Saturday, April 29, 2006

Dragon Boats

My newest obsession, even if it made my back feel as though there were a thousand white hot needles stabbed into it. *G*

So my original thought was to join the GirlGuide boat and do 1 race this summer for fun. My girlfriend (and fellow sparks leader) has already joined the Lively Dragon and made me promise not to crap out on her. Dammit! Despite the rebellion from my out-of-shape back muscles, and the plethora of whining I will do on this blog, I really had fun.

I orginally thought that Dragon boating was like canoeing but on a grander scale.
They have their own style of paddling. In truth you use very little of your arm muscles. According to our coach 'if your arms hurt at the end of practice, your doing it wrong'. All the power for your strokes come from your core body. (back, chest and tummy)

I'll try my best to describe it. (If you are paddling with the water on the right side of the boat)
To start you lean forward, angling body, extending your arm over your head to grip the top of the paddle and your other arm is straight holding on about 3/4 way down the shaft. (ok anyone who giggled at the word 'shaft' you can stop. ~I couldn't be the only one)

Stab paddle into the water, anchor arms, and sit up pulling the paddle with you. Lift paddle straight out of water (no 'J' strokes) with left hand, push shaft forward with right hand, lean forward, stab paddle in to water and continue.

Now as you do this you have to remember to keep syncronised with the paddler in front of you and the person screaming with the drum at the front of the boat. Did I fail to mention that there are 20 paddlers to a boat? With that many people the energy level vibrating around you gets so high! It's amazing.

So my next practice in Monday night and my 1st race is on May 27th. Personally I'm hoping that will all this work my abs may look a sight better by the summer then they do now LOL

Friday, April 28, 2006

If someone finds my week, can you tell me where it went?

The past 7 days have managed to absolutly FLY by. I know it happens when you are having fun but apparently being busy as hell has the same effect. So far this week I have...

~visited a friend I haven't seen in over 10 years (hi mucka!!)
~had my first dragon boat practice (and 2 days of a very stiff back)
~worked in the store 3 days got ready for the biweekly wine release this weekend
~got 90% of my laundry done (that lasted 1.5 days now I have a hill on the floor again)
~attended monthly vintage tasting
~regular weekly 'Sparks' meeting
~worked an Australian Wine tasting in Toronto
~had the beginnings of 'the talk' with my daughter (that was terrifying) we managed to get the basics down and the fact that you need a seed from both mommy and daddy to make a baby. Thank the gods she didn't think far enough to ask HOW the pieces find each other. That bomb will hit anyday now I know it. No doubt while we are standing in line at the grocery store.

Now I'm not sure if I need a large glass of red wine or just go to sleep.

The Australian Wine event was in the Distillery District. I had never been down there before and I was an hour early, thinking that the traffic would be worse. I wish I had gotten there even earlier. I wandered around the place with my notebook, had filled 4 pages of notes before I knew it.
(Here is where I insert that I cannot stress enough to carry a notebook with you at all time because you never know when inspiration will strike)
This place was fasinating, I'll have to transcribe my notes to see if I can give you a feel for the place. The pictures on the website don't do it justice, especially if you go down some of the smaller walkways between buildings.

I swear I have another book on the back burner of my thoughs, unless I can use this place in one of my current ideas....hhhmmmmm

OK have to get tough with myself again LOL I'm off to write, the one thing I haven't gotten enough done on this week. So glass of wine, a few thousand words and then some sleep. Don't have to work till noon tomorrow so I can hang in my jammies for a bit in the morning. WooHoo!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I've been tagged!

I got tagged by Paxa to answer a couple questions about myself. So here we go.

20 Years ago
I was in highschool (when I wasn't skipping class), used a bottle of hairspray a week on my hair, listened to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Metallica, thought my black, fringe, leather jacket was the 'cats ass' and had a massive crush on a boy named Jason, but was too painfully shy to ever let him know.

10 Years ago
I was working as a waitress in a bar/restaurant, routinely stayed up till 3-4 am and slept till noon. Quit smoking for the second and final time. Got engaged and took a trip to Florida with friends.

5 Years ago
My children were 1 and 3 years old which means I hadn't had an uninterrupted nights sleep in years and was working part time in a liquor store. I also discovered the wonderful world of RPG's and started doing a bit of writing.

1 Year ago
Writing on a daily basis. Had met lots of great cyber-buddies. Working as a Product Consultant in a liquor store. We were thinking of selling our house and buying one with a bigger backyard.

1 Month ago
Turned 35, writing almost everyday, was obsessing over contests and storylines, still working as a P.C.

Did house cleaning during the day, worked the afternoon shift and picked my stepmother up from the airport in the evening.

Joined a bunch of families to pick up garbage in our area for Earth Day, Cleaned the kitchen, did a load of laundry, and went to visit a friend who I haven't seen in at least 10 years.

Relax in the morning, do a bit of writing, work on the mountain of laundry downstairs, take the girls swimming and have my first practice with the Dragon Boat team I joined.

In the next minute I am tagging....

I can only think of a couple people that I don't remember seeing something like this on their blog....

Bob Farley
Scott Oden
Michele Armstrong
Destinie (lol your have to get bloggin now!)

Happy Earth Day!!!

Go on you can do it.
Find a bit of green space around you, Take a garbage bag and clean it up a bit. It doesn't take much, just a little of your time. If everyone did a little bit it would add up to something big.

A bunch of families, ours included met this moring and tackled the ravine that runs through this part of town. Our local crossing guard arranged it and made everyone chocolate chip banana muffins, how sweet was that!

The city provided big yellow garbage bags and good blue gloves for everyone to wear.
The warm summer like weather of late abandoned us but that was ok. We trucked out there anyways. Thankfully it was drizzling and not out right pouring. After an hour the girls started complaining that they were freezing so we headed home for hot showers and better yet, hot chocolate.

Friday, April 21, 2006

It will never be finished at this rate.

I've decided that I have to get tuff with myself. That means a determined cutback on allowing myself any forms of procrastination. Day dreaming about when I am an official author has to stop...well at least cut down a bit.

I made a comment on Scott Oden's blog about what gives me the GEM's (green eyed monster). For me it is hearing about how people are able to balance more then one writing project. Don't get me wrong, I think they are all the more amazing for it and wish I could do it too. I have a hard enough time staying focused on one.

Then I actually started writing another one! What, was I nuts?

So the Regency WIP counter is gone. The story and characters are still here and pressing for attention but I'm taking Scott's advice and concentrating on one project at a time. When I reach my goal, it will be kinda like a reward to continue on with the next project. There is also the added bonus of not having to start with a blank screen.

What I have started doing is while I work on the first one' I keep a seperate window open. That is for when ideas insist on forcing their way to the surface. I jot them down, point form, purge them and then focus back on my current work. So far so good. *fingers crossed*

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My muse has lousy timing...

Yesterday was gorgeous, Today is gorgeous. Apparently the weekend is going to suck rocks. Why you might ask? Because I have it off!

Perhaps I'm a bit self absorbed today
(what do you mean the world doesn't revolve around me?)

Hubby and I wandered around one of the garden centres in town and made up a list for what we need for around the house. As long as my lottery numbers come through then there shouldn't be a problem paying for it all. But we did pick up some grass seed and a couple packages of bulbs. Now I have grungy fingernails but in a couple months I should have some kick ass planters out my window. I love planting stuff, and occasionally they actually grow too.

Now I'm in the mood to write and I am so tempted to phone in sick to work, I mean take a "Mental Health Day" *G* I'm on afternoons and the thought of leaving while the muse has finally found some time to hang with me is very frustrating. I won't though 'cause I am an idiot with an overblown guilty conscious. But I do plan on hiding in the back with my notebooks and seeing what kind of ideas I can come up with.

I may have to go in there but that doesn't mean I will actually do what I am saposed to if I can scam my way out of it. Besides my evil ass(t). manager is working the same shift. So the more time I can spend with out looking at his bald head the better.

Being an avid knitter I find this poster particularly inspiring. I think it's the big, long.....scarf.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Like Mother, Like daughter

My youngest has inherited my sense of fun and love of painted toenails. The more boring and normal the colour on my fingernails the more bazarre and outlandish the colour on my toes.
The tatoos are fake and her idea.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hoppy Bunny Day!!

I hope the bunny was good to everyone out there. My little ones are currently tearing around the backyard with their cousins. Hopefully working off a massive sugar rush. I am enjoying a bit of post turkey mellowness and have commandered my little bro's computer to knock off a bit of a blog.

While Easter isn't really a holiday I celebrate, I do enjoy the emjoy the excuse to get together with my family. I took a last minute trip up north this weekend for a fly-by visit. My sister-in-law cooked up a massive amount of food for everyone. Delish! expecially since I didn't have to cook it *G*

My youngest brother couldn't get the night off work, so I took a big dish of dinner and dessert down to him. At least I got a chance to visit with him, and secured a promise that he will be by in the morning for coffee.

Personally this is what I think holidays should be about. Less fussiness over religion and more attention on family. That's what I enjoy about them.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Just sit your damn butt in the chair and write!!

So I have a new meter added to my blog. My Regency meter. Apparently my brain has declared mutiny and no longer wishes to concentrate on my paranormal project. Why you might ask? Beats the hell out of me? Scares me even more.

I decided that this was going to be my year. I will have something finished and submitted somewhere by the end of December. That is my goal. We are 4 months in to the year and all ready the small negative voice in the back of my head is wondering is this is yet another delusion of grandeur?

I read other people work and it is so well written, funny, entrancing and I wonder what am I even doing attempting to tackle a novel? There is no way I could ever churn out something of that quality.

I do have cyber buddies who have read my work and enjoyed it but those pieces have been short amounts. A paragraph here. A page there. Do I have what it takes to finish a full length book? Can I keep a reader’s attention for over 200 pages?

To top off this massive attack on insecurity, I just stalled out in the middle of my first major project. What the hell? I have the basics written from beginning to end. What is left is filling in the gaps, fleshing out the characters. There are some pretty big holes and bumps that need to be fixed, and yet my brain has changed gears.

Gone is the contemporary paranormal mindset. Hello Regency England

I’ve been avoiding reading that time period in hope of keeping such thoughts at bay.

I’m not going to get anything done if I keep starting projects and not finishing them. (I might have developed a habit of that in my life)

I thought that perhaps a break would be a good thing. Let me look on it with fresh eyes in a couple weeks. Perhaps I have been obsessing about it too much and need some objectivity? I hope that is all. I just feel like I should have something done by now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Could it be? Dare I say it out loud?

No I had better not comment on the weather. If I do then it is sure to snow next week. All I can say is that if the weather report is correct then tomorrow is going to rock and it is my day off!!!

I will admit I don't have any plans to write. I'm going to be out in my garden, cleaning it up getting it ready for all the strange things I will do to it this year. For those that don't know, we just bought this house at the end of last summer. The beds at the front of the house are home to a bunch of huge bushes that pratically hide half of it. Also there are all these pieces of dark bark they were useing for ground cover. UGH!

I need colour and wierd looking flowers. Gotta feed the creativity.

Tomorrows plans also include my helping hubby trim down the crab apple tree. Hmmm that should be interesting. I predict many curse words and my saying "Just a little more to the left"

I cannot wait till the tree blooms. It was so pretty last year in May. I'll post a picture of it as the flowers don't last long. They fall off and the crab apples grow. Then the apples fall off and feed all the rabbits in the neighborhood *G*

I'm just so thrilled to have a couple days that are going to be on the warm side. It is such a blast to my creativity. I zoned completely out on the drive home from work today. Window rolled down, music way too loud, cruising down the highway just creating scenes in my head. On my current WIP you might ask? NO my brain couldn't be that co-operative but I do have some really interesting ideas for one of my historicals.

Another though occurred to me today, on a completely different topic. The sizes on my hubby's and my pants are almost identical, just reversed.
His buys a 34waist/30inseam (I buy him 32 so he doesn't look like a dork if they shrink)
MY pants are a 30waist/34inseam. Wierd huh? He is still taller then me by an inch despite my legs being longer. Just one of those odd thoughts that hit me.

Any Miami Ink fans? (Tuesday nights on TLC.)

I love that show. Hubby gave me the oddest look when I admitted to having a 'thing' for Ami.

Don't care what he thinks, that man has to have a starring role in one of my books. Not sure which one yet but all that badassed attitude is just begging for a stong woman to stand up to him and drive him nuts. *BG*

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's a cartoon kinda day

Yesterday was a gorgeous, warm day. I mean like 20c warm. Sunny with a couple dark rain clouds that drifted in, dropped rain and then left. Where was I, at work of course. I'm home today and what is the weather today?


Cold, overcast, it's snowing/raining for peete's sake. Blech. Bummed me out completely, sucked my will to live and every creative force that resides in the right side of my brain.

Ok I think I may be done whining.... no guarentees.

Oldest kidlet is home with a cold so I have spent the day curled up on the couch with her wathcing a never ending stream of cartoons, Gotta tell you my favourite one is Disney's Weekenders. It's funny, intelligent, silly without being overly stupid. The characters Tino, Lor, Tish and Carver are all very different but still manage to be best friends. I wish they would release this show on DVD so I have a fix.....I mean let the kids watch it when ever they want.

I'm off to find a warm cozy spot, with a cuppa and my ancient laptop and crank out a few more words on my book. I realized the other day that mentally I pretty much have it written....well as far as I know what I want to add and where I want them to go, before they get to where they went.
I'm hoping all the details will fall nicely into place as I write.

I've learned so much of the writing process while doing this book. All the little things that I took for granted when reading a good story. Dialogue tags (my evil nemesis), Keeping it flowing smoothly, keep the historical stuff to a minimum so the reader doesn't get bored.

I swear I will have read this book a thousand times before it's finished.

There are a couple scenes that I moved to the end of the book because I wanted to build up the intensity before jumping into them. One thing I have found VERY tricky is describing my main character. The first real description of her is in the second chapter and through the eyes of another character. I really should describe her sooner then that but I just can't figure out how to fit it in. The first chapter is a fairly emotional scene and trying to work in a physical description just seemes to take away from everything else that is going on. Maybe I'll work on that tonight and see how it goes. It's one of the things that is bugging me the most.

Later Days!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Skipping Memories

Today's blog will be short but sweet. I'm so incredibly behind where I wanted to be with my wip, I am determined to catch up. I find that blogging helps engage the right side of my brain and gets my fingers warmed up to least that is what I keep telling myself.

Earlier today I was looking through some books and websites for fun things for the girls to do at Sparks this week. We're having a Canadian theme where the girls will be learing a bit about each of the provinces & territories. What seemed like a good idea at the time started looking overwhelming when trying to fit it all within a 30 minute time limit.

Thankfully I found a book I got ages ago with some fun Canadian skipping rhymes. The good thing is that they are really catchy, the bad is that I can't get them out of my head!!! AARRGGHH

Inken Tinken wildlife
Lost your horse in Yellowknife.
Inken Tinken gander goose
Rode instead a hairy moose.
Inken Tinken moose got stuck,
Took a Tuktoyaktuk truck.

Taxi Max from Halifax
Had a fleet of Cadillacs.
Filled them up with lobster snacks
Wrapped in farmer's almanacs.
Sent the snacks off with a fax
To pay up all his income tax!

Those are two of my favourites, and should get them jumping around a bit and wear off some energy. I hope.

I must have known hundreds of skipping rhymes when I was a kid, If I try real hard I might remember one or two now. I'd love to teach them to my girls, they seem to repeat the same one over and over. (Cinderella kissed a snake)

Hmmm I wonder if I can still skip double dutch?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Daniel, Nathaniel, Hawkeye..all mean YUM!

Ever have a movie that has such a profound effect on you that long after the movie is finished it is still with you?

A perfect example for me is “Last of the Mohicans” with Daniel Day Lewis.
(I should add here that if you haven’t seen it this post does contain spoilers, you’ve been warned.) I was flipping channels last night and came across it playing on APN. I don’t know what it is about that story, perhaps I was a settler in a past life. Maybe I loved a warrior and lost him or he lost me? But as soon as I start watching it I have to finish it. There is not turning it off before it is over.

I’m usually pretty good about keeping my mushiness under control for most of the movie. But when Hawkeye grabs Cora and demands that she submit to the Huron warriors and to do what ever she is told. To just survive and he will find her...right before he leaps through the waterfall. *sigh* One of my all time most favorite romantic movie moments. I couldn’t say exactly why. A combination of events? The desperation of the situation or the promise that despite the odds he will be back? Or the idea of his loving her that much?

Then at the end of the film when Alice and Uncas die. I could be flipping channels and come across that scene second before it happens and by the time Alice throws herself off the cliff I have a steady stream of tears down my face. The credit are rolling and I’m still crying-every time!

I’ll be honest I have never read the classic (although it is on my list of books I WILL read before I die.) so I don’t know exactly what was going on between Uncas and Cora’s sister but I always like to think that there was more to their feelings for each other then is ever shown on screen.

While Hawkeye and Cora share an intense passion, I like to think that Uncas was more careful around Alice. Perhaps not to scare her or unsure of his own feelings. A longing for something he wants but cannot have. Then runs to save her when Magua takes her. The result is his engaging in a fight he cannot win and Alice’s suicide after witnessing his death. The tragedy of their death and unrequited love, squeezes my heart every time.

Gods I’m getting sappy in my old age.

So allow me the adolescent moment to say that Daniel Day Lewis is so hot in this movie.
I don't normally think of him as a sex symbol. His films are usually such intense dramas. Not my cuppa, but in this one.... he makes me break out in goosebumps. Completely doable fantasy material. All that wavy hair softens the angles of his face and lets not forget all the warm sunsets, and candlelight that make him look so tanned. Then you see him in a movie like “A Room with a View” and you can’t believe it’s the same man.
Two different characters, Hawkeye’s passionate all consuming kisses, compared to Cecil Vyse and his awkward, cold meeting of lips.

How does the man convey so much in a few seconds of movie time? Although it is his work through out the movie leading up to that exact moment, guess that is what makes him such a wonderful actor.

For me Nathaniel/Hawkeye is a perfect model for one of my historical characters. I just can’t decided whether he would look better in a kilt and leather boots wielding a broadsword or a tight pair of breeches and gleaming Hessians pointing a rather deadly looking pistol. Shirts optional in either case. *BG*

So spill, what are some of your favourite leading men or movie moments?