Friday, 19 March 2010

Thank you!

mostly sunny, mild, temps 12

A perfect spring day, on the eve of spring.

Yesterday was great fun. No biting or making strange...not even me. The students were respectful and full of questions. Wish I could remember what they asked, but I've forgotten I'm afraid. They were good questions though - about characters, and how long the stories are. Lots of groans when they heard my books are generally 120-thousand words. But I took your advice about telling them I have all these imaginary friends in my head, and village. We talked about what they like to read.

More than one said - especially the boys - that the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid really turned them on to reading.

I have to say, I was deeply impressed. I had them write first lines to a murder mystery, advising them the body generally shows up there. And they went to town. I actually thought there'd be loads of gore and midnight shrieks. But they were actually atmospheric without being cartoonish.

It was fun. Thank you so much for your help, and the advice to ask them questions and draw them out. That was brilliant, very useful.

When I'd finished Michael was waiting outside with Trudy - and the news we had to return to Montreal. We'd left an important bag at Chez Nick, where we have breakfast! Thank God someone found it and turned it in. Didn't steal it. Phew!

So off we went. We got very lucky again. it was only 2pm - so we hit the Champlain into Montreal just before rush hour...and got to Nick's. Picked up the bag...and scooted across the bridge just as it was beginning to get congested.

We were back home by 5:30.

I was pooped so after feeding Trudy I crawled into bed with a bowl of cereal. Read and watched TV. Which is why I didn't blog yesterday. Nor did I get a chance to write.

But I did today, and discovered that I had failed to save all of chapter 8...and so lost it all! Fortunately I hadn't written all that much and knew what I had to do.

A cheap reminder to always, always save, then save again.

I must say, in seven books, this is the first time I've done that. And I hope the last. And it sure might have been worse. And I got a good start on chapter 8 today.

We have Derek and Cathie arriving to stay in the guest cottage for the weekend. We've never met Cathie, but Derek is my great friend Pat's brother. pat and I worked together in Winnipeg. And Derek and I dated briefly but quickly realized we were better as friends. He eventually left winnipeg to get his law degree. It comes as a huge surprise to realize Derek just passed his 60th birthday! I knew him when we were both so young. And haven't seen him since.

But they're coming to stay, and we've invited them for dinner tonight. Then, as we told them, they're on their own. God bless the guest cottage!

Speak to you tomorrow - thank you again for the advice re: speaking to kids.


Nikki B said...


Just in case you want to look....the mac will sometimes save a copy for you automatically! I noticed this when I looking in my docs file and found some duplicates!

Reen said...

The children sound wonderful! I'm amazed that with all you do, including this blog, you write so many words per day. How do you do it? Are you very, very organised?

Tracy H. said...

You should definitely have a copy of your manuscript off-site. If your computer crashes, you could lose everything.

An easy way is simply to e-mail a Yahoo! or gmail account with your manuscript at the end of each writing session.

By the way, I love your Web site and your blog. You seem very genuine, and I like that you're willing to help aspiring authors.

I haven't read your books yet, but "Still Life" should be delivered to my house any day now. Can't wait!


Anonymous said...

I never liked taking the Champlain Bridge mainly because I have a fear of heights, so I always took the milk train run (as they say) on Routes 201 & 202. It took an extra half hour but my heart stayed where it was meant to be. Also didn't like getting stuck in the traffic on the bridge when I was younger. Instead of 1 hour to home it could take 2 to 2.5 hours.

Glad you enjoyed your time with the children.

Diane said...

How wonderful for you to spend the time with the children. Who knows what difference it will make in someone's future! When I was going to school -- many, many years ago the curriculum was read, read, read, no talk of creative writing at all. Didn't discover that joy until any years later, but being a book addict certainly helped.

Thanks for all you do for writers! Blessings! Diane

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all - happy spring...

And thanks for the comments and help.

Nikki - sadly, I'm working on the old Dell, not the new Mac! Though it saved and when I re-booted it asked if I wanted it and I said NO, thinking I'd already saved it.

Reen - I'm organized but mostly I'm disciplined.

Hi Tracy. thanks for your advice.

Hi Anon, I know what you mean about the bridge. Horrible when traffic stops on it and we're stuck way up there. I've sort of found peace with that - but not my favorite!

Hi Diane - thank you. I wish I was better with kids, but I'm just not a natural. But I hope at the very least they know that they too can be a writer, if they want it.

Thanks for being so supportive.

Barb said...

Sorry about the last chapter, but glad that your left bag was found!

Interested about the kid saying the Wimpy Kid books got them him reading. I learned recently, to my amazement and disbelief, that some groups oppose the books and have actually had a few school librarians agree to only check them out to kids in 4th grade or older. Seems the "problem" is that the groups feel the character in the books doesn't show appropriate respect for parents and authority, and doesn't always do the right thing the first time around. Alrighty, then. I know we're all entitled to our own opinions, but I know that if I had a kid in a school and that happened with the librarian, I would be making myself heard.

OK, off the soapbox now. :)

Hope you enjoy your guests.