There’s No Such Thing as a Writing Birthday (and how I celebrated mine)

Sad birthdayThe morning began as most as winter workdays do, which is to say dark, and because of that, what felt far too early to me.

This year, I made a conscious effort to remember my writing birthday – to commemorate it on the actual day, or if nothing else, to at least make note of it.  February 12: in truth, an arbitrarily-chosen day meant to mark the start of my first (incomplete, shelved) novel as approximated through a forensic accounting some emails I sent to a friend around that time.

I’m an Aquarius writer.

Continue reading

Why I Don’t Read Five-Star Book Reviews

Amazon star ratingsEver since my very first Amazon book purchase on October 25, 2002, I’ve never stopped debating myself on the value of customer book reviews.

(If you ever want to enjoy a nostalgia-filled blast through the past, go through your Amazon purchase history order by order, year by year, back to the very beginning.)

On the one hand, professional reviewers aren’t always giving in-depth reviews of the books I read or want to read.  As well, there are way more customer reviewers out there; the law of averages alone suggests I’m more likely to share tastes with an amateur than a pro, many of whom fall into more similar social demographics to each other than to me.

Continue reading

Thoughts on Nearing the End

Book near the end

I should qualify this by saying I mean the end of my novel.

(Were I talking the end of my life, my thoughts would be considerably different, and if nothing else, I’d perhaps be referring back to this post about my bucket list.)

Ending a novel is hard.  The fact that I’ve done it twice thus far in my writing career hasn’t made it any easier.  Perhaps this is because only once did I consciously do so since my “two-book” series-in-progress grew to three books initially without my realizing it.

Continue reading

Character Study: Dido Belle Lindsay from Belle, history, the present & the future

Belle movie posterSOMETHING I LOVE MOST about historical fiction is the opportunity to contemplate the lives of little and lesser known people – those who weren’t among history’s winners whose story and version of events have been codified into what mainstream society accepts as The Way Things Actually Happened.

When I blogged about my favourite media of 2014, I included the movie Belle, which I watched during my plane ride home from Australia.

Continue reading

It’s Easier Than You Think to Make Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza on homemade crust

Homemade vegetarian pizza on homemade crust

I’m not much of a cook.

Not because I don’t know how, but rather because I can’t really be bothered to get fancy with my food.

I have about five or six main dishes that I cycle through every few weeks.  Being a vegetarian, almost all of my meals contain varying combinations of the same key vegetables.

Continue reading

Watching Netflix Made Me a Better Writer (and I bet I’m not the only one!)

Netflix

It was around this time in 2014 that I first signed up for Netflix.

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been watching Netflix for a year, unless you happen to know me well. I’m perpetually late to everything new and cool.  The last thing I adopted early was Gmail back in 2006 when you needed to be invited to by someone already using it.

As well, I went through a period of about six years where I stopped watching TV and movies altogether.

Continue reading

Should Writers Abbreviate Their Names?

J.K. Rowling

This post is more accurately titled “Should Female Writers Abbreviate Their Names?”, since they are, it seems, the writers who most commonly do so.

The short and simply answer to the question is, of course, “They should do whatever they want.”  For I’m not here to dictate otherwise, especially given the numerous different reasons a female writer would choose to use her initials instead of her full name:

  • She had a given name that’s difficult to pronounce or spell
  • To create a new identify for writing in a different genre
  • To maintain a measure of distance from her non-writing life
  • Because another author has her exact same name
  • Because she dislikes for her given name
  • To emulate classical male writers who used abbreviations, such as C.S. Forrester, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and J.D. Salinger

Just to name a few.

Continue reading