Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Division Report: June 30, 2013

Greetings and salutations, visitors to  I hope all of my readers in Canada are enjoying their Canada Day long weekend (the actual holiday happened to fall on a Monday this year.) My apologies in advance if this edition of The Division Report appears disjointed. I am writing this on less than four hours sleep. Why so few hours, you ask? There is a reason for that, and I will get into it right now.

Every Day I'm Editing: I've been in a mad rush to get Barbadian Backlash re-edited before I start writing for Camp NaNoWriMo in about another 13 hours (at the time of writing). Realising my time was running out, I conducted an all-night editing session where I edited what used to be the final 6 chapters and condensed them into 5. I finished my task just before 4:15 a.m. Toronto time this morning. The end result of this whole endeavour has transformed the original 26-chapter, 51,000-word manuscript into a 19-chapter, 43,200-word product. To say I'm running on fumes right now would be an understatement; however, I'm thankful it is over for now. In the upcoming weeks I will put a call out to enlist a couple of beta readers for "Celdom II;" however, I'm not sure if I will need to send them a copy of Scarlet Siege (a.k.a. "Celdom I") beforehand, so they could get an idea of how the series has progressed. I would take a break, and commence editing Rouge Numbered Week ("Celdom III") after I was well-rested. But, as I previously mentioned, the start of Camp is nigh, so that will have to be put on hold for the time being.

The Write Stuff: One would think with my marathon editing session, I wouldn't have time to do anything else this week. Those people would be wrong.  In honour of the National holiday taking place tomorrow, this past Wednesday I composed a flash fiction entitled, "Meet Me On The Hill." It's about a young English-speaking woman who asks a Québec-accented male she met at a coffee shop earlier in the day out on a date to see the Canada Day fireworks on Parliament Hill. I wrote it to symbolize the two official languages coming together in the Nation's Capital to celebrate our country's 146th birthday. If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, you can do so by clicking here.

Reading is Fun-damental: Truth be told, when I wasn't editing my second book, or writing a 500-word story, I spent the past 9 days finishing up the 3 books I had on the go. It seemed like a daunting task, but I wanted to make sure my schedule was clear come one second after midnight July 1st.

The first book was 100 Grey Cups: This is Our Game by Stephen Brunt, a sports columnist for The Globe and Mail. The book detailed the vast history of what has become a week-long celebration for the Canadian Football League's championship game. Released before the 100th edition of the game was played last November in Toronto, the book is filled with stories about how the event has evolved from a humble game first played on a field in Rosedale in 1909 to what some fans refer to as "The Grand National Drunk." While the book is a good read for those interested in the history of the uniquely-Canadian game, I found the book cumbersome, as stories are rehashed at different intervals of the book. The second half of the tome consisted of a mini-record book for the championship and a lengthy index for all of the people, places, and events referenced. While I commend Brunt for the inclusion of the records, I found a couple of them were misreported (a fact checker would have been beneficial). The index, in my opinion, was unnecessary. I felt a more detailed recount of recent games would have been an asset. Still, if you're a CFL fan, it's a good book to own, but only if it's on sale. My rating: 3.5/5

The second book I read was The Woman Who is Always Tan and Has a Flat Stomach (and Other Annoying People) by co-authors Lauren Allison and Lisa Perry. The first thing I found with the book was it had the same set-up as The Best of Down Goes Brown by Sean McIndoe, a book I loved. It was a collection of short chapters detailing the personality traits of the people the two authors have met (and occasionally, their own husbands). While I see the book as an attempt at humour, after the first 25 chapters it became repetitive, and I began to lose interest. While McIndoe's book left me in stitches, Allison and Perry's came across like a complete bitchfest; definitely not one I would recommend. My rating: 3/5

The final book was written by a dear friend of mine, Christa Simpson, entitled Twisted. It's the debut offering from a trilogy of contemporary adult novels involving two friends who have been in the midst of an on-again/off-again relationship. The action is full of steamy sexiness, as the two main characters attempt to rekindle the smouldering embers that exist between them. I will confess I was disheartened by the ending; however, knowing there are two more books to come, Simpson has piqued my interest to see what lies ahead for the two leads. My rating: 5/5

That's it for another edition of The Division Report. To my fellow Canadians, I wish you all a happy and safe Canada Day tomorrow, and for my fans residing south of the 49th parallel, I would like to bid them a Happy Fourth of July this coming Thursday. One thing to remember, people: while I know it's a time to celebrate your respective countries, please be safe. If you've been drinking, don't drive, and take the necessary precautions if you're setting off your own fireworks. Next week's edition of The Division Report will be delayed as I'm scheduled to be out of town visiting my family, and I won't have internet access where I'm headed. I'll see you all in seven, and happy writing!

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