November Writing Initiative

Robert Sawyer announced he was going to do the National novel writing month sprint earlier today. I looked it up and decided that it sounded like a great idea. Robert is a very good SF writer and some of his work has been made into great TV as well. Check out his site at http://www.sfwriter.com (yes, he has that URL.)
So, today I signed up at http://nanowrimo.org
They suggest you try to write a 50,000 novel in the month of November. It’s a great deal of writing for a busy single mum with a corporate job, but it’s also a good challenge for me. November’s usually a hard month for me, so it could be good to be very busy.
I will try to use the initiative to finish my novel. I’m at 57889 words now. I need to get to the end. I don’t know how many words it’ll take to get to the end, but that’s what I’m aiming for.

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VCON 39

J and I attended VCON last weekend in Surrey, BC. She wore the costumes and had fun with friends in the video and paper gaming rooms. I sewed her an Aurora dress. I love to sew but don’t do it much. It’s creative.
I was on several panels and moderated one. It was great fun! I used to love hosting on radio and apparently still have the skills!
I met a couple of fans of Cybersix – sadly the other tv series I’ve written for don’t have fans ūüĎé but what can you do?
The discussions about critiquing, inspiration, and writing advice were really interesting. I love SF gatherings mostly for the friends. It was also the national awards so we saw lots of Canadian greats like William Gibson, Spider Robinson and Rob Sawyer there to receive awards.
I got to catch up with my old friends including Dr. Robert Runte who is now editing books for FiveRivers publishing.

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Upcoming Appearance – VCON 39

It’s that time of year again! VCON the local annual science fiction and fantasy convention is coming.¬† I usually attend and meet old friends.¬† Also, act as costume assistant for Jessica.¬† She constructs some great costumes – the cyborg tree for example!

This year I’m a panelist again!¬† It’s fun to be on panels and interact with other authors. It’s a great way to meet new writers and editors.¬† VCON is fairly small so I doubt that there will be agents there, but I’ve met book agents at cons.¬† Some small publishers such as Five Rivers and Edges SF will be in attendance, too. They¬†offer ¬†‘pitches’ session for¬†novels. As a prose writer, you can learn a lot at a good convention. This one is also the Canadian national awards host for this year: Canvention 34.¬† This is a very prestigious set of awards, called the Auroras- given for outstanding performance in several arenas of SF/F art.¬† It includes writing, art and media. (Full Disclosure: I have 2.)

If any of y0u would like to join us, see:   Information on VCON.

I’m doing 3 panels: Everyone’s a Critic, Finding Inspiration and Best Writing Advice Ever.

IMG_0173I’m also pleased to announce I’m¬†moderator on¬†a panel with the top writer guest there: David Weber.¬† He’s a well known and respected military SF writer.¬† Maybe best known for his Honor Harrington series, he has an interesting new Safehold series out.¬† I read Off Armageddon Reef recently.¬† See information about David Weber.

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The Old Life

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A production company is shooting on 4th close to the dance studio. I feel so strange- that used to be my life.

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Challenges of writing in the summer

At 56000 words of novel. A week off really helped. I multi-task like a crazy thing most of the time. It takes it’s toll.
Some nights I wake up thinking- did I send that last email before signing off day-job computer? One of my rules is no going back on till the next scheduled work period. I learned to do this after getting up and emailing producers (Lynne Booth and Larry Raskin) at 3 am. Larry kindly convinced me that nothing in our documentary show was that urgent.
So, now I separate my ‘work lives’ as much as I can. The home computer has my novel on it. There is no tech writing on my IPad, etc.
I really got a lot of words done on my novel during my week off– about 6 thousand! But, alas, today it’s back to the corporate job, dance lesson ferrying and, soon, child in new school.
No wonder people dream of a solely creative writing career. I can’t do it – unless my ship comes in, I sell big time, or my teaching gig goes full-time (unlikely ) ! But then again, I often create new stuff under pressure!

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See my novel progress area

I’m keeping track of my progress on a page here.

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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2014

Today I re-upped for the Write-a-thon. Last year it propelled me into my novel project, and I’ve been very happy plugging away at that between my ten zillion other things to do.
SF /F is such a supportive field & one I’ve enjoyed being part of for many years. Clarion is one of those specific workshops that benefit the whole field- in that it improves and supports new writers in a meaningful way. It also encourages creativity in other writers who just want to run a writerly marathon of sorts. It’s a great thing.
If you want to support Clarion or just read a piece of the novel In progress, visit ClarionWest.org and click on the write-a-thon area. They want 360 writers to participate this year in this writerly sprint. They also are famous for incredible 6 week summer intensive workshops each year. The writers who do those say they’re career- makers.
For me, I need a solid reminder that the novel is important enough to finish! I used to write for tv and there was always a way I was reminded / nagged work at my script. Reminders could be the production schedule itself – an unforgiving item that ended in an inflexible air date and required input constantly like the machine a tv series is. It could be a hopeful Locations Manager wanting to know “even just the settings list, please”. Ultimately, it was a Showrunner emailing me on my month in Australia with rewrites for a next season script! So I need a push, I guess & Clarion is a mild reminder-type push.

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