First in Category-Young Adult Fantasy

First in Category-Young Adult Fantasy
Dante Rossetti Award

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Hard Cover Indulgence

I am a fan of Anne Rice's writing, and recently purchased the first book ( soft cover) in her new Songs of the Seraphim series, Angel Time. Devoured that in a couple of days...being on holidays... and while still giddy with the joys of reading at the beach and basking in sunlight, far from B.C.'s wintery clime, I splurged and bought the next book of the series, Of Love and Evil.

Hard Cover

$ 24.95

...for a scant 171 page read, the first two chapters of which reiterate wordage from the previous book.

Anne, no offense, I have been and always will be, a fan (channeling my inner Spock here)

but these prices are driving us right into the digital arms of e-readers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ju-Ju and Fetishes for Writers

Ok. I just tweeted that my Jean Luc Picard action figure, complete with his taped on “thought bubble” commanding, “Write!” fell off my computer as I frantically wafted papers around. “It’s an omen!” was my posted exclamation. Duh. Are writers superstitious? Do we have little rituals we do, compulsively must do, in order to get ready to create?

You’ll be imagining that I sit here draped in Ju-Ju fetishes and it’s really not so. Really.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Dance of Pitching

Just returned form the SiWC, and am totally jazzed and inspired and imbued with this fluttering sense of expectation…it’s going to happen!

However, first we have to dance Salome’s dance for the Agents, Publishers, whomever; before they will even look at our manuscript--our writing—we must Pitch…waft the veil of the synopsis, before their eyes; weave it through the musk of incense and idiom until, entranced, they beg to see the flesh (err…the actual writing).

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I picked up this ancient book on Characterology and have found it completely fascinating:

“Characterologists believe that the intimate connection of spirit, mind, and body not only affects the expressions but also etches its story and patterns in a person’s appearance
--Carl E. Wagner, Jr.

For just a couple of examples:

• How many of our heroines have “large eyes” which characterolgy tells us indicates an outgoing nature--talkative and expressive.

• “Deep-set eyes” may indicate a person slow to speech and sparing of words. Yep, that’d be our laconic cowboy hero all right.

• And where would we be without our villains--why are they always such fun to describe? Foxy-eyes, slanting downward to the nose may indicate deceit; or straight-across eyelids an indication of cruelty. “Wolf’s Eyes”, showing the white on both sides and on top of the iris “is frequently found in people of a violent nature” (C. Wagner, Jr.)

The descriptions are endless, and fascinating…of course; we are the total sum of our parts—no one feature can be taken alone as the sum of our personality

Friday, October 8, 2010


Enjoyed a good "coffee house workshop" with the usual suspects from my writers group. Achieved a good four hours input, with 3 or 4 breaks for "speculative" conversation and laughs. Then... my creative wheels just started spinning. It's like my characters were on a union break or something; milling around the set without any direction. Time to pack 'er up and head home.

During the course of getting dinner organized, I was suddenly mentally re-organizing the last scene and kept running over to the desk to jot down notes. If Bill noticed the Zombie glaze I'd get over my eyes when thinking about scene reorganizing, he refrained from commenting (or perhaps he's getting used to the times I'm afflicted with distraction).

I'm determined I'm going to let the story cool a bit before I haul it out again, but I know tomorrow I'll be on a roll again.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


A component (a rowdy bunch, but we did finally get down to business) of our writers group met for coffee and critique last night.

I brought an excerpt of a work in progress, River Wraith, and was both challenged and invigorated by the thoughtful input from my "colleagues"—some of the things they catch, make you want to thump your head like Homer Simpson in a "Dooh!" self-reproach.

Other comments resulted from a shrewd eye catching a copy edit type error, or wording that could be tweaked for more effect. It was all good, honest stuff from people I've grown to trust.

I wriggled like a puppy in sheer joy, when compliments were bestowed--for the same reason, they came from fellow writers I trust and respect.

We all have a different writing style, and it was great reading/ hearing everyone’s work; we're going to get to enjoy watching each other succeed and eventually celebrate when we've found a niche where our work will be enjoyed by readers at large.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I ran away to one of the local coffee shops this flight to write.

Why, you may ask, when I have a perfectly good desk at home, complete with comfy chair?

Well, it's amazing how a different environment (ie: away from the laundry room, garden that needs winterizing, and yes, the guilt I feel when husband wanders by and sighs, "What'cha doin'now?")

Yes, I bundled Guilt into a dark closet to be dealt with later and I settled into a corner at Serious Coffee with a large mug of 'Coal Miner's Blend', flipped open the laptop and heaved a tremulous sigh--will the words come? They did! I'll have lots of editing to do...later...but forced myself to keep it going for two hours. Progress!

Returned home happy and at peace with myself, until tomorrow at least.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Inner Writer is named "Ralph"

Ok. It's Saturday and it's windy and cold. I've got a whole two hours before I have to think about getting dinner.

Does anyone out there remember an old t.v. show called the Honeymooners? Ralph Cramden had a neighbour/friend, Ed Norton, who before getting on with doing anything would spend endless minutes cracking his knuckles, shaking out his arms, fiddling with stuff--until Ralph couldn't stand it anymore and would yell at poor Ed to, "Will you get on with it!"

I think my inner writer is being Ralph Cramden today. Ok, Ok.

Luv you guys, but no more Twitter, no more Blog until I get my short story characters into the climatic scene...only another thousand words or so...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A little help from my friends...

Am feeling warm and fuzzy, fresh from my writing group meeting...(new venue for us tonight; a meeting room over the hockey rink--we had from 7 pm until the Zamboni ran) it's so great to get together with other writers and share our trials and triumphs. We learn from each other every time we get together, and not just about our #writing. And of course, that's what blogging is about too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whiffenpoof Words...

I just ordered a couple of wonderful books from Writers' Market: Writing the Breakout Novel, donald Maas and The Art of War for Writers, James Scott Bell.

I'm reading an excerpt from Art of War for Writers, and the author says, " modest attempt (in writing this book) as a field manual for all writing wretches..." (He means it kindly, guys--afterall, we all know we could have picked a less stressful pursuit than writing.

But the word "wretches", started a thought thread back to the old (very old) Whiffenpoof song and the thread linked to a writer's forever search for the just right word, the perfect word...we could call them "Whiffenpoof" words--as just like in the song, they're little black sheep, who have gone astray...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Working on a short's got it's fantasy element (a river spirit) and ecological overtones (protection and conservation of the species that inhabit the river). Last night I hit a block..the words just weren't flowing. Discouraged with myself, I re-read some research material, and looked up the requirement of scuba gear (my protagonist just had to go into the water...). This morning I was driving to a coffee meeting with my writer's group, and for some reason, dialogue was just flowing through my head! I couldn't wait for a stop light to start writing it down...Maybe we just need to "sleep on it" sometimes and our subconscious keeps on working...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preparing for a Writers Conference

How like a job interview is pitching to an Editor or Agent?
Your resume may look as good as it's going to get, but is your synopsis or pitch ever good enough. I have about one month to polish and prune--that should do it, right? I used to think I could never be a screenwriter, because they have to go into the Producers board room and pitch their screenplay to all those glowering executives who are already calculating production dollar costs; whether your piece is paced right and etc. seems that we writers of novels basically have to sell our writing in the same way--if not face to face, as at a writers' conference, then in our Query letter and Synopsis.

The ideal pitch is my quest for now.