Of Red Mittens and March Madness

The lull after the closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics was temporary. Less than two weeks later we welcomed the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and out came the red and white flags and our red mittens again.

We’re told that the audience for the Paralympics drew an international audience that set records for both winter and summer games thanks to the fact that organizers were the first to jointly promote the Olympic and Paralympic Games together. A record number of gold medals were achieved in both. Of the Paralympians, VanOC CEO John Furlong said, “You have been remarkable ambassadors of the human spirit.” It’s been a wonderful experience to follow the extraordinary accomplishments. The final curtain came down on all this athleticism at last night’s closing ceremony. The 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia. Then I’ll be glued to my television once again, but it won’t be the same. The 2010 Games have been spectacular.

In other accomplishments unrelated and incomparable to the Olympics, I mentioned at the beginning of the month that I was accepting Denise Jaden’s invitation to join in March Madness – a month-long endeavour to reach individual writing goals. My goal was to revise at least one chapter of my novel each day for a minimum of five days a week. On day #22 of the month I have completed 33 of the 36 chapters! That wouldn’t be a remarkable achievement for everyone, of course, but it is for me. I’m delighted with the progress so I’m bragging a bit. You’ll allow me this tiny bit of celebrating, won’t you? I promise to get back in the traces tomorrow. There are still three chapters to go and they require some major re-writing. I’m keeping my red mittens out as inspiration.

Expressing Emotion

A new week. A new month. No more winter Olympics to preoccupy me. <sigh>

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This Olympic experience wasn’t what I expected. The anticipated enthusiasm was replaced by something so much greater. Television cameras continuously scanned the faces of both athletes and spectators. There was exhilaration, jubilation and euphoria. And I cried in shared pride.

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After THE hockey game Vancouver’s downtown filled with 150,000 revellers who didn’t set fire to garbage bins or break windows but danced and sang in the streets, hugging and high-fiving perfect strangers who shared their elation. And I cried again.

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There was so much emotion. I felt it, but it’s hard to describe in words.

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That’s true in real life, and also in our writing. We don’t use descriptive words to express emotion in our novels… or do we? Isn’t “show, don’t tell” supposed to apply?

🙂 😀  😦 😮

How do you express emotion in your writing?

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The Last Medal

It may not be the most important thing in the world, but national pride has Canadians from the north, east and west coasts (and wherever else they may be in the world) celebrating their fourteenth Olympic gold medal. Nobody really dared to believe it could happen, but here we are. We’ve broken the all time record for the most gold medals won by a nation.

Congratulations, Canada! Congratulations to the U.S.A. for winning the most medals over all. Congratulations to all the participating athletes who trained hard and performed well. It’s been a fabulous seventeen days!

View the vancouver2010.com medals’ table

News ‘n Notes

I’ve been galavanting for the past few weeks, enjoying visits with family and friends in BC’s Kootenays and Okanagan. Precious times and lots of good memories, but it’s good to be home again.

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Ten days ago there were grey skies and lots of clouds, but a blogging award from Joylene Butler definitely brought sunshine to my day.  We often speak of writing as being a very solitary pursuit. Blogging provides opportunities for feedback but even then we never really know how much (or how little) impact our words actually have. When someone surprises us with an award for being inspiring that in itself is inspiring, so thank you, Joylene, for sending the Sunshine Award my way. I’m smiling! 🙂

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Tonight the star-studded Vancouver and Whistler Olympic Victory Ceremonies Concert will feature Trooper and Loverboy. I’ve heard some of it will be shown on CTV but it will also be broadcast live on MuchMusic from 8:00-9:00 p.m. PST. You can bet I’ll be watching! I may be family but I’m also a dedicated fan. Yay, Trooper!!! Timeless rock ‘n’ roll, for sure!

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And now I’m off to watch the Olympic Canada-U.S.A. hockey game. It may be just a preliminary game, but I’m boldly waving my red and white.

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Keeping Track of Achievement

After four days of the Olympics, Canada has four medals. That’s not a great number but it’s significant for us. The following table will help keep track of the totals as they accumulate.

View the vancouver2010.com medals’ table

The first gold to be won by a Canadian in Canada was hugely celebrated… and is still being celebrated, almost to the point of ignoring the other medalists, which I think is wrong. Their achievements are equally important but are being overshadowed.

It has me wondering how new authors feel when their debut work is released by the publisher at the same time as a large number of other titles. Does the hype surrounding the big names leave the work of newer authors in the shadows? Or do they benefit by being included and swept along with those of the more celebrated authors?

If you could choose, would you wish your newest title to be released by itself, or at the same time as several others?

It’s Gold!

We knew it would come. The first gold medal to be won by a Canadian Olympian in Canada – Alexandre Bilodeau won the men’s moguls today! That was so exciting!

But what brought tears to my eyes was the reaction of Alexandre’s older brother, Frederic, who has cerebral palsy. Alexandre says Frederic has always inspired him.

Sometimes success in any arena takes more than determination. It takes passion fired by a special source of inspiration.

What is it that inspires you… what builds your passion for writing?