Alana Delacroix

Steampunk, paranormal and sci-fi romance.

Too much of a good thing

Previously feeling

I’m still going through my notes and the talks from RWA, which is a good chunk of information.

I’ve also started running again (using the 10K app, which is filled with nice little “you’re great!” affirmations). Running means I need to distract myself from my aching lungs and that means podcasts. My current podcast of choice is Writing Excuses, a short, snappy and fantastic look at the art, craft and industry of writing. I love it, in part because I always wanted to be a writer with a system – like, a really good, visual one I could use to explain my process – that was more exciting than, “I dunno. I sit down and write.”

However, the podcast plus the RWA notes resulted in an almost paralyzing amount of writing advice. Outlining tips. Development ideas. Voice issues. How to this. Why to that. And every time, I thought, whoa. That’s great knowledge. That’s gonna be life-changing

Since I have poor impulse control, I immediately applied each tip as soon as I heard it. It was about as successful as when you go shopping and decide to wear all your new purchases the next day. (I have done this as well, which resulted in an incredible jean-on-jean look that was in no way cool. I also wore brown clogs.)

Finally I had to admit defeat. I stared with dead eyes at my manuscript, surrounded by index cards, colour-coded papers, storyboards and god only knows what else. Then I realized that all of the lovely tricks that worked for others just don’t seem to work for me, at least at the moment.

Where’s my process? Is it here? Under there?

This made me feel bad, like I was doing something wrong.

I was. I was working under the assumption there was a transitive relation.

X is a good writer.
X uses storyboards.
Therefore, all good writers use storyboards.

I want to be a good writer, so obviously I needed a damn storyboard.

It’s not how it works, though. Like I tell the Kid, everyone’s different. Applying techniques like a spray gun was not helping me. So I mentally purged.

Storyboards and colour-coding work if you’re visual. I’m not. Out they went.

Outlines and spreadsheets would work if I was organized. Nope. Gone.

Slowly I filtered my way down and ended up with a system that I think works for me: a point-form outline to give me my milestones and then a free-wheeling filling in the blanks. Nothing fancy. It’s almost the exact same thing I did before all my experimentation except now I re-outline the story when I’m done to make sure that the story has achieved what I wanted. A slight change, but useful.

Now feeling
Way more boring but slightly less overwhelmed. Counting that as a win.





The darkest of moments

It’s now been a month since the RWA conference in San Diego and I’m just writing my first post about it. While I would like to say the delay was caused by a thoughtful consideration of what I learned and the time required to distill the many extraordinary experiences in a bunch of quotable gems, it was not. I was just busy getting ready for a bathroom reno and taking it easy for a week on Manitoulin Island. (Chi-Cheemaun ferry forever.)

Continue reading “The darkest of moments”

The Possibility of an Island

Michel Houellebecq


Intolerant, sensual and lonely, French comedian Daniel is witness to the beginning of the end of humanity and the rise of a new breed of being. Continue reading “The Possibility of an Island”

Oh, I had the best idea…what was it?

I can’t remember my wedding anniversary or any birthday. Dates just go straight into a black hole at the back my mind. As do, apparently, awesome ideas for stories.

So I have to write them down. Immediately. The moment I have the idea. Otherwise my hummingbird brain zaps over to the next nectar flower – leaving me nothing.

Here are a few ways I collect my notes. Continue reading “Oh, I had the best idea…what was it?”

I’m currently undergoing a wrestling match with my WordPress template. Although I shall eventually emerge victorious, it’s a little bit in the hot mess stage right now. In apology, here is a picture of a crazed squirrel that lives near my house. Come back in a few days to see my much-improved site or a photo of another, maybe cuter, animal.FullSizeRender


Ages ago, I wrote a series of vignettes that aren’t about anything at all – just the stories that pop into your head. but don’t really fit into anything you’re writing. I found them when I was cleaning out the files on my computer.

This one was sparked by a man wearing a pink scrunchie walking through Trinity Bellwoods park sometime in 2007. He was fully clothed, but it was obviously more interesting to imagine if he wasn’t.

Continue reading “Robert”

Perfumes: The A to Z Guide

Bring this shopping

Forget the usual top-note-dry-down descriptions – Perfumes is a wry and witty exploration of the world of scent.

Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez Continue reading “Perfumes: The A to Z Guide”

Dark Fire

dark-fire-by-c.j-sansomBook review. Lawyer Matthew Shardlake was not happy. Not only was he trying to save an innocent girl from hanging, but Thomas Cromwell has decided he is the only one who can uncover the mystery of the legendary Greek Fire – a weapon desired by King Henry VIII himself.

C.J. Sansom Continue reading “Dark Fire”

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