The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happiness is a Warm Keyboard

by Melissa Bell

Hi friends! Jeepers, was I just here two weeks ago? Seems like yesterday. Ah, such is the bittersweet season of National Novel Writing Month where time is measured not in days, but in wordcount. (Now is that two words or one?) I reached the 16,000-word mark late Wednesday night, so I'm a wee bit ahead of schedule. Good for me. But I'm anxious as hell though. I've got a bizzy-bizzy weekend coming up and the fun-to-be-had could blow me off course.

But so far, so great. Yeah, great. Hee! I'm enjoying myself. The storylines are progressing nicely, and I like the characters that have shown up to play with me for the month (well, one's a bit of a dink, but I've got plans for him - shh! don't tell!)

Shout outs to my fellow CWCers here who are also doing the NaNo thing – Andrew, Anna, Patricia, Ania, and Tamara…is that everyone? And for anyone else out there who might be reading this, my user name at the NaNo site is "mellyb". Please feel free to drop me a line over there ( or here, and let me know how it's going for you. For the first time ever, I quickly chewed and swallowed my pride and actually posted an excerpt at the site, and yeah, it probably does blow dead beavers, but hey, I wrote it in under half an hour. Thank goodness for Mr. P.'s grade 9 typing class. It's at times like these I raise a glass in his honour and forgive his chronic halitosis. (Gosh, how old would Mr. P. be now? He was a young man when he was my teacher. Criminy, he could be…oh man, let's not even go there, Mel.)

Okay, let's go here, instead:

Hey, if you're in the Toronto neighbourhood Sunday night (Nov. 12 for those who need a calendar), please come on down to the Gladstone Hotel! Toronto native and writer fabulous, Michelle Orange, will be introducing her new book The Sicily Papers, freshly published by the creators of that delicious literary journal Hobart. Its editors (and incredibly talented writers in their own rite), the arrestingly lovely Elizabeth Ellen and dashing young scribe, Aaron Burch, will be there, as will the super terrific and always entertaining Pasha Malla! John MacFarlane is also on the agenda along with Yours Truly, and your hosts will be the highly amusing Kathleen Phillips and Michael Balazo. 8 p.m., folks, at 1214 Queen St. West. A measly $5 gives you access to all the action and a raffle ticket to some great prizes (I've been to a Hobart event before – and trust me, they give away some mighty tasty swag!) Don't sit at home and watch The Simpsons! VCRs were invented for nights like this!

Other stuff I feel like sharing with you:

Watch for an upcoming interview with Canadian ex-pat, Justine Musk – author of BloodAngel. "Talented" doesn't begin to describe Justine. If you want a taste of what she's up to, visit her website at, but don't hate her because she's beautiful (which she really is – I've had the privilege of meeting this extraordinary young lady in person and no wonder she lives in L.A. now – that level of gorgeousness practically needs a permit in Canada). She's also truly brilliant, articulate, and funny as hell, so stay tuned!

My certificate from Humber College arrived in the mail today. For what it's worth, I'm now a graduate of the Creative Writing – Comic Screenwriting program. There's gold printing on the paper and everything. And my name. And signatures of people I never met and cannot make out. Whatever. Some people who decide things have decided I actually did something and gave me some authorized documentation to prove that I did it. Yay me!

I actually finished knitting one of those scarves I blogged about last time, and found the cajones to wear the completed item to work (not all that difficult when my place of employment, while probably one of the loveliest of all offices in the City, is also one of the coldest due to its higher-than-high ceilings). One of my beloved bosses, our CFO, told me it was "beautiful". Yeah. He said that. He's a kind man, our Sean, CFO. And so I'm repeating his word here. Damn, I've had a fine week! Life is good.

And so with all that positivity, I'm going to sign off and get on with the task of NaNo-ing for the day, my dear friends. 2,000 words. If I can think 'em, I can type 'em (thanks, again, Mr. P – wherever you are!).
Have a great weekend, y'all!


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Okay, re: the licensing of gorgeousness. I got a notice from the ministry of beauty just yesterday in the mail. Apparently, my beauty has expired. I have to go in for a road test if I want to be renewed. I'm not sure who finked on me- yeah I've let myself go!- but I'm really ticked. I've got a few weeks to pump up and trim down- so don't feed me anything.

I'll be at the Gladstone on Sunday. I'll be the almost beautiful man drinking lite.

Fri Nov 10, 09:35:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Patricia said...

Hey!!! you're rocking and rolling baby!!! and your certificate!! congratulations Mel this is wonderful news, keep the words coming, I'm at 18000 some odd....which includes, well, never mind, let us just say I'm cheating!! I'm a cheater, okay! I said it...xoxo

I bet you're writing a best seller..xoxo

Fri Nov 10, 05:00:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

You sound so happy, so pumped, Mel. Have fun at the reading. Wish I could be there.

Fri Nov 10, 06:36:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

2,000 words a day...

I'd be happy with 20.

You go girl!

Fri Nov 10, 06:51:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger MelBell said...

I re-read my post this morning - jeez, god, I sound like I'd been pumped with about 6 pounds of caffeine.

Andrew, can't wait. If you think you might be able to do some din-dins beforehand on Sunday, give me a holler. Oh, and I have your license in my purse - you're good to go, babe.

Patricia, cheat away. And is it really cheating if you're upfront about your cheating? Nay, says me! And thank you. :-)

Tricia, you're right. I am pumped and happy. Well, my brain is. Me bum is getting too used to sitting down these days. Back to the gym in December, I swear!

Gajadhar, can I come visit you in Hawaii and kick your talented-writer butt?

Fri Nov 10, 10:34:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

Loved your excerpt Mel, you are moving along so well, man, I wish I could keep up!

Mon Nov 13, 02:33:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

I did feel good after reading this post the first time. Thanks, Mel!

Wed Nov 15, 09:59:00 am GMT-5  

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