Wednesday, 30 May 2007

How can actors stand watching themselves?

I have my galley printed out and attached neatly to a clipboard for proofing. It's probably a bad idea to look for typos while a playoff hockey game is on, but hey... I'm good at multi-tasking.

Speaking of hockey, I regret to say that I am rooting for Anaheim, although Ottawa is Canadian and all that. But everybody knows that no self-respecting Torontonian born in Montreal will root for the Senators. Sarry...

Back to the proofing. As I go through the formatted version of my manuscript, I'm reminded of the comments actors make when they see the final cut of whatever movie they're in. As they stare at the screen in horror, they see every mistake they made and fight the urge to tell the director to reshoot the scene, but it's too late.

It's not too late for me to take care of any little typos in my final draft, but I find I must fight the urge to rewrite the whole thing. No matter how good it is, a writer will always find something he or she hopes will make the novel better. I must let this baby go, zits and all. The readers will decide if it's good.

I'm sure many successful writers would love to take back their first novels and bury them in the backyard, but in my case, I accept that I will improve my writing with every novel, and I'll build an audience with each release. That's a promise.

Gotta get back to work.

Monday, 28 May 2007

The Galley has arrived!

Wow! It has an ISBN on page six and everything! I have to check it over for boo-boos, and then send it back. Maybe then I'll get a release date. I am dancing.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Oh, darn; I've been tagged.

Clover, another Wild Rose Press author, has tagged me. I must reveal eight things about myself, and then tag eight other bloggers. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know me a little better. This is my first time, so hold on!

1. I hate phones. Really. If I have to order a pizza, I get a stomach ache. Thank goodness most of my family has email or they'd never hear from me.

2. I have a birthmark on my lower back.

3. I'm so paranoid about my breath that I'm constantly chewing sugarless gum.

4. When faced with a series of tasks, I say them out loud so I won't forget what the heck I'm doing.

5. Drivers who don't signal really irritate me.

6. When I was little, I was afraid of butterflies.

7. I love hockey. To be fair, everyone should know that about me.

8. When I was seven, I stepped on a golf tee my dad had left on the stairs. Now, if anyone says 'golf tee' out loud, my foot tingles and my toes curl up. It's doing it right now...

In case I tag you, here are the rules:
1) Each player starts with 8 random facts or habits about themselves.
2) People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their 8 things with a copy of these rules.
3) At the end of your blog you need to choose 8 people to get tagged and list their names.
4) Don't forget to leave them a note saying they've been tagged.

Forgive me if you've already been tagged: LaurieB, PennyOz, Tsuki, Cathy, Leslie, John, Vicki and Rebecca.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Miss Snark has announced her retirement.

I'm saddened, but not surprised. Only the most saintly and hardened individual could possibly put up with the various degrees of nitwittery I have witnessed on that blog over the last two years and two million posts.

And I was one of them. I thought I knew what I was doing when I first started out, and I cringe when I look at my first query letters. Prospective agents must have taken one look, and thought "Newbie. This one needs to read Miss Snark's blog more often."

I don't have an agent yet, but because of Miss Snark, Evil Editor and Elektra's Crapometer, as well as my lovely friends at Romance Writers Unlimited, I was able to crank out a fairly decent novel.

I am now able to negotiate the labyrinth of the publishing world without looking like a nitwit, but I am fully aware that I have a long way to go. I will miss Miss Snark, and so will many others. I'll try to apply what I've learned. I'll go through her archives to find anything I've missed. I strongly suggest that new writers do the same. Her blog will stay up for that purpose. Here it is:

Sure, she had many snippets of wisdom, but what I'll miss most of all is her cutting humour and the way she responded to my non-nitwit emails with thanks and a chuckle that I could hear over the cybersphere.

I lift a G&T to you, Miss Snark.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

It was a dark and stormy... well, you get the picture

Weather seems to play an important role in the creation of romance fiction, but I try to steer away from the "getting caught in the rain" kissing scenes. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy them.

I'm fortunate to live in an area where tornadoes aren't a constant threat, so watching a good rip snortin' thunderstorm is one of my favourite activities as long as I'm not standing in the middle of it. Sometimes during car trips, I crane my neck to catch a glimpse of a particularly dramatic cloud formation or that elusive flash of lightning. Don't worry, I'm not the driver.

Last night, a thunderstorm rolled through our region. I swung the window open and inhaled the metallic odour of ozone rising to meet the rain, then kept my eyes peeled for the light show.

Chester, my husky/sheltie cross, didn't enjoy it so much. He's getting old and a little neurotic, so any cracking or booming noises now send him scurrying to the basement. Oh, well... he'll be sure to be safe if there IS a tornado! I'd probably still be hanging out the window trying to get a shot with my digital camera.

The storm didn't live up to my expectations. After the rain passed, the setting sun made up for my disappointment by illuminating the drips that fell from the apple blossoms. The sky matched the tree.

That trickling sound, along with the distant rumble of thunder, is soothing. As long as the trickling isn't leaking into the basement.

I guess I'd better go downstairs and check.

When my son saw this sunset, he told me it looked like a Barbie factory explosion.

Friday, 11 May 2007

The Cover is Done!

After a week of emails back and forth with Tamra, Wild Rose Press's artist, we finally have an approved cover. We worked together on this one - I provided the shark tooth and drew the braided grass necklace, and she adjusted the surf background and provided the typesetting. I think we did a nice job.

Now I just have to wait for approval on the manuscript and a release date. I think. Gosh, I still don't know what comes next.

I can't speak for other writers, but I feel so many levels of accomplishment while creating a novel. First, the act of stringing together a bunch of words that actually hold somebody's attention is a feat to be proud of.

Then, being told that your guinea pigs enjoyed the story makes me tingle. After that, getting the approval of a publisher (or agent) is something to get really excited about.

Then we have the little steps taken to make it all real. Edits, my name under "Authors" on the website (giggle) and the cover. Next, I'll jump up and down when I get the release date, or the final copy of the manuscript - I'm not sure which comes first. I'll letcha know when I get to it.

Every little moment seems like it's the best you'll ever feel, and then along comes another one.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Cover Girl

As a writer, I like to surround myself with images and 'draw' from them in order to enrich my story. Sometimes, a photograph I take or an image I create can be the inspiration for a story.

I've been asked to give my input on the design of my book cover. I have a couple of ideas, and plan to send thumbnails to the artist very soon. It's nice to have a publisher that gives the writer a say in cover design. I hear it's not usually the case. Chances of obtaining a cover that truly reflects the story within can be a bit of a crapshoot.

Some authors get covers they don't expect, but from what I hear, most of them are happy with the results after they recover from their surprise.

By the way, I sent my final edits back yesterday. At least, I think they're final. I guess I now have to wait for a release date, or more edits... or something!

Okay, back to work. I'm trying to draw a braided grass necklace in Photoshop. Not easy, but fun!

Photo: Staring down a cliff on Grand Manaan Island, NB.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

It's Derby Day!

If you read this blog, you know that I love horses. Horse racing is an emotional, exciting and phenomenal experience. I once had dreams of being a jockey.

I'm a big fan of Dick Francis, and I don't think I've missed a single ride with his characters. His style is spare yet delivered with a precise punch. I hope to write a horse related novel someday. Who knows, maybe it'll become a habit.

I once crawled through the grass to take pictures of a thundering finish during the Queen's Plate in the early 80's. I just kept the motor drive clicking as the horses rounded the final turn. It wasn't until the film was developed that I discovered I'd caught a seven-horse spill in excruciating detail.

This illustrates one of the downfalls to the sport of racing. Some criticise the sport, stating that it's cruel to the horses. But they love to run. look at their ears, their eyes. They love it. I say, let 'em do it. Just don't try to take the horse to the race, let him take you.

Now, to pick my winner. I like the name "Imawildandcrazyguy". Reminds me of Steve Martin in his SNL days. Also, he's a grey, just like Steve! He's 50-1, so it's a long shot for sure.