Friday, March 30, 2012

Sad Songs Blogfest

(this pic reminds me of Ode to Billy Joe - another great sad song!)

"Sad songs say so much..."
Did anyone else hear this as soon as they saw Diane's announcement about her blogfest? I adore Elton John and this one popped right into my head! He's had a lot of great sad songs: Your Song, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, Candle in the Wind...
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
So, what other sad songs are my favourites?

Hallelujah -
KD Lang's version at the Olympics tore at my heart. Her voice is such pure beauty!
Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Mandy - Barry Manilow. Yup, I'm a Manilow fan :) I think this song was my first favourite of his! Love it.
I'm standing on the edge of time
Walked away when love was mine
Caught up in a world of uphill climbing
The tears are in my eyes
And nothing is rhyming, oh Mandy
Angel - Sarah McLachlan. Such a glorious voice. She can make you feel all kinds of emotions :)
There's always some reason
To feel not good enough,
And it's hard, at the end of the day
The Rose - Bette Midler. This was one of my dad's favourite songs. He loved Bette and this song touched him. I will never, ever be able to hear it without having such strong memories of my dad.
It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin'
That never learns to live.
My only quibble would be the That in the last line should be Who... My dad laughed when I pointed that out. He probably wouldn't be surprised I'm wearing an aspiring author hat these days! :)
I could go on ... and on... and on. I have so many favourites!! But I won't put you through that!
So, tell me, what's your favourite sad song?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays: Shug

Shannon Whitney Messenger created Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays to bring attention to some fabulous books. I'm playing along this week! :)

Shug by Jenny Han

This is a charming book. I loved the main character, Shug - short for Sugar. Being 12 is pretty tough for Shug - she`s too tall and has too many freckles, and she`s not developing like some of the other girls. She`s starting to feel differently about her best friend Mark, and she doesn`t have a clue how to handle it.

Underneath the adorable story of young love is a deeper level which deals with families (dysfunctional and otherwise) and jealousy and friendships and the real trials of growing up in less than perfect circumstances. Shug will tug on your heart strings and make you care.

Ì really enjoyed this book and so did many of the girls in my classroom.

How was life when you were 12? Did you find it tough fitting in?

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Little Sunshine

We could all do with a little sunshine! And thanks to the lovely Siv Maria over at Been there, Done that, I've got a little extra to spread around :)

Here are the questions that go along with the award...

Favourite Number: don't really have one, but my son wore 10 in hockey so let's go with that
Favourite Colour: to wear? Blue. To have around me? Green. To enjoy? Red & purple.
Favourite animal: wolf or gorilla
Favourite non-alcoholic drink: chai tea
Facebook or Twitter: Twitter - I haven't joined FB yet :)
My passions are: my family, teaching, reading, writing, music, sports
Getting or giving presents: giving!
Favourite pattern: 1, 4, 9, 16, 25... (square numbers) (sorry, couldn't resist - plus I don't wear patterns)
Favourite Day of the Week: Saturday
Favourite Flower: Daisy

Thanks as well to the wonderful Kela McClelland over at Teardrops on My Book. Kela awarded me the Versatile Blogger award. I'm supposed to tell you 7 random things, but I've already shared enough for today. :) I hope you'll pop on over and visit Kela though!

I'm not going to follow the pass-along rules (shock, I know!), but I'd like anyone who wants to, to snag either of these awards. If you visit here, you definitely bring me some sunshine!

Choose one of the questions and give me your answer!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pro(logue) or Con

How do you feel about prologues? I hope you'll pop on over to From the Write Angle and join in the discussion! See you there :)

(I've turned off comments in the hopes you'll join me - thanks!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


So, how do you...

... feel when you delete 15 pages - but know your story is better?

... like your steak? I don't understand 'blue' and 'rare' myself. I don't want that poor beast mooing at me from the plate!

... add your blog posts to Goodreads? (yeah, I haven't figured this one out yet *sigh*) (edited to add: Now I know! Thanks Stephen! :))

... deal with telemarketers who continue to call despite our number being on the 'do not call' list?

... stop your characters chattering away in your brain at 4 a.m.?

... choose in Rock, Paper, Scissors?

... like doing those taxes?

... choose which book to read next from your TBR list?

Yup. My brain is very random today. Any answers? :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stephen Tremp & The Higgs Boson

You wake up in the morning and step on the scale. You take a sip of coffee and the gears in your brain start to crank up. You smile because even though you may not have lost any weight, you understand scientifically how your weight is determined. The quantity of your mass and the force of gravity determines your weight.

Okay. You get it. Mass + the force of gravity = weight. But wait. You take another sip of coffee and your brain picks up speed. You dig a little deeper, scratch your head, and wonder just what the heck determines your mass? What gives mass its mass? You’re not quite satisfied as you want more answers but don’t have them. Well, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in great company. This is one of the most-asked and hotly pursued questions in all of physics today. What determines mass?

Enter the Higgs Boson and the Standard Model.

“The standard model describes the behaviour and interactions of all of the most fundamental particles we have seen. The model was developed throughout the 20th century and finalised when the existence of quarks, the particles that make up protons and neutrons, was confirmed in the 1970s. At the time many of the particles predicted by the standard model were yet to be seen. Over the years since then, physicists have ticked these particles off, one by one, like items on a shopping list. Now they are left with just one remaining unfound particle — the Higgs boson.” (Kelly Oakes)

Eureka! After years of frustrating tests, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at
CERN detected events that hint at identifying the sub-atomic particle called The Higgs Boson. Then, just last week. “new measurements were announced by scientists at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory indicate that the elusive Higgs boson may nearly be cornered. After analyzing the full data set from the Tevatron accelerator, which completed its last run in September 2011, the two independent experiments see hints of a Higgs boson.” (Science Daily)

Why Should I Care? (Doing a spit take with the remainder of my coffee) Why indeed! LHC experiments will address questions such as what gives matter its mass, what the invisible 96% of the Universe is made of, why nature prefers matter to antimatter and how matter evolved from the first instants of the Universe’s existence. Some are talking increasingly of the "New Physics" on the horizon that could totally change current views of the universe and how it works.

Yes folks, we may very well be unlocking more of the secrets of our universe and our place in it! Exciting stuff for sure. So stay tuned!

Stephen Tremp, author of the BREAKTHROUGH series, has a B.A. in information systems and an MBA degree in global management. Stephen has a background in information systems, management, and finance and draws from this varied and complex experiential knowledge to write one-of-a-kind thrillers.

His novels are enhanced by current events at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and other scientific research facilities around the world. These potential advances have the ability to change the way we perceive our universe and our place in it!

You can visit Stephen Tremp at
Breakthrough Blogs. BREAKTHROUGH and OPENING can be downloaded:

Download Opening:
Amazon Kindle $1.99

Download Breakthrough:
Amazon Kindle for $1.99

Thanks so much for dropping by, Stephen! I wonder if all these discoveries will help us figure out how to lose some of that mass???

So, anyone out there pondering some of these mysteries of the universe?

Friday, March 9, 2012


The lovely Jacqueline Gardner tagged me while my computer was away in the hands of the Repair Gods & Goddesses - the first time. If you haven't met Jacque yet, please pop on over and introduce yourself! :)

1. What is your dream vacation?
I'd love to go on an African photo safari. I'd especially love to see the silverbacks in the Rwandan mountains, but there are so many amazing sights to see there. We're doing so much damage to our planet and our fellow species, I don't know how much longer they'll be around.

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
A little bit of both. In my job, I'm an overplanner, but I don't always follow the plan. As long as I have the plan in place in my head, I have no problems changing it. That gives me the best of both worlds. :)

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don't dare do it.
I'm not the bravest person in the world, so this changes. But I never thought I'd write a manuscript or a blog either - and I certainly never thought I'd be brave enough to query an agent, so whatever's on that list, might not be there for long!

4. What's your biggest phobia?
Snakes. *shudder* They don't have legs! 'Nuff said.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island-what three things would you want with you? (Not including your laptop or family)
My Kindle, my iPod (both with neverending batteries!) and a barrel full of sunscreen!

6. Name three blessings in your life.
My family, my job and my imagination.

7. What was your nickname in High School?
Finnegan. Long story :)

8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?
Hmm, I think I'll add the Canadian Prime Minister into the meeting. I'd ask them both why kids and their welfare aren't the number one priority. And I'd tell them to start fixing that.

9. If you could be any literary character, who would you be?
Tough one! I think I'd choose to be Lessa - dragon rider of Pern.

10. What is your favorite quote?
Be the change you want to see in the world. - Gandhi
I've had this quote up in every classroom I've had. Love it!

So, choose one question and tell me what your answer would be.
My computer is back in Repair Land *sigh*, so I may be a little slow responding until it returns!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays: Zach's Lie

Shannon Whitney Messenger created Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays to bring attention to some fabulous books. I'm playing along this week! :)

Zach's Lie by Roland Smith

This is a great, contemporary, action-packed book. One night, people break into Zach's home, tie up him, his sister and his mom. The masked men have guns and knives. When the phone rings, Zach's mom is told to say, "They will kill us if you talk," or the sister will be killed. Hours later, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) comes to the house and takes away his dad's computer.

When his dad is charged with drug trafficking, the rest of Zach's family is sent into the witness protection program. I think the book takes a very realistic look at what goes through the head of a kid stuck in this situation. A lot of emotions pour through Zach: anger, guilt, hope, worry, excitement.

The kids in my class enjoy the 'what ifs' of the book. What if Zach messes up? What if Zach hates his new life? What if the drug dealers find them? What if...

When they're in the witness protection program, Zach's family is told they have to change their habits. If they always ordered pizza on Fridays, they can't do that anymore. What little habit would you miss most if you were forced into the program?

Friday, March 2, 2012

By Hand

I've spent the last few weeks doing something I never thought I'd do - writing out the last few chapters to my story with paper and pen. I didn't start writing seriously until a few years ago, and I've always used my computer. I type pretty quickly - not lightning speed, but fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. I certainly type much more quickly than I write with a pen.

But, you know what? It was fun! My handwriting is loopy & more than a little messy when I'm writing quickly, so I used every 2nd line. I even went out & bought a nice little notebook made from sustainable sugar cane which had a nice hard cover. Easy to sit on my bed or couch and write.

And the best part of all is the ending that I've been stuck on is flowing. I made some changes to my airy-fairy plan as I went. And it's working! I'm not done - and I'll need to go back in and revise (obviously), but I'm happy with how it's going. It's been a really nice surprise!

(The down side is - I'm going to have to do it again. My computer issues are not the battery - it's something else by the looks of it. I've got to send it BACK to Repair Land. Things get shipped out Monday, so I'm hanging on to it until the last minute on Sunday. Then I'll be out of commission ... again. I'm SOOOOO frustrated with the whole thing right now!)

So, do you ever do any of your writing by hand? How do you like it?