OMG! Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine.

What movie have you been waiting for?


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The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

Launch of Patricia Sands' first novel, The Bridge Club

Launch of Patricia Sands’ first novel, The Bridge Club

When I walked into the meeting room of The World’s Biggest Bookstore for my first Canadian Authors Association meeting, I never expected to make a friend. Both editing our first novels, both with iUniverse, both named Patricia. Initially based on our commonalities, our relationship quickly evolved into a full-blown friendship: we email, skype, do lunch, shop, go to concerts, talk about hair colouring and thinning eyebrows, visit open houses, and, most importantly, support each other.

TPOP_med copy

Normally, a hard lady to pin down, she’s become even more difficult to keep track of as Patricia tirelessly promotes her second novel, The Promise of Provence (read about her boundless energy on Linda Adams’ blog). I received the honor of reading her new novel before it was made available to the public and I couldn’t put it down. It’s Patricia’s first foray into romance and she does a fantastic job. She transports readers from Toronto to Southern France where we, along with Katherine, the main character, fall in love with the country, the food, the culture and a dreamy Frenchman.

You will enjoy The Promise of Provence as much as I did. It’s the cheapest most wonderful vacation you will ever take and the romance you will never forget. Get your copy here.

What’s the most unexpected friendship you’ve made? What’s the most romantic place on earth? Where have you fallen in love?

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Last Day of School

"Asian Boy" by arztsamui

“Asian Boy” by arztsamui

I’m sad today. Tomorrow is BabyGirl’s last day of kindergarten. I knew it was coming and I’ve enjoyed every morning since spring: holding her little hand, which seems to be getting bigger and bigger all the time, while I walk her to the entrance, kissing her goodbye, and handing her the Hello Kitty backpack she chose last September. Next September, it will be kiss and drop. On the ride home, she tells me about the wonders of the kitchen station, the sandbox, the colorful high heels. I’m certain there will be plenty of stories in grade 1, but none will involve dolls or firetrucks or the music station with the boombox.

She’s looking forward to grade 1. In the last few weeks, teachers have been preparing the class by taking them on a tour of the first grade class rooms and introducing them to the teachers.

Last week, she told me that her teacher packed up the play kitchen. With a heavy heart for the loss, I asked: “Are you sad?”

“Yes,” she answered.

“You won’t have all those toys in grade 1.”

“No, but there are other things. Grade 1 things.”

She’s ready, I thought. I guess after I have a good cry, I’ll be ready too.

Are you looking forward to your child’s last day of school? How do you cope with your children’s milestones? 

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Ready To Give Up


“Mountain Climber” by Sura Nualpradid

The WordCount 2013 Blogathon is winding down and I can’t wait. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Crazy! Especially for a woman who hadn’t blogged in months. I’m ready to put an end to it tonight except that I can see the Finish Line: I have 5 posts to go (I owe you guys one since I skipped one day when I went to the CanWrite! Conference 2013.)

Here I am writing this post basically about nothing because I’m out of ideas. For 25 of the last 26 days, I’ve winged every post. I don’t have time to think about them during the day and I haven’t had time to plan any so I’ve sat down and asked: “What do I feel like writing about tonight?” It usually started with one idea and turned into something completely different such as “I’ll write about what a great little stylist BabyGirl is” and that became Western Canada, Here I Come. So my mind wanders. Shrug.

Last night I read a post, Doing Short Stories, Novel and Blog All At Once, Oh, My!, by Linda Adams, who was a guest blogger here last week, about taking on writing challenges and how difficult but necessary it is to get organized. I know what she means.

Do you have any post ideas for me? How do you get organized when you take on personal writing challenges? What’s your next challenge?

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Calgary’s a ghost town – aftermath of the 2013 flood

When we use words such as large, small, modern, old, beautiful or ugly, to describe cities, we focus on their physical aspects. But when we use cold, warm, interesting, boring, crowded or pleasant, we focus on its residents. People are what makes a city an entity and give it its identity. The following photo essay brings this home.

Lucas' Photography and Blog

This past week, Calgary received way too much rain. Both the Bow and the Elbow river rose to unprecedented levels, flooding many areas of downtown and low lying neighbourhoods. Fortunately people heeded evacuation notices and no one in Calgary died (although a few at High River did)

Above photo: Trucks lining the banks of the Bow River to secure it with rocks.

I went and checked out downtown with my friend Jessica after the rain stopped. It was errie. Many streets were closed to traffic and all the shops were closed. There were no train or bus services either.

Memorial drive was still flooded

Center street bridge is closed

The river was still raging, very muddy

Dog was still having a good time tho 🙂

My friend Jess looking at the yellow river

Center street bridge

Chinatown was wet and muddy

Don’t get to see this ever, an empty Chinatown

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Alone With Henry Fielding and Tom Jones

images-1My affair with Henry and Tom is finally over! I started reading The History of Tom Jones A Foundling by Henry Fielding somewhere around November of 2011. That’s right, 19 months ago. In my defense, it was an on-again-off-again kind of relationship. When it was on, I only read about two pages a night. Henry is totally cool, but Tom is…let’s go with youthful instead of stupid.

Published in 1749, Tom Jones is one of the first novels ever written. Of course, like any first, it’s a free for all. By today’s standards, there are three glaring flaws:

  • There are constant asides from the author which will often make me smile.
  • Books are prefaced with chapters (read essays) introducing a concept which the characters will face in the next chapters. The prefaces offer an 18th century perspective on philosophy, morality, antiquity, current events, etc. While interesting, they are definitely from Henry’s perspective. He’s not a character in the book, but he kind of is. He’s a memorable narrator who takes every opportunity to voice his opinion. Think Dickens but louder and more verbose.
  • Tom, first in pursuit of fun, then work, then death and glory, and finally his beloved , encounters many characters along his journey across the British countryside. They are introduced, their backstories laid out for pages and pages, then they disappear from the scene, and at times, left me wondering if they’d made any contribution to the story or Tom’s development. While the sum of the encounters are definitely a reflection of a trip and Henry uses them to further his ideas almost as much as he employs them to further the plot, the modern reader could do without them.

Despite the “errors” made by Henry, Tom Jones is a great read.

Do you like 18th century literature too? What’s the longest it has taken you to read a novel? Do you wish the rules of writing were still allowed for author interjections?

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Same Love

Motherhood is wonder full. Having been raised by a controlling mother, I made the decision early on in my life to let my future children explore who they are. Once BabyGirl was born, I narrowed down my responsibilities toward her:

  • Teach her self-love and self-respect so that she stays true to herself.
  • Instill self-confidence so that she never doubts her abilities or her decisions.
  • Support and love her so that she always has a safe haven.

I’m curious about her. I’m curious about her likes, her dislikes, her talents. I am curious about her future. Who will she be? What will she do? How will she live? She has so much to learn and so much to discover. At times, I standby and watch; at other times, I guide or encourage. So far, she has a passion for fashion, has chosen to be a doctor and a rock star, and is interested in the motives behind her classmates bad behavior (maybe she’ll be a writer too).

The one thing that I am certain of is that even at the age of five, I can see that BabyGirl will be straight. She smiles coyly at boys her age, is entranced by teenage boys and asks me if I think this man or that one is good-looking. The fact that I do none of these things (and I probably should if I’m ever going to attract a man again in this lifetime) tells me that instinct guides our gender orientation.

Here’s a Pride anthem worth listening to.

Do we really need to walk a mile in anyone’s shoes to respect them? Can’t we just love and let love? Do we have to impose our beliefs on others?

What do you think?

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