Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Answer to Everything

... is reading.

I'm not being funny. Had a bad day? Stressed out of your mind? Read to relax. Don't want to deal with stuff? Read to escape. Nothing to do and bored? Read. Thunderstorm? Read. Can't sleep? Read.

Writers' Block? Read, read, read, read!

This last is very important. The psychology behind this simple fact eludes me, but it always seems that when my writing falters, when nothing I type out fits, or is right, or even makes sense, if I can't seem to get my imagination to pick up it's share of the work, I pick up a book, a really, really good book, and all of a sudden, my imagination explodes. This is especially the case if the writer(s) I'm reading have original stuff (thank-you again Steven Erikson for your T'lan Imass and your Jaghut).

Let's face it, too many fantasy novels out there are about Orcs and Elves. There are WAY too many dragon tales, and very few of them are any good at all (Melanie Rawn is one exception). If your influences on fantasy are just those afore mentioned things, then the pool from which your imagination creates new shapes is very limited indeed. There is only so much you can pull from it.

That goes for reading outside your genre too. If you write fantasy, you'd probably help yourself more if you picked up the occasional crime novel, or horror, or even fluffy chick-lit. You'd do yourself even more of a favour if you read some serious academic stuff.

For example, I have two shelves dedicated completely to the field of Celtic Studies. I have one shelf exclusively for Anthropology and Archaeology, and yet another one for academic treatises on folklore and myth. These are perhaps the most important books for my imagination. Instead of reading secondary source, I go right to the primary source. For example, if you want to learn what Cicero said, you'd do better to read Cicero rather that rely on some first year uni student's paper about what he said.

Every myth has something to contribute to my imagination. Every shred of folklore adds to the pool from where my characters come. Every single ethnology provides a detailed analysis for a completely new race.

I shall simply finish up by quoting Cicero:
"A home without books is a body without soul."

Oh, and I've won something... again (please understand my excitement... I never win anything... well, normally anyway)! I'm soooo happy. I've won another book. This time from a give-away (first reads). The title is Servant of a Dark God. I can't wait to get it and read it. I promise I will post a review of it as soon as I've finished with it. Lordy, I'm happy!

Oh, and before I forget -


Good day, everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear Steven

You don't know who I am, and chances are, you're not likely to ever know. I don't care, I'm writing this love letter anyway.

Oh, you're probably married with a nice house and a few kids, so to make you feel at ease, it's not technically you I love. I am in love with your books. You see, not since I first read Tolkien have I been so enthralled, so captivated by a world. It has been a long time since I've read any fantasy novel so wholly original and creative, so visceral and detailed, so horrifically real and gut-wrenching.

You sir, are a master of your craft, Mr. Erikson. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is brilliance printed onto and bound in paper. Your complex stories are a marvel to behold.

I stand in utter awe of the tale you have spun, though I am not all the way through yet. I can only hope to approximate the sophistication in detail and style that you have proven is still possible, even amidst flights of fancy.

Sadly few amongst my circle of friends have even heard of you (strange though I find it!). It is a situation I am attempting to remedy with much haste.

Thank-you so much for the most amazing read I've had in such a long time. Most writers aspire to write. You have inspired me to create art with words.

Love always,
A HUGE fan and admirer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How Do I Do It?

I have gotten a couple of comments recently on the rate which I've managed to write my latest, still-requires-an-ending-so-I'm-just-writing-until-I-find-one story, and train in Martial Arts for three hours a night, four nights a week, and teach Kung Fu on the weekend, and still have time to eat and sleep and breathe.

It's really very simple. I can write roughly 3 000 words a day because work lets me. I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but work is incredibly boring. I was told as much when I was hired. The words literally were:

"It's a really boring job, I be honest with you. So if you want to bring a book to read, feel free."

At the time, I wasn't anywhere near finished The Great Man, so my thought was:

'Great! I'll bring a book to write.'

I didn't quite realise just how little there was to do. I answer the phone, make the occasional pot of coffee, pick up the mail in the morning, and place faxes that come through to the fax machine directly behind me into the appropriate folder immediately to my left. That leaves me with plenty of time to daydream, read and write. Since this is the case, 3 000 words a day is nothing. I probably could write more, but I set my target at 3 000 per day.

I'm certainly not complaining about my job. I LOVE my job for these reasons exactly:
1. I earn enough to pay my bills, rent, groceries and even have money left over for fun.
2. They let me write.

My father gets a little crotchity with me. He thinks that because I am content to stay in this job which, let's face it, isn't the highest paying or the most challenging, that I have absolutely no ambition in life (he knows that I want to be a published author). The thing is, this job pays me to write. It's a steady income while I await success. I'm happy with it. Dad doesn't quite understand my lack of drive for more material comforts (= higher pay-cheque).

So essentially, this is my day:
  • 5:00 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 6:00 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 6:30 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 6:45 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 7:00 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 7:10 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 7:15 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 7:20 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone. Ignore her and go back to sleep.
  • 7:25 am get woken up by a hungry Persephone.
  • 7:30 am feed said hungry Persephone. Get dressed. Put on war paint (read here: makeup). Pack gym back. Pack lunch. Have breakfast.
  • 8:00 am leave house to go to work.
  • 8:50ish am arrive at work. Make coffee. Drink coffee. Check emails. Write blog entry. Participate in online discussions.
  • 9:30ish am wake up. Begin writing.
  • 5:00 pm. Work's over. Go to training.
  • 10:00ish pm. Arrive home. Make dinner. Chat with flatmate. Have shower.
  • 12:00 am (most times). Fall into bed. Sleep.
I live in constant awe of those writers who work in a busy place all day, come home to cook dinner for the family and look after the kids, and still manage to write 1 000 a day. You people are heroes, and I completely recognise just how easy I have it.

So I'd like to give a great big shout out to my workplace, simply for being so awesome! Thanks everyone! You rock!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You Think I'm Gay?

I was going to go on a rant about how a good friend of mine recently asked me if I was gay, but my friends have heard me rant on about it for far too long now, so I'll spare them the extra rant (I'm not, in case you were wondering....). I decided to leave the title as is simply because it's so random and largely unrelated. It amuses me.

I've had another search reach my profile. This one came from Brampton, ON. Not that far from where I live, actually. Someone in Bramption looked me up... and knew my middle name, too:

Search Engine: Google
Search Terms: sonia michelle carriere
Visitor Location: Brampton, ON (Canada)
Date: October 26, 2009
Time: 7:10 PM EST

While I'm excited that it might mean that people might be following my blog, or perchance looking up my credentials (a publishing house, perhaps? I'm allowed to dream!), I'm also finding it all a little creepy....

Still, grin and hope for the best I say. It might actually lead to something one day.

I hope you are all well, and enjoy your day!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Hi all,

It seems I've been searched again over the weekend! Twice. Now the first confused me.

Search Engine:
Search Terms: No specific terms used
Visitor Location: Barendrecht, Netherlands
Date: October 24, 2009
Time: 7:55 PM EST

How would I come up through a wedding planners search engine? I don't plan weddings. I'm not even in a relationship, let alone thinking of a wedding. Hell, I can count the number of weddings I've been to in 25 years of existence on one hand. I found this search alert to be really very random.

The next one came from my home country, from one of the most wonderful cities I've ever visited, the metropolitan centre of Montreal. I have a cousin who lives in Montreal. Perhaps it was her....

Search Engine:
Search Terms: No specific terms used
Visitor Location: Montreal, QC (Canada)
Date: October 25, 2009
Time: 9:30 PM EST

Now mind, these are just the searches that led to my profile, which I haven't touched in a while, to be honest. I keep getting a message from a Miss Lovesomethingorother about how she stumbled across my profile and it caught her attention. She wants me to send all my contact information so she and I can get busy.

Sorry Miss Lovesomethingorother, I don't swing that way, and even if I did, you wouldn't get squat from me. I don't play online... in that sense, anyhow.

That's it from the peanut gallery. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and has a lovely week. Until tomorrow then!

Friday, October 23, 2009


May I just say that I love books? I really do. I love the way they smell, the way they feel, the way they take you places you never imagined you could go....

I love how a book stays where it is until you're ready for it. I love that you could leave a book alone for hours, days, weeks, months or even years, and it will still be there for you. Always.

I love that you can borrow a friend's book and no one thinks anything of it. I love that you can have as many books as you want and no one thinks poorly of you for it. In fact, they tend to think highly of you.

You can discuss books in graphic detail, and no one will call you crass or vulgar.

I love that you can take a book everywhere with you - shopping, on the bus or train, anywhere you are, and never feel like they just don't want to be there, or that they are annoying you, or ignoring you.

I love that books are there when you need them, the moment you need them.

I love books.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Checking In with the Morning Report

I have to say, there is nothing like being woken up by kittens using your bed as a playground. I'm really going to miss the free massages....

There isn't anything much to report. As of yesterday, after two days of writing, my word count is now 6 753 words. I've had a lot of distractions over the two days, and I seem to write best in the mornings.

The working title of the new story is simply the main character's name: Seraphimé. It will probably change.

Still no ending in sight, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this story will be another tragedy. I certainly hope not... but I got a sinking feeling yesterday as I was writing. Uh-oh. I don't think I can handle the emotional roller-coaster of another tragedy.

That's all from me for now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Actual News!

Hello everybody!

I was in a great mood yesterday afternoon! Why, you ask?

I've started writing again. I have roughly 3 000 words written as of yesterday afternoon. The snippet came to me Monday night when I was trying to sleep (yeah, right, sleep. As if.). It was actually no more than a touching piece of brief dialogue between a nomadic warrior queen and a prince of a much more sedentary people. I clung to that dialogue like a child clings to a blanket and when at last I was sitting before a computer I wrote it down and then, like some miracle of imagination, I just kept writing. I haven't had a session like that since I had finished The Great Man series, and I'm very excited.

I feel very attached to the woman in question, a strong woman by the name of Seraphimé. It is almost the same sort of attachment I felt to Julian of The Great Man, and that makes me incredibly happy! I do have another story to tell after all! I hope it's not as tragic as The Great Man was. Oh, the low points I suffered through with that series!

Now, mind you, I have no idea what this story is about yet. I have no idea how it begins, and the ending is yet obscured in the vague mist of "I-just-thought-this-up-ness." New word, by the by. I feel I'll have an ending soon. It's just a feeling. For now, though, it's enough that I have once again felt that thrill of writing - of writing something that needs to be written. I can relax now. I can let go of Julian (sorry, Jules. You will always be my first love, but it is time for me to move on) and focus on Seraphimé. I hope this idea doesn't fade out like the others did....

The way I write, all I require is an ending. I have absolute faith that as long as I know where the story is leading, and that it does, in fact, end, I shall have no problem writing it. So, I shall write away until I find that ending.

I did some quick maths and noted that if I remain writing roughly 3 000 words daily, I will be done writing a 100 000 word manuscript in just over a month. I have a feeling that this will be another long tale though. Now there's a scary thought! Since that is the case, I will allow for another four book series (perhaps it'll only be two or three, or as many as five... who knows?) and set my deadline for five months after the acquisition of an ending to write the thing. Then I'll have two series/books to champion, and I can go through the whole waiting process all over again. Ugh. The publication game!

So, as soon as I get an ending for this new story, I'll inform you. Then there will be much more pressure to finish on time! Mind you, with The Great Man there was a great deal of fear-based procrastination.... They tell me it gets easier as you go along.

In other news, I have submitted a few select pieces of The Third Prince (Book 1 of The Great Man) to Narrative Magazine. They are running a competition and I thought I'd share it with you. Go here to read about it and enter if you like. It closes November 30th, so get on it!

That's all I have. Now I'm off to write some more and hopefully get nearer to my new story's conclusion.

Take good care everyone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Tuesday

And there's nothing to report.

I'm well (less the toe). The kittens are well. My flatmate is awesome.

That's all today. Hope everyone is having a more interesting (in a good way, not in a bombs exploding, don't know where the next meal is coming from kind of way) week than I am!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Weekend

It's been a rough weekend. I've broken the second toe on my right foot stepping down from a kick. Don't ask me how, I don't know. All I know is that my toe is now swollen and a bit purple-ish. It makes walking difficult, and I do a lot of walking (or at least did). Ugh.

The weekend itself was terribly busy. I enjoy being busy, but I think this was a bit much. I need a couple of days to rest from the weekend. Isn't that sad? Saturday was my usual 2pm Kung Fu lesson. The class has grown quite a bit and I've found myself teaching all sorts of people of all ages. It's great, actually. The students are fun and they try, which is nice to see. That's where I broke my toe, incidentally. Then immediately afterwards, I raced down to visit my good friend Dave. We sat and talked for a couple of hours and then it was off to dinner with the Ottawa Dining Group which I belong to. It's simply a collective of people who love food and once every month they gather at a particular restaurant around Ottawa to sample their wares. It's fun, though sometimes expensive!

Sunday I had lunch and a movie with my friend Greg. The movie was Law Abiding Citizen. It was gory, and interesting, if somewhat formulaic. It also had Gerard Butler, so naturally I enjoyed it! That evening I met up with Papa and we went out to dinner and a movie. The movie was Zombieland. Again, really formulaic and we all know what is going to happen, really, but the ride is worth it! I was very funny.

It think that covers any news I have at all. Still no word from Tor.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Bye for now.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Not My Book

This post has nothing to do with my book. Big surprise, right? Hardly any of my posts do these days, it seems. Rather, it has something to do with my bus ride into work this morning.

A girl collapsed and had some sort of seizure. I was sitting at the back of the bus (No. 1 for those of you familiar with the buses in Ottawa) and somewhere at the front of the bus came an almighty thud. The bus pulled over and I heard the bus-driver call "First Aid!"

One guy standing near the rear exit rushed forward and then disappeared at the front of the bus. Not one minute later I heard him order the bus-driver "Call 911." An ambulance was called and then the girl woke up and burst into tears. She seemed fine after that. We were all told to exit the bus as it would be parked there for a while.

A few minutes later the No. 7 arrived, followed closely by the ambulance. I had to get to work so I jumped on the No. 7 and was gone before the ambulance guys got to the front of the No. 1 (for those Aussies that might be reading, one of the ambulance guys looked almost exactly like Roger Corser. For those of you who do not know who Roger Corser is, he's an Australian actor).

I couldn't stay to see how things went, but I hope the girl is alright.

That's really everything I have. Dinner tonight with friends (I'm cooking a veggie spaghetti polonaise), dinner out tomorrow with more friends and movie and dinner out with Papa on Sunday.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogs I'm Following

Hi all in the invisible crowd that is the blogging world. I haven't anything to report, so I'm just going to list a few blogs I'm following and links to each so you can follow too if you like. You don't have to, but I think I ought to help out my fellow bloggers as much as possible, mostly because almost all of them are writers or have blogs related to writing. Here they are:

Publishing Dreams
. A post by Marshall Buckley, who is in fact, two separate people. They have had the very good fortune of finishing a book and finding an agent. They, like myself, are blogging about the road to publication. They don't post as frequently as I do, but that makes their posts all that much more precious! Check them out! I'm so very envious and strangely also proud of their accomplishments to date and can't wait to read their book The Long Second.

A Writing Obsession. Anna L. Wells, who has become a recent good friend met first through and continued on through facebook, has self-published her first book King by Right of Blood and Might. She's blogging about her experiences as an author also, and has been interviewed by a couple of bloggers. The reviews of her book have thus far been very positive. I have even managed to win a copy and can't wait to review it myself.

Don't Publish Me. Jenn is also an author. She has recently completed a memoir 29 Jobs and a Million Lies and is seeking representation/ publication. She is a prolific writer, having completed other projects and had her articles published in legal journals.

CC Chronicles. The go to place for independent reviews of independent writers, blogs and much, much more. It's a very informative blog and, the best part, Carter loves dragons, and so do I.

Dark and Secret Writes
. I love this blog if only for the glorious play on words in its title. This blog is written by Paul, yet another acquaintance I've met through Paul lives in the UK and though he doesn't post very often, what he posts is well worth the read!

Goddess Guidebook. Written by my good friend Leonie. Leonie and I have known each other since grade 11, and I am in constant awe of her spirit. I've posted specifically about her before now, but she's worth mentioning again.

And last but not least:

Horse 'n Hound. Written by the gorgeous Genevieve Carrière. That's right, my eldest sister, has started a brand new blog about the animals in her life, most notably the journey she's taking as she learns to ride (English). Genevieve is an amazing person, and I'm not saying that just because she's my sister, and this blog is a must for anyone who likes animals - especially horses. Count me in!

Check out these blogs. You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fire Alarm and Other Mundane Things

Still no news from Tor. Hardly surprising - the two month mark is not until the 25ht of this month, after all. They probably haven't even opened the envelope yet.

This morning we had a fire drill. Why is it that they can never do these things in the summer when it's pleasant out? They always have to wait until it's cold enough to inspire violent coughing from shocked lungs. Anyway, the point of my complaint was to explain why this post is late this morning.

It seems that my idea of Tuesday interviews just isn't working. Several interviews I have sent out weeks ago have yet to be returned. Grrr! Chris, if you're reading this, that means you! So I shall simply interview people when I feel I can, and if ever I get a response, I'll post them up on my blog whenever I get responses. It's not ideal, but it'll have to do.

I am partaking in a discussion on on shameless self-promotion. I've already written on how I feel about the issue in this blog, so I won't bore you with the details, but it so happened that we were talking about blogs. I recalled suddenly that someone had posted a comment on one of my entries and they were from Brazil, and it got me thinking.

I write these entries day after day, never really assuming that anyone actually reads these things. Well, beyond my family and friends (and even that is not certain). It rarely crosses my mind as I type out countless sentences of inane drivel that someone might actually be reading what it is I'm carrying on about.

It blows my mind every time someone bothers to make a comment on my posts, and even more so when that person is a complete stranger from a place like Brazil, or San Fransico, or somewhere else I've yet to visit. It makes me happy, then has me wondering who is out there. What are your stories? Why on earth are you even bothering with my blog? Surely with no news on my writing to report, you must be bored out of your wits. I know I am. There is only so much kitten love, work news (in a workplace that has nothing happening) and Kung Fu stuff that I can conceivably write about and even less that I can imagine anyone wanting to read.

So to all of you, the faceless crowd (I dare say I'm flattering myself by assuming that there is a crowd of people who read my blog) who read and to those that comment, a huge thank-you for bothering at all! I am flattered beyond words and I hope that you at least enjoyed one or two of my posts. Now I'll stop drivelling and go back to ... something ... there must be something for me to do ...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nothing to Report

But I'm making an entry anyway.

The kittens are well, and really annoying their mother, which is amusing and sad at the same time. Persephone has absolutely no patience for children!

I've discovered a new song. In truth it was Papa who found it and thought I'd like it, so he made me listen. I loved it! The song is called Ghost of a Rose and it's by Blackmore's Night. As soon as I heard it, images of a ballroom filled with dancers dressed like they were in a Tim Burton period production, surrounded by candles and dancing endlessly. It was brilliant. I made my flatmate listen to it as soon as I got home from Dad's place last night, and she agreed with me. It was beautiful, and belonged in a Tim Burton film! She was so impressed by the song, she bought it from iTunes right away. Lovely.

Ida, my friend from Norway, left Canada Sunday night. She's sorely missed already. It was really lovely to see her again, though I feel bad as I was financially unprepared to spoil her rotten like I should have. Nevertheless, it was wonderful that she came and I'm very thrilled to have had her stay for two weeks. Back to normality, I suppose.

Well, nothing from Tor and nothing terribly exciting at the moment. I'll stop boring you and go back to trying to drum up some sensible story ideas.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and will have a lovely week!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Still no news from Tor.

I think I might preface every post with that so you all get as annoyed with waiting as I do!

I received another lovely comment on my book at

Gripping and well-written. I love fantasy and though I favor the easy reads because I have 5 kids, I'd pick this one in a heartbeat. You set up the stage and delivered. Can't wait to read more. Will ahelve it

And, last night Herne climbed the bed sheets in order to curl up against my arm last night. It made for a really uncomfortable sleep, but I just couldn't bring myself to move. No one has known love until a one-month-old kitten abandons it's siblings to curl up against you and sleep. I'm going to have such trouble giving him away!


Well, that about covers my news for the day. Sad, really. So, without boring you further, have a Happy Thanksgiving Canada, and a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to everyone else!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The book that shares the title of this blog is now available on Click here to take a look. I've only read the little snippets that Author Anna L. Walls has made available. From this little bit, however, it looks like a brilliant read! Luckily for me, I get a free signed copy. Not so lucky for you.

However, in support of my friend Anna, and the fact that her book deserves to be read, I'm putting this out for everyone to check out. Buy it. You won't regret it!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


There really isn't much to talk about, after having off-loaded my "inner turmoil" yesterday, other than the fact that this post is coming to you late because my alarm did not go off this morning and my cat, for once, decided to exercise the greatest patience. It resulted in my being awake, and her fed, exactly one hour after both were supposed to occur.

Speaking of cats, the kittens are so adorable, I don't think I'll be able to say goodbye to them very easily. We have found homes for Calli-Rose and Herne. Smeagol is still waiting, though we have one prospective owner (or should I say servant?) who is sitting on the fence right now. If she agrees to take him in, then all our wonderful, beautiful kittens will have found a good home with good owners/ staff. That makes me happy.

In other, completely unrelated news, I'm exceptionally happy to be able to watch Hey, Hey It's Saturday (a show I grew up with in Australia that is now back on the air) online from Canada. Now, why can't Good News Week be as generous! Of all the shows on in the land of Oz at the moment, it's Good News Week I'd most like to watch.... If anyone knows how I can watch GNW from Canada online, please direct me (none of the podcasts work, and the Channel Ten website will gladly show the ads, but not the episodes!).

In Archaeology news, another smaller stone circle near Stonehenge has been unearthed near the river Avon. The article on said that it was part of the greater funerary complex of which Stonehenge was a focal point, then later noted that the Bluestones used in this latest find were likely removed and utilised during the construction of Stonehenge. Not to split hairs here, but a site that has been de-constructed to become part of another site nearby cannot be used simultaneously as the site that now no longer exists because it was disassembled to use in the new site. I'm splitting hairs here, but this piece of reporting was a bit shoddy at worse, and dreadfully unclear at best.

Perhaps I'm just cranky because I was 15 minutes late for work this morning... and haven't had breakfast. Time for porridge, I think.

Have a great morning everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fears and Frustrations

Well, the end of this month will herald the end of the two month wait until I can expect that anyone at Tor has even opened the envelope containing my book proposal. After that, I can expect a wait of up to four months before I hear anything. As busy as I try to keep myself, it seems that I have enough time to be vexed about it all. Perhaps I should take up something else as well!

That is not the most vexing thing about this terrifying wait though. What is even more frustrating, what has me in cold sweats and sometimes unable to sleep at night is the fact that all the story snippets I have in my head, all the ones I have written down and typed up, are going absolutely nowhere. I can't make sense of them. I can't see a pattern in them. They just are - brain explosions on paper that are just sitting there doing nothing and going nowhere.

I know that I am probably stressing unnecessarily here. After all, I first imagined Julian (my main character) some eleven years ago, and it took this long to get him into a completed narrative. Though to be fair I only seriously sat down to write about him after I finished University two years ago. Even still, Julian's tale was different from these other ones. There was an urgency to tell it, a profound driving need to get the story out and bring it to life. This drive is decidedly lacking in all the other ideas.

Granted, that's probably because these ideas are still in their infancy. They haven't yet been fleshed out and given direction. And yet....

I'm so afraid right now that The Great Man was the only story I had in me. I'm terrified that I won't have a career as an author because of it. I'm irritated that none of my other ideas seem to be going anywhere and I'm frustrated at myself for being so unable and so damned unsure.

Just get up and get it done, right?

Every morning I try and say a positive affirmation to set me straight for the day. For the past month, I've told myself that there are many stories that I have the wit and ability to tell. Even though I've been telling myself this for months, I'm still filled with nagging doubt and weighty fear.

This sucks!

*Deep breath*

Alright, I'm done whinging about how inept I feel right now. I'm off to read some stories on and then collect more of those ideas that are still swilling around my head. Hopefully this feeling won't last that long and I'll be deep into another tale before the month is out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thank-you, Kittens and Other Things

Hi everyone,

I think I saw some sun peeping through the clouds this morning, and that has put me in a wonderful mood. I felt like I was living in Britain with all the cloud and rain that we've had for days on end. It's nice to see the colour yellow in the sky, let me tell you!

Right, on to business. The Run for the Cure was held on Saturday. My beautiful, friend Trina ran with a spectacular time of 43:00 (hell, I can't run at all, so I'm in awe of the time!). Her fund-raising goal was $150.00 and thanks to your generosity, she managed to raise $555.00!

An enormous, shining thank-you from the deepest place of my heart for your help with her fund-raising efforts. You are all heroes and I heart you all!

Our kittens celebrate their one month birthday on the 7th of this month. They have started to roam from their "cave" (read here: my wardrobe) into the bright world of my bedroom. On Friday, they made it as far as under my bed (about a foot away from the wardrobe). By last night, they were happily out of my bedroom and trundling down the hall. It's the cutest thing in the world because they still haven't gotten used to their legs yet and they are continually tripping over themselves, each other and any object they stumble across. It's even more adorable when they play-fight with each other, their uncoordinated pouncing generally turns into a turtle-like attempt to get back on their feet. They make me so happy!

In other, very happy news, I've had a couple more comments on

This is amazingly well-written and the topic really interests me. I love love love it! great despricption and beautiful imagery. One of the best I've read here. Beautiful! You definitely have a talent and I can't wait till you upload more. I will def. be reading on. this has caught my interest. shelved.
-Cara (first, to dream of love)


There is more than a nod to Lord of the Rings here. This seems like a story played on an epic scale. Your prologue is rich and full-bodied, it sets the perfect tone that you are about to embark on some magnificent journey. Once the book got underway though I did feel like I should have been taking notes. There was a concern that I might not remember all these names and various facts, which were important for the future story and which were superfluous? This is a book that will be embraced by the hard-core Fantasy lover. I might not be one but I know what they like, so I'm sure that this will do well when it finds it's audience. What I will say it that for your writing ability alone, I'm happy to back your book.

Sigh. Life is good today! That's it from me. Have a happy Monday everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I've Won and Other Things

Here's something fun! I've won something! Don't laugh at my excitement, it very rarely happens!

A few weeks ago I participated in a Q&A at C.C. Chronicles with author Anna L. Walls for a chance to win her self-published novel King by Right of Blood and Might, and it's signed! Yippee! I've very excited as Anna and I had started communicating a while back through and later on facebook (small side note, networking works!). So, I intend to read it as soon as I receive it (which probably will be a while since Anna lives in a remote part of Alaska) and write a review of it here and perhaps, if time permits, interview her. Yippee! I'm very excited.

Last night's entertainments was a lot of fun, and made me miss university something fierce! It's nice to see such a show of support from the community for the Celtic Studies programme. I'm very pleased that it is now a minor. Paul Birt, Ottawa Chair of Celtic Studies, did a fabulous job of organising the event. There were a few (blissfully short) speeches, followed by some amazing performances - singers who sung in Irish and Scottish Gaelic and also a small Welsh group that sung with an accompanying harp. It was simply lovely. The evening ended with a few great tunes on the bagpipes played by a woman from the Sons of Scotland (irony much?) pipe band.

Also, completely by chance (from the comments of Wednesday's blog), I stumbled across, a website run by the HarperCollins group where you, as a writer seeking representation, can upload a few chapters of your book/s and have others comment and possibly find representation. Pretty awesome. Check it out.

I've put up some choice sections of my first book, The Third Prince, for all and sundry to review, and thus far, I've gotten very, very positive feedback! It has made me blush. There are only two comments thus far, but I've copied them here so you can read them:

Excellent job. Great descriptive prose, well set up and executed.
I didn't see a thing I would change.
Not the kind of story I would normally pick for myself, but I see nothing but good writing here.
MickR - The Nightcrawler

Thanks MickR! And my favourite comment:

Hi Sonia, Mick recommended this to me so I came over to have a look. I'll be very honest, this kind of high fantasy epic is not my usual fare and, when I first looked at this yesterday, I was a bit put off by your prologue sections and didn't read further. I thought they were well-written and deeply sonorous in best epic style - but just not my game. However, based on Mick, I came back and read beyond. As I say, I'm not really in a good position to give you any meaningful crit. It put me in mind of Lord of the Rings (of course - see how limited my reading is here!) and your world is incredibly well-imagined and resonant. When we leave the background and launch into the here and now, with people we can relate to, I am far more at home!
Putting my personal preferences aside, I think this is incredibly well-done and should be of huge interest to fantasy fans. I am in awe - you have written this in its entirety? Respect.
My concern is that, by putting all the books up here, you will overwhelm readers and dilute the backings you receive. The advice people here seem to give is to put up just the one book initially and, when that is flying high, to post the next one. Just a thought.

Anyhow, I've backed you (put your book on my shelf) and really hope this attracts a lot of interest here.

Sigh. I am very happy this morning!

That's all from the peanut gallery. Until next time!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just For Whqtt

Alright, not really just for Whqtt, but it is my own stuff this time, so I thought I'd honour him in my title!

A couple of things. Today is the first of October. Well, you already knew that. That's not the interesting bit. The interesting bit is that this evening I'm off to a function at the University of Ottawa to celebrate the creation of the Celtic Studies Minor. Yay! I am very much a Celtic Studies lover. I adore the field and should I become an academic (still trying to get there, despite my aspirations of becoming a published Fantasy author), that is the field I intend to pursue. I studied almost all the classes offered in Celtic Studies (with the exception of the language classes, but I fully intend to learn Welsh) and so spent a great deal of time with the Chair of Celtic Studies, Paul Birt. We are now good friends and I occasionally look after his gorgeous dog Brân while he's away. I am also a corrector for some Celtic studies programmes, though not this term, as I, in between moving, getting a teaching gig for Martial Arts, and looking after the kittens, forgot to apply. I'll apply for the winter term. In any case, I'm very excited that it has become a Minor now and I am really looking forward to this evening.

In kitten news, our last, unnamed kitten is now named. We've decided to call him Herne (as in Herne the Hunter of British folklore). I'd love to thank everyone who submitted names for consideration. Since there was only one here on blogger, I've decided that should my book ever get published, I'll be sending them a free copy, although we didn't chose that name. Thanks again.

In publicity news, I've been searched again. This time from Oslo, Norway. It made me giggle, since I have staying with me my friend from Norway! Coincidence? Probably.

In weather news, it's too bloody cold for this time of the year! And can we please have some sun?

That's all! I hope you are all well.