Thursday, July 28, 2011

Easing In

First off, thanks to you all for your best wishes and kind thoughts. Without saying too much about the situation, a very little guy in our close circle has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition. His folks are the best, but we're all helping out and will continue to do so. Family and friends come first. Always. So, thanks again. We appreciate every kind word and thought sent our way - they do indeed make us stronger.

So, obviously, writing has been pushed to the background for the last little bit, but it's pushing its way forward again. It always does! :)

It's only been a couple of weeks, but it's amazing how much momentum and rhythm I've lost. I tend to be the kind of writer who works in spurts anyway, but this has been a long stretch. I'm right at the climax scene in one story, and in the middle of that dreaded rewrite in the other. I think I'm just going to reread the last chapter or so of the one I'm near the end of and ease back into it that way. Or maybe I'll work on the query letter to immerse myself back in the story. Hmmm.

What hints do you have? How do you ease yourself back into the routine and rhythm when you've not been able to write for one reason or another?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things I've Learned This Week & A Curve Ball

I'm pretty good at doing a large variety of things on the computer. But, start talking codes, html, FB, hardware, updating templates, and other terrifying things and you've lost me. I live in fear of somehow breaking the universe. I changed the blog template...once. Took me almost a week to get the thing to work properly.

Okay, that's a lie. It took me a week to get about 80% of the stuff working properly. The rest never has and I gave up. Yeah.

One of the things that never worked was the little orange and white coloured icon at the top - with the terrifying name of RSS - really simple somethingorother. Really simple. Yeah. Didn't have a clue what it meant or what it did.

Now it works! It really was kinda simple too. Hmph.

How did I figure it out? Google +. Some of you may know I never joined FaceBook - didn't need another site to absorb my time. But, I got pulled into Google + -- so many people talked about how much fun they were having so I signed up.

Don't really know what I'm doing - haven't spent much time there yet. I like the circle idea - being able to talk to different people when you post certain items. Debbi Ohi (inky elbows) is a genius. Follow her. She has lots of tips.

Are you on Google +? Do you have RSS enabled?
Are you more techie than me ... wait, that would obviously be yes, so don't answer that!!

On another note, life has thrown a rather enormous curve ball at our family. This particular curve ball is going to absorb a lot of our time and energy and I probably won't be around much while we're figuring out how to deal with everything invovled. Send us some good thoughts if you've got a minute and I'll be out and about when I can manage it. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

People Watching - Vacation Style

Like most other writers, I love people watching. I saw lots of interesting folks on my recent mini-vacation. Here are a few...

In the breakfast room at the hotel one morning, a woman and her son ate breakfast near us. He was about 8 - a real cutie and polite to boot. The woman took a cell phone call as soon as we sat down. The boy finished his breakfast within a minute or two of our arrival. He waited while his mom spoke. And waited. And waited. At one point he whispered, "I'm full." She ignored him. Didn't even make eye contact with him. She kept her head down the entire conversation. As we were leaving, I grabbed a pen from my purse and ripped a couple of pages out of my notebook so he could at least draw some stuff. He smiled and me and said a shy, 'Thank you.' She didn't even look up. Makes me wonder how she raised such a sweetie.

On the beach, an elderly couple walked along the water's edge. Slowly. They had big floppy hats on and they'd rolled their pantlegs up. They carried their sandals in their outside hands so they could hold hands with each other as they strolled. Every once in a while one or the other would raise their joined hands to point out something of interest. I want to be them.

One multi-generational family hung out on the beach just in front of us. The gang talked a woman in her late-fifties into trying out a paddle-board type thing. It was wider than a surfboard but about as long. She knelt and paddled around for a bit. Then, with a little prompting, she stood up and paddled. At first she was pretty shaky, but she kept at it - to the cheers of her family. Then one of the young teens snuck up behind her and shook the board. With a shriek she flipped into the water, came up spouting water and giggling like a young girl. Awesome!! She returned the favour later on :)

A rather buff young man tossed a football on the beach with his younger brother. A group of young ladies arrived and set up nearby. Bring on the eye contact, giggling, whispers and the poor little brother having to catch footballs thrown much harder than they'd been before the young ladies arrived.

The thing that surprised me the most however was how many people I saw texting. On the beach. All the time. I think hubby & I were the only people over the age of 12 who didn't have cell phones with them. In the evenings with the sun setting on the horizon in all its glory, there were multiple couples who strolled the water's edge. Cell phones in hand. Texting with someone else. So much for the romance of the moment!

I kept expecting these guys to show up...

I wonder which of these characters will make it into my next story. So, have you spotted anyone fun in your people watching lately?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Out & About

Apparently it's the week for it! Today I'm visiting over at Mindy McGinnis' blog - Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire. If you haven't met Mindy yet, you're really missing out. She's also known as BBC (Big Black Cat) over at Agent Query Connect. She's represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary Services. I can't WAIT for her book to come out - it's going to be fantastic!

Mindy's asking me some great questions about blogging today - I hope you'll pop on over here to visit. You'll love Mindy's humour and grace and plain ol' nuttiness - she's so much fun! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011


How do you feel about letting kids read whatever they like? Do you think parents and teachers should control what kids read?

Please pop on over to From the Write Angle and join me for a discussion today! I'd really love to hear what you think. See ya there!

(I'm turning off blog comments in the hopes you'll pop on over and visit me there! THANKS!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Loop

I'll be out of it. The loop that is. :)

We're heading out of town for the next few days. No Internet. No computer. No writing at all! Yikes!! On the positive side, we're going to be having a whole lot of fun! I think this is our only out of town trip for the summer, so we plan on concentrating completely on relaxing and enjoying.

I won't be around to respond to comments or to visit your blogs until late in the weekend or early next week. Sorry!

Hope you all have a fun few days! Anyone else have anything fun planned?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Missed It!

Canada Day was yesterday & I missed it! Well, I didn't miss it in real life - we had a blast with family! - but I missed it here on the blog.

So, in honour of my nation's birthday, I'd like to celebrate a few of my favourite Canadian authors.

Margaret Atwood -- great poetry & novels! I first discovered her in high school. I love the poems in The Circle Game. I always introduce a few of her poems to my students to show them poetry isn't all love poems or 'bippity-boppity-boo' stuff. They love it!

Farley Mowat -- fabulous adventures - fiction and nonfiction. Never Cry Wolf is my favourite (I've mentioned it before). Another is Virunga. This is a biography of Dian Fossey's life - with Mowat's narrative entwined with entries from Fossey's diary. Amazing stuff!

Gordon Korman -- incredibly talented and prolific author. He's written tons of MG and YA books. He started writing when he was a kid - and produced The MacDonald Hall series. Bruno & Boots get into hilarious adventures at a boarding school.

Lucy Maud Montgomery -- of course! You all know how I feel about her :)

Talli Roland -- she's living in the UK, but she was born in Canada, so she counts! The Hating Game is a fun-filled book. Great romance story with hysterical escapades on a reality TV show.

Dennis Lee -- awesome poet for kids. I think my kids had at least 20 of his poems memorized before they were 4. They adored his stuff! Here's an example from memory (hope it's right!)
Here is the story of Freddy my friend,
He ran out in traffic,
And that is the end!
I know! They loved it. More faves were Jelly Belly & Annie & Ernie - fun stuff! :)

Hope everyone has a marvelous weekend! Happy 4th of July to all my US buddies!!