Monday, March 25, 2013

Chapter 8 and the Query Letter

Society Finches

I feel that things are going quite well.  I'm currently working on Chapter Eight - which is a massive surprise since I've barely had the inspiration to get out and get on my snowmobile since I wrecked it (note to self, get insurance).

This time last year I was getting block all the time and couldn't concentrate on my novel for long at all.  I don't know if it's just because I feel like I'm so close to the end that's spurring me on, or if the overdose of positivity is finally kicking in.  In either case I'm not going to complain.

A bit premature, I know, but I 've been working on the query letter that I'll be submitting to potential agents.  

After devouring the whole of Query Shark's blog I felt inspired to set to work on it straight away.  The way I'm looking at it, is that I'm going to have to write it at some point and it's going to take a lot of time - with the whole writing it and leaving it and rewriting it and then leaving it some more...  you get the idea - so why not start it now and keep on improving it as I'm writing my novel?  All the advice I've read says that the query letter is just as important as the story I'm telling, after all, a bad query letter will see the greatest of novels go unpublished.

I've reassessed the amount of work that's required before the second draft is complete.  It's actually a lot less than I originally thought.  Bearing in mind that my reason for the second draft was to make the beginning fit with the end (due to my continuous 'improvements' suddenly implemented in the later chapters the structure was awful!) and as I work through the second draft the distance between the beginning and the end is closing up.  At this moment in time I don't feel that the ending needs a rewrite; as it stands this is really the only part of the novel I'm actually happy with.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Few Boat Reviews

English: Boat accessing pontoon at the Marina

Manitou Boats X-Plode

A mix between raw power and luxury, the X-Plode is a great boat for doing all sorts of activities. A great radio system equiped with Infinity Radio, plenty of room for moving about, and comfortable wrap around seating makes it a great boat for all occasions. If you're looking for other pontoon boats to do some fishing, then you may want to take a look at Manitou Pontoon Boats' other models.

Hydra-Sports 1650 Key Largo

The Hydra-Sports 1650 Key Largo is a classic flats boat design. A combination of sharp-V entry with dry-riding bow flare makes crossing large harbors and open bays comfortable. The 1650 Key Largo is designed for shallow water angling, drawing only 11 inches of water.

American Skiff 165 CC

The American Skiff 165 CC is the top seller in the American Skiff line and there is no question why. A deep self-bailing cockpit provides lots of walk-around room for fighting big fish, plus there are large casting decks on the bow and stern for the avid fly fisherman. The 165 CC also has a large livewell and four large storage compartments. As with all American Skiff products, the 165 CC is laid-up entirely by hand with 100-percent composite construction and stainless hardware, with no wood to rot.

The Workskiff 16 is built of 3/16 inch tough 5086 marine aluminum alloy. The lack of internal ribs provides enhanced interior volume. A 25 hp outboard will push it at 29 mph. The semi-vee bottom is stable, while allowing some vee to take the punch out of the chop. A tough, dependable, no-frills, industrial-grade aluminum utility skiff, Workskiffs are simple, fuel-efficient, low maintenance, trailerable, competitively priced, and carry a life-time warranty to the original owner. Practical hulls allow the users to install their own innovations. Popular options include foredecks center and side consoles, pilothouses, T-tops, and windshields. The foam-filled double bottom makes these boats practically unsinkable. Level flotation keeps engine's upper unit out of the water when boat is swamped.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ziptrek's steel cables

Ziptrek Ecotours
Is just what ZipTrek will have you doing! Located in Whistler, British Columbia in Canada, ZipTrek is a great way to see the mountains from a different angle!

Being afraid of heights, I was a little worried about going on Ziptrek, but the guides will have you at ease 100% and they explain all of the safety things you need to know, so there is no need to feel scared!

When you arrive you check in and then meet at a hut at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. It is here that you meet your guide and you get your harness on & a quick safety talk. From there you go on a small zip so you get the feel of what is it like to be in a harness. It is very similar to a rock-climbing harness but you are hanging instead of climbing.

Then you all jump in a van with helmets on, ready to ‘zip’ across the river from platform to platform! The views are amazing if you can open your eyes long enough.

Some quick facts about Ziptrek:

  • You ride a total of 5 ziplines ranging from 80ft to 1100ft.
  • The tour area lies in a valley between Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains and covers over 11 hectares (or 33 acres) of land.
  • Ziplining involves gliding along a suspended steel cable using a pulley and harness.
  • The tour takes approximately 2.5 hours and includes a shuttle to / from the base of Blackcomb Mountain.
  • The prices are a wee bit on the expensive side, but it is well worth the money!
  • CAD$98 per person = Adult (15-64 yrs)
  • CAD$78 per person = Youth (14 & under) and Senior (65 & over)
  • *please note that the prices do not include 7% Goods & Services tax (GST)

I would definitely recommend this if you have a spare morning / afternoon in Whistler but make sure you book as early as possible as it is an extremely popular activity and they do get booked out. All booking info is located on their website and if you are travelling in a group or for a conference, they are more than happy to organize a group trip just for you! It is also a great team-building activity.

I must say that my knees were weak & my heart was pounding but by the end of the zips I was hanging upside-down & flying through the air!!! It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it again… definitely recommended.