the journey from writing a novel to ... what were we talking about again?

Month: November 2010 (page 1 of 3)

Love, love, love…

This has to be my new favourite singer. Am glad he’s now being played at Chapters. The video is awesome.

Her Morning Elegance


Fan Mail!!!

I haven’t figured out if it’s tacky to post fan mail or not. I think I’ll eschew formalities because I’m just so gosh darn excited about it!  The following is from Berkeley. California? Hope you don’t mind MO!


My younger daughter (10) is an avid reader and really fickle. It takes her hours of picking over titles before she settles on book. She’ll look at the cover, the back cover, the synopsis, the author’s description of herself, and read the first chapter before committing. Once she’s made a decision, it’s best to get out of the way, as she will disappear in her room until the book is done.

Anyway, she picked _Jackson Jones_ last week, and ripped through it. I’ll have to find a place to post the pictures she drew after finishing the book. The sketches will eventually be turned into a shadow box, which is her mission over the Thanksgiving break.

Last night, I spent a couple of hours with her back at the book store looking for something that was worthy of following JJ. No luck. She was in tears about it. (I think that may of had something to do with her dread of having Thanksgiving weekend at her Grandma’s with nothing to read.)

I just wanted you to know you have a rabid fan here in Berkeley. If you are ever in the area for a signing, please let us know.

I hope you have continued success with your writing.



I have decided to buy beautiful stationary and send out thank you notes to fan mail writers. Because 1) mail is almost dead and 2) who doesn’t like getting cards in the mail?

In other news: spent an hour on the phone with lovely Kathleen and must have all edits done by Thursday. Maybe Friday at the latest. Then the book will be finished (being written and awaiting publication) before she’s gone. Here’s praying for an awesome new editor!!!

Eating: salted caramel hot chocolate with soy. oh my good golly it’s gooooood!

Watching: nothing! Are you kidding me? I’m on page 16 of 136!

Listening to: annoying Christmas music. The radio kind, not the soft pretty kind. Must change stations.

Reading: Assassins.  Vogue.

Confusing Contest

So … you win money for performing and reciting poems? Not for writing them.

That makes no sense to me at all.


Was so much fun.

I was invited to Merivale High School in Ottawa for Career Fair day. Incidentally so was hubby, but we won’t get into that right now.

I was supposed to be giving a presentation to 33 students. I think 20 made it. But still.

I was very nervous. I think I was sweating the entire time. And I didn’t write a speech because I hate those things. I wanted to just touch certain aspects, certain important details they should know. I felt I had to keep apologizing to the student-teacher guy because so many things that I said were not of the norm.  I loved that the students actually listened (or they were faking it) and that they were genuinely interested in writing novels. The world definitely needs more novels. Correction: the world certainly needs more ‘good’ novels.

One little chicky came up afterwards to talk to me and she’s got a spark. Something there that is definitely different from the others. I encouraged her best as I could.

Points I covered in class: (incase you were curious)

-talked about different schools to go to. For journalism, Carleton U is excellent though hard to get into. Ryerson is brilliant with a lot of teachers helping out. So is Algonquin College. For creative writing itself, I recommend York. Granted I’ve never been there but I was accepted once. Does that count?

-talked about grades. Talked about having grammar known inside and out (oh I could take a page out of that for myself!), beef up on complete proper sentence structure. (Lovely Kathleen does that so much for me, but it does take a good base knowledge to get looked at).

-talked about appearances. Let’s face it. Everyone is immediately judged on how they look. I myself try not to do it and I am horribly embarassed and ashamed of myself when I do it. Bad.  But it matters. It also matters how they speak, what subjects they talk about, not to be shy, not to take rejection.

-talked about facebook. Clean it up. Get rid of incriminating photos. Post some essays. Write witty remarks. Remove all ‘texting’ words. Speak properly. No swearing.

-learn poetry inside and out. Including Shakespeare. I personally do not like Shakespeare (gasp!). I do appreciate Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night. But man that dude just talks! But you still have to know it. Inside and out. Shows you can research, look for underlying meanings, gives you a new appreciation for language , and I hate saying this, makes you look smart.

-portfolio: you need to prove you’re good. Start a zine. Start a blog and do reviews. Make it look clean and neat and appealing. If you can get a following, even better. Write articles on anything and everything. Submit them everywhere. Volunteer at newspapers, tv and radio stations – volunteering always looks good.

-grades. Enough said.

-don’t quit. don’t quit. don’t quit. don’t quit.don’t quit.

To anyone who was there today – thanks for coming. I appreciate it and I wish you well. You’ve got my contact info.


I do love doing presentations. Am tempted to start contacting schools.

Reading: Real Simple Magazine, Vogue December 10 (shut up), Bon Appetit June 09 (yaya. I know.) Apollyon. L.A. Candy. ( I last two pages. Ick. That girl writes tripe.)

Eating: grande, soy, decaf, no foam, pumpkin spice latte.

Watching: the House Bunny. innappropriate but funny. Think Adam Sandler

Listening to: the dog lick her lips. It’s suppertime.

Call Me Crazy…

But I started a new book.

And it ain’t for kids.

See, I was having a fantastic conversation with the lovely Kathleen, and discussed how at her new Publishing house, she’ll be senior editor of women’s fiction and amish romance. For those of you who are unaware, yes, amish romance does exist. So I laughed. And then realized that she just might be an outlet into other, possibly bigger things. Hm…

So as we email chatted, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant storyline for women’s fiction/amish romance. I have yet to figure out which it’ll be.

So today, after the gym and my Farm Boy lunch run, I made it over to my favourite coffee shop, noticed two of my books had sold over the weekend (yay me!) and began to write.

I wrote 1,000 words without breaking a sweat.

While I am all for writing another Jackson Jones (gosh they are fun to write and I’m pretty sure I have the plot down for the third – which will involve a shipwreck), if I don’t sell an adequate amount of the first, there will not be a contract for a third … yet. Deep down I’m hoping for a late start out of the gate and mid-summer things will pick up smoothly (although I pray for a great Christmas spike) and then I’ll be asked to write more. But why limit myself? I’ve always wanted to write a grown-up book. I’ve always wanted to write a teen series. I’ve always wanted to write an adult fiction.

So why not?

Reading: same as before

Eating: pumpkin scone from starbucks. too sweet! ick. shoulda had chocolate square or something

Listening to: the dog chew her feet.

Watching: Hulk with Ed Norton.

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