A Writer’s Life

Plenty of wind and rain from Hurricane Earl at the moment, and for some reason writing that makes me feel as though I’m a weather forecaster.  Still, it is my truth at the moment.

Our power was gone by 9:30, which isn’t a big surprise. The wind is fairly strong. Hopefully it will be back on sometime today. So glad I can use my laptop to do a bit of writing to help pass the time. Already, I’ve finished reading one book and read another, and am now into chapter three of yet another one. In case you’re wondering I’m not a speed-reader. I’ve been reading some YA novels.

They say it’s important to read books in the genre that you write in and I happen to think this is good advice. It helps keep our heads in that space, and helps to inspire us in our own writing. It gives us fresh new ideas.

Many moons ago, when I first started to take my writing serious, I was not reading fiction at all. In fact, I was reading plenty of non-fiction books until one day it dawned on me that hey, maybe I should be reading fiction since fiction is what I’m trying to write. I needed to get myself into that place where fiction happens. So I started reading plenty of fiction. At the time I was concentrating on adult short fiction as I worked at learning my craft. It had only been these later years that I have settled into writing from a child’s perspective. And yes, I am still very much in the learning process. For a writer, I’m not sure that it ever ends.

A few weeks ago, I happened upon a used book sale while in town. All the books you could stog (Is stog a word? My word program says no, but  in my world the answer is yes.) into a  grocery bag for 5 bucks. There was an entire box of YA and middle grade readers, many of them written by Canadian authors and published by Canadian publishing companies. Sweet! I didn’t have to think twice. So I grab up quite a nice selection and put (stogged) them in my bag. I was smiling all the way home. But now is the time to start reading through them. A writer’s life cannot consist of all writing. Reading is also important.

So while the wind is still blowing and the power is off, I’ll be reading and writing. Just part of a writer’s life. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend wherever you are!

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  1. Laura, I think you may have coined a new word/meaning. :)

    How fortunate you are to be able to get online during a power outage. I can’t do that so I read for most of the 2.5 hours our power was out while my husband napped and our grandson played Lego.

    Used book sales are exciting! I’m still reading whatever I have here in my ‘collection’ in a variety of genres, but seem to continue adding to it with new or used.

    Keep safe!

    • No new phrase, Lynn. It’s been a phrased used often in this household but we were not the first to come up with it. We often use it in reference to eating. “What are you stogging?” Sounds rather back-woodsy doesn’t it.

      Used sales are terrific.Agreed. Low and behold the book I am now reading was a winner of the Bilson award back in ’95 which I thought was a neat coincidence. I’m rather enjoying it, too. :)

  2. Hope better weather is forthcoming soon, Laura! The sun is actually shining here…we had almost no wind, and very little rain!


    • Luckily, we didn’t have any damage, Wendy, and I can handle an 8 hr power outage. I dread it when it stretches our after dark. Makes the evening seem so long. Sounds as though you made out rather well in your area.

  3. Melanie

     /  September 4, 2010

    Of course stog is a word! Don’t talk so foolish. :D

  4. If you say stog is a word, I believe you over the Word program any day! Besides, I love how it sounds and I love how you use it. I’ll even help start a “stog” movement!

    • Thanks, Jane and welcome to my blog! Stog is a great word that encompasses so much, although I don’t often say it in public. :)

      Hmm a “stog” movement sounds like fun. Not sure how many cultured people would join up, though. Hehehe

  5. You stog and I stuff. :) I love to browse at book sales, new or used. While on holidays we stopped at a major grocery store to pick up a few things, and I left with three new books from a sale bin stuffed into my tote bag!

    Another day, in a little tourist info centre en route, I picked up Czajkowski’s DIARY OF A WILDERNESS DWELLER and am reading it now. It’s non-fiction but since I write a little non-fiction in addition to my novels, I enjoy reading it, too. I agree that it’s important to read in the genre you write.

    I hope Earl is quickly moving away and your power outage doesn’t last too long.

    • Yes, “walk it in” or “stuff it in” more great terms. I’ve got a ton of these sayings. I’m not even sure how I know them, but I like to blame my husband.lol! Actually, I’m always on the look out for new phrases— interesting ways for a character to speak.

      I can’t seem to get away from the book sales, Carol. But I’m making a commitment to thin out some of the books I know I don’t want or will never read. I’ll be over-run with the darn things if I soon don’t so something.

  6. All that reading sounds heavenly to me … Not fun to have a power outage, but how wonderful to be able to snuggle up with some good books. I miss that, but my kids are growing up. I look fwd to reading together some day soon enough. So agree with you about reading in your genre.

    • Thanks for dropping in Idelette and for your comment. I feel sorry for those who do not value how important reading is. Not always so easy to settle down with a book with kids in the house..How well I remember.

  7. Those of us on the westcoast are sending warm wishes to our eastcoast friends. Be safe, warm and have lots of books at hand. You’ve got to love those fabulous book sales. Now I almost wish we had a storm so I could have a good excuse to read the many books I have ‘stogged’ beside my bed. Keep blogging Laura!

    • Thanks Darlene. You didn’t make out so bad after all. The media likes to blow things a bit out of proportion but then again people need to be prepared for the worse in those situations. Ah “stogged” books by the bed—heavenly!

  8. That Laura likes to stog and blog. I have quite a pile of books that I’ve stogged into a basket to remind me to read them.

    I think power outages are a good thing now and then, eh Laura? They force us to slow down and unplug for a while from distractions like Internet, and television. We get more reading done for sure.

    Think of our ancestors and how they never had power. What a different world it was.

    I do love all the conveniences of having electricity but do also realize how dependent we are on it which probably isn’t a good thing.

    Glad the storm wasn’t too severe for you and your house is still standing.

    • Thanks Cathy! How easily we take things like electricity for granted and all the conveniences that comes with it. I have to say, the battery on my laptop needs replacing so we ran an extension cord from the car and plugged into the cigarette lighter. This was after about 6hrs of having no power. Kind of pathetic, really.

      I enjoyed getting the reading done, however.

  9. My biggest problem is the lack of time. I love reading. But as I sit on the sofa in front of the window overlooking a lake that looks like glass and with me wrapped in my favourite blank, I see dust bunnies float past by. It’s so distracting.

    Laura, I just bought a Kobo and am I ever loving it. I’m reading War and Peace, which is a terrific book btw.

    Thinking of you and my son and his family while the ocean brews. Hope you all stay safe. Especially while you’re “stog” ing.

    • Finding the time for everything we want to do is always challenging. I’ve even been gutting up 5:30 mornings to give myself a bit of extra time to do a little reading or writing before going off to work. The power outage gave me the opportunity to read without feeling as though I should be doing something that required power. It shouldn’t be that way.

  10. I couldn’t decide if they were floating past or by, hence I used both verbs. LOL.

  11. Nothin’ worse than a powerless book stoggin’ bloggin’ author.

    I read some YA to stay in the loop, but there’s a lot of it I just don’t get. Maybe my tendency to ‘get to the point’ is & will be my downfall. I like my adventures in relentless waves rather than a slow motion build up. Guess my screwball storytellin’ mirrors my approach to life – full speed ahead through the no wake zone – like a hurricane.

    Hope y’all are back to normal – hurricanes are still better than SNOW – IMO.

    • Hey Dave, I think I could actually get you talking Nova Scotian back woods..You catch on fast. I, on the other hand speak bad, bad pirate…lol!

      What’s out there for YA is a varied as fiction written for adults. We all have our own preferences. I just finished reading a mystery written by Shane Peacock and while his writing style is very different from mine, it was more of, as you say, “get to the point,” I enjoyed the book. First and foremost the story has to be compelling, we have to care about the characters we’re reading about or else there’s no point in reading.

      I don’t tend to read any of the trendy books, the ones that everyone is running out to buy as soon as they hit the books stores. Haven’t read Harry Potter, or any vampire stories. For no particular reason, actually. My daughter has the Twilight Series and I’m thinking I might try reading it at some point.

      Also, your target audience is boys, so I can see why many of them would want to “get to the point” in a story. I don’t see it as a downfall at all. Every writer has their audience, people who “get” what they do. That’s the reason we do what we do, the reason why our stories have been made into books. And your books been nominated for an award, so that certainly carries a lot of weight.I’d say ya must be doing something right. You’re just too bashful to admit it!

  12. How wonderful, so many books to read. I am always reading something, although I must admit that it’s mostly non-fiction. I do need to get into some good fiction. I won’t get through a book if it hasn’t grabbed me, the last one I just loved was Pillars of the Earth. I hope you’re ok and safe over there.


    • Hi Olga, thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment. We came through the hurricane just fine. Since the media seems to enjoy the hype, one can never be sure exactly what will happen with an impending storm, they seem to look for the worst. But in the case the worst, for us at least, was wind and rain.

  13. In the USA the East Coast cities were watching and some experiencing Hurricane Earl. As it left us behind it headed up to Nova Scotia. Glad that all you had to endure was 8 hours without power, although 8 hours without power is only small when compared with what could have been. Thank you for sharing.

    • So true, * hrs sounds long but there were those in surrounding communities who lost power for a day or more. Even so the loss of a power is minuscule compared to what could have been. We consider ourselves most fortunate and blessed.


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