Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eight weeks today!


It’s a beautiful day, sun shining with a light breeze. Frost on the car this morning but it is to be expected. I have moved my desk again and left the bedroom for sleeping, dressing and..... well you get the drift. I had given up this large desk in a fit of generosity. My husband declared he needed more space. That was months ago and he still works at the dining room table. Things move very slowly in his world but not mine. So I tossed him out and dragged all my paraphernalia back to the front room with all my books and binders and of course my printer/copier/fax/scanner/web contraption that is the bane of my existence. Well it looks beautiful in my new headquarters so I decided to give it another try. I started from scratch and read all the directions. Who knew you had to follow to the letter? Well low and behold I now having it working wireless. What a joy. I will leave the fax to another day. I don’t think any agents are trying to get me by fax just yet.

Today I am working at my new desk on the revisions from night school and writing the next couple of scenes that are due. Hope to stay with it until I finish as I have been leaving it two days before class and that is not a good plan. I don’t need oodles of stress in my life.
I had a long chat with Liz yesterday and she is writing the same book and plot and when we get together we will combine our efforts. We are both excited to be back writing on a consistent basis. I will meet with her on Thursday to catch up on our progress with the synopsis and query letters.
I now have three months of retirement under my belt and I have never been so busy. It’s just how I like it. I fought it at first and old habits die hard but, I admit the pleasure I get from just doing my own thing over takes the need to jump to attention in the morning and go off to the office. Maybe I will even get organized for Christmas this year (eight weeks today)but that’s very unlikely as I like to shop closer to the day. Never could understand the people who shop months in advance, wrap and have it all done by the beginning of November. Where is the fun in that!

Enjoy your day and talk soon.
Slainte,
Pam

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fired Up & T'd Off!

Ok..normally I’m a pretty even tempered person and not much really gets me riled...but today was one of those days!  At 2:30 the PA system crackled into life – “Over the next several minutes we will be having an evacuation drill for floors 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6.”  A mighty collective groan was heard as computers were locked, phones hung up and jackets and car keys grabbed.  I work on the 6th floor (there are a total of 9 floors in my tower with an average of 400 people per floor so you can do the math) and have come to dread these routine exercises.  Not that I begrudge the time away from my desk, but because of the behaviour one must endure as you work your way down several flights of stairs.

Keep in mind this is a building full of (mature?) adults, not high school students, who have been well versed in the procedure...make your way to your assigned exit, walk down the inside of the stair well, keeping the wall side free for emergency personnel to make their way upwards.  NO talking – you’d think that would be logical so one could be informed with further PA announcements wouldn’t you.  But perhaps staff feel they will be more up to date if they keep checking their Blackberry’s, or maybe even the person next to them can reveal something new in between giggles and jokes.  Why, one women even felt it was necessary to drag her wheeled carry-all behind her on the stairs!   And, hey..how are those spiked heels working for you?

I long for stationed fire wardens to grow some stones and address these inconsiderate, immature people who put my life at risk, and in a real emergency if their selfish behaviour gets me killed, I will be some T’d off!  If not for the fact that I would put floor searchers at risk, I’d stay behind at my desk and let the herds go first.  I think I am more fearful of being trampled than an actual fire or explosion.

There is some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who feels this way; as I left one of my managers commented she had already received several email complaints about the exercise.  But nothing ever gets done!

I have a few suggestions:

Have the fire department attend one or two of these drills and just as in real life, they need to make their way up the stairs, with all their equipment  - no doubt they know very well how to treat these situations with the seriousness and respect that is so sadly lacking.

Confiscate phones, ipods, coffees, etc on the spot.

Repeat the drill over and over until we achieve a passing grade

Confiscate the security pass card we all have to wear at all times and tell the offender they will have to see their manager to get it back.

Surely there must exist an educational video of the aftermath of an actual large scale evacuation that was not successful- required viewing for offenders.

Phew...I think I feel somewhat better getting that off my chest!   I live in hope to see some improvements with these drills, but seriously I believe grade school children do a better job.   Sorry for the rant, but maybe, just maybe, someone reading this will see how deadly serious these practice drills are, and maybe, just maybe, they see where they can make a difference...and save a life.

Thanks for listening...

Cheers!

Liz

Friday, October 14, 2011

A thing of beauty!



At least to me it is beautiful. Black and shiny and lots of buttons. If only I could get it to work properly! I bought the printer, copier,scanner, fax and web connector last Saturday and I have still not hooked it to the Wireless. But if Blackberry are having problems.... well what chance do I have!

Liz I need you. Come for a visit, stay a week or a day but fix the bleep, bleep thing. I have it plugged in so I can print but that's about it. All in good time. I really needed the copier for my studies at College where I am taking a novel writing course to help with a few issues I can't get into my thick skull. That was proven when I had some of the class read my work and .... well it was a wake up call but I think it is all fixable.

Today I went off to a coffee shop and read books on POV. Point of view. I apparently don't know enough about them. So it is back to the drawing board and some studying.

I am meeting Liz next week to have a session with her to plot and plan the next book. I miss my writing buddy and the long chats we had at work. Email is fine and all the other ways to communicate but face to face is always better.

My sisters and I use MSN regularly and have the camera on occasionally. Not sure why we need to see each other getting older but it just gives you a feeling of being connected

I am attempting to add some pictures. It has been a while. I have one of my shiny new printer and a masterpiece.... a Cardinal sitting on a tree outside my window.
If I don't manage it then you will have to use your imagination!

Talk soon,
Slainte,

Pam

Friday, October 7, 2011

Forget retirement!

Retire (verb) intransitive verb to leave a job or career voluntarily, at or near the usual age for doing so

Retirement (noun) a state of being withdrawn from the rest of the world or from a former busy life

The verb retire is correct in the Dictionary as I did voluntarily give up work. But retirement, a state of being withdrawn from the rest of the world is so wrong. I was certainly busy in my former life but now I am even more so, but, the difference is, I get to choose how busy I want to be and I am doing something I want to do. So I have decided to come out of retirement and go gangbusters with my new career as a novelist.

My husband of many years has not shown up with any cruise tickets or even maps to go travelling so I must travel in my mind and Google where I want to go. I had a jab at the housework when I started on the journey of retirement and have decided it is not for me and never will be. The necessary will be done of course for decencies sake but if I see a couple of cobwebs as I gaze at the ceiling looking for inspiration, so what?

I am four weeks into my night school class and it is so much fun. Writers are an insecure lot. We were in groups this week and were critiquing the others attempts at an opening scene. I was very nervous but they seemed to enjoy what was written and gave some good pointers. I was very relieved. Of course the only critique I need to count on is my teachers. I will keep you posted as to my progress.

Last Friday I interviewed a Private Investigator and his business partner for the better part of two hours. I had written up about 20 questions to ask pertaining to what the job entails. As our books take place in the States we needed to clarify many things for authenticity. This was an International company so I was made privy to many things I had not even thought off. I was given contacts in different places in the US to confirm details. It was very interesting to see how much technology is used in apprehending the bad guy. There is a lot of poetic licence in writing a PI novel and the day to day working of a normal Detective office would be just plain boring and surveillance duty can be very long. But that’s the writer’s job, to give that life some , romance and excitement. My friend Jim would laugh at that.

Thanks guys for your input.

I am in the market for a new printer. I priced one today and was about to buy when I added the cost of the inkjets and it came to the same price as the printer!!

Any suggestions out there? Wholesale cartridges anywhere?

Slainte,

Pam

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank you ....

....to Terry from Forensic Science Technician who was checking out the blog the other day and noticed a broken link for Crime Writers of Canada.  In appreciation, a link to his site has now been added and I hope you will check it out.  I think it may be a very useful resource tool for Pam and I in future writing!  The broken link has now been repaired.


Pam has been quite busy with her writing class and is picking up some very useful feedback and tips; need I say that I am more than a little envious!  The beginnings of our second story with Paul and Dorothy are germinating and I'm anxious to start fleshing it out.


At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying Linwood Barclay's The Accident - another satisfying page turner! With a long weekend (Thanksgiving) approaching I'm hopeful that I'll be able to enjoy reading straight through to the end.  Although I'm going to have to spend some time on a spreadsheet or two from work, so I should probably get that out of the way first so that I can enjoy just relaxing with an engrossing tale.


Hopefully Pam will drop in soon with her own update on what's been happening; for instance she told me she had quite an exciting time near Costco today..perhaps she will share.


Thanks again to Terry for reporting the broken link and sharing his in depth web site!


Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian readers.


Cheers!


Liz