Tag Archives: writing

Good News

My novel is going to be published. Wooo-hoooo!

NeWest Press, a literary publisher based in Edmonton, has picked up my book. We’re looking at a 2016 release. Between now and then there’s still work to be done, including:

  • more editing.
  • cover design, layout, etc…
  • marketing plans.
  • clearing copyright for song lyrics (although I’ve already started that process and I don’t think it will be too tedious).

But I wasn’t really thinking about all that when I got off the phone with Paul Matwychuk, NeWest’s general manager. I was thinking, “Woo-hoo!” And “I should phone my mom.”

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Stories

I took in the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild conference this last weekend. It was a great conference, and I had all kinds of interesting conversations with other writers (topics ranged from bar fights to politics, which is sometimes kind of the same thing, I guess).

Anyway, one thing that stuck with me was Tim Wynne-Jones’ comments on how people become writers. Basically, it’s like playing basketball – when you start out, you’re having fun, and you’re a slightly better shot than the other kids, or a little quicker, etc… At some point you have to work hard to develop that talent, but in the beginning it comes down to a love of the game and what might be a slim advantage over your peers.

And I thought that metaphor really rang true. When I think about why I became a writer, it probably comes down to a love for good stories. And  my grandma, Mary Guenther, is the first person who helped me develop that story ear.

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Revise

Last weekend my editor got back to me with the suggested revisions for my novel. This is my seventh round of revisions, but they’re not nearly as extensive as the first few rounds. I can see the finish line.

One of the biggest issues to tackle was the ending. I went from having a lengthy, expository ending in an earlier draft to an abrupt ending that would have left readers feeling like they’d fallen off a cliff. Neither was very good.

I hate it when writers tie up every loose string at the end of their books, and so that was what I was trying to avoid with the last draft.

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Cabin Fever

I’ve been on a Wilco kick for the last little while.

It started with a spring blizzard in late March that closed highways and made me question my sanity for living in Saskatchewan (it’s been winter here for six months). Cabin fever soon set in. Corey, my husband, talked me into watching a doc about the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, one of Wilco’s albums.

I don’t know if you go through this, but sometimes when I get into a band/musician, writer, whatever, I get slightly obsessive. The kind of obsessive where you read every book/story you can get your hands on, or listen to every album over and over. Neko Case has inspired this type of madness in the past, as has Sherman Alexie.

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