Happy Holidays

I wish you all a magical holiday season. Best wishes for a wonderful 2016 filled with reading and writing.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Writers

I'd enjoy a 2016 desk calendar with this theme

While Googling images for memoir writing I came across a couple of Christmas gift ideas for writers interested in memoir: a desk calendar and a game.

I also like playing board games. A family game of 'Memoir' would have plenty of scope for conflict.

See today’s blog post for my thoughts on Memoir vs. Fiction.

Happy Holidays!


Compelling! Earthshattering!?? This is why memoirs are hard to get published.

My National Novel Writing Month project this fall wasn’t a novel — it was a memoir. I decided this was allowed, since memoir is, in many ways, closer to novels and than it is to other non-fiction. On the whole, while writing the book last month, I found memoir closer to fiction than I expected.

Writing a memoir this fall surprised me more than anyone. I first thought of this book idea about a week before NaNoWriMo was due to start. It came out of my musings on how to promote my newly completed novel. Publication could be far down the road, but I had the time now to consider issues from the novel that I might write or speak about to attract an audience to the fiction story. Being me with my novel brain, the ideas morphed into a larger concept. NaNo was coming up and I figured, why not give it a try? If nothing else, exploring memoir, a new genre (for me), would be a good writing exercise and, possibly, help me work up some short articles and talks from the material.

And so, my NaMeWriMo project was born. Check out my blog posts today and next week for more reflections as I progressed through the writing process.

Could be compelling and earthshattering.

NaNoWriMo is over

National Novel Writing Month is over. I both lost and won.

Win: I accomplished my primary goal of completing a first draft of my book idea.

Win/lose: It’s a short book – 31,327 words. I don’t know if it’s expandable enough to publish traditionally, if it’s publishable at all.

Win: Regardless, it was a worthwhile writing experience.

Lose: I didn’t reach the NaNo goal of writing 50,000 words during the month of November.

I finished the book draft on Nov 19th and had planned to continue piling up words with other writing projects. This would have been fun, since I loved adding my word count to the NaNo stats at the end of each writing day. But I decided, in the end, I’d benefit more by devoting the last weeks of the month to other matters, including reading the massive short story collection Family Furnishings by Alice Munro for my book club. For me, NaNo didn’t allow much time to do anything else, and I mean anything.

Congratulations to all those who won/won NaNoWriMo and completed both their drafts and 50,000 words. I know now that is a massive task.

Giller Bash photos

Check out these photos from Calgary’s Giller Bash last week. A well-attended fun event, as seen in the smiling faces.

Day 13

Day 13 of National Novel Writing Month. It sure is grueling to try to write 50,000 words in one month, but NaNo has pushed me forward. My word count slipped today, but I’m still a little ahead of the target and on track to reach the goal on Nov 28th. NaNo provides stats and a graph showing your progress and updates them every time you add words to your count. It’s fun and could turn anyone into a numbers geek. 

NaNo – Day 2

Total word count to date: 4,850. I’m giving it a strong kickoff because I know I won’t be able to maintain a fast pace. NaNoWriMo has been interesting so far, for a variety of reasons.

Blog Tour

My friend, Glenna Jenkins, is on a whirlwind virtual blog tour. Check out her site for many posts of interest to writers and readers. I’ve read Glenna’s book, Somewhere I Belong, and found it a well-written historical young adult novel with appeal to adult readers, especially for those like me with connections to The Maritimes. Somewhere I Belong is well-deserving of the praise it’s been receiving.


For the first time, I’ve committed to National Novel Writing Month. I won’t be there for the Midnight Kickoff on Hallowe’en night, but the morning of Nov 1st I’ll begin my goal of writing 50,000 words during the month of November. I have been interested in NaNoWriMo for years, have encouraged others to look into it and the stars have finally aligned for my participation. November 1 was when I’d planned to plunge into my post-holiday writing and I feel a need for an outside boost.

Meanwhile, I’m wrapping up some pre-NaNo projects, including my blog series about my writing journey. The posts will continue to run weekly on this site until November 17th. Check out today’s entry about my second stab at murder.

The Word On The Street

Setting up the Crime Writers of Canada table

Sharon Wildwind, Maureen Jennings & Me

Lethbridge Word on the Street was a great success on Sunday. Sunshine and warmth brought out the crowds, despite high winds that threatened to blow us into the coulee. I especially enjoyed meeting fellow writers and talking about real life police work with Lethbridge Sergeant Robin Klassen during our presentation to an enthusiastic audience.

Maureen Jennings tells the audience that including rain in screenplays is expensive.

Sharon Johnston, wife of Canada's Governor General, reads from her historical novel set in Lethbridge.

Me with Sergeant Klassen

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