Wednesday 27 July 2011

Golf is a Four Letter Word

Golf season always fills me with awe. Not because I immediately become what is euphemistically known as a ‘Golf Widow.”  Nope.  In fact, after paying our recent insurance premiums, the concept of ‘widow’ has taken on a slightly merrier outlook.

My problem with golfers is that they speak an entirely different language.  For instance, take a look at the following words that are associated with golf:

Tee:  This is silly.  Not only is it spelled wrong, but golfers don’t drink tea.  They drink beer.
Club:  The place with the bar that you go to after the game.  Sometimes the object OF the game.
Caddie:  Those big cars in the parking lot that you try not to hit with your golf cart.
Hole:  The thing you fall into and twist an ankle when you’re trying to find your ball in the ‘rough’.
Iron:  What you don’t have to do, because golf clothes are made of plastic.
Putter:  As in ‘putter around the golf course’.
Driver:  The guy who has to forgo the beer after the game.  Hence ‘tee’ above.
Birdie:  See below.
Eagle:  This is ridiculous.  Eagles don't play golf.

But without a doubt, the biggest problem with golf is the way it is scored.  Obviously, the person who hits the ball the most times has done the most work.  But the rules say the person who swings a mere 67 times wins.  That’s hardly trying at all.  This is supposed to be a Scottish game, so I ask you:  Where is the Protestant Work Ethic Here??

There’s only one explanation, and it has to do with the other Scottish religion – the one I apparently married into - saving money.  The fewer times you hit the ball, the longer the ball lasts…

Thursday 21 July 2011

Money Laundering and other Taxing Services

I was doing my taxes the other day, and it made me think about how great things were in the good ole days.  Remember how simple life used to be?  Someone would mail you a little carbon slip to let you know how much money you made.  All you had to do – as a law-abiding citizen – was run your finger along a little line in the tax guide, and you’d know how much tax you had to pay.  You’d write a cheque for that amount, then go drink yourself blind or shoot yourself in the head, whichever was most expedient.  Things were simple back then.

Now, figuring out your taxes is a profession in itself.  Actually, it’s several professions; taxes now have their own accountants and own lawyers, the lucky little things.  Soon they may have their own psychiatrists…

Which brings me to banking (and other insanities).  I remember when you’d take your paycheck and give it to the bank for a little while.  Then you’d go back a few weeks later to take out cash for certain life essentials like beer and pharmaceuticals.  All the money would still be there plus some extra cash you made on your money, called interest.  Things have changed radically since then.  Interest is passé.  Sort of like digital watches…

Now when you put your money in the bank (which of course you don’t…you put it in a cute little automatic teller machine where it mixes with everyone else’s little packets of money in terribly amoral ways) – but back to the point.  The point is, that when you go back to draw it out again, you find less than the amount you deposited.  Most of your money is there, but so is something else called a Service Charge.

I must admit I’m baffled by this need for a service charge.  I mean, exactly what services did these people feel it necessary to perform for my money?  Did they take it on field trips?  Have it drycleaned and botoxed to iron out the wrinkles?

Frankly, I’m getting fed up.  If they’re going to take my money out on the town and show it a good time, the least they can do is teach it how to reproduce…

Sunday 17 July 2011

Guest Blogger Eileen Schuh

I am pleased to welcome Eileen Schuh to my blogspot.  Which indicates incredible bravery on her part because her novel The Traz is heroically Young Adult, and my novel Rowena is... very adult indeed.

Here's to Humour!

When my book marketing coach, Cheryl Kaye Tardif suggested I post an emotional article on my blog “because emotion sells books” I was indescribably tempted to post a humorous blog about emotional blogs.

I resisted that temptation—perhaps only because funny girl, Melodie Campbell, invited me to guest here.

People who know me from Twitter or Facebook are well aware of my penchant for humour. One of my very first tweets was “Help! I’m on my bidet and it won’t shut off!” (BTW, don’t depend on your virtual friends for actual help--absolutely nobody responded to my SOS.)

Given my silly online presence, I’m worried my Social Network buddies will be a bit disappointed that my novels are not at all funny. I’m not sure why they aren’t—other than I’m of the firm belief that humour is the most difficult of the writing genres.

If I pen a short witty sentence or two that most don’t find funny, it’s no big deal. However, if I were to write an entire humorous book that failed to be funny to others--I’d be somewhat embarrassed.

However, it’s apparent that our very own Melodie Campbell has mastered the difficult art of writing humour. There is no doubt. When an author can pull off a historic romance novel such as ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL and spice it with both erotica and humour—that author undoubtedly knows her stuff.

Although my novels are on the exciting “fast ride” side of things, my favourite character, Shrug, shares my sense of humour.

As Cheryl Freedman, one of my editors of THE TRAZ noted, “Use of humour: Just enough light humour in the interaction between Shrug and Kindle to lift the mood. Plus the humour adds yet another dimension to Shrug’s character.”

While my own humour tends to be self-depreciating, Shrug’s is more often than not condescending. This drives my other characters nuts, but I love it (perhaps because I know I will never be on the receiving end of Shrug’s sharp wit.)

“You didn’t get my message, Constable Hayes?” Sergeant Kindle growled.

“I’m here, ain’t I?” Shrug answered. He sank into the chair in front of the sergeant’s desk and pulled his cigarettes from his pocket. He lit one, inhaled deeply, and set the Player’s package on the desk beside Kindle’s ‘Thank You for Not Smoking’ sign.

“Yeah, you’re here. A full four days after the murder,” Kindle said coolly.

I wouldn’t want to be Shrug’s boss. On the other hand I definitely wouldn’t want to be his underling, either. I do, though, love being his creator.

I know you’ll like Shrug and Sergeant Kindle. And little Katrina and Chad. And I know you will hate Gator and Pepper and Stack.
Sample THE TRAZ first if you don’t believe me. Here are the links to sample or buy:

THE TRAZ is also available from Barnes and Nobel, Diesel, Sony, Scrollmotion, etc. as an eBook and will soon be released in print.

I invite you to visit me on my website I have a great contest running there right now. To help me celebrate my writing successes, many of my author friends contributed fun facts uncovered while researching and writing their books. If you honour these authors with a quick comment, you’ll be entered to win one or more of the books they’ve generously tossed into the massive prize pool. Maximize your chances of winning by leaving each contributor a comment.

My next draw will be to celebrate THE TRAZ being released in print. The final draw will be in August when my adult Sci-Fi novella SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT hits the stands in both eBook and print formats.

Also, check out my MAGIC OF THE MUSES  There just may be an emotional blog there in the near future.

Friday 15 July 2011

Amazon Top 100!

'Rowena Through the Wall' makes Top 100 Amazon Bestseller list for Time Travel Romance!
Thanks to all my reviewers - Melodie

Monday 4 July 2011

What's Behind YOUR Wall?

(Cursor down for Contest)

Have you ever needed to escape your life for even a little while? 

Rowena Through the Wall came about because I needed to find a world to escape to in order to cope with things happening in my own life that I could not control.

I was sitting in the hospital by my mother’s bedside in the palliative care ward.  For the 36th time, she had been admitted to hospital, dying.  Thirty-five times, they had brought her back to life.  This time…

I have no sisters and my only brother is autistic.  The burden of care was mine to bear and this time the weight of it was almost too much.  I looked at the dreary hospital room wall and wished I could walk through it to another world.  That night, Rowena got her start.

Every day, I would go to work, then run to the hospital for my ‘shift’ with Mom.  When they kicked me out, I would dash home, and escape into the world that I could control.

The world of Rowena Through the Wall.

Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, and the adventures start almost immediately.  At my mother’s bedside, I would play a little game of  ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen to Rowena now?’  Or – ‘what’s the funniest thing – what’s the craziest thing?’   I would jot these ideas down in a journal in between attending to my mother’s personal care chores, and then, when home late at night, I would start writing.

I didn’t get much sleep during this time.  I couldn’t sleep anyway because of Mom, so why not put those sleepless hours to good use?  Each new adventure Rowena had gave me a burst of energy that helped me deal with news that got worse and worse. 

I could control the world of Rowena.  I could satisfy my need for escape by putting Rowena in dangerous and sometimes riotous situations that she could use her wits to get out of.  I could live vicariously through my heroine.

They sent my mother home to die, and she didn’t.  She is nearly blind, on oxygen and failing again, but last week I put the paperback of Rowena Through the Wall into her hands.  And now I am half way through book two of the series.


What’s behind your wall?

Everyone needs an imaginary escape.
If you could walk through a portal in your wall, what would you find at the other side?

Comment here with what’s behind your wall!  One lucky person, drawn randomly, will win two free ebooks!  Contest ends July 31.