Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Okay. I admit it. I’ve been slacking off.

I don’t know what it is about January that makes me so darn tired, but with no tropical vacation on the horizon this year, I just want to crawl back in bed until winter’s over.

Instead of working on a new novel to tide me over until I could start on my rewrites, I’ve been waiting for feedback on Dragonfly Summer. But finally, two things happened to give me a much-needed boot into action.

One is that I ran into a writer friend on the bus a couple of weeks ago. Catherine Hunter has published several murder mysteries and books of poetry. She spends a lot of her time teaching English and Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. I am proud to call her my friend. And, most unexpectedly, she really wants to read/edit my book!

The only problem is, she would like it by February 18th, the beginning of the university’s reading week holiday.

“No problem,” I said. “I’m supposed to have my editor’s notes back at the end of January, which gives me over two weeks to write a new draft.”

But yesterday I heard from my editor. He needs another two weeks.

So I’m going to have to muddle through with my own notes and The Boy’s to create a new draft for Catherine. And I have just over two weeks to do it. Time to get to work! On the bright side, The Boy (the first person to read the manuscript other than myself) loved the book. It’s a good sign. And maybe tonight’s meeting of the Sparkling Werewolves will inspire me.

How about you, Dear Readers? Are you finding you feel like a zombie at this time of year? If you’re a writer, how do you decide who gets to read your early drafts?

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Fat Arse

    Best of luck on re-crafting your draft. I personally find it one of the hardest and most labour intensive phases of the writing process. To self-edit is to question oneself, it is, in essence, an internal discussion/debate between one’s “Ego and Id”. The key for me when I revisit my work, is to see if I still have confidence in my original “voice” and its projection. Again, good luck.

    p.s. As an aside, might it be possible for you to alter your comments section to allow for automated notifications on comment updates? Sure would make life easier for those of us who wish to stay on top of the comments 🙂

  2. Story Teller

    Welcome back, Fat Arse! I’m glad I didn’t lose you.

    I’m not a fan of rewrites myself, but I am excited about submitting this book–I’m really optimistic about its chances, so I guess I’m submitting myself to this evil for the good that will come later.

    As for your suggestion, I’d be happy to do it, but I’m not sure how. If you know, feel free to send me an email at barelylucid@hotmail.com.

    I enjoy your blog as well, by the way. Very humorous and well written.

  3. Kim

    Settings… comments… Comment form placement… choose “pop up window” — I believe that is the only one that allows the readers to select the option to receive an email when further comments are posted below yours but “full page” may do it too. I’ve been meaning to make the same request myself so thanks Fat Arse…

    I always struggle through January and February. There just always seems to be so much going on. And now there is more going on than ever so…. one day at a time.

  4. Story Teller

    Really, Kim? I feel like a lot should be going on, but nothing is, because I just don’t feel like doing anything. How do you stay motivated?

    And thanks for your suggestion. I thought the blog was already set up for it, since so many people respond to my response to their response. Hah! I will see what I can do.

  5. Kim

    It is only because you have well conditioned us to expect you to repsond so we check back a gazillion times to see if you have. And then we respond back.

    Work is busier than ever and other new things are brewing in a postive, exiciting and terrifying way. I’m exhausted. And it is swim meet season so my schedule with the kids is unpredictable and crazy for the moment.

  6. Lisa

    Yes…January/February are the worst months for me..

    p.s. Until yesterday the blog would allow me to click “subscribe” to receive all follow up comments which were delivered to my gmail account. Today I get a pop-up commentbox…Did you change something between yesterday and today?

  7. Story Teller

    @ Kim – that explains it. Hopefully this works better for you.

    @ Lisa – yes, please see the comments above. Fat Arse and Kim asked me to make the change so they could follow the comment chain. Is it causing problems for you?


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