Monday, August 26, 2013

I love my neighbourhood...

I live in one of the best neighbourhoods around. Surrounded by nature trails and lots of green space in the back we often have coyotes howling in the distance and deer coming up to our fence. Turtles, bunnies, snakes, blue heron and a few species of eagles and owls surround us every day. But the nature is not the only attribute that makes this neighbourhood awesome. It's our neighbours.

Above is the picture of our closest neighbors. It's not the best quality, but I'm in there too:) This week I submitted an article to our local paper about a BBQ we had a week ago.   Here is and I hope you enjoy:

We know each other by first names and close each other’s garage doors at night. I can borrow a cup of sugar or teaspoon of baking powder when I run out. If an alarm goes off at someone’s house and the police arrive, the word spreads quicker than fire. Speaking of fire, when a bunch of kids set off fireworks in the back setting our green space ablaze, I knew within seconds, even though I wasn’t home. How? Through one of our BBM Groups.

The dads play soccer and softball during the year. They have their ‘Porter’ team t-shirts and commit to winning every week, even if sometimes it’s not so easy. The moms get together for drinks, dinner and chit-chat at a local restaurant. We gossip through blackberry messages about the Bachelor, latest coupons and sales offers, and warn one another when someone’s door-knocking.
That’s what living on Porter Crescent in Hespeler is like. That friendly old style neighborhood where everyone knows one another by their and their kids first names. On August 17th we celebrated our second annual Porter barbeque. The day began with a round of golf played by the Porter dads at seven in the morning. In the afternoon, we had a daddy race where the dads displayed their cavemen running abilities. Over seventy of our closest neighbours, including kids, attended. From burgers and hot dogs, to salads and cakes, everyone chipped in to make a delicious supper. Highlight of the night: roasted chicken in a home-made rotisserie, right on the driveway. Two bouncy castles, basketball nets and fooling around with their neighbouring friends kept the kids occupied. The spectacular afternoon was followed by a fireworks show and finger-licking marshmallows by the fire pit.
           One of our biggest fears is someone leaving the neighbourhood. Due to work and life, one family is actually moving out at the end of August. We’re sad to see a household leave our Porter family, because that’s what it truly feels like: a family. But we’ll welcome our new neighbours with open arms, because that’s what families do. And that’s what makes Porterville so special.

What do you like about your neighbourhood? Want to be my neighbour :) ?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Today is the first Wednesday of the month and so it's time for another IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group) post.  Thank you to our host Captain Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh.

For a full list of participants click
here and hop on over to offer your own words of encouragement and/or assistance.

Also please be sure to visit today's co-hosts:
M. Pax, Karen Walker, and Melissa Maygrove.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writers.

Last month I decided it was time to finish a WIP I'd had in my drawer and haven't touched since December 2012. Since it was 3/4 done I didn't think it would take me too long. After all, the story was there and I just had to 'clean it up' and 'tie it together'.

Well, what a difference eight months can make! I dove into the WIP (of course there are details of the story you always forget) and started editing from the beginning let me tell you how bad it was:


What was I thinking? Has my writing changed this much in just eight months? Yes, it has. Since the beginning of this year I've been able to write almost 250K new words I can safely say I've read more than I have any year.

What's the point I'm trying to make? For new writers out there (not to say I'm Stephen King LOL!) it's true what they say: Practice makes perfect and the only way to improve the craft is to keep writing and reading. Mid-next year I'm going to hit that magic 1 million words mark. Experienced writers say once you've written those first 1-million words you most likely know your voice and your writing style.

So don't give up and keep the fingers exercised ;)

What does that mean for my WIP? It's still 3/4 done but it's in much better shape.

What are your insecurities today? Have you seen improvement in your writing? Change in style and voice?