Wednesday, December 28, 2011


We're almost at the end of 2011. The year passed so quickly. Upon reflection it was a great year for me, things happened I never expected. 

First and foremost, all of my family are healthy and happy. All of my extended family are well too. 
                    One of my sisters is moving, making her holiday season a stressful one. But a change is as good as a rest. I think the move will be a good one. She is closing some doors and new ones are opening. In the end, the move will be a good one and will force a change of routine.
                    My other sister is enjoying the fruits of her move last year as it put her closer to her grandchildren and her daughters.
                    My brother in Britain is surrounded with family and his silly but loving humour is alive and still going strong. His family are all well.
                    My 90-year-old mom just spent Christmas day with my sister and had a wonderful day.

When you reach my age, this is truly a blessing and makes the year complete.

On a personal note, my year was full of new experiences and self-achievement.
                    In January, I signed a publishing contract with Asteroid Publishing in Toronto. A small publisher who includes the author in the aspects of publishing, my hands-on experience in marketing and sales have been illuminating. My biggest hurdle has been learning all about social media. Quite a feat for this grandmother. I'm still learning but so glad to be part of new technology which is definitely a strong part of the future.
                    In February, I started a  job in local government as an Admin. Asst. to the CAO. A part-time job that should be full-time and of which I have worked at almost full-time. It has been interesting work and I'm enjoying it.
                    In September, I had my first media review which made my heart jump. After all the years I spent writing the book, it was a scary process waiting for a review - it was a good one.
                    Since October, I have done three readings/signings. This is a part of the process some authors hate. Writing is one thing, but selling yourself is quite another. After my initial jittery nerves, I actually found myself enjoying them.
                    In November, Independent Publisher for small publishers placed my book on their editor's choice list for the month of November.
                    November/December I found myself writing treatments for book adaptations to film. One production company requested a copy of my book. Early stages that may amount to nothing, but another new experience for me.

So that's my year. On scale of ten I would give it a nine out of ten. Why not ten out of ten? Because I miss my Dad who has been gone now for almost five years. I wish he were here to share my year. Love you, "Middy Waddy".



Sunday, December 18, 2011

A to Z's OF NOVEL WRITING By June Bourgo, "A" is for Action

I decided that it was time I stopped talking about me and my journey to being a novelist and perhaps give you some tips to help carry you through your journey. So much is out there on other writer blogs to help you, so I thought I would make mine a little different and entertaining. I am going to give you the A to Z's of novel writing by June Bourgo, Author.

Who knows how long it will take us to get to  "Z" as these posts won't be consecutive. I will slip one inbetween other posts or a few may be consecutive if I have nothing else to say. I'm very excited at sharing with you all what I have learned along the way and I hope you will find them helpful, inspiring, and entertaining.

First, I don't believe there is a set way to write a novel. Every writer has their own style, their own routine, and their own method of pulling a novel together. The trick is to find yours. I can tell you that I have no rhyme or reason to how I write. I don't have a detailed outline and I can't start at Chapter 1 and write in sequence to the end of the last chapter. That doesn't work for me. I have an idea for the book, and know more or less how it should start, progress, and end. That's it. My writing begins where the muse takes me. If I have a great concept I think should be included in the book, I write it out with an idea where in the book it should be placed. I make up a chapter number for it and there it sits. I have no idea how many chapters there will be, because I believe the book is finished when I decide there is nothing more to add to the story. And, until I reach that point, I have no idea how many chapters there will be.

In my debut novel, I had 27 chapters. Once I finished my edits, which included dumping the first three chapters and a couple of others within the book, replacing them with just one chapter, I had 21 chapters. Realizing some of my chapters were too long, I split them up and rewrote the endings, leaving the final copy with 25 chapters in total. As new chapters were placed in the book, some of the existing chapter numbers changed or their placement changed.

That's my process, but not necessarily yours. So my A to Z's of Novel Writing will not include a set method or format to writing a novel,  but will outline more the tools and steps necessary to actually sit down and write a book. Let's get started.
"A" is for Action



1. the process or state of acting or of being active.
2. something done or performed; act; deed.
3. an act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity.
4. actions, habitual or usual acts; conduct.
5. energetic activity: a man of action.


Thinking about it, wanting to do it, and dreaming about being a published author wont get it done. However, thinking about characters, plot, location, conflict and resolution is a definite start. Number 3 above is very important. Mental activity is just as important as the physical act of pounding on the keyboard or hand writing your story.

When sitting quiet and silent, my husband has come to recognize my facial expressions. He will say: "You're writing, aren't you?" And he's right. A lot of planning and detailing happens in my head long before I physically put it into my computer.


Okay, so you're tired of working on storylines, developing protagonists and antagonists (hey, here's another "A" word and a necessary one to the plot). You're muse has dried up and you need a break. There are lots of other things you can do which all add to the process of creating a novel.

One is research. Some writer's hate this process. I happen to love it. Still, if you need to learn more about a particular subject that comes into your story, and research is a tedious proposition for you, then read another fiction story that covers that area of expertise. I am assuming here that most writer's love to read and be entertained. Here is an opportunity to enjoy a good fiction book and become knowledgeable as well to help with your storyline. (Just don't plagerize, haha.) And there are lots of non-fiction books available. In my book, I needed to research survival in the wilderness. There were lots of self-help books on that subject.

Another course of action is to read other writer's blogs, a great wealth of information with links to marketing and querying sites for writers. Because, of course, once your novel is completed, you will begin the process of pitching your book to publishers and agents, or if self-publishing, the marketing process starts. You might as well start educating yourself on this aspect early. Believe me, it will make the process smoother.

Design your business cards, book cover (if self-publishing), and book markers.

Social media is a very important aspect to marketing online. Set-up a blog and a website. Join twitter, facebook, and writing sights such as Goodreads. Join a writer's group in your hometown or an online site. Start talking about your book.

These are some action items. You can probably come up with more. The idea is to start an action, any action, that will begin the process. You will find that it will become addictive and you will be well into the process before you know it.

That's it for the "A", see you at "B".

Keep on keeping on writing!