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Friday, August 14, 2009


I'm finally getting caught up with my writing tasks, including the work on SHADOW. Yesterday I completed another chapter which is now ready to workshop at my critique group next Monday. Without this weekly group I would lag far behind, maybe would have never completed much at all. They keep me inspired and without their excellent critiques I might not have got this far. I've been work shopping SHADOW with them since I first started writing it. Except that several are new members now and weren't in on the first chapters, several of them were and their commentary (well, everyone's) is what keeps me going.

Besides SHADOW, I write my weekly Vancouver Guide ( for which I get paid and I'm pleased to say that once again this month, because the site is getting lots of traffic, I got another good sized 'bonus'. It makes the effort all the more worth while. Check out this site and see what's going on in and around my city.

I'm also getting caught up with my belated travel blogs, which you can read here at my other blog:

And earlier this week I spent a couple of days editing and preparing the August issue of my on-line travel 'zine TRAVEL THRU HISTORY.

That brings me up-to-date and now I might even find time to read other people's blogs which I have been sadly neglecting to do over the past months. I am also busy editing an interesting, well-written manuscript about Peruvian cooking for a friend of mine who is an excellent chef and wine connoisseur.

I saw that my writer friend Steven Pressfield has a Wed. writing workshop blog posted with some very useful advice. This week it was about getting bogged down with research, which for someone who loves researching, is easy to do. "Just get the story written" is his advice. Then with your future drafts pay attention to the research details. I have tended to get very bogged down with research during my writing of SHADOW. It seems to be never-ending. And I also do some research for the little bits I write in the Vancouver Guide, in particular if there is something historical regarding the place I am writing about. Or if I have to get extra details by googling. "Get the fact's, Ma'am". That comes from my youth when I worked in a newspaper editorial dept. I always wanted to be an investigative journalist (and/or crime reporter). I find that kind of thing fascinating!

So, here we are -- only two months to go before the Surrey Writer's Conference, and I am determined to finish SHADOW by then so I can meet with an editor/publisher. Of course the final polishing won't be done, but the final chapter must be! My wine rack is stacked with good Greek wine, the champagne is chilling in the fridge and I have grand plans for a 'wrap party" when all this is over!

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Debra Young said...

Nothing succeeds like writing progress! Great advice from Steve Pressfield. I definitely have that problem. d:)

Adrian Swift said...


Welcome back from your vacation!

Sorry I haven't posted before -- I tried, but Blogger wouldn't display any letters for me to enter for the word verification! This time it did, so I can tell you how lovely your photos are, how much I envy you the truly wonderful time you had in Greece, and how great it is that you're back to work on your writing!

I also appreciated your posting about historical accuracy in historical fiction. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is fiction, and you are telling a story about the characters and the pull to us readers is how those characters feel, since we will feel it, too. The heart of the story is found in the heart of the characters, not in historical details. As long as the story is "basically true" and you have not violated the key "facts" of the story (for example, having Alexander conquer China), then how you depict it is a matter of choice, your choice, according to whatever aspect of the story you wish to focus on in support of whatever message or insight you wish to impart about it, what the story as a whole means to you, and what it might mean to us, your readers.

Ignore the unhelpful comments. Tell us your version of the events to the dramatic effect that you seek to create!

I'll shut up now so you can get back to work.

Enjoy the summer!


Wynn Bexton said...

Hello everyone, I am so appreciative of all your wonderful encouraging words. This has been such a hard and long struggle (too long!) writing this novel and trying to get it 'right'. I'm moving along again now and will try not to get bogged down again. And I am hoping now to have time to read other people's blogs once again. I have been terribly remiss!
You can see more photos and hear more about my travels by checking out my travel blog. Just click on my profile and move over there for a trip through Greece.