Friday, January 18, 2002

Quick update before I head into town for a bookstore shift (at the end of the month I'll be dropping back to just one evening a week which should make scheduling the rest of my life just a wee bit easier).

This morning, lots of work on the student activity packages. I've finished those for Cave of Departure and the StableMates novel. All that remains is to type up the activity suggestions for No Cafes in Narnia and print them all (with matching crossword puzzles) on decent quality paper (note to self: need to pick up a new laser printer cartridge - I'm fading). At some point I'll also upload web versions so people can just log onto the websites and download the files. Speaking of web versions, the North Island Distance Education folks have created a wonderful on-line Novel Study to go along with Tarragon Island (I've had a sneak preview!). As soon as the website is posted live, I will post the link so teachers have access to this material. Thanks to Nancy Bowmer for her excellent work on this project!

Also in progress today - a massive file transfer from California. All those holiday pix are trickling over the Internet - estimated time remaining a mere 8 hours, 57 minutes, and 12 seconds. 11 seconds...

When I get too durned busy, I make lists to cope. Spent a bit of time this morning doing just that - creating a series of lists relating to getting the Pony Express trip organized. Yoiks. Sometimes I wonder what on earth I was thinking when I dreamed up that idea!

Oh, and one more thing. If you are interested in signing up for a Fiction Writing course online, check out the course information here. The course is scheduled to run during the month of April, 2002. Come join us - this should be lots of fun.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Happy (belated) New Year!
Going on holidays is terribly disruptive when it comes to keeping up with such tasks as journal-keeping. First of all, in the two weeks leading up to my departure I had about eight million things to do - yet another revision of Jo's Triumph (we now have a release date of March!), writing various columns and newsletters for both the December and January deadlines, confirming several school presentations for Jan, Feb, and March, and then mundane things like Christmas shopping and packing.

After all that, Dani and I had a quite fabulous three weeks away in California and then Orlando! Boy, that sunshine is sure nice after way too much rain here on soggy Vancouver Island!

Of course, since arriving home on Sunday I've been working flat out trying to catch up with all sorts of projects and deadlines that stacked up while I was away (including, yes, yet another revision of Jo's Triumph - will that book ever go away?) One of the more enjoyable tasks was chatting with the tourism folks in Nevada as I start plotting how I might ride sections of the Pony Express route to celebrate the US launch this fall. Also lots of fun has been putting together some new student/teacher packages to go along with various novels - have a look at the new crossword puzzles posted here if you enjoy word games. Though I have a Java-script version working beautifully on my machine (where you can enter answers right on the screen), I can only seem to get a printable version going on-line. Hmph. Time doesn't permit additional fiddling, alas, so for now would-be puzzlers will have to print and use pencils - just like the olden days.

Let's see now - in other news - working hard to get my online writing courses through Malaspina College going (Freelance Writing in May and Writing Fiction in April), preparing for a trip to Vancouver to meet with Nevada tourism folks to make a formal pitch about why it would be so cool for me to ride horses across the high mountain valleys in the area once known as Utah Territory, and polishing several picture book manuscripts.

High on my list of priorities is getting some serious work done on The Battle for Carnillo - the second of the Estorian Chronicles.

Alas, all my holiday pix are still on a hard drive in California but as soon as my brother sends them to me I'll post a few so you can see what I was up to down in the sunny south!
By for now -