Category Archives: Writing

I’m still here

Wow. I didn’t realize it’d been so long since I last posted. I’ve been a little busy.

I’ve started a new series of novellas, co-writing with author MJ Moores.  It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at demons and cryptids. At the moment I’m editing the first book and the plan is to have it ready for Hallowe’en.  These will be e-books, with every 4 put together in print:  total stories –>  28.

Also on the go is Generation Witch: Rebirth. The edits are about 1/2 way done and that also needs to be ready for my editor by fall.

This weekend I’m at Ad-Astra with MJ and three other authors. I’ll try to get some pics as there will be a lot of people in costume, and they re amazing.

Ta-ta for now 🙂

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10,000 Steps a Day

For the past couple of years I’ve been like many people – wearing a fitbit (or something similar). I don’t always get in 10k steps, most days barely get 5k.  I found out something interesting today while watching a BBC program I recorded.

Seems there is NO scientific reason for this number. Nothing at all. No studies, no tests. Apparently, it was invented by a Japanese company that produced a pedometer called the manpo-kei – or 10,000-step meter – at the time of the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

Mind Blown! Once the fitbit dies, I think I’ll go back to one of my many watches.

mindblown

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Nano 2018 update

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OK, changed my mind. Instead of doing several short stories, I’m going for book 4 in my Detective Hodgins Series. As usual, I’m starting with nothing more than a few notes. This series has two ‘things’ that are consistent:  (1) each story is very loosely based on articles I find in the old newspapers – pre-1920, usually pre-1900, (2) he has to go somewhere in York Region during the investigation.

I found several stories and may actually pull in stuff from a few instead of just the one. cropped-hodgins-badgeHaven’t figured out where in York he’s going yet. Book 1 took him to Stouffville, Book 2 he visited Woodbridge (and Kingston), Book 3 Hodgins came to my home town of Aurora, with a side trip to Berlin (now Kitchener). I’ll have to take a gander at the old rail line and see where it went in 1875. Still have a few days for research.

Even though I’m making my 3rd attempt at this, I’ll also be participating in the Writers’ Community of York Region‘s Mini Nano. We set our own goals, minimum word count a measly 1,000. I’ve logging in for 12k. That much I know I can do. Since I work 3 days a week, that leaves 4-day weekends to write at Cardinal Press Espresso Bar in Newmarket.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Mystery, Nanci Pattenden, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Seance, Real or Fake?

Last night I attended a seance at Black Creek Pioneer Village at the north end of Toronto.

seance

While doing a walk-through, a couple of people saw a small musical carousel move and play, and several people heard it, but didn’t see it. I heard and saw nothing.

Not much happened until the Ouija board came out in the basement.  As soon as he (Jaymes White) placed it on the table, minor stuff started. As questions were asked, the planchett (the little push paddle) never moved, but …

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I think the first major thing was the sound of a bouncing ping pong ball. The sound came from the far corner where no one was. With a little searching, it was found, apparently still moving. Other bangs were heard. I was looking into the brewery section and heard what sounded like a chair moving across a wood floor. Very loud and distinct. No one was in that room.

At one point, one of the ladies said her and her mother had to leave because her mother was freaked out. After he escorted them up and out, a shelf on a small case crashed down. The closest person was about 2-3 feet away.  When he came back down, he pulled it away from the wall to see if anything was behind it. Nothing. The shelf was put back and I picked up the candle holder that ended up on the floor. Then it was time for the seance.

He tried to contact the son first. A few small sounds here and there, then he asked for the father. Major noise. During the seance, we heard the carousel, only three or four notes, but we heard it. Several notes played on one of the pianos, the low notes. Something was thrown, hard, to the floor. And something EXTREMELY loud crashed behind a bar.

When the lights were turned on at the end, a very old ball, about the size of a tennis ball was found. We could find nothing that caused the crashing sound.

Was this all set up? Was it real? The building is a museum so I don’t know how much permission would have been given to rig things, especially to cause a shelf to drop, potentially damaging one of the items. Real or Fake, this was a totally cool and freaky experience. I’d definitely recommend it to others and would go on it again.

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NaNoWriMo 2018

I’ve decided to attempt NaNo again. I’ve tried twice and didn’t make it to 50,000 in November. This time I’m going to attempt a collection of short stories. If I can do 1 story of 12,000 each week, with a sprint on the last day I should make it with a total of 5 stories.

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Getting your books to the public

I was asked to do a blog on how to get into bookstores. The process is easy, but it can take time. Basically all you have to do is ask. If you’re lucky enough to have a local bookstore, go in or email and ask if they take consignment books. I’ve found they usually take a smaller percentage than the box stores. And most want to promote local talent.

If you want to get into someplace like Chapters/Indigo it can be done. I’ve done it and several of my friends have as well. The first step is to go in or phone and ask if they take consignments. Not all do. They’ll provide a contact name for the person who handles your genre. It’s usually a different person for adult and children’s books. The ones I’ve contacted so far have provided an email for me to make a formal request. One asked me to drop off a copy so he could review it first.  Be warned — they take 45% commission.

Currently, my books are in two locations. One is a local coffee shop. The owners are big on promoting local talent and always have someone’s art work/photography up on the walls for sale. They’ve also made arrangements with the writing organization I belong to, The Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR) to have our published authors sell their books. The commission fee is waaaaaay lower than Chapters. A small bookstore about an hour east of me also has my books, but unfortunately she’s closing in March. Too many small businesses of all types are closing their doors these days.

Don’t forget about craft fairs and farmers’ markets. The cost of a booth can be as low as $25. Higher end fairs or conferences can run over $100, but if you have a friend who’s also an author, you can usually split a table.

As the saying goes, think outside the box. Do you write children’s books? Check with a local store that sells children’s clothing or toys. They might be willing to sell your books. Do you write about horses? How about the local equestrian store? If you live in a small community with only a few stores, one of them might be more than happy to promote the local author.

Check everywhere you think is a fit for your book. After all, asking is free.


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First Book Signing

Well, it’s official. I confirmed my first book signing. On June 13 I’ll be live and in person at Chapters Newmarket, 17440 Yonge Street at 11 am. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a few more locations later in the year. Oh, and I might even have a new book available for launch in June.

If you want to keep posted on my book selling spots, sign up for my newsletter. There’s a link on the right side of my blog, or you can click http://eepurl.com/dc-za1.

chapters

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Mystery, Nanci Pattenden, Writing