Draft 1 is DONE

Monday, July 31, 2006

Man, that was hard. I mean, who knew that a book could take so darn long to write? And it's not even there yet. It's kind of like a hard boiled egg with that one undercooked spot you weren't expecting - except mine has about a gazillion of them!

Still, I got the story out despite the weasels, penguins and game show trials. WOO HOO! Now I'm going to let it fester in a corner for two weeks while I edit the magazine article that will change my life...and make my Grandma proud.

To my fellow Write-Ons: I hope this isn't the end of our friendly banter and sharing of the writing life. I'm keeping these blog links up until I become really famous and my web site manager tells me that Bob Barker, Josh Holloway, and Weird Al want to be featured in that spot. That would be tres cool.

I have only one person to blame for my sleep deprivation and cramped fingers: Michelle Rowen. Damn you for giving me a deadline that I didn't think I'd be able to meet!

Writing a first draft was a lot harder than I expected it to be. It also takes a lot longer to write 71,000 more words than I'm normally used to for a project. This is one writer who thinks 1,500 is a long piece. Never again.

This has been an experience, to say the least. Hopefully the revisions won't take as long as the year that the first draft did! Maybe I'll even come up with a title that I like by the end of the year. Or I could have a little contest. Whaddya think?

Now I must celebrate with some frozen Girl Guide cookies...

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:38 PM 5 comments

It's all monkey

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Finally downloaded my early June vacation pics, and had to share this monkey sequence with you.

At the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo, they have an area you can go into where the animals roam around freely. They have birds, turtles and these wee orange monkeys. They're about the size of a Yorkshire Terrier.

This little guy could spot a terrified tourist immediately and came right up to me.

Then I tried to get another shot, and learned that digital cameras have a five-second delay.

This was my final attempt, but he was gone. Just like a miniature Sasquatch.

At least he didn't steal my handbag.

Back to the WIP...in the final throes...will update the counter once complete.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:24 PM 2 comments

I bet my ass, and lost!

Friday, July 28, 2006

It was the best of times and the worst of times. At least they caught it all on camera.

First I have to give a big shout-out to Lara Rose for her support in the front row of the audience! And big hugs to Annie, Barb, Dan and the DH for also being friendly non-tomato-throwing faces in the crowd. Thanks for being there to watch me burn in flames. Woo-hoo!

Everything was going really well for me until my final question in the final round. Get this people, my category was GAME SHOW HOSTS! Talk about comedic karma. So, instead of playing it cool with my 2000 point lead, I said this fateful phrase:

"All in."

And then they asked me a question that I couldn't answer. About the chick hosting Millionaire now. Even now I can't come up with her name, and I'm at a stinking computer. Sigh.

At least I looked good. ;)

Rats. I was so close...but as a problem gambler I probably should have seen the signs. The uncontrollable twitching. The tendency to drool at the thought of the odds being in my favour. I got carried away...and left empty-handed. Which is exactly what would happen to me at casinos. Go figure.

At least I can now focus on finishing Draft 1 of the WIP. And, wouldn't you know, the edits on the major magazine article arrived while I was taping the show. I haven't read through them yet, so I'm still in a good, albeit a tad disappointed, mood.

Now it's time to head to a theme park or something. After my nap.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:38 PM 2 comments

I shopped, I dropped

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The shoot for the Emily Haines video for her new solo single, Doctor Blind, lasted 10 hours. And it started at 9:30 p.m.

Man, it was fun!

Although I did not get to tape the "racing with a shopping cart" scene (it had been cut), I was able to become a stuntwoman and fall back onto mats and in a strange contraption that gave the illusion of me hitting the floor. Without too much bloodshed.

They provided us with super-tacky outfits to wear. If you're looking for me in the video, I'm the one with the sleeveless dark blue tunic and orange/green/purple and black leggings. Yeah, you read that correctly; I'm a trailer park fashionista.

Hopefully I don't get edited out because my outfit's too darn hot. ;)

Even though I did get to look at the storyboard, I really don't understand what the heck the video is about. They also shot it out of sequence, and most of the scenes I was in had me lying on a hard department store floor. Yeah it was pretty cool.

The food offered up by the craft services team was awesome. Butter chicken and vegetarian stir fries - bring it on! Even though the timing was all wrong (as in, I should have been unconscious), I just had to have a helping of everything. They even had tiny boxes of Mike and Ike's on hand. I grabbed a couple to take home.

Emily was great, even though she is super skinny, and the rest of the cast and crew were very nice...except for one snooty biatch who we only saw once in the breakroom and another background actor who complained about everything the entire time.

"What if we get hurt doing these falls? What kind of insurance policy do you have?"

"This better not last all night, I have to get to work tomorrow."

"They better feature me, I'm a character actress you know."

"They better have vegetarian meals, I haven't eaten meat in five years."

"I have a better idea on how they could shoot this, do you which one the director is?"

She happened to mention that she's a professional actress several times and felt that this job was totally beneath her. So why did she show up? The rest of us found ways to avoid her, which led to some severe giggle fits once sleep deprivation hit us at about 4:30.

I also met Jody, a fellow background actor (for this video, we all dream of stardom or at least a close up) who just happened to be on my "reveal" jury when I was on Style By Jury. What fun! I got to hear her side of the story of what it's like to sit in a stifling little room while being barked out instructions on what to comment on. Nice.

OVERWHELMING PROJECT UPDATE: It has come to my attention that I have not even started the screenplay for the writing contest, which is due in about 36 hours, so I may just have to let that go. After all, I have a full day proofreading, appearing on a game show and finishing the first draft of the WIP all coming up at the same time. Thank goodness I picked up Diet Coke yesterday.

On that note, must get back to the WIP. Here's a cool quiz I've borrowed from Nienke's site:

What kind of writer are you?

You're a Dialogue/Character Writer!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

posted by Bonnie Staring at 5:50 PM 3 comments

Ready for my close up

Monday, July 24, 2006

The coupon holder worked. I've been cast as the excited grocery shopper in a music video! Woo-hoo!

And it shoots Wednesday night. Of course.

Light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight on the WIP as the basic elements are all in place now, just need to add in the details...and maybe use character names. Yeah, it's been a rough ride already.

Sold another article today which isn't due until September, so that's a good thing.

Must get back to the book and take a break to practice my shopping cart navigation skills a few times! Shoot, now I need to steal a shopping cart...

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:42 PM 2 comments

Blogged too soon

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Received a call this evening from the Comedy Network. Apparently I am a contender and should have received a call at least a week ago to let me know that I had been selected to be a contestant on You Bet Your Ass. My episode tapes this coming Friday.

Yes, during the week I have to finish the short screenplay, meet with a potential client about copywriting work, spend a day proofing for another client and get a bunch more done on the WIP. Lucky me! I'll post the air dates as soon as I know when they are. Probably in a month or two.

Still no word on the grocery store shopper role, either way it shoots on Wednesday night. So with it being this week, I'm probably going to get a call to be in it just because the gods don't feel I have enough going on right now. ;)

I also enjoyed two movies this weekend, here are my very quick reviews:

Loved it! Four out of four tires. Made me laugh, made me feel sad and made me cheer for the lessons learned by my new four-wheeled friends. Oh, to be six again. Straightforward story with the expected Disney ending, but I expected it so that's fine by me.

The Devil Wears Prada
Three out of four handbags. SPOILER ALERT read the book and actually enjoyed the movie, despite the redeeming qualities given to the editor in question and an entirely different ending. Felt a strong urge to shop once the credits started rolling. And the need to set my current wardrobe on fire. Good times.

The power went out for about an hour tonight, right when I was chopping vegetables. Once the lights came back on, I was relieved to discover I still have all my fingers.

Okay, must sleep and dream of pop culture trivia answers. Good thing I watched that episode of You Bet Your Ass the other day so I know what to expect.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:48 PM 1 comments

Psychic stalker update

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Have received two letters since the "singing Austrian siblings with guns" plan was developed. Have only been able to find a group of Irish triplets carrying switchblades so far. Sigh.

So I've returned the letters to sender because they don't contain postage-paid envelopes that I could stuff with scary David Hasselhoff photos. Speaking of the Hoff, if you haven't seen this video, you just haven't lived:

Hooked on a Feeling

All I can say is look out for the few Hoffelgangers that appear. It's freaky. And a work of art...to someone.

The grocery shopping lady for the music video audition seemed to go well but the competition was pretty fierce. At least I felt skinny, which was a nice bonus. If I don't get the "shopper" part (BTW they LOVED the coupon holder) I can still be an extra, which doesn't pay as well but at least I get to hang out in a grocery store. Talk about a hip scene!

Sold another article this week, which thankfully isn't due until September. This week I was also expecting revisions on the major magazine article that will accomplish a big honking goal. I guess the editor is waiting for the screenwriting contest, La-No-Wri-Mo and all my other July tasks to reach the boiling point.

It's getting hot in here...but I'll leave my clothes on.

I also had a very nice experience with a new editor this week. After tossing over my resume and some clippings to a fellow Write-On (thanks Nienke!), I ended up receiving an assignment to write an article - on a topic I knew absolutely nuttin about. Eek!

So I called a ton of people. Some of whom still haven't called me back. So I ended up phoning the home renovation contractor who worked on our house last year. Not only was he helpful, he connected me to two of his suppliers, who were more than happy to share their ideas and tips. Only problem was, I felt that the information I had didn't quite suit the article I was assigned. So I had to resort to a little tweaking to make it fit.

Then I submitted the article, fully expecting to receive a set of not-so-simple revisions. Instead, the editor complimented my work and asked me to send him my invoice, no further changes (on my part, at least) required.

That's the way stuff should happen all the time. Maybe I can use some of my new home improvement knowledge in the screenplay.

Oh, and I absolutely detest my genre and subject: a ghost story about a lost trail. Now I have 7 days to get over that and create something unexpected and absolutely brilliant. I'll have to include spray cheese and monkeys somehow.

Must sleep.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:27 AM 0 comments

I coulda been a contender...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Okay, looks like I'm not going to be appearing on You Bet Your Ass, the Comedy Network show I auditioned for a while back. Boo-hoo.

What bugs me is that not only did I NOT receive the "sorry, you're even more of a loser than you thought you were" call, I kind of guessed that I hadn't made the cut when I noticed an ad for more contestant wannabes on craigslist. Ouch.

That's okay though, because tomorrow I'm auditioning for a bit part in a music video. It's for a grocery shopper who scans the aisles for bargains. I think I'm a natural! I may even bring my coupon file (yes, I have one) with me.

And I apologize for the sparse bloggage. It's been an interesting month. Cue music for the highlights:

3 magazine articles, all deadlines met (WOOT!)
4 freelance editing/writing/proofing gigs, still alive despite this last one
This is beginning to sound like the 12 Days of Christmas...in July...with WOOTs. Time to get back to sentences.

I've done a whole bunch (okay, not 23K, but a bunch nonetheless) of writing on the WIP, but in longhand. Must spend entire weekend typing.

And, to make things even more fun, I completely forgot that I entered the NYC Midnight Screenwriter's Challenge. It starts tomorrow at midnight - I'll have to write a short screenplay (max 20 pages) in a week on a randomly selected subject in one of 20 genres. Last year I had to do a drama on unemployment. It blew chunks. Big time.

Now I need a serious nap. Until September.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 6:47 PM 4 comments

Devil's pizza party

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

If the devil were having a pizza party, would you go? And what kind of toppings do you think the steamy guy would have on his pizza?

Must rely on a photo to complete my thoughts today. It's a busy week already.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:58 PM 3 comments

The Penguins of Panic

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Okay, I've been offline for a while, but with good reason. Let me 'splain:

When Michelle Rowen first told us all about the weasels of doubt, I knew that she was speaking the truth. Not only did I have a few weasels of my own, they had set up a dry cleaning/ice cream parlour franchise in my basement. Which made it a little hard to concentrate at times, especially with all those 31 flavours and crinkly plastic bags.

I developed skills to ignore, avoid and even frighten them (mentions of health inspectors made them weep). Entire days could go by without a single snicker or sabotaging remark. I should have seen this as a sign of more wicked things to come.

Then, one day, there was a "CLOSED" sign on the front door of the cleaner/creamery shop. I even rang the buzzer a few times. No answer. Not even a muffled "go away" from the back counter.

So I did a happy dance, right there in front of the computer. My words would now be free to flow, barrier-free.

Then I noticed the iceberg. And the penguins.

They were cute little guys, skidding along, taking a tumble here and there on the slippery surface. I decided to just leave them be.

As I sat at the computer, the penguins surrounded me.

"Hey! What are you doing?" I asked.

"Be careful human," one out in front said. "You may not be able to complete all that you set out to do."

"Or worse, these projects could result in even more work, with tighter deadlines and more research time required," added another.

"Before you know it, you won't have time to accurately review your work. One of them might even be published," another leaned closer to my ear to whisper, "with a typo."

Beads of sweat broke out onto my forehead despite the sub-zero temperature. I couldn't even see the computer, only a mass of black and white. Thankfully none were red all over, yet.

"Thanks guys, but there's no need to panic--"

As soon as I said the words, they all pressed in closer, squawking and moving around to find a more protective spot amongst each other. Even I was getting antsy.

"Don't stray from the known path," called a voice from the back of the pack.

"Stick with the crowd," said another.

"Whatever you do, don't stand out! Bad things happen to the ones who stand out!"

The entire group shuddered around me, then disappeared into a puff of dry ice.

Too bad the condensation fried out my keyboard. I'm getting the pest control guys in this week.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:34 PM 0 comments

Learn To Be Lazy

Thursday, July 13, 2006

That was the name of an article in a magazine I happened to pick up while in the checkout line at the grocery store today. So of course I had to buy it.

Inside, it gave simple tips on how to, basically, live the life of a cat.

And someone was paid to write this people, that's what's so cool about it. I thought I'd send out some queries tomorrow for these article ideas:

Learn How To Disappoint People
Learn To Eat Even More Than You Already Do

And, my personal favourite:

Lose Your Work Ethic in Ten Minutes or Less

You have to love freedom of speech! Writing is not fun for me right now, so I will go back to staring at the monitor until my forehead bleeds.

At least I have quality snack foods on hand.


posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:17 PM 2 comments

Stalked by a psychic

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

About once a week, for the past two months or so, I receive a letter from Maria. She's a psychic and she knows that I need her help. And she's more than willing to help me. With a money-back guarantee.

Some letters have contained images of talismans that I am to keep close to me. To attract good luck of course. Just last week, three "fortune" cards were slipped into a mailing, and Maria was nice enough to have the printing company inscribe the meaning of these cards directly onto them. The use of the scripty font was very convincing.

It was cute, the first few times. But now I'm annoyed. Trees are being cut down so that I can receive cheesy psychic form letters, where my name appears in random locations with pleas to respond before particular dates in order to take full advantage of the spectacular karma that I can only connect with through a personal session with her.

Seriously, she wants to come to my house. It makes since as she already has my address.

Of course, if Maria were a true psychic, would she not pick up on my immediate recycling of her letters? Would she not tremble with the distant shred of her jiffy-printed documents? How about when I turn to DH and say "Oh damn, it's another one."

How do you solve a problem like Maria?


posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:36 PM 7 comments

She likes it, hey Mikey!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just received a quick note from the editor regarding my article...and SHE LIKES IT! Woot!

Of course she'll be getting back to me in a wee bit with regard to some revisions, but that's to be expected.

Keeping this post short, as I have another article due in two days. Here's a picture for you:

posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:04 PM 3 comments

A celebratory post

Sunday, July 9, 2006

I've just finished writing the article that will help me achieve one of my top five goals: getting published in a major Canadian women's magazine.

I'm giddy because, even after waiting a day to go over it one last time, I still like parts of it.

This is very good news. Why? If I loved the whole thing, it would be horrible. Have had that happen way too many times before. So I prefer to like certain parts and expect to change others...hopefully not all.

Getting an 1,800-word article done has put a damper on the WIP progress, and I won't even go there on the other two articles which remain to be completed.

It's all doable. Just not today. :::crosses fingers with hope that the revised article will be due AFTER August 1:::

Congratulations Italy! And what's up with that French head-butting dude?

Okay, maybe I didn't spend all day writing. Sue me.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 8:30 PM 2 comments

Meal or No Meal

Saturday, July 8, 2006

I had McDonald's for lunch three days in a row this week. Oops.

Now, I could have brown-bagged it, but the office I was in had a kitchen fridge that should have been condemned. My Tuesday lunch almost didn't survive, even with the protection of a super-hefty Ziplock container.

So I looked at the lonely $20 bill in my wallet (remember, I haven't won the millions from a game show at this point yet) and considered my possibilities in order to make it last over three days.

Snacks were already taken care of with ever-so-tasty Special K Breakfast Bars and fresh fruit. My budget was $6.65 a day. Great.

Did I mention that my lunch "hour" consisted of only 30 minutes? I needed something quick, tasty and easy on the pocketbook.

Then the Golden Arches appeared before me, beckoning.

"Welcome Bonnie, we've been waiting for you."

"No, I really can't. I still have nightmares from seeing Super Size Me."

"Don't believe everything you see in a documentary. We're proud to offer healthy choices."

"Healthy as compared to what?"

"Come in and have a look. We won't bite."

So I went in, and instantly fell under the influence of the scent of the fries. I even ordered a Value Meal Combo. For $4.23. I promised myself I'd order something more nutritious the next day. Like a Happy Meal.

I had every intention of buying a soup combo at the local Tim Hortons when the temperatures rose to stifling levels. In my mind anyway. And the Tim's didn't have enough tables for me to enjoy my lunch on site.

McDonald's, however, had plenty of spots. This time I ordered the extra value meal with a side salad instead of the fries. Oh, and a yogurt parfait. All for the awesome price of only $6.36.

Friday, always considered to be a day for celebratory consumption of artery-clogging foods, had me returning to purchase an oven roasted turkey sandwich. On whole wheat with a side salad. No yogurt. $7.96.

Case in point: eating healthy costs more. And if you only had $5 for lunch, you're SOL.

While part of me feels like I've sold my soul, I still have $1.45 left. For a chocolate bar :)

posted by Bonnie Staring at 3:31 PM 3 comments

Yeah, I've been busy

Friday, July 7, 2006

But you don't want to hear about that. Heck, neither do I.

So I did something a little bit out of the ordinary today. I auditioned for a game show. Don't get too excited; it's a CANADIAN game show, so the prizes offered add up to about $20. Or a case of beer.

I found out about the contestant-seeking game show through one of the newsletters I get from mandy.com. A cool site if you're into film and television gigs in Canada. I filled out an electronic application form of some kind about a month ago, then figures that they deemed me as a complete loser and deleted the file.

Then they sent me an email LATE yesterday, inviting me to a casting session. For today.

So much for their people calling my people. Anyway...

I was able to get away from the current proofreading gig an hour early in order to reach the CASTING LOCATION on time. (Don't know why I put that in all caps, but it looks cool.) Walked in, was greeted by some really skinny people and had to fill out the same application form all over again. Whatevs.

They took five of us downstairs to the secret meth lab (kidding) to do a round of the game. At this point I can say that I was not the leader of the pack, nor the loser.

I'll be finding out in the next week or so if I'll be a contestant. Until then, I'll see if I can catch reruns of the show in order to increase my chances of winning the coveted $20 prize!

I love this country, really I do.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:07 AM 3 comments

I'm so wonewee...

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Just when you thought North Korea wasn't a desirable tourist destination anymore, they've added some super-cool new activities:

1. Missle launches
2. Starvation
3. Public flogging
4. Karaoke Wednesdays

5. Village idiots!

And I thought I was having a bad day. Kim Jong il wins, hands down.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:50 PM 0 comments

Supermuse returns

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

OMG, I hit 50K today on the WIP. Basically 4K in one day, a new record for this Write-On member.

When stuff like this happens, who does one blame? Gun violence? Ottawa youths peeing on the grave of the Unknown Soldier? The World Cup? La-No-Wri-Mo?

I don't know, but I hope I can keep this up. August 1 is looming in the distance. Major loomage. It's almost blocking the CN Tower.

I'm working on site for a government-type office this week, which pays really well but denies me access to a computer. (I'm proofing printouts, and for some reason they think access to the Internet may distract me...even more so than the voices.)

So I must use a pen and paper to work on my current projects. It's kind of cool. The ink appears on the paper in these freaky forms and then I have to decipher them when I return to the computer at home base. So here's what I'm up to this week:

1. On-site proofing work during business hours
2. Magazine article for major women's magazine (I'll announce it when I get the publication date)
3. Magazine article for a magazine I haven't written for before on a topic that is new to me (very nervous, but confident...is that possible?)
4. Regular column for Performance In Motion magazine
5. Sending out new ideas to magazines so I have work next month
6. Creating content for my new website - coming soon
7. Reaching 80K on my WIP

Okay, I put in everything for this month instead of this week, but it is possible. As long as I don't sleep, watch television or enter contests.

Okay, my brain's exploded. Bonnie out.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:59 PM 0 comments


Monday, July 3, 2006

I really thought this journey was going to be a whole lot easier. A few years back I completed NaNoWriMo with only a slight case of carpel tunnel syndrome. 50K in 30 days didn't seem all that hard once I got it done. It's now taken me much longer than I care to admit to generate this current WIP's word count.

And I don't even have a stinkin' day job to blame for my lack of progress. That's the hardest part. I should be getting at least 10 pages done a day with my eyes closes, or at least crossed.

After consulting with my collection of self-help books and my trusted 8-ball, I have discovered what the problem is: my internal editor is sabotaging my progress.

I kind of suspected this since I've seen her hanging out by the fridge, the back door and near the couch. She just looks so much like me that I thought DH had put up some extra mirrors to celebrate the summer solstice. Or the World Cup. He's always been hip to the new scene.

So I consulted with a published author on my dilemma. You may know her work: Bitten & Smitten and the recently released Angel with Attitude. Her advice?

"Write now, edit later."

Which reminds me, I have a WIP to get back to. TTFN

posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:20 AM 0 comments

Letter to David Beckham

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Dear David,

Hi, it's Bonnie again. Look, I know that I've told you before that marrying Posh was okay, but I was lying. Yeah, and I lied about you having the kids as well.

Thanks for the magazine photo spreads and advertisements for your new cologne, but they can't fill the empty space in my heart you have caused. And the fragrance isn't all that sexy anyway.

But I was going to give you one last chance: World Cup.

And right when England and I needed you the most, you let us down. Hurt ankle. Hah! You wouldn't see Portugal's dynamic and surprisingly heroic Ronaldo doing that, would you? Did you see the look on his face when he scored that penalty shot? That was a beautiful moment.

And it could have been our moment, if you could have just focused on the game and not looking so hot all the time. Oh, and keeping your balance too. That would have helped, big time.

So yes, my dear David, it's over. Finis.

Actually, I was rooting for the Netherlands, but they were eliminated too quickly.



posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:57 AM 0 comments

Canada Day & KISS Coffeehouses

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Happy Canada Day to everyone celebrating with the official routine of realizing that you're out of groceries and beer and all the stores are closed. I will also celebrate by killing off a large percentage of the weeds in the garden.

I hadn't been back there in a while, and right now you can't get back there. My poor daisies had no room to grow, so they gave up and moved to the Joneses. Sigh.

In other weird news, the band KISS is hoping to become the next Starbucks with - get this - KISS Coffeehouses. Poor Gene Simmons, he's been wanting to do something cool every since Ozzy got his own show, so he'd putting his cash into coffee.

I can just see it now:

1. All staff, male or female, will be named "Beth".

2. Free face painting on Saturdays.

3. Last call will be announced with the playing of "I Want to Rock and Roll All Night".

4. All the spoons have an odd tongue-like appearance.

Can't wait until they come to Canada.

posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:27 AM 2 comments