Plans of planes and hot tubs

I’m sitting here editing. I have a few short stories buzzing around in my brain, but I’m not allowed to put pen to paper until I finish this project.

Soon, I croon, to my half thought … thoughts. Soon I’ll realease you out onto the world. No worries though, they’re harmless. Romantic little trysts and twists to pique your sappy bone.

Oddly enough, one of my short stories is about to come to life, albeit not quite the way I wrote it.

A summer romance when I was 15 morphs into a facebook friendship a couple of decades later. While we won’t be riding off into the sunset anytime soon, he is picking me up at the airport when I arrive in Toronto next week. We’ll spend an evening reminiscing before he drops me off and finally he’ll have a chance to meet my best friend. The one who stood beside me during all my teenage angst involving him. They’ve known each other for years, yet never met.

I know you’re thinking ‘what if they’…. but she already has her knight in shining armour. Although, that would make one heck of a tale now wouldn’t it. Damn – there goes another new story racing around in my head.

Oh and did I mention she has a hot tub? They do it the proper way. We’ll run out through the cold into the tub, then sprint back into the house when we’re done. Toronto has been unseasonably warm so far, so it might just be a saunter instead.

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Upward, Onward and reconnecting with family

Today was busy in a very good way.

I had a meeting about some potential speaking engagements and a chance to engage in storytelling for an instructional video.

If anyone’s interested, I’m putting together training courses for effective use of social media for internet marketing and building your personal brand. I’ll be ready to begin presenting it in the new year.

We’re also beginning to create cirriculum for writing seminars to help other writers avoid some of the pitfalls we’ve already experienced.

After such a busy afternoon, I came home to my computer and chatted to one of my cousins back East. It was great to catch up, we haven’t been online at the same time in a long while. There’s a four hour time difference.

Now I’m going to curl up with a good book and while the night away.

Music

What do you listen to while you write?

Well, actually today I’m wearing my editing hat instead of writing, but ne’ertheless I have this awesome Celtic-ish piece from Final Fantasy (yes, the game) playing in the background. Talk about setting the mood for the medieval romantic fantasy I’m proof-reading.

My tastes have morphed over the years. In the beginning, I wrote at work (my supervisor told me to make myself look busy – he didn’t care what I did, so…) Back then I was limited to the muzak that played through the lobby. When I really got into writing at home, I listened to the City of Angels Soundtrack. It was the one collection that when it came on, it cued my brain to write. (kind of like Pavlov’s dog). I’d listen to it on repeat for hours.

It worked for the longest while, and I’ll still use it if I’m stuck.

Nowadays, the only music I can’t listen to while I write is something that I also like to sing along with. Abba is definitely out as is Evanescence, The Eagles, The Rankins etc. … oh and Christmas Music.

Actually Christmas music and I have a strange relationship.

I used to have to force myself not to start playing holiday tunes until the first of October. Christmas, to me, is a feeling of joy and gathering of family. I don’t much go in for all the commercial stuff so it makes me feel good instead of stressing me out. But then I moved almost 6000km from home.

During November I don’t dare play it on the years I’m heading to the East Coast for the holidays or I’ll become a happy, sappy mess and NaNo will fail horribly. On the years we don’t go home (my youngest brother and I share a house), we tend to ignore the holidays as much as possible. Not going home makes the entire season very painful.

So what do you listen to when you’re writing? Does it change with your mood? Do you switch it to help you create the tone for the scene? Or do you put something on and it fades into the background? Or are you like some I know who prefer to write in silence?

Curious minds want to know.

NaNo is over now what?

This has been the busiest November I can ever recall spending. Happily the stress level was low but my emotions ran the full gauntlet of a loop-de-loop rollercoaster.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m usually the calm one. I’m the perpetual big sister with a shoulder for everyone else to cry on. This month, even though I’ve been laughing and silly, there’s been an undercurrent of emotion I’m not used to dealing with. It’s made life interesting to say the least.

As I’ve mentioned before I was taking a course through Transitions. I highly recommend it to anyone who is at a crossroads in their career (or even their life). It is a roller-coaster. I discovered a lot about myself that I’d effectively hidden or taken for granted over the years. It also validated the path that I’m on and has given me even more connections and resources to use in my journey.

I crossed the 50,000 words finish line on Saturday for NaNoWriMo. During the all day writing marathon at my place and we had a blast. Two of us passed the finish line amidst lots of applause (and huge sugar rushes from all the sweets and other goodies). PaperBox Books supplied pop and pizza to keep us fueled during the day. The last people left just after 10pm. I was so sorry to see them go. My house felt very empty afterward.

Today is the last day and even though I’ve crossed the 50k mark there are still a few thousand words left to my story. We’re word warring with New Zealand, so every word counts. I’ll finish my story and do my part to win.

Then it’s back to the grind:

Reviewing novels to publish at PaperBox Books, creating a proposal for a couple of places to conduct seminars on internet marketing and writing (this really excites me) and creating/updating three website that fell by the wayside during November.

The Inagural Transit Write-In

So today we tried something a little different. If you happened to be on the skytrain system in Vancouver, you might have noticed a bunch of people frantically writing on their laptops or going old school with a pen and paper. That was us.

We stole a page from other NaNoWriMo.org cities and held a transit write-in. It was a blast. Some of us got the see the Canada Line for the first time while others ventured further out in the burbs than ever before.

The trek was not without it’s challenges: missed trains and drunk fellow passengers among them. All in all, it went much smoother and was much more fun than even I had expected… and I had high expectations.

Unfortunately, I had myself double booked. I had to leave the gang at Columbia Skytrain Station on their way back into town to get ready for my dinner out with friends. They went on to do double-cross of the Burrard Inlet on the Sea Bus. I’m sad I missed it.

Tonight, I came home to a much cleaner carpet and a feeling of accomplishment. I bought a small carpet cleaner to clean my desperately-needing-a scrub carpets and spent much of the morning on my hands and knees working to get the carpets back to normal in lieu of boosting my word count.

I have tomorrow night off from social engagements and will blast a few extra thousand to get me closer to my goal. Only 9 days left of NaNo 2009. I’m happy to see so many people signing up for the year-round get togethers.

Tomorrow will be Sunday Brunch Writing Prompts through Toasted Cheese, then off to Blenz for a bit to socialize then it’s off to play tag in the park… in the rain, then home for a hot shower and cuddle up in a warm sweater, blankie, fuzzy socks and my word count.

What a week!

I just realized how long it’s been since I blogged. This has been an exhaustive week of ackward questions, self-discovery and new friends.

The good news is that thanks to the Transitions course I’m taking, I finally (just in time for my mid-life crisis) I’ve figured out who I am – better late than never I guess.

It’s been confirmed, my interests and skill set say I should be a writer… or maybe a bus driver. Hmmm – maybe then I could meet that cute bus driver on my route… or at the very least, meet all kinds of characters to include in my novels. It’s a win/win.

There is only 10 days left of NaNo 2009. It saddens me to see it wind down. It’s gone really fast this year. This has also been a year of massive growth for the Vancouver Region. There have been new people joining us for this insanity at every event. Many of them eager to write with us throughout the rest of the year too. (does a little dance of joy around her office)

We’ve started letting people know that we meet all year long, so hopefully our core group will be even bigger next year. This makes me feel incredibly good.

Well, I still have an hour before bed, time to get some words in. Have a great weekend.

Monday again… already?

My day started in near disaster… ok well not really a disaster, but a near inconvenience. I painstakenly made sure my alarm was turned on for this morning but I neglected to make sure it was set for the right time. Luckily, my brother/housemate had to leave for work just after I was supposed to get up. This was lucky because he has an insane schedule and it’s rare he heads to work at a remotely normal hour.

He bellowed at me from outside my bedroom door, effectively scaring the be-jesus out of me. My feet hit the floor and I was off running. Happily, my morning routine is pretty simple, so I still made it to the bus stop with minutes to spare.

Week two of this class I’m taking is personality assessments. I love this stuff. We did the Meyer’s Briggs test first thing and followed it with an interests analysis. According to my interests, I should be either a writer, editor, performer (music or comedy) trainer or speaker or gardener. Apparently, with my current plans of writing and helping to run an e-publishing company, I’m right on track.

This is a good thing to know.

Tomorrow we get the results from the Meyer’s Briggs. I’ve taken this test a few times before and I find it facinating how it’s changed over the years. There has been a lot of change for me this year, I’m curious to see how it translates.

Oh and my word count hit 32,000 tonight – I’m a happy girl.

Week 2 of NaNoWriMo is over

My brain is dead, I dislike where my story is going, I have no idea what to do next, for that matter I’m still not entirely sure what my story is even about… yup week 2.

It’s that part of the novel where you question everything about your book and even your sanity for attempting such a stupid personal quest to begin with. This is why I love NaNo. I am not alone and we’re all hitting this same spot at the same time. Writers are a very supportive group and we cheer each other on, even when we’re in a competition.

I gave my brain a rest last night, watched some TV, played a few rounds of solitaire and answered some business emails. Today I’m cleaning my house… well at least getting the dishes and laundry done before forcing myself to get over my ego and dive back into my story.

Whether you’re writing or not – enjoy your Saturday.

Write Your Own Eulogy

So I’m taking this Transitions course. It’s designed to help people decide what they want to be when they grow up. I really wish I’d had access to something like it when I was finishing high school, it would have saved me a whole lot of wasted time.

After we ‘blue-skied’ our dream job and analysed what we hated about past jobs we did a few exercises to determine what was really important to us. The goal is to align our personal and professional goals instead of having separate sets which are constantly at war with each other. Then we moved on to describing our perfect life, how it would look and feel, where it would be, what we’d be doing and who we’d have with us.

The final exercise for the morning was write our own eulogies. What would we like people to say about us after we’re gone. Or if you’re too freaked out by the concept of dying, imagine a toast at yout 75th birthday party.

Here’s my eulogy – read by my incredibly hot partner – whoever he may turn out to be:

“We’re gathered here today to honour Sue Nelson Buckley as we freeze her aging body to thaw out when we’ve cured old age. Her body gave out long before her youthful spirit was finished doing what it was meant to do.

Sue single-handedly made 106 the new 30.

Sue always described herself as a late bloomer. She didn’t really follow her dreams until she was in her 40s, but once she hit her stride she was unstoppable. Well, except for the flowers, she always took time to stop and smell the flowers, reground herself and remember what was truly important in this life. As I stand here and mourn the temporary loss of my best friend, I’m heartened to see the size and diversity of the group gathered to say “see you soon” to the amazing person Sue was and is. Very few of us wil bother remembering Sue for her vast amount of money. We will all treasure the way she touched our lives and helped us achieve our own dreams.

Enjoy your rest Sue, We’ll see you in re-animation.”

You’re allowed to laugh. It is funny, but I truly how that I will be able to be the kind of positive influence as written above. (The vast amounts of money would also be nice but not a paramount consideration)

This begs the question, Are you living the life you want and what kind of legacy will you leave behind?

Ohhhh what a feeling

come on – sing it with me!

It’s the last day of a busy, productive and interesting week. I’m looking forward to the weekend…it’s a stange feeling because I haven’t had an actual weekend in months. Not that I actually have time to rest and relax – NaNoWriMo is still going strong and there are lots of events and write-ins to attend for that.

The Transitions course I’m attending is fun. I’m into that kind of stuff anyway but having a facilitator go through the exercises with you and sharing stories with your fellow classmates instead of just reading a book is much more effective. It’s worth me pulling my lazy morning butt out of bed to got. Even on a cold, windy, raininy day like it is today.

I’m off – Cheers & have a great weekend!