Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Foggy Tuesday blog

Quick post this morning. My wrists are still horribly sore after all the housework we did this weekend to get ready to show the house. Which we did yesterday - had to shove the cats in the cage (they prefer to be together) and that proved far more difficult than we anticipated. Still, once they were in the car, they behaved really well for the two hours we drove around doing errands. But we're still thinking of getting them something slightly more spacious with a wider door *vbg*.

We have to take them out again today - think I'll try bribing them in with their fave Feline Greenie treats.

I've been up much of the night, so need to go make myself a latte. Will hopefully have exciting news re the house to post soon :-)

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, January 30, 2006

I'm a Traditional Princess

Annette pointed the way to this great quiz :-) Thanks Annette!

The Traditional Princess

You are generous, graceful, and practical with both feet planted firmly on the ground. You tend to be a little on the old-fashioned side. You value home, hearth, and family life and love to be of service to others.

Role Models: Snow White, Maid Marian

You are most likely to: Discover a hidden talent for spinning straw into gold.

What Kind of Princess are You? - Beautiful Artwork (Original Music is BACK!!!) brought to you by Quizilla


Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mozart!!

I've been hearing his music at various points this morning, so I figured I'd offer an official birthday wish :-) I played piano when I was younger and at one point came close to mastering Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which was kinda cool. His range was incredible! I think I'll dig out the soundtrack from Amadeus and put it in the CD player today.

Yesterday I ended up a) searching for truck campers on the internet (yet another option we're considering) and b) cleaning and organizing the kitchen cupboards. It took a good couple of hours just to do the cupboards. But at least I wasn't running the steam cleaner like Sean. But the carpets are now clean as well. We're both busy tonight, so had to do extra work yesterday afternoon. On tap for me today is dusting the walls! Thank goodness for Swiffer on a Stick *g*.

Needless to say, my writing fell right by the wayside. But I'm going to see my cps today, so hope to get some brainstorming done with them. I've accepted that until the house sells, my writing will move to the back burner. Just can't be helped.

Happy Friday, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: Symptoms of Withdrawal by Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Link of the Day: Marrying Mozart by Stephanie Cowell (in honour of the aforementioned birthday)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Well, the fridge is now sparkling...

clean - thank goodness. One less thing to do this weekend!! Surprisingly, the cats interfered far less than I thought they would. Chloe poked her nose in a couple of times, but I didn't have to contend with Cleo trying to get into the bowl of soapy water I had on the floor beside me.

Alas, I got no real writing done yesterday. The fridge took quite a while, then Sean and I finally hit the gym after a two week break. It had to be done!! And I felt good afterwards.

I admit to spending much of what could have been writing time at the OED online site. For the next few weeks, from Monday to Wednesday - 5pm -5pm Eastern time, they're offering free searches of the dictionary!!! I found out about this wonderful offer courtesy of another boring acadmic with a blog - her post of Jan 10 explains further.

On tap for today are more general cleaning chores. And I have the link for the tour of the house - if you want to have a peek, you can email me for the link. Before I get started on those, though, I AM going to get some more work done on my wip. Probably transcribing my handwritten notes to the computer. Once things with the house have settled down, I'll be able to get back to some serious FD work!


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Turns out today is also...

my bloggaversary!!! Yep, one year ago today, I started blogging. Wow, it doesn't really seem like it's been that long. OTOH, it seems much longer - like I've always blogged. Is it any wonder I have CTS? *g*

Looking forward to another year of blogging :-)


Has it really been fifteen years...

since I defended my thesis? I can't believe it. Yes, I did defend my MA thesis on Robbie Burns Day. Sean's Scottish grandmother saw this as a very good sign and she proved right :-)

Funny thing is, I can still picture the room, see the people round the table, remember my pounding heart, sweaty palms and racing mind as I fielded questions. Followed by the agonizing half-hour wait outside the room in Mac Corry. Sean kept me company, poor guy. I was such a wreck and really not fit company till my supervisor came out to tell me I'd passed with minor revisions needed. Those minor revisions consisted of adding a few footnotes for a super-picky prof who felt I really should have referenced JL David's birthdate (yeah, like THAT'S not available in at least five million sources).

But writing and defending that thesis proved to me that I could write and complete a book, one that passed muster within the academic community. Granted, one prof called it "pedestrian", but hey, at least he didn't trash it.

Since then I've completed three full fiction mss. The lessons I learned from that thesis proved invaluable - especially each time I reach that point where I'm certain I can't finish. I remember sitting on the couch in my rented apartment in August of 1990 saying "I can't do it. I can't do it." Sean said, "Well, you've got two choices - finish it or don't. Just make up your mind." And he was right. So I gave it some thought, and figured I'd keep going and see. Just knowing he actually thought NOT finishing was actually an option gave me a sense of freedom. And within a few months I was done. Except for those darned footnotes *vbg*.

Later today I get to clean the fridge! Oh joy. But it has to be done. And seeing as the fridge is at least half-empty right now, it won't be too bad of a job.

I didn't get a whole lot of writing done yesterday, but I did do some more character work - hand-written in my pretty notebook. Just some more brainstorming, but at least it keeps that percolator going :-)

Comments on Comments

Gabrielle - Symptoms is actually pretty good. CKL can actually write and he's open and honest. Not at all affected. I'm really enjoying it :-)

Mel - A fifth-wheel trailer is one that fits over the flatbed of a pick-up truck. It hooks on there, rather than using a trailer hitch.

Lynn - you asked about "full range of scores" - that means using everything from a 1 to a 5 (or 1 to 10). Some judges say they won't give a mark below a 3 or a 6, but I don't see the point in that.

Ok - my tummy is now demanding brekkie, so I'm off upstairs to get it. Then I'll have to fend Chloe off - she LOVES cereal *g*.


Currently Reading: Symptoms of Withdrawal by Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Link of the Day: Susanne Alleyn's website - her next book, Game of Patience is out in March

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I didn't post yesterday because....

we were doing last minute stuff round the house before the real estate agent came over with her professional photographer. They're going to do a 360º tour of the house for the website, so we needed to make certain the house looked its best. With Sean at work, and having worked pretty much all weekend on painting/minor repair, I was in charge yesterday of doing a lot of the little things. It was a gorgeous day, so the photos should have worked out well - we get lots of light in the house on sunny winter days.

My thoughts on the election
Well, it's not as bad as I feared (a Conservative majority), so I'm not feeling too bad this morning. But I have to admit, I'll have a good laugh during the first Tory scandal. And we know it will happen. A lot of the smug winners last night will have to eat their words eventually. And I was thrilled to see the Green Party (my personal choice) picked up 4.4% of the popular vote, enough to ensure continued funding.

On the writing front
I didn't get much done yesterday, though we had the house ready by 1:30, so I went for a walk, ending up in Starbucks where I did some brainstorming on the back of an old shopping list I found in my jacket pocket *g*. Sean laughs at me for my packrat habit, but it sure comes in handy as a writer :-) This morning I'm going to transcribe the brainstorming results + some other stuff I thought of on my walk back to the house.

Glad everyone liked the portrait of "Madeleine" - will post "Henri" when I find him :-)


Currently Reading: Symptoms of Withdrawal by Christopher Kennedy Lawford (for our bookclub)
Link of the Day: American Title Contest - Story Summaries

Friday, January 20, 2006

Portrait of my heroine Madeleine

VLBskavronskai.jpg (JPEG Image, 426x525 pixels)

Ok, so actually, it's the Countess Ekaterina Vasilievna Skavronskaia, née Engelhardt, Prince Potemkin's niece. Many thanks to Kevin J. Kelly for his wonderful website, devoted to the work of Elizabeth Vigée-LeBrun, portraitist extraordinaire.

I saw this portrait and knew this was Madeleine. Am still searching for Henri.


Thanks for all the comments on poetry...

verrrrrry interesting :-) I likely wouldn't have tried it again last year had it not been for the anthology project. It was either poetry or a short story, and try as I might, I couldn't come up with something short enough to fit in the word count. Soooo, I returned to poetry.

Funny how most of us wrote then angsty stuff at one time or another *g*.


I'm a beagle...

yep - according to the quiz at Gone to the Dogs.com, I'm a beagle. LOL. Margaret pointed the way to the quiz - it's kinda cool, though the sound effects freaked Chloe out, so I had to turn my speakers right down. Poor kitty!

In other news, I did more FD work yesterday morning, making notes on the opening scenes and also brainstormed some titles for this story. Still haven't quite found the one I like yet.

In the afternoon, we went to look at fifth-wheels. They're kinda cool! Some are more spacious than others. We'll have to see what's in our price range over the next coupla months. I certainly haven't ruled out the option after seeing them :-)

I may need to make myself a latte this morning. I woke up about 3:20 and it took me a while to go back to sleep :-( Yeah, I could sleep in, but I try to keep to a pretty regular schedule. Maybe a trip to the gym this afternoon will help. It's been a while since we've been there, so I'm thinking it will.

We're expecting more snow tomorrow! That's after a warm day today. Strange, strange weather - that's for sure.

Anyway, Sean's now reading the news, so I'm going to finish here and listen to my sweetie :-)


Currently Reading: Research Stuff
Link of the Day: Ten Minutes to Glory: Your Editor/Agent Pitch - by Laurie Campbell

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Teen angst poetry...

Last night I went to my local writers group meeting. As I'm not ready yet to continue reading from WTHR (I'm still not looking at it, for fear I'll find problems I can't fix for GH judges), I dug out my high school journal and took it along with me. As a teen I wrote a fair amount of poetry and, as it turns out, some of it wasn't bad!!

I had some fun little observational pieces, which I read out, then we joked about teen angst poetry. THAT I had too - LOL!! And obliged my fellow writers when they asked to hear some of those as well.

The funny thing is, these days I'm not often inspired to write poetry. But I may have to go back to it, as my new hero is also a poet. Last year I wrote a couple for an anthology our group is trying to get published (the ms is actually with a publisher right now), so I know I CAN do it. But I find with poetry, the muse is far more necessary than with prose. I can force myself to write a scene, even though it might not be the best, but with poetry, it's really hard to creative if I'm not feeling inspired.

Do you write poetry? Have you had a similar experience to me vis à vis inspiration?

Re: Comments on my Judging post

Thanks for all the feedback :-)

Rene - I try not to nitpick either. There's no point in that. If there are a lot of grammar problems, I merely comment that they might want to check their use of commas or whatever. I only count down for research errors if the scoresheet specifically asks me about it. And if I make corrections, I include references, after double-checking that I'M not wrong (which has happened from time to time *vbg*).

Lynn - using the full range of scores means not being afraid to score low. There are some people who say that if the scale is 1-5, that a judge should NEVER give a 1 or 2 because it will hurt the writer's feelings. Not only is that not fair to the writer if the entry needs a lot of work, BUT it also means you'll end up inflating the work at the upper end.

Mel - like you, I learn so much from judging. Not only do I work hard to be constructive in my critique, but I also have my eyes opened to problems in my own ms. Analysing what's not working in an entry and framing helpful suggestions is a really good exercise for any writer.

Gabrielle - I agree re NOT trashing writers and their work. I try so hard NOT to do it. There was one entry I sent back I was worried about last year - I asked the coordinator to check it for me, and she said it was fine. I'd been fair. That was a big relief. I'd never want to be responsible for discouraging someone from writing.

On tap for today

I'll try to do some FD work this morning. There's still some business related stuff I have to do (got to do bank reconciliations yesterday - yippee!) and this afternoon we're going to look at a fifth-wheel trailer. Looks like we'll be living in one for a few months while the house is being built. Though part of me is a little nervous about it, the other half thinks it's kinda cool. Especially as a) we'll likely be able to hook it up so I can access the internet and b) we'll be close to my in-laws with laundry facilities and room to stretch when necessary. Now what Chloe and Cleo will think, I'm not so sure. Anyone out there ever confined their cats to a small trailer for a few months? If so, how did it go?

The biggest problem is, they're indoor city cats - if they get out, they'll be in the middle of primeval rain forest. Gulp. Only thing I can hope is that they'd be so shocked, they'd freeze and we could catch them. We've already agreed we'd have to enclose them in the bedroom whenever we left the trailer (assuming there's a door) - that way they couldn't spring out unexpectedly.

And travelling across the country with a fifth-wheel would be way easier than having to find hotels that will take cats, then worrying about them destroying curtains etc.


Currently Reading: Research stuff
Link of the Day: Research Links at Let's Talk Writing

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thoughts on judging

This morning I made my first post to the judging training listserv I'm on. We have sample entries which we score, then post the scores and our comments for the other judges to see. Discussion ensues. I felt really bad - the first entry wasn't a great one. But I couldn't pull punches. I don't feel that helps the entrant at all. Being nice seems the way to go, but in the end, it doesn't really do the author any favours. They think the work is ready for submission and an editor sends it right back. So I include lots of comments and examples which hopefully mitigates the lower scores.

Judging is such a subjective thing. Maybe others will read this entry and think it's great. Who knows? But for me, all I see is my own early work and know how much I've learned since then. And remember all those who helped me along the way by being honest with me about what worked an what didn't.

So, do you judge contests? If so, do you use the full range of scores?


Currently Reading: Research Stuff
Link of the Day: Lest Ye Be Judged: Contest Judging for Writers - Alicia Rasley

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Testing a new blogging tool!

I found out about Performancing for Firefox and figured I'd try it out. So far it's kinda cool. The thing I like best is being able to launch it right from within Firefox. Very cool. Let's see what kinda colours I can get ... Well, that certainly works! ADDITION: Hmm, excedpt when I went into Blogger to fix one little thing, my colours disappeared!!

Yeah, yeah, I should be writing, but after cleaning all morning, meeting with our fantastic real estate agents, then running errands, I'm kinda pooped. And my sinuses are bothering me. So I'm playing online until it's time to watch Scrubs.

Ok - let's see how this looks!


Monday, January 16, 2006

Tuesday morning...

and the house is almost ready for the preliminary viewing. It's mostly my basement area that needs some finishing touches. So that's what I'm up to this morning.

Cleo has healed up very nicely, says the vet. All the swelling is gone and her sutures came out with no problem. The lump turned out to be a little hole in her back that got irritated. The vet thinks it's where they injected the pre-surgery meds. Cleo probably reacted to it, then started chewing and made it worse. It's been shaved - there's new skin growing and it doesn't look infected, so the vet figures it will now heal completely. Poor little mite. Though Sean was funny when we got back in the car. "The vet says it's fine? There's a hole in my cat!!!"


Now, back to work.


Currently Reading:  Research stuff
Link of the Day: BBC History Magazine

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bleary-eyed Monday post...

I didn't sleep well last night. Cleo and Chloe decided to charge back and forth across the top floor of the house between 3 and 4am!!! I was not amused. And I won't have much time to spend on writing today because we have to get the house ready for the real-estate agents coming to see it tomorrow. At least cleaning will help me stay awake. Maybe I'll put some U2 on and dance while I clean :-)

We also have to take Cleo to the vet to have her sutures out. Hopefully that will go well and we can relax a little more where she's concerned.

Even though I won't be actively writing, I know I'll be working on stuff in my head. By doing the plotting worksheet the other day, there's lots my subconscious can work with - I'm counting on it doing that work for me!

And now I must move to the business computer on the other side of the basement and doing some accounting entries. At least it saves me going out into the very cold air - with the windchill, it's -32º C this morning.


Currently Reading: Research stuff
Link of the Day: Claire Delacroix's website

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Beowulf and Grendel

I really hope this movie finds a North American distributor soon!!!! It looks amazing. See the trailer - courtesy Another Boring Academic blog.

So I talked to the vet...

and she said not to worry about the lump right now. She'll check it on  Monday and thinks it's probably a reaction to the needle they gave Cleo just before surgery. It can't be a vaccine site reaction because she always gives vaccines in the hind legs, so if problems develop (vaccine related fibrosarcomas), the leg can be amputated to save the cat's life. So I feel much better now.

However, I ended up not doing any writing work yesterday. Instead I went for a long walk, bought a Jann Arden CD and the soundtrack to the new P&P + stuff for our dinner. I was just soooo tired - the last 1.5 weeks of not much sleep are really catching up with me (along with my PMS - grrrr). But I know my story percolator is still working :-)

Today I'll do a little FDin30D work, then have to do some cleaning up here in my office. And sorting out of books that I'm going to donate. It's going to be hard to part with some of them, but realistically I know there's no way I'll read them again (my TBR pile is large enough) and dragging them across the country seems pointless.

Happy Friday!!


Currently Reading: Research stuff
Link of the Day: Deb's Historical Research Page

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

More FDin30D

So yesterday I worked on setting and my Research list. Though I was a tad distracted as I found a small lump on Cleo's spine. Sean thinks it's from where they gave her a shot during her surgery last week. He's likely right, but I made the mistake of looking things up on the net and freaking myself out. She's going in Monday to have her sutures out, so we'll talk to the vet then.

Sooo, I made myself calm down and return to my work. I got quite a few of my General Setting Sketches and Character Setting Sketches done. It's a great exercise. I learned some new things about my charcters just by answering the questions on the worksheets. Very cool. Then I moved onto my Research List (I've posted it over at My Research Blog) and got a good start there as well. There's lots to do!

And I may have to move my Research week later in the process, as there's lots we have to get done in the house before we put it up for sale, much of which involves me clearing up the clutter in my office (Sean's cleaned out a couple of trunks for me to store a lot of my stuff in). I'm a packrat.

That's about it for this morning :-) A friend is coming for coffee in about an hour and I have a couple of little chores to complete before she arrives.

Teresa :-)

Currently Reading: Research Stuff
Link of the Day: Hearts Through History chapter of RWA (I'm judging in their contest this year)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Icy morning blog

Ok, so I'm not filling out the forms - that will have to come later. But I HAVE been brainstorming characters. I just take a notebook and pen, then sit down and write whatever comes into my head, asking questions, answering them, musing, then taking down what my characters reveal. It's a method that seems to work well, so I'm using it! I'll transcribe what I've done later in the week.

Today I'm going to move onto the Setting Sketches and Research List. I'm not totally done with the characters, but part of what I like about FDin30D is that it's a layering method. I can go back later and fill in more on my characters, but I want to keep going with the next stage.

I also had business related work to do yesterday, including entering the Corporate Amex bill into Simply Accounting. As usual, I ended up tearing my hair out, till Sean found a mistake in my arithmetic *sigh*. And, I talked to the vet - she told me that the swelling in Cleo's belly really isn't unusual and as long as she's still eating etc with no signs of distress, she's ok. Even so, I almost went grey last night with the way the little mite charged around the house, jumping, climbing and squirming under things. Sheesh!


Currently Reading:  Research stuff
Link of the Day: Time Team (yep, it's back on TVO - yay!!!)

Day 1 of FDin30D

Well, it didn't go quite as quickly as I expected. I think maybe it was because I *cough* got caught up finding *cough* images of my characters on the internet. You see, in the Character section of WriteWayPro, you have the option of including a photo with the rest of the character info. So I found myself searching through various late 18th century portraits for likenesses of those I'm writing about. Part of me feels really guilty for wasting time like that, but OTOH, I'd have to find them eventually, so I figure this is the right stage - NOT when I should actually be writing the ms. To make up for things, I did some extra handwritten work last night - I'll have to type the info in today.

I also read an interesting chapter in Ladies of the Grand Tour: British Women in Pursuit of Enlightenment and Adventure in Eighteenth-Century Europe, about English women in Paris during the Revolution. This helped with one of my secondary characters.

So, I'll be continuing my character work today. Unfortunately, I still haven't found a portrait for my hero yet :-(

Update on Cleo
The little minx continues to be a bit of a problem. She won't just stay still and allow herself to heal!!! We may have to take her in to get some of the fluid drained off her tummy. Silly kitten.


Currently Reading: Research Stuff
Currently Rereading: First Draft in 30 Days
Link of the Day: Margaret Evans Porters's new website

Monday, January 09, 2006

And in writing news...

I'm starting FDin30D today. Reread a couple of chapters this weekend and am eager to get started. Day 1 is Character Sketches. I LOVE doing this kind of work. In fact, I already have a fair amount of the work done, but not in a really organized manner, so following the worksheet should help with that.

This is so cool!!

In other news

My mum, Sean and I went to see Narnia yesterday and all really enjoyed it. Wow!!! I'd read the book several times as a child, but didn't remember a lot so have no idea how much they messed with the story. Still, I thought the film captured it pretty well - the cinematography was great and the young actors accomplished, the younger two avoiding being merely cute. As for Tilda Swinton - she was amazing as the White Witch.

I imagine parents with wardrobes in their houses will find the clothes rather rumpled for the next little while as legions of children search for Narnia *g*.


Currently Reading: Research stuff
Currently Rereading: First Draft in 30 Days
Link of the Day: Irish Round Towers

More visits from the deer...

While cleaning the kitchen yesterday morning, I glanced out the window and saw our friend from Saturday along with a friend of hers (yes, I DID forget to turn off the flash!):

They wandered around in the parking lot for a while, then one of them braved the main path:

Her friend hung back, but she wandered about for a bit,

before catching the scent of a dog further down the path

Even so, she was reluctant to leave, checking back once more to see if maybe the dog had gone the other way:

Alas, it was not to be, so she and her friend literally turned tail and ran down the path. I held my breath, wondering if I'd hear the screech of car tires, but nothing happened, so I can only assume they found their way safely back into the woods on the other side of the old schoolhouse.

This is my fifth winter here, but the first time I've seen deer so close to the house. A couple of summers ago, we had one in our back garden, but it ran when George charged at it - yeah, like HE was going to be able to take down a deer *g*.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Update on Cleo and Sunday Meme

Cleo Update

She was quiet all day yesterday, then exploded with energy about 11pm - yeah, what a surprise. Keep a kitten from moving much for 12 hours and, surprise, surprise, she wants to run, jump and climb. All things she's NOT supposed to do. We finally had to lock her in the spare room - even then she ran around for about a half hour before finally burrowing under the covers and going to sleep. I left her there an went back to our room. Sean got up around 3:30 and brought her in with us - she behaved till Chloe came in and jumped into the window. Sean has put up new curtains (replacing mini-blinds) and Chloe figured out pretty quickly, even with the curtains drawn, how to jump through the opening between the two panels and onto the window sill from the bed. Cleo immediately wanted to try it *deep sigh*, so we had to lock her away again.

We let her out for breakfast, but once she ate, she and her sister started a game of tag, so she's back in the spare room with her favourite blue blanket, food, water and a litter box. Poor baby - but it really is for the best.


Rene tagged me with this :-)

What were you doing ten years ago?
Hmm, let me try to remember. I was still working for CANEX as a buyer's assistant and counting the minutes between 8 and 4. My own boss was great, but the less said about his boss and the rest of the management team at that place, the better. However, I made some good friends and learned lots about computers while working there, so I still don't regret the five years I spent there. What else - I was working on my time-travel ms, Trust in Love and also revising my first ms, By Love Conquered (which is now officially packed away). At that point we were also still really hoping for children - I was scheduled for surgery in March of '96. And we were still in our old house, where we were working on the garden, where Scotty and George loved to hang out.

What were you doing one year ago?
Editing What the Heart Remembers, complaining about the winter *g*, and dreaming about moving to BC.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
1. Popcorn
2. Black licorice
3. Dark chocolate
4. Almonds
5. Did I mention dark chocolate? With almonds?

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling
2. Countless Kate Bush songs
3. “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen
4. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC
5. “Leather and Lace” by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
I'm with Rene on this - a million doesn’t really go very far these days….
1. Donate money to my college for the history department.
2. Donate money to the local food bank
3. Buy my hubby another motorcycle
4. Open a bookstore
5. Open a cat sanctuary

Five Bad Habits:
1. Chew my lower lip
2. Eat too much chocolate
3. Quick temper
4. Forget to floss
5. Get angry at other drivers when I drive

Five Things You Like Doing:
1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Gardening
4. Eating
5. Riding on the back of my dh's motorcyle

Five Things You Would Never Wear or Buy Again:
1. Acid Wash jeans
2. Tapered jeans
3. Anything with big shoulder pads
4. Oversized sweaters
5. Cargo pants

Five Favorite Toys:
1. My PC
2. My digital camera
3. My Palm
4. My photo printer
5. My Kitchen Aid mixer

Five People I’m Tagging:
1. Kelly
2. Annette
3. Margaret
4. Kathryn
5. Gabrielle


Currently Reading: Research Stuff
Currently Rereading: First Draft in 30 Days
Link of the Day: Happy Woman Magazine (a parody of women's mags - hilarious!)
Currently coming from my speakers: The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright on CBC Radio One - www.cbc.ca

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I looked out the kitchen window today and saw...



Sean got the camera and managed to snap the pic, just before the deer disappeared into the woods!

Cool, huh?

Teresa Posted by Picasa

We're taking Cleo to the vet...

she has some fluid building up beside the incision. Other than that, she's behaving normally, but needless to say, we're kinda concerned. So off we go, into the -20º C weather. Poor baby.

Please keep your fingers crossed that she's ok.


She's ok. Only she's been too active, so we've been told to keep her as quiet as possible so she can heal properly. So we've put her up in our bedroom, away from Chloe. I feel so bad for Chlo - she LOVES her baby sister and just wants to play with her and can't understand why they have to be kept apart.

Anyway, I feel better - let's just hope that this does the trick and the fluid gets reabsorbed as she heals.

Now, off to do Saturday chores.


Friday, January 06, 2006

I've just updated my research blog!

If research is your thing, feel free to take a peek:

My Research Blog


It's STILL snowing!

Enough already with the snow!!! Sheesh. At least I haven't had to shovel it this time, but still.

Ok - enough whining.

Instead of plotting yesterday, I listened to a session from Reno - Meet Your Characters First...They're Your Story, presented by Anna DeStefano and Trish Milburn. It was really good - and fitted in well with a lot of FDin30D concepts. What I think a lot of people will like about this workshop is that Anna and Trish give tips for pantsers as well, even though they're both plotters. Anna has a cool chart which she makes available at her website as a .pdf file (so you'll need the Adoble Acrobat Reader to open it).

Tea with my cps went really well, except we had more of a general chat, which is hardly a surprise considering we hadn't seen each other in quite a while. But we did discuss our writing for the upcoming year and planned out meetings for the future :-)

Last night I admit to being lazy and NOT starting my reread of FDin30D - instead I played with my blog template a bit, watched the Canadian Juniors win their second straight World Junior Hockey Championship and then ER. The ep of the latter was great :-)

I'm thinking today I'll listen to another Reno session, do some company work and then get ready for our dinner party tonight.


Currently Reading: research stuff
About to Reread: First Draft in 30 Days
Link of the Day: Anna DeStefano's Workshop Outline page

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A cool link...

We saw this story in the newspaper the other day. I found some more about it here:

We found a villa under a molehill

Timeteam used to be shown over here, but it isn't any longer :-(


A slow start...

Hmmm, I really have to work a little harder. It's just so easy not to *g*. And I'm still concerned about Cleo - it's nothing major, but something I'm keeping my eye on. She's eating really well and is playful when she's awake, but still sleeps a lot. But I just keep reminding myself of how I felt after my surgeries and calm down. It's only just been three days.

I did do some more research reading yesterday afternoon, so it's not like the day was a complete waste. Two of my cps are coming over for tea this afternoon, so I may get a little brainstorming done with them :-) I haven't seen one of them in a while - the other is in the same local writer's group as I am, so we see each other more often, which is nice.

We're having guests for dinner tomorrow, which means cleaning, cooking etc, so realistically, it seems I'll be starting really solid work on the ms next week. Assuming Cleo stays healthy and continues her recovery incident free. Right now she's snuggled up to her big sister on my desk - they look sooooooooo cute!!

I figure a good way to inspire myself will be to reread FDin30D - so I'm going to do that :-)



Currently Reading: Tons of research stuff
About to Reread: First Draft in 30 Days
Link of the Day: The Great Idea Finder

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Midweek blog...

I slept really, really well last night! And Cleo is doing much better now. She's sleeping a lot (probably to make up for the almost sleepless night), but is playful when she is up and eating really well. For the most part she's leaving her incision alone. Her checkup at the vet went well and they gave us some cream to put around the incision - it's really bitter, so if she tries to lick in that area, she'll quickly stop. After the vet appointment, we stopped by our old office so Sean could pick up a couple of things. Needless to say, Cleo came in with us and charmed Pina, Nancy and Cathy.

Despite my best intentions, I didn't get any writing work done yesterday. I napped in the afternoon for a bit, then had to help Sean with some businesss stuff. By the time we'd finished with that, I was in no mood to plot. So I read the most recent RWR instead, then later in the evening spent some time reading the research info I'd gathered on women and the French Revolution. One of my secondary characters is a young Englishwoman, so I'm also looking into women from England who visited France during the Revolution. I already know of a couple, and would LOVE to get my hand on Grace Dalrymple's journal, but it's not easily available. It's quite biassed, but would still be fascinating reading.

Well, I have business work to do this morning - invoices and such, so I'd best move over to my other office (the business computer is in another corner of the basement) and get moving. After I go for more coffee *g*.


Currently Reading: A huge variety of stuff!
Link of the Day: How to Write a Novel by Meg Cabot

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Update on Cleo

She came through the surgery very well. But we had quite a night. Brought her home around 7:30 pm and she behaved for about half an hour. THEN she started licking at her incision, so we put the e-collar on her (the one that looks like a plastic Elizabethan style ruff, without the pleats). Can you say UNimpressed kitty? We'd thought she could stay in the room with Sean while he went to sleep (he's on the early shift again), but the way she was banging her collar around and trying to get it off, we knew there was no f****** way THAT would work. Soooo, I called the emerg vet and they recommended putting her in her carrier with the collar on and leaving her in there for the night. Yeah, right. THAT was dandy advice. Uh huh. She twisted, turned, scrabbled and windmilled her back end trying to get out of the carrier, so I let her out again. Figured she'd do as much damage trying to get out of the cage as she would trying to get the collar off while running free.

About 11pm we moved from Sean's office into the spare room. I knew there was no way we could go back to the main bedroom. Despite being told she'd be very groggy all night, she was the party kitty instead. Of course a lot of that was trying to get the collar off. I took it off her for a while and she used her box, then tried to wash herself. At first she was good, but eventually she went for the incision, so the collar went back on. She then crawled under the bed and spent a good couple of hours under there, trying to get the collar off between little naps. I lay down on the floor to keep an eye on her. Sean came in around 1:30 to see what was up, then went back to bed. At some point she managed to get the collar off by herself, so I gave her another few mins without it, then strapped it back on. I felt AWFUL.

At 2:35, Sean got up, so I moved Cleo into our bedroom and onto our bed. She settled down for a while and Sean tightened the collar one notch before he left to see if that would help. Well, it only made things worse. Normally she doesn't wear a regular collar because she scoops it into her mouth and chokes. Guess what she did while trying to get the e-collar off? You guessed it - she had the bottom half of her mouth around the outside and started to thrash and choke. I was awake (thank the Lord) and unsnapped it as quickly as I could and decided I'd rather stay up all night and watch her than wake up to a dead kitten.

Fortunately she'd pretty much exhausted herself by this point, so when I put her back on the bed, she snuggled into the blue blanket (I swear this thing has magical qualities where she's concerned) and calmed right down. By about 4:15 we both fell asleep - I had my hand on or under her the whole time so she'd wake me up if she started chewing or licking. We got about two hours kip, with me waking up every half hour or so to check on her.

She's been pretty well-behaved this morning - ate breakfast, drank water, used her box again and wandered around. The leap from the bathroom counter likely wasn't so good, but I couldn't stop her. She was full of beans for a while, but has now settled down on my desk - I made sure the overhead heater was on, so she's asleep now. Probably what she needs after such a rough night. Poor baby.

Sean will be home soon, then we have to wake her and take her back to the vet to be checked. For the most part, having only one car for the last year really hasn't been a problem, but I have to admit it would have been nice this morning to just take her in and get her checked without having to bug Sean when he gets home. NOT that he thinks of it as being bugged - he even offered to take her by himself so I can sleep. But I want to be there. I just feel bad for him after working his regular shift. The first morning after a long weekend is always hard for him.

So, there's my last half day in a nutshell :-) I'm hoping to have a little nap this afternoon, but will also hopefully get some work done on my brainstorming.

Thanks to everyone for your comments on goals :-)


Link of the Day: Notes et Archives - 1789-1794 (Documents of the French Revolution)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2006 :-) Ok, so I'm a day late *g*, but better late than never.

We had a great New Year's Eve - went to a potluck party hosted by some good friends. It was a small gathering, but that's actually nicer these days. By just past 11 pm, there were only six people left, so we had a good chat until almost 2 am - we tuned in briefly to Dick Clark at midnight, then went back to listening to music. Much food was eaten (too much, I'm thinking *g*) and we sipped champagne at midnight.

Of course, yesterday I was pretty sluggish and today I'm a tad hyper because Cleo is at the vet being spayed. We dropped her off just over an hour ago. Poor baby was so scared and hungry, but it has to be done. She's coming home tonight - we could leave her there, but there's no-one at the vet's overnight, so we'd rather have her with us and just take her back in tomorrow for a check-up. The house seems so quiet without her!!

Writing News

A lot of us have been blogging about goals so I'm going to throw in my .02 worth. A couple of weeks ago I printed off the Goals worksheets from FDin30D and will be filling them in this week. My main goal is to finish my ms this year - hopefully by the time we move. Now THAT might not be attainable, but at least I can aim for it. I also want to do more active work on getting an agent, so another goal is to submit more material to various agencies and see what happens.

I tend to be fairly conservative with my goals, knowing, as I do, that I need hard deadlines to achieve success. OTOH, I do find setting manageable goals for myself to be useful - it helps to keep my focussed. And with so much excitement this year, it's extra important that I not get too distracted from my writing. It will help keep me grounded while everything around me is in flux. For more on goals in general, see my link of the day :-)

Plotting my story is my first small goal for the year - I need to do some serious brainstorming, so when I start working on FDin30D, I'm not completely lost.

Well, that's about it for right now. There's much housework to be done, something to keep me occupied while we wait to hear from the vet about Cleo. Please send positive thoughts her way :-)



Currently Reading: Heloise and Abelard: A New Biography
Also Currently Reading: A cp's ms.
Link of the Day: Sharon Mignery - Challenging Goals? Or Self-Sabotage