Monday, 26 March 2012

'The Calling' gets its own blog!

A couple of posts back, I mentioned a novel that I've written. I'm in the final stages of preparing it for publication, so I've launched its own blog called The Calling. You can find it from my profile and here's a direct link: THE CALLINGI'll keep it updated as the book makes progress towards getting printed.

Since I wrote the post on the story, I've added a couple of layers to it. To me it seemed like there was only one main character, so I upgraded one of the minor characters - a girl - so she got sucked into the action and teams up with Valin. They both have lessons to learn about themselves, and I've worked on sharpening that theme so that it comes through loud and clear.

In order to send the story to a publisher I've had to write a synopsis. This is what publishers like. If they haven't requested the whole book, then I send a query letter - to sell it to them - and, along with the first few chapters, a synopsis of the story. Imagine compressing 57,000 words into  one or two pages of double-spaced text, bringing out the main themes of the plot and the development of the main characters. And it has to be in a way that grabs the attention of a busy publisher who has maybe a dozen or more similar manuscripts to read that day. Why should he publish mine? What makes it special? If you've ever thought of writing a book for publication, it's a challenge. There should be many books in your local library to guide you through the necessary steps. Get in touch if you are a total beginner and would like some tips.

Now it's back to work for me...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Was that winter?

A quick update on Canadian winter for those of you living in another country (or in BC, where you mostly just get rain, right? ;-) ) It was certainly a mild one, but a good first winter as a family.

  • sledding, or sliding, whatever you call it, with some Saudi friends. They loved it! Said they're more used to sliding down sand dunes in 4x4s!
  • hot chocolate after cross-country skiing
  • saying 'It's warm today' when it's -10C or above... makes a change from -20.
  • getting lost while skiing on a frozen lake with my wife, coming back the 'scenic route'
  • snowball fights with our sons - this was their first white winter
  • snow shoveling - it's good exercise and about the only way I meet the neighbours!
  • skating along the river in Winnipeg (see first pic below)
  • day trips to camp. (second pic) Undisturbed snow and lots of animal tracks. Walking on the lake ice with international students and seeing them get nervous at the ice groaning
Now we're getting into the big thaw already, and the streets are filling up with slush and melted snow;
meltwater from the roof drips onto the drive and freezes at night