Monday, 14 October 2013

A Break

I just wanted to post a quick note to say that I’ll be taking a hiatus from the blogs. Last week, we found out our cat, Elfie, had cancer. Only a few days later, on Sunday morning, she passed away. It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, but unfortunately at our house we aren’t feeling very festive. Elfie was part of our family for sixteen and a half years, and we'd had her since she was a kitten. My husband and I adopted her and her sister from our local SPCA the first year we were married, so we’re finding this very difficult. I’ve needed a break for quite a while now, and this seems like the appropriate time. I’m not sure how long I’ll be away, but I wish you all luck in your writing endeavors in the meantime.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone! If you aren’t familiar with What’s Up Wednesday, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part.

What I’m Reading:

I’m about halfway through Pulse by Patrick Carman. You can take a look at the very cool cover to the right of this post. I’m still working my way through The Odyssey by Homer and Ender’s Game with my son. As usual when I’m drafting, my reading time tends to be minimized. Once I’m done this first draft, I might have to reward myself with a weekend of nothing but reading. That would be bliss.

What I’m Writing:

I mentioned last week that I’ve been reworking the order of certain plot details. For any of you who watched that episode of New Girl where Winston was putting together the puzzle (you know, with some of the pieces backwards, others jammed together all willy-nilly), that was me trying to piece together my plot. Not pretty. It involved hacking some scenes apart, mixing them around, integrating a few scenes better to tighten things up, rewriting bits, and drafting some entirely new scenes. Yeah, it’s been busy and seemingly never-ending.  I’m FINALLY reaching the end of this string of scenes though, and I’m glad I took the time to rip them up. This wasn’t a task I could leave for the revision stage. In order to keep my plot threads straight, it had to be done now, and all said and (almost) done, I think my WIP is far better off for it. In the next couple of days, I’ll be venturing into Act 3.

What’s Inspiring Me Right Now:

A much needed Skype session with my sister, Jaime. When you’re in the thick of drafting and plot construction, it can be easy to lose perspective on your own story. I’m not sure about you, but I tend to see the flaws: all the seams where I’ve tacked things together, little plot holes that have yet to be filled, stretches where the excitement plateaus. Sure, I can fix those things in the revision stage, but sometimes to get through drafting you need someone else to have faith in your story, especially when you’ve misplaced yours. So a big thanks to my sister for renewing my confidence in the plot of this WIP.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

This weekend, my family went to the Strawberry Ranch, a local farm that grows a corn maze every year. We’ve done the maze once before, and much to our surprise, it was trickier than it looked! Seeing as the weather was gorgeous, we decided to tackle this year’s maze, which, from an aerial view, was designed in the shape of a caribou. Throughout the maze, there were facts about caribou, so it was a bit of an educational field trip at the same time.  I left the navigating to my boys and just enjoyed the blue skies and the wind rattling through the corn husks while I wandered after them. It was a lot of fun and very relaxing. The maze is only open until mid-October and it isn’t open in the evening, but I always think it would be a blast to try this on Halloween night!

 So what’s up with you this fine fall day?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What's Up Wednesday

Hey, folks! It’s time for What’s Up Wednesday again! In case you’re new to WUW, it’s a blog hop created by my sister Jaime and me, intended to help writers keep in touch with one another. If you’d like to participate, please sign up on the linky below, and be sure to spread some writerly encouragement around to at least a few other people taking part. Because my sister is awesome, and she’s apparently a button factory, she made a lovely new autumn themed button for us. Please help yourself to it!

What I’m Reading:

I’m still reading Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, but I only have a few chapters left. Seriously, if I didn’t have so many other things to do, I could easily have devoured this book in one sitting.

What I’m Writing:

Plotting, plotting, and more plotting. Every time I think I have my plot details sorted out, I find some wrinkle in my plans. It’s not so much the details themselves as how they all need to fit together seamlessly. That’s okay though, because while I mull these things over, usually some juicy new details work their way into the mix. Eventually (meaning hopefully this week) I’ll figure out how to arrange it so all those scenes play out like a nice, smooth line of dominoes falling over.

What Inspires Me Right Now:

Wind and rain and tree branches beating against the house at night while I write. The way our yard looks like Rivendell with a constant shower of yellow leaves falling. Season premieres of TV shows with horrible, unbelievably shoddy writing that make me determined to create better stories. Pumpkins.

What Else I’ve Been Up To:

For whatever reason, I always seem to mention beverages in my posts. I suppose that’s because many writing sessions, relaxing moments, or fun times are accompanied by something good to drink, so…

When my son decided to go play bocce with his grandparents this weekend, the husband and I had an impromptu date at Winston’s English Pub. I’ve mentioned their Guinness beef stew in a bread bowl before, but this time I included a picture. Call me boring, but I ordered it again because it was just so freaking good. And the concept of a bread bowl just appeals to my practical side. And my stomach. The Cobblestone stout I ordered was much to my liking, but my husband’s Rogue chocolate stout may have been one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Absolutely amazing.

And at the risk of sounding like all we do is drink beer, we then went home and made a batch of PUMPKIN stout, which should be ready on time for Halloween. How fun is that?! Mostly I sat on the kitchen floor and read Crown of Midnight while my husband (who has his system all worked out) did the important steps, but I pitched in when he needed a hand. We’re calling this latest homebrew “Monster Mash,” a little play on words seeing as the soaking grains used to make beer are referred to as “mash.” If I have time, I might even design a fun label for the bottles. We’ll see.

Oh yes. One other thing I've been doing is taking pictures of pumpkins. You probably caught that though. I couldn't resist, especially since one of them met a sad (but hopefully noble) end in the pumpkin stout and deserved to be immortalized before drank.

Care to share what’s happening with you these days?