365 days isn’t the same for everybody

So, lately I’ve been thinking about time.  How is it that it seems to pass by so much more quickly the older you get?  There are always 24 hours in a day, 365 days, give or take, in a year.  Someone once tried to explain it to me in terms of fractions.  For example, when you’re 10, a year is 1/10th of your life.  When you’re 50, a year is 1/50th of your life, a tiny little fraction of all that has happened to you up to that point.  It sort of makes sense to me, but I don’t like it, however it’s explained.  Since I had an unexpected, and unexplained, heart attack a year and a half ago, time has become very precious to me. It’s depressing to see how much valuable time people waste complaining and being unhappy.  Researching the story of the Lost Boys has also certainly helped me have a brighter outlook on my own relatively easy life here in small-town Nova Scotia.  I only wish I’d been brave enough to volunteer in a country like Southern Sudan when I was younger…Always lots to think about!  TTYL

Yeah Chocolate!

We’re having a pretty quiet Easter Sunday.  First Easter in 19 years that we haven’t had an Easter egg hunt in our house…Mailed “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk” off to Gary last week – it’s close to 66,000 words now, 234 pages.  It cost almost $10.00 to mail the manuscript!  I’m feeling pretty good about it and spent a lot of time over the past week scrutinizing it for anything that smacked of inauthenticity (is that a word?).  Amazing some of the things you can find when you’re really looking.  I’m also working on a query letter and an application for a Creation Grant through the NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture & Heritage.  Query letters are amazingly hard to write, – especially trying to summarize the essence of 234 pages in a page or less.  It will probably take the rest of the week for me to produce something I’m reasonably content with.  I’ll meet Gary in Truro next Sunday; we’re both judges in the Ada Mingo Teen Writing Competition (named after my late mum, proprietor of The Book Nook in Truro for 20+ years), so it will be interesting to see what Gary has to say about this latest revision.  I’m hoping the snow has finally left us for another winter – today is cold and wet, but I’m thinking I’ll have to force myself out for a walk anyway…TTYL

15 solid hours on “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk”

Just returned from spending the night at our cottage.  I put in 10 solid hours on Saturday and another 5 hours on Sunday, after receiving 7 pages of editing suggestions from my mentor, Gary Blackwood.  The weird part is, I was never bored or tired of reading, re-reading, and revising during that whole time!  The weather was beautiful, 10 degrees and sunny, so I did take a few outdoor breaks.  The manuscript now stands at close to 65,000 words – it started at 21,000 last July when I submitted it to Peter Carver and Kathy Stinson for their Port Joli writing retreat.  WOW!  Never thought I had that many words in me, but there are just so many details that need to be included to make the story authentic, and interesting!  I recently bought a couple of books over the internet about the Dinka people and folktales, and they’ve been very helpful. If you’ve never attempted writing a novel, I can only say be prepared to surprise yourself – it’s a ton of work, but lots of fun, too – provided you enjoy working with words, that is…Still lots more revising to do, but I’m getting there.  TTYL

I’ve been hard at work on my middle-grade novel manuscript, inspired by the life of Jacob Deng, one of the so-called “Lost Boys of the Sudan”.  I’m being mentored on the project by Gary Blackwood, (The Shakespeare Stealer and others), and it’s been an amazing experience so far.  I’m so used to writing for my eyes only, and it’s wonderful to have Gary’s experienced and wise eyes looking at my writing.  The manuscript has already gotten so much stronger, and we’ve only met in person once, although we’ve done some email editing as well.  I’m heading up to Truro in the morning to meet him, and I’m hopeful he can help me solve a problem I’m having toward the end of the manuscript.  It’s grown from about 30,000 words to close to 50,000 in just one month!  TTYL