Tuesday, October 26, 2010

News - Toastmasters

I re-joined Toastmasters this month.  It really helps to practice public speaking when you're a student, and especially when you have to do presentations.  I first joined a few years ago, in Calgary, but we moved, and I couldn't find a club I particularly liked until now.  They meet at a convenient time for me, whereas, most of the other clubs had times either really early in morning, or lunch-time.  The club I have joined meets at 5pm on Tuesdays at the university.  So, that's where I'll be this evening.  Ugh!  I already have butterflies in my stomach.  I have always wondered why some people can speak to a crowded room, with no problem, while others (me, in particular) would rather jump into a caldron of boiling water, then face that crowd ... and speak ... words ... that make sense.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Writing - It's Weekend!

I'm sitting here at my computer trying to figure out how to flesh out a story that I am writing for a competition.  My mind is blank, the monitor is blank, so I thought, I may as well write on my blog.  I have the whole story typed out, but it's rough.  And, I keep bearing in mind (quite obsessive about it now .... thanks Les .... ha) that first sentence and first paragraph.  Well, here it is, the beginning of my story:

        He kept typing, his reply robotic in its distraction. “Yes, honey,” not hearing or knowing clearly what she had said.  Something about going somewhere? He was concentrating on the numbers on his computer. The job always came first, always. This was Wallis Becket's problem. He was addicted to his job; married to it; in love with it. Yes, he loved Helen too, but in his heart of hearts he thought his career was the love of his life. He joked about it, but the joke always had a tinge of seriousness to it.
       Wallis Becket had a problem.  He was addicted to his job; married to it; in love with it.   Yes, he loved Helen too, but in his heart of hearts he knew his career was the love of his life. He joked about it, but the joke always had a tinge of seriousness to it. The day his fiancee left him, he was completely unaware, lost in the financial world of his clients.  He vaguely heard her say something, but was too distracted to understand the ramification of what it was she had said.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review of book, Hooked by Les Edgerton

I read Hooked - write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go by Les Edgerton this year.  This is a book about beginnings, a book for writers that they may improve their first sentence, and initial chapters.  I loved the book ... it was written in an easy style with lots of examples, and ideas, in an effortless banter that keeps you reading.  Although, it seems to be like a textbook in some ways, it is never boring.  I will be referencing this book for a long time.

You can find the book at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

Monday, October 18, 2010

News - Pumpkin Time ....

... and oh, yeah, Halloween.  Bleh!  Not too thrilled about that part.  I am sorry, North American readers, but I was quite astonished, when we moved here, at an event where kids can come pounding on your door, demanding treats, or they'll trash your house.  Say what????  I am from South Africa.  We don't do that there, unless it's caught on since I left 14 years ago (as so much else from America has done).  I am happy to say, it seems to be dying out now ... last year, not one knock did I get.  I wonder if I should bother putting the porch light on this year?  Probably not ... save on electricity and grocery bill.  Instead, I will relax with some hot chocolate, and a good movie sans the irritating pauses when getting up to pass out the candy.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Life - My First Post

Awfully simple, straightforward title, but what the hey ... I'm not feeling terribly creative today.  So!  What to write?  What amazing and world exploding words can I place on this little white block that may shock, titilate, amuse, or just ho-hum you, my possible readers.  And, I do imagine you all to be in the thousands, feasting on the buffet of my words.

Well, I'm sorry.  I don't have much to say at this particular time.  Nothing happening today.  Oh .... wait!  I did volunteer, very briefly, at the air cadet HQ this morning.  And!  I am having coffee with a friend this afternoon.

That's the only little treat I can report, but tomorrow may bring exciting adventures. One never knows what's ahead of this time continuum stream.  Sometimes you float along happily, then find yourself (hopefully not too often) in the rapids that is the contrast to joy, trying to avoid the rocks, shooting the rapids into calm pools.  

At this point in my life, I am floating around in a calm pool, concentrating on my writing and studies, just after the the last two years of falling over a waterfall straight into the rapids, bumped a few rocks, and here I am .... I triumphed over that difficult journey.  Yesssss!

Yellow daisies

Yellow daisies
taken in Nanaimo

White daisies

White daisies
field of daisies taken in Nanaimo