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This week I was honoured to find out that a newly discovered mentor had chosen me as one of three recipients of her pay-it-forward Honest Scrap Award! Noelle Bickle is a writer, and writing instructor, I met through Facebook and the WCDR. She facilitated a WCDR After-Breakfast Mini-Workshop in October that I attended— 30-Seconds of Shameless Self-Promotion. I thought it was fabulous. I left it with a 30 second ‘commercial’ for my most recent novel. This was no easy task for me! I’ve always been horrified by the prospects of distilling my manuscripts down to easy ‘it’s about’ infomercials. I’d stammer and hem and haw and finally come up with, ‘you know…stuff.’ Noelle’s workshop helped me get a grasp on this impossible task. I found her exuberant energy extremely infectious. Great workshop! To find out that Noelle flagged me as an inspiration was beyond a compliment! Thanks, Noelle! I wish I could send the Honest Scrap Award back to you…but I don’t think that’s the way it’s supposed to work. (-:

With the award comes the requirement to reveal “10 Honest Things” about me. So…here they are:

  1. I am an extremely LAZY writer. It’s true. I feel embarrassed every time people go on about how busy I am and how many things I have going on at once. Because I really don’t. It’s all smoke and mirrors. I start submitting once THE END is written at the end of the first draft. I throw poems together without even thinking about what I’m writing. If I ever spent more than 5 minutes on a poem, I can’t remember doing so. I’m a hack. I toss everything together without putting any thought into it…and then I resent every second I spend editing. I hate editing. So much so, that I often don’t do it.
  2. I LOVE movies. I love going to the theatre to see them…and I almost love the previews and the dimming lights and the time leading up to the feature movie more than actually watching the movie. I’m a theatre going junkie. I still remember growing up in Toronto and being dropped off in front of the theatre on Saturdays with my brother and friends. The curtains, the smells, the punches in the arm, the popcorn tossing, the Canadian National Anthem (Yes…I’m that old). I love it. I always like a bad movie when I see it at a theatre.
  3. I’m madly in love with the WRITERS’ COMMUNITY OF DURHAM REGION and there is almost nothing I wouldn’t do for them. From the day I became a member, I have felt indebted to them. Just holding the membership makes me feel like an honest to God writer. I’ve been with them now since 2002-03. My first publications came as a direct result of attending their fabulous monthly breakfast meetings. I’ve met so many fabulous people through this community. It’s hard to believe it took me years to work up the courage to join and then months to work up the courage to attend a breakfast meeting. I had this never-ending mantra in my head I-AM-NOT-A-WRITER. I felt like they would see right through the façade. I was afraid that the second I walked through the doors at the first meeting the jig would be up! But they welcomed me with open arms. Amazing group.
  4. I married my best friend. She always makes me laugh even though she always says I’m laughing at her. “You’re mocking me, aren’t you?” NO. You really are that funny! Amazing too. 21 years this past July 11th!
  5. I LOVE MUSIC. I’m partial to all 80s punk, new wave, etc, etc. But I also love new music and 70s rock and punk and DISCO. Yes, even disco. I hate country. Hate is too weak a term, actually. I’ve been really getting into K’Naan. I got turned on to him when I was in Kenya last December. Originally, this had nothing to do with his music. I still didn’t know it last December. I have a tendency to miss new music because I listen to CDs. While in Kenya, whenever a Kenyan would discover a member of our group was American, they would raise a fist and say, “OBAMA!” There is MEGA Obama love there. And whenever they would discover that a member of our group was Canadian, they would raise a fist with just as much respect and awe and say, “K’NAAN!” Clearly I had to find out who this K’Naan guy was! Turns out I LOVE his music. I often write to it lately. You should seriously check out his FATIMA. Amazing song! Favourite bands/Artists: T-Rex, The Cure, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, The B52s, Haysi Fantayzee,Tragically Hip (Gordon Downie is an absolutely killer poet!), Bauhaus, The Smiths, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Leonard Cohen, Michael Jackson, AC/DC, TheThe, Bjork, Yaz(oo), The Cult, Bob Marley, Paul Simon, Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode…this is ridiculous. I could go on forever!
  6. I have 5 favourite spots in the world. 1)Where I am 2)New Brunswick 3)Kenya 4)Cozumel 5)Huntsville. I’d love to split my year between these 5 places…2.4 months at each… of course, I will have to win that lottery first. I’m all set to camp out in #1 and wait.
  7. My favourite writing gig is TRAFALGAR24 Play Creation Festival. I love seeing my words come to life on stage less than 24 hours after I penned them. It is an experience that is unfathomable until it happens…and, frankly, just as unfathomable after it happens. The actors blow me away! They get the script down to an exact tee. So talented! I can’t believe they let me do this. I love it so much it hurts!
  8. One of my favourite memories is being at a Leonard Cohen concert with my daughter. We are such Cohen fan-geeks. You haven’t lived until you share a concert experience with your grown child. (-:
  9. I didn’t think it was possible to have more fun with my son than we have on our Friday Afternoon Golf outings. Then we drove a dune-buggy through the jungles of Cozumel together, and swam in underwater caves in the heart of those jungles. Floating in the darkness and watching the thousands of bats above our heads come to life is an experience I will never forget. It’s great to see your child enjoy life…even if he is a teenage dirtbag. (-;
  10. I LOVE helping other writers. Being given the gift of the love of writing is like no other thing. It makes you want to share that gift and spread that feeling. I’m not saying I have a writing gift…my gift is the love of actually writing. I know that I don’t have to be a good writer to love writing. It’s about the connection that writing gives me. Being able to help other writers connect with the love of writing is a gift unto itself. That’s why I’m so passionate about getting involved in the WCDR and about the ONTARIO WRITERS’ CONFERENCE. I love the writing community. I don’t see jealousy or pettiness in the writing community. Writers always seem able to put these things aside…to just enjoy each other’s successes and feel compassion and empathy in the face of each other’s failures. When I began to take writing seriously, I felt like I found my home. It’s almost too good to be real. Someone pinch me!

Being granted The Honest Scrap Award also requires that I recognize 3 fellow bloggers that I deem worthy of the award. This was an easy decision for me to make. One of these people, I know in the real world…she’s a lovely unassuming gentle soul who is also a wonderful writer. She’s also always generous to her fellow writers. The second, a writer I connected with around the internet…and whose novel, BREAK, I later fell in love with. Her blog is always filled with wonderful advice for fellow writers. And the third is a fellow MuseItUp Publishing author…whose blog always has great author interviews.

So, in the order of mention used above, here are my 3 choices. Go give their blogs a visit:

ERIN THOMAS

HANNAH MOSKOWITZ

PENNY LOCKWOOD EHRENKRANZ

To the three of you…I bestow the HONEST SCRAP AWARD onto you for your enthusiasm, professionalism and clear desire to help your fellow writers! Thanks. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post 10 Honest Things about yourselves on your blog and follow that with awarding the award onto others.

The Honest Scrap Award:
This award is about bloggers who post from their heart, who often times put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul. This means so much to me as that is the root reason of why and what I write about. I believe writing is your heart without a mask. My writing, whether it be a blog post, a poem, a piece of prose or a WIP is the truest part of my soul. To me writing is about honesty and truth-seeking. There is the saying that the pen is more powerful than the sword. I believe that writing is a way to challenge people and to speak often times for those who cannot speak.