Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I am actually sad that the month is over but also exhausted, so therefore relieved. I am so proud to say that I did not miss one day of writing and now have over 150 pages (double spaced) of a manuscript to work off of. I actually plan to stick it in the freezer for two months before I go to edit it.

I did not read ANYTHING that I wrote for the first time ever. Each day was just a matter of keeping on. Which led to some great momentum. I was able to stay focused on where the story was headed instead of perfecting how to tell it. I have finally embraced the methods that seem to work best for me, which is also such a win in its own right.

I feel like I've reached a different understanding of writing that I have been striving for --> knowing the ending. This was another big one because I had to realistically get my characters there. It gave me momentum and made me think harder about character choices and therefor character identity.

Lastly, NaNoWriMo has given me pacing. Since I had my scene's as a sentence on index cards (with one to four jot notes) ahead of time, I knew that I had a limited amount of scenes that I could use each day. This forced me to draw things out that I normally wouldn't have. To really enhance the detail and give more meaning to why the character was there. I played more with scent and sound and really stretched which helped me be there with my character.

This was a great experience and it was easier this year because 1. This book has been in my brain for a long ass time, 2. I had a plan and the random things floating in my head turned into 'scenes' for the character to get through 3. I didn't let myself fall behind, I planned ahead and wrote more whenever I could to get ahead.

I imagine this process is so different for everyone but I'll keep doing this every year and maybe try a NaNoCamp in April?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NaNoWriMo - Day 5

So it's day 5 of NaNoWriMo and my scene titles have come in real handy. On a set of large index cards I wrote a heading and then scribbled some notes to jog my memory further. I try to just use one index card a day but sometimes I've used as many as three if the scene ends up being really lame. Then there's the whole blank white space on the back of the index card and when I think up some new scene I jot it down there. 
Index Cards as scene notes
The last time I did an outline like this of only a descriptive sentence as a scene was 4 years ago and it worked SO WELL for me that I can't believe it took me this long to try it out again. Granted I don't know where exactly the story is headed in terms of plot. Had to check some things in the wonderful "Writing Fiction" text book. So phenomenal. I really hated reading it cover to cover but it's an amazing book and now I enjoy it for reference.

Image result for writing fiction a guide to narrative craft
Awesome book for writers

So what have I gotten out of re-reading the chapter on plot:

Story says, "... and then..."

Plot asks, "WHY?"

Feel the cause and effect

So that's mainly what I'm up to. I've also been journaling and doing a couple random flash fiction stories from prompts just to keep things fresh. NaNoWriMo can get really intense so I'm really doing my best to only think about it when I am actually writing it. 

Best of luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 - Day 1

This is the first year that I have prepped for NaNoWriMo. I have a book that's been brewing and has taken different shapes in short story and now it is ready/time/I really want get it on paper. I used some tips online and made index cards with possible scenes I've been dreaming up. I'm not the greatest at story progression but at lest I have some scenes to get me started each day. I'm hoping that will really help with my word count.

After talking with someone at my new writing group I also learned that you actually win some things from NaNoWriMo. I guess it's just been a personal journey the last few years of doing National Novel Writing Month, I make my own spreadsheet to track my progress and only once have submitted words to their site. This year I plan to use all that has to offer. I love their NaNoToons and I've even been reading the emails of encouragement they send out. It wasn't that I was against it before I was just worried it would serve as a distraction.

These are my 'Must Haves' for writing these days. That pink piggy timer is invaluable. For me the sweet spot is 45 minutes. I can't get out of the chair until it rings. Not to pee, not to get a glass of water, not to grab a sweater. I have to be in the chair with pen or key board for that time. It gives me the same feeling as a hike, you can't just stop walking every time you're uncomfortable to have a snack or change your layers. It's better when you wait until you reach a certain km or check point. 

The Candle is a newer commitment. I don't usually love scented candles but I couldn't resist the Frost Beard Studio ones. They're not overwhelming, it has a nice scent and someone else described writing with a candle in the room, it feels special? It's comforting and ritualistic for me and I tend to go with what works, and it's working. Makes the space cozier too. 

The keyboard is bluetooth and can hook up to my phone which I have Google Docs on. I find the small screen tedious to read so it helps to keep me focused on what I want to say not what I just did. Editing and rereading are my biggest pulls to slow down my day's word count. I can easily forget that editing is a whole other process and always want to dive in and fix things right away. 

So, there it is, NaNoWriMo begins. I have done my 1670 words for the day and feeling good about tomorrow. All the best if you're working on a novel and if you're a NaNo nerd add me as a buddy - Stagewhisper

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tufted Headboard

Pinterest was invaluable with the finding a stagey and giving me the confidence to make this headboard.

So, step one was grabbing the wood board that was randomly in the house and had been moved around to it's home leaning against a wall in the garage. Bought some carpenters glue and smeared that all over. You can see in the top of the photo is some foam. We had this on our bed for a while but no longer needed it so another re-purposed piece made this project WAY cheaper. Dan really thought the foam was useless but I knew it could live on.

I took over most of the floor in the spare room with this project. I really wanted to use a fabric that I already had but the only one I really liked I didn't have enough material to hang over the edge and I liked that the wood hung over the edge of the bed a little. So off to Fabricland where I found this beauty. There was three yards and it was 80% off and I found a button bin that was three packs for $1 which is practically unheard of in button world. 

Mr. Nacho gave his approval so on it went. Damn! I didn't take a photo but, once I glued the foam on the wood, I grabbed sharpie and made dots where I wanted all the holes. Then grabbed a kitchen knife and cut a large cross over the dots so the fabric had somewhere to go and I could feel the hole without having to guess where my mark may be placed while the fabric was on. 

Then I grabbed the drill and drilled small screws. This made it so easy and fast going. I can't imagine having to sew through all that fabric. Once all the holes were seen to I flipped over the board and used a staple gun to pull the fabric tight and secure it on the back.

I filled all the holes with random white buttons and borrowed Sue's glue gun to put them in place. This was a NO-Sew project. All fitting pieces together and using durable materials. I really can't believe people attempt this with just a needle and thread. So glad I scoured Pinterest! That place can be a tunnel of overwhelming crafts but if you have a project in mind there's such a wealth of tips. So, here is mine! Ready to be leaned up against to read on.


It's not perfect by any means but I'm certainly happy that it cost me less than $50 instead of a new one for $200-$1000!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Cherry Creek Cabin

 Our first in B.C. road trip took four hours around Kootaney lake to a cabin just outside of Kaslo.

There were many windy mountain roads, maybe even more than are around Manitoulin and Sault Ste. Marie. We took a ferry, it was free and you don't need an advanced ticket, you just show up and hope you get on.

We saw many bears and enjoyed some really nice days with this view. I did a paddle board across the  Kootany river and was pleasantly reminded of my quiet days at Casa Cayuco in Panama. All the memories of going out on my own and then teaching guests how to Stand Up Paddle Board. The water was so calm and deep. In the sun it was a forest green, but in the shadows it looked like black glass, or making ripples in onyx.

Oh yeah, I made Sangria in this giant vat.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

No more golf for me

 It was a tough choice but I gave my two weeks notice at the golf course. I was grateful for the job but it just became overwhelming and exhausting when I had to work doubles. My writing was hell-a-suffering. I had to go back to the roots of why we moved here, and why we bought a house: Enjoy life more, write more, be outside more.

6am at opening the golf shop doors
goodbye golf world

Deer Bums

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Washer or not...

Our first 'paid for' reno in the house was putting in a washing machine upstairs so that downstairs can be it's own private rental suite. It didn't go so well.

Ummmmmm where does the water come in? Yup, that's right, it's just a drain pipe...

Thankfully when I texted the plumber he came right over, hooked up the faucets and now we're in business with a washer! Less than $500 for the washer and install, looking pretty schnazzy.

This is my new drying system:

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Turning Tables

Ok, sorry for the cheesy title, I just love alliteration.

Dan (mostly) and I recently fixed up a table. Our first big house project together. Sanding, staining, varnishing. $100 of materials later we have a spruced up dining room table. Here are the before and after pics. 

We bought enough stain and varnish to do a few tables and chairs and boxes and anything wood. So let the sanding begin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A New Kind of Adventure

So folks, I'm on a new kind of adventure. I didn't quite realize how much I missed my blog until a friend's Dad started one that made me laugh:

I'm on an adventure and I'm in one place - what a concept. I've traded in my 'ready to escape at any time bag' for a house. I don't know the next plane I'll jump on, not even mild plans in the works and I'm not hyperventilating. I'm happy.

I found a way to make travel and living in one place work out well in Thunder Bay for the past three years. With my frugal lifestyle at home I afforded travel once every three months. It's not posted here but I went to the United States, around Canada & Spain. I figured out how to just make it part of my lifestyle. I'm not afraid that I'm going to lose it, or that travel will somehow not pull me in anymore. Discovering places and people will always give me that special adrenaline.

So here I am, back in blogosphere. This lighthearted way of writing, making writing errors, and being candid. I've gotten more serious with my writing the past few years and (as I sigh and roll my eyes) I want to get serious about submitting more, but I also want a break from formalities and reconnect.

So back to this adventure: we've taken the plunge into investment.
(I say WE happily too! It's taken a long time to stuff that word into my vocabulary).