Sunday, October 30, 2011

Taking Another Challenge!

I'm admitting here for all to read that I am going to participate in the National Novel Writing Month (November). For those of you who have never heard of this, it's a forum where thousands of writers commit to writing 50,000 words, the size of a Harlequin size book, in 30 days.

I'm not sure why the powers that be chose November for this - especially since the U.S. participants celebrate their Thanksgiving during the last crucial phase of this challenge. But it could be something to do with the lousy weather and how everyone is huddled inside preparing for winter. What better time to write, write, write!

I've never been at the right spot in my writing to do this. You have to have the idea in mind, maybe a rough outline of what will happen in your plot, but you can't have actually started any writing on it yet. Usually by this time of year, I've got 2-3 months of work on a new story done.

This time, however, I've been revising an older story and not even sure what to do next. Suddenly this historical story that had been playing around in my mind for a while came to life. So I started jotting down plot ideas, character sketches and the story started to take shape. This is even stranger to me because I'm a contemporary writer.

So I'm taking a leap on 2 counts - writing outside my genre and writing 50,000 words in a month! Hopefully at the end of November I'll have a viable book on my hands.

Good luck to all you writers out there attempting this challenge with me! See you in December!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two Steps Forward....

Just a quick update to give myself a proverbial pat on the back.

One month after I came back from the ACFW Conference, I have submitted two proposals to different literary agencies. One was a very detailed, in-depth proposal. The other a quick query letter and sample pages. Yet each took the same amount of courage to push the SEND key!

Whew! It's done and gone.

Now back to more revisions! And try to forget about those proposals!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Today as I cook the small stuffed turkey breast and clean my messy house, I find myself thinking about Thanksgiving Day and what it really means. (For my American cyber-friends - it's our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend).

I used to get so stressed out at Thanksgiving that I didn't enjoy one minute. I'd spend all weekend scouring and cleaning, and cutting and chopping and peeling and cooking, carving the turkey, serving food, then cleaning up some more. I'd have to recuperate all Monday before heading back to work. What kind of fun was that? I wouldn't even have a minute to give thanks for anything (the grumbling overtook everything else).

Even though we now do Thanksgiving differently, (usually we meet in a restaurant for a meal and then come back to my house for my mother's famous pumpkin pie), I still find myself getting a little grumpy. So I decided to take time out to thank God for all the things in my life I'm grateful for.

I'm grateful for ever strengthening relationship with God. I'm grateful for my family (my husband and two great kids), for my health, for my little part-time job which I really enjoy, for my writing, for this beautiful weather we've been having, for my house (even though it's always messy!), for my car with the broken muffler, for this country that offers us every opportunity to do and become whatever we wish, and last but not least, I'm grateful for my friends and all the wonderful people I've met - who've touched my life along the way. I grateful for angels actually, those in bodily form and those in celestial form.

May God bless you and your family on our Canadian thanksgiving. I'm thankful for this concrete reminder to be grateful for every little thing around me. And I'm grateful for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Some Photos from the Conference!

Finally figured out how to get the pictures off my camera! All by myself without my daughter!! So I thought I'd post a few and share some fun moments.

My roommate Eileen Astels Watson and author Cathy West!

One person I really wanted to meet was one of my favourite authors, Julie Lessman. This picture was taken in the midst of chaos but I cherish it nontheless!

Here is myself, Eileen and Sandra Orchard on the steps of the capitol building. (I'm the 'unstylish' one in green! LOL)

And of course we took some great pictures of the famous Arch!

Next time I'll try to take more pictures of the awesome people I meet. Though sometimes I just ran into them in random hallways or the bookstore and didn't think to pull out my camera. Good thing George Clooney didn't show up! No one would believe me!!