Sunday, June 26, 2011

Camping and Dancing!

Hi all!

Well, it's been a pretty good week, even if taking into full consideration, that I have not yet conquered the skill of playing the guitar. I know you must be getting tired of the mere mention of the dang thing, and I promise there will be no further mention of it today!

I do have to share with you, though, a very cute grandson story.

My daughter had taken Ethan to the doctor's office, as she suspected he had an eye infection. Being a walk-in clinic in the middle of the day it was predictably busy.  A couple came in  carrying a little one in a car seat, and of course Ethan started chatting to the baby. Now, this couple was dressed in traditional clothing of their culture, she in a beautiful, colourful sari, and he, in a turban. Ethan hadn't noticed anything until, in his fully engrossed conversation with the baby, he glanced up and saw the gentleman.

He then promptly turned to the baby with huge eyes and declared with great awe, "Dude, your grandpa's a Genie!"

Luckily everyone had a good sense of humour about the whole thing, and had a good laugh. Ethan, on the other hand, talked about how lucky that baby was, how he will get wishes, and how wouldn't it be cool if his grandpa was a genie, all the way home!

And people wonder why I like hanging around kids!

This week, I'll be getting ready to attend, and do a reading at the Denzil Centennial Celebrations! It's going to be a lot of fun.
First, we will attend our niece's graduation in Unity on Thursday. Then, on Friday, July 1st, (Canada Day) I'll be doing a reading/signing at the Hall in Denzil at 4 that afternoon. The rest of the weekend will consist of a lot of visiting, food and two, count 'em, two nights of dancing!

So, I'll need a float, and to figure out how many books I'll need to take. I'll need to plan menus and grocery shop as we are camping while we are there.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, and am really hoping to run in to some old friends!

Also, this week, I will be working more on the stringed thing that is the bane of my existence these days. That, along with prepping for the weekend, working on more songs, going to work and packing, it should be a fairly full week!

Next week, my ramblings will be a little late, as I'll have to wait until we get home to write them.
So, until next Sunday Evening,

May the chance to touch base with old friends present itself wrapped in a bar-b-que and a smile.
May you find lots of easy conversation, and time just to sit in it for a while.

May the occasion that brings old friends forward, bring new ones to you as well.
May you be surrounded by good, trustworthy people, to whom, all your secrets you can tell.

May you celebrate this Canada Day with family, fireworks, good food, and a cold one.
May it be followed by so many more good times to come, that you lose track of the fun.

Until then, You can find books:

McNally Robinson @ Saskatoon and Winnipeg
Crandleberry's @ North Battleford
Prairie Rose @ Kindersley
Our Drug Store @ Unity

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Daddy Day!


First off, I want to wish my Honey the happiest of Father's Days! You know, to this day, every time I see him with his girls, it gives me a deeper appreciation for the term, "Daddy."

I think there is a reason that there are terms like "Father knows best", and "Daddy's little girl." just as there's a difference, in my mind anyway, between being a "Mother" and being a "Mommy", the same holds true for Daddies.

A Father takes on the responsibility of being a parent very seriously, as he should. Helping to protect his family and make sure they have a roof over their head, food in their stomachs, and clothes on their back.

A Daddy, does all that, and...... chases the boogie men from under the bed with his special "monster spray," he sits and watches "The Little Mermaid" for the 26th time without complaint. He welcomes the screaming, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" from his kids at the end of a long and tiring day, without them having a clue just how tired and achy he might be.
As the children get older, the boogie men change, "The Little Mermaid" becomes "A Walk to Remember", the "Daddy! Daddy!" becomes talks about boys and how they should treat you. It becomes picking them up at various events in the wee wee hours of various nights, pulling friends from snow banks, comforting a crying teenager with a broad shoulder, all without them having a clue just how tired and achy he might be.

And best of all, he wouldn't have it any other way.

Yes, there is a significant difference between Daddies and Fathers, so hug the Daddy in your life with a little extra squeeze today, and maybe a little thank you wouldn't hurt.

I know, ramblings, right?

Well although this week did not provide any brilliant breakthroughs in the guitar playing department, I did get my first childrens' song written! Hey, it's a step in the right direction! I'm still struggling with the guitar, oh, who am I kidding, I definitely still suck!

I'm not giving up, by any means, I am, however, getting extremely frustrated. I'll keep plugging away and hope for the best!

I mentioned last week, a festival thingy I received an email about. Well I checked it out and am going to participate. It's called "The Word On The Street Festival." It's on Sunday, Sept. 25th in front of the big Downtown library in Saskatoon. It involves, publishers, book stores, distributors, and independents like me. They are hosted by a handful of cities across the country and this is Saskatoon's first whack at it. I think it could be really great. I'll keep you posted.

Also, this week, I dropped my original Lexi puppet off with Amy aka "the puppet lady" hopefully for an eye transplant. The original eyes were pretty googly, if you recall, and kind of freaked kids out a bit. I'm hoping the operation is a wild success!

I didn't get to fabricland this week, though, so the search for some of the fabric for Lexi's clothes continues.

Now for the next week,

Fabricland! Of course, more guitar, then, more song writing, work on some new stories, go to work and while I'm at it, an end to the postal strike and peace in the middle east.  Okay, so maybe I am feeling a little overwhelmed and intimidated by the whole guitar thing. I'm a writer, I'm allowed to be over dramatic!

Well, folks, my Honey and I are off to meet our kids for a Daddy Day lunch followed by smuggling them all back to our hotel for some killer water sliding!

So Until Next Week,

May your "Father" become a "Daddy", if he isn't one already.
May your Daddy be like your PMS pants, forgiving, comforting, and  steady.

May you find the words to tell your Daddy truthfully how you feel.
May you have the honor of spending the day with him, and share a family meal.

May those of us out there who can only wish our Dad's a happy day with a whisper from our soul.
May we do so with a light heart, fond memories, maybe a tongue in our cheek, with grief taking a lesser toll.

Thanks for putting up with my Ramblings for another week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Appliances, Guitars & Surprises

Well, Hi!

It's been a pretty interesting week in the Reid household.

First off, and I am perfectly aware of how dorky this sounds, I am sooo happy to tell you that I am the proud owner of a brand new, yep, you read it right, I said BRAND NEW washer and dryer!!!!!!!!

Like I said, I know it's very sad that that news gets me that excited. But in order to appreciate my enthusiasm, you first have to understand how badly I've been needing said appliances. You see, my 20 something year old washer was a little schizophrenic, had the shakes, and I'm pretty sure was suffering from some sort of prostate disorder. The dryer, on the other hand, simply liked to dance across my laundry room floor on a regular basis. I had to shove an old dustpan under one corner to keep it from doing the Watusi out the door!

Now, I can go to my laundry room, put clothes in my washer, and they come out clean! And wouldn't you know it, stuff comes out of the dryer, dry! And I don't have to rely on my spanky new GPS to track where it's waltzed off to!

Okay, now for the guitar portion of this week's blog. Well, apparently I still suck at it, but with the help of my friend, Darren, I've purchased a new "how to" book on learning the basics. He seems to think that I have tons of time to learn what I need to for the Fall. He is a music teacher by trade, so he should have good judgement about these things. But, on the other hand, he has never witnessed the miscommunication that can take place between my right and left hands!

Before you ask, yes, he is a music teacher, but he is also a friend, and I'd like to keep it that way. I have a sneaking suspicion that taking lessons from him could end badly. Besides, I really don't want to go on record as his most frustrating student.

He thinks I can do it on my own. I think I have a shot. We'll just take it from there. I've posted a picture of my youngest daughter playing, to see if it will inspire me and my hands into some state of nimble, coordinated bliss. Here's hopin'.

Now, my surprise, this week, came in the form of a phone call. It was from Eileen, a 77 year old sweet lady from Southwestern Saskatchewan. She had seen my picture in the paper last year, regarding "Lexi" and again, lately, with "A Crazy Day." She said she wanted to call me last year, but couldn't work up the nerve. But, this time, when she had seen that I had come out with another book, she worked it up and called.

She had some great questions, and said she has been thinking about writing a book for years. I answered her questions about the background work that goes into writing and publishing your own book. I could only share what I've learned in my experiences thus far, letting her know that I'm learning more all the time, and have a long way to go. She was very kind and generous with her congratulations, and the fact that she might be even entertaining the  thought of pursuing her writing dream at this stage in her life, is freakin' awesome! It's never too late to chase your dreams. Heck, maybe later in life, they slow down enough so they are easier to catch!

All in all, a very pleasant way to wind down an evening.

Never in a million years did I ever think I would be receiving phone calls like that, and from total strangers, no less! Yep, another pinch myself moment.

Now for the upcoming week:

I think you have probably surmised that my day off on Wednesday will include, you guessed it.....guitar, guitar, guitar!
 I also need to head into Fabricland sometime this week to find fabric for the last of the Lexi puppet outfits.
 This week, too, I'm going to be looking into a kind of trade show/festival thingy I received an email about today. It looks interesting, could be something worth doing. I'll keep you posted.

Until next week;

May your passion become your livelihood so your happiness can bring you money.
May you have a laugh so long you can't even remember what was funny.

May you feel every day, a bit of the thrill that came from so many firsts, firsts that cannot be denied.
May you feel the butterflies of first bike rides, first kisses, first dances,  the first time down the "big kid" slide.

May you find a job that feels less like work, and more like a good way to spend a day.
May you flourish in whatever you choose to do, in every conceivable way.

Books Available:

McNally Robinson in Saskatoon and Winnipeg
Our Drug Store in Unity
Prairie Rose in Kindersley
Crandleberry's in North Battleford

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Battlefords, If I Can Make it There.........


Well, it was fast-paced, noisy, a little time crunchy at times, and a complete blast!

Yep, my most awesome "roadie" as she was most lovingly dubbed, and I covered 6 elementary schools on Friday.

The first stop was at 9:15, where I read both books to about 60 kids. Next one was at 10, another 60 or so kids. Next, I think was at 11, another group of about 70 or so. Then it was time for a lunch break.
After lunch we headed over to another school, another group of 65ish or so kids that contained 6 different sets of twins! Kindergarten to grad 3, six sets, Crazy! Anyway no time to doddle! Next reading was at 2:45 I believe, with another 60-65 kids. Then last but not least, I did two readings of each book at the final school for about 75-80 kids. It's a pretty big school, so they had split up the groups.

So fun! Read Lexi and Crazy Day to almost 400 kids in one day!

Now, don't get me wrong, by the end of the last reading of the last book, my tongue was starting to feel like it belonged to somebody else, and I was starting to run out of gas a little. But, I just kept reminding myself that, yes, this might be the 6th time I'm reading this today, but it's their first time hearing it. I want this to be just as fun for the 400th kid as the first.

As always, after each reading, I opened the floor for questions. I love the way kids think! Yes I got the usual, "How long did it take to write this book?", "How many books have you written?", "Where do you get the ideas for stories?". But I also heard a few new ones like "Do you know Robert Munsch?", "Do you make big bucks doing this?", "How does it feel to be a famous author?". So funny!

Oh yes, and of course the inevitable " How old are you?" "How many kids do you have?", and "What are their names?"

As each group left the room, I was given high fives, asked for autographs, hugged, thanked, and told over and over again how much they liked the books. Pretty incredible stuff! Another pinch myself to see if it's real, kind of moment.

Still have to shake my head occasionally, and let it all sink in. Sometimes I just can't fathom that this is my life!

It was an incredible experience, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank Dana and Lori profusely! Lori, for co-ordinating and setting up readings, and Dana for being an incredible host and the most fantabulous roadie ever! Last, but not least I also need to thank Garmin, for creating an idiot proof GPS system that brought my sorry butt to Dana's door, safe, sound and in the dark, without further assistance, Thursday night. On the drive, I was hoping I wouldn't have to call Dana to get her to meet me at the edge of town, again, and let me follow her. I kept thinking, if I can just make it there.... if I can just make it there..... And it brought me right to her doorstep. Easy as that!

So Friday evening after a long day of readings, it was very nice to kick back with a couple of old friends, partake in a couple of cocktails, some bbq steaks, and make each other laugh until it hurts.
I am a very lucky person.

On Saturday, after a wonderful brunch at Lori (the sewing goddess) and Jeff's house, it was time to go shopping for material and patterns for the Lexi puppets!  Yay, one step closer! Still need to find the material for her ringmaster outfit. Who knew that blue with red dots and yellow and purple striped fabric would be so hard to find! Lol

I can't wait!

Just so you know I did sit down with a guitar this week and try to play. Apparently, I really suck at this, so I'm going to have to be very diligent about working at it, or the musical portion of my trips up north this fall will be extremely short! lol

I'll figure it out, right?

For this upcoming week,

Guitar, guitar, and more guitar!!!!!!!!!! Everything else? As of yet, unplanned.

Until next week!

May your life take you places you never knew you'd go.
May you be open to the whatever happens, try to say yes, not no.

May you conquer something scary, be it speaking, singing or dance.
May you give every opportunity, even frightening ones, a fair chance.

May you find what truly makes your heart sing, and hang on fiercely with both hands.
May you know in your heart you deserve to live every happiness and not just watch it from the stands.

Where to find books:

Crandleberry's : North Battleford
Our Drug Store:  Unity
Prairie Rose: Kindersley
McNally Robinson: Saskatoon and Winnipeg