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ROW80-4 - 10/22 - Moving Along

I haven't posted for a while, as I'm still working on what's next, but I think it's time for an update. 

Yesterday was a big one here in Ottawa. As all are likely aware, a shooter killed a ceremonial guard at the War Memorial, then ran into the Centre block of Parliament, past several rooms full of politicians, before being killed by security. So far this seems to be a one man job, not really a terrorist fighting for an ideology. I'm sure security and related issues are being reviewed closely, but my hope is that we don't over-react and start stomping on civil liberties. The speeches and posturing have started already.  Our Prime Minister made several references to terrorism in his speech on yesterday's shooting, but I must say I preferred what was said by Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Opposition Liberal Party, cautioning that we don't now put labels on all of Islam. 

We live in a society where people feel increasingly ineffective locally, yet are exposed to revolutions and extreme ideologies from around the world. Sometimes even ideologies and situations that are not that extreme, where the bad guys and good guys are not all in black or white hats, where today's opponent carries a rifle we sold her just last year. I'm definitely not condoning their actions, but some are motivated to apply those methods here, some overseas. Many did just travel abroad for that in the 30's - to Spain, to fight fascism. Were they terrorists? Were they 'radicalized'? We have lists of people we are watching, because we suspect they might escalate their ideas into dangerous actions - do we jail them all now for what they are thinking? How do we balance the need to protect with keeping our freedoms? If we ban them from going overseas, do we just encourage them to act out their frustrations here? Or do we just cancel the passport of anyone travelling to a suspect region that we think might have been sympathizing with radicals - be they a young wanna-be revolutionary or a dedicated doctor or a fervent evangelical. Guilty through intent. Many questions, few answers to far.

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ROW80-4 - 10/06 - A CanCon Kick

I spent last weekend at my first writerly conference, namely The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature. Otherwise known as CanCon. 

Wow - what an amazing event. Lots of fascinating authors, editors, and publishers, with lively panel discussions and excellent workshops. I was starting to sag as a writer, so needed this boost, this kick in the pants. Now I need to maintain those links, follow up on all my 'to-do' items I made, select a critique group, and find myself a mentor for my career. Maybe that will be an agent, maybe just a more experienced author in my genre. 

Some of my unknowns are:

  • My flash fiction - I have maybe 90 so far, all online. Do I re-write and republish as short stories in various newsletters and anthologies, or repackage on my own? Or do I just keep writing them for myself, as a way to practice and stretch?
  • Existing drafts from NaNoWriMo. Do I just edit and polish in the order I did them or is one a better choice than another? Should my next novel be the sequel of #1?
  • Genre - Do I continue with my current police/small town/First Nations Spirit stories or focus more on  fantasy?
  • Novel #1 - Do I pay a publicist to get it going or leave it be and move on? Or re-write and re-release?
  • Learning to write better - How and which parts need it most? 

My goal remains the same - to become a better writer. It's my focus that is changing, my objectives.

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