IWSG, New Round of ROW80, Canadian Books Challenge, and Oceans

Another Insecure Writers' Support Group day is upon us! Thank you for hosting us, Ninja Alex!

I've got three quotes as my IWSG offering this month:

Here's some advice I got the other day from Anne Wheaton:

Also came across this tip from Donald Maass: "In 20 minutes write a parody of your genre. Next compare it to your WIP. What's dead on? Uh-oh. Work to do."

And this plotting tip: "What's the cheesiest plot device in novels in your category? Outdo, twist or reverse it."

Last year, I thought I'd pledge myself to the Canadian Book Challenge, to read a book from every province and territory in Canada.

I didn't actively go looking for books, but looking back now, I seem to have covered nearly half the country:

British Columbia - Willow and Twig by Jean Little
Alberta - none
New Brunswick - honourable mention to Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson, which takes place mostly in Nova Scotia, but mentions places in New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador - none
Prince Edward Island Anne of Green Gables, of course. I reread this book often.
Northwest Territories - none
Manitoba Who is Frances Rain? by Margaret Buffie
Nunavut - none
Ontario - Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch, A House Far From Home by Budge Wilson, and Runaway by Bernice Thurman Hunter (in this case, the author's from Ontario, but the story takes place in England!)
Saskatchewan - none
Québec Mary Ann Alice, and Boy O'Boy, both by Brian Doyle (this is a stretch, as these books take place in and around the Gatineau River Valley, which straddles Ontario and Québec)
Yukon - none
Nova Scotia - a lot: Breakdown, Lorinda's Diary, Thirteen Never Changes, and Mystery Lights at Blue Harbour by Budge Wilson; Rainy Days with Bear by Maureen Hull; and Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels, and Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath by Hélène Boudreau

I've got to get further west and north! I did read a few snippets of a Ghost Stories of Canada compilation. And, of course, there was also the board book I read with my nephew, Canada 123 by Kim Bellefontaine and Per-Henrik Gurth:

A new round of A Round of Words in Eighty Days has begun!

I've got three projects on the go:

Submit Eyes of the Sky short story

Type up and edit Where There's Life short story and send to betas

Print out and reread Druid's Moon novella one last time, enter those changes, send to betas, and start drafting the query and synopsis

Also some knitting, keeping up with blogs and the Forum, bringing the TBR pile down, and lots of summer barbecues!

Speaking of Nova Scotia, and the ocean, Neil Gaiman tweeted the other day about the TerraMar Project, whose aim is to "create and empower a global community of ocean citizens."

They "believe in the Law of the Commons. It states, 'The high seas belong to all of us and should be protected for generations to come.' We've taken this idea one step further and are encouraging you to claim your legitimate right to the high seas. Your citizenship to TerraMar is a pledge that you will help bring awareness to your friends and family about the problems plaguing our high seas, the largest and least explored place on Earth."

Here's what Neil said:

I agree completely. Not just oceans, but the sea - because the sea reminds me of childhood summers at my grandmother's. Of playing in the waves, watching the waves, of the one time in (apparently) thirty years when it rained in the middle of summer (for about ten minutes), swimming at dawn and midnight and all the hours in between, of boating, of my first taste of octopus, of mystery lights across the span, of games in the sand, of romantic wishes, of boundless dreams.

What do you love about the ocean?
What are your ROW80 or other writing goals?

Please let me know if you have other Canadian book and author recommendations!


I pledge allegiance to TerraMar...
Protecting the ocean is so difficult.
And that quote about writing the parody - that is scary.
Anonymous said…
I had an afternoon free in Los Angeles a few years ago and spent it walking from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach and back. My legs ached for a week, but it was a great time and I gained a true appreciation for the ocean.

Sounds like you have a good start. Glad you're getting your typing done... ;)
EvalinaMaria said…
Nice list and I see that both of us love Anne of Green Gables.
No books about Yukon? Are you sure? What about Jack London and his "The Call of the Wild" or White Fang"? Both of them are about Yukon and even he wrote them while living in the Yukon!
DL Hammons said…
"I get shit done!"

I love that!! :)
Lara Lacombe said…
I'm going to have to try the whole 'write a parody' thing!
Margo Berendsen said…
Maass always has such good advice in such short but powerful statements. Thank you!
Jeff Hargett said…
Sounds like you've got plenty to keep you busy.
J.L. Murphey said…
Deniz, I live on an island so getting to the beach is no problem. Yes, we'll go for picnics and get togethers, but my favorite time to go is after 2AM. Why? The bars have closed down and most people have gone to bed. I'm alone on the rocks listening to the waves with the breeze washing away my troubled thoughts. When I open my eyes, moonlight reflects an ethereal light to my surroundings assuring me everything is right with the world.
Hi Deniz .. you set a great example as to reading books - I really am going to do that once Wimbledon is over .. build that in to my day ..

Cheers Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
You're right Evalina - but I've already read those! I wouldn't mind rereading them this year though :-)

Me too, DL! Now to apply it...

I'm scared to try, Lara!

Thanks for coming by Margo and Jeff!

That just sounds lovely, Jo. I'd love to be there in moonlight with the sound of the water...

I don't blame you for not being able to tear yourself away from Wimbledon, Hilary!
M Pax said…
My grandmother loved Nova Scotia. She went almost every year. She gave me Anne of Green Gables. Love those books.

The quotes and tips you mention are wonderful ideas. But I think it'd be odd to take my space opera out of space.

Aliens are often our founders, which I'm not going to do. Don't know what yet, but I'll come up with something.
I haven't seen a whole lot of the ocean--but I love how there's so much life contained in it, and in such diversity.
Denise Covey said…
I love the ocean and feel happiest when I'm nearby. Also the creatures...we are in constant conflict with Japanese whalers in our Southern Ocean near Antarctica. I have included this conflict in my third unfinished novel.

One year I joined an Aussie reading challenge. I discovered so many great authors.

Keep going with all your projects.

Michael Di Gesu said…
Hi, Deniz,

You're always so busy..... great.

I adore the ocean. My favorite part are the birds. Sandpipers skittering along the edge. Seagulls in flight. Diving pelicans. And, the majesty of the Great Blue Heron.

The quiet just before the crashing of waves. And the endless play of light through the clouds shimmering on each peak of the waves. I can go on, but you get the picture.... At least I hope so . LOL.

THANKS for the catch up. I always enjoy your mega comments...
Carol Riggs said…
Oh, great stuff here. Love Neil Gaiman's take on the ocean, and yikes on the 2 plotting tips (one from Donald Maas). Gotta run my WIP through the cheesiest and parody sieves...

I like the ocean because it has a soothing, predictable rhythm--yet it can be majestic and crashing and exhilarating at the same time. :)
Beth Camp said…
What a wonderful stretch of stuff on your post! Row80 simple, direct, and so focused. Inspiring quotes (get sh*t done!), and then a poetic dip into the sea -- with a mission. May the week go well for you.
Anonymous said…
I'm a big fan of the ocean, too. You write short stories? You should visit us sometime @ Write1Sub1: www.write1sub1.com
Nas said…
Great post and list Deniz. I love the Ocean and live near it.

All the best!
nutschell said…
wow you read a book from every province and territory in Canada! that is awesome!
Trisha F said…
I like the idea of coming up with a parody & then comparing to your own work. Could be scary though :)
Deniz Bevan said…
I just read Under the Dome, M, and for the first time came across the idea of "arbitrary" aliens. Interesting!

Me too, Eagle! One of my favourite books as a kid was a non-fiction tome all about the mysterious depths of the oceans.

Thanks Denise!

Love your description, Michael!

Thanks Carol and Beth!

Thanks for the link, Milo.

Thanks, Nas!

I tried Nutschell - still missing a couple places!

I'm scared to try it too, Trisha!

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