Tag Archives: Bloody Words XII



Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the Canadian Mystery Writing Conference, Bloody Words. It’s the baby of Caro Soles, who started the merry mystery get together in 1999. Together with her Bloody Gang, she’s been putting together a prime conference ever since.

This year’s was no exception, despite heavy construction in the hotel and a shooting two blocks over that many of us didn’t know about until later, distracted as we were by the events of the conference itself. We had the chance to listen to Gayle Lynds, whose talk about the components of thrillers was worth the price of the conference, and Linwood Barclay, one of our Canadian shining and murderous stars. Other authors, agents, experts all took the mike so we could learn about all aspects of mystery writing from the cheeriest cozy to the most murderous terrorist acts.

Strangely, everyone was very nice. It’s a wonderfully supportive group of authors, encouraging and cheery, while behind the scenes they are seeing vampires and little old ladies, gritty detectives and sweet ingénues, all seeking clues to gruesome murders. It certainly is a place where everyone’s minds seem to operate on two levels…

Wildly fun, though, meeting up with old friends, meeting new authors I have yet to read. Our goodie bags were filled to the brim with books and treats, our conversations were filled with tips and support and suggestions.

I went to the conference feeling like a fraud. I left freshly motivated and

raring to go. And really, isn’t that what a good conference is all about?

I’d better figure it out. I’m the gal-on-the-ground for Bloody Words 2015 in Halifax. But I’m lucky – I have the Bloody Gang along with me.

I can’t wait! Sailing on….

Procrastination and skill development

I’m getting really good at procrastinating lately. I suspect it is fear of my writing program, Scrivener, which is truly unfair because it’s a way cool program with enough fun little gizmos and organizing thingies to fill several books.

But maybe that’s the problem. I fear it because it is so wonderful. I am used to the tiresomeness of Office or word-processing things, where you type endlessly and lose information. An organized system is not working for me. But you know how you go to take a towel out of the laundry cupboard and have to move five things and then everything falls out and you finally realize that hell, yes, you need to organize the closet and be done with it? Well, that’s my writing life at present. I have files stored all over the place, virtual files, that is, and revisions of works in progress scattered in a very organic (read: like a compost heap) way throughout my computer and my hard drive and my various USB keys or sticks or zips or whatever we call those things these days. Used to be you’d have a disk, which you’d label and then lose.

My novel needs revision, badly. I haven’t even been able to write the ending because parts of the beginning don’t make sense. So it’s time to sort it out, look at the scenes, maybe rewrite it from memory, keeping in the good things and tossing everything else. Which would, I fear, leave me with about 100 words of the 70,000. And kill me.

But I’ve vowed to pitch this sucker at the Bloody Words Conference in Toronto in June and I’m missing my darling niece’s graduation to do so, so it had better be worth it.

So what do I do instead? I enter a bunch of short writing contests, with rather unspectacular entries. I tell myself I’m meeting deadlines. I am avoiding my novel.

I make Christmas presents for everyone on my list. I tell myself I am learning new skills, giving from the heart, you know. Instead I am hiding, hiding from the heart. The heart of my novel.

I even signed up for Nanowrimo to push myself for the 50,000 word count and finish the blasted thing.

It’s not working.

But my knitting skills have improved.  And I am getting so good at Facebook you just wouldn’t believe it.

Still losing at Lexulous, though. And not exercising me OR the dog. Because I am supposed to be writing.

I feel like I’m on some moibus loop, trotting round and round.

PS: this isn’t my office, thank heavens. I get sweaty just looking at it. It’s just a photographic rendition of my brain, real and computer…

PPS: Don’t miss Bloody Words XII – June 1-3, Toronto. Wonderful conference.