Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Holidays

I want to wish you all a great holiday and hope your wishes come true.

I will leave you for now with some writing quotes to inspire you:

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
~ Thomas Jefferson

"You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer. "
~ Stephen Leigh

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
~ Bill Cosby

"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector."
~ Ernst Hemingway

"My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip."
~ Elmore Leonard

"I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil."
~ Truman Capote

"Often I'll find clues to where the story might go by figuring out where the characters would rather not go."
~ Doug Lawson

"I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances."
~ John Steinbeck

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

New hope from Neverwhere

Recommended Website:

I'm currently reading Neverwhere, by Niel Gaiman. The book is nothing special, yet it is spectacular. By that, I mean it's the story of an unassuming young man who needs to learn to stand up for himself and live -- he's no superhero or super detective or super moron protagonist. It's just life. The story, considered fantasy in genre, is a fantastic tale. It faces the protagonist with a whole different world in which he, in turn, must face who he is.

I think my favorite thing about this book is that Gaiman breaks the rules. He just tells the story and even commits author intrusion! I see lots of "wases" and adverbs but I get lost in the story.

What I've learned from this is that I don't have to get so tight-assed about perfection. The lack of perfection--perhaps what we may call unique voice?-- is perfection in and of itself.

Thank you Neil.


Friday, December 02, 2005

More Best Book Lists

The New York Times has also posted its "100 Notable Books of the Year."

And, while we're at it, here is's "Editors' Picks: Top 50 Books of 2005." They also have "Top 50 Customer Favorites."

Time magazine published its "All-time Best 100 Novels since 1923." has posted a list of the highest-scoring books in its database for 2005.

Here are Jack Schofield's Top 20 Geek Novels.'s Top 100 Books for 2005.

Wal-Mart's Top 50 Sellers.

The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels.

USA Today keeps a Best-Selling Books Database...

as does Barnes & Noble. has a list of lists.

Click here for an archived directory of Book-Of-The-Week Selections from the All Info-About Web Almanac.

And, just for something a little different, here is Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers.

That should keep us going for a little while.

What is the best book you've read this year and why?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Titles to add to your 'books to read' pile

The Globe and Mail (a national Canadian newspaper) has published its Globe 100 - a list of what it deems to be the best 100 books this year, as decided by its reviewers.

The list includes fiction, non-fiction, history, politics, poetry, science, etc. The reviewers admit, that since roughly 200,000 books are published in English each year, the selection is somewhat biased based on what the reviewers have read and the buzz in the industry. In any case, I always enjoy a new read list.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Private concert with INXS

Writing Accomplished: nada
Writing Goal: at least 1,500 words this weekend
Recommended Website:

Okay, here are some pics of my amazing breakfast date with INXS. As it turned out, it was a small private concert. Incredible. I'm still salivating.

This is JD Fortune, lead singer of INXS. This is Andrew, one of the guitarists.

John, the drummer. Kirk, the other guitarist.

I can't wait to hear their new CD, Switch. The songs they played from it (including 'Pretty Vegas') are definitely going to be hits.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

When Will You Be Published?

I took the test, and I should be published. When will you be published?

WHAT?? You're not published yet? Get those
manuscripts out there, you are overdue.

When Will You Be Published?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Doubled my word count

Writing Accomplished: transcribed weekend writing

I took a few hours to transcribe the writing I did on the weekend. I am pleased that I almost doubled my word count. I won't be able to do any writing tomorrow and we'll have to see about Thursday - I'll be flying too high from my breakfast date with JD.

Maybe he'll let me write is biography. What do you think?

JD Fortune, here I come!

Okay, I'm sooo freaked out.

My friend Jackie won tickets to have breakfast with INXS (read JD Fortune) at CHUM FM on Thursday morning. She gets to bring a friend. For those of you who know me, I fell in love with JD during the show, Rock Star INXS. He won the competition and is the new front man for INXS. I knew he would win. Now I'm going to meet him. I feel like a 13-year-old groupy. AND, I'll also get a signed copy of their new album, Switch.


Aaah, don't you wish you were me?


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Which romance writer are you?

Writing Goal: Lots of writing on plane and in hotel on weekend business trip
Recommended Website: Romance Writers of America -

Victoria Alexander
Congratulations! You scored 34!

You are all about the sweet, fairy-tale side of romance. All of your stories are interrelated and involve blonde heroines.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Writing and fear

Writing Accomplished: important time travel scene accomplished
Writing Goal: more lunch work
Recommended Website: MamasInk -

Flamingo suggested I post my writings on my blog to get some feedback. Oi!

Not gonna happen. But then I considered why that was not going to happen. At first I justified my immediate response with excuses such as, "It's a first draft, it's allowed to be shitty. I don't want to have shitty work criticized" and "I will forego first publishing rights if I post my work." I mean, let's get serious. The first excuse may have some merit, but it still comes back to the fear of writing 'good enough.'

One of the ways I've decided to deal with this is by not reading and re-reading what I've written. I HAVE to get through this first draft. If I were to post my work now, I would get sick with fear of how bad it is. But, that's okay! It can be bad! Why would I put myself back into a predicament of feeling my writing has to come out perfect the first time?

On MamasInk, Monica and Ericka (who teach a course called Fear In Fiction) say writers "need the fear. It means we're ready to stir things up, work deeply. And we believe that by working with the fear, letting the fear be a guide, we can find our way in to the real, the deep, the true."

I will believe this as my truth.

What frees you up to write without fear?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Useable after all

Writing Accomplished: 500 words at lunch
Writing Goal: transcribe and some wc tonight

So far so good. I almost didn't write at lunch. Couldn't think of what to write, so I told myself, "Just write anything. You don't have to use it." But, turned out useable after all.

2,500 words and counting

Writing Accomplished: 2,500 words last week on lunches
Writing Goal: write every lunch hour
Recommended Website: Novel Advice -

I wrote on my lunch every day last week. Didn't seem like much - just baby steps - but when I count up the words, it is quite incredible (for me). 2,500 words in one week. Now to keep it up.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Momentum in place

Writing Accomplished: 500 words at lunch yesterday
Writing Goal: 500 words at lunch today; 500 words this evening
Recommended Website: Suite 101 Writing Center

Things are moving along nicely. I finally seem to have a momentum going. Now, to keep it up.

On another note, today's recommended website is Suite 101's Writing Center. This site has a variety of articles on many aspects of writing from writing a bestseller, to grammar and punctuation. It also offers online courses and a writing community.

Have a happy weekend. Hope you Nanoers get lots of writing done!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Writing Accomplished: 500 words at lunch; transcribed in evening
Writing Goal: 500 words at lunch; transcribe in evenging
Recommended Website:

Finally up in word count. Going to try and keep this momentum going for me. It's a pace I can accomplish.
Working on scenes instead of looking at the whole novel at once is really working for me. I'm even working out of order, which I never thought I'd be able to do. Still finding my groove.
For a great article on scene composition, check out this blog by PaperBack Writer.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

She does it!

Yeah! I wrote at least 500 words on my lunch. And, to boot, I think the scene is moving well!
Now for some transcribing - and maybe more writing - tonight!

Here I am!

Okay, it's lunch time. Rather, it's writing time. 500 words by the time I get back to my desk.