Well, okay, wrote a second short story and chapter one of a new novel. So, it is nice to feel productive and get projects “finished” (both are just drafts), but what I am REALLY looking forward to is getting back to my novel–which I can do today!

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Funny how that goes: I’d written a couple of scenes of a short story, and this week, I re-wrote the entire thing in one day–with different characters, plot and setting. Edited it yesterday. Now it needs to sit for a week or two, and have one more pass before submission.

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Was so pleased today to get a notice from OnSPEC, saying a story of mine has cleared its first hurdle. Yay! But making the final cut is always tough: there are so many good stories in the slush pile, and sometimes a perfectly good one has to be cut because it is similar to something else, or just not quite right for the mix. Fingers crossed!

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Was invited to the local chapter of SCBWI this week to present on writing SF/F/H for YA and MG writers. Tons of fun-we had a great discussion. Thanks, so much, Pamela, for inviting me!

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Here’s some great news! I got a grant from Alberta Foundation for the Arts to do the second revision of my novel, “Alexandre and the Pirates!” I have applied about 4-5 times for this grant and last fall I got one of those wonderful rejection letters: The project is approved, but it was below the cutoff for funding–but if there is funding left at the end of the year, it might still be funded. Of course, I couldn’t get my hopes up, but it was lovely to get the compliment.

Then about a month ago, I got a phone call asking: if I got the funding, is the project still viable? (It is: I took two months off to paint, then worked on another novel, so I haven’t come back to the second revision of Alexandre yet.) And, could I do the project for less funding than I requested? (Of course! I love that novel, and intend to pursue it in any case.)

So…this week, I got the final phone call. I got about half of the requested funding, but I’m still over the moon! So, I guess I know what I am working on, once the cheque arrives (they don’t like you to start the project before you get the funding–it’s a rule).

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Had a great class Tuesday morning, teaching story structure to grade 7 gifted students. We came up with a story idea, outlined it in 5 scenes and students acted out the first 2 scenes–hopefully, they’ll get a chance with their regular teacher to do the last 3 scenes this week. Love working with kids!

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Retreats are amazing for getting stuff done, but there always seems to be a digging out when I come home. Sigh. Today: catching up on emails and volunteer work. Did get a grant application finished and mailed in before the deadline this week for When Words Collide–have another one due in two weeks, then grant writing season is over for this year!

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Retreat at the Rainforest is, as always, awesome. Took the critiques from my beta readers, organized the comments and rephrased them into positive scenes, determined where in the novel they go, and copied the notes above each appropriate chapter. Have re-written the prologue, mined old chapters out of previous versions and inserted them, interwoven two stories and edited chapter one. Nothing like a few days with nothing to focus on but the novel.

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Finished revisions on “Alexandre” at my writers’ retreat this weekend, and it is submitted to my critique group. Very happy! Tomorrow: off to my OTHER writers’ retreat, where I plan to revise the other novel, based on critiques I got from three great pre-readers. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Rainforest!

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Just finished revising chapter 22 out of 31 chapters. It’s going very smoothly. Hope to have it to my critique group very soon! Excited!

Also, the library’s writers’ workshop last weekend was great. I attended an excellent seminar on writing humour, and touched base with several writers’ groups and old friends. A good time was had by all!

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