Friday, February 29, 2008

No creative juices tonight...

Our first month of blogging has been very exciting for both Liz and I . We thank everyone for their comments and look forward to more as every bit of encouragement is most welcome.
The creative juices are not with me tonight as work was especially taxing this week. I have read Liz's account of Dorothy and Paul's escapades. Dorothy is Liz's alter ego and she can get right into the skin of that woman. Not sure where I am going with Maddy tomorrow but I hope to move things along closer to a conclusion.
If you are reading the stories we welcome constructive critisism.
So tomorrow I will immerse myself with the budding romance of George Kirwan and Gina or are they just good friends?? Stay tuned for more.

Pam ..I think the snow's stopped.

And so the week (and the month!) ends

Feb 29/08

Friday again! Another work week ended, and our extra February day almost over as well. Hard to believe it will be the first of March tomorrow.

The week itself wasn't overly productive as far as adding to our stories. I had added some scenes to Madelaine and forwarded to Pam, and she sent me back Body Perfect. Both of our efforts seemed to show a lack of "steam" for want of a better description. But we mulled them over during our breaks and made some corrections and improvements.

Ironically, this evening I had no thoughts, or intention, to start writing, and was going to wait for the light of day to see where my imagination might lead. But no, I had to go and open up Chapter 17 of Body Perfect! The result is that I have just finished about 4 pages and sent it on to the other half of Jamie Tremain to see what she thinks.

Let's see, Madelaine was left with a gathering of dignitaries at Gina's, a mysterious phone call to George Irwan, and Gina removing Brian and Madelaine out of a reporter's way. Madelaine has discovered news about her father, and wishes to comfort Gina in her grief.

What's happening with Dorothy and Paul? Hmmmmm.....evening interrupted, a grim discovery and perhaps a startling development with the product Paul and his company are backing......

And now, this writer is fighting bleary eyes and needs to unwind from the day, but I can go to sleep feeling satisfied that the creativity seemed to flow with little to no effort this evening...Oh that it would be like that all the time!!

Enjoy the weekend - oh, yes, of course...we had more snow!



Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"the proof of the pudding"

This past five days rather broke the cycle we were used to,of writing a few pages every other day. It was a very necessary excercise but we are both relieved it is behind us for the moment and we can get back to our schedule. Liz was able to summarize all 16 chapters we have done on Madelaine and it is such a help. Lesson learned.

I left Liz at the weekend with Body Perfect.Paul showed up at Dorothy's home base with a toothbrush and flowers and as usual she rose to the task and left me to ruminate how to continue. But continue I will and send my update by the end of the week.

There are many books and magazines on writing style and what I have found is that there is no one "better" way of doing things. We have found a comfortable "style" of writing that suits us and the "proof of the pudding" remains to be seen.


Flowers and a toothbrush?

Flowers & a toothbrush, eh?

Well at long last I have been able to turn my attention back to Paul and Dorothy. It's hard to not play favourites with all the characters we have created and are developing, but if I'm honest, I think I'd have to say I like Dorothy best, and feel very comfortable inside her head!

Paul and Dorothy have had a very busy day! Paul was rescued from a potential final resting place, the bad guy looks like he's escaped (or has he??), massive amounts of contraband have been discovered and an unlikely relationship appears to be developing between two of the central characters. As the day winds down, we find Dorothy welcoming Paul with his toothbrush on board. After a relaxing evening, things are just getting cozy, when an unwelcome call breaks the mood....amongst all the booty discovered is something a little more substantial, and very disturbing.......

Stay tuned!!!

Time to call it a night, and hope that the snow doesn't amount to much for the morning drive.



Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday evening.....

....and for now the revision of Madelaine is up to date...all 16 Chapters!! As well I've managed to create a chapter summary which I think will be helpful as we move forward.

So this means I now get to be freshly creative once again! I have both Body Perfect and Pam has just sent me her latest addition to Madelaine. Just wonder which one I'll tackle first.

Today I managed to finish reading "The Cruellest Month" by Louise Penny - that's the second of her books I've read, and all I can say is that I wish I could move to Three Pines - murders notwithstanding! She manages to evoke the atmosphere of murder in a close knit village so reminiscent of murder mysteries I enjoyed growing up with!

And now another work week looms! Just how does Monday get back around here so quickly!

Pam and I have decided to attend another writing workshop in April, hosted by Brian Henry. This one should be very timely for us as it will focus on Writing and Revising.

Well, I feel the day saw some accomplishment and now with tired eyes and fatigued brain, I'm going to call it a day.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Reviewing/Revising/ReWriting!

Feb 21/08

Well, I'm still at it! I have had some interruptions over the past few days, like work and sleep, which have slowed down the revision process!

I've just finished Chapter 12, and felt like I needed a bit of a break, so thought I'd see about an update here. It's been a challenge, but at the same time a very good exercise to go through. And just think, the same effort awaits with Body Perfect! First things first!

The re-write of Madelaine's family history has gone well I think. As well, I have been keeping track of the time line of the story. It became very easy to lose track of what day of the week we were supposed to be setting events in, but now we have that anchored. Again, for future writing efforts, it will be something to start with from page one!

I'm anxious to get back on course with both stories; as Pam mentioned in her last post, she has left me with a certain someone standing on a gangway with flowers and a toothbrush!

Other writing duties will be needing my attention this weekend. I put together a monthly newsletter for our workplace, with an e-mail distribution of about 250. So all the contributed articles need to be edited and put together before next Friday. I started on it last night, but would honestly rather be working on our novels in progress!

Back to it I suppose - at least tomorrow is FRIDAY!!! And just why is that shorter work weeks end up seeming even longer than normal??


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Edit, Edit, Edit

I spent last evening editing Liz's revisions. She was a busy girl as she sent me eight chapters.
I will be back at work tomorrow so we can return to our usual schedule of editing and discussions every break and lunch time.

Liz is also working on her update to "Body" so I will have to be patient and wait to find out where she will take the story.

I left her with this sentence.

Tapping on the window of the houseboat he was all smiles as he stood on the gangway with flowers in one hand and a toothbrush in another.

I wonder what she will do with that??


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rain update and Body Perfect

Well it's still pouring down and the mess is everywhere. Glad I am inside.
I have been ensconced with Dorothy, Paul, Max ,Alanna and Victor and the rest all day. Just sent off my pages to Liz for her edification but I hear she is up to her ears in the rewrite of Madelaine. We opened a can of worms yesterday but it has to be done. Easy for me to say as I am not doing it but will be needed for the final edit.

Tomorrow is a new Holiday here in Canada. Family day. Lots are not happy with this as not everyone got it. Stores are open so when do they get a holiday??

I will visit my daughter and kids and have a day off from writing. I actually write most of the time but its in my head.
Just this minute heard from Liz and the basement is flooding with the thaw!!! She is not having a good day.


Revisions, revisions, revisions!!!

Or...I need to take a break!

As Pam mentioned, we have agreed to a major revision to a pivotal component of Madelaine. In my initial enthusiasm, I thought it would only have to start from Chapter 9. Boy was I wrong!

This has necessitated a return to the very beginning and a careful review of each Chapter to ensure the set up and flow will all tie in to the upcoming change in Chapter 9. I began this daunting task about 9 this morning, and have been pretty much working straight through. Progress? I have just completed Chapter Two! They may just be small changes, but as a reader, I often find myself questioning if something in a story just doesn't add up.

The effort is showing me some writing changes I will probably make when starting a new novel. For instance it would have been helpful to maintain a chapter summary as we went along, and where characters are introduced. Well, this first serious attempt at writing certainly has its learning curve, but I'm not discouraged.

I may be back later, so cheers for now!


Sunday morning with "Body Perfect"

Liz and I had a very productive day yesterday. Six hours of pouring over our stories on a fact finding mission. We came to the conclusion that much revision was needed in Madelaine.
Locked up in my office with pots of tea and scones and then a lunch sandwich we hooted and laughed as we plotted the next plan of action. It was a great exercise as we only usually edit for 20 minutes at a time. Conclusion: Liz is "fixing" the background on Madelaine and making a few changes to the story. Pam is getting on with" Body" this morning.

We are often asked how we can do two stories at once and I think Liz answered that and I agree.
When you start with a story everything about the other disappears and you get totally focussed on the new one. I have found that the story I am working on is the one I love the best, or at least the characters are my favourites. But when I turn over to the other I feel the same.

It's a good day to be inside as the pathways are just sheet ice and I have no desire for broken bones. If this blog is nothing else we will keep our readers up to date with the weather!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Good Day's Work - Writing That Is!!!

Saturday afternoon - its been a beautiful day weather wise (won't talk about what's in the forecast for tomorrow.....grrrr!)

I have spent the day with Pam, at her home. Arrived about 9 this morning, and we spent most of the next 6 hours discussing Madelaine and Body Perfect. (The scones were great!) We've recently decided on a major change in Madelaine's family background, and this is going to lead to a lot of re-writing, starting from Chapter 9 and right through the subsequent chapters already written. So a lot of re-reading and revising ahead before the story can move much further. Guess who will be tackling this lovely chore - yours truly!

For those of you who have been keeping up with reading Madelaine, the story line on her father has now been changed dramatically - its been moved from the WW II era to more modern times, circa 1973.

The gist of the revelation remains the same, just settings and details have been changed to bring the story line into more current times.

It was good to have so much uninterrupted time to be able to discuss our writing, and where we are heading as we decide how to bring them to a close. I hope Pam found it as beneficial as I have! We did have one or two good laughs as well - sometimes the creativity juices go pretty berserk and totally off the wall!

Well, I suppose its time to dig in for the changes in Madelaine...perhaps a pot of tea and something to eat while doing so would be appropriate.

Oh - the weather for tomorrow? Rain/freezing rain most of the day in this region. Of course predictions have turned to naught before, it will remain to be seen.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's vacation time!

I almost ran out of work today. This is the start of a five day break. I need the time to play catch up at home and do a bit of Spring cleaning.

Liz has been writing up a storm and researching ideas to push our stories to the end. The plan is she will come over and we will spend the day on Saturday to do some editing and plotting. Lets hope the weather does not turn nasty.

The rest of my time will be spent catching up on reading and visit my daughter and grandkids in Barrie. Again depends on the weather.

I think its time for a cool-aid. or a glass of wine whichever takes my fancy.


Thursday afternoon

Well the plan to spend today writing has at least seen the completion of my turn at "Body Perfect". I managed to turn out about 1200 words today, and have started to tie up some loose ends as the story begins to come to an end (or not!)

Pam now has both stories in her capable hands and I'll be waiting to see what happens with our characters next.

My few days vacation from work are rapidly drawing to a close as well - at least we have our new stat holiday on Monday - "Family Day" to make for a long weekend. Something very welcome in the dead of winter!

Here's how the latest instalment of Body Perfect ended, and where Pam will need to pick it up.

Dorothy’s cell phone rang as they were leaving Maxwell’s, it was Jim Addison, “It appears he’s given us the slip all right! We found an abandoned vehicle registered to Healing Dragon, at a small airport outside of Portland. They tell us a helicopter took off a couple of hours ago, flight plan indicated Seattle, but they’ve never arrived.” ………

And so now the plan for tomorrow is to try and tackle a big chore - cleaning out my closet....very scary proposition - that means being willing to part with clothing that has been around far too long! Why is it so hard to get rid of 'stuf' we no longer need????


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow day #.......

A few more pages of "Body Perfect" shipped off to Liz and I received her update of Madelaine. By the weekend we should have a handle on where we want to take the next pages. I have 5 days vacation due at the end of this week so I also will have extra time to work on the conclusion of our "Masterpieces".

This is only the beginning really as the rewrite may take quite a few weeks.

I am not looking forward to the drive to work but needs must.


G'nite for Tuesday

Good evening!

How nice to not have to get up at 4:00 this morning, a few days off work to recharge the batteries, get some needed chores done, and of course - write!!!

Well only one chore accomplished from my list today, but the most important thing is that I have done my share on "Madelaine" and its now over to my partner to carry on. I hope she has had some success with "Body Perfect" as that will give me something else to work on over the next couple of days.

Gina is about to re-enter the picture, with a cryptic reference to Alejandro Vargas! Where will Pam take this next chapter? Stay tuned!

Oh did I mention its snowing! Such a novelty - NOT! Although I was glad to not have to trek across the 401 today.

Remember, both Pam and I love to hear your comments, and for those on our distribution list, I'll hopefully be able to send out a chapter or two later this week.



Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday - again!

Far too soon it seems, the dreaded start to the work week has arrived right on schedule! And it will be a cold start today, the temp is -20, with a wind chill of - 37! (that's celsius by the way). The colder it is the longer it takes my car to warm up, so I may be as chilled as Paul and Alanna!

Pam and I will only have today of this work week to have any creative discussion, and I see we will have to look at her latest additions to both stories during break and lunch today.

I can totally understand her slump from yesterday (I put it down to a parallel creative freeze with the weather!) and it does happen from time to time. I'm glad I have a few days away from work to spend with our characters and see where I can take them now.

My daughter should be waking up to the sunny warmth of the Caribbean this morning - not that I'm envious or anything! I hope she and her two girlfriend have a relaxing, and safe, week.

Well I suppose I can't postpone getting ready for work any longer, need a few extra minutes to separate all the creatures this morning before leaving - two cats into their separate areas of the house and the dog can have the run of the main floor. I just don't quite trust them all to leave them together unsupervised!

Cheers & stay warm!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” By Robert Burns

Maybe its not such a good thing to tell you how much I hope to do! Could not get the words to flow yesterday or today. I have a couple of pages to send to Liz and see if she can get a handle of where I was trying to go. So far this has not happened very often.
Dorothy and Paul( Body Perfect) will receive my ministrations after dinner and as we are at a very exciting part of the story it should not be to hard to continue.

Liz left me with the end of Chapter 15:

Dorothy was quite relieved to see that they appeared to be ok, other than slightly chilled and hoped Max was waiting outside with hot coffee and blankets. Then she looked past them into the contents of the room. Seeing her quizzical look, Paul offered an explanation.
"While we were waiting we decided to poke around in here and look what we found!"

Chapter 16: You will have to buy the book!!!


Saturday, February 9, 2008

And it's still snowing!!!

And its still snowing!!!

You will notice that my comments are usually after you hear from Liz and that is because she is an early riser and I don't speak for the first few hours of rising, or write for that matter. If you check the times ,Liz's comments are at 4.30 am or some such ungodly hour. I am the sane one!!!

When I got up this morning and was staring out the window for inspiration I could see bird and squirrel prints in the snow. After having my tea and the read of two national newspapers , depressing myself with all the weird and wonderful happenings in the world, they have been obliterated by more of the lovely white stuff.

OK, one more load of laundry and I'm off.
Chapter 17:

Madelaine slumped back in her chair still holding the letter. She was without words as she looked at Brian with big eyes.

Gently Brian held her hand, as intuitively he felt that this was an important moment for Madelaine.

Keep tuned for more.

Saturday morning.

More snow!!!!!!!!! Enough already!

Woke up about an hour ago and was not happy to see it snowing again, although I'm glad I don't have anywhere to go today. I just hope the weather doesn't delay my daughter, and friends', planned getaway to warmer temperatures and sandy beaches! She is bringing her cat, Cujo, over to us later today to cat-sit while she is away. Cujo is not exactly a friendly or affectionate cat, and now that I have a new cat here myself, it will be interesting to see how things will go! Good thing I'm off work a few days next week to play referee if need be.

Well time to start some laundry, catch up on email and then see what the day will bring - look forward to a next instalment from Pam!


Friday, February 8, 2008

Pressure, Pressure

Well, there is nothing like a little pressure from one's "writing partner" to get the lead out, or hands to keyboard as the case may be. This happens from time to time as life get in the way of our writing. I could not get my mind on the stories this week as I had a presentation to do (as Liz mentioned) and that was taking all of my energy.

So to work. Tomorrow am, I will be entrenched with Maddy and Brian as they open the safe deposit box of her mothers and finally learn the truth of her birth and her father. This is working up to the conclusion of the Madelaine book so I need to keep the right tempo. Don't want to fizzle in the end.

Sunday I will switch hats and get into the skin of Dorothy and Paul as Paul is rescued from our evil Victor Lau. Can't tell you anymore than that as I don't know where I am going until I start.

I suppose I will throw on some laundry and flick a duster over the furniture but its not a priority with me. It will still be there on Monday so..........

Its a good w/e to write as we are getting more snow so hang on Liz and Maddy will be floating through cyberspace to you before you know it.


Finally Friday

I was beginning to think this week would never end! Busy at work with month end reporting and two horrendous winter driving days. My normal 45 minute drive took 2 hours yesterday, along the 401. I don't know what was worse, the snail's pace of the traffic, and wondering if I had enough windshield wash, or being able to really see some of the monstrous potholes I've been driving over in the dark each morning! Sometimes ignorance IS bliss. And it looks like the rough drive on Wednesday, when it felt like I was in a tank going over 34 kilometres of large grade gravel instead of ashpalt, took its toll on my headlights. Both were shot today, and needed replacing.

Hats off to the Highway traffic maintenance crews, though..driving the highway today, you would never know that we had over 30 centimetres of snow, even the shoulders were bare!

And now its time to start the wind down. Amongst the usual weekend chores, I look forward to some writing time. And once Pam has done her share on each story, I'll be able to carry on with them. In the meantime, its a good chance to do some re-reading.

Pam had a busy afternoon - giving a very good motivational presentation to our team - hope someone remembers to feed "Jay & Andrea" over the weekend!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

The sun's back!

After nearly 60 cm of snow was dumped in the last two days we now have beautiful sunshine and blue skies. Everything always looks better when the sun is shining.

Liz and I had our usual editorial meeting at lunch today. She did an awesome ending to Ch 15 Body Perfect. We have been in the habit or reading each others work and reading aloud what we have written the night before. So far no one in the cafeteria has objected. We find it helpful to get a fresh opinion on what has just been written and then we can correct any mistakes. Hopefully this will make the rewriting go easier.

I don't believe there is a right or wrong way to write. This style suits us and we are each others greatest supporter.

Writing two books at once can be daunting, but apart from a few times when we have interchanged the names of characters, mostly we seem to be on the same page in regards to plot and storyline.
Tonight I am still reading previous chapters and making notes as we are at a crucial point in Madelaine and need to get things right.


A Little About Us and more stuff

As promised, both Pam and I have edited our profiles to include a little about ourselves, so be sure to view our profiles if you want to learn a little more about us.

The snow seems to have stopped, so looks like it will be another work day after all... :-(

Progress on the rescue of Paul is underway and should be completed later today!


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow day from the other half.

The snow just keeps on falling and I am glad to be inside. I am not a winter person. Liz mentioned the drive home and I can second it. Tonight I have to re-read some chapters of Maddy( as we affectionately call her) as we need to confirm the time-line of different events to make sure everything is in context. Make some notes and doing a little research is on the agenda tonight.

I would be quite happy to be snowed in tomorrow but will make the attempt to struggle in to my place of work( my paid job anyway). Looking forward to my update of Body Perfect from Liz later this evening.


Snow Day!

Phew! Finally home after one of the worst winter driving days that I can remember! It feels so good to get into comfortable pj's, catch up on email and then get down to some writing! (Perhaps might have to take a time out for something to eat!)

Pam and I had a good discussion during break this morning about the direction we want to take "Madelaine" as we near the end - came up with one or two possible twists which may or may not come to fruition. The shame is that our regular work day interrupts our creative processes! Had it been a true snow day it would have been almost perfect to sit by the keyboard, with a cup of tea, watching the snow and writing...writing...writing.....

Well time to see what's going to happen next with "Body Perfect"....Paul has found himself trapped, with a companion, and no easy way should I get him out of this? The surroundings are bleak and it may be up to Dorothy to find them! Well I guess I'll know before you do - so on to Chapter 15!

Be seeing you!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pam and Liz will shortly upload a small bio of ourselves. We're still in the process of getting comfortable with this medium!!

So not much writing today, but must get some productivity in tomorrow!

Jamie Tremain

Monday, February 4, 2008

Welcome!!! February 4 2008

Here we are!! Jamie Tremain welcomes you to our blog.

A bit of history is probably in order. Jamie Tremain is the pen name of co-authors Pamela Blance and Elizabeth Lindsay. Both of us share a love of reading and have worked together for several years at a major bank. We are both grandmothers and are bound and determined to become published authors in the very near future!

Liz has always wanted to write and dabbled at times, but nothing serious, and Pam was interested in writing memoirs and had taken several writing workshops with Brian Henry.

One fine day last June, Pam asked Liz to provide her with an opening line for a book, just as an exercise. Well Liz provided two -

1) "The Porsche was traveling so quickly, he almost hit the bundle, but his instincts kicked in and he was able to quickly swerve to miss what had been thrown from the back door of the van in front of him. Checking his rear view mirror and watching the sack coming to rest at the side of the road, he wondered if it could actually be a body curled up in there, or just a large bag of trash, casually disposed of by an inconsiderate driver? How quickly the mind makes split second decisions. Should he keep driving and dismiss what he had seen, or stop and go back? If it was a body, he would have to call the authorities and that would mean ........"


2) “Oh good Lord! Not ANOTHER meeting!!" Madelaine exhaled as the latest request hit her overflowing inbox. Only Monday and yet the thoughts of the weekend just past were fading rapidly. The ship had been amazing! The crew so dedicated to her comfort and attending to her every need, ......"

and from these two openings were born the stories "Body Perfect" and "Madelaine".

Our writing style has been to take turns writing a few pages and then handing it over for the other half of Jamie Tremain to carry on. In the early days, we often had no idea where the other was taking the story, but all in all it has turned out very well. And we are having an awful lot of fun with this undertaking!

Several dedicated "critics" are reading installments as we finish chapters and their feedback has become invaluable, as well as offering encouragement when badly needed!

As of this writing, we feel we are nearing the end of each story, and then will come the dreaded re-write, a challenge in itself, but one which most likely warrants a weekend retreat away from all and sundry interruptions! But if the re-write is looking like a challenge, then finding a publisher will be the next hurdle, and must be approached with a plan.

This venue will be a place to share our progress, our set backs, our successes (and hopefully may be of encouragement to others who dare to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard) and other random thoughts. Some links will be in order I'm sure. We both have favourite authors and have gathered some great resource web sites in our quest to get the job done right.

So please stop back in from time to time...we hope to post Chapter summaries, and maybe an excerpt here and there. And we'd love to hear from YOU!!

Jamie Tremain
aka Pamela Blance/Elizabeth Lindsay
5:21pm Monday February 4 2008

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