All posts by Laurie Stewart

Authorpreneur, painter, gardener,

A shooting on Parliament Hill

I’m pretty sure that there’s no-one left who hasn’t heard that Cpl Nathan Cirillo was killed standing honour guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, steps away from our federal government buildings.

The gunman then ran to House of Commons, where he was gunned down by security and RCMP, just steps away from rooms where our MPs were in caucus.

All my loved ones, friends and family were inconvenienced, and worried.  but none of them were hurt.  While my heart goes out to the family of the slain soldier, especially his young son, I am deeply grateful that the situation never got worse.

This incident happened only 24 hours ago, but already speeches and tweets and posts and everybody has an opinion on why he did it, who he was affiliated with, and whether we should expect more of the same.

I am already heartily sick of the finger-pointing, the armchair quarterbacking, and the sabre rattling.

So, I am declaring the rhetoric over, in my world at least.  Until there are some definitive answers, or as close as we can come anyway, I’m not listening.

So, back to our regularly scheduled program…. cleaning my fridge.  Every fall I try to tear my fridge apart and clean it.  I pull everything out, look at expiry dates (seriously?  This tofu expired in 2009?!  Where was it hiding?)

For most people, this would be an afternoon, or even an hour’s work.  But because I can’t stand up for more than 10 minutes, or bend over for more than a few seconds, without severe pain, it takes me all week.  One shelf a day.

So far, three of the five shelves are clean and much emptier.  If you include the 2 chiller drawers and the cheese drawer (and the shelves in the door itself) I should still be finished by Nanowrimo.

And I’m taking the mindlessness of washing shelves to think about Nano.  About plot twists, and characters, and Stephen King.  He said “Kill your darlings.  Kill your darlings, even if it breaks your egotistical little scribbler’s heart.”

So…. who should I kill?  Washing mold out of the fridge from a long forgotten bottle of now fermented and unidentifiable food, makes we want to kill someone…

And bonus?  I now have enough canning jars for my annual Yule jelly making.  Hm… mango for Michel, hot pepper for dear hubby’s sisters….

Nano is coming…..

Expect me to disappear in November.  It’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo… Nano for short.  (but only if you’re friends or buy her a drink first, she’s old fashioned)

The idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  That’s 1667 words a day, every day, or 2500 words a day if you take weekends off.  To, you know, shower, feed the kids, sleep….

One side to nano is that you must learn to ignore the critic in the back of your brain, that little editor that keeps whining for you to go back and fix things.  There just isn’t time, and that’s what second drafts are for.  First drafts are for you to run gloriously free, writing down every bit of plot and character and silliness as it enters your head.

And Nano makes you do that.  I have tried 3 years and completed it twice.  We won’t discuss last year.  I was sick.

There are nice perks for winners; various writing programs at half price, t shirts, coffee mugs, good prices on paid editors or vanity press.  And bragging rights.

But the best one for me, is that it takes 3 weeks to form a habit.  After 30 days, I will be in the habit of writing instead of facebooking.  Hopefully in the habit of writing 2000 words a day.  Every day.  With a few off to shower.  And remind people I exist.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”
Stephen King

Wow, that was fast…. and confusing

I guess I had better write an actual post, since I got 7 followers while my blog was still marked “hidden”.  funny, I thought that meant unsearchable, or hidden from everyone.  But it really just means it’s hidden from me when I go to “my blogs” page.  Pain inna butt….

It is no longer hidden, so I should say something…


This is my 23lb cat, Yeti.  Someone said I should have called Snowflake, but at his size, Yeti suits him far more.  He is 22″ from the flat of his chest to the flat of his butt, so without counting head and tail, he’s 2 ft long.  And 14″ at the shoulder.

Fortunately, he’s an affectionate, laid back dude of a cat.  God help us if he ever goes feral, we’ll need a machine gun to take him down.

I may post a lot about him, he’s smart, funny and always in my way.

November is “National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo.  The concept is to sign up to write a 50k word book in 30 days.  Insane, but so… fun….let’s go with fun.  The best part is that it requires you to shut off your internal editor, your mental critic, that little voice that says “you’re not good enough”, because you just don’t have time to listen.

I’ll be working on Nets to Catch the Wind, I’ve set up a page on here for it, hopefully I’ll have time to update it.  My nano name is Gaelica, in Ottawa.  Writing buddies are cool because they watch your word count like obsessed hawks.

And it gets you in the habit of writing every day, good or bad, bums in seat/ hands on keyboard.  Because according to Steven King. that’s what you need to do.  You may write by inspiration, but it’s gotta be able to find you.

So, be prepared to see a lot of hand-wringing, hair-pulling, crazy-eyed shit for the next few weeks.  If you’re lucky, I’ll post a selfie.

My first post as a writer…

Welcome to my Author’s Site, experimental edition!

I’m going to be practicing my author’s blogging and website here, and using it as a launchpad for a real website.

I’ll also be posting cat photos and unrelated stuff, just because I’m like that.

I am aspiring fantasy and urban fantasy writer, so of course the only two scripts or books I’ve sold have been current day urban, and science based.  One is a film script about a psych experiment gone wrong, and one is a YA urban novel about choices.

I am also a hobby painter, landscapes, though I do wish to learn to paint portraits.  I have been in a couple of art shows, and had an offer on one painting.  Yay, me!

That’s enough for now.  🙂