This is the 10th anniversary for my blog. I’ve been writing about everything and nothing on this blog for 10 full years. My life has taken so many twists and turns in those ten years that I am fairly unrecognizable as the person who began this blogging journey. But I am also the same person. I’m thrilled to have the number of readers I have. Just to know that there are people reading the sometimes deep, sometimes meaningless, sometimes perplexing, sometimes angry, sometimes pointless, sometimes prophetic, sometimes silly, sometimes poignant words I write is enough for me. I’m grateful for you, wherever you are in the world and however you arrived here. I write my words for you…
From Canada to United States to France to Ireland to India to Japan to Malaysia, THANK YOU for stopping by!
From Indonesia to Denmark to Greece to Belgium to Colombia, THANK YOU!
THANK YOU Serbia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Austria, China, Ghana, Finland, and all places in between!
Thanks to you, Lithuania, Lebanon, Panama, Kuwait, Qatar, Jamaica, and all the rest!
Thank you, Cambodia, Syria, Costa Rica, Guyana, Brunei, Bosnia, Sri Lanka! Thank you all, and all the rest!
Thanks to Mongolia, Mauritius, Latvia, El Salvador, Samoa, Belize, Greenland, and others!
Thank you for stopping by, Libya, Bermuda, Angola, Azerbaijan, Monaco and Senegal. Thank you all…every last one of you!
I hope I brightened your day or gave you pause to ponder. I hope you found what you were looking for here. I hope to write for another ten and another ten and another and more. Hope to see you soon!
Amanda Tompkins, Amazon, Anthology, Belgium, Book Launch, Books, Bruges, Brussels, Connie De Pietro, Copper Branch, Dale Long, Horror, Inspiration, Kate Arms, Kevin Craig, Kobo, KoboBooks, Life, Marathon, Mel Cober, Muskoka Novel Marathon, Novel, Novel Marathon, Novel Writing, Novels, Pat Flewwelling, Purgatorio, Purgatorio Dialogues, Purgatorium, Reads, Restaurants, Samantha Banik, Tobin Elliott, Yvonne Hess
If you happened to miss ID PRESS PUBLISHING’S book launch this past Sunday for the horror anthology PURGATORIUM, you can still pick up a copy at AMAZON and KOBO!
It was standing room only at Copper Branch in Brooklin, Ontario on Sunday, January 21st, for the launch of Purgatorium. Several of the contributors, myself included, read excerpts from our anthologized Purgatorium stories. I think it’s safe to say that fun was had by all. Many books were sold and signed, many lively conversations took place, announcements were made…things are coming up roses for ID PRESS. I’m thrilled to have been included in their inaugural anthology and look forward to their future projects!
As far as the venue goes, I eagerly anticipated Copper Branch for quite a while now…after seeing several of my friends Instagram and Facebook their Copper Branch meals. I was NOT disappointed. What a fabulous place. I LOVED their General Copper Power Bowl so much, I’d make the trip back to Brooklin just to have it again. Whether or not you’re vegetarian, you will LOVE this dish. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t chicken…I don’t know how they did it. Such a great meal! And try the shakes…also delicious.
You can check out the full COPPER BRANCH MENU HERE.
They were lovely hosts for the book launch. You’d be surprised how unruly a handful of horror writers and their entourage can get! The restaurant staff took it all in stride. They were most gracious hosts for the wonderful event. I would recommend them to anyone.
Here’s where you can pick up your own copy of PURGATORIUM, should you wish to do so:
And if you choose to do so, I’m sure the folks at ID PRESS would appreciate a review of their anthology on GOODREADS. The very best way to thank an author is to post a review of their work.
NOW, WHAT’S THIS ABOUT 100 DAYS?
That is the amount of days left to the countdown to my SELF-GUIDED NOVEL WRITING MARATHON in BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. I’m trying something different this year. Instead of participating in the 72-hour Muskoka Novel Marathon in Huntsville, Ontario in July, I’m attempting a one-week novel marathon in Brussels ALL BY MYSELF in May. Yes, I will check out some of the attractions the city has to offer. And, yes, I will be taking a one-day walking tour of BRUGES. But I am determined to marathon at least one full novel, and hopefully complete one or two of the ones I currently have as works in progress. We shall see how diligent I can be in a foreign country. BIC (Bum In Chair) is the goal, as it always is at novel writing marathons. I will try to find a balance between touring the city and locking myself away for hours at a time to write. When I set my mind to something, I usually find a way to reach my goal. I am determined to make this work. I can’t wait for May to come, now! Only 100 more days to go…tick, tick, tick…
I will definitely miss the MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON come July, but I felt I needed a bit of out-of-the-box thinking this year, and maybe some soul-searching where my writing life is concerned. I feel like this is an important investment to make in my writing career at this juncture—TIME—with the added creative spark of being in a new place. I wish the 2017 MNM marathoners luck in their writing and luck in their fundraising. In 2016, we raised $36,000.00…which is quite an amazing feat! All funds go to the literacy programs of YMCA Simcoe County/Muskoka. Such a noble cause. Everybody deserves to be able to read. Please consider sponsoring one of the marathoners this coming year…I know I will!
Sometimes, in the life of an author, the echo of silence is so severe it scorches. The armor one must wear to be a writer is, at times, debilitating. Even with 5 novels published and readily available for consumption, I’m, for the most part, an unread author. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to squish a mountain of sour grapes into the universe. It is what it is. My books are largely unread. It is merely a fact.
This, in and of itself, is not as debilitating as it sounds. Honestly. Just a little disheartening. But the preciousness of the ego is protected in such a way that one can hold on to one good word for a very long time as motivation to carry on and continue on with the journey despite the obvious reasons one has for folding up shop and moving on. Between the excruciatingly long awkward silences that come of being an unread author, there are little tidbits of rewards when one discovers someone has not only read one of your books…but loved it. These nuggets are what I hold onto when I struggle with the ever-present question that dogs the unread author: WHAT’S THE POINT?
But the point is more about self-fulfillment than it is about being read, isn’t it? When it comes right down to it, the creative heart is creative out of necessity rather than out of any desire for recognition and being petted for being creative. Creativity happens even in a void of witnesses. If I were the last human being on the planet–the lucky/unlucky survivor of a nuclear holocaust, say–I’d still have the need in my heart to be creative. I would still write.
I’ve been thinking a LOT lately about the Camino de Santiago and how my experience there reflects my creative life. I haven’t quite made the connection, but it’s there. I just can’t put my finger on it. I have thought a lot about the concept of EVERYDAY CAMINO since returning from Spain in May of 2014. I have thought a lot about the fact that the journey not only ended at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela…but it also BEGAN there. I honestly can’t stop thinking about how the journey of the Camino de Santiago mirrors Dorothy’s journey on the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz. I was mesmerized by the analogy all throughout my Camino journey and even more so at the end of the journey when I stood in the piazza in front of the great cathedral and saw a million familiar faces staring back at me and up into the face of the cathedral itself. Every man, woman and child I had walked beside, around, with, past—every one of them seemed to be there in that piazza. I walked around in a daze, thinking, ‘And you were there, and you were there, and you were there, and you were there!’ And when I walked into the cathedral, I felt the weight of a thousand dreams, wishes and hopes. I looked about for the wizard and he was there and he was me and he was all the other peregrinos (pilgrims) present at the time. We were all the wizard. We were all the makers of our own journeys. We were all there for proof of intelligence, and for a heart, and for courage, and for a home. We were there to belong.
I want to be on that journey, still. I want that wide-eyed wonder every day. I AM on that journey. I carry it with me. It is only after you walk the Camino de Santiago that you realize the journey has just begun. You can bottle that mesmerizing feeling and take it with you. The Camino allows you do to that.
The tie-in for me, when it comes to trying to piece together my writing life with my Camino, is the Muskoka Novel Marathon. This 72hr novel writing marathon is to the Camino as The Wizard of Oz is to the Camino. At the end of the writing marathon, I look around at all the tired, sleepy, traumatized, disheveled, elated, emotional writers (40+ of them) I took the marathon journey with and I think, ‘And you were there, and you were there, and you were there, and you were there!’ We land at the end of the marathon weekend with a splash and a plunk and we say, “WE MADE IT!” The marathon is the Camino is the marathon is the Camino. They are the same thing…both are journeys. One uses your feet and your heart and your desire and your dreams. The other uses all those things and a laptop and a chair.
I may have just put my finger on it.
I need to live the Everyday Camino I theorize and I need to use the Everyday MNM I theorize. I need these journeys to continue. I have books to write. I have books to complete. I can’t sit around hoping for others to read the words I leave behind me. I need to continue to leave them there for myself.
These two paths are so connected–interconnected–when I squint, the line between them disappears. Camino = Writing = Camino. I will, in the coming months, be looking for ways to shore up my writing practice with my Camino journey…which I very much consider to be ongoing.
I already know I will NOT be attending the 2017 Muskoka Novel Marathon. I won the Best Novel Award last year at the marathon, for the 5th time. I’m thrilled at that accomplishment. But I also felt like most of my time there was mired in failure last year. My unfinished manuscripts are piling up and I discovered at the marathon that I am unable to work on finishing projects there in that space of new projects. And that is what I want to do…finish projects. That is my goal for 2017.
In keeping with that goal, I am going to be exploring ways to work on my WIPs while at the same time exploring my life journey, my Camino. I know I can continue to incorporate the two. I don’t always write about the journeys I take, but I always feel more invigorated and ready to write when I take journeys. Perhaps I should make my own Camino this year, make my own novel writing marathon.