Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sometimes it's Ok to Procrastinate

Hey, head over to Jo Knowles blog and read about how it's OK TO PROCRASTINATE sometimes. There is a fine line between my productive procrastination and lazy procrastination. I know my writing process starts with STOPPING and letting the idea simmer in my brain. But when I find myself blog surfing... I know I am dangerously in the lazy procrastinating territory.

Ignoring the Sun

Of course the weekend that I'm to finish the edits on RR, the sun is out there shining for all she is worth. The kids do not want to stay inside and it would be mean to make them.... yet I'm stuck in here. Editing editing editing. Truthfully I could probably be done. But the biggest task left is going through the text and referencing forward and back.

Because the subject matter is kind of big. It was supposed to be 50K and it's closer to 65K. One of those issues when you sell your first book and you don't have a clue how to guesstimate the word count.

I'm watching Coronation Street (shut up, it's cool and so am I) and one character is obsessed with his manuscript. He's stopped shaving, he's drinking, he is snappy to his family.... yeah, not familiar at all. Ok, at least I'm not drinking. And I did shave my legs. So, wait, all that leaves is "snappy to family". Yeah, that fits.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Be Ye Not Afraid

Recently I attended the AGM of my MP (Member of Parliament for my American friends...). Well, technically his riding association, but he was there to speak and I was fortunate enough to get to ask him a question. (I asked about Canada's archaic libel laws and whether there were going to be any changes... it was a moot point I suppose since the gov't doesn't change laws, but still... I want my gov't to know that writers are being hamstrung here in Canada by "libel chill")

Afterwards I approached him and asked some further questions. I explained that I had actually backed off of political writing because of the threat of libel. Maybe that implies that I was some super-politico-powerhouse (which I was not) but that's not really the point... the point is that in Canada, anyone can sue anyone else for libel and it onus is on the PERSON BEING SUED to defend themselves.


Most writers in Canada have heard about Ezra Levant and his fight against libel lawsuits and being dragged into a kangaroo court where he spent millions defending his right to publish "the Danish cartoons".

I realized that it wasn't about what I wrote, it was about someone with a bad case of The Crazies taking offense. At times we seem like a country about to put "the right to NOT be offended" in our charter. But as I spoke with my MP, he encouraged me to keep writing, keep voicing opinions. He was right that there had been recent court wins that defended free speech (an american term, not Canadian) so I should not be afraid. This is true, but still, I'm no Michelle Malkin, I struggle with concerns about whether voicing an opinion in the overpopulated political blogosphere really matters as much as my actions in real life.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Winning on Twitter

I love being on Twitter, it's an eclectic, wild, fascinating place where you can find just about ANYTHING.

I happened to be tweeting tonight and saw a quick little contest... "RT @TwilightEarth: Wanna win Disney's DVD "Earth" (when it comes our?) Be the the 31st person RT this. DVD to our 10,000th Follower too!"

So I re-tweeted, and won!

The great thing is that Twilight Earth is a site I hadn't previously been familiar with. It's a site dedicated to "
saving the environment through shared news, discussion, advocacy and activism". JUST the kind of site I need to find when I'm getting ready to start the Green Guide for Horse Owners and Riders blog!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's test that theory...

So yesterday I posted all about optimism.

Today? Yeah, today tested that theory like double mocha chip ice cream tests my willpower. It was the trifecta of trouble. A day that makes you want to scream What The F.... fudge.

Work? Sideways accounts.
Kids? Worst behaviour in a long time.
Writing? Way behind.
Family? Ok, not so bad... hubby picked up some slack.

I was at my wit's end. I even called a prayer line, a really great one Crossroads Ministry has a 24-hour prayer line. A very nice lady read my Psalms 121:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

It helped, a lot. And it brought something home for me. Sometimes optimism isn't enough. Sometimes we have to surrender completely. The other day I read an essay by Max Lucado about how we don't have any control or authority over the powers of evil. That kind of took me by surprise because all these years I've been all 'get the behind me Satan' in my rough patches.

Oh no, we don't have authority at all.... God does. Our job is basically to draw closer to Him and THEN evil will flee. Kind of like a kid running closer to her parent and the bully thinking "yeah, I can't take that big one". We are told we have the power and authority to RESIST. Just not the

So that's what I tried today. I have tried willing myself to perform better as a mother, I've tried willing the evil away, I've tried all except surrendering, throwing my hands up and saying "I can't".

Today I tried. Today it worked. Even my husband complimented me on how I handled things. It was the hardest thing I've done in a long time, NOT reacting. But I did it. I hope next time is just a little bit easier. My inner optimist hopes it will be.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Just finished watching a documentary with Michael J Fox and his take on optimism. It was quite inspiring because he's simply an uplifting, beautiful person. I'm sure he has his dark moments, but overall, this is a guy who has taken what many might see as a death sentence and turn it into something to work towards.

(I recently purchased his book, Always Looking Up, but I haven't had the chance to read it just yet.)

In the documentary, they spoke about Bhutan, a country that focuses quite a bit of energy on their Gross National Happiness. While it has a lot to do with Buddhist values, I can still appreciate the value of choosing happiness and optimism above the alternative. I don't know if I'm a pessimist or optimist, I am hopeful, but at the same time, I always need to know what the Worst Possible Outcome is so that I can be prepared.

But it did get me thinking about the choices we make in our life and how they might define if we are optimists or pessimists.

Take freelance writers. We work at a career that is not guaranteed to leave us rolling in the dough. Quite contrary... most freelancers are earning below the poverty line in North America. But we still do it.

Or look at the 36,000 jobs that were added to the Canadian economy last month. A pessimist might say "oh yeah, but they were self employed jobs..." an optimist might say "these people choose to go start their own businesses rather than sit on social assistance".

I think that it might be our choices in life that reveal how we think. Do you keep writing query letters despite the rejections? Do we keep pitching book proposals despite the lack of response? Do we push the limits of what we can do, trusting that we will have the resources to finish what we start?

(x-posted at Mama Needs A Book Contract)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My own brand of crazy...

The other day my husband and I were having a "discussion" about my writing. Normally I don't post anything about our "discussions". (If you're reading those air quotes correctly, you'll know I mean "argument".)

He says I'm a bear to live with when I'm on deadline. I say that they only time I can convince him to watch the kids so I can write is when I'm on deadline. When the deadline is farther away (wait... further?) there's no NEED to write. Just the want. And we don't ask our husbands to watch the kids so we can go off and do something we want. Right? Right?

Maybe it's just me.

This was a tough argument because he felt that writing has an "emotional withdrawal" from our family bank account with less "emotional deposits".

And this is because the emotional deposit goes only into MY emotional bank, he says. I tried the "when mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy" bit. And there's some truth to that, I am happier when I'm more fulfilled. But how much does the family need to give for my happiness?

But wait, how much are they actually giving?

Yes, I'm a bear when I'm on deadline and I'm insistent upon getting time to write whether it's downstairs in our basement, out at a coffee shop.... wherever. Is me not being there THAT much of a drain?

He says "the woman's traditional role is to nurture".

After I took off my corset and burned my bra, I asked him what the traditional man's role is... and why *I* was doing that too. You know, out earning money in the workforce.

No answer.

I love winning "discussions".

What are your thoughts?

(Cross posted at