Sunday, October 31, 2010

Twas the night before NaNoWriMo...

And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
And no panic had set in.

Feeling pretty good about it, actually, which may just be denial, but hey, I'll take it. Not panicked, not worried. Just finishing up a nice Hallowe'en with my little girl and her Granny, and about 60 kids ranging in age from 2 to maybe 15 who came to the door. The cutest was the 3-year old dressed as a penguin.

Only a few of the kids noticed I had a skull under my arm. But then, they don't notice these things with adults, or possibly try to ignore them. One was impressed and said so.

So, the night before NaNoWriMo, and I'm feeling pretty good. Know the story, know the lead character, know the other main ones, have some idea of plot. It should all be good.

So, if I'm not posting much here, you probably won't notice the difference! (Yeah, I know I don't post enough). But seriously, I will try to get some posts up telling how it is going. I'm looking forward to it.

And now, soon to bed, to rest up for the big event.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Yep, I'm going to give it a shot.

I haven't written anything long since Cold Magics came out. Too busy moving, unpacking, working, and going to conventions. There was one period where I don't think I had a free day or evening in a month. So, while the writing bug has been biting me, and I've been working in fits and starts, there's been no consistent time or space to keep the drive alive.

Now, however, my time has sorted itself out as has my place and I've only got one convention to go to, SFContario, November 19, 20, and 21, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 300 Jarvis Street, Toronto. Got to love a home town convention.

For me, writing, like everything else, has to be made a habit to be done effectively. I find I need to be writing at least 5 days a week to really get in stride; 6 days a week preferably, and 7 when I'm reaching the end of a project. And when I get out of a habit, it takes some work to get me back in.

Fortunately, NaNoWriMo has the two things that help me most when I'm trying to get back on a habit: a challenge, and a deadline.

First draft of a new novel in month. I can do it. I've got the novel in my head, the general plot figured out, the main characters all sorted. Now I'm just waiting for the starting gun.

So, let's see how it goes, starting Monday.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday Night: the Last Con*cept Blog Post (for now)

Well, that was a pretty good end to a pretty good weekend.

Spent most of the day in the dealer's room, selling books and getting one more chance to talk to people before they headed on their way. Sold a lot of copies of Small Magics and a fair number of Cold Magics. Had several people who'd bought Small Magics on Saturday come back for Cold Magics on Sunday, just based on their reading Saturday night. That was a very nice feeling indeed.

My panel today was "Killing Your Babies," which was all about editing and the joys of realizing that that amazingly cool scene/character/description/idea/philosophy that you just know was the perfect thing when you wrote it is the thing you need to cut from the book. And if ever there was a group of people qualified to talk about it, it was my fellow panelists. From closest to furthest from me (I was sitting on the end of the table and moderating! I was moderating this group! cool!), there was Tad Williams, Marie Bilodeau, Violette Milan, and Deborah Beale!

It was a wide-ranging discussion with lots of great audience participation and lots of great stories from the writers at the table. In the course of talking about editing, we shared some of our favourite/most horrifying story realizations, discussed the "Disneyfication" of popular culture and the many times all of us have either written or read something which we know needed to be cut out.

Great fun, and an excellent panel to end on.

Then, to make things even cooler, I got an interview with Angela Roberts from The Gloaming. She asked some great questions, and I hope I wasn't talking too much in my answers. Thanks, Angela!

And speaking of thank you's, my thanks to everyone at Con*cept for having me as a panelist and treating all of us so well. And my deep, deep thanks to Marie Bilodeau, my partner in crime and at the Dragon Moon Press table for the weekend, who kept us both laughing through the weekend, translated for those whose who spoke mostly French but still wanted to know what my book was about, and for finding us great breakfast spots two days running.

To everyone new I met, and to everyone I got to see once again, merci beaucoup, et au revoir until next time!

Saturday Night Con*cept Blogging, plus Time Management Basics

And here I am. Only 12:20 and already heading for bed. I swear I was a night owl, once...

Had an excellent day of selling Small Magics and Cold Magics and talking to people. Had a great time on the "But When Do I Write" panel, where myself and Rob St. Martin, Karen Dales and Glenn Grant all talked about time management and how important it is for a writer.

It was such a good discussion, with such excellent people that I want the share the highlights with everyone who happens to pop in and read.

First off: If you want to be a writer, find the time to write, no matter how busy your life is. If you can't, you really don't want to be a writer.

Steps to finding the time:

1. Organize your life. I use a system where everything that one is doing is divided into URGENT, NOT URGENT, IMPORTANT, NOT IMPORTANT (if you know whose system this is, let me know. It isn't mine and I can't remember, but would like to give credit where it is due). From there you can...

2. Prioritize the things that need to get done, in the order you need to get them done in.

3. Create a schedule that allows you to work on the important things (like your writing). Make sure you schedule your free time, so you don't feel guilty about it when you have it.

4. Build a community of people around you who support and understand your goals.

5. Reward yourself when you reach a a goal.

We also talked about the nature of change, and or trauma, and how either or both these things can really throw off your writing schedule. Unfortunately, both are part of life, and in either case, you have to let yourself and your life settle to the point where you can get back on your writing schedule.

It was a good day, and I'll looking forward to another good day tomorrow.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Con*cept Friday Night

Late night blogging from a nice little Con in Montreal. Had a good first evening and a nice book launch with lots of folks attending.

Marie Bilodeau and I are partners in crime for our Montreal launch. I'm launching Cold Magics, Marie is launching her new book, Destiny's Blood. Marie is an amazing reader and a great person, and I can't wait to read her book. It sounds really good.

Then a group of us went out for drinks and late night snacks at a nearby restaurant. It was a great way to end the evening.

So that's day 1. Looking forward to a great day tomorrow with 2 panels, a table to sell books at, and time hanging with fans and fellow writers.

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