Books and News

Posted in Coming Soon

It seemed like a good idea at the time

History is written by the winners. Inspiration is found in success. Perhaps this story should serve as a warning then? Read on if you dare…

Posted in Coffee Books

Publication!

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I am happy.

It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time, my memoir work about my attempts to start different coffee businesses, is getting published next year, and I am madly excited!

Actually. “excited” is an understatement; it was a total surprise and I am over the moon about it! I had resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to get anywhere with traditional publishers and had started making plans to self-publish instead. I did a mini print run, and the dozen or so copies that you lovely people bought at the market the other week are (obviously) now exclusive and valuable first editions (ahem). Hang on to those flawed first attempts!

It took 16 months to find a publisher. I made a few very half-hearted attempts to find an agent, but soon gave in and focused on querying publishers that accepted unsolicited manuscripts. After 8 other rejections, one brush with a vanity publisher who didn’t advertise themselves as such (and wanted nearly $4000 to publish it) and one place that hasn’t ever replied after more than a year, I finally got lucky and received an offer to publish my book! Pottersfield Press in Nova Scotia publish a lot of memoirs and Canadiana, and so mine will come out with them in late summer 2018. I’ll even get a small advance!

The publisher assigned me an editor, Julia, and I will start the next stage of turning my words into something commercially acceptable in the new year. I can’t wait!

Posted in Uncategorized

From Chavs to Timmies 

I don’t do poetry.

At least, I didn’t think I did. More, I do poetry but of the sort I rarely write down. It’s the sort that gets scribbled on napkins or in the back of my diary, the beer – fueled and often beer – stained ramblings that I came up with at Word Up Wednesday, the local poetry slam night.

Slam poetry and spoken word is a very different beast to the consciously formed written stuff you learn in school. Most of mine were poorly disguised rants, but they do have a certain rhythm and cadence that you can only achieve through speaking it out loud. Once you’ve performed it, it’s gone!

Except it’s not. What you have left is the raw words. I always scribbled down the basic ideas, and that means there was something that could be edited….

Most of my rants tend to be about our emigration experience, (cos there are many, many things to rant about in that process!). To this end, I got enough together to make a little Chapbook. It’s called ‘from Chavs to Timmies’. Enjoy!

Posted in News

Ikigai – a reason for being

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Ikigai – where are you right now?

Ikigai – your ‘reason for being.’ Of course the Japanese have a word, and an infographic to explain this concept! I would argue that getting yourself into the central segment on here is almost impossible most of the time. Why do the fun things in life never pay the bills? And if they did, would they still be fun? Nevertheless, the Ikigai balance looks like something to aspire to.
It occurs to me that a central theme in my ‘It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time’ book is trying to find the sweet spot balancing working at something I enjoy and following my passions, and actually having to earn a living. That theme is pretty universal for creative types, I feel. Over the years I have swung from the ’empty feeling’ working for other people, to the ‘sense of uncertainty’ (for which I read “crippling self-doubt”) with my own businesses, and now as an aspiring writer, I am definitely in the No Wealth camp. But aren’t we all?! To my mind, ‘happy but broke’ is always a better option than ‘rich but bored.’
What is your Ikigai spot?
Posted in News

Writes of Spring

Isn’t the sunshine glorious?

Spring has sprung, finally and already people are coming out of the general Saskatchewan hibernation; things are starting to happen again around town.

The library is running lots of programs for writers at the moment:

189447312RPL web Writes of Spring

My other blog explains why I am determined to support the libraries even more than usual at the moment. I have managed to get to quite a few of their programs recently and all of them have been inspiring and helpful.

I am also doing the Spring markets with Wheelie Good Coffee right now and unfortunately managed to triple-book myself for the Library/Sask Writers’ Guild Publishing Symposium and can’t make it. However, today I attended a talk about publishing children’s books at Connaught branch. I went mainly for publishing tips but I have also been toying with a few ideas for books for kids – not coffee-related! Shock! Horror!

I started scribbling some silly ideas about the Adventures of our Ferrets, long ago when Miranda was a lot smaller. Amazingly, I still have them and I might revisit them at some point. Those require illustrating, though, and that is way beyond my meagre skill set right now.

More seriously, I loveNico Encarnacion(1) the random conversations that I’ve been having with Miranda lately; she asks so many questions! Her train of thought is wonderfully unique too, and trying to explain the abstract concepts or scientific processes to her is actually quite interesting from our point of view because she just doesn’t ask the things you’d expect her to. I started typing up our exchanges.

I don’t know what I’ll do with them yet, but for now, I’ve put a few up on Wattpad. This is something I can add to whenever we discuss something good – a serialised kid’s non-fiction book? That could be a pretty unique concept!

Posted in News

Working on the new book

My Big Project right now is working on my memoir, It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time. This is my story of ten years of misadventures in the coffee industry, and what happens to entrepreneurs when everything doesn’t quite work out as well as you’d hoped.

The manuscript is currently complete but rather raw. Many thanks go to Angela who is editing for me, and to those friends who are reading over the preliminary chapters.

I’ve put together my first serious book proposal and I’m on the hunt for a publisher! All very exciting and at the same time, stressful and rather dejecting as always.

The book’s blurb is available below, along with my ideas for its cover (priorities!!).

Watch this space!