Monday, September 29, 2008

Bloody Words

Yoo Hoo,
I'm back. I picked up my computer tonight and answered about 75 emails. It's so nice to have it back. I have not exactly been idol but scribbling with pen and paper is not quite so fast without spell check and the grammer fixes the computer gives you.

I read two books this past few weeks and also read and edited a few chapters of Madelaine. Liz and I will make a date soon to spend the day and finalize the manuscript before sending it out.

That is something else I have done. I found one or two agents to get a feel of what their expectations are.
Drafted a few query letters but writing different synopsis I found quite difficult. Putting a 300 page manuscript into a paragraph or two is quite daunting but I will persevere to get it just right.

Yesterday was a typical Fall day. Sun blazing down , the colour of the trees magnificent and just a perfect day for Toronto's yearly Book festival, "The Word on the street". I try and go every year and I was not disappointed. I shamelessly promoted Jamie Tremain and bought a few other books from aspiring novelists. I listened to a few authors read from their work and all in all a most enjoyable day. I recommend anyone who likes books to go next year. The setting is perfect around Queen's Park with all the University buildings giving off the right ambience to this event. I met some very interesting people and was invited to attend a Mystery Conference next June being held in Ottawa. It's called Bloody Words. Just love the name so we may check this out.It's reccommended that smoozing and networking and self promotion is equally as important as the writing it's self.
Work, I mean the work we get paid for, is getting to be very demanding of our time and we seem to have less and less to spend reading our work but we will keep on trucking.

It's nice to be back and please feel free to comment or give your opinions about anything you fancy.

Pam

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Seasonal Greetings

It arrived yesterday just before noon - so Seasonal Greetings to all! A girlfriend and I decided last year that because we don't care for "Seasons Greetings" being used more and more instead of "Merry Christmas", we would use "Seasonal Greetings" at each change of the Seasons - at least when we remember!! Hallmark - are you listening?

Pam at last word is still without a computer - hopefully there will be a positive report this morning on a prediction of when she will be back online...she is very frustrated to say the least. Yesterday she said that she didn't realize how much it bothererd her to not be able to have her computer. No kidding!

I have updated Chapter 6 of Madelaine and we are looking ahead to a fourth (and FINAL!!) draft..the revisions are becoming more and more polished - which is the goal.

The weather of the past few days has been my favourite! Cool and crisp nights, with sunny and pleasantly warm days. The colours of the trees are becoming more and more vibrant - a canvas of reds, yellows and orange, contrasting with the remaining green, set against brilliant blue skies. Nature's art work - changing each day.

And now my next thought is - what will I pay for gas at the pumps this morning???

Hope your day is a good one -

Cheers!
Liz

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ten Days!!!!

Can it be 10 days since the last entry! Apparently it is. :-(

Its not that there is nothing happening, but the past couple of weeks have been somewhat exhausting for both Pam and I. Pam continues to be frustrated by computer ailments and is hoping to have a PC doc take a look very soon! Although I have some experience with computer woes and am fairly tech savvy, my suggestions to her have not been successful - and I certainly can share her extreme frustration with not having a dependable computer to work with. I on the other hand, am seeking motivation - and Pam waggling a threatening finger at me to "revise" just doesn't quite cut it. Dead on my feet most days, I am!

We have a mutual friend at work, Cheryl, to whom we have promised the plum position of Administrative Assistant/Marketing Genius/General Dog's Body (ie..."Is the coffee ready, Cheryl?") for Jamie Tremain Publications, in the (very near, please!) future. She suggests we need to already be thinking of a co-ordinated line of clothing and other accessories, featuring the JT "look" - even though the "look" has not yet been perfected. However, there is the small matter of actually getting published first to attend to. Details, details...tsk, tsk!

Pam and I both agree that we are most anxious to wrap up Madelaine so that we can get back to finding out what Paul and Dorothy have been up to during this extended hiatus - I'm sure with no one to watch over them, there has been ample occasion for more shenanigans.

The weekend approaches and the weather is definitely in tune with the time of year; chilly nights (the best for sleeping!) and sunny days..oh that it would last until, say, February and then March right into spring. Have I mentioned that I really don't like the winter??

Next week we have our annual company gala and awards dinner after work. Makes for a long day, but perhaps we will have the opportunity for a more recent photo to replace the shot here on the blog!

So please bear with us - we are by no means giving up on our dream, but just as with any dream, real life tends to intrude at the most inopportune times!

Cheers!

Liz

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rainy Sunday

"A good book is like an unreachable itch. You just can't leave it alone" Laura Bush

Well its not Monday, yet, but it is raining. And turning out to be a great day for writing. Its cool and damp - after some of the humidity recently endured, its refreshing to be dressed in longer pants, socks and a hoodie! A cup of tea on my desk, music in the background, and rain softly falling outside - all that's missing is a fireplace. For me, this is very condusive to writing, and so the third draft of Madelaine is before me, and I'm in the midst of Chapter 4.

After over a year of thinking the title "Madelaine" may not be enough, here is the revised title (for now at least!) - MADELAINE - Shadows and Light. However, I know Pam and I will always refer to our "baby" as just Madelaine, or even Maddy.

We've been emailing back and forth this morning - I don't think she is much looking forward to returning to work tomorrow. Can't say that I blame her!

Isn't that a great quote by Laura Bush ?- and to that end I have just started a novel by Peter Robinson - Aftermath. It's got me hooked right from the start and so in keeping with the day, I'm also itching to get back to the grisly and horrendous case Inspector Banks now is in charge of, so after this I think I will take a break from the computer and curl up for a good read!

Cheers!
Liz

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Southern Comfort and Freighters

Yoo Hoo, I'm back,

My trip to Harsen's Island was much too short. Great company,food to die for and Southern Comfort Manhattan was the drink of choice. We idled away the hours sitting on the dock watching the freighters go by.It was like the start of the summer not the end as the temp. was in the high 20's.
Wikipedia informed me that the St Clair river channel surrounding this island has more freighters than the Panama canal and the Suez combined and I believe it. They would glide effortlessly and quietly, or so it was for me. As I don't hear a great deal I would be startled out of my deck chair by the presence of these gigantic steel boats from all over the world. Only imagining what they had in their holds. Maybe grain ,salt or lumber. All the while motor boats and cruisers and those little sea-doos were dwarfed by their presence.

Now you must be thinking, " this girl does not get out much". Well thats true, but I have to say I really enjoyed them.

I did meet a fellow writer on this trip. She was the daughter-in-law of the lady I was visiting. She has just published her first book and I was so excited for her. Her name is Linda Wolf and she has just released her first children's book called "A Nightcrawler's Nightmare". She also did the illustrations and has her first book signing soon. (It's available through www.publishamerica.com Good luck Linda.

Driving back through Stratford, one of my favourite towns, I had a notion for fish and chips so we stopped at a diner. Not very glamourous but they claimed to have the best fish and chips anywhere and butter tarts that melt in your mouth. Their boast was true and the name of the diner was Madelynes. I could not resist.

And what has this to do with my writing? Not much. I had great intentions to write in the car but I slept most of the way and on the way back we missed the duty free. I am the navigator but the car was putting me to sleep again. I had a taste for a Manhattan.

Liz has been busy while I was away and in a few days more of lolling around will have me back to revising Chapter nine.

Pam

Monday, September 1, 2008

SEPTEMBER 1 - Already?????

Is it just me, or is time flying by at an ever faster rate? It feels like only the other day I sat here and bemoaned the winter, and now summer has pretty much had its run! Trees are rapidly turning colour and shedding leaves. But at least thanks to the abundance of rain this summer, the shrubs and lawns are still a healthy green. Autumn is my favourite time of year, it still speaks of new beginnings and starting fresh on projects - a long held throw back to the school year, and by this time in my life, I don't think that's going to change now.

Today is a beautiful sunny day, some humidity, but no rain in the immediate forecast.

By now Pam is hopefully ensonced with her friends on an island locale...it really sounded intriguing and I hope she has a wonderful and restful time. I wonder if indeed she did manage to wrap up a few chapters while on the 5 hour drive. That's not something I've ever been able to do, read or write, while in motion. However, I do reserve final judgement on that because I have a feeling if I had a laptop to work on, that might be a different thing entirely! But then one runs the risk of missing something happening outside the vehicle.

Today is a stat holiday - Labour Day. And to celebrate I am not going to do much, although I feel I should vacuum out the season's reminders from my car. Lots of gravel, bits of grass and other items not worthy of description!

Yesterday I officially began work on the third (and final?) draft of Madelaine. Chapter one has been revised, and Pam has left me with several more chapters to bring up to date. So I'll see how productive I really feel!

Hope everyone has a good week - Pam is fortunate to be away from work for a few days, she really needs a chance to recharge her batteries. For myself, I have a few days coming up in October to anticipate!

Enjoy the day!
Cheers!

Liz