Wednesday 29 June 2011

When Toothpaste is a Food Group (reprinted with permission from the Globe and Mail)

I’ve always been a curvy girl.  Even in youth, I had more in common with Sophia than Twiggy, and towards the end of the last century, I was definitely in the Marilyn class.  But lately, there has been a slight shifting of the curves…the crisis came last week, when sweet little store Clerkette asked me when I was ‘due’.  For the record, I was done long ago.
This former beach babe was on track to becoming a beach ball.  Badly needed was a revision of the current eating strategy, which involved stuffing in as much as possible in order to avoid the famine that might just come in the next seven hundred years.
In desperation, I turned to television.  Prepackaged food plans are all the rage on cable:  “Look at me!  I’m a Grandmother, and love prancing around in a bikini again…” Hey, that annoying person in a size 2 could be me!  I was a size 2 maybe in grade four.  There had to be a sensible way of eating for life that didn’t involve wacky obsessions.
Which got me thinking… thin people are thin because of how they eat.  And if I watched them and copied them, surely I would be thin in time, too?  Brilliant, I thought!  Piece of cake!  Why do all my idioms involve food?
I went in search of a role model.  Diane came to mind, a tall blonde colleague, willowy slim.  I remembered a conversation we had during a conference. It was one-thirty, lunchtime had come and gone, and leather portfolios were starting to look tasty. 
“Are you hungry?” Diane said.  “I’m starving.  Do you want to go down and get a bowl of soup?  I could really do with a bowl of soup.”
We went to the cafeteria.  I had a chicken salad sandwich with mayo and fries.  Diane had a bowl of clear chicken soup with 4 crackers. 
“Oh, that was good,” she said.  “I’m stuffed.”  And she didn’t eat anything more until dinner, when she had a large salad with no dressing.
Soup is the answer, no question.  I shall have a bowl of soup every day for lunch and not eat anything else until dinner.  I shall be as slim as Diane, eventually.  Right?

7 a.m.:  I hate breakfast.  Diane never eats breakfast.  Coffee with milk (yuck) instead of cream and out the door.
10 a.m.:  In a meeting.  Will she ever shut up?  Somebody pass the muffins.  They’re pigs at that end of the table – pigs!  Oh yeah – I can’t have one.  I’m being good.
12 noon:  Soup!  I’m having soup and it’s really good.  Salty.  Chickeny.  It’s gone.  That was quick.  
1 p.m.:  Ate the 4 crackers that came with the soup.
2 p.m.:  Went searching for gum, breath mints, anything.
3 p.m.:  Snuck somebody’s Diet Coke from the fridge.
4 p.m.:  Screamed at my staff for talking.
5 p.m.:  Sobbed quietly in the washroom.
6 p.m.:  Raced home, setting new record.  Chewed all remaining pieces of sugarless gum in the package.
7 p.m.:  Ate salad of spinach, romaine, tomato, 1 egg, 1-ounce low-fat cheese, no dressing, while family munched leftover lasagna and trifle.
8 p.m.:  Yelled at children for talking.
9 p.m.:  Looked for snack.  All that Easter chocolate hanging around.  What would a thin person eat?  Probably just one piece.  I broke off a small piece of bunny.
2 a.m.:  Dreamt about food.  Glorious food.  Roast beef with Yorkshire, macaroni and cheese, cocktail parties with canapé. 
4 a.m.:  Got up and ate the rest of the bunny.

            I’ve learned two things from my day of eating like a thin person.
  1. I will never be tall and blonde and thin.
  2. When you’re starving, toothpaste can be a food group.
Tomorrow is a new day and I am trying a new approach:  eat like two thin people.

Melodie's heroine Rowena is definitely on the curvy side.  Rowena Through the Wall (Imajin Books) is now available in ebook and paperback from and Smashwords.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

PERSONPOWER! Singing along to 'Hey Mr/Ms Tambourine Person'

Apparently, the current hot project for Those Who Don’t Have Enough To Do At City Hall, is making our language completely gender-neutral.  “Harbourmaster” is the latest word to fall under the gender axe.  While I wouldn’t dream of suggesting “Harbour Mistress” (this is a family column) I am not so sure about HarbourPerson either.

No doubt about it, that man in “woman” has got to go.  Probably the first place to be hit will be public washrooms.  Better get used to “Persons” and WoPersons”.

If that isn’t confusing enough, imagine what is going to happen to all of our great tunes?  Are we really going to be singing along to “Hey Mr/Ms Tambourine Person”?  Frankly, “When a Person…loves a Person” just doesn’t do it for me.  “I’m a Solitary Person” might squeak by, but “Pretty Person” doesn’t have a chance.

Not to mention the effect this will have on our great literature.  Hemingway will have won the Pulitzer for “The Old Person and the Sea.”  “Little Persons” will be read by persons of gender everywhere, and “The Person of LaMancha” may sweep Broadway.  My own personal <sic> favourite has got to be Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Persons.”

All this could result in a new branch of philology, with its own name, of course – SEpersonTICS…and since our government is so insistent on being politically correct, surely Winnipeg deserves to reside in “Personitoba?”

You see, the problem is personifold.  You can’t just draw the line here.  ALL things must be included and made equal.

It’s simple, when you get the hang of it.  Fireplaces will have persontels, the rich can live in personsions, and those of us with long fingernails can go for personicures.  “Manuella” may not be too happy about becoming Personuella, but what the heck.  We’ve got a persondate.

Friday 17 June 2011

Friday 10 June 2011


Okay, so it’s summer.  Does that mean we have to settle for absolutely brainless TV?  Are we doomed to watching mindless nighttime reruns of Friends and Family Guy on sixteen different channels in forty languages?  Of course not!  We can watch mindless reality shows!

But for those of you who are sick of reality and long for some realistic sex and violence on television, this is for you.  In the lofty traditions of Dallas, Dynasty and Desperate Housewives, make way for…            TRAVESTY!
Note the originality of the plot.  (Hey, it’s rerun season!)

INTERIOR.  A pink frilly bedroom.  Daytime.  An attractive young woman in full makeup and Victoria’s Secret underwear reclines on the bed, moaning fatuously.  An older man kneels by her side, wringing his well-manicured hands.

Lance:  “Tell me April, I gotta know.  Is the baby mine?”
April (in bed):  “Oh Lance!  Oh Lance! <sob!> …what baby?”
Michael enters the room.
Michael:  “April honey, I’ve got something to tell you.”
April:  “No - <sob> - not-“
Michael nods.
April:  “You?  And Lance?”
Lance:  “OH-MY-GOD”
Michael:  “And your mother’s been hit by a beer truck, and the boutique has burnt down.”
April (standing up in bed): “THE BOUTIQUE?”
Michael:  “We saved the clothes, but the jewelry was a meltdown. Sorry.”
April (clutching throat):  “I can’t take it anymore! This is too much for one day.”
Michael:  “And it’s only 8 a.m.”
Lance (clearing throat):  “About your mother…”
April (collapsing on bed):  “OH-MY-GOD, MOTHER!  She hated beer.”
Lance:  “I have something to tell you…”
April (to director):  “Do I faint now?”
Lance:  “…she’s actually not your mother…”
Michael:  “WHAT?”
April:  “You mean-“
Lance:  “Yes.  I am”
<gasps all around>
Michael:  “That trip to Sweden…?”
Lance:  “Yes.”
Michael:  “LANA?”
Lance:  “Yes.”
Michael:  “But didn’t we…?”
Lance:  “Yes.”
Director (to April):  “You can faint now.”
Everyone faints.

Stay tuned next week for more riveting drama, when April asks the question, “How do you tell if blue cheese is bad?”

Like this humour?
ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL is NOW available on and Smashbooks!  $3.99 (ebook).  Trade paperback coming in July.

Monday 6 June 2011

Rowena Through the Wall now available on Smashwords and!

Review of Rowena Through the Wall by Midwest Book Review

"Thus begins one of the most fabulous fantasy adventures I've ever read"

Impossible to put down! I’m panting, like a love-starved Cinderella!

Wow—author Melodie Campbell is certainly versatile! Some time ago, when I read a short horror story by her in an Alfred Hitchcock magazine, I never thought I’d see her name on a thrilling romance novel. But what a pleasure it turns out to be…

Just as Campbell had me biting my nails till the end of her horror story, with Rowena Through the Wall she has me panting for my own Prince, like a love-starved Cinderella.

Campbell hooked me from the first scene when the main protagonist, college instructor Rowena Revel, gets the shock of her life when a handsome hunk of a man appears in her classroom. He’s dressed in medieval attire and carrying a sword… something out of the most romantic fantasy she’s ever read. When she approaches him, he gets the shock of his life by the fact she can see him. When she speaks to him, he disappears right before her eyes.

Neither realize that Rowena’s classroom wall is the magic portal that leads to the man’s alternate world, so they are both baffled. Row starts having sexy dreams of gorgeous, tunic-clad men in a rugged country, but when they start walking through that wall at ease, her curiosity gets the best of her. Inevitably, when she begins investigating the wall, she accidentally falls through into an alternate universe where she is kidnapped, not once, but twice.

According to the book’s pre-publicity “the stakes get higher as the men get hotter.” Well, if that isn’t a line to keep even the least romantic woman reading, I don’t know what is! I tell you, this author is good!

Thus begins one of the most fabulous fantasy adventures I’ve ever read. Not only is this a romantic comedy, it’s also a thriller with Row’s future at stake. Besides the obvious sexual reasons, why do these handsome men need Row so badly? Why do they vie for her attention? How in the world does she “accidentally” marry her cousin Ivan? How does Cedric fit into the picture? Is his heart really as black as the magic he practices? And how does she feel about the most glorious male of them all—Thane the Viking?

As if that isn’t enough, throw in a Goth-student who follows Row through the portal. Do her actions place her teacher in even more danger? If so, it’s a good thing they can go back through the portal—or can they?

To find the answers, you’ll have to read this top-notch book for yourself. I promise you a fun, sexy time fraught with enough adventures with gorgeous males to last a lifetime.

This is a hot, hilarious, romantic fantasy that enthralls you from the first line. If you enjoy Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, you'll adore Rowena and her riotous romps in an alternate world…

What I’d like to ask this author is: Just where is MY wall?

Review by Betty Dravis, June 5, 2011
Author of “Dream Reachers II” (with Chase Von) and other books

Rowena Through the Wall (Imajin Books) - ebook available later this month on and other retailers. Paperback coming in July.