Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What my book's about

I don't think this is going to happen, you guys.

In case you're curious, here's what my forthcoming novel is about...
It’s summer in Toronto, and the snow and ice is relentless. Too bad no one but Avery can see it. 
Avery Gauthier can't get far enough away from her past: the death of her beloved father, the abuse she suffered as a teen, and the religion that tore her parents apart. A reality-refugee, she has managed to keep the chaos of her former life at bay… until now.

When her husband returns to the Jehovah's Witnesses, her estranged mother wants back in, and the snow—invisible to everyone but Avery—piles up and up and up, Avery is forced to face her greatest fears. She looks to the outside for help, to her mysterious superintendent and the comforts of a local weatherman, only to realize that the solutions lie where the problem does: within.

A twisted, darkly funny and redemptive tale, The Weather Inside will leave you wondering where the line is drawn between what’s real and what’s imagined, and why love alone is never enough.
It's not final cover copy or anything, but I'm pretty okay with it. My one-line brunch pitch can still use some work, though. "It's about a woman who has a very surreal breakdown when her husband leaves her for the Jehovah's Witnesses." Picture those words coming out of a mouth full of gluten-free pancake.... Yeah, I agree. It doesn't quite cut it. (and also: ewww.)

Since my hopes are always high that technology will save me, I put the longer description into an auto summary tool and crossed my fingers. Here's what it spit out:
A twisted and redemptive taleThe Weather Inside will leave you wondering where the line is drawn between what’s real and what’s imagined, and why love alone is never enough.
Which means that computers are even lazier than me! (And that I'm now very doubtful that flying cars will actually happen.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A mighty fine recline

In part two of my riveting "In a Chair" series, I give you photographic proof that my writing-whilst-reclining dream has come true! Not in my house, because my husband would divorce me, but in the apartment of a friend whose roommate had the good sense -- and courage -- to own this chair. The massage feature turned my breakfast, but the heat setting was pure joy. And the overall recline position -- minus a few postural no-no's on my part and a hoodie that visually extends my shoulders into my ears -- made my tired writer's spine very happy.

I've just learned that this chair is for sale! If you live in Montana and your husband isn't devoted to the Eames aesthetic, then your ship has come in, my friend! More details to follow...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The best podcast on writing I've heard in a while

This guy? This guy is something else.

Just thought I'd stop by to say hello because it's been a while, and to share this little goodie:


It's a fantastic podcast featuring Canadian screenwriter Ryan Knighton. He talks about how you sustain a career writing for Hollywood studios while living in Vancouver. But, more importantly, he talks about Story. I'm talking capital "S" Story; all the esoteric stuff that makes non-writers throw their popcorn at you. And maybe a fist if you're a real a-hole about it.

Anyways, all you authors out there will be fascinated about what he has to say about Story, so it's worth a listen. Especially the first half hour.

By the way, Ryan was an author of non-fiction before he ever wrote a screenplay and it's quite educational to hear him speak to how the one informs the other. You know how much I love cross-genre inspiration, so this part lit up my brain like a Christmas tree. 

You may have guessed that I'm in screenwriting mode right now. The deadlines for a few U.S. TV writing fellowships are just around the corner, and I'm working hard on my applications for Warner Brothers and NBC.

It's nice to have a deadline, plus I'm having loads of fun writing my spec script. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reverse slides and clitellums

I was looking through old blog posts the other day because no children + no lawn care responsibilities = nothing to live for, and realized that I've never revealed what my novel is about on this blog, at least not formally. Sure, I've told you about all the agent rejections I've endured, my new straws, my very rational fear of supervolcanoes, that time I spazzed out and turned my book into a TV pilot and got a psychic reading... but will I actually tell you what my book is about? On a blog devoted entirely to my book? Pfhh. Of course not!

Truth be told, I've been putting it off. Since I've never been truly happy with any of the short, snappy descriptions I've come up with, I've been too damn chicken to include any one of them here.

This is a hurdle I need to overcome pronto because not having a good log line/elevator pitch/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is proving to be a problem. Especially at brunch. And brunch is enough of a problem for me (for everyone, really) without adding book-description-related anxiety into the mix.

Take yesterday's brunch, for example. I met this very interesting woman who summarized her PhD thesis pretty much like this: Worms + lasers + morphine = pain response. And I was like Oh my god, if this was a book I would buy it!

And then she asked me what my book was about and I was all "Um, it's about this woman who..." and then I trailed off and started picturing strung-out worms with sores on their clitellums living in shallow puddles of sizzurp on Skid Row.

So I need to perfect my elevator pitch is what I'm saying. For two reasons: 1) My book is coming out relatively soonish, and 2) It doesn't look like elevators are going away any time soon. Which is too bad because I invested heavily in reverse-slide futures.

Reverse slide (noun): Like a regular slide but also goes up.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oh yes this is happening

After spending the weekend at my father's home in the godforsaken frozen tundra that is Ottawa, Ontario, I've come to a conclusion: the ultimate writing set-up is not desk/chair/PC; is not standing-desk/Mac/hipster moustache; is not typewriter/oil lamp/Vermont retreat... It is, quite simply, this:

After a long day sitting upright at my desk at work, the last thing my back and I want to do is sit at yet another desk -- in yet another upright position -- to write. Right? 


Seriously, guys. I practiced on my father's chair yesterday, so I've got it all worked out.

Every night after work, I'll change out of my power suit and into my snuggy jam-jams. I'll then set myself down in my glorious recliner, release the lever, stretch out my legs, recline as far as needed, place my laptop on my lap and tad dah! It's the ultimate spine-sustaining posture for the moonlighting novelist! 

My spine gets a stretch and I'm in the perfect typing position. Plus I may nod off and dream up something sheer genius! Like the next Hunger Games or Harry Potter! Or maybe, if it's a horrible nightmare, the next Fifty Shades! Why, with this chair, my next novel will practically write itself!

Plus an oversized recliner is basically a hug covered in upholstery. And what do struggling writers need??? HUGS. 

But seriously, sitting is the new smoking, apparently. But reclining? Reclining isn't the new anything. It's just reclining. So until someone from the FDA -- or whatever Canada's version of that is -- tells me I could lose a lung from my La-Z-Boy, I'm doing this thing.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I am happier than this photo suggests!

Me adding my SIN number to my book contract! Neat!

The Weather Inside
By Emily Saso
Coming in Fall 2016 from Freehand Books


Big thanks to this person and this person. And to this person too. But more on all that later...

Friday, February 13, 2015

What a pleasant day this turned out to be

I took the day off work to write, and the morning was quite productive... And then the power went out. It's been out for hours. Some kind of grid problem that's affecting much of the city, which means there's nowhere to go. So I'm stuck in my ancient condo with the drafty single pane windows letting in the -20 degree arctic air, and there's no white noise to drown out the incessant barks of that damn dog and so I'm angry and bitter and disapointed because I was planning on singing along to Taylor Swift this afternoon as my reward for my perfect writing morning but I can't now and I'm unsure if I can even flush the toilet when the power's out. Why is that? Who told me I couldn't? So I'm holding it in, not just my urine, but my rage and bitterness, and I'm hiding in my bed with as many sweaters on as my body can hold and I'm using my laptop for warmth instead of writing. There's only 30 minutes of battery life left. I may have to set my hair on fire for warmth. Somebody talk me out of it.