Sunday, September 27, 2009

New goals

Hell to Pay is off with my critique partner. I am confident she is completely engrossed and unable to put it down for even the tiniest of instants.

In other news, Stashaholic is visiting this weekend. Which of course means we had to got play with yarn and fibre. A wonderful shop opened up in Jordan Village last week. It's a spinner's delight. The Fibre Garden has a wide range of sheep fleece (we found the Scottish Blackface that I picked up from a field in Scotland) as well as bamboo, silk, corn and milk fibres. I bought a lovely ruby red bamboo to spin with Ky's soft black and white fur. Casey may be telling his story but Ky's creating a sweater. No, it will not have that wet dog smell.

As always, a visit with Stashaholic results in good conversation, our own stimulus of the local economy and a renewed fervor to write the sweater book. The research stage has been a lot of fun.

While I play with our purchases, my next writing goal is to finish the first draft of Casey's story. In the next two weeks. My darling nephew is moving west this week so I'll need a big distraction. I can meet that goal.

Which title do you like best?
Heal, Casey
Casey Heal
Heal Casey, Casey Heal

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Deadlines and commitments

Long before I wrote for the newspaper, I wrote to deadlines. They were usually self-imposed but they were a good practice. I still operate that way. Without a publishing contract, it would be very easy for me to write whenever I felt like it. I've certainly slid in my productivity a time or two. But this is a business as well as pleasure, so I impose deadlines.

Whenever I dally too long on research or goof off with other things, I give myself a writing goal. Last week was creeping along until I realized I had a writer's meeting tonight. So I sat down every day to input Hell to Pay from the page on to the computer. At the same time I was playing with Casey's story. I intend to have a rough draft of his saga on paper by the middle of October.

Today's deadline looms. I'm making great progress towards it. If I don't meet it then I'll finish up by Wednesday to give the ms to my critique partner later in the week. Barring the discovery of any great plot holes or character deficiencies, I'll be sending that project out at the beginning of next month.

It's important to make and meet deadlines, even self-imposed ones. That commitment to your craft can make all the difference in this business. You're more likely to get the book written.

Douglas Adams was always one of my favourite writers. But his legendary inability to make a deadline means that readers were denied a great deal more of his work. Not that I have the audacity to compare my writing to his brilliant perspective but that deadline flaw keeps me at it when I'd rather be sitting on the porch drinking a glass or three of wine. Due to Adams's sudden death in 2001, The Salmon of Doubt remains unfinished. A book published under that title contains several short stories, interviews and essays and the eleven chapters from the unfinished sequel to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's an unsatisfying end to a story that has spanned thirty years, every medium available in his time and a great deal of joy.

It also serves as a valuable reminder to reject his famous quote, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

Sunday, September 13, 2009


After finishing the revisions on HTP last week, my productivity hit a wall. I did go to Niagara Falls and wander around Alex's place, took a few pictures and stared at the water rushing over the edge. My friend Theresa completely understood the siren call of the river but agreed that it's difficult to express the strength of that call without actually experiencing it. That conversation gave me something to consider when I'm inputting the changes this week.

Casey's story is progressing in the journal. In reality, we went for another brace adjustment and a swim. He's holding his leg up more than I think he should so I'd like to put Pilates back into his routine even though the brace gives him more flexibility now. I suspect his therapy will be ongoing throughout his life.

Wednesday was our anniversary. It's been one year since that brown bundle of fut bounced through the front door and completely rearranged our lives. There have been some tough times but all worth it to see the joy on his face as he greets each morning.

My writing goal this week is to get back to the computer and actually input all of the work I've done this month. HTP first, then Casey's journal. I can see the pages falling off the calendar. Where has this month gone?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Can't talk. Writing.

I've been using Twitter (over there in the right of my sidebar) to keep track of my progress. It's been good. In fact, I might actually finish the edits on Hell to Pay late tonight or tomorrow. I've been handwriting Casey's journey. Pretty pleased with myself.

After this, I'll be inputting everything into the computer. And that's where I fall down. I've been changing desks, painting office furniture and trying to get outside to enjoy the end of summer. Who wants to be stuck at the computer any more than necessary right now?

But I set myself a challenge. To write every day for as long as Maggie Shayne is on her 40 Day Challenge. That is her non-negotiable deadline. I jumped on it for support. I'm honestly not sure where we are in the timeline but I'd guess about halfway. It's my goal to have the first draft of Casey's Journey, and the final version of HTP by the end of the 40 days.

So while it's always great to chat with you, I have some work to do. We'll talk again soon. I have to go write.