Thursday, 27 March 2008

Fly, Robin, Fly

Mr. Robin is restless. "We have to go now," he tells his wife. "If we don't go now, all the good spots will be taken."

Mrs. Robin rolls her eyes. "Did you see the last weather report? It's too soon; we'll freeze our feathers off."
Mr. Robin won't take no for an answer. Millions of years of routine had made him into a creature of habit. Fly south in November, fly north in March. That's the way it's always been, so that's the way it's gonna be whether Mrs. Robin likes it or not.

So, grumbling, she packs up the Florida mobile home and makes some snacks for the trip.

As they venture north, landmarks are sketchy at best. Mr. Robin can't remember whether that dip in the valley is a river or just another road. Both are covered in white.

"Shouldn't we ask for directions?" Mrs. Robin asks. She points to a shivering pair of blue jays resting in the next tree. "They seem to know where they're going."

Mr. Robin glances at the couple. He doesn't trust them. They're blue jays, after all. Everyone knows blue jays are loud-mouthed, obnoxious know-it-alls. They're tricky, too. He wouldn't be surprised if they pointed toward Albuquerque and said, "Yeah, Ontario's over there, heh, heh."

"I know exactly where we're going," he mumbles, and launches to the skies once again. She follows, her patience wearing thin.

Finally, after several wrong turns, they arrive at their destination. It's bloody awful cold, and there isn't a single patch of bare ground to be seen. The snacks had run out long ago, and Mrs. Robin is good and pissed.

I know this because as I open the back door this morning to let the dog out, I hear robin wives loudly cursing their robin husbands all over the neighbourhood.

Welcome home, robins. Try not to kill your husbands.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

My Other Blog

Happy First Day of Spring! Snowflakes are swirling around outside and I'm hoping they don't stick.

Today I posted over at The Writers' Vineyard about using trendy items in our novels. Check it out.

In other news, my blogging buddy Pat Wood's Lottery will be made into a movie! I'm not surprised -- her novel is unique and funny and sad and uplifting. Perfect for a movie.

Congratulations to Pat!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

My First Interview!


Well, it's been a year of firsts so far. Liane Spicer is a novelist from Trinidad. She has a monthly interview feature on her blog, Wordtryst.

She asked me to step in for the Month of March and I happily obliged. The interview is up on her blog today, so check it out!

Liane has an upcoming multicultural romance from Dorchester entitled Cafe Au Lait. Her blog is chock full of lovely descriptions of her home, which is a world away from my land of cold and snow.

Oh, I forgot to mention in the interview the name of the lovely writers group I belong to. Romance Writers Unlimited is a priceless group of women (and one super fellow) who have helped me hone my writing skills. Check out their blog -- it's also full of wonderful insights on the writing world and a lot of advice.

Drop by and check out my interview!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Cold Enough For Ya?

Oh, how I hate that expression - this year more than ever.

Patricia Wood (Lottery) is in Calgary visiting Holly Kennedy (The Silver Compass). She complained that she was cold. I suppose when you live in Hawaii, a 12C day in Alberta can seem pretty cold.

I woke up to -12C and three feet of snow this morning. The kids wanted to go to Wal-Mart to buy a Wii game they've been anticipating for two years. I told them they had to dig out the car first.




After digging out a pee path for the dog, I looked up at the roof and was very afraid.










Our Escort is in my neighbour's driveway. It's buried up to the wheel wells with a lovely pyramid of snow on top. She pays for a guy to come with a snowblower so I'll wait before I take that sucker out of the driveway.




Hopefully the strong March sun rays will make short work of the latest onslaught.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is the First Anniversary of ChumpletWrites. Drop by and have a beer on me.

One year ago, I was newly contracted with The Wild Rose Press. I had lurked in Cyberdom for a while beforehand, making a few cyberfriends and cyberacquaintances. I cherish them all!

I managed to blog about writing (mostly) and dispensed advice that some felt was actually helpful (surprisingly). But mostly I had a blast. In my early blogging days, I honestly thought I was a notorious Thread Killer. Whenever I commented on a blog, the comment thread mysteriously stopped dead in its tracks. I thought I was boring.

But later, I actually got a few LOLs, a few 'Hey Chumplets' and even an invitation to guest blog. I love to cruise blogland and enjoy all of your sites. I've received great advice and managed to procure a few books written by my blogger buddies.

I'm learning every day and I hope to learn a lot more. Especially when I get an agent and finish my current novels! Thanks to each and every one of you who visited me in the past year, and I hope you all return often.

How appropriate that the First Anniversary gift is paper.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Ridley The Grey Retriever

I think we discovered a new breed.

Too bad he's fixed. I hope it looks okay; I used the crappy video on my point and shoot digital camera.

Ridley likes to play with the little caps from milk cartons. I don't have to buy him toys - even dust amuses him.


video

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Six More Things

A while back, I was tagged for Six Random Things. I've been tagged again by my dear friends Zara and Ali. So, I'll try to think of six more things about me. I'm running out of stuff to say about myself - I hope I'm not as boring as I think I am!

1. I hate phones. Hate 'em. I avoid returning calls, making appointments or ordering pizza until the last possible moment. Every time the phone rings, my stomach flips. I don't recall a single telephone trauma to cause this reaction, but there it is.

2. I was on the very first high school cheerleader squad in Spain, back in 1975. We were even in the newspaper (according to Coach Pharms) but like an idiot I didn't bother to save a clipping.

3. I snore like a freakin' freight train. It started nineteen years ago after I had my first child. Maybe I grew an extra tonsil or something. Speaking of tonsils, I had a tonsillectomy when I was six, but the doctor claims they grew back.

4. I am a chronic interrupter. I tend to jump into conversations, trying to finish other people's sentences. Maybe it's a result of being a middle child.

5. I'm told I'm a pretty good cook. I love to craft meals on the fly, using a snippet of this and a dash of that. No two pots of chili are the same. I think my friend Mary Anne knows my obsession because she feeds it with gifts of exotic spices and weird cooking utensils. However, I can't bake to save my life. I burn everything. It's the oven's fault, not mine.

6. I'm on a perpetual quest for the perfect purse. For some people it's watches, for others it's flashlights or shoes. If I have a purse of every size and colour, I'm in Heaven. Call it a fetish.

I'm supposed to tag six more blogging pals, but I'm sure they've already done this meme. If I start tagging strangers, they'll wonder who the hell this Chumplet stalker is. So feel free to yap about yourself in the comments.

Painting - Dick Tracy Phone by my kid, Beth Turnsek

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Timing is Everything in Bookland

People in the publishing industry say timing is everything when releasing a book, whether it be a nonfiction book related to a world event or a fiction book riding on the coattails of a major social trend. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but I've been noticing a lot of hockey in the entertainment news lately.

Two movies are being released with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the story line. In Mike Myers' The Love Guru, (June 20 release) a Toronto Maple Leaf team is vying for the Stanley Cup (haha!). You'll either love or hate this typically hilarious Mike Myers movie, but its release is only a month before Bad Ice.

Breakfast With Scot features a gay couple raising an 11 year old boy. In the movie, the parents are former Leaf players. It's had some exposure in film festivals, but I don't see a major theatre release yet.

I picked up the February issue of Vanity Fair because Indiana Jones was on the cover, and inside is an article about Sean Avery, the New York Rangers bad boy. A snippet: ... Avery has quickly developed the reputation of playing hard on and off the ice, leading him to both the penalty box and the gossip columns, where reports of his club-hopping and active love life have restored a touch of glamour to a sport sorely lacking any.

With all this hockey talk lately, the timing of the July release of Bad Ice might be perfect, even if the only ice we see is in our drinks.

Think cool thoughts.

Photograph of Sean by Bruce Weber, Vanity Fair Magazine.