Category Archives: me Me ME!

Pitch Wars: Thirteen reasons why a mentor should pick ME!!!

1) I’ve been writing since I was 8. My first book was a Cerlox-bound collection of five original fairy tales I two-finger-typed for my mum’s birthday, with illustrations by my dad. I still remember the little volume vividly (it had a red cover), and that it took forever to type. I don’t remember much about the stories themselves, other than they had actual fairies in them. I don’t write about fairies anymore.

2) I’ve loved writing so much for so long, I couldn’t stomach the idea of going to university for anything other than word-play and imaginary worlds. Ergo, I’ve been the proud holder of a BFA in Creative Writing and Theatre for *mumbles* years now. OK. Next!

3) My day-job involved writing and editing in the corporate world. Fascinating stuff. Well, no. Not even remotely, really. Yawn-worthy, in fact. But it paid the bills. And it turned me into a revision-maniac and a big fan of grammar. Also, that’s how I met Wonderful Husband, who’s still a kick-ass corporate writer, alpha reader extraordinaire and eagle-eyed proof-reader.

4) At university writing workshops, I was nicknamed the Queen of Rewrites (yes, my first drafts suck THAT bad. Luckily no one has seen one of those in years and no one will ever again. Not even Wonderful Husband).

5) I’m in the middle of a two-year “Writing Sabbatical.” This pretty much means that the bulk of my time and energy are currently devoted to writing, revising, revising, revising,  rewriting, revising and revising.  Oh, and querying and researching and more revising. It’s substantially more work and more emotionally-charged than any day-job, which means I’m probably insane for having chosen to do this.

6) I write YA because the teen years are the most heart-wrenching, horrific, wonderful and agonizing time of anyone’s life. Every emotion is felt tenfold, which, IMHO, is the basis of all great stories.

7) I write YA with a paranormal and/or speculative twist because I don’t know how to make the mundane sound interesting. (Plus, as a reader, I always pick the book with ghosts or time-traveling over contemporary or realism. So I write the same kind of stuff I tend to gravitate towards as a reader.)

8) I don’t have a TV. I like it that way.

9) I’m generally not a vampire fan, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an exception to that rule and a timeless work of pure genius.

10) I’ve been dancing flamenco since the year 2000. It keeps me sane. Except when it doesn’t.

11) I have a puppy and she’s the smartest, cutest, awesomest black Labrador Retriever in the known universe. IMG_0251

(Also, she’s dog-size now, but still manages to almost make me die of cuteness whenever I zero in on those warm brown eyes of hers.)


12) I don’t particularly like talking about myself, but love talking about (with?)  my imaginary friends… erhm…  characters. And with my cute dog-size puppy.

13) Writing is my life and it would be nice to be able to share that with the world someday.

Supplement (by The Lab) —  Another bunch of reasons why you should pick my Mommy:

She gives excellent belly rubs and really knows how to scratch behind my ears.

She’ll stop in the middle of her writing to give me a wonderful warm cuddle just when I’m starting to think I’d like one.

She runs all her plot ideas by me. I think her book is pretty cool, even though it features absolutely no Labs or dogs of any other kind (I’m trying to convince her to change this in her next book, but she’s a little hard to get through to… Humans! Sigh.)

Other awesome potential mentee bios:


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And so, it begins…

Hello, Day Three of my freedom!

I still have a hard time believing this is true: I don’t have to get my sorry butt to the draining, soul-choking environment of office work anymore. Instead, I find myself actually excited to face every day! Don’t get me wrong: I’m still not what you’d call a morning person–not even remotely, in fact–but at least I actually see the point of getting out of bed now. It’s amazing what self-motivation can accomplish once it starts to stir inside you.

Thanks to the Twitter feed, we all know this whole following-my-dream experiment thing is a reality now: I did indeed hand in my resignation: December 28 marked my last day of formal employment… December 21, really, since I knew I wouldn’t really be in the office at all the week of Dec. 24-28, what with the stat holidays and some vacation time I had slotted in there since way back in the fall.

I still have moments of paralyzing panic, but over all, I’m doing ok so far–even if I’ve not accomplished what you’d say lots upon lots just yet…. This is, after all, very, very new. The holiday season was the holiday season (i.e., dead on the productivity side), up to and including New Year’s Day. So, that makes today, January 4, only the third day of my new work routine.

But I feel like in a way I am making some progress. Establishing a budding routine, for one thing. I’m still getting out of bed at the same time as Wonderful Husband, and getting my work day started by 9ish. So far, there hasn’t been any actual “writing,” but more some organizational stuff from the business side of things… which is just my incredibly petulant way of referring to updating my research on suitable agents. And bear in mind that I’m only leading off my new life with that because:

a) I do have an existing manuscript in “advanced” draft form. This means it is in “reasonable” shape, and I can probably (hopefully) get it submission-ready in a matter of a few weeks (maybe a month or two) of working full time on the last batch of feedback from my awesome, awesome beta readers.


b) I needed a gentle way to ease into this new-found freedom.

Next on the to-do list?

Pull out said latest draft from its virtual drawer (i.e., its special folder in my computer), and re-read it with fresh eyes, and with the feedback from the Awesome Betas also foremost in my mind. There are problems that need to be solved, sure, which can be a little daunting. But there were also some very neat ideas I’m eager to explore and incorporate.

Above all, I’ve got to keep reminding myself that this is my life now. I don’t need to stress about not having time to focus anymore. I just need to relax and get to work.

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A bit of backstory

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been making up stories. First, my Barbies played them out. Then, I started to write them down. I must have been about 8 when I put together a collection of short original “fairy tales” (with actual fairies in them, if I recall correctly!) I had it Cerlox-bound and gave it to my mum for Mother’s Day or her birthday. My dad even made a couple of illustrations for that very first edition of Gloria’s works.

Many other stories followed, most of them written long-hand on old school notebooks. I’m not sure what drove me to it. Maybe I just loved books and reading and stories so much because my dad read to me every night since I was a baby. It might have just seemed natural for me to want to create those very things that brought me so much joy.

I must have been about 12 when I decided that I must be an author when I grew up, that there was nothing else in the world I was meant to be.

Of course, a lot of stuff happened in the over two decades since that momentous epiphany. Writing school does figure in there somewhere, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. But, by the time I left university, I decided that I needed to get a regular job with regular pay ASAP. That eventually led to eight years in corporate communications, where I have been fortunate enough to… well… basically WRITE for a living.

Except… Writing speeches, corporate documents, news releases and communications plans was hardly the kind of writing I had in mind when I was eight or 12 or 20…. But I’m good at it. And it’s paid the bills, which was a big thing for a little while.

All along, I’ve kept writing fiction on the side. Kept polishing, researching and writing some more. About five years ago, I finally started researching how to get said writings out into the world. I was petrified with fear. The whole querying and wooing of an agent and the horde of what-ifs stemming from that very first query sent out into the world… Scary stuff.

But, most importantly, serious stuff. And not just the querying. The writing. Taking writing fiction as seriously as I’ve had to take corporate writing all these years. Giving it the effort and the time and the dedication it deserves. Because, no matter what some people [who may or may not need only two hours of sleep a day] say, having a full-time job and becoming a decent fiction writer on the side? Not very likely. Not when your day job already involves hours at a computer and when there are also other commitments taking up time and energy (family, exercise, friends and, yeah, sleep).

And of all those commitments, which is the one that takes up the most hours and the most energy?

The full-time day job.

But what is one to do? One’s gotta eat and have shelter and clothing and…

Yes. I fully admit it: There is something to be said for the stability of knowing you’ll have a pay cheque every other week.

The thing is: That regular comfy pay cheque? It comes with a price tag. Many people are happy to pay it, or, even better, they don’t see it as a price tag at all. And quite frankly, I envy those people. I have a perfectly good job many folks would kill to have.

But I’m not happy.

Because the most hours of my week, the best hours of my days are wasted doing something that brings me no joy or satisfaction. Doing something that, personally, I couldn’t care less about. And, most importantly, those hours, those days are not spent doing what I should be doing–that is to say: honing and perfecting my own writing. And finding a way to make it pay.

Now, when I say “make it pay,” I don’t mean I have delusions of becoming a best-selling author. Not that it wouldn’t be cool or anything. But I know the odds are tough. And that’s not what my dream is anyway. My dream is simply to be published and be able to make an ok living from my own writing–not from writing speeches for other people, or making sure annual reports are written in English and not in corporate mumbojumbo.

That’s why, a few weeks ago, Wonderful Husband and I sat down to do some math and we came to a decision that has me both elated and terrified. A decision that will allow me the time and dedication to pursue a serious, long-overdue career in fiction writing.

The frightening thing is, I am fully aware that there are no guarantees that what I’ve written will find a home. But there is only one way to make my writing the best I possibly can. And only one way to seriously focus on researching the market and agents and everything else in the biz.  And that’s not going to happen while I eat my lunch, or in between loads of laundry. And, let’s face it, when you have a job that drains the soul out of you, there isn’t much in the way of motivation once you finally drag your sorry skeleton home at the end of the day.

And so, it gives me great–nay, GREAT!–pleasure to announce to the world that I will be quitting my decent and regular paying job by the end of the year. It’s probably about the scariest, stupidest and bravest thing I’ve done in my life. But if I’m ever going to do it, now is the time.

I cannot even worry about failing right now. I just have to try.

I’m starting this blog to keep myself motivated, to remind myself not to lose heart. And to keep in the loop all the friends and family who are cheering for me from the sidelines (hi dad! hi mum!).

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What this is all about…

Welcome friends, family and any random strangers that happen upon this shiny new blog!

This blog will chronicle my new life as a full-time writer. Well, as a full-time YA aspiring author, I should say–I already am a full-time writer and have been writing speeches, news releases and the like for a few years. It’s just not the kind of writing I had in mind when I was 12 and decided I wanted to be a writer.

And so, starting in the new year, I will have the time and energy to give my writing all the time and dedication it deserves. From honing and perfecting my craft, to querying, to hopefully, getting my first novel to see the light of day. Whether or not that last bit will ever happen, it’s too early to tell. At this point, I can only hope. And work as hard as I can towards it.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving some good vibes behind!

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