Monday, October 26, 2009

Smoozing at the Festival

I hope to hit the International Author's Festival tomorrow night but it will all depend if I can stay awake to hit the road about 6.30, find a parking spot and then walk to the venue. Once more my paid job is getting in the way of the rest of my life. It's a necessary evil so will pace myself tomorrow and see if I can make Harbour Front for 8pm. ( Usually in my jammies by then).

Denise Mina a wonderful Scottish author from Glasgow. Her writing is quite dark but.... gives me shivers. Ian Rankin is the moderator of the group I want to see. You may know him by his Inspector Rebus books. He is from the "Kingdom of Fife" but I believe he now lives in my home town of Edinburgh. Looking forward to that.

Not started into any poetry reading yet but it is on a todo list. Reading a book by Vicki Delaney a Canadian writer that I am enjoying. It is called the "Burden of Memory".
I am still working on my character list for Body Perfect and both Liz and I are filling out the characters more to our liking. As we delve into their psyche they tell you what you want to know about them. Uncanny.

Fall colours are at their height and everything looks glorious. Saw some ads for snowblowers the other day. I hope they are jumping the gun.

Well I will do some smoozing tomorrow night and report back of my journey to the big city and my adventures with all these smashing writers. Maybe some of their success will rub off.

Talk later,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What's In a Week?

Seven days of vacation time, that’s what!   But as always, the time speeds by far too quickly and here it is once again…Sunday evening.

For the most part the weather was great, cold but sunny and mostly dry.  Although flurries were seen on Thursday – go AWAY! Drove up through the Peterborough area at the latter part of the week enjoying the colourful wardrobe the trees are proudly displaying. Definitely a favourite time of year.

I’m currently reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett and am about halfway through its 900+ pages…what a terrific tale! And I see that it is being filmed for an 8 hour mini series – so I must certainly finish the book before that comes out!  Reminiscent of Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. My plan had been to finish it this week, but you know how that goes….. And I also have a tower of books waiting to be read – oh so many books, so little time.

A few pages of Body Perfect have been revised – the challenge is to add some more description so that the story is “more show and less tell”.  As well as dialoguing out loud.  That’s become very important to round out the characters and help me feel at home in their skins. And the character of Dorothy Del Rio is one I am very much taken with – perhaps an alter ego?

I’m still enjoying my new wheels and took it for a car wash this morning; all nice and shiny once again. But like me, it will need to return to the regular Monday – Friday routine tomorrow morning.

Hope your week is a good one!



Saturday, October 17, 2009

Poets and Poetry

Sunny but cool temps. Just a perfect fall day.Had a busy week at work as we are on the move again. Change is good but three times in a year!..

As Liz is on vacation this week and I am waiting on chapters to revise..Well that's my excuse for not working on the book and I am sticking to it. Truthfully, when I was not at work I was busy reading. I have just finished "The Brutal Telling" by Louise Penny. I have mentioned her books before and this is the absolute best. I was on the last chapter and still was in doubt as to who the murderer was. Wonderful story and of course Armand, as in Chief Inspector Armand Gamache,well, I have been in love with him since book one.
Are we sure that Three Pines is not a real place? I would move there tomorrow.

Louise and many others have inspired my writing and I will read The Brutal Telling again, but as a writer. There were some powerful parts of this book that I just loved and some new characters... Can't tell you any more.

The use of poetry throughout her novels is very well done. I am not a reader or a writer of poetry but will start to. My father, Alister William James was a much published poet and would write in the Doric. The term "Doric" was used to refer to all dialects of Lowland Scots as a jocular reference to the Doric dialect of the Ancient Greek language. I had to look that up. His poetry was about family and friends .Many of his poems were about his four years in India during WW11 and every day happenings. I could quote a few lines of Rabbie Burns and of course I learned of Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott at school but unfortunately did not pay much attention.
Don't expect me to start quoting poetry but I will educate myself on a medium that I have ignored.

Not sure if I will make the Festival of authors at Harbour Front this week. I would love to see Denise Mina again but its quite a drive in and I am too lazy to make the connections for the train. I really should be a lady who lunches and then I might have the energy to do all those things on my agenda.

Talk soon,


Monday, October 12, 2009

A time to be thankful!

The turkey and ham are all gone. No more Brussel sprouts until next year. Yea! and the pumkin just sitting there on my hips. This is the first time in 40 years I have not cooked Thanksgiving dinner. The kids were all otherwise engaged and my husband and I had dinner made by an incredible lady. 93 and counting and she made it and served it herself. We started with spinach salad and moved on to the turkey, ham, squash and BS and of course cranberry sauce. She apologized for not making it herself this year!. Butter tarts and pumpkin pie and chocolates with the coffee and tea. She would not let anyone help her even to clear away the dishes. When she was totally tired out she shooed us away home and went to bed.

Today has been a day for catching up as we are in the middle of a Spring/fall/summer and winter cleanup. We never seem to get on top of things. Hoarding is a specialty in my house and giving up things we no longer need causes real pain. I recently gave up my office that has seen many reincarnations and is now a much needed bedroom but my desk will not fit in the TV room so.. What to do? I think I will move myself into the closet. Have some shelves built and change the doors. Check back here for an update on my latest hairbrained scheme.

When I was not trying to reconfigure the placing of furniture I would sit down with a java and laptop. Two agents now have Madelaine after Liz made some formatting changes. Then we just wait and wait and wait. That seems to be the nature of the beast.

Liz is busy with chapter six of Body and I will work on the synopsis to have it ready to go when the revising is done. She is on vacation this week so we may not hear from her until next week.

Talk soon,



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A new start!

What do you think of our new Blog page? Liz did a great job of brightening it up and changing the format. Please let us know what you think in the comment section and any suggestions you may have.

Let me explain the new picture. Last week we attended the annual Gala with our bank colleagues. No, we did not win a cruise or any door prizes for that matter. We were wearing those name tags that say “Hello, my name is……… and did not want it in the picture. I took mine off but Liz decided to just cover hers up. She is not pledging allegiance to anything!!

It takes me 30 minutes to drive to work and I never take the highway. Preferring the secondary roads to avoid traffic it also gives me an opportunity to observe the changes in the landscape with the seasons. Autumn is my favourite time of year and I love the colours. I find even the grayness of November with frosty fields first thing in the morning just as beautiful. I can’t say the same for the deep of winter as the driving can be very hazardous, but equally as picturesque. Sitting by the fire watching the snow is preferable to me.

Time being at a premium I will start to use my small tape recorder when I am driving to record all the random plotting I do while driving. Who said I can’t multi-task?

I am working on Chapter three of the third draft of ”Body Perfect” and not finding a great deal to change. Liz did a super job of Draft two. Enjoying the characters especially Dorothy who is the main protagonist. We can now see how to move this story forward into a series. Lots of ideas brewing with “ Del Rio Investigations “.

Talk soon,



Saturday, October 3, 2009

Not Only the Leaves are Changing

Not Only the Leaves are Changing

But my vehicle of transportation has changed as well. My faithful Sebring, which has seen me through 4 full winters, one ice-storm smash up and over 143 km which I have put on it, will now be semi-retired and passed on to my daughter. Once the mileage (a much easier word than kilometerage!) passed the 200 km mark, I knew it was time for a change. And so last week I made the move up to a newer vehicle, a very peppy 2008 Caliber, which so far I am quite pleased with.

The last hour has been spent cleaning out the trunk and all the nooks and crannies where odds and ends accumulate. I hope to get it vacuumed out before the hand off next weekend, but right now the weather is not cooperative. Only a material object, made of metal and rubber, but funny how we get emotionally attached to the darn things…it won’t be without some sadness that I pass over the keys to my daughter.

Autumn is well upon us now - trees are rapidly gaining glorious colours and we have had our typical rainy days, with much cooler temperatures. Oh how I wish the season would just switch from autumn to spring as I dread the thought of winter. In reality its only the driving I suppose, that causes me anxiety, but I can dream can’t I?

Nothing new to report on the publishing front with Madelaine, but we continue to persevere. And I am tickled to be back meddling in the lives of Paul and Dorothy and really want to focus on how the future may unfold for them.

And in the continuing theme of change, I’m also job hunting. The position I currently have is a mat leave coverage, which will end in a couple of months, with no guarantee that I can stay with the department that has been home for almost a year. So amidst revisions of Body Perfect, I cope with sending out resumes and scanning Workopolis!

Its true, the only constant in life is change, and we can’t avoid it.

Enjoy the weekend. Oh, and note that we’ve added 2 new links for favourite authors – John Moss and Vicki Delany


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