Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Did you know...

Uncle Mike sent me this You Tube link -- a very interesting compilation of facts of life in the age of technology.
If you have 4 minutes and 55 seconds to spare, this is really worth watching.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Books and Movies and NO WRITING

Has it REALLY been this long since I blogged last?
See what Twitter has done to me? shame shame... I now have the attention span of a gnat.

So, after a bit of a writing/publishing wake-up call a few weeks ago, I pretty much shut down my computer, going DAYS without so much as hitting the power button. I felt a wee bit of guilt in those first hours, but I gotta say - overall, it's been like shedding shackles. And I do not intend to write again for another few weeks. Maybe after Easter.
(Important note: my iPhone is still my life-line, in case you thought I was shunning technology completely.)

What have I been doing during those writing hours? Aside from entertaining kiddo who had 2 weeks off for March Break (he goes back this afternoon - YAY!), I've been reading. READING. READING!!!
And not feeling guilty for not writing.
What a terrific way to recharge my creative batteries.

In romance: First up was a free Harlequin ebook that I downloaded onto my iPhone. This way I could pull it out for a few minutes while the kids were bowling, or whatever... It was a Blaze by Lesley Kelley and I think the title was Slow Hands. Enjoyable.
Then a Kresley Cole I picked up last year at Nationals. It was the third or fourth in a series so although I enjoyed it, I felt like I was late to the party.
This also happened with the next book (another Nationals freebee) a Kerrilyn Sparks book, The Undead Next Door. Lots of characters that I felt I should have already known...

Next was Kelley Armstrong's 2nd Nadia Stafford (hit woman) book called Made to Be Broken. I thoroughly enjoyed this strong heroine with a damaged past, a hidden life and who still maintains a 'normal' facade as lodge-owner in a touristy area of Ontario. I really must pick up K.A.'s paranormal books... one of these days... because I love her writing style. It's tight and flows beautifully, without the high, OTT drama that makes you feel like you're on a mind-blowing coaster. She has a great way of keeping the suspense up without making the reader exhausted.
And the characters are so interesting that you wish you knew them in real life.

Then I read Harlan Coben's Hold Tight. Coben never disappoints me. Like Armstrong, his style flows beatifully and he hooks you in the first chapter - ALWAYS. His characters are amazingly introspective and I find myself reading certain passages multiple times because his philosophies are enlightening and/or thought provoking. HIGHLY recommend.

Movies - another great way to creatively recharge.
Like many others, I succumbed to the Twilight DVD. Gotta say, it held up better on the small screen than it did on the big. Then I watched it again and it confirmed that yes, indeed, it was shit.
Duplicity, with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, had so much potential... but alas, it was long and convoluted and the sparkling chemistry I expected just wasn't really there. It wasn't a bad movie, just not as good as I had hoped.
But Monsters vs Aliens didn't disappoint! It was in 3D so that in itself was a trip, but it had some amusing lines and subtext. The kids loved it, therefore, so did I.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If this is the future, I want it!

A friend sent me this clip about a developing invention that can give us a 'sixth sense'. Watch and be amazed...

(it starts off slow, but stick with it cause it's soooo cool!)

Thoughts: Too invasive, creepy, or uber-cool?
I admit, I wasn't sold until Mistry went into the grocery store. Then the book bit blew me away. And how cool is the taking-pictures feature? Does it come with a built in flash? *hee*

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why have I lost my blogging spark?

I used to love blogging...
Somewhere along the way, I lost my spark, lost my verve for the blogworld. And I think I know why. I'm not just a writer, but a reader, and I used to talk about books. A lot. Remember? #1 Ladies Detective Agency, Middlesex, anything by Eve Silver... and this past year, I've basically stopped reading.
(anything less than 3 books/month is a very dry spell)

Not altogether stopped... just stopped reading the kind of books I used to be drawn to. Nothing against Stephenie Meyer or JR Ward, but I haven't had a fix of Harlen Coben, Ridley Pearson, Minette Walters, Dennis Lehane, Sarah Dunant, etc. in ages.
I have an Ondaatje on my night stand with an in-tact spine and a thick layer of dust. Heck, I've got a Nelson DeMille HARDCOVER sitting under the tv remote and I've not even read the jacket blurb. So not like me...

This happened for a couple of reasons (I think)
  • My TBR pile is so big I'm scared of it. Yes. True. Totally intimidated. What if I pick the wrong book??
  • I have very prolific friends. I LOVE reading what my friends write, not just because I want to be supportive, but because I really like their stuff. But trying to keep up with them... omg, it just is impossible AND to maintain my own writing. I'm behind on my Kimber Chin, my Christine d'Abo's, waaay behind on my Amy Ruttan's and my JK Coi's, Molly O'Keefe's, and and and... the Toronto Romance Writers are too successful for my own good.
  • I have a hard time reading romance and writing romance (clouds my brain, my storyline and I lose the character voices in my head).
  • I've been watching more television - eek. Mindless drivel stuff that I shouldn't even bother with, but I feel like I have to keep my brain cells relatively uncluttered because my own novel has all these threads and bits I need to hang on to.

The solution for my blogging woes? READ MORE.
Sounds easy but sadly, I must stay away from the genres/sub-genres I dabble in (just while I'm finishing my novel - not forever!)
I think I'll turn to literary... or maybe CLASSICS!! Yes, I'm sure there are tons of classics I've never read. Like Austen. I have NEVER read an Austen (insert gasp). I know... I hate myself.

My immediate 'to read' list includes:
  1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by GGM (just started)
  2. Divisidero by Ondaatje
  3. As the Crow Flies by Ann Marie MacDonald
  4. *Pride and Predjudice (Amy's suggestion)
  5. *Emma (Amy's suggestion)
  6. *Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery (M.)
  7. *Possession by A.S. Byatt (TL)
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. The Gatehouse by Nelson DeMille (saving this one 'til last)
The floor is hereby open for suggestions. Please help me fill in my spring/summer reading list.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Are you brave enough to DELETE?

I'm finally getting comfortable with the delete key. Not just comfortable... it's quickly becoming my best friend.
There used to be a time when I wouldn't DARE delete sentences or paragraphs, at least not without saving every variation of document 'just in case'. But as I grow as a writer, my hesitation diminishes. It's relative, I suppose.
In the past year I've kissed entire chapters goodbye.
Completely trashed a short story (it sucked).
In the case of that paranormal I began last January, (which is currently sitting on a back burner until I'm good enough to finish it -- it's bigger than my talent at the moment), I probably wrote-deleted-rewrote (rinse, repeat) about 40-50 K. That's practically an entire novel!! *GAH*

How does one get from the Each Word is Precious stage to the Be Gone Damn Ink! stage? I found someone who summed it beautifully. Check out this post by Elana of the Johnson Literary Agency:

Delete? Yes. Because I can do better.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sweetness: The Interview

I saw this on Amy's blog. She interviewed her little girl Boo. So I thought I would interview my youngest, four year old Sweetness. None of the answers were prompted and I have no idea where he came up with the answer for #5. Nothing could be further from the truth!! LOL

2. WHAT MAKES MOM HAPPY? My hugs and kisses.
3. WHAT MAKES MOM SAD? When my willy hurts.
5. WHAT WAS YOUR MOM LIKE AS A CHILD? Soccer player. (??)
6. HOW OLD IS YOUR MOM? Fifteen.
7. HOW TALL IS YOUR MOM? Fifteen feet
11. WHAT is YOUR MOM REALLY GOOD AT? Hugging me and kissing me.
12. WHAT IS YOUR MOM NOT VERY GOOD AT? You're good at everything!
17. WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR MOM DO TOGETHER? hugging, playing Wii
18. HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR MOM THE SAME? Well... we have fish and petting our pussy cats.
19. HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR MOM DIFFERENT? I like KinderSurprise eggs and you don't. I have a DS and you dont' and I have different clothes.
20. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR MOM LOVES YOU? Because you hug me and kiss me.
22. HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE YOUR MOM? A hundred percent.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Blood, OMG, THE BLOOD and Stephen King goes 'e'

Thursdays are usually good writing days for me because my littlest has a gym/craft program in the morning, then school in the afternoon.

Not today.

Today I spent 5 hours in the ER with Sweetness (aka the 4 yr old), or as he shall now be known, Harry Headwound*
On our way to gym (not at gym, not in the gym, but in the lobby of the rec centre), Sweetness - who was walking (not running, not skipping, not cartwheeling, just simple one-foot-in-front-of-the-other walking) tripped, stumbled forward and fell.
As he went down, he slid...
under a bench.
A metal bench.
With unforgiving metal legs.

Gashed head... way too much blood... mother getting dizzy... trying to remain calm... no paper towels in ladies room (damn hand blowers!!)... mother calling out to another Dad-friend... he bringing napkins from coffee shop...

FF 5 hours...
Sweetness home, all smiles, sporting 4 stitches and what he hopes will be a Harry Potter scar.

But oh... the blood. THE FREAKING BLOOD. Poor kid looked like an extra on the set of My Bloody Valentine (now in 3D!) ...

I'm going to petition our govenment for a new rule in Health Care that states that: when/if a mother brings a child to the ER, said mother should automatically, no questions asked, be given a valium.

*remember? Dana Carvey in SNL??

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now how's this for a perfect segue? Blood to.... Stephen King.
Interesting article...


I've been curious about the Kindle. I think I want one. Then again, there isn't much I don't want!! :D I only just set my eyes on an e-reader for the very first time the other day, compliments of Leah Braemel who owns a Sony eReader -- very cool. Especially since she had my book on it!! *grin*

Do you have one? Thinking about one? Thoughts??

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pulling the Curtain Back

Long time no see! Here's a peek at what's been going on in Wylie's World:

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with fellow writers Leah Braemel, Christine D'Abo & Amy Ruttan and though there was chatting, we got an awful lot accomplished.

Personally, I was able to write 'The End' on Jump Zone, and though I've got a few segues to fill in, I can basically call Draft One done. Now the REAL work begins... getting it in some sort of condition suitable to pitch/sell!

And while I have my writing friends on the brain, I must give a shout out to Leah Braemel on her recent release of Private Property. I haven't read it yet but did get a chance to read the second book of her series (Personal Protection - coming soon!!) and must say that I look VERY forward to reading more about the fine men of Hauberk Security. Leah writes at a pretty high heat level which only serve to enhance her richly drawn characters and solid plotlines. During our weekend retreat, she shared some of the upcoming story lines and we're in for a treat :)
And Amy... well, she's cranking them out so fast I can't keep up!!! Not as a writer or reader - LOL!! The first book of Amy's Enchantress series, The Fey, is available now from Linden Bay and she also has a new release with Ellora's Cave, Hard Candy. As soon as i can catch my breath (how long until my kids are in college? ha ha) I'll be diving into these.

* * *
The kids were sick so I spent a few afternoons with them watching movies.

George of the Jungle: Brendan Fraser has the most gorgeous lips I've ever seen on a man. Lush, ripe, made for kissing. Yes, sick as that sounds, while he was entertaining my children with chest pounding, jungle calls and vine-swinging antics, I was staring at his mouth. Wow.
And he was pretty cut back then, too. Double wow.

Penelope: A movie about a girl cursed with a pig's nose. I didn't go into it with much hope of liking and suprised myself by LOVING! It's a great story about acceptance -- and an added bonus -- James McAvoy was in it, which I didn't even realize until his sad-eyed moppy haired character appeared on screen. *Squee!*

* * *
During my little hiatus I enjoyed the whole award-show experience. And I did watch the all... got to hear every f-bomb Mickey Rourke dropped during his many acceptance speeches.
I was happy for him... a great come back and all, but was a bit relieved when he lost to Sean Penn at the Oscars. As acidic and opinionated as Mr. Penn can be, he truly deserved the award, if not for this particular role, then for the cummulative career roles.
I thought this was one of the best Academy Awards shows I've seen (even with the cheesy song and dance bit in the middle). Hugh Jackman did an awesome job as host, everyone looked stunning in their black ties and gowns, and there were solid, first-class performances to celebrate. I'll sum it up with a few math equations:

The Brange = Royalty

Steve Martin + Tina Fey = LMAO

Ben Stiller doing Joaquin Phoenix > Joaquin Phoenix

Rob Pattinson channeling Edward Cullen while presenting = wee squee!

* * *
Random thoughts:

Does anyone else think POSH looks totally and ridiculously out of proportion? Why do they let her NEAR fashion?
Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais. See it.
Can Conan keep Jay's loyal fans happy? Hmmm...
George Cloony is short.
Today's date is interesting - 03/03/09 Don't you think?