I am an author.

When I first found out that I was pregnant, after the hysteria passed, I got excited about all the things I would teach my child.  I would teach them everything I had learned.  I could show them what I knew of the world.  I planned on teaching them the same lessons I was grateful to have learned, and would avoid the lessons I wished I hadn’t learned.  But mostly I wanted to teach them the lessons I had learned too late; the ones that stung a bit too much to learn the hard way.  

Let me tell you, I was a way better parent before I had kids.  I was so wrong.  

When I met Halia, she let me know quite quickly that we weren’t going to be following my plan, because she had one of her own.  Halia has been my mirror since the day she was born, showing me how the world sees me, and always demanding to know the next step.  She’s kept me accountable for my actions, and forced me to be the best version of me I could be.  

And then I met Leona, who had a much different lessons for me.  

With Leona I’ve learned to stop and look around.  I’ve learned it’s okay to wander away from the crowd and dance when there’s a good beat, even if I’m the only one who can hear it.  I’ve learned the joy of being silly, and that it’s okay to wear plaid, florals and stripes in the same outfit as long as you have the attitude to go with it.  I’ve learned that everyone has a story, there’s an adventure to be found anywhere, and that there’s no limit to the number of times she can make me question my own sanity.  

So, having learned all these valuable lessons, I did what any parent would do: figure out a way to profit from their children.  

I’d like to thank everyone for coming and for those who helped make yesterday possible.  It’s been a fun ride and I’m humbled by the love and support I’ve been given.
A big thank you to Christina at Starving Artist Gallery Cafe for hosting the event and for her help throughout the planning process.  Everyone raved about the food, the art, the venue.  Everything was perfect.  And I even came home with some new art.
I can’t even express the gratitude I have for Becky, English Dave, and Del Davis.  Without their encouragement I might not have even tried.   I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such amazing friends as these three, but I am so grateful I do.
Thanks goes out to John, who still loved and supported me even when I was going (still am) a bit crazy with stress and being stretched too thing.  And of course for the flowers.
A big shout out to Chris Brown, an amazing and talented musician who played the entire event.  I received so many compliments on the music.  I’ve always been a supporter of musicians, but this guy… I’d fund every project he wanted to work on if I could.  

I was asked quite a few times yesterday if I am working on more books.  I am working on the second book in the Halia and Leona series with the working title “Mom, who’s Mackulay Culkin?”  

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My kid brother is a jerk.

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My little brother, when we were young, liked to come up behind me when I was busy with other things, kick me, push me, or just plain bug me, and then skip away giggling.  It was annoying at the time, but hind sight has that thing it does…

The last two weeks were tough for me.  I was completely overwhelmed with everything.  The list of things piling up, piled higher.  Work was more stressful that it should have been.  My personal life was more stressful than it should have been.  My personal demons were clawing at my back.  I felt like I was drowning.  I felt like nothing was going right.  At one point, I stopped in the middle of doing three different things, and for the life me, I just couldn’t remember why I was trying as hard as I was.  What was I trying to accomplish again?  Why was it so important?  What’s the harm in just giving up?

That feeling stayed with me for a few days.  People told me I looked tired, and I was tired.  Tired right down into the very soul of my existence.  My uphill trek had gained me no ground.  I felt like a fraud, spouting off bullshit phrases about working hard, being positive, and progress being progress.
I almost didn’t make it, but I dragged myself to the first yearly meeting of my writing group, and had my battery recharged a bit when I received applause for the upcoming book launch and by being with those wonderful, creative people.  And then had it charged a bit more when I learned I had come in third for the poetry writing contest.
The next day I went to my publishers office, and held the proof copy of my book in hand.  I saw the pictures, the text, and my name on the cover.  It was one of those ‘Holy shit, I did it!’ kind of moments.

Progress is kind of like my little brother.  It arrives quietly without ceremony or a parade. It sneaks up on you when your busy doing other things, kicks your ass, and skips away giggling because of the trick it played on you.   Hindsight being what it is, I still think he’s a jerk.

Over the last two years, I’ve re-written my life.  I’ve bought rental property and renovated it.  I’ve started two businesses.  I’ve gotten a book published, and am working on more.  I’ve done so many new things, learned so many things, and grown in so many ways.  Sometimes we all need a kick in the ass to remind us to look behind us for a moment.

Work hard and don’t be an asshole.
Stay positive.  And if you can’t be positive, smile till you are.
Progress is progress, no matter how small.

A New Adventure

Last year I started a new adventure, which ended up rewriting my entire life.  Sixteen months later and my life barely resembles what it used.  The only mainstay are my girls, and my closest friends who stuck with me through the growing pains.

Part of my adventure was to actually do something with my writing.  I opened up a new site that will feature my novels once they are written.  But in the process, I actually wrote a children’s book as well.  It has been sent to the publisher, edited and translated into French.  The goal is to have it done this summer.

Lucky for me, the publisher allowed me to use my good friend to do the drawings, which I know will mean it takes longer as he is a busy guy, but it also means that it is a complete labour of love for my two lovely ladies who inspired the story and keep me going.  Being that it is a labour of love, I’ve decided to release the children’s books under my own name and not my pen name.

Below are a few rough sketches.  I can’t wait to see the finished copies.  He is so talented, yet so humble.

A Pot to Piss in and a Bucket of Lists

A Pot to Piss in and a Bucket of Lists
Everyone has a bucket list (Thank you Morgan Freeman!)  I think my list is pretty simple, nothing insane on it like these things, but things that fit me, my lifestyle, and things that are dear to me.
1. Own Income Property. The first item on my list is one that I have been working on since the first year we bought our house.  My husband and I are working on paying our house off early.  When we first bought our house 3 years ago, I was pregnant and agreed to sign a 35 year mortgage. (I was worried about having money, and the lower bi-weekly payments eased my pregnant mind.) Knowing now what a mistake that was, one of the conditions of our mortgage is that we can pay extra money on our principal, which I do.  So far in 3 years, we’ve knocked 12 years off that mortgage.  Our ultimate goal is to have it paid in 15 years or less.
What does my current mortgage have to do with income properties? Well, once we’ve paid our first mortgage off, we plan to continue to put the same amount into the bank each month as though we still had that mortgage, and after 2 years, use that money to start buying income properties.  And once that building is close to being paid off, we’ll again use profits saved to buy more.  Not a get rich scheme, but one slowly built.  (My oldest will be finished high school at that point, and probably hopefully might be in college or university then.
2. Retire Early.  I think this is the goal of most people. Who wants to work for ‘The Man’ till the day you die?  Currently with my current retirement saving plan, I am on schedule to retire by the age of 65.  However, amy goal is 55.  And if our plan for income properties works out, that should happen.  Just 10834 more days till then.  :S
3. A Successful Blog.  Well, I guess I have started that as well.  I did have a regular reader base in the age of Geo Cities and My Space, but life and expired memberships killed that. So, here I am again, starting new, with so far 2 readers (Thank you, Dave and Jamie). My goal is to have a successful blog with interesting ‘stuff’, reasearched articles, contests for my reader base, long comment sections , and an impact on others lives.  How am I doing so far?  Everyone full of soup?
4. Have something published.  In my Pre marriage/Kids/Crazy @ Work days, I wrote a lot.  I have most of a book written, poetry, short stories, essays completed… And its all hidden away in a desk drawer for NO ONE to see.  I’d like to one day have SOMEONE read these and have them published.  Maybe I should start with posting some of my short stories on here.  Would that count as being published?
5. Play in a Band. I played in one in high school, but we never did anything of any significance.  After seeing Jonny Lang and Buddy Guy however, this desire is more intense.  I think my biggest obstacle might be my husband, truthfully.  He very much wants to as well, but sadly our music tastes and talents are in much different directions from each other.  My girlfriend Arlene and I have joked talked about it, but that is as far as it gets.  In order for this to happen, however, I need to start playing again, which brings me to…
6. Learn to play one instrument well.  I know how to play a bit of guitar, a bit of piano, I can carry a tune (and not make people cringe), a bit of trumpet, and I was decent on the saxophone. The only instrument I feel I was ever really good as was the flute, and I had little desire to excel at it.  So little in fact, that most people didn’t even know I played it, like it was a secret.  Maybe instead of signing up for that free sociology class, I should into music lessons.
7.   Complete a marathon.  I don’t know which one yet, but I’d like to say I did one.  There are some really cool ones out there. http://www.diabetes.ca/get-involved/supporting-us/team-diabetes/international/
8. Go on a World Vision Trip.  Its a big world out there, and I want to see it all.
Did I miss anything?

Hello world!

Its been a long time since I’ve had a blog; so long in fact that its been torn down due to non use (and silly me didn’t back up any of my posts. There was some good shit on there. No… Really!)
This blog was started because my husband was surprised that I used to write and blog (5 years of marriage, and it hadn’t come up before?) and since its on my bucket list to have a blog that is read by someone other than one friend (I’m looking at you, Dave!) I figure I better get started now.
When I used to write, the best method I found to get started was to just start to write, and eventually the purpose of the writing would reveal itself.
Not that I wish to disclose my age, but when I used to write, pen and paper were still the common starting ground. And not just because I like vintage things.
I haven’t decided what the theme or purpose of my blog will be yet, but I like to get to places through a bit of floundering anyways, so I’m sure that will come. I suppose it should be about something I’m good at, something I’m passionate about, something someone will want to read about…
Well… Shit… What the hell is that?