Wednesday, September 12, 2012

End of Sohow*

The sheep explain why this blog is going silent for the foreseeable future. I'll be back if I've something to announce - let's hope that day dawns sooner rather than later. As for now...back to actual writing - not writing about writing.  Thanks to all of you for reading this blog and...

stay tuned.

Be well.

Silence. Darkness.

WRITER: (timidly) Hello?


WRITER: (louder) Hello?


WRITER: (even louder) Is anyone here?

There is the flash of a match being struck and a lantern lit in the distance. A white shape becomes visible.

SHEEP #1: Yes?

WRITER: Are you one of the writing sheep?

SHEEP #1: Yes.

WRITER: I thought you lived somewhere else.

SHEEP #2: We’re everywhere.

SHEEP #3: If you need us, we will come.

SHEEP #1: That’s dangerously close to plagiarism.

SHEEP #2: It’s a phrase which has become part of the vernacular which a huge compliment to the author of said phrase.

WRITER: Can they not handle the truth?

SHEEP #3: (pointing a hoof) Don’t start.

SHEEP #2: Ignore them. (takes a step forward) How can we help?

WRITER: I just wondered…

SHEEP #1: Don’t use that word.

WRITER: What word? Wondered?

SHEEP #1: No; just. 

SHEEP #2: We hate that word.

SHEEP #3: It clutters up manuscripts.

WRITER: Sorry.

SHEEP #1: Don’t worry. This is your first draft. ‘Just’ at will.

WRITER: I wondered what you get asked the most.

SHEEP #2: Our best bits of wisdom?

SHEEP #3: Our greatest hits?

SHEEP #1: Easy. Stop reading about writing and write.

WRITER: Excuse me?

SHEEP #2: Why? What did you do?

SHEEP #1: Did you leave a mess? Do we need a mop?

SHEEP #2: Have you ever noticed that the mop looks a lot like Uncle Murray?

SHEEP #1 & #3: Poor Uncle Murray.

WRITER: What happened?

SHEEP #1: It was a tragic case of A Fence Too Far. Well, too high, really.

SHEEP #2: We’ve digressed.

SHEEP #3: Sorry.

WRITER: You were saying…

SHEEP #1: Writers need to write. It sounds simplistic, but it’s not. It’s far easier to read about writing or write about writing --

SHEEP #2: Or talk about writing.

SHEEP #3: Don’t get me started. Get thee behind me, Facebook!

SHEEP #1: If you want to finish something, then finish it. Writing is work. 

SHEEP #2: Sometimes I think it was easier when writers were up in their chilly attics, pounding away on their typewriters.

SHEEP #1: Or dipping their pen nibs into bottles of ink.

SHEEP #3: Taking a break to warming their chilblained fingers before a flickering coal fire.

All three sheep sigh.

SHEEP #1: But now, you’re all posting status updates and commenting on blogs and tweeting and pinning and complaining you’ve got no time to write.

WRITER: You’re right.

SHEEP #1: Of course we’re right. 

SHEEP #2: We’re the sheep.

SHEEP #3: Go away now. Write.

WRITER: Yes, sir. (writer leaves)

Sheep #1 blows out the lantern. In the dark:

SHEEP #2: I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

*It's a Sorkin thing.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Greetings from England

Yes, I made it. Yes, I'm thrilled. But yes, I'm lonely. But...I am beginning work on a new book and I spent the last two days...


Thus beginneth Elspeth's Excellent English Adventure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On Hiatus Until July...

My life is about to change...

I'm moving to England for the summer. I'll pick up this blog once I'm there and settled. 

I hope you'll all check in!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Something to Ponder

I've been pondering many things lately.

How to wrap up two more murder mystery games. Whether I should begin mapping my romantic comedy manuscript. How many pop tarts I really could eat in one sitting, if I put my mind to it.

And most importantly, what new direction I need to take with this blog. It's stagnating. So, here's where YOU come in - what have you liked and what would you like to see more of? Extra points if you mention the sheep. Even more points if you know what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure when my next post will be.

But in the meantime, here's the best commencement speech EVER - delivered by one of the greatest writers EVER - Aaron Sorkin.

Here's the text: Aaron Sorkin's Commencement Speech at Syracuse

Monday, May 14, 2012

10 Signs You're NOT in the Zone

Have you ever had one of those days when you're trying to write a blog post and you have no words? Seriously. No words. 

What is a blogger to do?

This is what this blogger does - she reruns one of her more popular posts about not being in the zone. Irony is amusing.

Let's hope I've found some words by Wednesday - or at least (considering what I post on Wednesday) some pictures.

Happy Monday to all.

10. Just one more game of Solitare (or Free cell or Angry Birds or...). Just one. Oops, where did that hour go?

9. Notice you've used the word 'pretty' twice. Not in the same paragraph; the same sentence.

8. (If you write mysteries) Your sleuth is about to have his/her big 'aha' moment. This is when you realize there is no logical way they could have leapt to the solution.

7. Realize your fingers are cramping because they've been frozen over the keyboard for such a long time.

6. It's been so long since you've looked at your WIP that when you actually open up the document you have to spend considerable time re-reading it because you have no idea what's going on.

5. Congratulations; you've just forgotten your main character's name.

4. You've only got half an hour to write and you're determined to make it count. Okay, just one more game of solitaire and you're going to start.

3. Your pet just came into the room, yawned and left. He knows.

2. You've been popping about the internet completing vital research. How is it possible that your computer's screen is showing travel packages to Tahiti?

1. You've achieved a new high score in  Solitare (or Free cell or Angry Birds or...). It's time well-spent.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fun Friday

As I promised in last week's Fun Friday post, here's more incredible photos I was sent in an email.
Have a great weekend, everyone and Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrate this Sunday.

In  the Chinese province of Shandong this bridge crosses the Gulf of Jiaozhou. The bridge stretches over 36 km and has eight car lanes. It is the longest sea bridge in the world. 

A computer store in Paris. In fact, the floor is absolutely flat. I'm sure I would trip.

Here's something you don't want to be stuck in! A 260 kilometre traffic jam in China.

An unusual  tunnel in California's Sequoia National  Park. We've got a similar one here in Vancouver in Stanley Park.
 This statue created by Bruno Catalano is located in France. 

The same monument in Kaunas, Lithuania seen at day and then at night.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Writing Game

Some of us write about this...

while some write about this...

and if you're a mystery writer (like me) you write endless versions of this...

But really, we're all writing about this...

There are the days when you feel as if you're playing this...

or this...

and even the days you feel as if you're playing this...

But we all need to play this...

and make our characters play this...

and remember no one ever has this...

on this...
And trust that one day you'll be playing this...

Because you have created a this.