Or is it plot-nots?

I have a few I realize at 4:30 this morning as I lay staring at my alarm clock while the dog licks my face. It’s Saturday for fuck’s sake. Must untangle before I can proceed to ending Stone Cloud.

Thank god for caffine.

Hello Again

Yeah, I know. It’s been nearly a year since I last blogged. Inola is coming up on her first birthday, and I’m just that much older. (I think I should write her name as iNola.)

Truthfully, sometimes life is just plain boring. Which pretty much sums up the past year.

No trip to Mexico this year. That sucks.

I did write another book this year. A first draft, at least. Loosely based on the short story I wrote for OSC’s Literary Book Camp. It’s now aging.

In the meantime, I started to do another revision to Flyers, Swimmers, and Walkers. Then I got distracted because I woke up one morning with a new ending for Stone Cloud. Of course, you can’t just change an ending. I had to make revisions along the way. This is a good thing. I am now at the end. Only I can’t write the ending. What’s with that?

When – if – I finish that ending for Stone Cloud, I will do one more round of queries and if nothing happens, I may e-publish it. What the heck – why not?

I broke down and joined Facebook. I have lots of political and union activists “friends,” but I sure could use some writer-friends. How do you get friends, anyway? Is it too pathetic to say – “Hey – I need friends”? Oh, wait – isn’t that what you do on Facebook? I can’t say I understand the idea completely yet.

I can’t do Twitter. I don’t own a cell phone.

Viva la Mexico and Happy Birthday to Us

I really did go to Mexico.  That’s the view from my lounge chair.  I had a great time. Came back speaking Spanish. I did a lot of sitting and staring at blue skies and green trees. I ate like a little piggy and actually lost weight. I read a book and even managed to do a little writing. Vacations without children are a wonderful thing.

And then, shortly after we returned, my daughter had her baby girl. On my birthday. How cool is that? She weighed 7 pounds and was 19 inches long.  Absolute perfection! I have spent the last few weeks making her dresses and bonnets and blankets and showing her picture to anyone who moves.

As for writing, who gives a crap? I have a granddaughter!

I can’t take any more!!

The dream

This winter thing has been going on long enough, thank you very much.  And I, for one, am SICK of it.  SICK, SICK, SICK.  I demand SUNSHINE and GREEN.  I want daffodils

. . . the reality

and crocuses and tulips.  I want newly budding trees and earth, for heaven’s sake.  I have worn the same pair of depressingly dark wash jeans and big, chunky boots to work everyday for the last month because I no longer CARE what the hell I look like. I am sick of wearing a coat, gloves, scarf and toque every time I step outside.  I have worn out my flannel pjs and my fingers and toes hare permanently numb.  How am I suppose to write with numb fingers?  And my nose has been dripping since November. AND I heard it’s supposed to be cold for another three months.  WTF???

I’m going to Mexico.


decisions, decisions

I pause for a moment. Flyers is done. Some queries have been sent – to those agents not asking for synopsis; still have to finish one.  Will wait until round two, I think. A few “no, thanks” already received.  Not despairing yet.  Still plenty of time for that.  I could continue to fiddle with mss. Not sure that’s good idea. So I hover, waiting. 

 Now what?

 Ideas brewing.  Some are swimming.  Nothing is begging to be written.

 Should I go back to reading? 

 Should I look for something quick and unassuming, something I can start and finished in three to six months, or should I plunge back into another three-year commitment?

 Decisions, decisions.

Done, done and done

So I finished The Flyers, the Swimmers, and the Walkers last night.  I completed the final revisions, after much angst and after spending far more time on this project then I ever intended.  92,488 words.  It’s done.  Finished.  Complete.  I should celebrate.  I even have a query written.  There’s still the matter of the synopsis.  Today’s task.

And then what?

When I’m writing, I’m full of hope, full of anticipation.  When I’m finished, reality floods back in and the Voices start:  who are you kidding?  This sucks.  Hope you like rejection ’cause you’re in for it big time.

Someone tell me how to shut the Voices up.

This isn’t just a manuscript.  It’s three years of my life that I will never get back.  Three years of typing, thinking, creating, falling in and out of love and then falling back in love again. Three years of fighting distractions, of struggling, giving up, starting over, giving up some more and starting again.  Three years of working at an exhausting day job and writing during lunchtimes, early in the morning, late at night, weekends. In my sleep.

I had to buy a new keyboard yesterday.  I wore the old one out.

Bye-bye, Grace.  Bye-bye, A’Tac.  Bye-bye, Jack – sorry I had to kill you off. Thanks for choosing me to tell your story. I will miss you.

Uncle Orson’s Boot Camp

Montana from the highway north


Last June I toddled off to Orem, Utah to attend Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp. It was exciting because (a) I was selected  to attend, and (b) I got to take a road trip with my best friend. (Think Oprah and Gail, complete with red Chevy Impala.)

Here are the highlights:

  1. Orson Scott Card. Duh. The man is a creative genius. I listened to him for a week pump out ideas as fast as a machine gun pumps out bullets, all by asking “what if?” (Not exactly a new technique or one held exclusively by OSC, it’s just that he was really good at it.) He is also a very nice, very intelligent man, and very real, if you know what I mean.
  2. We had to write a story. He liked mine. That was cool, considering I hadn’t written a short story in 15 years.
  3. I met some really cool people who wrote some really cool stories.
  4. The weather was warm, no, hot. I was the warmest in Utah that I was all summer.  I came back to Edmonton and froze for the rest of the summer. I’m still frozen, only now it’s winter and I expect to freeze in the winter, so it’s okay.
  5. Montana was absolutely beautiful. Stunning, in fact.
  6. The Red Iguana in Salt Lake City. Mexican food to die for. Worth going to SLC just for the food.
  7. Radio stations in Montana, Idaho and Utah suck.
  8. Americans, at least in Utah, have developed this nasty habit of saying “uh-huh” when you say “thank you.” I believe the correct response is still “you’re welcome,” is it not? I wanted to yell and stamp my feet, but I didn’t. I’ve lived in Canada too long. The politeness thing has rubbed off.
  9. Shopping, of which we did not do nearly enough.  But I got this great dress for $27.


Scott (I get to call him Scott!) had a mild stroke on January 1. He is  happily doing well enough to do another Boot Camp this summer.  Wish I could go again . . . .


In the interest of full disclosure, here’s an update of my (meager) previous postings:

— Simon and Garfunkel never made it to Edmonton.

— My daughter, even though she had her own pair, ended up with my shoes.

— I gave up on trying to rewrite that old mystery novel.  Somethings should be left in the box.

— Harlequin rejected my romance novel at the query/synopsis stage.

— I never did hear from Mr. Really Big Agent about Stone Cloud.  I guess that means no.  Too bad.  I’m pretty sure the world could really use another vampire novel.

Strangely, the only thing that upsets me is the shoes.

Bye-Bye January and Don’t Look Back

My New Year’s resolution this year was to stop writing for one year, and instead, read, spend more time with family and friends (the few I have left) and quit this stupid notion of ever being able to produce anything that anyone will ever want to publish, let alone read. Hell, at times I can barely stand to read what I’ve written. So I closed the file on THE FLYERS, THE SWIMMERS, AND THE WALKERS (I cried a little even though at that moment I thought it was the worst thing I’d ever written), and actually turned off the computer.

I was good for 15 days. I read the entire Mistborn trilogy (Brandon Sanderson).  I even stated to read book one of the Wheel of Time series. I took out my sewing machine and made half a dress for my granddaughter who is scheduled to be born in April. I watched television. I went to bed at a respectable hour.

Knock off the snow already -- January from my driveway

Like I said, I lasted 15 days.

I have now written almost 10,000 words on a new novel. And I have retrieved FLYERS, which was very close to being COMPLETLY AND TOTALLY DONE, and  I am 70 percent through what I hope is a final draft.

This is what I learned: sometimes it is possible to over revise. What I hated most about FLYERS was that I was making too many changes that were taking away from what is really a very simple story. I ended up going back and removing almost everything I had added and put back much of my first draft, albeit more polished. And best of all, it’s almost COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY DONE.

My other New Year’s resolution: Get back to blogging. It’s good for the soul.