Friday, February 15, 2013

Skip Counting

Today is my 30th birthday.  Some ask if I feel old.  Some feel compelled to remind me that I am in fact still very young.  Apparently, 30 is the new 25.  But the one thought that keeps popping into my head:

Where did the last decade go?

In the last ten years I
  • married my best friend
  • moved six times
  • completed University
  • bought my first car
  • bought my first house
  • delivered three beautiful babies, and savoured each moment of growth and discovery
  • spent two years teaching early elementary
  • wrote my first novel
  • published several short stories
  • made new friends
  • cherished the friends still walking alongside me
  • read hundreds of books
  • worked hard to grow spiritually
  • renovated a bedroom
  • learned never to renovate another bedroom
  • fell in love with Arizona
  • developed a greater appreciation for road trips
  • overcame my abhorrence for 'spicy' foods and learned to appreciate the exquisite sensory experience that is salsa
  • decided with final surety that under no circumstances will I ever skydive.
This list seems exhaustive.  In fact, just reading over it, I feel in a degree the weight of the years.  And yet...

I don't really feel old.  When I was 20, I thought I was old.  Now, as the years pick up speed, I realize how young I truly am.  There are times when I feel infinitely flawed.  There are times I am sure I will never overcome my own faulty dispositions.  There are times I feel I will always fall short of the finish line.

But the last ten years are more than just points on a bullet list.  Those points must be interwoven with the natural insecurities and uncertainties of youth, but knitted together with the love, the joy, the sorrow, the discoveries, the unknown.  Life is more than a list of accomplishments.  And 30 is just a number.

So do I feel old?  I creak more, tire quicker, and court forgetfulness.  I'm certainly not 20.  But I also don't feel old.

In fact, in many ways, I feel that life is still just getting going. 

So here's to the next 10 years...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fairchild Giveaway Winner

Rafflecopter randomly selected a winner from among the entries, and the winner is....

Don't forget to check out Jaima Fixsen's great new book, Fairchild, and thanks for participating in my giveaway.

Monday, February 4, 2013

When You Believe

There is something very magical about stumbling upon a gem of a book.  There is something unforgettable about the chance to be involved in the evolution of one.

One of my best friends, and critique partner, Jaima Fixsen, just published her first book. 

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this book.  Not waiting for the chance to read it (I've already had that unique privilege).  No - waiting for the chance to share it!  Because, when you believe in something, you want to stand and shout it from the roof tops.  You want to pepper the streets with pamphlets and flyers.  You want to tell every stranger you meet on the street.

However, that's not exactly standard author behavior, so I shall censure myself, subdue my excitement, and pass on the good news with more socially acceptable composure.

Here it is folks, now available on Amazon:

By Jaima Fixsen

Truth or dare?
Good English families all have a house in the country with a deer park, a trout stream, and an army of gardeners. They should have a son and if it can be managed, he should be handsome. Cleverness isn’t important. Daughters in limited quantities are fine so long as they are pretty. Bastards are inconvenient and best ignored. It's not a big problem, unless you are one.
Unfortunately, Sophy is.
Sick of her outcast role, she escapes her father’s house, only to fall from her horse during a spring storm. Injured, soaked, and shivering, she stumbles to a stranger’s door—Tom, a blunt edged merchant from a family of vulgar upstarts. Mistaking Sophy for the genuine article, he takes her in.
Sophy can’t resist twisting the truth. Soon she’s caught in her own snare—and it might just be a noose.

If you love a good, clean, funny, endearing, regency romance, go check out this book.  If you are a Jane Austen, Eva Ibbotson, Shannon Hale or Julianne Donaldson fan, go check out this book.  Jaima has the first three chapters on her blog, and you can read them on Amazon.  I've also invited Jaima to do a guest post later this week.

But I'm not finished yet.  Because when you believe in something, you want to give your all to help it take flight.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Own Little Corner

January can be tough.  The cold, the snow, the boxing up of Christmas.  The New Years resolutions made, then shortly thereafter abandoned.  So what better way to ring in the new year, than new books?  I've been hoarding Chapters gift certificates (the Canadian version of B&N) for a year now, and combined with the one I received in my stocking this Christmas, I hit the jackpot (literally.  I paid $5 total for all of these books!):

There's Donna Hay's cookbook: Off the Shelf (making the most of the staples in your pantry, including some very useful guides to things such as different types of pastas, rice, oils, herbs, etc.).  Also Character & Viewpoint, by Orson Scott Card (which I daresay may become this year's editing bible - Yes, it's that good!).  Also Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn (a novel in letters that's and clever and punny as its title).  And I couldn't not buy the two Alan Bradley books for sale (he's quickly crawling up my favorite author list), both The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and I Am Half-Sick of Shadows.  As a dedicated dystopian writer and avid dystopian reader, I figured I should stop waiting for the 273 individuals ahead of me on the library wait list and just buy the dang Veronica Roth books (Divergent and Insurgent).  Plus, I love them.  And, with editing on both my mind and writing agenda, it was time for my own copy of The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White.  Lastly, a Kate Morton book that was on sale for $5 (The House At Riverton).  If you haven't read The Forgotten Garden, you should.  It's good.

No sooner had I lovely un-swaddled them from their careful packaging, and nostalgically cracked them open to catch a whiff of that new book smell, then I lovingly cradled them on 'the shelf'.  This my friends, is my bookshelf.  As you can see, it is dangerously close to overflowing.  Hallelujah for eBooks!  And as I stood there gazing in wonder at 'the shelf', that song from the Cinderella musicale popped into my head.  Do you know which one I mean?  And seized in a fit of excitement, I grabbed my camera.  I wanted to share the moment.  I wanted to share... "my own little corner, with my own littler chair, where I can be whatever I want to be..."

My angels (Willow Tree ornaments are my favorite, but I'm a sucker for most angels.)

A little reminder.  Both be inspired by the high quality fiction that surrounds me (Yes, I own Twilight.  Yes, I enjoyed it.  What can I say?), and act to inspire others with the stories that I weave.  That's the dream, at least.

And speaking of dreams, a little reminder, that for all the sweat and tears and heartache and agony, once in a while, they do come true.

Do you have your own little corner?
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