Old friends

Some days you just need to connect with old friends. They know the ‘who’ you were before you were the ‘who’ you are now.

My best friend, Robin, and I have been friends since we were 12. I won’t tell you how many years that’s been, but I will say she’s my rock. I wouldn’t have made it this far with out her.

My new roommate arrives in 4 sleeps – I can’t wait.

He’s new as a roommate but we’ve been friends for almost a decade. To me this is particularly awesome because we’ve lived on opposite sides of the continent for almost eight years. Quite an accomplishment to keep a friendship going that long, I think.

Tonight I’ve spent much of my evening talking to an old boyfriend.

I’ve mentioned him before. We dated during a summer French Immersion camp the summer I turned 16 (he was an older man, he was already 16). I saw him at Christmas and had a great time reminiscing and wondering about what ifs.

Susan-Nelson-Kevin-Caissie-1982

It’s hysterically funny to me that when we were dating half of my current group of friends hadn’t even been born.

He’s been a great measure for me though. He knew me before I let myself get sidetracked. He missed all the years I sabotaged myself and made bad choices (while I’m sure I still make them, I’d like to think I’ve learned a lot and don’t do it as over anymore). Happily, his observation was, “Sue you haven’t changed a bit.”

If only he knew. But it was gratifying to know I’d managed to find my way back to me.

I have lots of new friends too. Folks I’ve only know for a few years or in some cases a few months. I treasure you too. I’ve seen us all grow and can’t wait to see what happens next.

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When editing gets in the way

A few of my friends have been having this same problem lately. I’m kind of glad because it means that I’m not the only one, but on the other hand, this is becoming an issue.

How do you balance writing a new piece with editing an old.

I’d love to have the freedom to write without having to worry about editing. But if I want to put out 2-3 books a year, that’s not possible. I have to be constantly writing new material … and constantly editing older stuff to keep the publication cycle going.

So I’ll throw my question out to the interwebs – how do you balance writing and editing without killing your creativity?

Summer is here

Well – sort of.

We finally had a nice few days. The weather went from rainy and cold to sunnyu and OMG I can’t breathe it’s so hot. Today, it shifted back to the cooler side. I like it because I was able to turn off the fans and it will still be comfortable tonight for sleeping.

Today was windy too. I had to go out to my garden and fix two of my stakes holding up my peas. One had been snapped off from the weight of the plants being blown around by the breeze. I had to tie up my broccoli and my corn is tilted at a 45* angle right now.

On the plus side. I spent a couple of hours on my front lawn pulling weeds. The ones that I thought about pulling this spring and procrastinating long enough that there are double the amount… well was. I’ve got most of them now.

While I was weeding, my neighbour came over and offered one of his lawnmowers for me to use since mine was on it’s last legs. I really appreciated it. He brought it over and made sure it was running. Tempting though it was to stop weeding and just mow them down I didn’t. I kept going until I hit a patch of weeds that had too many ants around the root for me to handle.

I’m usually not terribly squeemish, but when they start simultaneously running up your arm and legs at the same time – well it’s time to stop!!

My almost roommate and I are discussing details about his arrival and what’s going to happen when he gets here. Sadly, one of the things on the list is *sigh* clean the gutters. But at least now there will be someone around to hold the ladder!

I can’t wait until he gets here – ETA less than 2 weeks.

6400 words

Hmmm – I gues I haven’t posted in a few days.

This time I have a good excuse. Well…. sort of. No, it’s a good excuse.

It was my turn to submit something for our editing group. I had to rewrite the end of the novel I’ve been editing. When I sent my first ending to the group they called me out for it. (You might remember me blogging about how I’d written the entire novel from Hillary’s point of view and then, after she screwed up, everyone went away to fix the problem and came back to tell her about it

So, while the ending was beautiful and seriously romantic, it sucked.

Yes, it tied up all the loose ends but it still sucked.

So it took me two complete sessions to write the new ending. Hillary, is now a key player in the climax and if it wasn’t for her quick thinking and fearlessness all would have been lost.

YES – SUCCESS – This time the heroine acts like a heroine and saves the day.

The sad part is that I have been trying to re-write this ending for a few weeks. It finally came down to the wire. It was Thursday night and I had written 1000 words and barely scratched the surface of what I had to do.

Friday was do or die day. I went into NaNo mode.

Out of respect for my writing group’s time, I had to get my piece to them by Friday night at the latest. So Friday, I dug in. I finished, did a brief edit and sent it off at 10:17pm. Total count for Thursday and Friday’s writing frenzy – 6399 words (plus a 23 word – ‘where-we-left-off’)

Sooo, why has it taken me so long to catch-up on my blog?

Saturday was an ‘away from the computer’ day. I had a Marketing Dangerously seminar out in Langley followed by a BBQ at my friend Rob’s place in Surrey. Sunday was my usual Toasted Cheese Sunday Brunch Writing Prompts morning, followed by an afternoon of fixing websites, talking to a potential new client, Skyping with my parents and recently relocated brother back East then our for dinner with friends. All interwoven with making arrangements with my new roommate.

YES – I’m getting a roommate

One of my best friends still back East is moving to Vancouver. I’ve very excited. He’ll be here in three weeks. It’s going to be so much fun having him around.

Happy Canada Day!

It’s Canada Day.

This year it seems a little more patriotic than usual. Could be because most of us are still riding high from the Olympics. I no longer have to go searching my wardrobe for the right shade of red… I have it. Although, despite the chilly day, I steadfastly refuse to wear the red and white mittens.

Today, I’m pondering what it means to be Canadian.

There is no flag flying from my front porch, although there is one on my suitcase. I don’t have to shout out to the world that I am Canadian, it’s in the way I speak, the politeness I show (not to be confused with being a doormat) and if the commercials are to be believed, in the beer I drink.

The past two years have been a challenge for me on many fronts. Most would have been devastating had I lived in another country. I have friends with a very sick little girl in hospital, the medical bills would be impossible if they lived south of the border. My parents have retired and have a good life, thanks to living here.

I’ve driven across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I’ve travelled extensively through the Maritime Provinces and driven up through BC through the Southern part of the Yukon. I’ve traveled abroad to see how other folks live. Each trip makes me even more proud to be a Canadian.

Happy Birthday Canada!

When being quoted isn’t cool

My apologies in advance, I’m a little ticked off.

A very good friend of mine came to me today upset. She’d been called out by a mutual acquaintance and made to feel about two inches tall.

As she retold the conversation I recognized a lot of the stuff “someone” had said about her. That “someone” was me, only the context was twisted in such a way that the meaning was completely reversed.

Being quoted is flattering, being deliberately misquoted to hurt someone is definitely not cool.

And I’m not talking a teenager or young adult here, The mis-quoter is old enough to be a grandparent. Needless to say I’m extremely disappointed in this person and more than a little aghast at the entire scenario.

One of my favourite sayings is:
If something I say can be taken two ways and one hurts, I meant it the other way.

When my friend found out it was me who had been quoted, her shoulders immediately relaxed and she smiled. “Oh, well that puts and entirely different spin on it if you said it.” It took less that three seconds to make her feel better and grow back to her full height.

For this I am eternally grateful.

So please, if you’re going to quote someone, use your quotes for good not evil!

Busy, Busy BUSY

When it rains it pours. Deadlines never seem to spread themselves out, they all seem to want to crash down together. I swear they wait outside until there is a big enough gang of them to really mess me up.

Reminds me of that old saying, “I try to take it one day at a time, but lately several days have attacked me at once.”

Fiction Therapy is launched. We sent out an opening offer to edit the first 2500 words for people and the response was great. I’ve read all the submissions and got half of them edited.

Then I hopped on my mountain bike (first time this year) and cycled a few kilometres to the post-office at the 7-11 to pick up a parcel. It was our new business cards – for all our businesses (I think Perry and I deserve some sort of over-achiever award!).

We changed the formatting on the cards for PaperBox Books and added colour to the logo. My SNB Consulting ones were already coloured, but I needed to change the tagline since I’ve changed focus. Then there were the new cards created for Fiction Therapy. WOW, they look sharp. Oh and there were cards for Perry’s Project Management Consulting company too.

We upgraded the card to a glossy finish and it really makes them look great. The colours just seem to pop more. I can’t wait to start giving them out.

Tomorrow I have to finalize the landing page for our Short Story Contest via PaperBox Books. There are going to be some great prizes, so keep an eye out. I’ll be uploading everything for July 1st.

Oh and somewhere in there I have to find time to finish writing the new ending for my novel ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’. My editing group are going over it on Monday, so I need to give them something to critique… funny how that works eh?

Tutu Marathon

For a change Iwas offline for most of the day yesterday.

As a matter of fact, I sat on the couch all day and watched TV. I have NEVER done that before. Usually I get bored, or restless, or both and have to move around after an hour or so.

Yesterday, was an exception, I hosted a Princess Tutu Marathon. For those who don’t know, Princess Tutu is a delightfully girlie anime series where the heroine is a duck, turned schoolgirl, turned ballet princess who helps people to dance their cares away. There are all sorts if bad guys and intriguing little plot twists.

So… yesterday was

  • 10 hours of Tutu
  • 2 pizzas
  • way too much food

It was a blast and well worth the sitting for hours on end. We started at the beginning and watched the whole freakin thing. The best part was toward the end when we got to the writing part of the plot. Considering my living room was full of not only writers, but NaNoWriMo writers, the dialogue really made us laugh and take note.

Without any spoilers, I’ll just say Drosselmeyer is the perfect NaNo writer and Fakir is the writer plagued by his inner editer. Come November, don’t be Fakir.

A walk, sun, chocolate and writing

Start to finish today has been a great day.

Even though I didn’t sleep the best last night, I was up on time and ready for action. Apparently, that mid-evening coffee last night, wasn’t a good idea after all.

First, I was able to implement some coding fixes for the PaperBox Books website that I found while testing the new website for Fiction Therapy.

Then, it was off to meet one of my partners in crime to scope out locations for the Kick-off for NaNoWriMo.org. Yeah, yeah, we know it’s not until October 31st. But if the crowd last year was anything to go by, it’s going to be a full house (so we need to make sure we find a big enough house to put everyone).

Next, it was a side trip to the Purdy’s Chocolate Facility near the 29th Avenue Station. We told ourselves that the walk to the chocolate factory and back would burn most of the calories we were about to consume… we know we’re wrong, but we’re chosing to ignore that tiny little fact, so please let us!

Then it was off for a sugar induced conversation at the weekly write-in… well at least we all had our computers open to attempt to write. The conversation seemed to be a little more odd than usual and considering our usual conversations….

Now I’m reading a webcomic that I coerced a friend into letting me see. (seriously, I figure if he mentioned it, he really wanted me to see it ๐Ÿ˜› so it was just a matter of twisting his rubber arm). Again he’s utterly failed at being horrible.

Then it’s off to bed. After all that walking today, I’d better sleep well. Gosh knows I need my beauty sleep.

I feel good

This isn’t a new thng for me, I’m usually in a good mood. But lately, I just feel good.

Maybe it’s because I seem to be accomplishing a lot of the little things on my to-do list that I’ve been putting off for a while. The odd part it seems is that while I’ve been dreading some of them for ages, they just seem to be getting done now without any muss or fuss internal dialogie getting in my way.

It’s a great feeling.

Even the 20 minutes I spent looking for a stray piece of code that was exploding my website wasn’t driving me nuts. Normally, I hate knowing that there is a simple solution out there and I can’t find it. For anyone who has never coded before, the smallest stray semi-colon can completely muck up the works. Tonight, I was frustrated, but my inner-dialogue was calm.

I’m sure you’re all wondering what happened to my blog. It’s rather stark and plain. I’ve been experimenting with a new layout to see what it would look like before I started customizing it.

Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do. I really don’t like my website as it is. Never really did.

It’s funny, I can design pretty ones for everyone else, http://alicegriffiths.ca, http://pawilson.ca but not myself. It’s time I think, to hit the old photo albums to see if I can find a nice background photo to use.