Archive for December, 2011


Cats and Quakes

I have come to the conclusion that I have defective pets.  I was watching a documentary (yes me!!) on Earthquakes and found myself smirking at the fact that animals “sense” these things before they happen.  Sitting back in my cat clawed frayed lazy boy I thought back to earlier this century ~wavy screen and way back music please~

It was 4:59 AM on a summer Tuesday morning, I remember the time because my alarm goes off at 5:00AM so I can work to make money for cat food and treats.  There was a terrific bang outside, like a truck had gone over a speed bump at 50 mph.  The house shook and the head-board banged against the wall.  I know it was the headboard because ….. well anyway to get on with the story.

I jumped out of bed and looked out the window, up and down the street, nothing.  My wife, who is from San Francisco calmly called out “It was just an earthquake, come back to bed”

“An earthquake???” panicked now, running about the room, being an Easterner all my life I have never had this experience before.

“Lay down, it’s over” she actually went back to sleep…YES SLEEP

“Should I turn off the gas, how about the water and the power?” my voice up a couple of octaves now.

“Just come back to bed, it’s over” her voice sounding a bit agitated now.

“But, what if, when, how should I” the questions were coming so fast I couldn’t put them into sentences.

“BED” a forceful growl from under the covers.

Seeing this line of questioning was futile I went around the house checking, the boy was asleep, good.  There were no apparent water leaks in the house, check.  The doors were still closed which I thought was a good indication that the quake hadn’t destroyed the neighborhood.  The car was ok in the garage, no utility pipes sticking up out of the back yard.  Well I suppose it was just something minor after all.  Walking back into the house and past the two cats, sound asleep, yes, the cats were asleep.  I knew then, like I know now, that the animals are hyper-sensitive to the earths crusts movements but mine just slept through it.  What does this mean, did they not want to warn us?  Was it part of the World Dominance Plan of cats to not wake us and have us killed in the quake? 

Then, I figured it out, my cats have to be defective.  I contacted the rescue where we picked them up, but they refused to take them back.  I considered an ad on Ebay but I don’t think you are allowed to sell live, or sleeping, animals.  So even though this was a few years ago, and the cats are a bit older now, and more rested, if anyone out there wants a great deal on an orange tabby and a calico, just shoot me an email, I will even deliver them.

 

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Hello again fellow Tweeps and welcome to my eighth interview.  I know I keep saying this but it is true, I am extremely lucky to have met some fantastic people on Twitter.  They are great supporters of my blog and my twitter ramblings and are always quick to help whenever I have a question about anything.  The subject of this interview is no different and has been a good Twitter buddy for months now. 

Her debut novel is finished and she is ready to head out on the daunting task of getting an agent.  Please read on and learn more about Isabel Costello who you should be following at @isabelcostello or on her blog at http://isabelcostello.wordpress.com

Hi and welcome Isabel, I notice on your blog that you are wrapping up your first novel and preparing to seek agent representation, can you tell us a bit about the novel?

Nothing Happens for a Reason is the story of a chance encounter in London between two women with nothing in common, leading to an unlikely and intense friendship.  Jackie finds family life tough with two adolescent sons and an ex-husband who can’t accept that it’s over.  Kath is a mysterious American who has no-one.  As their lives become entwined that summer, Kath’s reluctance to talk about her past is matched by Jackie’s sudden urge to reveal her own shocking secret.  And that’s when it gets complicated!

Your novel is partly set in 1970s Brooklyn.  Tell me how you came to be interested in writing about a city on the other side of an ocean from you?

I fell in love with Brooklyn the first time I went there and my character Kath came to me very vividly soon afterwards.  I am fascinated by its duality, the fact that it is both part of NYC and very much its own place.  It also has a very interesting history, and the people are wonderful.

Did you do on-site research for your novel?

Oh yes. Brooklyn/NYC is the last place on earth I would choose to write about if I wasn’t prepared to put in the legwork to get it right.  My research trip at Easter 2011 was one of the most enjoyable experiences ever and  I am greatly in debt to my fantastic network of contacts (now friends) in Brooklyn, especially as it is a very changed place to 1976 and there is no substitute for talking face to face with people who remember it back in the day.  Can’t wait to return!

Have you traveled much in the USA?

Yes, I have been many times and visited at least 20 states.  The first time was Oahu, Hawaii which must be unusual for a British person.  The USA is impossible to beat for its sheer beauty and variety – I have been to Colorado and Utah several times.  My favourite city is NYC (obviously) – I also like  Chicago and San Francisco.  Despite its cultural delights, Washington DC didn’t do it for me and I cannot cope with the climate in Florida. Texas and New Mexico are on my wish list.

How often did you work on your novel in a typical week?

Interesting one!  In theory I work during school hours as I don’t have a full time job, but I often waste huge amounts of time when I should be writing and then write like a demon in the evening, at weekends, etc.  If you’re really not in the mood it is pointless.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My book (reading) group.  When I was in a rut a few years ago, they encouraged me to do something about my ambition to write by taking classes and that’s where it all took off for me.  They are about to read the novel in full before it goes out to agents, and only if they think it’s good enough!  They are very honest and demanding, but I’m not that nervous as some of them have read previous drafts.

What if anything did you learn about yourself while writing your book?

That I’m willing to listen to constructive criticism and push myself hard to write better.  Good novels (and I try to avoid bad ones) always appear effortless, but writing a decent book is infinitely harder than most people think.

Do you have another Novel in mind, and if so will it be in the same genre?

Yes, I have an outline.  I imagine it will appeal to the same readership but will have a slightly different feel as one of the main characters is male and it is partly set inFrance, a place I know well.

I notice that you have some actual formal education in writing, can you tell us a bit about that, and what drew you to it?

My formal education (university degree) was in French and German language and literature, hence my love of literary criticism.  I have taken, and learned a lot from, various informal adult education classes in Creative Writing. 

Your Blog at http://isabelcostello.wordpress.com is very well done, you do reviews and blog a lot about writing, how long have you been blogging?

It’s hard to believe I’ve only been doing it around 3 months.  I am absolutely loving it and the response has been very encouraging.

Your reviews are very good, how long does it take you to write one, typically?

Thank you, Peter! I would love to say I can dash them off in an hour or two but the truth is, it takes the best part of two days, one to study and analyse the book and one to write and polish the review itself. 

How often does your writing group meet, is it large?

We meet fortnightly.  There are 3 or 4 of us, plus our mentor.  The intimate size of the group is one of the reasons it works so well, as we are very familiar with each others’ work and aims.  If it weren’t for this group, I would still be sitting in large classes wondering if I could ever write a novel.

Ok, now for a little bit about the person that is Isabel.

You live in London, England but you weren’t born there, can you tell us geographically challenged people where you were born and raised?

I was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire which is in Southern England about 2 hours fromLondon.  It has a famous and very beautiful cathedral.

Normal old boring childhood or were you on a merchant marine ship growing up?

It’s about time someone said ‘yes’ to the second, isn’t it?  But it won’t be me.

How would you describe yourself as a child?

Solemn, nervy and introverted.  I read all the time.

Did you have a nickname? How’d you get it?

My family call me Izzey since childhood and my husband picked it up from them early on, but I dislike anyone else calling me that.

How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?

I don’t think I ever expected to be as happy as I am.  Having children transformed me.

Speaking of that, I read that you have two boys, lucky you LOL.  What is the zaniest thing that has happened in your household?

My husband made Shrek models, posters etc for our eldest son’s 5th birthday party.  They stayed up, visible from the street, for months and when we removed them tons of people complained and said they missed them!

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you change about your life, if anything?

I would tell my husband he could retire and buy a house with a pool in Provence (France)

 What is your biggest pet peeve?

I am quite old-fashioned about manners, and things like people taking disabled parking spaces they shouldn’t appalls me.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

Don’t worry too much what people think of you, most of the time they are too busy thinking about themselves to care what you get up to.

Your favorite room in the house and why?

My office because nobody is allowed in to mess it up.  Sadly that doesn’t mean it’s tidy all the time.  Getting my own room was critical to being able to write my novel.

What is your favorite Musical Group or Artist

I love the Kings of Leon.  I’m sure they’ll be delighted about that.

What is one place in the world you would like to visit that you have not been to yet?

Tierra del Fuego,Patagonia

If you could change one event in history, what would it be?

The Holocaust

Where would you go in your Time Machine?

Americain the 1960s

If we looked in your refrigerator, what would we find?

Champagne and general signs of decadence

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

I’d settle for it not being ‘The Humiliations of a Failed Novelist’.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a loving wife and mother

For this part, as brief as you can LOL, some one or two word answers please:

Favorite color? Blue

Lucky Number 6

Most Money you have spent on a single Book? £60

Fast dance or Slow Dance?  Fast

Short/Tall?  Tall

Best book you ever read? Madame Bovary

Favorite Music?  Chopin

Movie that makes you cry?   I’ve Loved You So Long

Movie that you watch every year or more often?    Rocky Horror

Favorite Season?  Summer

Regular or Decaf?  Regular, strong

City Girl or Country Girl?  Urban convert

4 door sedan or sports car?  I wish!

Favorite food?  Fillet steak

Tattoo Yes or No? No way.

Take out or cook at home?  Keen cook

Favorite Movie?   American Beauty

Skirts or jeans?  Both

Favorite Day of the Week?  Sunday

How many Pairs of Shoes do you own?   A lot.

 Rings the bell, wow Isabel you are the first one to get through the speed round with just the minimal number of words ~applause~.

You have to keep all of us informed on the progress of getting your novel to press.  I know that you will be a huge success and we can all say that we knew you when.  Now is there any charity or group that you would like to promote?

Macmillan Cancer Support were incredibly important to my family in the last months of my Dad’s life and we will never forget it.

www.macmillan.org.uk

Thanks Isabel, you were a joy to interview.

 

Confessions of a Man

I realize it is the Holiday Season and a lot of you are leaving your Twitters, Face Book or Blogs alone for a few days.  The time honored tradition of being with loved ones is strong enough to pull most of us away from our Cyber world.  However, some of us just can’t resist being here and posting stuff, anything, because we are born to write, or born to bitch about things in some cases, but regardless we need to post.

I have kept this little story to myself for a long time, waiting for the right moment to share it with the world, and hopefully I can do that without offending too many of you since you will be off with the family and not have time to read this anyway.

My wife is a true Saint.  She puts up with me regardless of the situation and I am truly blessed that she has allowed me to share her life.  Saying I would do anything for her is an understatement and I tell her that daily.  I don’t know if she was trying to test that theory or not, but the time came for me to “put up or shut up”.

I was about to head home from work and she called me, asking me to stop by the grocery store and get her some “supplies”.  I was set back for a moment, but remembering my words I agreed and took out a piece of paper and pencil. 

“With wings, contoured, ultra thin, and unscented” I repeated into the phone in a hushed voice so my office mates wouldn’t hear.

“Yes dear that’s right” and she even gave me the generic store brand name by which they went.

I timidly strode into the grocery store with my yellow sticky note in hand.  How difficult could this be I rationalized to myself.  Heading straight for the feminine needs aisle, (I love how they call it that) I walked up and down for a few minutes.  Other women looked at me and slinked away, one picked up a package of something, not supplies, and walked away.  I couldn’t help thinking that she probably wasn’t there to buy that, but whatever.  I was moving packages around, looking high and low but couldn’t find them.  I found super absorbent but they were not with wings, oh the choices, there must be 2,000 different styles and brands. 

Finally, at my wits end I started asking women who walked by, some would just scurry away with their heads down; others would point and quickly move on.  I was beside myself now, how can something this simple be so difficult, finally one brave woman stopped long enough to read my note and picked up a package that had like 3 out of 4 things right.

“This is as close as you will get” before running off like the others.

Well now I had completed cleared the feminine needs aisle, the store manager was checking me out, probably about to call security as this big lug was scaring away the women.  Finally, in sheer desperation I grabbed the package my new friend told me to and went to the checkout.

In my car, I was exhausted, what an ordeal.  Gathering myself up I drove home and proceeded to tell my wife that I didn’t appreciate the Mission Impossible she had sent me and that it was an equivalent to a Military suicide mission just to purchase her “supplies”. 

My wife listened and stoically suppressed laugher all the time waiting for me to finish my rant.

“Are you done?” which is her favorite way of saying shut up.

“Yes” humbled now.

“You went to the wrong grocery store.  That one doesn’t carry the kind I need”

The package that the helpful woman helped me pick out is still in our bathroom.  I know my wife has left it there as a daily reminder to me of the superiority of the female of the species.

 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Everyone.

Men Beware

I would like to take a minute to talk to the men who venture past my little blog.  I have uncovered a rather hideous Christmas ploy that is in use in some of the retail stores.  I was in one of the fancy department stores today at lunch time, they have a big red Dot in their logo ~winks~ and if you say their name with a French accent it kinda sounds high-end.

Anywayyyyyyyyy I was looking for that last minute stocking stuffer for my wife.  I wandered the store aimlessly for about 30 minutes when I stumbled across the fragrance counter.  Oh surely this is it, I can just pick up a bottle of something that smells sorta good and be done, right?  Well it seemed that things were just going great, why did you know they even have “testers” or big bottles of the product out on display for you to try? Neat huh? 

Well this particular Tar… I mean exotic high-end department store, must have had a theft problem because they had these “tester” bottles all glued down to a shelf.  Simple enough just pump and the fragrance would spray and you could sniff and there you go, right?  Nope, this is the hideous trick guys, beware of this, it may already be too late for you, but I am doing a little public service here.

The testers are about chest high, and back a bit on the shelf, but pointing straight out.  I reached out and being a guy gave the plunger a health push on some fragrance named after a female vocalist who used to be with a group of some sort…. anywayyyyy it appears that the gearing on those pump thingies must be pretty high because I got a chest full of the fragrance.  So what, you say, well the problem was now I am covered in this fragrance and I am in a panic.  What if I go home and she wonders who I have been cuddling up to at lunch time? Oh my, the thoughts raced through my mind as I stood frozen in front of this bottle of Bey…. some kinda singer named fragrance.  The only choice I had was to buy a bottle of the frgrance.  Now, when I get home she will no doubt notice the scent and I will just pull the little bottle from the bag and say “Well I was going to surprise you but since you always guess what I get you for Christmas, Here, you can have it now”. 

There is no limit to what these brazen high-end stores won’t do.  I hope I have saved at least one of you from making an unncessary purchase today.  Merry Christmas.

Spam is Funny

Oh my, I am sure a lot of you get this one but I had to cut and paste it here.  I mean if the intent of spam is to get you to go to a site and use their products these guys are doing it all wrong.

How is it that just anybody can write a blog and get as popular as this? Its not like youve said anything incredibly impressive –more like youve painted a pretty picture over an issue that you know absolutely nothing about! I dont want to sound mean, here. But do you really believe that you simply can get away with adding some pretty pictures and not truly say anything?

I should have posted the link because some of you may want to run over there and do some shopping LOL.  Hey, maybe they are right, I have said nothing incredibly impressive, and I don’t know really what I am talking about, oh wait, I don’t use pictures, phew. Ok, not me 🙂  I didn’t change the punctuation on the spam message either.

Peter and the Volcano

I know I have ranted on in the past about public school and the things that the students (ie parents) are asked to do.  I have been in a competition with my wife to see which of us gets a better grade on our assignments that we ~cough~ help our 12-year-old boy with.  So far she is a little bit ahead, but I think I have taken the lead this time.

You parents have all seen the assignment.  Build a working volcano no bigger than the size of a desk surface.  The boy of course let me know this on Monday night with the assignment due on Wednesday.  No fear, I mean I work in construction, how hard can a volcano be.  The boy was very helpful, he told me that the teacher told them to use play dough and mentos with diet soda. 

Well for the average parent who is not that handy, then store-bought play dough and mints with soda would be sufficient, however, feeling a bit more than average (at times) I decided to go a whole new route.  Back to Google, yes, I love Google, and looked up how to make my own play dough.  Getting the big kitchen-aid down from its hiding spot, 10 pounds of flower, oh some salt, about 3 pounds of that, some vegetable oil and of course water and we started.  The boy quickly bored with the whole process and went into the other room to do further research (ie watch TV).  Undaunted I proceeded to make up about 15 lbs of play dough.  Molding it around an empty plastic water bottle I soon had a perfect looking, albeit white, volcano. 

The boy returned to the kitchen to get  a drink of water and was dumfounded that I had managed to create a volcano. 

“Wow, that is great Dad, now we need to buy some Mentos and Diet Soda”

Smirking at the boy, then telling him oh no, we were going to use Google and find out a better way.  Sifting through the search pages, thinking that Mentos and Coca Cola must pay a fortune to have their products listed so many times before finally finding the one I was looking for.  Yes, you can make a volcanic type eruption with vinegar and baking soda.  Now you more sophisticated parents already knew that didn’t you? 

Back to the kitchen, the boy nowhere to be found this time.  I rummaged around in the pantry and found the ingredients, using some exotic vinegar that my wife had purchased, but I figured the more expensive the better right?  I put some vinegar in the bottle and spooned in the baking soda and Zowie, instant bubbles that flowed out of the bottle top nice and easy, like a volcanic eruption.

Calling the boy back in from wherever he was, he looked at the bottle in the sink with the foam flowing out and was speechless, a major feat by the way.

“Wow Dad, you are awesome”

I must admit I felt pretty proud of myself.  I then went on and told him specifically to put the vinegar in first then the baking soda.  He nodded and half listened as he marvelled at my ability, who would have thought an old guy would be able to do this.

My wife finally appeared and with her usual lack of tact asked me what that was on the plate.  As proud as a new parent I told her it was a volcano. 

“Oh, I thought it was a breast” (editors note, I changed that word from what she actually called it)

Oh now I see, she is jealous, knowing I will surely get an A+ on this one.  I put the vinegar on the table next to the volcano, the baking soda in a small plastic bag with a plastic spoon and once again instructed the boy on the proper sequence.

Well yesterday was the day, he took his cool looking volcano into school.  My wife dropped him off and was quick to call me and tell me about all the other kids bringing in painted volcanos, some with landscaping, some really big.  She loves doing that to me at times, but I simply responded that our volcano was from the higher elevations and was snow-covered.

I got home from work before the boy got there.  He came off the bus and into the house beaming.  I asked him how the volcano went and he said terrific, it was a hit with all his classmates.  He went on to tell me that they all had Mentos and Diet Soda and the eruptions were, in his words, OK.  I then asked the obvious question about his.

“It was great Dad, I put about 8 spoons of baking soda in and then poured in some vinegar”

“But Son, you were supposed to ….” (thinking I had told him the backing soda last, not first) “….well ok then what happened”

“Oh that sucker blew like crazy, kids were ducking, the teacher actually let out a little scream and look” he opened his jacket and was covered in white speckles of baking soda. 

 “This is nothing though, a couple of the other kids look like worse than this and some have their hair coated in it”

My wife chuckled, saying something about a breast shouldn’t do that.

He was happy, he was a hit with all the boys in his class, but he couldn’t wait to tell the teacher and everyone else that it was his Dad that did it, including telling him how to make the eruption.

I really am not cut out for this parent stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

THE Surgery

Just after the birth of my son, I decided it was time. I had avoided the “snip” for many, many years, but now I figured I was due. My wife being unable to take contraception for health reasons cemented the need for me to have the procedure. I can imagine that you ladies think this is nothing compared to child birth (rolls my eyes) but for a man it is a very big deal.

My wife being the CEO of the family quickly found a Doctor after I told her of my decision. The two of us went for the “consultation” a few weeks later. I thought seeing a billboard with two tennis balls on it, one of them with a band aid, advertising a vasectomy clinic was bad enough but hearing this Doctor rattle off with clinical ease how he was going to perform the procedure had me crossing my legs and looking at the ceiling the whole time.

My wife is not shy and asked the Doctor point blank “How long do we have to wait after the procedure to have sex?” I listened, thinking it was a good question.

“Well it varies, depending on how he feels and other factors but overall I would say right away, I just ask that you wait until you have left my offices first” Oh, a comedian on top of a Doctor, he must pull in huge dollars.

Before we left he did say “You don’t have to shave, we will take care of that”.

Fast forward two weeks and in we go, my wife is very supportive so she asked if she could sit in on the procedure. The Doctor carried right on with his stand up routine and said “No problem, the farm wives look on all the time”.

There I lay on his little 5 foot long bench hanging over the ends as I am 6’3, I proudly announced with a touch of my chin that I had not shaved as he directed. Well this really didn’t have any effect on the Doctor, but it did make my wife giggle. I began to doubt his comedic abilities.

“Can I sit down that end and watch” my wife said with way too much glee?

“Why of course, I don’t get asked that very often, but before we start, for liability purposes, I must ask you Ma’am do you recognize the patient?”  Hysterical laughter from below from both of them, I am not even smiling.

He then went into great verbal detail explaining the procedure to my wife, starting with the needle to numb things, it had to be about 4 feet long that needle, and my wife thoughtfully held my hand while he jabbed that sucker into the family jewels.

Once I came back down onto the short table, the numbing started to take effect. I felt like I was working outside in a Canadian winter again, things were that numb. I counted ceiling tiles, doing the 8 wide by 14 long and doing the math to get the total, then counting each one individually to double check. All the while I was listening in on their conversation, almost an out of body experience.

“I cut here, and pull this out, and here, can you hold this for me, yes, like that, great. Now I snip here and that’s it, he is neutered” snickers from below as my count continues.

“Now we need to cauterize the wound” I thought that if that numbing isn’t working I will find out about it any moment now.

“How neat” my wife exclaims “look at that just melting together” as the smell of burning flesh, my burning flesh, fills the room.

“Now I need to sew up the wound, but first we have to do an instrument count, make sure we didn’t leave anything in there”

Oh I see, the Doctor does have a sense of humor when he cracks the jokes. I make a mental note to tell him that 3 of his ceiling tiles are filthy.

“Ok all stitched up, before he sits up I need to toss all these bloody cotton swabs away” more laughter from below, they are having a great time, I am so happy for them.

Sitting me up, the room a bit lighter than it was when I came in, he then tells me the best part about having the procedure.

“You will need to keep them completely on ice for at least 24 hours”. Oh that’s no problem I figured, they are already numb. My wife and I stand at the counter, giving the receptionist the co-pay and the young thing just smiles at me with that all knowing look of “boy I bet he is hurting”.

Walking to the door, I turn and say to the receptionist, “tell the Doctor his ceiling is filthy” I walk out with a smug look on my face.

Hello everyone, back again with Interview #7.  I have been really fortunate to have interviewed people from basically around the world, ok, at least from several different countries, Australia, Englandand across the pond in the USA.  However, this time, I am extremely excited about the opportunity to not only interview a published Author, but a Canadian Author on top of it, can it get any better?  I am not sure when I bumped into Stacia Carlton on Twitter @staciaEcarlton I think our mutual good (crazy) friend Zencherry (see Interview #1) suggested that we follow each other.  So as I do with everyone that I follow, I went and peeked at Stacia’s website http://www.staciacarlton.com and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.  One thing I did note was an interview that was recently posted on Zencherrys site http://zencherry.wordpress.com with Stacia.  She sounded like a really cool person and I wanted to find out more about her, and if you have read Interviews 1 through 6 you will know that I tend to quickly get off subject and start digging into the real person.

So, now that the long winded introduction is over please read on and find out more about a great Author, Canadian and Tweep, Stacia Carlton.

Hello Stacia, I couldn’t help but notice, since it is on your Twitter Profile, that you are from Toronto, (Ontario, Canada for those people who didn’t know).  Tell us Stacia were you born and raised in Toronto?

Hey Peter!  So happy to have a chance to speak with you!  So yeah, I am from Toronto, raised here and a real Torontonian at heart.  I wasn’t born in Toronto, but I guess I would say that I definitely grew up here…and hopefully continue to grow here!  It’s a brilliant city!

Ahh but not born there, so where were you born, in the forest north of the City?

I was born in a small Ontario town on the shores of the St. Lawrence, near the Quebec border. The region offers some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine.

 Have you ever lived outside of Canada?

 Nope. In my heart I often think that I’d like to live in Paris, but in all honesty I’m not sure that I could ever leave Canada permanently…it’s really unbelievably beautiful.  And I love snow…so it works out well

 I notice you have already been published, what is your current total?

One published so far, working on number two but only one for now.  

Are you self published?

I am!  I chose self publishing after extensive (and really boring) research.  Basically what I discovered was that unless you’re a celebrity (maybe the flavour of the week reality star), an established name (think Stephen King), or offering them a great work of “literature” agents really don’t have the time of day for you. Some of the agents were very forthcoming with that very information too, which I thought quite nice of them in a odd sort of way! I suppose that my material isn’t heady enough for them to consider time worthy, which I completely understand. And so I chose to go it alone…I’m tough and extremely tenacious so I thought it a good fit. Did you know that ebooks recently outsold paperbacks?!  Pretty exciting news!

Again, I know the answer to this, but what genre do you write in primarily?

I’m not a huge fan of the word romance but it is the most accurate way to describe what I write. They are contemporary love stories.  Not necessarily what you might expect from a typical romance.  I try to make them very real, real people, real thought processes relatable situations, real conversations.  There’s lots of awesome sex, but I try to make it  more reality based than the typical bodice rippers.  Not to put those down, they’re great too, but I just want to tell stories that anyone can imagine themselves in…you know? My current work in progress however is more of a psychological examination of a sexual affair.  So I guess you might say that I like to write about men and women and what goes on not only behind closed doors, but also in the darker recesses of their minds.

And why did you choose that area to write in?

I don’t think I chose it so much as it chose me…Is that a terrible cliché?  I guess you write what you know ultimately…I’m not a vampire, nor have I ever met one (although I often think I might to, like right about now…I’m digging being this age!).  I’m not a cop nor a detective.  I’ve loved, I’ve lost…I’ve thought about those situations so now I write about them.

How often do you work on your novel in a typical week?

I try to write every day, but I have kids and a husband and I really like to get to the gym, so sometimes it gets a bit less time that it really deserves…I suppose I write about 10 or so hours a week…One day it’ll be more…once everyone figures out where the eggs/towels/windex/extra blankets/old CD collection/corkscrew (oh wait that’s me), what those big white machines in the basement do,  well anyway you get the point…once people start to figure out where stuff is and what stuff does around the house, I might have a little more time to write.  It’s fun and funny, and I do enjoy every minute of it in the meantime!

Oh people, enough of this, if you want to read all about her work, just go to Stacia’s website http://www.staciacarlton.com or stop by Zencherry’s site http://zencherry.wordpress.com for that great interview.  I want to get a bit more personal with Stacia, you know, find out what makes her tick or ticked off.

Have you ever been to Lion’s Head, Ontario? (snickers)

I so wish I got where you were going with that one, but sadly I’m fresh out of witty comebacks…sorry (I even googled it to see if there was anything I could go with…)

Big question for me, are you a middle child, only child, one of a huge brood?

Youngest of three…pretty great place to be…

Normal old boring childhood or were you on a merchant marine ship growing up?

Idyllic bordering on ridiculous!

What is your favorite sport, professional or amateur, and what team do you root for?

Tennis is without question my favourite professional sport…I could watch and discuss tennis almost endlessly…I have no favourites…I love them all… although I do love to watch the new up and comers…have you seen the new kid from Canada with the rocket serve?Milos Raonic…keep your eyes on that one!

Do you have a favorite musical group or Artist?

My musical taste is extremely varied.  Very few styles that I dislike…currently loving James Morrison (not Jim Morrison, although I really like his stuff too – time and place right!) and The Dave Matthews Band…I think if I had to choose one artist of all times though it would have to be Prince. What?  I was a teen in the early 80’s!!!!

 When you are writing, do you play music or prefer silence?

I can listen to some classical, but nothing with lyrics…I have an uncanny ability to recall song lyrics …I will sing along with ANYTHING! I’ve also found that what I listen to influences the storyline…I prefer to be in charge and not allow John Legend, for example, to dictate what happens during a particular scene. And he has been known to do that…usually the sex scenes too the little devil!

Do you have a day job?

Yes, I run a very small and exclusive hotel.  It’s a bit like a tiny all inclusive.  Meals prepared, open bar for those over age 19,  maid service (including laundry), shuttle service to varying offsite entertainment events, we even have a homework assistance mechanism in place for the VIP clientele and of course therapy when required, and as with most resorts, it’s always busier on the weekends…HAHAHAHAHA!  I kill me!

What is the favorite room in your house and why?

Probably my dining room…it’s in the centre of my mostly open concept main floor and it’s where I write.  The table is large and mid last century modern, which I adore. It’s big so I can spread out if I need to, but mostly I like it because I can see out to the front and back of the house, keeps anyone or anything from sneaking up on me. I startle easily!

Who was the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?

MOST important!?! That’s tough!  Different people fill different roles. My husband and kids obviously top the list…they are literally my everything but I would be remiss if I didn’t also include my sister.  She epitomizes everything not only a big sister should be, but also a best friend.  I could go on for pages…but how to sum her up in a short paragraph? She loves limitlessly, she listens endlessly, she understands depths that no one else ever can, she calls me out when I need it,ANDshe’s as funny as hell! What else can a girl ask for?

If you could change one event in history, what would it be?

If we change anything from the past then it automatically alters the future, and then we wouldn’t have the lessons from the past that we have now.  Wow! Did I watch one too many Quantum Leap episodes as a kid? (Editors note, I loved that show)

What is your earliest memory?

My memories are so extensive and varied that I couldn’t possibly recall one as being the definitive first.  Sorry, boring 😦

How would you describe yourself as a child? 

Funny, peculiar, tomboyish and maybe with a hint of sass.

How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?

I always thought that I would be a terribly succesful business woman, inexplicably married to a starving artist.  The irony is that I’m married to a successful business man who keeps me from being a starving artist. Lucky me!

If you were an animal, what would you be?

A cat…intelligent, elegant, lithe, graceful, beautiful, athletic, sleeps a TON…in a nutshell everything I aspire to be

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Probably people who park in handicapped spots who clearly have no impediment…or maybe people who crowd you in a line up. It’s not going to make the line go quicker people…no wait, people who chew with their mouths open…um can I have a minute with this one?

What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

I’m infinitely more adventurous in my mind, although I did jump off a 50’ cliff into a lake once…brown bottle courage and all that…and some other stuff, but I can’t discuss that in this type of forum 😉

Where would you go in your Time Machine?

Mid 18th century Scotland, to when Jamie and Claire met and I would TOTALLY steal Jamie from her. (You’ve gotta be an Outlander fan to get that one!)

Have you ever been to a school or college reunion?

I have not in fact!  Not my scene ATALL! The past is the past…let’s just leave it there shall we!

Phew, that was intense, now for some rapid fire questions, see if you can keep it to one or two word answers, but I know from past interviews that is hard for writer’s to do.

Favorite color? Chartreuse

Lucky Number? 3

Most Money you have spent on a single Book? $170

Fast dance or Slow Dance? Neither

Short/Tall? Tall

Best book you ever read? ToKillAMockingBirdOROfMiceandMen (see what I did there?!)

Favorite TV Show TV Meh~

Movie that makes you cry? The Pianist

Movie that you watch every year or more often? Rocky Horror Picture Show (OF COURSE!)

Favorite Season? Fall

Regular or Decaf? neither

City Girl or Country Girl? city

4 door sedan or sports car? Sports car

Favorite food? Charcuterie (Editors note, My turn to Google)

Take out or cook at home? Cook at home

Skirts or jeans? Both

Favorite Day of the Week? MONDAY!!!

Wow, you are good at this, but I know you have been interviewed before so it is likely getting to be old hat with you.  Ok, I will admit to you (but don’t tell anyone else) I lived in Lion’s Head, Ontario for 4 years, actually the last 4 years I lived at home (high school time).  I don’t like to tell many that, but if they don’t know where it is or that it has a population of 280 then its ok.

Well Stacia, you have been a great sport, I have asked everyone I interview lately if they have a charity they would like to plug and you gave me the link to Me to We http://www.metowe.com/ .  I encourage everyone to stop by there and check them out they have some fantastic ideas and do a great service.

Thanks again Stacia.