Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Yes! It is time for us to gather and celebrate those of us - okay me - who have been insecure but motored on.  Have I motored on? Sometimes. As much as I wanted to?  But you still want to celebrate? Yes. You think your paltry steps have earned you a celebration? Why is my inner voice being such a killjoy?

Here's the thing (as if there was ever one 'thing'). I am getting back on the horse or wagon or some vehicle of movement. Only it isn't in writing yet. I'm back doing my Buddhist  practice. That is linked. And I never stopped my one drawing with narrative a day practice.  I'm close to getting back to my writing practice...only...not yet. Why?  Because I said so. No! I didn't mean to say that. Because I'm stuck. I need to send out a few more Bright Angel packages which isn't exactly writing, and get back to my mystery. Okay! I have a plan! I'll join up with NANOWRIMO in November to finish this sucker. I have about 20 thousand words to finish it so I'll set myself a goal of 666 words a day -yikes! My math must be wrong but I think it's right. Even l can do that. Especially as the devil appears to be on my side. And then I'll have my shitty first draft done and I love revising so...
Okay - get out the balloons and gingerale. Let's party.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Here I Am

Here I am again. So long - longest I've gone since I started blogging many years ago. Why? Simple really - I'm not in good health. The good news is that there will be an end to this constant pain. I'm getting a new hip. The bad news is that I don't know when. I carried on with most of my intentions until getting back from our holiday this summer (three weeks - 9 thousand kilometers - my youngest son's marriage - an intense but fabulous time). I saw the orthopedic guy two days after getting home and I don't know - I just sort of collapsed. The news was good in that he said the operation was the only chance - so I didn't have to convince him, having already come to that conclusion - but maybe it was bad too because I stopped doing everything but working and lying on the couch.

No - not entirely true - I have been doing a series of digital sketches with short-short stories or poems attached and posting them daily on facebook. I do that without resistance every morning. I also wrote 70 poems for my best bud - I started on her birthday last year and finished up yesterday. I sent them to her as I wrote them so she had a steady stream of poems all year. It was fun and I think it is a good collection. I'm assembling them all into a home-made book for her now. It is exciting to go over them all and see my year unfold.

But my other practices just stopped. I cannot sit easily so I stopped my meditation. I think I can figure out a way to continue that but man when I stop something it is so solid! I hadn't missed a day in over a year and a half.

I meant to keep on sending out packages for my novel but I stalled there too. Can't say what I'll do - the packages are ready - just a little tweaking for each publisher or agent - but somehow I find it hard to get around to. I'm not working on my new novel so it is still there in limbo - nearly done my first shitty draft but not quite.

I'm drawing a bit but not nearly as much as I was - except for the flower folk I do on fb.

So...I'm really trying to practice self-love. I'm deeply deeply tired from the fairly constant pain. I just got some medication that will help me sleep at night so that should improve. I'm not depressed but I swung pretty close to that. I'm still crazy about my fella and know my work on the reserve is good deep stuff. The rest will have to wait.

If you've tried to hang in with me - thank you. If not - I get it. I'm promising nothing in terms of this blog - only that I feel a bit of September energy coming toward me. Who knows?  Here's a drawing I made for my son and Grazie's wedding. And the words
And she said I do and he said I do and all of us said we will. And it was lovely by the river and the trees said we will too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Setting down intentions

People ask me why I blog. I do it for the community that it offers - especially needed now that I live in an isolated part of the world. The conversations between like-minded folk - the ideas that may ping during these conversations, the support of people who may be trying to do similar things (get things published, make it through the day to day of a creative who needs to work too) and the silliness that might relieve such times - this is what I blog for. More importantly though, I blog for myself. Not because I'm a selfish narcissist, but because I will find out what I want to do next by writing and I am more likely to do what I set out to do if I share that with others.

One of my favorite blogger pals is Tami Hart, who blogs under the title Confessions of a Watery Tart. We not only correspond through comments but have critiqued manuscripts for each other and gone through innumerable writing challenges including a couple of NaNoWriMos and a few more BuNoWriMos. She also likes to make her goals public and because she revealed her most recent plan today - I am nudged into doing the same.

As any of you who have kept up with this site, in all its ups and downs, know - I've been in a bit of a dip lately. I won't go into the why - I've already stated the reasons in previous posts - but I'm fighting my way through it and feel a bit of the heaviness lifting of late. I think a plan will really help lift the rest of that dark cloud so here goes:

Because I leave on a three week road trip next Saturday (two destinations, one child's camping wedding, three or more ferries, 2,500 kilometers, one fella and a blow-up mattress) I will implement this plan on Sept. 1st. That is the natural start to my year at any rate - 12 years of schooling set that up and it is still in my cells as Brand New Clean Notebook Head. So here goes:

Writing Goals:

  1. Continue query process for Bright Angel until the book is sold. That means I will send out about 2 packages a week. I will tend the ones sent out and see how things are going. This doesn't take too much time at this point as I have a pretty good package assembled - it just needs to be jigged for each new query sent.
  2. Continue work on Crooked Knife. Finish first draft by October 15th. Begin second draft immediately after and have the final draft done by December 15th. Think this is doable. It is pretty clean so far - so won't need as many drafts as Bright Angel did. 
  3. Look at each of my writing projects (one literary fiction novel and two mysteries) and see whether to revise, throw out, or begin pitching to publishers.
Health and Well-being Goals:
  1. Continue with modified anti-inflammatory diet. (dieting for a reduction in arthritis pain) 
  2. Practice classical stretch (essentrics exercise program) for a half-hour a day.
  3.  Meditate and continue Ngondro.
  4. Walk for at least a half-hour a day.

Odd but Positive Goals:
  1. Do a Flower Folk drawing most days.
  2. Go on a social media break one day out of every week, one week out of every month, and one month out of every year.
  3. Sketch daily.
Okily Dokily - that's it for me. Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 14, 2016


I've updated my update! I realized it isn't helpful to whine on the web so I decided to cut it out. I haven't a moment to write a completely new piece (work and writing has me boxed), so I'm just going to fiddle this one a bit.


Querying Bright Angel:

The query process goes on. I've had a bit of encouragement but won't report on it until something gels one way or t'other. I know this is a long haul and I'm at the beginning of it.
So far I have six packages out.

Crooked Knife:

Hmmm... yep, a bit slower than I'd like after my zoom through of 55 thousand words but it is going somewhere - and I have a fresh crop of frustration to feed it with. This book is set in Sheshatshiu, a reserve in Labrador (where I work and next door to where I live). Unless you've been living under a rock you will know that these are tough times for indigenous communities in Canada. Youth suicide is on the rise, addictions are rampant and those are just the symptoms. The disease? Colonization.  At any rate - plenty of fuel for a mystery set on a reserve.

Other random things

 I just found out from a fellow blogger, Karen Walker, that she is putting together an anthology on aging. I am definitely going to submit a piece to that!  Here is a link to her description of it on her blog  Author Karen Walker...Following the Whispers .  If you are over fifty and would like the opportunity to submit a piece check it out.

Flower Folk

 For the last 50 days or so I was posting a drawing a day with a one or two line story. I'm keeping that up in my sketchbook but not posting. I call them Flower Folk - contemplating life one petal at a time. People seem to like them and I'm arranging to have some printed as cards. I'll include one here so you know I'm still alive and creating.

.Sheldon knew the flowers understood him in ways
 his mother and Aunt Edna couldn't begin to.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What up?

I haven't been here in awhile. First it was getting over April. That took all of May apparently (except for the first Wednesday). Then I went to Cuba for the first week in June and came home needing to recover from that. And now I'm wandering slowly back.

The thing is that it is very hard for me to relax. Very hard. The first day I went in the water in Cuba I told Ron that I planned to swim 21 times while we were there. Why did I do that? Why couldn't I just swim and go 'wow, that is so nice. think I'll do that some more, if I feel like it'? Because I'm mental and I think I have to be constantly improving myself with no time off at all. I get home from my work - which is very stressful mind - and immediately go and meditate, then draw for an hour, then do some writing. In between all of that I might make or help with dinner, I'll definitely do the dishes and I will probably skype or call a few people (my kids, my pals, a client...). Then a bath (where I read) and bed.

By the third day in Cuba I felt unwound. It was great. I didn't draw. I didn't meditate (well once or twice). I didn't write or journal or anything. I slept, swam, ate, and all over again.

Before I left I had planned to get at least some query packages for Bright Angel out to publishers and agents - but I didn't. I had this big block about it after working for a month on the query letter etc... This weekend I broke through that. There is a package out to one publisher and one agent. I'll send some more this coming weekend. The deal I made with myself is that I am allowed (!!!) to write on my newest wip - Crooked Knife - if I send out a package. So I jumped back into that, which was heavenly. Once I have five or six packages out I'll feel free to concentrate on CF but I'm still refining one page synopses and making sure my first fifty or so pages are pristine. I have a book that I created that helps me track my submissions. I know this is a long long game and I won't remember who I sent to unless I keep meticulous track and it has to be hard copy for me. Every single publisher or agent that I'm querying has a slightly different set of submission rules. Some insist on hard copy, some insist on email with no attachments or email with certain attachments. Some want just the letter thanks, some want big chunks of your ms. I am really trying to follow the rules but I must say it feels kind of like the Toronto airport - all of these young people in uniform rolling their eyes and scolding you for not being born knowing which line to stand in.

Ah well.

How are you all doing? I'm going to come and visit you now.