Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hi There,

I find myself sitting here contemplating the past week, and all that did and didn't happen. I started this blog with the promise of taking you on the journey of hopefully becoming an at least semi- successful children's author.

I think it only right, then, to share with you some of the things that may not be directly related to the journey of "Lexi", but things that have a definite impact all the same.

You see, throughout the course of this week, I made phone calls, sent a book for consideration to the Calgary Board of Education (tip from my niece last week) which could land a copy of "Lexi" in most if not all the elementary schools in Calgary. Or..... they could say no, either way, worth the shot. I also, with the help of one of my dearest friends, am getting info on some trade shows, and more signings in the Battlefords. I even got "A Crazy Day" reworked, and another step closer to having it ready for Hazel.(my illustrator).

I was doing all of these things, but somehow I couldn't find the joy in it I usually do. I couldn't put my finger on the problem right away, and then it hit me. Friday marked two things for me. My older sister's birthday, and the second anniversary of the day we put her to rest.

Don't get me wrong, I think of her fondly and often. I find her sense of humor in my writing, I see her in her boys, and often hints of her in my own mirror. I miss her. I miss our discussions about reality shows, our debates about parenting, shopping for purses, laughing, talking for hours about nothing in particular, I miss her.

Most of us have lost someone close to us, and sometimes missing them can hit us out of nowhere. I think it's important that when that happens, we take a minute out of whatever we are doing, whether it be laundry, working, driving, or writing a book, and give their memory a hug.

Now, moving on to happier things, because, trust me, my sister would be the first in line to kick me in the butt for hanging on to the sadness too long.

For this week, I'm hoping to hear from Calgary. I'm going to work on "A Crazy Day." Right now I'm in the process of trying to put to paper a proper description of the pictures that come to my head while writing it, so Hazel can do her magic. I am also hoping to get a couple of signings booked in stores for September, and some trade show dates? As well, I plan on trying to put together a mini tour of elementary schools for the fall.

With that, I will leave you for this week. Oh, one more thing. I'd like to challenge you all to do these things this week.

1. Eat something fattening, without guilt.
2. Laugh until your stomach hurts.
3. Give a stranger a present.
4. Don't do anything that makes you wait in line.
5. Do something you haven't done in at least ten years.(Keep it legal lol)

I would love for you to tell me all about it in your comments!

In the meantime, you can find "Lexi",

McNally Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon
Paisley and PolkaDots in North Battleford
Our Drug Store in Unity
Milbanke's (both locations) in North Battleford
Jacq'y Jaye's Gifts & Beyond in Outlook
Crandleberry's in North Battleford
Tunes & Trinkets in Rosetown
Prairie Rose Floral & Gifts in Kindersley

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Would a Ride Really Be a Ride Without Running Into Some Construction Along The Way?

Hello fellow travellers of the information highway!
Well, I started this week with every intention of doing exactly what I planned on doing. Checking in with stores, calling schools and working on "A Crazy Day." Hmmmm......What is it they say about the best layed plans?
Anyway, life kind of put a couple of speed bumps, detours and road blocks in my way this week. Long story short, not one thing on my "to do" list actually got done.
Oh wait, that's not absolutely correct. I did manage to finish up the prep to DJ the beach volleyball tournament. It went great! Raised a bunch of money to go toward our rink, everyone had a really good time, dancing, a few cocktails, oh yeah, and some pretty good volleyball too! lol
Normally, if things crop up, (and let's face it, stuff happens) I usually am able to just work them in to whatever else is happening, and get it all done. I guess, my frustration lies in the fact I wasn't able to do that this week, despite a valiant effort, if I do say so myself.
Oh well, it was only speed bumps, detours and road blocks, not avalanches, earth quakes and mud slides.
Moving On!
For This Week:
My plan is to do all of the things that I was going to do last week. Call stores, schools, work on "Crazy Day."
Then I'm going to follow up on a little tidbit of information from my niece. I don't want to say too much right now because I'm not even sure if it has a chance of turning into anything yet, but you know I will keep you posted. I will say this, it definitely has the potential to turn into something pretty awesome!
Before I go, I thought I would share with you a few of the life lessons I learned from some preschoolers this week.
1. Toddler + Febreeze + Laptop = NOT GOOD
2. A 2 year old WILL flush a cell phone down the toilet.
3. The turtle with the smiling face on the ride in the mall, is absolutely TERRIFYING!
4. If one 9 month old boy gets a little toooo close to another 9 month old boy, somebody's gonna lose an ear! (or almost anyway)
And last, but not least:
5. Energetic 2 year old boys, gold fish, and bunnies are never, ever to be left in a room alone!
Until Next Time!
Where to Find Lexi:
McNally Robinson Booksellers, Saskatoon
Milbanke's (Both Locations), North Battleford
Our Drug Store, Unity
Crandleberry's , North Battleford
Tunes & Trinkets, Rosetown
Paisley & Polkadots, North Battleford
Jacq'y Jaye's Gifts & Beyond, Outlook
Prairie Rose Floral and Gifts, Kindersley

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This, That, and The Other Thing

Hey There Folks,

First things first, I am happy to say that "Lexi" showed up safe and sound and in plenty of time for my reading in Kindersley! Woot!

Yes, I was very much relieved to see the two boxes sitting in my entrance when I got home from work on Thursday. I really hadn't slept much since I knew it was going to be touch and go.

The reading itself went great. Thanks very much to the Kindersley library staff, my hubby,(my helper for that day), and to all those who came out for the reading. The crowd was a very nice combination of munchkins and parents alike. A few familiar faces, and plenty of new ones too! When I was reading the part where Lexi is putting on the rain boots, one little one started pointing to the rain boots she happened to be wearing, and started whispering, "Just like mine, Mommy, just like mine!" It was fun. Read to some shiny little faces, sold some books, squeezed a couple of adorable baby boys, did some visiting, great way to end a week! Oh yeah, and I think the lady from the paper was there, well, somebody was taking a bunch of pictures, so we'll see what happens with that!

To top off a pretty nice day, I came home and checked my facebook. There I saw that one of the Mom's that had attended the reading with her little girl and a her friend, had left me a message. She said they loved the story because now all of their clothes are magic too!

That is exactly what I was hoping the story of Lexi would do. Bring back imagination play, where what you already have becomes new and fun again if you just look at it in a different way.

Now for the upcoming week.

I don't have any readings booked. Let's face it, school is starting, so is harvest. Rural Saskatchewan is going to be very busy for the next little while.

I will take this time to touch base with all the stores carrying Lexi, and see how things are going there. I will also be looking into booking some readings at schools in the fall. I would also like to check into participating in some of the fall festival type things that will be going on all over the place. Plus, I'm really wanting to get "A Crazy Day" fine tuned and add the notes necessary to get it ready to send to Hazel.

Time to get ready for round Two!

Also this week, I need to finish prepping for the beach Volleyball Tournament fundraiser I'm DJing (is that a word?) on Saturday. It's going to be a blast!

I guess with work and all this other stuff, I should have enough to do, even without any readings, to keep me out of trouble. Well.... almost! lol
Until Next Time!
Oh, by the way, if anyone out there know of some ingenious, free way for me to advertise my website, please comment on this blog with your wisdom!
Places you can find "Lexi":
McNally Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon
Our Drug Store in Unity
Tunes & Trinkets in Rosetown
Milbanke's (Both Locations) in North Battleford
Paisley & Polka Dots in North Battleford
Jacq'y Jaye's Gifts & Beyond in Outlook
Crandleberry's in North Battleford
Prairie Rose Floral and Gifts in Kindersley
and as always online @

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You Can't Go Forward Without Looking Back

Hey There,
Well, this has been a pretty great week! One of both reminiscing and looking to the future.
Monday being a holiday, the week didn't really get started until Tuesday. First thing was to get the ball rolling on another shipment of "Lexi." Good news on that front. They have promised me that the next batch will be here by Friday the 13th! Good thing I'm not superstitious! lol
Next thing on the agenda was a road trip to my old stomping grounds. Good old Denzil, Saskatchewan. My younger sister came along as my helper for the day. It was a good day. We put in a few miles, some of which had me retrieving my "country kid driving in the greasy mud" skills without much warning.
The reason for the trip was, of course, a reading/signing, which went great. We pulled up to the library to find a nice group waiting. Such a nice size group, we ended up moving to the hall!
It was an awesome group, a great mix of adults and kids. I got to see some relatives I hadn't seen in a while and caught up with an old friend I've known since the first grade.
In doing this particular reading, I definitely was thrown back about 27 years, to my high school babysitting days. All the games played and stories told, and the hours and hours of time spent with little ones. It was what I like to think of as my freshman years at the University of Munchkin Land. Yes, there are more than one or two freshman years at this University. To graduate the entire course takes a lifetime, but the labs are incredible. Full of hugs and kisses and sticky hands, best place in the world!
After reading, visiting, signing and selling some books, and posing for some pictures, it was time to head home.
All in all, a very good day.
Thursday, my husband was my helper for the day, and off to Outlook we went. A much smaller crowd, but that's part of what makes this an exciting journey. You never know how the readings are going to turn out until you're in it.
As a planner/organizer by nature, I'm finding these lessons in unpredictability are a good thing.
After the reading, we came home to a message that Prairie Rose in Kindersley was out of books! Well I had exactly 10 left, so I bundled them up and off we went!
It worked out well, as we happened to be going to Kindersley that evening anyway. You see, my husband had planned, to my surprise, a special date. It was the 25th anniversary of our first date, and to mark it, he took me down memory lane, for a "redo" of the night. Same restaurant, same pub afterward. It was great to look back and see how far we've come together!
I really believe that where we come from, each place, person and experience, both good and bad, draw a line on the blueprint of who we are. The way in which we choose to interpret the blueprint and what we build from it is up to us.
Now, for the upcoming week.
I'll be looking forward to having the next shipment of "Lexi" arriving safe and sound and ON TIME!
On Saturday Aug. 14th @ 2:30pm I will be doing a reading signing at the Kindersley public Library. Looking forward to seeing everyone!
Places to find "Lexi"
McNally Robinson Booksellers in Saskatoon
Milbankes (both locations) in North Battleford
Crandleberry's in North Battleford
Paisley & Polkadots in North Battleford
Our Drug Store in Unity
Prairie Rose Floral and Gifts in Kindersley
Tunes and Trinkets in Rosetown
Jacq'y Jaye's gifts and Beyond in Outlook
and online at

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ups, Downs and Close Calls

Hello out there,

Another week has passed, and even though I had no readings this week, "Lexi" still managed to keep me on my toes!

Let's see........ on the up side of things, I found out that some family members that I haven't seen in a long time are planning on attending my reading/signing in Denzil on Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to it. Will be sooo fun reading to some of my cousins' kids in my old home town!

Another event that definitely belongs on the up side of the week, was a great kind of impromptu bar-b-q that was thrown together on short notice, which my baby sister was so gracious to host. With Mom, my sister with her hubby and munchkins, all four of my girls and the husbands and boyfriends and kid that comes along with that, plus 3 of my nephews and the two special girls that are part of that package, it was a great time!

Okay, now for the down side. If you recall, last week I told you I had a call scheduled with a distributor on Wednesday. Although it was an informative meeting, it didn't have quite the results I was hoping for. As it turns out, they are not accepting any new children's authors right now, and even if they were, they won't really take you seriously as an independent until you have three or four titles under your belt. Still, it was great information to acquire, and, once I have 3 or 4 titles in hand, they will definitely hear from me again!

In the meantime, I am more than thrilled with the way things have been progressing, so I will just keep on doing what I've been doing. It seems to be working pretty well!

Let's move on to the close calls portion of this week's blog now, shall we?

Since the launch of "Lexi's Magic Clothes" in June, as you know, I've been doing reading/signings at several schools and libraries. My eldest daughter has been great in helping in the process of setting up these appearances. With all the calls and emails going back and forth, it would have been pretty incredible not to have any wires cross, so I guess it was kind of inevitable that some eventually did.

It just happened to be with Denzil, my home town! lol During the course of setting up an appearance (Aug. 3rd), my daughter was under the impression that a board meeting needed to be called in order to cement a date, after which they would call back. As we hadn't heard from them, we assumed it wasn't going to work for them.

Just by luck, I sent them an email on Thursday just to drop them a note to let them know that I was sorry this date didn't work for them and maybe we could set up something else in the near future.

Well I popped that email off and went to work! When I got home that evening, I was a little surprised to see that the Denzil library had called and left a message. They were very confused as to why I wouldn't be showing up for my reading! They were under the impression that all was set it was a done deal! I quickly sent off an email to her to apologize for the misunderstanding and that I would absolutely be there.

About 10 minutes later, I received a phone call from my aunt, who happens to be on the library board in Denzil. She was also a little frantic and confused as to why I wouldn't be showing up. I quickly assured her that it had all been fixed and I would be there with bells on!

Crisis Averted!

I would have felt horrible, had I not found out in time, and people showed up for the reading, and I would have been home, busily writing away on another story! Phewwww!

Now for what's coming up!

First thing Tuesday morning I will be making my own frantic call to my printer to get a rush order of books!

Then, needless to say, I will be in Denzil library on Tuesday August 3rd, at 2:30pm! lol

Then on Thursday I will be at the Outlook library at 1pm.

I'm almost positive I won't have enough books to cover both appearances, but I'm hoping people will be ok with either leaving their orders with me, or ordering online.

Meanwhile "Lexi" is available:

McNally Robinson in Saskatoon

Milbanke's (both locations) in North Battleford

Crandleberry's in North Battleford

Paisley & Polka Dots in North Battleford

Prairie Rose Floral and Gifts in Kindersley

Tunes & Trinkets in Rosetown

Jacq'y Jaye's Gifts & Beyond in Outlook

Our Drug Store in Unity