Life in progress


Important Announcement about JusJoJan

First, I have to say I’m ecstatic over the response this year to Just Jot It January. I’m amazed at how many bloggers are joining in and I’m grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you!

Yesterday, however, has taught me that if there’s any chance I’m going to make it to all your posts to read and hopefully comment, I’m going to need some help from you. Originally I expected to be able to link all the ping backs that ended up on the Rules post back to whatever I posted on the current day. I spent the better part of yesterday doing just that; I wasn’t expecting such a great turnout! So here’s what you can do:

If you write your post ahead of midnight (or if you’re in another time zone, before mine is published at 2am my local time) and you ping back to the Rules post, please also drop a link to your post in the comments section of my daily post. If my daily post has been published, please link back to that. The reason behind this is that as the month goes on, the links will get buried in Rules post (last year’s Rules had 317 comments with less than half the number of people participating as there are this year). Eventually, no one will visit the Rules post since everyone will know the Rules off by heart. Therefore, your link won’t get any attention except from me.

So from now on, PLEASE either ping back directly to my current post (today’s is here: ) or drop a comment and your link in my current post so other people can find you. And check back often so you can see who else is posting. This is your community! Be good to one another! 😀

Again, thanks to everyone participating for making this year’s Just Jot It January an unprecedented success!


Just Jot It January 1st – Persnickety

It’s a dilemma I deal with every time I write a blog post: do I write freely and not take hours poring over my grammar and choice of wording or do I edit my posts to death? To be persnickety or not to be persnickety? That is the question. I wonder how persnickety Shakespeare was? Then again, he probably had an editor.

Seriously, I’d love to be able to just write and release. But for the interests of my writing career, should I have a paid one one day, I demand perfection (or near perfection) from myself. After all, I never know who’s going to come looking. Perhaps someone famous or even better, someone who can get my proverbial foot in the door of the publishing industry will visit my blog. A line or two is all it takes to make an impression, and I want it to be a good one.

I know I’ve asked this question before, but it’s been at least a year so I think I’ll ask again. Who knows, maybe those who have already answered have changed their practices. Oh, the question? It’s this:

How many times, on average, do you edit a post before you hit the publish button? And how do you do your best editing – in the window you write in, or the preview? If I didn’t have the preview screen I’m sure my posts would all be a mess. What I really want to know is, how persnickety are you?

The “Persnickety” prompt is brought to you by Sirius Bizinus at his new home, An Empty Pen. Make sure you go say hi!

JJJ 2016

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 1st post here!



I was going to write this post this afternoon but instead I took a three hour vacation nap. It was badly needed – that’s all I can say in my defense.

You may have noticed that I’ve kinda gone missing for the past week. And if you have, you might be wondering why. If so, you’re not alone. I’m wondering why too. My occupations of the past week have included but are not limited to having one of my kids home already on summer vacay (the other one’s last day was today), a weekend road trip to Montreal to see Rush in concert (they were awesome!), working on editing my novel (yes, still), watching Downton Abbey on Netflix (I’m so addicted, thanks Joey), and worrying about whether or not I’ve, somewhere down the road, (pun not intended) screwed up the numbering on my “Second Seat on the Right” series only to get to August 31st and find out that my year had more or less than 365 days. I mean seriously, how much would that suck?

All this to say I’m sorry for not reading a single One-Liner Wednesday (yet), neglecting my comments, and generally ignoring everyone on WordPress. If you’ve wondered why I haven’t visited your blog lately please don’t take it personally. At the moment you’re all on the continent and I’m set adrift at an overwhelming distance away. *waves*

Please send Big Macs via carrier pigeon. And if you do see me, I beg of you, don’t thumb your nose at me. I’ll be back, I promise.

P.S. Please look for the SoCS prompt tomorrow!


Blogging from the Grave

Okay, my friends, I need your opinion on something. It’s a tough one. I fully expect some of you may even unfollow me over this. Honestly, as I read this over I’m not even sure whether or not to post it. But it’s been bugging me…

My current conundrum started out innocently enough. Looking at the stats on my fiction blog, pathetic as they are compared to last year when I did an A-Z story there, I wondered if it was too late to start a new fiction piece this year. I am, however, stretched thin enough already so I thought hey, why not start now and write a chapter every two weeks to post for next year! And why not schedule them as I write them?

But A-Z 2016, I thought, is a long way off. So much could happen between now and then. What if, for example, I die between now and next April? It would mean that my posts would appear after my death! Would that be really cool for the people who received notifications that I’d posted again? Or would it be creepy? And what if I died just before I finished writing my story? Talk about a cliffhanger!!

So here’s where I need your input. Think about it. Many of us hope to blog for a good long time to come. Some, including me, can see ourselves blogging until we pop off. Each and every one of us has the ability to schedule our posts ahead of time – we can even plan to send out a loving message after we die, by re-scheduling every few month or years. Kind of like those hidden tapes they’re always finding in movies where the character says, “If you’re listening to/watching this, I’m dead.”

Would YOU want your writings to come out after you pass away? And how would you feel if someone you follow, as sad as it would be if they died whilst in the throes of their illustrious blogging career, posted an article after he or she had kicked the proverbial bucket? Because let’s face it, unless someone else has a blog’s password, there’s nothing that can prevent a scheduled post from going live, so to speak.

It’s difficult to say, isn’t it? Or is to simply too morbid to contemplate?



Nano Poblano – Day 8: A Pickled Pepper

It’s so tempting to drink and blog at times. Some of my best (at least I think so at the time) ideas come to me when I’m less than my regular sober self. But like with anything we humans do after a couple of ounces of alcohol, our bravado goes up as our inhibitions go down.

One of my most memorable (to me, then again I was drunk for all of my drunk posts–there aren’t many) less-than-with-it posts was this one. The lyricist/singer in the picture is known for his liberal drinking habits, though I’m not sure this particular photo wasn’t staged. But I think that tiny post pretty much says it all. Some of the best things that have been written are by well-known drunks.

So what’s the difference between, say, Hunter S. Thompson or F. Scott Fitzgerald and your average blogger? The time it takes to publish.

I need to remember that next time my finger hovers, swaying over the mouse as the cursor rests on that lovely blue button.

So now that I sound like a total alcoholic (which I’m not), I ask all the casual drinkers out there the question: should a pepper post before it’s pickled? Or is a peck of pickled posting perfectly proper?

This post brought to you by Team Pepper:



And NaBloPoMo:



Update on a Weirdish Week

First, I’d like to say hi and welcome to my new followers. I appreciate your interest in my blog, and I promise to come and visit all of yours the moment I have a chance. I’ll put a few pertinent links in this post so you can keep up with the rest of the class. Here we go.

I have no clue why I posted not one, but TWO one-liners today. Okay, I do have an idea – WordPress wouldn’t let me not schedule the one I had scheduled, and when I tried to change it to next week I must have messed up. If you haven’t read them both, you probably should. Each have links to other people’s one-liners. There are some great ones this week!

Then this afternoon I was contemplating life and dreams and things when I came up with a great concept for a new novel! Only I’m not going to have time to write it. Editing is slow-going these days, even though I’ve been working on it every spare minute I have to sit quietly. Only 50 pages to go out of 524. 😀

I’m still searching for the perfect sleeping companion. I’ve tried a few but none have worked out. I can tell you, it’s frustrating having a different one every night of the week and never finding the satisfaction I was hoping for!

My doctor’s appointment went… okay. She’s going to get the records from my old doctor’s office to see what my x-ray and ultrasound from last May said about my right shoulder, but she doesn’t want to give me any exercises to do until she knows. The last idiot doctor said, “Just stretch.” He also said it was arthritis, but the symptoms don’t fit. So I have to wait for another month before I get any results.

On top of that now, I had a hellish weekend with Alex and had to move all the furniture except his bed out of his room, by myself, because he was smashing it and putting dents in the walls. Mostly, I didn’t want him to hurt himself. So what happened? I hurt the other shoulder.

BUT, I had this weekend to look forward to. The kids were going to go to their dad’s… but wait! He’s sick and so are the rest of his family! So no break. He offered to take them anyway, but with the new super-bug that’s going around, I don’t need to take the chance that Alex will end up in hospital like when he had H1N1… or when he had pneumonia… or RSV… or bronchiolitis… or… you get the picture. I did however manage to wrangle some hours out of my eldest son for Sunday so I can do the backstage tour of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. I’ll take pictures!

And speaking of pictures, it was Alex’s picture day at school on Monday. He looked so dapper I couldn’t wait for the official photos. This was taken before school.


He came home, however, with his shirt untucked and done up one button off, and the knot on his tie reaching his breastbone looking much like a drunken businessman.

Kids. 🙄

So that’s been my week. How ’bout yours?


A Thank You and a Reminder

I wanted to post a thank you to each and every one who followed my fiction blog after last night’s post. A plate of your favourite cookies will arrive via Santa’s hungover reindeer within the week.

Also, I wanted to say thank you to everyone participating in Just Jot it January – I didn’t think it would be this popular! Don’t forget to link back to the rules post here: for a guaranteed view from me and likely from everyone else participating. And don’t forget, it’s never too late to join. It’s a guaranteed follow from me if you do. Of course the best part of all is that it encourages us all to write! And that’s what we’re here for, right?

I love you guys!