Saturday, 3 May 2008

Flushing the Canadiens

Overcast, spitting, cool, highs 12

windy today, and rainy. Really not all that cold for Quebec at this time of year, but the combo of rain and wind, well it gets right into you.

Had a fun day today. Woke up to Trudy and her stinky stuffed toy in my face. I whispered, 'Where's Daddy?'. That gave me a few more minutes sleep.

Wrote all morning - moving toward the end - though still about 25 thousand words away. Would love to be finished this first draft before we head back to England at the end of the month.

I like deadlines. Gives me structure and certainly gives me purpose. But I'm a bit of a maniac about deadlines. I actually get my books in months ahead. While I love having them, and need them...and when I was writing STILL LIFE without a contract I realized I needed to give myself deadlines. Something to shoot for. The downside is that I feel so stressed by a deadline I just drive myself, way beyond what could be considered reasonable.

But, I also want the summer off - to relax. So this is my plan: Finish the first draft by the end of this month. Go to CrimeFest in Bristol then BookExpo in Toronto. Return home by mid-June. Work on second draft through June. Finish that before going away at beginning of July. Polish through July. Get it to my agent by the beginning of August...and take August off. Except for the promotion events at Wolfe Island, Ontario and in Michigan.

There's some stress, but it's all manageable. And really, what else would I rather be doing? this really is a dream come true.

I asked Phyllis Smallman, whose wonderful book Marguerita Nights has just come out, to write a blog for me. I specifically asked her to write about her experiences with the Unpublished Arthur Ellis award - she won last year and as a result her first book is now in the stores - published by McArthur and Co.

Like me, she got her break through a contest for Best Unpublished Crime Novel. If you're a mystery writer, please consider checking out the CWA Daggers, the Malice domestic/St. Martin's Minotaur contest and the Crime Writers of Canada contest. They work!

Anyway, back to Phyllis. she wrote the most beautiful blog and I'd intended to put it up immediately, but had to go out, and I don't want to put it on for only a few hours. So I'll put it on the site tomorrow. Please look for it here. And look out for her book in the stores and on Amazon.

I'm off to Colchester, Vermont to speak at the Burnham library tomorrow at 2pm - I might see some of you there.

The duck and goose are still at the pond. Very friendly too. I swear to God we're going to have a new species in a few weeks.

Michael is watching the Montreal Canadiens playoff game. I can hear it in the background. He just reported...Philadelphia has scored 3 goals in 5 minutes. Unbelievable. But we should have known. Michael's good luck charm, bought in New Zealand, fell into the toilet. That can't be good. Frankly I'm glad if we have to have bad luck, it's with the Canadiens.

Yikes, I can barely stand the sound of the game - so stressful!!!

Well, I'm off. Dogs to be let out and given their evening treats. Thanks for reading - and I'll put up Phyllis's post tomorrow.

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