Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Postal workers could strike this week


Oh, fwonderful...  My pretty blonde head is calculating chances of receiving some printed copies of the novel in time for a speaking engagement in June.

All the more reason to get that eBook version ready. I'm just so tuckered out since the move to the little apartment. I am sooo looking forward to return to work, only to worry about disk space for bloated mailboxes rather than storage space in a smaller apartment :o}

CBC News
Posted: May 30, 2011 10:44 AM ET  Last Updated: May 30, 2011 7:44 PM ET
Postal workers could strike this week
Mail service could stop Friday if contract isn't reached
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/05/30/canada-post-strike.html

Let's hope contract issues can be resolved soon. Regular, "traditional" postal service is featured fondly in the novel that takes place in the 1970s.  There was no email, no texting or Twitter.  Such simpler times. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book sales have doubled!

Wow!  I am happy to see that May sales for The Year of the Rabbit have doubled over April's.  Thanks, folks!  

The book is for sale for only $12 at CreateSpace and Amazon.  Once things have settled after our move to the smaller home :o( I will get that eBook version ready.  It's a matter of convincing a resident "artist in the making" to help with the new cover image....

What's the book about? 

A young priest, resigned to going through the motions of following the teachings of the church in a small Muskoka town during the 1970s, finds his true calling through unexpected encounters with his precocious love child and his attempts to protect her from the evils in the world.

A little girl tries to make sense of her lonely world and sees the Year of the Rabbit as one of hope due to the birth of her illegitimate nephew.

This novel has been a four-year labour of love. Come read about Gio, Sera and Aunt Georgette. Follow their encounters with fate, family and forgiveness. 

Still not convinced?  Sample and taste some excerpts from the rough draft. 

Thanks for hopping by :o)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feminine Archetypes


As you read the story, you will notice reference to various feminine or "goddess" archetypes. Some of these came about subconsciously during the novel's four-year gestation period. I chose a couple of them intentionally once I saw the pattern forming.

Sera is a child of nature and eventually a heroine-maiden.  We have a couple of characters who play the femme fatale, companion and lover.  Then we have a few Crones - wise older women.  During my research, I found many other Feminine or Goddess archetypes.

With Mother's Day coming this Sunday, I wanted to provide an excerpt in honour of Sera's mother.  It is no secret that Marie's character dies in this story.  In an earlier post, we already saw Sera struggle with the reality of her mother's impending death. 

In the following excerpt, we see another example of how Sera easily bonds with the wise, older woman.  Eleven year-old Sera is attending the reception at Rachelle Johnson's house after Marie's funeral.

~ ~ ~

Georgette conscripted Dela and Gwen to help her and Rachelle with the food preparation, serving and cleanup.  Jenny and Carl dropped by with trays of finger foods from the Red Hare. Sera successfully avoided helping, wandered from room to room, and begrudgingly accepted hugs from adults.  She eventually escaped to the Johnson’s front porch where she found Walter sitting beside his Grandmother on the swing.

“Hey, Sera,” he called to her, “Come over and join us.”

Sera walked slowly towards them in her hard-soled dress shoes, tapping lightly on the floorboards.  She smoothed out the skirt of her black velvet dress.  Georgette had insisted on putting a white ribbon in her hair, to hold back the unruly dark curls.  She felt pretty yet awkwardly vain wearing the dress.

Walter’s Grandma wore a black dress with button-up collar, black stockings and black lace-up shoes.  Her salt-and-pepper hair was tied into two long braids and wrapped into a bun at the back of her head.  Her attire was a somber change from the usual greens and browns Sera remembered her wearing during past visits to the Fletcher home.  Walter wore black denim pants, a white dress shirt with a bolero tie and a black vest.  Sera thought that he looked very handsome. 

She spoke as she approached, “Hi, Walter.  Hello, Mrs. George.”

The old woman smiled, said a few words in Ojibwa and reached out for Sera, as if for a hug.

“Oh, gosh,” thought Sera.  She immediately felt the polite thing to do was to accept the woman’s hug.  So many people wanted to hug her today!  

Sera leaned forward  — almost into the old woman’s lap and reached her own arms around Mrs. George’s neck.  As usual, she smelled like wood smoke and rose-scented soap.  She spoke a few more unrecognizable words then said in broken English, “Be brave, little one.  Your mother has gone to join her ancestors. She is no longer in pain.”

“Thank you.  I know,” responded Sera then attempted to pull away.

With a gentle push, Edith George passed Sera over to Walter, as if it was his turn to give her a hug.  He smiled and pulled her in for a couple of pats on the back.  Sera breathed in his shirt, the fresh soap scent and perspiration on his neck.  He smelled so good. She didn’t want to pull away. 

Mrs. George pulled her back and turned her around to sit between them on the swing. 

“Whoa, Grandmother!” said Walter nervously, “I don’t know if this can hold all three of us!”  He stood up and turned towards them.  Mrs. George already had her left arm around Sera, in a partial embrace to her side.  Sera looked surprised and awkward.

Walter adjusted his brown belt and straightened his vest, “I’m going to get something to drink.  Grandmother, I saw some orange soda in there.  Would you like one?”

“Yes, please.”

“Sera?” he asked.

Sera looked up at him with widened green eyes.  “No, thank you,” she answered softly then adjusted her position beside Mrs. George, curling her legs up to the side and under her skirt.  She decided she might as well go with the moment.  

She leaned in and closed her eyes. 

He left them to swing gently back and forth while Mrs. George hummed a tune to the girl and gently stroked her curly hair. Sera closed her eyes.  She let herself go, feeling a calm that she hadn’t felt for a long while. 

~ ~ ~
End excerpt

Monday, May 2, 2011

For the Love of Libraries


Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work in the public library of my small Muskoka town.  Over the three-month work term I shelved books, helped with the children's reading circle, exercised my creativity and made friends.  I also got distracted with all the different books one could read.  There were just not enough hours in the day!  

I look back at that time with fond memories.   

In my novel, the public library was one of the places where Sera could seek comfort, familiarity and through reading - escape.  In her topsy-turvy world, she appreciated how it could also provide a sense of order.

~ ~ ~
Excerpt:

   Sera stood with an armful of books in front of the metallic shelves.  Ms. Perkins, the librarian was so pleased to have this girl helping out.  She could finally get caught up on her crossword puzzles. 

   Sera stood in the first aisle, re-shelving and re-organizing books on philosophy and religion.

   100 for Philosophy and Psychology.  She put three books back in their proper order.

   200 for Religion.  Two more books back into their proper place.

   She liked the feeling of order.  That Dewey guy must have had a lot of time on his hands.  I like this.  Things make sense here.  Every book has a place in relation to other books and topics.  It keeps my mind busy. 

   While she was in her trance, sorting and re-shelving, she didn't hear her Aunt enter the library.   A few of the teenaged boys who were studying at the tables turned to watch the attractive copper-haired woman as she peeled off her fur coat and strutted down the aisles of book cases.  Georgette thought to herself, I can't remember the last time I was in a library!  I like the hardwood floor though.  Reminds me of my dance studio days....

   Sera emerged from her trance by the sound of click, click heels making a steady tap dancing like sound on the hardwood floors.  She turned and smiled as she saw her aunt round the corner of shelves towards her. 

   "Aunt Georgette!" she exclaimed, "What are YOU doing in a library?"

  "Very funny, ma ch√©rie.  I have been known to read a book or two, you know."

   "Sure..." Sera smiled as she slid the last book into its place and whispered,  "But really.. is everything okay?"
~ ~ ~
End excerpt