Showing posts from April, 2011

Poetry and Sundry Items

iew all the authors and illustrators taking part in the TD Canadian Children's Book Week here. PJ Bracegirdle's in BC and Mahtab Narsimhan is in Manitoba, among many others.

onderbar! As in Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow by Nathan Bransford, due out on 12 May. Here's the Jacob Wonderbar trailer.

is for X marks the spot. Though there's no actual X on Thror's Map. Can't wait for the release of The Hobbit movie!

es, I've been procrastinating on editing, but I have been doing research. Rosa is separated from her husband only two days after their marriage and they're apart for a few agonizing nights. He manages to slip her a note directly before they part, lines of love that include a short poem. So I've been looking up various forms of medieval and humanist Spanish and Ottoman poetry. Discovered the verse form ghazal today (woefully ignorant of me not to have known it by name before). Even Thomas Hardy has a poem in ghazal:

The Mother Mourns Tho…

Festivals and Review of Lisa Hendrix's Immortal Champion

Round of Words in 80 Days. Do I even remember my goals? Er, not quite. Something about editing every day. Well, I haven't done much since the weekend. I'm reading a couple of research books, including a long-ish Bernard Lewis essay, and thinking about printing presses under the Ottoman Empire. Does that count?

Sorry, just a tad distracted. Hmm, Google's underlining tad as a spelling mistake. I shouldn't be surprised - Google underlines movie, also, for some reason. (Haven't the folks at Google ever watched All My Children? Remember Tad and Ted? I can't believe I'm admitting to ever having watched this. It was exam time in high school. I was procrastinating.)

Anyhow, why am I distracted? Well, it's Game 7 of Habs vs Bruins. I'm sure I've mentioned hockey before on this blog. It's on all the time, I just don't talk about it much.

Okay, seriously. I do have some real, writing related, things to say. First off, my review of Kerri Nelson'…

Third Crusader Challenge and Whisky Trench Riders Video

ach has posted the third crusader challenge on her blog. Here are the rules for show not tell:

My Show Not Tell Challenge: In 300 words or less, write a passage (it can be an excerpt from your WIP, flash fiction, a poem, or any other writing) that shows (rather than tells) the following:
you're scared and hungry
it's dusk
you think someone is following you
and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic, substance, and salt.Mine's adapted from my wip, Out of the Water, and features Rosa in an escape scene:

he hurtled down the corridor, trying not to hear the slapping footsteps behind. Her feet turned and her body followed, her thoughts a waterfall of words. Get away, get away. The salt tang of tears ran into her mouth.

She must have been guided by smells of cooking, for she'd reached an archway to the kitchens. A man in an apron tapped a wooden spoon against a bowl, beside a pot bubbling over an open fire.

He tur…

Belated Literary Resolutions 2011 and Charles II

appy Easter!

I just found out, through Theresa Milstein, that I've missed out on some Literary Resolutions for 2011! I might have seen this in January and thought I couldn't do it at the time - now it looks like I'm actually on track! Len Lambert has also signed up.

The original rules, as featured on The Loft's Writer's Block, are (shortened a little by me):

January: Read a classic that has always been on your list.

February: Write for at least 15 minutes every day.

March: Go to at least two author readings at your local book store, library, or literary center. If your community does not have authors passing through, you can watch a reading online. After hearing from the author, read the book.

April: Celebrate the foolish. Find some of the best humour writing and see what makes you laugh out loud. "Right ho!" You can never go wrong with P.G. Wodehouse. Then, give yourself a humour writing assignment. After you make someone laugh from a quip or joke, try to wr…

Strikeout, Underline, Rewrite, and Arrows Pointing Every Which Way

elcome to the world of editing. Also, it's Wednesday, which means another check in at A Round of Words in 80 Days.

I've torn up and red penned (well, Pilot brown penned, actually) so much of my novel that I can hardly see the original type anymore. Only I don't get to print out a fresh copy until I've actually entered all these changes into the MS.

Meanwhile I've torn so many holes out of the middle bits that I feel like I'm peering through a l a c e curtain when what I want before me is tightlywoven tapestry.

It'll come... I can't wait till I'm done this round and I can take a few weeks off and return to research before I start rereading and editing from the beginning again.

How's your drafting/writing/editing going?

Don't forget to vote for your favourite awesome line at Disgruntled Bear's contest. Perhaps you might like mine...

And thank you to the wonderful Linda Gerber, author of the Death By... series - I just won a copy of her upco…

Contests, Contest Winner, Writing Tips and More

ate Kaynak - aka Disgruntled Bear - has a spring writing contest on, featuring awesome tag lines from a number of different authors. I based my entry on help from Nadja (thank you! and let me know whether you'd prefer a critique of your first page or 10$ through PayPal!):

A dangerous and passionate journey, for a love that must transcend faith and family, East and West.

Voting starts Monday. Please head over to the contest page and vote for your favourite awesome line.

ori has been posting awesome writing tips from Lauri, a dear member of the Compuserve Books and Writers Community who passed away last year. Here's Lauri on Character Motivation, Trimming the Fat, and Back Story.

edeia's been blogging about books she's reading - and I won the giveaway! Thanks Medeia!

ot much to report for A Round of Words in 80 Days. I edited 20 pages yesterday! But it was all scribbles on paper; I've only transferred a few pages worth into the actual MS. I've chopped a lot out of th…

WeekendWordWar and More Fun With Picasa

es it's another #weekendwordwar, hosted by author Hélène Boudreau on Facebook. Keep editing and writing and researching, and post your updates there or on Twitter (sorry, no link - I'm not on Twitter yet!).

Before I start tonight's round of typing up new scenes and cutting out old ones, here're two more Picasa-fied photos of Rosa from Out of the Water. Both were recently posted on The OrientalistGallery and the paintings are by Frederick Arthur Bridgman, who it turns out has many many Orientalist paintings that fit Rosa's life in Constantinople.

In The Courtyard:

Dolce Far Niente:

My Day Requires A Latte, A Well-written Scene and Some Cat Love

hat's on your list of must haves for a great day? Editor in Chief of Real Simple (the only life magazine worth subscribing to), and author of Just Let Me Lie Down (a hilarious and touching book about working moms), Kristin van Ogtrop shared her list in her latest editorial. Her day requires at least one cup of coffee as well...

My other items include:

At least one free coffee refill (either a colleague who offers to get me some, or my friend down the hall, who usually has a full pot brewing before I even come in)

Progress on my novel, of any kind, whether a scene written, a few pages edited, some square brackets conquered or a research book not only read but reskimmed and notes taken. I'll also accept a new story idea (got another one this morning! still trying to decide if it's YA or adult romance).

Work-related tasks that involve mostly editing, where I can sit in the sun by the window with some tea or coffee and slash away at others' words.

Twenty minutes or so of wal…

A Double Contest and ROW80 Check In

isgruntled Bear, aka Kate Kaynak, author of the Ganzfield series, is hosting a contest - win an in-depth critique of your query letter and the first ten pages of your fiction manuscript.

Post a comment before Friday with the following information:
Awesome Line
xactly. Therein lies the rub. I need an awesome line and I'm not very good at coming up with tags and blurbs and so on.

ollowers one and all, can you help me come up with an awesome line for Out of the Water (historical romance, set in 1492)?

iven this back cover description:

Exiled from her Spanish homeland by the Inquisition and separated from her family as they flee their home, 18 year old Rosa must place her life in the hands of a stranger from the Ottoman Empire. Baha, estranged from his own father and returning to his homeland after ten years, is her one hope of reaching Constantinople and reuniting with her family. The fact that he's attractive and tender is an unexpected pleasure.

As they travel tog…

Fooling Around With Old Masters

ately I've been having fun with Picasa, toying with images I find on The Orientalist Gallery that remind me of scenes from Out of the Water.

There's the original image of Rosa (to reiterate, not that she actually goes around carrying baskets of oranges on her head or anything...):

Then there was my first attempt at a touch-up, inserting Rosa and Baha into
The Opium Den, which didn't work so well, mainly because they would never really be in that pose in the first place.

John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) proved more inspiring. Here's Rosa as The Unwelcome Companion:

That touchup/airbrush tool in Picasa is not very user friendly, I must say.

Next up, I might try adding Baha's face to Ludwig Deutsch's Scribe.

By the way, if you haven't seen it yet, the authors at All The World's Our Page have interviewed Australian author Chris Womersley. Leave a comment on the post to win a copy of his novel Bereft.

A Round of Words in 80 Days Part Deux

ound Two of A Round of Words in 80 Days!

Round Two has officially started, with an inspiring post by Kait Nolan. Here's a bit of it:

"Make a vow this time to have your own little shoulder companion sitting there urging you to make good choices. Maybe for you it will be your favorite writer. Maybe you’ll have a little Stephen King or a Madeleine L’Engle or a Nora Roberts on your shoulder. Maybe you’ve got somebody else who will inspire you to put the writing first. No matter who you choose as your personal mascot, let there be someone who can push you that extra mile. And don’t worry…the rest of us will be there to back you up as well."That said, my goals for this time around are the same as last - edit the novel!

I start Round Two on page 105 of 195. I've discovered that editing isn't the hard part - it's surprisingly fun and easy to take a few hours in a coffee shop and slash through the manuscript with a red/brown/pink/whatever pen. It's typing up t…

India Drummond's Ordinary Angels

oday's the day - India Drummond's Ordinary Angels is out!

"An urban fantasy / paranormal romance novel in which Zoë Pendergraft falls in love with an angel, frees a soul from necromancers, releases a ghost trapped in the Void, and saves his living grandson from demons.

Most of Zoë's friends are dead, but she doesn't mind because they died long before she met them. Then one Tuesday night an angel takes her salsa dancing and turns her world upside down. Grim reality closes in when she discovers a body in her company's boiler room and Higher Angels accuse her best ghost friend of murder. Knowing she's the only one who can stand against them, Zoë resorts to lying, stealing and summoning. In the end, getting blood on her hands forces Zoë to question herself.

Heat Rating: Some inter-species sizzle. Definitely not for kids."Read the first chapter of Ordinary Angels here.

Sign up for India's author newsletter to hear about upcoming releases.

India Drummond


Support for A to Z Bloggers

, B, C. It's day three of the April A to Z blogging challenge, which has hundreds and hundreds of participants blogging a letter of the alphabet every day this month. Don't know how you're all keeping up with daily blog posts - it's incredible!

I've got an A to C wrapup of my weekend in support:

is for the absence of editing. I had a full day yesterday and instead had fun catching up on reading and on visiting fellow Harry Potter blogfesters. Then I squeezed in a couple hours of editing at night. At this rate, the start of Round Two of A Round of Words in 80 Days couldn't come soon enough, so that I'm accountable for my actions.

Who else is joining?
is for Baha, Rosa's husband. Specifically, I find it interesting that the most romantic scenes in Out of the Water always come to me from his pov. It's easy to imagine and discover his actions -- him taking her by the hand and leading her places, him planning for their future, his mind running on thoughts…