10 Things I Can See From Here

1) Carol Berg

2) Brenda Carr

3) a TV — not on

4) a fire­place — not on

5) a massive Garry Oak tree

5) Saanich inlet

6) some ducks

7) a rug

8) Four wooden let­ters: H O M E

9) a glass of water with ice

10) Two small statues of angels, each hold­ing a post-thing with a flat top per­fect for hold­ing a candle.

Something Goes Ping!

I have been on a mis­sion, for the last two weeks, to solve a prob­lem in my story; one that had been brought to my atten­tion by a par­tic­u­lar industry pro­fes­sional with the power to Effect Change.

It is so excit­ing when I’ve been puzz­ling and puzz­ling over how to solve a prob­lem in a story, and then some­thing goes Ping! It is some­times with the help of a friend who is will­ing to listen to me talk through the prob­lem I’m try­ing to solve, and even tosses in the odd idea here and there. Today we were out walk­ing (in the hail, I might add, so that may have had some­thing to do with it) and it hit me. In fact, it was prob­ably a hail­stone that went Ping! off my hat, or my ear, or my nose–there were lots of those–but whatever it was, it clicked. I said good­bye to my friend, who offered me her umbrella for the rest of my walk home, but I didn’t take it, 1) because I’m not afraid of the rain, and 2) because I had made a decision not to bring my umbrella when I left in the first place so it was my own damn fault. But whatever.

The point is that some­thing went Ping! and by the time I got home I had for­mu­lated a plan. By the time my wet jacket was hung up to dry and my hat was hooked over the closet door handle and I had gone upstairs to find not-wet things to wear, I had the whole thing mapped out. Seven dif­fer­ent places in the story where I could rewrite or tweak things and the prob­lem of the Sag­ging Middle would be solved.

And now I must shut this blog down and get back at it because I have only tackled two of the seven things, and these things don’t rewrite themselves.

Some rejections are good rejections

Why am I so happy to have received a rejec­tion of my novel? Because she gave me some really pos­it­ive feed­back, as well as com­ments on spe­cific things I need to address. And then she would like to see it again. So… Yes. Very happy. I only wish I didn’t have such a full day today, so I could get started.

Feeling silly

When you find that doc­u­ment you were search­ing high and low for, only to dis­cover it has been pass­word pro­tec­ted, and you can­not begin to remem­ber what the pass­word is, or why on earth you thought (five years ago!) it would need such protection…

In terms of.…

Listen to any dis­cus­sion or inter­view, par­tic­u­larly on the radio or TV. Count how many times you hear the phrase, “In terms of…” Then, count how many times that is actu­ally the best way to express an idea.

Chances are the answer will be zero. Zero times.

Miscon Panels

The Mis­con pan­els have been announced! Things might still shift so I won’t post full details here, but I’m excited to get to tell a Story on the Fly, again, as well as read­ing for First Page Idol and a Memorial read­ing of Sue Bolich’s work.

Norwescon 40 is over!

I didn’t make it to Nor­wescon last year, so it was a treat to attend for its 40th anniversary. I really enjoyed the panel on Rhythm in Fic­tion, which was really inform­at­ive, des­pite Carol Berg’s uncer­tainty of what would be dis­cussed. It turned out well. Another favour­ite was Writ­ing to Mar­ket, where we learned a log from lib­rar­ian Marta Mur­vosh, as well as the other panellists.

My favour­ite event, though, was the Broad Uni­verse Rapid Fire Read­ings on Sat­urday night. I got to share a few pages of my WiP, Griffin and the Spuri­ous Cor­rel­a­tions (and was sad to have to tell people it isn’t pub­lished yet!), but most import­antly, I was hon­oured to have been asked to read from the work of the late Sue Bolich, who was a ter­rific writer, sup­porter and friend to many of us. I read the open­ing seg­ment of “A Call to Reason,” a chapter in her col­lec­tion of stor­ies that take place in the Museum of the Arcane. This col­lec­tion is called Out of the Vaults, and I really hope it comes avail­able for purchase.

Spe­cial thanks to Andrea Howe, Sue’s editor, who said a few words about Sue and how much she meant to us.

I  hope to be back to Nor­wescon next year, or the year fol­low­ing. It was a great pleas­ure to meet so many new folks, and of course to hang with my peeps.