Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weekly update...

I know, I know, my blogging is very random these days. So much to do, so little time.

FIrst, though - thanks to Melissa for her plotting method feedback (when I have a real office again, I may try that!) and to Kelly for assuring me I'm not the only one sucked in by methods, forms etc.

On the plotting front, I had trouble sleeping again Friday morning, so lay in bed an did a lot of plotting in my head. Fortunately when I went to enter all those ideas into the computer later in the day, I discovered I hadn't forgotten anything - well, as far as I know *g*. So I am getting a better grasp on this story.

This week has been busy, though, with house stuff. Yesterday I ran errands, then kept Sean company while he waited for the septic field inspector to come do his thing. Today, I returned books to the library and made an appointment for us to choose kitchen cabinets (yay!) Then Sean and I spent some time together, including going down to beautiful Davis Bay for dinner at the Beach Buoy. The sun was hot as we enjoyed our fish and chips, then took a stroll along the beach.

Tomorrow we go to look at cabinets and I have some cleaning to do, but I also hope to get some ms work in as well. Of course, the Sens play again tomorrow, though I might have to watch through my fingers!!

Work on the house is humming along - the framing is going up pretty quickly. You can see almost daily updates over on my Building Blog.We were able to walk through the outlines of the rooms on the main floor today :) Below is a pic Sean took of me yesterday, standing on the basement stairs:

I'll try to drop by various blogs to comment over the next few days.

See y'all again soon!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Framing has started!...

They started framing the house yesterday. Yay! Pics to come soon. I just realized my camera is still in the bag Sean has over at the site.

I worked over there for four hours yesterday, but am staying home today to do more work on my new ms. Lots to figure out. Mostly, can this story work? I sure hope so. My characters are already chattering away to me and to each other, so I'm taking this as a good sign.

It's a marriage of convenience story - one I've never really done before. My first ms included a forced marriage for the heroine (not to the hero), but until now I've never used an MoC plot. It's interesting, that's for sure. Even though, historically, it's entirely within the bounds of reality, it still seems strange to me. And that's where I have to get my head into the late 18th century mindset. That love and marriage don't always go hand in hand. That people married for a variety of reasons - if they were lucky, mutual caring and respect developed and sometimes even blossomed into love.

I'm finding one of the biggest obstacles to my writing these days is my quest for THE PERFECT system for plotting. In the end, I think I have to remember what Yoda said - "Do, or do not. There is no try." Ok, in my case, it's "Do or do not. There is no perfect system. Just PLOT already!!"

Thing is I LOVE systems and software and forms etc, yet I get so caught up in them I forget that the ONLY way to plot a story is to put my butt in a chair, pencil/pen in hand and brainstorm. Or open up the new, nifty (see, I fell for it again) storyboard feature in Writers Project Organizer and enter what comes into my head. Clear my mind and allow things to flow.

Do you find that sometimes you just have to remember that writing really is all about putting words on paper, not reading endless articles on HOW TO PLOT or filling in forms? Please tell me I'm not alone! That I'm not the only writer who falls for all the latest gew gaws and how-to workshops etc.


Currently Reading: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (almost done - will blog about it soon)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Progress on the house...

We now have a slab as well! And power :) Yay.

Check out the pics over at my Packing and Moving and Building, Oh My blog.

Cat pics:

Cleo LOVES the hole punch.

Chloe enjoying the view.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Drive by post...

I'm off to the big city today to visit a friend for the night, then baby nephew tomorrow. Sean will be holding down the fort here.

I'm really hoping the percolator in my brain is working on my new story, because I haven't had much time to do anything but a little research recently. One book I've been reading (thanks to ILL) is Olivier Blanc's Les Espions de la Révolution et de l'Empire - lots of cool info in there to help me with my plotting. There's a copy for sale through ABE Books and I'm seriously considering shelling out the money for it.

More pics from the building site later this week - the septic system is going in and the slab should be poured over the next couple of days.

That's all for now :)


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Eight things about me...

Rene tagged me with this :)

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Things About Me

1. I put a hairline fracture in my right hand slamming it on the piano keys while learning to play Music Box Dancer (Frank Mills), when I was about 12 or 13 years old. (If you click on the link, make sure your speakers are on - it sounds different than I remember, less complicated. Hmmm.)

2. One of my favourite TV shows is a Canadian production called History Bites - each week they examine a different period/event in history. The premise is that tv existed and they channel surf. Hard to describe, but oh, so much fun.

3. I've been reviewing books for The Historical Novel Society
for the last seven years and found out recently I'm one of their top five reviewers from North America. That really set me back on my heels - I'd no idea I'd read and reviewed so many books!

4. I worked as a Buyer's Clerk (or Assistant - the term I preferred) for the Canadian Forces for five years. My immediate boss was fantastic - I still send him and his wife a Christmas card each year. From him I learned a lot about retail buying and about life in general. Even though the job literally raised my blood pressure (my boss's boss wasn't quite so, well, um, how do I put this - nice), I don't regret the time I spent there, learning new skills and making friends across the country.

5. I love family history and by default, have become the unoffical family historian. One of my mum's cousins did a lot of work in England, so we can trace one line back into the 17th century - my many times great-grandfather went to London from either Portugal or Spain (we're pretty sure it's Portugal). Through the GRO site I found my great-grandparents' marriage certificates (both sets of GGPs) and ordered copies of them, which was very cool. I also have a transcription of my paternal grandparents' (babcia and dziadek) marriage certificate from 1922 as well as my babcia's high school graduation certificate.

6. My dad taught me to ski when I was really little, first on the front of his skiis, then with my own little red wooden ones and small leather boots. Ironically, I'm still only an intermediate skiier (at least by West Coast/Rocky Mountain standards *g*).

7. One of my favourite holiday spots ever is Osmington/Osmington Mills in Dorset. My aunt and uncle had a caravan there for years and when we went to England in the summers of '74, '76 and '78 we went down there to stay. It was heaven - fields, cliffs, the sea and long walks with my cousins.

8. I've been writing for as long as I can remember - short stories, poems, half-finished novels (in high school), essays, and now reviews, articles and, of course, my mss. I can't imagine not writing. My babcia saw that in me and always encouraged me to follow that dream. And my nana, through her love of books as well, also inspired me to write.

Now, eight people to tag may get tricky, as so many people I already know have been tagged - here goes: Annette, Susan, Jen, Sarah, Nienke, Kit, Katy and the Doubtful Muse.


Currently Reading: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Also Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Link of the Day: Journal of Matthew Vienneau whose sister, Nicole, is missing in Syria

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Monday, May 07, 2007

Baby nephew pics and more...

Me with Baby (and in case y'all are wondering, we had him in the sun for maybe five minutes, so he could get a small dose of vitamin D):

Sean with Baby:

And, some pics from our 2 hour hike today.

Circle of trees:

a small waterfall:

a living stump with a tree growing on top:

an abandoned vehicle:

and finally, an old tree with moss:

For the cat lovers, heeeeeeere's Chloe:

That's all for today, folks. Other than to say thanks to everyone who has left such nice comments :) I had a bout with insomnia last night, so am not really up for more detailed blogging at this point. Will try to post again tomorrow.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Thanks everyone...

for the comments! It's been fun meeting so many new people. Imagine how surprised I was to learn my blog was featured on the Blogs of Note blog! Very cool :)

We're super busy right now. Our new nephew was born Wednesday evening - we're hoping to see him very soon.

The forms will be stripped from the foundation walls starting today! Yay!

Slowly working out details of my new story.

Must go, now. More later.


Currently Reading: Night of the Huntress by Kathryn Smith
Also Currently Reading: Dark Angels by Karleen Koen
Link of the Day: Thesaurus of Old English

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Catching up...

Hi everyone,

Sorry I went AWOL like that. It's been busy here and I just haven't felt much like blogging.

We have foundation walls:

We're hoping the floor can go in soon (it's been rainy here, except on the weekend when it was glorious) so framing can start.

In writing news, I'm putting aside Henri and Madeleine's story for a bit and starting work on something more marketable. I was stubbornly holding on to the idea I might sell a French Revolution story, but so far, it just doesn't look possible. Soooo, I'm going with another idea I've been noodling with for a while. Still connected to the French Rev story, but set in England with a friend of my hero from WTHR as its hero. Interestingly enough, I've already heard conversations in my head between the h/h of Just One Night (my working title for this new ms). Am deep into research etc right now, at least when time allows.

Am also playing around with an idea for a research business for myself. Not sure it can actually fly, but I'm putting some work into it, research and fleshing out the ideas.

Finally, I'm also resuming my agent search. Realize I've neglected it for a month or two and must get back to querying.

The only other excitement is that we're waiting news of our soon-to-be-born nephew/niece. It should be within the next two days or so.

My link of the day today is for a book by one of my closest friends - a fantastic travel writer. Fans of Zebra Regencies will recognize her name. She's been working on this book for a while and it looks like a great read.

I'll try to post more frequently this month. And try to make more blog rounds over the next few days.

Go Sens, Go!
Go Canucks, Go!


Currently Reading: It had to be You by Sarah Webb
Also Currently Reading: Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Link of the Day: Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel by Laura Byrne Paquet