Tag Archives: editing

Retreat Goals

Despite the turmoil of the months leading up to this weekend, my goal in going is to get away from the overwhelming every day – to focus on some of my own writing. I brought with me several projects to follow up on, which will include editing, designing, formatting. I hope to finish a few things so that I might move past this block that haunts me. Another novel to be done – An Italian Son – and my first kid’s picture book needs drawings. Can I determine the style I want to use for the illustrations?

I have also a company project in tow that I want to finish editing – it is in layout format so working through the reading achieves more than one end.

I am also hoping there’s a poem or two to be had – I will try to force the stoppage in order to free some words into a composition I will be happy with – I used to be so connected to poetry. What happened? Did it abandon me or did I abandon it? I know it’s not lost forever… just temporarily misplaced.

My camera is also my constant companion – there is always visual inspiration around, especially here: the birds are welcome subjects, trees and greenery, wood structures and pathways, squirrels and other wildlife supposedly around out there somewhere. If only the rain would let up. I will go out for walks to get some fresh air and connect with nature. It’s cooler, though, and cool, wet weather is not my friend.

Sidebar…

I wrote my goals at the beginning of the weekend – it was gloomy when we arrived but soon gave way to rain for the past couple of days. We definitely need the rain and would happily send it up north to the forests. In truth, we couldn’t have a fire inside in the fireplace the first couple of nights because of the dryness here at the Creek. Finally, the rain gauge showed enough moisture accumulation and sharing alongside the fire was a possibility the last two nights of our stay. I love warm spring weather, though… Sunshine – the one from the sky – why have you abandoned us this weekend?

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From the Page to the Writer

I.

I feel the influence of your mind when you grip the pen tightly; I am touched by your outpouring of emotion. I am part of your fluid thought, bled directly from your heart although your mind is in control. As you pause, it gives me cause for concern – my own mortality is directly linked to yours. I am but a figment of your imagination, yet without your dreams, I am nothing. I am compelled to lie in wait on those days you feel blank and I am a mere reflection of that void. And I wait – patient for your return, knowing your ideas of today are the musings of tomorrow. Sometimes, with no apparent direction and obvious distractions, you struggle to move forward, but that is where your passion carries us through. I feel your excitement when it hits – there is no restriction, you have no boundaries, dreams become ideas, thoughts materialize, and then words… lovely words fall upon me. I am no longer pale, void of expression; I am your creative realization, for without you, I am but an empty page.

II.

You count on me to contain and number all your collective creativity; a summation of your commitment. We have grown to be a part on one another’s lives, as your passion borders obsession and my physical being grows fat, in turn, with your investment of attention and time. There are still days when I lie in wait, lonely, wanting for your touch, needing your emotion. Unlike before… the separation is unbearable as you become angered, even frustrated with me. You mark me with bold stroked revisions and, at times, it seems you cannot move forward until you have marked me in some way. I am no longer fresh – as if an older lover you have grown used to and weary of amusing. Ah… but when you are in the moment and the mood hits, your eyes shine with new direction, renewed focus, and determined effort!  You accept that change is necessary and you validate my very being with this acceptance. I savor your return because I have so longed for the freedom of the past. I bite my tongue the days you ignore me – wanting to tell you to make good on your promises. You question what and why and who, with too many rules to free your creativity. We are too far involved, though, to go back to the beginning; I need more, you need more… I am your collaboration in the making.

III.

I pass through many hands, feeling used and abused, open to the leering late night ‘candle burning at both ends’ review. I am no longer feeling special. I fall onto that pile of others in the order received, being prodded and considered and rejected. Even you – you, after all we’ve been through, you seem distant, and we no longer spend quality time together. I see you with others, your eyes glowing with that newness I once experienced, your passion I once craved – it’s like you have forgotten me. I am concerned… until I see that look of sadness cross your face and you pick me up, holding me close, stroking my cover. I can only hope you’d never let me go, but I know, I’ve done my time with you. I need to survive out there in the big world, even though I lack validation, experience, and the fame you desire. Although there are others, we both suffer from separation anxiety; I was your first and you think I am not good enough. All the while, I think – why are you so hard on yourself… I will always be a product of your imagination and, therefore, I am at my best.  

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Everything is All Write

Everything is all write – for a writer, bluntly stated, this is a significant truth.

But, this is more than just a blaring declaration from a writer’s blog – it is notification of a worthwhile conference soon to be upon us.

The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County hosts its 2nd annual Writer’s Conference on Saturday, April 9th from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and there will be so many things that are “all write” about this event. The day will feature four workshops, 24 one-on-one author sessions, 15 trade tables with exhibitors showing books, services, and other interests, a silent auction table, gifts, goodies, and prize draws. Oh yes and networking with others who share a passion for the written word. Pick up tips, trade information, and perhaps, learn something “write” on. Early bird registration deadline is fast approaching if you’d like your name entered into a draw for a chance at a fabulous writer’s gift package worth $200. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend – drop in workshops are $20 each on the day of the Conference.

See you there – for more information or to download a registration form visit The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County web site.

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Preparing the Novel

So it’s been 2 months since my frantic encounter with NaNoWriMo and Marco’s story remained in my head and my heart ever since. His editing was shelved for some time in order to grasp again the reality of my writer’s life with all the other things I must do and catch up on. Christmas went by in its usual haste, desperately dragging upon every moment up until the day… then it’s already a month to the day over and done with. Somewhere in there we raised a glass or two (or three) to the New Year, heralding hope and prosperity with renewed vigor and resolution. I have not ventured far nor walked many a mile in my writer’s shoes for lack of support due to a pulled knee and a snowy disposition, weather-wise. I have, however, blogged to the moon and back in all its shining glory while not even leaving the comfort of this very chair. I managed to cover topic and story of chance and choosing – posting opinion and articles professing encouragement and love and passion as I promised to do.

Today I worked further on the editing of said novel and will again breathe life into Marco as we prepare to workshop our novel ideas. Some of us have gathered in the past to visit this topic and we again take up the meeting to help out those who have a project underway. This will allow us time to work with fellow novelists who will co-conspire plot and character.  I am looking forward to the review and critique of my work so I might know if it has a chance of some kind in the big world of readers. I do hope to find out the truth – does it hold promise or is it just hollow words?

It is not a story like my Elizabethan Affair for it does not hold the rapture of romance in the 16th century nor does it have the naive heroine or the poetic hero in Shakespeare. It does though, speak of the Italian passion for love and family. Both are mixed with a bit a humor and suspense to shake up and punctuate the warm fuzzies of emotional overtures.

No matter its strength, it is a story grown within me and held until mature enough to leave. It is now on paper and just needs a little help to dress up and go out to meet the world. The rewrites are now left to the processing of the analytical left brain – the nurturing right brain struggles, left to just watch as the baby now turns into a grown man-uscript.

...I must read aloud, the cat’s breath is heavy in the quiet of my room. He’s making a little wheezing sounds that are rather odd but soon I drown them out with my own voice and when the furnace kicks in there is more background noise to accompany the clicking of the keys on the keyboard… The night draws near to the time of sleep but the stories will still dance and those are called dreams.

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