Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wardroids finds a home.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from Deron Douglas of Double Dragon Publishing.  It began with "Thank you for your submission" and I was totally expecting the phrase "we regret to inform you" to follow. I know the competition is fierce and I've trained myself not to expect anything when I submit anywhere. Instead, I've been offered an ebook contract for their 2013 schedule!

Double Dragon ebooks are available in all the formats and you can buy them wherever you normally buy ebooks (chapters, amazon, whatever), so I have a good chance of becoming an overnight sensation and selling a million trillion copies. They also print on demand through lulu, so I can buy a copy and put it on my special shelf.

I didn't jump up and down and do a happy dance.  It was too surreal.  I'm a real author now.  I signed a contract and everything.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Omi and Medieval Times

Yesterday I went to Medieval Times and today I attended my grandmother's "celebration of life" which is like a funeral only more festive and cheery.  These two events are in no way related to each other.  One involved a fun excursion with a friend I haven't hung out with in a while (Hi Amy!) the other involved chatting with family members that I only see at weddings and "celebrations of life".  Are you reading my blog yet, Jodi? E-mail me!

I could bore you to death with an account of both of these but instead I will amuse myself my imagining what it would be like if my late Omi had attended Medieval Times with me.  

As we drove up she would have given each of my children a box of Smarties to make them smart.  She never knew my kids, but she would have loved them.  She loved all children, especially her grandkids. When we got into the buy stuff area, Omi would have bought William a sword and a shield and armour and anything else he was vaguely interested in, she would not have accepted our money for this.  In fact, she would try to shove a fist of twenties into my hand.

While we were watching the show, Omi would tell me how handsome she thought the Black and White Knight was.  He had short dark hair, and the other knights had long hair.  When he gave out flowers to random women in the audience, she would have called out "Woohoo!" until she got one. 

She would have denounced the violence as "silly" while at the same time happily cheering on our Black and White Knight. She would try to make me eat half of her chicken on top of my own, not taking no for an answer.  Failing that, she would wrap any extra food in napkins and shove it into her purse.

The Black and White Knight gave Jadzia a sash that said "Queen of Love and Beauty", but I'm pretty sure if Omi had been there she would have gotten the title.  She had a way of standing out in a crowd (partially to do with her tight low-cut leopard print tops) and she was always so full of love, and absolutely beautiful.

Adam just asked if I was writing about my grandmother, and if I was to be sure to mention the awesome pictures he printed for her celebration. He made three big boards full of pictures, two with black and whites and one with colour.  They looked beautiful against a black background, and each board rested on an easel he had borrowed from work.  It really made the room feel special.  For those of you who came and enjoyed my spaetzle the recipe is here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Free Ebook

For a limited time, Siobhan Minty is offering free copies of her ebook A Gay in the Life of Melinda Finch.  I've mentioned before how awesome this book is and now it won't cost you any money to trust in my judgement. Just use the coupon code CH76C.

Money doesn't buy happiness...or does it?

First, I'd like to thank all my friends who came to my karaoke birthday celebration.  For those that couldn't make it, I've posted the above video so you can still have fun singing. These Boots are Made for Walking is an extra fun karaoke song, and I urge you to sing it right now.  Especially if you are currently in your place of employment.  The more people that hear you, the more thrilling karaoke singing becomes.

Special thanks to Becca and Cara who won the 50/50 draw at the random fundraiser that was going on while we were there.  They shared their winnings with me AND paid the tab.  I know the old adage says "Money Can't Buy Happiness" but that was probably written by somebody rich. It certainly increased my happiness to be in the black at the end of the night!

So just for fun, I've compiled a list of things that money CAN buy, that would make me happier:

A second bathroom
I'm sure that when I'm naked, all ready to step into the shower, the kids would still be banging at the door. At least with a second bathroom, I could yell at them to use the downstairs toilet. So many times I have opened the door only to realize that they didn't have to pee, they just wanted to say hi.

More vacations
Full disclosure: I am going to the Dominican in January for my sister's wedding. It is sure to be a fun vacay, but the money used to pay for it is causing much stress on both my mind and my credit.  The more stress I have, the more I need vacations, but since money troubles cause the most stress it's a big catch 22. If I was someone with more disposable income I would take trips at least twice a year.  Once with and once without children. Make that once a month.

My family eats, yes. But when I choose chicken over steak or lobster, I want it to be because I feel like chicken.  Eating out would be nice too, without feeling the guilt over spending money we don't have.

I want to go shopping and buy myself a whole new wardrobe. Somehow a couple of shirts off the clearance rack isn't enough for me anymore. Nothing says sexy like a ten-year-old pair of pants with a broken zipper.

Maid service
My mom had a cleaning lady for a brief period when I was in high school.  I hated it.  She would spend the whole time cleaning my bedroom and I would never be able to find anything afterwards.  Now I would sell my kidney if someone would do my dishes and laundry on a regular basis.

I love school and if I had the money I would pick up an extra degree in...well...anything.  I could be a doctor! Or an astronaut! If only I had the money to learn how.

When I was a teenager I kept $1000 in my bank account and began to feel anxious if it dipped below $900.  If I had $900 in my bank account right now I would go on that shopping spree.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's all about me.

Now that you're all done your Remembrance Day moment of silence, I'm sure you're dying to know how my birthday went yesterday.  I started the morning the way I start every Thursday, by taking Jadzia to the Early Years for the Nobody's Perfect parenting program, while my husband, who had taken the day off, put the finishing touches on my mystery cake.

After the program I dropped Jadzia off at my friend Columbia's house to watch for the afternoon.  Adam and I went out for a sushi lunch, then we went for a leisurely bike ride around the neighbourhood.  By then it was almost time to pick William up from school.  Adam walked to pick up William while I drove to get Jadzia (who was amusing herself with Columbia's spoon collection).

I opened my presents fairly soon thereafter.  A red shirt moose bag, the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray and some red sandals to replace the ones that Worf murdered (too bad winter's coming).  William and Jadzia each drew me a picture. Will's was extra special because he worked really hard on it, started it in school and had Adam help him finish it.

While the kids and I watched Back to the Future II (quite a bit more language in that movie than I remembered) Adam went to the store and purchased three live lobsters.  The kids and I amused ourselves watching our dinner crawl around in the sink.  One of them was actually quite feisty, but Adam managed to subdue him using a large pot of boiling water.  The kids split one lobster (though William enjoyed his half a lot more than Jadzia did) and Adam and I each had one to ourselves.  It was delicious and made me want to cook live lobster more often.

After dinner it was cake time.  Adam had made me a cellular peptide cake with mint frosting! Of course instead of cellular peptide it was chocolate and instead of mint frosting it had hard chocolate coating and blue creamy icing. The cake was a definite win, using solid chocolate to ice it was a stroke of genius, as was the fairly obscure Trek reference.  It warms my heart to know that my husband is just as much of a nerd as I am.

 For those of you who don't get the reference, watch this clip of Data having a fairly disturbing dream:
This isn't the end of the birthday festivities, oh no.  Tomorrow (Saturday) I am going karaokeing with whichever friends decide to show up (I invited pretty much everyone on facebook).  The only catch is that the bar we're going to couldn't reserve a table for us, and I couldn't find another place.  Ah well, I'm just going to show up with my posse and hope for the best. I don't mind having to stand as long as I get to sing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's my birthday

I'm 32.

Please leave warm wishes in the comments below.
(presents would also be nice).

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

It's never too early to start promoting.

So even though my first book is yet to be published, when UK blogger A.J. Mullarky offered to promote new authors on her blog I jumped at the chance.  The interview is up today!  You can learn a bit about my writing, especially my (currently homeless) novel Wardroids.


Thank you A.J.!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday...Something from my work in progress

As the deafening hum of her wings grew closer, Zran knew she was coming for him.  He felt his hearts thumping against his chest, creating a drum beat for the dance that was beginning.  He knew better than to resist, that all the strength of his massive bulk would be nothing once her venom reached his brain. So he stood on the lonely glass street, his arms open, claws outstretched, and looked up at the sky.

As she came nearer he could see that the woman was at least ten years his senior, older than the last one. Still, she had that same crazed look in her eyes, all that is civilized having vacated mind.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Final Goodbye

It's hard to say exactly when Omi left us.  When the picture above was taken, six years ago, she was already forgetting things. I would have lunch at her condo and she would tell me the same story three times. I've been trying to remember her stories as I write this.

She used to tell a version of how my parents met.  It went like this:  My dad wanted to play cards and my mom wanted to study, so my mom said "How about, first we study, then we play cards?" And they lived happily ever after.

Omi wanted to get married in a Catholic church, but when they went to see the priest my grandfather refused to sign something promising to raise their children Catholic.  According to my grandmother, Opa said "I don't even have any children yet and you want me to sell them to you!"

She told me how she met my grandfather in a dance class.  He was tall and handsome and, even though he wasn't paired with her at first, he only wanted to dance with her.

Just after World War II, when my grandmother was a teenager, she was attacked while bringing food to her father in prison. After that, she sent her younger brother in without her. She often told me, "War brings out the worst in people."

She moved back in time, talking more and more about the past.  Eventually, I was too new for her to remember who I was.  Sometimes, she thought I was my mother.  Then she forgot her too.

When I was a kid, Omi used to sing "You are my sunshine" to me.  Yesterday, when we went to visit her for the last time, my Mom printed out the lyrics and we sang it to her.  I only really knew the cheerful chorus; the verses were depressingly appropriate.  I didn't imagine she could have looked worse than the last time I saw her, but she did.  Older, thinner, greyer.  As we sang, she briefly opened her eyes, then scrunched up her face as though she was in pain.

We knew that she was going to die soon, and finally this evening she did.  But the Omi I knew and loved died a long time ago.  There was no exact time and date of death.  She slipped away gradually through a slow leak in her mind.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Insecure Writers....Get a Writer's Group!

So it's insecure writers' support group day (actually it's the end of insecure writer's support group day and I almost missed it because I'm scatterbrained).  Anyway, I just came back from writer's group.  If you're a writer, and you don't have a writer's group, get one.  Every three weeks I meet with five supportive, skilled and talented people.  Our meetings are an equal mix of socializing, constructive critique, and patting each other on the back.  All three are important for writers (and mothers).

I go to the group feeling like my work sucks, and leave feeling like a real author.  No, they don't sugar coat their critiques, but no one's as bad as my inner voice.  In the end, I know that I must be good to belong in the company of such wonderfully brilliant people.

Two of my writer's group friends have books that you may purchase (and I encourage you to do so).
Linda Cassidy's poetry book Inland Waterways can be purchased here (just scroll down a bit on their page).
Siobhan Minty's ebook A Gay in the Life of Melinda Finch can be purchased here or here

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Making Art

Just a quick post to show off the poster my daughter and I made today using finger paint and crayons (two deceptively difficult mediums). It was a true collaborative effort and, as you can see, our artistic styles mesh very well together.

Below is a detail showing my favourite part of the piece.  It's a snail that Jadzia drew.
Her friend Zoe (who is 4 and a half) says that Jadzia can draw anything.  She's right. And Jadzia is only two and a half. At this rate my daughter will surpass my meager talents in a few short years (if she hasn't already, art is so subjective).  I'm hoping that we're still collaborating when she's old enough to become famous and then I can share in her millions of dollars and adoring fans.
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