Thursday, 24 April 2014

Repeated by Request! IN THE WRITING to write books with a kid attached to your leg

In honour of the Arthur Ellis Awards shortlists being released tonight, a good friend asked that this post be repeated.  In other words, how the heck do we actually find time to write the stuff that is up for awards tonight?
My tricks...

By Melodie Campbell

Okay, these are not the definitive rules for Writer-Moms. I would never claim to be an expert.  But I did raise two kids while writing stand-up on the side and penning a syndicated humour column every two weeks. So I learned a few things about survival along the way.

Bad Girl’s Tricks for Writing with Kids:
P    1.  Probably you shouldn’t lock yourself in the bathroom, so the kids can’t get at you. Equally, you shouldn’t sit in the playpen with your kid on the outside, screaming and shaking the thing.  Okay, at least not more than once a day.

2    2.  Never put a package of Twinkies in front of a toddler so that you can continue to write. (Remove them all from the plastic wrappers first so the kid doesn’t choke.)

3   3.  A kid won’t die if they drink half a mug of cold coffee.  But watch the wine. In fact, you might want to finish the rest of the bottle right now, just to be safe.

4   4.  Breast-feeding can be a real timesaver, but not during Bouchercon book-signings.

5   5.  Other kid’s birthday parties are a great thing for a writer. But you really should pick up your own kid when they’re over. (Eventually. Before winter.)

6   6.  It’s okay to get someone to babysit your kids while you move into a new house. But it’s not okay to forget to tell anyone where that house is.

7   7.  When your kid leaves home for university, it is not recommended to immediately change their room into a study or writing room. Wait until after Christmas. The sales are better.

Re “Leaving the nest”: Every mother gets emotional about this. But probably you shouldn’t do it until your kids are grown up.

The Opening to THE GODDAUGHTER’S REVENGE (Orca Books)
Chapter 1
Okay, I admit it. I would rather be the proud possessor of a rare gemstone than a lakefront condo with parking. Yes, I know this makes me weird. Young women today are supposed to crave the security of owning their own home.
 But I say, real estate, shmeel estate. You can’t hold an address in your hand. It doesn’t flash and sparkle with the intensity of a thousand night stars. It will never lure you away from the straight and narrow like a siren from some Greek odyssey.
Let’s face it. Nobody has ever gone to jail for smuggling a one bedroom plus den out of the country.
 However, make that a ten-carat cyan blue topaz with a past as long as your arm, and I’d do almost anything to possess it.
 But don’t tell the police.

The Goddaughter’s Revenge, winner of the 2014 Derringer, is available at Chapters/Indigo stores, Barnes&Noble, and online retailers everywhere.

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