I feel as if I’ve lost my friends.

I’ve completed all three books I’ve been reading and I feel as if my friends have moved away.

It's over

It’s over

The Illegal by Lawrence Hill ended as I parked my car in the garage. Keita Ali and The Bombay Booty, Candace Freixa, John Falconer, Viola Hill, Mrs. Ivernia Beech, Charity Ali, Lula DiStefano, Anton Hamm, Freedom State and Zantoroland, and the Ortiz Sea, Saunders, AfricTown, Rocco Calder,Graeme Wellington, Yvette Peters. During the audio reading of this book, for the second time, I’d wake up from my night time sleep thinking about Keita Ali and the Bomby Booty. As I looked at the immigrants cleaning in the office towers, working as bank tellers, security guards in malls and department stores, and gathering outside of government offices, I’d think of AfricTown and Lula DiStefano. As the media poured out news about the US presidential race, I’d think of Graeme Wellington. And when older women spoke of the difficulties in making ends meet on their pensions, I’d think of Ivernia Beech. There are so very many parallels to the contemporary Canadian life that is reflected in Lawrence Hill’s Illegal. It was a melancholy moment when the ending came as Thank you for listening to an audible book.

Great Characters

Great Characters

I have been reading Kylie Gilmore The opposite of Wild while I walked on my treadmill. I enjoyed this Clover Park novel because the characters were so well formed that I knew where I was every time I returned to the novel. Liz Garner was the woman who cared too much for her younger sister, Daisy and although well meaning, sometimes the helping really hinders. But the need to assist led her to Mrs. Maggie O’Hare and her grandsons, especially Ryan, the policeman turned private detective. In some ways this reminded me of a song that was popular many years ago about an office worker who no one paid any attention to but on Fridays after work she broke free and danced her heart out. This story also explores how we may be able to convince ourselves that we do not want to be emotionally involved but rather just enjoy a sexual relationship with no strings attached. But there are always strings.

Family Bonds

Family Bonds

And finally, a hard cover book I picked up at a book sale. daniel isn’t talking by marti leimbach published in 2006. This is a story about labeling children and being courageous against what the experts say. The toll it takes on the family and also cross cultures. Melanie is American and who went to London after losses in her life. When her British, soon to be husband, Stephen asks, “What brings you to England?” Melanie answers that she really doesn’t know. He laughed and said, “You didn’t just get lost.” She said, “Yes, that’s exactly it. I got lost.”

Life is pretty good, Melanie tries to fit into Stephen’s extended family but expectations about what a family would look like didn’t include an American.

This book explores what it means to be a family and the sacrifices the members will make to keep the unit together.

I didn’t actually know until the end, what Melanie would do to keep her Emily, Daniel and Andy together.

She surprised me in a good way. She wasn’t lost anymore.

Now you can understand why I’m feeling slightly adrift. My friends are only a memory, but also the signs of very good authors who held my attention, through driving and making dinners, through my treadmill exercise, and finally as my bedtime and breakfast read.


Sage Hill Writing Experience and me

I applied to work on novel number three, working title, Designed for Love.
Lawrence Hill is the facilitator for the Fiction Colloquium.
Now you might wonder how an esteemed award winning writer of fiction and non-fiction might help a women’s fiction with romantic elements writer.

In 2005 and 2006 I worked with Lawrence Hill at UBC Booming Ground Mentorship online for Woman of Substance.

Lawrence Hill remembered my writing and agreed that I could be a member of the five writers in this workshop.

I was scheduled to read from my WIP on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Lawrence Hill gave me an exercise for the four minute and thirty second reading. He suggested that I take the first eight pages of my manuscript and condense it into less than four pages. It took me several tries to remove words, sentences, and compress paragraphs. I completed the task. The good news was that it worked. I had a strong piece to read and of course I now have a strong opening for “Designed for Love.”

Good writers and good readers can assist writers to move their work to another level.

If you have the opportunity, find a good writer to work with and have fun.

Lawrence Hill nurtures talent. Sage Hill Writing Experience ends on July 31, 2014. I have six more days in this environment. I may never want to leave.

Reading to people who love me, all the other Sage Hill writers, staff and friends.

Reading to people who love me, all the other Sage Hill writers, staff and friends.

Ready to Go

All packed and ready to go

All packed and ready to go

Tomorrow bright and early, well not so early, I will drive through Lumsden, Saskatchewan to St. Michael’s Retreat House to spend ten days at the Sage Hill Writing Experience.
I will be a participant in the fiction novel colloquium. There are five participants who will work individually with Lawrence Hill.
There are other classes going on at the same time. There will be approximately thirty-two participants in all.

When I return, my new novel with working title of Designed For Love will have been discussed and revised.

Time to pack up for the night.

Time to pack up for the night.

Now it is time to pack up my computer and go to bed, so that I am bright eyed and bushy tailed for ten wonderful days.

Get to know authors blog hop

Gardens are as individual as their gardeners

Gardens are as individual as their gardeners

I’ve been thinking about authors and gardeners. Each garden is as unique as the gardener who plants it. Some prefer masses of flowers, others prefer planting produce. A garden is hard work but brings joy to the gardener and to those who share the beauty and bounty.
Forget Me Nots

Forget Me Nots

Each gardener plants within concrete boundaries such as soil type, weather, moisture levels and time. But they also use subjective boundaries such as memories, color, and preferences for a traditional or modern experience.

Books are as individual as authors. Authors also use concrete and subjective boundaries.
Ryshia states in her blog ryshia.blogspot.com that her writing differs from other writers because of her individual voice.

Authors’ voices are unique because they are made up of experiences, interests, and passions.

Ryshia Kennie http://www.ryshiakennie.com/
invited me to be part of this author hop.
Ryshia and I have met on many occasions around our home city of Regina, SK. Ryshia was the first romance writer to win the City of Regina Award in the 31-year history. Thank you Ryshia for inviting me to receive the author torch from you.
I will pass it to three authors, Sharon Plumb, Elizabeth Lang and Debra Jayne East who will post on June 30, 2014. Please check out their bios below.

The torch is to answer four questions about ourselves.

This author's torch

This author’s torch

1) What am I working on?

My third novel is in the forefront of my writing time. This sweet contemporary women’s fiction novel with romantic elements has a working title of “Designed With Love“. I keep shifting between “Designed For Love” and “Designed With Love” because my hero is an architect and my heroine is an artist.

In this draft, I have set the story in Apex, a fictional town in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Will, my hero, was born differently-abled. He knows that he has issues of identity and belonging.

Tiffany, my heroine, worked in a non-traditional career with her father and believed that future was set. When circumstances, that she believed were beyond her control, freed her to leave Apex she pursued her artistic passion.

Will and Tiffany meet when Apex is on the verge of a boom due a potash mine opening close to the town. The tensions arise when the community is uncertain about all of the strangers who will invade their quiet town and when Tiffany is pulled away from her new life back into her old.

I am also getting my novel ready to attend Sage Hill Writing Experience in Lumsden, SK as part of the Novel Colloquium facilitated by Lawrence Hill. Lawrence Hill is an award winning author of “The Book of Negroes” (CA) re-released in the United States as “Someone Knows My Name,” “Black Berry, Sweet Juice” “Any Known Blood” and “Some Great Thing” and of the nonfiction work “The Deserter’s Tale” (with Joshua Key) and “Blood: The Stuff of Life”. He lives in Ontario, and Newfoundland, Canada.
I am so excited to have been accepted to be part of this experience and to have ten days to consult with Mr. Hill and work solely on my novel as well as experience all of the authors and facilitators in this years Sage Hill Writing Experience.

I am also waiting for new edits on my first novel, Moving On, A Prairie Romance for re-release with Soul Mate Publishers in late September, 2014.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My stories are similar to other women fiction novels with romantic elements because I write women’s stories. I want to find the heroine who is strong and independent to love a man who is not physically perfect. She must also love herself enough to continue with her passion. Most of us know that this is a challenge.

I have been told that my books as accessible to reluctant readers. Both of my previous novels have introduced readers who have either been away from reading or it was not a pleasant pass time. I am proud of this accomplishment.

My novels and stories are also strong enough to hold many readers attention.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I like to discover love between couples who are not perfect. I also like to build from friendship and leave the intimacies to the readers’ imagination when they take place behind closed doors.
I add in health concerns in my writing because of my past profession as a nurse. I also like to explore other emotions to find out what I have learned over the years as well as to learn new things.

While I have been thinking about the why, I realize that I write similar to where I live. What can this mean? I live in a condo where I can be part of the hustle and bustle of downtown with just one short elevator ride, therefore kernels of a story may begin but when I look out of my windows I see way past the high rises toward the horizon. There I see the agricultural land and the sky. I like to explore larger ideas within the relatively small confines of the people I see coming and going from their offices, apartments, farms. While the buildings remain the same, life is always changing.

My view one rainy morning.

My view one rainy morning.

4) How does my writing process work?
I am a slow writer. I write and then take a break. I may write short stories in between if I find a contest or discover a call for a story I am interested in writing about. I enjoy completing the story and sending it out. When the story is accepted for publication, I celebrate the achievement.
I like to research and I want to go out and be in an environment I am using in my story. When I am in the throws of writing, I read non-fiction pertaining to my story.

Now enough about me and onto three talented authors. Sharon and Elizabeth write from Regina, Saskatchewan and Debra Jayne writes from North Carolina close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The three authors who will pick up the torch on June 30, 2014.
Drum Roll Please:

Here they are.

Here they are.

Sharon Plumb:
Sharon Plumb grew up writing stories in a small town that no longer exists. Now she writes stories about things that only exist in her imagination. Her novel Draco’s Child is about a sneaky girl and a lonely dragon and an interfering constellation, stuck together on another planet. Her picture book Bill Bruin Shovels his Roof was inspired by her father doing that same thing. You can find Sharon at http://sharonplumb.ca

Draco's Child

Draco’s Child

For Debra Jayne East being a writer is like painting pictures with words.Capturing the beauty of what she thinks down on paper is a challenge that excites her. It makes her want to do her best to get people to open the door to her world and walk on in.”
Debra lives in North Carolina close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoys photography, volunteering and spending time with her family.She also is the host of Sky Watchers Radio show about UFO disclosure and the co-founder of Starseed Alliance Radio.
You can find Debra at:

Radiance: Love After Death

Radiance: Love After Death

Elizabeth Lang:
Elizabeth Lang was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada in the late 60s. She spent many years in IT, mainly in the insurance industry, and started writing late in life, but once begun, she couldn’t stop.

She writes mainly scifi thrillers/psychological dramas, though she did accidentally end up with a scifi romance novel. She swears she has no idea how that happened.

Elizabeth writes some humour, mainly wacky stuff that comes to her mind in the wee hours of the morning when her brain refuses to acknowledge being attached to the rest of her.
Fine out about her at: http://www.elizabeth-lang.com/

Elizabeth Lang

Elizabeth Lang