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My split personality

21 Mar

So, every once in a while I’ll blog here about writing or even post a snippet of my stuff. Well, not anymore. No, I’m still a writer, but I decided since I’m on the verge of querying my first book that it was high time I had a different blog that was all about me, the writer. So this blog shall be all about me, the reader. The two may overlap from time to time but for the post part I’ll be keeping them separate.

If you’d like to pop into the new blog and see what I’m up to in my writing career, I can be found at http://colleenmkie.wordpress.com/

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A slight change in plans

4 Oct

So a couple of days ago I mentioned that I had decided to go ahead and sign up for next month’s NaNoWriMo  and that I had a book idea that’s been percolating for a bit and that I was going to go ahead and finally get it down on paper. Well, part of that is true. I am going to do NaNoWriMo. But I’m going to be writing WEIRDO.

I know, I know, I’ve already started writing it and the plan was to get it done this month. But as tends to happen, I’m changing my mind. This month will be all about polishing up SUPERNORMAL. I’ll be doing my final edit and then getting those query letters out. It just makes more sense since it’s almost ready now. That way, I can query SUPERNORMAL while I’m writing WEIRDO.

Look at me being all organized and such.

Wednesday’s Words

25 Aug

Here’s a short I’ve been working on

The Leaving

He shifts the truck into drive and I’m immediately reminded that the shocks need replacing. We bounce along for about fifteen minutes, neither of us saying a thing as we pass the local chipwagon, town limits, and then the National park. The comfortable silence between us halts and changes, like a drop in temperature. I shiver and breathe out, half expecting to see ice form in my breath. Tommy clutches the steering wheel harder, back molars grinding slightly. I flick on the radio. Leonard Cohen singing about broken Hallelujahs. I turn the radio off, sit on my hands so I don’t fidget. The stale silence is killing me but I refuse to be the one to break it. After showing so much humility, so much of my core in the past 24 hours, I refuse to give in.

After another five minutes, Tommy finally breaks down and speaks. Although once I hear the thought slip from his mouth I wish he had continued shutting up.

“You wanna leave, fine. I don’t care.”

I want to tell him that I know that. That I remember the exact day and time that he stopped caring. It was a Monday after supper. It was snowing and we ended up stormstayed for days.  I knew before he had even said the words that he’d stopped really caring.  But I let him have his say. Let him feel better about himself while crushing me further and further into the ground.

I have no idea if I’m supposed to answer him, because he really didn’t ask a question. I don’t think I could have answered even if I wanted to. His tone and my memories feel like poutine in my mouth. Chewy and sometimes hard to swallow.

I take the elastic out of my hair and run my hands through my curls, enjoying the slight sting of static. I wrap the band back around my hair, not really caring about neatness. Tommy’s seen me with spiked hair, permed hair and after sex hair. A sloppy ponytail wasn’t going to turn the tide either way.

“I’m not going with you.”

“I know”.

“It’s like I told you, I can’t.”

“S’okay.”

“I want to, I think, but –“

“I know, Tommy, I know.”

I don’t want to hear his reasons again, his list of why. Why it’s not right for him. Why I’m not right for me.

Some women in my shoes would try to convince him. Jack up their boobs, lower their lashes and voices. I had thought about it for a second before realizing I would never do that. I don’t think I could pull it off.

But just now, just for a moment, I feel a twinge of doubt. Maybe it would have worked. Maybe instead of being in this truck we’d be home, curled up on the couch watching TV, or at the kitchen table playing Scrabble, laughing and sharing a Bloody Caesar. Maybe.

I put my feet up on the dashboard and try to squish myself into a ball. Look at my worn hiking boots and sigh.

“We did our best. Still do, I guess.”

“I know, Cady, but if only –“

“If only’s a dangerous game.”

“I didn’t know she’d come back.”

“But you wanted her to.”

In his silence I get my answer.

Her coming back was sudden. I blinked. A second slipped by and there she was in front of me, flowing blond hair perfectly mussed up despite the high humidex. Layered gypsy skirt blowing in the breeze. I stood outside the hardware store in paint splattered cutoffs, hair shoved under one of Tommy’s baseball caps. I watched her approach, gliding across Main Street on silver strapped sandals, and before he came out and saw her, heard her voice sweet like a butter tart, I knew I had already lost. That maybe I had never really even been in the game.

We continue driving, going forward even when our thoughts are leading us behind. And even though we’re in the truck together, we’ve already started living our separate lives. I know he’s thinking a bit about me, but mostly about her and how to make her happy. Make her stay. I concentrate on breathing and stare out the window. Watch the sun glint off of the trees, sparkly from the latest silver thaw. Breathe in. Out.

I look at him out of the corner of my eye, scrunching his nose and pulling his toque down, and realize despite the months that have passed, the hurt and anger are still fresh.  They haven’t had enough time to shrink in depth.  I turn my eyes back towards the window and watch something less hurtful.

The bus station appears to our right. Tommy blows a breath out as he rolls the truck to a stop. I have my door open before he has the key out of the ignition. I grab my bag from the back and head toward the ticket book. I’m nervous, shaking, and my steps are those of someone impaired. I hope he stays in the truck. I hope he gets out and comes after me. Tries to stop me like he means it, not because he feels guilty. He gets out of the truck at half speed, like he’s walking through chocolate pudding. He’s next to me by the time I have my ticket in hand.

“This is stupid.”

“To you, maybe.”

“You don’t have to go.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Cady.”

“Don’t Tommy, please.”

I watch his eyes frowning and pleading. Oddly enough I don’t feel like crying, but he does. I can see him suck in his lower lip, a tell-tale sign of how upset he is. He reaches out a finger to touch my cheek and then seems to remember I’m not his to touch. Not anymore.

“I still love you.”

“I know.”

I walk away. There’s nothing more to say. I know a part of him still loves me. It’s why I’m leaving.

Book in a month challenge

1 Aug

So the hubs and I have been talking about doing NaNoWriMo this month, since he won’t be home in November for the official NaNoWriMo. So, how happy was I to discover Amanda, one of my bookish Twitter friends, was hosting a book in a month challenge for August? Well, I was darn tootin’ happy! Scoot over to Amanda’s site, Spiral Upwards, for all the details and her inspiration behind the challenge.

My inspiration for joining is easy: I’ve gotten lazy when it comes to my writing. Sure, I write daily here and have monthly writing contracts for others, but I have been very lax in writing creatively. And it’s bringing out the cranks in me (just ask the hubs).

I was going to work on one of my two partially finished YA WIPs, but decided this morning to start fresh. So, this evening I will be plotting out my quirky YA funny zombie book.

You’re curious now, aren’t you?  I know I am. 🙂

A writing breakthrough

1 Jul

Certain words alway elicite fear in me: dentist, spiders and editing. Yes, as a writer you wouldn’t think that the word “editing” would basically make me want to vomit, but it does. Anytime I think of sitting down and editing my hands get clammy, my breath shallow, my head spinny.

It’s not the idea of cutting words or scenes that provokes the panic. It’s the fact that I have no idea where to start editing. Sure, page one, line one, word one is always a good place to start, but how do I actually edit a book? Every time I sit down to start I get overwhelmed. Most times I don’t even get the nerve to open up the document.

Just how serious is my fear of editing? The first draft of my book has been finished for almost 4 years.

Thankfully, though, I had a breakthrough yesterday.

I found out through a Tweet that The Globe and Mail and HarperCollins Canada were hosting a 1,000 word short story contest as part of the unveiling of the new Collins Canadian Dictionary. The deadline was last night at 23:59.  On a whim I decided to enter the contest. I had the rough draft of a short story that I had written a couple of weeks ago and thought that it was decent enough to enter. But of course I had to edit it first.

Throughout the day I edited my little short story and was amazed at not only how comfortable it felt, but that I actually enjoyed it. Picking though each line, reading it and seeing how it rolled off of my tongue. Finding a better way to describe something. Finding holes in my logic, plot and plugging them. It was a great creative release. It also helped me realize that if I take my book a page at a time, chapter at a time, the task of editing won’t be so daunting.

As I was reading through my short story for the umpteenth time I stopped really caring if I won or not. The fact that I was no longer scared of editing and was actually looking forward to it was prize enough for me.

I Beta get going!

14 Jan

Holy snapping turtles, I have Beta readers! Yeppers, actual people besides me who are going to read my manuscript and tell me to what degree it was brilliant. Or at what point they fell asleep.

The back story to this book is I wrote it three years ago during NaNoWriMo and then put it away. I had no idea how to edit it. A year or so ago, I took it out, dusted it off and did two edits. Then I once again froze, and packed it away.

Well, now I want to see if it’s worth trying to get published. I have one more edit I want to do before handing it off to my Beta readers.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. While I think the book’s good (even great at times) I can’t help but think of American Idol.

Okay stick with me here, folks. You know how they do those pre audition interviews and the potential star says they are the next Mariah, Whitney, Britney, Justin, or Michael? And then they sing and you can feel your ears bleed? What if I’m the writer’s version of that? What if I am literary tone-deaf?

It’s all very nerve-wracking, thinking of someone else reading my words. But it also makes me happy. Because I’ll soon know whether I should continue down this road of writing or apply at the nearest Walmart.

Happy New Year!!!!

11 Jan


Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m a bit late to the party. But I gotta tell you, sometimes life makes it impossible to live. I know it’s been almost a month (yikes!) since I posted and I would love to be able to say it was because I was locked up in jail or on an amazing topical vacay where laptops and work were banned. But the sad reality is that I was renoing the house, packing, moving and getting settled in. In one word I was exhausted.

The downfall of working with our mind is when you hit your wall, you pretty much can’t work. And over the last three weeks I hit that wall over and over again.

But now I’m back and rested (kinda) and ready to go, go, go! I also have some changes in store for this blog, including actually posting regularly.

My main focus will still be book reviews, but I’m going to be approaching them a bit differently than I have in the past. I will be using the publishers’ book descriptions and concentrating more on my opinion of the book. My style of review is also going to be more off the cuff and informal that it has in the past. I find that I talk about books much better than I write about books, so I’m going to attempt to write like I talk. Only without all the cursing.

I’m also going to be talking about my writing a bit more. Once I actually get back at it. Actually I’m kinda hoping that if I talk about my writing, goals, etc, I’ll actually feel accountable to someone other than myself. So expect snippets of writing, goals and general mutterings about my creative process.

So, once again happy New Year. And I hope you enjoy whatever ride 2010 has in store for you.