When I was a university student, I celebrated the end of the semester with a reading day. After my last exam, I would walk to Chapters Bookstore (now a Victoria’s Secret) on the corner of Ste-Catherine and Stanley streets, ride the escalator to the second floor and browse the rows of romance and fiction novels.
It could take time to find the right book. I looked for one which started with a sentence capable of catapulting me from the floor of the bookstore into the story. And, my intuition had to agree to the selection. It sought the book that would captivate, engage and relax. I found many enjoyable books this way and I write hoping readers will find my stories as enjoyable.
As I wrote Secrets, the story flowed onto the pages. The characters lived the joys and sorrows while I recorded the events and empathized with them. Even the editing went smoothly. I had a special connection to this story.
Based on comments from beta readers and Kirkus Reviews, I believe you’ll feel this connection when you read it. It’s now available as an e-book on Amazon. To find out more, click the cover.
How do you choose your reading day book? I’d love you hear from you. Leave me a comment.
The last modified date on my manuscript Stay was 2014. I was shocked when I saw that today. Three years have passed since the manuscript was professionally edited. Since then, I struggled with insecurities and also with illness. I sold my condo and moved. I switched jobs twice. I became a certified fitness instructor. I went back to university for a few writing classes. I made a small effort to find an agent. I wrote another novel and started a fourth and decided on the plot for a fifth. But mostly, I grew up.
During these three years, I would get upset thinking about how Stay sat on my computer ready for publishing, then I’d forget about it for while, and start the cycle all over again. But I’ve changed. And in the last few months, I understood that I’d get to publishing it when I was ready. I guess I’m ready now because I’ve been reading Joanna Penn’s blog, Creative Penn and downloaded one of her books. If you’ve never read her blog, she’s definitely worth the read. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve also organized myself based on her suggestions.
A couple of summer’s ago, I read a series by Erin McCarthy called True Believers. I was intrigued by some of the similarities between our stories. The friendships, the boyfriends, the parents and the one word titles. Later, I read a post about series and titling a series around a theme. It’s nothing new or earth moving but it did get me thinking about how to unify the Masks series. I still don’t have a title for the series but I did change Stay to Secrets. A major theme throughout the series is the hidden, unspoken parts of life and finding the courage to confront them.
I looked up some of the cover designer recommendations from Joanna Penn and chose a company. Last night, I went to the bookstore and found an 18 year old girl (Just the perfect age!) and asked which types of book covers she preferred. She liked the drawn covers, not the pictures. Unfortunately, she was the only girl there. One is not exactly a recommended sample size so I’ll have to keep up the survey. I’ve noticed that most of the young adult book covers either picture people or are drawn people or scenes. There are very few with only a title. So, I’m thinking as long as it’s not a title on a coloured background I can’t go wrong.
During the week, I wrote the back cover blurb. Today, I priced out professional reviews and found a proofreader.
So maybe, I’m ready to publish another novel, huh?
What bloggers and writers are your mentors? Leave me a comment. I love to hear from you.
My daughter thinks mass is boring. I thought the same when I was eight years old. Mom injured her knee on Friday and needed to rest. So I went to the English Midnight Mass alone last night at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish.
I left home knowing that the church parking lot would be full, that the church would be overcrowded, warm and even smelly, and that it was too warm for a picture perfect snowfall after mass. This may sound like I had low expectations, but I didn’t. I simply approached the familiar experience with acceptance.
I parked at the back of parking lot and found a seat next a young blond woman with a friendly smile. The organist was different from the one I’m used to on Sundays which threw me off, but it didn’t matter because I still sang. Since I was one of the few singing in my section and singing off key to booth, I’m sure my neighbours tapped into their reserve of tolerance. (Thank you for bearing with me fellow believers.) I wasn’t used to the new priest either. I could barely see him because a large tall man stood in front of me, but I heard his invitation to visit the manger by the altar after mass and contemplate Jesus’ birth. And I thought I would do that. I expected to say a quick prayer and see the usual lineup of characters: the necessary Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus; the magi and their gifts; and of course, the animals. Then leave.
When the mass ended, the organist played a Christmas hymn which she sang in Polish, rousing every Pole in the congregation to join her. While I stood before the manger, I didn’t see it. Instead, I heard a melody I vaguely recognized with words foreign to me, and yet I was absorbed by the spirit of Christmas flowing through the church at that moment.
There is such a thing as Christmas magic. It is a gift without a price, without wrapping and without a bow, but it is given from the heart, freely and shared with everyone. You don’t have to be a Christian to receive it because peace (the freedom from war as well as the state of serenity) and love (the compassion we show ourselves, our friends and family, and even strangers) are not proprietary to any religion, race, ethnicity, gender, or group. They are the right of all humanity.