Changes!

Hello!  

How are you?

I am doing better since my last post.  

I came through Term 1 with a 4.0 average and I look to be going that way again this term.  Mid-term grades come out next week, just before Reading Week.  I don’t know what I will do for reading week, I do know I will not be making a trip.  

Perhaps, just perhaps, I work on some research for these changes I’m about to show you.  

In Demon Plague, HW2, there came a visitor to the pack home, a large African Jaguar shifter by the name of Sentwali.  He wanted Anna, Liam and company to go to the Congo to save them from a witch stealing their shifter magic.  Anna and Liam agreed, though they stated they couldn’t go until after they’d helped find justice for those massacred at Glen Coe so many years ago.

I was struggling with the research because there is little available (that isn’t government or scholastic) information that would help me gain a feel for what it’s like to be in the jungle and on the waterways that run through it.  I was determined but it still wasn’t happening.  

I argued with myself for months about making Sentwali  from somewhere else.  I didn’t want to change the book, especially one that’s been published.

Now, I have to say a couple things:

  1. If you purchased the book already, the copy you have is now special.  Out of print.  
  2. I am much more excited about HW4 now.

Sentwali is now Damir, a Sabre Tooth Tiger shifter from Belarus.  The premise remains but the locale differs.  He’s still a large man, but almost as pale as Sentwali was dark.  

The new edition has gone out on Kindle and Createspace and will be available in print on Amazon in the next few days. 

I am satisfied with the arrangement and more eager to begin the research.  It’d be cool if I could go to Belarus to do the research (a terrifying prospect for the Congo!).  A brief search already yeilded much in the way of visuals and links to locations.  Maybe I will narrow down which part of Belarus he is from while on my short break from school.

There you go!

Today, it is hovering just around freezing.  We’ve had freezing rain, snow, wet snow and general dampness.  I saw some photo ops and went to see if I could manage any decent ones.  I did get the most perfect shot.  I am going to share it with you.  

I have to go.  Have a wonderful week!  And remember that Valentines Day isn’t just about your romantic partner, it’s about the people you love.  All of them.  

Muah!

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Good Riddance 2016

Hello!

I know it’s been quite a while, again, but school has taken dominion over all else.  I want to discuss the year with you though.  It’s been…bi-polar at best.  Wild swings up and down.  

There have been 130+ worldwide celebrity deaths.  The American battle for president was between H. Clinton and Trump and Trump won.  I don’t care to follow politics but what the fuck was America thinking? 

None of that affects me personally though. I know what’s going on, for the most part, but my concern is my family, immediate and extended.  And we have had some pretty major events.  Here are some of them…

The Ups:

I published Highland Wolves 2.  I will be making a change to it though, one that has a major impact on book 4.  If you have a copy of the current one, it will become special in the next few days. I will keep you appraised. 

The government finally agreed that yes, I am fucking disabled and they should help me. 

That enabled me to go back to school.  I got through the first half of term one (I can only deal with 3 courses at once, not six, so I am doing half a term at a time) with a 4.0 GPA.  I start the second half of term one on the 4th.

Girlkid got accepted to the equestrian program at the University of Guelph, one of the top schools in North America and one with a world reknown reputation for vetrinary care training.  It is the only school on this continent or in the UK that offers her the science and other types of training that she wants to get her on the career path she dreams of.  

Boykid has the love of his life with him again.  

I am able to do yoga regularly and enjoyed a small remission in some of my symptoms.

The Lows:

Boykid was assaulted in September and he took the assault in order to protect his girlfriend.  Now he’s dealing with PTSD.  

My health has not changed, despite the remission.  I got bonchitis right before Christmas, capping off a flare in symptoms that started in September.  

My maternal grandmother died on Christmas day.  

Four days later… I don’t know that I should talk about this but…Well, I’m sitting here fighting tears so I will talk about it.  Damn those who would keep me silent.

Normally, I wouldn’t bring up something so personal but this is important.  It has lessons that I hope will help others. 

Wolfman has suffered from depression for years, and had some major ups and downs.  This year he had a couple of major blows that I won’t talk about here.  He took some time for himself to try and get it together.  It didn’t seem to help.  

Then I made a catastrophic mistake and he felt like I betrayed him.  Part of it was that I didn’t listen to him enough.  I didn’t close my mouth and stop telling him what he should do enough.  I didn’t stop trying to impose my will on his depression.  I can see that now.

I love him, I have forever and I will forever.  I only want to see him better and happy.  

It’s not my job to do anything but listen to him.  I should have shut up.  I know that what he did is on him but I can’t help but shoulder some of the blame.  

On the 29th (Girlkid’s 17th birthday), Wolfman made a very good attempt at suicide.  He was found by his family and his sister told me what happened.  She promised me that she’d tell me if he didn’t make it.  She blames me, blames all of us connected to him, but told me I deserve to know.

I went to bed, exhausted by my tears and fear, and was terrified to check my messages in the morning.   Since there was nothing, I’m assuming he still lives.  And I’m assuming he’s getting the help he needs.

And part of that is me separating myself from him and giving him time. If he’s ever ready to talk to me again, I’ll be here.  Still loving him.  

The reason I wanted to talk to you about this, on the final day of 2016, is this:

If you know someone suffering from mental illness then shut up and listen.  Close your mouth and open your ears.  Support, don’t dictate.  Help however they need you to; if that means listening, listen.  If that means sitting there with them silently, do that.  If it means helping them remember to take their medications or make their appointments (and they’ve asked for help), do it.

But for Gods’ sake, stop telling them what you think is best.  Step in if there’s a danger but mostly, your job is to support, listen, love.  That’s it.  

I pray that 2017 gives him time to heal and helps him find some peace, even if it’s without me.

And I pray that 2017 is a much better year for everyone.  I pray for those who lost loved ones.  

For me, changes are coming.  A move.  More school.  A shift in how I treat myself.  I have plans.  Dreams.  Goals.  And I will follow them through.  

I am posting this unedited.  I can’t bear to read what he did again.  My pain is for him, for me, for his daughters.  It’s about loss, fear, the thought of what was almost permanently gone.  I am heartbroken but there is a kernel of hope because Wolfman is one of the strongest people I know.  If he comes back to me, I will welcome him with open arms and beg forgiveness.  If he doesn’t, well, that’s what’s best for him.  

Much love and light to you and yours, dear readers.  Have a wonderful new year.

And Henry… If you’re reading this, I’ve need of you.  You know how to find me.

A Spider, an Event and a Freebie

Good morning!

On Saturday, I did two things and I’ll talk about about the second one first because it’s really cool and really creepy.  

Talk?  Nah… I’ll show!

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Isn’t he wonderful?

He’s creepy, yet fascinating.  

Okay, mega-creepy.  I do not like spiders anywhere near me, which totally does not explain why I got so close to that one.  Zoom is a wonderful feature for a camera too. *laughs*   The lighting and his position were just perfect and I needed it.

Just like I needed this one:

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Beautiful, busy bee.

It amazed me that I managed to catch him, he was, well, busy.  I love the detail in these two pictures.  A friend of mine suggested that I enter two photo contests.  One is the Lambton County guidebook cover contest and the other is a macro contest for National Geography, I think.  I might use one of these two for that NatGeo contest and this one for the Lambton County contest.

The other thing I did was attend an author signing called Ignite Your Soul Author Event 2016.  It’s the third year they’ve been in London (mine, not England’s) but the first time I’d heard about it.  And the only reason I heard about it is because my friend Sue – a bestie from high school – told me she was attending.  We hadn’t laid eyes on each other in 21 years so what was I to do?  

I spent three hours getting toxed stupid, laughing my ass off and meeting some wonderful people.  I have several new books to read, a lead on a couple of publishers and a call to submission that could prove incredibly lucrative if I’m accepted.

I’m not going to talk about that last one though.  It’s my secret until I actually make that submission. 

What else have I done recently?  Why, I started school on the sixth.  I started out with a full load because I’m home and I’m smart, right?  

Pfft.  Thanks to Fibro and MCS I no longer learn like I used to.  I don’t learn as easily and I don’t learn the same way.  I take copious notes to prove to myself that I get it and because it’s easier to remember if I read it and write it.  So it’s taking me 2 or 3 times as long to get through everything.  I’m down to 3 courses per term now and it’s better.  I’m enjoying what I’m doing better.  And I’m not missing anything anymore. 

I’d rather succeed more slowly than not at all.  My business idea has huge market potential and I want to do it and do it well.

What’s your dream?  What are you doing to make it a reality?

I gotta hit the accounting book again.

Oh, wait!  I almost forgot!

Because I’m so damn happy with Saturday’s event, even though I was there as a consumer, not a creator, I decided to put Witch Hitlist up for free again!  If you didn’t manage to grab it last time, now’s your chance!

GET IT HERE!

Enjoy your day, folks!

Muah!

 

A New Number and the ROM

I gotta do a happy dance, ladies and gentlemen, for two reasons.

One, my day in Toronto with the kids went beautifully.  There were a couple negatives that came out of it: I got toxed and I got hurt; and  my son didn’t realize the extent of my disabilities and it hit him hard.  The bonus of that is, now he knows.  If he wants to understand what happened on Wednesday better, he needs to come talk to me.  If he does, it won’t be so big in his head.  Mortality is big on his mind right now and I hesitate to think what he is thinking.   As for me getting toxed and hurt, well, we knew that would happen going in and prepared for it so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

The really big things were good, great things.  We laughed, talked, dove into history – dinosaurs, Canada’s native people, tattoos.  Oh, the tattoo one was so impressive.  

Check it out:  Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession.

I didn’t get very many pictures in there because there was no way to do any of it justice but this one I took because I cannot imagine the patience and talent it took to do these things.

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Aztec Princess and Zombies, Artist Unknown

Paños, Prison Handkerchiefs, were expressions of Chicano identity, one of the earliest.  Chicano is the cultural identity of Mexicans living in the U.S.  In the 50s and 60s, prisoners would tear up their sheets and draw prison experiences on them.  Prison officers started giving them white handkerchiefs.  

This particular one is from the 2000s, in California.  

Can you imagine the patience and talent it took to draw something like that?  Now imagine what it took to draw on the handkerchief?  It blows my mind.  

Something else that totally blew my mind was the Chihuly exhibit.  

Check it out here:  Chihuly

It was absolutely amazing, I can’t even begin to tell you.  If you have a chance to see an exhibit of his, take it.  We got the total ROM experience when we went and I have to tell you, it was worth the money.  

I did take some pictures, and a couple videos.  I’ll share one of the pictures, my favourite.  I loved the Persian ceiling installation and the seascape he did.  But this, the picture I took, is the very first thing you see when you walk into the exhibit.  

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Chihuly Exhibit, the ROM. 

Isn’t it fabulous??  Enormous glass balls that evoke thoughts of Christmas, planets, solar systems, the elements.  It’s an amazing exhibition by an incredibly talented man and his team.  

And a pretty awesome picture, taken by me.  That’s my son, he’s about 6’1″ (around 182.5cm), just for scale.  

And the other reason I’m so happy?

I am now a college freshman!

Amazing, eh?

I am going to challenge my poor MCS/FMS soaked brain to complete Fanshaw College’s Business program.  I am doing it online and I am having certain measures taken to allow for my disabilities so that I can actually succeed and achieve the diploma this program will give me.

Why am I doing this?  

Well, because I have a business in mind, one that has already attracted people even though I’ve not yet gone past the building an idea stage.  I think that in owning a business, one should be able to run it.  And for me, that’s a daunting task.  Learning at Fanshawe will help me do what I want to do in the best way possible.  

I am disabled but I’m not incapable and it’s high time I got that through my head, eh? 😉  

I will still be writing, of course.  I’ve started editing A Year in the Life of S. Claus.  I’m going to send it in to Sterling & Stone to see if they’ll publish it.  I need at least a first edit done.

Have a great evening, folks!

Muah!

Demon Plague is LIVE!

Good morning, folks!

I am pleased to bring you the second book in my Highland Wolves series:

Demon Plague

Just look at the cover!

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I know the back is a tad difficult to read but it is readable.

Isn’t it gorgeous?  I love having vibrant, compelling covers.

I say that with zero modesty and a whack of pride.  I spent hours on it a few days ago.   Cried over it even.  

I have to tell you, even though I publish through Amazon/Kindle it is so exciting to see my books available for public consumption!

It’s a lot of hard work to get them there.  The research, planning, character development, writing, editing, editing, editing, editingformatting, cover planning and development.  I could hire someone to do the cover, I suppose, but I like seeing it come together.  

Just in the writing, it’s a huge relief to write THE END at the end of the document.  It’s a milestone but now, to see it for sale (and soon to see it in print), it’s breathtaking.  

Sure, a traditional publisher picking up my books would be wonderful, (or heartstopping) but for now, I will continue to do it this way.

You can see HW2 in print here and on Kindle here.

I hope you enjoy them!  If you missed the 5 day promotion in which HW1 and Lizendale were free on Kindle I’m so sorry but you’ll have to purchase them now.  😉   Both books are also in print, of course, (Highland Wolves 1 can be found in print by clicking on “See all formats” or by clicking here).

You can look at all my books on my Amazon Author page.  

What’s next?

Next, I will be diving into the research for HW4 and I will be editing A Year in the Life of S. Claus.  I am seriously considering submitting it for publishing at Sterling and Stone because of a little book I read put out by them called SANTA: EXPOSED by Guy incognito.  There was a line in the book saying “what if Santa has deals with all the toy companies al over the world?” and it made me want to give them Ari.  First though, it needs at least one run through.

I will begin plotting for NaNo too, I think.  Or at least, I’ll start looking for ideas.   The YA tiger shifter is too short to do it as November’s NaNo, unless I make it a series of 2 or 3 shorts.   Something to consider.

Plus!  I have a college application in for Fanshawe’s online Business Program.   Busy busy, just the way I prefer it.  

I am out of here!  Have housework to do and some rest (it’s been a busy, toxic last week and I’m exhausted) while I plot out what’s going on over the next few months.  

Have a wonderful day!  

Muah!

 

Everyone Loves Free Books!

Good evening!

Since I will be publishing Demon Plague: The second Highland Wolves Book on August the first, I have decided to put the ebooks Witch Hitlist, the first of the series, and Lizendale, a stand alone, very dark paranormal drama up for free!

Phew, that was a long winded sentence.  Sorry about that but you get the point.

FREE BOOKS! 

Which is a good thing, right?

That, dear readers, is my gift to you.  They are for free, across Amazon/Kindle in Canada, the US and the UK.

I do want you to love the first book so that you’ll want to read the second.  And I want you to love my writing so you’ll want to read any book I write.  

I am a writer, after all.  😉

I do hope you enjoy them because the simple fact is that I write to evoke emotions and paint pictures in my readers’ minds.  Not to make a pretty penny, that’d just be a major bonus.  

The links below are the Canadian ones.

Witch Hitlist

Lizendale

Have a wonderful night!

A Swan Song

Good evening!

I just had to share some of my favourite pictures with you.  I know that it’s been a while so I will catch you up but first, these completely and totally awesome photos.  

Last weekend, when I was in Grand Bend, I turned from the BBQ and what did I see?  

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Swans and their cygnets!

They wandered into the backyard to pick at the weeds and grass, not entirely sure why they went for a walk, they have a pond about two blocks away.  We were quite delighted to see them for the cygnets were adorable in their ugliness and the parents fierce in their protectiveness, though they were quite relaxed here.  They stayed about ten minutes before wandering off across the street.  

This summer, my daughter decided that her dog needed to live with us full time, rather than her dad, so she could train her and try and get some of her worse behaviours under control.  It’s fallen to me to walk the dog first thing in the morning, invariably just as the sun is coming up.  

So I’ve been appreciating the walks.  I get to see things that a lot of people don’t that early in the day.  We go to the same spot, because it’s easier on me to take her out on the long leash and mostly stand there (sometimes we walk, but it’s before breakfast and before my pills).  I was watching the progress of a large thistle bloom until the municipality mowed everything down on the hillside, I listen to the birds waking up and take time to look for the little things.  Which led to two of three of my most favourite pictures ever.  

 

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This snail resting on the slab of sliced off tree.

Which the dog decided to explore…

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And, thankfully, decided wasn’t food.

My third favourite picture is one I took just this evening after we dropped Girlkid off at work.  We went to the beach to take a gander at the water.  I love the beach when it’s windy and on the edge of being stormy (and when it is stormy).  The colours and movement of the water are amazing.  

The Boyfriend sat down to enjoy the view while I wandered down to the water’s edge then up the pier and around to the boardwalk.  Came up from behind him and saw a picture that had to be taken.

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It was a peaceful moment.

So, those are my favourite moments from the last little while.  

And now, time to catch up!

I decided not to write July Camp, for reasons that are my own, and chose instead to edit HW2.   I’m 43 pages from the end!  That means that it will be published, barring any unforeseen circumstances, on August 1st.  

And THAT means free books! The HW1 ebook will be made available for free for three days (maybe more, depends on mood and options *laughs*).  I will probably make Lizendale for free too.  And then I will begin the research for HW4 and the slow, painful process of editing both HW3 and A Year in the life of S. Claus.  

I don’t have the plot set for HW4 and I am hoping that the research will give me some inspiration for the rest of it.  

AND I have decided to go back to school.  Hopefully, I’ll be starting in September.  I plan on being a busy girl.  The government finally acknowledged that I AM disabled (we knew that, eh?) and that relieved so much pressure in my head, released a huge cloud of depression and anger that was hanging over me that I wasn’t even wholly aware of.  

Happy days!

Time for me to go to bed.  Have a grand night and a great weekend!

Muah!