I am becoming a glass-is-half-full kind of person. I know…I can’t even believe it myself. I’m realizing how much I have to be thankful for. I have AMAZING kids. I mean, they rock. I’m having amazing luck with my mid-life writing career. Two books releasing in the same year! I mean, that’s golden. Such a huge blessing. I can’t look that gift horse in the mouth. I just can’t!
I’m also about to set out on a journey… a pilgrimage. Spring arrives tomorrow and with it the promise of the Camino. I know it’s still about 58 days away…but now I can actually feel it. SPRING. SPAIN. WALKING. INNER JOURNEY. It’s all good. I’m ready to let the healing begin…through my soon-to-be long suffering feet. They will take me across Spain to the mecca of my pilgrimage, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. I will be leaving baggage there…of this you can be certain.
There is no room for my sad little half-empty to nearly-empty cup. Life is giving me…well, what’s the opposite of lemons? Oranges?! Life is giving me oranges. I’m going to make orange juice. (-:
As the year progresses, I will also have the MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON. This, in case you haven’t kept up with my stream of consciousness way of thinking, is my ANOTHER KICK AT THE CAN. This July will be my 7th Muskoka Novel Marathon. I’m still crazy proud of the 4 Best Novel Awards that have come out of my MNM writing. Three of the Best Novel award novels are either published or soon to be published. And another novel I wrote there, which didn’t actually win the award, will also be published. My cup runneth over with goodness.
Herein comes the pitch.
Every year the writers who take part in the MNM raise funds for YMCA Simcoe Muskoka and the good people at the YMCA put 100% of those funds to use in their literacy programs. We the writers–40 of us this year!–are helping readers. We are giving the gift of words to those who have previously not had them. But we can only do this with YOUR help. Our job is to each write a novel over a 72hr period. That’s the easy part. It’s the job of all those who support us that is a bit more difficult. But I will always ask…because there will always be those in need of literacy programs. Please find it in your hearts to give a little to this most worthy of causes. Please click on the link below to go to my CANADA HELPS GIVING PAGE:
Making a donation on the above page will be sponsoring me for the marathon. Any amount would be most excellent. We have raised $85,000.00 to date with this marathon. That money has changed a LOT OF LIVES. We did this $5, $10, $15, $50 dollars at a time. So never think that a small donation is not big enough. Everything counts.
If you would rather donate to your own local literacy programs, by all means do so. I hope that this pitch inspires you to help…in whatever way you see fit. (-:
That’s my plea for today. Thank you for listening. And if you choose to give, thank you!
If you ever hear me bemoaning, complaining, or otherwise appearing unhappy…you have my permission to set me right. With a slap, if necessary. I have so much to be happy for. (-:
To learn ALL about the Muskoka Novel Marathon, please visit their website below. Just click on the Muskoka chair:
So, since happiness is infectious…how about I infect some of my readers this morning. This song is just making its way into my obsession books now. I mean, I’ve heard it before…but I guess I just wasn’t open to it…I give you HAPPY
It is with GREAT PLEASURE that I announce the sale of my young adult novel, HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN!
Here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:
My sincere thanks and gratitude to my wonderful agent, STACEY DONAGHY of DONAGHY LITERARY GROUP!
Half Dead & Fully Broken was written at the July 2010 Muskoka Novel Marathon in Huntsville, Ontario. It went on to win the 2010 BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD.
Once again, I find myself thanking the good (angelic) folks at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. And not only the organizers, who work tirelessly year in and year out to give us writers a magical space in which to create our fictional worlds. No, when I say the folks at the Muskoka Novel Marathon, I mean EVERYONE. My fellow writers, the volunteers who feed and fuel us, the venue people…everyone. Without the Muskoka Novel Marathon, I wouldn’t have so many novels under my belt. Together, they’ve created the perfect environment for me to write in. It takes a village to get me to write a novel. Truly. Whatever the magic elixir is, it works. When I get to the MNM in Huntsville every July, I suddenly have the kind of focus needed to put together a novel. And I am truly grateful to be a part of the magic. So thank you all!
Half Dead is my third Muskoka Novel Marathon novel to be published. (-:
Finally, I’d like to thank Andrew Buckley and Curiosity Quills. I’m thrilled that Half Dead has found a home, and I’m doubly thrilled that it was Andrew who opened the door and let us in. (-:
Having participated in 7 novel marathons (6 Muskoka Novel Marathons in Huntsville & 1 Great Canadian Winter Novel Marathon in Pickering), I’m so happy to see that a new one has sprung up! Here in Toronto! And not only that, but it seems like the mastermind behind the great success of both the Muskoka Novel Marathon and the Great Canadian Winter Novel Marathon is responsible for this new one. So I already know it’s going to be fantastic! Martin Avery + Novel Marathon = Huge Success and a Wonderful Experience
As near as I can tell, the upcoming marathon only has a Facebook page at the moment. I think it may be launching a website soon, though, as registrations for the event will be opening March 1st.
So, if you are in the Toronto area…you have to mark your calendars! There is nothing more creativity inspiring than a 3-day novel marathon. It looks like there is going to be room for 30 writers to attend this marathon. In a city with thousands upon thousands of writers, one would think those 30 spots would fill up almost instantly.
Toronto Novel Marathon tagline: Writers in support of recovery for men, women, families. A special event fundraiser for women and men with addictions issues. Funds raised go to Renascent.
You can go to the TNM Facebook page to learn all the details. To date, they have the rules and other information posted. I would suggest clicking ‘LIKE’ while you’re there, so you can get any updates as they occur.
- Registration Opens March 1, 2014
- Registration Cost is $100
- Each Registrant Must Meet the Minimum of $500 in Sponsorship Pledges
- Top Prize: Top Manuscripts will be guaranteed a sympathetic reading by Tim Inkster of the Porcupine’s Quill and Rick Wilks of Annick Press.
- The marathon will take place in the heart of downtown, near Yonge and Bloor Streets. Facility is air conditioned.
- Marathon to take place in August.
- Maximum Manuscript Length is 300 Pages
- BLIND JUDGING
- Entrants will begin writing no earlier than 7.00 p.m. on the first day (Friday) of the marathon and end not later than 7:00 p.m. on the final day (Monday) of the marathon.
I guarantee I will be at my keyboard on registration day, attempting frantically to secure one of the 30 spots! I love the whole marathon experience. From afar, you cannot begin to imagine how daunting a task it would be to sit and write for 72 hours. But once you do it once, you’re hooked. It’s like heroin for the writer’s soul. You’ll want to write ALL your novels this way. Take the leap!
Hope to see you there!
Before I get to the upcoming (impending?) WCDR Roundtable Meeting, I thought I’d talk a bit about duo first person narration. I spoke about this to a fellow WCDR member at the WCDR Words of the Season event at The Bear & Firkin in Pickering this past Monday. The first thing I panicked about was a passing mention that writing this form is difficult.
I’m a bit puzzled. Perhaps somebody else can chime in with why they think writing 2 POV characters in first person is difficult? Is it because both characters need to be individuals and it’s presumably hard to write 2 FP POVs in the same novel because the reader may not know which POV they are reading? I did not have that problem. My characters were as different as day and night. I don’t know if any readers had a hard time separating the two voices, but I myself never got lost in the grey area between the two. I never questioned who was speaking. Perhaps this is the difficulty that was alluded to? Who knows. I can just say with absolute surety that I did not find it difficult. In fact, I had so much fun I might just do it again!
I wrote my 3rd published novel as a duo narrated first-person POV. I did it because it was fun. I had no idea it was hard until I heard it said this week. Since hearing that, I’ve been apron-wringing about my novel, THE REASONS. It was NOT hard to write that novel. What I found hard about that novel, was keeping up with the manic narrative that coursed through my brain at the time. I couldn’t get it down fast enough. My narrators are mother and son. And the best part was writing the insanity of the mother. It was a trip getting into her headspace every other chapter. I wrote The Reasons during a 72hr novel writing marathon. I still maintain that I dictated that novel. The two first-person POV characters, Tobias Reason and his mother Maggie, were extremely willing interviewees. Yeah, it sounds crazy…but sometimes one just gets right IN THE ZONE when writing. So much so that it feels like the characters did all the work. All I did during that marathon session was tap the keys…I was a conduit to a pair of mal-adjusted dysfunctional lunatics, and it was a thrill ride. HARD? Hardly!
Now! It’s almost time for the next WCDR Roundtable Meeting! Are you coming this month? You do NOT need to be a member to attend. These monthly meetings are wonderful networking opportunities. AND they are great rewards to give you writing life. As soon as I began to attend these meetings, way back in 2003, I felt legitimate. I had arrived. Attending these meetings helps to get I-might-be-a-writer people off the fence. When you become a part of the action at a WCDR Roundtable, you’re plopped right into the thick of the writing life. Each meeting is an adrenalin shot to keep you in the head-space of writer.
To discover what went on at the January 2014 WCDR Roundtable, click the picture below of Sarah Selecky. Sarah spoke on the finer points of short story writing. January was also the launch of the WCDR Short Story Contest, which Sarah herself will personally judge. You might best know Sarah for her WONDERFUL STORY PROMPT TWEETS on Twitter.
Don’t miss the February WCDR Roundtable Meeting. What’s going on at this one?
National Bestselling EVE SILVER will be speaking at the February event. her topic will be: Writing Romantic: A Creative Exploration for all Genres
There is always an After Breakfast Mini-Workshop at these meetings. For February, Sandy Campbell will be taking on the topic of SEX. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THE FEBRUARY MINI-WORKSHOP GETTING SEX ON THE PAGE!
For those writers in the area who are shy-reluctant-terrified to attend one of these meetings, I’ll tell you right now…YOU WILL BE WELCOMED WITH OPEN ARMS. Have no fear. All levels of writers are welcomed–and encouraged–to attend. My first was terrifying! I thought I would have to show my WRITER CARD at the door. Truth be told, I was positive I would actually be turned away at the door…by a posse of laughing actual-writers, with a chorus of, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE” singing me out the door. But it is not like that! AT ALL! You will be welcomed. Your hand will be held, if need be. Or not, if you’re freaked out by that sort of thing. Newbies are escorted to a table with at least one veteran attendee, and they are made instantly welcome into the fold. Do yourself a favour…ATTEND!
You must register by 9am on the Wednesday before the meeting. Next meeting Saturday, February 8th at 8:30am at Ajax Convention Centre in Ajax.