Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fun stuff from Kelly...

Exhausted after another four hours hauling trees, deadfall etc. Saw this at Kelly's blog - perfect for tonight's post! Thanks Kelly :)

BTW - for some reason I can't see any comments on my post from Tuesday night. The Comment area is completely missing - please let me know if you left a comment!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A busy few days...

but I did manage to make some time for writing today.

Yesterday I spent four hours cleaning out undergrowth and deadfall - it was tons of fun, but a lot of hard work. I was exhausted by last night, so didn't bother blogging.

Today I went back and had at it for another couple of hours. My woodland garden is slowly being revealed - here are a couple of photos I took yesterday:

Sean picked me up around 2pm and we went to Sechelt so he could attend a council meeting and I could go to the library and do a bit of work on When the Heart Believes. I did some more plotting - the words just flowed, musta been the lilac ink I was using *g*.

Once he was done, we ran a couple more errands, then returned home. Along the way I looked out the window and saw a bear in the field beside the road. Sean stopped and backed up - I grabbed my camera from my bag and snapped this photo through the open window. I zoomed in as much as my little camera could - you can just make him out at the back of the field - if you zoom in well, you'll see his face:

Last, but not least - thanks for understanding. Unlike Kelly, I can't just check blogs at various points during the day. I've no discipline and get sucked in, seeing as I set my own work schedule. OTOH, I can quickly throw together a blog post in the evening. And Kelly - I'd love the five questions, please :-)


Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen (it's superb)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New blogging routine...

Hi everyone,

Yes, I'm back. Well, kinda.

Last week I spent much of my time with our niece and cousins (all little girls between 5 and 9). We had a fantastic time. It also gave me a chance to think about my blogging routine. And I came to the following conclusion:

I spend way too much time blog-hopping, time that could be spent on my mss. I've always used the excuse I'm not creative in the morning, but that just isn't going to wash anymore.

As a result, I'm going to cut my blog-hopping back to twice a week, so if you don't see me every day, that's why. The only exceptions will be a few industry blogs.

Why am I taking such drastic measures? Because I can't afford to keep making excuses for why my writing work is falling lower down my list of priorities. Yes, I learn a lot from the blogs I read - which is why I won't quit reading them - BUT, I'm an expert at procrastination. And right now, the last thing I need is to procrastinate any more.

I'm going to continue to try to blog most evenings during the week. And realize that by cutting back my own visits to other blogs, my comments/hits will decrease. But that's ok - getting comments and hits has never been my reason for blogging.

The other piece of news I have from this week is...drumroll please...we have a building permit!!! When I have a chance, I'll post a pic of Sean with it - he hung the sign yesterday, including our street number. Very exciting. We're hoping to see forms and a foundation within the next couple of weeks :-)

That's about it for tonight. Hope y'all understand where I'm coming from (I'm sure you do).


Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm on a blog vacation...

here's something fun for the meantime, courtesy of susanw:

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A day of errands...

+ a trip to the gym meant no real work accomplished, at least not on the ms *sigh*. But I have to accept these things happen. I'm lucky to get as much time as I do to work. Of course, if it weren't for wanting to watch Crossing Jordan tonight, I could maybe do something, but CJ is one of my fave shows and as currently our system to tape shows is quite complicated, I just watch them in real time. Only Sean knows the secret of recording a show right now. In the new house, things will be different.

Speaking of tv shows, one thing I've learned from watching Deadwood (we're 2/3 through Season 2 now) is how to create great secondary and supporting characters. None of the ones I've seen in the show are what you'd call "throw-aways". Sure, there are walk-on parts, but pretty much anyone who speaks more than a few lines gradually has their character fleshed out enough that you feel they're real. Something very important for a writer to keep in mind.

The CJ writers are good for this too. Take the new coroner, for instance. When she first arrived everyone hated her, yet gradually over the last few shows, the writers have added new details about her - ones that make us question our first impression. Yet it's all done realistically - it's not like she has suddenly transformed.

A way to justify the time I spend watching tv? Maybe *g*. But I stick by my original contention - sometimes writers can learn from paying close attention to the characterization on the shows we love to watch. That's my story and I'm sticking to it...*g*

As for Sean, well, one gone and one to go. Fingers crossed! Thanks for the sympathy and extra good thoughts!!


Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Link of the Day: Elisabeth Fairchild on "incorporating historical elements into your story to make it true to the period"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Today's progress...

Well, I got everything pretty much typed in today, and while on the treadmill this morning I came up with a little plot element I was missing. That was a relief - especially when I still remembered it when I reached my computer afterwards!! But there are another couple of holes that need filling - this is the problem with this story being tied to my earlier ms. A couple of plot points need to mesh and make sense, or all is lost for both stories.

Of course, I didn't plan that when I wrote the first ms. Does this ever happen to you for those of you who write connected books (either by design, or by accident - as happened her)? Do you ever write yourself into situations you need to keep in mind for subsequent mss?

Thanks again for your continued thoughts for Sean. Alas, no joy yet.

Teresa (who is writing this post to the pathetic mewing of young Cleo - apparently I'm supposed to give all my attention to HER!)

Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Link of the Day: Karleen Bradford on Plotting the Story

Monday, March 12, 2007

Friday at the library...

I did some more work on my wip - basically writing out all the plot changes I've made, reworking some of my forms and managing to come up with some good stuff. Now I have to get it all typed in.

Today I caught up on some bloghopping, then worked on some personal stuff and some business stuff. In the afternoon, between bouts of kidney stone pain, Sean and I managed to visit a local fireplace showroom to get an idea of what styles of woodstoves are available and how much they cost. We saw a couple we really like, which was nice.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get all that work from Friday input. The library is a nice place to work - lots of natural light and a big table on which I can spread out all my papers *g* - much easier to do when I don't have cats plopping themselves down on them to have a nap. The closest I came to an animal at the library was the goose on the other side of the window, sunning itself on the lawn.

From now on I'll be blogging in the evening. I really have to get a handle on how much time I spend on the web vs time spent on my ms.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ye Olde Historical Novel Meme...

I found this at my friend Sarah's blog. I know I did a similar one recently, but this has some neat twists, so I'm going to do it anyway.

Straight Historical, Historical Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Historical Romance, or Time Travel?
Straight historical and historical romance are pretty much tied for first - it just depends on my mood. Then time travel. I've read very little historical fantasy (The Mists of Avalon comes to mind, but that's about it).

Historical Figures as Main Characters or Purely Fictional Characters in Historical Settings as Main Characters?
For my HF, I love having historical figures as main characters. In HR, it's not so important - they're often better as secondary characters then. In TT, I prefer fictional characters, otherwise too much history can get changed.

Hardback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Market Paperback? I'll have to second Sarah on this one - "Trade paperback, hardback second, mass market third. I like the feel of trade paperbacks, plus they're cheaper than hardbacks, and not as heavy to cart around."

Philippa Gregory or Margaret George?
Well, as I've not read Gregory, I'll have to go with George, though I've only read Henry VIII and Mary, QoS&theIsles.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
Definitely brick and mortar. I LOATHE Amazon and the way it undercuts indies. I'll wait weeks for an S/O from my local indie before I'll order from Amazon.

Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Penman?SKP is one of my fave all time authors - Here Be Dragons still makes me cry. That said, I've not read Cornwell yet - he's on my very large TBR pile. Still, I don't see him ever dislodging SKP.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?Um, we don't have either in Canada, so I'll have to just say Not Applicable here.

First Historical Novel You Ever Remember Reading? Gone with the Wind for an adult book. YA, it would probably be Caddie Woodlawn or The Witch of Blackbird Pond, unless you count the Little House on the Prairie series. Or Anne of Green Gables.

Alphabetize by Author, Alphabetize by Title, or Random?
I shelve by time period, then author with the most number of books.

Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
I keep as many as I can, though every year I do give some away. Well, last year I gave away more than ever, but that was because I knew we couldn't bring them all out West with us. As it was, I filled 39 boxes!

Jean Plaidy or Norah Lofts?
Tough call, I really like them both, though if push came to shove, I'd say Plaidy as she introduced me to the world of the Plantagenets.

Read with Dust Jacket or Remove It?
If it doesn't fit properly or gets annoying, I remove it. If possible, I leave them on to protect the covers.

Stop Reading When Tired or at Chapter Breaks?
I usually try to make it to the end of a chapter, but every once in a while I give in when I'm tired.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Depends on my mood.

Buy or Borrow?
80/20. With new-to-me authors I will borrow first, then buy.

Posie Graeme-Evans or Pamela Kaufman?
Haven't read the former. Didn't mind Kaufman's first two. Haven't read her recent ones.

Buying Choice: Book Reviews, Recommendations, or Browsing?
A combination of all three.

Dorothy Dunnett or Anya Seton?
I'll parrot Sarah again here - "Seton, as I've read nearly all of hers. Dunnett seems to be an acquired taste I've yet to acquire." and add, I do HAVE The Lymond series (thanks to Katy) and one day will try once again to read it. Am hoping next time out might be the charm, as so many writers I know and respect LOVE these books.s

Tidy Ending or Cliffhanger?
All depends - is it obviously part of a series? Then yeah, a cliffhanger is great. Tidy endings are good most of the time, though.

Sticking Close to Known Historical Fact, or Using Historical Fact as Wallpaper?
I prefer more historically accurate novels, though if done well, wallpaper books are enjoyable too.

Morning Reading, Afternoon Reading or Nighttime Reading?
Late afternoon and evening. Wish I could figure out how to read and knit at the same time (without messing up my knitting) - THAT would be ideal :-)

Series or Standalone?
I don't really have a preferance here - a good story is a good story. Some I like seeing told over a series (like Sandra Gulland's Josephine trilogy) and others I like to see all in one book (pretty much anything by Elizabeth Chadwick following her initial series of connected books The Wild Hunt, The Running Vixen and The Leopard Unleashed).

Favorite Book of Which Nobody Else Has Heard?
The Measure of the World by Denis Guedj (Arthur Goldhammer, translator)

Tomorrow night I'll post again and tell you about what I accomplished at the library on Friday vis a vis my wip.

Thanks all for your concern for Sean - he's feeling somewhat better, but still waiting for the situation to be resolved. Not fun.


Currently Reading: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Also Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Link of the Day: BBC - History

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Assorted things...

First, for my visitors from Canada, don't forget to watch THE Documentary at 8:30 EASTERN time this evening on Bravo! Canada.

Second - a couple of pictures:

Kitty Love

We have a hydro pole! A huge step forward - they'll string the actual hydro wire within the next week or so, we believe:

Sean with his chainsaw in front of the truck and hydro pole:

Elvira & Moonbeam - curious llamas - I stopped my car along the driveway when they ran up to see me and snapped this through the open window:

Third - I'm still behind on so many things. A variety of reasons, including a visit to the ER with Sean yesterday when kidney stones attacked him again. On Tuesday I FINALLY found someone who cut my hair the way I like it, yay - but that too ate into writing time. Oh well. Yesterday afternoon I did manage to listen to a couple of good sessions from Atlanta - I'd had only a couple of hours of sleep overnight Tuesday/Wednesday, so was fried after the ER visit then a run to Gibsons for a couple of things. OTOH, I've used my insomnia time lately to think about my story and have come up with some cool things, so that's ok.

One of the Atlanta sessions was Voice and Conflict: Blend Them and Make Ben and Jerry Proud! with Leah Vale - she helped me with a couple of things, including the idea of giving your hero and heroine each a motto representing their GMC which the other will disprove, preferably at the Black Moment. If you have access to the CD/tapes - listen to this workshop.

Fourth - another agent rejection last week.

That's about it.


Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
About to Start Reading: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (no, not THAT Kate Moss - the one with the "e" at the end of her name)
Link of the Day: GAPC - Production Company for Who's Afraid of Happy Endings

Monday, March 05, 2007

Procrastination Meme...

courtesy of Kit :-)

Soundtrack of my Life

Directions: If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

1. Open your mp3 library
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press Play.
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the Next button.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool.
7. Don’t skip songs.

My Movie:

1. Opening credits: Manic Monday - The Bangles
2. Waking up: Our Love, Don't Throw it all Away - Andy Gibb
3. First day of school: The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
4. Fight song: Drive - The Cars
5. Breaking up: Lovers in a Dangerous Time - Bruce Cockburn
6. Happiness: Lost in Your Eyes - Jeff Healey Band (HONEST - this came up all by itself!!! It's a fantastic love song - have to let it play in its entirety)
7. Life’s okay: Ebudae - Enya
8. Mental breakdown: Mizerna Cicha (Meek and Mild) - Mazowsze & Slask (a Polish Christmas Carol - hmm, interesting)
9. Driving: Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
10. Flashback: Tell it to my Heart - Taylor Dayne
11. Getting back together: How Many - Luba
12. Wedding song: Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - K.T. Tunstall (very ironic, if you listen to the lyrics)
13. Birth of first child: The Wedding Gift - Rawlins Cross
14. Final battle scene: Lothlorien - Enya (a less battle like song I can hardly imagine!)
15. Death scene: Take me to the River - Talking Heads
16. Funeral song: Dance With Life (The Brilliant Light) - Bryan Ferry (Again, I'm not kidding, this came up all by itself)
17. End credits: Pieces - Dan Powell (from the soundtrack of A Knight's Tale)

Kit finished by saying - "If you’re reading this, I’m tagging you! Let’s see it!"



Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen (an absorbing read)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Quick update...

Sorry for disappearing. I've hurt my upper back again - can't spend much time at the computer.

Read about this at RWA Online. We'll see the info in the RWR. I cannot believe people do stuff like this. Have they no shame?


Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen