Sunday, February 27, 2011

The case of the missing socks...

I am having a hard time putting my fingers to the keyboard and posting a blog. I am stuck writing a short story and Liz and I can only get together about once a month to revise our books. The stories still rattle around in my head but it is the little nuances that come when you are writing that I am afraid I will have forgotten when I get back to the characters.

I think the problem started when I attempted a short story. I love reading short stories and my favourites are Alice Munro/ 2010 Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters and Mavis Gallant ,( she has too many awards to mention), is still writing in a garret or at least her home in Paris. Is this not every artist’s dream to swan around on the Left Bank? She left Canada in 1950 to pursue her need to write and earn a living.

Alice Munro will be 80 this year and Mavis gallant 86. So there is hope for me yet. I have been asked, “Why did you wait until now to start writing?” My answer to that is that there is no right time. This is the right time for me, at least to start putting my thoughts to paper instead of just letting them simmer on the back burner. I have been writing for years but mainly kept it all locked in my head. I have written essays, short stories, novels but mostly in my mind. Now I need to unlock those stories and share them.

My writer friends tell me I need to nap more often. They say nothing beats a 20 min nap to get the two sides of the brain working. I just woke up from an hour nap and I am just cranky and feel like going back to sleep.

If you are wondering about the title of this blog, it refers to something I hate to do. That is, match up a drawer full of black socks. Admit it; your sock drawer is the same unless you are like my husband who actually pins his socks together and even turns them right side out. He has never lost a sock!! So while I had my rejuvenating nap so that I could finish my short story, I handed him a bag of about 40 socks that needed to be matched. What else does a man have to do on a Sunday afternoon while watching “Dead Man’s Walk” by that wonderful novelist, Larry McMurtry? As my husband has seen this movie a few times before I did not feel at all guilty as my nap was a therapeutic necessity! I received back 16 pairs out of the 20 I was expecting. I must dig further for the other odd socks, but after I have finished my story.


Oscar night tonight. I have not seen any of the movies yet but will still offer my opinions and critique all the stars. The best dressed and the worst and "How could she wear her hair that way? etc. Love it. I will be so tired tomorrow as I always stay up until the end. They should start at 6pm.

Liz will be back tomorrow from her vacation so we will chat about when we next get together to finish the Great Canadian Novel.

Talk soon,
Slainte,
Pam

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Quick Note

I've just read Pam's post, and yes I can verify she has begun her retirement countdown! And not without a certain level of envy do I listen to her post-corporate world plans. But all being well, my time will come soon enough as well.


However I digress. Her post also noted that Caroline missed the Word Match up - so after some searching I found the site where I originally discovered this little gem (among others). The Free Dictionary has all manner of word games and research tools - do check it out. And Caroline - Word Match Up has been returned for your pleasure.


And now the best time of a Saturday afternoon beckons. Some reading and then a nap - bliss!


So on that (quick) note, I will just say


Cheers!


Liz

"This and That"

Thanks to Liz for the “new look” to the Jamie Tremain blog. It looks fresh and new and I hope we can justify it with the content. My sister Caroline has lamented that the word search was missing and I hope Liz attaches it back on for those who like to test their vocabulary. And of course that is what this is all about. Stringing together words and making some sense of them. Creating stories that you hope others will enjoy.

Liz and I will be meeting again in a few weeks to revise a few more chapters. It is a slow process but that’s the way it has to be. It’s my turn to go to Guelph and bring the treats for nibbling as we read and revise and get on the same page about the story. Sometimes we jump ahead of ourselves and can see where they (Dorothy and Paul) might go in the next book. Well, we have to get this one published first and then we can plot the next.

I promised myself I would not do this but...... the countdown to my retirement is 5 1/2 months. Goodbye corporate world with deadlines and productivity reports. Punctuality is not my strong suite so I relish the thought of just doing my own thing when and if I want. I have stopped wearing a watch. If I want to know the time there are clocks everywhere. I will eat when I am hungry and stay up after 9.30-10pm bedtime that I now need to get to work. That’s the plan. I look forward to writing during the day and going for long car rides that my husband and I enjoy. I want to spend more time with my grandsons but we will see about that as four of them will be here next weekend. I may change my mind!

The rest of today I will be writing the short story for our “Challenge”. You can find Liz’s at Jamietremainrememberthename FB page. I will forward my article to Liz to upload as I might sent it into cyberspace. I did one last month called “My love affair with the needles....and yarn”. Nobody dies, but I hope you enjoy the story anyway.

We are not going to “Bloody Words” conference this year as it is in Victoria, BC. Once we start to make some money... is that possible.. we will travel again. There are lots of festivals close by that we can attend so that will suffice. The Elora Writers Festival and Eden Mills to name but a few. I will publish more details nearer the time.
Talk soon,
Slainte,
Pam

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Look

As you can see I've been busy. 


Pam commented the other day that the blog needed to be freshened up. But why on earth did I decide that 10:00 pm last night was a good time to start making changes!   Frustration became the order of the hour - I found a template that I liked but it didn't work with the layout of info we currently have.  So, for now, this new look will suffice.   She is away this weekend and may not see these changes until later today.  Stay tuned for more changes!


Well winter continues to surprise us here in south western Ontario.  The monster storm forecast for last Wednesday (remember my vacation day?) came and went.  And while it did cause some disruption, the amount of white stuff that covered the ground was less than predicted.  Now take yesterday...the morning started out with bright blue sunny skies and the sun's heat was quite noticeable even through my heavy winter coat.  In the forecast?  Maybe one centimeter by day's end.


Hmph!  By 2 pm the sky had clouded over and reports of a major dump of snow to the south of us was being forecast.  At 4 pm, a curtain of heavy, visibility inducing, snow began to fall quite rapidly and stayed that way for almost the next 6 hours.  Aha..here is the 15 - 30 centimetres predicted - just a few days late!   Its very pretty out there right now, but if I'm smart I'll get out and clean off the car before the work day tomorrow.  We Canadians certainly have to be flexible when it comes to our weather!


On another note, Pam and I were challenged this week to write one short story a month.  Great idea!  So we both started with the opening line, "Someone has to make a decision."    Not sure if Pam has done hers, but I finished mine yesterday.   And for those interested, its posted on our facebook site - JamieTremainRememberTheName


And now I'm getting ready for a visit from my daughter who promises to arrive with Tim Horton's coffee in hand - a great way to get this wintery day started.


Have a great day - whether you are busy or not.


Cheers


Liz

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Erotic Groundhogs










Yes, she beat me to the blog. I could get used to this. Lollygagging around in my comfy sweats. I did make myself get dressed though, minus the bra. Oh, you did not need to hear that but let’s be fair, to be truly comfortable....
As you can see from the picture I have a nice view from my office space and it is very relaxing. The only thing that is distracting me is the squirrels and the odd cardinal. The wind is still gusting and the snow still coming down, but it is on the wane. This is Ground Hog day in Canada and parts of the States. It appears that Willie did not see his shadow so we will have an early spring. After today that is welcome news.
I have been challenged by a fellow writer at work to write a short story every month. In turn I have challenged Liz and we will see what we can come up with. Lately my writing has been writing Diversity profiles and an article about my knitting!!... And now I am on about Ground Hogs!!!
My friend and colleague’s chosen field is fantasy and erotica and she is an exceptional writer in those genres. Do not expect any such thing from either Liz or myself!!!. I have just read her latest story and although I was not exactly red in the face I could have had a cold shower after reading. When she sets up her website for her material I will forward it to you for those that have an interest.
I think our blog needs an update. At any rate we need new pictures. I spent a King’s ransom buying new glasses so I can show them off. Someone used the words “Oh you look much younger” She will certainly get a free signed copy of Body Perfect...only thing is, I can’t remember who it was!
I am off to plot my short story and see what I can come up with.
Talk soon,
Slainte,
Pam

Winter Storm

…and who will blog about it first?  Pam has threatened to post, but perhaps I can beat her to it!

Yes we are both home from work today; I sacrificed a vacation day to play “better safe than sorry”.  Having a commute of more than 50 km on open highway made me decide staying home was the better option.  I visited the weather satellite images quite a lot yesterday and was amazed at the size of the storm system making its way northwards to southwestern Ontario.   I don’t know that we got the accumulation predicted, but its drifting and blowing around in a frenzy so I still feel good that I made the right decision to avoid the highway trek this morning.

Pam, as mentioned, is also at home today.  A mid week ‘bonus’ of sorts for both of us.  I’ll be curious to find out tomorrow how much staff volumes were affected today by this weather system.

Having a “free” day is like starting with a blank page – what to fill it with?  Chores? Reading? Writing? Napping?...so many to choose from and so little time!   Perhaps a little of each will be the best course.  So having said that, I’ll tackle one chore and then go from there.

Have you become a “fan” of Jamie Tremain on facebook yet?   You can find us at JamieTremainRememberTheName.

Well enough stalling I suppose..the sooner I cross off at least one chore, the sooner I can settle on more enjoyable activities – hope you are safe and warm wherever you are if you live in this storm’s path.

Cheers!

Liz