Gary Hurtubise

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Category: Writing Festival

20th Post – getting re-engaged with writing in 2018

Hello, and Happy New Year!

Now, I’m not generally a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.  However, I’ve been in a bit of a writing lull recently, and have been looking for a way to get my butt back into it.  So what better way is there to get motivated than to find inspiration in other people’s New Year’s blogs!?

…but first:

Recap of Writing; Fall of 2017

  1. Rejections, rejections, rejections. These little messages in my inbox are becoming quite normal now – in fact, part of me gets a little thrill when I read in the preview box:  “Hello, thank you for letting us read your story.  Unfortunately…
  2. CANCON 2017 in Ottawa. It was great to meet some local and international authors, and do some <ugh> networking.  Looking forward to next year’s convention!
  3. Working full-time. This is my excuse for not getting a lot of actual words written this fall.  Thankfully, that will all change in February, when I’m back to part time! Yay!  (well, it had better change, or Trevor will not be pleased with me…)
  4. Getting started as a ghost writer… more to follow in a future post!

Ok – onto the motivational part:

Getting Back to Writing in 2018

Two author-bloggers that I follow have done all my work for me for this post.

C. Hope Clark – ready to get writing!

First, Funds for Writers blogger and author of the Edisto Island Mystery series, C. Hope Clark, talks in her New Year’s newsletter about taking a break over the holidays, then getting back into writing – 500 words per day, as a “benchmark minimum”.

Here’s what Hope has to say about January:

This time of year excites me. The whole clean slate sort of thing. In reality the days are no different, but there’s something rejuvenating at having a new chance at making a difference. . . at becoming better. . . at making longer and more productive strides toward a goal.

Read her full post here, and subscribe to her great free newsletter here.

Second, David Farland – renown author of the Runelords series – talks about how he hates the word ‘resolute’, but finds himself always making yearly resolutions.  This year’s advice to others is to develop a new relationship with your computer.  Here’s an excerpt of his #writing tips for the new year:

            …many of your habits are subconscious. Some people teach themselves that the computer is for videogames, or it’s for checking email, or it’s for chatting on Facebook. So when they sit down to the keyboard, by force of habit they immediately begin playing.

But what if you trained yourself to make writing your habit? What if you tried something like this:

Close your eyes and think about something that excites you. Perhaps it’s the idea of getting your first novel published, or maybe it’s an award you’ve won, or just the joy that will come when you complete your novel. Think about it, and let the excitement build for 15 seconds.

Now, sit at your computer, open the file to your work in progress. Do not do anything else. Instead, open your WIP and write one paragraph.

When you’re done with that paragraph, get up from your computer and walk around the room for a moment, thinking about what you might want to do with your work in progress.

Repeat step 1, thinking about something that excites you, and letting the excitement sweep through you.

I like it!  Read David’s full post here, and subscribe to his #writing tips by clicking his banner below!

Ok – with that advice in mind, it’s back to my keyboard for another 500 words today!



Top 5 Highlights of the Limestone Genre Expo

I came away from the 3rd annual Limestone Genre Expo this past weekend with plenty of inspiration (for not only writing ideas, but the business of writing too), some great new connections in the sci-fi / fantasy world, and a load of new books to boot!

Here I am, looking pensive with my arms crossed, listening to the panelists at this weekend’s Limestone Genre Expo!

Top 5 Highlights of the Weekend:

  1.   Panel on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Speculative Fiction

Some interesting insight into the state of LGBTQI in science fiction and fantasy by a panel of diverse authors.  Probably the panel I appreciated the most of all the bunch.

  1.   Building Your Readership workshop, with Eve Langlois

I thought a two hour workshop would drag on – especially first thing Sunday morning, but Eve – New York Times bestselling author of ‘romance with a humorous twist’ – is a funny, engaging speaker with a lot of great advice on marketing yourself as an author.  I could have listened to her talk all day.

  1.   World Building workshop with Alyssa Cooper

Alyssa is an author from right here in Kingston, and demonstrates writing wisdom beyond her years.  She truly impressed me during the ‘Fantastic Tales’ panel on Saturday, and so I was ready for an interesting workshop with her on Sunday – she did not disappoint.  Plus I got to flesh out one of my novel ideas in the process!

  1.   Pitch Session with MLR Press Editor in Charge, Kris Jacen

My first ever pitch session, for which I was woefully under-prepared L.  However, Kris was gentle, and asked the right questions to keep me ‘pitching’ in the right direction.  And what do you know – she asked for the full manuscript of Darksea?!?!  Must have been my overwhelming charm and panache.


  1.   Meeting Tanya Huff!

CanCon 2017 here I come!

            Ok, so if you know me, you know that I don’t get celebrity crushes (except for Patrick Stewart, of course), but meeting Tanya – knowing that she’d chosen my short story to win the genre expo writing contest – had me in a bit of a state.  I quickly introduced myself to her on Saturday, but only built up enough courage to approach her again Sunday afternoon, to ask her a few things about ‘the business’ of writing.  What a relief to find that she is approachable, grounded – not to mention that she very graciously offered to introduce me to some movers-and-shakers at this fall’s Sci-fi / Fantasy convention in Ottawa, CanCon (yep – it’s already on the calendar!).

            Big props to Liz Strange, Delina MacDonald, Marlene Smith and all the volunteers for running such a fun expo.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s!


Limestone Genre Expo 2017… and contest winner!

I’m off to Kingston’s third annual 2017 Limestone Genre Expo this weekend – two days of geeking out with like-minded folk, where there’ll be over sixty authors, panel discussions, workshops, readings, pitch sessions, vendors, and chances to rub shoulders with editors and publishers (all while shipping the husband and kids up to the in-laws… what could be better! 😉 ).

This year, the Expo featured a short story contest – 1500 words in the style of either: Sherlock Holmes, Victorian Era Romance, or Steampunk (I chose the latter).  The stories were judged by authors attending the expo – Tanya Huff among them!

  …and guess who won the contest?

(it was me.)

Receiving winning certificate from Limestone Genre Expo organizers Marlene (L) and Delina (R).

I was gifted with a nice certificate during a short ceremony at Kingston City Hall, during the kick-off talk of last week’s Sherlock Holmes festival, plus my story (entitled Cataraqui Crisis) will be featured on the Expo website.

And now I get to attend the expo this weekend with a unique way of introducing myself (Trevor suggested I call myself the “Queen of the Expo”, but I think I might not).


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