Monthly Archives: October 2010

Listening to the Woo Woo

The manuscript is complete. Edits are finalized. Query letter is as perfect as it’s ever gonna get. Agents have been researched. Submission guidelines followed to a T. So why haven’t I sent a single one? Because the shamanic astrologer told me to wait.

No, seriously. I met this fella and he gave me a two-hour reading. Part of that focused on my writing and apparently the stars, etc. are suggesting I hold off for a month or so before approaching agents. Now I love a good psychic and even read tarot cards myself, but I also spill salt with abandon and break the odd mirror without a second thought.

Why am I listening this time? Maybe because Halloween is around the corner. Or it’s an excuse to perfect my procrastination skills. Whatever the underlying reason, I figure if it’s taken me this long (“this long” being three years) to get this show on the road, what’s another month?

LD

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Filed under Getting published

Table 28 reeks of awesome

The Surrey International Writers’ Conference was a hit!

The conference was a three-day bootcamp full of inspiration and motivation from the finest. Unfortunately, I came home with the flu, and I am still attempting to emerge from the post-conference fog. The flu, I should kick in a few days, no doubt. But the new friends, I hope to have for a long long time!

Thanks for the fun ladies! Here’s a little snapshot from Table 28 at the #SiWC2010 Friday night dinner. Yes, we reek of awesome.

Beckie

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Filed under Author events, Inspiration

You haven’t missed the deadline for the CBC Literary Awards…yet

For those of you joining us at Surrey International Writers’ Conference later this week, maybe you can find some time between workshops, Blue Pencil Sessions and Night Owl events to polish a piece to submit to the CBC Literary Awards. The deadline is November 1, 2010. Canadian citizens, whether living in Canada or abroad, and permanent residents of Canada are eligible to enter.

Check out the awards website for more information and to submit your entry online. You can also read winning texts from previous years, access writing tips from the pros, and read interviews with former winners and jurors.

The CBC Literary Awards is Canada’s only literary competition celebrating original, unpublished works in both official languages. There is a first prize of $6,000 and a second prize of $4,000 in all three categories (original and unpublished short story, poetry, and creative non-fiction), courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts. In addition, the winning texts are published in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and on the CBC Literary Awards website, and the authors and their winning entries will get exposure on the CBC.

If you don’t find what you need on the website, try contacting the Awards Team at Literary_Awards@cbc.ca or 1-877-888-6788.

Good luck!

Maria

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Filed under Awards and contests

A Writer’s Job

A writer’s job is many things. It’s to tell stories. To document. To provoke. And like art, a writer’s job is never done; it’s only abandoned.

This morning I came across the quote below and it really seemed to resonate with me. In fact, I could still feel it tugging at me by the end of the day. Worthy of a yellow post-it note on my desk. And now a blog post to you fellow friends and restless writers:

“A writer’s job is to imagine everything so personally that the fiction is as vivid as memories.”    ~ John Irving

That’s good stuff, Mr. John. 

Beckie

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Filed under Inspiration

Is Blogging Really the New Black?

Last weekend I read one of my favourite blogs, The Little Henhouse, and she linked to a fabulous post by  San Diego Momma in which SDM expounded on the reasons that she blogs and how those reasons have altered over time. What resonated with me as a new blogger and writer was the evolution of blogging from a creative outlet to a revenue stream, complete with branding and social media marketing plans.

I completely agree with the comments of these two sassy broads because I see myself as a writer first, with blogging as a means to an end. It’s an online portfolio that allows me to regularly flex my creative muscles and I’m still very pleasantly surprised that anyone other than immediate family reads what I write. The second I start worrying about stats or sponsorships, my stomach starts to hurt. And that gets in the way of enjoying butter tarts with wine at our monthly meetings. You see where I’m going with this…?

Let us know what you think of SDM’s post.

LD

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Filed under Blogging, Writing resources

Giving my organizational tools a makeover

This is me before I gave my organizational tools a makeover.

Fall is a busy time for the Restless Writers. This is when we set our writing goals for the year, and get back into the swing of our meetings post-summer hiatus. We’re writing and tweeting and Facebooking with abandon. Two of us are preparing for the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, and one is also trying to maintain some semblance of a personal life (way to go, Lori!).

Sounds like a lot, right? I for one am feeling a bit frazzled.

I am a natural multi-tasker. Worker-bee by day, writer and indexer by night; full-time wife, aunt, and friend; and caretaker of three demanding cats, I’m a busy gal. Like most women I know.

In general, women are better multi-taskers than men. Yes, I’m gonna throw it out there. I’m not necessarily saying that women are naturally better equipped to handle more than one task at a time—I’ll leave that to biologists and neurologists to make that argument—but somehow women have gotten pretty good at it.

The men I know have the ability to focus on one task at a time, work on it until it’s done, and then get started on something else—piles of laundry, ringing telephones, and deteriorating manicures be damned! I’m envious of this ability. I can almost understand why some young women turn to ill-gotten prescription drugs to finish the items on their to-do lists. (No, no, I kid! I can barely swallow an Advil.)

Busy as I am, I continue to accept new projects and develop new ideas every day. So what’s going to help me hunker down and work with the focus of a man? I’m giving my two main organizational tools a makeover:

Old: The To-Do List – Ah yes, that seemingly helpful list of things that you have to do, today, this week, this month. A to-do list is a mind-numbing, never-ending and self-created abyss of worry and guilt. Toss it.

New: The Get-‘Er-Done List – If I know I only have three hours one day for my projects, I have some idea of what I can get done. My list for today would be 1) write and post a new blog post (check!), 2) edit my latest short story, and 3) find five markets to submit the story to next week. A total of three things that I can achieve in three hours.

Old: Editable Calendar – I did try this. I got one of those big editable whiteboard calendars and installed it in my home office. But moving those little stickers around and re-writing my notes reminded me of that scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy and co. come across a room-full of Nazis in a castle who are planning their conquest on a map of Europe. *shudder* Not really my style.

New: Mobile Calendar – I use my BlackBerry for everything from checking Twitter, texting my husband, tracking my workouts, taking photos of my nieces and sometimes even making phone calls. Why didn’t I think of using its organizational functionality earlier? I’ve started scheduling in dedicated research, writing and editing times right into my BlackBerry calendar, and it’s working very well so far. Seeing how much I’ve accomplished each week keeps me motivated.

What tools do you use to keep your projects on track? And do they need a fall makeover?

Maria

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Filed under Life and stuff, Motivation, Trials and Tribulations