Thursday, November 26, 2009

keeping it moving

Today, I packaged my cover letter, author biography, title page, table of contents & 3 chapters (1st two chapters & last chapter) and mailed it all off to Moose Enterprises, a publisher located in Sault Ste. Marie. I selected that publisher because they say they respond in one month. That's considerably better than the two-year odyssey with TouchWood Editions in Victoria! (Still, I am grateful to them for the critique. They sent the rejection letter on November 9th.) I mentioned to Moose that, if by the beginning of January they have not requested the rest of the manuscript, I'll be offering it elsewhere. More positive thinking needed here!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

nanowrimo 4

I did it. This afternoon, I wrote my 50,197th word of the novel, finishing the story as well. The goal was to write a 50,000 word novel in under 30 days. So it took me 22 days. Not bad, if I do say so myself. And the story is a story, unedited of course, first draft only, but it's done. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. I had no idea, when I began, how the story would end, so it was as much of a surprise to me as it would be to any reader. It's okay. Now, as to whether I'll actually edit it and send it somewhere, I need a couple of weeks to think about that. Then at the beginning of December, maybe, I'll reread it and see if it has any potential.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


In October 2007, I sent a novel, Angels in the Flames, to TouchWood Editions, a publisher located in Victoria, BC. I heard back from them in April 2008 that they had received the novel and that it was with a reader. In October 2008, I received a 3-page single-spaced critique of the novel, asking me to rewrite it and resubmit. By April 2009, I had completely rewritten the book and I sent it back to them on April 15th, I think. September, I emailed a query concerning its status. No answer. I emailed again a week or two later. No answer. I emailed them a third time in October, asking if they were receiving my emails. They wrote back saying the manuscript was still with a reader. November 9, 2009, I received a rejection from them. The publisher said she thought the rewrite had greatly improved the story and she enjoyed it. But they don't do books for younger readers. Now, of course, my first reaction was: "Why didn't you say that a year and a half ago?" But I'm really grateful that they didn't, because had they done so, I would not have rewritten it as carefully as I did. That being said, at the age of 71 years, I don't have all these years to spend sitting waiting for readers to take as long to read a book as I took to write it, only to tell me that their house doesn't do that kind of book. I find this experience really frustrating!! It's bad enough to get a rejection (even a "nice" one) but it's very upsetting to learn that it never stood a chance to begin with. BTW, yes--I did look at what they published and it seemed to me that my book might fit in with their list. But I was obviously mistaken.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Van Dusen Gardens

Yesterday I went to Vandusen Gardens to see Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall. Prince Charles was downtown doing something, so poor Camilla was given a wet and soggy walk in a garden. Not a good activity for November. She shook my hand twice. Once on her way to plant a tree, and once again on her way back from planting the tree. Then, she was taken to a tent and given a cup of tea--she didn't even get to sit down--just had to shake more hands while she drank her tea. (I could see her through the plastic wall of the tent.)
Went back today, and took out a membership in the VBGA. It seems to be a nice place to stroll, and I need the exercise. I love walking, but I hate walking without a destination or a goal. It's boring. Hopefully, now that I have this membership, I'll walk outside more often and not spend so much time just sitting in front of the computer or the television. Or reading, but that's a good thing to do.


Here is it Nov. 8th, and I'm still at it. So far, I've written 20,292 words. That's the quantity. Now as for quality, that's another question. The rules for nanowrimo advise that all editing be left for December. Do you know how hard that is for an English teacher?????


Thursday, November 5, 2009

nanowrimo 2

Despite being busy with visitations, ailing and dying friends, tutoring and volunteering, I'm still managing to work on my nanowrimo goals. My daily goal is 2000 words, but I'm doing more than that. So far, my word count is 11,913. The trick is following the plan (slightly modified) mentioned before: write 1/2 hour and rest 10 or 15 minutes, repeat two or three or four times. I find that even one such session, just the half hour writing, is better than aiming at 2000 words. So far, I haven't written fewer than 2000 words on any one day.

parish visitations

I'm a little better than half-way through this job that was supposed to have been completed by the end of October. But apparently, I'm doing better than some others who are doing the visitations! I'll try to get to it again tomorrow. Haven't had much time to do anything for the past week or two.

funeral #1

Tuesday afternoon we said good-bye to an amazing young woman who died a little over a week ago. Crowded church full of mourners and friends of the family. Sad celebration. Stayed for the service but not for the events that followed. Elizabeth had been a student in my Sunday School class several years ago. I learned more from her than she did from me. Wise beyond her years, even if she had lived to be a hundred. Her ninety-nine-year-old grandmother was at the funeral, saying only, "She's gone."

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I don't care what people say about Halloween being pagan, I enjoy seeing the little kids in their costumes, and am happy to give a little gift for the pleasure. I only wish that the interest in demons and devils and other unwholesome aspects would go away. I'm glad more parents come to the door with the children. Safety is a huge problem, with all the crazies and their fireworks out there. Someone said on TV last night that Halloween was the best and most important holiday. Poor soul! Never heard of Easter? (No bunnies, thanks. Eggs okay.) No, I don't count Christmas as my favourite, either. It doesn't even make the list, IMHO.
BTW, Hallowe'en is a Christian holiday, when you drop all the kidstuff like witches and ghosts, etc. It's All Hallows' Eve: All Hallows Day (November 1) being the day when we celebrate all the saints. But you knew that, didn't you!

nanowrimo 1

Yesterday, hubby & I attended the NANOWRIMO kick-off event at the Old Spaghetti Factory in New Westminster. About 70 of us were there, much to the surprise and apparent delight of the organizers. We all got home (I guess) in time for Halloween kiddies. But FrSr (my hubby) and I stopped off at St. James for Evensong and stayed for Mass. That meant that today (Sunday) would be totally free.
I woke up this morning dreaming that I had written 2000 words of my nanowrimo novel. Of course I hadn't because the event just started at midnight last night & I wrote about 120 words before going to sleep. So I set up to do the 2000 today. Someone had suggested that a good way to get started was to go to the chatroom and check in and make a commitment. So I did that. Also, in with the goodies they gave us at the event yesterday was a little writing trick I'd never heard of before. It's 30-10, or something like that. It works this way: you write for 30 minutes and then take a 10 minute break. Then write 30 minutes & take 10 minutes off, and so on until you've been at it a couple of hours. For me, I needed more than 10 minutes to empty the dishwasher from last night, make tea, take my meds, and so on. So the first 10 minutes was more like 15. But I made up for it the second break, taking only 7 minutes. This process worked so well for me that I actually overshot my goal by a thousand words. I wrote a total of 3,280 words of the novel.
For those of you who forgot what nanowrimo is, it's: National Novel Writing Month (November). I have to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight, November 30th. So getting a good start is all very well. The question is, can I keep this pace up? Sure hope so. Met a few people yesterday who have done it. If they can, so can I. (And so can you!)