Sunday, January 24, 2010

When it Rains it Pours...

Today it's raining but that's not what I mean by when it rains it pours.
I've gone through a drought lately of having few shifts at work and lots of time to write. That was when I focused on finishing my novel Padded Walls. This month, I've gotten more shifts and have been busy with my volunteer work to the point that I seriously considered letting something slide. Unfortunately it was my writing. But not editing. My son, aka Junior Editor, is currently reading a new version of Take the Money and Run.

Today was the meeting for the HWG and I had nothing to read. I mean, I have lots to read but nothing I felt like reading to the group. It was like a mental block. My goal for the next meeting is to have something to read to the group. That simple. And to make sure I take lots of notes so I can keep up the blog! I'm getting better at that.

I also had my first meeting with the executive of the OAG. I am the chief liason with the local high schools. My first mission will be to meet the heads of the Fine Arts Departments and offer a scholarship to the two top graduates. As well, we are seeking students to participate in the Really Big Show in October. I also have to get some of my own artwork ready for then. It will be a fun thing to be involved with. A gala evening as well as a weekend art show.

This week though, Junior Editor write exams. He and I will spend some time picking paint for his room, going for lunch, and shopping at the local art shop. We'll also meet friends for breakfast next week when he has a PD Day. Now that he's in high school, time seems to go so fast. It won't be long until he moves on to bigger and better things of his own. I want to enjoy the time with him while I can.

And help him get ready for life as a grown up. Whenever I become one....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Keeping Busy

For me keeping busy never seems to be an issue. I always have a ton of creative or other things to work on. If it's not the housework, laundry, etc, it's the writing, painting or my part-time job. Even come evening when I'm supposed to relax, my hands are busy with crossword puzzles or making notes for the next day.

So how does someone like me relax? According to my massage therapist, I don't. I need to do more things for myself and spend some time doing things that ease the knots in my neck. For example, the other day I went cross country skiing with one of my kids. Sure I felt like I was going to die going up those hills and today I have some achy muscles but it was a good pain. I sweated so much my clothes were soggy when we got home.

My other form of relaxation is reading. I love to read but the more I learn about writing, the more I find I start to critique people like Janet Evanovich, Dean Koontz, and all the others who grace my shelves. I find myself studying their words instead of just enjoying them. Then I rap my knuckles and read on. Enjoyment, not tearing down their work, should be my focus.

I have a good friend who does a lot of editing for me and I edit for her. I have to say she's much better at it than I am so far! I have to start off with a thorough reading before I actually edit and I know she does the same. To see how well it flows for one then to nitpick. It's can be therapeutic to pick other people's work apart. Especially when you know they won't take your criticisms the wrong way.

When I get her edits. I take it with a sense of grace. Punch a punching bag a couple of times and curse under my breath. Then I go on and edit. Suddenly I find I like my novel a whole lot more once the nitpicking things have been pointed out. And I can relax....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year, New Challenges

As I wrote in my last blog, I joined the Orangeville Art Group this year. Yesterday, I not only got two of my paintings hung in one of their 3 local displays but I got a new job to do. I'll find out more details at our meeting on Tuesday but it involves contacting three local high schools and finding new art and artists to encourage. The other jobs they had available at the moment were President and Vice President. I figured those were challenges I wasn't quite ready for yet!

Today the Headwaters Writers Group met at our new location. The local library decided that for writers to meet and write on their premises, we would have to pay to rent the room like everyone else. We decided we could do better. And we did. One of our members got us a room at a local church which, ironically, is named after Lord Tweedsmuir whose real name is John Buchan. John's most famous literary work is The Thirty-Nine Steps, which was later turned into an Alfred Hitchcock movie. That knowledge made the church feel a lot more like home!

Some of the things I've decided to accomplish this year are:
1) Finish and submit the first of my three novels. Well, it is finished but needed some work, which is what I've been doing lately. Making it longer and stronger.

2) work on the other two novels so that when I do get attention from an agent or publisher, I'll have a lot to offer.

3) work on and complete one painting per month. That doesn't sound like much but when you already have kids, work, volunteer work, etc . . . it's an extra challenge but one I need.

4) work on my dad's memoirs and make them something publishable. That will take a lot longer than the novels will!

Watch for more paintings to appear. More excitement as my writing gets more attention. And check out some of my links. There is a lot of stuff going on in 2010!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year

It's been a long and interesting Christmas break but now I'm ready to get back to work. I plan to work on some editing of one of my novels and hope to begin resubmitting work later this year.

The anthology I have a short story in will also be out this year. I'm excited. My writing project I actually get paid for! It won't be the last. I promise.

I have joined the Orangeville Art Group this year to kick things up a notch. I'm looking forward to their guidance and support to help me become a better artist. Of course, making new friends is always a plus!