Saturday, 22 November 2008

I Smell A Story

When I write about different locations, I must remind myself to include smells as well as sights. We often describe odours in bars, houses, flower shops and on people. The delicate smell of a special perfume or comfort food can trigger memories, but cities and towns also have a their own brand of olfactory uniqueness.

The lovely old city of Saint John, New Brunswick smells like hot road tar mixed with sea salt because of the proximity of the oil refineries along the Bay of Fundy. When I smell tar, I go back to the days when I was a kid, wandering with my cousins in search of mischief. I see in my mind's eye the multicoloured wooden houses with white trim. I remember steep hills leading down to the bay.

Northern Ontario smells like wood smoke and pine needles. It will always remind me of camping and warm rocks.

My husband says Toronto smelled like rising dough when he was a kid, due to the flour and sugar mills along the shores of Lake Ontario.

Then there were the little lumber towns in northern Quebec. We lived in Chandler on the Gaspé Peninsula when I was seven years old. It always seemed to smell like an enormous fart.

From a WIP: "The Chandler pulp and paper mill on the west side of town served up its usual sulphuric stink with extra sauce on the day JC Bernard decided to kidnap his best friend Alphonse."

Newmarket doesn't have many distinctive odours, except perhaps the smell of newly cut grass on a summer day, or lilacs. Each season brings its own memorable smells.

What does your town smell like? Do any smells take you back to a place you once lived?

Image: A view of Saint John from Martello Tower

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The Puck Has Dropped

Three forwards and two defensemen (and women) faced off with a poetry contest to celebrate the Amazon release of Bad Ice: Bernard, Michelle, Precie, Kerri and Wordtryst.

My trusty assistant Cujo picked the winner from my Maple Leafs beer cozy because the linesman tripped over the blue line. And the winner is...


See? You visited a new writer site and won something! It's that easy. Please email me through my profile with your physical address and I'll send you an autographed copy of Bad Ice. I hope you enjoy it.

I think I'll print off these cool poems and frame them for my writing room (when I get one). Thank you everyone for participating. It was a lovely diversion.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Hat Trick Poetry Contest

The first goal was the e-release of Bad Ice. The second goal was the print release on the Champagne Books site. Now it's my Hat Trick, my Amazon release. It seems a few kind souls have bought a copy already because it has a ranking. Thanks, and enjoy!

If you've already enjoyed the book, please toss in a little review. It can only help!

To celebrate the Amazon print release, I'm holding a little hockey theme contest. Don't worry -- you non-hockey types will have a shot. All you have to do is write a short poem using the following words:


It doesn't have to be a GOOD poem, but try to entertain the other posters. I'll take each poem and put it in a hockey helmet. We have several in the house. My assistant (whoever I can recruit) will draw the winner out of the helmet on Saturday, November 15th during CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.

The winner will receive an autographed copy of Bad Ice.

(Once again, I extend infinite thanks to those who expressed their support during a difficult time. I appreciate every message and love you all.)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Thank You

I am overcome by the generous outpouring of sympathy from you, my old and new friends. The last few weeks have been both surreal and all too real.

The authorities believe Brandon climbed a tree for the night because wolves and coyotes are prevalent in the area. He may have fallen asleep or simply fell. Chest injuries from the fall seemed to have caused his death. It was probably the first night he went missing.

The funeral is set for next Friday.


In other news, Bad Ice is now on Amazon. Just thought I'd let you know.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Now We Know

I came back from lunch and everyone stared at me. The phone rang. It was my husband. He asked if I had seen the news - Macleans magazine in particular. I had just picked up a copy because there was an article about Brandon. He said, "No, the website." He told me hunters found a body they believed to be that of my nephew Brandon Crisp.

Mary drove me home from work, and Mark's co-workers drove him home. Mary and I caught my son Andrew walking home, and we quickly picked him up and brought him home.

I have to drive to Oakville to get my daughter in college. Then we'll go to Barrie to be with Brandon's parents.

That's all I can say for now. I'll update you later.

Thanks again for all your support. I truly love you all.