Category Archives: Entertainment

No Squirrels Today

Actually, the squirrels are abundant. The biggest distraction I dealt with today was actually a TV show. One I watched the first season of last night (not hard when there are only eight episodes at 20 minutes each) and then had to watch most of  with my husband again today before he went to work.

Had to. Not optional. Had to.*

Anyway… We were going to be talking about my work habits today, but obviously I’m in no position to talk about those. And I’m a bit busy for it. In spite of all of the time I continue to waste and today’s flat-out failure, I am busy drafting book one for my pen name project series. And I really shouldn’t be taking too much time for blogging.

I mean, bless the handful of you who actually read these posts, but this site ain’t paying any bills, you know? 😉

But I can’t leave you with nothing. So here are a few photos from a recent autumn morning in Newfoundland. A magical morning of mist and fog and frost. Like… THE BEST morning. Pictures don’t do it justice. You can click the photos to enlarge.

No filters, of course.

Enjoy!

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*The show, for anyone who’s curious, is Galavant. I don’t enjoy TV most of the time, but this one is just delightful. Music and humor and anachronism and witty dialogue and more humor and beautiful people and more music. Love it.

It’s on Netflix. So good.

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Romancing the Rock EXPOsed… Exposed

I know. I should have posted this last week, right after the event, but better late than never, right?

For anyone who’s as late as I am to the party: As I mentioned in a post here and on my YouTube channel, I was involved in my first live event as a professional author last weekend. Like, LAST last weekend. That’s right. I’ve never done so much as a book signing or a reading at the library. This was a first for me.

And I was… well, I was a bit nervous, as you’ll recall from the video I posted here the day before the event. I don’t like having to mingle or make small talk, and all of that pales in comparison to how much I hate having to talk about my work or (heaven forbid) SELL IT TO SOMEONE.

And yet I agreed to this.

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But the event was good. We had 13 authors from Newfoundland, mostly dealing in romance of one sort or another, under the lovely roof of Magnum & Steins in downtown St. John’s. We each had a table in one room where anyone could come in, talk to the authors, and buy some signed books.

We also had the option to pay $10 for access to readings by several of the group’s authors and four panel sessions on writing and publishing.

And we had a great turn-out. This was the group’s first event, and it went very well. The people who attended the panel I did with Candace Osmond on self-publishing had lots of questions that we were happy to answer, and it sounds like the other sessions were just as great.

Here’s my video recap of the day and my reactions to it. And below that is the link to the CBC story where I WAS ON TV GUYS WHY DID THEY DO THAT.

Here’s the CBC story.

Kind of nifty. ^_^


Go Indie Now Book Box (July Unboxing)

I’ve never been really into subscription boxes. I mean, they look great, but they tend to be expensive, and I’d rather spend the money just buying what I want. Cheap make-up sample bags were nice for a while, but even that got old and too expensive to be a regular thing.

BUT.

Once in a while I like to treat myself and try something new, and when I saw the Go Indie Now book box on Instagram, it looked like a good option. Indie books, handmade stuff, and a multi-sensory reading experience? Definitely worth a second look. So I went ahead and ordered when a box theme came up that I really liked the look of.

So yeah, I skipped the Historical genre box and waited for fairy tales.

Here’s the unboxing video. I was really happy with this box. Based on this one experience, I’d recommend it for people who love indie/handmade stuff and getting creative care packages in the mail. If you like polished and mass-produced, this may not be the box for you; while there are professional-looking materials in here and the products and books are great quality, the box definitely has a personal feel with hand-written notes in cute, quick handwriting from the person who puts the box together. I’d say this one overall looks more professional than the pictures I saw of earlier boxes, but it still has that personal feel.

Getting two books/bibliotherapy sessions was a really nice treat, especially since I got one in a preferred genre and one that’s a bit of a stretch for me. And the fact that they’re carefully curated makes me feel confident that I’ll get a good reading experience.

Check out the video, and if you’d like to take a closer look at the box, visit http://www.goindienow.cratejoy.com

Note: Yes, I paid for my own box and shipping. No, I did not receive anything in exchange for this unboxing/review, and my books are not scheduled to appear in the box. I just like indie books and authors and want to share. 🙂


Vlog post: Pre-writing

I got a few reader questions about what I do before I write a book, so that’s the topic of this week’s vlog post (which is late. Oops).

We’re talking ideas, characters, plotting, and pantsing!


This is so awkward…

I did a thing.

You guys know how I’m trying to stretch myself a bit. Not just in my work, though I am taking on new challenges there, but in my attitudes, my lifestyle, and my actions. I’m trying to push myself out of my comfort zone so I can learn to be more at home in the world outside of my house and maybe add more to it.

Well, one of the things that’s way outside of my comfort zone is any form of public speaking. Or any speaking, unless I’m with people I’m comfortable with. Writing is just easier, so I like to talk through my fingers. It works most of the time, but my discomfort with speaking is likely a huge part of my social awkwardness and desire to never have to go out and talk to anyone in person.

And my anxiety over making phone calls, actually.

So I’ve started a vlog. It’s not a big thing in the grand scheme of the universe, but it’s a huge step for me. It’s another way I can connect with you guys, too, and that’s important when I have no idea how many people actually read posts here. It’s a little more interactive, a little more challenging for me, and hopefully a little more fun for you. Videos will be short. The first one is 11 minutes, but I’m going to try to keep them under eight. I know you’ve got things to do.

Know what I’ve got? A Canadian accent, apparently. That’s been the big comment so far. At least people seem to enjoy it…

Anyway, here you go. Please enjoy my fumbling first attempt at letting the world see what I’m actually like when I’m not hiding behind my keyboard. Some day I’ll release the outtakes so we can all laugh. O.o

I’ve got a page of ideas for things to talk about (mostly non-writing), but if you have questions or ideas for topics, I’d be happy to fit them in. If I know what you want, I can give it to you. 🙂


M is for Marianas Trench

…because why wouldn’t it be?

(I guess I’m supposed to put a content warning, since there’s AN F WORD in one of these songs… *clutches pearls* So there. I warnded you.)

These guys rate a thank-you in the back pages of any book I ever publish– at least, the stories I’ve been writing or revising in the past year and a half. I don’t know what it is, their music just works for me. I relate to it, even though I probably have nothing in common with their lead singer/songwriter. It wakes me up. It relaxes me, in spite of all of the screaming. It gets my imagination all bouncy and hyper.

I keep finding songs that relate to my characters. It’s fun. I’ve shared some here before, but I keep finding more. Like this GORGEOUS a capella Billy Joel cover:

Or this one, that reminds me of the new love story in book two. *sigh*

Or this one… which has nothing to do with writing in any way, but is making me happy these days. I just started listening to their first album, and love it WAY more than I expected.

I now own everything by them I could get off of iTunes. Time for a new album…

*waits*

Yeah, I’m a sixteen year old girl. I’m okay with that.

Oh, and my older son is a fan, too*. He built them a lego stage.

 

 

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Apologies to whoever that’s supposed to be on the left… he ran out of heads.

*Yes, I turn down the cussin’ when we’re listening in the car… even though it’s just the best cussin’ ever.


Snobbery*

“I’m a coffee snob. Starbucks tastes like crap, and if you drink it, I’m laughing at you.”

“You listen to One Direction? Gross.”

“I’m super kinky. If you’re vanilla, you must be a boring, lifeless person. Sorry.”

“You say you like My Little Pony, but you collect VINTAGE ones and have only seen season one of Friendship is Magic? Poser.”

“You’re not a gamer if you haven’t played x and y. Noob.”

“You’ve watched Game of Thrones, but not read the books? You know nothing.”

“Fantasy? Really? Why don’t you read a real book?”

You all still with me? I’m sure you could come up with more examples. Whether it’s fashion or food, comics or current events, pop culture or ponies, you meet them everywhere.

Snobs. People who judge and exclude those who know less than them, whose tastes are less sophisticated, who haven’t been members of the community for as long, or who don’t enjoy the same experiences. If you mention that you’ve never read that book, or say you like something they consider beneath them, you get the derisive snort and the eye-roll.

I grew up thinking that snobs were rich people who refused to eat Kraft Dinner. Maybe they are, but there are snobs everywhere, at every income level.

And I’m getting sick of it.

I get it, I do. I’m guilty of it myself, have been for years. Excluding other people makes us feel better about ourselves, doesn’t it? A club’s not exclusive if just anyone can join, and we all want to be a part of something special. And what’s worse than having an interest in something, investing time and money into that interest, and then having these effing noobs stinking the place up with their ignorance, calling themselves blank-keteers when they’re TOTALLY NOT EVEN?

Oh, and there are LEVELS of snobbery. There’s a guy who only likes coffee from his Keurig and cries if he can only get regular brewed, but then there’s ANOTHER guy who refuses to use any beans that aren’t fresh-ground, and someone else who thinks THAT GUY’S grinder is a waste of space… you can never win. Never.

“You have a CASUAL interest in music, and listen to Top 40 radio? You drink Tetley? How adorable. Gag. I’m off to listen to Stealth Gingerbread feat. Giraffes on a Trampoline while I sip this green tea I just had shipped in from… oh, you wouldn’t have heard of it. Or them.”

“You’re looking for an agent because you want a contract with a big publisher? Pfft. I’m with a small press, and you’re a sheep.”

“You supplemented with formula? Sorry, I’m a huge lactivist. I can’t spend time with someone who hates babies.”

“You call yourself a writer. You write stories, but you’re not consumed by them to the point where you would rather DIE than not write? *snort* Whatever, not-writer person.”

The internet is a fantastic tool that allows us to meet people we wouldn’t have otherwise, who share our interests and we can have fun with. There are open, supportive communities out there, and I’ve made some good friends through them. But it can also allow us to become so absorbed in these groups of people who think like us that we forget there are others who think differently, who don’t agree that our interests are the most fascinating things in the world, and who maybe don’t care if their coffee comes from a can. When we do remember these poor souls, we think that our group is better than them because OF COURSE IT IS.

I’m not against interests. I’m not against communities and groups. I hope they thrive and grow…

…and I hope that some day we’ll all grow up and stop being snobs about the things we love. That we’ll learn to be passionate and enthusiastic about them, and eager to share what we love without making outsiders feel small for not knowing anything about them.

“You liked Twilight? It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Say, if you’re into vampires, you should check out  ______. Her characters are amazing, and she really has an original approach when it comes to…”**

“You’ve never heard of Stealth Gingerbread? They’re pretty obscure… but they’re great, I think you might like them! Look up the song “Hire a Goat for That” on YouTube, let me know what you think.”

“Yeah, I love coffee. You know, injecting Maxwell House into your eyeballs will get you your caffeine fix, but you should try (insert brewing process here). The flavour is fantastic! No? Well, just putting it out there, if you’re ever interested.”

“Oh, I see you dunked that customized doll in a bowl of mod podge and re-haired her with steel wool. You know, when I need to seal paint, I’ve found that _____ is much less glommy. Let me know if you need a tutorial, I have some on Pinterest.”

Why chase people away from the things that we love when we have a fantastic opportunity to include people and share our passions? Why look down on people who like different things when it’s all a matter of taste and preference? Why make people feel stupid for knowing less than us when it’s so easy to share what we know?

A lot of us seem to think that knowing a lot about a specific pop culture THING (or health fad, or whatever) makes us SUPER SPESHUL. Newsflash: It doesn’t. It just means we have something interesting to share, and a reason to be friends with people who also love that thing. Great! But if we act like it makes us better than everyone else, that just makes us snobs. I’m starting to realize that that’s the least special thing I could possibly be. From now on, I’m going to try to use my interests to build people up, not to exclude them. And if they’re not interested? That’s fine. Maybe there’s something I can learn about from them.

And as for the snobs? You can all send your n0oOOo0bs and fake geeks and drinkers-of-instant and readers-of-whatever over here to sit with me. We’ll have a fantastic time, trying new things without you. Next time you turn up your nose at something we love or find amusing, we’re going to laugh it off and refuse to let you make us feel small.

Loser.***

So tell me: Have you ever judged someone for not appreciating something that’s important to you? I have. Have you ever felt excluded for being new or uninformed? I’ve experienced that, too. Most importantly, what amazing thing do you know about that you want to share with the world?

*No direct quotes were used in the writing of this post, and no specific people were referenced.

**Yes, this is going to be tough for some.

*** I’M KIDDING. Jeez…


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