Month: April 2013

My Stargate Typewriter

I got a lovely new machine today, an  Olympia SG-1 (now you know why I’m calling it my Stargate typewriter!) It’s a real beast:

Olympia SG-1, 1959

Olympia SG-1, 1959

These were premier typewriters back in the day, and the woman who sold it to me said she brought it over from England decades ago and it’s been sitting at the bottom of a trunk, unused. Other than some cosmetic flaws, it’s in excellent condition, doesn’t even need oiling.

When I saw the pictures in the ad, I thought it was a steely blue colour and fell in love with it, but it’s actually a gunmetal grey, so I may consider refinishing it to something more interesting. You know, with all that free time I have. *eyeroll* Still, I like it quite a lot, especially given the fact that it’s in usable condition. It’ll make a nice addition to my collection!

I’m just putting this out to the universe now: for my next one, I’d really love to find a Royal portable, something bright and awesome. Do you hear that, typewriter Fates? A red one would be fantastic.

Olympia SG-1 logo closeup

Logo close-up. She’s a pretty one.

Want to learn more about my typewriters? Check them out here.

Happy Birthday, Blog!

It was one year ago today that I started this blog. I’ve connected with lots of great people who have offered sage advice – thank you! – and have found an outlet for all the writing-related miscellany teeming in my head.

I’ve had visitors from 35 different countries. Wow!

Some strange search terms have brought people my way. Few have to do with writing though – most refer to either my tattoo or my typewriters. A few of my favourites:

  • Nicole Bross – guys? it’s Who keeps searching this over and over?
  • make sure your worst enemy is not living between your own two ears – Sage advice…
  • do not give up tattoo – close, I suppose.
  • actors who played werewolves – Michael J. Fox? I’ve never discussed this before.
  • can i call myself award winning – Now that you’ve reached this blog, yes you can!
  • bathroom mirror pictures facebook – OMG I hate it when people do this. Why why why?
  • you are not ordinary for me – Thanks, love. You’re a peach.
  • you rise and shine and i’ll – Yes that was the complete search term. I don’t even know.
  • longest thing ever written – Not this blog, that’s for sure.
  • introduction to my mind – Pie’s always a good start with me.
  • been procrastinating for days now, it’s not even funny anymore. – TELL ME ABOUT IT.
  • it feels like my mind is unraveling – TELL ME ABOUT IT.

Anyway, happy anniversary to me. When I look back at where I was a year ago, I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished. I hope the next year brings much more of the same.

Do You Ever Really Stop Rewriting?

I was just minding my own business, looking for some new books to read online (Amazon recommended this one for me and I think in this case it’s very smart) when out of the blue I thought up a way to rewrite my query letter. I’ve sent out around 15 and gotten no bites so far, so I’m actually glad this occurred to me because I think it’s way more interesting.

But then it got me thinking, do you ever reach a point where you’re just done? Like 100%, time-to-file-this-bitch done? I work as a freelance journalist part-time, and I never agonize and rethink my articles the way I have been for this book and this letter. I write them, proofread once and then submit them. With fiction there’s always just one more little thing, and then a few days later, a what-if-I moment comes to mind and I’m back to fiddling with things. It’s never anything major like changing a character’s gender or switching from paranormal to a Western-inspired historical cozy mystery (well once it was, but I thought hard about it for quite some time before I actually made the change and it wasn’t quite as crazy as either of those examples) but these little lightbulbs keep going off in my head. Recently I made two characters related when they hadn’t been previously. Sometimes it’s something as trivial as a single word.

And speaking of rewriting, I’m already almost at my Camp NaNo goal of 20,000 words for the month, and we’re only at the halfway point. It was shockingly easy to achieve, and now I’m feeling like I should have set my goal higher, maybe 30,000. BUT close to everything I’ve written during this time is going to need a massive overhaul in the next draft. What I’ve got now is the roughest framework, a dirty rented scaffolding shoved up against a building that’s about to undergo massive renovations.

Wait, that metaphor isn’t quite right, is it. The book should be the building, so I’m the dirty rented scaffolding? Or maybe my laptop is? Yeah I think it’s the laptop. I’m the bricklayer who spends more time wolf-whistling at all the ladies with the nice getaway sticks than working.

It’s too late to for this shit, I should be in bed.

Recipe for Success

Today I woke up early and sat around and daydreamed then went for a hot stone massage then got day drunk and now I’m getting ready to write.

What could possibly be bad about this plan?

She says as she rums spell check for the third time.

Can You Relate?

–Author Unknown

This seems like it could be a quote about one’s favourite characters and books, but as a writer I think it applies wholeheartedly to the people I create and channel onto the page. I think it’s the mark of a writer that you start to care about your creations, not just as things you’ve made in order to further a storyline, but as real people. When they hurt, you hurt. When they love, you love. You start seeing things through their eyes, feeling things the way they might, even if that perspective is vastly different from your own.

They may not be real in the sense that I could meet them on the street one day (although in my more fanciful moments I like to think about alternate universes that come into existence through a writer’s pen where Callie, Dane et al. may at this moment be trying to save the world) but I love them nonetheless, and so I love myself as well, because they were born of me.

The Midpoint Blahs

I haven’t felt like blogging much lately. Writing is hard, thinking about writing is hard, everything is hard.

I have the midpoint blahs.

Is it a coincidence I recently crossed the 50,000 word mark? I don’t think so. This happens to me every time around this point, and it doesn’t help at all that I’m working on a collection of scenes with crazy POV issues that are probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. Does any of this sound familiar?

I’ve been writing this story foreeeeeeever. How can I still have so much to go?

Nothing in this chapter makes sense.

I don’t feel like writing today. Or tomorrow.

I have no idea what comes next.

Everything I’m writing is absolute garbage. Why do I even bother?

I’m forcing myself to work through it, even if it’s only a thousand shitty words a day that I’m sure will be completely re-written in subsequent drafts. That’s okay. Every crappy sentence gets me further from the midpoint and onto something new. I’m also considering taking a break from this part of the story and jumping ahead a few chapters for a change of scenery before coming back. What I’m not going to do is stop writing! It’s BS to give up every time things get a little bit difficult. As a very wise fish once said,