Category Archives: real life

I’m officially declaring Nano a half-win

There are half-marathons. Why not a half-Nano? I wrote 25,000 words in the first half of November. Now, sadly, some difficulties and stresses have sprung up and I’m declaring it a win and devoting myself to caring for family and friends. And me.

I’ll still write UNTRUE CRIME, but not in November. Maybe I’ll have it finished by year-end. Guess we’ll see.

I’m also taking a break from marketing. So please imagine I’m still yelling “Buy my boooook!” even though I’m not.

I do have a free book if you’re interested: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/PrzpI

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How to WAFWing. (Wait! What’s WAFWing?)

 

I want to introduce a new writerly acronym: WAFWing. But first, let me backtrack a bit.

I have a mental list of Things Writers Do That I Admire, aka, When Writers are Brave. You probably do, too.

I always admire people who manage to have writing careers in addition to a day job. People like Stephen King and Danielle Steele who wrote in laundry rooms while the family slept. Or most everybody I know these days. Me, when I first started. Probably you.

I also admire people who saved up enough or made an arrangement with their partners/providers to take a year or two off the day job to launch a successful writing career.

Now I’m adding a third category of writers I admire—WRITERS WHO WALK AWAY.

  • Maybe they burned out on the writing, the prolific-ness required for success these days in commercial fiction,
  • Or maybe they had with the narcissist behaviour of the publishing industry,
  • Or maybe they just couldn’t take the marketing. It’s hard to scream, “Give me money! Buy my books!” all the time.

Once self-publishing came along, we felt that we had more options: traditional publishing, e-publishing, self-publishing.

But lately I see more and more writers taking the final option: the option of walking away.

One friend shared with me that she enjoys writing, but not editing or marketing. She’s a born storyteller; she cannot stop writing. So she writes the best first draft she can, then saves them to her computer. Maybe she even shares her work with friends and family. But she doesn’t do anything else with them at this point. She thinks she might someday. But right now, no harsh edits, no rejections, no scathing reviews, no bad sales numbers.

Nice to have options. This one is starting to appeal.

Back in my fandom days, we called it “gafiating.” According to Wikipedia, it stood for Getting Away From It All. Originally it meant turning away from real life and burying oneself in fanfic and other fannish activities, but by the time I became active in fandom (~1997), it had reversed to mean a fan who walked away from all things fannish.

So now I’m waving goodbye to some long-time writer friends as they gafiate back to real life. Or more specific to writers: Walking Away From Writing or WAFWing.

Bye. ::sniffle::

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I’m impressed! You?

So the new TV season continues. I just watched SPEECHLESS and I’m delighted. Now everyone on the show is perfect–husband supportive, wife crusading, kids adorable–but I’m still delighted. Because it features a child with disabilities as a major character and it’s very much time for that. In fact, it plays with a lot of stereotypes–the daughter is the jock, the wife is the alpha. We haven’t yet seen much of the young boy with disabilities personality yet, except to realize he has one. He uses his talking board to swear, among other things.

In the first episode, they deal with something I ran into in real life with a friend who uses a wheeled device to get around–that the garbage ramp is considered an acceptable “alternative access.” I loved Minnie Driver as the assertive-to-the-point-of-abrasive advocate. The world needs more of these kinds of people.

This is a show that’s going to be heartwarming on the surface, and advocate strongly for persons with disabilities underneath. You’re going to get your consciousness raised without even knowing it.

Plus it features some wonderfully appealing characters/actors. I keep waiting for Kripke to have his Big Bang Theory speech impediment, but that’s just me. And some pretty clever casting.

I’ll stick with this one a while longer.

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Who’s watching…?

Welcome to the first few days of the Fall 2016 TV season. If you’re like me, this is the best thing about Fall. Now if only they could make it pumpkin spice flavoured.

I’ve already deleted “Kevin Can Wait” and “The Good Place” from rotation. Never even made it through the first episode of the latter. I’m delighted to have “Lucifer” back. “Big Bang Theory” didn’t start off with a big bang, but that’s okay. We’ll stick by our goofy gang of geeks for another season.

I did watch “This is Us.” I’m not sure why I bothered to record it because the promo ads didn’t make it look particularly interesting, and that’s too bad, because it was. By the end of the first ep, I found myself heavily engaged with all the characters, pleased with their actions, and whoo-boy, I did not see that twist coming. They played me like an aging arcade game.

So what’s it like, you ask. (Sure you did.) That’s a toughy. It’s dark and yet funny, in an almost Buffy-esque kind of balance, and yet it’s kind of an inspirational at the same time. Sort of “Love Boat” meets “Touched by an Angel” meets “insert serious drama here.” All those those. None of those.

I have no idea where the show is going or even what they’re going to do for the next episode since the set-up was pretty damn grand. For once, I feel that the writers actually have a plan. Let’s hope they get the chance to show it to us.

Check it out.this-is-us

Added bonus: Will Wheaton!

I started listing to the audiobook of Ernest Cline’s ARMADA. Having loved READY PLAYER ONE, I was delighted to find it available from my library (via Overdrive). I’m already on phase 8 (of 26), because I multi-task: walk the dog, play Pokemon Go and listen to an audiobook. Go, me!

The absolute icing on the cake was to discover it was narrated by Wil Wheaton, who is a terrific voice actor.

I’ve had such great luck with audiobooks lately:

Christopher Moore’s SECONDHAND SOULS, the sequel to one of my all-time fave books, DIRTY JOB.

Then Simone St. James’s latest “between the wars” ghost story, LOST AMONG THE LIVING. If you haven’t tried one of Simone’s books, you definitely should. It’s like “Murdoch Mysteries” with ghosts.

Then I listened to an older book by Carl Hiaasen, BASKET CASE. And now, ARMADA.

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Note to self…

Dear Self,

In future, when you quit for the day and think you’re leaving notes to yourself for tomorrow, make sure you make the notes clear. This cryptic bullsh*t has got to stop. redpencil

No love,

~ Stormy

 

Anyone know what these are for?

At Sunnybrook dog park, I saw a bunch of these little mesh bags tied to branches of something I think might be called jewelweed. It has little orange, orchid-like blooms.

First, the bags would be empty, then they’d have something in them–I couldn’t tell if it was a bug or a seed.

Anyone know about these things?

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It’s good to lie to yourself…

I received another round of edits I wasn’t expecting from my agent. They’re calling them tweaks. To my mind, some are, some are more far-reaching.

This week is busy and I won’t settle into my annual writer retreat with awesome hostess Joan Leacott until Monday or Tuesday, so even though I had a couple of free hours this afternoon, I thought, “Screw this. There’s no point in starting now.”

Which means, of course, that the moment I walked away from the computer, my brain sent me the perfect fixes for two of the larger editting issues. I jotted them down by hand quick before I forgot and rebooted the computer.

Thank you, Brain. Sorry I tricked you… not!

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How to save your wrists from typing

 

Do your wrists hurt from typing? Arthritis? Carpal Tunnel? I have the answer.

My physiotherapist said I should get a wrist support, but all the ones I’ve looked at still have me holding my hands at a slightly up-turned angle. But by hacking off a piece of a pool noodle, it forces me to curve my hands down.

It’s quite comfortable and couldn’t be cheaper. I just used an X-acto knife to cut a piece the length of my keyboard.

If you google Pool Noodles (aka Water Logs), people have come up with all sorts of fun life hacks. Here’s a few now:

Six Silly But Clever Uses for Pool Noodles

And this guy is tres serious about his pool noodles. (video) 

And then there’s me, aging writer with wrist problems… and now a cheap solution.

My wrist position without the noodle vs. my wrist with the noodle. Note the change in angle.

 

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How much do you want this?

Look who I found on my keyboard this morning. Yes, that is Captain Tightpants.

It’s not my very first piece of fannish merchandise; it’s my third. I won a Dinky Car version of Ray Kowalski’s GTO years ago, I wear Dean’s “Samulet,” and now I own a plushie. I couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you to my soon-to-be nephew Dan. Awesome.

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