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I wrote my first novel, Smudge's Mark, in a closet. No joke.
Thursday, April 30, 2009

A big surprise for Smudge's Mark

Wow... how surprised was I to find that Smudge's Mark has been recommended by the Association of Canadian Publishers as one of "the best new Canadian children's and young adult titles published this spring"? Pretty darn surprised, I'll tell you! Especially since it hasn't even been released yet! Wow. Actually, from Simply Read Books (my publisher) Smudge's Mark and two board books by Paola Opal made the list for their respective categories.

Check out the Canadian Books for Canadian Kids website. You'll find Smudge's Mark listed under the "Books for Young Adults" section. Click on the cover to read a blurb. (BTW - you'll notice that's not the final cover design)

What a great way to end the month! :)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yesterday and Today

It's raining today. My facts about rain:

* I always drive my kids to school when it rains.
* I always get headaches when it rains.
* I hate taking the dog out when it rains.
* I love rain.

Huh. How about that?

So I finally conquered my fear and made it to the dentist yesterday. I have what I call dentiphobia, and after ____ (I won't even tell you how many) years of not going, she cleaned my teeth and couldn't find anything that was wrong. Hurray for good enamel! My poor husband on the other hand is a religious dentist patient and continually has to have work done. He just suffered through a root canal yesterday. I think he hates me now.

Anyway, today I'm picking up where I left off yesterday with my current writing project. My working title for this book is "Gil's Tattoo" and it's a continuation of Smudge's Mark. I'm really not planning on writing a trilogy. More like a twology. I think I can finish it up in two books. Then... who knows? I've got some other ideas fermenting inside the wooden barrel of my brain.

So, onward! Writing and rain - a fabulous combination!
Thursday, April 23, 2009

What do you mean people are going to read it??

I've decided that today I'm taking a break!

I've been stressing way too much about the completion of my book so it can be sent to the printer. And now I'm stressing way too much because now PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO READ IT!! Yikes! I never really thought about that! Well, I did, but it was always in a "one of these days" sort of way. Kind of like, "Yeah, it'll happen, but not anytime soon." Now that publication is just around the corner - gak! Nerves!

So today I'm going to sit and chill and immerse myself in someone else's book and try to imagine how they felt when they were in my shoes and how it's all worked out for them. Not sure if it'll help or not, but it's either that or clean out the fridge. And I'm really not in the mood to battle with cold, unidentified lifeforms today.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009


smudgesmark.com just got it's 1000th visitor hit!

How can I celebrate this one? Hmmmm...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Waiting to land

Done! I'm a bit bleary-eyed, but I'm done! And I've sent my comments back to my editor. Won't be long now.

Gak! Now it's time to clean the house. (grooooooaaaaaannnnn!)

You know, sometimes things can get so crazy around here. My husband is in the middle of a career change, and I'm waiting to have this book published. Right now, life's a whirlwind and we're not sure how, exactly, we're going to land. But land we will and it will be precisely where we're supposed to be. We're getting closer to the landing strip and I think it might be in sight - just there - see? Well, it's still a bit foggy, but I have confidence my pilot graduated with top honors. Sweaty palms aside, I know we'll land safely and in one piece.

In the meantime, who hid the vacuum?
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day two

On to day two of the final re-read. During times like this, the hours just seem to blur together and I get my bearings only once I'm completely finished... But today's my deadline so I'll be finding my footing by tonight sometime.

I was showing my husband the final cover and interior design of the book yesterday, but I covered over the dedication and acknowledgements because I want them to be a surprise. He laughed and said, "You've probably dedicated it to Neil Gaiman."

Funny guy.

Anyway, I did happen to have a brief "clear-your-head" moment this morning when I took the dog outside to do his business. And I managed to shoo him away and capture my moment before he peed all over it. This is what my moment looked like:

We all need moments like this, don't we?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nice things to wake up to

Wow. So last night I was freaking out because my computer was doing all these weird things and there were red x's in my security program and the computer actually went into automatic repair mode. Yikes! So I clicked a few buttons and then had no choice but to drift off into a fitful sleep as I left my life's work in my new best buddy "Norton"'s hands. All night I had recurring nightmares of red x's chasing me and catching me and throwing me into a black, endless abyss. (not really)

But Norton did take care of everything for me in the land of the awake. I woke up this morning to nice green check marks and a secure system. Whew! No more red x's.

I also woke up to another nice surprise. An email from my editor that had attached to it the final cover and interior design for Smudge's Mark. All I can say, at this point, is that I really love it! And I'm relieved that I'm able to save it on my newly secured, green check marked system.

So the next couple of days will be intense reading days for me as this is my last chance to look this baby over before it goes to the printer. And after that... I'll be seeing you in Chapters!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Smudge available for pre-order

I'm so happy to say that my book, Smudge's Mark, can now be pre-ordered at Chapters and Amazon! The scheduled release date in Canada is June 10, 2009.
Monday, April 13, 2009

Where there's a will, there's a way

I mean, really. How cute is this? A squirrel in a "squirrel-proof" birdfeeder.

Where there's a will, there's always a way. Take it from the squirrel.
Sunday, April 12, 2009

An evening with Neil

I just bought tickets to see Neil Gaiman in Toronto in June! Yay! He's going to be downtown at Luminato. Check it out if you're nearby.

My daughter and I are so excited to hear him read and get a few of our books signed. I just hope I don't get all girly-girl when I see him. Sheesh...
Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fairly traded bunnies!

You must check out this site: www.sittingaroundeatingbonbons.com - all organic, homemade, fairly traded chocolate! And she sells bunnies, too! I'll be sinking my teeth into one of those in the morning.
Friday, April 10, 2009

Be careful what you vow...

Uh oh... I've twittered myself! I really, truly did. You can see for yourself on the right side of this blog.

I vowed I'd never, ever join Twitter. Never saw the point. (Actually, I still don't)

But, then again, I said the same about Facebook. And about setting up a blog.

Maybe I should start vowing to never, ever make writing books my life-long career.
Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mechanical Contrivium

This is a fun little thing I came across this morning. If you need a little diversion for whatever reason, check it out and then type in your own name. It's also a good little writing tool to use to spark some ideas for quirky personality traits for your characters.

(P.S. I'm not a rodent. As far as I know...)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I'm such fan of Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. And even more now that I just downloaded her latest album. (I considered saying it was her *new* album, but it's only new to me - it was released last year!) Her songs have such an earthy and organic feel and she empties her soul into each word. She's brilliant!

The excitement is mounting...

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the final proof of Smudge's Mark to land in my inbox. My editor, Kallie, informed me that I'd be receiving it mid-week. I can't wait to see it! Then, it's off to the printer.

It's been three long years... and that's only counting the days since I signed my contract. It took me about six years to finish the manuscript. Wow. Nine years in the making. I've got a few more wrinkles and gray hairs since I started, that's for sure.

I'm just glad the book will make it to my hands before the grandkids do!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spending some time in the real world

I'm about to dig in and write. Yes, really write. All those other days I said I was going to write - I lied. I never did. (shame)

The reason I say I'm going to write today with such confidence is that I've been offered a writing gig by a friend of mine. It's a non-fiction piece so it's a bit (okay, more than a bit) of a stretch for me. My husband joked, "Ah, so you can't make it up this time!" (very funny...)

But I have a deadline! Yay! And it's a short one - this Friday. I thrive on time crunches!

So, off I go... into the world of reality.
Monday, April 6, 2009

Stop the fermenting, already!

It's Monday. It's always so hard to get out of bed on Monday. Especially when it's gray and raining. But, I managed to drag my carcass up and get the kids to school (on time!)

Now to write...

I haven't been able to settle in and focus lately. And it's driving me crazy! Everytime I sit here, I get distracted. And I have sooooooo much to do! And it isn't even like I've got writer's block, or anything. I've got tons of material! I think I need someone to give me a deadline. As I've mentioned before, I detest lateness, so a definite deadline would help. I guess I kind of do have a 'loose' deadline - I was told 'around the end of May sometime'. But somehow that just isn't helping a whole heck of a lot. And at the rate I'm going now, 'around the end of May' just isn't going to happen.

I think I need to go on another road trip and bring my laptop along this time. That way I can input the flashes of creativity as I get them, instead of letting them ferment on the pages of my notebook.

Hey, maybe, like good wine grapes, fermenting will make those ideas better. Yeah, that's it...

Umm... nice thought, but probably not. At this point, I have a feeling that I'm going to have to bottle and cork those suckers before they turn to vinegar!
Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm macro-zooming

I love texture, so just imagine my glee when I discovered how to use the macro-zoom feature on my camera! You can even see the dust!

Wow! Who else stays home on a Friday night, macro-zooming common household items? Sheesh!

At least I've discovered my new favorite hobby.

Little color tricks

Just having a bit of fun...

Ooops! Gotta go to work!


It's another rainy day. And it's Friday. Who doesn't love Fridays, even if the forecast is calling for rain for a good part of the weekend.

Despite the headaches I wake up with during these barometer readings, I actually love spring and summer rain - especially sunshowers. Rain is therapeutic, and cleansing. Even the word itself, "Rain", evokes a sense of calm and peace.

Best of all, rain shows the earth's true colors, rich browns and vibrant greens. Kind of makes me want to dig up my oil paints out of the crawl space...

But, I think I'll just brew some tea and curl up with a book for a few hours, instead. Ahhhh... bliss.
Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Evolution of a Wall

I'm updating this at a more humane hour. It's now 9 am and I'm seeing straight.

This is the blah wall. It's the side of a small entryway closet that just screams for attention(since it's in a really awkward place and sticks out into the middle of the room!) And, since we can't just tear it out and re-do the entire entryway, I got to thinking: why not make the best of it and make the whole wall into a picture? Let's go retro and create a mural! So I bought the paint and the mural stuff and dove right in...

At this point I'm thinking, "Uh oh. What have I done?"

I'm still kind of thinking that at this point, too.

But, two coats of paint later, I'm starting to feel the love.

And once I get my hands on the stickers, or "decals", I'm really diggin' it!

If I could just figure out how to use the flash without getting a glare...

And... ta-da! The finished product. This is what it looked like just about 5 minutes ago. The stickers didn't fall off!! Yay! My somewhat-new-and-improved living space.

Now, I wonder what my husband will think when he arrives home from his trip...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Waiting for midnight...

Well, I didn't get any writing done today - jeepers! What the heck did I do all day? Oh, yeah. I took pictures and made sure my computer was all cleaned up (for fear of that stupid worm!) Then I went to work, picked up the kids, took them home, went to Home Depot to buy paint, got take-out, ate, read a comment about how someone doesn't like my new blog format (sad face), and now I'm sitting here again. Still not getting any writing done...

Well, maybe I'll kick into gear near midnight. In the meantime, I guess I'll just check my email and then go paint that wall. So I can put the stickers on it tomorrow. Yeah, stickers. Nice ones, mind you. I'll be sure to post a pic when it's done... Now that I have my own camera! (Have I told you I got a new camera?)

You can run, but you can't hide

So far so good... no sign of the dreaded worm.

I just got a new camera yesterday and I'm so excited about it. Now I don't have to borrow my daughter's camera anymore. (Believe me, she has sighed a huge sigh of relief.) It's the coolest camera ever. I've been driving everyone crazy, walking around taking snaps of everything and everyone. Here are a few:

Me (okay, I didn't take this one, my daughter did)

Part of my work space (no, I didn't arrange it especially for the picture!)

My husband making a face, as usual

The cutest dog in the world

My daughter, taking pictures of random things like her mom's doing

A fan, just because

The son who doesn't mind getting photographed (although, I think he's mocking me here)

A bad, blurry shot of me taking a picture of my camera. Can you tell I like the sepia mode, best?

The word on the wall above my writing desk. Trust me, I need to see it everyday!

Well, that's it for now... Better do some writing today.