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I wrote my first novel, Smudge's Mark, in a closet. No joke.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Got any computer meds?

Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see if our PCs survive the much-feared worm tomorrow...

Now I REALLY wish I had a Mac.
Monday, March 30, 2009

Sally Gardner

I just left a comment on Sally Gardner's blog site. I'm not usually one to gush over the achievements of people, but she is an exception. Check out her story on her website and you'll see why. And then read her books, and you'll see why again. She is an inspiration for this writer.
This is the cover of her latest book.
Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gonzers wasn't forever

So, yeah. I completely deleted my whole entire blog. It only took one click and WHAM! Gonzers!

So, I thought heck, if I'm going to go through all the trouble of re-inserting everything into a new template, then I might as well look for a completely new one.

After about a zillion tries - downloads and uploads and sideloads - I found this one. I like it. I think I'll keep it.

I also think I'll get off the computer now. I've been sitting here, cursing under my breath, for that last... oh... let's say... four hours! Give or take. I tend to be a tad obssessive.


Leave it to MEaver

Wow! I've actually managed to destroy my blog...

What do I do now? I'm sitting here, staring in disbelief.

Jeepers Creepers. Leave it to me.

MY space

No more writing on the dining table for me.

Since we moved, about 3 years ago, I've been doing all my writing on the dining table for lack of a spare closet to write in. (I really do miss that closet!) Anyway, having my laptop set up on our eating space is a real pain in the backside. For obvious reasons: Not only is it not "my" space, but unless I want to wipe liquids and shake leftovers from my keyboard I've got to continually move the blasted thing everytime we eat. Not to mention all the other stuff - like papers and pencils and coffee mugs - I've got spread out all over the table by the end of the day. Writing on the dining table is just not good. It's bad.

So enough is enough. I got an old desk from a neighbour a few weeks ago, and yesterday I hauled it upstairs to my bedroom. I arranged a nice little corner by the window. It's not much, but, gosh darn it, it's mine!
Friday, March 27, 2009

Patience is a what?

The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over without seeing results.

I keep telling myself to just be patient.

I keep telling myself to not worry.

I keep telling myself whatever happens is what's meant to be.

I keep telling myself to just be patient.

I keep telling myself that if not this time, there will be another.

I keep telling myself that in the grand scheme of life, five weeks really isn't a long time. Heck, three years isn't even a long time.

I keep telling myself to just be patient.

I keep telling myself that not everyone is even as lucky as I am.

I keep telling myself I'm growing in character and strength.

I keep telling myself to just focus on my next book and the time will pass before I know it.

I keep telling myself to just be patient.

I keep telling myself to take a break, unwind, go for a walk.

I keep telling myself that one day I'll look back and laugh at how silly I was to stress about it all.

I keep telling myself those emails are on their way.

I keep telling myself to just be patient.

You know, I'm really getting sick of hearing myself talk.
Thursday, March 26, 2009

A great quote

"To move the world, we must first move ourselves."
- Socrates

I hear this Socrates guy was pretty smart :)

Broken Link

It appears that the March on Mars link is broken. It has been off and on since I posted it yesterday. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You can also go to www.marchonmars.org. It's worth a read and response.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don't do nothing

Please join with me and March on Mars.

Click here to use your voice to stop the exploitation of child workers by the Mars chocolate company. Read the info then send a letter or make a phone call. Please, don't do nothing.

Every single voice counts, as is evidenced by Cadbury's decision to make a traffik-free chocolate bar.

Please, take this seriously.


“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Where's Jimmy?

Okay, today is a buckle down and write day. I've got to put some skin on the bare-bone ideas that are clinging to the pages of my notebook.

But there are so many of them, all elbowing each other, fighting for attention (Me first! Me first!) that I'm a little overwhelmed and don't know where to start.

What I usually do with this kind of scenario is treat it like I'm dealing with kids. First, I just listen in for a while and see if they can work it out for themselves. But they rarely do. So, then I step in and say, "Well, if you can't decide who will go first, then we'll just have to wait until someone tries to be more mature and offers not to go first."

But, that suggestion often just gets ignored and I'm eventually forced to intervene again. I then quiet them all down and choose the kid who's made the least fuss to go first. "See. Jimmy was standing here quietly while you were all arguing, so he gets to go first." Then 'Jimmy' usually just looks at me with a blank face because he really didn't want a turn anyway, but he's a compliant child and will do what he's told.

Now, to find the idea named Jimmy in my notebook...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I should take sleeping pills

Did I really do that last night or was it just a bad dream?

Wait... let me check my document file.

Yup, I really did it. The proof is on the screen: I bought two tickets to the Jonas Brothers. Paid for at 12:53 am.

I really should have taken that sleeping pill.
Monday, March 23, 2009

It's not irresponsible if it's for a good cause, is it?

I love red.

But I really must stop spending money. Vacation is over. Must return to responsible behavior.

But how could I resist? It was red! The other one I bought before was blue.

They still have some le-eft... (in a sing-songy voice meant to entice you)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

There's no place like home

And I didn't even need ruby slippers.
Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yeah, the stow-aways belong to me

I'm sitting in a hotel room in Statesville, North Carolina, on my way home from a family vacay. Vacations away from my computer are always sweet.

Except, I can never seem to get away from my characters. They tend to be compulsive stow-aways. Not to mention, they're always interrupting, telling me what they want to do as soon as we get back home.

As a result, I've got a notebook full of ideas and sketches that I must get into my work in progress so they'll give me a few moments of peace.

Maybe I'll be able to sleep again once I get back into my own bed. Once the ideas are safely stored on my laptop.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Better late than never. Or so they say.

It is now exactly 8:30 am. This is the time my son's first period class starts.

He's just taken his toast out of the toaster and is asking me where the peanut butter is.

Let's wait and see how late he'll be today... so far, this week's average is between 15-20 minutes.




So, anyway, we're leaving tomorrow morning for a much needed vacation. It'll be a 6 am start. (Good luck getting molasses legs up and out the door at that time!) But when it's vacation time and he can sleep in the car, the effort is worth it so much more.

The only problem is I haven't started packing yet. Seriously. And I have to work most of the day today. Welcome to my life...

And I wonder why my son's brushing his teeth fifteen minutes after his class has started. I guess procrastination is something you can inherit. At least I put boundaries on my procrastination. I detest lateness. I'll be ready to go at 6 am tomorrow morning come hell or high water.

Oh, the shoes and coat are on. It's 8:50. At least he's consistent.
Monday, March 9, 2009

The sum total of my life

Talk about Groundhog Day! (the movie version)

My computer calendar is stuck on Sunday, February 15. And the time just keeps circling from 7-9 pm. Even the Yahoo news page has February 15, 2009 on it!

Could you imagine having to live a day in your life over and over and over and over and over and over and over again? Sheesh! Even if it was a good day, you'd eventually want to move on, don't you think? Just like Huey, Duey, and Louey - remember when they wished it was Christmas Day everyday? It was fun at first, but then after a few weeks they wanted out! Even Christmas Day isn't worth having to live over everyday for the rest of your life.

It actually makes me thankful for not only the good days I have - the days that are full of surprises, excitement, and lots of hits on my website - but also for the days when not a whole heck of a lot happens. And yes, maybe even for the days that bad things happen. Maybe. I mean, if life was predictable, it would be pretty dull. I've never been able to figure out why anyone would ever want to have their fortune read. Talk about ruining the ending!

Anyway, as far as I can remember, Sunday, February 15, 2009 wasn't a particularly exciting day, much less one I'd want to live over. I didn't even submit a blog posting that day. (Although for some reason my Valentine's Day posting came up as being posted on that day. Weird.)

But you know, now that I think about it, 40 years ago, on February 15, 1969, my dad immigrated to Canada. And if he hadn't done that, I may very well not be here, living the life I'm living; having the opportunities I've had and accomplishing the things I've accomplished. Life would most definitely have been very different for me had I grown up on the other side of the ocean. I most certainly wouldn't be who I am right now.

Up until this very moment I've been thinking I needed to get this calendar fixed. It's really annoying to see Sunday, February 15, 2009 everyday. Not to mention the frozen time on the clock!

But, you know what? Maybe I'll just leave it. Maybe seeing Sunday, February 15, 2009 everyday isn't such a bad thing. Maybe it's meant to be a reminder. A reminder that all the good days, blah days, and even bad days since that date 40 years ago are the sum total of my life. All those days have brought me to where I am today.

And you know what? I'm happy about that.
Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cadbury goes traffik-free

Once upon a time, Cadbury's Dairy Milk was my favorite chocolate bar.

That was before I knew about children being exploited on cocoa farms by these big corporations so they can make huge profits. Since then, we've bought fairly traded chocolate whenever possible. That goes for coffee and tea, too, in our house.

But, it certainly doesn't stop there. Check the labels on your clothes for the country of origin. If it wasn't made in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, chances are the person who made it got barely a fraction of a percentage of the price you paid for it. Unfortunately, finding fairly traded clothing in our consumer-obssessed culture is not an easy thing to do. And if you do find it, it's most likely not going to be cheap. But keep in mind: every purchase makes a difference - to someone. Be it good or bad.

Just Us, a Canadian fair trade coffee, chocolate, and sugar company that we regularly buy from, has a great motto - "People and the Planet before Profits". And now, Cadbury is catching on. Read this from an email I just got.

Now I'll gladly buy my beloved Dairy Milk again. It'll be sooooo good with a steaming cup of Just Us French Roast.

Sweet potatoes and Ambergate - both are orange

I'm sharing a plate of sweet potatoes with my daughter, Abby. We're the only ones who like them in our family, so every now and then we'll cook a giant one up and have it for a snack. A bit of salt, butter, and pepper - yum! Perfect spot of color and flavor for this drab afternoon.

So, I did finish Murkmere, by Patricia Elliott, last night. I liked it so much, I dove right into the companion novel, Ambergate. I like the mysterious, gothic feeling of the books, especially since they are set in an alternate, yet highly-relatable, world. There's just enough intrigue mixed with myth and folklore to make them very enjoyable reads. I like the covers, too. The American versions of the covers, that is.

Well, the sweet potato plate's empty, save for a faint sprinkling of salt around the edges, (must lick that off...) and my daughter's given up reading over my shoulder and has disappeared into her room to listen to the Jonas Brothers. Time for me to rinse the plate and go read some more. As I steep a mug of twig tea...

BTW - sweet potatoes and Ambergate are both orange. Twig tea isn't. But it compliments.
Saturday, March 7, 2009

I can do it... I can do it...

Must. Finish. Murkmere.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The earthy inspiration of tea

If you're anything like me, you'll appreciate a good, hot mug of tea. Oh, I love my coffee, no doubt about that. But tea... that's where the magic is.

Ever try Twig Tea? Or Rooibos? Or Yerba Mate? How about Gen Mai Cha Green Tea with Brown Rice? Ooooo... exotic. I like my tea to be earthy, as opposed to fruity or florally, so when I discovered the twig tea and the one with brown rice, I fell for them immediately. Strange, you think? Don't fancy the idea of steeping twigs in your cup? Don't knock it til you try it!

So, why the heck am I talking about earthy-flavored tea, anyway? Well, besides the fact I'm brewing a mug of gen mai cha with brown rice as I blog and thought I'd share that with you, tea is my writing drink. There's something about drinking tea while clacking away on my keyboard that connects me with what I'm doing. Maybe it's the earthiness of the aromas and flavors that inspire the earthiness of the themes I'm writing about. Maybe it's that tea is part of creation and the way it pleases my senses is a way that connects me with the Creator; like songs sometimes do. Hmm... maybe...

Or, maybe it's just a habit.

Whatever it is, it's part of my writing "thing". And it helps draw the creativity out of my soul that was put there by the Creator.

I lift my mug to him. I'm glad he's so resourceful.

"Everything that one turns in the direction of God is prayer." -Ignatius of Loyola
Thursday, March 5, 2009

A great quote

There is no shame in a dirty face. The shame comes when you leave it dirty.
- Truman Capote

Yeah, I'm a wannabe

Time for a facelift.

No, not for me. (Although, I could use a little around the eyes...)

No, for my blog. Stick around long enough and you'll realize I'm not one to be content to keep things the same for too long. This time 'round, we're going for the minimalistic look... I kind of like it.

For now.

Of course, for those of you reading this on your beloved Facebook, you won't see what I'm talking about. Enter the blogosphere...

Speaking of facelifts, I'm designing a few things to hand out as freebees when I finally get around to doing talks and signings and things. (Not sure what that has to do with facelifts, but it sounded like a good segue...) Here's the basic idea for bookmarks:

And my new business card:

Other stuff is in the works, too...

If ever there was a wannabe graphic designer, you're looking at her. I really do enjoy designing things. And I'm convinced if I had a Mac, I could go pro... (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) Guess I better start saving my pennies, cause I'm on my own with that one.

Geez, look at the time. Better get back to writing or else these creations of mine will never have an excuse to see the light of day.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Do I See Light?

Well, well, well. I'm told they're hoping to start printing Smudge's Mark next month. How that translates into a release date, I have no idea. But at least they're hoping to start printing...

Wish I could tell you more. But, hey. That's the best news I've heard in a long time.

Maybe there really is light at the end of the tunnel...
Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday! Theodor (Ted) Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield Massachusetts. You can read all about him and his work here. Not to mention, the website has all kinds of other fun, too.

Growing up, I adored Dr. Seuss books. I loved their silliness, the way they made me laugh (and stare), the way rules were broken to make up brand new words no one had ever used before, and the way the illustrations made those far-fetched words real. Dr. Seuss opened the doors for me to see beyond what was conventional. For me, reading those books kind of gave me the go-ahead to view the sky as purple with yellow polka dots – instead of blue like it’s “supposed to be” – if I wanted to. Dr. Seuss books were what sparked my love of letters and words – when I realized I could play with them and be creative with them and make them say whatever I wanted them to say – even if it seemed as crazy and fantastic as a purple and yellow polka dotted sky. I read those books over and over again, committing them to memory and even tape recording myself reading them. (Yes, tape recording myself – that was the extent of my technology back then!) I accidentally threw out my only live recording of Mr. Brown can Moo… Can You? and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish just recently, during a move. When I discovered what I’d done, I cried.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! You made this girl fall in love with words! And for that, she'll be forever grateful.
Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Veggiversary

Today's my one year veggiversary.

Giving up meat hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. I guess anything you do for good reason is easier than just doing something for the heck of it.

Cows, chickens, and pigs everywhere, feel free to begin verse two of your hallelujah chorus. This is one more human that's not planning on climbing back up to the top of the food chain any time soon.