Prolific Blogger Award

I’ve apparently been nominated by Dave Ebright, author of  “Bad Latitude,” for the Prolific Blogger Award.

There are many wonderful bloggers out there, and I really do not come anywhere near their level. But I will take my own advice and just say “thank you” to Dave for adding me to his list.

I’ve decided to pass this award on to some people I have met during my short time in the blogging community who have served as an inspiration to me, have given me plenty to think about, and a few chuckles along the way.

The seven individuals I have chosen are Tricia Sutton, Jennifer Neri, Linda– Out of my Mind, Ev– Write here, Write now,  Leah– Unleash the Flying Monkeys, Kayla—- Owl and Sparrow and Helen, Newtowritinggirl.

Ladies, you have  been an inspiration !

As with most things there are rules that go along with the award and, as we all know, rules were meant to be broken so I will leave it up to each recipient to decide what they wish to do with their award.

So,  here are Prolific Blogger Award Rules:

Every winner is expected to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers, to link to the blog from which he/she has received the award and, to also link back to this post, which explains the award. As if that isn’t enough you are also asked to visit the above post and add your name to the list.

That’s it! Pretty simple.

Canada Post—You Rock!

Seems as if we’re not complaining about the weather, we’re complaining about the mail service. Where do those missing letters go to that end up being delivered many years later? I mean, how do they suddenly get back into the mail service after all that time? Everyone seems to have their own postal “horror story.” Either that or we dislike the ever-rising cost of postage, especially writers. Those manuscripts can cost a fortune to mail out! Online submissions have helped cut down costs to some degree but not every manuscript can be emailed, especially not the big bulky ones.

But this week I was so totally impressed by Canada Post, I just had to share it with someone. Last Friday afternoon, I made a stop at the post office to send off two parcels, one to Kentville (30 miles away), the other to Ontario. I love the little tracking number we now get when we mail parcels. No worrying or wondering if your parcel arrives at its destination.

What a nifty idea! Wow! Did I just say nifty?

The postal worker told me that the mail wouldn’t go out until Monday morning which I pretty much knew. Did I want to pay extra to ensure it would arrive within three business days, she asked? Nope, not THAT important. I knew they’d get there eventually.

So, this afternoon, I decided to check online to see how far the parcels had gone. I figured the one heading to Kentville had likely been delivered, but one never knows.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my local parcel arrived a few hours ( that’s right— hours)after it had been sent and the Ontario parcel made it there on Tuesday morning…

Who needs three day service?

For a fleeting moment I wanted to cry out, but the parcel I sent my niece, who lives in Halifax, took a week and two days to be delivered how did Canada Post manage Ontario in a day and a half?

I’ll admit, I was left wondering. I decided, however, that somethings really don’t require an answer. Somethings are simply meant to be accepted.

I guess the whole point I’m trying to make is this, so often we’re quick to jump on something that doesn’t meet our standards in some way. We complain far and wide to anyone within ear shot. But how often do we give credit for all those times when things go along smoothly? Might I venture to say not nearly as many times as when something goes awry?

So, thank you Canada Post for a job well done! I hope you keep up the good work. In return for your terrific service, now and in the future, I promise not to complain the next time the price of a stamp goes up!

Country Roads

I’ve already mention the new anthology coming out this spring from Nimbus.

To my understanding, the front cover of the book has not yet been finalized, and will be different from what appears in the catalogue at the moment. If and when I get a file of the finished cover, I will be sure to post it so that everyone can have a peek.

This anthology has been a long time in the making, with a few major setbacks, but I’m pretty sure it will be well worth the wait. .

When the call went out a few years back, I wasn’t really sure if I should attempt it. I honestly didn’t think I could put together a non-fiction piece since I’ve always considered non-fiction tougher to write than fiction. But, I decided to give it a try anyway. I figured I didn’t have anything to loose. Now I’m glad I did!

So, the official title is:

Country Roads: Memoirs from Rural Canada

I’ve added a link to the Nimbus Spring Catalogue. (I noticed that Bitter, Sweet also made it into the 2010  Spring catalogue. Yay!!)

As the publication date closes in, a few more editorial changes are being made to help fine tune the anthology by clarifying a few terms in some of the pieces. (Editors do like to edit!)

How many of you know what a “chopping” is? How about a” grab bag”? Do you know if Christmas trees growing in the wild are” trimmed “or” sheared”?

It’s easy to see that because a word or term is common in a certain area, doesn’t mean it is easily understood by the general public.  I wonder if this is more common in rural areas, although I’m sure we could all give plenty of examples. Feel free to throw some out there if you’d like to.

Whatever the case, it makes the English language that much more interesting. Don’t you think?

So today, I’m thinking about grag bags and choppings, and reminiscing about days gone by…

A Gift From The Heart

As they say, the best gifts are gifts from the heart.

I just wanted to share with you a gift my daughter gave me for Christmas this year.

I also think it was pretty cool that she painted it on a fungi from the woods here in Dalhousie. If you’ve read “Bitter, Sweet” you’ll understand how important the woods were in the book.

The Art of Dragging One’s Heels

This week I decided it’s time to dust off some manuscripts and get them ready to send off. I’ll admit I’ve been rather slack in that area this past while. I guess there’s an obvious lesson here—- Is it’s not enough to write the darn thing, I also have to get it in the mail.

At the beginning of each New Year I start a list of submissions so that I can keep track of where things are and how long they’ve been gone. For anyone sending out submissions it’s also a good way to keep track of where you’ve sent things in the past. You wouldn’t want to waste your time sending a story to the same magazine more than once. Since I rarely send out multiple submissions, it can often be a long slow process before a story is actually accepted for publication.

With the publication of the book it’s been easy for me to forget the fact that —hey, you know what? I write short stories, too. I can guarantee that a story sitting in a file on my computer isn’t going to miraculously appear in a literary journal one day all by itself. Mind you, it would be a welcomed thing but life just doesn’t work that way for some reason. I also like to remind myself that simply because there’s a book out there with my name on it doesn’t mean I can sit back with my feet up.

I have some projects that have been idling for awhile that I want to get back to, but in order to do that I have to resist the temptation to start something new. I’ll admit that I’m hearing some whisperings in the background that I’m trying very much to ignore —at least for the time being. I’m not sure how long I can hold off.

So there I am this week, printing and mailing and starting all over. Guess I needed to remind myself that there’s still work to be done. I believe I’ve perfected the art of dragging my heels long enough.

So speak up and admit it—- what have you been dragging your heels about lately?

Did You Like My Book?

So, I’m not THAT brave. I never ask the “Did you like my book?” question when someone mentions having read my book.

Do I hope they enjoyed it?

Do I hope they became emotional involved in the lives of the Burbidges?

Absolutely.

I can say without reservation that without the reader having the book published would have been pointless.

See how important you all are?

I did have one author ask me this  question once and I’ve thought about it quite a little bit especially now that Bitter, Sweet is in the bookstores. I still marvel at what a brave question it was to ask.

Luckily, I did enjoy the book but I’ve wondered what my reaction would have been had I not liked it. Would I have been brave enough to say if I hadn’t? It’s a tough question any way you look at it.

A lot of people who know me have bought the book and of course they’re going to form opinions one way or the other. It’s only natural.  And although I may be as curious as all get out as to what their opinion is they’ll NEVER hear me utter those five little words.

So I’m curious about the rest of you.  Just how brave are you?

To the writers out there—- Do you think you’d ever ask someone if they enjoyed your book? And to the readers— If you disliked a book and the author asked you if you enjoyed it would you be brave enough to say you didn’t, would you lie and say you loved it or would you dodge the question by saying something like, “I found it quite interesting?”

All Those Rejections

Rejection is something that we all must learn to live with, and it’s not always a bad thing. It’s all in how we choose to think about it. I’m sure about now you’re wondering— who the heck is she trying to kid?

We’ve all felt the sting of rejection, at one time or another, regardless of who we are. It’s just the way life is.  But, the way I see it, if it wasn’t for the rejections in life the acceptances would be meaningless.

Think about it for a moment.

Try and imagine a world were we succeeded at everything we did. Where would the challenge be? I’d venture to say we might even find ourselves bored to tears. Would you even bother to try anything new if you knew there was absolutely no challenge, that you’d succeed on your very first try?

For most writers rejections are a dime a dozen and I’m no different. Though all my years of writing I have received a very impressive supply of rejection slips. And being the pack rat that I am I’ve saved each and every one. At the time it seemed to make good sense. It was proof of all my hard work on those days when I used to wonder if it was all worth it.

I’m called to remember a certain day, years ago, when I was tickled pink to have received three acceptances in one day for various short stories I had submitted. Just imagine…Three acceptances all in one day!!! I was on top of the world. I soon came back down when, shortly thereafter, I received four rejections in one day. Sounds quite impossible but it’s the truth. My, but the Universe does have a way of keeping us humble.

Most of my rejection slips are simple form letters. One is addressed to “Laurie.” (Have I mentioned I despise being called Laurie? Not that Laurie is a bad name…In fact, it’s a perfectly fine name…It’s just not my name) One editor thanked me for sending my poems…Um ….Poems?.. Hello….I sent a short story. One rejection letter even sent me back material that was meant for another writer. And no, in case you’re wondering, her name wasn’t Laurie.

On the flip side of that, I’ve also received some very lovely rejection letters with valuable bits of advice and words of encouragement that spurred me onward. Had it not been for some of those rejection letters I might have given up writing long before I ever received my first acceptance. That’s why I say that rejection is not always a bad thing.

But now I’m ready to say so long to all those saved rejection slips. It’s a brand new year not to mention a brand new decade. I no longer have room for those letters in my life. They’ve outlived their usefulness. I’m tired of them taking up space in my life. I’ve worked hard over the years. My acceptances are proof of that. No need to cling to that negative stuff anymore.

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