Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I think I can do this! With my writing partner.

I've started my second novel.  It's been semi-outlined for a while but now I've started the actual writing.  This is a completely different book than my romantic love story that is scheduled for August release.  This book is a dark story, full of morals and themes of course, but there is some unpleasantness, murder, crime and it's high suspense.  Think "if Stephen King was a poet."  I always joke that I'm as good as Stephen King-just not at writing.

I love this story.  I feel like it's original and worth writing.  But for a while I wondered if I could actually do it justice.  Now that the writing has started, guess whose back?  My muse.  Until recently I didn't realise that a lot of people actually name their muse or actually feel their presence as a real entity.  I've also discovered that most women writers have a female muse and most male writers have a male muse.  I had to be different, I have a male muse.  He's handsome, exciting, passionate, alive, creative and sometimes I read what I've written and understand that I didn't do it at all, it was all him.  So I've named him, well actually he already had a name, but I won't share it here.

Now we writers, we're not completely nuts(just mostly).  The muse is simply inspiration and writing in inspiration is a little like magic.  As humans we personify everything we cannot explain.  Inspiration literally means "in spirit" so there is some magic involved.  Yes the craft is important.  You have to be able to spin the tale, you have to smithy the words and hammer the hot forge of analogy and simile.  You have to be able to write reasonable and believable dialogue, you have to be able to describe a scene that transports your readers and you have to be able to come up with a story people want to read.

Then there is inspiration.  That unexplained bit of magic where a twist in the story you didn't expect dawns on you as you walk the dog and you rush home to take notes, where you suddenly see the scene where the characters are as though you are there with them or at least their God looking down on them.  That is inspiration and it's what makes a story transcend. It's what separates fiction from great fiction. It's my favourite part of the process.

Anyway, I've missed my writing partner, he who shall remain nameless, and it's good to be working with him again!  He's got some great ideas for this story and I think we'll do it justice with time and trust.  I think the full moon is his ride home.

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Her Journey

Her Journey

The path weaving into the future
tempts the wanderer to stray from the cleaving
yet she yields her machete neat and carves her own trail.
Stumbling, she hacks at the overgrowth of cynicism
leaving discarded foliage and tracks
never considering her attempt would fail.

Outcome is never a consideration
even when she attempts to cross the raging river
the path, while not obvious, is resplendent
and she carries on to the clearing
steadfast though her body wearies
into a destination that is transcendent.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quarantined and Painting :)

Little girl number 4 got the chicken pox and has been home all week. I have had to cancel all my volunteer work and missed my interview with the mayor this morning. Then I got sick. Yeah, me, the one that viruses are supposed to be afraid of! I think it's because I stopped drinking green tea(because it was keeping me awake) and because Martina(pox girl) was so itchy all night for several nights and she was keeping me awake..the system got run down and the virus came in. I had a fever for two nights and I'm still a little out of sorts but my energy is coming back.

I painted the bathroom the day before I got sick and it looks GREAT! Today I tackle the foyer. It's a small job but since the sun will be shining the rest of the week, I'm painting today! Then I'll have a week of sunshine and poetry. The muse loves the vitamin D.

Tonight I have a nice conference call regarding a huge project that I am working on with another person. More to follow on that but it's a direct result of my radio interview on The Power of You radio program on March 1. I hope to do more work in radio and I'm working on a project with April Lindfors(check out the music in my sidebar) who illustrated my poetry book.

Quarantine has been good. I started the next book which is a complete diversion for me. Watch out for a sex scene in the first chapter and some darkness and violence that might seem atypical of me. But the book is a story of lessons and morals and sometimes real life is dark and violent unfortunately. The human spirit is the main character in any good fiction and that's what I'm most excited to write about. I'm hoping to complete it over the summer, first draft anyway and then move forward into the winter for rewrites. Then comes the task of finding a publisher again. Because it is a different genre I'll need a new one. I'll worry about that after she's writ.

Buy my poetry book at Amazon!

Wind Rhymes: Poetry from the Breeze (Volume 1)

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Interesting Writing Blog and a question

I stumbled upon this blog Miss Snark's First Victim and the challenge was to enter the first 25 words(or first sentence) of your novel.

I just started my next novel, a complete change in direction, from a literary romance to a paranormal romance. For fun I thought I would post my beginning here. This is first draft so it may well end up as chapter 5 or 50 or be completely cut before this story sees the light of day.

Let me know what you think. And if you have your own first lines I'd love to read them :)

Fear caught at the back of her throat like an adrenalin hairball. Life can change in a quantum moment. For Shannon that moment came on a hot Tuesday in July.

The Girl Can Write! She Wrote about Me!

Lorette C. Luzajic from The Girl Can Write and Extreme Michael Jackson wrote about her impression of my book, Wind Rhymes; Poetry from the Breeze on her other blog, Little Miss Chatterbox! She also has, I think, two other blogs. There are links on her page to them.

I first met Lorette when I attended the launch of her book, good bye Billie Jean; the meaning of Michael Jackson back in February, though we'd corresponded about the project prior to that. I have a review of her book sitting in my drafts and it's time I finished it up. It's a fantastic project that I am proud to have been a part of. Lorette is a wonderfully warm person and that room was an easy one to walk into considering I knew no one. But then, I do a lot of walking into rooms alone, don't I?

As I read her review I realize my poetry did exactly what it was supposed to do, reveal my truth. It reflects my spiritual beliefs, my personality, my love of poetry, my passion for life, my disregard for any kind of dogma whether it be religious, literary or otherwise. (rules are made...I don't like things that are made, I like things that arrive). Stephen King said, in On Writing, write whatever you want as long as it's true. That was what I did.

I see a lot of angst driven, oh woe is me, the world is a hard place and I'm a victim of it writing and it stems from a common human belief that people are intrinsically bad and negative, somewhat doomed and only occasionally good and I realize I see the world in a completely different way. People are mostly good, want to be good, are meant to have compassion and empathy and go astray occasionally. I jump to the best possible conclusions automatically. I think I get it from my father. I'm not a wallower. I don't like pain and suffering and I pull myself out of any of that as soon as possible. It's probably why I don't like country music(that and the, um, music part of it) and why I waited so long to watch This is It, the Michael Jackson film. I still was sad but I wasn't thrown into despair like I would have been if I hadn't waited until I was ready.

There are worse things to be than optimistic. I don't wear rose-coloured glasses, I see the reality of the world, I know there is pain and suffering, but I choose to focus on hope and possibility rather than despair and negativity because I think that's how I can most be of service. I've been called idealistic and I've thanked the person who called me that, I am indeed.

Anyway, pop over to the review and say hi to Lorette. The girl really can write!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Michael Jackson; Breeze is pissed off!

So my daughter asked me to play the We are the World video for Haiti on YouTube and I said I can't watch, because Michael's not in it. He was such a big part of the original, so young, talented and beautiful then. Then she said "but he is" and so I watched it. Wow! I wept. And of course Michael is in it! And I have to stop listening because every time I hear his voice I cry again.

And it made me realise something. I'm really pissed off. What a loss to the world his death was. I think most people saw Michael Jackson as this abstract sort of weird entertainer dude but those of us who followed his career from the early days, who were as interested in the man as the music, know that he was so much more.

The Michael Jackson I loved was probably the greatest humanitarian of all time. He gave, freely, to so many causes. This world is better because he was here. The ugliness that surrounded him often overshadowed the beauty and sensitivity of the soul that lurked underneath and it was that soul that I miss and mourn.

Michael Jackson was the world. He gave more than any other entertainer to charity and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for that. He participated in humanitarian efforts, he left 20% of his estate to charity.

But he looked different. He acted differently. The meanest and nastiest people found ways to try to destroy his reputation, picking at him bit by bit like the mean school yard bullies pick at the nerd who can't catch a ball yet somehow manages to make the bully feel inferior. And he was ultimately cleared on all charges, they found NOTHING in his home to indicate any guilt of any crime. He spent his life giving away his money, giving his time and occasionally his life was infested by those who spent their lives taking. It happens and it's what happened to Michael.

And then, to make the storm just perfect, he was murdered. The world lost its best and brightest because the person entrusted with his life was one of those takers. The man needed help and support, not medicine, not anesthetics. I'm really pissed off about that. There was so much more he could have done.

I was fortunate recently to be included in an Anthology by Lorette C. Lucajic called goodbye Billie Jean; the meaning of Michael Jackson. I was interviewed by a documentary film maker about Michael Jackson and he asked me what it was that I saw in Michael Jackson and I replied "Peace."

Perhaps that might strike you as an odd answer, most people see the demons around him, the hurt and pain but when I looked into those eyes I saw nothing but pure and unadulterated peace, not because that was what he felt, but because it was what he wished for the world and it radiated like a beacon from his heart and soul. And I'm angry that the beacon was snuffed out to line a greedy man's pocket.

Someday I might feel some sort of compassion for this man who was so misguided as to kill Michael Jackson, but for now I'm not quite that enlightened. I'm really pissed off and I think I'll wallow in it for a while.

Meanwhile, pop off to You Tube and donate OR buy the download of the video and/or song from iTunes. Haiti still needs help and will for a long time. Don't forget Haiti, don't ever forget. Michael wouldn't have!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Look what this kid is doing!

Ethan Dupuis is 6 years old and has autism. His family, dad, mom, sister and brother will be participating in the 2010 Walk of Hope for Autism and need sponsors. I saw the request from a friend on my facebook page and thought, why not! So I donated. I haven't given to charity this month, timing is everything Ethan!

Now I don't know Ethan personally, but I just thought it was a great thing this kid is doing plus this is an important cause. My producer at the television studio has two autistic children with the possibility of a third being on the spectrum. I also did a story on Autism for the show a few months ago and got to experience a little of what a struggle, yet joy, these children are.

So if you have an extra few bucks around, why not support Ethan and his efforts to raise awareness and funds for this worthy cause.

To Read more about ETHAN DUPUIS or to Donate follow this LINK.

Good luck to you and your family on your walk Ethan!

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The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle

A link to the new FACE BOOK PAGE for The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Your Gift; You'll Know it When You Feel it!

I was listening to myself on the radio yesterday, replaying The Power of YOU interview(you know what? I say "it's interesting" a lot!) You can click the link in my right sidebar to listen for yourself.

I noticed that Kimberly asked me a question that I didn't really answer. I'm not sure if I wasn't able to or didn't quite understand what she was reaching for but now I think I have it.

The question she asked was "When did you know it(my writing) was a gift?"

I've been pondering it overnight and I think I can finally answer it.

I think the question of talent, whether you are good at something, often comes from outside appreciation. You sell your books, people comment on your blog that they like your photo, your poetry or your advice. People tell you that you are talented when they compliment your work.

Since, however, I sort of subscribe to the notion "What you think of me is none of my business" AND its close cousin "Be independent of the good opinions of others" mixed in with a good dose of can I answer the question "When did you know you were talented, that you had a gift?"

I think that part of it is from the confirmation from others but it can't be solely based on that. If you are relying on others for their good opinions it may leave you in a state of inertia over the negative ones.

So while a little confirmation is good, it's not a reliable indicator. I love Stephen King, others don't. Both opinions are valid. Stephen King isn't for everyone. Stephen King is still talented in my opinion.

How do you know if you have a gift then? It has to come from inside. You begin to operate from a place of complete knowing that this is what you are supposed to be doing with your life, this is your purpose. Your gift is something you get lost in, it's the thing that makes you lose track of time and brings you joy. Whether or not you are good at it is subjective at best. Certainly we're grateful Stephen King didn't stop writing because he wasn't as good as Hemingway.(Just an example, don't get crazy)

The gift is having that place of joy in your life. If you allow yourself to go there, to practice your art then you will get better and your talent will become evident. Just by virtue of allowing yourself to be on purpose you will become better at your chosen work.

So start now. Don't judge the art, just lose yourself in it. Give yourself permission to pursue your passions. Give yourself the gift of joy and let go of the attachment that it be better than someone else's gift. You'll know it when you feel it.

And speaking of art..check out this painting my my cousin Tonya Hoffe

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Young Artists for Haiti!

Finally the video I've been waiting for! Please click on the LINK and watch the video and go to iTunes to support the effort! Let's not forget Haiti.

Breeze Talks About Weight Loss

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Making Money with your Art.

There seems to be some sort of understanding that to make money in art you either have to "sell out" or that you must have another source of income to subsidize the art.

Many artists buy in to this sort of mindset. I was reading a comment on blog the other day that said "if you are good at selling your book you probably aren't putting the writing first and it probably isn't your passion."

What a defeatist attitude. Is it not possible for a person to be good at, excel at more than one thing?

April Lindfors is the photographer who illustrated my poetry book "Wind Rhymes; Poetry from the Breeze" and I think you'll agree that it's beautifully done. So she couldn't be good at anything else? She couldn't possibly be an incredibly talented poet in her own right? There is no way she can play guitar and it's obvious she couldn't possibly be a talented singer/songwriter. She certainly is all of those things and an incredible woman in many other ways as well!

Christian Jules Le Blanc(above) is the actor who plays Michael Baldwin on the Young and the Restless. He also just held his first art show in his home town of New Orleans. Anyone who has ever seen Michael on television would find he is an incredibly talented actor(I'm always afraid he'll be lured away from daytime). He is also an amazing artist. Two talents, one man.

If you truly believe in your art, believe your work is good I don't think selling it is that difficult. I don't find it very hard to talk about my writing because it's my whole life and through presenting it through readings, this blog, being excited about my work, I sell books and make money. I don't mind speaking in public and I've been told I'm good at it. I like talking to people in general and my work is my favourite topic.

And to go one step further, not only are many artists quite capable of selling their work, they have an obligation to do so. If I don't sell my work and earn a living I can't afford to continue writing. I need an income so that I can share my poetry, my novels, my screenplay(new project for next year) with the world because it is how I get my message out, it's how I project my viewpoint that this world is more amazing than awful, more loving than hateful and more perfect than imperfect.

I could just say it, but my voice is my writing and but I prefer to show it though my poetry and other writing.

So if you make art of any kind, put a price on it and make it available. Market it and brag about it. Your message and your medium is valuable. Once you know that, it'll be easy to sell it.

And keeping with the spirit of this post my book is available on
or by emailing me at to make paypal arrangements for a signed copy!

Breeze Talks About Weight Loss

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Would You Read This Book?

This was my pitch for my novel. The one that is being published in August!

Will you want to read this book?

"It is commonly thought throughout humankind that the universe operates as a coincidental mechanism without reason and that all of mankind wanders aimlessly, helter-skelter with no particular path. Yet all the major world belief systems speak of a force, a divine plan, some mysterious energy source that makes sense somewhere in infinity. What if they are all right? What if all of our lives are predetermined in the heavens and we simply get to live in the details. What if the stars, the moon, the sun all shine in perfect rhythm with our lives, counting our days, watching our nights, determining our every step while we count it as random and accidental. What if there are no coincidences?

Christianna Cormack and Joe Indigo meet and their connection is immediate and profound and well beyond their understanding. After they are ripped apart by his misguided choices they attempt to move forward without each other. When Christianna moves to Rare Moon Tickle, Newfoundland, she is informed that there are no secrets in a small town but she proves this adage wrong when destiny colludes with nature to ensure her inevitable reunion with Joe Indigo. Their love is now forbidden and one lie leads to another. As if suspended from cosmic puppet strings, Christianna cannot escape the web of secrets and though she tries to live a normal happy life, she discovers that fate has other ideas in The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle."

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

You are the Child

You walk in slums, bone thin
glass and mud for shoes
lonely and desperate, quaking
it takes a village but the village
walks barefoot with you
and has been shaken

You walk through mine fields
innocent, the treasured soccer ball
kicked with fervor through the clearing
to the garbage field
the crowd breathes again
as you emerge barefoot and grinning

You walk in cities of riches and neon
gun slung sloppily and casually
angry and cynical
eye to the big league
hand on the trigger
This heat is critical

You walk in churches where preachers
repeat the memes
you are better, they are less
punish them, it will be your reward
angels will transport you
to the lonely bliss

You walk in the suburbs, bored
a plastic pop bottle cut in half
choking smoke, the desperate
comparing middle class horror stories
listening, slim shady is an innocent,
too lame,too angry, too late

You walk spanked, belittled,
shamed,punished, hated,
different, poor, forgotten
unaccepted accidentally or
loved in theory only
unintentionally begotten

You are bad,kids these days
boys will be boys,back in my day
She should know better
Lock him up! If my kid ever..
suffer the child He said
not let the child suffer

You are the teachers
The divine perfection
perfectly sown perfectly grown.
You are wisdom's descendant, the earth's bounty
You are the child born to be ours
loved best when never truly owned

You are our purpose
our mortality and immortality
through your innocent fears
You are the child sent to remind us
this world needs to erase
the sting of your tears

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just Breathe

Things have been so hectic but's breathing time. It hasn't necessarily been stressful, happy things have kept me busy however today I have nothing(except going to the farm and buying eggs) on the agenda. It's a great day to putter around, tidy the house, put away some laundry, listen to my iPod, read my manuscript and red pen some stuff and perhaps even write a poem.

It gets even better. Tomorrow all three of the children will be in school and the entire day is mine. I will go to the gym, shower and write because today everything else will have been done.

In looking back on the last few weeks of craziness I wonder how I gained the tools necessary to not melt down. Twice I had a mini-meltdown in all the craziness and excitement. One was the day of my book launch when my husband said he needed to go out somewhere and I needed him to do something else and he quickly revised and said he could take the kids. Phew! The second was when I took the wrong exit going into Toronto and had to drive along Lakeshore Blvd instead of my chosen route. But luckily there was no construction and I found my way to my destination easily and enjoyed the evening immensely.

Otherwise I have found myself very level and emotionally strong and able to avoid the stress. I was talking to someone after my radio interview and they said "you don't sound nervous" and I actually wasn't. It never dawned on me that I should be.

I wonder if this is part of the wonder of following your passion and dreams. I mean I feel the emotions but I can talk myself down and now I'm at the point where I don't get as high to begin with. I don't panic.

When planning and following through on the book launch reception I refused to think ahead to the actual party. I knew it would be a success one way or another. There was so much support and I could feel it. I didn't worry about how many people would come and was grateful that so many did, particularly those who had to travel far and those who aren't particularly poetry fans.

So I get to breathe and reflect. I am also working on a new super-secret project that has me very excited. It's hard to stress about happiness.

Now, today as I putter around, cleaning my house(and the earthquake in Haiti and Chili increases my gratitude that I have one to clean), playing with the little one, walking the dog and listening to the wisdom of Dr. Wayne Dyer on my iPod I know that this too, this boring, day to day stuff is as valid as the fun, dream-making stuff.

And I am grateful.

Breeze Talks About Weight Loss

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Listen to me on the Radio; Archived show!

If you missed the interview the first time around Click the play button on the widget to the right. The show is archived!

Breeze Talks About Weight Loss

Monday, March 1, 2010

On the Radio at 6pm tonight!

To listen to me on The Power of You radio program tonight at 6pm EST simply hit play on the widget to your right!

I will be talking to Kimberly Banks about passion and dreams and turning it into a business!

Breeze Talks About Weight Loss