Fall into Perfection

In the quiet of a late September day, the lake welcomed us into her waters, lapping against the sides of our boat in anticipation of our visit.

Sun and wind against our faces, we trolled along the shoreline marvelling at the beauty of this perfect autumn day. Trees are succumbing to the season; their leaves changing into subtle reds, oranges and yellows and slowly blending into the landscape. And I thought, what a difference a week can make. Last week we were bracing for Fiona and then enduring the wind, rain and power outages. So sorry to hear that there are people in the province heading into a second week without power. My heart goes out to them.

Now heading into October, we had our first frost overnight as the temperature dipped to -3 c at our location. It is time, something that can’t be denied, although we try and pretend that this year might be different. September seemed to be an unusually warm month. Seasons change as they are meant to, just as life changes, sometimes so subtly we barely take notice, other times that change can come in the blink of an eye. I welcome autumn with an open heart. It’s my favourite season.

I have been spending much time reflecting lately and deciding what is truly important in life as well as trying to put some of these beliefs into practise. I’m anxious to explore some different themes in my writing and recently finished the first draft of a short story, the idea for which I’d been thinking about for quite some time.

My next middle grade novel is due to be released around the first part of November. Hopefully, it will be back from the printer on time! It is a simple story but one I’m so happy to be sharing. I’ve been going through my library of photos, looking for possible images to use for another book trailer as well as finding the words to condense a novel into a few short sentences–all challenging. But I do so enjoy that kind of challenge.

May we allow these pleasant autumn days to fill our hearts with joy. May we look out at the world each day and see the beauty that surrounds us moment by moment. And may the season fill our hearts with a sense of joy and peace, something our world is in desperate need of. Happy fall!

After Fiona

While Fiona has come and gone here in the Atlantic Provinces, she left much behind to remember her by. Here in my small corner we lost power for about a day and a half but we sustained very little damage from the wind. We are so very fortune to have escaped Fiona’s wrath, but my heart goes out to other places in the Atlantic Provinces where trees were uprooted, homes destroyed and washed out to sea, as well as loss of life. I can’t begin to imagine what these people are going through. There will be so much clean-up in the days and weeks ahead.

This link will take you to some photos of the damage. Here

Thoughts and prayers to all those dealing with the aftermath of Fiona.

Staying Safe During the Storm

As we prepare here in Nova Scotia for the arrival of Hurricane Fiona, many of us are reminiscing about the time Hurricane Juan hit the province back in September 2003. It is almost impossible to imagine that was nearly twenty years ago. Reports are coming out that Fiona could be worse than Juan. In my small corner of the province, we faired well during that storm but Halifax did not. At this point, we can only hope the damage from Fiona will be minimal. She has a nasty side to her.

I have storm chips, storm chocolate, a good storm book, and my laptop is charged so that I can work on the short story I began awhile back.

Now is the time to wait.

Will see you on the other side of the storm. Take care and stay safe.

Those Old Ads

The old magazine ads had plenty of panache, unlike what we see today. I once inherited some old magazines from decades back.

I love flipping through the pages from time to time and catching a glimpse of what life might have been like. I find the colours, the imagines inspiring. The world is changing rapidly. We now rely on tv ads and the ads that appear in our social media feeds, the ones the powers-that-be decide we should see!

The ads I’ve posted have a lot going on and I enjoy taking notice of the details. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

I am taking some time out from novel writing to work on a short story that suddenly edged its way to the surface, demanding that I do something about it and, quiet honestly, I’ve been enjoying the process.

As we head further into September, may you enjoy your weekend and the hint of fall that is in the air.

The End of an Era

“Time will pass and seasons will come and go.” Roy Bean.

All things come to an end, it’s part of the flow and ebb of life as we know it. There are times when we may choose to believe it to be different, that the people in our lives will always be there, but that’s impossible.

Yesterday marked the passing of our queen and it was a sad day for many of us. It has been wonderful to see the photos and clips of Her Majesty over the years, something that technology so easily allows.

I wanted to share some photos that I love of Queen Elizabeth that were published in some old magazines and perhaps ones that are not being shown on social media. I hope you enjoy them.

When looking into the eyes of this young princess, it is hard to imagine all that lies ahead for her.

What we can say is that she lived a good long life and was adored by many.

Life, Writing and Deep-Fried Pickles

Life is not always what we want it to be or even expect it to be or wish it to be. Sometimes life takes on a “life” of it’s own and we feel as though we are solely at the mercy of outside influences. Sometimes we fight against the obstacles that have been placed in our way, other times we dodge around them. But if we’re very lucky, we can follow along the path, kind of go with the flow and not allow those obstacles to throw us off course. Yes, that can sometimes be boring and difficult as old heck, but there have been many times when I’ve just had to let go and allow life to happen–at least for a little while- simply because there was absolutely nothing I could do to change it. Sometimes acceptance is our best friend.

Just a few days ago, a friend and I spent time together, talking and laughing and enjoying the view. We didn’t solve any world problems but sometimes a shared burger and deep fried pickles is all that’s required. I was able to let go and enjoy our outing and sometimes that is the best thing a friend can do. I have missed not having “real” conversations. Text messages are simply not the same.

I have much to be grateful for and those are the things I’m trying very hard to concentrate on at the moment. I’m anxiously awaiting the publication of my next middle grade novel and just last week an ARC came to my mailbox which means that they will be sent out to reviewers and hopefully, it will receive a few early reviews before the publication date in November. This is it, Lark Harnish is now available for preorder through Amazon and apparently receiving preorders is a good thing, although honestly, I don’t really understand a lot when it comes to Amazon. It can also be preordered though Chapters and your local independent book store.

This summer, I have been hard at work on a first draft of another adult novel. If all goes well that first draft will be finished in a week or two. My plan is to let it sit then for a few months while I get back to work on my next middle grade novel. For me, writing sometimes requires me to pull away from the story and allow it to simmer and trust in the Universe to let me know when it is ready to start writing again.

As August slips slowly away, I am trying to enjoy each day as it comes, going along with life’s flow, putting my thoughts and ideas into words. Life gives us mountains and valleys–all of us. None of us are immune. Sometimes all that is required is for us to enjoy the deep fried pickles that come our way and let go of life’s worries.

I hope your summer is going well and may the path you’re following lead you to where you need to go.

The Final Cover

It is always exciting for a writer to see their upcoming book in the publisher’s catalogue.

Fall 2022 Catalogue

BTW This is it, Lark Harnish is on page 22.

That being what it is, the catalogues give readers and books sellers a great opportunity to check out books the publisher is bringing out in the upcoming season. Please take a look as there are some real gems within the pages of the Nimbus Fall Catalogue.

News came that Lark will be headed off to the printer this week and along with that news came the full cover for the book.

Time is closing in.

Lark’s story is a simple one, but one I am so happy to share with my readers. It has been a very long time coming. I am so happy to have persisted.

And the Rain Came Down

Eventually the rain comes, as it did yesterday here in Nova Scotia. It alternated between heavy downpours, quickly shifting to a gentle pelting of rain and then back once again. The gardens are in great need of rain as are the brooks and streams and lakes. Everything needs rain.

And then I awoke to the sound of rain outside this morning, so pleased that it was still falling.

Summer is quickly dwindling and with it the plans I had at the start of the summer for things I wanted to accomplish. For weeks we suffered an unbearable heat which disrupted my plans. It’s so difficult to work outside when experiencing temps of 41 f with the humidex counted in.

Our oldest granddaughter was able to get in an extended visit this summer, something that hadn’t happened for the past two years and so we tried to visit some places around the province with the limited time we have for going out. We managed to visit some interesting places fairly close to home which was fun. One does not have to go far to build lasting memories. But now she is home and we are left with the gentle sound of rain outside.

I will return to working on the first draft of my next novel and, hopefully, get back on track with some of the odd jobs we’re hoping to accomplish while summer is still here. Time pulls us along, through days and weeks and eventually months. Soon we’ll see small hints of fall and before we know it, the leaves will turn and eventually fall to the ground. Summer will fade into the background as we look ahead to the coming seasons.

I hope where you are, you’re experiencing some gentle rain today. In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow—“The Best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

Publishing News–Change is a Coming

I just wanted to share this exciting news with all of you. I’ve just signed a contract for my next book with Nimbus Publishing, due out in Spring 2024. Yes, I know that’s a bit in the future and I expect many of you will forget this news until that time comes, but that is okay. I will keep you up on what’s going on, sharing covers, etc. Publishing is not known for it’s speediness. In the meantime, I’ve been working on a few other projects and am feeling so good to be back writing on a regular basis after floundering for the past few years, due to a plethora of obligations that has taken my attention away from writing, the way life does for all of us.

This new book will be different from what you’ve been used to seeing from me in the past in that it is young adult novel with a contemporary setting and explores some heavy topics. I’d share the title but it could change before now and the publication date so I’ll wait until that has been established. The main character is also a young guy who loves hockey. With that said, it’s not a hockey story although hockey does make up one element in the book. I was so fortunate to have a friend read over the hockey bits and set me on the right track. It made such a difference to the chapter. Her suggestions were so helpful and insightful and there is nothing better than constructive criticism. In fact, I welcome it.

So that is my exciting publishing news for now and I hope none of you will be disappointed with the changes. I’m sure I won’t stop writing historic fiction, as I do have some ideas brewing, but I also have a few ideas for more contemporary stories as well. Time will tell.

So, it is back to the keyboard for me as I wait for the publication of my new book in November!

The Fairy Cottages

Summer has been passing like a breeze, quickly and invisibly, each day slipping by us unannounced until we reach the end of the day and start over again–a continual cycle.

These days, I’m mindful to say a quiet “thank you” at the start of each day as I lie in bed listening to the birds outside my window, and feeling the gentle breeze coming in through the open window. I smile, because it is such a precious thing to awake each morning to start another day. So many people around me have come to the end of their journey, much sooner than I would have thought. It has made me conscious of the fragility of life and how very precious each day is. There is wonder to be held all around us in so many of the little things we tend to take for granted.

I recently went to Halls Harbour to see what some folks call the Fairy Cottages. It is really a good name for them. They seem almost magical and I’m in awe of the artistry that went into them. I’ve also heard them called the Jelly Bean Cottages, another excellent name.

The houses were made of concrete in the 1930’s and I can only imagine what the folks in the area thought of them at the time. While I’m not able to go far these days because of the circumstances in my life, I’ve been more appreciative of those every day things around me. This was one of the places I’d hoped to visit this summer. So glad for the opportunity to go back.

For anyone interested, you can enter a raffle to spend three nights and four days in the Blue Cottage. All the details are HERE. You will also find lots of information on the site about the cottages.

I would love to hear that someone I knew entered and won this package!

While I’m not one for telling others what they should do, I would suggest that you look for the wonder in your world each day. It really is all around us, in the details we so often overlook. There is so much to be grateful for.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

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