This Week So Far

Scattered flurries are called for later this afternoon. Not that I want winter to be here any time soon — for some odd reason I’m actually enjoying the seasonal weather at the moment, possibly because the cold, damp, and very windy thing is still novel — but I’m feeling moderately insulted and stood up by the snow fairies. Everyone else has had snow, it seems; where the heck are our first snowflakes? It’s Montreal, for the love of cats. We wrote the book on spastic weather.

Liam and I had a great playdate with Arthur and Curtana yesterday. This was followed by a less than stellar nap for Liam (and none for me at all because I used the first hour of his nap to clean up and check mail, and then suddenly there wasn’t a second hour for me to use), and a good shopping outing where we picked up Ratatouille and the Pixar shorts collection on DVD. I also got doorknob safety covers to keep Liam from getting out of bed once we’ve put him down to sleep, or wandering out in the middle of the night to cheerfully ask his father where his toy trains have gone. He’s also thrown open our (accidentally unlocked) front door and tromped out into the staircase on his own.

I had an insanely productive editing day on Monday: many hours of work with Mousme during the day, where I worked myself into a fried zone, then another couple of very enjoyable hours with Sandman7 and Talyesin in the evening at our inaugural NotNoWriMo meeting, despite a bad headache. (Oh, we are all so very pleased not to be doing the usual November thing; so very, very pleased. We’ve all been there and done that with multiple wins, and now we need to move on.) All in all I edited a third of the book yesterday, and now there are only around seventy pages to go.

Our coven celebrated Samhain with a quiet, good ritual last night, featuring a needfire that burned bright and long enough to make up for the lack of needfires over the past couple of years.

Today’s mail yielded me a free copy of Author 101: Bestselling Book Publicity, sent to me by the publicity department of my publisher. Enclosed was a form letter of publicity tips that began by saying, “Welcome to our company!” I am very amused, as the pregnancy book coming out next fall is my fourth with this publisher.

Today, I read a new book and write a note-form review, as well as write a second note-form review for another book I read a couple of months ago and I need to reacquaint myself with it first. Then Friday, I will expand the point-form reviews into real live reviews and send them off. Today, though, I mainly need to focus on staying upright; I’m exhausted, despite a good night of sleep, and I ache all over. Good thing I bought acetaminophen yesterday. I will not be sick, damn it. I’ve had a dry cough over the past week that I am certain is directly connected to turning the heaters on, but the aching? Not a good sign.

4 thoughts on “This Week So Far

  1. Scott

    I’m glad to see people moving on from NaNoWriMo. I would think that after winning it a couple of times people would stop learning anything new and just start ingraining bad habits; like word count over all else. I pity all the poor editors who, in December, start finding their slush piles full of 50,000 word novels.

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  2. Owldaughter Post author

    I have to respectfully but sincerely disagree with you. NaNo provides people with a time frame and a structure to get something down — messy, but at least it’s on paper instead of in their heads. The group support helps a lot of people immensely. Agreed, some people get fixated on the more-words-is-better interpretation, but that’s an individual perception and not something NaNo advocates. It’s not designed to teach people something new every time, it’s designed to kick you in the pants and get you going past the procratination. Publication and/or pro level product isn’t the goal. The project certainly isn’t for everyone, though, and yes, I too shake my head at the thought of the increase in hopeful but unpolished manuscripts slipped over editorial transoms. But every time someone participates they get an idea out of their heads onto paper, whereas they may never have done it without the reason NaNo provides. And what exists on Dec 1 is not supposed to be the end product: it is, in essence, the beginning. As for multiple wins… why do people run a marathon more than once, if they’ve already proven they can do it?

    I’ve stopped doing it because I don’t need the stress of fitting a novel in a short time frame into my already overwhelmed (and, I’ll admit it, successful) writing life, although others have other reasons. However, in the past I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to really focus, and the community atmosphere that supports the exercise.

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  3. Owldaughter Post author

    The needfire is a ceremonial fire that serves as the centrepiece of a ritual, made in a cauldron. We make ours with epsom salts and flammable alcohol, and add whatever blend of herbs we’re using for the ritual.

    Historically, it was a real bonfire, kindled first thing on a holiday morning, and used to light other fires.

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