Category Archives: Random Musings

SNBCS Social Media Seminars

sooo… here is a plug for one of my other businesses.

I run SNB Consulting Services. One of the things we do is help consultants, authors, job seekers and small business owners learn about Social Media with a very hands on approach.

This means in-person seminars, some where I usually encourage attendees to bring their laptops so we can get started immediately.

Yeah – I though you’d like that.

So for all your authors out there who want to know more about using Social Media to create an online presence and market your books, check out SNBCS Social Media Basics seminars at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C., just outside of Vancouver.

If you can’t come to the West Coast, check out my website, SNB Consulting Services and Building Better Small Business blog (because, my dear author, a small business is what you become as soon as you sign that publisher contract)

Sign up for my e-newsletter and you’ll receive an ebook of some of my favourite tips for getting started.

Explosions and Being Human

Yesterday was blow-up day and today seems to be (at least so far) recovery.

I added a page to and then went to work on one of my new projects.

Shortly afterward, Wil, my roommate came home. I cheered – it was suppertime and the new project was going well. It looked like it was going to be a great night.

Then almost immediately, I discovered that PaperBox Books had exploded with a nasty “500 internal error” claiming I’d changed things that I didn’t. I uttered a few nasty words that I’m sure Mom would never approve of.

Half an hour later I gave up, not willing to muck things up any further than I possibly already had.

It wasn’t pretty.

Even though, it’s been almost a month since I lost my Dad, my emotions are very close to the surface. For someone who works on logic and represses, dealing with wayward feelings is disconcerting.

Operation Avoidance:

Not willing to take my ire out on poor Wil, I lit stuff on fire instead (specifically BBQ coals), it was very therapeutic.

After supper, plugged in my headphones and watched a few more episodes of BBCs ‘Being Human’. A television dramedy about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost all living together trying to fit in.

It did the trick. When I woke up this morning, I didn’t feel like chucking either of my computers out the window. I talked to Lanh Ng at Hostgator, my hosting company, and he fixed me right up.


Life is a Cafe

Call me weird but I’ve always wanted to work in a cafe. Not a coffee shop where people come in, order impossibly complicated drinks and leave, but a place sort of like Cheers, without the alcohol.

I can now cross that item off my list.

A friend of mine was in dire straights. One of the girls was going away on vacation and they still had 4 shifts to cover. Would I be interested?

Hells Yeah

The only downside is that I have to leave my house at 6:30am to get downtown for 8am. I work from home, I usually leave my bed at 8am to be to work for 8:05am.

This will require a slight adjustment.

It’s worth it though. I trained for two shifts this past week. This place is exactly like my vision. Regulars come in, chat while their drinks and custom deli sandwiches are made. The girls have pet names for their favourite customers and happily few non-favourites darken their doors. It’s great.

Extra Bonus:

I get new ideas for characters and situations and I’m standing for 5 hours that normally would be spent on my butt in from of my computer. It’s a win/win/win

BBQing in the rain

A good time was had by all.

I took a chance and mixed writers with non- writers. The experiment worked out well.

Folks started gathering at the allotted time and this time I was smart and moved the BBQ to the front of my house where the deck protected the grill-flip-artists from the wet much better than the eaves at the back of my house with the dripping gutters did last time.

My house full of people lingered til late in the evening, cozied against the wet outside and fortified with wine, coffee, lemon meringue and toblerone cheesecake (and yes it was as good as it sounds)

Now today, it’s back to the grind.

Sunday Brunch Writing Prompts at Toasted Cheese, hoisting my editor flag and reading a revised manuscript sent to PaperBox Books, #amediting myself and polishing my next novel to be published and somewhere in the middle Skyping my parents to say, “Hi” and recap this week’s events.

Rain and Adulthood

Some days you just want to lay down on the floor like a 3-year old and throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum.

I’m a red-head. Trust me, any temper tantrum I throw is going to be spectacular!

But alas, I am also an adult. So as a good friend of mine says, “Pull up your big girl panties and get on with it.”

Self wedgie administered, away I go.

I’m hosting a BBQ this afternoon. It’s been sunny and warm for the past couple of weeks and it looked like the weather would hold for a few more. Almost the instant I sent out the invitations there appeared a chance of rain on the 7th. No other day, just the 7th. As the date grew closer, the change of precipitation grew higher. Normally the weather shifts from one day to the next. Not this time. *sigh*

Luckily, my house is big enough to hold everyone.

To add insult to injury, one of my best friends from back-East was to drive down from Banff to spend the weekend and come to my BBQ. Alas, thunderstorms up in the mountains made her cancel her plans. The roads can be nail-biting on a sunny day, if you’ve never driven on mountain roads, a thunderstorm is not a good time for your maiden pass.

On the bright side.

The hourly forecast says that the rain will ease and stop around the time people start to arrive. I hope the weather decides to stay one it’s consistency path and keep to it’s schedule. After all there are wildfires further up the valley that need the rain more than we do.

Red Sun

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight
Red in the morning, sailors take warning

That old saying has never steered me wrong to predict the following day’s weather… outside of wildfire season that is. This week, the sky is hazy and the sun is red from the moment it begins to sink in the sky.

Normally, the ash in the air doesn’t bother me, but this afternoon I couldn’t stop coughing. If this is what it feels like to those who have seasonal allergies… well I have a whole new respect for what you go through.

Me no likey!

Of course, I’ve planned a BBQ for Saturday. The weather has been spectacular and it looked like it was going to continue for another week or so… that is until I sent out the invitations. Then the forecast immediately changed to rain.

Now I’m feeling guilty for resenting the rain when we need it so badly.

So Mr. Weatherman, let’s make a deal. Pour you little heart out on Friday and Sunday and give me a sunny Saturday. Does that work for you?

Explosion Averted

Last night while I was getting ready to watch more “Legend of the Seeker” the TV series bases on the Terry Goodkind, “Sword of Truth” books I decided I wanted some popcorn.

My microwave has been acting up lately so I didn’t stray too far from the kitchen. Good thing too. Within seconds of me pushing the start button, it began to make a funky noise. As I raced across the kitchen floor, I saw that the interior light was flickering on and off like a first rate horror movie. I just hoped I could turn it off before it exploded and attacked me with hot, oil-covered, corn-kernal pellets.

Luckily, I hit stop and unplugged it before ‘oh crap’ turn into ‘oh %#@&’

So my morning included buying a new microwave. This one is bigger so it doesn’t fit as nicely into the corner as my old one did but… it’s bigger.

Most importantly – it has a popcorn button that works.

The one on my old microwave never did do the job correctly. I used to have to enter the time myself. Tonight, I had a full bowl of puffy popcorn. FULL I say, none of this 1/3 left over unpopped kernals and scorched bits nonsense.

This makes me a happy camper.

Old friends

Some days you just need to connect with old friends. They know the ‘who’ you were before you were the ‘who’ you are now.

My best friend, Robin, and I have been friends since we were 12. I won’t tell you how many years that’s been, but I will say she’s my rock. I wouldn’t have made it this far with out her.

My new roommate arrives in 4 sleeps – I can’t wait.

He’s new as a roommate but we’ve been friends for almost a decade. To me this is particularly awesome because we’ve lived on opposite sides of the continent for almost eight years. Quite an accomplishment to keep a friendship going that long, I think.

Tonight I’ve spent much of my evening talking to an old boyfriend.

I’ve mentioned him before. We dated during a summer French Immersion camp the summer I turned 16 (he was an older man, he was already 16). I saw him at Christmas and had a great time reminiscing and wondering about what ifs.


It’s hysterically funny to me that when we were dating half of my current group of friends hadn’t even been born.

He’s been a great measure for me though. He knew me before I let myself get sidetracked. He missed all the years I sabotaged myself and made bad choices (while I’m sure I still make them, I’d like to think I’ve learned a lot and don’t do it as over anymore). Happily, his observation was, “Sue you haven’t changed a bit.”

If only he knew. But it was gratifying to know I’d managed to find my way back to me.

I have lots of new friends too. Folks I’ve only know for a few years or in some cases a few months. I treasure you too. I’ve seen us all grow and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Summer is here

Well – sort of.

We finally had a nice few days. The weather went from rainy and cold to sunnyu and OMG I can’t breathe it’s so hot. Today, it shifted back to the cooler side. I like it because I was able to turn off the fans and it will still be comfortable tonight for sleeping.

Today was windy too. I had to go out to my garden and fix two of my stakes holding up my peas. One had been snapped off from the weight of the plants being blown around by the breeze. I had to tie up my broccoli and my corn is tilted at a 45* angle right now.

On the plus side. I spent a couple of hours on my front lawn pulling weeds. The ones that I thought about pulling this spring and procrastinating long enough that there are double the amount… well was. I’ve got most of them now.

While I was weeding, my neighbour came over and offered one of his lawnmowers for me to use since mine was on it’s last legs. I really appreciated it. He brought it over and made sure it was running. Tempting though it was to stop weeding and just mow them down I didn’t. I kept going until I hit a patch of weeds that had too many ants around the root for me to handle.

I’m usually not terribly squeemish, but when they start simultaneously running up your arm and legs at the same time – well it’s time to stop!!

My almost roommate and I are discussing details about his arrival and what’s going to happen when he gets here. Sadly, one of the things on the list is *sigh* clean the gutters. But at least now there will be someone around to hold the ladder!

I can’t wait until he gets here – ETA less than 2 weeks.

Happy Canada Day!

It’s Canada Day.

This year it seems a little more patriotic than usual. Could be because most of us are still riding high from the Olympics. I no longer have to go searching my wardrobe for the right shade of red… I have it. Although, despite the chilly day, I steadfastly refuse to wear the red and white mittens.

Today, I’m pondering what it means to be Canadian.

There is no flag flying from my front porch, although there is one on my suitcase. I don’t have to shout out to the world that I am Canadian, it’s in the way I speak, the politeness I show (not to be confused with being a doormat) and if the commercials are to be believed, in the beer I drink.

The past two years have been a challenge for me on many fronts. Most would have been devastating had I lived in another country. I have friends with a very sick little girl in hospital, the medical bills would be impossible if they lived south of the border. My parents have retired and have a good life, thanks to living here.

I’ve driven across the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. I’ve travelled extensively through the Maritime Provinces and driven up through BC through the Southern part of the Yukon. I’ve traveled abroad to see how other folks live. Each trip makes me even more proud to be a Canadian.

Happy Birthday Canada!