Friday, January 29, 2010

Okay, I realize that I love contests a bit too much. But I'm okay with it, and so is DH and the kitten.

Kidlit Writing Contest
And in order to qualify for one I need to post about it.

Mary at is holding another contest for writers of Young Adult and Middle Grade novels. Enter the first 500 words by January 31 to be in the running for one of the critique prizes.

Win Bacon for a Year
Seriously, you can win a weekly prize of bacon or the grand prize of bacon for a year. Open to Canadians only (sorry folks).

Good luck!

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:06 PM 1 comments

Yes, but

It's amazing how many times those two little words get spoken, one right after the other.

Sometimes it's simply because there wasn't enough time:

DH: I thought you were going to mow the lawn.

Bonnie: Yes, but the ice cream truck came by.

Other times it's because of things out of our control:

DH: I thought you were going to mow the lawn.

Bonnie: Yes, but then a car ran off the road, knocked over the ice cream truck and then the ice cream truck landed on the lawn mower. And now it's broken.

Other times we forget why we wanted to do something:

DH: I thought you were going to write 100 words a day.

Bonnie: Yes, but I had to mow the lawn.

Is there anything you're "yes, butting"? I'm sure there is.

In Second City improv classes, they take the time to discuss the problems with yes, but. When an actor uses that particular combination of words in a scene, it prevents the action from moving forward. You essentially are telling your fellow actor that his or her idea sucks like a Hoover. In fact, it's so bad that you need to stop it immediately and provide a new idea.

The but that comes after the yes trumps any agreement you think you've provided. And in improv, the hilarity ensues when the actors trust each other to go wherever the scene takes them. It's a beautiful thing when it works. And even if it doesn't, it's still fun to watch.

But on stage isn't where most of the yes, buts happen. Most of them take place when we look at the calendar, realize 29 days have passed since we made our New Years resolutions and see that our progress hasn't been as progressive as we'd like it to be.

Yes, but you've been busy.

Yes, but you've had to take care of a lot of things that popped up out of nowhere.

Yes, but your family needed you.

Yes, but the kitten needed attention.

But still, I have been able to work out on a fairly regular (three times a week) basis, take some time for me AND get a bit of writing in every day. With the exception of the evening I saw Rent (sniff!), I've gotten at least 100 words on the page.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Fingers crossed that these ones stick. ;)

At least it's too cold to mow the lawn for now...

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:27 PM 0 comments

Rain = grumpy kitten

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Poor Zaphod.

He enjoys going outside when it's not too cold, especially when there's no snow on the ground.

But it's been raining. A lot.

So he's been kind of grumpy. And, like any loving cat, he's been taking it out on the people he allows to live with him.

The wishbone DH and I were letting dry out on the counter? Snapped in two pieces. We assume Zaphod got his wish. ;)

The black pants hanging to dry in the laundry room? In a fur-covered lump.

The blue snuggie in front of the TV? Still his favourite spot.

Thank goodness the upcoming forecast is clear...


posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:38 PM 2 comments

I'm a quitter

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yes, it's true.

After writing 53 articles for, I've decided to pack it in.

Here's the link to my last article.

And yes, I could have worked harder at building a readership (and increasing my revenue), but I have other things on my must-do list that take priority. You know, like getting the novels done, spending quality time with friends, family and the kitten of mass destruction, and working on those goals for 2010.

While Examiner provides an excellent opportunity for those who want to build a platform, I couldn't rationalize spending time creating five articles a week for pennies. As one friend gently reminded me, I do enough articles for free already. ;)

Sure, eventually I would have had a gazillion followers and then I'd be rolling in the dough -- but then I'd have to keep coming up with articles on a topic that left me feeling drained after only two months.

So cal me a quitter if you wanna, I don't mind at all. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:24 AM 0 comments

Almost missed my bus stop -- twice

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some people detest riding public transit, while other embrace the tree-hugging environmental awareness aspect of it.

Me? I just love listening in on people's cellphone calls.

Take this week, for example. There I was, all ready to pull out the novel I'm reading at the moment (Eat, Pray, Love, if you must know, I'm just starting the India section), when behind me I heard:

"I'm not getting another credit card until you get a job."

Seriously people, who can turn down an ear-wigging opportunity like the one the woman two seats back was offering? Forget about reading or listening to an audio recording of an RWA workshop--this was Dr. Phil drama, right there on the bus!

Here are just a few of the highlights:

"My mom says you should get a job, any job. Even a part time one."

"Taking a break only works for the first three months."

And, my favourite:

"Maybe you can do some of those medical experiments. I hear the pay is pretty good."

Talk about a smart cookie. If your deadbeat boyfriend is out of luck career-wise, sign him up to test pharmaceutical products! It's brilliant, really.

Too bad I had to switch buses, I would have loved to hear more of her ideas. Fortunately, as I opened my book, the guy behind me answered his cell phone.

"Yeah, I've been waiting to hear from you."

Ooh! It sounded like a storm was brewing, so I tossed my novel back into my bag. Here are this call's good bits:

"Dude, you can't even show up to the court house on time."

"Why are you letting her hassle you like that?"

"She's always blaming you for something."

And then I had the strangest thought. What if it was the same dude on the other side of both conversations?

It's possible. After getting chewed out by the girlfriend, the guy calls his buddy to complain.

But I wonder why he needed to be at the courthouse. I guess I'll have to find out the next time I'm on the bus.

Luckily I have a pass this month.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:04 PM 1 comments

Everyone has a reason

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Everyone has a reason for not getting stuff done. Some even have a long list they drag around with them, just to keep track of the many obstacles in their path. I too have been known to toss out the odd comment or loop post, claiming to be too busy, double-parked or without the cabana boys necessary to accomplish a certain task.

Then I heard a very powerful sentence. It was while I was listening to a workshop CD from the RWA 2009 National Conference. (Or it could have been 2008, I'm not sure.)

And no, I can't remember who was speaking or the name of the workshop. That would be too clever of me. ;)

When one critique partner on the panel started talking about why she wasn't getting things done, the other woman stopped her and said:

"You're not special."

Talk about harsh! I had to rewind it, just to make sure I heard it correctly.

"You're not special."

Then the woman went on to explain that, as writers, we all have the same issues: getting words on a page, dealing with revisions, handling rejections, coming up with new ideas, etc. And that doesn't even cover the other stuff, such as family, friends, pets, any medical conditions, etc.

The fact is, we're all special, but not so much so that any one of us should have it any easier than the next person. ;)

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it... until I start whining about my next excuse. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:42 PM 1 comments

It's the third of January and my life has not changed yet

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Okay, it's only been three days, but it's a NEW YEAR. And big, important things are supposed to happen with a New Year, aren't they?

Oh, you mean I have to be the one to do them? Rats.

It's been a good couple of days for my current work in progress (the novel that was supposed to be done last year, but I'll try not to let that stop me from completing it verra, verra soon). Some big, clunky, what-the-heck-are-these-doing-here scenes got chopped.

Sure, I felt the loss, but the singing and dancing really didn't belong. And there really isn't room for leprechauns in this novel. There are enough paranormal elements to keep things interesting. At least I hope so.

To make up for the loss of words, I added in some new ones. A lot of new ones that may not make it in the final, final version, but I'll let them get comfy for now. Maybe they can wear my new Snuggie and curl up on the couch with the kitten.

Yes, Zaphod likes the bright blue Snuggie. His arms don't quite fit though. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:06 PM 0 comments