Bitter, Sweet on Vacation

Apparently my book has it pretty darn good–so good that it has travelled further than I have ever dreamed of going. (Nope I don’t mean the moon!) To tell the truth it wouldn’t have to go far to out do me. Totally pathetic, yet totally true. Recently, my book went on a cruise with my sister—the lucky duck. Here are some of the great photos she sent me to rub my nose in it for my viewing pleasure. I love it!

Looking lonely at the Boston Airport--Yup that's my baby sister

St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands

San Juan, Puerto Rico

In Grand Turk--I can't believe it took her that long to read my book!

Thanks, Kelly! I’m glad my book was such a good sport. Next time you go, instead of taking my book, could you maybe take me? ;)

Check It Out!

Lynn Davidson is at it again! This time she’s giving away a copy of Billy Coffey‘s book Snow Day on her blog.

To be entered in the contest all you have to do is leave a comment on Lynn’s blog. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Now, doesn’t it? Here’s the link to Lynn’s blog.

So what are you waiting for? I mean, there’s a book out there just waiting to be won.

Oh, and good luck!

Just to let you know that I’m guest blogging over at Peggy Blair’s blog today where you can find out how I snagged a publisher.

Buy Book or Buy Nook

All this talk about ebooks these days leaves me thinking I just “don’t know much.”

I recently learned from author, Linda Cassidy Lewis, that a Nook is a Barnes and Nobleereader. If you haven’t checked out Linda’s blog yet you should. Linda is the midst of preparing her novel, The Brevity of Roses for publication. She’s one of many authors these days who are choosing to go Indie. It’s been interesting following her journey.

Now that I’ve been newly educated I learned, just this morning, from my publisher that Bitter, Sweet is now available as an ebook. Talk about timing! At the moment it’s only available on the Barnes and Noble site, but it will also be available for a Kobo soon. I’ve been told it’s a bit of a complicated process.

I’ve included the link here if you care to check it out.

It’s all very new for Nimbus and they’ve only just begun to prepare their backlist. Hmm. I know this is the way the publishing industry is headed, but I can’t help but hold onto the hope that our paper version of books will not disappear off the face of the planet one day. Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t see myself using an ereader anytime soon. Still, if I’ve learned anything in fifty years it’s to never say never. I would imagine that publishing companies have to keep up with the times. It’s an interesting world we live in.

How do you all feel about ereaders? Do you own one, plan to own one, or plan never to own one?

Way Out There

Earlier this week I was caught off guard when a blogging friend left a comment on my other blog…

Yeah, I know! I haven’t mentioned it on here yet, I was just trying it on for size before spilling the beans because it’s just that new! But when I tweeted some pictures I’d taken of the Super Moon with a link to this other blog the jig was up so to speak….Carol, you’re actually one of those tweeps who click on links. And we all know it’s kind of hard to hide on the internet..

Anyway, it’s basically a picture blog with photos taken in and around Dalhousie, perhaps some other rural locations in Nova Scotia. Whatever suits my fancy.There are a few photos on there a friend of mine sent along that are simple gorgeous. (Thanks again Ericka)

I added a tab at the top of this blog and I know a few observant people have noticed. Any who, here’s the link to my other blog if you’re interested in having a peek. ……way out here in Dalhousie

Keep in mind I’m not a photographer and I don’t pretend to be one. This is more about recording life in a small rural community in Nova Scotia.

A Step Back in Time

Earlier this week I came across a copy of the Star Weekly Magazine published back in 1951. I love that time period! I took some photos of some of the ads from years ago and decided to share them. I think I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. We don’t see ads like these anymore, do we? Keep in mind the magazine’s been folded up for sixty years and so the quality of the photos is not great.

The Cover of Star Weekly--August 1951

Campbell's Soup Mmm mmm Good!

Have a great weekend!

The Inside Scoop on Inside Jokes

Pauline over at Brightest Blue inspired this post when she asked me if I ever include inside jokes in my novels that only my family and close friends would understand. I thought it was an excellent question, one that no one else had ever asked before.
My immediate thought was—Oh yes I do!

A writer’s work is quite personal and close to the heart. While the story can be completely fabricated, we take many of those little snippets that make up real life, and put them in our work. Every writer is an observer. We play attention to details. Then we record what we see and hear, weaving it into our prose as we go. Perhaps this is why our novels are so very personal to us–so much of ourselves goes into the books we write.

I’ve known painters who include a symbol somewhere in their paintings, something that would go unnoticed by many, but something that is quite personal to them. I think it’s something fairly common.

Could it be that this is similar to what a writer does?

Our family has a lot of little inside jokes. No doubt many families do. Would other people find our jokes humourous? Probably not. Most of our jokes would fall into the “You had to be there” category. Let me just say we’re a pretty silly bunch. Just ask any of the people who “know” us in real life.Too many funny things have happened over the years, and for me laughter is one of our most precious gifts.

Is it tempting to put some of these inside jokes in the stories I write? Oh I have to admit it is VERY tempting. Being the one in control allows me the freedom to do what I want, and make it as personal as I want. While there is nothing comical in my writing I still take pleasure in including these inside jokes in my stories. Usually it is a single word that holds some meaning, although sometimes a short saying can bring the giggles out of us as well. Of course it has too fit naturally into the story, no awkwardness just for the sake of slipping it into a story.

Pauline’s question made me curious about the rest of you. So I’ve go to ask:

Do you include inside jokes in the stories you write? Or, like a painter who uses a symbol of importance in their work, do you place words of importance in the stories you write?

I bet you didn’t expect such a long-winded answer, Pauline. I’ll just say thanks for the inspiration.

The Big Picture

They say, look at the big picture of your life. Evidently my picture was painted by drunk monkeys.

Sometimes Facebook is good for a laugh or two. I saw this written in someone’s status and thought it was hilarious. Silly things like that just make me laugh because the words conjure up so much for me without having to stop and think about it in detail.

Writing is sometimes like that, we put the words down with a vague sense of all they really mean. Some things do not need explanation, they are a part of our thought process, a knowing that comes from within, without our having to contemplate the full meaning.

Those are the words I like best.

The Last Remaining Dodo

Wow. I was working on a post earlier today that sounded so self-defeating that I had to stop because I was making myself cranky in the process. A cranky Laura is no fun to be around. I knew I had to put a stop to that before it escalated into something so ugly I wouldn’t dare look at it.

I wanted to compare myself to the last remaining Dodo bird and the fact that Wikipedia told me that “few took particular notice of the bird immediately after its extinction.” A sobering thought and yet for awhile I considered just how much truth there was in that statement.

I mean, how totally self-absorbed does that sound to you?

Tsk! Tsk! I say.

So what if I spend a good deal of my time alone if I’m doing what I truly love? So what if I’m told you should have come along when nobody bothered to tell me they were going? I probably wouldn’t have even noticed what I missed out on, it being after the fact and all. So what if others assume that writers demand constant solitude and the shoulder of another writer to cry on when things are rough? I’m tough. I can take it!

I sometimes think people are frightened of writers, that to some we are scary beyond belief. What’s really going on in our minds? What weird, far out there, thoughts are we thinking? What mental notes are we taking?

But guess what? Before I was a writer I was like every other non-writer out there. That’s if I was to separate the world in that way, which I wouldn’t.

I get that many people find what I do hard to relate to. Many non-writers love the fact that writers have written when there is something solid and tangible for them to hold in their hands, the process of which doesn’t interest them in the least, and maybe it doesn’t have to. Maybe that is asking too much, and writers should simply understand that and call it good.

And yet we are not just writers are we? Non-writers tell me about their interests, their desires, their plans and I don’t think I have ever once told them that I couldn’t relate to it.

Why?

Because I relate to feeling their joy, and hearing what’s new in their lives. I love seeing what they are creating even though it has nothing to do with written words. I take pleasure in seeing their faces light up when they have something beautiful to share even if it is not completely finished.

I find it difficult sometimes to keep my writing life and my non-writing life separate especially when I’m excited about some new WIP I’m working at and the person I happen to be talking to is not a writer. Yet I’ve learned over time that most non-writers view the process of writing as if it were a foreign language. And so I try and respect their wishes and keep what I’m working on to myself even if that sometimes leaves me feeling, for a brief time, like the last remaining Dodo.

Have you ever felt like the last remaining Dodo?

Little Stinker

Okay I’ll admit it— I’ve been slack this past week. My WIP has not been worked on at all. It is true, I did put up a blog post but it takes little effort to hit publish once the post is waiting and ready to go. I did manage to reply to comments that came in, but I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on. I’ll try to be a better blogger. :)

There’s usually a reason for everything and here’s mine.

We had a visitor this week, and well I was kept kind of busy. Here’s Miss Charlotte’s 11 month picture taken a few hours before she left for home. Yup, that’s right, the little stinker is almost a year old. How the time flies.

Now she’s back home safe and sound. By the sounds of the gurgling I heard on the other end of the phone she’s probably thinking there’s no place like home..

Thanks for visiting, Miss Charlotte.

What Makes Me Love You?

I’ve been thinking about what makes me love a book, and about what things need to be present in order for me to declare my love.

Often times, I can tell by the first page if I’m going to enjoy a particular book. There is something in certain books that is present from the beginning. The tone, the voice, is there from the start, and I immediately feel that connection to the characters in the story, the reasons why I even give a damn.

Even with the tone, the voice being right there, I still need a good story to sink my teeth in. I don’t necessarily need an action-packed book with twists and turns galore in order for me to be smitten.

Characters are important to me. I need to know their thoughts, feel their emotions. I need to hurt when they hurt, and soar off into the clouds when they finally reach their heart’s desire. I don’t need to even know what they look like. Chances are any description, unless it is something out of the ordinary, will be forgotten as I become engaged in the story.

I also like what I call clever writing, writing that makes me see the world in a way that I previously had not considered, or else those bits that make me sit up and take notice, declare, “Oh my God that’s exactly right!” You’ve got to love the author who can do that.

The book I’m reading at the moment is good solid writing. I would challenge anyone to say otherwise. However, here are no eloquent phrases, nor flowing sentences, no lovely passages that insist, “read me” one more time. Did I mention that those are some of the things I also like to see in a good book?

When describing this book I compared it to one of those books that we don’t want to put down, but saying that in the case of this book I wouldn’t care if I pick it up again. And yet, it doesn’t mean I hate it. If I don’t finish it I won’t really care because there’s a question that is plaguing me about this book and it’s this:

Where’s the story?

This is what I keep asking as I forge onward.

In order to make up for the plethora of questions I asked in an earlier post I’ve decided to leave you with one this time.

What is more important to you in a book the writing or the story?