Where I’m At

So I’ve been kind of hiding around blogland this winter, coming out occasionally to see what going on. You may or may not have noticed.

I wanted to give a shout out to a few new blogs I discovered this past week. I hope you’ll pop on over if you have time and see what they’re all about.

The Storm Project

The Rain Girl

Part Time Art Projet

Winter’s been flying by and I’ve been busy writing. Nothing really new to report here. At the end of January, my editor emailed to say she’d lost pretty much all of January due to illness and so this meant the edits on my novel was pushed back. This just means I’ll have more time to work on my current WIP. Yes, I did get through a first draft and now it’s time to start all over again.

Is a writer ever really through with a manuscript? Most of us can always find something we want to change, but alas, there comes a time when we have to say enough is enough.

Now with a book contract signed and “To Fly With a Broken Wing” due to come out this fall it’ll soon be time to start thinking about all the things that go along with having a newly published book— book launches and signing, readings, and meeting new people. Still, it’s a fair ways away. I don’t have a cover yet for the book, but I’ll be sure to share it with all of you when I do.

So there you have it, a quick, kind of dull summary of where I’m at.  And with March edging closer to an ending, I’m anxious for the nice weather and a few signs of spring to come our way.

Now’s your turn to tell me where you’re at. Speak up!

On the Writing Front

For the most part January’s been an uneventful month. I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m enjoying the quiet to some degree, although the quiet can sometimes keep me awake at night.

Every once in awhile I can’t stop thinking about the story I’m working on when I go to bed. It’s often at night that some new insight will strike me, and I suddenly know what needs to be done or what has been missing. Knowing the story I’m writing isn’t always enough to keep me writing through to the end. Sometimes I get bored by my own words or else sense that something isn’t quite right, but don’t always know just what that “something” is. So I end up lying awake. Thinking. There are worse things.

I’ve been experiencing some discontentment with my present WIP. I know the writing I’ve known it from the start, but knowing exactly how to tell it has been a bit of a stickler for me. But then something clicked the other night  as I was lying in bed and I figured out what was wrong. Yay me! So now it’s just a matter of whipping it up! Wrong. It’ll still take me sometime to do that, but at least I now know what wasn’t quite right.

I’ve experienced something similar when I first finished writing “To Fly With a Broken Wing.” I had that feeling that something didn’t quite feel right yet I’d convinced myself it was the only way the story could be told. I couldn’t see how it would be possible to write certain parts through the POV of a visually impaired girl since, well, her impairment would prevent her from seeing what was going on. So, I originally wrote some parts in first and third person. (I used third and first when I wrote Bitter, Sweet.)

So while I was flirting with the idea that my novel was complete, I was still having second thoughts about this POV issue. Finally, I decided I was just being silly about it, the novel was written and I was ready to send it to my editor. All that it needed was to be printed off and mailed in. The rest was out of my hands.

Funny, how we don’t always have a choice in things, and what we think will happen ends up happening in a totally different way. Before I had the chance to send my manuscript off I awoke one morning with this thought in my head, “Write it all in first person.”

But I’d ruled this out earlier. My main character is visually impaired, remember. Still, I couldn’t ignore a thought that was so crystal clear mere seconds after awakening could I? I spent the day considering if this was possible. How then would I make it work? I’ve got to tell you I don’t often get these jabs from the Universe, but as the day wore I decided that instead of wondering how I would do it, I would just do it. I would make the scene where Cammie describes what’s going on at a distance work. So yes, I figured it out. And you know what? It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Often times, I think, we hold the answers to our questions inside us. And for that reason, I like those times just before sleep arrives or immediately when I wake up. I believe when we’re most relaxed that thoughts come to us more freely if we stay open to the answers to our questions.

Have you ever experienced a time when a new insight came to you just before drifting off to sleep or immediately upon waking?

 

Let the Edits Begin

Seems as though the things we often expect to happen a certain way end up going off in a totally different direction altogether. Life is funny that way. This month I thought I’d have time to devote to my new writing project, but low and behold I received an email from my editor at Nimbus Publishing. It is time to start editing my new YA novel, “To Fly With a Broken Wing.”  Yippee!!

“If you could have the edits done by January that would be great,” she said.

“No problem,” I replied.

No problem! Oh right, there’s this thing called Christmas coming up this month. I forgot all about Christmas mere seconds before I fired off the email. *gulp*

Okay it’s really not THAT bad. My editor is understanding and did add that if I needed more time it was fine, just to let her know. And truthfully, edits seem a bit overwhelming at first until you actually start addressing each comment and suggestion as you go. Personally, I’m just happy to be working on it and gearing up for the book’s release next fall. The exciting part is, the book is making progress. Edits have begun and, Christmas or not, I’ll get the work done. Authors are funny that way.

But it hasn’t been all work. I’ve been balancing things out as I go. A little shopping, a little gift wrapping, a lot of editing, a little decorating. If I play my cards right I’ll even get to watch an episode of “Grimm” this evening.

DSC02991A big thrill this week was meeting up with Donna Morrisey at a book signing. Donna’s new book is “The Deception of Livvy Higgs.” If you remember, I mentioned in an earlier post that she was on my list of authors to meet. Little did I know at the time our meeting would happen so soon. Yes, life certainly does throw in a surprise or two. This month has been busy with lots of authors doing book signings and I’m heading out again for one tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll either post about it on Facebook or my blog.

I’ve also had a disappointment this week. I’d been planning for months to get high speed Internet service, but it just wasn’t to be. I know this is difficult for many of you to understand, but here in rural Nova Scotia we don’t necessarily have the option for High Speed and that sucks. One company put up towers and many people can receive a wireless signal, but I happen to live in an area where too many trees are blocking that signal. I’ve got to say, dial-up makes life very challenging, and many times I have problems with pages loading, especially those blogs that have lots of photos posted on them. Then again, it can sometimes be impossible to comment when it does load. But I’m dealing with this challenge the best way I can. Some things are out of my control. I sometimes think the thought of something better makes us less tolerant for what we have. So perhaps now, I’ll accept what is and feel grateful to have Internet service at all.

Anyway, despite Christmas and the edits for my novel, I’m hoping to be around Blogland a bit more this winter. I have a lot to catch up on.

Has life given you any unexpected surprises lately?

Serendipitious Moments

I’ve been known to make declarations to the Universe at least a few times in my life. Now don’t go picturing me, head drawn toward the heavens shaking a clenched fist, crying out with passion, a hot tear trickling down my cheek. Come on now folks, it’s never anything that dramatic.

Last year I made such a declaration when I completed my current novel perhaps believing it would stop me from tinkering with it once and for all. One of the hardest things for any writer is to stop fixing every little flaw in their manuscript and move onto something completely new. We go over our manuscripts with a fine toothcomb so many times we can drown ourselves with the sound of our own words. Honestly, are a few rearranged words really going to keep us from being published? I hardly believe that to be the case. Of course, writers go on the assumption that if our baby is ever accepted for publication we’ll be working with an editor to try and make it the very best book possible, so when we reach the point where we declare our novel complete it really isn’t. But that’s another post altogether.

So, to continue my story…

Most of you know I have another blog where I post photos from around the area “..way out here in Dalhousie.”  You’ll see the link over on the right side. The posts are fairly simply– a picture and a quote and little more. I don’t consider myself to have any great skills when it comes to photography, but the blog is really just me playing around.

The evening I declared to the Universe that my novel was compete the very next thing I went on to do was post a picture of a chickadee I’d taken earlier in the day at a bird feeder on my Dalhousie blog. I needed a quote and randomly typed in bird quotes to see what sites Google would bring up. I found one and clicked the link. The very first quote on the list was this:  Hold fast to your dreams because without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.—Langston Hughes.  I stopped cold. I knew I’d found my quote and I knew my book would be published. How? The title of my book, the one I had moments ago declared complete is — To Fly With a Broken Wing.  Pretty cool I thought. Now with this very same novel about to be published I’m reminded of this moment even more.

Now it’s difficult for me to ignore these serendipitous moments although I know many people pass them off with hardly a thought. (Coincidence, they mean nothing!) Well maybe so, but I like to think of them a signs that I’m kind of on the right track. If nothing else, they warm my heart for a time and make me smile. There absolutely nothing wrong with a heart-warming moment, nothing wrong in taking a few moments to say a simply thank you to God or the Universe (however you want to say it) for sending these serendipitous moments our way.

Do you believe these serendipitous moments come to us for a reason or they are simply nice coincidences but mean nothing else? Have you experienced any serendipitous moments lately that you’d like to share?

A Sneak Peek of What’s to Come

Today I’m about to do something I have never done on this blog. I’m going to post 7 sentences from page 77 of my WIP. Scary business for this author. Why am I doing this? Simple, writer Holli Moncrieff (A Life Less Ordinary) tagged me to take part in a lucky 7 meme. Thus the 7 sentences from page 77. See, had you known it was this easy for me to spill the beans I’m betting a few of you would have tried this before. I’m a good sport. What can I say?

This is an excerpt from my current YA novel titled :To Fly With a Broken Wing

(This story is told in first person by Cammie. Here goes.)

The truck sputtered a few more times before Hux cut the switch. If a truck could fart it would be old Hux’s. Butch was sitting on the passenger’s side, head stuck out the window. I reached in and patted him. His fur was slick and smooth, soft as a baby’s bum. His tongue slid out of corner of his mouth, pink and shiny as a junk of pig’s liver. I knew Butch found it hot sitting there in the truck but he had no say in the matter. That’s something Butch and me had in common. I didn’t have a say in anything either.

 Butch was a black and white bulldog, homely as a stump fence. I didn’t hold that against him, though.

So there you go, 7 lines from page 77. Aren’t you glad you dropped in?

Here are the rules of this meme so writers beware:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.

4. Tag 7 authors

5. Let them know

Now to list my victims  7 authors:

1. Sonia G Medeiros

2. Christi Corbett

3. Diane Tipert

4. Carol Garvin

5. Abigail Sharpe

6. Darlene Foster

7. Jan Coates

Now if you want to make this interesting why not try guessing the next 7 sentences of “To Fly With A Broken Wing.”  Just kidding… Hoping you all had a beautiful first day of spring. Here in Nova Scotia it was gorgeous. Happy Spring!

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