In General

Writing away from an early age…

I had help cleaning out and de-cluttering part of the house last week with Bronwyn, my roommate.

Guess what I found?

Here’s a clue of what it looked like when I was thirteen and a huge Elfquest fan.

 

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This little blue binder was my lunch time escape ticket.  I hated the private school I was at and was frustrated that the people I knew since grade four were still there in grade seven.  Nothing had changed.  We were stuck in our patterns of conversation and social norms.  So, I would write in the library by myself.

 

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It even had a side pocket for notes from my bff and scribbles of revelations while I listened to the teacher talk during class.

 

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I love how it’s labeled “VOLUME 1″ as if I was Victor Hugo creating tombs of writing material in this new world.  Today, we call this fan fiction.  Elfquest was a comic that combined elves with wolves naming them Wolfriders and as the “volumes” continued they discovered more about their world and other elves in it.  I dreamed of elves paired with panthers that eventually met these Wolfriders.

“Things didn’t go so good at Blue Mountain…”  I wrote.  Unaware of writing principles and rules.  I was explaining the backstory instead of letting the reader discover it.  I was also thirteen.   LOL.

So, now, as I head into my revisions of a contemporary romance I keep this on my writing desk.  Just in case I want to explore the entire binder again which is full of elves and panthers uniting against evil in their world.

Thank you, Elfquest.

Dad’s Christmas.

It began with the fresh spruce or pine tree that Dad would cruise through several tree lots beforehand to suss out who had “straight” trees.

 

Right.  A straight tree.

 

Then, he’d haul me around to different ones and pull a few out.  He’d get me to back up to see how straight it looked then give it a shake.  If a lot of needles fell out he’d put it back saying it was too dry to bring home.

 

We’d find a tree.  He’d throw it in the back of his red F150 half ton truck and we’d head home.

 

He’d pull out the tree stand and put the tree in the breezeway between the garage with a special cocktail of water, bleach and corn syrup he got from the New York Times one year to keep the tree healthy.

Then, we’d prep the living room.

 

This involved setting town clear plastic tarp in the entryway and the designated spot for the tree.  This spot was close to the door to eliminate as many needle droppings as possible.  It wasn’t about light or positioning or outlets for the Christmas lights… it was about needles.  He hated them!  He hated cleaning them up.  Even if I cleaned it up he hated knowing they were there on the blue/green tile floor.  And both he and I would miss one or two.  So when the tree came down after the Old Christmas date he’d walk by the door to get to the kitchen and he’d eventually pick a few off of his white socked feet muttering about needles.

 

This tree ritual lives on in my memory every year.  With love.  Because I miss it.  Because it made me smile.  Everyone has traditions they like to do or keep… Dad’s eccentricities were mine to keep.

 

I took over decorating the tree after Mom left and ended up donating all her ornaments to the Salvation Army so I could start a new tradition with my Dad.  Instead of an angry decorating tree ritual where my Mom would re-decorate after you we created memories to make Christmas a happy, joyful, spiritual place in our lives.

 

I miss him.  And this Christmas I’m creating my own tradition now that, after five years of grieving, I can start another fresh chapter in my life.

 

Oh, Christmas tree… Oh, and my tree?  Bought it online – fake, set up by a pole and pre-decorated so it’s definitely straight.

Dad carving the turkey!

Dad carving the turkey!

 

Own the words you say.

Own the words you say.

I’m not just coming into that sentence as a new writer but as someone who’s very aware of the words that I choose when I converse.

Getting into the Maritime Gift Show was billed as being a lucrative spot.  Their words influenced my decision.  That’s not going to happen again! Here’s the pic that shows how we were all lucky if we got 30 people in attendance at our booths.  Plus, Hall 2 (there were only 2) was on top of the ice rink.  Brrr!  For four days I was layered and double socked.

No one at the Gift Show day after day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Hearts on Fire event Feb 9th 2012 at The Halifax Club my tongue felt like it was choking my throat due to the nerves of how the event was going to go over.  I had other writers and guests tell me the same thing – they were watching what they said while having a great time mingling.  One of the topics was the upcoming Women Making Waves Conference happening at Mount Saint Vincent University which I missed last year but I’m going to it this year with author Julia Phillips Smith.   http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com

Here’s the people who made the Hearts on Fire Event happen:  (Watch for the RWAC writers on Live at Five Tuesday Feb 14 2012).

Trevor Romkey, Shawna Romkey, Caroline Ruyle, Shelley LeBlonc, The Halifax Club’s Edwinna.

http://www.dogwoodconsulting.com

Hearts on Fire Design by Caroline Ruyle

Had a great time at The Halifax Club!

Nanowrimo and other adventures!

As I hit my stride this Monday morning I realize I love writing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just setting up my first critique partner and starting to submit short stories so my writing could be crap. But the act of brewing coffee after walking the dogs and then settling in front of the laptop to write with them at my feet is precious. I hope that no matter what happens with my writing as I pursue it as a career that I keep this enjoyment with me.
So I am loving Nanowrimo which is an organization that organizes a challenge – write a book/novel in a month. Their website is http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

This challenge is supported by my writing group that is a part of Romance Writers of America. I’m using it to write a Fae story because I can’t get enough of the Sidhe Court. I just finished Yasmine Galenorn’s “Night Veil” and I’m impatiently waiting for the next one! I also loved the Mercedes Lackey series like Born to Run. And while I enjoy the tv series “Lost Girl” I am finding it harder to watch as I emphasize so much with the female lead that sometimes I just can’t watch what she goes through.
This past Sunday I missed out on my Romance Writers of American chapter meeting. I worked instead at the Trend and Fashion Expo http://www.trendandfashionexpo.com run by East Coast Dynamics http://eastcoastdynamics.com for Fifth Avenue Collection http://www.fifthavenuecollection.com/taram     I do love that job. And, as it was at the World Trade & Convention Centre the event had help setting up and tearing down so I wasn’t covered in sweat and changing into outfits like other events/festivals. I have to thank Brennan Handy and Devin Sherrington for helping me keep fitness in my life as all the cardio pays off at events like these where you’re packing and lifting boxes.
Hope you all had a great weekend and here’s hoping we get a light winter. LOL.

By the way on November 11th, 2011 Author Julia Phillips Smith will be releasing her debut novel “Saint Sanguinus.”  Check her out at http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com  and on November 10th, 2011 she’ll be chatting about her self publishing at DartNet After Hours held at Sweet Smiles Pastry Cafe in Dartmouth, N.S. on Portland Hills Drive.  http://dartnet.ca

 

Watches, Rings and Gold

Silver, colour and my draw for a 50.00 gift certificate

Greece and other pics – a short, sweet summer of memories.

I just came from a great Writer’s Retreat at White Point Beach Lodge past Liverpool in Nova Scotia with RWAC.  Very productive.  Time to submit stuff!  We watched the films “It’s Complicated” and “Due Date.”  Love, love Meryl Streep.

http://www.romancewritersac.com

P.S. Get Ready for 11/11/11  http://juliaphillipssmith.com

Adirondack Chair overlooking a lake next to the Atlantic Ocean

I know I’m lucky.  I managed to find a second job that pays well and it’s in direct selling with Fifth Avenue Collection (My Open House is Oct 28 7-9pm, Oct 29 2-4pm, Oct 30 2-4pm if you’re interested stop by).  This second job has given me the freedom to take a few “extra” trips this past year that I ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to take.  I went to Calgary, Alberta is August and saw my Grandmother before her 104th birthday and I’m glad I did as she passed away October 2nd, 2011.  When Debbie Ford from TPI Travel said, months ago, that she had a Greek trip planned and there were a few more seats available my hand went up.  I hummed and hawed over going to Greece the past year and realized, like Whistler, B.C., New Zealand, Australia and Runaway Bay, Jamaica that if I could go I should just do it.

The Greek trip was amazing.  I saw a lot of great islands, our group was not affected by the strikes, I climbed up to the Acropolis in Athens but forgot my memory card, did some shopping and sat by a harbour eating Apple Pie with ice cream while enjoying a latte in Mykonos and saw plenty of beaches.  I hope the people of Greece climb out of their economy like Germany did years ago and realize their strengths (which is why Germany is so successful today in its economy).  For now, here are some photos.

CRETE, SANTORINI, PAROS, MYKONOS

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Author Terry Spear and review of “Seduced by the Wolf”

Just read Terry Spear’s “Seduced by the Wolf.”

ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-3753-9 Cdn price paperback $9.99 404 pages

Check out her site at http://terryspear.com/

There are numerous characters but the male lead is a Red Wolf Alpha Royal Werewolf called Leidolf Wildhaven and the female lead with Cassie Roux (who is also a Red Wolf).

Cassie, we find out, has been playing a dangerous game living among regular wolf packs and using her day job as a Wolf Biologist to help them out.  She doesn’t belong to a Werewolf Pack and almost upon meeting her Leidolf wants her as his mate and co-leader of the pack he won from a corrupt werewolf.  Leidolf has several challenges: security and stability in the pack challenged by various rogue wolves who are up to no good, a possible competition for Cassie’s interests from a male were parent looking to find a mother to his children, and Cassie herself.

Oh, Cassie.  She’s Alpha female but knows when to fold when Leidolf outwits her and gives her himself not just as leader of the pack but as a partner in life.  This is the turning point that Cassie is looking for in a mate.  She doesn’t just want to be a convenient fit she wants a partner.  However, to get there involves several complex sub-plots.  The Arc is Cassie and Leidolf cementing their relationship.  Cassie has been alone for so long and her attraction to Leidolf is so great that when she’s tranquilized by wolf hunters she dreams he’s Poseideon, God of the Seas after running into him in a lake scenario.  There’s a strong attraction that runs the plot and they meet their challenges together sometimes whether they acted as a unit or not.  Cassie does try to run out on him after he helps her recover but cannot deny her feelings for Leidolf and in the end there is happily ever after.

It’s a well written look at Werewolves and pack hierarchy.  Definitely worth a read and certainly intriguing enough to look up Terry Spear, write her an email and add her books to my list of what to read during a hurricane… BTW the hurricane is here but the authorities are calling it a tropical storm so we should be ok today – let’s see what it does overnight and what tomorrow brings.

  Little fact about Terry in her bio: she’s a retired lieutenant colonel  in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and now resides in the heart of Texas.

Rained Out at Lake Banook, Manulife Dragon Boat Race 2011

I just had the best time of my life!

It started Thursday night with advance prep of what jewelery I was going to take to the event I signed up weeks ago.  I did a search for festivals around Nova Scotia and queried like crazy sending out emails and leaving voicemails at every one I logistically could get to on a budget.

This is my first one:  The Manulife Dragon Boat Festival July 9 2011 location: Lake Banook, Dartmouth, N.S.

What a great time!  The people were hard core into their racing and got over the “is this a joke?” re: my recruiting sign for jewelery to “oh god this is really nice jewelery and I can get it for free if I host a party??!”

I also had a great prize which I’m going to draw for in about 30mins after I dry out a bit more.  The prize was a Fifth Avenue Collection coffee mug, a $25.00 hostess gift certificate to be used for any jewelery she doesn’t get for free or for a later date or web order, one book by author Julianne Maclean, author Jennie Marsland and author Daisy Piper (all Nova Scotian authors).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left side under Macfarlands’ tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right side of my jewelry table safely under the Macfarlands rental tent (an industrial type tent – no walls).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My recruiting sign that brought a few people over to check the brand out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from my tent part one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from my tent part two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, soaked.

My shirt is a maroon colour and it was black from the 1.5km walk I did with luggage and table when we were told we could leave.  One of the drawbacks of doing an event by yourself is that you physically assemble everything on your own.  Also, the parking for the venue was off site meaning I had to park in a zone that wasn’t a NO Saturday Parking Zone so I didn’t get ticketed.  Besides having the fire marshall walk through the entire venue along with paramedics there were traffic police.  Not a good time to argue with them, therefore, the 1.5km walk to get a good parking spot.  I arrived at 6:15am and took my time to set up as I had until 8am.  There were vendors who came all at once at 7:45 am and missed some of the early dragon boaters who checked out my product at their lesiure before the races started.

What a great time!  Click the sentence below for a video of the rainfall we had just as the races were heating up!

The driving rain that made us all pack up and leave…

The Lycans: how I adore thee…

I don’t care how cheesy you think “Teen Wolf” the tv series is I am boldly stating that I love this storyline.  It could be also because the hero werewolf and his mentor are definitely not hard to look at (despite being teenagers).

What a great looking tv casting job!  I’ve been researching the reviews online and a lot of them compare this tv series to a “Twilight” feel. Similar? Possibly with the drama that takes place each episode but this is tv soooo…  What I love however is the Art Department’s use of how they wanted their Lycans to appear.  Some makeup, FX and glowing eyes plus claws show how the main character accesses his inner werewolf.  Then, there’s the mysterious and possibly evil full blown werewolf that seems intent on eating everyone he encounters.  Definitely a darker side to this storyline than the original “Teen Wolf” in the 1980s – the basketball themed one.  Interestingly enough this storyline concentrates on Lacrosse.

 

Let’s focus in on my new crush:  Tyler Hoechlin

From the Much Music Website:

Tyler Hoechlin was born in Corona, California and began acting at the age of nine. His breakout performance came early on, starring alongside Tom Hanks in the critically acclaimed Road to Perdition as ‘Michael Sullivan Jr.’ Soon after, Hoechlin landed the role of ‘Martin Brewster’ on the WB’s 7th Heaven. He recurred on the series from 2003 to 2007, and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2004 for Breakout Male Star. Hoechlin went on to star in the TV movie Grizzly Rage, and appeared in television series such as C.S.I. Miami, My Boys, Castle and Lincoln Heights. He is excited to be playing “Derek Hale” in the new MTV series Teen Wolf premiering in the U.S. in June 2011.

Hoechlin has several films in production. He recently finished shooting the Farrelly brothers’ Hall Pass alongside Christina Applegate, Owen Wilson, Alyssa Milano and Jenna Fischer; as well as the independent drama Open Gate.

A lifelong baseball player, Hoechlin played for the U.S. baseball team at the Pan-American games the same year he started acting. He went on to play infield for Arizona State University and University of California at Irvine after high school; as well as the Battle Creek Bombers out of Battle Creek, Michigan, and The Maxim Yankees in Santa Clara, California. He has two brothers (Tanner and Travis) and one sister (Carrie).

I’m using my new career with Fifth Avenue Collection to catch up on my True Blood.  I’m looking forward to seeing what those Lycans look like.  I did like Underworld’s Lycans and Twilight’s Lycans aren’t bad… Teen Wolf’s Lycans feel a little more personal similar to Vampire Diaries “feel.”  Got any favourite Lycans you’d like to share? Leave me a comment…

Review E-book: The Outlaw Bride by Kelly Boyce

“Katherine pulled the ribbon from her hair and wrapped it around the stems of late season daisies, kneeling down to place them upon the hard ground. A sharp October wind whipped at her curls.  She didn’t attempt to restore order.”  Excerpt from The Outlaw Bride by Kelly Boyce.

A fantastic first novel.  Katherine Slade is the character I have longed for to appear.  She’s resourceful, determined and ready to escape her current situation to wind up in Fatal Bluff.  This town hasn’t seen enough drama as their new Sheriff is determined to catch the Slade gang and end their slew of crimes against the innocent which includes the Sherrif’s brother’s death.  These two worlds collide amid a slew of secrets and chance.

With intense detail to the town description of Fatal Bluff and the hard ways of the West we, the reader, can only guess that the people in it are more forgiving than the world they are shaping around themselves.  We see their love for their Sheriff and their acceptance of the newcomer Kate Slade who comes from a desperate background that will be esolved as only Love will have it.  What more, as a reader, can we ask for?  Well, mix in supporting characters and cronies that add to the detail of Fatal Bluff I know where I would go if the train was leaving and I needed to find Love.

Thank you Kelly Boyce for a riveting novel.  The miracles of hope and love made this gloomy Nova Scotian weekend much brighter.

The Outlaw Bride is an e-book published by Carina Press.  Check it out for your Kindle here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Outlaw-Bride-ebook/dp/B004RQD40Q

Check it out for your Kobo here:

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Outlaw-Bride

http://www.kellyboyce.com/About.html

New website being developed!

Rich Graphics and I are working on a new website for my writing.  It’ll be really basic but will allow me to better manage the website.

Between work (I’m now a Fifth Avenue Collection Jeweller) and school at Walden University I found time to sit on the MSVU Alumnae Board.  I’m hoping to help out as much as I can because that school was the catalyst to the re-orientation of my life and purpose.  With my father’s sudden death I realized that time was short and I had to take steps to do what felt right.  There have been challenges and evolutions since then but change is a necessary facet of life.

I hope you continue to join me on my journey…