Showing posts from May, 2011

Charles II, Fall of Constantinople and CANSCAIP Workshop

ay for writer's conferences! They don't quite make me feel like a girl in a martini glass (they might, if I was writing Dorothy Parker type stories), but having been to my first one yesterday, I can definitely say they give you a buzz!

I attended one session with Canadian author Brian Doyle (ashamed to say I'd never heard of his books before but I snatched up two directly after the session) which was an exciting reaffirmation of the strength and beauty in language. One of his examples was the opening to Dickens' Bleak House. You can just feel these lines rolling off your tongue:
"Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog droopi…

CANSCAIP and Charity Book Fair


It's the yesouiCANSCAIP Imagine A Story Conference! Lots of great workshops and seminars, presented by local authors and illustrators, including Jill Murray, Yeyo, Monique Polak and Marsha Skrypuch.

In other news, I spent the last little while organizing a book fair at work, which we held last week.

Here's the announcement:

Here's the layout:

Here's me putting Diana Gabaldon's book front and centre:

And here's me!:

Raised close to 900$ for a children's library in Tanzania!

So... Are you rooting for Barcelona or Manchester United?

Meme, Check In and Guest Post

eme! I was tagged by J. L. Campbell!

If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be? Ooh, that's a toughie. Let's say... St Patrick's Day Parade, 2002.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be? I'd take back all the days I procrastinated on writing or editing.

What movie/tv character do you most resemble in personality? Hmm, you'd have to ask others for a proper answer. I keep thinking of Natalie Portman in Beautiful Girls.

If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be? I'd still have a hard time doing that to anyone, even if I could get away with it.

Name one habit you want to change in yourself. Knuckle cracking. Ick.

Describe yourself in one word. Introvert.

Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word. Vibrant!

Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence. I enjoy interacting with other writers and readers. Hi, all!

Who am I tagging? Whoever wants to play!

More exclamation poin…

How Do You Read and Blog Award

ow do you read?

Diana Gabaldon recently wrote a blog post on this topic. "I get frequent questions—from readers and interviewers—asking me whether I read. My initial response is always, 'What, are you crazy?', but I usually suppress this in favor of something more politic, like, 'How can anybody not read?'"

Hear hear!

She goes on to answer the question of how she reads, as - apparently - there are people out there who can't fit reading into their lives. I wonder how they even avoid reading? There's always something out there to scan, peruse, skim, devour... My comment to her post was:

I pretty much read all the time everywhere. How can one not have a book to hand? People always comment on the fact that I read while walking – mianly to and from the train station – but why not? It's ten minutes each way! I've tried writing while walking, but haven't perfected that yet... Especially in waiting rooms or at the post office – how can one simply si…

India Drummond's Blood Faerie - Contest!

o celebrate the launch of her latest urban fantasy novel, Blood Faerie, author India Drummond will give away five Kindle copies of her book on its release day, 1 June 2011.

Blood Faerie is the first in India Drummond's new series, Caledonia Fae.

"Unjustly sentenced to death, Eilidh ran away from faerie lands to the streets of Perth, Scotland. Just when she has grown accustomed to exile, local police discover a mutilated body outside the abandoned church where she lives. Recognising the murder as the work of one of her own kind, Eilidh must choose: flee, or learn to tap into the forbidden magic that cost her everything."

To enter to win a Kindle copy of the new book, all you have to do is sign up for her email newsletter. The email list is only used to announce book releases and important events, and emails are sent out infrequently. (It's free, and it's easy to unsubscribe after the contest date if you find it's not for you.)

Five winners' names will be ann…

Literary Resolutions - Rereading Your Old Work

iterary Resolutions 2011!

I found out about these through Theresa Milstein last month. May's resolution is to spend the month rereading your old work.

Now, I'm not sure why it takes a month. I spent a whole night looking through documents I've saved for the past fifteen years (anything older isn't on the computer) and that was enough for me!

Boy, I sure drivelled on sometimes ("Melancholy rocks in a slow chair").

So many of my short story, poetry and play titles came from other people's song titles. I've got a funny spoof I did of hard-boiled fiction, a short short about Liam Gallagher, and one about my favourite Britpop bands at the time, as well as a short story version of the Pulp's Don't You Want Me Anymore (guy leaves girl; guy returns to girl to find she's taken up with another guy). Also a Bukowski-esque piece, a Stephen Fry ripoff (that's what I called it), and a pile of book, album and concert reviews. My German used to be one…

500 Posts Contest Winners

inners, come on down!

I couldn't rope Frodo into picking winners tonight, so did the honours:

On 7, 8 and 9 May, there were 17 commenters and the winner is Theresa!

On 10 May there were 3 and the winner is Liz!

On 11 May there were 2 (counting Carrie's, which Blogger ate, but is in my Gmail) and the winner is Carrie!

Blogger was out on the 12th, and yesterday, there were 2; the winner is J. L.!

The winner for today by default is Rach!

Plus! Bonus Prize! To Jill, for commenting more than once!

And... The winner overall out of 23 commenters is Susan! Your prize is 20$ at Amazon or Paypal.

All you other winners get to choose a book from the following list - let me know which one you'd like (reviews are linked in the post below), and please email me your address:

Ariana Franklin's Mistress of the Art of Death
Diana Gabaldon's Brotherhood of the Blade
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera
D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover

500 Posts! Week-long Contest!

ive Hundred Posts! I can't believe it's been that long, and I wouldn't even have noticed, if Zan Marie hadn't also been celebrating a milestone this past week.

Prize rules are very simple - I'll do a prize draw every day that this post is up, counting those who have commented that day. So commenting each day gets you into a new draw! Then I'll do an overall draw as well, with every name, at the end of the week. Links to your blog and to Facebook will earn an extra draw in the overall (but please let me know in the comments that you've done it. Also, if you Tweet, please link to Facebook as I don't Tweet - yet).

So here goes. I've done a recap of some of my odd/interesting/weird/silly posts from the start of the blog, back in 2007, to now:

In the beginning...
Here's me at the very start, so simplistic!
Here's the blog name explained, and how I started writing. Leading to... a story I wrote when I was 12.

My favourite pen! Also, why I write longh…

A Lot of Contests, Celebrations, Poems

ost Number 499! I'll be celebrating 500 on Friday, with lots of flashbacks and prizes.

Meanwhile, check out these other celebrations and exciting events:

Zan Marie is celebrating her 100th post and 200th follower, with prizes!

All The World's Our Page have a new interview, with Elizabeth Loupas, author of literary mystery and historical novel, The Second Duchess. With prizes!

Brenda Novak's annual auction (raising funds for the search for a cure for diabetes) is on! So many exciting items to bid for, including revisions and reviews by agents and editors, drinks and dinners with authors (including Diana Gabaldon), all sorts of ARCs, crafts, etc. Bidding starts at two dollars and goes up from there.

Mahtab Narsimhan is blogging from TD Canada Book Week!

Theresa Milstein has a rundown of all sorts of exciting stuff happening this month, including the publication of 100 Stories for Queensland (featuring a story by herself, one by Jessica Bell, and so on), proceeds of which go to Qu…

Crusades, Celebrations and Contests

ery excited today! Thanks to Zan Marie, who's celebrating her 100th post and 200th follower, I just discovered that this is my 498th post. Wednesday will be 499 and Friday will see my 500th post! I'll be thinking of ways to celebrate all week, and yes there will be prizes!

Rachel recently posted her Writer's Code, which goes for me too. Besides working every day, and having patience - and not comparing myself to others - one other item I'd add to the list is: stop obsessing over time. It's only been a year since I've been writing and revising the current novel (though there was a year before that when I was halfheartedly drafting); no reason for me to rush the process or feel as though I'm falling behind some arbitrary line.

On that note, I'm seriously considering signing up for Barbara Rogan's Revising Fiction Course, starting in June and running all summer. I've only done a few hours of editing each day in the past few days, and that's stil…