Even More Thoughts on Nearing the End

No, I’m still not finished my WIP.

But honest to goodness, this last novel in my historical fiction trilogy is truly almost done.  I know I’ve written about being close before, but now I’m really close. Like, a two-digit number of pages remaining that starts with 2 (or maybe even one!) close.

When last I wrote about my WIP’s impending end, I discussed various insights that had occurred to me as I continued along this process.

Well, a new level of nearness to the end has engendered an all new set of realizations:

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Moving Sucks; We All Know It

The Jeffersons

Most people, I think, agree that moving is the pits.

This even includes moves that one has planned well in advance and will ultimately result, like the Jeffersons pictured above, in a move on up.

Imagine then, the perspective of one forced to move against his/her will.  This is the very situation I now find myself in.  Not because I threw too many parties or trashed my apartment or was otherwise a horrible tenant.

Rather, they call it “renoviction” – a practice that occurs often enough in Vancouver, British Columbia to warrant its own regionally-specific Wiktionary entry:

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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.

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It’s the Silence That Keeps Me Awake

Can't sleep

What keeps you up at night?

For some reason, I have a disproportionately large number of friends who are insomniacs.

I’m not talking people who occasionally suffer bouts of sleeplessness like we all sometimes do.  Rather, I mean folk who chronically don’t sleep more than a few of hours, every night of their lives.

That must really suck.

The notion of insomnia really came to the fore of my mind due to my recent trip to Australia. From my connection at Los Angeles airport to Melbourne, Australia, the flight was about 15 hours long.

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My Very Very Short Story Inspired By Australia

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

I didn’t expect to do any writing while here in Australia.

That is, not after I overcame my last-minute fervor to do lots of writing while in Australia – to write during as much of the flight as I remained awake for; to even finish my novel while abroad, if possible, and return home like a conquering hero.

In preparation for this, I scanned and PDF’ed an entire chapter of a reference book (since my WIP is historical fiction and thus research-dependant).

I also downloaded Evernote on both my iPad and phone so that I’d have two methods of inputting my deathless prose that would automatically sync as well as keep a backup in the cloud.

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I Never Miss a Deadline … Except When I Do (which is often)

Deadline

So, my WIP, such as it is, is indeed still IP.

To date, despite have been writing seriously for some six years, I’ve yet to complete anything novel-length that stands as a fully completed story – a fact that haunts me continuously.

I’d originally resolved to finish my WIP last year by my birthday, which is at the end of November.

I didn’t make that deadline, but consoled myself with the fact that I had an entire other novel to write to finish the story, my previously anticipated duology in fact being a trilogy.

But there’s still something about deadlines – something definitive and binding, which I suppose is the whole point.  I almost never set deadlines.  I really don’t like them, even though my “type” is supposed to thrive on them.

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The Emails I Send to Myself (I can’t be the only writer who does this)

Cat working on computer

I made a point some time ago to inform the IT manager at my workplace that I’m writing a novel.

Partly I did this because I’ve struck up a friendship with her over the years, and the fact eventually became a relevant addendum to her revelation of being an avid reader.

The other reason, though – perhaps the more pressing reason – is due to the nature of some of the emails I send.

Not that they’re offensive, or in any direct violation of the company’s Information Services & Technology user policy.  But they are … strange, not the least of which is because they are emails send to myself at my personal email address.

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You Can’t Choose Your Family (Or Your Upstairs Apartment Neighbours)

In some ways, living in an apartment is worse than living at home with your family.

Not exactly movin' on up.

Not exactly movin’ on up.

Admittedly, apartment living isn’t all bad: it makes it possible for those not blessed with boatloads of money to live in urban areas.

As well, as an environmentalist, I’m definitely in favour of the densification that results from apartment living, as well as the concentration of resources like transit and amenities like shops and cafés that tend to spring up around apartment buildings.

However, when you live in an apartment (or condo, or university residence, or any other such non-detached living space), compared to living with your family, you can’t tell the people living among you what to do.

Correction: you can, but your family is far less likely to tell you to go f*ck yourself.

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The Longest Shortened Day Ever – A holiday air-travel misadventure

Lost luggage

It’s that time of year again.

Come tomorrow, as the song goes, I’ll be leaving on a jet plane – travelling from sea unto sea to Nova Scotia for my annual Christmas sojourn home.

Ugh!

It’s not that I don’t want to go home or see my family.  Rather, there’s just very little in this world I find more arduous than actually getting there.

I mean, to begin with: airline travel at Christmas.  Airline travel is bad enough during any other time of year, fraught with such indignities as,

  • Having to remove my belt (which, far from being just a fashion accessory, is actually necessary for keeping my pants up),
  • Having my hair patted down for concealed weapons, and,
  • The full-body “I-can-see-you-naked” X-ray scanner.

At Christmas, I get to enjoy all of the above and wait in a long-ass line for it at that, as if eagerly claiming a special prize.

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The First Syllable in “November” is “No”

I kind of hate November.

First of all, Movember?  A very worthwhile cause, but moustaches are creepy.

And the end of Daylight Savings Time?  I despise Daylight Savings Time, both the start of it and the end of it, for I find mucking with the time twice a year very jarring to my circadian rhythm.

My birthday is in November, on the Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp.  I quite like my birthday  but resent having my birthday month tainted by icky ‘staches and disruptions to my sleep.

And then there’s NaNoWriMo….

Unlike my fully realized feelings on Movember, DST, and my birthday, I’ve yet to work out how I feel about National Novel Writing Month.

For one thing, I’ve never done it.  Nor am I doing it this year.  Nor am I even sure I want to someday.

Let me re-phrase that last thought: I feel like I do want to do it someday, but I’m not sure if that’s because I relish the challenge it offers or because I feel like I should want to since it’s such a renowned event in the writing community.

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