Friday, December 29, 2006

More Photos...

I forgot to post this one yesterday:

It's a waterfall running into one of the drainage ditches we crossed - isn't it pretty? I leaned out over the ditch to take the photo, not trusting myself to stand in the water without dropping the camera into it *g*.

While out yesterday afternoon, I took this picture of Mount Elphinstone from the highway - it didn't work very well as we were too far away, but you can see the ridge we hiked along on the left side of the mountain:

And yesterday morning I woke up to a frozen lake! It looks so cool - here's a pic of it:

Today is another busy day - errands to run in Gibsons, then my brother and sister-in-law and niece are arriving in the afternoon for a belated Christmas celebration. I'm making lasagna for dinner as well - yummmm. And as I haven't yet finished wrapping my niece's gift, I should finish off here and get moving.

Next week I'll get back into my writing in earnest, having already accepted that this week is a total write-off!


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Also Currently Reading: The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Annette Blair
Link of the Day: Karleen Koen's website

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sean and Teresa's most excellent adventure...

Sean wanted me to title this post "The Donner Party", but I decided that didn't quite fit *g*.

But first, a quick report on our Wigilia/Christmas Day celebrations.

We were up early on Christmas Eve in order to get the 8:20 ferry into the city. We walked on and were met on the other side by my f-i-l. After dropping by the hotel so he and my m-i-l could check out, we headed for Lonsdale Quay and then Sean's uncle's house, which has been in the family for many years. Almost everyone else was already there, so we were thrown right into the fray. Just the kind of Christmas family reunion I like - noisy! Sean's little cousins drew cards for everyone and after a while, my brother and sister-in-law arrived. Here they are with Sean:

Everyone had places to be, so just past 12:30 we all headed out and by 1:20, we were back on the ferry and headed for home. And not a moment too soon as the weather turned nasty. By the time we arrived home, it was really windy and rainy but we kept power this time.

Our Wigilia dinner was yummy. The evening did end with some excitement, though, when a chimney fire erupted. Sean took a pic of it:

Fortunately the roof was absolutely soaked from the rain earlier, so the house wasn't in danger, but it was pretty spectacular nonetheless. I'd never seen (or heard) anything like that before. The neighbours arrived just in time to see the end of it.

Christmas Day was very quiet - we opened stockings, munched on breakfast and opened presents. I received a puzzle and had to at least get the frame done before Christmas dinner *g*, while Sean readied our gear for our trek up the mountain on Boxing Day. As always, my m-i-l prepared a wonderful Christmas dinner, a veritable feast for the four of us, enjoyed by all.

Boxing Day dawned cloudy, a touch misty and cool, a perfect day to head up the mountain to visit our friends camping up there. We had rented snowshoes, a good thing too, as there was lots of fresh snow. A little too much on the road, for our liking and parking proved a bit of an adventure. But at last we set off up the trail. And I do mean UP. For the first 45 minutes the incline is quite pronounced as you climb the side of the mountain. The only time you go down is when you come to a drainage ditch (there are sixteen between where we started and where our friends were camping). Here are a couple of pics from that first section.

But at last we reached the lookout. Longtime readers of this blog might remember me mentioning hiking this same trail in June. A couple of the photos are taken from the same spots. The first one you see in that old post, corresponds with the one immediately below:

And here I am, checking things out with the binoculars:

We rested only a few minutes before soldiering on. The three biggest drainage ditches still awaited us - I actually had to crawl up the side of one of them *g* - not graceful, but I made it!

After that we knew we were getting close, but the fresh snow was very thick and deep plus the incline increased again, so it was slow going for a while. And, I admit, at one point I was about ready to cry uncle, but within five minutes we happened upon one of our friends out for a ski. Just knowing the end of the big climb was imminent gave me one last spurt of energy, though I did stop to take this photo, taken from the same spot as the second one in my June post:

Then we followed the others into camp:

We greeted the others, drank hot chocolate, ate lots of different yummies (including some of the chocolate we'd brought with us) and inspected the snow palace - a cool shelter they'd built out of blocks of snow and a big, big tarp:

The scenery from up there is breathtaking, especially in the winter. We could see for miles, over to the mountains on the other side of Howe Sound, up towards Whistler. Here are a couple of pictures of the view:

After a couple of hours, we put our snowshoes back on and headed down the mountain, after having been assured that the trip down would be MUCH easier and take about half the time. And it did! Not that we still didn't have to work hard - staying upright in the deep snow, even on snowshoes, was challenging. And the cross-ditches didn't disappear. But considering the slog up, the down was a breeze.

Alas, getting down the snow-covered road with the truck didn't prove quite so easy. The snow was very slushy, but also icy underneath. We had to back around another parked vehicle and in ensuring we didn't hit it, we ended up in the ditch. Luckily a really nice guy by the name of Rob, there sledding with his family, pitched in to help and used some of the tricks he's learned over the years in similar situations. I also got a cell phone signal long enough to contact my in-laws. Even so, it was well over an hour before we were on our way home. Sean thanked Rob on the radio yesterday and we hope he heard him!!

Despite all that latter excitement, we thoroughly enjoyed the day of snowshoeing and hope to get snowshoes of our own at some point. It's great exercise and you can't beat the scenery.

Wednesday was a much quieter day - we ran some errands when Sean returned from work, I glanced through the GH entries that arrived for me, then cooked dinner (turkey pot pie). After that, it was hockey while I worked on my jigsaw puzzle!

That's it for right now :-) I'm off to Nia in a few minutes, so I'd best get my a** in gear.

Happy Thursday.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas, everyone!!!

Hope your holiday celebration is full of joy and good food :-)


Saturday, December 23, 2006

An early morning post...

Yep, I'm up early. Can't sleep - always seems to happen this time of year. Plus I've slept well for the last week, which generally means I'll have at least one bad night. The cats are thrilled as it means a) attention and b) food.

We're almost finished with the Christmas prep here. Today I'm going to do the pastry shells for the mushroom tarts that accompany the borscht for Wigilia, as well as doctoring the rollmops with a little extra mustard and pickle. Yum. And if I'm feeling really energetic, I'll bake more ginger cookies, as most of those I baked the other day have been eaten (I took some to the radio station yesterday and some to a party last night).

Tomorrow we'll be in town briefly to visit family, then it's back here for Wigilia and Christmas itself.

Seasons Greetings to all - and for those who've been celebrating Chanukah, I hope you've had a lovely week :-)


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Thursday, December 21, 2006

My first Thursday Thirteen...

I picked this up from Rene.

Thirteen Things I want for Christmas
1. An agent
2. An Alphasmart Neo
3. A gift certificate (in any amount) to ABE Books
4. An end to hunger and war in the world - yeah, I know this is corny and totally against what we've accepted is human nature and the way things are, but still, it's MY list and I can tell you, after watching the news this last year, I can't think of anything better to wish for
5. The latest Chantal Kreviazuk cd
6. A copy of Elizabeth Chadwick's The Scarlet Lion
7. A haircut I'm happy with - I keep trying to find someone who can give me what I want, but so far, no dice
8. A turn on TLC's What Not to Wear - yep, I'm ready for the abuse! I've already learned lots from Stacey and Clint, so think it would be great fun to be on the show
9. A big Christmas with our entire family - mine and Sean's. All the kids. Yeah, it would be loud and crazy, but kinda fun too.
10. Snowshoes
11. A house
12. A gift certificate to Sew Easy in Sechelt
13. See # 4 - THAT is what I really want for Christmas

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

You know what's interesting? I really had to reach for most of those, as, other than the house and end to hunger/war, there really isn't much I actually want. Books, cds etc are all nice, but especially over the last few months, when we've pared down our life to the bare minimum, I've discovered as long as I have Sean, the cats, my computer, a roof over our head and food, I can do without pretty much everything else.

Ok, I'll stop being introspective and soppy now. As y'all can see, so far, we have power and as the winds have dropped, I'm hoping we're ok for the rest of the day. Which means I'm off to Nia soon - yay! Last class before Christmas.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (when I'm not madly knitting, which is most of the time right now)
About to Read: Mistletoe Kisses - Harlequin's Regency Christmas anthology
Link of the Day: Shakespeare's Den - a very cool place to buy writers gifts. Thanks to Melissa for the link!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New template, Haloscan comments etc..

Hi everyone, me again.

As you can see, I've changed over to beta-blogger. Hopefully everyone will be able to comment!

I've lost my comments temporarily, but according to the people at Haloscan, they'll be releasing an auto-installer to beta-blogger within the next few days, so hopefully all my comments will reappear then. I decided not to fiddle with the temp measures others have used since the official Haloscan people seem to have things well in hand.

As for my template, well, I loved it, but it didn't work with beta-blogger and I do like a lot of the features here, so for now I'll just go with this and wait to see who comes up with three column templates for beta, now it's becoming more and more common.

The rain and wind have started and things are supposed to get bad, so don't be surprised if I don't post again till Friday at the earliest.

Teresa :-)

Proofing my ms...

I finally got back to it yesterday. And it's been long enough since I read it through, that even on the screen I'm able to pick up little things and do some tweaking. Much as I'd hoped for an independent full read-through, I fully understand how busy everyone is. And, in the end, my ms is my responsibility and part of that includes the final proofing.

One thing I have to focus on is NOT getting caught up in the story. I've often considered reading the chapters backwards as I've heard that can help you catch words because things aren't really making sense, but that's just too confusing. So I just make myself concentrate. But maybe I WILL try changing the font, to see if that helps me pick out those little typos and missing words. Though at this point, I'm really hoping there aren't too many.

I'm also making little changes in word choice - it's really interesting how other words now suggest themselves, though where they were when I was actually WRITING/EDITING the story I've no idea. You know that feeling, when there's a better word you want to use, it's just on the tip of your tongue (or, I suppose in this case, near the end of your fingertips) teasing you, but never revealing itself. At least it's working now, so I'm not complaining.

Other than that, we're closing in on being ready for Christmas - cards sent, gift packages sent, stocking stuffers bought and now there's pretty much just the organizing of Wigilia and Christmas Day dinner. Oh, and finishing my niece's scarf (coming along nicely), but as we're not seeing her till after the 26th, I'm pretty certain I can get it done with no problem.

So, that's it from my world right now. We've another storm coming today, so it's possible we'll lose power again. But let's hope not! Though at least we've had it since Friday, unlike many people on Vancouver Island and up in the Egmont area of the Coast.

Happy Wednesday, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
About to Start Reading: Harlequin Historicals anthology Mistletoe Kisses
Link of the Day: Deborah Hale's Historical Christmas

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pics from the last few days....

We had a busy, busy weekend - a party Friday night, shopping followed by dinner with friends on Saturday, more shopping on Sunday, then a walk across to our property where we marked out the area that needs to be cleared. In the evening I finished one scarf and put a fringe on it, then started another while watching The Royal and part of Jane Eyre. Turns out Chloe and Cleo are pretty good with my knitting - when I start each evening, they usually try to play a bit, but once I've said NO firmly a few times (ok, more than a few with Cleo), they settle down and pretty much ignore it. Cleo even slept on my lap last night while I worked!

Sean and me at his office Christmas party:

A tree blown down across our well - victim of one of the recent storms (no damage was done):

Sean marking a tree to be felled:

Me feeding the llamas a tree branch:

The kitties - just waking up from a nap together. Chloe wants her tummy rubbed:


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Currently Knitting: another scarf
Link of the Day: Tamara's description of her experience during the power outage off the coast of WA state late last week

Friday, December 15, 2006

Windy, rainy, snowy....

yep - the wild weather continues. We were without power for a couple of hours during the night. Fortunately much of my immediate area is back up now. But....
It was actually very eerie - just after Sean left around 3:10, there were two HUGE flashes of blue light in the sky. Turns out they were power related - either transformers blowing or something similar. Our lights went out then. Of course, I'd no idea if Sean made it down the driveway ok or if a tree had hit something close to us. I phoned him a half hour later and he told me he was fine, and that the blue flashes had been seen in North Vancouver too!! Brought back memories of the Ice Storm of January 1998. A transformer just down the road from us was hit by a falling tree and I remember the same blue light.

On tap for today, power or no, is the wrapping of presents. And hopefully the posting of at least one box! But if the post office has no power... And I'm about 2/3 through the scarf (restarted yesterday afternoon), so the other parcels should go out next Monday. Yes, I'm a tad behind this year, but as far as I'm concerned, late parcels merely extend Christmas :-)

Gotta eat some brekkie now and get on with my day.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Link of the Day: Windstorm coverage on

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More wild weather coming...

Yep, we're about to be hit again :-) This is all very exciting, though I'm also a tad apprehensive - we may be without power again by tomorrow if the storm lives up to the predictions.

Congrats, Kelly, on getting that scarf done!

And, Melissa - I've known for years that one element of living here on the Coast will be power outages. It's just the way things go. My in-laws are always prepared and Sean knows the drill too, so once we're in our own place, we'll put together our own emergency kit and just deal when it happens.

I'm closing in on finishing my shopping and have to finish a scarf before another set of packages goes out. Anyway, must dash now - have to get to Nia then on with the rest of my day. If you don't hear from my here for a while, you'll know the power is out again.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Currently Knitting: a scarf

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quick Wednesday post...

Achieved more Christmas shopping yesterday, finished cards, now have only to put return address labels on and take them to the postbox. And finish a couple of stray ones.

I'm also hoping today to buy Sean's present. Had no luck with one idea yesterday and just as I thought I'd HAVE to go into Vancouver tomorrow, I had a flash of brilliance - will see how that pans out this afternoon.

More wind and rain here last night - nothing too damaging, though. Which is good, considering there are still people here on the Coast and surrounding islands without power from the last storm.

As for my knitting, I figured out double points last night!!! Yay! I'm very excited. Though that just means I've potentially created more work for myself *g*. But it's work I enjoy. Plus, I brought some yarn and needles down to the cabin last night and the kitties weren't too bad. Surprisingly, it was Chloe who was first at both the yarn and the needles!!! Then Cleo got in on the action *g*. Chloe was declawed before we adopted her, so she doesn't cause quite so much trouble - Cleo, OTOH, had to be told NO firmly several times. But she did eventually leave me and my knitting alone *g*.

Time to stick on return address labels! Have a great day, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Currently Knitting: a hat for Sean
Link of the Day: Writing Tips from Karyn Witmer/Elizabeth Grayson

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wild weather...

It was windy here yesterday. Gusts up to 90 km/hr. And rainy. We lost power at 9:30 am and finally had it back just before 7 pm. It went out JUST before I was about to print off the final copy of my Christmas card list. And before I had a chance to print labels. So I spent a couple of hours hand addressing envelopes. I'll be printing our return address labels very soon, as we've another wind warning in effect for later today. Can't say life here is boring *g*. Sean and his dad had to drive quite a while before finding a grocery store a) with power or b) accessible from the highway when they went out yesterday afternoon. We couldn't figure out what was taking so long, but the first store had no power and the second store couldn't be reached when a branch fell across the highway. But they made it back, safe and sound.

By battery powered light yesterday evening, I managed to finish another hat for Christmas. Teva the dog was interested, but only sniffed at the yarn - good doggie. Not like crazy cats *g*.

Needless to say, with all this excitement, I've managed little in the way of writing/proofreading. Am hoping to wrap Christmas up over the next couple of days, then concentrate on my work for a while. But getting packages/cards out has to come first :-)

And I'm still holding off on making the final switch to beta blogger till I have more time, but once I do, I'll leave a message here with the new address.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Just Finished Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Link of the Day: Writing Articles at Fiction Factor

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Catching up...

Sorry for disappearing like that, but things around here have been super busy.

First, on Friday we headed into Vancouver to get some work done on the car (nothing major - phew!) and to do some Christmas shopping. I found the most adorable outfit for our younger niece plus a couple of other things (ok, ok, a new purse for myself did jump into my hands at Winners). Anyway, we made it home on the 5:30 ferry, but on Saturday we were doing more errands/gift shopping and today I went to Sechelt where I found yet more gifts and then came home to work on our Christmas card address list after finally tracking down my address book.

This evening we decorated my in-laws' tree - it looks lovely. Will try to get a pic tomorrow.

Re: switching to beta blogger. Thanks for all the input :-) I will have to change my addy as my blog is too big to make the switch automatically and my account has a mult-person blog which also disqualifies me from the easy move. I had at first though I wouldn't be able to use w.bloggar with the new system, but a quick stop by google led the way to a solution - yay!!! To see how it worked, check here. It's not perfect as I'll have to go in and add the labels by hand afterwards, but hey, at least I can post using w.bloggar, which is a great tool.

Anyway, I've been awake since 5 am and am starting to wind down, so I think I'm going to go read more of The Lovely Bones. I'd rather actually be knitting, but I still don't trust either cat not to a) eat the yarn or b) eat the hat I'm knitting or c) tear the hat apart.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Going to beta-blogger...

I'm seriously considering it, especially as it seems like forever before they're going to let me merge my blogs. I already have a beta account. And I love some of the features over there, especially the Categories one. Anyone else, other than Janie, considered making the move as well? I just hate to think of the links that will need changing. Yikes!

Obviously I can keep this blog up, so the archives will always be available (for me - I can't imgaine too many other people wanting them). Hmmmmm.

I finished another Christmas gift last night, only to discover it's way better than the one I'd knitted for the other child, so I'm going to have to knit another. Funny thing is, the not-so-good item was knit with the needles from the pattern, whereas the other two were knit with needles a half size smaller. At least I can knit these up pretty quickly, so it won't take long. And I found a really cool stitch that will help me with my borders (they often end up a little raggedy, as I can't always get the tension in the cast-on row exactly right) - it's the twisted rib and when I played with it on a swatch last night, I found it really easy and more stable (if that makes sense). Now I just have to not get carried away with knitting and forget about writing *g* - yeah, like that will happen.

Anyway, I'll stop blathering now and write those reviews I've been putting off for the last few days.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Also Currently Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Link of the Day: Kit's Knit-Spot (knitting blog of a friend of mine)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...

I can't believe there's so much to do!! I thought I had Christmas under control, but apparently I don't. So I'm trying to do many things at once. Does this happen to you too?

We retrieved our Christmas decor from storage yesterday, so when my in-laws decorate, we'll be able to add a few of our favourite treasures. Sean's trying to figure out a way to string a few more lights outside our cabin. Of course it's now rainy here, which means all the snow will be gone soon. But that's ok with me.

I'm working on various things to do with both my French Rev mss. Plus I still have yet to write those reviews. Hmmm. Guess I should quit blogging and get back to work!!


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Also Currently Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Currently Knitting: Christmas gifts!
Link of the Day: MacroHistory

Friday, December 01, 2006

So I finished at just over 25,000 words...

and am happy with that. A tad disappointed too, but, considering the other things that have been going on and the fact it was my first experiment with "flying into the mist", I refuse to be hard on myself. Now I have to transcribe all the pages I wrote by hand :-/ And then I'm going to let it sit for a while, to see if other stuff percolates.

Meanwhile, I'm going back to my French Revolution story and setting to work on that. I did manage one scene during November, but really want to move forward with this story full time now. Unfortunately I also seem to be at that "I can't write another book" stage - I'm sure you're all familiar with it. Even though we know we can do it, with every ms there are those horrible moments of doubt that THIS time we won't actually be able to do it. That somehow we've lost the skill and magic required to spin a convincing tale of romance.

Meanwhile, I still have two reviews to write for this quarter - one of which is for a book I really enjoyed, written by a prominent author of historical romance. OTOH, finishing the books means I'm now free to read just for me.

On the weather front, things have warmed up a bit, the snow is starting to melt and life is returning to normal here on the Coast, though there is still lots of debris littering the streets. And the lake here is starting to ice over! Maybe we'll get to skate this year :-)

Ok, on with my day. Happy Friday, everyone!


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Link of the Day:
Elizabeth Chadwick's Medieval Glossary

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fun meme, courtesy of...

Kelly :-)

Your Name: Teresa

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. ALWAYS hot chocolate *g*.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He wraps them :-)

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Coloured, though with the very young (and not always so bright) cats, we can't leave the tree out. Maybe next year.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Sometimes. Depends on whether I can find some and have somewhere to hang it.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the first week of December.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Ok, now don't all go "eewww" - but it's pickled herring followed by a shot of vodka - a staple when celebrating Wigilia if you're Polish. Followed closely by my mum's stuffing and my mother-in-law's trifle.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I have so many - the last Christmas before my aunt died (I'm not even sure we knew she was sick yet), when my uncle came from Australia stands out as we had my dad's family together - there's a pic of me and my sis with my aunt that I love. There was also a ski vacation we took to the Eastern townships with another family. Like Kelly, I didn't usually like being away from home for Christmas, but that ski holiday was lots of fun. And then there was the year I poked my way through the gift wrap on one of the packages under the tree *g*.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Ya know, I really can't remember! Just seem to recall that by about 9 or 10 I knew the truth. Though there was one Christmas Eve I swore I saw Santa and his sleigh up in the sky as we drove home from my uncle's house *g*.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yep - it's part of the Polish tradition, where people open all gifts on Christmas Eve. We compromised with one. My sis and I loved that.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With a mix of ornaments and lights. No tinsel or garland, cause of the kitties. But I never really liked tinsel much either. And often Bob and Doug MacKenzie's Christmas album playing ("...and a beeer in a tree") - didn't know about the South Park one!!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it as long as a) I don't have to shovel it and b) it doesn't stay longer than a week or two. Though I do love it in the mountains when I go to ski.

12. Can you ice skate? Yes. Love ice skating. Will miss gliding down the Rideau Canal.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? As a child it was probably a tie between my long-haired Chrissie and Timey Tell dolls. As an adult, the first Christmas gift Sean ever gave me - a big white teddy bear I named Nicholas clutching a brand new Sony walkman.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family and the food - especially the traditional Polish and English dishes.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? It's a tie between my mum's mince tartlets and my mother-in-law's trifle. LOVE them both. And always eat way too much!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? It's so hard to pick just one, so I'll cheat *g*. The first is the breaking of the oplatek on Christmas Eve (Wigilia) and the second is the English Christmas stocking - I love both buying and receiving all the cool little things, especially the chocolate. And I'm thinking of starting the Love Actually one Kelly mentioned - it's one of my fave movies and I picked up a copy in London Drugs recently!

17. What tops your tree? A fabric angel made of gold gauzy stuff and wings. (Sounds like Kelly and I have the same one *g*)

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I really like both - searching for and giving just the right gift, and the surprise of unwrapping packages myself.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Again, I'm going to have to cheat here. My fave traditional carol is In the Bleak Midwinter while my fave Christmas song is Christmas All Over Again by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on A Very Special Christmas, Volume 2.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or yum? Yuck. I'm not big on hard candy - prefer melty dark chocolate instead *g*.

Anyone else going to play??


More snow and inspiration...

Yep, we're supposed to get more snow today. Yikes!!

And I had a moment of inspiration last night, so hope to do a little more writing today, once my other work is done.

Responding to comments:

Annette - yep, it does seem rather ironic *g*. We're getting the Ontario weather and you're getting the BC weather. Go figure!! Though it is supposed to rain again starting tomorrow.

Gabrielle - that's one thing about snow on the coast of BC, even when you get a lot of snow, it rarely stays more than a few days. But yeah, it would certainly make it easy to write a lot!

Kelly - LOL. Best thing is, we don't have to shovel it. Though I did clean the car off yesterday *g*.

Ok - on with my day. I did post yet more photos of the snow, including a very cute one of Tiva the dog, over on my Windshield Chronicles blog. So feel free to hop on over there and have a boo :-)


Currently Reading: Book for review
Link of the Day: CKAY newswatch

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow, snow, snow & more snow...

The subject line pretty much says it all. It started snowing Saturday and didn't really stop till last night and now it's flurrying again this morning. I'm not sure of the totals, but this is the most snow seen up here on the Coast in at least a decade. We did make it back from Vancouver before things went crazy, leaving the hotel by 8 am on Sunday morning. Downtown things were fine, but we knew the highway to Horseshoe Bay would be very snowy and as traffic built, things wouldn't be good. By the time we got to the ferry terminal we could tell it was going to be a bad storm.

Things were ok here till about 6:25 am yesterday morning when a tree went down on a power line down the road, cutting off our hydro service. We camped out up at the big house with my in-laws who have a propane stove, a wood furnace and a wood-burning fireplace. My mother-in-law and I even went snow-shoeing with the dog (on paws, not snowshoes *g*) and had a great walk, though the sound of branches snapping in the surrounding forest did make us a tad nervous.

Bedtime came early last night and by 7:30 pm Sean and I were sound asleep under duvet, comforter, blanket and cats. Just as Sean was getting ready to leave for the radio station at a very early hour, the power came back on and so far, knock on wood, it's stayed on. But it could easily go out again, so I'm staying prepared.

Here are some pics I've taken over the last few days:

A sign of things to come - snow up on Mount Elphinstone, taken Saturday morning on the way to the ferry terminal:

The storm from the window of the Queen of Surrey, Sunday morning - 9:15 am:

The snow outside our cabin as of Sunday morning, around 11:30 am:

What it looked like by Monday morning:

The view outside our bedroom window (where Cleo and Chloe love to sit):

What things looked like by 3:30 Monday afternoon - LOTS of heavy snow, bowing down the trees. The lake still hasn't frozen, though and it looks really cool, with the snowy trees reflected in its surface (don't think I can capture that too well with my little camera):

The view out my in-laws deck door:

The snow seems to be picking up speed again! Could be another interesting day. Am very happy Sean has a heavy, 4WD pickup to drive!!! I was going to post another couple of pics, but Photobucket now appears to be down, so they'll just have to wait till later.

It's back up - here's what it looked like about an hour ago - if you've got good resolution on your screen, you should be able to see the lake reflecting the trees if you click on the thumbnail for the full-sized photo:

Re: my story - thanks for the suggestions :-) I'm still working on what to do, so it looks like my NaNo will top out at just under 23,000 words, which still isn't bad, considering. We'll see how things go over the next couple of days.


Currently Reading: I'm between review books - have one more to go.
Link of the Day: Articles on the Craft of Writing at The Romance Club

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Ok - I have too much internal conflict and I've written myself back into the same corner, with my hero and heroine so focussed on what's keeping them apart that they can't see why they'd be good together. Ok, well they can, but they're still too hung up on their internal conflicts to work things through. My hero wants to retire to a small town, whereas the heroine has just come from one and doesn't EVER want to go back to one. They each have their reasons - he was accused of something and no-one believed in him, not even his wife. He was innocent. So why does he want to move to a small town? He figures if people know him really well, that they'll be less likely to listen to idle gossip (I'm not saying his logic isn't flawed, but that just makes him more human - his issue is that he needs to learn to trust again). My heroine became the subject of gossip after her husband died. She'd always been itching to get away, but that was the last straw, so she moved across the country and began a new life, where no-one knows her. That is why she doesn't want to go back to a small town.

He's realized how much she means to him, but can't figure out why she's so against living in a small town. She too knows they are perfect for each other, but isn't willing to let go of her newfound freedom and anonymity. As I mentioned before, she works for him in a small business. I figure they need a common goal that will force them to work together, but I can't figure out something that won't seem too contrived. Oh, and she needs the job with him to support herself while waiting for her old house to sell, whereas he needs money to buy his land and wants to sell his business, but is reluctant to put her out of work.

Any bright ideas? This is driving me nuts. I can't get any further till I figure this out and was really hoping to crack at least 30,000 by next Thursday. Heeeeeelllllpppp.


Slowly but surely...

I'm building up my wordcount. Still having trouble moving the story forward, though. Definitely a case of "sagging middle syndrome".

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends :-) Enjoy your day!!

Tuesday: 1020
Wednesday: 1703

Currently Reading: Just finished one book for review and preparing to move onto another

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NaNo Update...

Yesterday's total was 1530 words, handwritten in a smaller than normal notebook. All these little tricks seem to work. I brainstormed a couple of ways out of my roadblock and seem to be back on track. But it's hard to tell for sure.

LOL, Kelly re killing someone off. Doesn't really work here, but I appreciate the suggestion :-)

Back to the salt mines!!


Link of the day: A Short Informative Essay on The Pencil, by Elizabeth Hoyt

Pics from the Coast...

I took these pics of a deer family having breakfast a couple of weeks ago:


Monday, November 20, 2006

And this is why I hate pantsing...

The story has stalled. I've written myself into a corner and have NO idea how to get out of it. Been lying awake at night trying to come up with new places to take my h/h, but so far, nada. VERY distressing. My h/h have admitted their attraction to each other, but both have major reasons to avoid a relationship, especially my heroine. So now I've no idea what to do with them. She works for him in his small business, so I'm trying to come up with something related to that.

I think another issue for me is that I'm so used to writing historicals, where the characters are also involved in historical events, so those came in handy to move the story forward. But part of it is because I'm used to knowing where my story is headed, often scene by scene. This "flying into the mist" can be great, but it can also end, as I've discovered, in a total roadblock. Will have to do some more brainstorming this morning, before trying to write this afternoon.

On the home front, my brother/sister-in-law and our niece visited this weekend - we had a quiet time involving Monopoly, knitting, reading and the Grey Cup game. Sean made chili for the big game (which BC won - yay!!) and we also visited a local craft fair where I picked up at least one Christmas present.

This coming weekend, Sean and I are heading to Vancouver to do some shopping there :-) Should be fun!!! We'll also see my brother/sister-in-law & niece again for dinner. Now we just have to hope the weather is half-decent. We're expecting more rain today. NOT that I'm complaining. I actually like rain :-)


Currently Reading: Book for review
Link of the Day: Resources for Writers from Natasha Oakley

Friday, November 17, 2006

Five Things for Friday...

Kelly tagged us, so here's my contribution...

Five yummy things:
1. Coffee
2. Popcorn with butter and salt
3. Lindt dark chocolate truffle balls
4. Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream
5. Pickled herring and ice-cold vodka (I'm half-Polish)

Five songs I know by heart:
1. Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
2. All Because of You - U2
3. Rock this Girl - Jann Arden
4. I Was Made for Lovin' You - KISS
5. The End - The Doors

Five things I would do with a lot of money:
1. Make sure my family was taken care of
2. Buy an English country home with a stable of horses
3. Open a bookstore
4. Take in all the stray cats that need a home here on the Coast
5. Start a subscription library

Five places I would like to escape to:
1. Dorset, England
2. Ireland
3. Paris
4. Wroclaw, Poland
5. Whistler

Five things I would never wear:
1. A micro-mini skirt
2. Old lady polyester pants
3. Gauchos
4. Anything with a Disney character on it
5. High waisted jeans

Five favorite TV shows:
1. Rescue Me
2. The Office
3. House
4. ER & Law and Order: CI
5. Studio 60 & Heartbeat
(okay so I had to double up as well *g*...)

Five things I enjoy doing:
1. Writing
2. Reading
3. Watching Movies
4. Hanging out in coffee shops & bookstores
5. Knitting

Five Favorite toys:
1. My digital camera
2. My alphasmart
3. My books
4. My car
5. My Palm Pilot

NaNo Update
Wordcount for Thursday - 1455
Wordcount for Today - 1038

We were among the lucky and have had power pretty much since later Wednesday morning. Lots of debris around the property, though. We have yet to check our building site - maybe on the weekend.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Really quick post....

We're having a major, major storm here - 100Km/hr winds and rain. Power on and off! Just to let y'all know that we're fine though - have a fire, two full pots of coffee (brewed while power was on) and plenty of food.

I did manage 1700 words yesterday, but none Monday. Went to buy wool for more knitting projects. I'm definitely addicted.

Anyway, I'd best go. Imagine the power will go again soon. My sweetie is at work, keeping people up to date on all that's going on.

See you tomorrow, hopefully (assuming we have power *g*).


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Books in storage...

Below are some pics of our second storage room, the one with all the books. The first three are wide shots of all the shelves, from various angles:

Here are some closeups - I took lots more, for reference sake, but figured I'd show just a couple here. For fun :-)

And these are the French Revolution books I had to leave behind in storage - can't have them all in the cabin:

Happy Sunday!!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Only 1534 words yesterday...

but that's where the story flow ended, and with pantsing, I've discovered that's what I have to do. Keep writing until I hit a wall and the characters stop talking to me. Will see if I can get to at least 1700 words today. And I'm taking the weekend off. In fact, I'll be taking all the weekends off. Pantsing does NOT come naturally to me, so I definitely need breaks. Plus we have three busy weekends ahead, so even though it's against the NaNo ethic, I'm doing what feels right for me :-)

I've no idea how good the story is. Sometimes if feels like things are going well, other times I wonder. And my stupid heroine won't tell me what she wants. I know her internal goal, but externally, she's just not fessing up right now. Oh well, it's fun for the most part. At least my hero cooperates most of the time. But darned if yet another cat hasn't found its way into my ms *g*.

It's rainy and windy here today, perfect for writing. I'm hoping to get a bit more done on my historical too.

My fellow Canadians, please remember to take a moment or two tomorrow to remember those who fell defending our country - whether it be at a cenotaph ceremony or just quiet time at home. Though none of my own family has fought for Canada (I'm a first generation Canadian), I salute all those who have and do so now and never fail to be moved by the ceremonies on November 11th.

***NaNo Update***
2065 words today. Tough ones. Maybe cause I actually wrote at my computer, which allowed me to check my wordcount periodically. Bad move. Anyway, they're done. I always try to leave off in the middle of a scene, so I can get going right away on my next writing day.

I just figured out I have 14 writing days left for NaNo, which means I need to be averaging 2500 words per day. We'll see. I may be able to up my count next week. But I refuse to get down on myself if I don't get to 50,000. Just making a good start on this story is enough.

Now I'm going to turn to my historical and see if I can squeeze out a few more words today. Am thinking the change in voice may prove helpful to my output.


Currently Reading: Book for review
Link of the Day: Remembrance Day

Thursday, November 09, 2006

For the cat lovers among you - Cleo with her toy

Click on the still to get the video to play. I took it yesterday. Sorry about the grainy quality.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A big sigh of relief...

But first, thanks for all the birthday wishes!!! They're much appreciated :-) Among Sean's presents to me was a lovely journal from paperblanks (mine is the last pattern - Saddleworn) - isn't it gorgeous?

Now for the big sigh of relief - I found my memory keys. I thought I'd lost them. Went to back up my work yesterday, but when I opened the zippered pocket in my purse, they were NOWHERE to be found. Dumping my purse didn't help, nor did checking all my desk drawers, coat pockets etc. At one point I thought they may have gone through the washing machine as I remember tucking them in the pocket of the jeans I'd washed the other day. But they weren't in the laundry room. Or in the jeans on the drying rack. My night was semi-sleepless, and I resumed my hunt this morning. Went through everything, chanting over and over my nephew's line "It has to be somewhere." and following Sean's timeless advice (he experiences this a lot in his life with me, bless the man) "Look in the places you haven't already checked. Look everywhere." And thus I tracked them down in the bottom of my make-up bag. Don't ask, I've no f******* clue how they ended up there! But at least they're not lying in a parking lot somewhere.

Anyone know how to password protect stuff on a memory key? That was my big worry, what with my full mss (ALL of them) backed up onto those thumb drives.

So, now I can breathe again, I'm moving on with my day. Hope to get some good writing work done today :-)

Happy Wednesday, everyone! And thanks for your continued NaNo support. I'll update my wordcount later today.

**NaNo Word Count Update**
Today's total was 1840 words, pushing me over 10,000! Yay! My goal for each day is to write as much as comes naturally to me. Usually this happens in about 2 hour increments.

This morning I also wrote the first 600 words of my historical!


Currently Reading: Book for Review
Link of the Day: Editors' Choice Titles for the Nov 2006 issue of The Historical Novels Review (if you scroll down about 3/4 of the way, you'll find there's some BSP involved here *g*)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All about Me Meme...

Well, I figured as it's my birthday, I'd tell you all about me :-) I found this at Kelly's blog:

1. I'm a wee bit psychic. So was my paternal grandmother (to whom I bear a very strong resemblance). I often know who's calling before I answer the phone, can pick up when something is wrong with people far away from me (the night my nana died, I woke up at 3 am with my heart pounding - at 6am, the phone rang with the news) and have a very uncanny ability to know when women are pregnant BEFORE they tell me (just ask Sean about the day we found out his aunt was pregnant).

2. I spent five years working as a buyer's assistant for the Canadian Forces. So if any of my fellow Canucks shopped at a CANEX during the early 90s, well, I was responsible for at least some of that stuff being in the store.

3. I was a union floor rep while working at CANEX. Sean refers to this as my Norma Rae phase *g*.

4. I lived my entire childhood in the same house and was amazed to learn this is considered unusual. My mum STILL lives in that house!

5. Until I went to school, I spoke with an English accent. My mum took me to England for a longish visit when I was about 18 months old and learning to talk, so I picked up the accent. That and most of my parents' friends were European so I heard a lot of foreign accents as a young child, the predominant ones being English and Scottish.

6. Like Kelly, I learned to read at four and have rarely been away from books since. And yes, I was one of those kids who read the cereal box at the breakfast table. *g*

7. I kept my eyes tightly closed the first four or five times I crossed the Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver - you guessed it, I'm scared of heights. And bridges in particular, though the view from the LGB is fantastic, so now I'm more used to it, I do keep my eyes open.

8. Sean and I not only met at university, we were married at the chapel there when we were 24.

9. I worked my way through grad school as a TA in the History department and Residence Don.

11. I've been to Tombstone, AZ - a very cool place!

12. I was a member of the Ottawa School Board's All-Star Reach for the Top Team. We played a team from the base at Lahr, Germany when they came to visit Canada. Years later I ran into one of the members of the Lahr team at university. She was a friend of Sean's at the radio station there. Talk about a small world.

13. I'm an amateur genealogist who was lucky enough to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City last year, while attending the Historical Novel Society conference.

Message from Sharon:
"PLEASE LEAVE THE FOLLOWING IN ALL 'PEOPLE COLLECTION' POSTS:Remember that it isn't always the sensational stuff that writers are looking for, it can just as easily be something that you take for granted like having raised twins or knowing how to grow beetroot. Mind you, if you know how to fly a helicopter or have worked as a film extra, do feel free to let the rest of us know about it :-)"
I'll be back later with today's NaNo wordcount.


Only 1274 words today, but hey, it's my birthday - I'm allowed some slack *g*. I'm still averaging 1795 words a day :-)


Currently Reading: Book for review
Link of the Day: Tombstone, AZ

Monday, November 06, 2006

A quickie post from the stormy west coast...

First, my word count for today was an incredible (for me) 2222. Done on my AlphaSmart as my wrist/hand started cramping almost right away when I tried using pen and paper. I didn't think I'd done nearly that much, so was totally thrilled :-)

On the weekend I did no writing. On Saturday we spent six hours at the storage place, rearranging stuff, as well as unpacking and shelving boxes and boxes of books - Sean set up several of my Billy bookcases in our new room, so at least some of the books have been freed from their prison.

Yesterday was errands/laundry and relaxing. Yeah, I could have written, but my wrists were sore from all the book work the day before, so I didnt want to risk making things worse.

Thats about it. The sky is really dark now, so I'm gonna upload this blog post and then power down my system.


Currently Reading: Book for Review

Friday, November 03, 2006

Nano Day 3...

Thanks, everyone, for the continued support!! It means a lot. Today's total was about 1800 words. And that was after a later than usual start. I went to the gym this morning, then spent some time on the phone with my mum.

Tomorrow we'll be out much of the day, shifting some of our stuff from a smaller storage bin to a larger one. Well, Sean will be doing the shifting - I'll be supervising!

We had torrential rain here this morning, which made for an interesting drive. But the sun seems to be breaking through, so maybe the rain they forecast for the weekend won't actually fall! That would be nice :-)

I'm off now to get mail. Will try to catch up on my blog-hopping soon - sorry if I haven't commented recently. My mind seems rather stuck in my story at the moment. Which is good for my Nano output, but not so good for much else *g*.

Have a happy weekend!!


Currently Reading: SHe's the One by Cathy Kelly
Also Currently Reading: Book for review
Link of the Day: Live Webcam from The National Gallery of Art Plaza

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nano Day 2 - 1950 words today...

so I'm still going strong! Almost half were from the hero's pov, so I'm starting to learn a little about him. That's pretty cool. Until this point I've known almost nothing, but bit by bit he's revealing things to me as I write.

Tomorrow I hope to get as many words as today. Then on the weekend, well, I'm not sure. Saturday is going to be really busy, but I'm hoping Sunday to write at least for a couple of hours.

I'm tired now, though. Been awake since 5:30, went to Nia this morning and then have been writing for the last couple of hours. Must report my daily total at the NaNo site, post this blog, then go and fetch the mail. It's rainy here, which is nice, cause the cats and I are cozy in our cabin. But it does make me even more sleepy :-)

Thanks for all the encouragement!!! And Kelly, hope those office mates of yours quiet down!!


Currently Reading: She's the One by Cathy Kelly
Also Currently Knitting: A baby blanket (very slowly)
Link of the Day: Photos of my Alma Mater

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nano - Day One

Well, much to amazement, I surpassed the required daily total to reach the 50,000 words!!! Yep, that's right. If you check my counter box just above my profile in the right hand sidebar, you'll see my approximate word total for Day 1 - 1725. I have to guestimate as I hand wrote today's pages at a local cafe, then counted the words on four of those pages, totalled them and took the average. Imagine my surprise when I figured out I'd exceeded 1700 words!!

All in all, a good couple of hours work :-) I think it really helped that I wasn't sitting at the computer with that cursor blinking at me. Under normal writing circumstances, it doesn't bug me to see the cursor, but when I'm under pressure to come up with words, that's a whole other story. So far my wrist coped with the writing fairly well, though I'll have to be careful to wear my brace at night.

Other than that, not much to report from here. I'm glad y'all liked the pic of us at the party the other night - thanks for the compliments :-)

And now, I'm off to commune with the kitties for a bit, having deserted them this afternoon.


Currently Reading: She's the One by Cathy Kelly
Also Currently Reading: Book for Review
Link of the Day: Claire Delacroix on The Book of Your Heart

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A change of direction...

After some careful thought, I've decided to try out my contemp story for NaNo. Yep, that's right - I'm pretty much going to fly into the mist with this one and see what happens! The story has been bugging me and I thought this might be a really good writing exercise/challenge. Being very much a planner when it comes to my writing, I'm going to start with just the basics of a character and situation, plus a few brainstorming notes about the story. Hmm, should be interesting :-)

However, I'm also going to start writing my other story too, just not for NaNo. There's a writing challenge going on over at A Villa in Tuscany, so maybe I'll report my historical wordcount over there.

Anyway, speaking of writing, I should get going. Went to the gym this morning, then ran some necessary errands, so must get my butt in gear and settle down to work for a couple of hours before getting started with dinner.

Happy Halloween, everyone. And for those of you who observe the Celtic year, I wish you a blessed and contemplative Samhain celebration.


Currently Reading: She's the One by Cathy Kelly
Also Currently Reading: Book for Review
Link of the Day: The History of Halloween

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Hijinks and More...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

As you've probably guessed from the photo, Sean and I went to a Halloween party the other night. I paired my dress with a cool Venetian style mask I found in Sechelt while Sean went as a disorganized secret agent - if you look close at him in the photo, you'll see a tag hanging off his toy gun, proclaiming it issue of the intelligence service. He had a couple of others on various pieces of his costume :-)

Yesterday a friend of mine came up from the city with her dog and we went for a long walk, then sat chatting and drinking tea. After a wild and rainy night on Saturday, the weather cleared - the sun was strong enough for us to sit outside after our trudge, while Wally and Tiva (family dog) made friends. They were very cute together.

Today it's back to my planning work. NaNo starts in two days *gulp*, but I'm trying not to get too nervous. Last Friday I went through some notes one of my CPs sent me and in clarifying a couple of things for her, I worked some stuff out for myself too. Then our group had an online meeting through MSN and they gave me more feedback that was helpful.

So, that's been my last few days! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.


Currently Reading: Book for review
Currently Knitting: a scarf
Link of the Day: Miss Snark's Royal Flush post (cat lovers really MUST click on this link and follow the link there)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A quick post...

I was going to post about complex characterization (using Tommy Gavin as my example), but I'm starting late today, so that will have to wait.

I'm late for a good reason, however. I went to a Nia class this morning with my mother-in-law. And had a fantastic time! I'm definitely going back :-)

Yesterday I managed to work out a couple of tricky plotting points and started a detailed timeline for Henri and Madeleine. That will definitely help when it comes to writing next month.

Thanks so much for all your support re NaNo!! I really appreciate it.

And Annette, I LOVED the original BG as well, but, as the song said, find this one somewhat better. Still, can't beat the old show for camp and fun :-)

The girls did pretty well at the vet, but both are a little subdued today after the vaccinations. Cleo has even had her meds to help, but she's still sleepy. Then again, that could just be because of the rainy, dark weather. They're snuggled together on Sean's lumberjack shirt.

Very cute!

See y'all tomorrow :-)


Currently Reading: Book for review
Currently Knitting: a scarf
Link of the Day: Regency Cate's Surrey Conference report

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm here, honestly...

just been running around a lot lately. And feeling a tad squirrely about the whole NaNo thing. My planning is a little overwhelming right now - I'm trying to pull together a whole lot of story threads and one or two keep trying to escape. Even with my lovely flow chart.

I think starting to write really is going to be the best thing for me as far as this story goes, even though I won't have a complete FDin30D outline. I'd hoped it would all fall into place, but have accepted that having at least half the book planned at this stage is better than nothing. It's enough to get me started. It's not like the method doesn't allow for writing and planning simultaneously. Sometimes we actually have to experience the story with our characters before we can figure out precisely where they're going in detail. At least, that's how it seems to work for me.

In other news, the cats are off to the vet today for their vaccinations. Well, I'm taking them. Would be nice if I could just send them off by themselves to take care of it, but I've a feeling they'd get distracted along the way *g*.

Janie - sorry about the display problem. I had to make an adjustment so I can fit in the NaNo progress bar. Funny thing is, it doesn't seem to be affecting any of the browsers on my computer in the same way. Things will go back to normal on Dec 1.

And, if you're a sci-fi fan, check out my link of the day today. It comes courtesy of agent Jenny Rappaport, over at her LitSoup blog.


Currently Reading: Deceived by Nicola Cornick
Link of the Day: Fun with Battlestar Galactica

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back up and running...

thanks to Sean!! I found the info, but he actually figured out a couple of other issues that kept me from fixing the problem myself. So by 8:30 this morning, my computer was back to its normal self and I began backing up everything I hadn't copied over during the last couple of weeks. Talk about a relief!! I also printed out the most important notes to add to my story binder, just in case something goes nuts with the computer again. I'll have to remember to do that from now on!

Later this afternoon we're going to walk over to our house site and take some measurements :-) It's a gorgeous day here, bright, sunny and about 14ยบ - perfect for a little hike.

Not much else new to report - I'll be back on track with my planning work for NaNo starting tomorrow.


Currently Reading: Deceived by Nicola Cornick
Link of the Day: Jann Arden's Website (not fully Firefox compatible)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stupid computer...

yep, it crashed on me. And I hadn't backed up yesterday. It's all planning work, not actual writing and a lot of it I have in hard copy, but I'm still totally pissed, especially as it looks like I'll have to reinstall Windows to fix it. Sheesh. NOT the way I wanted to start my day. However, there's not much I can do now. At least my mss are backed up, though I'm now going to copy those files onto our office computer and Sean's laptop, just to be sure.

Arrrggggghhhh. I did manage to work off some of my frustration at the gym. Plus it's turned into a gorgeous day, so all is not lost.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.


Currently Reading: Deceived by Nicola Cornick
Link of the Day: Claire Delacroix's Slot Fodder Quiz

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quick update...

I spent yesterday working on brainstorming, filling out a Story Threads worksheet I came up with myself - it separates the threads by main character.

Today I have to finish inputting stuff from yesterday + do so more work on my FDin30D sheets so I'm as prepared as I can be come Nov 1! It's less than two weeks away now!!!


Currently Reading: Deceived, by Nicola Cornick
Link of the Day: Warning, Densely Populated Bookshelves- a recent post at Word Wenches by Susan King/Sarah Gabriel

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Book meme...

from Rene:

1. One book that changed your life: The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman - the book that made me see how fiction can fan a spark a passion for history into a flame

2. One book that you've read more than once: The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch - Awesome book - I highly recommend it

3. One book you'd want on a deserted island: The Prospect Before Her : A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500-1800 by Olwen Hufton

4. One book that made you laugh: Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella - I laughed in spite of the ridiculousness of the situation - Kinsella makes the character totally believable.

5. One book that made you cry: Here be Dragons
by Sharon Kay Penman - If you've read the book, you likely know which scene made me cry - mingled tears of sadness and joy)

6. One book you wish you'd written: The Falcons of Montabard by Elizabeth Chadwick - a masterpiece of historical fiction. I'd love to be able to write like she does!!

7. One book you wish had never been written: Anything with the words "by Margaret Atwood" on the book cover. As a Canadian, I'm not supposed to say that, but her books just hold no interest for me. Except maybe, Alias Grace.

8. One book you're currently reading: Deceived by Nicola Cornick - I only just started it, but already she's hooked me :-)

If you want to tag yourself, go for it :-)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A long post...

covering many topics.

First - On to Plan B
We had to make a couple of decisions this weekend about our housebuilding plans. And ended up going with a smaller house (we had a back-up plan) and likely a different site (long story). But we're happy, nonetheless. The new site is across the lake, rather than down the end. Essentially, we'll be high up on the hill above the area you see on the far side of the lake:

Our new driveway:

The site itself (obviously trees will have to come down):

The driveway from the other end:

And the new house is a little more compact (no separate dining room), but other than that has all the elements of the other house, including a nice guest area. Longtime readers of my blog will remember this one from last year. If you're really curious, see the floorplans. The second ensuite upstairs won't be put in - instead the room will be an annex to my office. Plus, we have a plan with a walk-out basement that Sean has claimed for his workshop/office.

We hope to be in and settled at some point next summer. Seems like a long time right now, but I know only too well how quickly time passes :-)

Second - I Finally Saw THE Bear!!
Yep, at last, I saw the bear that's been on the property all summer. My m-i-l heard the llamas kicking up a fuss yesterday evening while I was cooking dinner. She went to check things out and came back to say the bear was below the llama field, under the apple tree there. So I turned off the stove, put on my boots and went down to see him. And he's GORGEOUS! The llamas were quiet once we were there, though mama and older sis kept Moonbeam in between them. I didn't have my camera, though, and figured if I went to retrieve it, he'd disappear. So I just watched him for about five minutes.

Third - My Flow Chart - a computer version
Glad y'all liked it! It was a cool exercise and, as I said, helped really clarify things in my mind, especially the connections between the various characters. I put it into FreeMind (thanks Nienke and Bren), exported it as a .jpg, imported it to Excel, then typed in the notes I'd made, printed it off and added the numbers by hand. Last, I scanned it - so here it is now:

Yes, it was a timely exercise, but spending the time doing it also reactivated my creative juices, so I spent time making more notes in PFN, in my FDin30D folder. I've had to rewrite some of my Miscellaneous and Closing Scene Notes. My critique partners also helped me with some ideas during our MSN meeting the other day. Have to continue with that today, as well as filling out more of the Story Evolution Worksheet and working on a couple of the other ones. Plus, I hope to take a walk as it's a lovely day here - crisp and cool, a perfect autumn day.

And, just for fun, here's a pic of the cats Sean took on Saturday afternoon. It was a gloomy, rainy day, so what else would you expect cats to do, but curl up, snuggle each other and sleep?


Currently Reading: Between books
Link of the Day: Eighteenth Century Women Painters in France (from The Met)
Bonus Link of the Day: PandaCam at the Atlanta Zoo (Sean sent me the link the other day)