Category Archives: Good Reads
Sometimes, when you’re making cake (or cupcakes, or icing, or vindaloo, or a PB&J with the crusts cut off), it can appear as though the bowl is empty when it really isn’t. When you think you’ve run out of sauce (or peanut butter, or cake batter, or icing, or cheese), sometimes it’s good to scrape the sides of the bowl and re-evaluate the situation.
Yesterday (or the day before? I can no longer remember), I wrote a blog post about my year of silent no-writing. What I failed to take into consideration is all the STUFF that happened in that year that was ACTUALLY writing related. I’m NOT writing right now. I often of late feel as though I will never write again. But to say I wrote nothing in the past year is a downright lie.
In March (which was only two short months ago), I actually wrote a short play and had it performed in front of LIVE audiences. Those were words, goddammit. I wrote words. Not a lot of people experience the pleasure of seeing their words come to life on the stage. In July (which was STILL IN THE PARAMETERS OF THAT YEAR IN QUESTION), I wrote approximately 1/2 a novel during the 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon. A half a novel. In one weekend. I also worked on a couple of other works in progress (WIPS) throughout the year.
I wrote articles for the WCDR Wordweaver. Two? Three? I don’t know. I forget about these things as soon as they happen. But I remember having one or two or three published. WITHIN THE PAST YEAR. I wrote the odd poem.
And there are writing relating things that don’t actually involve actual writing. I was interviewed by Charlene Jones for her radio show OFF THE TOP. I thought that was PRETTY cool. (-: It instilled in me, if only for a fleeting moment, that, ‘Hey, I must be a writer. I’m being interviewed about writing. It only stands to reason.’ So what if I felt like a charlatan because I wasn’t actually putting words on paper at the time. So what if I felt like I had no sage wisdom to offer because I wasn’t deep in the thick of plot bunnies. If Charlene Jones says I’m a writer, I’m a writer!
Also, I’ve been approved to be a workshop facilitator for the upcoming December WCDR Roundtable Meeting’s After-Breakfast Mini-Workshop. THE 10-MINUTE PLAY’S THE THING. Der. Like I wouldn’t glom on to an opportunity to discuss my beloved 10-minute play medium. Such a delightful experience, I feel I must share it. By far NOT EASY TO PULL OFF. It is truly an art-form to get it just right. I get to share what I’ve learned through having 9 plays produced since my first in 2009! I’m thrilled for the opportunity. AND—this is me BEING a writer, no? When we hone something that we love for year after year, there comes a point where the passion outgrows the space in your heart for it…where you MUST share it with others to steal more space. So, there’s that.
My rebuttal? My note to self today? Get over yourself. Shut up. Why do you constantly make things difficult for yourself? Why do you never give credit where credit it due? So you’re not finishing those mocking manuscripts in a timely manner. So what. Shut up. Move on and drop the whiny ‘tude. What have I told you about this Ferris wheel?! It only goes around once. Wait. No. That’s not right. I’ve been on actual Ferris wheels. They go around several times. Wrong analogy. What have I told you about this LIFE?! You get one chance to get it right. Well, not right…no life is right per se. You get one chance to live it. Don’t beat yourself up every time you fail to tap your fingers on a keyboard. You’ve been busy. You’ve been living the life and riding the Ferris wheel. Literally. You’ll write again. It’s your bailiwick (one’s sphere of operations or particular area of interest). It interests you, therefore it is neither a burden nor an obligation. It’s fun. So…in summation. SHUT UP.
Sometimes, you have to scrape the bowl to realize you’re a writer. It’s that simple. When the spatula stops collecting the ingredients, you could probably even scrape a little bit more with your finger. Get right in there. NEVER GIVE UP. Especially if it’s cake!
That is all.
While I have your attention, there’s a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY winding down for a print copy of BURN BABY BURN BABY. Click the pic below to be taken to Goodreads to enter. The contest closes in two days, so you better hurry!
13 Days. Less than two weeks. That’s when my 5th novel will be published. Between you and me, it’s also my personal favourite! HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN wrote itself. No surprise, but it was yet another Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. I wrote it in 72 hours. It’s my fourth marathon novel to be published. And it’s also one of the four that won BEST NOVEL AWARD at the marathon. Half Dead won Best YOUNG ADULT Novel…way back in 2010. That well and truly feels like a lifetime ago from where I’m standing at the moment.
Background on Half Dead? One of my readers recently pointed out to me that I have twins in practically everything I write. This is something I actually wasn’t even aware of. I don’t know how one doesn’t become aware of something so glaringly obvious as that? It unhinges me. Another example of my habit of going through life with blinders on. Not always a huge plot point, I have nonetheless sprinkled most of my novels with the presence of twins.
Where was I? Yes…background. So Half Dead & Fully Broken is the story of identical twin brothers Carter and Marcus Colby. One is the most popular boy in school, the other is the least popular–showing that looks are only one of the deciding factors that go into creating the hierarchy of popularity.
Carter is the story’s narrator. He is also the surviving brother. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Marcus doesn’t make it. In fact, Carter will let you know this fact on PAGE 1. The story is really about what happens after DEAD Marcus comes back.
For the record, if your twin ever dies, be prepared. It’s out of this world freaky when a dead guy looks exactly like you in every way. A lot creepier than you can ever imagine when they actually come back. But, hey, he is my brother. I can’t turn my back on family just because he’s dead. Believe me, though, I thought about it.
Carter is a bitter sarcastic guy who is sadly misunderstood. (-: His amazing brother, even dead, is there for him. Marcus is one of those guys EVERYBODY loves. When he sees an injustice, he works to correct it. No surprise he carried on this noble trait even after death. The twins kind of team up to right the wrongs created in a moment of bad decision-making. Fallout is a terrible thing to live through…unless you’re lucky enough to have a guardian angel on your side.
Here’s the synopsis for HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN:
Carter Colby is the most unpopular teen in school. This would be easier to deal with if his identical twin brother, Marcus, weren’t the hottest, most popular boy in school. Sharing a face with Mr. I-can-do-anything-better-than-you, Mr. Helpful, Mr. Reliable, Mr. Freaking Wonderful—it’s not as easy as it sounds. When Marcus is killed in a motorcycle accident, Carter discovers there are things even harder to deal with than trying to compete with Mr. Wonderful…and that’s sharing a face with a dead Mr. Wonderful. Nobody wants to see Carter now that he’s walking around with Marcus’s face. He felt invisible before the accident, but with Marcus dead he sees everybody turn away from him in mourning. But how can he blame them, he can’t even bear to look in the mirror anymore.
But Marcus has a plan. Even dead, he’s still up for saving the world and spreading happiness. Carter begins to see Marcus’s ghost and Marcus has a few magic tricks up his sleeve to share with his brother. But there’s a reason for his presence. Marcus knows that Justin Dewar, the boy who drove the truck that crashed into his motorbike when Marcus ran a red light, is struggling with the guilt of taking a life. Marcus’s plan is to put everything right before it’s too late and all is lost. But he needs Carter to help him…he needs to use Carter’s body to bring his plan into action. It may sound hard, but it really isn’t. He just has to slither inside and take the helm of his brother’s body. Once inside, the two become the superhero Carter once dreamed of being as a child.
With Marcus’s help, Carter experiences love and friendship for the first time in his life. Marcus, even in death, has the power to do the right thing. He brings Carter together with Melanie, his mourning girlfriend, and Justin, the boy who drove the truck that plowed into his motorbike. The three are all broken after the accident, but with Marcus’s help they just might be saved. It’s a race to save the distraught Justin, though. With Marcus’s help, Carter and Melanie set out to do just that. And along the journey to saving Justin, they might even inadvertently save themselves.
HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN releases on January 19th, but you can pre-order with 1-CLICK on Amazon today! Click the cover below:
I’m kind of stunned that HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN is finally getting published. It’s my absolute favourite so far! I loved loved loved writing it. The most fun I ever had writing a novel. And I’m almost finished a BOOK 2 too. ALIVE & KICKING is another Carter Colby story. It’s darker and more dangerous…but just as much fun to write. Here’s hoping it will one day be available to my readers. (-:
Meanwhile, BURN BABY BURN BABY got another amazing review today on Amazon! This one from a soon-to-be teacher who said they’d love to use BBBB in their curriculum. You can check out all the reviews at Amazon and 1-CLICK Burn Baby Burn Baby too. Just click on the cover below:
From the latest review, mentioned above: “I plan to be a teacher someday and I definitely see myself using this book in my lessons to teach about bullying, acceptance, and compassion.” To visit the full review on the reviewer’s blog go to: TINA, THE BOOKWORM
Hashtags: #BurnBabyBurnBaby and #HDAFB
Okay, so Burn Baby Burn Baby has hit the streets. Have you picked up your copy yet? It’s getting amazing reviews, for which I am forever grateful. I thought I’d link directly to a couple of them here:
Some amazing praise! Truly amazing…
There are currently TWO paperback giveaways happening for Burn Baby Burn Baby.
One of the giveaways is happening on Goodreads and you can go to the link by clicking on the image below. Then click the ENTER TO WIN button:
Here’s a link to my tweet explaining it:
Basically, you just have to tweet that you want to win a copy, but there are links/hashtags involved.
If you enter either contest, good luck!
You have probably also heard by now that the HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN cover has been revealed. You can pre-order this title from Amazon. Click on the cover below to visit the Amazon link and read more about the book!
I linked to the Amazon.com page, but Half Dead & Fully Broken is also available at Amazon.ca for pre-order.
As for future plans? I am currently attempting to complete 3 novels. They are…
THAT’S ME IN THE CORNER – This is my 2011 Muskoka Novel Marathon BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL AWARD awarded novel. It’s about a wallflower, his girlfriend, and his gay best friend. They all travel to Kenya for the summer holidays, at first reluctantly but then with much excitement. I’m on the homestretch with this one. (-:
ALIVE & KICKING – This is BOOK #2 of the Carter Colby Series. Carter is the main character in HALF DEAD & FULLY BROKEN. In Alive & Kicking, he’s at it again. He’s talking to the dead and attempting to stay out of trouble.
THE BOOK OF YOUR DREAMS – This is my 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon novel. My first attempt at Horror. Of course, it’s YA horror. (-: It’s getting there. It’s extremely fun to write. It takes place in a bookstore that’s not really there, run by a man who was killed 100 years earlier by a mod of villagers after it was discovered that he was collecting bodies in the cellar of his knick-knack emporium. Oh, the fun! (-:
My ‘STUFF’ for this post? I’m infatuated with a purchase I made over the weekend. I recently wrote a post about my switch from laptop to tablet for my writing. Well, yesterday I grabbed up this baby:
It’s a Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet writing. This means the part of the screen that was eaten up with the onscreen keyboard is now gone. And, it’s an actual KEYS keyboard. I think I have found my perfect writing set-up!
Let’s see…I did Updates, Giveaways, Future Plans and…stuff. Covered it! (-=
Thanks to ALL the bloggers who took (and are taking) part in my Blog Tour! You’re doing (have done) an incredible job! Love and Light to each and every one of you!
I’ll leave you with this amazing pic created on an app by my friend and fellow writer Mel E. Cober!
Now, back to writing…