Saturday, June 28, 2014

little things

I just can't seem to catch up on my sleep. Fortunately, I wasn't needed anywhere today. I noodled around with some research. I went off on a tangent that led to a dead end. It was actually a good thing as I know have a much better sense of my characters' character ;)

I came home to several bars of Icelandic chocolate. That was a pleasant and completely unexpected surprise. Of course, that's what surprise means.

A nice low-key day today leaves me in good stead for a really busy day tomorrow. I'm sure it will be interesting.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


One good thing about such a long day is I am tired and will sleep well as a result. That's is all. Today, that is enough

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lots of good things

1,679 words were good today. It took a significant portion of the day to amass them but most of them are worth keeping. I put out a few personal fires while writing today so those words are even more precious. 

It is possible to think of at least one good thing a day. It's easier in summer when the mulberry, strawberry and gooseberry all bear fruit. It's easier when the rain barrel is full, the weeds are under control and the pond fish are self-sustaining. 

I'm working on walking or using the elliptical every day.  I have a plan for when I run out of Doctor Who episodes.  I've indulged in too much chocolate since I came home from last week's writing retreat slash vacation. 

I'm appreciating every moment I have with Milo. He is too thin to bear, and eating little, but seems content to spend time with me.  He has been my little panther for too many years to count.  I've made the effort to enjoy him now rather than obsess about how much longer we have.

There are a great many deep thoughts running the maze of my brain. Most of them are good. I'm contemplating which open doors to walk through now that one has closed. I am blessed to have options. I am blessed to have people I love and who love me.  I am blessed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Natural good things

Today's 1, 228 words were hard won. It not only took a long time to get back into the writing groove now that I'm home from North Carolina (even the smells are different) but the laptop was acting up after its little dive off the buffet yesterday. However, it seems fine now. Phew.

Another good thing was the last walk we had yesterday.  There was a very tall tree laden with yellow flowers on the last corner.  Because we had lost our companions, we stopped beside it.  I heard this hum and looked up.  The tree was dancing beneath the weight of thousands of bees.  We moved under the drip line and closed our eyes to listen more closely.  The hum rose and dipped in waves like a song. I wish I'd had my camera so that I could have recorded it.  Far better than a good thing, it was and experience.

Friday, June 20, 2014


We hit the motherlode for research today.  The people we met were helpful in unexpected and generous ways. Our entire day was spent driving across state to visit a NASCAR race garage.  Then we spent two and half hours soaking up information, taking photos and learning so much.

I promised to keep the photos I took private so here's one from the Botanical Gardens.

 I have no idea what it is other than beautiful.

We got home to more people, very short delightful grandchildren.  They just filled the evening with joy, awe, games, stretches and a unique vision of everything with which they came in contact. 

Great day. It's going to be hard to go home and back into the normal routine.  But I have a great foundation for this story, even if I did only write 599 words today.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Photos to come

 We spent most of the hot humid day indoors writing. I had a lot of research to do.  If I don't understand how the science is going to work then I can't do it justice.  I've been writing around the lack of knowledge but today was the day I had to do something about it. 

I'm not sure why all that information: research, medical studies, chemistry and botany made sense but today is the day if finally gelled. And it gelled beautifully. I have come up with a fictional cure for cancer that actually makes sense. I had to create a strain of fern that doesn't actually exist - but that's the beauty of imagination. 

Then my hero ran off to meet some characters I didn't know existed until he went to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens.  I was there the last time I visited North Carolina but couldn't remember which trees grew near the ferns. So we went on a field trip.

Only a bunch of writers and their generous, accommodating hostess would venture out in 102 degree heat to walk through a garden. I took hundreds of photos.  It will be some time before I make it back there and wanted to be sure to capture as much of the terrain as possible. I haven't even looked at them.  We went out for dinner at the Carolina Club.  That's the first time in years that a young man has given me flowers, let alone a red rose, over dinner.  It was a nice gesture. 

Another lovely day with great people, good conversation and productive writing. Today's final word count was 2,012.  Not too shabby, all things considered.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Daily word count

2,356 words today.  My critique partner(cp) counts her productivity by pages.  That's just under nine and a half pages for me.  Not too shabby considering how much time I spent avoiding the one scene.  Nymphs are tricky to write. They don't live by a code that is necessarily understandable by human standards but heck, I wrote a sympathetic demon. I'm up to the task.  I did a lot of research.

It was 98 degrees outside today but I was writing in the basement (it was the most private space in the house).  I froze.  I actually had to take a small walk around outside in order to equalize my body temperature.  It was a good day.

I wrote for a bit this morning in my notebook then hopped out of bed when my other cp knocked on my door to go for a walk. 7am and the air was already oppressive but we enjoyed ourselves.  We got to pet a golden retriever and its hound companion.  Great start to the day even if it wasn't Ky.

We had grilled salmon, baked potatoes and a salad for dinner. I am being spoiled here in North Carolina.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Writing progress

2,000 words and 1,122 today.  I'm pleased. Not only am I getting some words on the page but I'm falling in love with these characters. 

We've had lots of fun, too.  Shopping, good meals, taste-testing gin and wine (not together!) and great conversations. It was 97degrees here with which this sheltered Canadian struggled. 

This was my view yesterday
 And this was today's

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Good things

I found all my notes for the NC story including the conflict - and its resolution. Then I wrote close to 1,000 words before dinner.

Dinner was a group effort with amazing women, one husband  grilled squash and two types of steak. We ate the food, drank the wine and enjoyed the human company. I may have edited a friend's email for awkward sentence structure.

Father's Day with my dad and I in separate countries was weird but he k.ows I love him no matter the geography. He's never cared much about Hallmark Holidays. Still, it's nice to be told you're appreciated. He really is.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Outdoor goodness

Full moon on Friday the 13th. It is beautiful. The rain stopped and the clouds cleared in time to see the gorgeous astronomical event.

My wild rosebush is in full bloom filling the night air with its fragrance. Instead of snapping photos, I just tipped my head back and drank it all in.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ripple effect

Politics and controversy aside, I love Fifa World Cup. Not only do I like sports, particularly soccer, I like the crazy fans who make Canadians appear disinterested in hockey. Soccer is incredibly colourful in many ways.

The Opening Ceremony today made me smile. So many aspects of Brazilian culture and heritage on display alongside its incredible nature. From the first distinctive drumbeat to the last, Yoda was dancing on his perch, literally shaking his tail feathers. It's the same reaction he has to the animated feature, Rio. I thought it was all the birds, his people, but now I suspect it's Brazil.  His joy is contagious.

Then the entire stadium sang the Brazilian national anthem and I was moved to tears.

Pride is a good thing. Joy even better. Though neither were mine today I basked in the emotions of others and was better for it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sparkly good things

This is my friend's jewelry page. She does beautiful work that makes both of us happy. She loves making it and I love looking at it, touching it and trying it on.

These are the earrings that came in the mail today.

I won them at Nancy Herkness' Launch party for her latest book. Aren't they pretty?  Nancy's books always make me smile.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I've been blog absent for the last few days. Not because there weren't good things happening but more because I couldn't think of them at the end of the day when so much less than appreciated stuff occurred.

Today though was much better. Ky's vet appointment not only cost less than I had budgeted but more importantly the vet suggested we hold off surgery until the Fall. The lumps are growing quickly but they're most likely benign.  We can leave them so that Ky can enjoy the summer. He does like to swim down at the lake.  So we're going to do that.

My mom is doing better now that she's in the hospital and getting IV antibiotics.  It's much less of a worry.

On the writing front, I finished the edits on Casey's story.  Wheee. I also looked at a ridiculous number of photos from five years ago. The more things change the more they stay the same.

I rewrote a scene for the horror story.  There was a good suggestion to flip that scene around so I did while I picked up milk and bananas.  It will be even better once I put it onto paper.

AND - I found the outline for the North Carolina nymph romance.  What a relief.  I'll have no excuse when I'm at the writers retreat next week.  Every day will be filled with good things. I'll be surrounded by amazing women (and a husband or two) who write, support writers, read books.  I anticipate a significant amount of laughter to go with the profound thoughts, brilliant stories and wine.

Tonight it will storm so I don't have to water the garden.  I'm charging all the electronic devices now so we're good to unplug everything.  It's nice to have fairly reliable weather forecasts.

Now if only I could stop stress eating.  At least the cookies and squares are gone.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

I am Canadian

Can't talk. Watching hockey. I don't care who wins. This is fast-paced end-to-end hockey at its finest.

Friday, June 06, 2014


I've been so tired the last couple of days that after work all I did was read. I didn't write, I didn't cook. I did a spot of cleaning, a load of laundry and binged on Doctor Who. I made the transition from Ten (goodbye David Tennant) to Eleven (hello Matt Smith). I also caught up on Brenda Harlen's back list. We're critique partners and working four books ahead of the one that just came out this month. I forget what happens, yet she sucks me right back in to the stories and in love with the characters. That's good writing.


Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Today was one of those days. I did manage to spend most of the day with writing buddies. That can never be a bad thing. It not only makes me a better writer but a better person as well.

A quick stop at Chapters Indigo was a treat. All of the sales associates were enthusiastic about books, romance in particular. That's a refreshing change. I've never understood the bad rap that genre gets. Far more people fall in love than commit murder.

Then I came home and watched a sweet movie About Time. It had just the right tone to counter balance the disappointment of part of my day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Pleasant day

Today was great. I finished the penultimate draft of the horror story and sent it off.

The shower was caulked, the leak sealed.

I made plans for our writers meeting tomorrow - and some brownies.

I won earrings at a book launch. The place I belong is the last in Nancy Herkness's Whisper Horse trilogy. Not only does she have the most beautiful covers but her characters are engaging.

Hope your day was pleasantly filled with good things.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Gardens, writing and dogs - oh my

It was so hot and humid outside today. The wind is strong so I've got all the windows open.  Eliot has lain on all of the windowsills. Ky and I played ball while the rain barrel filled the watering cans.  We have 7 tomatoes coming!  The gooseberry bush is laden with berries, the strawberries and raspberries are covered in blossoms.  And for the first time in seven years, the peony is going to bloom.

I have one last run through to do on the horror story in the morning before I send it off to be critiqued by a horror writer.  Then I must resize all of Casey's photos so I can format his story while I'm in North Carolina in two weeks. After that, back to writing romance I go. I'm a happier person when I write Happily Ever After. I suspect the lack of romance, hope and the belief in the goodness of humanity are wearing on the global psyche.

Either that or everyone needs to toss a ball for their dog.  Such joy is contagious.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

change of plans

Two yards of mulch were spread in the garden and play areas. I don't feel the least bit guilty about popcorn at the movie this afternoon. Because Mom wasn't feeling well, we skipped the book festival. That freed me up to meet my friend early.

X-Men. Worth it. That is all.