Happy Birthday to me!

Happy BirthdayYes! That’s right, it’s my birthday!

Okay, so it’s not my birthday today. It was actually last Thursday that I officially increased a year in age. But I have to say this has been my best birthday in a while. Usually I spend my birthday super quietly, on my own. I don’t tell people about it, and I breathe in the ‘joy’ of getting older in solace. This year, it was still pretty low-key, however I did allow myself the company of close friends and family. There are a few things I have learned through this birthday however that I want to share:

1. It’s not the quantity of friends you have, but the quality
As I get older I realize that I don’t have the whole swath of friends I had in my high school, college and early adult days. In fact, my friend pool has condensed down to a few. But the few that I have are people I really love, people I want to be with, and people with whom I have a mutual understanding. That is more priceless than I ever realized.

2. Family rocks
Family have always been an essential part of my life. In fact, in terms of priorities, it has always been God first, family next and everything else after. However, as I get older the value of my family, who make me laugh, cry, scream and sometimes do all three at the same time, has sky rocketed. After all, when you’re old, they’re the difference between nurse-like care and nursing home.

3. Its easier to be honest
I have always admired the way elderly people say whatever they want without caring much what people think of them. I don’t think I am totally there yet, but I am learning that it is easier to be yourself, say what you want, and like what you want (and who you want) without apology than trying to fit into other people’s perception of who you should be. At the end of the day, the people in #1 & #2 will accept you regardless, and that’s all that matters.

And that’s my birthday wisdom for 2013. What have you learnt on your birthday?

Higher Thoughts: Just Stop

worryingI woke up this morning feeling restless. And if I am honest it didn’t just start this morning. In fact, the past couple weeks I have been simmering in a low level of anxiety as I bob from one life drama to another. At the start of the year it was school/work issues. Those kinda got handled and then it was friendship-relationship issues. Then those sorta got dealt with and then came author issues. And these definitely have not been dealt with. In fact, as I sit her typing this I am trying to ignore the unease that comes from knowing that I am less than 6 months from the deadline for my fourth novel and I haven’t even written a chapter yet. I certainly hope my editor doesn’t read this. Continue reading

The First Cut is the Deepest on TWOTS

So it finally happened.

I submitted my manuscript to my editor a couple months ago and then on Friday I opened up my email and saw it. 129KB in size and plain as day.

My edits.

I hate getting edits. Not because I don’t like being critiqued, but because it gives me that excruciating feeling in the pit of my stomach. The kind you get when you you’re fourteen years old and your mom reads your diary behind your back and then gives it back to you.

But edits are a necessary part of the publishing process and after the initial cringe-worthy moment of opening the document,  it gets better. To see what else I have to say about the process check out my post at the Toronto Word on the Street Blog.

Happy Writing!

I’m finished. Now what? …on TWOTS

Getting to the end of a book is usually satisfying. For the writer, the feeling of completing a manuscript is even more satisfying. But now that you’ve done it, now that you’re sitting there with this 87 000 word long document, you must be asking yourself, what next? If the spotlight is what you seek then it’s time to get published…

Are you sitting on a finished manuscript, unsure of where to go next? I talk about a few options for unpublished writers on my latest post on the Word on the Street Blog. Find out the important things you should be doing as you seek to get your book from your computer hard drive to a book store shelf. I can’t possibly address everything in one post, so send me your questions and I will be sure to help however I can!

Higher Thoughts: It all counts

There’s a man at the Kennedy Subway Station in Toronto who stands at the escalators telling people, “Jesus loves you”. I see him in the morning sometimes – around 7am when I am passing through Kennedy Station – and I sometimes also see him in the evenings on my way home. I can’t help but wonder about him. Does he have a job? Does he have a family? Responsibilities? How does he find time to do this so often? Doesn’t he even care that almost no one looks at him, and those that do look at him as if he’s strange? Is he even making a difference?

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New Season, New Things

It’s finally here! Spring. And in a few weeks it will be summer. With these new seasons come a lot of new things. Like warm weather, too-short shorts, and visits to the beach. I’ve also been doing some new things this Spring, particularly blogging about my experience as a writer. For the next few months I will be sharing my experience as a new author on Toronto’s Word on the Street blog. Here is a snippet from my first post:

The Journey of a Thousand Pages
I guess if I should talk about writing I should start at the beginning. But what is the beginning? Is it that January morning when I excused myself from my meeting to answer the first ever phone call from my would-be-editor? Or was it several years earlier when I sat in a cubicle working my dead end job and decided to start writing for real so I would have something sensible going on in my life. Those were beginnings of sorts.  But I think the real beginning was with a girl named Simone, a boring Geography class, and a $1.25 notebook….(Read more here)

Be sure to check it out and let me know what you thing. And while you’re there check out the other things going on in the writing community in Toronto.

Happy Spring!

Higher Thoughts: The Question is…

“What does God want me to do” has to be one of the most asked questions, not only by Christians, but also non-Christians. It is often a preface to other more specific questions like, “What does God want me to do in school?”, “What does God want me to do for a career” or “What does God want me to do about this relationship?”

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Book signing @ Chapters – March 2012

I had my first ever book signing event at the Chapters Bookstore at Kennedy Commons, Scarborough, on Sunday March 11, 2012. It went better than I expected and I met a lot of great people. Special thanks to everyone who stopped by, chatted with me and bought my book. I can’t wait for the next one!

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Higher thoughts: Right word, wrong way…

I am a strong proponent of minding your own business. There is no quicker way to stir up some drama than by offering up your opinion where it wasn’t asked for. The problem comes however when someone directly asks for your opinion. I found myself in this precarious position some time ago while sitting with a friend in KFC. Continue reading