed 1300 words today!! Off now to cook dinner :)

When I went out grocery shopping late Saturday afternoon, it was raining, but by the time I reached the grocery store, the sun had broken through over the Island, creating a gorgeous double rainbow:


Teresa

Currently Reading: Book for review

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Windstorm...

The storm seemed to come out of nowhere overnight Sunday into Monday and we lost power Monday morning when a tree came down on the power lines not far from us.


Along with about 175,000 other people! We were fortunate that nothing hit our house, though we did have a small tree come down:

and the roof was blown off our little Rubbermaid shed:


Inside we stayed toasty warm thanks to the woodstove.

The girls spent the early part of the day in the basement, enjoying the residual heat from the baseboard heater:


By the afternoon the girls had joined us upstairs. The weather cleared enough so Sean and I could take a walk to see how the rest of the neighbourhood had fared. We encountered one our fave neighbourhood dogs, on guard as always:

With the return to standard time, evening came early, with a spectacular sunset:

Because we have a gas range, we were able to cook a proper dinner and enjoy eating it by candlelight. Then we sat on the sofa in front of the woodstove, talking and watching the flames and coals. Chloe took up her spot - she often sits with her paws just on the edge of the ceramic pad, as though she imagines a line there she shouldn't cross because it's too dangerous to get too close to the fire:

I forgot just how well the flash on my camera works!!

This morning Sean fired up the woodstove again and within 30 mins we were warm. Our one concern was the fridge and we finally started the generator when it became really clear we might not get power back today.

Sean then set off for work and the cats and I resumed our spots in the living room. I knitted for a while, then took a break to eat lunch and picked up a book. Next thing I knew, Chloe had discovered my knitting bag and climbed on top of it to snooze:

while Cleo appropriated her corner of the green recliner:

Just as I was getting ready to get a notebook and pen to write the old fashioned way, the house came to life again. Though it was nice to know we were back up and running, I was still kinda disappointed - blackouts always seem like mini-vacations to me and I wasn't quite ready for this one to end.

So now I've caught up on email and blogging, I'd best go clean up the pots and pans from last night and this morning and start on dinner. Tomorrow I'll write!!

Addendum - here's a video I took with my camera, showing the trees swaying in the 90 km/h + winds. Alas, it's not nearly as spectacular as it was in person.

video

Teresa

Currently Reading: Thinking of You by Jill Mansell

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We remember...

Never forget - dedicated to those men and women who served and are still serving to keep us free.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Still plugging along...

I managed another 1360 words yesterday, for a total of just over 6500. Am hoping for more later today, once my errands are complete and workout done.

Time is flying quickly now, with Christmas coming up so fast. I have to get in gear for that as well!

The deer reappeared near the house the other day - this time I noticed it as I was coming up the driveway and managed another couple of photos, one from a distance standing outside the car, and one quite close from the driver's seat, with the window rolled down:



On the home front, we're hoping to get the family room set up this weekend, by retrieving the tv, entertainment unit, love seat etc. Sean did a great job with the paint down there last weekend. As we still haven't decided what to do with the floor, we'll just use a couple of rugs for now :) Pictures next week!

On with the errands, now. Hope everyone has a good weekend, and for those of you doing NaNo - keep on racking up that word count!!

Teresa

Currently Reading: Past Secrets by Cathy Kelly (yes, I'm on another British chick-lit glom)
Link of the Day: Surfulater - a fantastic piece of software for the internet researcher

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Today's progress...

was a little less spectacular. Still, I did manage about 1200 words, which is better than nothing.

The rest of the day involved Nia, house inspections, company paperwork and assorted chores. All that had to be done before I could write. And now I have a headache. But I stuck it out for two more scenes, so I've managed to crack 5k, so will be content with that.

Off to see what the kitties want now and curl up with a book.

Oh, and here's what I found in the woodland garden when I arrived home this afternoon:

He/she didn't seem to mind the camera at all, not even the flash. Just posed, then continued to wander. If only it had been a nicer day, the photo would have been better.

Teresa

Monday, November 05, 2007

Doing NaNo is helping...

me get going with this story. I managed another 2100 words today and hope for the same tomorrow. As with last year, I didn't even try to get my words in on the weekend - just not enough time when there was so much else to do, especially as we found out in the afternoon that my brother/sister-in-law, niece and baby nephew were coming up for the weeked. We had a great time with them, which was nice :)

The story is starting to roll a bit now and I'm trying so hard to resist the urge to do anything BUT write, though I did look up a couple of things today. Still, it's cool to get a feeling for my characters and their voices and to learn more about them as I write. Ella has a harder edge to her than I originally thought, but that's ok! I'm just relieved to know that I might not have to give up on this story idea too, as it was looking bleak for a while. I know lots of writers go through this kind of thing and that often the real solution is just to shut up with the bitching and WRITE!!

This seems especially important now as at least two agents have blogged in recent months about a resurgence in editor interest for historicals. I'd be a fool not to try to take advantage of this trend, so I'm also going to have to return to What the Heart Remembers and complete that final read through then submit to a few more agents.

Now, however, I'm going to listen to my sweetie read the news, then head to the basement and put in some time on the elliptical trainer. I keep a notepad and pen on the shelf there in case any more brilliant story ideas come to me :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and here are some cute shots of the kitties from the other day.

We don't normally allow them on the stove, but they looked so cute I had to get the camera and snap this pic before getting them down and telling them "NO."


Chloe on the stairs.

Cleo in amongst the books on the bookshelf in my office.


Teresa

Currently Reading: The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick

Friday, November 02, 2007

Remembering Scotty...

Three years ago today, we lost our beloved Scotty. Below are some pics of him - the first was taken at Christmas 1989, when he was only 2½ - the others were taken during the three years before he died. He was a lovely, affectionate cat who was a constant ray of sunshine and we still miss him.











Teresa

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaNo - Yes or No?...

There's the question. Things here are a bit hectic, but OTOH, forcing myself to write would probably be a good idea. Even if it's only 500 words a day, it will still be better than nothing, which is pretty much my output (fiction wise) over the last few months.

What about you? Are you doing Nano this year?

I've added a new comment feature to the blog, so please let me know how you like it :)

Teresa

Currently Reading: Just Between Us by Cathy Kelly
Link of the Day: NaNoWriMo

Friday, October 26, 2007

Quick Friday update...

Still busy, busy, busy here - I have most of my books on shelves at this point and am now trying to find room for all my research binders. Looks like I might have to purge some of them :-O

We intend to clean out the cabin tomorrow, then possibly go back into Vancouver on Sunday. Will have to see what we have time for.

Not much else new, though going through all my writing binders has inspired me. Maybe next week I'll just carve out some time.

Happy Weekend, everyone :)

Teresa

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A strange golden orb....

appeared in the sky this morning! What is it? Oh, right - the sun! Yes, the sun is shining at last over BC, after a week or so of rain (with a brief break on Saturday). Even I, who generally love rainy days, was getting a tad tired of wind and rain. We're still working on getting everything in place and arranging for water testing and probably a filtration system (life in the country, doncha know).

We spent yesterday in Vancouver. Sean had an appointment there, so we took the early ferry in (6:20 am), hit Home Depot before the appointment then Ikea and Fitness Depot afterwards, followed by H&M at the Coquitlam Centre. Finally, we headed back to West Van, had dinner at the Cactus Club Cafe before going out to Horseshoe Bay in time for the 9:15 ferry home. The cats were thrilled to see us - it's the longest we've left them alone since moving in here - all told, about 17 hours.

While at Ikea, we picked up two more bookcases for me *g*, so hopefully I should have all my books shelved once Sean has had a chance to put them together. And my writing nook should have wall shelves soon too, which will be nice. Though I may still have to get rid of some of the less necessary stuff I've accumulated over the years. Meanwhile, the cats continue to enjoy the many empty boxes that appear in different rooms around the house - LOL!

That's about it, again. I'm trying to get motivated to write, but there are so many distractions. At some point, I'll just have to set aside even one hour and just DO IT!

See you all anon!

Teresa

Currently Reading: The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick

Friday, October 12, 2007

So much stuff....

Ok, at times I confess to referring to it as cr*p. After 18 months of living with most of what we own in storage, we're amazed by just HOW MUCH there is! How did we acquire it all? And didn't we divest ourselves of a lot before leaving Ottawa? Apparently not.

Other than that, we're enjoying life in the new house as we slowly get things organized. There's lots to do every day, hence my absence recently, both from this blog and others.

I'm hoping to get back to my writing in another week or so and also pondering NaNoWriMo this year. Should I join up? It certainly helped me last year. I can continue the contemp from last year and see how far I get this time, or maybe go with George and Ella's story, my current ms. Well, if you count a single scene as an ms :/. I am starting to really miss my writing, which is a good things as earlier this summer I was so frustrated, I was ready to give up.

But, for now, it's back to unpacking and organizing :) The weather here has improved vastly which is great - even when I'm inside, it's nice to look out at the sun tipped trees. Or sit on the deck for a quick break.

Enjoy your weekend!

Teresa

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sunshine and cedar doors...

The sun finally came out again yesterday here in rainy BC. Even better, our cedar doors have now been hung:





Here's what it looks like from the inside:



We have the same door in the living room, going out to the deck:





Chloe also appreciated the reappearance of the sun, finding one of the best spots - the windowsill in my writing nook:



And yes, that's my car you saw in the first two photos. We got it back last weekend, all fixed up.

Now, enough playing on the computer - I have my office boxes to unpack while I wait for the cable guy to arrive.

Teresa

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

All moved in, well kinda...

We still have lots of stuff in the cabin - who knew we owned so much? And there's still a storage room with furniture in it as well. That's waiting until Sean finishes the basement.

But, as of last Friday, we're now living in the house :) The cats are settling in well.

Below are some photos.

The hardwood installer finished on Thursday afternoon - here are the results (before we moved the furniture in):









Here's what my library looked like the day we moved in:







I started putting books out on shelves over the weekend:



Cleo had some thoughts on the whole move:



Here she is on the staircase:



And here's Chloe helping with books:



Cleo has found every little nook and cranny, including what little space there is under the bookcase in my writing nook:



Not to be outdone, Chloe also explored every spot she could, and almost couldn't, fit into:



Yesterday my in-laws very kindly brought over our couch and love seat during a break in the rain, so we were able to set up the living room once Sean was home from work:



The cats were overjoyed to see the furniture:



Here's Chloe looking out the library window this afternoon while I worked on unpacking and shelving the last of the books (well, sort of - not quite enough room right now!):



Sean has a lot of books too, so I've been sorting those into boxes for his office - below you can see the kind of progress I've made so far:











Cleo decided she'd had enough and went to sleep on my lap when I sat down to check my email, using my keyboard as a pillow:



while Chloe checked out the view from the other window:



Our front and deck doors will be installed on Thursday - yay!!! More photos then :)

Teresa

Currently Reading: Book for review
Also Reading: The School at the Chalet - one of my favourite childhood comfort reads
Link of the day: Book trailer for Elizabeth Chadwick's new release A Place Beyond Courage