Monthly Archives: June 2013

Discovery of the Day

Do you struggle with your procrastination skills? Feel like they’re not up to par, feel like you’re not maximizing your procrastination potential? I may be able to help. You see, I once felt that way, myself. Then I discovered the magic of Writing Sex Scenes. Yes, my friends, there’s nothing to stall my creative output like having to wrangle words to create sexual tension and bring characters together in a way that’s both moving and genre-appropriate, giving readers what they want without grossing anyone out or making things awkward.

Since I started writing this morning, I’ve found more ways to procrastinate than I ever thought possible! Sweeping the floors, making more coffee, oops too much sugar need new coffee,, Facebook, abusing hashtags on twitter, composing a blog entry for Memorial Day (tomorrow, in Newfoundland), hey that couch cushion is crooked again… guys, I could put this shit off FOREVER.


So take it from me. If you feel your procrastination is just not what it could be, find a scene like mine to work on*, and you will discover skills you never knew you had!

*could be something different for you: fight scenes, emotional crap, whatever. YMMV.


Writing and Reading and ROWing, Oh My!

Hey, look at me, being ready to get in on something at the beginning!

Since I already have two posts scheduled for tomorrow (the actual start date for this round of “A Round of Words in 80 Days”), I’m going to post this today. It’s Sunday, right? Regular update day.



Bound: finish editing this draft and have it out to readers by August 1. This should leave time for the fine-toothed comb treatment if I use my time wisely, but will depend on what I can get done before we go on holidays at the end of the month.

Torn: finish a full draft by the end of this round. This is a challenge for me, as this is another thing that was lost when I my own computer broke, so I’ve been starting from scratch. Big changes were coming, anyway, but it would have been nice to have my road-map…

Super Secret Project: Remember when I had those vampires bouncing around in my head, and I used them to take a break from my fantasy world? I have the beginnings of another world rattling around in my brain, and it all started to come together when I was walking the dog yesterday. No promises or goals, except to say that if I need a break, I’ll be working on this, and possibly offering an opening scene some time for WIPpet Wednesday. It’s not a genre I’ve had anything to do with in the past, so this could be interesting…

Disregard the Prologue: Yes, blog goals! I’m going a 31 day challenge in July, to keep me going through vacation and to allow me to schedule posts (because everything else is just going to be going SO WELL that I won’t need the distraction of this blog. HA!). So for July, I’ll make it a goal to post every day. After that… Well, I’ll readjust, and stop bombarding y’all with myself.

Other Stuff:

Art: I need to do a couple of custom My Little Ponies by the end of the summer, so I’m throwing that goal in here, because they’ll never get done otherwise. Two by the end of August, for sure, and if I can find time, there’s a personal project I’ve been itching to get to. This is what happens when you have a friend who sells doll hair, and you can’t stop yourself from buying all the pretty colours.

Family: Throwing a few more personal goals in here. Meal planning every week, one big, fun outing with the kids every week of vacation, reading one book (or chapter of a book) with each of the kids every day. Yes, we’re sometimes bad about that, especially when they forget to remind be until it’s quarter-past bedtime.

Reading: A book a week. Shouldn’t be too hard, but sometimes I get off-track when nothing’s grabbing me. I’ve got a ton of books waiting, though, so it should be fine. I have one book I’m alpha reading for someone this summer (I didn’t even know that term until she asked me… I’ve only used beta readers. You learn something new every day, don’t you?), I have my new paperbacks, I have a few books to finish on my kobo, and a bunch stranded in the Kindle app on my computer… plus the library. This should be doable, especially if I sit outside and read when the kids are playing.

So that’s the big, overarching goals. As far as time spent/word count, those goals will have to be broken down as I go along. My word count goal for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo session is only 25,000 words, and I’m cheating (editing/partial rewrites), so my goal should be 1,000 words a day… unless you account for vacation… so still 2,000 words a day.  After that, who knows? Maybe I’ll go easy on myself in August, or maybe I’ll have to write my poor little heart out to distract me from the torment of hearing back from beta readers (who I love. Have I mentioned that I love you all?).

Wish me luck… and let me know if you’re participating so I can be sure to stop by and offer encouragement as the round goes on! I don’t always get updates on the blogs I’ve signed up to follow…

Cleverness Has an Expiration Date

Great post from Jae at Lit and Scribbles, if you missed it earlier in the week.
I started reading Frankenstein a while ago and thought, “Wow, you can’t get away with that kind of exposition these days” before I gave up completely because I found it boring. Classics are classics for a reason, and they have great value; that doesn’t mean that because something has worked in the past (whether that’s 100 or 5 years ago), we can or should try to emulate it. Yes, Mary Shelley got away with starting with letters that had nothing to do with monsters. That doesn’t mean you should try it with a modern audience that has a thousand other (more compelling) books in your genre to choose from. Know why the old things work, and try something new.

(Yes, I know I just revealed something horrible about myself as a reader and as a person. I don’t have the attention span for many of the classics. I don’t need a book to start with explosions, and John Steinbeck can hook me with pages and pages of descriptions… but a lot of the old writing and the old gimmicks don’t grab me, and I have a lot of other books to read)

*runs and hides in the closet before the Classics Zealots can start hurling heavy, dusty volumes*

Lit and Scribbles with Jae

I’ve been watching a lot of stuff on Hulu lately (especially FMA, thanks a lot Gloria!), so I see way more commercials than I have in a long time—especially since I gave up cable.

I’ve noticed an interesting movement between two competitors, namely Geico and Progressive. They want your money, folks, and they don’t mind bombarding us with ads in the process. Let’s face it, now Hulu is a good chunk of their age range.

Now before you start to *yawn* and click to another page, understand there’s a lesson about cleverness here. And that lesson is, cleverness always has an expiration date. It just may last a little longer for some things than others.


I don’t even remember the days of Progressive before Flo. According to Wikipedia, she started making her appearance in 2008—and she’s still here 5 years later folks. (Though some are speculating she may…

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Motivation Tip of the Day

There’s nothing that lights a fire under your typing fingers like the realization that the printed-out draft you’re working from and making improvements on is the only copy of that draft.


Please don’t ask how this happened. I usually e-mail drafts to myself, but I must have fallen behind. I back up on a USB drive… but that got damaged this winter and is completely corrupted. I had it in my computer, but it seems that when my netbook broke and the guys at the store transferred my files for me, that one got lost in the move.

I know, dropbox. I have it now, and I pray that I’m doing it right. Do you have to open the file through dropbox in order for it to update, or is it linked automatically?

I also have a new USB drive, and I’m e-mailing files to myself.

Still… until I get this thing done, all I have of my best draft so far is PAPER. Flimsy, flammable, blown-by-the-breezable paper.

My word count is SOARING.

^ Just this much to go…

Nine Days of Newfoundland – Day 4

OK, guys, if you’re interested at all in Newfoundland, here’s a blog for you to check out. I’m just re-blogging this one post, but have a look back through. There’s a hilarious post on the Great Moose Conspiracy (I commented, b’ys), and some lovely information on speaking Newfinese. Lovely photos, too!

Trailer Trash

Oh geez, by, not da map again!

Oh c’mon, be honest, you were missing my beautiful map, I know you were.


On Day 4, we meandered from Point C, Gros Morne, to Point D, which is….I’d better show you – you’ll never believe me if I just say it.


Now, I know what you’re thinking – you’re wondering if I’m alphabetically challenged because there appears to be a Point F in between Points C and D on that amazingly glorious map.  As it happens, the F-stop (little photog humour there – heh heh) comes later, after we’d been to E and back (that woulda been a lot cornier if I’d said L instead of E…).  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First, we went to Dildo Run.

We chose this spot to camp for two days not only because the name made us giggle, but because it’s close to Twillingate…

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Book Review and an Interview… elsewhere

OK, first of all: I got no writing done in the past 24 hours because I couldn’t stop reading Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. My mother-in-law likes the TV show, so I thought I’d give the book a try. I did NOT expect to end up on the kitchen floor with a cup of tea and this book, sobbing over the lives of people 30 years before I was born and an ocean away. I laughed, too, and felt afraid, and was amazed by the beauty of humanity (even as I was enraged by its ugliness).

Absolutely phenomenal, and entirely deserving of one of my 5-star reviews (which, like fine china, are saved for special occasions).

THIS JUST IN: It’s a trilogy. Somebody tell my productivity it’s getting a vacation as soon as I get my paws on the other two books.

In other news, here’s my interview with Fel Wetzig at The Peasants Revolt. She’s been interviewing JuNoWriMo participants all month; my answers are from back in May, but they still hold. 🙂

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go curl up on my bed and cry again, and then go scream at my library if they don’t have those other books…

WIPpet Wednesday 6/26/2013

Welcome, welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, wherein we WIPpeteers wage war on world-weariness with wild, wanton or wonderful works of writerly wit and wisdom (and once in a while a whale of a whopper will wing its way, from whence we know not where).

Also, some of us abuse the thesaurus horribly.

We share a small portion of a WIP (work in progress) that relates in some way to the day’s date, be it page number or chapter, number or words, lines, paragraphs, etc.

Today is the 26th. I’ll give you words: 26+6+2+0+13 for the date (and another for good luck.)

This is from Bound, the last section I worked on. Rowan is narrating and speaking.

“Right. I’m sure you’re always a perfect gentleman.” Aren’s grin widened, and I wondered what he was like with women when he was at home. Powerful, a king’s son, handsome in his own way, and terribly charming when he wanted to be? God help the women of Luid.

That’s it, that’s all. Stop by and visit the other WIPpeteers here, and if you’d like to join in the fun, just follow the rules as stated above (or if you have nothing to share from a current WIP, start a new one!), and add your own link. Thanks to KL Schwengel for hosting this shindig. 🙂


*Is Overwhelmed and Faints Like A Weak Heroine*

So between the sale Walmart was having on a few books from my “TBR ASAP” pile and the arrival of my Chapters/Indigo order from Mother’s Day… Guys, I’m losing my mind.

(and I mean that in the best way possible, of course.)

Book Review: Matched

I finished and reviewed Matched by Ally Condie.

Guys, I’m really surprised at how much I enjoyed this one. I’m usually not a fan of the straight-up love triangle, and this one did make me feel badly for one guy, but at least neither of them was abusive/controlling/disrespectful/etc like you see so often in these settings. I gave it four stars, based entirely on my own reading experience. It was fun, relaxing, and interesting enough that I spent my afternoon yesterday reading it instead of writing. Good enough for 4 stars from me. 🙂

Cape Spear

(OK, so the picture showing up in the WordPress reader preview? Not Cape Spear. Not at all. Anyone know how whether we can change settings on that?)

Good Monday, my dear peoples! I hope you all had a great weekend, whatever that means for you.

Our weekend was quite fantastic. We headed to St. John’s as soon as school was done on Friday. There wasn’t time to get to all of my favourite spots. there never is; there are just too many of them. But the little guy and I got up to Signal Hill while AJ took Simon to see Man of Steel:

cabot tower

View from the lower parking lot. Yep, we climbed up there.

So that was fun. Then on Sunday, instead of leaving in the morning like we usually do, we decided to go up to Cape Spear. It’s probably my favourite place in the world. Why? Well, on a day like yesterday, you’ve got the fact that it’s the easternmost point in North America; not quite yelling distance to Europe, but as close as you’re going to get without a boat. The landscape is pure Newfoundland, rocky and rugged and covered with boulders left by glaciers, more kinds of beautiful little plants than you’d ever expect, and long grasses blowing in the constant breeze off of the ocean. Plenty of trails for walking, boardwalks over the mucky areas, and lots of room to spread out even on a ridiculously busy day like yesterday. Like, crazy busy: both parking lots full, cars parked on both sides of the winding road leading up to them.




Dat landscape! (this is looking back toward the city; Signal hill is in the background there)

Also, stairs.

Also, stairs.

Then there are the lighthouses. We didn’t get all the way up to the old one on this trip, but they’ve got the inside set up as a museum showing what life was like for the lighthouse keepers way back when. At least, I think so… we haven’t paid the admission to go in yet. It’s beautiful, restored to the way it looked back in 1839. Great pictures here, and lots of information, too.

But there’s also the newer lighthouse up there, fully functional and doing its job.

...and apparently about to get smashed by my giant husband. O.o

…and apparently about to get smashed by my giant husband. O.o

You’ve also got military history up there: WWII cannons (sorry, 10-inch guns) and bunkers. Not the most cheerful place to have spent time back then, I imagine, and really creepy now, but interesting. Also, for the more mature among us, you can catch people standing near the guns and…



So yes, it was a lovely day, but why so busy? Well, we were there to see the whales, but it turned out there were other things going on that we didn’t now about. Oh, Cape Spear, you so crafty! Touch tables from the Ocean Sciences centre where the kids could interact with crabs, sea cucumbers, snails, and other local creatures, a colouring table, and a minke whale skeleton courtesy of a group that does whale/sea turtle/basking shark rescues, also available for touching and close examination. So interesting!



As for the whales? Well…

We saw them!

Humpbacks, and quite a few of them, some very close to the shore. It was AMAZING. I wish I could have got better pictures for you all, but I don’t have a camera that’s better than the one in my phone, and it’s a very, VERY bad idea to get too close to the water at Cape Spear. Even on calm days rogue waves can come up, and not a year goes by when at least one tourist doesn’t get swept away after he/she ignores the dozen “dangerous coastline, stay on designated trails” signs.

This doesn’t stop idiots people with no brains careless… um… well, people who think the signs aren’t for them from taking their little kids down to get closer to the whales… and the dangerous ocean. I love you guys, but not that much.

But I did get this for you.

See the light blue patch between the dorsal fin and the rocks? That’s one massive, white flipper right there. One was swimming away and we could see both stretched out to the sides… just amazing.


When they exhale, they make a very loud “PFFFT” sound. AJ thinks they were just making fun of all of the crazy humans watching them from the shore.

One more thing before we leave the whales: When they go back under, the water pooling behind them leaves a flat space in the waves. This is called a whale footprint. Yes, I got pictures of the Prints of Whales.

You didn't think you were getting out of this without at least one stupid pun, did you?

You didn’t think you were getting out of this without at least one stupid pun, did you?

So that was our trip to Cape Spear. If you’re ever in St. John’s and have a way to get out there, I highly recommend visiting. Even if the weather’s not perfect and the whales aren’t around, it’s an amazing place. Have I ever showed you all my pictures from the foggy evening we spent up there last summer? It was creepy and surreal and quiet and kind of mind-blowing. We went past the old lighthouse:

Tell me this doesn't look haunted.

Tell me this doesn’t look haunted.

…and out onto the lands beyond. Very eerie in the fog! When I stepped close to the edge of the cliffs, it was like the end of the world opening up under my feet.

I got the most delightful shivers!

I got the most delightful shivers!

The ocean was down there somewhere. I know, because I could hear it whispering.

A few more pictures from last August:

foggy lighthouse

pitcher plant. Yep, our provincial flower is carnivorous.  How fun and creepy!

Pitcher plant. Yep, our provincial flower is carnivorous. How fun and creepy is that?

Remember when I said the glaciers dropped boulders all over the place? Sometimes they did stuff like this. I sat under there. It was cozy. :)

Remember when I said the glaciers dropped boulders all over the place? Sometimes they did stuff like this. I sat under there. It was cozy.

So there you go. That’s Cape Spear, and I love it. Highly recommended if you’re out that way, with or without the whales. 🙂

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