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

Month: April 2012

What is in Your Library?

I actually have the honour of recommending books, sometimes. Which is kind of nice. Because then it means that my opinion matters. Sometimes.

But one thing I’ve always wondered, is what do other people read? My library upstairs (could be called an office, but it’s way too disorganized and I have more books than any other piece of furniture and it’s MY room, so I’ll call it want I want thank you very much…. and also I do most of my writing in there. Although lately I’ve been taking up the entire dining room table because it’s closer to the kitchen which means I can warm up my tea more easily.

So. Blah blah blah, here are the books in my library. No, wait, I can’t do that. Let me do a quick count: about 400 including a few manuals and bibles. I’m not writing them all out. So let me give my recommendations of what I own in each category.

Middle grade fiction: mine of course! baaahahahaaa! Ok. Artemis Fowl, the Mysterious Benedict Society (1 and 2), Little House in Big Woods (all of them!), Charlotte’s Web, Peter Pan (oh how it made me cry!), Ellen Tebbits (Beverly Cleary), Honestly, Katie John (Calhoun – I looove the Katie John books), Anne of Green Gables, the Secret Garden and Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren).

Teen: Hunger Games (obviously), Harry Potter, Blood Red Road, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, everything by Louise Renisson (the Georgia books), Gingerbread/Shrimp/Cupcake by Rachel Cohn, Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block.

Chick-Lit: Marian Keys, Jen Lancaster, Sophie Kinsella (although I didn’t care for Shop-a-holic – it stressed me far too much), Wendy Holden (older stuff), Jane Green, Emily Giffen

Not so Chick-Lit: Chocolate by Joanne Harris (one of my favourites), the Red Shoes by Michael Powell, Maeve Binchy

Fantasy: Charles DeLint


I have many more. But these are my favourites that I read yearly.

So. There you go.

eating: nutritional shake that tastes like dirt

drinking: water

listening to: a lawn mower

reading: Eat, Pray, Love


Sleep Study


Last night I went for a sleep study. Because I’m tired all the time. Like ALL the time. And I dream all the time. And I yell at things in my sleep. And I wake up a lot. And sometimes I choke.

It was at your local hospital and I got there at 9pm, bringing 2 pillows (1 pillow to snuggle), and my blanket, a book, iphone, grinder, vaseline, vicks, earplugs, eyemask…I’m terribly high maintenance.  So the girl began hooking me up to many, many electrodes. First she measured my head and then with a red wax crayon, she marked my scalp. And then used alcohol to clean it. And given I just had my hair done yesterday, it kinda stung (you know how the stylist brushes your scalp a million times with a comb?), then some thick weird wax and then electrodes. I had 9 electrodes on my head. Then sensors around the top and bottom of my chest to monitor if I breathe with my stomach or my chest. And then electrodes beside my eyes and on my chin (eye movement and teeth grinding/clenching), on the outside of my ankles (restless feet/toe twitching), on my shoulder blades for ECG, clamp on my ring finger for oxygen (?) and a nose calendula. Did I spell that right? Whatever. Tubes up my nose. So I was supposed to sleep with this:

Looks comfortable, doesn’t it?








So, I climbed into bed and read for about half an hour while the lovely nurse hooked up another person in another room. I figured I’d haul all these wires to the washroom for the last time and then crash. She tucked me and I lay down.

Couldn’t sleep. Wide awake. I was exhausted, but awake. So I donned my grinder, eyemask, earplugs etc and waited. You know that moment where your thoughts get weird and you slightly dream but then you are jolted awake? That happened a lot. Until about 12:30. Do you know how hard it is to roll over with wires? I had to snuggle up to a huge box and pray I wouldn’t get electrocuted. I believe I nodded off for a bit but then I woke myself up yelling at someone, “Did you let the dog out?” (insert bad song here). And then I woke up at 4:30 and I had an awful headache and I finally asked if I could go home. So she came in and removed all the electrodes and I went home with weird thick white wax in my hair which took 20 minutes in a hot shower to get out. Apparently it melts out. Ew.

So I got home at 5am and made tea because I had to go pick up the boy at nana’s at 7:30 to take him to school. And now I am home and a zombie and now I go sleepies.

I’m really hoping they find something subtle…

Look at this!!!

It isn’t on their website yet, because I don’t know if it’s offical, but ‘Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, a Troll and a Rather Large Chicken’ has been short-listed for the Canadian Christian Writers Award!

Look here:

Book – Children

Connie Brummel Crook of Peterborough, Ont. for Flight (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)

Brian Cretney of St. Catharines, Ont. for Tooter’s Stinky Wish (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)

Jenn Kelly of Carleton Place, Ont. for Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, a Troll, and a Rather Large Chicken     (Zondervan)

My concern of course being against a Governor General Award winner… but the recognition sure is nice!!!

All About Knees

Catchy title, isn’t it?

First of all, go read this. Because that’s my monthly blog for the ICFW.

Ok. So you know my knee issues? Yes, yes you remember. No cartilage, lots of physio, blah blah.


Today I had an appointment with Performance Orthotic something or other. And I went in with my shorts and we discussed my knee issue. My issue is that I want a knee brace so I can play tennis. And go faster on the elliptical without breaking my leg. His issue is that I overpronate. Which I already know. Hence the orthotics. He asked me how long I’ve had them, and I answered that these are new as of December but I’ve worn them for four years.

Then he asked me if I wear them in the house. To which I said no, it’s gross to wear shoes in the house. And I prefer to be barefoot.

Guess what?

The mystery to my disappearing knee cartilage? Because I overpronate and my legs have twisted and worn down all the cartilage in my knees because I don’t wear my orthotics more often.

So…. that means the other knee is shot too?

Yep. Pretty much.


So I was fitted for a custom knee brace, getting a full leg cast etc. And then I was told the price.

Fifteen hundred dollars.

I’m really, really praying that Manulife will cover this….

And I ordered it in baby blue. Because it’s prettier.

Writing news: am searching for the perfect moment for heroine to get her kiss. It has to be awesome.


Reading: just finished ‘Don’t You Want Me’ by India Knight. Anyone under 18 should not read it.

Drinking: tea. pumpkin chai.

Eating: dunno. sandwich?

Listening to: City and Colour. Am in luuuurve!!!!

God’s love

What is it about working in the garden that makes me fall in love with God again?

I could analyze it.

I could break it down and say that it’s the feeling of the waiting earth. The heavy-scented dirt in my hands, the dust filling the cracks within my palms covering me.

 Like God’s love.

Or it could be the sharp-ended hoe that I smash to the ground, cutting up unwanted roots from crab-grass and weeds, threatening to take over my garden.

Like my old-self.

It could be the exercise from digging and hauling and moving, making me alive but sore.

Like God changing me.

It could be the tiniest of seeds waiting so patiently to be planted, to be cared for and nurtured.

Like God’s Word.

Or it could be the fertilizer that I have to carefully mix within my red watering can, and sprinkle it evenly and carefully so I don’t accidentally kill anything.

Like the words from my mouth.

Or it could be the new growth popping out of the ground, so fresh and green and cheerful and abundant.

Like my faith.

It could be the anticipation of the harvest yet to come. The hardwork and the love put into the garden that will result in a bounty of deliciousness and joy.

Like the promise of eternal life.

I could analyze it all.

But as I dig, and weed, and plant, and separate, and fertilize, and harvest, and burn my shoulders, and sing my songs, I actually don’t think of any of that.

All I can think, the entire time I am out there is:






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