Friday, September 29, 2006

Sixteen years ago today...

Sean and I were married in Kingston, Ontario. Below are a few pics - I haven't scanned all that many in yet and now my scanner is somewhere in storage:

Our ring-bearer and flower girl:

Signing the register

In front of Theological Hall - the chapel is inside this building on the Queen's U campus:

On the steps of Summerhill, once a home for Parliamentary MPs and later home to Queen's in its early days:

Until our recent move, we visited Kingston at least once a year and walked around the campus. It will always be one of the most special places in the world for me.

We're off later today for our mini-vacation/celebration.

Happy Weekend, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
Link of the Day: Stephie Smith's Historical and Writers' Resources

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Better today...

Yep, things seem more normal now. Whatever it was that had me feeling jittery seems to have disappeared, which is good. And there were no phone calls yesterday evening, so I'm pretty certain it was nothing serious.

Interesting, though, that so many of you knew exactly what I meant! Maybe it's a writer thing?

In writing news, I did make some improvements on my query, with some additional feedback from my mother-in-law. Now I just have to wait for my proofreaders to get back to me. So, for now, it's back to my works-in-progress.

Right now, though, I'm listening to RWA Idol - very interesting. Though I was a little disappointed to hear all three judges pan the French Revolution as a setting *sigh*. OTOH, it was great to hear so many historical entries :-) And I'm hearing some solid advice about writing styles etc.

And now, some recent cat pics :-)

See y'all tomorrow :-)


Currently Reading: Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
Also Currently Reading: Back issues of the Writer magazine
Link of the Day: Karen Fox's most excellent list of Literary Agents

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A disturbance in the force...

That's how I've been feeling today, which is why my post is so late. Well, that and I was doing bank reconciliations today. Anyway, from time to time I get this feeling something is wrong, nothing I can put my finger on, but just, well as I said, a disturbance in the force. (Yeah, yeah, just call me Yoda).

There's lots going on over the next few days as far as anniversaries go, both good and bad, which probably explains at least part of my edginess. And then there's my continued wrestling with my query letter. I did get some great advice and help over at RWA Online today, so I'm feeling a little better about that now.

Hopefully tomorrow all will be back to normal :-) These things usually pass without incident, though occasionally it turns out my niggling feelings have a root somehwere in my circle of family and friends.

On a brighter note, my RWA National CDs (Atlanta) arrived today!!! Yay! I'm listening to the Spotlight on Kensington right now and just heard Kate Duffy say there's no need to have a pseudonym if you change from one genre to another. Very cool. She's a great speaker!

Ok - back to working on that blurb, now. I took a break to run some errands, hoping my subconscious would come up with a solution to a couple of phrasing problems.


Currently Reading: Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier
Link of the Day: Historic Church (in a village on the coast)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Goals for this week...

To keep myself honest, I'm going to have to post goals for everyone to see:

1) finish query letter
2) finish revision of synopses
3) get back to planning of WTHB
4) enter notes for my contemp story idea
5) go to the gym

My reward is coming Friday night, when Sean and I are heading a little way up the coast to celebrate our anniversary with a night at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. We don't usually celebrate in such style, but decided this year we'd really like a treat :-)


Link of the Day:

Following Jen's lead...

I went to and ran my photo to find my celebrity lookalikes:

I actually tried it again with a different photo, but the site froze on my before giving me the code *sigh*. Will try again at a later date :-)

You can see Jen's results at her blog.

Ok, back to my query letter and synopsis.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Another week gone...

I can't believe it's Friday again! Wow, the week just flew. And not everything on my To Do list has been done, so this will be a short post.

The hike yesterday was great, even though we did get rained on a bit. But then the sun came back out for a while. Just as we reached home, it poured and poured, but we were dry on my friend's porch sipping on beer during the worst of it *g*.

I thought I had something specific to blog about, but for the life of me, I can't remember now. Oh well. I'm sure it will come back to me at some point.

We're off to a potluck tomorrow which should be fun, especially as the forecast is for sunny and warm.

Well, as I've nothing much else to say right now, I'll sign off.

Have a nice weekend everyone :-) I'll be back if I remember what I wanted to say *g*.


Currently Reading: About to start Tracy Chevalier's Falling Angels
Link of the Day: Isolde Martyn's Article on Medieval Fabrics

Thursday, September 21, 2006

And it's off...

WTHR is now with the proofreaders. Phew. That's a relief to have it off my plate. Even better, I kept getting sucked in by the story while making those last changes :-) Always a good sign.

Thanks for all the feedback yesterday re: foreign words and phrases. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who a) uses them and b) has no problem reading them in someone else's work. I think it must be one of those elements that writers/readers either really like or just don't at all. Now I just have to hope my ms falls on the right desk *g*.

On tap for today is the query/synopsis + updating on outlines for a couple of courses I'm going to teach online next year. Then later in the day, I'm going hiking! Yep, the rain has stopped, so my hiking buddy and I are heading up into the hills again. Yay. It's been over a month since we've been up there, so I'm really looking forward to it. Even if it means muddy jeans/boots from all the precip over the last few days. Hiking always helps me clear my head.

Remember when I mentioned the new software I was using, Page Four Notebook? Well, there's an updated version + a change in the demo version. The latter is no longer just for 30 days - it's open-ended. It's fully functional, but you're limited to 3 notebooks and 20 pages in each notebook. But it's a great way to test it out if you're interested. I LOVE this software and use it for all planning stuff now plus other bits and pieces of writing. And there's a new feature that's kinda cool.

Well, that's about it for today :-) Must get on with things, after a little more coffee *g*.


Currently Reading: About to start Tracy Chevalier's Falling Angels
Link of the Day: Margaret Evans Porter's Tour of the Isle of Man

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A rainy Wednesday...

though one look at my avatar would've told you that *g*. But I don't mind the rain, it makes it easy to cocoon here in the cottage with my kitties and a latte (picked up after my work-out this morning).

Yesterday I completed my stay in Spell-checker hell, then moved onto Fixing-the-Formatting Hell. You see, I do galleys of my mss to save paper and make it easier to read just like a book. For that process, I use WordPerfect, BUT whenever I import an .rtf file into WP, I find tons of weird tabs at the beginning of paragraphs throughout the ms, so yesterday I went through and removed them all. Thrilling work, that. But it has to be done. I also fixed up little things like underlining foreign words/phrases. And found I had more of those than I remember. With Cécile being French, it's not really a total surprise, so for now I'm leaving them in. They're easy enough to identify and translate if someone is interested in buying the ms, and I'm really hoping an editor wouldn't turn it down just because of the bits and pieces of French. Some readers (including someone I know who copy edits for a major romance publisher) have even told me they really like the way Cécile talks.

Now, it might seem strange to other reaaders, though. I've even heard people say "No-one uses two languages at the same time, and certainly not in the same sentence." That really shocked me - my father was Polish, but became fluent in English. Still, at times, especially with those he knew understood both languages, he would go back and forth between the two. Listening to conversations in Polish and English is something I grew up with, so I guess it's no surprise that's reflected in my writing.

So, do you like it when writers use other languages and dialects in their mss? Is it all a matter of skill and context?


Link of the Day: Historical Timelines

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Spellchecker hell and more...

Yep, that's where I was yesterday. I figured I'd best run WTHR through it one more time before sending the ms out for proofing. Sheesh - the things I missed!! Much of the SC found was instances of my British/Canadian spelling - "travelling" "neighbour" etc., but it also found some really basic typos and spelling errors. *sigh* My eyes were practically glazed by dinner time last night and I ended up with a horrible headache. And there's still a little of my ms to go. But it has to be done. And yeah, it sounds stupid to send it out for proofing AFTER all this, but I know there are other things that will need catching - missed words, double words (though the SC caught a few) etc. Rewriting my synopsis almost looks good after this *vbg*.

In other news
Hop on over and add your Congrats to Michelle at her blog if you haven't already done so! She sold to Harlequin M&B the other day. Isn't that cool? And a medieval at that. Another friend of mine sold her medievals recently too. I think it's fantastic to see historicals selling, especially medievals, which had been on the downslide for a while. It's great news for the subgenre and I'm thrilled for Michelle and Diana :-)

True Confessions
Which brings me to the green-eyed monster. I admit, when people sell, I have to struggle with mine, But ya know what I realized? These people have been ACTIVELY seeking publication for years, writing and submitting regularly. Yeah, I write, yeah, I submit, but the latter I do not as often as they do. Though I do do it often enough. Which is why I'm determined to work at it more. So it's no wonder that writers who have honed their craft and paid their dues on the submission circuit finally reap their reward. And why, once I sit down and think about it clearly, I'm truly happy for them :-) I believe it was Jenny Crusie who wrote about the green-eyed monster in a Pro column in the RWR - advising us to acknowledge its existence, then MOVE ON. She's soooo right - if you pretend nothing is wrong, well, you'll just explode one day. But neither can you allow it to hold you in its nasty, slimy grasp. Flirt with it, then give it the boot!

So, how do you deal with the green-eyed monster?


Currently Reading: Assorted books on getting an agent
Also Currently Reading: Nothing quite yet - still trying to decide
Link of the Day: Michelle's Books page

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday post....

We had a quiet, but kinda busy weekend. Just lots of little things. And staying close to home because of having to give Chloe her meds. She's doing really well, both taking her doses with little fuss AND her problem appears to be clearing up.

On tap for this week - cleaning up my completed ms for a final proof, doing agent research plus business-related stuff.

I finished my article last week and even though I went long on it, the editor was able to find room for it without any cutting! Yay :-) I also submitted my two reviews on time as well (just).

The second review was a really difficult one to write, not the actual execution of it, but having to write an almost wholly negative report. I HATE doing it, but with this novel, it couldn't be helped. Not only were many of the characters unsympathetic, but the prose itself was very awkward and I'm not entirely convinced the author really understands point of view. And if he does, he doesn't know how to control it. I also found two research errors, things, as it turns out, some reviewers might not have picked up on, but they were both points on which I knew I was right. And answers I found easily on the internet to back up my review if it's called into question.

Such a shame, as the idea behind the book was a good one. But the publisher, IMHO, let this writer down by not working closely enough with him on the editorial side.

Well, must go now - still lots to do today, and, as always, time seems to get away from me. I'm also curious to see if wbloggar works again. The developer's site was down for a while and I couldn't get my posts to go through to Blogger. We'll see if it's working now.


Currently Reading: Various books on getting an agent.
Also Currently Reading: Nothing yet, am contemplating my TBR pile and trying to decide.
Link of the Day:
Turkey City Lexicon - courtesy Miss Snark

Friday, September 15, 2006

Drive-by posting...

Thanks again for all the postive thoughts yesterday - Chloe is doing better today. Yay!!

Must dash, though. Have to get to the gym (which should hopefully help with my insomnia), then run some business/personal errands. Plus finish off two reviews due today. THEN I can get back to my mss next week.

Have a great weekend, everyone :-)


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sick kitty...

Chloe has to go to the vet. I found something not so good in the litter box this morning. As you can imagine, I'm pretty frantic right now. She's only 2 and hasn't shown any sign of being sick - is playful, eating/drinking, grooming herself (that was the giveaway with Scotty and George - they stopped grooming) and affectionate. Please send positive vibes our way. We're going in this afternoon.


Teresa :-(


Thanks for all your good thoughts!!!

Chloe has colitis, probably a result of a small fissure. Her symptoms aren't severe, so for now we're going with a course of antibiotics.

Nienke guessed right - it was blood on the stool. Not that she's changed foods lately, but the vet says he does see this in cats from time to time and the antibiotics seem to clear things up.

From what I've found on the net, it can be a sign of other problems, but as she seems fine for the most part, I'm going to try not to worry and trust the vet.

Thanks again, everyone :-)


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Quick camping report...

There will be further details over at my Windshield Chronicles blog later today, but I don't want to post all the photos here as they'll take up a lot of room. This way, if you choose to go to the other blog, you'll know you're in for lots of pix loading *g*.

**UPDATE** - They're now up, over at Teresa's Windshield Chronicles. The link will open a new window.

After a slight problem with a dead truck battery (long story), we were on our way by 6:50pm Friday evening. 3.5 hours later, we arrived at the campground, in driving rain. I can tell ya, camper camping was looking pretty awesome at that point. No struggling to set up the tent in the dark AND the rain - just plug in water and power and we were good to go. Ate dessert and had a drink, then hit the bunk.

Saturday we took the water taxi over to Savary Island at 11am, taking our bikes with us. Good thing, as we ate decadent breakfasts at Nancy's bakery earlier in the morning. Though it was a tad cloudy when we arrived, by 12:30 or so, the sun had come out and we cycled the length of the island before stopping for lunch (sandwiches from the aforesaid Nancy's) at the northern tip.

We cycled back, then wandered along the beach at the southern end, taking pics, looking at the sea life and just generally relaxing. 4:30 saw us on the water taxi again, heading back to Lund. Dinner was at the Lund Hotel, then, after a short walk on the pier, we went back to the campsite for our campfire and s'mores.

Sunday was a lazier day, partly cause it was raining and partly cause we wanted to lie around reading. But we did go out for a hike in the afternoon after the light rain stopped. Another advantage of camper camping - we were thoroughly cozy inside our little house on wheels :-)

Sean cooked pasta for dinner, then built another fire for us to sit around until about 10pm, when we hit the sack. Because he had to go to work yesterday, we had to be up by 5am, so we could be certain to get the 7:30 ferry back to our section of the Coast. By 10am yesterday, I was home with the kitties.

So, all in all, a successful weekend away! I'll amend this post later with the url for my Windshield Chronicles blog once I've posted everything over there.

Tomorrow we'll return to regularly scheduled, writing-related blogging *g*.


Friday, September 08, 2006

And we're off...

Well, technically not till this evening, but the camper is now packed and ready to go. And I'm pretty certain we have everything we need. It's going to be so nice to relax by a campfire this weekend, and see somewhere new. My camera is going with us, so stay tuned for pics!

Not much else to report, as I've done no writing work over the last couple of days - too much to do otherwise. The kitties are running around like mad things - I think they know something is up. But they'll be fine. My mother-in-law is going to feed them and they have each other for company. Yesterday we celebrated a year with our girls. Can hardly believe it, Cleo was so tiny back then.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


Currently Reading: Book for Review
Also Reading: The Marshall Plan for Getting Your Novel Published
Link of the Day:RWA Online

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Camping prep...

Yep, that's what I've been up to today - shopping for our camping trip. Which meant time at both the grocery store and wine/beer store :-) Our camper has a good sized fridge which means we can take lots of supplies with us, including the makings for s'mores. Yummm.

The above mentioned sticky treat explains my trip to the gym this morning and the one I'm planning for Friday morning *g*.

My writing work today was more focussed on the agent side of things, namely reading through Miss Snark's Crapometer. I'm hoping I'll get lots more done tomorrow, in between loads of laundry. And a trip to buy food for the cats (they'll need it while we're gone). But next week I'm going to be knuckling under properly.

Oh, right, that reminds me, I also joined RWA Online today. Have been going back and forth on it for a while, and figured I'd take the plunge and see what it's all about and if it will suit me. If I find I don't like it, I just won't renew in January.

That's it for today, folks :-)


Currently Reading: Marian Keyes' Is Anybody Out There?
Link of the Day: SFWA's Writing Articles

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Getting motivated...

is always so hard after a lazy long weekend. And boy, was mine lazy *g*. But it was also lots of fun, spent with family and close friends and involving lots of great food, tennis, swimming and chats around the fire.

Only problem now, is getting back to the real world. For a short while, anyway. This weekend Sean and I are taking the camper up to the upper Sunshine Coast - to Lund. I've never been up there before and am really looking forward to it. We're going to stay in a nice looking campground, and hope to take our bicycles over to Savary Island and cycle around there.

But for now, I have to concentrate on my work. Which means getting back into things. At least I've finished with my judging and returned the scoresheets/entries to the coordinator.

To get myself back into my historical ms, I revived my wordpress blog, written from my hero and heroine's pov. You can read Madeleine's latest entry, if it's of interest. We'll see how well this works.

I also have an article and two book reviews to write before Sep 15, so I'd best get back to work now :-)


Currently Reading: Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes (and LOVING it!!)
Link of the Day: Avon Romance Blog

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A day of shopping

Yep, that's why I didn't blog yesterday, I was in Vancouver shopping :-) And managed to actually find some clothes I liked!! That fit me. Not as many as I'd hoped, but at least I made a start. I bought some summer stuff on sale at Eddie Bauer, including a pair of jean capris. Now, get this - they were boot cut. I'm not kidding, boot cut capris. Hmmmm. So I just rolled up the legs a couple of times and they look fine :-)

Then I went to another store and found jeans and a cool wrap around short sleeved shirt. Now it did seem funny to me to still be buying summer style clothes, but it's going to be warm here throughout September, plus I now have a start on next year's summer wardrobe. And in case y'all are wondering, I gave away a ton of clothes before we moved out here, so my wardrobe is pretty limited right now.

Of course I couldn't help getting a book as well - Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes. Can hardly wait to get into it :-)

Turns out, though, the makeup I thought was free of chemicals, wasn't so pure when I actually read the ingredients *sigh*. Very frustrating. So I either have to order online, which is tricky cause you can't really test things out, or just go with the least evil line I can find around here. Oh well.

And lest you think I did no ms work, I spent the morning ferry ride (a gorgeous one, btw) making notes for my contemp ms. On the way back, I met up with my brother & sister-in-law and niece, so we spent the time chatting about books.

And when we arrived home, we all went out to a block party - yummy food, kids for our niece to play with, a wee campfire and lots of dogs running around. Loads of fun.

Lots to do today, including, I believe, a visit to the bookstores in Sechelt. Yay!!!


Currently Reading: Book for review
Link of the day: Claire Delacroix on Time Sinks