Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Avalon Dragon Boating Team

Unfortunately, so many of us have been touched by breast cancer. As I type, I know two young people fighting the disease. Both are fighting terrible battles. A new organization in St. John's has been created to prove that people living with breast cancer can lead full. active, healthy lives. It will also promote the fact that exercise is an important part of fighting this disease, and of preventing lymphedema—a permanent swelling of the arm and chest area which can occur after breast cancer treatment. They will do it in a unique and powerful way: dragon boating.

Dragon boat racing is among the fastest growing team water sports. Participants build their own boat, in this case in partnership with the Marine Institute and under the guidance of Avalon Dragon Boating committee member and naval architect, Bruce Whitelaw. Dragon boats use twenty paddlers, one drummer and one steersperson so there will be people needed to build the boats and then to paddle them. Quite a committee has been formed to "steer" the team including former politician, and breast cancer survivor, Julie Bettney; well-known filmaker Gerry Rogers, who is also a breast cancer survivor; and someone who I know from my days working in Addictions Services (she actually hired me when I worked there), Donna Simms. Find out much more about the Avalon Dragon Boating Team at avalondragonboating.com.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Weekend (including Memorial Writes) recap

Busy weekend. First, Sam and I went to Kathy's tenth annual pumpkin carving party. We brought the little pumpkin Sam had picked up at Lester's Farm earlier in the day. Kathy cut the top off then I scooped and her nephew, the amazing Ryan (brother of the amazing Caroline), carved it into a happy jack-o-lantern (Sam wanted a happy face, not a scary face). The kids bobbed for apples and Sam even got one (not bad for a not quite three-year-old). There was also a little wine for the parental units. It was a fun night all around.

Then on Saturday my husband's family visited. His niece is back home from BC for a week and her future father-in-law came along. My in-laws came to town to pick them up and bring them back to Glenwood. The ten of us went out for supper then back to my sister-in-law's for a couple of drinks. They had to leave early yesterday, unfortunately, to attend a funeral and will be back in town next week to get the flight back to BC. It is the first visit to Newfoundland for our niece's future father-in-law so if you see Al out around Glenwood or Ladle Cove, say hi and be nice to him. He is loving it so far, despite the awful weather.

Yesterday was Memorial Writes and, what with the heavy rain and strong winds, most of the people who came out for it were the participating writers. Still, it was quite nice to chat to other writers. I was worried the panel discussions might not be very lively since the turnout was a little low, but there was so much discussion they could have gone on longer if time permitted. As it was, conversation continued long after the panels ended. I finally got to meet Shannon Sullivan and we talked about the challenges of promoting a first novel. We both decided we would be bestselling writers in ten years and would laugh at the trials of these early days. I also got to meet Kenneth J. Harvey. I am a big fan of his and I have emailed him before expressing my admiration of him and his writing. So, what do I do when I get the honour of meeting him? Why shake his hand and say "hi, Kevin", of course. Doh! I apologized but still, what a big dolt I am. I just got flustered because he is such a renowned and fantastic writer. I later spoke with him for a short time again, while I drank the tepid coffee I was using to wash down my foot.

LuAnne of the MUN bookstore, Stacey from the library, and all the organizers were wonderful. They gave all the participating writers a t-shirt (I heart MUNdays) and a Memorial University coffee cup (with the new logo on it).

And today was a Halloween party at Sam's playgroup where I played pirate to his Buzz Lightyear. I really should not be allowed to have this much fun.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ruff-Spots Auction

Ruff-Spots Animal Welfare Organization Inc. is holding an online auction. Ruff-Spots helps animal shelters and rescue organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador spay and neuter adoptable animals, thereby improving both their chances of being adopted and their quality of life, while reducing the number of unwanted pets in our province. Many different items are on auction there so check it out and help out animals in our province. You can also learn more about them by checking out their blog.

And, as Bob Barker always says, remember to get your pet spayed or neutered. There are too many animals in the world waiting for homes, to make new ones that may not be wanted.

Friday, October 27, 2006


It is coming soon. I am talking about National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. Nanowrimo. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. The novel can be longer but you have to do 50,000 words in November. That's close to 1700 words a day. Townie Bastard is doing it. Trudy is doing it. Debbie Ridpath Ohi is drawing comics about it at Will Write for Chocolate (love so much of her work and she has loads of great stuff online). Every year since I first heard of it, I have been "going to" do it. Oh, I'm quite good at "going to", you know. I had decided I was definitely going to do it this year. I even came up with an idea for a new novel (Nanowrimo rules do not allow you to work on works in progress). Then, I looked at my schedule for November, what I had to get done before November 1st in order to clear some more time in November, thought about the silliness of starting yet another novel when I am writing three as well as editing one and procrastinating editing another, and thought better of it. I have to become more focussed on my projects at hand, not diversify even more. Too bad too because I have a great idea I was so excited about it. I can't even think about it now as I type or I'll drift into it and start wanting to write it (I have "creative procrastination"--I come up with new stories and avoid the ones I am working on).

While preparing for Nanowrimo, I found out a surprising fact. It is a little bit controversial. Some people do not like the idea of Nanowrimo. In fact, they are offended by it. Alma Hromic wrote this article and people wrote in and disagreed with her (you have to scroll down a little to see their letters). Hromic was offended by the idea that someone spitting out 50,000 words in a month can call themselves a novelist. Well, the truth is you can call yourself whatever you want. Doesn't make you it. Lots of people who write books professionally don't call themselves novelists and lots of people who have never written a word refer to themselves that way. I think many people want to write a novel and I think many people can, maybe not well or maybe quite well, but they can. And what's wrong with something that encourages you to try? Something that gives you the kick in the butt needed to get going is a great thing. You might try the project and not complete it, realizing you did not really know what was involved with writing a novel. You might sail through and find you have a knack for it.

Everyone, I believe, has a talent and the sad thing is so many of us don't find out what it is because we don't try. There are lots of great painters out there who will never pick up a brush. If you think that a novel is hidden in you somewhere and you want to get it out, then consider Nanowrimo. Maybe you will discover you've had the ability to do it all along and just needed the push...or maybe you'll decide you'd like to paint.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Les Ms. and friends Sing for Care

Okay, once again, I am here flogging something that is taking place at the same time I have something on the go, but, hey, it is for a good cause and, if you absolutely know you are not going to the Memorial Writes Bookfair, then why not attend something with great music that is for a good cause? I am talking about Les Ms. and friends Sing for Care.

My good friend Kathy is a member of Les Ms. This wonderful singing group is teaming up with other groups like Holy Heart Alumnae choir, Lady Cove and Newfound Sound for a wonderful concert happening this Sunday, October 29 at 3:00 p.m at Cochrane Street United Church. Shelly Neville will be the special guest performer and the event will be hosted by CBC Radio's Francesca Swann. Other musicians appearing include Bill Brennan, Rob Power and Mary Brennan. Sounds like fun, right? Well, on top of all that, all the funds raised will be going to the Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation (last year they raised over $7,000 at this event). This year Les Ms. will donate all funds raised at the event to the Travel Fund which assists individuals travelling to St. John's from rural areas for cancer treatment.

Tickets are $15.00 and are available at Provincial Music, The Travel Bug, The Bliss Murphy Care Centre and at the door.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gargling dog

Is it just me? I cannnot stop laughing when this dog is gargling. I know, I know, I am just sad. First frying ice then laughing my ass off at a gargling dog. Sad.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Frying ice

It wasn't that stupid. The blue bag of fish cakes, from some fund-raising thing, looked remarkably like the blue bag of ice in my freezer and the ice had been there a while so that first lump, picked up and put in the pan while I was distractedly singing to my son, felt like a frozen fish cake. Easily done, I say.

A bit of news about me

And really, is there ever enough of that on this blog? I mean, even I'm getting sick of hearing about me and my stuff. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a bit about promotion for my novel, some about writing in general, and some ranting and talking about other things like news and stuff. Of late, it has been a lot about promotion, simply because I have been doing a lot of it. And yahoo for that. Don't worry, I'm sure that after Christmas, when no one buys books, I will be back to complaining about things and waxing philospohical about things not philosophical. Anyway, back to my news.

It was just about two years ago when Maura Hanrahan was at a Memorial Writes event, telling me I should join the Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador. She was very persuasive and I eventually did join and last year became a member of WANL's Membership Committee. Well, last week I was contacted to let me know that my name had been put forth and they would like me to become a member of the board. Now, I have never been asked to be on the board of anything, let alone something as cool as WANL, so, of course, I accepted. So I am pleased to say that,as of the AGM this weekend, I am a member of the Board of Directors of WANL. I look forward to the task.

News item number two is also related to my previous story about Maura telling me to join WANL. Remember how it was at the Memorial Writes Bookfair? Well, I have been invited to the event this year and will serve on a panel called "Become" A Writer, along with Paul Butler and Shannon Sullivan. Another writer there to meet since I have not met Shannon yet but he and I share a mutual friend in Cathy M. so I have heard lots of good stuff about him. Please come and join in the book fair, maybe meet some writers and buy a book.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Win a Free Copy of Domino

Sue's blog is running a contest in conjunction with Maura Hanrahan, to win one of two free copies of Maura's new book Domino: the Eskimo Coast Disaster . To be eligible to win, you have to write a poem using the theme - Labrador - The Heart of the North before October 31st. More info here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Can you hear me now?

Getting home on Friday night from my book signing at the Glacier, I talked to hubby and told him how it went then sat down to drink my decaf cup of Tim's and watch some things I had taped. Hubby was happy at his Friday night perch of playing icky war video games with his buddies Mike and Heff, and other icky war video game players around the world. Suddenly, the calm of our house was broken when hubby announced the Internet was down. Frantic phone calls ensued and my hubby figured out that the Internet was down, not just ours since we have Aliant and Mike, whose connection was also kaput, has Rogers Internet. We had phone service so were not too concerned. Then the next morning, we heard that a fire had shut down not just our access to email, NL blogs and icky war video games, but had also stopped cell phone and land lines. Over 100,000 people were without access to the outside world. Scary stuff, when you consider people did not have access to 911. Apparently, ambulances were roaming the city, looking for anyone who might have an emergency and be looking for a meandering ambulance. Hospitals called in extra people but since the workers could not be reached by phone, security guards went to their homes and woke them from their sleep. This because of a small fire at an Aliant substation. Makes you wonder about what would happen if there was a big disaster. I thought that, after 9/11, everyone got into all this emergency preparedness stuff and got backup for backups so things like this could not happen. Guess not. This was just one night and one small fire. Can anyone say "wake up call"?

All reminds me of the new CBS show, Jericho, I am enjoying. It is about the aftermath of nuclear attacks and how no one in this small town can find out what is happening because they are cut off from the rest of the world. But I'm going to blog about that later when I do my review of the fall TV season soon.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Christmas at the Glacier Recap

Wow, great bit of fun at the Chistmas at the Glacier event last night. It started when I got there and there was a big line up to get in. I explained to the woman handing out flyers there, that I was there for a book signing, as Michelle at Jesperson had told me to do. The woman then took a walkie talkie and called someone to tell her that "Tina Chaulk is here for a book signing". Everyone turned around and looked as I was escorted past everyone else in line and brought out to the stadium area where John from Jesperson awaited to escort me the rest of the way. I felt like a real VIP.

Sold plenty of books and also had a few people tell their significant other they wanted this much is true for Christmas. Even met some people who had read it and really liked it. A few people had heard good things about the book and wanted to get it as a present for someone so it was a very positive evening. Good deal on books too as Jesperson/Breakwater have a discount tree. You choose an ornament off it and reveal a discount inside of from 10% to 50%. Plus there is no tax on the books. A good deal all around. So, if you've been wanting to purchase my book, for yourself or as a present, or any number of books from Jesperson/Breakwater, this weekend at Christmas at the Glacier is the perfect time to do it. Christmas at the Glacier continues until Sunday evening.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Christmas Glacier

Hey, yesterday I posted about icebergs and today, it's the Glacier. Ice, ice everywhere. And a post about Christmas. Surely, it is not that close but then again I started to see Christmas trees in a certain store in August so... well, it is coming sooner than we think I suppose. Time to start my Christmas list. If a fun book is on your list of things to get for someone you adore, well, come on by the Glacier on Friday, the 20th where I will be signing copies of this much is true from 7-9pm. If not, and you're at the Glacier anyway, just drop by and say hello. I'd love to see you.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Listening to Anne Budgell's Radio Noon, I hear her interview an iceberg climber named Will Gadd. He is an adventure ice-climber from Canmore, Alberta who went iceberg climbing in Makkovik, Labrador. Gadd, freely admits that, in hindsight, it was an insanely dangerous thing to do. And, it was. Still, it makes for some great pictures. Check out the video of his climb and see for yourself (I downloaded it since it was too choppy when I tried to watch it streaming).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Chris for Empress of the Unknown World

My lawn sign has been undergoing drastic changes in the last day. An ongoing discussion in the comments section of my post recapping the Michael J McCarthy Reading Series, has led to some confusing moments, but, as per Chris's request, I think I have it right now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Blogger on Tely Editorial Board

I noticed in the Telegram today that NL blogger, RJ, is on their newest editorial board. Congrats, RJ. I know from all your blogging, what a great writer you are and how much you contribute to the dialog and culture in our province so I look forward to reading your editorials.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Michael J McCarthy Reading Series Recap

Well, last night was a great reading. Paul Butler, with his beautiful, rich prose, kept us all hanging on his words. Trudy Morgan-Cole made me feel sad and smile at the same time with a scene that made me feel I was right there, in her book, and Russell Wangersky, well, his reading was wonderful as well. It was my first exposure to Wangersky and his fiction writing, unlike Paul’s and Trudy’s who I have been a fan of for a while now. Christine, who organized this event, told me she was reading Russell’s book and that I should not read it because I would not want to write again, it is so brilliant. She was right. He read a short story called “I Want It” and I loved it. I want it. Giller had it right putting him on the long list but leaving him off the shortlist was a mistake (of course, I think that about Kenneth J. Harvey’s Inside and Wayne Johnston’s the Custodian of Paradise too--I’d like to see an all Newfoundland and Labrador Giller shortlist—we’ve come close before). Anyway, everyone was wonderful so run out and buy Paul Butler's NaGeira, Trudy Morgan-Cole's The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson, and Russell Wangersky's The Hour of Bad Decisions. Oh, yeah, and my book, this much is true (bad self-promoter, Tina, forgetting your book like that, bad).

Christine Hennebury hosted the event and organized it as well. The lady should do organizing and event planning for a living. She gets everything down to the last detail, plus her love of Mount Pearl and support for all things local there is great. Mount Pearl should name her its citizen of the year, she does so much for the community. She does all this while raising two, young boys and writing as well. I love her writing. When The Independent decided to revamp and, in the process, lost Christine’s brilliant weekly column, I was very disappointed. I miss her weekly compositions about parenting—the humour, the information and the way it made me feel like I wasn’t the only one feeling unsure and searching for answers about how to be a good parent. I hope I get to see her in print again very soon.

Afterward we stood around and chatted. It is always nice to hear about new things people are working on and also things like hockey games and homework. And, just as I promised him, I got home in time to kiss my little guy goodnight. All in all, a great night.

(As I reread this post, I thought that reading it, and other recaps of readings and writerly things I have attended, must sound like it might be a bunch of hooey. All the writers around here can't really get along, can they? We can't say good things about each other's books and tell our friends to buy the books of others, can we? Well, that has been my experience. Perhaps people secretly go home and stick pins in dolls representing other writers, but I have seen and felt nothing but kindness and encouragement from the writers I have met, both from my membership in WANL and from going to readings, signing, etc. It's true. Not sure if it is like this everywhere else, but around here, writers make up a very supportive community, at least the ones I have met do. I consider myself very lucky.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reading tonight and an interview online

I am so original with these titles, no?

Just a reminder that I am reading tonight at the Mount Pearl Public Library as part of the Michael J. McCarthy Memorial Readings Series. It starts at 7 and I will be reading with Paul Butler, Trudy Morgan-Cole, and Russell Wangersky.

Also, the amazing Christine has posted an interview with me and her take on my book over at The Smartmouth Mombie.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Signings Recap and Alphasmart Neo

The signings at Costco and Chapters went well, except there was a mixup at Chapters. Once that was straightened out, it was okay. The great thing about Costco was that I was signing my book at the opposite end of the aisle from where my books were. So some people walked by, then stopped and said "are you signing these books" and I would answer "yes" and they would reach into their carts and find my book, which they had already picked up, with no help or encouragement from me, and ask me to sign it. That was wonderful.

While at Chapters, Trudy stopped by to chat and we started talking about her laptop which I had first seen her use two or three years before when my friend and I sat at the table next to hers at Starbucks and I mouthed to my friend that it was Trudy Morgan-Cole sitting next to us. I had been intrigued by her little laptop and searched everywhere on the Internet trying to find a similar device. It would be a long time before I would find exactly what I wanted. It is not like Trudy's laptop, it is even more wonderfully simple than that. It is an Alphasmart Neo.

I got my Neo on ebay where you can find one, or an earlier version of an Alphasmart keyboard. You can also buy them new from Alphasmart ( A Renaissance Learning™, Inc. Brand) or at least one store here locally that carries them. These devices are so great, there is a Flickr group of people who use it, mostly made up of writers, even though the Alphasmart was built for school kids. It is a keyboard with a small display. On my Alphasmart there is a spellchecker, a thesaurus and a word counter. Other than that, there is not much to an Alphasmart. There is no formatting--no bold or italics--you can put that in later when you upload it to your computer. It starts within a couple of seconds of pressing the on/off button (no boot up time here); never heats up on your lap; weighs about two pounds; keeps separate files for various work; the three AA batteries last about a year (or 700 hours, whichever comes first); it saves all files continuously so you will never lose data; and it never crashes. I read on a message board that someone said it does not crash because, well, have you ever seen a calculator crash? Nope. The Alphasmart keyboard is the calculator of wordprocessors. All this with a device that does not have Internet access.

With no emails to distract, no web pages to surf, no Snood game to tempt you with endless hours of time-wasting fun. Just work. Just get the clay on the table (or type up the clay you've scribbled in a notepad). I also write most of my blog posts on it, as I am writing this one. Then I simply plug my USB cable into it and the other end of the cable to the computer. From there, I can either use the Alphasmart Manager software to upload or download between the Neo and the computer or I can simply open any wordprocessing program or blog software or email software--anything you can type text into--and press the Send button, then watch as the Neo transfers my words onto the screen, letter by letter like some super-typer. I don't use the Neo for editing because of the small screen but it is possible because it has the capacity to copy and paste text as well, I just don't bother. I use it to get my words out and to type anywhere and everywhere, even on the floor while playing with my son without fear of hurting the machine (don't forget, it was made for school kids). I love my little green machine and highly recommend it to you.

* Note, I corrected my post, as per the friendly people at Flickr, to say that the Neo uses three AA batteries, not two as I previously wrote.

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Downhome Signing Recap

The signing at the Downhome store was great. Great store, nice staff, lovely manager, lots of books to sign. Just as exciting for me, was the fact that they ordered more of my dad's clothesline stops. These are unique and useful souvenirs. If you have ever hung out a line of clothes and had the wind pull the lot all the way to the end of the clothesline, tangling everything along the way, then you will appreciate a clothesline stop. Even if you have never encountered this problem, it is still a great souvenir and you can be sure no one will have one exactly like yours. Krista, at the Downhome store thinks they would make great stocking stuffers and I totally agree. So, if they sound interesting, check out the Downhome store on Water Street.

Signing at Costco today then Chapters tomorrow. Will fill you in later on how it goes (you know I will).

Friday, October 06, 2006

More Signings Again

The last of this round of signings are this weekend. I will be at the Downhomer on Water Street today from 2-4 pm. Then tomorrow, it is Costco from 4-6 pm. On Sunday you'll find me signing books from 2-4 pm at Chapters on Kenmount Road. I hope to see you at one of them (or all of them). Drop by and say hi. No purchase necessary (but certainly appreciated).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Michael J. McCarthy Memorial Readings Series

I am honoured to have been asked to do another reading, this time for the Michael J. McCarthy Memorial Readings Series. The details are:

The Michael J. McCarthy Memorial Readings Series


Paul Butler
reading from his novel NaGeira

Tina Chaulk
reading from her novel this much is true

Trudy Morgan-Cole
reading from her novel The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson

Russell Wangersky
reading from his collection of short stories The Hour of Bad Decisions (nominated for the 2006 Giller Prize)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Mount Pearl Public Library

presented by the Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl
in partnership with The City of Mount Pearl

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Moleskiners unite!

(Is moleskiner the right term, I wonder?) Anyway, if you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I mentioned my love of the Moleskine (an unrequieted love as of yet since I have only admired from afar). One of the reasons I love it so much is that people who like the Moleskine seem to like pens and other paper products and office supplies like me. I found this out by going to the Moleskinerie.com and the associated Google Group. There, I have spent much time reading about people's notepads and what kind of pen with what colour ink they prefer to use with it. Other people, besides me, like to think and talk about these things. It makes me feel less of a freak since none of my friends are like this (although from the comments in the last post and the meeting with Dana), it seems that some of my blogging friends are into it. Maybe there is a correlation between blogging and office supply obsessions.

I digress. After I posted yesterday, I started noticing lots of visitors from the United States, and elsewhere in the world, on my statcounter and these visitors were coming from Moleskinerie.com. I sent my trusty browser over there and there, to my utter shock, was a picture of my book (with a link to my website) under the heading READ (you have to scroll down a bit to see it). I was so surprised I could not speak. I just kept looking around and opening my mouth then closing it again and gasping loudly. Must have looked like a fish out of water. I think I was as surprised as the day Tamara from Jesperson Publishing called to say they wanted to publish my book (well, maybe not quite but pretty close). So, I then emailed the Moleskinerie and thanked them for putting my little book on their web site and got a lovely reply from Armand. So, a shout out to Armand and all the gang at the moleskinerie.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Book Signings Two and Three Recap

Still no danger of bleeding fingers but it went quite well this weekend. Bennington Gate is a wonderful store. And they were so nice to me, They had a nice spread on my signing table with flowers on it, and a huge comfy chair and there was great music to listen to. However, there is not much traffic there and since someone had to come inside the store to even see I was there, I did not see many people. A beautiful evening outside did not help, I'm sure. My editor dropped by and it was the first time I had seen her since the book came out so we were all excited and happy over it all. Also, Dana came by with her mom to say hello. We talked about the newspaper biz in the province (she works at The Scope) and both drooled over Moleskines. Moleskines, people! Bennington Gate sells Moleskines. If you don't know what the hoopla is about then you are not obsessed with office supplies, pens or paper products but trust me, this new info about the Moleskine being available in town has changed my Christmas list. Thanks Dana.

After the signing on Friday I met up with a couple of friends for a drink and free nachos from the nacho bar at Arriba's and then we did something no writer who has had a slow signing should do. We went to the book launch of Wayne Johnston's The Custodian of Paradise. There was a horde of people there and the line-up to get his autograph afterwards went back a long ways through the store. My friends and I had coffee and waited for what must have been at least 20 minutes but when we checked, the line-up was still in the same place. I think people had been doing what we were doing--waitng for the line to thin down a bit then try to get an autograph, but people must have kept reinforcing the line. We just gave up after a while. Hope Wayne's fingers didn't bleed.

Signing number three at Coles in the Avalon Mall was also a lovely spread with lots of books on the table and I was in a good area so I sold more books at that one. But, I don't think people get it. Many people seemed to think I worked for the store and was just flogging this book. They would ask me where to find other books. And a number of people would stand there looking at the book, then ask about it and then say, "oh, did you write this book?". "Yes," I explained, "I am signing copies". "Oh," then put down the book in hurry and run away. Several bookstore employees have told me that people won't ask the writer to sign the book but will come back later and get the ones with the "signed by author" sticker on them. Weird (or maybe just people trying to make me feel better about a slow book signing).

At the Avalon Mall, I did get a lovely treat. My friend from high school, Chris, came by. He found out about my book in the Downhome Magazine and looked me up on the web. It was the first time I had seen him since early university days when our class still tried to keep in touch. More years have gone by since then than I care to admit but Chris hasn't changed a bit. He is still the same sweet, kind, brilliant guy I remember. He even brought me a pen since he read that I am obsessed with them. And if that wasn't enough, he emailed me the next day to tell me he had been up until two in the morning, reading my book and how much he had enjoyed it, laughing out loud and being moved by it at times. Such great feedback. Now I intend to get a little mini-reunion of our classmates from high school together, those of us who live on the Avalon, anyway. Just have to track them all down.

The rest of the weekend was very busy with some freelance work I've been doing. Back at that again now soon so I had to take this chance to update the blog now. Three more signings next weekend and that is it for a little while until late October. All, in all, as Martha Stewart says, it's a good thing.