Monday, August 17, 2015


I am participating in Pitch Wars, a writing contest hosted by the wonderful, Brenda Drake. It was awesome to read the mentor bios (though I'll be honest my TBR list didn't need so many new additions, but, I've come to accept my book buying addiction and admit resistance is futile). Christopher Keelty started the #PimpMyBio blog hop and I decided to hop on the bandwagon!

I'm a twenty something Canadian who married an American and thinks teaching her cat to walk on a leash and perform tricks is a good idea. She gives the best high fives (in case you were wondering). 

I believe every book changes those who read it, in some way. We can't help but internalize the hero/heroine's journey and by the time we reach The End, we are no longer quite the same. To me, people who read are the most empathic, insightful, and interesting people you can meet. 

Sneak peek at some of my beloved shelves:

The way music inspires stories, creates visuals, changes our perceptions, helps us recall memories, influences our emotions, and truly cuts into our souls amazes me. Needless to say, I'm obsessed and make way too many playlists. 

It's a really good thing my friends and family love my baking so much. If they didn't, I'd be in a world of trouble -- who could I share my creations with? It would be absolutely cruel to leave them there to mould. If other people didn't eat them I'd probably consistently make myself sick (that cursed sweet tooth though). My love started really young:

When I'm not writing, I exercise my creative energies by painting things for other people (much to the chagrin of my husband). I'm terrible at drawing without a reference though, so I catch my inspirations and idea templates from artists far more skilled then I. Some of my more recent projects:

And now for a laundry list of random facts: 

I studied abroad (in France).

I got a bartending license on a whim.

I'm a huge history and mythology nerd. 

I competed provincially in slalom racing.

I cried when my Hogwarts letter didn't come. 

I used to figure skate (one year I played the leader of the munchkins).

I spent eleven summers training in archery, rifflery, rock climbing, and rappelling. 

I used to vault (gymnastics on horseback. I also did normal gymnastics) and did some barrel racing.

To round this post off:

My, hopefully, future mentor should choose me because they loved something in my YA Fantasy, PYRE, and want to help me realize the story's full potential. I'd like any of you considering me to know that I embrace critique and strive to consistently better myself and my work. I'm a passionate leo willing to work my butt off and I've got a sarcastic, quirky sense of humour. 

If you're interested about what inspired me to write my current novel, check out this post

Thank you, to anyone who took the time to get to know me a little better. Mia, my baby girl, thinks you're awesome too! Take a high five before you leave. Don't worry, the first one's free. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pitch Wars: Why I Wrote This Book

Greetings, Pitch Wars hopefuls and mentors who decided to grace me with your presence! Generally, I leave the vulnerability to my characters but when it was suggested I write about why I wrote my Pitch Wars (future) submission, I knew I had to challenge myself. The origin story of my book is rather dark but I tried not to get bogged down in the gritty details.

The tragedies in my life are inconsequential even if they define everything I am. You see, as a child, my developing psyche was too impressionable, too scarred from the horrors.

I couldn’t cope with reality.  

So, I built a new one.

I traded my life for Wonderland, to slay the dragon and ride a unicorn. I destroyed the Ring, danced with the Fair Folk, and attended Hogwarts. Vanquishing all sorts of evils, both internal and external, I got to play hero.

Fiction, in all its world-shaping glory, became a solid foundation I desperately needed. Fairy tales painted a vividly coloured world, one full of tragedy transformed to wonder and possibility. Shrouded in fantasy, I learned to accept the inexplicable and believe in dreams.

After living a thousand lives, it’s impossible to remain unchanged.

I started seeing stories everywhere, mind whirring with the limitless potential. My kingdom of books raised me to such a vantage that, even the most mundane aspects of life (whether act, object, or place), had a sense of magic. Every little thing felt like it had something to say. A voice, just begging to be heard if only we’d ask the right questions, if only we really looked.

And so, a story teller was born.

In my darkest hour and deepest depression, a small spark appeared. Tiny and hardly noticeable until it became a raging inferno of voices and plot.

It was impossible not to listen.

Pyre, my YA Fantasy, became the funeral rite my lost soul needed to move on.

It yanked me, word by word, from the blackest abyss.

Why this manuscript?  

Because the voices in my head wouldn’t shut up.

Because writing is my way of exorcising demons. 

Because the splendiferous terror and magic I’ve always seen in nature demanded expression.

Sharing any more would become very spoiler-heavy and reading a book is about the journey, finding your own truth in someone else’s world and making it your own.

Thank you for sparing a moment of your day to read. 

I encourage you to check out Jennie's inspiration for her YA Fantasy, Protectors, here

Monday, May 16, 2011

You'll pay for that

To save money, Mom let Grandma cut her hair.A mistake was made on the bangs, and in the attempts to fix it, the problem only got worse. 

Her bangs are now so short and shaggy that it looks like she has a severe mullet. I really can't express how awful it is. I love Mom way to much to take a picture. Seriously, it's so bad, Mom was considering calling in sick to work. (And she is not a vain person.) Grandma even told Mom she didn't want to see her for two weeks. 

Lately, I've been struggling with too little time and too much to do. I was thinking of only half-heartedly editing my novel. What happened to Mom reminded me why that's a bad idea. 

Taking shortcuts shows. If you try to save yourself money, time, or whatever else, you can end up costing yourself more.  You could accidentally make your novel so bad, it can't be seen by the public. Even your family might back away. 

So here's my advice. When you're trying to make your novel better, go to the right people. Don't let someone make changes if you feel they're unqualified. And, for heaven's sake, don't try to take the easy way. In the end, you'll only be adding more grief and stress. 

(I missed Thursdays post last week because Blogger exploded. I took it as a sign from the Universe (that is why I didn't try to make up for it on Friday). So for all of you who suffered from the craziness, it was my fault. The Universe thought I needed to de-stress so it annihilated one of my obligations. Forgive me?)

Have you ever had a horrible haircut? Ever done something to save yourself money or time then later paid for it?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No sides for me thanks!

I'm going to make an outrageous statement (you've been warned).

There should be no side characters in your novels

In real life, there's no such thing as a side character. Everyone is the main character of their own story. Everyone is interesting in their own way. Everyone has something to share, learn and grow from. Everyone has battles. No ones sole purpose is to help someone else's storyline. 

It should be the same in books. 

Characters should never do something based on plot reasons alone. They need their own motivations and reasons for doing everything. It doesn't matter that the reader knows it, it only matters if you do. They should have backstories and an arc, basically, they should be eligible for their very own companion novel.

Because people will notice if your characters are only tools, if they're only there for the MC. And it will make all your characterization seem flat.

Are your side characters fleshed out? Can you think of any examples where every character had their own story? 

Monday, March 28, 2011


Double-sided tape is the best invention ever. Seriously.

And I think you should aspire to the awesomeness of double-sided tape. Here's how:

1. You're story should be smooth with no creases and wrinkles. It should look and seem flawless. (Even if every writer out there knows it took a crapload of effort. It shouldn't look or feel that way.)

2. You want your story to stick with people. You want them to feel it long after they've put it down.

3. You shouldn't waste any words, sentences or scenes. Everything should be multi functional and serving double duty to create layers and impressions and inspire feelings.

How do you achieve all these? With some natural talent, a desire to improve your craft, critique partners who will point out the flaws and a whole lot of revision.

But, if you work hard enough, you can be as awesome as double sided tape!

Good luck.

I apologize for the lameness of this post. School is currently frying my brains. I don't have enough cells left to create something brilliant.

What do you want to be like? How was your weekend?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Zombies should be dead

I understand the interest and psychological associations with vampires (death and lust), werewolves (beast within), goblins (greed), etc, etc. The roots of most mythological creatures have some form in logic. And I appreciate that.

There's one that doesn't. Zombies. What the hell is the point?

They are mindless, rotting corpses, have no character and are obsessed with eating brains. Maybe they are rooted in our gluttony? Maybe people write zombie apocalypses as a way to illustrate how the destruction of mankind will be from us mindlessly turning on each other? Maybe people just want violence?

I don't know.

But with zombie's, we're being cheated of the best part - a villain. 

When a protagonist struggles against the threat, I'm sorry, but they look like morons. If you can't protect yourself against something that can't think...I don't know how you make it through the day. (I do understand it's about the numbers but that just isn't enough to satisfy me.)

Zombies are all the same. The associated plots aren't any better: Impossible odds (numbers and hard to kill), some weird sickness (that is never explained) started it all, it's the apocalypse, blah, blah, blah. They are interchangeable in the worst way.

They're supposed to be scary. But, they aren't. Empty bodies walking around, groaning and moaning doesn't inspire any sort of fear. What scares me the most? The fact that so many people like them. 

Are you pro or anti zombie? 

If you're into zombies please explain why, argue your point! I really do want to know why people like them.

If you hate them, tell me why (so I don't feel like the only person on the planet who does!)!

Is their any other mythological creature you hate/don't understand?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don't settle, you deserve more

People, I'm telling you, you need a critique group (or at least a critique partner). Seriously, if you don't have one, you need to go out and get one. Now.

That being said, the first group you join may not be the right one for you. And if that's the case you need to consider cutting them lose. 

Here's some things to keep in mind when deciding if a group is working for you:

1. Are they investing as much energy into your work as you're investing into theirs? 

2. Do you share different writing strengths so that you can truly compliment and help each other?

3. Are your writing levels moderately the same?

4. Are you interested in their stories? (If you aren't, you are setting yourself up for a whole world of pain and agony.)

5. Is the group operating in a way that works for you? (However formal or informal you want that to be.)

6. Do you get along with the other members?

7. Are you happy? (This is, by far, the most important and all the other factors will play into this one.)

Having people you trust who can look at your work objectively is very important. But, don't settle for just anyone. Look for the group that is going to fit you and your story the best.

Do you have a critique group? How did you know it was the right one? 
Have you had any bad experiences with Critique groups?