Monday, November 29, 2010


Many writers rejoice (or shudder) as November approaches, for our favourite cold damp month brings with it NaNoWriMo, AKA National Novel Writing Month. During NaNoWriMo, some crazy writer types in the US and beyond commit to writing a 50,000 word novel (each!) over the course of one month.

After a slow start (I did a bit at the beginning, then nothing for three weeks), my NaNoWriMo is looking a little like LoMyFuMiMo (Losing My Mind Month) at this point. However, progress has been made.

Since I’ve already got one novel drafted and another started, and there was no way in hell I was ever going to write 50,000 new words this month, I committed instead to a serious schedule of revising and writing. So JoReWriMo (Jodi’s Revising and Writing Month) broke down into 5,000 new words and 72,0001 revised words. Or, in other words2, a couple of chapters in the new novel and a few blogs for the new, and a completed second draft of the existing novel for the revision.

To me, NaNoWriMo is all about just doing it. Getting ‘er done. Ass in chair, hands on pen/keyboard. Making some goals and sticking to them. Staying up late and shunning paying work for the dream.

And for the past week especially, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

So why am I boring you with this poopstorm of decidedly unfunny facts and numbers? Because JoReWriMo is precisely why I haven’t been blogging lately. Yes, after only a month into production, I had to take a hiatus from blogging to make a sincere run at draft two. Plus my daughter turned eight and my in-laws visited for two of this fine month’s fours weeks.Life gets in the way.

But the cold November rains will soon be gone, I’ve got 2,750 new and 67,000 revised words in the can and I am going for the win.

So stay tuned and wish me luck—we’ll be talking again before you know it...

1 - Yah – you read that right. 72k. Although it’s turning more into 80k because of the stuff I’ve added in.

2 – Jodi’s are punny.

3 – Yah – you read that right. Please see Now We’re Talking! “Some people (me) never learn...” re: not blogging self out of wills. Also, see this blog. :~)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mwah! Mwah! Mwah! (1)

So I was going to do a post about rejection (in all its many forms), but I’m feeling pretty damn huggy this week, so I’m going to instead do some Now We’re Talking2 (aka Now We’re Talking With Jodi3) shout outs. Word!

First of all, Now We’re Talking4 shout outs to each and every one of you who have stopped by, shared a link, made a comment and showed unfathomable support and love. I am touched and humbled.

A Now We’re Talking5 shout out to the ultra-fabulous Halifax Broad. This super-talented graphic designer by day and blogger by night (or vice versa) talked about (and expanded beautifully upon) the Kegel Pole-ka™ in her amazing blog and I’m sure is responsible for the handful of new followers I have who are not my friends or relatives! Yay! People I don’t know! Now YOU are my friends too!

Another Now We’re Talking6 shout out to the organizers of and participants in the MSVU Celebration of Writing. After all my angst, I ended up having a fantastic time. My panelmates, Jon Tattrie and Jan Morrison, were particularly charming and clever, and I sat front and centre to listen to the lovely and delightful Sheree Fitch's keynote address. (I laughed. I cried. I’m not proud.) During the panel, Sheree7 and a few awesome buddies of mine were kind enough to ask me questions that made me feel like a real writer, rather than the poser I am on most days. Now, someone may burst my delusions of grandeur, but I believe I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. And sometimes that’s all you can hope for in this world.

So the next time someone calls and asks you to do something waaaay outside your comfort zone, try saying yes. You might have fun!8

That's quite enough treacly sweetness for today. I promise a funny post when this insanely busy week is over. Plus all this happiness—well, let’s just say I’m funnier when I’m agitated, so I’ll work on that.

On a COMPLETELY unrelated topic (*cough*), did I mention my in-laws are staying with us for two weeks? *whistlesasherassgetskickedoutofStarbucksafterbeingthereforsixhours*

Mwah! Now we’re talking!9

1. Those are kisses, in case you didn’t know. Onomatopoeia is not a strong suit for me. Nor are metaphors and symbolism. And here I fancy myself a writer. HA!

2. Shameless whoring of self/Now We’re Talking to search engines, part 1.

3. Shameless whoring of self/Now We’re Talking to search engines, part 2.

4. Shameless whoring of self/Now We’re Talking to search engines, part 3.

5. OK—last one. I swear.

6. I lie like a rug. Better for you to find out now, don’tcha think?

7. Who thinks I’m funny, by the way.

8. Hey Susan D. Rushdie, you can come out of hiding again! Mwah! to you too! Thanks!

9. Jodi Reid... carrying a joke too far... (David Spade voice)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

WTF was I thinking?

More advice for you, my friends.

Say you receive an e-mail that says something like this: “So-and-so’s going to call and ask you to do something. Please say yes.”

My advice?

Run the other way.

For reasons I’m still trying to suss out, I did say yes when the call from so-and-so eventually came. And now my leg has a repetitive stress injury from continuously kicking my own arse over my own sheer stupidity.

What in the effin’ jay was I thinking?

Part of it was that, like many women, I have trouble saying no and an inexplicable need to help and/or please people.1 All the time. Part of it was that I was flattered to be asked.

Ahhh, yes—pride. We all know what that comes before.

What I foolishly accepted was an invitation to be part of a panel of speakers at one of my almae matres, Mount Saint Vincent University. They are celebrating writing next week and asked me to be on the “Writers Talk Publishing” panel. Which is rather frigging hilarious when you consider that I am completely and utterly unpublished. Absurdly so. (Perhaps because I use too many adverbs? But I digress. Predictably.)

The line-up for the day includes Alexander MacLeod (yes, that Alexander MacLeod), Crystal Garrett and Chris Benjamin on the morning panel (“Writers Talk Writing”); uber-author-extraordinaire Sheree Fitch as the keynote speaker; and Jon Tattrie and Jan Morrison on “my” panel in the afternoon.
Well cluck, cluck!2 Look at Miss Fancy Pants on the fancy panel! I’ll fit right in, right?

F*cking idiot.

You see, what all of these other people (with one exception3) have in common is that they are published authors. Some ridiculously prolifically so.5

Apparently, someone6 thought I could add to this discussion amongst these distinguished and accomplished people because I’m flailingly submerged in the lengthy, soul-wracking, ice-pick-to-the-brain process of trying to get published. I’m in the research phase—sorting out the mysterious and sick and twisted labyrinth8 that is the publishing world.

There’s just so much information out there. Of course, the same could be said for anything these days—everything is on the information-overload highway somewhere, so there’s no excuse anymore for not being able to find out about any conceivable topic. “I didn’t know” just doesn’t cut it. Read publisher websites. Read agent blogs. Read author websites and blogs. Learn how to fix your plot, your characters, your dialogue, your jitch—whatever. It’s all “out there.” In overwhelmingly choking detail.

So, WTF can I possibly bring these people that they haven’t already found out for themselves or heard from one of my learned and published co-panellists?

Ummmm... Comic relief?

OK. So I’ll try to bring the funny.

Wish me luck—I’m gonna bloody well need it.


1. Hubby says WHAT?!?!? Where’s the line for that?

2. Props to my sister and her crazy friends for one of my favourite phrases ever.

3. I don’t think Crystal Garrett has a book published, but she’s a professor at Kings and the Mount, a broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, and she’s represented Canada internationally as a long-distance runner. Show off.4

4. Just kidding! About the show-off part. Yah. Kidding.

5. Adverb theme! Adverb theme!

6. ..who shall remain nameless here but is emblazoned permanently on my brain in the radically overdeveloped “revenge” compartment...7

7. Just kidding! About the dish best served cold. Yah. Kidding.

8. Polysyndeton, just for someone.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Say “Squeeze!”

There are few things I dislike more than walking. One of those things happens to be Kegels. Oh dear God, how I loathe them.

The other day I decided to see if two wrongs could possibly make a right, and so I combined these least favourite things into one activity I coined “The Kegel Pole-ka™.” Surprisingly, it’s not nearly as fun as it sounds. (Trust me.)

The idea is that, as I walk, once I reach a telephone pole I squeeze my abs in and up and attempt1 to do Kegels at the same time. (I am woman. I am nothin’ if not a multi-tasker.) At the next pole I relax and just walk.2 Then I repeat till I want to chew out my own eyeballs for the sheer distraction of it.

So if you see me out walking at a seemingly normal pace but I’m grimacing like I’m in the homestretch of a marathon3, keep in mind that, though you can’t see it, I’m actually trying to pull my jitch4 up to my navel, and my navel up to my cleavage5.

All that squeezing has to be good for something, right?

I’ll keep you posted.

How about you—do you do Kegels faithfully? rarely? ever? Do you not feel the need or (as one character in a book so brilliantly witty is just HAS to be published some day says) can you pretty much drive a Mack truck through there? Do you hate Kegels as much as me?

* * * * * * * * * *
1. I say “attempt” because who the hell knows if they’re ever doing the dastardly things right anyway? The best description I ever read was in The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, by Vicky Iovine: “The way you know if you are doing [Kegels] correctly is you begin to feel anxious and makes you feel slightly nervous inside. You can even feel lightheaded.” Enticing, no?

2. Note to self, there are no telephone poles on one side of Macara Street. Holy tight twazzer, Batman!

3. ...or like I discovered Nickelback on my MP3...

4. Props to Brenda D. for introducing me to the BEST. WORD. EVER.

5. A distance that is, of course, shrinking with every passing year. Eventually I’ll have to aim for my chin instead.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I get WAY more now than I ever did...

Dear God, or whoever is in charge of shit like this:

I’m 40. Enough with the acne already.

Oh, and world peace, massive weight loss and a lotto win would be great too.

Thanks in advance!


PS: Before my smarty-pants readers say it, I wrote this BEFORE Hallowe’en and the 26-snack-per-day diet I undertook following our fave pagan celebration.