Sunday, October 30, 2005

A sunny Sunday post...

It's another beautiful day here - a tad bright for me, though, as we were out at a party last night. It was a Halloween party, so we got all dressed up in our medieval garb and trundled off for an evening of food, fun and drink :-) The party was in the neighbourhood - nobody seemed to surprised to see us in our costumes - guess at this time of year it's really not unusual to see adults walking around looking a tad strange.

Here I am as Lady Tess (like my wig? *g*)

and here's my Irish Warrior:

Our trip to Hershey was a huge success - lots of yummy chocolate for me, oh, and some for the kiddies who come a' knockin' tomorrow night *vbg*.

Today there are chores to be done - we're having parts of the house painted next week (the painter swears he'll be done in time for my party), so I likely won't get much work done on my ms. On Friday I found my thoughts about Adrian (my hero) still hadn't gelled properly, so instead I organized all my various notes into one spot in WriteWayPro. The ScratchPad is great for that. So now my little brain is percolating those as well.

I did manage to get out for a walk yesterday afternoon - to work off at least some of the yummy treats last night. Here are some pics I took along the way.

The schoolhouse near our place from across the field:

Canada Geese taking a swim:

Happy Sunday, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Link of the Day: Chloe and Cleo's Blog - UPDATED!!
Currently Listening to: The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright on CBC

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Busy, busy day, so today's post is...

a quiz result:

WORSHIP! You're inner Bombshell is the beautiful
Audrey Hepburn. Like her you've been blessed
with a "certain something" that no
one could describe accurately. You are more
reserved than other bombshells, and that shows
in your gentle, graceful nature. You like doing
things for other people and love volunteering
for your favorite charity. Yours is a rare gift
in this day and age. You don't need to show a
lot of skin to be sexy, all you need is your
eyes. To see Audrey at the top of her game
watch the movie "Breakfast at

Who is your inner bombshell?
brought to you by Quizilla

Courtesy Suzanne Owens' A Little Romance blog.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Quick post for today

We're off to Hershey this afternoon to get Halloween goodies for the kiddies, so I must be brief.

Yesterday I:
    a) finished incorporating Kate R's suggestions
    b) read over my cp's comments on my hero and let them start percolating

sooo, today, I have to work on the opening again. Funny how I think all it's going to take is to add a couple of little things - but little things are so important. Ya know?

We also went for a walk yesterday - it was cool, but the brisk air does make you walk faster!!

And thanks, everyone, for the continued support. Having a cheering section is great :-)


Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon
Link of the Day: FDin30D FAQ - Page 3
Currently coming from my speakers : All My Life - Aaron Neville; Linda Ronstadt - Cry Like a Rainstorm - Howl Like the Wind

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It's a cloudy, grey morning, but...

I don't mind. Am going to blog, then get on with my work. Didn't touch it yesterday, though I did get some research done on the Net while I was at the office (after finishing my bookkeeping work). Had an appointment in the afternoon, then Sean and I hit the gym - we've been bad lately about going and are trying to get back into a regular routine.

Last night I went to my local writers group meeting. As chair, I saved my own reading for last. But we ran out of time - lots of people read last night. As always, though, just listening to others, sharing thoughts on their work and being in a room with fellow writers was hugely inspirational :-)

Today I plan to finish inputting my second cp's comments, then go back and incorporate the suggestions from Kate Rothwell and those of another of my critique partners. At some point, though, I have to knuckle under and rewrite the scenes that have changed. Am procrastinating on those. Hmmm. Can't keep doing that as I'll need to set them aside at least a few days once they're done, so they can be revised with fresh eyes. Arrgggh.

Calm. I'm going to stay calm. Panic won't help.

I can do this :-) Have done it before in less time, and can do it again. Nothing like positive thinking


Currently Reading: Ms for critique
Also Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon
Link of the Day: French Fashions - 1700-1789
Currently coming from my speakers: Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of - U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Report from today

Well, I seem to be back on track. Have made significant progress over the last two days. Seems just blogging about lack of motivation somehow motivated me!! Go figure

I'm wondering if not blogging has affected things too. Now I THOUGHT blogging took up too much of my time, but it seems that writing daily posts seems to work kinda like morning pages for me. Interesting. Though I blog hop a little, I've resisted opening SharpReader and getting sucked into all the History, Library and Research blogs I subscribe to, which has made things easier.

I've now got about 4.5 weeks left to work on my GH entry. Yikes. But as I commented on Kelly's blog, I need a hard deadline. Deadlines make me work.

There's lots going on here as well. We're having some painting done in the house next week, so Sean is moving stuff out of the rooms etc. The more prep work he does, the less the painters have to do and the faster they're done. This is really important now as we're having my birthday party at the house - scaffolding and dropsheets don't make for a great party atmosphere.

I'm off to the office tomorrow to take care of the books. This might even involve a bus ride, depending on whether the weather clears over night so Sean can take the motorcycle. At least I'll walk by Starbucks along the way and pick up a latté

So, that's it from here :-) I'll report back in a little more regularly now!


Currently Reading: An ms I'm critiquing for a chapter-mate
Also Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Link of the Day: Deanna Carlyle's Magical Scene Questionnaire

Monday, October 24, 2005

Motivation and Writing

I just listened to Lynn's audio blog - wow, it could've been me. Despite my strict deadline and my love of this story, I have a hard time getting my a** in the chair and working. Or even reading email! Which, if you know me well, should tell you a lot. I can't blame it on hot autumn weather, but I wonder if it's the change of season that's affecting me. All I want to do is eat and sleep - neither of which are a) good for my waistline or b) will help me finish this GH entry.

So, what am I going to do about it? Hmm, well, I haven't actually entered the GH yet, but I've told so many people about it that I really don't have a choice. Think that's because I don't YET have my Oct RWR. They only just started arriving in this area the other day (two friends reported getting theirs on Friday). And yes, I know that I can enter online, but somehow SEEING the entry form and all the info in print in my hot (or these days, cold) little hand is way more inspiring than just looking at the website.

I think it's also cause we're in limbo over our move next year. Hopefully in another few weeks we'll have a better idea of when it's going to happen - I'm one of those people who doesn't like uncertainty in their life (yeah - I'm a plotter *g*). Anyway, that's still no excuse for not writing.

Anyone have any good motivational tips? I really need help!


Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Also Currently Reading: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Link of the Day: "The Puzzle of History" an article by Sandra Gulland

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Some progress...

I just finished entering those suggestions from my critique partner. So now I have to start on the next set. But I think before I do that, I'm going to go through and do some plot analysis like Annette did. Hmm - may be time to unearth those FDin30D sheets again.

Also, I received a great critique the other day, the one I won in the auction for Larissa. Kate Rothwell did it and made some insightful comments that will add depth to my story and correct a couple of little things I hadn't even noticed.

Thanks to everyone who commented on WWII and its long lasting effects. Kelly made the point that a strong story will always sell, no matter the setting and I think she's right. At some point even the Marketing people will see that setting isn't everything, that characters and their journey are good for sales as well.

It's now dreary and rainy here in Ontario, but I'm actually fine with that. Makes it easier to stay in and write. I do have to go to the office tomorrow and have an appointment in the afternoon, but hopefully I'll get at least something done. Maybe this evening. With Sean going to bed early these days, I do have time in the evening. It's just a matter of tearing myself away from the flickering box on the main floor and coming back down here. Though at least with the FDin30D forms etc, I can work upstairs.

The cats are still doing fine:

We've discovered they LOVE catnip! Not that Cleo needs anything else to make her hyper *g*.

I've also noticed some people are posting recipes to their blogs, so today's link of the day is to the site of my favourite cookbook writers, the Podleski sisters. Enjoy :-)


Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Link of the Day: Crazy Plates Recipes and more!
Currently coming from my speakers: Crabbuckit - k-os - Joyful Rebellion

Friday, October 14, 2005

A less than productive week...

Don't you hate when real life gets in the way of your writing?

It took me all day yesterday to back my computer up and make the changes necessary to reactivate my CDR drive. By that point, I wasn't interested in sitting in this chair any longer. It's a good thing we made time to go to the gym yesterday - it helped me work off some of my frustration.

This morning, I woke up with a hideous headache and have to go out soon to have my hair cut. It's long past needing it. I'm hoping my head will have cleared by the time I get home so I can do some work this afternoon. I have a critique meeting tonight, so want to be able to report progress when I get there.

Next week had better not present so many challenges! I really don't want to rush this entry. Then again, it's not like I've even received my October RWR yet, though I guess I can just enter the GH online.

On another topic entirely, there's a discussion on a list I'm on about WWII and the difficulty in selling mss set during this period. Have to admit I'm surprised how some people seem not to understand how strongly it still resonates for many people. I'm one of those, though for me it's translated into an interest in the period. I enjoy reading books and watching movies/tv series from the era, but at times they do upset. I'm wondering if it's because of my family background (I'm a first generation Canadian). My father's family was deported to Siberia during the war and my grandfather died after he was released from a Moscow prison when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Their life went from one of comfort and normalcy to one of privation and the loss of everything they knew. Recently I found a photo taken a couple of years before the war - it shows the whole family together. It's now one of my prized possessions, capturing a moment in time that was never to be repeated.

People from all over the world suffered during the war and even those who were very young were greatly affected by those horrible six years and the decade that followed (rationing remained in place in England until the mid 50s). Remembrance Day is approaching - here it's represented by the words Lest We Forget.

That's why the books/movies recreating the era are so important - they help us remember. But those who lived through it, no matter what age, don't necessarily need works of fiction to remind them. The experience is imprinted on them forever - the images and memories evoked by what they read and see on tv/movie screens can be too much.

It's a double edged sword. We want never to experience such horrible slaughter again, yet one of the best ways to teach current generations about the war is through fiction. But I fear until those who lived through the war itself are gone, the WWII era will remain a tough period to sell, simply because its effects were so far-reaching.

Does that make sense?


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Arrgghhh computers...

So it turns out my CDR wasn't the problem. It's something in the Registry - Code 41. Anyway, I have to wait for my dh to get home, install the new backup drive we bought yesterday, back up my entire drive THEN try this Registry fix I found online. It's an external backup, so if I wreck things, my data will still be safe. Good thing we bought that b/u drive when we did! I don't dare do any more work on my ms right now. Am terrified of something else going screwy. Arrggghhh computers...

As for the cats and the harnesses, our other cats, Scotty and George, wore them quite happily. We decided on the harness with the leash because Scotty had a habit of finding ways to hang himself - at least on the harness, all the pressure wasn't on his neck. We had to take his collar off him when he was about 13 when he started scooping it into his mouth while washing *sigh*. George was good as gold with everything - he'd just stand and purr while we attached his harness.

Chloe and Cleo, however, definitely need some training with this. I think part of Cleo's problem is the bell on the harness. We'll take it off and see if that helps - I've a sneaking suspicion she could hear it and was trying to get at it. Kittens sure are flexible!!

I'm already exhausted, having been woken at 5:10 this morning when the CO2/smoke alarm went off - turns out it does so not only when there's a real problem, but when it needs new batteries. How does one know the difference? It turns off after about 30 seconds if it's the battery low signal. I was NOT amused . Why is it these things happen in the middle of the night? Talk about a rude awakening

Well, Sean should be home from work soon, so I'd best get ready to beat the computer into submission (yeah, right). Hopefully we'll get this fixed in time for me to get at least SOME work done today. Arrggghhh.

Kacey - I had to set the comments on the kitties' blog to blogger only cause I was getting blog spam :-( Glad you enjoy the pics!


Currently Reading: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
Link of the Day: Jenny Crusie's Words of Wisdom

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Quick update

Well, as always, things haven't gone quite as planned. Still, I did manage to get some of my cp's suggestions input. This morning I got to spend time on the phone with Dell Support, figuring out what's wrong with my CDR drive :-( A tech is coming by tomorrow to fix it. I have to go out in about an hour for a little while, but hopefully I'll manage some more work after that. I do have my local writers' group meeting tonight, so I have to choose something to read (well, I don't have to, but it's nice to get the feedback).

On the cat front. One of them managed to trip to alarm in the house while we were out last night! They were still pretty freaked by the time we got home. Poor babies. Then, this morning, I put Cleo's harness on her to let her get used to it. She managed to scoop the collar part into her mouth and get it stuck there THEN she ran away from me while I was trying to help. I did get it unclipped before she'd choked. BUT, it was still pretty scary. Silly kitty.

See updated photos of Chloe and Cleo at their blog.

Now I'd better get ready to go out.


Currently Listening to: CBC Radio One - yay!!!
Link of the Day: WriteWayPro

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Still in My Heart is...

definitely Kathryn's best book yet!!! I LOVED it. Brahm is a true hero and Eleanor is a heroine worthy of him. When they married at the end, I believed it was a marriage based on both passion and friendship - the best kind.

In other news, my blogging and bloghopping are going to have to slow down a bit, well actually, a LOT, if I'm serious about the GH. There's not really a lot of time until the deadline and I don't want to get caught short and scrambling at the last minute. So if my posts slow down and my comments at your blogs all but disappear, that's why. With GH season approaching, I imagine a lot of us will be cutting back our blog time.

But my writing challenge for fellow bloggers still stands. I'll be posting enough to keep this going!!

As it is, I'm cutting a lot of extracurricular activity from my schedule in preparation for our move, so this is just one more.

We had planned a motorbike ride for today, but the weather is cooler and cloudier than we'd hoped (though the sun was shining brightly when we woke up). Maybe next weekend!

To all my Canadian friends - Happy Thanksgiving!!


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Wallace and Gromit...

We went to see the movie last night and laughed till we all but cried. It is soooooo funny. And the bunnies are soooooo cute. Run, don't walk, to see this movie :-) Talk about laugh therapy!!

Well, my week didn't go quite as planned. Not that I failed miserably or anything, but I didn't accomplish quite as much as I'd hoped. Yesterday ended up a total write-off. I had to do my Enotes column in the morning, then back and cake and head off to the breast cancer fund raising potluck at our office. Then we went to the movie in the evening and by the time we got home, I only wanted to watch Heartbeat. It was cool and rainy here - not exactly an inspiring evening to write.

Hopefully I'll be able to schedule some writing time this weekend, though we've lots of outdoor chores to do - the garden needs cutting back and tidying.

We made plans yesterday for our next trip out West to start the serious planning for our move. Sean will stay longer than me - I don't want to leave the cats for more than 10 days or so and the business shouldn't be alone much longer either *g*. We can run most of it on the road, but the bookkeeping really can't be left alone for a long time. I'm still trying to decide what to do with the cats.

My original plan when we adopted these two was to start boarding them, so I didn't obsess about the house burning down while we were away. But Chloe has already had at least one turn in the shelter and I'm terrified of her thinking she's been abandoned again if we board her! I don't think Cleo will care much. Fellow cat lovers - what do you do?

Anyway I should get on with my day. This looks to be Sean's last free weekend, now the lockout is all but settled. He's looking forward to going back to work next week - we were at a party with his co-workers on Thursdy night and everyone is feeling the same way. Hardly a surprise. But until the ratification vote makes things official, I'm leaving the info in my sidebar. Not that I'm superstitious or anything.


Currently Reading (and almost done): Still in My Heart by Kathryn Smith
Link of the Day: HyperHistory Online

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Progress Report...

So yesterday I DID finish inputting Sean's comments, then started on making a list of the suggestions from one of my cps I intend to incorporate. That should take me the rest of today. I'm still feeling overwhelmed by how much I have to do before the GH deadline. But HAVING the deadline is definitely good for me. And, actually, I'd LIKE to have this done by my 40th b-day next month! Yep, I'm turning the big 4-0 and though I'm not thrilled, I'm also determined not to stress about it. And it would be a great achievement to have this ms ready to go by then. So I can start fresh on Henri's story :-)

Responding to comments:
Glad y'all liked the library kit. I'm a geek, but at least I'm a cute geek *g* And to an extent, I enjoy doing revisions. When I'm not overwhelmed.

Wow, Melissa, what a way to acquire a cat! You're lovely to keep it, considering your allergies. But doesn't Nebraska get cold in the winter?

Well - I'be best get on with my work!


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

So how much of a book geek am I?

This much! I'm not kidding. I saw it and bought it. And will be ordering refills of the cards/pockets. Very cool. Especially as I'm about to lend some books out.

As for my writing, well, I didn't anything done today. Had to go to the office this morning and take care of bookkeeping etc. Then this afternoon, the kitties had to go for their follow-up appointment with the vet (vaccination boosters). Before we plopped them in their cages, I had to wrestle with my Alphie to get my workshop notes downloaded. Have no idea why XP has decided it doesn't like either Alphie or GetUtility, though I've been using both on XP for almost two years.

We had to run more errands after the kitty appointment. I could try working this evening, but I'm really tired cause Cleo kept waking me up last night. She loves to snuggle against my neck and purr, with her face in my hair, which is usually ok. But last night she decided to knead my shoulder while she was purring. And she has very sharp claws (we had them clipped this afternoon).

But tomorrow, I vow to get at least one more chapter of edits done, if not both remaining ones.


Currently Reading: Still in my Heart by Kathryn Smith (AVON)
Latest Addition to my TBR pile: Lady Dearing's Masquerade by Elena Greene
Link of the Day: LibraryThing

Monday, October 03, 2005

Writing Challenge for Bloggers etc.

Ok - over on Annette's blog I mentioned that we should challenge each other to write pages, to keep each other honest. Annette has taken me up on it - anyone else want to join in?

As I'm editting rather than writing, I'm aiming to finish inputting all the rest of Sean's suggestions AND get started on collating the comments my critique partners have made and get a start on those as well.

Ok - what else. We had a wonderful speaker do a workshop at our chapter meeting yesterday. Barbara Kyle (also writes as Stephen Kyle) spoke to us about her technique of Storylining. It's similar to FDin30D, but the outline is shorter, yet the process itself is longer. Very interesting. And something else right up my alley. As I've already mentioned with FDin30D, it's a very flexible system and I can see myself combining these two techniques. My fingers were flying over the keyboard of my Alphie as I took notes - the afternoon went really quickly, always a good sign when you're in a workshop.

Speaking of FDin30D, it was included in the Writers' Bookshelf section in the August issue of Writing Magazine - we're always about two issues behind here across the pond (it's a British magazine). The review was quite favourable :-) Not a surprise. But the reason I bought this issue in the first place (it's expensive, so I only buy a few a year) was because I saw Nicola Cornick's face smiling at me on the cover! She was one of the celebrity critiquers in the short fiction section.

And, last but not least - at LAST - the CBC and its union, the Canadian Media Guild, have reached a tentative agreement!!!!!! Looks like this darned lockout is almost over. Sean still has to picket, but the mood on the line is obviously much lighter today :-) And as it's sunny and warm here, he'll have a good time out there!

So, that's about it for this morning. I have to get on with my email, then start my work. Can't forget that challenge!!!


Currently Reading: Still in my Heart by Kathryn Smith (AVON)
Also Currently Reading: August issue of Writing Magazine
Link of the Day: Articles for writers by Barbara Kyle

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A sunny Saturday morning...

We're heading out on the motorbike in a little while. It's going to be a beautiful day, so we decided to take advantage of it :-)

Our dinner the other night was yummy, as it always is at this restaurant. I was a tad slow moving yesterday morning as a result, though. Can't drink the way I used to! But the martini was so good, it was worth it *g*.

As a result, I got less done yesterday on the writing front than I'd hoped, but still did manage to make a dent in the number of Sean's suggestions that need to be input. I'm working on lots of stuff in my head as well. Next week is busy too (cat appointments, personal appointments), but I'm vowing I will get more done than this week. Which may mean sacrificing some blogging time *sigh*. Might have to tell myself I can't open SharpReader till I've done my work for the day. Do you reward yourself in this way?

We did see Serenity yesterday - wow, it was fun. Though also rather emotional towards the end. It stuck very much to the tone of the show. I was a bit concerned about that - that they would change it for the big screen, but no, all the humour was still there. And they've definitely left it open for a sequel. Let's hope it does well enough at the box office to make one possible :-)

And last night one of my fave shows premiered. Yep, Heartbeat is back for another season on TVO. They introduced the new copper (to replace Steve who died in the season finale). He shows potential, but still isn't Mike. Oh well.

Not much else to report, other than the kitten is crazy. I had to shut the bathroom door last night - she was playing in the bathtub (we have fish on our shower curtain to match the fish border the previous owners put up), so she spends hours jumping at them. I just couldn't take the constant thudding and mews (she "talks" to them) after an hour or so. Chloe just sits outside in the hall and stares at Cleo with this "What the f*** is that crazy kitten doing?" expression. And did I mention said crazy kitten is very skittish about strange noises? She freaked the other day when she heard the CD ROM drive in my computer engage (I was listening to an RWA session) and scampered away. I went to pick her up to comfort her, but she was still so upset, she tore into my right hand with her back claws while getting away *sigh*. So now my hand is wrapped up. The scar there will match the one Scotty gave me years ago on my right arm (I picked him up just as my sister started the vacuum cleaner - 'nuff said). I'm already on antibiotics for my sinus infection, so am not to worried about cat scratch fever. Still, it's a pain as typing is overly comfortable. Nor is anything else, for that matter. And Cleo tries to eat the gauze whenever she's close to my hand *deep sigh*. But she's so cute, I can't help but love her.

So, that's about it from here. Hope everyone has a great weekend :-)


Currently Reading: Still in my Heart by Kathryn Smith (Avon)
Link of the Day: When Good Advice Goes Bad (Pt 3) by Diana Peterfund