Thursday, September 26, 2013

LibraryThing giveaway closes on September 30th

I made a mistake when I created my LibraryThing giveaway - originally it closed in November. It now closes on September 30th. Here's the link if you'd like to enter:

Right now you're guaranteed to get a copy. Kindle books can be read on phones and computers - you don't need a Kindle to read my book! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Window display!

A friend texted me a photo of my novel in the front window of a bookstore downtown. I was thrilled! Thanks, Jodes! :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Enter my LibraryThing giveaway for a Kindle copy

I've created another giveaway on LibraryThing for Kindle copies only. You can find it here:

I've been thinking heavily about the ethics of creating paper books. From a promotional point of view, paper is much better. But ebooks are much greener, right? I suppose I can compromise by doing a limited run of paperbacks and leave it to the reader to decide whether they prefer paper or Kindle copies. I *am* the sort of person who thinks it's unethical to use two spaces after a period when one would suffice! Brevity is green. :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Second Mermother giveaway completed

517 people entered my second Goodreads paperback giveaway. I've ordered the books for the five winners and they should arrive in the next week or so. One Canadian winner and four American. Thanks so much to everyone who entered!

I have another giveaway lined up for LibraryThing - 100 Kindle copies will be available. More details to follow - it starts tomorrow!

This is a photo of one of my favourite places to hike. The beauty of this park always surprises me - every time. :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A new review! From Readers' Favorite

I haven't been spending much time on writing for the past couple of months - I've been busy with other aspects of my life - fortunately and unfortunately!

So I was delighted today to see that I've received another review:

Thank you very much to my reviewer, Karen Pirnot! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Author Interview: Linda Ulleseit

Here is an interview I did by email of Linda Ulleseit. I sent the questions to the coordinator of Linda's blog tour and received these answers back.

1. How long did it take you to write this book?
I worked on my first novel (as yet unpublished) for seven years. My first published novel, On a Wing and a Dare, took four years. I spent one year writing In the Winds of Danger. I don’t know if I now have more confidence in my writing, or if I should have revised it a couple of more times. As any author will tell you, the novel is never done. I could have spent three more years on it, but I’m not sure it would have been better.

2. Which parts of the writing process are the easiest for you? The most difficult?
The hardest part is to get started. Once I get over that hurdle, the words usually flow pretty well. I spend a lot of time running scenes through my head while I’m in the shower, weeding the garden, or cooking dinner. By the time I sit down to write it, I am ready to let it pour forth. Sometimes, of course, a scene is necessary but doesn’t fire my imagination. Then it’s easier to put off writing it.

3. Do you write every day?
Absolutely! I have two blogs and two Facebook accounts, two email accounts, and I sometimes tweet. I post on Goodreads and Oh! Did you mean write on my novel every day? No. During the summer I write almost every day, but during the school year I’m busy teaching elementary school students how to write. I think if I actually managed to write every day that I would generate a lot more words. Revision would be different, depending on the quality of those words!

4. What do you use to write? (Pen and paper, laptop, what type of software, etc). 
I outline very basically in a spiral notebook. I use the notebook to jot ideas and research data. All of my writing is done on my laptop, a MacBook Pro. I use Scrivener, a software program for writers. It is a tremendous organizing tool and helps me keep track of character descriptions and scenery details that I’ve used.

5. Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? If you have, how would you describe your experience?
NaNoWriMo is the most wonderful inspiration I have ever encountered. I first discovered it in September of 2009 and immediately decided to sign up my class. They set their own word count goals, and I challenged them, as a class, to beat my own 50,000 words. I worked through the entire process with them as they developed characters and plot. Ongoing progress was marked on a chart, mine alongside theirs. I published a student anthology of their novels and created an empowered set of authors. My own book went on to be On a Wing and a Dare. In 2010 I again completed NaNoWriMo with my class. I cheated a bit by counted a major revision of On a Wing and a Dare as my novel, but I did add 50,000 words! With two successful years under my belt, the expectation was set. In 2011 I completed In the Winds of Danger, and in 2012 I started Under the Almond Trees, a historical fiction novel for adults. NaNoWriMo inspires and motivates my students, and the shared experience of writing together sets the tone for the entire year. It also helps me get a lot of writing done during the school year!

6. What are your goals for yourself as a writer? Do you have a book you dream of one day writing?
I know I have more flying horse books inside of me. I am currently working on a novella that is a prequel to the series. I intend it to be a free ebook that will entice new readers into my world. The third book in the trilogy, Under a Wild and Darkening Sky, will be drafted this fall for NaNoWriMo. I enjoyed writing Under the Almond Trees, which features three women in my family who were pioneers in California. After that, I would like to write more historical fiction about some of the other women in my family. Family history is near and dear to my heart (as are my flying horses) and it would be a wonderful legacy to my children.

7. Who are your influences? Why do you think you are influenced by these authors?
My favorite authors are Anne McCaffrey and Diana Gabaldon. My copies of McCaffrey’s dragon books and Gabaldon’s Outlander series are dog-eared but still in a prominent place on my bookshelf. The characters are so alive that they live with me in my world long after I put the books down. The settings are so rich that I live in their world during and after reading.

8. What advice would you offer novice writers? Who offered you advice?
It seems obvious to me, but you should read the type of book you want to write. I have read young adult fantasy and historical fiction my entire life. Even so, I encounter aspiring authors who have never read a young adult book but want to write them. It won’t work. My most wonderful advisers were the reviewers on Some members are authors themselves, but many sign up just to review new work. From this wide assortment of people—different ages, countries, tastes in literature, and writing skills—I learned a lot about story arc and working details into a scene. From reading their work, I learned by example, too.

9. Describe your ideal relationship with your readers.
One of the most wonderful things about the Harry Potter phenomenon is the way J.K. Rowling connects with her readers. She has her own website, fan sites, interactive online experiences, and books written about
analyzing her books. Someday I see High Meadow as that sort of world, a place that readers don’t want to leave, and my characters so compelling that arguments appear on websites about whether Emma should choose Evan or Davyd (On a Wing and a Dare), and who Nia should choose to back her as leader of Third Barn (In the Winds of Danger).

10. What is your experience with reviews and reviewers? 
I love all my reviewers! It is so important it is for readers to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Writers are solitary. We live in worlds of our own creation, and we really don’t know if readers are along for the ride or not unless you leave us a review. I am always excited when I see a new review pop up, especially if it’s a good one. Bad reviews don’t bother me, though. If someone didn’t enjoy part of the book then that is a perfect opening for discussion if someone else loved it. If you just give a book five stars, or one star, that is more disappointing. My ego wants to know what part you loved or hated.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review of In The Winds of Danger By Linda Ulleseit

I volunteered to write this review - no compensation was received. This is the first book I have read by Linda Ulleseit. 

I'd never read a book like this one before - for me, this was something completely different. I enjoyed the quick start and gradual explanation of context throughout the chapters.

This is a carefully executed book that would work well as a movie to capture the beauty of the horses and the settings. I'm happy to give this book a 4/5 rating. Linda has obviously worked very hard on plot development and the writing is meticulous. This would be a great read for young adults - especially if they have a passion for horses!

My favourite line: "His present was important, his past must die."

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Goodreads giveaway has ended - books have been ordered!

Thank you to everyone who entered my Goodreads giveaway. I have ordered the winners' books and they will be shipped directly to the address provided. The winners live in the following cities: Birmingham, UK; Stockton, CA; Wolverhampton, UK; Mahwah, NJ; and Eastern Passage, NS.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

13 days left to enter the Mermother giveaway

I'm really thrilled by the number of people who have entered the giveaway:

It feels like such an honour. I hope those who win will enjoy my book!

I've also entered some giveaways myself and am hoping to win one. Why is this all so exciting? :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Guest post: One fine day

A guest post from a 7 year old. A creative writing effort!

One fine day botchuboys were playing tag and then Bowser came and took all the botchuboys but one botchuboy he went to Bowser's castle to get his friends back and fight Bowser he had to pass Bowser's guards surrounding his castle. Instead of going past the guards he decided to go through the sewers to get into Bowser's castle. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why Lazarus?

One of my readers asked me today "Why Lazarus?" 

As in why did I choose that name... I explained that the Doyle family is very silly and pretentious - and that Lazarus is an awful, awful person. Just wait. In Hard Salt you will see. 

Even a blade of grass can cut you. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Facebook page and more kind reviews

I really like this advice. It seems quite obvious - but not always easy to apply depending on one's circumstances.

More kind reviews coming in from people of various ages, both male and female. I didn't expect male readers to enjoy Mermother!

I'm still working on It's Personal. I've been having little ideas for Hard Salt - especially when people tell me they'd like to know what happens next. :)

I made a Facebook page for Mermother. It is here:

(Image credit: No idea. I think it was RawForBeauty)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Nice compliments from readers!

Had some lovely compliments from people who have been reading Mermother. Today was a landmark day - I had a good review from someone I don't know who borrowed the book from a friend. Wow.

Busy trying to get going on It's Personal. Also need to sort out my online presence which is all over the place at the moment. Forward I go. :)

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Distribution complete

I've finished distributing my copies of Mermother. I've read that I'm supposed to keep updating this blog but I'm going to be working on It's Personal for the next little while so the updates will be less frequent.

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Reader question: breathing underwater

One of my coworkers is reading Mermother. Her comment: "I am enjoying reading your book. I am almost convinced by you; my question is: can humans really learn to breathe in water?"

I told her anything is possible in fantasy. :)

But this is very interesting:

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What's wrong with you?

I was at work. One of my coworkers yelled across to another retired colleague about my novel. The retiree explained he's not into mermaids. "What's wrong with you?" was the teasing response. Very funny.

Not everyone is into mermaids. I'm not massively into them myself. I just found the characters interesting. The fact that they are mermaids takes everything to another level.

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kindle price dropped to $0.99

I am the first to admit that I knew nothing about self-publishing when I decided to throw Mermother online. I _really_ knew nothing about Kindle editions. I've since figured out that I shouldn't be charging such an outrageous amount. If you bought a Kindle copy at the original price and would like to be reimbursed, please let me know.

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Handing out books

My 50 books have arrived.

I've given out 20 at work and dropped off 12 at the Nanaimo library. That leaves a number to be mailed off to Vancouver, SF, etc. I'll be very interested to hear what everyone thinks!

I'm hoping after all 50 are distributed then I'll feel like writing again . . .

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The first copy of Mermother!

I haven't seen it yet but tomorrow I will. :) I am dying to see up close how the new cover has turned out. It does please me that it's my own photo. I hope people like it. I realized I'd prefer to update the back cover to be black. I'll wait to see it first though.

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

My books are in Richmond

I have ordered 30 which are in Richmond. Twenty are still in production. My love is the only one with a copy that shows the colour cover. Can't wait to wrestle it out of his hands! Will be dancing like a lunatic when both sets of books arrive. I've been the grumpiest grumper (as we call it) for the past couple of days but the tide is turning. 

Just asked BC Bookworld if they will look at Mermother. Who knows!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Marketing style = begging

I have no idea how to promote a novel or anything else. I'm not sure I want to promote things, per se. I'd feel like I'm imposing myself on others and that's no good. 

Instead, I am basically begging people to read Mermother so I can get feedback and find out what they like. It's been an interesting week. Some people are nice to beggars, others are not. 

Pay it forward seems to be the best idea. Make a habit of paying it forward so you don't even think about it. Yesterday I realized that I had given quite a few gifts to different friends recently so it was fine for me to receive one. It was an odd but nice feeling.

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Big excitement!

My new website. My first one, actually. I don't know why I haven't made one before, given what I do for a living. But now I have a greater purpose. :)

(Image credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Encouraging other writers

Now that my first novel is done, I want everyone else to write a novel too!

Here is what Greg posted on his fridge. My dad is working on a novel too - so exciting!

(Photo credit: G. Davidson)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What Delphine looks like

What Trayo looks like

What Sylvie looks like

The truth about Greg Davidson

Of all the people who have coaxed me over the finish line, Greg has arguably been the most influential. 

I owed him money for tuning my 1900 Bell piano. In return he said he would like a copy of my (then unpublished) novel. At certain moments during the wee hours when I was proof reading Mermother I thought perhaps I should not be exchanging novels for musical services. But in retrospect I can see that a lot of the frustration and inefficiency was due to my lack of experience with self-publishing.

The most exciting outcome of my pact with Greg is that he's now considering publishing a book of his own. He has many hilarious and outrageous stories about his career that he'd like to share. I'm looking forward to reading the drafts and seeing his link on Amazon.

(Photo credit: B.C. Lesiuk)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wai-Kay's review

Wai-Kay has reviewed my discussion questions. Her opinions count because she's one of the few people who have read my novel. Well, she has read the draft. Only one person has read the final version, as far as I know. Anyway, discussion questions will be revised soon.

Here is a painting I brought back to my desk from the art room. I love it. Especially because it's caused such an array of responses.

(Image credit: S. Sicherman)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mermother discussion questions

I didn't have any. So I wrote some up today while waiting in the car and sitting next to the playground. (I have since revised these questions—Wai-Kay felt that I was giving away the surprise.)

Mermother Discussion Questions

1. How would you describe Briony's personality?

2. In your opinion, is Briony a reliable narrator? Do you believe her story - why or why not?

3. Do you think the mermaids are predominantly animal or human?

4. What do you think of the mermaids' methods to achieve their goals?

5. How does the pursuit of wealth influence the plot?

6. Who is the most powerful character? Why?

7. Which relationships could be classified as healthy? Which ones as abusive?

8. What was your favourite part?

9. How do you think Briony feels about her experience in the sea by the end of the book?

10. What do you think Briony will do in the next book?

Present from a coworker!

A coworker read Mermother on the ferry and brought me this as a gift. Isn't that the sweetest thing? I love. It's so shabby chic. Happy sigh.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thank you to Well Read Books, Sooke

A bookstore in Sooke has agreed to display a couple copies of Mermother. I'm super excited!

I've realized, however, that I should have added the description to my back cover. Ay caramba. I'm going to look tomorrow to see how hard it is to update my cover image through CreateSpace. What a learning process this has been. I'm not sure why I didn't want text on the back cover? I remember feeling distinctly opposed at the time...

Can't wait for my copies from Amazon to arrive!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Finding readers?

I'm not sure how to find people to read Mermother. I'm lucky to have some very tolerant friends who plowed through the first draft and felt it had promise. But beyond these brave souls, I'm not sure what to do. It seems horribly presumptuous to impose my book on others. I have told people I know. I have asked Vancouver Island Regional Library. I have asked 28 local booksellers. Now what? Sometimes you find something good in surprising places so I will not lose hope. 

Tomorrow I start It's Personal again so Mermother will have to fend for herself. 

I read this article about Stephenie Meyer and it steeled me for any negative feedback I might get. 

This article and the reader comments seem exceptionally cruel and irrelevant. At least she has made a good living from her books. 

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

How to Write a Book by Pippa Middleton #pippatips

1. Books are long. You will need a lot of words. Or flattering photos of yourself. 

2. A good book makes sense. Somebody should look into that. 

3. Ignore people who criticize your book. Go complain to your mother or the British Royal Family instead. 

4. If anyone gives you money for your book, you must spend it at once on sound investments like designer clothes and tropical vacations. 

5. If people still complain about your book, you can write articles instead. Articles are shorter than books. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Piotr made me

My dear friends Piotr and Kate only read by Kindle. They are sophisticated. So today I made a Kindle version of Mermother, just for them. It's strange--I think Mermother looks better as a Kindle file than a paper copy. It might be the font. Was Garamond a big mistake?

I was rereading some of the better parts on the Kindle previewer and I don't know where all these ideas came from! The dialogue alone. I exhaust myself, I really do. I'm hoping It's Personal will unfold more easily even though it's not complicated enough to be the foundation of a trilogy. As I'm rereading Mermother, I'm almost cackling as I think of all the injustices Briony will return to in Hard Salt. She's ready. And she's very irate.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wai-Kay made me

My friend Wai-Kay in Vancouver didn't like the description that I'd written. She felt I'd ruined the surprise. So we redid it together.

This is from the Amazon page for Mermother. Imagine, my humble effort on Amazon??

April 1st I restart It's Personal. I'm gearing up. And wondering what I'll do re a laptop. Mmmm.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The triumph!

At last Mermother is published. 6am this morning. What a difficult birth this has been. And now it's done. :)
If you want to buy a copy, it's available here: 

This book is a fundraiser for the International Ocean Institute.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Inching closer

I've had enough of nightmare proofing and am finally letting it go. I'm just waiting for the reviewers to approve it within the 24 hr timeframe and then it's showtime.

The minimum I was allowed to charge for the book was $5.22. If I went below the amount I originally specified, the book couldn't be sold in Europe. So this is the amount I picked. I will make a whopping $1.06 on each book, 53 cents of which is donated to IOI. Anyway, it's been a learning experience.

Formatting a book is hard. That I now know.

Here is the final cover. CreateSpace wasn't able to fix a tiny but irritating glitch in my plain white cover so I selected an photo from Parksville.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Proofing again

That is, when I'm not taking photos of adorable miniature donkeys. :)

I will have to bite the bullet soon because It's Personal is waiting for me on April 1st.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pudding and proofs

Before I left for Parksville my three proofs arrived. Never have I felt so frustrated getting a box open! I could barely breathe as I tried to get past the packing paper. Anyway, proofs are a very good idea. I discovered a strange line on the cover that needs to be fixed, for example. CreateSpace would like me to order more proofs but I don't have the energy, money, or patience. I tried rereading Mermother last night but I am so sick of it, I really couldn't. Sometimes when I read an excerpt Briony sounds so eager and that annoys me. 

My love thinks I should mention that I wrote a significant portion of Mermother on my iPhone. He was watching my mad phone typing skills at the pub. We had a delightful rice pudding after dinner. With a big blob of strawberry jam!

(Photo credit: E. J. Wolfe)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rejection notes

I wrote a paper and submitted it to a journal. They rejected it and (kindly) provided their reasons. The thing is, I completely agree with them.

1st Reviewer's Comments
The article is chatty and aimed at a very broad audience. There is no issue with its tone or approach. However, it is only engaging at a level of mild interest. See further for more details.
I'm not sure of the purpose of this article and that, in essence, may be its downfall. The term, "x" has a particular significance and readers are likely to want to know more about how it may be applied, practiced, assessed and reviewed at schools where it is successfully adapted as a programmatic model. This article sets up a series of interviews where the subjects are not aware of the current specific term and so are speaking from their own experience, but clearly not that of practicing the specifics of x according to the x Foundation or other organizations.
Unfortunately, the author holds back from any analysis so it is hard to see what insights there might be, other than the fact that x connotes a wide range of responses, and few at this school seem to know its contemporary application as a specific model of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, I don't recommend this article for our journal  at this time. The article needs to demonstrate more reflection and intention.

2nd Reviewer's Comments
I did not find this article to be very engaging. The responses to the interview questions are typical, and therefore not very insightful. There are examples from practice, but none that really speak to the broader issue of how to achieve x for all of our students. Each teacher interviewed has some insight into their own practice, but there is no reflection on the data from the author. I think that the teachers' insights could be a valuable resource if looked at more broadly—if the author could look at all of the information to make connections, find overarching themes, and summarize his/her findings.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Don't be a victim

I found this phrase on Pinterest. I don't belong to Pinterest but I enjoy occasionally looking at what people post on there. I like the accessibility of the pins.

This sums up the primary underlying theme of the second Mermother novel, Hard Salt. It's a lesson that many of us have to learn and remember. It's a great concept to teach your children also.

(Image credit:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Vacation = reading with abandon

I'm all ready for Parksville! Can't wait to plunge head first into whichever one seizes me with its pages. I have no fear of aging or being alone - as long as I have books. Quality books, I should add. I have been trying to read two innocent unnamed novels at home but it's been slow going.

Book Links:
Holy Fools
Nature Girl
A Spot of Bother
Charming Billy
A Hard Rain
Pretty Little Liars
The Map of Love
The Last Song
The Winter Palace

Author Links:
Joanne Harris -
Carl Hiaasen -
Mark Haddon -
Alice McDermott -
Alice doesn't seem to have a personal website? I look at her job and think that's what I should have done. Sigh. Dave doesn't have a site either. He is a coworker.
Ahdaf Soueif -
Nicholas Sparks -
Eva Stachniak -

I liked Nicholas' the best so far. He put a lot of effort into helping other writers which I think is very kind and something I would like to do also.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Book dedication

Mermother is dedicated to Margaret deWeese, a dear family friend who passed away from cancer recently. She was a mentor to me during the past 5 years and I miss her terribly. For whatever reason she believed in my writing and thought something would come of it. And now something has. I wish I could present her with a copy of my novel. She would be pleased.

This photo is of Whiskey Point. I used to swim here when I was a girl.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Now what?

Last night I barely slept. I don't have a story to absorb me now - not my own or anyone else's. I should have read myself through the night. Instead I tossed and turned until the morning at which point I fell asleep and had a heavy dream which lurked in my mind for most of the day.

Mermother is not artistic literature. At best it is pulp fiction. I am under no illusions. But it kept me occupied and now I feel lost without it but too spent to work on anything else. I just tried reading a bit of the first chapter but I am sick of every sentence after so many proofs.

This is one of my big discoveries. There are many false finishes with a novel - you think you're done but you're not. Now I know that it's not over until the novel is bound and by then you'd better be content because you've made the final commit. That's what we call it in software development. There are so many crossovers between writing and coding - I was amazed to discover this.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Mermother editing studio

I've done a lot of my writing and editing at work - after hours, I might add. Which has resulted in some late nights and neglected social life. It's been worth it though. I'm so proud of my self-discipline and have much more respect for those who accomplish things strictly on their own initiative.

Everyone should write a novel. It's an inimitable journey.

My final proof is done.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ok, I thought this was really cute and couldn't resist.

That baby is seriously asleep. Just like a mermaid should be. The blanket reminds me of the pearl beds in Mermother.

(Photo credit:

IOI fundraising

Not everyone is keen on ocean preservation but I am. I see the sea five times a week, minimum. It's a big part of my life.

I'm publishing Mermother as a fundraiser for the IOI:

Methinks it's a valuable use of my time plus more interesting than just random self-publishing. One must be interesting, at least to oneself.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hard Salt and Drawn Deep

Those are the titles of the second and third books in the Mermother trilogy. I set up their blogs today although of course there is no content. I know roughly what happens in each book but no writing yet.

Hard Salt is very intense compared to Mermother. Briony gets up to some serious mischief.

It's such a relief to me that at age approximately 35 I finally figured out what I wanted to do. Be a novelist. These were the other options: dancer, palaeontologist, lawyer, optician, housewife with MANY children, actress, pilot, and forest ranger. Let me know when you figure out a common theme.

I'm very tired and looking forward to my brief vacation in Parksville. Yay beach! Yay forest! Yay away!

Monday, March 11, 2013


For the past couple of days I've been proofing. But proofing isn't enough for me. I need to recognize the patterns so I can reduce my error rate. Here are the culprits:

- Changing sentence structure. Wow, do I need to reread carefully unless I want surplus "that" "and" "so" thrown around.

- Using multiple word processors. Enough said.

- Formatting manually. This results in me losing my periods which is always an eye opener. Sentences at the end of a paragraph are particularly vulnerable.

I have also been on the phone to the IRS trying to set up potential sales in the States. I'm thinking I will have to do this during my vacation. Or by fax instead. Sigh. It's a lot of work.

Erin has agreed to read a proof which warms my heart. :)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I've been busy...

I finished writing Mermother and have been hard at work formatting it for self-publication. I'm putting it up on CreateSpace which has been a major learning process in itself. It's fun! I'm enjoying myself.

(The second novel has been on the back burner.)

I have promised myself and one other that I will not write again until April to give myself a rest. I'm very burnt out, especially with the proofreading. My printed proofs should be arriving around March 25th so until then I'm on vacation. :)

This is the cover that I ended up choosing. I wanted something simple.

I also ended up selecting Garamond as my font. I am still fond of Minion but Garamond seemed to be the right choice.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A change in direction

My dad suggested I leave Mermother for a while and come back to it but I was reluctant to do this. Now that I've started this new novel, however, and it's coming easily, I'm thinking I will follow his advice. Maybe I won't even publish Mermother at all? Would that be a shame? I can't decide.

I do feel that I shouldn't even look at Mermother until the new one is done. It might jinx this new novel somehow. 

The muse calls me. I don't call the muse. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bronchitis is my new writing friend

There's not much I can do at the moment. I'm too sick to work, either on site or from home. I'm making lots of mistakes still with the fever. 

I can't read. 

I can't edit Mermother

I can't sleep. 

I can't eat. 

I can't talk. 

I'm really great at coughing. 

So I started writing a new novel. The good news and the bad news is that it already reads better than Mermother. My mermaids will be furious if I give up on them. I'm thinking I should publish soon and set them free. I have played around with the plot so much that it doesn't hang together nicely. This disappoints but at the same time builds my resolution to become a better writer. 

I miss playing my piano downstairs. Too sick to go down. Nervous on the stairs because am dizzy. It's a Bell from 1900. Never give up your Bell piano. And certainly don't chop it up for firewood. Sacrilege. 

Can't speak

I have a terrible cold, including a sore throat so I can't edit out loud. Very excited to feel better!

I was impressed with Amazon's technical writing for Kindle publishing. The tone is so friendly and straightforward. I guess by the time you have finished the long lonely road that is a book, you appreciate friendliness.

On Amazon's recommendation, I was brainstorming keywords that would indicate what the book is about. This is what I came up with:

reproductive rights
Vancouver Island
female friendships (or should that be women's friendships??)
supernatural romance

When I was delirious with a fever during the night I had a lot more ideas.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Intense frustration

It makes me spare that I can't write full time. If only I could have 4-6 hrs per day to write. That would be amazing. I can see how writing could become a compulsion even if it didn't start out that way.

A mermaid book from when I was a child. It's still good! A Thousand Yards of Sea by Adele Geras.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Losing my precious wordcount!

I've been doing my first full edit. My writing strikes me as very flimsy so I've been chopping out the fluff. Now I've fallen below 70K! Yikes. Hopefully more valuable material will come to me as I move along.

My next edit will be out loud. I'm hoping to capture how we speak here. But I also want a cooperative relationship with the reader - I want to make it easy for the reader to pass through the story and understand what I mean. I've read some beautiful books but the language was too labour intensive. Something to talk about with other authors, I suppose. If they ever take me seriously! :)

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Literature begins at home

I write and draw. Child dictates content and colours.

Luon has his own seahorse called Aristar.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

She's done

I reached 70K. Was somewhat anticlimactic but that might be due to the reprehensibly awful mood I was in this evening. Finishing my novel did make me feel marginally better.

Downhill from here. I like editing, no word of a lie. At least I'll know what I'm doing for the next one.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Final push this weekend

I have to get to 70K this weekend. 3K to go. I'd like to be done all my edits by Valentine's Day and then I'll figure out how to self-publish. I can't wait to have a copy of Version 1.0 in my hands.

Here is my idea for the back cover.


Pretty sure I've broken 68K. Need to go home and reintegrate Chapter 19 so I can check.

I have also picked out my font: Minion Pro. I like the look. To me, it seems intelligent and friendly. I can hear Briony's voice in it when I read her words. Wondering if I should convert the blog into Minion also? Mmmm.

(Image credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Meta blogging

One has to be suspicious of blogs about blogging - the result of too much time off leash, perhaps. I won't rattle on except to say that mine looks appalling. I really must camp out at the coffee shop soon and disappear inside the template for a few hours.

Here is the marina looking simply divine.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Writing hurts my feet

Not a lot of writing has been going on. I was at 67k but then I deleted 3 paras from the first chapter because, frankly and in accordance with Alex Van Tol, it was a terrible start to a novel. Just wrote some more to get back to 67k. And then fell asleep trying to finish this blog entry. Must rest.

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's safe inside my dreams

I've been criticized for being a dreamer more than once - in spite of hard work and measurable results. But I'm happy here inside the worlds that I create, including my perfected reality. I like being fae - I would be more so, if I could. Right now I exist only at the edge of my pillow.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Burning the midnight oil

In recent years I haven't slept well. I used to really worry about this until my dad convinced me it's fine to sleep in shifts. Lack of exercise and stress and trying to sleep when I can't makes it worse. On the plus side, I end up writing and working on new plot ideas for the second Mermother novel. I've also been developing my projects for Makerspace. If you haven't gotten into Makerspace yet, then you must. Amazing.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My sanctuary

Very cold right now. But so peaceful.

Great quote from a friend: "It's an insincere jungle full of sloths and screaming monkeys."

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)

Friday, January 11, 2013

An inspiring point of view

  The second image is the view that inspired my novel. There is a red house with white trim - can you see it? [I just checked and, no, you can't. You'll just have to believe me. It's to the left of the house in the middle of the photo.]

I first stared at that house in 1990. It has always fascinated me. I walked along the beach one day during the summer and came to it from the shoreside. Finally. Imagine my disappointment to find it abandoned and run down. The house looks gorgeous from a distance. That's the transformative power of the sea - nothing is as it seems.

(Photo credits: E.J. Wolfe)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Calamities mine

Today has been rather spectacular so far. I woke up late and was walking to my office when I fell on the ice and sprained my foot. Off to Emergency I went to check that it was not broken. Isn't.

Was trying to write Chapter 19 on my laptop in the hospital to keep self entertained. I've got this new challenge: being able to write anywhere. Today was tricky with politicking blasting from the waiting room TV. Then Word crashed and I lost my draft. Was busy recovering draft when it was my turn for X-ray. It's a rule in the hospital: only hospital employees are allowed to be busy. Patients must be available. Was worried draft of 66K+ words was lost. Isn't.

Big sigh of relief. Intact foot and novel.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another walk at lunch

Along by the creek I went, down by the bay. I thought these suds looked pretty although I wasn't sure that they should be there.

I was reminded of my interest in ocean conservation. That's what this blog is great for - a repository of my ideas.

(Photo credit: E.J. Wolfe)