entertainment

What the heck, snow?!

It’s been one of those mornings when I wake up and I am flooded with all the things I need to do to take care of my 5 year-old and 17 month-old before I shuffle everyone into the car and release them into the clutches of their day home provider. Once they are safe and secure and the trembling lips have stopped I fly to work where I put in my eight hours.

This morning was no different than the rest: hit snooze about three times, drag myself out of bed and throw myself in the shower. Once that’s done and my hair is….acceptable I can go about getting breakfast ready and on the table before I get dressed. This means the chocolate milk needs to be made (we’re syrup people since it’s cheaper and lasts longer), the bowl must be filled (but not too full) of cereal and the straw and timer need to be laid out by the bowl just so if I want to avoid a tantrum.

Just before I head to my bedroom to throw on my clothes that I picked out the night before (thank GOODNESS) I whip past the window.

And stop.

Here is my little aside: sometimes I forget that I live in Canada. Living in Canada comes with certain realities, like snow in April. The little flakes whirl around outside and settle on the corpses of their brethren that lay piled under my window.

Now, normally, I enjoy snow. Living in Manitoba snow is a luxury because it means it’s been warm enough to snow. But when you have a 5 year-old who has so desperately been waiting for the snow to melt so he can stop wearing the boots that are too small and run around in the backyard, snow is a demon. It’s an evil that needs to be purged from this world.

I close the curtains and ignore it.

The morning proceeds like normal: milk is dumped into the cereal bowl which is then sucked up with the straw once the particles of cereal are gone. The youngest inhales his oatmeal and devoured his morning milk. The timer has run to give my eldest the signal that we are out of time to lolly-gag (do people even say that anymore?) and shoes and hats must be put on.

I’ve already gone out to start the car to make it warm and I have dusted it off. The snow is still there, and it’s sticking. This signals a slight panic. My eldest has been very confrontational lately and is NOT afraid to tell you when he is not happy. Usually with a loud “I’M. NOT. HAPPY!”

We’re dressed and ready to go. I open the door and take a deep breath. He heads outside.

And stops with his arms wide open like he’s hugging an invisible giant.

“What the heck? You gotta be kidding me snow!”

His little 5 year-old voice is so loud as it echoes around the neighbourhood at 8 am.

All I can do is laugh. Yes, what the heck? You gotta be kidding me!

P.S. I have no idea where he learned that phrasing from. It was clearly not from me…….no…..not at all…..

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

The Joys of Early Work

It’s not even 8 am and I’ve been in my office for about 10 minutes already. The Day Job doesn’t technically start until 8:15 am but I am physically incapable of rolling in at 8:00 am or 8:10 am like my colleagues. Some of them don’t come in until 8:30 am citing ‘traffic’ as being the cause.

Every. Day.

But, when I come in, I know I’ve missed the bulk of traffic, I can take my time getting ready for the work day. Locating my tools for my trade, setting up my computer and making sure everything operational. Checking my voicemails.

AND. I can crank my music.

This morning has been a Billy Joel kind of day. Not sure why, but it is. Right now it’s “Uptown Girl” and right before that it was “For the Longest Time”. Not sure what else I have on my phone since I don’t often manage the music tunes on there. I might throw Bill Withers “Can We Pretend” next because it makes me happy.

I can sing and dance out loud to my hearts content and not give a damn about who might hear me.

It helps me transition from Family life to Work life and I like it.

 

LONG LIVE GETTING TO WORK EARLY!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments

TAK

So I have decided on the name of my next work and I’ve been reading it over again. I had only written slightly over 100 pages when I went to work editing and dressing up Black & Red.

Now that Black & Red is really out there and there’s not much else I need to do to it, I can focus my attention on TAK. I’ve received some great constructive criticism for my writing style from a few people who have read/are reading Black & Red which will help me make TAK that much better. I know I have a grammar problem and I’m working really hard on fixing that. Since I’m not putting a deadline on TAK I feel like I can take my time and pay more attention to it.

The reason I didn’t do that with Black & Red  is because the fundamental story is something I had written many years ago. The story itself has received amazing feedback and I feel very tickled inside that people like it that much.

I feel I’ve done all I can for Black & Red. Sure, I could go back and fix up the little grammatical things that are nagging, but I just feel like it’s out there now, why do that? Why change something? What about all those people who have bought or read it with those errors? No, I’ve told Kalan’s story and I’ve let the world meet Terentya. They are out there now and I’m not about to change that.

For now, I will focus my writing skills on TAK and the story of Brexton and Aldric. This will be the first time I’ve written a story with two male protagonists. Yes, there were male main characters in Black & Red but TAK focuses mainly on Brexton and Aldric and the adventure they have.

Once it’s out there, I hope you will enjoy it as well! Please look forward to it!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Reading, reading, reading

I’ve done what I like to call a “Story Swap” with a couple people from the Twitter and WordPress who are writers as well and I just started reading the books. I’ve got 4 to get through and I’ve promised to write reviews for these people as well.

I think it’s only fair and they’re helping me while I help them. Nothing wrong with that at all!

I didn’t start anything this weekend though because I wanted to play my video game, Tales of Graces f (I strongly believe the ‘f’ stands for ‘Foreign’ since it’s English Dub :P) and I got really involved in that game this weekend. I really like the Tales series and I am really looking forward to the next one which is due out in August as it was supposed to come out in JANUARY of this year but got pushed back.

The first book on my plate is: A Seer Ended by Michael Hale. You can find his work at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seer-Ended-The-novels-ebook/dp/B00CQBYLQ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368296410&sr=8-1&keywords=A+seer+Ended

I just loaded it up on my tablet but it’s sitting at 400 and something pages. That actually makes me really excited because that means it’s probably really involved! I like stories like that. He’s got a profile over at GoodReads too so you should check him out. I’ll touch base on the other books when I get to them.

Happy Monday! I’m alllllllllllllllmost done my Day Job for at least a year. I can’t wait!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Ahhhhhh….Friday…..I Love Thee

Today is Friday, thank freakin’ everything.

This week has felt so much longer than it really was, but that’s how it felt.

Today my Day Job is having a BBQ to promote something like team solidarity or something silly like that. It’s supposed to rain all day, so I’m hoping we stay at the office and do it upstairs in the big meeting rooms. We’re supposed to go to the same park as last year and the bathrooms are about a ten minute walk to get to. Trust me, you do NOT want to make a pregnant woman walk for ten minutes just to use the washroom. I will not be happy.

HOWEVER! If we have it at work, the bathrooms are across the hall! 🙂

Today, my cellphone suffered organ failure and needs a heart transplant (my battery is pooched). If that doesn’t work, a whole body replacement may be necessary. Which makes me sad. I have a Samsung Galaxy S Slide/Glide. This means it has a physical KEYBOARD which makes me happier than a dog in a moving car with the window open. But I might have to give that up in order to have a functioning phone. My phone is so old they don’t make it and it can’t support the latest operating system Samsung/Android has put out.

This always happens to me. Makes me sad. Makes me sad that even if it had only been 6 months it wouldn’t have been unrealistic to think that my phone is out of date, because it would be.

Jerks in the Technology department.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

The hardest part

Is staying on track.

Now that the editing is done, my brain is like: “Ha! All done! Time to play now!” and is allowing itself to be distracted by manga and thinking about the other WIP I had before I decided to edit Black & Red.

 

WHICH IS NO GOOD! I need my brain to focus on the ever-so-tedious formatting demon that I must slay! The editing beast was painful enough, but going through the eeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnntttttttiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeee 103,457 worded document and making sure the spaces are in the right spot, putting in the page breaks where they should be and making sure the apostrophes are the right kind because if they curl in a funny way they won’t show up properly.

Last night, I think I only managed 20 pages before my brain crapped out and said: “Get your tableeeeeeeeet. Read your maaaaaangaaaa.”

And, I listened and read this manga until 10 pm which is bad news because my alarm goes off at 4:45 am when my husband is gone and he left yesterday.

As I was making my commute to my workplace (which is at least an hour, each way, sometimes more depending on traffic), I was extremely excited to be moving to Manitoba, even if I get stuck in a crappy duplex with paper-thin walls. Because if I start working again, it’s like a 20 minute commute each way.

This means I don’t have to get up before the sun! How epic is that?!

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Give Credit Where Due

The reason I’m writing this post today is because I wanted to speak a little bit more on some inspiration for Black & Red.

In the story, there are various characters who use weapons; mainly swords. Within these swords and these characters are the ability to “hear” the voice of the weapon.

Part of this was taken as inspiration from Tite Kubo’s Bleach, a long-running manga series in Japan.

Bleach tells the tale of Ichigo Kurosaki who is a teenager that can see ghosts. Through a series of events he becomes a ‘shinigami’ or ‘death-god’ and obtains a zanpakuto or ‘soul sword’ (as I’ve seen it translated). All Shinigami have these zanpakuto and each zanpakuto has a ‘soul’ which reveals itself to the user in various forms and ways in order to unlock various levels of power and attacks.

I won’t say anymore about the series in order to avoid spoilers, but I have adapted the concept of having a sword or weapon with a ‘voice’ or ‘soul’ into my work with Black & Red. It’s not exactly the same, of course, but when I actually publish if people who read my story are fans of this manga, I wanted to give a nod to the awesome mind of Tite Kubo as there is a brief similarity there.

Otherwise, I am getting back at the editing game today now that I have some more time since I’m recovering from being sick. New goal: May 2013. Hopefully nothing else goes wrong so I can keep this self-imposed deadline this time!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Sorry I’ve been absent for about a week now.

Just this last week I was hit right in the face with a wicked cold. Plus I’m pregnant. Plus I am playing single mum to my 3 year old while my husband is out of town for a bit for work. Plus I work full time. Can we say a little rundown?

Due to this nightmare I’ve been living for the past bit I’ve come to accept that I will be publishing my book later than I wanted to. I’m going to aim for May 2013 now. I believe this is the best option because it gives me time to ensure that I’m putting something good out there and not some piece of crap. If I tried to keep up with my April 2013 deadline (self-imposed of course) I feel as though I’d start rushing things and quality would dwindle. If people don’t like my book I want it to be because they just don’t like it, not because the quality sucks. That’s the danger with self-publishing and self-editing. I have to make sure I put my back into it.

Starting tomorrow I’ll be posting more regular entries again. I’m still pretty ill but I want to aim for at least every other day if I can’t go back to every day again.

Hopefully not too many other people got their asses kicked by this cold. It’s definitely going around my neck of the woods and my son is a little under the weather as well.

BUT! We are troopers. We’ll get over it. I just made sure to eat looooooooots of popsicles 😉

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Tavern Music

If you live in Canada, you need to know this song. This a song I listen to when I’m writing tavern scenes. In Black & Red there is only really one scene in a tavern, but in the piece I was working on before I decided to publish, let’s call it Untitled 1, there are quite a few scenes.

To me, this is the kind of music you hear in a tavern in a fantasy world: you’ve got the thumping, the fiddle/violin, and just a bunch of fun.

Maybe it’s the part of me that’s from WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY out East in Canada where the room of congregation is the kitchen and everyone has a rip-roarin’ good time, but it’s songs like this that help me create that world all over again 🙂

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Beyond the Page

Sometimes I need to remember that when people are reading my work they don’t necessarily know all the back-stories for every character like I do.

I’ve taken to writing little shorts about the main characters in my stories and there’s not always room or they’re not always relevant to the story I’m writing so they’re not always included.

As I’m editing Black & Red there are some things that I know that the readers don’t. I avoid putting in too much that isn’t relevant or else the story I’m writing will lose it’s focus.

But now that I’m at the part that I didn’t really like when I wrote it the first time, I realize I can put a little bit of those back-stories in. The main characters are gearing up for the final showdown against the bad guys so it’s a time of reflection. It’s a good place for them to reminisce on their pasts (maybe not too much, of course) and it’s a good place to have parts where I focus on the mindset of one character at a time. Everyone handles conflict differently and if these guys are about to obliterate the bad guys then they’re all going to have different feelings about it. It’s the final boss of this ‘game’ and there will be no going back from here!!

Hopefully I don’t put anything unnecessary in there. I’ll find it when I go through and do the formatting though, because I’ll be reading it again at that time.

It’s their final battle and my final battle. Let’s see who wins 😉

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments