Posts Tagged "projects"

(Re)treat Yourself

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Life in Writing | 1 comment

I mentioned a few posts ago about how much I miss spending time in the forest and what an important recharge it is for me. That period of time–early September–became a turning point for me. The downward spiral I have been suffering from a period of heavy depression for a good part of this year. Essentially, it began and April and only started to taper off in August, and I didn’t even really realize it until I started feeling better and more like myself again. Most days, I could just do the bare essentials of taking care of my daughter–taking care of myself was hardly a part of the equation. I haven’t even done any meal prep since May. I haven’t posted much in this blog all year. I can’t say what brought me out of it, but I remember walking to the library in early August to talk to some kids about writing and being a writer, and it hit me that I actually felt like myself. I hadn’t felt that way for awhile. It hurt a bit. But I felt something else, too–the drive to continue on this route. I don’t even remember feeling awful, but I don’t really remember June or July at all, so that might be telling enough. In late August into September, for about two weeks, my back went out. I was finally starting to feel better mentally and my body decided to betray me! So I had a meltdown. I remember sitting on the living room floor sobbing about what a terrible mother I was because I couldn’t move (?!). I spent some valuable recharge time in Alma that week, hobbling through the forest as best I could. And then, two weeks later when I was feeling better, I started thinking about what I could do to spend more time in the woods. I had spoken to my therapist about it as well and she talked about finding strategies to take that feeling of being in the woods with me. Being in the woods is beneficial for many people, which explains why I feel so good when I’m there. The next steps I spent a whole week out and about with my daughter. We’d wake up at the crack of dawn, as we always did, but we’d eat our breakfast and then go out almost immediately. There’s a lovely little playground that’s very toddler-friendly about a fifteen minute walk away, and we often go there. We went every day that week. I packed a plethora of snacks to ensure our stay was well over an hour long. One of my co-workers had been talking about going to a horseback riding retreat, and it got me thinking about how nice a writer’s retreat could be. This led to a little mental back-and-forth of me telling myself there likely weren’t any in the area, and certainly not ones that would fit my schedule. Maybe not even retreats that would be the kind of wilderness escape I was longing for. So what was I looking for, then? Well, I told myself, you don’t have to be around other people to do it. And that was what set the wheels into motion. I started thinking about what I could do, and when. And I settled on September 29th, in an oTENTik in Fundy National Park. Why oTENTiks? I’m not prissy or anything, but let’s be real: camping in late September in a tent on the cold hard ground–where there are critters, and you need to duck down low and huddle up in your tent, sleep on rocks, and hide your food from potential predators–was not my idea of a relaxing and inspiring time, especially when I was doing this to escape obligation, not create a different one. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it wouldn’t have suited my purposes. oTENTiks are basically the baby of a cabin in the woods and a regular tent. Perfect. I had been wanting to stay in one for awhile anyway, so this was the ideal opportunity. I decided on Point...

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Project updates

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Life in Writing, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Every now and again, I like to give an update on new or current projects I’m working on. This may come as a surprise, but I actually have quite a few things on the go right now! Retail Hell I’ve started a webcomic! I’ve been wanting to do this for several years now, but always had been searching for an artist to collaborate with. After about 3 years of asking around to no success, I decided I’d do it on my own. I used to draw all the time, after all. So far, I’m having a blast with it! The comic updates every Wednesday. For now, I’m hosting it on Tumblr, but I hope to have a domain name for it eventually. Population: 1, Redux Population: 1 was an experimental interactive blog project I did from 2012-2013. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about Twine at the time, as it would have made a much better Twine game. Thus, I have decided to re-imagine and re-release the project through Twine! This will be my first full, finished game, and the scope of it is pretty large. It’s been going well, so far, though. Look for Population: 1 to be finished later in 2015. Tutoring I’ve been taking on clients for English tutoring. I’d love for this to be my new job, so I’m trying to promote this home business of mine as much as possible. If you know of anyone in need, please get them in touch with me! Amelia She’s not the same as other projects, but she does take up most of my time! She’s six months old now, which I’m having a hard time coming to terms with. She’s happy, healthy, and just the ray of sunshine my life needed. I’ve worked a lot of jobs, but being a mom is my favourite, by far. I mean… just look at that FACE. NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge Back in January, I entered NYC Midnight’s Short Story Challenge, and when I saw the registration for this one opening up, I knew I had to enter this one, too. Feedback comes with entry, also, which is worth the fee in itself! The challenge is that entrants are assigned objects, locations, and genres, and they must write stories based on what they’re assigned. The Short Story Challenge was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to this one! Maritime Fan-Demonium I have been working on the editing and some articles for this magazine project. As usual, I’m still open to collaborations, so please shoot me an e-mail if you have anything in...

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Ten most important albums in my life so far

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Ten most important albums in my life so far

Everyone who enjoys music has at least one album that is THE album for them. I have ten of them–at least. One of the side effects of having too many interests and an intense love for music makes this the case for me. Rather than trying to just say “I like a bunch of stuff”, I’ve embraced my diverse tastes.  The ten albums in this list are important to me in some way. They might not be my favourite albums necessarily or even albums that I deem are the best for the artist, but they may have helped me through a difficult time in my life, or may remind me of a happy time. It may even define an entire era of my life for me. Music has a deep impact on how I live my life–it always has.  With each album on the list I have included either my favourite song on the album, or the song that got me interested in the album in the first place. I tried to rank this but it was very difficult, other than the top three.  So, here you are. 10. The Days of Grays – Sonata Arctica I don’t really have a reason for this one in particular. I preferred Unia as an album on the whole, but this album in particular reminds me of cool autumn mornings, gaming before dawn and taking long walks through fallen leaves while sipping coffee. I love this album and there’s something really magical about it that I can’t put my finger on. While Flag in the Ground may be the single from the album that initially got my attention, Deathaura really sets the tone and prepares you for a mysterious journey. When I listen to this album, I want to write. Or go on an adventure. Or… both. 9. Hot Show – Prozzäk When I was 13, I couldn’t get this album out of my head. It was the first time I’d ever really listened to an album and thought “this is what I want out of music”. While it was often blown off as silly pop, something about it made me see more. I saw past the cartoon pair of Simon and Milo and felt like I understood what Jason and James, the real musicians behind it all, we’re trying to say. My prepubescent fawning over the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls aside, Prozzäk was my first foray into the world of following bands. I still regret that I never got to see them live. My fondest memory is having one of their questions answered enthusiastically by them on a live chat. For the record, I asked them if they were influenced in any way by the Buggles’ Video Killed the Radio Star. They were. 8. The Sticks – Mother Mother At the end of last summer, this album appeared. I was already a Mother Mother fan, particularly of their masterful O My Heart. I’d seen them live twice. I still wasn’t expecting the haunting surprise that awaited me with The Sticks. This is one of the few albums that I can listen to the lyrics and really get them. It’s all about packing up your stuff, getting away from all the crap in the world and moving out to the boonies–the sticks, if you will–with the animals. Wow, is that ever something I can get behind. 7. Oceanborn – NightwishI’ve mentioned my love for Nightwish before–in fact, it can be hard to get me to shut up about my love for Nightwish. I first heard of them upon stumbling across Sacrament of Wilderness before their music was even available on North American shores over ten years ago, and I’ve been happily hooked ever since. Oceanborn was the first metal album I ever listened to in full. Kind of like a gateway drug. I found myself instantly wanting more. 6. Discovery – Daft PunkEver heard a commercial and had an urge to know what the song playing in the background was? That happened to me when I was 15. I’m sitting...

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Harbour Con-Fusion 2013

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Harbour Con-Fusion 2013

A picture of me with my table-neighbour Darren Hann. This past weekend, I had a rare opportunity: I was invited to attend a convention to do nothing but promote myself. I set out to do just that and, of course, to meet new people. Meeting new people was not only a goal, but also a necessity, as it turned out. On day one, I knew only a small handful of attendees. Did I ever meet a friendly group of people! All the other guests, it seemed, were just as willing to meet new people as I was, and they all went out of their way to introduce themselves to me at some point or another. It’s always fascinating, to me, when a group of creators are placed into a room together. It seems to me that they are always working on various projects and, at this event in particular, seemed to have a keen interest in what everyone else was doing. I spent the weekend collecting business cards and discussing works in progress, as well as swapping notes, resources, and suggesting collaborations. It’s hard to believe all of this came from the lot of us meeting at a sci-fi/horror/fantasy/anime/gaming/etc. convention, but there you have it–sometimes when creators meet, friendships are inevitable! It was nice to see such a supportive group, as well. I ended up doing book trades with 3 guests who were interested in my book and had books of their own. I had the opportunity to run a panel on publishing and self-publishing with Matthieu Gallant, who was one of the authors I book-swapped with. I had great conversations with illustrator and comic artist Sandy Carruthers about his work, and was the lucky table neighbour to independent filmmaker and outstandingly friendly Trekkie Darren Hann. I got to spend time hanging out and having a couple of drinks with the guys of Geeks vs. Nerds, in particular fellow writer Larry Gent. Artist (and fellow Daft Punk fan) André Myette was a couple of tables down on the first day, and we had some great chats as well. Aside from the connections I made, I want to give a shout out to Drakon Designs and Blind Leviathan for their lovely tables! Drakon did some beautiful facepainting on attendees this weekend, and Blind Leviathan was selling everything Lon Lon Milk pendants to Companion Cube earrings. Being the huge zombie fanatic that I am, I got some bottled zombie virus. Obviously. I should mention I got numerous StreetPasses as well, and compliments about my special edition Legend of Zelda 3DS. Maybe I didn’t need to mention that. Whatever. On the third day, the moon crashed into Termina I held a small panel about events planning and running your own event or meetup. It was attended by only 2, but I had held the same panel at Animaritime last month and had a good turnout there. I’m going to keep working on expanding the panel, particularly with feedback I’ve been receiving about it, and hope to turn it into a PowerPoint presentation so I can spread it even further. Giving panels is always interesting because not only do the attendees learn something, but quite often the person or people holding the panel will learn, as well. All in all, I had a fantastic weekend, and I managed to sell out of all printed copies of Hub City Survival! Amazing! I also managed to get a lot of work done on Retail Hell, the webcomic I am writing. I was surrounded by so many talented people all weekend that it was hard not to be inspired to work. I won’t be drawing the comic myself, and am looking for an artist. If you’re interested in the project, send me an e-mail! I’ll likely be throwing some sketches or other tidbits up here before long. Right now, I’m looking for a new home for HCS because my print-on-demand publisher, Lightning Demand Press, is currently isn’t printing due to a flood. As well, I am working on my new novel with the working title A Couple...

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Another chapter closed.

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Another chapter closed.

Today, I finished writing Population: 1, a blog-based writing project I’ve been working on for the past year and a half. It has been a very interesting journey and I can say that I’m proud of the end result. Population: 1 started off as a strange  and brief short film that I made on Easter weekend of 2011. I was feeling a bit bored and stir-crazy, so I wrote, filmed, and edited it over the course of a day. The music I used is from the soundtrack of the game Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon. I wanted to evoke the same kind of loneliness I felt when I played through that game. After the video was complete, though, I felt the need to turn it into something else. So, Population: 1 was born. I consider it the spiritual successor to Hub City Survival, being that it’s set in a lonely, sad world, and it’s written in a first-person journal format. Plus, Tracey and Dahlia seem to have quite a bit in common. I designed the story to be interactive, having readers vote on what direction Dahlia could take. Some options may have resulted in a different ending for Dahlia, or perhaps a different outlook for her to take. As Dahlia learns of things, the readers do, and as such, some of the chosen options may have resulted in the readers knowing more, or less, than they do now. For this purpose, I made an in-character and an out-of-character blog.   The story featured a number of design implements. I drew the map of Cullingville, for instance, as it is a fictional town. I also developed the backstory of this bizarre town and have not shared it with anyone as of yet. Finally, the Five Petals group was an important part that needed to be fully fleshed out, and I made up family trees and timelines. It was a rather intensive piece of work for something that ended up being so short, but that’s part of the reason I’m so pleased with it. Now with this story complete, it’s time for me to start another project. I haven’t quite decided what it will be, but I’m certain it will be a novel. I have it narrowed down to three different ideas. I’m also going to be working on a storyboard for a web comic, on a somewhat off-and-on level. The webcomic is something I plan on writing, but not illustrating. I would be interested in collaborating on someone with the comic, and I’m sure I’ll post up sketches a bit later on when I’m further in the process. I also still have Thread in the back of my mind and really want to do something with it. I have a series of three games in my head, but no way to really get them out. This is another project I’d love to collaborate with someone on! Thanks to my readers for sharing yet another of my writing journeys with me. I hope to start my next project, whatever it may be, within the next week or...

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