Launching The Sum of Us!

Had a great week in Toronto at the Lillian H Smith branch library (where the Merril Collection is housed) and in Ottawa at the Can*Con writers convention, doing two more launches for The Sum of Us. Bev will also do one in Winnipeg. Saw lots of old friends, met some new ones, including writers I’ve been editing for the Laksa Media Social Causes series. Good fun, good networking.

Back to editing

An old client that I did some work for a few years ago got in touch and asked if I would finish that project. I like the story, though the material definitely needs work, so I was happy to go back to it. I am almost finished the original contracted material, and will send it to him, probably this weekend. Then, if he is still willing, I’ll do a second pass. If not, I have tons of projects–most likely will work on book 2 of my series (that’s in my head right now). I have two other projects but I am waiting for feedback from others on those.

Chapter 1 of Book 2 done

…and submitted. As Chapter 1 of book 2 will be published at the end of book 1, it has the same deadline, of course. But I like the outline and the chapter, so I’m not too worried that I have set book 2 on a bad course, or anything.

“Strangers” Wins the Aurora!

Being the odds-on favorite to take “Best Related Work” at the Auroras this year didn’t prevent me from doubting it could happen. So it was a shock and surprise when our name was called! I got to give the acceptance speech for Lucas, who couldn’t be there, then muddled through my own which I winged (rather well, I thought, except for missing out my thanks to everyone on my list to thank). Also, our artist, Samantha Beiko, won for best cover, and one of our authors, Hayden Trenholm won Best Short Story for “Marion’s War.” Triple Crown!

Gathering Experiences

Okay, or going on holiday. Had a wonderful week in Nova Scotia with my sister; but hey–we DID go sea kayaking, which I have never done before, and one needs a plethora of experiences as a writer, right? Also, very cool to go to a ceilidh and see the locals just get up and square dance as the music moved them.

Chapter 1 of second book in the series

This has been an interesting process. I was unable to get to book 2 because of too many other deadlines and family responsibilities, but I WAS able to dictate into my voice recorder while on a motorcycle trip. I created 22 documents, some of which were plot threads and reminders, and some of which were text, mostly chapter 1 starts / scenes, or a new idea I had to slide in somewhere later.

When it came time to outline the plot (on my 6-day writers’ retreat) I used these docs and other scraps of notes. Done! For chapter 1, I then took the 5 scenes (inciting incident, complication, crisis, climax, resolution) I had outlined and shoved them into a document with my noodled chapter 1 text, and have been worrying away at it a bit at a time over the past week. Again, as I am traveling with family (out-of-province at a family wedding) there is little time to write, so I am stealing an hour here or there (on a flight, in the car going to an event) to mold the text into shape based on the notes from my outline.

So far, I’ve finished scene 1. Tortoise-and-hare-style, I’m tortoising, but it’s working!

Writers Retreat for six days

This is about the 4th year in a row I’ve gone to Montana on the long weekend with 4 friends for a writers’ retreat–this year we got away for 6 days. It was AWESOME! This is the best place to plan out a novel because we write morning noon and night, stopping for a break when we make lunch, go out to dinner, and to have about a half hour of social time at 10:30 PM.

You can really get ideas in your head, keep them there, manipulate them–all with no distractions. And the writerly conversations on the drive down and back and at meals are super-stimulating. There is no internet, but there IS a group of writers of whom to ask questions. I got a ton done, not only putting together a scene-by-scene outline of the next novel, but getting about 75% of my last novel edits complete. I want to submit well before my deadline, so this helps tremendously!

Got my novel edits

Got novel edits, both global and line edits, yesterday and I managed to get through the line edits this morning (accepted almost everything). Now I am working on the big picture stuff–cut the first 2 chapters (may cut more) and need to see what needs feathering back in, as well as 3 new scenes (nice to have the word count space to do that).  A few nits on geography and character names to finalize as well.

Camping is Awesome

Camping is awesome. Something about relaxation making your brain more creative, I think. I woke up yesterday morning with the four scenes (inciting/complication/crisis/climax) for chapter 1 of the next novel.

When Words Collide–awesome, as always

Of course, I was over-booked. Not conflicting, but just so booked that I didn’t have time to go to any panels. Sigh. However, 2 people offered to take over jobs for me next year, so instead of 4 jobs I will be down to 2. Yay! I ran pre-festival registrations and attended Sam Hiyate’s session on agents and took him to lunch; ran a party for IFWA; sat at the shared-author’s table for an hour; did 3 panels and read for Live Action Slush; attended two book launches (including The Sum of Us); introduced the judges for the Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest; was Guest Liaison for Will Ferguson (who is AWESOME); attended the banquet and autograph session; ran a SFWA meeting; and attended the parties (sat next to Guy Gavriel Kay at the bar). I think that’s enough.