Thursday, July 26, 2012

Different Perspectives!

I try to keep away from the weather pronouncements but it’s inevitable. While other parts of the world are sick to death of the rain we are parched as are many parts of the US. The rain came in the night and the lightening was spectacular. It has not cooled down any but as I look out the window I can see a bird hauling out a worm... well it looks like a worm and the rain has started again and is filling up the puddles in the driveway.

Enough about the weather as we can’t do much about it or all the other things that have been filling the news lately. Too many distractions to write, with, the Euro cup, Wimbledon and now the Olympics from London. We are not particularly athletic in our house but enjoy watching others. I especially like the track and field, swimming and other events. GO CANADA! As Britain is five hours behind I will not be getting up at 4am to watch the tube. I’ll catch up later in the day.

So what does all this television browsing do for my writing? I could say I am doing research into characterization! Or I am working on my dialogue. This is all quite true as every experience we have, cerebral or otherwise is fodder for the book. I quiz my husband about a recent stay in hospital for minor surgery; about his roommates and the experience itself. A visit to a long term care facility to visit my old friend of ninety six gives me another perspective of how many people live. (She misses her glass or two of sherry every afternoon.)

From the middle aged to the elderly and back to the young in the shape of my five grandsons. The ages run from three to sixteen. What can I learn from them?  When I spoke to the youngest last night he only wanted to tell me he had a lollipop and his mouth and teeth were now blue! His Mum can deal with that one! His brother who is ten is having the time of his life at the trailer with his Dad and as boys are want to do he is gone all day swimming , biking, skateboarding, more swimming and arriving back home for food when he’s hungry. He has his priorities straight with no thought of anything except “summer fun”.

The six year old is all about YMCA and summer camps and ‘what will I be getting for my birthday next week’.  He has boundless energy that he uses for soccer and swimming. I’ll see him this w/e. I wonder if he’ll sit long enough to read a book.

The oldest two... well they are thirteen and sixteen. Teenagers!! Cousins and best friends they are like chalk and cheese. One is studious, one not. One is athletic, the other.. walks. Both spend a copious amount of hours playing computer games. They’re planning a trip with their father and uncle to Scotland next month. I am so envious but I look forward to hear their perceptions of my home town through their eyes. So, they’re  all right on track.

In between revising and working on query letters I managed to read two books.  Written by..can do no wrong...   I picked up this book in a used book store for .50cents. Someone was enjoying it in the bath as it was bent out of shape. But, a book is a book and this Myron Bolitar book is called LIVE WIRE. Love that character and Harlan never disappoints with the suspense and new revelations.
The other is the third and last Charlie McKelvey mystery by C.B.Forrest  called “The Devil’s Dust”. A former journalist he is making his mark as a crime/mystery author. I bought this book at the launch last month and maybe should have waited to read the others in the series but the story was very well rounded and full of tension-It stood on its own. I look forward to others from this super Canadian author.

First year of retirement will be under my belt next week.  I’m still not sure how I ever went to work every day and still got everything done.

Liz and I will get Body Perfect up and running soon as I have to read the articles in this month's Readers Digest...Seven strategies for more productive writing..  Revision Made Easy! Your step-by-step guide, and How to get(& keep) an agents attention.   That should do it!

Talk soon,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sultry Summer Days

Perfect for reading, or writing of course.  Energy expended in other pursuits, gardening, housework and the like are far too tiresome when the humidex reads in the 40’s!  A shade tree, comfortable chair and a glass full of something cold are worthy companions for an afternoon spent lost in a book. Oh. Wait.  I forgot - I have to go to the office and work instead.

Last week I finished Gayle Lynd’s “The Book  of Spies”…wow..what a ride!   So many ways to kill a person – and at the heart of the story, a fantastic legendary library dating from antiquity.  So appropriate.   This tale would make a fantastic movie thriller and I hope to see more of Eva Blake and Judd Ryder.  Have to agree with the London Observer who says “she’s a kick-ass thriller writer”.   I closed the back cover on that book and then opened Deryn Collier’s  “ConfinedSpace” after a glowing recommendation from Pam.  It would appear the story will live up to her enthusiastic review.  

Pam and I continue to tinker with Body Perfect;  re-writing scenes and pumping up dialogue and description.  We feel we only need to tweak the first 3 or 4 chapters (I hope!) and then will be able to mesh everything with the remainder of what’s already written.  Pam, in her spare time, compiles lists of agents and publishers.  And I try to  keep pace with her revisions and suggestions.  The challenge is to not have this become drudgery – after sitting at an office desk for eight hours, I don’t want to feel I’m coming home to put in more hours of work.  We’ve looked at Body Perfect so much, it’s hard to keep it fresh.  But we will soldier on.

I recently joined “The Hungry Bookworms” page on Facebook.  Great place to share book suggestions and hear recommendations from other readers and writers. Lots of enthusiasm and friendly discussions. If you’re looking for a place to get ideas on what to read, check it out!

And now its time to have a bite to eat.  One side benefit when the weather is this warm, not too many heavy meals are on the menu – and I’m very grateful for air conditioning.

Stay cool – beat the heat with a good book.



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