Month: October 2013

Decisions, Decisions

I have about 24 hours to decide if I want to do NaNo. I do have a new project that I’m mostly ready to start, provided I can drum up the second half of the outline I’ve been putting off for weeks. It’s been awhile since I’ve worn my writing hat – when did I finish the first draft of The Unseeing, July? June? Since then I’ve been alternating between edit mode and query mode.

It’s hard to switch hats sometimes.

So, because I’m a write-out-loud-to-solve-my-dilemmas kind of girl, here’s my pros and cons list.


  • Will force me back into a regular writing habit. I tend to start and stop projects when I don’t have deadlines.
  • Something to focus on. November is a hard month for me, mentally and physically. I hate the change to winter.
  • I miss my characters. I want to finish their story.


  • I have to drag myself kicking and screaming through NaNo. I’m an edit-as-I-write person and that will never change. It can take me hours to make my daily quota.
  • Next week I leave for Montreal for four days, for a much-needed girls’ weekend. There is 0% chance any writing will get done, which puts me at a huge deficit early on.
  • November is also a month I want to focus on querying, since I imagine the slush piles grow tenfold in December with NaNo winners submitting their unedited first drafts everywhere. This could be my last chance to query until the new year. Or is there a polite way of saying “this is not a NaNo 2013 novel” in my query? I’m only half-joking. Is there?
  • I’m not sure I want to rush through this book so quickly! It’s the last of the series and writing half of it in a single month somehow feels like I’m cheating myself out of a slow, sweet goodbye.

Yep, when I write it out, it looks like the answer’s pretty clear. Even if the only con was that last point, it’s still enough for me to say no thanks to this year. Or is there such thing as NaNo-Lite? Maybe I’ll make it a goal to start writing November 1, and see how far I get without pushing myself. In the meantime, tomorrow’s task is to finish my outline, and set up the myriad spreadsheets I use when I write to track everything under the sun – word count, time spent writing, location and all the other vectors I love to analyze when I’m finished.

Good luck, NaNoWriMo participants! I’m over here, cheering you on from the sidelines.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Kid 1 has decided she’s going to write a book, “just like you, mom.”

Not sure if this is a genetic disposition or if I’m just a positive influence. If the former, I don’t know where I got mine from – my own mom worked in poli sci and later, accounting, and my dad was a computer software consultant – not much of the creative in either of those fields.

Thing is, for a six year old, her story’s actually pretty solid. It has two likeable protagonists – talking trees!, funny dialogue, a conflict and an antagonist. She’s only got the first act finished, and I’m genuinely looking forward to reading the next installment. I can tell that all the reading she does is paying off when it comes to story structure. She instinctively knew what elements a good story needed and made sure they were all present from the start. And she ended it on a cliffhanger! I’ve read a lot worse from people five times her age.

When she’s finished it, I plan on tucking the manuscript away so she can see her first effort when she’s an adult, like my mom did with the newspaper I self-published and some of my other masterpieces. I’m a proud mama.

Royal Family Portrait

Another package arrived at my door this morning, and through the wonder of Facebook real-time conversations, an idea was born to take a family portrait of the Royals.

Mr. and Mrs. Royal, the proud parents.

Mr. and Mrs. Royal, the proud parents.

Papa Royal is an Aristocrat with a script typeset from 1963. Sturdy, a little round around the edges, but his soft side becomes apparent when you see his cursive writing. Mama Royal we’ve met before in Meet Pinkie Pie. She’s actually seven years older than Papa – quelle scandale! Pinkie is a doting mother, watching over her children from her spot on top of the bookshelf.

Mama and Papa have three lovely children.

The Twins.

The Twins.

Two rambunctious Royal Portables keep their parents on their toes. Although they are twins, they have very different personalities. The blue one, from 1930, is the younger brother and is a people-pleaser, always typing smoothly. He has an adventurous streak, however, and has the scars to prove it. The brown one from 1929 is a complex machine, fastidious in keeping his faux wood grain exterior spotless, but stubborn and rebellious, sometimes refusing to advance his ribbon, even if it starts to shred. Now that the twins have been reunited (the brown one just got home from a semester away at school today), the two are inseperable, each seldom leaving the other’s side.

The Baby.

The Baby.

The Royals recently welcomed a new member to the family, a Royalite from 1964. Her pastel yellow body and light weight belie an easy-going, competent machine. She’s fiercely protected by her two older brothers.

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

Don’t they make a lovely family?

Their friends and neighbours can only sigh and listen to this on repeat:

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