When a Book Finds the Writer

This morning as I was going about my regular routine–making coffee, getting breakfast– I realized that I had this first person narrative running in my head. This one way dialogue went on for awhile until I realized what was happening. I wasn’t talking to myself (thank goodness!) but rather someone else was doing the talking–not necessarily to me. I just happened to be the one listening.

I was kind of surprised once I realized what was taking place because all things indicted that I was either having an “episode” or else a character from a story had suddenly jumped to the surface and was demanding some airtime.

Now, that might be a frightening concept to some of you, but I think most writers will agree that they’ve experienced this many times.

Here’s what I discovered in those brief moments about this character that I have yet to be properly introduced to.

She is my age, or close to it, a bit on the crusty side; someone who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, someone who has lived long enough to appreciate certain truths that others might not want to admit to–all that I gleaned from those first few moments of listening to her speak.

She spoke with honesty, from the heart, holding nothing back and in just a few moments I knew quite a bit about her. It wasn’t a soft hearted narrative as is sometimes the case with my characters; like I said, she was crusty–she was crusty and I liked what I’d heard so far. First impressions being what they are.

Then I realized, this is a new character, a new book, and it had come looking for me.

For me! Me, the writer who has a cruelling five weeks of edits still lurking in the shadows.

So what to do?

I can’t very well abandon my edits. I’m on a timeline and there is plenty ahead in my path. I take deadlines very seriously. I’m sort of a come-hell-or-high-water person. I don’t like to disappoint others or myself. If there is anyway humanly possible for a deadline to be met or exceeded (I prefer exceeding) I will do it.

So, I put the character away for another time with the hopes that she’ll come back with that same spunk and crustiness as before. I’m sure I’ll invite her back into my mind again in the very near future, and should she relay any gems, regardless of the impending edits, I’ll be taking notes.

In the meantime, I have a YA novel that is nearing completion and some short stories I was revisiting before this latest round of edits came in. All that has been put on the back burner until the end of February at least.

If some of this sounds a little offbeat to you, that’s perfectly fine. I’m a writer and as many writers will tell you, we are not always in control of the story we are writing. Inspiration is a strange unusual commodity for most writers. It sometimes seeks us out. It can be uninvited and not always welcomed. Most times it is persistent, but it is in this persistence that books come into being.

These are just a few of my thoughts on this wintry Tuesday–now back to my edits!

Exciting Cammie News!

I was planning to write a quiet post about how quickly summer is passing by but heck, I’m just going to throw all that out and make this super exciting announcement.

I recently signed my third book contract in less than a year. Yup. You read that right—three!

This recent book, that BTW I finished writing last winter, is the prequel to the other two Cammie books. Making it, I guess, a trilogy. Who knew? Well, me, but that’s to be expected.

The book is set in East Chester around the time Cammie was born and it fills in a lot of the details of Cammie’s life—who her parents really are and just how she came to be living with bootlegging Millie Turple in Tanner. We also learn some more about Evelyn and his father Jim Merry; lots about the Ideal Maternity Home, as well.

It’s due to be published in the Fall of 2020 which means the book that was previously scheduled for that slot had to be bumped to Fall 2021. Just a little shuffling as it seemed to make sense to bring this book out sooner rather than later, seeing how Cammie Takes Flight was published back in 2017.

So there’s my late summer news and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am. I’ve been sitting on this for awhile and was just bursting to tell!

But eventually, we all have to come back down to earth. Right? Even authors who have signed three book contracts in less than a year!!

I’m back writing again, looking through some material I wrote years ago and trying to decide if it still has value. This could take some time.

In the meantime, if all goes according to plan, the second round of edits on my still untitled adult fiction novel will be underway sometime in September. And as soon as we find the perfect title I’ll be sure to share it with you.

I hope you’re all having a spectacular summer.

Edits and Relish and Leaves

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


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…


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!


The Apocalypse is coming. The Apocalypse is coming!

I wonder how many end of the world blog posts went up this past week? Maybe some of you even wrote one. I actually thought about writing one myself, one night while I was trying to shut my head off from the edits I was doing. I got thinking about what I’d want to leave behind for some other civilization to find in the case of my demise if I decided to write uch a post. Well, actually, the demise of the entire planet (unless you have a bunker some place to wait it out , but personally, I didn’t see any on sale and something just told me they’d be too pricey for me to afford.) So while I was thinking about all this, the thoughts of a time capsule started to sound interesting. What would I place in one? What would leave behind a lasting impression should the world come to an end? What things would tell the story of me and my contribution to the world? That’s when I had to remind myself of how unimportant my life would be should the end actually come. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I could put in a time capsule that would wow some alien from another planet. And really do I care what some alien thinks? I don’t think so.

So, while I wasn’t having much luck settling down for the night, my mind then envisioned someone riding through the streets crying, “The Apocalypse is coming, the Apocalypse is coming!“ (Can you tell I write historic fiction?) That’s when I had to giggle. But hey, imagine if these doomsday predictions had come many years ago, before the invention of tv or the Internet. Who would warn the masses to prepare for the end? I mean, think of poor old Paul Revere when he made his historic ride, warning that the British were coming. If he could have posted that on Facebook it would have saved a lot of time and effort on his part, not to mention his poor horse. And tweeting?  Let’s not even go there. Call me physic but I predict that warning would probably have gone viral. I mean, the British were coming. That was serious business back then.

So, December 21 came and went. I spent the day shopping. There were so many people out like it was their last day on earth. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that!)

The end of the world predictions will be forgotten for the time being—at least until the next time. My daughter mentioned she’d read that a specific time had even been chosen—7:11 am.. And here’s the kicker—After my restless  I-cant-shut-my-head-off-after-spending-the-evening-on-edits night, when I woke in the morning and looked at the clock. Do you know what time it was? Yup, you guess it: 7:11. Wow my subconscious must really be something. Here’s hoping it helps me out the next time I’m stuck on a storyline.

So, how did you spend your end of the world day? Anything exciting happen other than the world not coming to an end? Do you have any doomsday jokes you’re just dying to share? I’d sure like to read them.

A Christmas State of Mind

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ~~Calvin Coolidge

Our tree has finally been brought in and decorated so it feels a bit more Christmasy at out house.  You might even say I’m in a Christmas state of mind.  Coupled with the fact that we’re getting our first *real* snow of the season, it seems like a day to take it easy and relax and enjoy the season.  What gets done gets done, and what doesn’t well…

I’ve got a few more little things to pick up plus grocery shopping before the “big” day. We’d planned to go shopping today,  but with the snow we’ll stay were where are. Tomorrow will be a better day for travel.


The edits on my novel are on schedule to be finished before Christmas. Since they’re not due until January, I’ll give it another read through before then. It’s always best to have a bit of a break before reading it through a final time. But this is the place where I’ll have to resist the urge to keep fiddling with the sentences. It’s difficult to let that story go. There always seems to be something we can see that needs to be changed, whether real or imagined.

It turns out this wintery day will be a good day to tie up some loose ends while I’m in this Christmas state of mind.

How about you, are you in a Christmas state of mind? Are you all ready for the “big” day? What things put you in the Christmas spirit?

Busy, Busy Beaver

On the property across from ours, the beavers have been extremely busy as you can see from the photo. It’s rather amazing to know that these small creatures aren’t afraid to tackle something so large. This urge to chop down trees is something that comes natural to them. Funny, how they don’t shy away from such a big undertaking. We see plenty of evidence of the beaver’s work, but we’ve never caught them in the act. I think much of their work is done at night.


Writing a novel is also a big undertaking. One that writers enter into willingly, regardless of the work involved. Rarely can an author say they whipped a novel up in a matter of a few weeks or months…(Yes, I know, some can, but many can’t.) For many authors it may take many months, maybe even years until their book is ready to be read by an editor. But once a book has been accepted for publication it doesn’t mean a writer can sit back and wait for those royalties to start rolling in. For those not involved in the industry, it’s difficult to understand what takes so long for a book to come out. I hear from people all the time, anxiously wondering why, if I’m working on edits for the book now, it isn’t coming out until next fall.

The whole idea behind the edits is to help make that story shine as much as possible. A writer often becomes immune to seeing the flaws in our stories and it takes another set of eyes to point out the imperfections and make suggestions as to how the story can be improved. We all want that book to be the best it can be, right?


So this is where I am at the moment. No, I don’t mean I’m cutting down trees….The edits are going well and I’m pleased with how the story is evolving even further. It’s always exciting to discover something new in your work, something you overlooked while you were getting the story down the first time around. Did I say the first time? I guess I should say the first several drafts.

Christmas might be creeping up on me, but I’m very hopeful that I’ll have the manuscript sent back before then. What is it about Christmas that makes us want to accomplish certain goals? I can remember, as a child, that rooms were painted before Christmas or new flooring laid.—always before Christmas, regardless of how close to the big day that it happened. So long as it was done by then everyone was happy. Anyway, I’ll use Christmas as a deadline to have this round of edits completed. I’m pretty sure that I won’t get a whole lot of writing done once a certain little someone arrives anyway.

How about you, is there anything you’d like to accomplish before Christmas comes?

Let the Edits Begin

Seems as though the things we often expect to happen a certain way end up going off in a totally different direction altogether. Life is funny that way. This month I thought I’d have time to devote to my new writing project, but low and behold I received an email from my editor at Nimbus Publishing. It is time to start editing my new YA novel, “To Fly With a Broken Wing.”  Yippee!!

“If you could have the edits done by January that would be great,” she said.

“No problem,” I replied.

No problem! Oh right, there’s this thing called Christmas coming up this month. I forgot all about Christmas mere seconds before I fired off the email. *gulp*

Okay it’s really not THAT bad. My editor is understanding and did add that if I needed more time it was fine, just to let her know. And truthfully, edits seem a bit overwhelming at first until you actually start addressing each comment and suggestion as you go. Personally, I’m just happy to be working on it and gearing up for the book’s release next fall. The exciting part is, the book is making progress. Edits have begun and, Christmas or not, I’ll get the work done. Authors are funny that way.

But it hasn’t been all work. I’ve been balancing things out as I go. A little shopping, a little gift wrapping, a lot of editing, a little decorating. If I play my cards right I’ll even get to watch an episode of “Grimm” this evening.

DSC02991A big thrill this week was meeting up with Donna Morrisey at a book signing. Donna’s new book is “The Deception of Livvy Higgs.” If you remember, I mentioned in an earlier post that she was on my list of authors to meet. Little did I know at the time our meeting would happen so soon. Yes, life certainly does throw in a surprise or two. This month has been busy with lots of authors doing book signings and I’m heading out again for one tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll either post about it on Facebook or my blog.

I’ve also had a disappointment this week. I’d been planning for months to get high speed Internet service, but it just wasn’t to be. I know this is difficult for many of you to understand, but here in rural Nova Scotia we don’t necessarily have the option for High Speed and that sucks. One company put up towers and many people can receive a wireless signal, but I happen to live in an area where too many trees are blocking that signal. I’ve got to say, dial-up makes life very challenging, and many times I have problems with pages loading, especially those blogs that have lots of photos posted on them. Then again, it can sometimes be impossible to comment when it does load. But I’m dealing with this challenge the best way I can. Some things are out of my control. I sometimes think the thought of something better makes us less tolerant for what we have. So perhaps now, I’ll accept what is and feel grateful to have Internet service at all.

Anyway, despite Christmas and the edits for my novel, I’m hoping to be around Blogland a bit more this winter. I have a lot to catch up on.

Has life given you any unexpected surprises lately?

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