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Showing posts from May, 2014

On the Brink: CAN-CON Celebrates New SF Writers

I went to a CAN-CON event celebrating newly published science fiction writers last night.

When I arrived, I didn't know anyone but the hostess, Marie Bilodeau. I wasn't worried about it as events with Marie are fun.

A published author sat at the table next to me and placed a stack of his books on my table. For a brief moment, one of the other authors in the room thought they were mine! "Someday, I hope," I said. Marie helped clarify and called me a 'rising star' and while I'm not sure that's accurate yet, it made me feel awesome! I informed the lady that I follow her blog. Someday I'll read her Grigori Legacy books also. We had a funny chat about gardening where I admitted I enjoy gardening, but the squiggly bugs often cause me to jump out of the flower bed and take a breather. Not efficient gardening, I know.

Eventually, people came to sit with me. I was the stranger in the room, I supposed that was why most sat elsewhere. I enjoyed the conversat…

How long to write my first novel

Since the pitching workshop I attended in April, I have been fretting about how long it is taking me to write my first novel. I was told not to mention that I have been working on it for four years now.

I have decided there is nothing wrong with how long it is taking me. Why? Most first novels take around 5-10 years to write. J.K. Rowling took 5 years to write "The Philosopher's Stone" and 2 years of editing happened before it went to print! For more stats on writing the first novel, I found this article interesting.

During the past four years, WHILE writing my novel, I've had karate classes and tests; I suffered through health challenges; I became a Certified Associate of Project Management; I managed many projects; I became a LEAN Green Belt; I switched karate styles; I lived through major home renovations; I struggled through a failing marriage that ultimately had to end; my workplace became overly stressful with job uncertainty; I took a new job in a new city whe…

OIW - Book Cover Design Seminar

On May 22nd, I went to a seminar on book cover design.

Before the information was presented on design, the author of Imposter Bride, Nancy Richler, read part of her first chapter and the story sounds intriguing. Lately, I am preferring to read the work of other Ottawa-area authors. Perhaps someday it will be my book that they read in turn. Currently, I am reading The Crimson Man by Patricia K McCarthy and though it is not in my genre, it is a fiery read. Ladies, you'll enjoy it. So far it feels heated like 50 Shades of Grey, but with more substance and a higher level of writing skill.

At the beginning of the meeting, announcements were made about newly published works by members of the Ottawa Independent Writers group. The Autism Story is written as fiction by a university professor that specializes in the area. It sounds interesting as well.

Nancy Richler answered questions about publishing after she completed her reading. Here is what I took from it:

1. Avoid small press publish…

The 2014 Sei Do Kai Spring Jodo and Iaido Seminar

How can you tell you have been at a weekend-long martial arts seminar? You might have bandaids or tape on your big toes and heels (perhaps the balls of your feet too); your feet likely burn in the shower; and you could really use a neck and shoulder massage. I made it through the first two days without taping anything and I am proud of that.

This weekend, I attended The 2014 Sei Do Kai Spring Jodo and Iaido Seminar. I was on the fence about attending the seminar for personal reasons. In the end, I decided I was going and I was going to have a good time.

Sometimes I get anxious when meeting new people as I am a bit introverted and I often stress about my word choice and accidentally upsetting someone because I used the wrong words... I also get anxious about food since I often have to plan ahead to ensure I will be able to eat, though I think that is improving.

The trip there was interesting. I learned more about my sensei via his taste in music… The conversation was not terrible eithe…

Ottawa Comiccon 2014 - Day 2

This time, I took my car because, I wanted to be there earlier. I got up extra early to ensure parking. The cost difference for the day from bus to park was 20 cents. Of course it cost more if you consider gas, but I got there and back way quicker.

My first necessity of the day was to get away from the stranger that latched onto me after I asked if he could hold my spot in line long enough for me to throw out my banana peel. I have a knack for having strangers latch onto me simply by being polite.

Eventually, I was able to browse and attend panels freely. The first panel I went to was called "Sexy Armour" and it was good, but I'm not interested in joining an armour guild.

After that, I went to an Advanced Steampunk panel. I learned some new things and have a bunch of research to do before next year. There was a wealth of knowledge on time periods that peaked my interest as I tweak my costume for next year.

I missed the third panel I wanted to go to on creating Alien worl…

Ottawa Comiccon 2014 - Day 1

I took the bus, which is something I almost never do in this city because I have trouble getting home. I followed others where I could and ran into a couple of people I know from the Steampunk Ottawa outings. The buses were packed and traffic was congested. I was surrounded by very tall men who immensely enjoyed my Steampunk Catwoman costume:



It was very warm on the bus in leather and a corset. We were let out on the road near the centre and had to climb down a hill. I took my time as I didn't want to chance re-spraining my ankle as I need it for roller derby. I picked up my pass, which I ordered a week or so ago. I made it to the panel on Firefly. The panel was okay. I had to pee and the content wasn't what I was expecting, so I didn't stay in it.

The lineup for the bathroom was long. There were only three stalls. Occasionally women came declaring they were only washing their hands or fixing their boob area outside of the general public view as they were worried about get…

Genres, Subgenres, Sub-subgenres

I have had an internal struggle going on with my novel since I attended a book pitching seminar earlier this year. It's in regards to the genre. What I have realized is that I am writing a novel (possibly New Adult or Adult) that happens to have some Young Adult main characters. I have decided that is okay. My main character is young, but advanced for his age, and he deals with things that are heavier than most young adults typically deal with. He will deal with some typical young adult situations as well. Adults will be able to relate to the mature content, but also remember some of their youthful beginnings. The contrast should be interesting to write. I am happy to have figured out that piece of the dilemma.

My book is Science Fiction in that a large piece of it involves alien conspiracy. It could be Soft Sci-Fi because I care more about the characters and plot-lines than I do about the sci-fi bits. It could also be Social Sci-Fi and Dystopian as I do go into the social structu…

Etiquette

One of the key things in Iaido is not about unsheathing or swinging the sword. It is not about cutting with it or stabbing with it. A key thing about Iaido is etiquette.

I am told for a beginner, etiquette is more likely to result in failure for the first grading than skill level. Of course, skill level is important, but it is naturally expected that proper use of the sword comes with many hours of practice, whereas etiquette is about respect and is easy, in theory.

Etiquette begins as I enter the dojo.

1. I bow to Shinzen (the shrine) from the doorway or entry point.

2. I take my sword out of its carrying bag.

3. I smooth the sageo (the cord that connects my saya or sheath to my hakama or pants) against the saya.

4. I grasp the sageo with my left thumb.

5. I tuck the three layers into my palm and place my fingers on top to hold them in place.

6. As I bring the sageo bundle to my sword, I swap my fingers for the saya, so the saya is now holding the bundle in place and I put my thumb o…