Thursday, November 29, 2012

First World Problems

Stupid PVR stopped working this week. Again!

I don't watch a lot of TV, but the few things I do watch (like Parks & Recreation, or 30 Rock) I like to be able to watch on my own time, not whenever the show airs. So I rely on that little PVR to be working. When it's not, it pisses me off. But I can usually make a point of watching the show during the actual air time.

During NaNo? Not so much.

Of course, then I remember the good old days, when we only had like six channels to choose from, and think, "right, first world problems." Life could always be worse than a non-functioning PVR.

I finished my 2300 words tonight. 2301, to be exact. That leaves me with 3429 words I need to cram into tomorrow afternoon and evening...

Ack! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So Close!

I kept wanting to quit tonight. Kept telling myself I'd make up the words tomorrow or Friday. So exhausted! But I pushed forward, kept on churning out the words until I hit that golden 2300 word mark. I'm now at 44 270 words. I'm going to aim for another 2300 tomorrow, leaving me with just under 3.5K for Friday. And damn it, I will finish the 50K!
The end is so close I can taste it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kitty Cam!

Just got home from Idiot#1's staff party. It was actually better than I had anticipated for a dinner theatre. Jubilations could do better on the food, but the show was great. Ghost Busters themed, all 80s tunes. Even had a little Toto in there at the end!

But yeah, I'm off to bed right away. Won't get any words down today, but I knew that. The next three days are going to be filled with writing—just over 9K words, to be exact! I'm really taking it down to the wire, but that's kinda fun in its own way.

I do have something fun for this post. We suspected our cats were getting on the counter at night, and I suspected Steve French, while Idiot#1 suspected Lemon. To see who was right, I set up my laptop to record the kitchen overnight. The built in camera takes a picture every fifteen seconds, compiling them into a short video. And...

Turns out, we were both right!

Three nights in a row I've recorded the kitchen, and three nights in a row BOTH cats have gotten up there and mucked around. I also recorded while we were away at work. Here's what I came home to today:

Apparently, Lemon just wants to see what's going on outside!

Haha.. this Kitty Cam stuff is fun :D


Monday, November 26, 2012

... there is no spoon.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this spoon. Let go, jump off the building, follow the white rabbit. I’m so close, but still so far, from that fifty thousand goal. I would be right on track (as I so hopefully believed yesterday...) until I remembered that Idiot#1’s staff party is tomorrow night. So yeah, probably won’t get a single word down tomorrow. That’s gonna put me behind.

I’ve got Friday afternoon off to run a few errands that need to get done, so if I get through those quickly I might have a few extra evening hours. And at this point, it goes without saying there won’t be any cooking or cleaning happening until I hit the finish line—or epically fail only a few hundred words short at midnight... Ha!

But fail or not, I am happy with this MS so far. Maybe when I have the time (let's face it, that'll be after the Festivus season is over) I'll put together some better blog posts, and tell you all about it. Maybe a little more Scrivener love. It'll be nice to have some free time again!

Anyway, I’m outta here. Until tomorrow (or the next day),

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back on Track

Five nights left of NaNoWriMo. I'm 12K short of the 50K words, and I think I can do it. I've fallen behind (still mostly blaming that on being sick last week) but I put in just over 3K words tonight and it's put me right back where I need to be. If I get back up to my 2300 words per day then I'll still finish before midnight on Friday!

Anyway, that's my short update--too tired and ready for bed! I'll have to try to remember to post some pics from my knitting club brunch this morning. It was freaking delicious!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Short & Vehement

I’ll be writing this weekend! Got in only a thousand words tonight, and they were a struggle. I’m finished through chapter eight, though. I think nine will be an easier write so I’ll be starting with the dialogue for that tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get nine finished and maybe even a start on ten during FNTWP!

I’ve got a lot of baking to do on Saturday, plus a staff party, and knit club on Sunday, but I’m vowing to catch up my word count by writing whenever I’m not doing one of those three things!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crappy Timing

Yeah, so I've missed all of the NaNo events since we kicked off at the beginning of the month. Which kind of sucks. Honestly, it's been a busy month. Fitting 2300+ words into the MS every night leaves very little time for anything else. Not sure how everyone else manages to find the time, but I'm cramming a lot of stuff into my weekends to make up for lost time during the week.

And then I hit up the NaNo message boards yesterday, only to find out that the 12-hour marathon has been cut down to only 8 hours, and that it overlaps with—of course—my staff Festivus party. The write-in starts and 6pm and, lo and behold, my staff party starts at 6pm. By the time dinner and drinks are said and done, it'll probably be well past midnight. Doesn't leave me much time to drop in at the write-in before it's over!

Could I blow off the staff party in favour of the write-in? No, not really. We're a staff of five. My absence would probably be noted... ha!

Oh well. Maybe the meet-up at Denny's on Monday?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cold: Fail!

Okay, it's not really an epic fail, not yet. Just a 4-day fail.

Yeah, so I caught that cold. It sucked. Still sucks, but not so bad. After being short words on Wednesday and Thursday, I didn't get any writing done on Friday. In fact, I missed work and slept until 3:30pm. Watched a couple movies, complained, ate jello, and went back to sleep by like 8:00pm. Man, I haven't slept that much since I was in high school.

Saturday was much the same, and also included no writing. Sinus headache: not good for creative thinking processes. I cancelled knit class on Sunday, but was feeling well enough in the evening to fit in 2300+ words. Great, but not really enough, because I also didn't get any writing done yesterday either! After a full day of work and still not feeling 100%, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open on the drive home... yikes...

All this, of course, means I also failed in blog posts!

Fail and fail. But—! Not epic failures yet. I got in a few thousand words tonight, bringing my total up to 31K and only 1.2K words away from where I should be at this point. I can catch that up. And as for the blog posts... well, take a look at my posting history. Yeah, sketchy at best. I'm still pretty happy with how often I've remembered to post this month! Quality posts? No, not really. But you can't have your cake and eat it too >.<


Thursday, November 15, 2012

And... I'm sick.

Yeah. So I think I mentioned that Idiot#1 missed a couple days of work this week with a cold. I was trying really hard not to catch it—taking extra vitamin C every day, washing my hands like a crazy person, keeping as far away from him as humanly possible—but I did.

Felt a slight scratch in my throat this morning. Felt fine all day. Felt a slightly stronger scratch on the way home from work, and six hours later I can barely swallow, my nose is running like a faucet and a sinus headache has set in. Awesome.

Nevertheless! I have indeed completed my 25K words for halfway-at-halfway through NaNoWriMo!

I missed the word count again tonight, but as I'll probably be spending the next few days on the couch complaining about being sick, the least I can do is settle my laptop in next to the Vics and the box of Kleenex and get writing. With luck I'll make up for some of the words lost in the past two days...

Until tomorrow,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hump Day

Ah, Wednesday. How I both love and hate you. The weekend seems so close, and yet still so far away!

I only managed about half my word count tonight, as I was distracted by Idiot#1, who wanted to watch the new Will Ferrell movie, The Campaign. And seeing as Idiot#1 has been stuck home sick with a cold for the past two days I took pity on him and watched it. It wasn't too bad, but definitely not my favourite Will Ferrell flick. Plus, it was only an hour and a half long, so I managed to squeeze in a couple hours of writing afterwards.

I stopped tonight at a total of 24,801 words. That means tomorrow I'll hit...

(drum roll please)

The Big 25,000 Word, The Halfway-There-Mark!

Which, it so happens, is exactly halfway through the month. Huh. Seems I'm right on target.

On that happy note... Good night!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Okay, so I fell short by about 400 words yesterday. Not the end of the world, as I was still a little bit ahead of the overall word count I need for 50K by the 30th. Today, I made up for it.

Today was a 4K word day!

With some fun NaNoWriMo math, that's 1700 words more than my usual daily goal, and 1300 words more than what I was aiming for tonight, trying to make up for yesterday.

Which leads me to question what made tonight so awesomesauce? What made today different? Because I started at 7 p.m., same as usual, and worked for about the same amount of time as usual. Maybe it was the extra cup of coffee I had at 3pm. Maybe it was the because this chapter was just easier to write. Maybe there was a solar eclipse in New Zealand or something. Who knows.

(My guess? The coffee. I'll try that again tomorrow...)

Anyway, it's late and I'm tired. 4K is exhausting!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Missed two blog updates for EpicNaNoBlogs this weekend, eek! Not that surprising though, since I haven't been NaNoWriMo writing on weekends, and not writing makes me not think of blogging!

Does that make sense, in a backward kind of way?

I didn't quite make my word count for today, but it was close. I didn't have as much time as I normally would, because I wanted to finish the toque that I started yesterday. It's the newest project for knit class, and I needed to know what materials to tell the girls they need for next weekend.

In yesterday's class they picked out a project, an aviator toque one of them had pinned on Pinterest, but it's one of those stupid ones that takes you to a link to buy something. Here's a screen shot:

So do I spend the $4 to buy the pattern?

No. Because I'm a cheap bastard.

Instead, I pulled out a ball of wool and some needles and started knitting. I actually like interpreting patterns from knitted things I see—it's more of a challenge, right? And this is what I came up with:

Also, I was severely distracted this weekend by this:

That's right. Angry Birds: Star Wars. Pretty much my two favourite things combined into one.

Bad. Ass.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Egads, I did it! Um, almost.

Okay okay okay, it's not quite the 2300 words I'm aiming for every weeknight (2274, to be exact) but it's pretty damn close. And honestly, I finished chapter five with that, so seems kind of strange to write twenty-six words of chapter six just to make the word count.

And I had about ten spelling mistakes in my first try at the above paragraph. Apparently, my brain is mush now. Probably best if I shut it down and put on a movie or something. There were a couple books I was hoping to read this weekend, but I think I'm too tired to move my eyes across the pages. Yikes.

So no surprise I'm giving up on this blog post right here. I'm not even gonna sign off. That's how tired I am.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


What do I aspire to?

One day, I hope to be the crazy old cat lady. I went down to the City compound a couple weeks ago to pick out a new cat, and all I wanted was to adopt them all!

But instead, I just took Lemon home with me. That wasn’t her name at the compound, but I figured since Steve French got two names, this cat deserve two too. Therefore, she is officially dubbed Liz Lemon. Or just Lemon, for short. This way, when she does something stupid (as cats are prone to do) I can say, “Good God, Lemon!” in my best Jack Donaghy voice. Love it when a plan comes together.

Anyway, getting a new kitty (and all the subsequent photos) was one of those random bits of crap I saved a blog post for, when I had nothing else to talk about during EpicNaNoBlogs. And today is one of those days, so here you go:

Lemon, Day 1
Lemon & Steve, Day 3
Lemon & Steve, Day 6
And by Day 13... Lemon & Steve, best buddies!

Oh, I did reach the 15K word mark today. That was pretty awesome. But really, the next big milestone is the halfway point... hopefully sometime next week!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dialogue First

Someone asked me yesterday what I meant by turning the dialogue into prose. Most of you writerly types out there probably know what I'm talking about, but for those that don't, it's a writing method. For me, it's the method I like best.

When I start outlining a new MS (like I did for my NaNo novel back in early October) I start with a list of goals. That turns into an outline, what I want to happen from start to finish, that's about 3K words long. Then I break that into chapters and scenes, add details and makes changes. The final word count for my NaNo MS outline was about 21K words.

Basically, by the time I start writing I know exactly what's going to happen. My first draft doesn't very often deviate much from what was in the outline. If changes are going to happen the the overall story, they'll happen in the next round of revisions.

I like to think of the actual writing not as the telling of the story (I already know the story from the outline) but getting to know the characters and finding out how the story affects them all individually. So I start each chapter by writing just the dialogue first. Like this:

S      Hi, what's your name?
F      Frodo Baggins, what's yours?
shayla punches frodo.
S      Shayla Smith. Pleasure to meet you, Frodo Baggins.

I'll toss in a few words for description, expression, actions, but it's mostly the dialogue. I find it allows the characters to lead the way through the story, keeping me from spending too much time internalizing the MC. Once the chapter is finished I turn around, go back to the beginning, and start re-writing the dialogue into prose:

"Hi," I said with a smile, opening the door. "What's your name?"
The stranger hesitated. "Frodo Baggins, what's yours?"
I leapt over the counter and punched him in the face, sending him sprawling head over furry feet.
"Shayla Smith. Pleasure to meet you, Frodo Baggins."

So that's turning my dialogue into prose. And actually, since I'm talking about it, here's how Scrivener makes that whole process awesome:

Left window: dialogue. Centre window: chapter four outline. Inspector (right side): synopsis and Project Targets

But now I'm apparently having an allergic reaction to either cats or smoke, so I gotta go dig up a Reactine. Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

one up, one down

Bad news or good news first?

Bad news? You got it.

Today, I didn't reach my daily NaNoWriMo word count goal. I know, I know, I can sense your disappointed head shakes from here. I only managed 1681 words, despite a Tim's run for a little liquid energy. I've got no excuses to offer—the words just wouldn't let themselves be written.

The good news: Somewhere amongst those 1681 words was my ten thousandth word. The MS for Pulled from the Waves (working title, obv) is now sitting at 10501. That means I'm a fifth of the way to my NaNo goal!

Uh oh.
The caffeine in my system is crashing.
We're going down!

(radio silence)


Monday, November 5, 2012



I... just... barely... reached... 2300 words!

I'm way ready for bed (Mondays will do that to me) so I'm calling it quits for the night just before the end of chapter three dialogue. I'd like to stay up and finish it, but... no.

A couple times tonight I didn't think I'd make the 2300 word mark, but I did it. At 2375, I just barely did it.

Of course, I spent a good chunk of the evening just hanging out while Idiot#1 and his hunting buddies butchered the deer they shot on the weekend. I'd show you the pics, but I bet a lot of you don't want to see the dead deer in my garage... Long story short, it was a tiring evening.

But I'm done. Off to update my word count on the NaNo site!

Until tomorrow,

Sunday, November 4, 2012


No writing today, all knitting!

One of the girls brought some delicious little dip to knit club that tasted just like the inside of a jalepeno popper. That was awesome. She also brought a kind of cinnamon-bun-bread-pudding, and that was awesomesauce.

We almost finished our sweater project in class today, but not quite. Just finished up the collar and the button band, so only the buttonhole band left over for homework. I finished mine up after class: voila!

The first hat I did using this pattern came out kinda fucky, so I'm going to start the hat tonight and see if the pattern is fucky, or if I did something wrong last time—which might be the case, as I was distracted by the audiobook I was listening too while I knit it >.<

And if I have more time than I expect this week (we'll see how the NaNo word count goes!) I'm hoping to get another sweater in this pattern just about done too...


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The 5K Mark

As per yesterday's post, yeah, I only needed to write one word to make it to 5000, but it still counts as a milestone, right?

And actually, after shoveling snow off the deck, cleaning up halloween decorations, getting the ice off the gazebo and outdoor furniture, and installing a decal on the back of Idiot#1's truck, I sat down for two hours to write. I'm now sitting pretty at 6415 words, which is probably where I'll stay until Monday evening. Yeah, got a lot done today, but there's always more to do. Life happens all the time.

That's all for now. I'll leave you with a pic of the decal that was designed, cut, masked and installed all by me. Because I'm awesome like that. And oh-so-humble.

K-town Represent.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Groove

I only managed to squeeze in two hours of writing tonight. Late start, and a birthday party to go crash. Life happens.

Only two hours, but they were good.

Reached my word count (2358), bringing my total up to... 4999! Hah, that kinda makes me want to go and write... just... one... more... word...!

But no, I’ll save word #5000 for tomorrow. It’ll be a good way to start the day, no? Wasn’t planning on doing any writing on Saturday, but I think I will, at least for a while. Because I’m in the groove.

Yesterday was a bit stuttered, because I haven’t done anything but edit for a few months, so I needed to get back into writing mode. Probably part of the reason why chapter one came in so short. I almost finished all the dialogue for chapter two tonight, but not quite. I want to at least finish dialoguing the chapter tomorrow. Maybe prose. We’ll see.

But I gotta run! People to see, parties to crash...


Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNo Day 1

NaNoWriMo day one was a success. Well, my ass is sore from sitting in this chair for so long, but the word count was a success.

Correct me if my math is wrong (and it very well could be... math: not my forté) but if I don't plan on writing on weekends, then I've got to get down 2272 words per day. To make that easier to remember, I've rounded up to 2300 and set that as my daily goal in Scrivener.

(Does anyone else love the Projects Targets window in Scrivener? Yeah, me too.)

I'm a dialogue-then-prose kind of writer. Dialogue the chapter first, then go back and add the prose. So I finished both the dialogue and the prose for chapter one tonight, coming in at a total of about 2600 words. That's a short chapter, but usually my first draft chapters are, so no worries. At least I beat my daily goal by 300 words!

Until tomorrow,

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


And another Halloween has come and gone. My favourite day of the year, and it's not even a holiday. Damn. I failed pretty epically this year with my costume, and to a lesser extent, the decorations. I had a great costume idea earlier this year and I procrastinated like a boss until I ran out of time to put it together.

Fall back costume: The devil-in-pleather.

I think I missed my A-game on the decorations for two reasons: Idiot#1 didn’t bring the decorations up from the basement until two weeks after I asked for them, and somewhere in that timeframe it decided to snow and turn cold outside. Not encouraging for decorating. Still, I did get some trick-or-treaters:

Joe (aka. Idiot#3) as Robin and Madd-man as Batman!

And it wasn’t a total holiday failure:

Work Pumpkins. Mine is a rendition of George, my boss’s dad. Scary, yes.
Halloween Sugar Cookies, for knit club last week.
And roasted pumpkin seeds!
If I ever decide to run for Prime Minister of this country, just know that I will in fact make Halloween a national holiday. Perhaps even a week-long holiday.

Anyway, NaNoWriMo starts in less than three hours. Plus the Epic Month of Blog Posts, so you’ll see me again real soon... you’ve been warned.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Saving the Random Crap for Later

So this might be kinda like cheating, but the content for my last few posts in October is gonna be WEAK! I'm saving all the good stuff for November. I'm going to try (and more than likely, fail...) to post at least 50 words every day in November—progress updates on NaNoWriMo when possible. But as I'm sure I won't have enough to say about my progress for 30 straight days, I'm saving any other random crap for November too >. >

This is all part of the Epic Month of Blog Posts: #epicnanoblogs on Twitter, if you're there. And I'm not just making crap up for my own amusement. This madness is the brainchild of greater minds:

Yeah. Fifty words a day. I'm such a sporadic blogger that sometimes I'm lucky to have posted fifty words in a month. Hm. As if 50K words for NaNoWriMo wasn't enough of a challenge... Damn.
But enough of my rambling—gotta save the rest for November!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Been Busy.

Confession: I haven't decorated for Halloween yet. And it's my favourite holiday of them all.

Worse: I don't have a costume ready. And I had a sweet costume planned for this year, but it's too late to get it done now. Sigh. Maybe next year.

My excuse?

I've been busy. Really busy. Perhaps I just have too many hobbies or something. Anyway, part of what's been keeping me busy is Knit Club. Which is exactly as dorky as it sounds. The people that know me best always give me the arched-eyebrow-open-mouthed "Huh?" when I tell them I teach knitting every Sunday. It's not really a hobby that seems to fit with me—most of my friends wonder if it's actually a cover for something much more sinister—but I love knitting. Go figure. So the past couple of weeks I've been teaching the girls how to knit a sweater. I whipped up one in grey so they could see exactly what we were doing, and to make sure there were no problems in the pattern before we started. Like this:

The first few rows. Switching needles.
The reversing rib pattern.
The finished product.
And Idiot#1 models the infant sweater.
Round 2.
And I'm working alongside the girls while they knit their own kids' sweaters—the little kiddy confetti thing on the last pic. So... been busy knitting & planning classes!

That's it for now. Off to write for a few hours and then knit the sleeves!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Shred Kelly

This past week of writing—or plotting for NaNoWriMo, as it were—has been mostly accompanied by Shred Kelly's 2012 album, In The Hills. On repeat.

If you've never heard of them, check out their album at It's most excellent. For this Tuesday Tune, here's one of my faves:

At first listen it seems to be a song about a bear. My theory is that it's actually about Sage being the stalker-girl she was born to be. What do you think?

That's all for today. Off to do some more NaNo plotting...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A month?!

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted! It only feels like a week. Guess that's a sign I'm getting old...

I've been busy. Lots of knitting and reading, but I also lost a week when I was laid out by a nasty head cold, and I've been getting out of the city to do some bird hunting with Idiot#1 on Saturdays. Sundays means knit class, so I've been spending a chunk of time prepping for that too. Maybe if I can get my life in order I'll post some pix... but that's a big maybe.

Work has been busy too. Usually is in September and October, but I'm already starting to see the slow down that's fairly standard for November & December.

Which is a good thing, because I've also started outlining a new novel for NaNoWriMo. Pretty excited about it. Don't know exactly what genre you'd call it—maybe you guys can help me? Characters are older teens, but it's not exactly a coming-of-age story, so maybe not typically classed YA. The main character is a regular teen, but the opening chapter is the beginning of the apocalypse and the people he falls in with are time travelers—a bit of a sci-fi element, yeah. Current world, current time. No fantasy beings, just people who seem normal but are actually time travelers. A bunch of teens trying to get from point A to point B in time, because they're being chased by other time travelers that want them dead. Fighting, yes. Killing, yes. End of the world, happening around them.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lots of Stuff to Keep Me Busy

2012. Well, not a good year for my family. This past week has been another tough one, but all I can really do is hope that the crap will quit falling on us and hope for better things moving forward.

Camping planned for this weekend up in the Nordegg area, so I'm excited for that. Headed up to the same spot we were in this spring:

The campsite at dawn.

I'm also starting Knit Club back up (our facebook group icon is a skull. Can't go wrong with that, am I right?) after a season's hiatus—last winter was just too hectic. Like I said, hoping for better things. I gotta run to Michaels and pick up some supplies, as the six-hour round trip drive to Nordegg should net me some time to do a dry run of the sweater I'm teaching the girls as our first month's lesson.

Bulky. Simple. A good first project to start the season with.

We're meeting every Sunday, and between planning projects, picking up supplies, and fitting in some actual knit time, that should keep me pretty busy through the winter.

I've also got to get started planning the 7th Annual Darlington Derby I host every Christmas in Ontario. Right now I'm working on painting a set of Jenga blocks gold, to make a trophy for the Jenga Master to win every year. It's gonna be epic.

The starting point...

And of course, I'm still writing. Right now I'm mucking around with a re-write of Speechless, the YA Fantasy I started last fall. It needs a lot of work. I won't get all the way through it before I need to start planning for NaNoWriMo, which I'm participating in for the first time this year. Very excited.

Anyway, that's my update rant. Anyone else got big plans for the fall / winter season?


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day Tripping

My ten-day staycation is winding down, sadly. Back to work on Tuesday.

Today though, was a bit of a surprise. Slept in, which is odd. But when I did manage to roll my ass out of bed, me and Idiot#1 decided just to grab a backpack, some Tim's, and head into the mountains. We actually drove up the Trunk Road into Ghost River country, instead of into the heart of the Rockies, but it was a great trip nonetheless. Picked out a couple of camping spots for this fall.

Mountain Bound.

Idiot#1 taking some pics.

The Thrilling Adventure of Rocks.

Some creek up that way.

Same creek. Colour.

Truck. It got muddy.

Mud splats in the mirror may appear closer than they are.


Mud on my iPhone!

Idiot#1, taking pics again. His camera is better than mine, fyi.

Ghost River. I think.

My feet. In case you were wondering what they looked like.

Back to the highway.

And damn, back to oil country & cow town.

I'm hoping to get some writing in tonight, but don't expect much. Taking it easy. Plus, I've decided to go back to work on a YA Fantasy I started last year, and give my Contemp. Fantasy a bit of breather. I think I need some space from it. The YA needs a lot of brain-stew-time and some serious re-plotting / re-organizing, so it seems like the right kind of project to take a break with.

I'm also thinking of NaNo'ing this November, so I'm hoping for some time tonight to see if I can work that into the schedule. It'll be the first time I've given that a shot. Might be fun.

That's all for now,

Friday, August 31, 2012

Lethargy & LOTR

The lethargy and apathy kicked in on Wednesday morning, a result have having finished this last round of revisions. I mean, great, those revisions are done (almost...) but I was left with a bored sort of, "what next?" feeling.

Luckily, I already had a cure for the lethargy lined up: Lord of the Rings marathon. Because I'm cool like that. By nine yesterday morning I was set up with a pair of sweats, lots of pop and junk food, and all six discs of the three extended edition films.

And nothing cures lethargy like a day of sitting on the couch watching movies. It could have been a Harry Potter, Star Wars or Terminator marathon (don't roll your eyes, I already told you how cool I am...) the result is the same: Today, I feel like getting shit done.

Not sure yet exactly what I'm going to get done, but something. I still have some clean up and notes to make before that last round of revisions is really done. Then I can put that down until my beta reader finishes her notes. Maybe I'll do that. I've got another piece that's partially written that I'd like to jump back into, or I might start another ms right from scratch, because I've got an idea that's been rolling around in my head that I should probably get on paper.

Ah well, it's a beautiful day out there already and it's wide open for whatever I feel like doing. Can't go wrong with that.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: She Wants Revenge

My brother introduced me to She Want Revenge's music about four years ago. I like almost their entire library, especially when I'm writing a scene where the character is pissed and is going to make some serious changes—or do some serious ass-kicking. Must be the beat.

So that's the tune for today. Yesterday went as planned (mostly) and didn't have that typical Monday shit (mostly) just as I'd hoped. I ran through two chapters of edits (although, honestly, they might need a bit more polish) as well as two chapters of critique. Which isn't too bad, considering both of my chapters were long ones (over 5K words each) and that I had to work in a dog walk, a trip to the airport to pick up some friends, and a short visit with family as they passed through Calgary.

Oh, and dinner was on the table promptly at six. Let me just apologize to all the women's lib folk out there right now, for the fact that by the time Idiot #1 made it home from work I had the house clean, the yard clean, and dinner on the table. Sick.

So for Staycation Real Day #2, I've got big plans. I'm hoping to cruise through three or four chapters of edits (which would pretty much finish this round of revisions), finish another few chapters of critique, get a plan together for my halloween costume (yes, I know it's still August) and figure out which trophies and medals I need to order for the derby I host every Christmas. See, I'm kind of a plan-ahead type gal.

That's quite a bit to get done, so until next time,

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Real Day 1

Normally, I loathe Mondays. However, I have high hopes for today!

I'm on the first weekday of my staycation. Right at this moment I would normally be settling in at my desk for the workday. Instead, as the temperature begins its climb from 7° overnight to the 29° forecasted for this afternoon (yes!!) I'm going go take my friend's dog for a walk and then start writing. Right after I cook up an iced coffee, naturally.

*Sun peaks from behind a cloud, illuminating my writing desk*

No, today just doesn't have that typical F-U feel that a Monday usually entails.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Right Where it Belongs

I've been busy. Writing is on hold for a few days because we've got a friend staying with us for a few days, which was a very last minute thing. But he's the kinda guy who likes to be always doing something, or always discussing something. Not in annoying way, he's just very conversant. So that's a distraction, and I'm not going to be a shitty host and tune him out while I write. Ah well, I've got all of next week off to write to my heart's content.

I've started getting back into NIN again, after about a year and half's hiatus. I'd over-listened to my NIN playlist for a while, but I think the familiarity has worn off again. And come on, it's NIN. Some of Trent's songs just grab my attention and won't let go. Like this one:

That's all for now,

Sunday, August 19, 2012


My head is pounding.

I've got crappy neck muscles. I suffered for years with tension headaches that would last for days, no matter how many Advil 400s I popped.

It wasn't until this year, when the headaches started getting bad again, that I decided to try a chiropractor for the pain. And lo and behold, it worked. Headaches started becoming less frequent, less intense, and not as long-lasting. In fact, a few weeks ago I had a headache start around 4:30, just as I was leaving the office. I took three different painkillers between when the headache started, and when I got to work the next morning. Nothing worked. I called and re-scheduled my next appointment for that morning and was getting my neck adjusted within hours.

An hour after getting my neck adjusted, the headache was completely gone. It was awesome.

The reason I'm regaling you with this story? Well, I'm angry. Today I woke up with one of these headaches. It's supposed to be a beautiful day, I was supposed to start writing nice and early with a large iced coffee at my side, enjoying the sunshine, and instead, my body decided to start jackhammering inside my skull. Stupid body.

And sadly, the chiropractors's office isn't open on Sundays. Damn.

At least I know if I'm still in pain tomorrow morning I can go get it fixed. I'm just pissed in general that I'm not going to enjoy the day to its fullest.

Rant over.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

It's been a slow week. Not only did it seem to drag (Friday took forever to get here!) but every day was kinda the same thing, over and over. Work was the same old hat, I managed to squeeze dinner and at least an hour of writing in most evenings, and then an hour of reading before bed.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

But the weekend is here! I might manage an hour of writing here right away, though I don't expect to achieve much more. I mean, come on, look at this forecast:

So, yeah, rafting today for sure. Hope to hit the Bow around noon with three or four buddies, and then we're having a walleye fish fry afterwards for a friend's birthday. The day is going to be lost to shenanigans.

Not that I mind. Summer was made for shenanigans. Plus, I only have five days left at the office and then I'm on holidays for ten days! Hope this amazing weather holds for that long, because I am really, really looking forward to a week of iced coffees and margaritas in the sunshade with my writing...!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Scrivener Love

I love organizing. And making lists. And being neurotic like that in general. Some people don't take the organizational approach to writing, and that works great for them. For me, organizing background information is one of my favourite parts of the process. It's also a great way to procrastinate if I'm dreading a section, or if I'm just not feeling the writing mojo.

Scrivener is an incredible tool for the kind of organization I love. And of course, its creators have videos for all this kind of stuff if you need a tutorial, but if you want to see some more Scrivener action, I've got the goods.

In the MS I'm currently working on the world has magic. A few different types, with different classes and levels. My characters don't delve too deep into this stuff in the first book, but it'll come into play in book two onwards. So I needed a way to organize the types of spells and what my characters know about them. I'm just going to jump right in and show you how that's going…

Creating a new folder (see the Folder+ button in the bottom left?) and calling it Grimoire.

Just for fun, giving it a Red Book icon. As you can see in my binder (left side
of the screen shot) I love all the different icons to choose from!

Laying out how I want each "page" of my grimoire to look.
I really went to town on the formatting.
You can blame my graphic design instincts.

Moving that layout to the Template Sheets folder makes it a template.
Renaming it something appropriate, like Grimoire Page.

Creating a new text page in the Grimoire folder, from Grimoire Page template.

Referencing the spell (highlighted) from the MS text (on the left split screen) and filling in
the details in the Grimoire Page (on the right split screen).

Because I want to organize the Grimoire by the three classes of magic, I create three
subfolders under the Grimoire, changing their names and icons.

Dragging and dropping different spells under the correct class of magic, and adjusting
the page order so the lower level spells come first.

And that, ladies and gents, is how I'm going to keep track of the different types of magic in Deyl's world, the different spells, and what she knows or has seen about them. Whenever I'm unsure, I can just flip open the grimoire and find the answers I need. With the split screen view turned on, I can even reference them next to the text I'm working on. It's pretty sweet.

If you're a Scrivener user—or thinking about becoming one—I hope this helped!   :D 

Bye for now,