Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Last Tempation... coming soon

Hello blogworld. It's been awhile...

Now that I'm back in the 9-5 salt mines, it's hard to find time to blog, tweet, facebook, write, AND keep up with the pulls and demands of the family.
My husband -- who, after 19 years of marriage, is suddenly becoming a fairly decent cook -- can attest to the major adjustments we've all had to make these past 6 weeks.

The hardest part for me was pushing writing to the back burner. I'm sure I'll figure out a way to make it all fit, but for now, just keeping up with the laundry, housework and homework checks is about all my over-stressed brain can handle.

That said, I have recently sold a paranormal short to Ellora's Cave that will be out in late Feb or early March, entitled Last Temptation. I'll post the blurb next week, but for now, here's a little cover eye-candy:

Until next week...

~ ~ ~

Monday, December 27, 2010


Destiny by Design is now a FREE READ on the Ellora's Cave site!
(and soon to be on Amazon, I believe...)

Go here to download:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

December is here!

Quick catch up:

November was a frantic month as I'd decided to try my hand at National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.

What I learned? I am not a fast writer. Soaring word counts, as delightful and motivating as it was, is not my gauge for progress. Because now I have 50,000 crap words to fix. My routine is more think/write/research/plot/write/research/plot/write, etc... And because I don't write in a linear fashion (I like to get down those critical scenes fairly early), the speed really messed with my head.

Will I do it again? Probably. But only because I liked the collective energy! It's great to write with a group of friends, to push each other ahead, to bounce ideas around when you're stuck...

I also took a quick trip up the Thunder Bay to visit my family -- a whirlwind shopping/visiting/eating extravaganza that left me with a sore throat and a suitcase full of Christmas pressies. All good :)

Hunger Games follow up: Both me and oldest son LOVED them. We gobbled up those last two books in Thunder Bay -- in fact, we were fighting over the third, which meant I couldn't read it until he was asleep.
And oh, the discussions we had -- all very good, and I've decided it should be required reading for all teens/tweens... As long as parents or teachers steer the commentary and show kids how the issues are very much relevant in the here and now.

Walking Dead was my t.v. obsession and though it was only a disappointing six episodes long, we have something to look forward to next fall when they return with thirteen eps. That should be long enough for me to get on a good, reliable heart medication, yes? LOL

December, December, I can't believe it's here. With my head in NaNoVille, I didn't think of anything else but writing, so December suprised me with it's arrival and it's myriad activities.
Perhaps the best part was my birthday -- I got a Kobo e-reader! I'm going through the pre-loaded books at the moment and trying to decide which book shall have the honor of being my first bought book. That's going to take some thought...

Back to the kitchen for me. I'm baking so I have something to put out when the inlaws arrive later this week: shortbreads, bishcottes, gingerbread cookies, peppermint bark, Nainimo bars (or New York special, as it's called south of the border), and maybe some toffee squares.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Hunger Games Dilemma

I walked into our family room last week and caught my son thirty pages into my copy of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games. My first reaction was... whoa, that's not appropriate reading material for and almost-11 yr old. But I didn't snatch it away, figuring that he'd get lost and lose interest before any of the heavy stuff happens.
Guess he's more like his mother than I thought, and five days later he's asking me for the next book in the series, Catching Fire.

I think I'm supposed to have The Talk with him regarding some of the heavier issues in the book (no, there's no sex, but there are kids killing kids, encouraged by the adult populous), but
A) I'm not sure he really understood the moral implications and by bringing them up I might be stirring something that hasn't occured to him, and
B) I have no idea how to approach/handle this!

Any advice?

Also - I haven't read Catching Fire or Mockinjay yet. If he's already read the first book, is there any harm in giving him the others?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Never Let Me Go

(written Oct 15)
I just put down Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. The book may not sound familiar to you, but you've likely heard of the upcoming movie starring Keira Knightly and Carey Mulligan (love her!).
At the time I'm writing this, the movie has yet to be released... but I'm putting it on my go-to list as the performances will no doubt be award-worthy.

The book. Here's the back cover blurb:
From Booker Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro comes a devastating new
novel of innocence, knowledge and loss.
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at hailsham, an exclusive
boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial
cliques and mysterious reules--andteachers were constantly reminding their
charges of how special they were.
Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Rutha nd Tommy have reentered her
life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past
and understand just what it is that makes them so special--and how that gift
will shape the rest of their time together.
If you don't already know, and it's revealed very early in the book, so I don't think I'm letting out a big secret... is that these 'special' kids are being bred/raised for the sole purpose of organ donations. They're clones, with no parents or families, who will go on to make up to four 'donations' in their young adult lives before 'completeing'.

It's narrated by Kathy H, a 'carer', a sort-of nurse to the donors before she'll become one herself, who thinks back to her time at Hailsham and her relationship with her best friends Ruth and Tommy.
It all appears rather innocent, her reminisces about classes and cliques, artwork and crushes... while their destinies are never questioned, not a rebellous streak in any of them.
Though well written and engaging (which made it worth every cent of the $15) I can't come right out and say I loved it because underneath all the gentle flowing narrative is a highly disturbing subtext. The reader, who understands what's going on from almost the outset, keeps waiting for the breakthrough, the aha moment when these characters come to terms with who and what they are... but it never really happens.
Yes - I get that this was the point, but it left me shaken.
The book never once questions the moral/ethic dilemma, leaving that instead to the reader, and this particular reader kept hoping someone would step forward to champion for right. I suppose Miss Emily, the headmistress of Hailsham did, in her own way, by creating this sheltered world for the donors, and yet... it wasn't enough.
Then again, this story can serve as an analogy for any number of wrongs being committed in the world right now under the guise of science or politics or war and here I sit, in the comfort of my suburban home, wondering which pizza place I'll order from tonight.
Perhaps this book served it's purpose -- to make me think, to question, to not accept things just because society has deemed it a norm.
Damn you Ishuguro, for making my brain hurt!
Have you read this book or seen the movie? I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

National Novel Writing Month, November 2010

With only hours before the November 1st start date, I decided to take part in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNo.
The object: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I've shied away from this in the past for a few reasons, the most important one being that I'm not a fast writer. I plod along, edit and research as I go and I know I'm going to have a tremendously difficult time shutting off my inner editor.

With my youngest in full-time school this year, I don't have a lot of excuses not to at least try. And I figure if I tell the world of my intentions, I'll be too embarrassed to give up by Nov 6th, *hee*.

I'm also hoping my buddies, Amy Ruttan, Kimber Chin, Christine D'Abo and JK Coi, will hold me accountable, crack the whip when needed and out me as a loser/giver-uper/defeatest if I try and pull out.

Yup - crazy. I'm feeling a tinge of regret already, and it's 2 1/2 hours before the starting gun. Eeks!

How 'bout you? Nano-ing or Nono-ing?