Monday, June 30, 2008

" Kilts and Clover"

I am not much for vacations as I get too restless for the beach and then too tired for all the walking, looking at tourist attractions. I am never too tired for shopping or finding new and interesting restaurants and pubs though. That is what I did today. After two days of utter and complete slothfulness I was raring to go. Peter and I took ourselves off to Port Dalhousie a short drive from St Catherines about an hour from our home in Oakville. That was after I had checked out the sales for a new pair of sandals. I can't resist 40% off.

You are wondering what all this has to do with writing? Well ,I find everything I do now is with an eye to finding a new character that I can use , if not in what I am writing now, but for some future book or article. And I was not disappointed.
Port Dalhousie is a lovely small port that has lots of beautiful boats in it's harbour. A long pier with fishermen catching ....fish all look the same to me, and then throwing them back. I guess they are waiting for the big one. This is a holiday town and people were there from all the neighboring cottages or like us , just there for the day. A carnival had been set up near the beach and the vendors were doing a brisk trade plying cotton candy and popcorn. They have one of the oldest carousels in existence for 5c a ride.

We had decided to take a picnic and I had dutifully packed sandwiches and washed a bag of cherries but.......... oh the smell of chicken wings and fish and chips and all the stuff I had vowed to stay away from. I rationalized that I was on my holidays after all and how could I deprive my beloved a fat burger that he so obviously wanted with the blue cheese melted on the top. I caved and had a pound of chicken wings washed down with two beers. I have never had two beers in all my life but they went down a treat as it was very warm.
Ordering our repast on the patio of a very old pub that had a new name of "Kilts and Clover"?? we were seated next to the future characters for...I don't know what.

The main street had loads of new restaurants and pubs and lovely art and clothing stores. The new pubs were busy stocking up for the festivities tomorrow, Canada's Birthday. Bikers were roaring up main street that you see in nearly all small towns in Ontario. Lots of character's there! Wonder if they would like to be interviewed? Hmmm Maybe not.
You will have to wait until I write about these two I met today. About my age , maybe older. Very chatty and I could not ascertain if they were a couple or not. They lived in St Catherines so they told us all about it. Friendly and outgoing and they liked their beer too. Maybe thats why neither of them was bothered that they hardly had a tooth in their heads!!. That's all I am going to tell you about them.

On the way home we stopped at a drug store as I wanted to check my Blood Pressure . Recently it has been somewhat elevated. Lo and behold it was under the normal level and I am convinced it was those two beers I had and not the medication I now have to endure.

Working on the first three chapters to fine tune them before I send them off to Louise Penny for critiquing. Liz continues her revising and is at chapter 10 and it doing a super job along with lots of other responsibilities this week. Take it easy Liz.

Talk soon and look for more characters to emerge from my vacation.

Pam

Friday, June 27, 2008

FRIDAY!!!!!

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library! " Jane Austen

A love of words and of reading - what a blessing to be able to read. We have access to so many types of literature, authors, styles of writing. So many books, so little time! But here it is Friday and with it comes the implied promise of some "down" time, a chance to catch up on some reading, AND some writing! (Housework? What housework!)

This has been one very busy week at work - fighting fatigue most nights when arriving home, I know I've found it difficult to concentrate on the rewriting of Madelaine, but managed another Chapter last night.

Pam is fortunate to be starting a week's vacation time as of today, but she was pretty run off her feet today, trying to ensure last minute things are taken care of. I will be trying to cover a small portion of her duties next week, along with providing coverage for our manager who will also be away for a few days. Talk about fatigue - just thinking about what's in store next week already has me feeling drained. As relaxed as Pam might be able to get this coming week, I'm likely to be the exact opposite!

Still, right now its Friday and time enough to worry about all that come Monday! Tomorrow will be a family BBQ to celebrate my daughter Christine's birthday - hard to believe my 'baby' is 26!!!!

This is a long weekend for some fortunate enough to have taken Monday off, in addtion to our National Holiday on July 1 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA! For others, like myself, it means work on Monday, a day off on Tuesday, and then back for 3 days.

Well here's hoping some free time this weekend will provide the atmosphere for more rewriting of Madelaine..Pam is anxious to be writing again, and things are somewhat stalled right now until we can get Draft #2 completed...I'm hurrying as much as I can. I'm wanting to get on with Body Perfect as well, but of necessity its now on the back burner. We'll see what the weekend brings!

Enjoy it!

Cheers
Liz

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nothing ventured nothing gained.

My goal is to write something everyday but life sometimes gets in the way. Yesterday was very unproductive with a weather induced headache that I could not shake. Today the weather is not much better and it is gloomy and overcast but everything is relative. Compared to the American Midwest flooding and the latest typhoon to hit the Philipinnes we have been let off lightly.

This past week I have been rereading the chapters that Liz has been revising. She is at Chapter seven and doing a super job. She has found a program that we will use to send our chapters back and forth and communicate easier. Well, easier for some as I take a bit longer to learn something new when it is technology driven.

I was very bold this last week and wrote to Louise Penny. She is a Canadian author that we both admire and have mentioned before.When she offered in one of her books to help new writers as she had been helped I took her at her word. Very cheeky. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
I heard back from her within the hour and she very graciously said she would read three chapters, time permitting. You could not keep the smile off my face.
So the plan is to polish those first three chapters and ship them off to her. Stay tuned for an update on that.

Liz and I hope to get away again next month for a w/e to do what we hope will be the last revisions. There is also a two day writers workshop at Humber College I want to look into as the subject is "How to deal with Editors, Publishers and agents "and also how to market your books. It's expensive but maybe we can write it off as an expense??

Today my husband and I are travelling up to Barrie to visit my daughter and her boys to celebrate her 30th birthday. It is a very strange feeling having all of your children over the age of 30. Yes, do the math. But I was a child bride!!!

I will get back to reading and revising tonight before I get myself sorted out for the week ahead and planning my weeks vacation the 1st week in July.

Cheers
Pam

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Neglectful, Aren't I?

I haven't disappeared, just busy with work and the revising of Madelaine. It's slow going (the revising - not work!) and I don't want to be too hasty with it. I think I've done 6 chapters and am hoping to knock off at least one more this evening, if not two.

Even though I have Body Perfect to add to, my focus is more driven to polishing up this second draft, at which point we will tackle a third, and hopefully final draft. But you know what that means don't you? We then have to really get serious and start pitching our baby to an agent or directly to a publishing house(s)...still not sure which route to go, although I think we are leaning more towards finding an agent first. The assumption being that he/she would have the knowledge of which publishers would be interested and not bother with those that wouldn't.

Of necessity this post is brief as I see Blogger has posted an alert that the site will have a maintenance outage in about 45 minutes, so don't want to get caught mid-post!

Have a good evening and cheers for now!

Liz

Monday, June 16, 2008

"The END" appears to be just the beginning

Thought I had better check in as it's been a while. Hot & humid weather makes me weary so I am not accomplishing as much as I should.

Liz is on a five day mini vacation puddling around at home and going for appointments that we can't schedule into the working week. She is also wading through draft # one and I am collecting Draft # 2. to get ready to edit and revise. Then when we get to draft #3 we hope that we will be just polishing our little gem and get it ready to be sent out to an agent. One step at a time.

I managed quite a bit more on Body Perfect and now it is in Liz's hands to continue.

I missed the Book Expo yesterday and was hoping to meet up with Louise Penny and see all those wonderful authors and have them sign their books. It would have cost me a fortune as I can't resist new books. Mulling over some ideas for the sequel to Body as ideas keep appearing from everywhere. I have a small cassette recorder for my purse that comes in handy as I forget my name sometimes. Hate listening to myself also.

Well I am rambling here so will have a nap before charging ahead with the revisions.

Talk soon,
Pam

Keep those titles coming for the Madelaine book please.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

BRAVO!!!!!!

Almost one year to the day, Pamela has brought the finishing touches to Madelaine!

She has just sent me the final 3 pages and I think she has done an awesome job of bringing closure to all of our characters and their situations.

We started this journey on June 10 2007 and I think this is a fantastic accomplishment.

The revising continues of course, but now we can also more fully concentrate on Body Perfect which is not quite near the finishing stages yet.

A great way to end the weekend and will make Monday almost enjoyable as we find a few moments during the work day to discuss this phase of Madelaine.

Hopefully Pam will add a few notes here to let us know how she felt about bringing “THE END” to our Madelaine.

Have a great week.
Cheers!

Liz

Yoo Hoo, THE END

Those are the most beautiful words. At least to Liz and I at the moment. Today I put the final chapter to rest of our dear Madelaine or whatever we will eventually call this our first book. Tuesday, June 10th will be the first anniversary of our journey in writing so I am glad we managed get those words on paper. THE END....although we both know it's nowhere near finished as the revisions are still a work in progress.

I have had a suggestion for the title from my sister Caroline. It will be considered with the rest when they are forthcoming!!No name , no glory.

This past week Liz and I had another brutal week at work and I have been feeling a little unwell. Taking it easy this w/e and feel much better.

While Liz is continuing to type the revision so that we can start all over again and look for hiccups I will continue with Body Perfect until it is time to do Madelaine again.
The weather is very hot and steamy and hope it cools by tomorrow.

Pam

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Frustrations@#$%^&

A week has past since we started the revisions on "Madelaine" while we were in Kincardine. I have managed to read to Chapter 19 making notes and suggestions along the way and then passed them to Liz who is doing the typing of corrections and adding her own revisions. There were lots of little things to change at the beginning and we also changed some names for better flow but I have found very little to correct. Liz did a stellar job when we had to change the timeline of one section and spent many nights revising.

It can be tedious but I have to say I am still enjoying the story and hope the reader thinks the same. The big thing with Ms Lindsay right now is the title of the book. I will always call it Madelaine but I see the point that it tells you nothing about the book and we need to find something that will catch the readers eye. We look forward to your suggestions.

A year ago I went to the Elora Festival with my husband and was excited enough to make some attempts at this journey of writing. Today, as Liz mentioned there were six very accomplished authors and she thoroughly enjoyed it. I, however could not hear a thing they were saying. Talk about frustration. New batteries in the hearing aids made no difference so I sat and scribbled a short story while Liz was laughing her head off about some witty remarks or a section of someones masterpiece.@#$%^

I will start revising the second round of the book when Liz is ready to release them to me. It seems to be the only way we can do this. I am missing Dorothy and Paul/ Body Perfect but it is better to concentrate on one book at a time as we finish.

Looking forward to any comments and suggestions regarding the Name change.

Pam

What's In a Name???

And we need your assistance!

This afternoon Pam and I spent a few hours in beautiful, picturesque Elora, where we attended the
Elora Writer’s Festival

Six published authors read from their works. There was
Edeet Ravel, and Helen Humphreys, whom I really enjoyed. Also reading were Diane Flacks, Laurie Gough, Jacob McArthur Mooney and Rio Youers.

Afterwards we went for a quick coffee to discuss, of course, OUR books. Madelaine is being re-typed and hopefully will have the finishing touches very soon! And that is where we would like YOUR input!

All along we have been calling the story “Madelaine”, but its never been a satisfying title to me. Objectively, if I were browsing book titles, I think I’d be passing it by! However, the challenge is to come up with a good title. And believe me when I wake up at 2 a.m. and can’t sleep, that’s what I’m focusing on – and it generally works better than counting sheep!

Some of you have been following the story as we have been writing it, for others this little synopsis might help to inspire a title, other than just “Madelaine”


Madelaine Green is a single, independent thirty-something, She owns her own successful business in Virginia, and the only dark cloud on her horizon is the failing health of her mother.

Until she meets Raphael, an artist - among other things - and then her life is turned upside down. He is charming and seems to be all that Madelaine could have wished for, capturing her heart and imagination. But then two more men enter her life and she must decide who to trust and who to believe, while she battles self doubt and learns her childhood had its own secrets.

When her own life, and the life of a man she cares very much about, are threatened, decisions must be made, and a story unfolds about a past she never knew she had.

If you have the perfect title, we’d love to hear it! And IF it should end up being used, you will have credit for it! You can leave your suggestion as a comment – no ID required! – or email either Pam or myself and let us know.

And now its time to start thinking about work again, and even as I do that, the twitch under my eye is back! It was quiet most of the weekend, having been almost non stop for nearly two weeks!

Have a great week and look for Pam’s own blog update soon!

Cheers
Liz