Writing Date

This afternoon I’ll be heading out to meet my usual partner-in-crime for our monthly writing date. We’ll be welcoming a new member into our afternoon of “creative genius”, although I use that term lightly.

I’ve not written anything for a while so am hoping that this will get me back on track. These “dates” have helped in the past and I’ve been rather prolific in my word count on occasion.


Seven Things: Work, Writing & Research

I received this award from Janice Horton author of Bagpipes & Bullshot and coming later in 2011, Reaching for the Stars. As it goes, I now have to share seven things about me that you might or might not already know.

1. My first job after graduating from secondary school was as a keypunch operator at a local pharmaceutical company. After that job, I worked at various other local companies mostly in the data entry field. I returned to school when my children were small and got a degree in computer programming. For the past almost 24 years, I’ve worked for the same company in a variety of positions and sometimes more than one at the same time. Now it’s just one – payroll.

2. Before I began primary school, we lived in a winterized cottage along the St Lawrence River. I remember sitting in our yard facing the river, waiting for the Royal yacht Britannia to sail past, Union Jack flag in hand ready to wave when it did. I can’t remember if it was on the same Royal visit, but I remember coming in to town and seeing the Queen’s limo.





The streets were lined with crowds and I was on my father’s shoulders and I asked “When’s Santa Claus coming?” That was my first experience with the Royal Family.

3. My father was British Home Child who was raised at The Orphan Homes of Scotland west of Glasgow. He came to Canada in 1930. I was always fascinated with his history and vowed that the first year I had three week’s vacation, I would go to Scotland to see where he was born and where he was raised. I made that first trip (by myself) in 1993 and have never looked back. I fell in love with the country immediately and knew that was where I would set my novels – especially after discovering a spooky old ruined mansion near my father’s birthplace.

4. Living an ocean apart from where I’ve set my novels has proved to be a challenge. Thankfully, I’ve got good friends and family in Scotland who have answered what they might think are some pretty daft questions by times. I’ve taken loads of photographs on my trips abroad so I can refer back to them when need be. Being a member of the Aberdeen & North East Scotland Family History Society has helped immensely, too. It’s truly amazing how helpful people are when you tell them you’re writing a novel and need help with…

5. My second encounter with the Royal Family came in 1999, when I had the honour of meeting Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne at Quarriers Village (formerly The Orphan Homes of Scotland). The invitation was originally extended on April 1st so I immediately thought it was a prank and someone was yanking my chain but it was legitimate.

6. I use real places and events in my writing. My third (as yet uncompleted) manuscript is based around a helicopter ditching in the North Sea and another I’ve got the concept (TV guide blurb, if you prefer) only done is set in Lincolnshire after the Market Rasen earthquake.

7. I bought my husband and I two small (miniscule) plots of land from Lochaber Highland Estates so we can call ourselves Laird and Lady as we are Scottish land owners.

And now to pass the torch on to seven more versatile bloggers…

Dorothy Bush
Brenda Visser’s The Write Way
Maggie Jagger’s Books and life, historical, paranormal, real
Coreene Smith’s E.C. Ramblings
Brenda Hammond’s What Flutters By
Linda Poitevin’s Angels Gather Here

and lastly

Catherine Durnford-Wang’s Observations of a Baby Boomer


Finished reading…

I just finished reading Dying Light by Stuart MacBride. Like his first published crime novel, Gold Granite, this was the second gripping tale of DS Logan McRae set in Aberdeen.

I was so taken with his first (what can I say, Aberdeen and crime?, I’m there… wouldn’t even have to be crime… mostly Aberdeen does it for me) that I have all but his most recent one. According to Stuart’s website the books are written so they can be read in any order. However, unlike the way I write, I like to read in published order. So if I stick to that, then the next piece of his I’ll be reading will be Broken Skin.

Stuart MacBride’s website is at http://www.stuartmacbride.com/

Taking A Step Back… Looking at The Big Picture

I’ve just found myself in such a place. I’m in the midst of all of the above. Have I added way too much detail? Can I still give this character what she wants but simplify it? Overall, I like the direction I’m going in. I’m just concerned over the amount of piddly-arse details that really don’t need to be there.

So, whilst I ponder my conundrum, I’m taking a step back and am going to enjoy the other past time that goes so well with writing… reading. Now I don’t like to read in the genre I’m writing in for fear of incorporating something from that in my work. So I’ve dusted off a crime novel by another favourite author of mine.

If when I’m reading, I’m struck with a profound revelation that will get me out of my predicament, I’ll go back to my manuscript and get it on “paper”.

Are you looking for someone who can do the things related to writing that you don’t have time for?

Look no further. Fellow member of the Ottawa Romance Writers Association, Linda Poitevin, also does freelance work in addition to writing Dark Urban Fantasies. If you’re in need of writing for web or print, editing for same, editing, proofreading, ghostwriting, or SEO optimization, Linda is the gal to turn to.

You can find Linda’s freelance site at http://www.lindapoitevin.ca/ and her author site at http://www.lindapoitevin.com/

Thousand Islands Writers Festival Workshops Cancelled

The May 7th workshops that I was so looking forward to (How to Find an Editor and Why You Need One and How to Write Effective Dialogue) have been cancelled due to low registration.

I’m sad and angry at the same time that the event didn’t get the support from the local writing community. The committee works hard all year to bring great authors in for readings and workshops for the spring and fall events.

Death Ship – yesterday’s reading

Fully charged Sony reader in my purse and Death Ship downloaded to it, I was ready for some lunch time reading yesterday. I admit for a brief moment I wondered if it was something best not read whilst eating but it was too late. I was already hooked!

Now, I’m counting the days until The Figurehead becomes available. The first chapter teaser drew me into the story immediately.