Wednesday, September 30, 2009


The heating finally went on yesterday, but without the awful feeling of impending doom. September was beautiful and the leaves are only just turning to gold. I am hoping to stretch the late fall as far as possible. I have this little internal bet that I don't get to experience the joys of anything below -30C before we head to Europe in December.

We're going home for Christmas and it will be the first time we've seen my side of the family in more than 3 years. I start to tear up just thinking about it. We have 4 new babies to meet! My grandad is looking forward to our trip 'if God spares him'. Which he's been saying for as long as I remember so I can only hope. So it is Christmas in England, Scotland for New Year and then to France for 3 months. (My husband is on sabbatical and planning to do some collaboration in a lab there).

After that we are a little unplanned. Visiting relatives, friends, maybe other research labs? Eating Walker's Crisps and my mother's gigantic Sunday lunches? And after we get back to Canada and pick up the dog (if God spares him :) we're heading out west for a month's research at another marine lab on Vancouver Island. More friends to catch up with and beautiful places to visit.

Of course, all this craziness requires careful planning and I am trying to write a book here. Better get on.

Any grand plans for the rest of you...?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Writer's Block

I don't get writer's block, but there are days when I wander around my house wanting to bash my head off a wall rather than actually writing a complete sentence. BUT it isn't the actual writing. It is the story.

I'm a plotter. If I don't know exactly where I'm going, if I don't know the twists along the way, then I find it very hard to make myself write. I guess this is my personality type, whether baking a cake or conducting a scientific experiment (in my dim and distant past) I like all the steps written out in front of me. I like direction. It doesn't mean I'm inflexible. I can change the recipes or the cook time as needed, and fine tune experiments, but I need the structure as a basis.

So this week I learned (again) that the preparation time is vital to my writing speed and although it means it takes longer to get a project underway, in the long run it is faster.

Anyone else have this problem? Or is it just me?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Even with the kids home I've been working all summer and I found my groove. But I've had plenty of rejection--enough to hurt (yeah, I know 'it isn't personal'--like a thousand paper cuts :). I've also had compliments about my writing from people I respect in the industry and that is a wonderful counterbalance.

But now I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I have 3 full single title manuscripts so I'm looking for another agent/or publisher and I'm going to try writing another category (next person who tells me there's a formula to those babies I'm going to stuff--dead or alive--into my smallest suitcase and mail to Churchill, Manitoba, for the polar bears to chew on).

And I think I've found my voice, it took a while and working with my former agent was both a blessing and a curse. I learned a lot. But there were drawbacks.

I'm over the drawbacks :)

Kids go back to school tomorrow. I have a hell of a lot to do by Christmas because we're going to Europe for 6 months. I'll have my laptop and I will write, but I don't know the circumstances so I want to get as much done here as possible.

Chow :)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Benn Update

My beloved pooch had his first check-up yesterday and he's doing (in the words of the vet) BRILLIANT!!!! The tumor is shrinking fast. He's not out of the woods, but he's improving. The vet couldn't believe the difference a week makes. The poor old dog shuffled out of there a week ago and bounded back in yesterday.

Benn's being fed extra food, gets oodles more attention from everyone, daily walks despite the swarming mosquito levels, a new bone, dog biscuits.

Life is good.

A funny point came at the vets when me and DH were pretty sure Benn only had hours left. We were both fussing over him and telling him what a good dog he was when up pipes this incredibly piercing six-year-old voice. "Except when you shout at him."

Ah, the honesty of children :) Hopefully we are making it up to him now.