Flying With a Broken Wing Goes to Chicago

My books like to travel. Me, not so much. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Bitter, Sweet was going to go much farther than I would ever dream of. In case you’ve missed past posts here are a few of the places Bitter, Sweet has gone to in the past—Without me, I might add!

So now I have a new book out, and yup, you guessed it, it’s also going places without me. I was excited to learn that Flying with a Broken Wing had made it all the way to the windy city. Oh, I had hopes that it would bump into Oprah on the street, you know maybe beg and plead to make it into her book club. (Does she even have a book club now?) But alas, that wasn’t meant to be. Instead here it is on the skydeck at Willis Tower in Chicago, high as a bird in the sky.  Sweet! Hmmm or maybe that’s a little Bitter, Sweet for me.

On the Skydeck at Willis Tower, Chicago.

Thanks to my baby sister for being such a sport. Maybe next time you’ll actually run into Oprah. And if you manage to get a copy of my book in her hands I’ll be flying.

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World Book Day

It’s World Book Day. Bet you didn’t know that.

My source tells me that March 7th is World Book Day. (That source being Facebook of course.)

I popped on over to the site only to see Bitter Sweet as one of the books listed. Um, wrong Bitter, Sweet, however. This one has no comma and was written by Cathy Cassidy. Still, kind of a cool coincidence, don’t you think?

In honour of this day why not give a shout-out to a book you think is great, either one you’ve read, one you’ve written or one you hope to write?

Author Photo–The Moment of Truth

As many of you know, I’m not a big fan of having my photo taken. Well, as long as I don’t ever have to look at the end result, you can snap all the photos you want.  😉 Being an author, sometimes you just have to do things that need to be done without whining or bellyaching, having your photo out there for the world to see is one of them.

Since it’s been three years since Bitter, Sweet came out, I decided it was time to have a bright shiny new author photo for my next book. I’ve narrowed my choices down to a few, and nearly drove my poor daughter crazy in the process. Now it’s time for your opinion. Which picture do you think I should use for the author photo for my next book? I’ll be sure to share the results with you before I send it off to my publisher. And here’s hoping I have this pole set up correctly. It’s the first time I’ve used one. I want to thank you in advance!!

Photo #1

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #3

Photo #4

Photo #4

The 18 Day Novel

This summer while I was enjoying a little break from blogging, I saw in the CANSCAIP news an interview with Canadian author Valerie Sherrard.  I met Valerie last year at Word on the Street. She has the sweetest smile and gentlest spirit in the world. Valerie has had twenty books published and her YA novel, “The Glory Wind,” won so many awards after its publication I’m not sure how she keeps them all straight. Coincidentally, it won the Bilson Award, the same award “Bitter, Sweet” was short listed for in 2010. I was pleased as punch to find this out because I quite enjoyed the book. Some books you know are just destined to garner much deserved attention.

During the interview, Valerie mentioned that she’d written one of her books in just 18 days. Wow! 18 days!!! Did you catch that?  I mean most of us have barely booted up our computers in that amount of time. While I was wowed by this news it also made me question, what the heck is wrong with me?  No wonder I’m just starting my third novel. I picked away at my last novel for a few years. Started. Stopped. Started again until I’d finally made my mind up to finish it. Now mind you, I wrote “Bitter, Sweet” in about three months and was working at the time, but that doesn’t even come close to being 18 days.

Reading this made me wonder how much of my time I spend tooling around the internet and allowing other things to distract me. What if I simply made my mind up to write, write, write until I came to the end. I’ve got a pretty good idea where my next novel is going, I know who my characters are, so what’s the problem?

Discipline. A writer needs to have discipline, and not just those times when the writing process is going great and we’re loving every minute of our WIP (work in progress for my non-writing friends). Discipline is what keeps us steadily plugging away even when we’d rather be out enjoying the sun or watching our favourite TV program.

We also need faith– faith in the fact that we have what it takes to complete a project. This is another area I struggle with, and often why you’ll never hear me mention any details of my WIP. What if I can’t deliver the finished product? What if my story ends up being monkey crap? Oh yes, I’ve written my share of that over the years.

So what’s a writer to do? Why write of course: write and don’t worry about what other writers are able to accomplish. Who knows maybe one day I’ll write a novel in just 17 days.

 

Do other people’s accomplishments inspire you or do they make you feel as though you’ll never be any good?

Books, Books & More Books

When my daughter phoned to say the local library was having a book sale on Saturday my little heart went pitter-pat. As the previous year, books went for 5 bucks a bag– all you can stog. (Ah, the word “stog”. Isn’t it a dandy word? I think I discussed the word “stog” once before on this blog.) Used book sales are kind of like an all you can eat buffet for book-lovers. Don’t you think?

So while I was looking through the titles my hand stopped suddenly when I spied a copy of Bitter, Sweet. Talk about a surreal moment. I mean, I expected one day to come across a copy of my own book at one of these sales, but when it’s there on the table the reality of it kind of hits you.

A friend asked if I signed the book but I can tell you right now, that thought never crossed my mind. I was too busy stogging books into my bag, I guess. So here’s the silly part, I grabbed up my book and stogged it in the bag too. I mean, it was my book. Not taking it felt wrong in a twisted sort of authorish way. But have no fear; it’s not going to sit on my bookshelf. I’ll have you know I’m not THAT lame!  I’m actually planning to give it away, which is silly in itself because someone was bound to take it home. Yet I didn’t want to stalk my book to find out who.

So here’s the plan:  I’ll go off in search of someone to give the book to, someone deserving, someone kind, and trustworthy…Perhaps I shall scour the land for said person, over mountains and dry deserts.

Okay, so that’s way over the top and totally ridiculous, but sometimes ridiculous is kind of fun. Seriously, when the time is right, I’ll know exactly who to give the book to, unless one of you have a suggestion.

So the really big news on Saturday was meeting author Lesley Crewe at Coles in the Bridgewater Mall. Lesley was there to sign copies of her new book, “Kin” and I wanted to pick up a copy for my mum, who is a big fan, and meet Lesley. Lesley is a Nimbus author, like me, so that in itself gave us mutual ground, but she’s so down to earth and friendly we had no problem chatting it up. Best of all she made me laugh. I could have stalked spent the whole afternoon with her—that’s if she would have let me.  LOL!

So I’m an author groupie. I’ve met my share of authors over the years since my book came out. I can honestly say I’ve never met an author I didn’t like. It’s a strange business I find myself  part of, and as different as our lives are, all writers share our love for the written word. Through the writing journey I’m on I’ve met some truly wonderful people, some whom I consider close friends.

This weekend was all about writers and books. Sunday, was the annual Word on the Street event in Halifax, and I was glad to have made it in. I’ll be posting about it next time and sharing a few photos.

Do you go to book signing events or writing festivals in your area? Have you met an author who left a lasting impression?

A Blog Post From Moi

Guess what? I’m back! Well… not really. I’m just popping on here to let you know I’m still kicking around and to let you know I’ve been interviewed. Yes interviewed! After much whining and arm-twisting, I convinced Diane Tibert to add me to her weekly interviews here. (BTW She posts a different interview with a new author each Friday.) So what’s this interview about? I’m talking about my old book, a bit about my new book, and Pru Burbidge even pops in to answer a few questions. Remember her? She’s the main character in Bitter, Sweet. While you’re there don’t forget to check out some of the other interviews. I’ve a few more weeks left on my blogging vacation, but I’ll be back. I hope you will be too. Enjoy the remainder of your summer, and if you’d like to leave me a comment so that I don’t feel completely out of the loop, what interesting or exciting things have been going on in your life?

Reflections

Today we said goodbye to our minister. The three churches in the parish came together for a service and potluck to mark the occasion. There were gifts and goodbyes, and a few tears shed. She’d only been with us for a year and many of us were sad to see her go. For the year we had her we came to expect the unexpected, seeing her dressed as a church mouse on one occasion and even a clown. She made us laugh and sometimes cry. She helped us to extend ourselves in kindness and be more than we previously were. While we’ve always been a parish that cared, with her we cared even more.

For Easter I gave her a copy of my book. I’m always amazed at what meaning every reader finds in a book, what themes present themselves to that particular reader. I think it all depends upon where we are in our own lives, and if we’re looking for some deeper meaning or simply to be entertained. I’ve had different reactions to my novel. Some people saw it as an entertaining story, while others were left wondering if it was a true story or one that I had made up. Rightly so, our minister saw certain things in the book as a reflection of my life, my beliefs, and things that can only come from the heart.

As we discussed the book, she mentioned how very important the connection of the three generations of women plays in the book. “Remember that as you go ahead in your writing,” she said later. I explained that when I started writing the book, much of what came to me wasn’t at all planned. She completely understood. Of course she would.

I’m often made aware of themes popping up when I’m writing a story even though I don’t knowingly go about putting them there. It just happens, as if the story is being eased in a certain direction all on it’s own. When I started writing Bitter, Sweet, I had no plans of writing about healing plants when I named one of the children Flora. Nor did I know I would be called to reflect upon a memory I had of my father digging gold thread from the ground.

For the most part I try to ignore these things while I’m writing for fear that it will get in the way of the story, but it’s there, running in the background. I’m not oblivious to it. Later, once the story has been written, I can take the time reflect upon these things.

While some stories seem to come directly from the heart, others are complete figments of our imagination, but I’m inclined to think that every story reflects something in the author’s life– thoughts, feeling, beliefs, opinions, memories. The same can be said for any one who is creative. We put our heart and soul in our work. We make it a reflection of who we are, who we’ve been, who we will become. Even our blogs tell something about us. That something is what draws others to come visit.

Lately, I’ve had many moments of reflection in my life. Reflection is never planned. It just happens. It’s important, not just for writers but for all of us. As I think about the next book I’ll write I can’t help but wonder what parts of myself will be layered between the pages. What I am sure of is this, it won’t be planned, it will just happen.

Do you believe that our creative endeavours reflect who we are? For the writers out there— do themes show up in your writing all on their own?

I Got A Postcard From Hell

So, yesterday I got a postcard from Hell. Wow! That didn’t sound weird at all!

And in case you’re wondering, nope the devil’s not out to get me. I haven’t done anything THAT bad, at least nothing that I know about. And you’d think I’d know, wouldn’t I?

I know many people claim to have been to Hell and back, but how many of them actually have the proof? Oh yeah, there’s proof out there. Why not? You go to Hell nobody’s going to believe you unless you’ve got some proof.

Little did I know when I opened my mailbox what was awaiting me. My sister hadn’t bothered to give me the heads up. I was totally in the dark. Oh she’d mentioned something about Hell when we spoke on the phone after she got back from her cruise, but I just figured she was exaggerating. I mean someone mentions Hell you have to humour them right?

So what do I know?  My sister really did go to Hell and back while on her cruise a few weeks ago. Apparently there is a place called Hell on the Cayman Islands. You might have heard of it. I think it’s quite a popular place—Hell yeah!

Hell’s not all that big. I bet you’re surprised to learn that. There’s nothing in Hell but a post office inside a gift shop. (And I thought East Dalhousie was small!)  Many of the tourists take their passports to get stamped while in Hell.

Look at that, it only costs about 20 cents to send a postcard from Hell. I say let’s all go to Hell where the postal rates are affordable. I mean Canada Post has been bleeding me dry for years. I wonder how much it would cost to mail a full manuscript from Hell? And wouldn’t you love to be the editor to make the claim that she just received the manuscript from Hell? On second thought that’s probably happened more times than we could collectively count.

The postcard my sister sent was to make up for the fact that she’d left Bitter, Sweet  behind on the cruise ship that day. That’s right, my book nearly went to Hell and back. But a postcard is better than nothing so I’m not going to complain. Nice to know that when little sis made her historic visit to Hell and back that she was thinking of me—Um I guess.

I think the postmark is absolutely divine. Is it okay to say divine when speaking of Hell? Just asking…

Belize—-The Missing Photos

This week with Miss Charlotte has been flying by. She’s becoming quite sociable with Nanny and Guppy.I actually think she likes us!!Needless to say I haven’t spent much time online. I’m hoping to catch up next week.

I’m just hopping on here to add the photos of Bitter, Sweet in Belize. These photo went astray as mentioned in my last post and ended up in my inbox after I’d posted the others.

I’d say she finally made it to the armed stand off scene!

For me, it’s back to the real world of sticky fingers, washable markers, and nursery rhymes at least for the remainder of the week.  Enjoy the rest of March. I’ll see you in April!

Cruising Around With Bitter,Sweet

Some books are meant to sit on a shelf collecting dust while others are bound for wide open spaces. For those of you with a good memory you might remember that around this time last year Bitter, Sweet took off on a little vacation. That’s right! My little old book sweet-talked my sister into talking it on a cruise, even sent home pictures that I shared with the rest of you.You can check them out here if you’d like. To say my book has travelled more than I would be a complete understatement. But I’m trying not to be bitter about it all. I mean someone’s got to stay behind and keep the home fires burning, right?

Now as if to add insult to injury, these photos arrived in my inbox today. All the way from Cozumel, Mexico. Yup, that’s right. Bitter, Sweet went off on another cruise. I don’t know, seems to me there’s something a little bittersweet about an author who can only write about the places her book has actually gone. What do you think?

Every night when you get back to your room on the ship, they always have the bed turned down, with chocolates on your pillow and a towel animal. Here’s Bitter,Sweet with one such animal…

On the beach at  Roatan Honduras. I like to think late nights on the cruise ship attributed to this photo, not boredom.

Wide awake in Cozumel, Mexico. I wonder if she made it to the armed stand off scene yet? At the rate she’s going those poor kids are going to be trapped in that house for eternity… or at least until the cruise is over. I’ve got to say, I don’t much blame her. By the sounds of things it was a pretty busy week.

PS: I want to thank my baby sister for being such a good sport, and my book for cooperating as well. And a special shout out to say congratulations on your engagement, Kelly! Nothing bittersweet about a marriage proposal on a cruise ship. I’m glad you put the book down long enough to say, yes!   😉

* PPS: Due to technical difficulties beyond my control some photos from Belize were omitted from this post. I’ll post them as soon as I get a spare moment.  🙂

 

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