IWSG, ROW80, Favourite Childhood Authors, and Photos from a Weekend Trip!

Zan Marie - all unknowingly - gave me a great idea for today's Insecure Writers' Support Group Day!

We've got an ongoing goals thread over at the writers' forum (where the character houseparty will start in just a few days!); Zan Marie is our current host, and she set a great theme this month:

"June is a month of settling in for me--settling into summer, settling into warm and *hot* weather. So, I thought we'd settle into the middle of the year, by being good to ourselves.

That's your theme -- What do you plan to do to be good to yourself? Do it just for you."

This is exactly what I need to hear. I've been feeling inwardly guilty (I say inwardly because I haven't been reduced to flagellating myself in public - well, except for on the forum and here) for a month now that I haven't been meeting my main ROW80 goals of editing my novel and current short story.

I've got two weeks left of this round, and I'm going to try to use it to come up with a tangible work and revision plan for the next round.

No more feeling guilty about my pace!

One of those goals is going to involve WRiTE Club! Yes, submissions are open!

Here's how DL describes it for those who haven't participated before:

"Its essence embodies simple, good-natured competition, with lots and lots of fun sprinkled on top. Over the course of eight weeks we'll be holding twice-weekly bouts in which the winners will advance to the play-offs, which will ultimately lead to a single champion. Bouts between who... or what... you ask. Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted under a pen name by anyone who wishes to take part, that's who. The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. It's a way to get your writing in front of a lot of readers, without having to suffer the agony of exposure."

Follow the link to DL's blog for the rest of the guidelines.

I know exactly which 500 words I'm going to submit, and hopefully this will galvanize me into editing them!

Meanwhile... I've been rereading a few of my favourite books from childhood, including Budge Wilson's The Best Worst Christmas Ever, and Margaret Buffie's Who Is Frances Rain?

Margaret Buffie, by the way, is active on Facebook. It's so exciting to have conversations with a favourite author!

I hadn't made the connection, but Budge Wilson is the one who wrote the newly-authorised prequel to Anne of Green Gables! I had been avoiding reading that, but now that I know it was written by an author who's voice I trust, I've ordered it! I also ordered (yes, yes, I know I already have a TBR pile in the house...) a few other Budge Wilson books that feature the characters from the book I loved so long ago.

Which brings me to a mini-rant: the first thing I tried to do was order these books off Amazon.ca. Because, you know, I'd like to support the author.

Out of the seven books I ordered, only one was available on either Amazon, as a new book. The rest were secondhand copies. So instead I went to abebooks.com and ordered from as many independent Canadian bookshops as I could find. And one of the Budge Wilson books I got was signed by the author herself to fellow author Jean Little!

And now... a few more vacation photos!

These are from a weekend away in Glens Falls, New York, and Lenox, Massachussets:

Adirondack Mountains

The Cork n Hearth at Lenox, Mass

Berkshire Brewing Company taps at the Cork n Hearth

Davidson Brothers brews at Glens Falls

The Hyde Collection house at Glens Falls

The library at the Hyde house... are you as jealous as I am?

Rembrandt at the Hyde Collection

Glens Falls town centre

A panorama of the view from our hotel at Lenox

And me, having handmade ice cream...

Sunset at Lenox

Would you rather shop at Amazon or a local bookstore? Or a secondhand store?
What fun things have you discovered in secondhand books?


Dana said…
Love the photos! It looks so peaceful there.

I love shopping at local bookstores and secondhand shops! I've never found anything terribly interesting in used books—just bookmarks, the occasional shopping list, etc. Once I found a picture that a child had drawn—very cute and a nice discovery. :)

Have a happy Wednesday. ☺
Linda G. said…
Great pictures! Especially that one of you eating ice cream -- yum!

I love secondhand bookstores--it feels like a treasure hunt when I go searching through one. I found some old Trixie Belden mysteries once, and was immediately blasted back to the past. So much fun. :)
Zan Marie said…
Oh. My. I'm your inspiration? That has to be a first for me. ; ) I'm glad I can be of service to your writing, Deniz.

BTW, homemade ice cream is a blast from my past. Think hot summer days in Georgia with hand-cranked homemade ice cream in vanilla, peach, strawberry...you name it, we made it. Yum is right!
That looks like a relaxing time by that lake.
Cool that you know what you are entering for Write Club. Hope it goes far!
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hi, Deniz,

WONDERFUL PICS! Looks like you had a great time!

Vacations are so rejuvenating ... I bet you will do everything you need to on your list ... Rested and ready!
Hart Johnson said…
I just read a great book set in the Adirondacs--it's called Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman.

I love that 'what will you do for you' question, too. I won't get to it in June--I have too many other obligations this month. But I suppose if I put in some thought for what I will do AFTER, that I will at least be able to begin savoring this month. I love anticipation...
Lara Lacombe said…
Stop beating yourself up! Any progress is good, no matter how slow it may seem.

I'll cheer you on for Write Club--fingers crossed you go far!
J.L. Murphey said…
Great pics! We have one rule and one rule only with homemade ice cream- If you don't help crank you don't get any. My little sister always cheats and waits until someone says, "it's there." She will run over to the crank for a couple of turns. Homemade ice cream is the highlight of all our family gatherings with no shortage of manual labor available.
M Pax said…
Beautiful photos. Let me know how that book is. I loved Anne of Green Gables. I still have the book. My grandmother gave it to me, and I treasure it.
M. J. Joachim said…
Yes, be good to yourself. That's important.
Definitely take care of yourself. Congrats n going forward with your goals and go luck with Write Club. Also thanks for sharing getaway photos.

Blog: Queendsheena
IWSG Co-host
Naina Gupta said…
Those are beautiful photos.

And when it comes to bookstores, my local ones are in Central London, which are huge. I like wondering around those for a while.
S.P. Bowers said…
I don't think I'm going to do write club this year. I'm trying to meet a deadline and just don't have anything ready for him and no time to write something. I'm going over my MS next week. Maybe I'll come across something that will work but I'm not stressing about it. Good luck if you enter!
Anonymous said…
I love Amazon for the availability of things, but I also love secondhand books. Although I love bookstores, so many times they don't have what I'm looking for.

I'm having a pretty good June so far.
Julie Dao said…
Beautiful pictures!!! Love the one of you with ice cream by the water - what an ideal way to spend an afternoon :) And you're gonna participate in WRiTE Club?! Yay!!! Can't wait to read all of the submissions!
Nick Wilford said…
To be good to myself, I'm planning to write a bit each day during the summer (which can be challenging with the kids at home) and spend quality time with the whole family. Those are the main things!
Mark Koopmans said…
Aloha Deniz,

Sounds (and looks like you had a great time on vacation - *loved* the shots in the bar... your camera takes the same pics as mine, then :)

For me, I prefer going to a real bookstore, but sadly they are harder to find.

And, as I am not a Kindle Kid, I go therefore via Amazon to buy my new books and a local secondhand to find new authors :)
Hi Deniz .. gorgeous shots - especially of you eating home-made ice-cream ... yummy!

I thought Amazon had bought AbeBooks? as I used to use it a lot .. now I'll have a rethink -

I try and be author, bookshop friendly .. but it's not the easiest .. monopolies!!!!

Cheers to you - Hilary
Old Kitty said…
Glenfalls looks amazing!!!

Physical bookshops always and first for me!

I've boycotted Amazon cos they don't pay taxes (and try to wriggle out of doing so)! That's just a personal thing for me though!

Yay for not feeling guilty about your pace!! Why should you!! You just carry on to your own inner clock!

Take care
Nas said…
Thanks for sharing all the photos, Deniz! Looks amazing. It must be true that eating ice-cream in cold is much tastier!
Carrie-Anne said…
I used to live in the Berkshires, so I'm very familiar with Lenox! I live near Glens Falls, though I can't remember if I've ever visited up that way.

I love secondhand bookstores. I've found lots of treasures in them, both out of print books and paperbacks going for much cheaper than at Amazon or a firsthand store.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much for coming by and leaving such lovely comments everyone!
Hmm, I'll have to look into this - I didn't know Amazon owned Abebooks and didn't pay taxes! Must investigate... All the more reason to keep supporting local independent bookstores!

Love your part of the state, Carrie-Anne!

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