Monday, March 31, 2008

Complete lack of motivation....

Do you ever sometimes feel like just doing this?

That's how I feel today. And it's really annoying. Sure, there are some hormones involved, but either way, it's a beautiful day here in BC and I should feel way better than I do.

Somehow I think it has something to do with wanting the warmer weather. Now really, I shouldn't be complaining, considering what's been going on in Eastern Canada, especially Ottawa, this winter. However, all I wanted to do today was go outside with my Flypen and notebook and sit on the deck, brainstorming story ideas. But it's not warm enough to do that comfortably.

Despite all this, I can't just sit around and do nothing but play Scrabulous and Scramble on Facebook all day. So I'm just going to have to force myself to open that notebook and start working. Which means disconnecting from the internet.

Maybe later I'll take a walk in the bright sunshine to collect the mail.

What do you do to motivate yourself to work?


Currently Reading (and just about finished): Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weekend at Whistler...

For Easter, my lovely in-laws treated the family to a weekend at Whistler. So early Saturday morning (and I do mean early) Sean and I took the first ferry off the Coast (it leaves at 6:20 am). By just past 7am, we were on the Sea to Sky highway:

It's been a long time since my last trip to Whistler, and I'd forgotten how magnificent the Chief at Squamish is:

Just past 8:30, we pulled into the parking lot at Creekside, put on our gear and headed to the Gondola. The weather was just starting to clear and and we took a few runs while waiting to meet up with the rest of the family. Because I love playing with the black and white feature on my camera, I took the opportunity to snap a few shots from the Little Red Chair:

Around 10:30, we met up at the lights:

Then we set out down the Green chair line. At one point I just had to stop and take out my camera:

Sean goofed around with my hat during our lunch break:

The end of the afternoon saw us return to the rented condo. Here's the view from the back garden:

Easter morning involved an easter egg hunt with our niece and Sean playing with the bunny ears our 10 month old nephew refused to keep on:

On Sunday, I decided to forgo skiing, to save my wrists, and headed into Whistler village - a pleasant 10 minute walk from the condo. First stop was Starbucks for a latte and the first 1/3 of a script I'm reading for a friend of mine. After that, I trundled out into the rain and the rest of the village. Within an hour, the sun had broken through the clouds:

After shopping and lunch, I went back to see how things were going, visited with our nephew and chatted with my mum and sister back in Ontario. Sean called to see if I wanted to meet him in the village and do the après ski thing. Never one to give up that kind of opportunity, I walked back and we repaired to The Brew House, where we watched the cool little train run a track suspended from the ceiling of the restaurant, while enjoying beer and snacks:

For dinner, we returned to The Brew House, this time eating on the restaurant side with my in-laws. We were by the window, so when the snow began in earnest, I managed to get a couple of good pics:

Monday morning, we packed up early and headed back to Creekside, where we parked in preparation for another day of skiing. It was cloudy and a little cool, but there was still plenty of fresh snow. The line for the gondola was quite long. While Sean lined up for the tickets, I took some more pics *g*:

The weather once we got up top was windy, and as the Peak was still shrouded in cloud, Sean figured we'd be happier skiing the Green Chair again, rather than freezing our butts off on the Peak Chair. It was a strange kind of day - sun, cloud, wind and even some snow:

I grew up skiing back East, where ice is the norm, rather than lots of really fresh snow. It's been years since I've done a lot on moguls, and certainly not the size they are out here. So we played on the easier mogul runs, so I could practise:

I did manage to get the hang of things after a few runs, and fortunately the soft snow made it a pretty soft landing when I did fall.

By noon, we figured we'd ski out, have lunch, and head back down the highway before things got too crazy. During the first half of the run down to Creekside, we were in cloud:

so the view when we broke through it was really cool:

You can see some of the runs we took coming down, off to the left:

Lunch consisted of nachos at Dusty's followed by a photo-op with the self- timer out on the deck (note my very attractive hat head!):

Sean posed for a pic on the bridge during our little post-lunch stroll:

then it was onto the highway. We pulled in briefly at the Tantalus lookout. Unfortunately the camera really couldn't capture the full majesty of the view:

It was a lot sunnier when we passed the Chief this time:

You can hike it round the back, or, if you're brave and very skilled, can climb up the face.

Howe Sound is larger than I realized - my camera hand was busy:

Looking towards home from the highway:

One last neat b/w shot I got on the trip home:

We just missed a ferry, so did have to sit in the lot for an hour and a half, but as we had plenty to read, plus a couple of pillows, we managed to read/snooze until the Queen of Surrey pulled back into Horseshoe Bay.

The cats were thrilled to see us when we got home, exhausted and sore, but very, very happy. We unpacked, ate popcorn and watched Rome before turning in for the night.


PS - While in the ferry line up I read a pair of interesting articles in the March issue of The Writer magazine - hope to blog about them later this week.

Currently Reading: Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sharing a fun photo...

Life here is crazy right now. Add insomnia, and I'm not much in the mood for posting, but I wanted to share this great pic of Sean and me:

It was taken up on Dakota Ridge by local photographer extraordinaire, Duane Burnett. Duane is everywhere here on the Coast, taking photos for one of the local papers. Plus, instead of the usual trivia stuff seen at theatres in big cities, here the Gibsons Cinema and Raven's Cry Theatre use slide shows, featuring many of Duane's fantastic pictures.

We bumped into him up on the Ridge and he snapped a photo of us and was gracious enough to send us a copy :)

Visit his website and see some of his other work. You'll definitely want to come visit the coast!


Currently Reading: Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

Thursday, March 13, 2008


is something writers continually do. No matter at what stage we are in our career, we can always learn more. And much of what we romance writers learn, comes from fellow writers. Yesterday I discovered just HOW much one writer had taught me.

I'm going to enter a contest and it calls for a short synopsis. Now, I LOATHE synopses, but as this is an older ms I'm entering, I knew I already had one written. So I pulled up a copy, printed it off and read it while on the elliptical. And was horrified. It would need major work.

Something told me I might have a more recent version somewhere on my hard drive. So after I'd finished my workout, I ran up to the computer and checked. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for. And wow, what a difference. Unlike the previous version, which meandered and made the plot sound ridiculous, this one was focussed and well-paced.

Puzzled, I had to think about how I changed it so drastically. And then it hit me - the second version was written after I took Deborah Hale's What to Pack in your Synopsis Suitcase workshop at National in NYC. It was one of the final sessions on the Saturday, but I remember thinking it was definitely well worth attending because Deb is a great speaker.

It wasn't until yesterday, faced with the Before and After that I realized just HOW valuable that session was. And makes me thankful yet again for RWA and the published authors who give so much back.

What workshop has helped you?


Currently Reading: Book for Review
Link of the Day: Deborah Hale's Writing Tips

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A permanent record...

If you're a Friend on Facebook, you'll have noticed this week I've been posting pics of my Research Library. I realized it's been a while since I've documented my collection and figured now is as good a time as any. I do have a database on my computer, but having a permanent photographic record is important as well.

eb commented, asking for photos. You can see them in my Facebook album.

How do you keep track of your research book collection?


Currently Reading: Book for Review
Also Currently Reading: Garden of Venus

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time flies...

It's hard to believe it's already almost mid-March! Not that I'm complaining. With the advent of Daylight Savings Time I'm even more eager for BBQ season to start. But for right now it's still a tad chilly on the deck to sit outside and sip wine or beer while dinner grills.

For now, however, I'm only dreaming of summer and continuing my work. As of yet, I'm still not finding it easy to write fiction in the morning. My brain just doesn't seem to function that way till past noon. The other problem is, I then get sucked in by my fiction and it's hard to pull out of it for the other work I need to do. Still, I am persevering and hope to make some progress soon.

Wish I had something deep or insightful to say, but alas, I don't.


Currently Reading: Book for review
Also Currently Reading: Garden of Venus by Eva Stachniak

Monday, March 10, 2008

SnowFest 08 - trip up to Dakota Ridge...

As I mentioned last week, we hoped to get up to SnowFest 08 this weekend, a joint project of the Tetrahedron Outdoor Club and the Sunshine Coast Regional District. Strange as it may seem to our family/friends in Ontario, hit with a MAJOR dumping of snow on the weekend, we chose to go find some.

We headed out just before noon and were amazed at the line of cars we encountered on Field Road, heading up towards Dakota Ridge. We found somewhere to park, then joined the throngs waiting for the first set of shuttles.

They had a fire going for those who felt a little chilly:

Within 20 minutes or so, we were up to the next stage and decided to hike in with snow shoes, rather than wait for the snowcat shuttle. The party atmosphere was alive and well there:

The line was long and there were lots of families with kids who were in far more need of a comfy ride up than we were.

So we strapped on the snowshoes and started the 1.6 km climb. Because of the spring conditions (it was about 5º C), the snow was very soft, so we were glad of the snowshoes. Other people were walking in as well, so we had lots of company and the scenery was great:

It was tough slogging at some points. The snowmobilers began riding the trail and giving lifts to those who had decided walking that distance wasn't quite as much fun as they'd thought. Though I was tempted to take the ride offered to me, I said no and kept going, knowing how good I'd feel when we reached the ridge and I could say I did it under my own steam :)

The snow cat passed us a couple of times:

and we saw some neat sights:

and just over an hour later we reached our destination:

along with many others:

After a burger break we wandered around and took some pics:

and explored a couple of the snowshoe trails:

Then, because Sean still had to drop by the radio station to do some work, we headed back down, knowing the wait for the van shuttles could be a long one. The views on the way down were spectacular:

Only once or twice were we by ourselves on the road:

and there were still people heading up:

It only took us a half hour to get down - here I am just before we reached the main road:

We didn't have to wait as long as we thought to get a shuttle down to the parking area and pretty soon were were back at the car. This little stream was running quite quickly:

Sean always told me about visiting winter in BC, and now I've done it a couple of times, I have to say I like it. From winter to spring all in an hour:

The main road up to the first parking lot also affords some fantastic views:

So, that was our day :) I'm a bit stiff and sore this morning, but we had so much fun, it was definitely worth it.

Hope you all had a good weekend as well :)