Good RIddance

Goodbye to you, 2014. I will not miss you.

I know most bloggers and writers take the time to wax poetic about the previous year when they hit New Year’s Eve. I certainly have done so in the past. But 2014 just seemed like a totally shit year, both personally and globally. I could list all the horror, but I’m sure you’ve read all about it in the Top New Stories posts, or have seen it in the Top Photos posts. There’s definitely a dew pictures I could have lived without seeing, that’s for sure.

I didn’t keep up with my resolutions, not even my resolution to provide the status of my resolutions. That’s mostly because I fell in a black hole somewhere in March and am only now starting to dig myself out. I could go on and say how brave I was in seeking out help and medication, but the fact of the matter is it wasn’t courage that got me to do that. It was desperation.

I’ve never had a problem being alone. When I wanted to be. And that is a lot, my dear friends. What I’ve had a problem with is loneliness, of the bone-deep, soul-crushing kind.

It’s not gone, but I’m working on it. Suffice it to say that while my 2015 may not bring less time alone, I damn well hope it brings less loneliness.

A writing contract and/or winning the lottery wouldn’t hurt either.

In other news, Assassin Part II is up and it’s even better than the first. Do go read.

Christmas and The Assassin Part 1

Hello dear readers.

By the time you read this it will likely be several days post-christmas (because I assume you all have better things to do right now than to read my blog), but at the moment it is Christmas Eve and I am sitting on the couch in my sister’s living room, my dog curled up in my lap, just relaxing and writing this post. Everyone else is at work.

It can be weird to be here sometimes.  Barrie is home to my two sisters and my mother but it is not where I grew up, so it doesn’t have that nostalgia attached to it. It’s a perfectly fine place, not unlike my hometown, but it’s not quite the same as going home to where you were a child.

And it seems like this will be my first green christmas, at least as far as I can recall.

Other than that it’s been a good visit so far.

Before I go, I want to plug The Assassin Part 1 by fellow author Eric Desmarais.

I’ve read it, and while I have some small criticisms about the editing, I encourage you all to check it out. It’s a great start to a story, leaves you wanting to know more about the character and what her future is while not burdening the reader with unnecessary detail or extraneous descriptions that serve only to show that the writer thinks more = better.

My taste in writing may be showing here.

But go read it.

 

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

So I have been tagged by my friend Eric Desmarais in the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange. So I bring you the following recipe:

Thin Mint Crackers

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
80 buttery round crackers
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate coatings over hot tap water for 15 – 20 minutes. Stir . Do not cook or get water into the chocolate.
2. After it is melted, stir in a couple drops of peppermint flavor into the chocolate.
3. Dip crackers into the melted chocolate and then place onto a cold cookie sheet and put into the refrigerator to set. (A freezing tray to rest the dipped cookies will keep the bottoms neat looking.)
4. In a few minutes take them out and package in candy cups. The cookies are best kept at room temperature or a cool dry place away from any odors.

 

As you can probably tell, I’m not a huge fan of cooking or baking or overly complicated things. So go forth and have simple, no-bake cookie cracker things!

Sadly I don’t know that many creative people with blogs, so I shall tag only my brother, Peter Cantelon, who probably won’t do it (boo).

This Just In:

Writing is hard.

I say that title only half tongue-in-cheek, because writing has always been something that has been very easy for me. It just happens, like I’m some sort of medium for an other-worldly author. Poetry, especially, can happen without me even thinking about it. But then again, it has always been things I wanted to write, inspired, without need for rules or guidelines, just for my own purposes.

I find lately, as I attempt to get myself “out there” into the world of writing, to get things published, it is getting harder. Instead of trying to release the sculpture from the stone, I am trying to mould the stone like it should be putty. Needless to say, it’s not working so well.

As an example, I tried to write a story for the upcoming Second Contact anthology by Bundoran Press. My attempt at that was so beyond bad it was embarrassing. Truth be told, I have never once thought about what a second contact by aliens would look like, and nor did I really care when I made myself do so in order to write. I’ve written fanfics I’ve cared about more than that story, (and no you can’t read them.)

So I stopped. It just wasn’t happening.

Right now I’m working on a piece for Future Fire, and while it’s going significantly better than my second contact story, it’s still a struggle. I’ve moved from third person, vaguely omniscient, to first person, clearly not. First person is much more my speed, though to be fair, I do have a fair amount of third person writing. But it has to happen naturally, without me really noticing until the story is over. Otherwise it feels like I’m trying too hard to make it third person and everything comes out sounding like “The cat sat on the mat”.

Even the novel I was working on is floundering because while the idea intrigues me still, the first draft is so crap that it’s even beyond the traditional “shitty first draft”.

I do have another idea that has been percolating in my head and I may move on to that.

I’m not saying I’m giving up. And maybe the fact that I can’t come up with anything decent when I’m forced to means I don’t have any real talent, but I don’t really think so. I think it just means I come at my writing from a different angle, and that’s okay.