Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sincere or Scam?

Recently I received an email. It was a request for an autographed book for someone's ailing sister, supposedly one of my "biggest fans." I was very busy this month, so I didn't immediately respond.

But that wasn't the only reason for my hesitation. There were certain things about the email that made me wonder about the sincerity of the request. For one thing, there was no mention of anything in the email that made me think the person in question, or her sister, might truly be familiar with my books. No mention of titles the sister had enjoyed, or indeed, anything specific at all. It felt very generic.

In spite of my reservations, once things had calmed down around here, I responded that yes, I would send a book.

Then I mentioned this request to another writer friend of mine and learned many authors have received the same email from the same person. Today, I did a Google search and discovered that many, many authors have received this email.

However, I also discovered a comment to a blog from the person making the request, stating that she's real and her sister really is ill.

Here's the thing:

While Letter-writing Sister's heart may be in the right place, she's made this request of so many authors, she's made it feel like a scam. Whatever her motive, it sounds as if she's simply found a way to get her sister "free" gifts, exploiting the good will and pocketbooks of authors.

Will I send a book? Yes, but the next time I get such a request, I'll be asking some questions before responding.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Great Review I Almost Missed!

First, thanks to everyone who came to see me at the Harlequin booth at Word on the Street!

Also on the weekend, I discovered a fabulous review for A Lover's Kiss from In the Library Reviews. Unfortunately, it went into my spam folder -- I almost missed it, which would have been seriously too bad because it's a wonderful review.

My favorite bit: "...as with every Margaret Moore book, the journey is as exciting as the destination!"

I'm also going to add this quote on the home page of my website: "Margaret Moore continues to craft tales that cause readers to sigh in pure enjoyment."

Read the entire review.

What a great way to start the week!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Word on the Street

Gad, I've been so busy revising my blog, website and MySpace page, I completely forgot to mention that I'll be signing FREE copies of A LOVER'S KISS at Word on the Street in Toronto tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 28. If you're in the city, come on down and say hi and grab some free books! Fellow Harlequin Historical author Kate Bridges will also be signing at the Harlequin booth. I'll be there from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and Kate starts signing at 1.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weight Loss Challenge - a little backsliding

As I suspected, I gained back a wee bit of weight from the party last Saturday. I simply cannot resist Rice Krispie Squares, and we had some left over, too, that I was forced -- forced, I tells ya! -- to consume. I also treated myself to a Coke and chips and dip last night, for the Survivor premiere (which I have to say, was not the best, I don't think). However, today the scales tipped at 145.2, so not too bad.

My walk count for last week:
Friday, Sept. 19 - 11,029 (prepping for the party, no other walk)
Sept. 20 - didn't record, but was on my feet most of the day
Sept. 21 - ditto, except was on my butt most of the day, recovering. I did go for a short walk in the evening, though.
Sept. 22 - 13,057
Sept. 23 - 14,092
Sept. 25 - 13,018

In addition to the usual birds, squirrels and chipmunks, this week I found myself within about 15 feet of two beautiful deer. I was just walking along and there they were, behind the fence on somebody's front yard.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The redesign continues...

After spending a couple of hours yesterday on the redesign of my blog and having to redo it after I hit the wrong key and lost it all and then not getting everything back or completed before going out to a concert, while also realizing I wasn't ready to get back to the manuscript because I was still fatigued from the exertions of the last two weeks during which I didn't write, I decided to take the rest of this week to complete my redesign of my blog and also my website.

And apparently compose a very long sentence.

While part of me is guilty that I'm not working on the manuscript, the other, wiser part of me knows that sometimes, forcing the creative part of my brain is not the way to go, not when I have other things that are also weighing on my mind, and that are less dependent on my imagination. So this week, I'm letting my left brain do the heavy lifting.

Here's a fun test to see if your left brain or right brain is more dominant. Interestingly, when I went here after starting this post, the right brain was dominant. After I did some more searches on the subject and went back, my left brain was. I took another test and it determined I use both sides almost equally, the right brain being slightly more predominant. So I suspect that immediately after writing, my right brain is more dominant. After doing something more logical and detail-oriented, my left brain is.

I'm a switch-hitter!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Cover, New Design

ETA: I'm back, I've revised, and yes, it took me longer than I thought, in part because I lost all my changes at one point. Oh, the frustration!

But on to THE WARLORD'S BRIDE. From the back of the cover:

The beauty...and the beast

Lady Roslynn knows not what to expect of her future husband, the infamous "Bear of Brecon." Offered in marriage to the powerful Welsh lord by the king, Roslynn fears the worst. She has no right to hope for a love match, but in her heart the lady dreams of a home and family of her very own....

One look at Lord Madoc of Llanpowell makes her blood run hot. The rugged warrior proves a passionate lover and attentive husband -- but too soon turns cold and aloof. And when secrets from Madoc's past threaten to take him away from his bride, Roslynn knows their future together is at stake. Can she uncover the truth beneath her warlord's armor and lay siege to his heart?

Coming from HQN Books, January, 2009

ISBN #978-0373-77348-0

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Books!

Harlequin is having a buy two-get one free sale, so if you missed the start of my King John series, or any of the subsequent books, now's your chance to get them all, and one for free. And that's not all -- you can get A LOVER'S KISS, too!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Weight Loss Challenge...oopsy

Now that I've survived hosting the Annual Euchre Championship of the Entire World...

I should have worn my pedometer, because I don't think I sat down more than 45 minutes all Saturday.

As for the step count the other days, beginning with
Friday, Sept 12 - 13,274 (I also washed windows, so had a "reward" coke)
Sept. 13 - 5, 526 (this was the day I co-hosted a shower, so didn't wear the pedometer once I got ready for that.)
Sept. 14 - 15,768
Sept. 15 - 18,844 (did my daily walk, then also lots of shopping for the party)
Sept. 16 - 8,868 BUT I realized late in the afternoon that because of the slacks I was wearing (I think) the pedometer was only recording about 2/3rds of the actual steps, so I think I was probably over 10,000
Sept. 17 - 7,597 (I didn't go on my long walk, because I had too much to do.)
Sept. 18 - 8,339 (ditto the no long walk)
Sept. 19 - 11,029 (again without the long walk, which tells you how much running around I was doing getting the house ready and cooking)

Today, I weighed in at 146.0 after my walk. Ugh. But I let myself eat and drink whatever I wanted on the weekend. Today, it's back to the better eating.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weight Loss Challenge - new goal

My short-term goal is not to gain more than a pound over the weekend, during which there will be much feasting, talking and playing of cards.

My next longer-term goal is:

140 by Hallowe'en.

If I make it, then I can have some candy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Which brings us to...the end.

Of my plotting blogs for this week.

Best advice I've ever gotten about endings? From Gayle Wilson (I'm paraphrasing here):

What is the one thing your character would never do at the beginning of your novel? That is what he or she should do, or have to do, at the end. For instance, if your character would absolutely never forgive the person who done him wrong at the beginning? Guess what he should do at the end. If she would never get in a boat because of a fear of water because she almost drowned as a child? Guess what she should have to do at the end to save the hero.

I consider this one of the best pieces of writing advice I've ever received.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Middle

(This is an abridged version of a plotting handout.)

A common problem for many writers is the "sagging" middle. You have a great set-up and a great ending, but getting from A to Z turns into a muddy morass. The pace slows, the characters seem to be wandering around doing a lot of navel gazing or rehashing issues... What's an author to do?

* Add complications and conflict. Don't settle for one internal conflict, or one issue. Ditto the external conflict. Let your characters solve some problems, then add new ones.

* Make your characters active --
There are two kinds of action your characters can engage in: physical and mental. Physical action is, of course, things your characters do with their bodies, such as running, walking, eating, making love.

Mental action is just as important, and the most important mental action your characters can take is to make decisions.

decision = action = reaction = decision

With every decision, the stakes should get higher, the decisions more difficult.

* Make sure things don't happen just TO your characters, but BECAUSE OF them.

* Reveal motivation and back story gradually, at different times and places. This is why you don't put it all in the beginning -- these revelations can keep your story going in the middle.

* Your characters should be reaching new levels of intimacy, physical and emotional.

* The consequences of the conflicts become more serious, whether physical (risk of bodily harm) or emotional (a broken heart).

* Be careful with flashbacks, because they disrupt the flow of the narrative and can really mess with your pacing. Note I'm not saying never use them. Sometimes they're great and necessary. Just be aware that they can cause pacing issues.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In the beginning....

(This is an abridged version of a plotting handout.)

The beginning of your novel should:

* Engage the reader: You want your reader interested from the first line. I prefer to use "engage" rather than the more commonly used "hook" because I think it can lead to a problem -- see my next two points.

* Bear in mind the tone and pace of your story. Don't think you have to grab your readers by the throat and drag them into your story; a gentle invitation can work, too.

* Don't start off one way thinking you will grab your readers' interest, then switch the tone of the story. In other words, if you start off with a gun fight or other action-packed opening, your reader's going to expect a really fast-paced, action-packed book. Don't then switch to a character-driven, emotionally intense story with a lot of introspection. Otherwise, you'll wind up with a lot of unhappy readers.

* What do you do well? Description of setting? Dialogue? Lead with your strong suit.

* Introduce the main characters: who are they and why should I care? What makes then interesting and unique?

* Create the world: time, place, special qualities, details, dialogue, dialect (use sparingly so as not to distance the reader)

* Identify the enemy: internal (characters' inner conflicts that work against the relationship) and external (the external reasons the relationship seems doomed)

Just a few little things, eh? :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why do I write?

Since I'm hosting the Annual Euchre Championship of the Entire World* this Saturday, I won't have time to blog this week, so again I've scheduled blogs based on previous articles I've written or handouts I use in my workshops. I'll be too busy to report on my Weight Loss Challenge on Friday, but I'll be posting my new goal and deadline (hint: candy is involved).

So, to begin, here's some food for thought:

Why do you write?

Seriously. Why do you write?

It can be very easy to get away from the original impetus that spurred you to sit down and start writing and get caught up in other peoples' motivations for writing and their idea of success.

And that, my friends, can lead you to the path of burn-out and frustration, and perhaps even quitting writing entirely. You veer away from what inspired you to write, the thing that brought that first gleam of an idea to you, the elements that made writing exciting. When it was all about what thrilled you, not what somebody told you was supposed to thrill you and what targets you ought to aim for.

So let's get back to the beginning, the origins of you the writer. What made you decide to try your hand at writing a book in the first place? What are your general goals as an author?

Here's how my list would have looked back when I began:

I want to write a romance because:

1. I think it'll be fun. I like "battle of the sexes" stories.

2. I love reading; I've read a lot. I have a degree in English. I think I know enough about books to have a shot at succeeding.

3. At this point, I don't want to work outside the home, so if I can be successful (ie. sell this book), it could turn into a great job I can do it at home and therefore be with my kids when necessary (if they're ill, for instance). The best of both worlds!

I've succeeded with those goals. I sold a book, and then more, so I was able to have that career that allowed me to be home with my kids.

Why do I write romance now?

Because in spite of the bumps in the road and the changes in publishing (some of which have me feeling very Norma Desmond some days!), the writing itself is still fun, and I still love "battle of the sexes" stories.

Will I ever quit? I'm sure the day will come when I just don't want to deal with the business part of the writing anymore, or worry about reviews and PR, or I have too many other things I'd rather do with my time.

But it isn't here yet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I did it!

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! I stepped on the scales after my walk this morning and whoooo hooo!


Right on the nose!!!

I was thinking I wouldn't quite make it, what with the tasting of the baking I've been doing this week in anticipation of the Euchre Championship of the Entire World next Saturday, but lo and behold, all the walking and trying to eat better is paying off!!

Steps walked this week, beginning with last Friday:
Sept. 5 - 14,132 (the hard slog route, includes a fairly steep incline)
Sept. 6 - 14,119
Sept. 7 - 13,502
Sept. 8 - 13,237
Sept. 9 - 13,670
Sept. 10 - 11,973
Sept. 11 - 17,022 (!!)

Today, I was pretty tired when I woke up at 5:05 a.m. (not by choice!) so I didn't go for as long a walk today. Tomorrow, I'll have to go for a fairly short one, as I'm co-hosting a bridal shower, and not in my neck of the woods. But I'll be back doing the long walk on Sunday, because whoo hoo! I might actually meet my ultimate weight loss goal!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Books About Writing

(This is based on one of my Aspiring Author columns on my website, since removed.

I'm often asked by unpublished writers about reference books on writing I find helpful.

First, I truly believe the very best way to learn to write is to write. There really are no short cuts when it comes to finding out what sort of story and characters you write well. Also, I'd caution against too great a reliance on such books. That way leads to "by the book" writing, and you don't want to write like everybody else; editors are looking for writing that's "fresh," something that stands out from the crowd, not fits right in. Yes, there are conventions in genre fiction, but I'm not talking about plot or characters or "happy endings." I'm talking about how you tell the story.

However, there certainly are plenty of how-to books out there, and yes, I've used them. Sometimes, when I'm "stuck" on a particular scene or plot element, I turn to these books to help me figure out why I'm stuck, which usually translates into "where I've gone wrong."

So here you go, Margaret's Favorite Writing Books (in no particular order):

BEYOND STYLE: Mastering the Finer Points of Writing by Gary Provost
WORD PAINTING: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan
NOVELIST'S BOOK CAMP: 101 Ways to Take Your Book From Boring To Bestseller

ETA on the blog: I'm ordering two more writing books this week, based on the advice of fellow writers.
THE 38 MOST COMMON FICTION WRITING MISTAKES by Jack Bickham (although this one has some scathing reviews on Amazon, I figure if I can get one or two new approaches or takes on writing, it'll be worth it.)

Sometimes, though, a writer needs something different from a "how to." Sometimes, you need inspiration to stick with a craft that is often lonely and frustrating.

Here are some books I've found very helpful in that regard:

BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott
WORD WORK: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer by Bruce Holland Rogers

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seven Reasons to Love Writing

(I use this in workshops.)

1. You get to control the world. Well, the world of your story, that is, and the people who live in it. You are the goddess, the supreme puppet master. You even make the weather. How cool is that?

2. There's no right way to do it. There are suggestions, and lots of people will tell you about "rules" and "musts" and "shoulds," but for every such rule, there are plenty of successful writers who break it. You're freeeeee!

3. There's no expensive education required. In fact, I think the best way to learn to be a writer is to read, and all you need for that is a library card and access to a library. Yes, classes and workshops and conferences are good, but it's not like a writer has to be board-certified or anything.

4. There's no expensive equipment required. Well, okay, a computer is, I think, necessary in this day and age, and internet access, too, but when you think of what it costs to set yourself up in many another business? Not a lot of overhead. In fact, you can get started with a pad of paper and a pencil from the Dollar Store.

5. No meetings! No sitting at a table in a little room listening to somebody drone on about something while all you can think about is the work waiting for you back at your desk.

6. You can do it in your jammies. (I don't, but I could.) That also means you don't have to go outside in inclement weather.

7. When you sell, it's all yours, baby. You did it -- not a group, not a committee, you. You had the idea. You wrote the book. Your critique group and/or agent may have helped, but it's mainly because of your hard work.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Writing Romance -- How Tough Can It Be?

(This article appeared in The Word Weaver, the newsletter of the Writers' Circle of Durham Region.)

I'm sure any of you who have tried to write more than a grocery list already know that writing anything creative can be difficult, frustrating and lonely work.

Unfortunately, romance writing comes with an additional hurdle that has little to do with the actual writing process. Although romance sales account for over fifty per cent of mass market paperback sales in North America, romance doesn't get much respect.

Here are some of the notions romance authors have to deal with on a fairly regular basis:

A) Romance novels give women unrealistic expectations.

Uh huh, and men read Tom Clancy novels because they believe that one day, someone will tap them on the shoulder and whisper, "Hey, buddy, we're one man short for a covert op. How about it?"

I think most women realize romance novels are in the fiction section.

B) Romance novels are all the same.

I could take a hundred writers, give them a point by point outline for a romance novel, and I would get a hundred very different stories. Every writer brings his or her own voice, style, taste, history and beliefs to their writing. Every set of characters brings something different to a story, too.

C) But there's "the formula," isn't there?

I'm going to go out on a limb and reveal that magic formula here and now. A man and a woman meet. After conflict and complications, the story concludes with the couple in a loving, long-term relationship. That's it. I don't see that this is so much different from the mystery formula: there's a crime. By the end of the book, it gets solved.

Also, there are a vast number of sub-categories in romance. Romance novels can be set in any time from the Dark Ages to the present day. They can be light romantic comedies, or heart wrenching stories dealing with spousal abuse and other serious issues. You can make it "long" (100,000 + words) or "short" (60,000 + words). Your characters can live on a ranch in Texas or a castle in Scotland or Bugbait, Minnesota. It's true that some times and settings sell better, but even within those frames, there are as many stories are there are writers and characters.

D) Once you announce that you write romance, you can be sure that at some point, someone will give you a leering grin and ask, "So, how do you do your research?"


I am not writing about my own life any more than I am at any other point in the story. During a love scene, I'm writing about two characters, and like every other scene in the book, a love scene has work to do. It must reveal character (and I don't mean describe them without their clothes), move the story forward, create tension, describe the setting, etc.

E) Anybody can churn out a romance and make a mint.

While there are over one hundred romance novels published per month, competition is fierce. Harlequin receives approximately 20,000 submissions a year, from which they buy between 20-25 from unpublished authors, according to one of Torstar's annual reports. Romance Writers of America has over 8,000 members, the vast majority of whom are unpublished.

So if it's so tough to break in and romance is treated with such disrespect, why should anybody bother?

I can tell you why I do.

I like telling stories that require a strong female character in a major role and believe me, long gone are the days when the heroine sat around waiting to be rescued. Now, she's more likely to be cussing out the hero for getting in her way as she makes her own escape.

I like a story that ends on a positive note. Sure, life can be a vale of tears, but when I read fiction, I want to escape. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Apparently neither do millions of readers.

Once you do sell a romance, and if you can keep selling, it's possible to make considerably more than the dismal figure quoted for the average yearly income of Canadian writers.

Sometimes it's tough dealing with the smirks and the innuendos and the mockery, especially around Valentine's Day when it seems the media dusts off every hoary old cliché about romance ever written.

But then I'll get a letter from a reader who loved my last book, and I realize that I have one of the most satisfying careers in the world. I truly enjoy what I do, and I get paid for it. How many people can say that?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I've got a hectic two weeks coming. I'm co-hosting a shower on the 13th and hosting the 33rd Annual Euchre Championship of the Entire World on the 20th.

What is The Euchre Championship of the Entire World? Me and my high school buddies and spouses get together for cards, eating and catching up. It involves two meals, and numerous snacks.

It also means doing all those little household repairs/clean-ups I've neglected for too long. Think of it as preparing for an open house (as if your house was for sale) while hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

And while you're preparing, you get a manuscript to proofread, and are writing another (and don't want to lose momentum). You're also doing your hour and a half walk every day.

Yep, kinda busy here. I'm trying to get as much done ahead of time as possible, tackling a household project a day and baking and freezing some things.

So rather than write new blog posts, I'm going to be posting writing articles that I've published online or elsewhere. Except for this Friday. I'll be reporting on my weight loss challenge as usual. Next Friday, I'll be running around and cooking, cooking, cooking, so I'll do the weight loss challenge post on the 21st. Which could be interesting, given all the sweet stuff I'll be eating the day before.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Weight Loss Challenge...What gives?

Well, I absolutely understand why people give up trying to lose weight. My weight this week, in spite of all the walking and weeding in the garden?


Yep, it went up. However, I have two explanations: muscle weighs more than fat and, in a word, cake. Not only was there a birthday, I made the cake, with a frosting that involves sweetened condensed milk. I licked the lids of the cans. I licked off the spoon and knife when I'd finished frosting the cake. I ate a piece of cake. And then last night, I made a blueberry coffee cake, fully intending to freeze it and save it for the Euchre Championship of the Entire World that I'm hosting (friends from high school come to play cards, eat and catch up on the news), until I messed up taking it out of the pan too soon and wound up with a mess. So I ate some, put some in the fridge for my mid-morning, after-walk snack (which I figure is the best time to consume same), and froze the rest for snacks another day.

I will keep trying. For one thing, I have more energy, and I'm really enjoying getting out and walking around. I'm fortunate enough to live where there are lots of parks and areas that seem miles from the city, even though we're near one of the original highways in Ontario.

I've taken a waist measurement that I am not going to share, but I will see if that changes even if the weight doesn't.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

Here are my step tallies for the week:
August 29 - 12,892
August 30 - 11,805*
August 31 - 14,553 (I don't know what happened, but I had energy like you wouldn't believe on this day.)
Sept. 1 - 12,368
Sept. 2 - 12,647
Sept. 3 - 11,030 (this was the birthday, so I took the most challenging route for my walk and was not about to wear my pedometer out to dinner! I did not have a baked potato. I switched it to sweet potato fries -- was that better? I'm not sure. I do know white foods are like cake to my body.)
Sept. 4 - 11,597*

* I worked in the garden these days, getting up a sweat, even if I wasn't running or walking.

So, check back next week. That's when I was hoping to be down to 145. I don't think I'm going to make it. At this point, I'll settle for 147.

ETA: Clearly, I should be doing the weigh-in after my walk, instead of just after breakfast (cream of wheat -- not instant, which is too salty for me -- with blueberries and low fat soya milk) because when I did that today, whoo hoo! 147 on the nose!

I also went to a park I'd never gone to before and immediately thought, "Holy smokes! I'm in Narnia!" It was at the bottom of a hill, so much huffing and puffing on the way back up. I also thought I could get back to the entrance by circling around. Nope, so had to double back, meaning even more huffing and puffing. So far today, I've already done 11,573 steps.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Daydreaming is part of my job description

There was a little article in the paper today talking about daydreaming and -- get this! -- it encourages creativity.

No duh!

I get some of my best ideas when I'm not sitting at the computer. I can be just idly musing about my story while doing something else, like the dishes or walking, and whamo! Something I hadn't considered leaps into my head. Or I find a solution to what's been baffling me about the work-in-progress.

This is why I think it's a mistake to assume that a writer is only productive in terms of page count per day. I'd rather have a day where I write no pages but get a fantasic idea than a day I write 20 pages. However, if I have a fantasic idea but don't do the rest of the work (ie. write the pages), that's no good, either.

To be a published writer means you have to find the balance between exciting inspiration and the grunt work, the agony and the ecstasy.

That also means if you see me wandering around with a puzzled look and furrowed brow? I'm either lost, or working out a plot problem.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Prowling around...

Yesterday I wrote a new scene that put me in what I call "prowl around" mode. After I left the computer and went about the rest of my work/routine for the day, I was very preoccupied with that scene. At such times, I feel like one of those caged tigers in old movies, prowling around their cage. In this case, I was trying to decide whether or not the scene should stay or go or be rewritten or moved.

It was one of those scenes that I thought was necessary to show a different side of a character, and provide more details about the hero's family and their relationship. But then it veered into a different direction, one that I began to question almost immediately.

For one thing, what was suggested wasn't even remotely in my mind when I planned the book. Now, this isn't necessarily a problem. In fact, shifts like this can help take a book from a well-trod path to something more unique. So the notion that an unforeseen change had occurred wasn't troubling in and of itself.

This also means additional complications, though. Again, this isn't something that's necessarily bad. I've talked about adding layers to stories before; this could be a whole new layer.

But if I keep this change, how is it going to affect what comes after? And also, is this taking the story in a direction that seriously alters the whole tone of the story? That's not something to be taken lightly.

I also began to wonder if that change had occurred because of what's happening in my real life. (It's nothing bad! Just one of those life things that tends to dominate one's waking moments and I don't think any writer can keep "real life" from creeping into his or her fiction.)

I actually took out the scene later, because it was making things quite complicated in an unforeseen way and especially changing the tone. After some prowling and thinking, I put it back and went on with it.

Because complications are our friends when we're telling a story. Complications mean more conflict and more drama and more opportunity to create layers and depth to your characters.

So for now and at least until I'm finished the first draft, the scene between Nell and Buggy's mother stays put.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Bittersweet Day for Mom

For the first time in twenty years, I don't have any kids starting school today.

I remember when we first moved to this house. My son was two, and I was expecting my daughter. Our house is beside a lane to the local public school, and every winter, the kids from the school would walk to the local rink for skating. We would watch the kids go past the house and I would think about when he would be starting the great adventure known as "school."

And now, after an excellent academic career, he's graduated university and working in his chosen profession.

Same with Daughter, who graduated at the top of her high school class and was on the Dean's List every year of university. She's now happily working at her chosen career.

So many times when my kids were little I'd hear, "It goes by so fast." At the time, I confess there were days it seemed like a very slow crawl.

But now?

It goes by so fast.