Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Small Break Needed!

It’s only page six! Page six of Chapter One of Madelaine. I finally had time this evening to start typing up our revision efforts of the weekend past. Almost as slow going as the process of revision – I have to keep fighting the temptation to just keep reading, and miss all our little changes and notes!

Pam has already moved on a couple of chapters with changes she feels need to be made, so once I’ve got the first couple of chapters updated, I’ll need to see what she has reviewed. If in agreement, then that will go back to the keyboard as well.

Pam left work early today – not feeling well at all – and hopefully she got some medication into her and was able to rest. Work is always so busy and it’s a sad thing when you feel guilty about having to take time off due to illness!

And I’m so exhausted when I get home. Here it is not quite 7:30 pm and I’m ready for bed! I’ve had a twitch under one eye for the better part of two weeks and its driving me nuts – of course people keep wondering why I’m always winking at them!

Well this break is over and I would like to get a few more pages cleaned up, so guess I’d better get back to it.

Enjoy your evening – I hope to be soon in bed, and reading a few more pages of Louise Penny’s “Dead Cold” – she has just finished writing her 5th novel in the series – amazing!

Cheers
Liz

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The good news and the not so good!

The w/e in Kincardine has come to and end. Not as productive as we thought.We found it quite hard slogging but felt that it will get easier as we go along. This is the real writing and the first chapter took us three hours to revise and correct. So now we are on our own and we will just get together to compare notes and match our revisions as we go along. This may take a while so hang on to your hats.

We did manage some R&R and on Saturday night we went to a beautiful restaurant for dinner. It was a wee bit upscale but we pulled it off even wearing jeans. We nearly had to wash the dishes after we saw the bill. Then we went to the beach for some pictures of the sunset and back to the apartment for a mud masque. Just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately Liz was still awake at 3am as the local roustabouts were in full swing at the local pub and the shouting and singing kept her awake. I was oblivious to all that and slept like a baby.

My not so good news is, that my old friend Bertha who is 91 ,was admitted to hospital with Blood clots and pneumonia. Visited this afternoon and she was sitting up yakking away in her usual fashion. Hope she is on the mend and back to her own self soon.

My good news is I am going to be a Granma again. Yippee. My oldest son Erik and his wife Leanne are giving Aidain a brother or sister next January.

I have not heard from Liz as she was going for a long deserved nap when she got home. She did a lot of driving as it was a three hour journey and with no sleep last night... Hope she makes work tomorrow.
I will get back to the revisions soon.

Slainte,
Pam

Of Words, Food, and Sunsets

...or how did that weekend go so fast!




Here is the sun setting over Lake Huron, taken on Saturday evening just past - only one of several beautiful photos we managed to capture. The weather was perfect, sunshine and blue skies - the temperatures may have been a bit cooler than our normal location, but didn't deter any walks down to the water's edge.

We arrived in Kincardine just before 6 on Friday - my car fully loaded as if we were bound for the other side of the country instead of just two nights away!

(We interupt this blog post for the following note on lessons learned! When doing laundry, make sure you check the pockets first! I wanted to get some of the clothes from the weekend washed to have on hand for the work week...just went down to move a load of whites from the washer to the dryer - my favourite white hooded sweatshirt is now dappled in pink - the culprit a business card picked up along the way on the weekend - beautiful purple it was. But now it and my sweatshirt are ruined....aaaaarrggh!)

We now return to our regular program -

After picking up a few items from the local grocery store, we made our way to the flat we were to borrow for the weekend. Loaded down with bedding, books, and clothes we faced our Mt Everest - 21 steep stairs, not including the 6 outside steps to get to the entry door. Huffing and puffing we arrived at the apartment door and let ourselves in....a very cute and cozy retreat for the weekend awaited.



Pam outside our retreat - the two windows above the "lighthouse" belonged to us.


After settling in, we did start a bit on our revising - and to me, it soon became apparent this was not going to be a fast exercise!

Exhausted after a day at work, the drive and getting up at 4 a.m., I was able to quickly fall asleep!

Out for breakfast the next day and a walk, we returned and were deep into the rhythm of the revision process by about 10:00 am....unbelieveably it was soon after 1 pm! and we had only completed Chapter One.....

By the time we called the day's work to a halt, we had completed only two chapters and were more than ready for a nice dinner. After dinner we wandered down by the beach, to view the sunset. Tourist season is not in full swing yet and the area was pleasantly deserted. Otherwise, this picture would likely not have been taken (me in the afore mentioned white sweatshirt)
Not sure if I would be brave enough to post a photo which describes how we spent part of the rest of Saturday evening - Pam has better photos than I of our colourful mode, so I may leave it to her to add something worth more than a 1000 words.
Today we left earlier than we had planned, Pam had received some health news about a good friend, and her mind was turned more to her. We did take a roundabout drive home, passing through Goderich and St Mary's, where we stopped for a coffee.
Peter, her husband, met us outside of Guelph, where Pam off-loaded her weekend bags and they returned to Oakville and I may my way back to Guelph.
Time to start preparing for Monday once again - and I have tried to do this post three times by now, so I am just more than a little frustrated and tired...so will say g'nite for now. (if there are glaring typos, grammatical errors, or other glitches you'll know why!)
Cheers.
Liz


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The new" Adventures of Pam and Liz"

Liz has beaten me to the the punch as I fully intended to write in the blog tonight. After I was lambasted by my sister Rosemary in England for not being on here for a while I thought I would get in my two cents worth.

I can't believe I am saying this, but I am glad the weather is not going to be super duper, so maybe we will stay in and get lots of work done. That is the plan and we certainly have enough equipment and material and of course munchies, but we will check out the pub next door for breakfast on Saturday.

This is a new experience for both of us but we are still on the same wavelength as far as the story is evolving. We never have more than 20 minutes at a time to discuss our work so we may find that the storyline will change when we scrutinize our work paragraph by paragraph.

It will be good to concentrate on one book , as many times, I especially, would get our main characters mixed up. We have both decided that after these two are launched that any future endeavours will be one at at time.

Well I must keep gathering all of the bags I am taking tomorrow. Never been able to travel light.
All going well and our internet connection is fine we may blog again and let you know how the new Adventure of Pam and Liz goes. That sounds like a movie!!!We will try and takes some pictures or a small video of Kincardine.

Talk soon,

Pam

Don't forget the....!

Packing for the weekend - you'd think it was for a week! Trying to remember all the important things for our "writing retreat" weekend. And seeing as the last minute items have to go in tomorrow morning before 5:30 a.m., chances are that something will be forgotten!

I don't think Body Perfect is coming along on this trip as we really want to concentrate on Madelaine - Pam has been finding some great reference books on writing/publishing - lots of good ideas and things to watch for. We definitely have our work cut out for us & how much we may actually get done remains to be seen. If the internet connection works for us, we may get an update published on here before we head home on Sunday.

We are going to be daring and wear running shoes to work tomorrow...something frowned upon and not in the official dress code list as appropriate attire! Well, seeing as we are travelling right from work tomorrow, I know I want to be comfortable. At least leaving work at 3 p.m., we miss most of the dreaded Friday weekend traffic and should have a good head start getting away from the Toronto area before the roads bog down.

Wish us luck and a safe journey - we'll check in back here at the earliest opportunity.

Cheers!
Liz

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Readin', Writin' and Revisin'

As Pam mentioned, we are gearing up for a weekend retreat to tackle the (first?) revision of our Madelaine.

So, I have spent a couple of days moving all our separate Chapter files into one document, re-formatting and checking for obvious format glitches. While we are this close to finishing, I need to focus on getting this first draft ready to have it printed so that we will have one working copy each for our weekend away. It will be easy enough to print out a few extra pages if need be by next week, and add to the draft.

Since our writing workshop last month, we have been getting acquainted formally with "point of view", and it may end up being our major focus on this first revision. To be honest, I was not consciously aware of the difference the point of view makes in the story, but now its like a proverbial "duh" moment! However, better to have become aware of it now, than after thinking we had a final draft ready to peddle.

In regards to the above, Pam had sent me her latest addition to Body Perfect and while the gist of what she had written was quite good, I was more aware of inconsistencies with this POV structure. We rehashed it over break and she did a re-write of the scene, and when completed it really did flow so much better!

On a more personal note, my young grandson Noah, who just turned one in March, has developed some potentially serious health problems - he has been diagnosed as a lazy breather, where his lips turn blue when sleeping. A near crisis occurred yesterday when he became unresponsive while sitting in his high chair, with blue lips and the same condition appearing on his little hands and arms, it was a fast trip to the hospital. Basic exams can find nothing wrong, but your instinct says otherwise. He is now booked to see a pediatric (neurosurgeon) early next month and will probably have to undergo more poking and prodding. Wanting to watch over him 24/7 is certainly not an easy thing, but we are praying all will be OK.

And now I should get back to the task at hand and see if I can get this document ready to send to the local print shop!

The weekend away is coming up fast, we will be heading out straight after work next Friday and the plan is to be as productive as possible. Stay tuned to see how that works!

Cheers
Liz

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The unsuspecting public!

What a week! Liz and I were extremely busy at work so by the time we get home the energy level is non existent no matter how much we wanted to write. A funeral for a co-workers spouse, a retirement affair, a first communion and Mothers day with the family took up the rest of our time.

I find that all these events and meeting of different people are great fodder for characterization for our books. Liz and I were sitting in a pub/restaurant waiting on the retirement group coming for a celebration and we looked at each other as we realized we were watching the same person and had the same thought. Hmmm, maybe we could use that one. Poor unsuspecting public

We expect the week coming to be just as busy at work but must try and finish Madelaine as we have arranged to go to Kincardine the w/e of May 23rd to start the revisions. No family distractions, no phones. I am hoping the weather is not too nice as we may want to spend our time outdoors!!.

I managed 4 pages of Body Perfect tonight and was quite pleased with what I had written. Hope my partner in crime thinks the same.

Pam

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"The icing on the cake."

Both my eldest grandsons are voracious readers since an early age and it is no surprise to me that they are doing very well in school. Riley, who is almost a teenager, called Friday night to inform me of his latest accomplishment.He had received A's in History and Science. His cousin Westyn, who is nine was very shy about it but eventually told me that he came first in his class and received an A+ in a chemistry project. Well that was the icing on the cake. You would have thought I had spent hours doing homework with them instead of their parents. I am very proud of both of them. I have decided to do a little bribery and see if we can keep up the momentum. I have drawn up a contract for each to sign and this is how it goes. They will receive $20.00 for each A, $10.00 for a B and if they get a C then they pay me!!!. A short story with correct spelling and grammar is worth $10.00.
The money will be paid at the end of term and half goes into an account and the rest they can spend as they choose. Time will tell how my methods in learning work out.

After yesterday's rain ,which was non stop, the sun shining and even the wind, drying everything up is a welcome change. Like Liz, I too enjoy watching the weather, especially storms as long as I am warm and secure inside. Yesterday was a perfect day for cleaning.. yes cleaning. I could not get my mind around a sentence to continue with Maddy so I do what I always do when I freeze with the writing. Retail therapy. My vacuum was caput so that's what I did. Bought a new one.
Such excitement. Well...I managed most of the upstairs .Enough of mundane things. I soon got tired of the domestic stuff and finished a super book I have been reading.

To write you have to read or so I keep being told. This was a novel by Peter Robinson. a master story teller.The book is called "Strange Affair". I was fortunate to meet Peter about 15 years ago at a reading here in Oakville and I have been hooked ever since. He was born in Yorkshire but has lived in Toronto for the last 30 years. Check him out.

So that being said, I will bet Peter Robinson does not spend his time blogging and he keeps on writing. My partner in crime I see has just send me an update on Body so I had better get the lead out and keep up my end of the bargain.
So without further ado, that is after I make a pot of tea, I will get started with my Madelaine.

Pam

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Merry Month of May

May 3

May is starting out on a damp note, rain yesterday and more forecast for today. Dare I admit that I really like rainy days?? As long as it's not days on end, I find them comforting. Even better, I love thunderstorms! While I'm not a fan of those fierce, tree snapping storms, I do enjoy the build up to a good steady, drenching, storm...the darkening skies, and distant rumbles. As the storm moves closer and if its warm enough, I love to stand on the porch and enjoy the smell of the rain before it arrives and hear the crack of thunder as it booms close by! What can be better than lying snuggled under the covers, and drifting off to sleep with the rhythm of the rain? No I know! A comfortable chair, cup of tea and favourite book while all around mother nature dances. Besides, if its a thunderstorm I should refrain from using the computer anyway!

I credit my mother with helping me not have a fear, or worse an absolute dread, of thunderstorms. Many of my friends do and they look aghast when they can see my look of eager anticipation at an approaching storm. Mind you, I don't think I'd like to be camping in a tent during one, so I will concede on that point.

Pam and I talk a lot about our future as "Jamie Tremain" and yesterday driving to work I visualized how I might like the premises of our venture to look - a shared place (of business) to do our writing and researching. So with my mental image in place, I've asked Pam to do the same and then we can compare and see if we share common ground.

Well I'm off to do some grocery shopping - how mundane, but necessary. Then a few needed chores, and if I'm fortunate, later today will be a comforting rainy afternoon, which just might provide a fertile atmosphere for literary creativity!

Enjoy the day!

Liz