Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Favorite Reads 2009
Caroline has a great list of her favorite reads for 2009 and I was inspired to do the same. Here are my top 10 books read in 2009 - not in order.
1. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
2. On Writing by Stephen King
3. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
4. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (I LOVE ENZO!)
5. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyers
6. Julie of the Wolves by Jean George
7. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
8. The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
9. Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
10. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
I have joined J.Kaye's Book blog reading challenge 2010 to read 100 books this year. Whew. I'll be posting my finished books as I read them. I'm starting this week with the following:
The Maze Runner
and from my Inde-debut group, books that are coming out in 2010:
The Invisible Sister - Amy Allgeyer Cook
Owen and the Dragon - Carla Mooney
Brigitta of the White Forest - Danika Dinsmore
The Golden Pathway - Donna McDine
The Bug that Plagued the Entire Third Grade - Lori Calabrese
The Flute and the Dagger - Miriam Forster
Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken - Scott Heydt
Connection - Jo Ramsey
To celebrate my awesome year which included:
finally attempting to write a book
finishing the book
getting a publishing contract for the book - DOGSLED DREAMS, 4RV Publishing LLC, 2011
starting a blog
being blessed with 56 blog followers - I'm having a contest! Yeah book give aways. Here's what you win:
Here's how you enter:
Be a follower - 1 entry
Leave a comment - 1 entry
Suggest a title for my new YA dogsledding adventure - 1 entry
When Victoria, a determined 15-year-old, gets lost with her dogteam, she finds an injured snowmobiler with a secret. With their food gone and the temperature dropping, she'll have to trust him as well as her dogs if they hope to survive.
Contest closes January 30, 2010.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Still partying over here, but wanted to quickly post some of our family fun.
Mom spent most of her time on the ground, but she kept getting back up!
My man looking for GQ scouts, perfecting his smouldering gaze.
Tanzer dog wondering why toys only last five minutes.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Went snowshoeing this morning. Gorgeous sun, but little chilly. Awesome.
I'll be scarce here this week while I party and wrap and unwrap and bake. BWAhaha, okay, you got me there. The baking will be by the PRESIDENT himself - he makes good CHOICES. But you should see me creatively arrange the plates!
(I've just had someone explain to me that my US friends may not get President's Choice products and will wonder what the heck? Take my word for it - they've got really decadent brownies)
Hope everyone has a wonderful family Christmas.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Also, you can now read my article Frozen Turd Wars on the Dogs in Canada website. Each month they feature an article from their recent issue and this month, mine was selected! You can vote for it too. The best part for me is the exceptional skill of the illustrator who brought Apollo to life. He even nailed Apollo's demonic stare.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Last night I finished the first draft of my still untitled, dogsledding YA novel. My rockin' beta reader Jackie White patiently read the entire thing. I'm slightly concerned this only took me a month. Is anyone else this obsessive once they start? I suppose all the winners of NaNo can hold up their hands. Now the real work begins - adding the brilliance.
To start with, I lay out a pile of events that I want to happen. When I write the actual scenes, my characters end up doing things I hadn't planned and it leads to more scenes. My biggest fear is getting somewhere in the middle, and have it not work like I envisioned. Such a sense of relief to know it's completed.
Does anyone have a completely different method? How about a title for a dogsledding adventure?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I purchased this royalty-free image from Getty Images. Very inexpensive. All the other photos are my own including the header for my blog and the website is a free one from Webnode. Once my second book sells I may splurge and get a webdesigner.
I'm interested, did you do your own website or did you get a webdesigner?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Karen from NorthWapiti Kennels emailed me to say she liked my latest article in Dogs in Canada, Frozen Turd Wars. And when I followed her link, I discovered this gem of a blog.
No wonder she liked my article, she's probably dealing with her own frozen somethings...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
There's all kinds of great information here.
And if all mushers were members, perhaps stories like this wouldn't happen. I hope they find good homes for all 97 of those unfortunate sled dogs.
"When I grow up, I want to be a sled dog."
This image is pilfered from here.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I am now a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada and I got this cool card in the mail. They are a National organization with the following objectives:
1. Stimulate interest in and appreciation of the outdoors.
2. Stimulate high standards of craftsmanship among those concerned with the portrayal of outdoor life.
3. Co-operate with others in support of responsible use of Canada's natural resources.
Go here to check them out.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
And while I'm confessing, I have now missed two weeks of swimming practice. You know that commercial with the woman who wakes up with a cold but takes Tylenol and goes to the pool anyway? That's not me.
I know this has nothing to do with outdoor adventure, but is there interest in a short review of any of these books after I've read them?
Monday, November 16, 2009
The party lasted for a few days, but now normal life returns. I'm eagerly awaiting word from the editor assigned to me and loving the family feel of 4RV Publishing.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
In the past year I received 20 agent rejections, 12 publisher rejections, 6 partial request, 2 full requests and one cancelled contract. I was beginning to think I had more chance at winning the lottery than getting a book published by a traditional publisher. But persistence pays off.
I wish to announce my middle grade novel, Dogsled Dreams will be released in February, 2011 by 4RV Publishing!
Soon I'll be starting the process of working with the editor, making revisions and doing rewrites. I'll be researching and working on marketing and book promotion. And I'll be learning how Canadian taxes work with an American publisher.
Then it won't be long until my next moment - holding my debut novel in my hands. But for now, I'm celebrating.
I'm shakin' my bon bon in the middle of the grocery store. I'm wearing glitter, toe socks and enormous hats. I'm buying six new books. I'm doing the Mambo No.5 across the inconvenient beaver dam that has appeared on my hiking trail. I'm singing "I like to move it, move it" at the top of my voice as I drive. And of course, there's brownies...
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Grab your current read.
Open to a random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences.
She's waiting at the threshold of the kitchen, just beyond underfoot. Somehow Pump knows precisely where "out of the kitchen" is.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Next month I'll be on the back page with an essay about one of my sled dogs. And a third article on sled dogs will be coming out in the near future!
I'd have to say being featured in a DOG magazine is a proud moment for me. I think I'm more excited about this than any other article I've had published.
What was your most thrilling moment in your writing journey?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
1. I once chased a bear with a chainsaw - and I was wearing nothing but shoes at the time. (and ironically, the time I almost died was minding my own business in my tent when this moose came along...)
2. If I could wake up tomorrow with a natural talent, I'd choose to be a dancer.
3. Denali, one of my sled dogs who is now deceased, visits me regularly in my dreams and talks to me. He wasn't even a lead dog or anything. Very strange and sort of creepy, I know.
4. We only get one TV channel in our house and just got our first computer last year.
5. I was a top 4 finalist in a cruise ship American Idol competition with my version of Mustang Sally. No, I can't sing - perhaps it was stage presence.
6. I've handled for a dogteam in the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska.
7. I'm afraid of the dark and keep a light on in the house if I'm alone.
8. Besides writing, my inside hobby is making cards and scrapbooking.
9. I'm the first ever female in Ontario in the Lake Unit at work.
10. I used Poison Ivy as toilet paper after a pee in the bush. Wouldn't recommend it.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
In Sled Dog Seasons, a 17,000 word middle grade novel, twelve-year-old Rebecca dreams of becoming a famous sled dog racer.
She's an inventive, but self-doubting musher who tackles freezing blizzards, wild animal attacks, puppy training and flying poo missiles. But all of her challenges seem easier than living up to the dogs' trust in her abilities.
Rebecca runs her huskies along the crisp trails near Thunder Bay, Ontario, where northern lights flare and dangerous beavers lurk.
Through the bond she shares with the dogs, Rebecca learns that hard work, dedication and living in the moment bring their own rewards.
Before my turn, I was gathered in a chat room with the other pitchers and somehow, that elevated my stress level. By the time my turn came I had worked myself into a lather and could hardly type. I was so nervous my ice cold fingers quivered on the keyboard. How embarrassing!
Since it will be at least three months before I hear back from the publisher, I will from this point forward wipe it from my mind and not dwell. Yup, no dwelling, or obsessing or worrying...
I'm heading back to the rockin' conference. I'll return when it's over and I'm full of knowledge.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Also Nathan Bransford is holding a first paragraph contest!
Tonight is my first chance at pitching Sled Dog Seasons, my middle grade novel, directly to a publisher. I'm getting this chance through the free Muse Online Writers Conference. All week I'll be involved in workshops and forums designed to help move my writing forward and to network with other writers and editors. And I'm doing all that from home!
I'll detail about the pitch in my next post.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Can't wait for my workshop tonight at the Muse on-line writing conference. How to pitch! Stay tuned for that and another exciting chapter of me freezing my tiny little butt (an active imagination is a good thing) somewhere in the wilderness.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey had me mentally cleaning out my closets. I arrived at the conference full of promises to myself to practice habit 5. This has lasted for a day, but it was a good reminder to continue to work on personal growth. Here's a summary. This link goes more into depth on the habits if you're interested.
1. Be Proactive - be response able
2. Leadership - begin with the end in mind, make your mission statement
3. Management - first things first
4. Think Win/Win - or no deal
5. Communication - listen first to understand
6. Synergize - creative solutions from both sides
7. Self-renewal - sharpening the saw
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The whole process of how an agent picks you from the 1000 other submissions that week.
How two agents can be completely different but equally good at what they do.
And that I don't need to get all sweaty and tongue-tied if I find myself next to one.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
While doing basic drills today, it occurred to me that swimming was a little like writing. So many techniques to remember. Body roll on the long axis. Relaxed, high elbow arm recovery. Kick from the hips. REACH for the catch. Stroke count. Streamline off the wall. If I try to remember them all swimming one length, my stroke becomes choppy, unpretty and fun-less.
When writing, if I concentrate too much on technique, it also becomes unpretty and fun-less. Show don’t tell. Move that plot with dialogue. Watch those tags. GOOD GOD my mc needs a disabling quirk!
The 400 meters of drills I did were certainly needed. But it was the 1000m of back and free style, slicing through the water like a dolphin, that was pure joy. It’s what ensures that I go back on Thursday to do it again. And sometimes, I begin a story with scene description. Just for fun. I’m that much of a rebel.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday's Question of the Day is hosted by Eleni at La Femme Readers.
Question: What book has made you look at life in a different light?
My Answer: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
"That which you manifest is before you." Enzo.
Narrated by the wise dog Enzo who wishes he had hands and watches the Discovery Channel. One of my favorite books.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
My business cards came! The back does have a small picture of me in the corner and I think it works. I'm suddenly feeling quite professional! Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.
To prepare for the 8 hour drive to the Ottawa conference, I've signed out a few audio books: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (well, it can't hurt) and Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich. I've read her book, How I Write, which had some great tidbits in writing for YA, but I'd never read one of her novels.
I've also been trying to sign up for the Muse Online Writers Conference. So far, having some trouble with registering, but I'm hopeful I'll be able to join this FREE chance at pitch sessions and workshops.
One last thought: over at Absolute Write, there's a group of us middle grade writers. One new blog I've discovered there is http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com
This is a great resource for any writer. Check it out.