Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

With all the hustle and bustle of the Season, I'll just take a moment to wish you all the merriest of Christmases.

My gift to you is a New Year filled with good writing mojo...ready...set...poof! There you go. Use as you will. :)

Cheers and good wishes to everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

When in doubt, read!

Well, I might not be doing any writing, but I'm doing a WHOLE lot of reading. I just finished a Jude Devereaux titled Return to Summer House. I didn't think I would like it because it wasn't the type of story I typically go for, but at my sister's urging I kept reading. And I LOVED it. It had a bit of time travel back to the 1800's and I bought it hook, line and sinker. Guess that's the mark of a good make you believe the unbelievable.

To fill the inevitable void brought on by finishing a book I picked up a Janet Chapman that has some past life story lines, and I'm so excited to start it. I'm hoping this will ignite some spark of inspiration in the story I've had brewing.

Either way, it can't hurt.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Proud Mama Moment

I know this blog is about writing, but I HAVE to take a minute to brag (and I also don't have anything writing related to talk about, LOL).

On Friday night, my daughter had the privilege of being selected to sing on stage with Kenny Rogers and Billy Dean at Massey Hall!

To say that it was an amazing night is an understatement. It was all so surreal that the next day I was left wondering if it really happened. Did I really sit back stage and chat with Billy Dean? Did I really watch my daughter get fitted for a microphone head piece? Did she really sing a song written by Kenny Rogers with Kenny Rogers? Good thing we've got the pictures to prove it (my daughter is the one in the gold dress).

Needless to say, it was an evening that we won't soon forget.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A December Challenge

Time to wash away the doom and gloom of the dreaded rejection. Christmas is on the way, and this time of year always makes me want to do something good, something helpful, to make a difference.

So this holiday season I'm committing to doing one good deed, no matter how big or small, every day until Christmas. But that's not all. I'd like to spread the word, to see how many people I can get to join me in this challenge.

This doesn't have to be time consuming or expensive. Your deeds could be as simple of letting someone else take the coveted choice parking spot at the mall, returning a lost glove to an owner, or maybe baking cookies for a neighbour you know could use some cheering up. No matter what it is, it's sure to put a smile on someone's face. And chances are they'll be a little bit nicer to the next person they meet, and so on and so on...

So what do you say? Are you up for the challenge? Let's make this season the merriest it can be!

Pass it on...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It comes before "S"

When I opened my mailbox and saw an envelope with my own handwriting, my heart did a little flip but then promptly sunk when I saw how thin it was. Yes it was the response I'd been waiting for from the HAR pitch request I got this Summer. And the news was not good--an R.

On the plus side, I did get a page worth of feedback--brutally honest feedback that is hard to hear but worth its weight in gold. There were some positives in there, but basically she felt the story had too many predictable turns. And the predictable turns are an integral part of the story.

So this story is going to get shelved for a while. I need to move least for now. Maybe someday I'll go back and try to fix the issues. But for now, it's time to get lost in something new.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Spark

Two days ago, I was having a somewhat heavy conversation with a coworker about loved ones we'd lost and how much I wished my kids could have known my father, and I'll be darned if an idea for a new children's story didn't pop into my head. Spark! Pop! Bang! Smacked me over the head. I love when that happens.

I've let it settle for a few days so I could work out the details in my head, but I think I'm ready to start writing it now. I'm going to try a new writing style since I think it'll work well for the story. Time to think outside the box, right? Why not?

Any new ideas percolating for you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dreams Worth Remembering

Why is it that the best ideas come when you're sleeping? It must have something to do with the analytical portion of your brain shutting down so the creative portion is free to take over. No matter what the reason, I'm really glad it happens.

Earlier this week an idea, a launching point for a story, sprung into my head in the middle of the night. I sat up, thought "Hmmm, that could work" and then went back to sleep. Thankfully I remembered it in the morning. So now I'm raring to go again. This story is a bit different: a romance with a touch of magic/paranormal elements, which is something new for me. I don't quite have all the conflicts/motivations worked out but I'm going to start writing the first chapter while the mojo is hot.

Dreamt anything exciting lately?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Shakin' Things Up

As part of my new strategy to shake things up, I've decided to polish up and submit a children's story I've been sitting on for far too long. I wrote it about seven years ago when I went back to work after my first mat leave. It was a pretty rough draft (I've learned lots about writing in general since then), but the bones of the story were there.

So, over the past week I've polished that little gem and it's almost ready to submit. I know that breaking into the children's market is pretty tough, but the story isn't do me any good sitting in my PC. What do I have to lose by subbing?

So, wish me luck. I'm venturing into a whole new world of rejections, LOL. Wonder if children's publishers at least give you a gold star for effort?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Learnings from NV

Phase one of the New Voices competition is almost up (deadline to enter is Sept 22) and it's been a learning experience for me. Here are the pearls of wisdom I've gained:
  1. There are some FABULOUS writers out there! Can't wait to see how this contest shakes out.
  2. Writing is a tough business and as soon as you put your writing out there for others to read, there are bound to be people who don't like it...and there's nothing you can do about it. *GASP* Guess it's time to develop that thick skin required if I want to make it as a writer.
  3. Not everyone acts professionally when it comes to commenting and critiquing other people's work. But that's the minority.
  4. The romance writing community is full of some wonderfully supportive women, and I count myself lucky to be a part of it.

There you have 2 cents. What have you learned in the contest so far?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I just pressed the submit button on my New Voices entry! Yippee!

I'm so excited about this one and would love it if you'd stop by and have a read. The title is From One Night to Forever in the warm and cozy category. Any and all comments appreciated. Just click the badge to the right (created by the lovely Lacey Devlin) if you want to be taken directly to my entry.

Even though I know the competition will be stiff, I'm still excited for September 27th.

I just love the rush of a good contest. Don't you?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

New Voices

And no...they're not the voices in my head, LOL.

I'm just finishing up my entry for the New Voices Competition for HM&B. I figure, why not? It can't hurt to have more than one iron in the fire. And I have to say, I'm loving my chapter. It's a story I've been mulling about for a while and have written bits and pieces. Time to pull it all together. My spunky rock-climbing heroine is lots of fun...can't wait to see where it takes me.
Anyone else out there entering?

Thursday, September 02, 2010


If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."-- Ian Hill, Motivational Speaker

So it stands to reason that if I want a different result, I need to shake things up. If I want to be a writer then I need to start acting like one. No more zoning out in front of the TV every evening, no more surfing the net on my lunch hours. I need to get busy writing my little heart out.

Anyone else planning to shake things up? How?

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm Baaa-ck

I just returned from 5 days of fun and sun staying in a cottage on the shores of Lake Erie. Here's a view of the lovely beach. The kids had a blast jumping in the waves, and I had a blast watching them (I may have jumped a few waves myself...not a mental picture you want, LOL).

But now that we're all relaxed and feel like we actually got to enjoy the Summer, it's back to the grind on Monday :( And that means not only the day job but also charging on with doing some extra polishing on the rest of my ms so it shines...just in case the lovely Editor asks for it (I'm trying to be optimistic).

Hope you're all enjoying the last that Summer has to offer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I did it!

After a month of polishing and fiddling, I finally sent off my requested partial and synopsis to HAR!

Now that it's out of my hands, you'd think I could relax, but...nope. No such luck. I keep wondering if I forgot something. Just like when I leave the house and wonder if I left my straightening iron plugged in. But at least if I did forget something, it won't burn the house down!

Guess I'll get comfortable for the wait and try to keep my mind off of it. I'm guessing it could be a while.

But there's nothing like more writing to pass the time.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


The Editor pitch went very well (must have been all your good wishes). Ms Scheibling was easy to chat with, and I actually felt more at ease during the chat than I did during the hour leading up to it, LOL.

The end result? She said that the premise sounds like a good fit for the line and asked to see the partial! Yippee!

I want to give it another look and polish before sending it off. But not tonight. Tonight, I celebrate...with wine.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I've been selected to pitch my manuscript to the Harlequin American Romance Senior Editor on Thursday in an online pitch session!

I'm so flipping excited...and nervous. Wait...very, very nervous.

What will I tell her about my story that she doesn't already know from my synopsis? Will I be able to type fast enough? Form a complete thought? I'm definitely going to need advice from my pitch-savy writing friends.

Do you have any pitching pearls of wisdom you can pass along?

Friday, July 02, 2010

So long gone

Has it really been almost 2 months since I posted here? Really? I'm a B-A-D blogger. Shame on me.

The reason I haven't been by...I don't have much to say. Aside from shining up my synopsis, I haven't been doing much writing--until today. Not sure why, but the spirit moved me today, and I opened up that word doc. And guess what? I immediately started to feel my mojo pumping again. I love this story! So why am I sitting on it? I need to polish this puppy up and get it in the mail.

You heard it here. I will get this manuscript in the mail before the summer's up.

You can hold me to it. In fact, please do!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's keeping me busy

Not much writing's been getting done lately. *sigh* Must get focused again--and soon.

Lots has been happening to steal my focus. Here are the high lights.

1) We adopted a new dog. Isn't he sweet?
And here he is easily falling into the pattern of begging with our senior doggie.

With a new dog comes lots of work...I'd forgotten how much. Our senior doggie doesn't make much of a fuss, but this one wants people to play with him, walk him, love him all the time...which we're more than happy to do. It just means that there's less time for other things--writing included.

Unfortunately, the cat doesn't love the dog as much as we do. She's been hiding for 2 weeks now. :( I really hope she comes out soon. We miss her.

2) Last week I had yet another gall bladder attack. This time I didn't want to let it go, so I have an ultrasound booked for the end of May. If I do have stones, it means it'll likely have to come out. Summer surgery. Ugh.

3) DD1 and I are both home with a bug today. Fire burning throat, runny nose, overall blahs. Fun times. At least the doggies are happy we're home. :)

So there you have it. Throw in the day job, and the general craziness of motherhood and you've got my life for the past 3 weeks in a nut shell.

What's new with you???

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No pitch for me :(

The results are in, and I did not get chosen for the online SSE editor pitch. Although I am sad, I can still route for my lovely CP Judy Jarvie who did make the cut. Go Jude!

I'm also trying to see the bright side of the situation....I can still sub. And I will. But I think I need to spend some more time with this ms making sure everything is perfect before I do. Everything happens for a reason--now it won't be a big rush to get this out the door. So really, it's a good thing I didn't get chosen.

There. Did that sound convincing? LOL.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I just pressed send on my SSE Editor Pitch contest entry! Cue lots of nail biting and edge of the seat sitting for the next week until the winners are announced. There may only be one day between the announcement of the winners and the actual online pitch, so I think I'd better prepare something for the pitch in advance...just in case. If I don't get chosen, no harm done. If I do get chosen, I won't have to scramble.

That being said, I better get to work. I have a short window of quiet time. Must make the most of it.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Saying Goodbye

It's never easy saying goodbye.

This week we had to say goodbye to a furry friend who's been with us for over 14 years.

Nearly 3 years ago, our cat Jazz was diagnosed with Diabetes. But we didn't let that get us down. We did our best to manage it with twice daily insulin shots. We loved him and cared for him,
and he lived a happy life with us. Until this week when the combination of an infection and his Diabetes got the better of him.
In my heart, I know that he lived a good long life. But it still hurts. I'm sure it'll feel like there's a hole in our family for a little while, but we'll keep his memory alive with the stories of the toughest cat I've ever met.
Like the time he caught a bird off a second story balcony, or the time he jumped from that same balcony and was returned unscathed by our downstairs neighbour. And best yet is the story of him swinging from our bird's cage like Sylvester the cat trying to catch Tweetie bird. The tales are endless.
Our lives were richer because of him.
We'll miss you, Jazz.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm at 50,000 words!!!

I've been working on my little ASUS for a while and the word processor uses a different word counter than what MS Word uses, so I tend not to look at it. Imagine my surprise when I loaded my ms onto my PC today and discovered that I'm over 50,000 words!

When did that happen?

I've been revising/'add'iting for the last 2 weeks, but I had no idea I was that far along. The revisions are coming along really well, and I can tell that the story is a lot stronger than it was. Motivations are stronger, threads are stronger...I'm on my way.

Good thing, too, since I only have until April 12th to get ready for the SSE editor pitch.

Anyone else out there entering the pitch contest?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

I just found out that the Harlequin pitch for SSE line will be in April...which means I need to get crackin' on finishing up this ms! I only have about 1 chapter left to write but LOADS of editing. And I do mean loads. I've been trying to shut off my internal editor, but the time to let her free is coming soon.

I've also enrolled in two online classes since January. The first was the Susan Meier class I mentioned a few posts ago. This class was very useful and helped me see why published authors do the things that they do. The other one is still going on--Plotting and Motivation with Laurie Schnebly. I am lovin' this class. Already I've had a lightbulb moment with my wip. Laurie pushes you to boil your character's motivations down to one word. And you know what--it really helped to clarify things in my mind. Now I can see on which motivations I should put the focus in order to create the biggest conflict. It's all so clear now. Yay! So I'd definitely recommend the class to all you writers out there.

So on top of the house-messing bathroom reno going on in our home right now, I'll be busy for the next few months. But it's a good kind of busy and is ensuring that the weeks until Spring arrive pass by in a blur.

Hope you're all enjoying the last few weeks of Winter!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Knock on Wood

Have you ever, in a moment of weakness, wished for a non life-threatening injury that would knock you off your feet, just for a little while, so you could have some time to yourself to write?

Take it from me...DON'T!

I verbalized that very wish to a colleague at work the other day, only half-kidding. That same night I had a gall bladder attack--a first for me. Wow, was it painful. And after some research I found that the most effective cure for gall stones...have them surgically removed. I'll have to go to the doctor to determine if that is required, but the thought of that scares the stuffing out of me, even if it would net me some quiet time.

Was someone listening up above and decided to either a) grant me my wish or b) show me that wishing for injury is a very bad thing? Who knows. But one thing is for sure...I'll never forget to knock wood after such a statement again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pitching Away

Yesterday I emailed my pitch off to Donna Alward's Perfect Pitch contest over at eHarlequin. The winner will be lucky enough to have Donna as a mentor for a year. What a great opportunity!

I quickly discovered that writing a good pitch is not as easy as I'd imagined. But Winnie Grigg's eHarlequin workshop was such a big help (for anyone struggling, I'd highly suggest heading over and reading the workshop notes). With so few words to get across the main characters and conflicts, every word is precious. So I agonized over each one. Endlessly. Needless to say, I was very happy to get it to a place in which I was happy with it and finally hit the send button. Yay!

Donna, being the incredibly thoughtful author that she is, is not going to keep us in suspense for long. She'll be announcing the winner by Monday or Tuesday.

I'm crossing my fingers, toes, legs, arms...

Saturday, January 09, 2010


I had a dream last night that an editor called to tell me how well written my ms was and how much he liked it. Is this a sign??? I'm choosing to take it that way.

I pulled out my dusty ms yesterday (OK it's a computer file that can't get dusty, but you get the idea) and lo and behold, as I started reading what I'd last written, I discovered that it isn't half bad. It's funny because when I was writing it, I was sure it was complete and utter crap. I guess time does heal all wounds.

So with a renewed faith in my writing ability and a dream to give me hope, I carry on.