This Social Isolation is For the Birds

Someone forgot to tell our weekend visitors that all flights to East Dalhousie have been cancelled for the foreseeable future–government orders. But like some others who refuse to follow the rules, they showed up unexpected.  With the distance they’d come from, we hadn’t the heart to send them flying. I’ll admit, we were a bit apprehensive but they did practice social distancing for the entire visit even if they didn’t wear masks. So what if we broke the rules this once. I mean, you tell me, what did it hurt?

 

 

Good Mothers Don’t Update

Remember me? I’m the author whose book is due to be published in April.

*sigh* 

Normally this would be a happy time for me, with my friends making preparations for my book launch. (You all know who you are!)

We’ve had some amazing book launches here in East Dalhousie which is due to all the wonderfully supportive people who live, not on my community, but in many surrounding communities. Not to mention the many hands that have stepped in to help in the past. You’re all so awesome.

It goes without saying that with every launch there’s a bit of apprehension for the author, wondering if anyone will even show up. In so far as my last three book launches went, I had nothing to worry about. So many people came out to support me and I can’t even describe what that meant to me.

But this time things are different thanks to COVID-19. The community centre won’t be filled with my family and friends. I’ll be home alone with Hubby and my author copies of the book. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine.

Of course the book can be ordered through those independent bookstores that are still operating, also through Amazon.ca Here and Chapters. ca Here.

or it can also be ordered directly from Nimbus Publishing Here right now they have a special on: free shipping for orders over $50. Make sure that if you’re ordering through them online, there’s a shipping code you need to use that is at the top of the site to get the free shipping.

So while we won’t all be getting together to help launch Good Mothers Don’t into the world, in the meantime you might want to read this lovely, lovely review of my book that my editor sent to me over the Easter weekend. It really helped raise my spirits!

Good Mothers Don’t Review

I will continue to keep you updated if I have anything else to share. And for anyone of you who have ordered or are planning to order my book online in lieu of a book launch I thank you so much!  While these may be very uncertain times right now, and for the foreseeable future, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. But there are always bright spots along the way, like the publication of my first novel for adults. Now that’s good news!

Please feel free to share your good news in the comments below, big or small or maybe just something positive that happened to you. I’d like to hear about it. Things may not be the greatest right now but we’re going to get through this eventually.

My Deserted Island

Across the lake from where I live there’s an island. Plenty of trees but nothing else, it’s basically deserted, if you want to use that term, although we have seen the remains  of human activity left behind on the shores from time to time while out in our boat; the remnants of small camp fires and some empty bottles.

I was thinking today how writing is sometimes like being on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, where your only thought is of survival—survival of the story, that is—with little contact with the outside world. You’re in hermit-mode—thinking, eating and breathing the story you’re working on. You can’t keep your thoughts on anything other than that dang story which can become kind of a convenient excuse for your own forgetfulness with those in the outside world. Things like not remembering what you were going for in the refrigerator or even the next room, the phone calls and emails you forgot to return. I like to call it author-brain, kind of like mommy-brain when all you think about is that little bundle of joy( or story) you’re suddenly responsible for. Don’t bother the author, her mind’s on her writing.

These past few weeks have been kind of like that; kind of, but not quite.( I’ve still had family time that I wouldn’t trade for all the stories that are circulating in my author-brain.)

I’ve started edits on my adult fiction novel recently and have just sent round one back to my editor. I’ve got to be honest, it’ always difficult to hit that *send* key and resist the urge to keep making changes, some so tiny that no one would ever know, except the author. But eventually you have to let go, the same way you let go of your child when you send her/him out into the big scary world. And it’s been pretty scary out there as of late.

All authors want their books to be perfect, and if not perfect, then as near to perfect as is humanly possible. Still, the typos pop up, the missing commas or periods, the misplaced words—all these things, regardless of how many proofreaders go through it with a fine tooth comb. Still, it’s something to aim for.

As many of you know, this is my debut adult fiction novel which doesn’t mean I won’t be writing for kids anymore. It just means, I’ll be doing both. I’ve several other adult novels that need to be resurrected after years of neglect. It was more like I got side-tracked. I’m really hoping to get back to them soon. But…I’ve also a few more ideas for children’s books as well. Why can’t there be more time in the day?

As of yet, this next novel of mine is titleless which isn’t really a word but I felt like using it. Titles are important but can sometimes be SO difficult to come up with. I was lucky with my first three book but this one has been a bit more challenging.

Another snippet I can share with you is that much of it is set in the Forties Settlement which, as many of you know, is right next door to good old E. Dalhousie. I like to give my stories local settings or use local name places. It’s important to me to share my part of the world with readers from far and wide.

I’m hoping I’ll find time to blog a bit more often, although it seems I’m forever promising that. It’s not as if I purposely ignore that promise but I’ve been putting more time into my actual writing these days which is probably more important. Perhaps when I’m fully retired I’ll make more time.

So that’s it for now. The edits are back in my editor’s hands and I’m getting ready to work on a project I started about nine years ago. I’ll be off on my deserted island at least for a little. They say that publishing is a slow business. It takes plenty of patience, but then so is writing sometimes.

I hope you’re all having a wonder summer and are enjoying this beautiful Nova Scotia sunshine. I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing this summer.

Spring, Writing and Book Launch Photos

Time has certainly been flying by this winter or I should say spring? I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last wrote a blog post. Here we are near the end of March. While the last time I wrote about how warm and unwinter-like the weather for February was, as we get closer to spring, winter decided to remind us that we needn’t start looking for crocuses and daffodils just yet. But that’s life, isn’t it? Just when we start feeling comfortable about the state of things, thinking maybe we have it all figured out, the rules change on us. In a way, it’s for our own good. I believe we all need for life to challenge us from time to time otherwise we stop growing and expanding as human beings, learning new things and having new experiences. A.K.A BORING.

I’ve been busy juggling a few stories these past few months, carrying on a love/hate relationship with them. I guess it’s why I juggle in the first place. As soon as I start hating one story, I switch to the other. Sometimes one of the stories will stick in my head and follow me around, sometimes even haunting my dreams or else coming to me late at night. The stories are so different from one another and maybe that’s a good thing. Writing is finding that balance and not sinking into a rut. So, I’ll keep juggling so long as these two stories dictate. Seems it’s rarely the writer who’s in charge of the story anyway.

I finally got around to posting some launch photos. You’ll find them HERE but also under the Cammie Takes Flight tab. There were so many photos taken  that day, I couldn’t possible post them all. I just picked out a few. Maybe you’ll see yourself in some of them.

Easter is in a few days, and although we have plenty of snow here in East Dalhousie, it’s melting away quickly. Today was absolutely gorgeous. Hopefully, it won’t be too many weeks before we see those crocuses and daffodils.

Happy Easter! Oh, and a shout-out to my friend, Gail, whose birthday is today. I’ve been calling but the line’s been busy. Hope you’re reading this and are having a stupendous day!

Ode to a Giant Pumpkin?

Alas, it finally had to happen. Frost hit the pumpkin patch while I was away at the FogLit Festival in New Brunswick last weekend Maybe I should have mentioned this in the last post, but I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. I needed time. To his credit, Hubby did his best to try and save her, he really did. He covered her lovingly with blankets but her vines were too massive. It went down to -1 that night. I feared the worst. There was a crispness in the air when days before we were waking to +18 or more degrees. I’d been hoping for a few more weeks of growth as the son’s urban pumpkin has been granted. But nights are generally cooler in East Dalhousie.

And so you can’t lament forever. There will come another year and, hopefully, we’ve learned a bit about growing giant pumpkins and can apply that knowledge to next year’s crop. We are pleased with our first-time effort. It’s the largest pumpkin this garden has ever seen. But there comes a problem with growing big pumpkins, the kind of problem no one warns you about back in the beginning. How the heck do you move it? Too big to roll.

Now, here’s how you move a really big pumpkin East Dalhousie style.

While we were moving this monster, there came a new development from the urban pumpkin camp, something we weren’t prepared for. The son is really out to win this. First this came; chocolate face and all.

Then this: Things were getting serious.

I mean how can two middle-aged pumpkin growers complete with this? So we countered in the only way we could. Not quite so cute, but the son’s not getting away that easily, thinking weren’t not going to notice the size of the pumpkin with all that cuteness sitting on top of it.

Of course our pumpkin looks smaller. Look how much bigger we are then the twins! This seems totally unfair to me–just saying.

So how much does the Country Pumpkin weigh? To the best of our calculation she’s tipping the scale at 235lbs.  As for the Urban Pumpkin that has yet to be determined as I’m sure the son delights in the fact that his urban garden has thus far avoided the frost. The competition continues….

I will report the final weight of the Urban Pumpkin once the frost finally settles in Lower Sackville.

Have a happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

Busy, Busy April

Lots of things happening in April for me. With Cammie Takes Flight due to be released the last of the month I’m getting just a pinch excited. It’s always exciting when you bring a new book into the world.

Yesterday, I visited with the students at Via Vita Academy in Sackville to talk a little about writing and publishing. They had some great questions for me and I had a lot of fun.

I’ll also mention that there’s a giveaway taking place right now on Good Reads for  Cammie Takes Flight. Head on over and enter. You could win one of three copies if you’re lucky. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/230730-cammie-takes-flight . Hey, I’d be entering if it wasn’t my book. I mean who doesn’t want to win a book, right?

Of course there’s Easter coming up this month as well, not to mention Miss Charlotte’s birthday happens to fall on Easter Sunday this year. Seven years old—now how did that happen so quickly?

I’ve also been invited by the Annapolis Friends of the Library in Annapolis Royal to take part in a fundraiser on the 22nd in the former Annapolis Royal Regional Academy.

Saturday the 29th I’ll be at the LaHave River Books taking part in Author for Indies along with my friend Syr Ruus, Shelagh Meagher and Laurie Lacey will also be there. If you’re in the area that day drop in and say hello. I’ll be there from 1-2. There might even be some copies of my new book floating around that day.

On the 30th is the Family Connects Expo at the World Trade & Convention Centre in Halifax and I’ll be signing copies of my new book. I love meeting new people and having a chance to chat. Signing books is kind of cool, too.

The official book launch is scheduled for the 13th of May at 2:00 and if you’re in the area you might want to drop by to meet Prime Minister  Trudeau or the Queen. (That’s me still dreaming big.) And while that’s not an April event I’ll mention it anyway. Preparations are already underway and I feel so fortunate to have so many people offering to help out. Seriously, East Dalhousie is the best place to have a book launch. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive community.

So there you have it, a rundown of my busy April and then I mustn’t forget my regular Monday-Friday job on top of all that, plus the novel I’m working on in my spare time. But there’s nothing wrong with busy. Keeps me out of trouble.

FYI I’m still continuing to dream big. I hope you are too.

Cammie Takes Flight: Cover Reveal

At last, after weeks of promising, I’m ready to share the cover for Cammie Takes Flight with the rest of the world. Some of you have already seen a version of the cover because, let’s face it, you’re privileged and you know it!  The release date is April 30th and, for Canadians,  the book is available for pre-order on Amazon.ca  and Chapters.ca right now!

The launch for the book will likely take place in May but things are in the very early stages of planning so there’s nothing definite at the moment. As more info on the launch etc. come up I’ll be sure to share either here or on Facebook, possibly both.  The book launch is open to the public so anyone and everyone can come. Make sure to spread the word far and wide. No special invitation required. The more the merrier–that’s how we do things here in East Dalhousie.  For anyone flying in from out of the country, I’ll reserve you a room at the hotel here in East Dalhousie. (Okay that’s a bit of joke since we don’t have a hotel here, but I’m sure we can make some arrangements!)  I’d love to have the Prime Minister attend, but he’ll probably be too busy. Still, perhaps if I  sent out a special invite and if he’s flying by that day, maybe he’ll give a little wave. It would be cool if the Queen could come too, and I’d be really impressed if Margaret Atwood put in an appearance… but….Oh well, as Cammie loves to dream so do I.  Dream big; fly high-words to live by. The truth is I’ll be pleased to have my family, friends and community come out to help celebrate with me as Cammie finally takes flight.

And because all books have a front and a back cover, I’ll share the back cover as well. Love the quote they used on the back. It was a bit of a surprise to me, but a pleasant one , especially when I realized I was acquainted with the author of this review written for The Children’s Writers’ Guild. Thanks Darlene Foster– I thought this was kind of cool.

So finally, all the hard work of writing and revising and editing is  about to pay off and my book, my baby, will be going off to the printer very soon.  One day in the coming weeks I’ll receive a notice in my mailbox that a parcel has arrived with my complimentary copies. It’s been a long and exciting journey. But it doesn’t stop here. It is the hope of every author that their words will make a lasting impression on their readers. Now that would be a dream come true–for me and for Cammie!

 

Helloooo 2017

I always enter the New Year with a sense of excitement. It’s not so much that I’m anxious to see the end of the previous year, but it’s more the thoughts of what lies ahead in the months to come. I’m like a child in that sense. Who are we, if at times, we cannot see the world through the eyes of a child, but old and stale and far too grumpy for our own good.

I’ve often heard people express their thoughts on how horrible the old year has been and how they’re looking forward seeing it come to an end. While I can understand where they’re coming from, I’ve never had that feeling for some reason. It’s not that every year has been stellar because it hasn’t. Like everyone else I’ve seen my share of sorrow and sadness, but I’ve also seen plenty of joy and laughter. Hopefully, these things eventually balance out. There is so much for us to take delight in in our lives, but I sometimes think we dig too deep into the gory parts of life, ignore all those special moments we’ve experience through-out the year, simply because they aren’t grand enough or don’t sparkle brightly enough to warrant our attention when sometimes those tiny moments are what keeps us going.

With all that is going on in our world at the present moment, I’m sure some people are dreading what the year ahead will mean for us both personally and globally. Believe me, I’ve had those feelings myself. Much of what is to come is out of our hands. There’s nothing we can do to change world events. What we can do is to try and change our reaction to those events as best we can. We won’t always be able to stay positive. Sometimes we might become quite angry and depressed. But hopefully, that positive outlook will win out in the end as we remember to cherish those small magical moments that are peppered through our day.

Already this year seems special. This year Canada celebrates 150 years of confederation. And have I mentioned that 2017 marks East Dalhousie’s 200th Anniversary? Now that’s something that only happens every 200 years! Most of us won’t live to see it again. 😉 I’ve decided this year will be the year for adventure. I’ve a few things coming up that I’ll share as they unfold, but really, the true adventure will be all those things that are not yet in the planning stage. You know, the things that happen right out of the blue when you least expect it. Maybe some small things, maybe some big. Kind of like winning the lottery, only there doesn’t have to be any money involved. While lots of money is nice, welcomed even, it isn’t a requirement for living a happy life.

Last evening I sat down to write my list of intentions for the upcoming year and to look back on last year’s list. It’s just something I’ve been doing for awhile now. Of course not everything I intended to have happen happened, but I was pleased by what I saw. It’s just a different way to reflect upon life. I’ve never been one to make resolutions. There’s just something about it that seems too restricting, or maybe too forced. Whatever the case, I plan to focus on as many delightful moments through-out the year as possible. And I am hopeful they will outshine any of the not so wonderful moments that are bound to come along.

Wishing all my readers a happy 2017. May it be filled with many special moments along the way.

“Flying ” to Switzerland

You all know I’m not a traveller if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time.  Interestingly enough, the same can’t be said for my books. You might remember that Bitter, Sweet was off gallivanting the globe, and now, Flying With a Broken Wing is doing the same. A Facebook friend recently posted these photos of my book travelling to Zurich, Switzerland. First this little book of mine went to Chicago now Switzerland. Me, I’m still in East Dalhousie!

Leaving Philadelphia on Dec. 25th.

Leaving Philadelphia on Dec. 25th.

"Flying With a Broken Wing" arrives in Zurich, Switzerland

“Flying With a Broken Wing” arrives in Zurich, Switzerland

 

"Flying with a Broken Wing" overlooking Lake Lucerne!

“Flying with a Broken Wing” overlooking Lake Lucerne!

This final picture was posted on the last day of 2013 with this caption. “Flying with a Broken Wing” in Engelberg, Switzerland, December 31, 2013. Laura’s newest book has had a great trip, and is now headed to Doha, Qatar!!!!

Leaving Switzerland.

Leaving Switzerland.

I don’t know about you, but I think this is pretty darn cool. Thanks, Sarah, for taking my book to Switzerland with you!

All these photos kind of gave me the idea of asking you all to join in. If you’d like to take a photo of my book in some location(with or without you) doesn’t have to be out of the country, or even out of the province for that matter, I’d love to post it on my blog or in my Facebook album. (Yes, I’ve created an album on my FB page just for such photos!) If you’d like to send a photo send me an email through the “Contact me” on my blog and we’ll go from there. Be creative. This could be loads of fun.

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…

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  • Publication date April 30, 2020. Available for pre-order NOW.

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