Ghosts of Christmas Past

I managed to get a lot of work accomplished today. My first book should be loaded up through the system this evening.

It’s so weird that this is finally happening. By this time next week, all three of my ‘Jakes’ and one of Perry’s books will be available through PaperBox Books.

As a reward (or maybe a punishment – I’m not really sure yet) I’m sitting here in my parent’s livingroom watching videos from back when I was in High School. The sad and scary realization is that my speech patterns and phrasing haven’t changed in the intervening years. It makes me ponder what exactly I’ve learned since then ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily, I haven’t completely embarrassed myself yet – so I wasn’t as hopeless as I remember being. (insert big sigh of relief here)

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Update on my books

We’re another step closer I’ve submitted the information for the copyright page, acknowledgments, author bio and reader thank you along with the cover art for the three versions of my book. They’re in the process of being formatted now and we should finally be able to submit them to the distributor over the next few days.

There has been a few delays here and there, mostly due to me being home for the holidays. People aren’t purposefully distracting me, it’s just hard to concentrate when I really just want to spend time with my family. As a result, today I’ve banished myself to a secluded corner of a coffee shop to get some work done. So far my plan seems to be working – I’ve got a lot accomplished.

I haven’t talked about my books yet, so allow me to introduce them.

PaperBox Books will be distributing my first novel in three editions. I know this sounds weird, but it does make a lot of sense. When I first wrote a novel, it was a romantic ghost story. This was back in ’95, so the stories were all a lot more innocent than they are now and there really was no such thing as Young Adult. I sent it off and it was rejected (for good reason, it needed a lot of work) but by then my life had taken a very unromantic turn and my novel was put on the shelf with the promise to re-write it one of these days.

Well, one of these days took a few years to arrive. But I pulled it down and dusted it off and fixed my woodenish characters and upped the excitement factor. Eager and hopeful, I pitched it in person to Valerie Gray, Senior Editor at Harlequin, Toronto. She peppered me with questions and decided that my hero wasn’t dangerous enough for the current batch of paranormal heros and suggested I might try to re-write it yet again as a Young Adult Romance.

It was harder than I thought it would be to take my 29 year old, regional manager of a heroine and switch her to a third year university student, but I did and am very proud of the result. I sent off my manuscript again to Harlequin, who at the time was about to launch teen series. It was rejected again, because the topic was still too old for their target market. They liked my writing.

So, now you know why I have two versions of the same story. But we’re not quite done. I mentioned there is a third.

Here is the advantage of e-publishing. The third version of my novel up for sale is a double volume including both novels. There are a lot of people out there, fellow writers, teachers, book clubs etc who are intrigued by the idea of keeping the story but changing how it occurs based on the ages of the main characters.

For example, in the original version, adult Kathryn my main character can simply head off to the rural village of White’s Bluff for the weekend. If she’s a teenage university student, this isn’t a believable option for her. Since the story takes place at White’s Bluff, this is a huge issue.

The books will be up for sale over the Christmas break. Now that my dream is becoming a reality, I’m excited and terrified all at once. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Cold but beautiful

Looking west from the parking lot at Saint's Rest Beach

More visiting with friends and fellow writers and a quick stop (it was minus 10 plus windchill, so it was very quick ๐Ÿ™‚ ) down at Saint’s Rest Beach. I’ll have to go down some day when it’s warmer, or at least less windy to take more pictures. This is one of my favourite spots in Saint John.

This is one of my grounding locations. If I’m angry or upset this beach (and McLaren’s Beach, one cove over) are my places to go to work things out.

There is just something about the expanse of water and the waves lapping at the shore to really make you remember how small you really are in the grand scheme of things. That you yourself are important, but that the troubles plaguing you are temporary.

Side note – this place is really something during a storm or hurricane. The surf pounds and rolls up over the road to the marsh on the other side.

Permanent link to my interview and the results

Whee – finally a good night sleep and I think I’ve acclimatized my poor body to Atlantic time.

The permanent link is up for my interview with CBC Radio. It’s a bit hard to find in the archives, you have to scroll down to Dec. 15th, I’m in the category Saint Johner Away. It’s a RAM file, which I could only get to play by downloading Real Player. A bit weird, but that’s the way it is I guess.

I’ve had great reviews so far and once I was brave enough to listen to the playback, I wasn’t too horrified at my errrs and ahhhs and so’s. We are always our own worst critiques aren’t we?

Today is my first not-completely braindead day so I’m back at it with a vengeance while listening to my new CD of Kevin’s demos (gosh he’s good) and catching up on my holiday to do list including somewhere along the line writing the Facebook part deux follow up short story ๐Ÿ™‚

Now on to making some changes to the PaperBox Books website and resizing book cover art – Whee!

A taste of home

There’s something about coming home. In my case, my hometown is across the continent, so when I come home there are certain things I have to do to, places I go and things to eat that I just can’t do in my new location thousands of kilometres away.

Tonight, I crossed another few items off my list.

Sussex Golden Ginger Ale – It’s rich gingery flavour is spicier than any of the other sodas. If you have a sore throat or upset tummy this is the stuff to drink.

Brown Bread – no not whole wheat, but good old fashioned brown molasses bread. You can get it with or without raisins.

Hot Dog Buns – real ones not the mini sub buns you get out west. These hot dog buns are cooked close together so when you pull them apart, they have soft sides.

Bologna in the waxed covering – nothing says fresh like unwrapping the bologna yourself

For fast food, I hit one of my favourite places on Tuesday, Deluxe French Fries. You can watch the staff chop real potatoes right in front of you while you wait for your order. They’re twice the thickness of McDonald’s french fries and twice as crispy. They were so yummy.

Still to come – Greco donair. You can buy the donair kits out west, but they’re just not the same.

Dang, now I’m hungry…

Link to my CBC Radio Interview

Despite the early morning hour, my interview with CBC Radio went really well.

For today, you can access the recorded interview at scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link to the audio. Tomorrow, the link will change to it’s permanent home in the CBC Archives.

I’ll post that once I get it.

CBC Radio Interview Tomorrow

So it’s official. Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15th at 8:15am Atlantic time (which is 4:15am Pacific time), I’ll be interviewed during the Information Morning program on CBC Radio 1.

Why you ask?

Well it turns out that one of the weekly segments they do locally is interview people who have moved away from The East Coast to make their fortunes in other parts of the world. I qualify as interesting because of my traveling, writing and e-publishing business.

I’m very excited. The email came out of the blue but the timing is perfect. I’ll post a link to the interview for all you folks out West after the show.

Wish me luck!

Planes and Hot Tubs – Phase one complete

I took the weekend off. Yes me, the always working, over-achiever, took time off to spend with friends.

First up – a blast from the past. The main character from one of my short stories. Sometimes truth is stranger, or in this case much better, than fiction. Kevin and I dated back in high school then on Friday, decades later, he picked me up at the airport for a wonderful evening of reminiscing and talking about our current lives. I think we both turned out well. It was so great to see him again.

Then it was off to Robin’s to hang out in her hot tub even in temperatures well below freezing. I guess the warmer Vancouver weather hasn’t made me as much of a wimp as I thought it had. Even though I was only there a couple of days it was so great. Her kids have grown so much, they were a lot of fun and because I helped wrap all their holiday gifts, I know what they’re getting ๐Ÿ™‚ (the ultimate knowledge base of power this time of year)

After a trip to the barn this morning to watch Robin ride and jump her latest horse it was back to the airport for the final leg of my trip home. I was sad to leave Toronto, but excited to come home to see Mom, Dad and my other brother and his family. Oh and have wild New Brunswick blueberries – way better than the cultivated ones out West ๐Ÿ™‚

On the plane I worked on some copy to update on websites, revised my to-do list, started fleshing out content for the training seminars I’ll be conducting in the new year and thinking about possible questions that might be asked if a proposed interview with CBC Radio works out. (I’m very excited about this last bit – I’ll keep you posted)

Why is this so hard

Ask me to do anything for someone else and I’m there with bells on – ask me to do something for myself and I stall and procrastinate. I feel guilty – Argh.

I’m at that point, putting the final touches on my babies before sending them out to the world for sale. I’m refering to books that is, not real children, just in case you’re wondering.

This is exciting and I’ve been waiting for this opportunity to publish my novels for years, yes, even decades. So why do I waste my time chatting, singing slong with Christmas tunes and staring off into space when I could be achieving my dream.

The answer is fear is simple. I’ve heard the saying before and it applied doubly for me today. “What we fear most is not failure, what we fear most is success.”

True Eh?

How’d the Holidays get so close?

It’s been on my calendar for months, I booked my ticket weeks ago, yet here I am days before take off wondering where on earth the time has flown.

Sure in that time I’ve written another complete first draft of a novel, decided what I want to be when I grow up, and marketed my butt off for both SNB Consulting Services and PaperBox Books, but still … it’s come so fast. (Totally off topic but check out the stats from – freakin incredible)

Today was the first day I’ve felt in the Holiday Mood. It was cold, that helped. and I’ve spent a wonderful weekend with the best kind of friends ever and I know this is just the beginning. More good times are coming as Christmas approaches.

Time to add in some Christmas tunes to my MP3 player to sing along with on transit, and no, I really don’t care if anyone laughs at me. My voice is out of shape, so instead of giggling at my off-tune-ed-ness, pitch in and help keep me on key.

It’s not looking like much of a vacation for me though, I’ll be working via online while I’m home. I have some editing for PaperBox Books and some stuff to do for SNB Consulting and marketing my butt off even further because two of my books will be on sale before I leave.

YES – two of my novels will be on sale before Christmas – Whee

Purchase Details to follow in the next few days.