Thankful Thursday – Weirdness

thoughtfulThere is a lot of stuff happening right now and I have no idea where any of it is headed, but I’m choosing to be positive and thankful that there is so much potential in my life right now.

I’d write a lengthier post on the subject, but it’s National Novel Writing Month and I have a story to write!

For NaNo, I’m working on The Blood Waitress Club. Right now I’m trying to figure out where I’ve left off as I started it a couple of years ago. I’m loving getting reacquainted with it ❤

R~

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Make-It Monday: Getting Started

bitmoji_goalsDuring the Thanksgiving holiday, I had the pleasure of getting to know one martial arts friend a little better and meet his wife. I felt a lot of different things when they told me they read my blog and it’s been helpful for their children who are both pen warriors.

Weird, honoured, and shocked were some of those feelings.

It was also a reminder that writing can have lasting affects on others. The further one goes on this path, the greater the affect on a larger scale.

I thought that a post on getting started is in order. It’s a post for those who enjoy writing and are trying to take that first next step towards becoming more serious about it.

Now, I can’t remember how I first found out about the first book related thing I went to in Ottawa. It was a book signing for an anthology *I think*. It’s a bit hazy as it was around 5 years ago. I know Marie Bilodeau, Geoff Gander, and Hayden Trenholm were there. They were some of the first writers I met in Ottawa. Or maybe I went to something else and met Marie there and she told me about it. Perhaps the Small Press Fair.

Actually, I think that’s what happened? Anyway, around the same time, I met several people who were going to several writing related events and I just kind of started showing up to things and while there found out about more things.

Those things included:

1. The Small Press Fair

2. Book Signings

3. Conventions including Can-Con, Ad Astra, and several others I haven’t been to yet.

4. Prose in the Park (Ottawa’s version of Word on the Street)

5. Ottawa Independent Writers

6. ChiSeries reading series

7. NaNoWriMo

I still go to many of these things, though I’ve been too busy lately and thus a bit too worn down to go to Can-Con this year.

Some other important things about the writer life include self-care and doing anything else that will help you replenish your creative energies. After a long weekend filled with a wedding, old friends, family,  and walking by the water, I was filled with new ideas for new projects and tweaks for those in progress. Stephen King talks about this. He’s been in a band and done a lot of living that helps him have a deep well of ideas to draw on.

I also read a lot of writers craft books. Hooked by Les Edgerton is a good one for the first chapter. The Novel Writers Toolkit by Bob Mayer was also helpful. The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier and Screenplay by Syd Field are fantastic for screenplays.

One thing I do to constantly improve is try to pay attention to whether or not a skill is weak, such as writing dialogue or being descriptive, and I work on improving it. I’ll read craft books on specific skills to learn new techniques to try. It takes a lot to be honest with yourself about your weak areas and some writers don’t ever get there.

At this stage, I’m very interested in checking out The Writer’s Festival.

Now, this particular friend lives in the Peterborough area, so I thought I’d list a few events in the area that may be good starting places:

  1. The Peterborough Writers Facebook Group. I have no idea how active it is, but this would be a place one could ask some questions about the writing scene.
  2. The Literary Tourism page.
  3. Meetup.
  4. The Peterborough branch of the Canadian Authors Association. It’s mentioned in this article on My Kawartha.
  5. The Peterborough Library. A lot of librarians read, but they also write.
  6. Writers Festivals. The Writers Union has a long list of these. The Lakefield Lit Festival is marked as being close to Peterborough.
  7. Colleagues can make a good resource too. Everyone knows someone who writes.
  8. A writing group. I met mine at the Small Press Fair. I feel like it’s good to have an idea of what you need in a writing group before committing though. Some get together and push each other to write every morning. Some gather monthly to offer feedback. Really, they come in a lot of forms. I like my monthly one. We touch base, talk about our goals, and give each other feedback. We have a wide variety of age, political views, and life experiences that I find adds a richness to the experience.

There you have it. I hope this has been worthwhile.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Short Weeks

Sometimes short weeks feel longer than regular ones. The first time I heard that, I shrugged it off in disbelief. But this week, I feel it.

I think the phenomenon can be best described as Vacation Brain. It’s where your thoughts continually drift toward weekend plans. This is often experienced on Friday afternoon during regular weeks, but seems to happen for much of the day before a getaway. Productivity becomes as slow as the clock, whose seconds seem like hours.

I have a busy weekend ahead including a wedding and a family visit. They are in two different cities.

I have some things to do yet like laundry and packing, but now that it’s finally the evening, my heart’s into cuddling and watching a movie. I figure I can manage a bit of play time in with the responsibilities. Laundry mainly washes itself…

A few other things to do before leaving town like an oil change. It seems there’s always something.

I think I’m getting very close to being caught up though. Pretty soon my life should be smooth in the right areas and exciting instead of where it’s hectic now. At least, that’s the plan.

R~

Make-it Monday – October Plans

It’s a new month, so some goal tweaking and other changes are in store.

1. Reducing Facebook use: The app has been sucking up too much of my time, so I’ve disabled it on my phone. I’m keeping messenger, but I’ll only use Facebook sparingly going forward.

2. The Page & The Magician: I’m targeting the end of this month to have my edits complete on it.

3. Movie logging: I’m moving away from keeping an album on Facebook related to my movie watching and switching to Letterboxd. I was using Letterboxd earlier this year and stopped for no real reason. I think it’ll generally be less maintenance and I can connect it to Facebook anyway.

4. NaNoWriMo Prep: I’ll also be taking some time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month. I plan to add as many words as possible to The Blood Waitress Club in November.

That’s it for now. I’m hoping some allergy medicine kicks in soon as I’ve got an allergic rash that’s making it hard to fall asleep. I hope you’re having a better night than I am.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Things Are Often Different Than They Seem

So, I’m walking around Sparks Street searching for my boyfriend, who doesn’t have a phone. Yeah, he’s old school. Anyway, I’m searching for him because he’s not at the meeting place we picked earlier today. He’s late. And not a little late. He should’ve been there more than an hour ago. I’m getting worried and also maybe getting ready to get mad at him as I’m thinking maybe he took off.

Anyway, I’m walking around and run into this older woman. She makes a comment about the being too many illegals. I’m thinking she’s talking about refugees and give her a strange look. She then says that no one respects stop lights anymore and just walk illegally. These illegals are everywhere. The term she should’ve been using was jaywalkers. I figure she’ll get herself into trouble someday with that, but I continued on my way.

I had to give up looking for the boyfriend and contact his family. He eventually strolls into the bar we were going to after the meetup point.

There were multiple places all nearby and he was at the wrong one.

All the worry and anger for nothing. I could’ve flipped out at the woman or him and been wrong on both accounts.

Life is funny like that sometimes.

R~

Make-it Monday – Update

Today turned out different than I hoped. Normally, I would have been at work, but the tornado reeked havoc across the city and anyone who could was instructed to work from home. I also had an appointment regarding an old loan that didn’t go the way I had hoped. Looks like my credit rating has gone down since July and my next step is to figure out if it’s on the mend or if there’s something I’m not aware of as it takes a bit of time for the things to be rectified. I have faith it will be okay soon, one way or another. My mortgage is up for renewal this year, so I’ll be able to have some negotiation room there. At least, that’s what I was told.

I am fortunate to live in an area that wasn’t affected by the tornado. I didn’t even lose power!

I got some editing done this weekend. There are six chapters left to go through before I send The Page & The Magician back out. I’m not sure I was truly ready to finish it before now. I feel like my writing has improved much from taking Scriptwriting.

Also this weekend, I won my first award at B-Movie Club. It was for the one-eyed puppets in Rock n Roll Nightmare.

It’s back to work tomorrow, so I best be off. Autocorrect almost had me write something very naughty there. I’ll leave you with that.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Differences

thoughtfulI’m reading Terry Prachett’s Soul Music and there have been a number of times I was annoyed while reading it. So annoyed that I almost abandoned it.

Why?

A few things.

At times, I’ve noticed it’s written by an old white guy. Now, I’m not an uber feminist, but in it he tends to make jabs at youth being clueless and other such things that make it really evident.

There are also footnotes that I’ve found pull me out of the story, so I had to ignore them to move forward, which means I’m missing a bit of the story in order to enjoy the story and that seems silly.

As I read further, I realized he made fun of everything. There’s even a subtle jab at Michael Jackson’s musicianship that is both a jab and yet not at the same time.

He says a lot through subtext. There is so much of the book that is true to life that one might not be able to fully understand depending on their life experience. Had I read it 10 years ago, I think I would’ve missed much. I want to read it again in 10 years to see how I feel about it all then and to see if there is more that I haven’t gotten at age 37 because I haven’t yet lived as much as he had when he wrote it.

I think it’s masterfully written despite the few things that annoyed me. Perhaps it’s partly because of my love of music or my spirituality, but I feel like it’s a work that has impacted me deeply and may affect my writing for decades to come.

A key message in the work is that great things can only be achieved by vastly different groups of people appreciating each other’s differences and using their diverse talents to make something more than each individual could alone.

There’s also a different bent on differences I noticed when he talked of Death’s inability to properly create things like towels. Death’s towels might as well be cardboard cutouts because Death can’t understand the concept of a towel.

I think it is a work that challenges one no matter what one’s current worldview is, so long as they are willing to let it.

Today I’m thankful for all the differences in the world that both annoy and enrich me.

It also has me wanting to write music… It may or may not have rocks in.

With gratitude,
R~