Sunday, June 29, 2008


I took my clipboard with my first draft out west with me last week. I had no illusions of writing while in Portland for Merry's housewarming party but I did think I'd write on the plane ride across the country. I didn't expect to have to stow my personal belongings in the overhead bin. C'est la vie.

Getting back into the swing of writing has been slow. Most of this week was taken up with Real Life and re-assimilating myself into it. Yesterday I did write a page. Today I will build on that by writing two pages before bed(could be a late night as I'm off on dog rescue duty again after a sighting of the lost dog)but it will happen. Tomorrow I'll increase the word count again. If I do that every day regardless of how I feel, this draft will be finished sooner rather than later. Persistence truly is the key.

What do you do to get yourself back from the procrastination slump?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Excuses, excuses

I didn't write a word last week. At least not fiction. Not story fiction. Every day postcard fiction is another story. I did see Alex's house from the air. Wicked cool. Last night I dreamt I went over the falls in a caterpillar. The construction kind. I took two friends with me. Ooops. I suspect the dream had its root in a discussion about Alex kayaking over waterfalls in Oregon. Both the discussion and the kayaking took place in that state. I was on a much needed vacation with a great group of friends. Alex and Nea did come with me but stayed very much in the background while I played.

I didn't realize the world ended rather abruptly at Cannon Beach. All of my attention was focused on trying to snap the following photo. Consequently, I fell off the continent.
I think it was worth it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Five minutes

It's been a crazy week here. More so than usual. I would take solace in writing - if I had more than five minutes at a time. I try to use that five minutes wisely. While hiding in the car while hail pinged the roof I read three of my own paragraphs. They were good paragraphs. I didn't touch them.

Another five minutes was spent ordering the Wrath of Gods DVD directly from the website. As you may recall I was somewhat irate when a previous copy turned up blank. Zingera urged me to hunt down another copy as it was a brilliant documentary about the making of Beowulf and Grendel. Jon Gustafsson, the director of Wrath of Gods was kind enough to comment on that post and invite me to the website. The Canadian distributer of the DVD dropped the ball and left a lot more customers than just me staring at the blank screen. I just have to edit the first third of the book before I'm allowed to watch it. It's a great incentive to use my five minutes wisely.

If you can spare five minutes please check out his blog and help support my friend Kirby who is participating in the inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer June 20-22. He'll be cycling over 200km from Toronto to Niagara Falls. All money raised goes to fund cancer research, teaching and care at The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. I couldn't even walk that far let alone cycle but I'm happy to share his fundraising efforts with others.

Five minutes can change the world, change an individual, change a mood. How will you spend your five today?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Whatever works

I earned this star, and several others, this week.

I started the marketing course and actually implemented the first lesson at the small community branch of the library. It wasn't part of the course but the opportunity arose and I took it. I have to hand in the actual assignment this week.

My dog gained 30% of his body weight in the past year. I'm appalled and have started running with him every day. Okay, he runs, I walk. I ran a little bit yesterday when he rolled on a dead fox but that was self-preservation. I didn't eat much dinner as a result. Hmmm, an extreme weight-loss program. I think I'll pass. We're running up and down the stairs tonight while a thunderstorm rages outside. You take your exercise where you can get it.

As for blog relevance, my desk is covered in paperwork. I have a spreadsheet for the growth of numerous elements in the story. I have a book about white-water rafting and two drafts of Hell to Pay, one of which is mostly point form.

I'm using a pen to flesh out every sentence on the first draft that I printed last month. It's compact, portable and the words on the page are more visual for me than on the computer screen. Sometimes just knowing the pages are in my bag keep my brain working on the scene. With the demand on my time these days, that's vital.

I edited my first chapter and part of the next one. I don't actually have chapters at this point, merely scene breaks. I'll do chapters on the last pass. Those breaks can really change the pace of the story. I have to build up to the run.

Next week, I'll have another chapter-length section done. Until then, how do you edit?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Goals and Distractions

Sunday is Race Day here at Chez Fenton. My brother comes over to watch the race with his brain washed children. I wear a shirt, scrunchie, flip-flops and earrings bearing my favourite driver's logo. Perhaps I'm exaggerating somewhat. My niece will chant along with the parrot and I but only after she makes it clear where her loyalties belong. I'm reading Liz Allison'sbooks and reviewing my notes from the NASCAR game I wrote questions for a few years back. My favourite sport is actually research. How cool is that?

I had a look at my calendar the other day to see about scheduling a research trip to one of the racetracks. Yikes. I don't have a day off for another three weeks, at which point I'm going to the Pacific Northwest to visit with a whack of cherrybombs(fans of Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer) It will be fun but not relaxing. Then I'm back home to work seven days a week for another three or four weeks.

Did I mention I'm starting a marketing course for the library this week? I'm not sure if I'm an overachiever or a fool. When do I have time to write?

The best way for me to attain my goals is to make deadlines and hold myself accountable. That's where the blog comes in handy. I'm stating my intention right here and now to have chapter one of Hell to Pay revised by next Sunday.

It's a reasonable goal. All of the lightning/fire stuff I asked for help with won't come into play, even on a subtle level, for another two chapters. That gives me time this week to pop into Niagara Falls and do a little research on something that's a possibility for that scene.

Thank you all for your suggestions through the comments and emails. You've inspired several options,all of which involve lightning in some capacity. You're the best.