Well, this has been a busy week or so! Two panels, a workshop, a book launch, and then Halloween! Couldn’t pack much more fun into one week, if I tried.
First, I want to talk about the panel and workshop, put on by the Canadian Authors Association, Alberta chapter. I was presenting with S. G. Wong (who wrote the wonderful noir Lola Starke series) and Calgary author Jayne Barnard (who wrote the delightful young adult Maddie Hatter series, and has just released her crime novel, When the Flood Falls under the name J.E. Barnard).
We discussed crime fiction traditions and women. Specifically, is the crime-reading world ready to embrace fully fleshed-out female characters as both sleuths and villains? (We think they are!)
The workshop was more writing focussed. This concerned crafting crime fiction, and we looked at research, plotting, and narrative voice. I did the research section, and I did promise the participants that I would give them an online set of links for the interesting websites I’ve found. So, here they are!
Some cool websites, in no particular order:
- https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview: ScrivenerThis is a handy tool for keeping your research and your writing all in one handy place. It is comprehensive, though, so know that there will be a learning curve.Costs. but you can use a free trial to see if you like it
- https://trello.com/: Trello I haven’t tried this one myself, but it looks like the ultimate to do list! (Also, it looks like it’s set up for collaboration, which could be a bonus. There is a free section, but if you love it and feel more would be better, you can pay.
- http://www.dailyscript.com/ : The Daily Script. Movie scripts, TV scripts
General Writing Advice
- https://annerallen.com: Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris blog. Excellent writing advice. Remember to check out their “Resources for Writers” section, but be preparied to spend a day or more or more checking out the links they have provided. And don’t miss the Archives! Wonderful resource.
Just a smattering of interesting websites I’ve found over the years.
- https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en: The Canadian Encyclopedia. Good general knowledge. A fine place to start.
- https://mapstreetview.com/: Google Maps. This one is street view, which is fascinating, but look around. Lots to see and use when researching.
- https://www.oldmapsonline.org Historical Maps online. Quite easy to navigate.
- newspaperarchive.com Includes archives of Edmonton Bulletin, Edmonton’s oldest newspaper. (You can also check for newspapers from smaller communities, etc.)
- VictorianVoices.net: archive of articles from Victorian magazines
- nationalarchives.gov.uk British National Archives
- theeuropeanlibrary.org: Quick and easy access to collections of 48 National Libraries and European Research Libraries.
- sciencenews.org: jargon free science reporting
- https://www.atlasobscura.com: Quite literally, the Atlas of the Obscure. Organized by country.
- https://www.themarysue.com/: The Mary Sue. An inclusive, feminist site for geek culture, comic book movies, genre television, space exploration, emerging technologies, the coolest video games, and the weirdest finds on the internet.
- www.tvtropes.org: A wonderful array of tropes for all genres. Tropes are storytelling devices or conventions. A shortcut for describing situations the story teller can reasonably expect the audience to recognize. Remember, tropes are not good or bad. They are tools for story telling. Check out the narrative tropes to start. (Also forums, if you really want to interact.)
- Character Names
- https://www.babycenter.com: U.S. site
- https://character-name-generator.software.informer.com/: Only generates names in American English.
- http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/: An entire website for character and place names
- http://www.wordorigins.org As the name implies, a list of words and phrases that interested the researcher. The etymology fo common words can be found in online dictionaries.
- http://coolestwords.com/ Includes slang from the last century, by decade.
- www.phrases.org.uk: The Phrase finder. Meaning and origins of thousands of English idioms, phrases and sayings.
- urbandictionary.com: Urban dictionary (crowd sourced)
- https://www.dictionary.com/: Because I needed at least one dictionary on this list.
- And… remember that neat article about Tudor clothing? Well, Danielle sent me a link, so here it is! Originally published in the New Republic: https://newrepublic.
All right, now back to my busy week!
The STARFest panel “STARFest gets spooky” at the St. Albert Library included S. G. Wong, Winnipeg writer Chadwick Ginther (Thunder Road Trilogy, and his newest book, Graveyard Mind), and Rhonda Parrish (Too many anthologies to list, plus her nonfiction Haunted Hospitals. Watch for Eerie Edmonton, out soonish.) We had a great time talking about all things spooky (and sometimes funny!) in our writing, and around the good old city of Edmonton.
Oh! I almost forgot! The next day we all had a group book signing at Chapters on Whyte. A small but enthusiastic crowd of readers joined us, and many got early Halloween candy as a treat!
Then, it was time for the Edmonton launch of Hearing Voices. (It was actually a double launch, because Rhonda Parrish (remember I said she had too many anthologies to count?) launched the anthology Fire, too.) It was quite wonderful, and when (if) I get any photos, I’ll share. (All right, so minutes after I finished this, I got a couple from the wonderful Hal Freisen. Here he is in all his glory as a Djinn, with his lamp, Debbie Ha.)
Favourite moments: Rhonda and I yelling the score of the Edmonton Oilers game out to each other as the launch went on. (Because of course we booked our launch on a night they were playing!) That, and the costumes. (Okay, so there were only four, but they were good! Trust me!)
Then–Halloween. I was home this time, so got to do it up fine. Decorated inside and out (which I love) and I thought we had lots of candy, but we didn’t, so my husband ended up taking a candy run about 7:30. It was great to see so many kids out–and to the parents who wanted to see the inside of my round house, sorry about the “no candy for you” thing. I was afraid I was going to run out again!
Buddy the border collie very faithfully watched at the front door the whole night, so he could warn us when more kids were coming to the door. (He slept most of today away. I think he exhausted himself!) Millie didn’t care one wit, and I don’t know how I feel about a dog who can sleep through Halloween.
Favourite moment: A gaggle of teens came to the door. Most of them were dressed up, and they started to carol “Happy Halloween!” when a girl at the front of the group caught sight of our TV. She stopped everyone and whispered, “What season of Grey’s Anatomy” are you on?” “The tenth,” I said. “Ooh, good one,” she replied, then gave the signal and the rest of them howled “Happy Halloween!” Yes, they got a lot of candy…
So now I get a small rest before… oh! No I don’t! I have to get a story ready for Rhonda Parrish’s Giftmas Blog Tour again this year, and oh my goodness, isn’t NaNoWriMo time again? (Yes, it is. It started today…)
And don’t I have another book to write? Actually, yes I do.
No rest of the wicked, I guess!