Friday, October 30, 2009

Article published in Dogs in Canada Magazine

My feature article Not Just Walking the Dog, about my good friend Alana Grant and her awesome outlook on life with her two dogs is out in the November issue of Dogs in Canada Magazine. Also, my short bio and photo is featured as one of their contributing writers. I'm thrilled that there's a cute PUG on the cover.

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

Non-fiction, fiction and Woodpeckers


In reading the fall 2009 issue of Bird Watch Canada, I learned some interesting things about Woodpeckers. During breeding it's the males that excavate the nest, do most of the nest guarding and incubate the eggs. Some females will even have simultaneous nests with different males in different trees and the Lewis's Woodpecker females initate the breeding with the males. Go female Woodpeckers!

It occured to me that writing non-fiction can be fairly easy when you find gems like this to research. Nature is full of fascinating facts all on its own that make for interesting reading.
In pondering this on my hike this morning, I thought how I could transfer some of that interest into my fiction writing by simply changing up sex roles or putting a new spin on an old theme. This is nothing new as far as writing advice goes, but the theory made new sense to me.
I'll also be watching the Woodpeckers that come to our feeder this year with renewed appreciation.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Morning hike

I thought I'd bring my camera along today to share some images while hiking around our lake. Slippery frost coated most of the leaves on the ground. Today is the first morning I found ice forming along the shoreline. Won't be long before snowshoes! Yeah!

Here's my man and our dog out for a boat ride.

And here's a new trail. We're trying to figure out the best way to cross. What do you think, zip-line? Rope bridge? Tarzan swing? The two pines seem perfectly aligned to set something up. Any suggestions welcome.

I love all the support I've received here for my writing successes lately. The blogger community is awesome!

Friday, October 23, 2009

passing on the blogger award

I've had the honest scrap award long enough. I am now passing it on to Megan Rebekah because she has introduced me to lots of other great blogs and I would love to know more about her.

And for the good news file: Sailing Breezes Magazine just accepted my sailing adventure story of my family and I in the North Channel of Lake Huron. Coming out in November issue!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blogger Award Nomination

I've been given this blogger award by LeSan of Bluegate Gardens Blog. The catch - I must now share 10 honest truths about myself. I won't be able to compete with LeSan's halarious list, but I'll do my best to think of semi-interesting stuff:

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

Full Manuscript Request!

Yeah Muse Conference! Apparently my pitch went better than I thought. After only a week, I've received a request for the rest of my manuscript! The party voice in my head is now battling with the voice of reason - DON'T get too excited, it's not a contract offer, just a full request. I have allowed myself one celebratory brownie (okay, I did have another small one, but I ate it with my eyes closed so it doesn't count)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How I got published

I've been invited to be a guest blogger! Check out Amber's blog for my guest post on how I got published.

Pitch session and Muse Conference

I've had my first ever pitch session online. Since it lasted only five minutes, there really wasn't much to it other than me pasting my 100 word pitch and the publisher asking one question. She then gave me a special code to submit the first three chapters of my ms. Here's my pitch:

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

Busy Writing

Contest alert! Over at YA Book Queen they're giving away some cool books. Check it out.

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

'Scuse me while I get deep

The outdoors is like church for me. I procrastinate going - can't go hike today it's too wet, don't feel like loading the kayaks, not enough wind to sail. But when I finally get there, it only takes 20 minutes to feel renewed, energized, inspired. It washes the cobwebs and allows in the light.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. (Maybe I just say that at the change of each season because I like change) The earthy musk of wet leaves on the ground, the brilliance of colours along a lakeshore, the bite of a frosty morning, all fill me up. Suddenly I remember to be thankful.

Thanks to my friend LeSan for her suggestion I get out there.

What fuels your spiritual self?

Friday, October 2, 2009

One last trip?

Decisions! The leaves are turning fast around here. Frost last night. Help me choose: one more sailing trip, or kayak trip?

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

7 Habits

For my 8 hour drive to the Ottawa SCBWI conference I listened to a few audio books, something I've never done. I've always assumed I didn't have the attention span. I loved it. It made the time go by in a blink. I actually sat in my own driveway for an extra 2 minutes to hear the end of The Taking. Creeped me right out, but in a good way. Aliens are scary is all I'll say. I know this is a little blasphemous, but I did not get past Chapter One of Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich. She wrote a great book, How I Write, but her fiction just isn't for me.

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