Sunday, April 30, 2006
1. I hate and loathe the use of the word 'drug' when people actually mean 'dragged'
2. If you spell something out to me verbally I still don't know what the word is until I write it down or I process it very slowly in my head. I cannot take spellings over the phone unless I have a pen in my hand. I figure there's a name for this, but weird fits.
3. I stop talking around 10 p.m. at night. My brain just switches off and I can't communicate anymore. BUT--I can't go to sleep until I know everyone in the house is tucked up in bed and sound asleep. It's a problem.
4. I'm short-sighted, but didn't get glasses until I was in university. I got through secondary school by copying off the person next to me. Given weird fact number 2, it is a wonder I ever got anywhere.
5. I'm Obsessive Compulsive with the kids' safety.
6. I'm a trained biologist, but I freak like a startled baby if I see insects or spiders in my space. I'm also scared of cows.
I'm tagging Loreth and Meretta and Kendra. Just because :)
The drive down was pretty dull (flat prairie with no crops out yet), except for the Red River. The US road only re-opened on Friday because the river had flooded near Morris. At one point the Red was 15 km wide and this year reached its 5th highest level EVER. Winnipeg wasn't affected because after a massive flood in the 50s, they constructed a floodway around the city.
• One hundred million cubic yards of earth were moved to build the Winnipeg Floodway. This is more than were excavated during the construction of the Panama or Suez Canals.
Looking at the flooded regions south of here (most towns and houses are now surrounded by ring dykes) these efforts are well worth it.
Thanks guys--keep digging :)
Click on image to enlarge.
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Saturday, April 29, 2006
Publishers Weekly take on last years RWA conference and PRO and all that (it's old but relevant). And a heads up from Eve (who has another giveaway going on her blog) on a great post by Jo Leigh on treating writing like the business it is.
Like my door? It leads straight to this rocky beach in Cellardyke--I'm missing Scotland and the sea...
Friday, April 28, 2006
When I was a little girl, me and my sisters played Charlie's Angels. My big sister always got to by Sabrina (Kate) and I was usually Jacqeline and my baby sister was Farrah. Imagine 3 little girls with black eyes and long plumbline straight hair, all flouncing around in their brown crimpoline flares. Ahh--the 70's. Gotta love 'em. And our boyfriends were Starsky and Hutch. I got the left overs--usually Starsky, until my sister matured. I was happy with either and looking at them now I think I had pretty good taste :) .
But just look at photos of the angels... where did I learn my values? I'm not a feminist, I'm believe in equality. But whoever put those poor women in that pose and outfits should be shot. Just so you know ;-)
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Her first name was Susie and she hated it, so people called her Sue or Sir, but she was gran to me. A staunch royalist, devoted to Diana Princess of Wales, she somewhat conversley read The Sun and The Daily Star everyday. She hated pubs, but loved snooker and darts on TV. She worshipped tennis (hated MacEnroe), didn't care for football/soccer.
She was a complete TV addict and she introduced me to romance novels. Whenever my sisters & I stayed over, we slept with her and grandad got evicted to the backroom.
Such wonderful memories. She died of cancer eight days after I got married.
Finn is fourteen and a half (over 100 in dog years) and still going strong--touch wood. I'm sure she wasn't expecting to emmigrate but we could hardly leave her behind. Not to mention her son would go nuts without her.
So here we all are in Canada.
Writing... Yesterday I edited 53 pages of single-spaced hardcopy. I have 68 pages to go. I would have done more but I got distracted researching the effects of kids growing up without fathers.
Some interesting stuff, not least that girls raised in a house with unrelated males hit puberty earlier. This fact amazed me, the relationship between social groups and reproductive capabilities is fascinating from a scientist's point of view--and must be heartbreaking when things don't go right as a parent. So maybe the falling age of kids hitting puberty isn't just the presence of synthetic hormones in the environment, it's a reflection of changing social structures.
I mailed this to DH and he was a little cautious in his response (probably thought I was nagging him about smoking again ;-))--then I reminded him he was an endocrinologist and he was OK with that.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
That is the question.
I read an interesting interview with Scott Eagan by Jan Conwell (a fellow Triskelion author). Scott is the founder of the Greyhaus Literacy Agency and he's the agent who gave me my PRO badge, which was a blessing and a curse because a) I got a request for my manuscript off a query letter, but b) ultimately, I got a rejection.
Well that's OK, I can live with rejection, if you want to be a writer get used to humility and a few jabs to your pride/ego/heart--it is part of the territory. So thank you Scott for my now redundant PRO badge (he seems like a very nice man BTW).
So I sold Venus' Slipper to Triskelion on my own (for millions, in case you haven't heard ;-)) and it became Her Sanctuary, my first ever novel. But now I have this second story, and I know I want to write a third, a fourth, a fifth--in fact the fifth could be a murder mystery series, but from a romantic angle (Inspector Morse meets The Thomas Crown affair), so ultimately I see myself needing an agent.
Which is a bugger because a good one is hard to find.
And I'm also a slow writer (that would be having kids underfoot LOL), but once they're in school I will speed up. So what I'm asking is...shall I go for it again? Or just carry on with my submission plans to editors as is?
I think I already know the answer but what would YOU do?
Monday, April 24, 2006
Today is going to be a boring catch up with chores day. Cleaning, vacuuming, walking the poor dog who is having a breakdown. I have one Kiss of Death committment to handle and then tonight I am editing. I gave myself a deadline of the end of April to get Storm Warning out the door, but it isn't looking good. I'm blaming DH as he's been working weekends etc, but maybe it was just an unrealistic target. I think I'll get the editing done, but not the synopsis.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
We got to know each other on eHarlequin, the writing site that connects many would-be H/S authors with the real thing. Then Loreth, Meretta and I shared a room in Reno at last year's RWA National conference. What a lucky break to find two of the most wonderful people in writing, both of whom are so compatible with my ideals and outlook. And both of whom put up with me!!!
Loreth is a really, really lovely person and has had such an interesting life trip (so far so good). Unfortunately, she suffers from being tall, slim and gorgeous--seriously at 5'1" I should hate her--but I can't :)
Saturday, April 22, 2006
According to some survey Canadian couples have sex 4 or 5 times... what do you think? A month? Year?
No. Canadian couples apparently have sex an average of 4 to 5 times a week.
So the subject turned to another survey that said mothers of young children prefer sleep to sex. Seems like a no brainer to me :) Everyone there was pretty much horrified by the thought of having sex 4 to 5 times a week. They just wanted to sleep, and if they couldn't sleep, they wanted it fast. Fast damn it.
"Sorry, I couldn't make that last longer darling-"
"No! No, that was good, you were GREAT!"
It was pretty much a unanimous spot survey. Very funny and very informative
Friday, April 21, 2006
Mine was probably constructing mathematical models (I'm not a maths person), to describe the biomass of different strains of Atlantic salmon using lateral stereo-images.
So basically what I did was weigh a salmon and then measure the distance between say their eye and all the different fins, and construct equations to relate those measurements to weight. I won't go into stereo-imaging (cough--just because I can no longer program the VCR doesn't mean I wasn't once smart--brains shrink when you have babies you know!)
Only it wasn't just one salmon--it was close to a thousand salmon, all different ages and strains.
I lifted this picture off a journal paper--intending to feel guilty about it until I realized they'd nicked it from me LOL. That is my flippin drawing and they also used my flippin' images. Sheesh. I did get a general acknowledgement, but I drew that bloody fish. sigh...
OK. Over it. Scientists--you can't trust them ;-)
So anyway, I measured fish--lots of fish.
The problem is now, when people get all excited about eating salmon, preparing salmon, catching salmon, I'm pretty much turned off. I have had days when I've been covered from head to toe in silvery scales. I have smelled like the most vile rubbish heap. And yes, one day, one of my heroines is going to have the same experiences and the hero is still going to fall in love with her.
Talk about bear bait (good job that job was in Scotland!).
BTW I also had the best boss ever during this job (Lindsay Ross) and got to travel all over Western Scotland. I measured salmon onboard trawlers, at fish farms, in hatcheries, in rain and shine. Funny what you remember when you put your mind to it :)
OK--I'm asking. What is the weirdest job you've ever had?
Thursday, April 20, 2006
And did you see CSI-NY last night :) What a finish!!! I wouldn't want to cross Stella. Writing day today--must get on :)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
My DH, in return for decimating my flowerbed ordered Pride and Prejudice from PPV. He knew how excited I was about watching it, though I said I still expected to love the BBC version more.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because Elizabeth Bennett was supposed to be plain," I explained.
"Well she (Keira Knightly) looks quite plain in this," he said, squinting at me, obviously about to fall asleep. "Not as pretty as she was in Bend it like Beckham."
So I'm flabbergasted. This man calls me beautiful nearly everyday of my life--it was kind of a Seinfeld moment when the ugly baby gets called breathtaking, but in a GOOD way :)
Sunday, April 16, 2006
The elements as modified by Christopher Vogler are:
- Ordinary World
- Call to Adventure
- Refusal of the Call
- Meeting with the Mentor
- Crossing the First Threshold
- Tests, Allies, Enemies
- Approach to the Inmost Cave
- Ordeal (black moment)
- The Road Back
- Return with Elixir
In the first version I wrote of Storm Warning I had the road back, but it didn't work. Two climactic action scenes one after the other, seemed to rob power from one big climatic finish. So now there is just one climactic scene (which just happens to incorporate all sorts of symbolism in the hull of a burning sinking boat that I hadn't really considered before I watched Campbell), and now I'm wondering if the road back--that final hurdle where love still seems doomed even though the villain is dead, should be an emotional hurdle, rather than a stray bullet or final plot twist.
I did note that I had no mentor in this book and I'm wondering if I can incorporate some mentor abilities in the ghost of the heroine's father. Can he teach her something about herself that has a powerful meaning to the story. Might give his presence more meaning even if he is dead.
So here I am, thinking I'm nearly finished with my story and now I'm pondering giving it slightly MORE meaning. Sigh. And I realize these aren't rules to live/write by, but storytelling is an art that I'm learning and hope to get right.
Tools and craft I can use :)
Intelligent people, romance readers.
SO I went and bought new mouse poison (X). And though I looked for Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, it wasn't in Walmart, so I couldn't even cheer myself up with that, not that I'm down but it would have been a great excuse :)
As an aside (related in a convoluted way). My DH was reading Storm Warning (swoon now--I'll catch you), and he suggested I insert the word 'so' for something my hero was thinking/saying. Now I've been told that the word 'so' is used more by females and have cut it ruthlessly from my male POV characters.
What is the deal? My very male husband thinks in 'so' language. Is this because he's Irish???
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Thursday, April 13, 2006
When CSI first started I didn't think they'd ever improve the package, but I was wrong. Although I am very fond of Gil I absolutely love Gary Sinise and David Caruso.
I had a massive crush on David Caruso when he was in NYPD Blue and was devastated when he left. I know Jimmy Smits was a fabulous replacement, but it wasn't the same.
I love the glamour and bright, hot feel to CSI Miami. And the cast is good, although that blonde woman's voice... and then the ME always processes the crime scenes in her high heels (my DH is always moaning about that and now it is starting to bug me too). And these guys often have the best crime plots, because they are not 100 % obvious from the get go.
But my favourite, my absolute favourite CSI is CSI NY. Part of it is the city itself. I mean who can resist the seedy streets of New York?
But mainly it is the cast. Gary Sinise plays a wonderfully controlled and contained leading man. Mac Taylor lost his wife in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and if that isn't giving a character a wonderful backstory I don't know what is (I'm not reducing terrorist attacks to fiction fodder BTW, but fiction reflects life for authenticity). Then there is Stella, my favourite female character in all the CSIs, and Danny--who's cool and Montana--who's refreshing. But the all-star pick of the whole CSI gang has to be Eddie Cahill. You can decide why :)
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
glaikit and the other says eejit.
Which one am I???
glaikit--dialect, chiefly Scot.
1. stupid; senseless, silly (often in 'he stood there wi' a glaikit look oan his fizzog')
2. giddy, thoughtless.
eejit--dialect, chiefly Scot.
1. idiot, simpleton, one not possessed of all their mental faculties; one who is unable to properly conduct their own affairs (as in "Yer aff yer heid, ya eejit. That's no real dug").
[see also bawheid, dunderheid]
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Wow--I'm LOVING my new toys. Thanks Sandra!!! Check out my map. I see a dot in Argentina--probably my friend and old flat-mate Julie. I see Switzerland--I'm assuming Janny, but I do have another friend there too. I see the in-laws in Scotland and Deb in Shropshire. Could be missing people, but these are the obvious ones. I see Eve in Texas, Rene in Cal. Is that Susan up in Nevada? Scott in NE. The rest of my US geography isn't good enough to sort everybody else out--at least not without some caffeine. Here's waving to all the Canadians, Peggy, Meretta, Loreth, Laurie--anybody else??
And note the temps--we had 19C today? It is just amazing how this climate rockets from one extreme to the other--I have bulbs coming up!! Hopefully the Red River will stay in its bed and we don't have a late snowfall.
Just have to share this before I go--I decided to plant some seeds today (Monday), so I pulled on my gardening gloves and started poking holes, when I felt something smooth and hard move against my fingernail. I whipped off that baby and inside was this massive black garden beetle.
OK--it could have been worse, but I do HATE bugs!!!
Monday, April 10, 2006
I have the best critique partners in the world. I've mentioned Kendra, a woman of huge energy, versatility and talent, but I haven't mentioned my unpublished CP, Kathy Altman.
Kathy is a wonderfully supportive and dare-I-say-it loving lady. She's yet to be published though I'm hoping that all changes soon. Anyway, on Saturday I had to go and get a parcel from the post office. Luckily I'd taken the stroller (more for DS restraining purposes than anything) and I was given this MASSIVE box and when I opened it up at home--I found a huge basket of goodies from Harry and David!!!!! I'd never heard of them till last week and this week I am drooling over their chocolate coated cherries (and given Don't Look Down was released this week and my membership as a cherry bomber, it all seemed like a sign).
I ate salmon for dinner on Saturday night and chocolate truffles for breakfast yesterday. The tin it came in will double as a wonderful Easter basket (how could I have put so little thought into Easter?). So THANK YOU KATHY!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!
And yes, incase you're wondering, I can be bought, but I'm not cheap :D
Saturday, April 08, 2006
I need to get the blogger bar across the top (how do you lose something like that?)
And need to somehow adjust page width--What happened there? Hmmm. Anyone know how to get rid of the scroll bar LOL!
Need to see if I can get the links colour better too. Hmm.
My primary ambition (in my five-year plan) was to be print published by a RWA recognized firm. Last November I'd become a little frustrated with placing my story 'Her Sanctuary' with either an agent or a New York editor. The feedback I was getting was they 'liked it' but thought it would be hard to catagorize (i.e. shelve in the bookstore). I have a good voice (they said), but 'it is a bit too dark for this type of romance'.
I didn't try masses of people in NY. I got so frustrated with the wait time, I decided to try the epublisher my CP Kendra had sold to.
Triskelion offered me a contract straight away. Which was great--but it wasn't the big bang for me--you know? I felt kind of in limbo because most people don't understand ebooks and it wasn't a score for my five-year-plan.
So then I find out they are becoming a print publisher and that my book is going to print in December 2006. Well, seriously, the thought of clutching my hard written words between my two mitts is a MASSIVE thrill, but it still wasn't that score in my self-imposed five-year-plan.
Except now... ladies and gentlemen, now Triskelion have earned RWA recognition and I am going to be published in print with an RWA recognized publisher. I can join PAN (Public Author Network in RWA), I can enter contests (OMG--I could enter the RITAs). I feel validated and vindicated--even though not a single word of my book has changed (except tiny edits). What I'm trying to say--so badly, is my rejected story from a year ago is now a success. I did everything backwards--no surprise believe me, you should see me on a horse! I had the most convoluted CALL ever. But now I feel I can really say--I'm an author.
(P.S. Working on point two of five-year-plan ;-)).
Friday, April 07, 2006
From the BBC
A novelist must be free to "draw appropriately" from historical works without facing a court and having his integrity called into question, he said.
"After devoting so much time and energy to this case, I'm eager to get back to writing my new novel."
Random House chief executive Gail Rebuck welcomed the judgement, saying: "We are pleased that justice - and common sense - have prevailed.
"It is highly unusual and very sad that these authors chose to sue their publishers, especially after 20 successful years."
To give up all the struggles and just give yourself permission to fail.
To let yourself eat as much chocolate as you want and get fat.
To let the house become a complete and utter tip.
To let your kids take swipes at each other and not bother disciplining them.
To head for the doctors and say, 'I need PROZAC!'
Is there a big relief for people who do this? A weight lifting from the shoulders? Or are humans so conditioned to succeed that they can't even fail properly anymore?
Why are humans so good with guilt? Is it just me? As a writer this intrigues me, as a mother this worries me. What do you think?
I promised my b-i-l Mike I'd advertise his 30 mile cycling and 40 mile walk within 24 hours for charity. I think the whiskey sweepstakes has to be in the UK but I know a few people who might go for it LOL.But there is an online donation button for those who want to donate. Great cause Mike.
About our charity: Maggie's Centres
Maggie's Centres help people adjust to living with cancer. Its pioneering support programme has been developed for patients, their carers, family and friends. Each centre is located close to an NHS hospital and they have been designed carefully and imaginatively to make sure people feel at home.
TEAM INCREDIBLES SWEEPSTAKE
PRIZE: BOTTLE OF MALT WHISKY
Guess the Incredibles’ Team finishing time and drink to our success.
29th/30th April 2006
· 70 gruelling miles along the
· 30 Miles Cycling & 40 miles Walking all within 24 Hours.
1. £3 per time slot. Slots are broken down in 5 minute increments ranging from 12
to 24 hours.
2. One person per time slot but you can enter as often as you like!
3. Closing Date: 29th April 2006
4. Winner will be announced on 3rd May (or when we can walk again)
To enter please email Michael Anderson, you will receive a confirmation email indicating your allocated time slots, do not lose!!
Alternatively you can donate online at www.justgiving.com/incredibles
All one off donations are also welcomed.
Thanks for your support!
Thursday, April 06, 2006
From the BBC
There are now restrictions in place
The Scottish Executive has extended surveillance zones in Scotland to include 175 properties with 3.1 million birds, as well as free-range poultry.
The dead mute swan was found in Cellardyke, Fife, eight days ago. Other birds are being tested.
The H5N1 virus does not currently pose a large-scale threat to humans as it cannot pass easily between people.
But experts fear the virus could mutate to gain this ability, and in its new form trigger a flu pandemic, potentially putting millions of human lives at risk.
Scotland's Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne, announcing confirmation of H5N1, said a surveillance zone was being extended to 965 sq miles (2,500 sq km).
The zone contained 175 registered premises, with in total 3.1 million poultry.
About 48 were free-range premises with 260,000 birds.
A total of 14 cases of birds are being checked for bird flu from Scotland including 12 swans and two other species.
Mr Milne said: "There is no indication that any of these are positive."
Farmers are being ordered to house their birds where possible, or separate them from wild birds.
However, the Scottish Executive said it would be "disproportionate" to house poultry UK-wide.
Officials were also banning the gathering of birds and enhancing their surveillance.
An initial 1.8 mile (3km) protection zone was set up around Cellardyke on Wednesday, surrounded by a six-mile (10km) surveillance zone.
The infected bird, a native UK breed, was collected from Cellardyke harbour on 30 March - a day after it was reported by a resident.
Took my son to the pediatrician yesterday. MD said, "I can give you some antibiotics for his finger, but I can't do anything for his behaviour." Hmm. Well the wee horror did wipe his muddy wellies all over the man's highly polished black shoes and try to wreck his blinds while he was on the phone, so... oh well. I suffer, what can I say?
I have been working on a new blog skin, but can't work out how to get images, like weather, maps, photos, into the side bar. Anybody know? It is in my dashboard as Romance Writing Mom*** if anybody wants to comment/help. :D Please...
Writing-wise I am editing hardcopy of Storm Warning and liking the front end of the story. We'll see how it feels when I get to the second half of the book which is where I really reworked it. After that I have to syn. Can't wait :)
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
|I got this from Peggy last week. I really like this. I never feel like just a romance writer so I guess I should have just known I was headed for Hollywood LOL!!! Films are reminiscent of how I think though--just ask Kendra!|
Where are those film rights...???
You Should Be a Film Writer
You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
Monday, April 03, 2006
However, my three year old just will not do as he is told. The only way I can get him to even listen is by saying things full volume in his face--and then he cries :( So this afternoon I lost it. I told them mom was leaving home, she'd had enough. DS ignored me because I didn't scream this message--in fact I said it very quietly. But my daughter heard and said, 'but mommy, who will we get to reach all the high things?'
Nice to know you're wanted huh?? The woes and joys of motherhood!!! :)
I also blogged over on the Triskelion site today--my first time. Check it out here.
PS... Kendra did a great post on plotting/pantzing on her blog yesterday (and she talked about me LOL).
Saturday, April 01, 2006
I am still laughing over fish eggs, heamaroids and flower parts.
They were (and yes it was pretty obvious I admit) milk chocolate covered blueberries and they were really delicious!
The Winner is... Christa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks everybody for having a go :) Including Pop, who I put in the draw even though I am sure he cheated!!!
Maybe next time I run a competition I'll give away my own book LOL!!!