Year: 2023

Ann Whynot > 2023
I’m terrible at dictation; Steamy Lit Con!

I’m terrible at dictation; Steamy Lit Con!

“I’m terrible at dictation. It’s just not how my process works,” I complain to my physiotherapist. “I normally sit at the desk or on the deck outside, and close my eyes. The words just come, out of my fingers. Dictation is so different, I don’t know if I can do it. I mean there’s my accent, for starters” I sigh, and readjust my wrist strap.

My physiotherapist looks at me and says, “May I be blunt with you, Ann?” I nod, and she leans forward, saying, “You have no other choice. If you want to be a writer, you have to dictate. That wrist of yours isn’t healing overnight. Maybe in a few years, but not anytime soon. You are beyond the point where you can type for 7 hours a day. You have to change your process, because you need your right hand to work again someday. And wear a splint. ”

Great, I think, staring at my right wrist and wanting to cry, even though that will not improve the current situation. Right now, I’m quite literally a writer who cannot write. Possibly for years. That takes my mind back to the fall of the year before, and the literal fall I had down a flight of stairs. I thought that when I initially felt better in the months following my tumble down that it was all good. But that right hand. That damn right hand, wrist, and halfway up to my elbow. It was wrecked, and I wasn’t even sure if all the physical therapy in the world could help me.

I wander through the rest of the day in a fog, unsure about my future. All I ever wanted to do was write, and just when I had gotten a publisher and some readers to take me seriously, it all seems to be going to pot. At least I’ve learned a lesson through this: stairs and Ann do not mix well. From here on out, it is a constant rotation of Tylenol and ibuprofen, a wrist strap and/or a splint, smelly topicals that sometimes work a bit, a little machine that attaches to my wrist and arm via electrodes to deliver current, ice, exercises four times a day, and most definitely no typing.

I try not to turn this into a case of apocalyptic thinking. I have a voice, so why can’t I use it? Because it’s different to say the stories out loud, instead of not even daring to do so until they are in their second or third draft? And so what if I’ve got an East coast Canadian accent? Maybe Word is smarter than I think and it will compensate for the disastrous way I pronounce some words.

Next, my mind drifts to the three manuscripts I have underway, one a serious, contemporary romance; one, memoirs from my father, growing up in a time and place that I want the reader to be enchanted by; and finally, a romp through Sweden after a booking site malfunction, featuring a Japanese boy band.

I really wanted to tell these stories.

Finally, I think of you, reader of this blog post and presumptive reader of my books. I think of the readers in my group on Facebook and the constant reassurance and kindness they have extended to me. How I’ve been told many times through accident, old injuries, and things I’m not free to speak of, that they will be there when I am ready. This blog post via dictation took me three times as long as it would have had I typed it. Instead, I used it as proof of concept. Could I dictate successfully? Well, yes and no. There were many epic mistakes but many more times when exactly what I said came out on the page. When my commas have not been forgotten and even trickier punctuation had turned out all right.
I think that’s where I’m at right now, in a broader sense. That it will turn out all right, if I give it a chance. I can’t be stubborn as a mule over this, and refuse to give it a try. If I dig in my heels, I am the one who will lose the chance to live my dream and finally be a writer full-time.

So what’s new? Apart from the above, I will be attending Steamy Lit Con in Anaheim, California in August! There will be more announcements around that, and they will be shorter ones, so you won’t have to read an entire rambling blog post to get to the meat of things, as it were. As part of the experience, I am offering pre-orders of my books, which may not be a bad way to go. The facts are, that there will be a horde of people there and I have no way of knowing how many will be interested in my already published books that I wrote for Smartypants Romance. I’ve been given a rather large table due to my disability (the wrist thing is new. The back and hip thing? Not so new). With a larger table, it’ll be easier to accommodate my scooter. It will also be easier to accommodate Lego to play with, and giveaway items that the members of my fictional Guild would find appropriate. As a tease, let me just say there is a Loki, a big one.

Pre-orders may be placed here.

After being morose for most of this post, my spirits are lifted at the thought of seeing any of my readers, or perhaps future readers at the convention. I will find a way to make this work. I will have to, because writing is all I ever really wanted to do, I just didn’t think I could. Thank you for sticking with me, and thank you for reading. From Whynot Headquarters, that’s all for now. Peace!


New Year, new opportunities!

New Year, new opportunities!

New Year; new ambitions and the best of intentions.

As I sit here belting out the Hamilton soundtrack and going through manuscripts, I have many updates! First up, I’d like to thank those who reached out to me on social media, even when my response time was turtle slow. To be truthful with you, I suffered a serious concussion in June, and then, in October, had an accidental trip down a staircase (picture a log rolling, and that’s about what it looked like). I did not come out unscathed; my right wrist was injured and it  took months to heal. Additionally, it was very difficult to concentrate on anything, sadly including writing which I was trying and mostly failing to do with speech-to-text  tech.

Now that I am healed from the trip down the staircase (I just need some minor oral surgery to be fully back to normal), and my concussion has improved, I am finally ready to return to writing! I find myself with a few problems: one is a lucky overabundance of ideas, and having so many manuscripts started that I find myself wondering which one to continue with first.

As this post has become a bit of a confessional, I will admit that I have uncovered a major problem with my story set in Sweden. Sometimes, these things happen–you’ll have a third of a book written and then realize that you just can’t go forward without making significant changes. In my case, it involves a main character of a different race than myself and despite years of studying Japanese culture and language in University, I am not an expert and I don’t like the way I think I may have relied on stereotypes or appropriation in crafting this story. I will not put out a book I can’t stand 100% behind and say I’ve done my absolute  best, including due diligence when it comes to BIPOC characters.

Another story I have is set in Canada, because it is what I know (I’m Canadian!) and involves discussions which are a hot button topic at the moment in the United States, such as abortion. It may raise a bit of controversy, but I am keen to write a book involving pregnancy loss as I have experienced a miscarriage and I think writing the story will  be a bit of catharsis for me.

Finally, another book on my agenda is a tale of a boy from the wrong side of the tracks (literally) and the struggles and triumphs he faces in a very small area (too small to be called a village, even) and would span his childhood until he meets the love of his life. This is the book I am most excited by, and while it is far from a romantic comedy, there is romance of different kinds in the tale. 

My New Year’s resolution was to get two of these written this year. If I put work into it every day, I should be able. The other exciting news I have is that I have gotten engaged! If you look into the dedications of my two existing books, I dedicated them to a “Pat.” Well, in early October Pat asked me to be his partner for life, and I gladly accepted. We marry in the early summer of 2024. To further spill some tea, my Alpha/Beta reader is my Maid of Honour.  🙂

Okay, that’s enough for now. I just wanted to add that I am going to be a signing author at The Steamy Lit Con (formerly Rom Con) in Anaheim, California, from August 18-19. Pat will be in attendance with me, likely in his lumbersexual look of plaid shirt, red beard and mustache (and yes, he is a twin. I didn’t seek out a Winston brother, but here we are, lol).

As this post has gotten quite long, I’ll stop here. Thanks for coming by! If you made it this far in the post, I am sending you an imagination cookie. <3