September Catch-up Post

Oh wow, where did summer go? Seriously, I want to know what happened to this entire season that only began a few short weeks ago. Is it hiding? Did it get lost? Did someone steal it? Did it disappear all on its own? Abducted by aliens? Come on. This is simply ridiculous.

I’ve been busy working and writing and gardening and editing and grand parenting and knitting. The edits for the sequel to Flying with a Broken Wing are moving long. I finished two rounds with my editor Penelope Jackson who is really wonderful to work with. I worked with her on the edits for the last book and was really pleased to have her as an editor again. From what I’ve been told the advanced reading copies (you know, the ones that get sent out early to reviewers and the like) will be ready to send out early winter. I expect there will be some small changes to the manuscript once the proofreaders go through it and who knows maybe I’ll see a thing or two I might want to change. (But just minor changes at this point.)

So with the edits done (for the most part) I’ve been working on a few other writing projects. Again this summer, I took my books to the Heritage Blueberry Festival in Parkdale and I also took part in the Rural Arts and Life Tour. I met a lot of people and sold some books, but most importantly I had a great time. I picked up a few gifts at the gift shop in the Parkdale/Maplewood Museum. They have a great little gift shop and museum. If you’ve never been there plan to check it out sometime.

Despite having the lack of rain this summer, the garden managed to grow. We weren’t overrun with zucchini or pumpkins this year which was a bit of a relief. Luckily, hubby cut back on how many seeds he planted. You really don’t need ten + zucchini plants. Those buggers multiply like rabbits. This photo of dsc07829the LaHave River was taken in early August.  Many of our rivers are nothing but beds of rock. We’ve recently had a bit of rain but no where near enough to bring the water levels up. I read this morning that this is the driest summer on record and that we can expect more of the same in  the years ahead. Wells are going dry. Serious stuff.

Work…what can I say? Work.

Miss Charlotte got in a visit to Nova Scotia this summer which was nice even despite the fact that we had to work. She’s headed into to grade one this year and really loving it! The twins turned one in September. I’m not sure where that year went either. Hmm, seems to be that time is dwindling everywhere I turn. I think that happens as we age. But don’t quote me on that. Little Levi is a going concern and talking a blue streak these days. He’s filled with “whys” and other questions. He’s a boy on the go.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to share the cover of my new book with all of you soon. They’ll want it finalized to put in the spring catalogue. Not sure when that gets put together but I believe it will be relatively soon. So keep your fingers crossed. I’m getting pretty excited to see it. As you’ve probably noticed publishing is a mighty slow business. Of course they’re planning ahead all the time so they are always very busy getting their titles ready for publication. It just seems slow to all of us.

Oh yes, knitting. If you’re on Facebook with me you might be aware that I’m knitting a few pairs of slippers for a friend’s mother, trying to squeeze that in during my spare time. I’m having coffee with her next weekend so I need to be all ready for then. Three of us , friends since high school, get together once a year to catch up on all our news. It’s always a fun time.

So, that was just a bit of what’s been happening in my little corner. Nothing exciting. Just every day. The exiting life of a published writer!

My Rainbow

Rainbows introduce us to reflections of different beautiful possibilities so we never forget that pain and grief are not the final options in life. ~~Aberjhani

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I like to think that rainbows are kind of special. And when one touches down in the lake where you live well maybe it means something….

This weekend I went to a celebration of life for a friend of mine. I’ve been thinking a lot about her since she passed away, remembering her laugh, the way she’d crinkle her nose and give a little sniff, and the times when she’d wag her finger at me and jokingly say, “Listen here little girl.”  We didn’t see each other often, although at one time we did work together, but some people you feel a certain connection to even when you’re not exactly sure why. Times like this I’m reminded of how fleeting life is and how, at the end of the day, we are the memories we leave behind in the lives of the people we’ve touched. In this journey we call life, it is the most precious gift we can give to those we leave behind.

Peace to you, my friend, as you continue to live on in our memory. Your journey is not over.

You will be missed.

Edits and Relish and Leaves

I’m interrupting my edits to give you zucchini relish…

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This is one of two batches I made over the weekend as well as dill pickles. Sorry, no photo of the pickles. Hubby already took them to the basement.  He’s so efficient that way.  😉

And coloured leaves…

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We’ve been seeing leaves of various colours along the roadside. It’s only the middle of August. What’s up with that?

Okay, so I’m on a tight schedule here with the edits but sometimes you’ve got to live life. Do I need to be writing a blog post. Nope. But I am just the same. Why? Because I feel like it.

Yesterday, we went to a 50th Anniversary party for friends of ours. I snapped the leaf photo on the way home, ground up the veggies for relish to sit overnight, and took a dive into the edits. This morning I cooked the relish and sealed them in jars with the help of Hubby who’s pretty helpful in that department.  As I said, my schedule is tight, what with working five days a week and making pickles and relish, but a part of me likes having a date looming over me. It makes me determined to get things the way I want them. I love working on edits and my editor has asked some challenging questions about the the story. I’ll have to turn to my mum to clarify some things about the Halifax School For the Blind because she’s my expert in that department. It’s great having an inside source.

Okay, so time to get back into the edits. When things slow down, I’ll let you know a bit more about the book. Maybe even give you a peek at the cover. Gotta go. Wish me luck!

 

Stepping Back in Time

Yesterday, I took a step back in time, just like the advertisements told me too. (Hey, I’m easily persuaded. What can I say? 😉 )This year marks New Ross’ 200th Anniversary and that’s something to be celebrated. What’s my connection to New Ross? New Ross is actually my next door neighbour and I have lots of friends, and some family, living there. I love this little community and the people in it. It even got a mention in my last book!

Since I’m a supporting-local-kind of gal, I couldn’t imagine not being at the parade. Coincidentally, I’d heard a few stories about the 100th parade from my friend Oran. I wrote a blog post about her awhile back because she was such an amazing person.  If you didn’t already read it you can by clicking this link HERE. I wish now I’d asked her more about the celebration in 1916.

Here are a few highlights from the parade. Keep in mind that New Ross is a community that relies on the agriculture and forestry industry and this was certainly reflected in yesterday’s parade entries.

You can’t have a parade without a marching band. Well, you can but…..

DSC07662The New Ross Historic Society had a float in the parade with people decked out in period costumes.

DSC07674Nothing says rural Nova Scotia like the 4-H club. I’m pretty sure most everyone in New Ross belonged to 4-H sometime during their youth.

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The Christmas Tree Industry was well represented. J& M Reeves Christmas Greens. Hey, there’s Jeanette, Matthew, Rylie, Barb, Gracie and I think I see John’s arm in the background. Hmm sitting down on the job, I see.  😉

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The Christmas Tree Festival. An entire weekend in December to celebrate this industry that is so important to this area. If you drive through New Ross during the festival you’ll see these carolers everywhere.

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The logging industry was well represented with floats from Murray A. Reeves Forestry Ltd. and Colin Hughes Enterprises Ltd.

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The final float I’m posting was from Gina’s Hairstyling . It was one of my favourites. Even had a barbershop quartet singing.

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So there are a few highlights of the parade as I saw it. I couldn’t possibly post photos of all the floats in the parade, but for those of you who are not familiar with New Ross perhaps this will give you a small glimpse into the culture and lives of those living in this small community that was first settled in 1816. Congratulations New Ross for continuing with the traditions of rural Nova Scotia.

If you took in the parade yesterday, what was your favourite part?And  have you ever been in a parade?

Book Update

It’s hard to believe that July is coming to a close. We’ve had some pretty warm days, lots of humidity but, I’ve got to say, I’ll still take that over an avalanche of snow any day. July scooted on by without me having written a single blog post. I didn’t mean for that to happen but….

Edits for Cammie Takes Flight are about to get underway. I found out last week that I’ll be working with Penelope Jackson again. Penelope and I worked on Flying with a Broken Wing together. She’s marvelous! Can’t express how fortunate I’ve been to have such great editors to work with  at Nimbus Publishing and how very thankful I am for their expertise. Having that second set of eyes always opens my own eyes up and allows me to see things that previously weren’t there. My imagination soars. Right now, the plan is to have the edited manuscript back to Nimbus for layout by mid-September and to have the Advanced Reading Copies available for media by early winter. The book is to be released in April 2017. (I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.)  I’m expecting to see a cover sometime in August or early September. I’ll share it with you as soon as I can. It’s always exciting to see a new cover, and with this being a sequel it’s even a bit more exciting.

Also in July, it was brought to my attention that Flying with a Broken Wing made the Bank Street College list for Best books in 2015. I know many of you saw this on Facebook so please indulge me. The college is located in New York!  Here’s a bit about the list in case you’re not familiar.

One of the most comprehensive annotated book lists for children, aged infant through 16. The Committee reviews over 6,000 titles annually for accuracy and literary quality and considers their emotional impact on children. The best 600 books published each year, both fiction and nonfiction, are listed with annotations, according to age and category.

I’m also working on a new project at the moment, but July’s been busy with family visiting (yes, Miss Charlotte was here for a few days!) and gardening, work  etc….etc….But writers find a way to work around the everyday. We squeeze in time for writing whenever we can. There’s no way we can resist!

So, there’s a bit of an update for now. I’ll keep you posted as more news come in. I hope you’re all enjoying your summer.

 

What’s news?

This week marked my blogging anniversary. That’s right! I’ve been hiding out on WordPress for seven years now. The number seven seems significant in that it’s always been said to be a lucky number and aren’t the cells in our bodies all replaced in seven years? I always wondered how they can know this. Regardless, I’ve been here in the blogging world for seven years. I’ve met some wonderful people and I’ve seen many bloggers come and go. Maybe I deserve a pat on the back for making it this far. Also it’s been seven years this fall since Bitter, Sweet came out–just saying.

It’s berry season in my part of the world. Wouldn’t you love to have a field full of these beauties to pick? We’ve been helping some friends with their berry crop for a few days. It’s always a challenge to get them harvested.DSC07511A few weeks back we took a trip to Centreville and stopped off that the Cement Museum which was the home of Charles Macdonald. Unfortunately it wasn’t open for the season, but we took some pics of the statues outside. Quite amazing to think it is all made of cement.  I’m looking forward to seeing the inside once the museum is open.

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These cottages were also built by Charles Macdonald in the 1930’s and are in Hall’s Harbour. I think they’re absolutely charming. Some describe them as fairy homes and I can understand. They look so enchanting.

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This one is called the Blue Cottage for obvious reasons. I understand that it can be rented!

 

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Outside the museum there were other statues all made by Charles Macdonald.

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Love this mountain lion. He looks to be on the hunt. Maybe for the deer that are hanging around the property.

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I’m curious about this lovely lady, how and why she ended up here, naked, in the garden. Perhaps there a story there and maybe, just maybe, the answer can be found within the museum itself.

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Okay, to many, none of this is earth-shattering news, or even news at all, but just a few things that caught my attention this past while. I’m so glad to say that summer is finally here. I’ve been looking forward to it and hoping I’ll squeeze in some writing time over the next few months.

Do you have any special plans for the summer months? I love to hear about it!

The Eagle Has Landed

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As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill. ~~ Helen Keller

So sad and so true. Some quotes leave me a bit in awe. So much packed in so few words.

The eagle in the photo is often sitting on some old dead snags a few miles from home. Sometimes, we’ve even seen two. I find it interesting that, as a young girl, the sight of an eagle was a special occasion. In my memory, I remember only seeing one during my childhood, now I see them quite often. One occasionally flies over our property.  It’s wonderful to know that their numbers are increasing. In fact, a few months ago, we nearly hit one that was feasting on some road kill. We actually heard its wing feathers brush against the truck. It was one of those times you give a silent thank you as you look out the back window and see that it made it to the other side. Things can happen so quickly.

So what’s new on the publishing front?

I’ve a few stories accepted for publication in upcoming anthologies, one to be published in 2016, the other in 2017.  Then of course you all know about the upcoming publication of the sequel to Flying With a Broken Wing in Spring 2017. I expect the edits for this will soon get underway. I really enjoy the editing process. That’s where small miracles happen. I’m quite anxious to meet the editor I’ll be working with, and can hardly wait to see what the cover will look like. Don’t expect to see that for quite some time, though. And it could possibly be the end of the year. In fact, you’ll likely have it long forgotten before I’m ready to have a cover reveal.

Other than that I have a few stories I’m working at and, hopefully, will be submitting somewhere in the not to far future.  That’s if all goes well and no distractions come along. We all know how life has a way of throwing a pickle or two into the mix. As my friend, Gail, would likely agree, it keeps life interesting!

Personally, I prefer baby dill. How about you?  😉

 

All You Need is Love

resized August 2011 181Back in the sixties The Beatles sang, All You Need is Love. While it might have been a bit simplistic an idea I think they were really onto something big. Love is something the entire planet, not to mention the people on it, could sure use more of. Especially during these times. I keep hearing this message again and again in my life.

Some days you find a quote that speaks to you. Today, I found this one by Emmett Fox and decided to share. Because I do believe that, no matter how simplistic it sounds, love can conquer all.

“There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer. There is no disease that enough love will not heal. No door that enough love will not open. No gulf that enough love will not bridge. No wall that enough love will not throw down. And no sin that enough love will not redeem. It makes no difference how deeply seeded may be the trouble. How hopeless the outlook. How muddled the tangle. How great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. And if you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful person in the world.” Emmett Fox

 

Finding Water

DSC07359After a long, cold winter most of us are anxious for Spring. It’s that time  of the year when the earth springs back to life.  (Hence the name–spring.) Original, don’t you think? From the bright yellow heads of dandelions pushing their way out of the grass (yes, I’m one of those people who actually like dandelion flowers) to mayflowers, trilliums, daffodils , new spring buds, and the emerging of leaves, things are about to get green. Very green.

Like any season, this one has had its ups and down. Fine weather, cold weather, windy weather, black flies and wood ticks. I hear people grumble about the ticks and the flies. And I’ll agree maybe they’re not my favorite part of Spring, but we don’t get to pick and chose. Kind of like taking the good and the not so good. Like it or lump it, it’s all part of life. I’m into acceptance, meaning I believe in accepting what life sends our way. It’s much more productive (not to mention peaceful) than trying to change things that can’t be changed…like black flies and ticks.

Yesterday, we found a duck’s nest in the middle of the tree lot. Nesting ducks amaze me, the way they’ll DSC07368go inland to lay their eggs without a body of water in sight. I’m not even sure where all these babies will have to waddle to( and through) to dip their little webbed feet. Let’s just say we’re talking a long ways, people. Imagine being a duck and taking your babies on such a journey. They can’t fly, so they’d have to dawdle those little feet of theirs for miles perhaps. The funny thing about ducks is they don’t look at the challenge ahead as impossible, they just take what’s ahead of them and do the work that’s asked. They find water.

Seriously, there’s something so enchanting about finding a nest with eggs inside, such a marvel. Magic isn’t just something that’s pulled from a magician’s hat. It’s everywhere. Even on the days when we’re sure there’s nothing at all to marvel over. But you’ve got to look, and you’ve got to pay attention because it’s out there. All around us.

This Spring I’ve been working on a story I started about seven years ago. I’ve picked at it from time to time, trying to capture the story the way it appears in my mind’s eye. And I think I’m getting there. I might not be the fastest writer on the block, but I get there sooner or later.

So as we journey through Spring and life, I hope we’ll all remember to be like that duck with her babies. Just keep your heads down and keep plugging along. Eventually, you’ll find water.

 

Going to the Fair

As a kid going to the fair always meant the East Dalhousie Fair where you could enter exhibits and win prizes, buy an ice cream cone, dunk your neighbour in a tank of water and watch the parade. While I didn’t see anyone getting dunked today, and there weren’t any ice cream cones circulating, there were plenty of books and authors at the book fair in the Kingstec Campus in Kentville to celebrate children’s literacy.

I love taking part in book events, meeting people and chatting with fellow authors. Jan Coates and I shared a table. We seem to do that a lot. I made sure to get a photo of the two of us together since, in all the years we’ve been friends and have gone to different events, I didn’t have one.

Jan’s new picture book Sky Pig is hot off the presses and she’ll be launching her book on May 7th at the Box of Delights. Love, love, love this one so much I had to get my very own copy. I know, I know, I’ll get the grandkids their own copy later cause some things you just can’t share even with grandkids.

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So who else was at the fair?

Bet you know this gal from her Live at Five days. Starr Dobson‘s second book in the Gertrude Series came out a few years back. You might remember a few years back when I attended her signing at the Dempsey Corner Farm. You can read the post here if you  missed it first time around. For any of you wondering, she’s friendly and SO down to earth. And even though she’s no longer on Live at Five, she’ll always be a celebrity to Maritimers.

DSC07282Carolyn Mallory was there with her book Painted Skies. I’ve read this one and you should too. It’s really a delight. It’s about the Northern Lights. I mean, who isn’t fascinated by the Northern Lights? I love the art work. Carolyn is also an artist and her work is just wonderful!

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Jackie Halsey was at the fair. Explosion Newsie is her latest book.  Lovely illustrations and, as an added bonus, it’s about the Halifax Explosion. I did read it to my oldest grandson over Christmas. He’s just two and I didn’t have my glasses on that night but I was able to improvise and Levi seemed pleased.

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Lila Hope-Simpson and I traded books which is something I’ve done a time or two in the past with various authors. I’m really looking forward to reading her book Stepping Out. Sorry I didn’t get a photo of Lila. Sometimes my brain is on pause. It happened a second time today when I picked up Fox Talk by Lindsey Carmicheal for Miss Charlotte. She quite enjoys non-fiction and I’m sure she’ll enjoy this one.

I met Meghan Marentette who brought along her book The Stowaways. She seems quite lovely. Hopefully, I’ll get to know a bit more about her in the future.

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We popped by Melanie Mosher’s table to chat a bit…Again no photo (That makes three brain pauses).

So this is who I saw at the fair. There were other author’s there but I didn’t get around to everyone’s table. We also had a visit from blogger Lynn Davidson. It’s always lovely to see Lynn. I think she’d agree with me that it was a very productive day for her! She found a few goodies to take home in her bag.

If you ever get a chance to go to a book fair I urge you to do so. It’s a great way to find out about books and to meet and chat with some of your favourite authors. We’re an interesting bunch if I do say so myself!

And now, I have some reading to get caught up on!

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