Thursday, August 07, 2003

Frustrating couple of days - everything seems to be a bit of a struggle. The roof of the barn has proven to be way more frustrating than I could have imagined - how hard can it possibly be to align notches in joists? Hard, apparently. Painfully slow progress on that front. Busy at Bolen Books and not so productive on the new book. Annick does not like the first draft of the Tante Margarita story, so back to the drawing board on that one! Feeling more time pressure than usual as I have to go to Vancouver tomorrow morning... The reason for the trip is wonderful - meeting up with my sister and her family and my brother and his family... All the girls in the group are going to see Cirque de Soleil (thanks to my other brother, Pete - the one who lives in Tokyo - it's sort of a group birthday present...). That should be fun! I'll be back here by Saturday, though, at which point we hope to put all able-bodied relatives to work on the barn... Winter is a coming and that roof had better be secured before the rains are upon us once again!

Monday, August 04, 2003

Wrote another four pages of War in the Tarragon Woods this morning and three more by hand this evening. Broke my own rule and allowed myself to get distracted by doing research about dyslexia and literacy in Canada. Spent several hours at the bookstore last night doing some ordering, creating TO-DO lists for the homelearners info night in September, and then started reading an interesting book put out by the IRA (International Reading Association) that provides lots of help to tutors interested in helping kids learn to read.

Down in the land of the unfinished barn, Dad and I spent several rather unproductive hours fiddling around with notching a roof support... only to discover the clear plastic roofing we want to use over the covered walkway between the stalls isn't rigid enough to hold itself up across the 2' spans we had calculated.... So, we will have to reinforce the supporting structure with 2X2s running inbetween our 2X6s... At least the horses were entertaining. From up on our ladders, we had a good view of them rolling around in their new turnout areas... Once Tony had thoroughly ground all kinds of dirt, sticks, and grass into his mane and tail, he then proceeded to give himself a lengthy scratch and massage on the large branches overhanging his paddock. Breezy was a little vigorous when it came time to lurch to her arthritic feet and wound up hobbling around in circles until she had worked out the kinks in her back end. Poor old dear.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Whenever I'm working on a first draft I inevitably come up with questions I don't know how to answer. Instead of stopping to do research along the way, I keep lists in the front of the file folder where I also keep print-outs of however much I have typed into the computer each day (ever since a terrible hard-drive crash a few years ago when I lost most of a manuscript, I print everything as I go along). Unless there's some critical piece of information I must obtain before I can continue with the story, usually I wait until the end of the first draft when I go on a big research binge (I've usually been on at least one before I even start writing the first draft). Then, I go back and rewrite the first draft, adding in all the new details I've managed to scrounge up...

Here's my list so far for War in the Tarragon Woods:
-Heather's class, teacher names, map of school, locker location, timetable, decide on classmates... TWYG?
-Find TI-2 calendar and continue
-Read rest of Skud

-logging companies - Weyerhaeuser, changes to logging methods, rationale, effect on individual loggers
-alternatives - park/protect - trade-off?
-Merv Wilkinson - selective/horse logging
-Experimental forest reserve
-RCMP on SSI - process for protestors
-jail - size/nature of facilities - arrange a tour?
-# staff - typical jobs
-jugde, court access? hearings? at what point off-island?
-schools - policy and procedures re. vandalism/persecution/hate crimes

This is why, during the writing of Battle for Carnillo I made a note to myself, "Hang from wrists for extended period to check circulation/ability to climb down rope." This is also why, in the final version of the manuscript, many of the iron rings in the prison tower walls are set at waist-height rather than above people's heads...