Friday, December 26, 2008

Snow and Shameless Self-promotion!

So there I was, grinning like the cat that got the cream, super-proud of my 1 1/2 hour Boxing Day spree (40% off at the Nike Store!) and seconds from my home, when I passed a car stuck in a snowbank (actually icebank) on the side of the highway right at my 407 off-ramp. I stopped, put the car in reverse--had to make sure the woman was all right, all the while thinking, "Man, I should get a cell one of these days" (or a Blackberry...or better yet, an Iphone!!!!). Thankfully she was fine. Her two dogs were a bit shaken though (one had apparently flown into the front seat on impact). Luckily, I'd just put a shovel in the trunk (dug myself out of the parking lot downtown last year at OLA Superconference on hands and knees and swore to keep a shovel in the trunk ever since). I began to dig. And dig. And dig. Then chisel. Then push. Then chisel some more. Then get down on hands and knees and pulled ice out from the undercarriage. Finally, another car stopped. An older gentleman (you'd think one, just one of those strapping young men would stop to help, but no.) Together, a whole hour later, we got the car free and the woman was so grateful she asked for my business card. I said, "nah, don't worry about it--happy to help." She insisted she wanted to do something to thank me. I asked, "Well....ahem...have you got any grandchildren ages 9-11, grades 4-6?" She said, "Why yes, several." I said, "Well, how about a lovely book purchase for them?"

Okay. So I ended my good dead with horrible self-promotion. Shameful. Tsk. Tsk. Then I started to think...hmmm...maybe I should cruise the highways with my shovel, helping innocent unsuspecting victims of the weather and shamelessly self-promote my novels while I do so? Bet no one else has thought of this marketing strategy!!!! Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Near-miss!

This week I received an email from my agent--another near-miss for my Y/A thriller, Ghost Ride the Whip, (working title). I must say, I'm pretty discouraged at this point--not because the feedback is terrible, but just the opposite--because the feedback is so darned GOOD! I think in some respects it would be easier to take if the publishers simply said I stunk. But the close-but-no-cigar feedback (the third publisher that has come back with this) is starting to weigh me down. This business sure is one wild roller-coaster ride!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More Inspirations--of the sports variety...

I've been a football fan--CFL fan--for the better part of the last 20 years. When I met my husband I was forced to adopt his NFL team--the Miami Dolphins, which for a while, during Marino years, was quite enjoyable. Then Marino retired and followed what I lovingly refer to as The Dark Years. Too many abysmal losses to mention, the "season-that-shall-not-be-named" (1-15!!!) and don't even get me started on the whole Ricky Williams fiasco (I refuse to forgive him!)

But tonight, all was good in the sports world for Dolphin fans. As play-off hopes are always minimal at best, the Buffalo vs. Miami game (especially the December game) is our personal Superbowl. Held at the Rogers Centre (I still refer to it as the Dome), the atmosphere was great (for a Toronto crowd anyway). I was hopeful, donning my Dolphin attire (though I tossed out the more obnoxious toques during The Dark Years) and prepared to endure the usual Bill's fan abuse.

It wasn't what I'd call an exciting game--but hey, we'll take the win. So there I was, my mind wandering as usual, and a sports story plot (was I the only fan there thinking about writing) popped into my head. Now, if I could only find the time to finish my current WIP and get started on it!

Oh, and one of the things I really enjoyed about this game was the half-time show--they had a band! Not a little band--a BAND--a real band, all the way from Syracuse! I love bands! Why don't we have them in Canada? Do we have any big marching bands like they have in the US? Our west maybe? I'll have to google it.

Now, I'm wondering if I can figure out a way to put a band in my sports story...hmmm....

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Yesterday, while driving through city traffic, I fished through my CD case, locating some obscure, unlabeled disk, popped it in, and suddenly the 80's song Never Ending Story (remix version) blared through the speakers. I loved that song! I loved that movie! It got me thinking about stories that have had a huge impact on my writing. They are as follows:

The Neverending Story--just love how this story comes full circle connecting fantasy to reality! For sure has influenced the circular plot in both Shadow of the Moon and Trick of the Light.

Star Wars--I honestly think that the recurring theme of redemption in each of my novels (even the as of yet unpublished Ghost Ride the Whip (working title) and Mind Gap) stem from my fascination with the character of Darth Vader.

The Last Unicorn--the writing is nothing short of brilliant! I'm especially drawn to Mommy Fortuna--I think I have a thing for complex villains. I think they are quite often more interesting then the hero--Snape comes to mind!

The Wizard of Oz--What haunts me most about this one, is the discovery that the Great Wizard of Oz isn't so great after all--that Dorothy and the gang had their own power all along.

Two adult novels that I had pretty much love/hate relationships with but that had profound influences over my writing with their structures are To the Lighthouse (Woolf) and La Modification (Butor).I think I need to re-read those to dig through old books in the basement.