Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Epic Movie

I was lucky enough to see the new movie with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, called Australia. It was quite wonderful. Especially engaging was the little Aboriginal boy who played Nallah(sp?).

The scenery, the romance, the sweeping countryside, everything made this story a modern epic along the lines of Gone With the Wind. Extremely enjoyable.

Also, as an aside, I went to see Twilight for the second time and liked it even better the second time.

Hope you all found some time over the holidays to sneak in a movie or two (as well as the books we all love). If any really stood out, please let us know!

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twilight didn't disappoint!

Went to see Twilight last week, along with seven thousand giggling teenagers! It did not disappoint me.

Robert Pattinson played an excellent Edward. What teenage girl wouldn't fall for him? (Although he is slightly 'geeky' in real life interviews!)

Kirstin Steward did a great job as Bella. I loved that she seemed so small-town normal wearing work boots and big mitts. Very romantic yet thrilling movie. And the scenery was great too. Want to see it again!

Four star rating from me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Twilight almost here!

For all you Twilight (Stephanie Meyers) fans - 2 more sleeps until the movie opens! My daughter and her friends have already bought their tickets and are having a sleep over afterwards. They even went downtown Toronto last weekend and got to see the stars of the movie. Withstood rain storms just to catch a glimpse. Oh to be young again!

Bella & Edward, here we come! (But I'm doing the sane thing and waiting for the uproar to die down.)

PS. A big happy birthday to my brother, Greg. Yesterday was his day! Hope it was a good one.

Your Civic Duty

What is it about our judicial system that they make doing your civic duty such a HORRIBLE experience?

Almost everyone called to jury duty dreads going into that room. Why? Maybe because you are treated as less than human. Actually more like a criminal instead of a potential judge on the case.

No, really. They heard over 200 people into one room, take your name, tell you to sit down (in totally uncomfortable chairs) and then - LEAVE YOU THERE FOR HOURS WITH NO INFORMATION! Sometimes, an official with a uniform comes in and whispers to another official, never looks anyone in the eye and leaves. The people sit up in their chairs, waiting hopefully for one tiny tidbit of information. But nothing comes. Why can't they share something with all the people just sitting there? It would make us less hostile, that's for sure.

And they don't even provide coffee or water! The least they could do is give us a drink. Well, that's my rant for now. Luckily I wasn't picked for a case so I'm safe for another 3 years. Whew!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Follow up & Good News!

Well better late than never, I always say. My conference was already a month ago. Where does the time go?

I guess we had Thanksgiving in there and another full day seminar in Toronto, plus tickets to THE SOUND OF MUSIC (excellent production), so I've been a bit busy.

First the follow up:

Other than a few minor glitches, the Ottawa Writers' Conference went well. I learned something from every speaker. Some were more interesting than others but all in all, well worth the trip. I even made it through my pitch with Brenda Chin from Harlequin. She is so nice and gave me some advice which I may or may not take. Anyways, always interesting to hear what editors are looking for.

Now my news:

I am a finalist in the GOLDEN PEN contest!! All day on Monday, I waited for an email or the phone to ring. Finally in the evening I decided I didn't final. However, they are several hours behind us, so it was still afternoon there! And I finally got the email! So I spent the next 2 days madly reading the judges suggestions and revising my entry to send in again. This time my dream editor from Steeple Hill, Melissa Endlich, will be judging it. The worst I can come in is third which is still wonderful. I'll find out mid-December. So we wait again!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Conference fever

Okay, so it's not the Nationals. But this weekend I'm going to the Ottawa chapter's Sweet and Spicy 2 conference. (I think I may be the only non-spicy writer there!)

I still haven't decided if I'll pitch my latest book or not. I have an appointment with one of the Harlequin Blaze editors (again - spicy), but I know she can recommend me to the Steeple Hill editor. I am not good at verbal things, however. Just having to record my answering machine announcement makes my tongue tangle (and that's reading off a paper!) And if anyone's within hearing distance, I can't do it. So the only way I'll get through a pitch is probably to read off cue cards. And if madam editor asks me a question, my mind will be a blank. *Sigh*

The other option is to just go in and chat for 10 minutes about the business in general. I can do that! Guess I'll play it by ear.

Other than the pitch, I'm really looking forward to getting away. We (my CP & I) are going by train, so we can relax and read along the way. Maybe see some nice fall colours too!

Will let you know how it turned out next week!

Happy writing.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Musings

Hey everyone,

Hope you're all enjoying September!

Here are some random thoughts for the day: (plus a picture of my beautiful daughter who won't friend me on Facebook)

1) How come washing machines only last 4-5 years now? I had one Inglis washing machine, a used one I bought for $150 when I first got married, that was fantastic. It finally died at age 32 or so. It was pretty old when I got it. Then our next brand new machine died at age 4. The transmission went (who knew a washing machine had a transmission!?) and the repairman told me it wasn't worth fixing. So I got ANOTHER new machine. Now just past it's fourth birthday, it won't spin dry properly. I had a repairman in today. He couldn't figure out what was wrong but it could be the motor! I said "But it's only 4 years old." He just gave me a look like "Lady, what do you expect for such an old machine." He said a new motor would cost around $300 and I should probably get a new machine. IT'S A CONSPIRACY, folks.

2) I opened a FACEBOOK account today. Not really sure why, but apparently it's the thing to do. My teenage daughter looked at me with horror when I told her I sent her a message and asked to be her friend. I guess it would look very un-cool to have such an OLD person on her friend list. SIGH. Oh well, at least I have other people who are willing to be-friend me! Now if I can just figure the whole thing out, I'll be fine!

3) Daughter did want me to read her new favourite book series by Stephanie Meyers. So I have started reading "Twilight" and surprisingly, I really like it! That's the sign of a talented author - one who can appeal to 15 year olds and 40 somethings as well.

4) If you leave peaches and pears on your patio table, you will have the scene of a MASSACRE the next day!! It looks like the raccoons were fighting over them. All the pears are gone, but the deck is littered with peach carcasses! Fun!

Well, enough random musings for today. They say gas prices may drop a bit tomorrow. I sure hope so. 15 cents a litre increase in one day is a bit ridiculous to say the least.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Hallelujah! School is back. Back to routine, normal bedtimes and homework! With one pre-teen and a teenager, mom and dad were in bed many nights before the kids. What a strange feeling!

Then when I came home from work at lunch time, they were sometimes just getting up!

Yes, I am glad they are back to the grind. Now maybe I can get myself back into a routine as well. And just maybe the house will stay clean for an hour or so at a time.

Happy September everyone :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Yes, I'm using an Olympics analogy. I have crossed my finish line and finished my book! "Threads of a Tapestry" is done as of Aug.8/08! BTW, this date is supposed to be the luckiest ever according to Chinese philosophy. Hope it rubs off on my ms.

Now I have to let it settle for a bit and then tackle the editing process. I am going to give myself until the end of September to polish it up and then I'll have to decide whether to submit it to a publisher or get an agent first. Big decision!

The Olympics have been so inspiring, not just to athletes, but to anyone trying to achieve a goal. Their dedication and perserverance is awe inspiring. People like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt blow me away! And the Canadian diver (sorry, can't remember his French name). Great stories of persistance to gain your dreams.

I will continue to write with my goal in sight!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Golden Heart Update

It's all over for another year. The Golden Hearts have been given out and, sadly, I did not receive one. But as the Oscar hopefuls always say, "it was an honour just to be nominated".

Congratulations to Kit Wilkinson who won for the Inspirational Category, plus all the other winners! I really hope to be able to go next year and experience the excitement in person.

On a more positive note, I am SO CLOSE to finishing my latest work in progress (WIP), my fingers are itching. Just a few more last scenes to work out and "Threads of a Tapestry" will be complete!

Until then, happy blogging!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everyone's in San Fran!

Well it's lonely here with all the Golden Heart finalists and lots of my fellow Toronto chapter writers out in San Francisco for the National Conference and awards!

I hope they are all having a fantastic time. Lots of workshops and speakers and camaraderie to share.

As a finalist, I will miss that once in a lifetime moment of my HUGE head on the jumbo-tron. That alone would be worth the price of admission! Luckily a fellow finalist said she'd take a picture of my 15 seconds of fame as a keepsake. Thanks, Keli!

I want to wish all the wonderful Pixies (aka GH finalists) the best of luck on Saturday night's award. Too bad we all couldn't win. In my mind, we all are winners!

With bated breath I will wait for Sunday morning (Aug. 3) to find out the results. Kinda like missing the Oscars and waiting to hear the winners the next day on the radio. Tune in Sunday for an update!

Cheers, Sue

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm a Guest Blogger Today

Hey everyone,

Come and join me over at "Romance Writers on the Journey", Keli Gwyn's (fellow Golden Heart finalist) blogspot.

She even has a draw for one lucky person who leaves a message. I'll be popping by this afternoon to answer questions, etc.
The site is: (Sorry, I'm not sure how to leave a link.) Hope to see you there.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

What is the deal with bifocals?

Is anyone else finding it almost impossible to get used to bifocals?

Okay, I'm still in my forties, I'm not 93 or anything. But I have been fighting the need for bifocals for almost 4 years now.

When I first found reading difficult, and had to take my glasses off to read close up, my eye doctor said I needed bifocals, or a separate pair of glasses for reading. That sounded like a real pain, so I opted for the bifocals. I got the ones with a line in the middle (can't remember why now). The doctor told me to wear the new glasses all the time and don't go back to my old ones. Well, after about two weeks, insanity began to set in. I went out and got another pair of one vision glasses and relegated the bifocals to my purse. They stayed there, except for a few rare occasions for three and a half years. I could not get used to bobbing my head like a turkey to see properly.

Fast forward three years, and my eyes are REALLY bad now. I go for my checkup and both far away and up close prescriptions have changed. My new eye doctor (a woman, I might add) told me I should try the progressive bifocals - much better than the lined one. I tried a sample in the office - seemed pretty good. But to my dismay I was informed that the lenses alone cost between $400-500. Since my daughter also needed new glasses, and we couldn't afford both, mom decided to forego the new bifocals.

Finally, eight months later, a 50% sale on lenses enticed me to order the glasses. These were supposed to be the creme-de-la-creme lenses. $549 just for the lenses (but I got them for half price) and then the frames on top. So I ordered them. I now have had the new specs for a little over a week, and the same insanity is threatening!!

I only get these specific areas of clarity. Half the time, I'm looking through blurred lenses, googling my head to find the right spot on the glasses. When I find it, God forbid I should have to move again. Walking is a new challenge. To see the floor clearly, I have to angle my head straight down, then I crash into walls.

They should have courses for first time bifocalers! To teach us how to use these things. To anyone out there going through this, or better yet, anyone who has successfully mastered the art, please drop me a line and let me know your secret! I will be SO grateful to know I'm not alone.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday!

Today, June 18, 2008, would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday. Her name was Agnes Farrell and she passed away 4 years ago, but today, we are celebrating anyway. Celebrating a wonderful long life and a wonderful lady.

Call me crazy, (and I think a few members of my family are doing just that), but I went to the party store and bought a bunch of helium balloons. The biggest one has a giant "100" on it. And tonight we are going to the cemetery to tie this bouquet onto the grave marker and sing Happy Birthday. Then when anyone passes by for the next little while, they'll notice the balloons and perhaps drop by for a visit!

My husband's grandfather, George Bush (no relation to the prez!), lived to celebrate his 100th birthday. That was quite a party.

Ours tonight may not be so grand, but the same good wishes and intentions will definitely be there.

So, happy birthday Grandma, (Nana to the great-grandkids). Hope you're having a terrific party in heaven!

Love, Sue

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tribute to a Good Friend

On May 20, 2008, I lost a very good friend, one I'd been friends with for over 30 years (since grade school). Her name was Katarina and she fought a very brave battle with colon cancer. Her poor body gave out, leaving behind a husband and four beautiful children, parents, a brother, sister, nieces and nephews as well as MANY, MANY friends.

She was loyal, kind and thought of everyone else before herself. She was an avid gardener though she didn't get much chance to enjoy it this year. She was always interested in everyone else. She travelled to all kinds of interesting places, including China, Paris, Chile and Honduras. She was very creative, did ceramics, quilting and was an avid reader.

We will all miss her greatly.

My advice to one and all is "enjoy life while you can. No one knows how long we'll be here." Here's to my friend, Katarina. May her gentle spirit live on forever.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Creating a Web-Site

Taking a break from sheer frustration! Argh!! I, the technically challenged one, am trying to create a web-site from the supposedly simplest template. Won't mention any names yet - mainly because I am suffering from deep PMS and this is probably not the best time to rant.

Before I work up the nerve to go back to my "construction" site, I decided to post a blog, something I have neglected lately. And I can't get in to my "bleeping" blog! Something about COOKIES (did they have to call them that - now I'm hungry!) Lord knows what I have done to my poor computer settings in the past few hours. Maybe it's having PMS too!

Okay, deep breath in, and out, and here we go back for more FRUSTRATION!

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Balancing the Pleasure with the Pain

Just when you start feeling you're getting somewhere with your writing, BAM! reality smacks you in the forehead!

Yes, I received the dreaded rejection letter this week from Steeple Hill, my publisher of choice. They did say I could submit future works, so there is something positive out of the whole thing.

So now I have decided it might be in my best interest to pursue finding an agent. That will be my next quest. And luckily I have a lot of feedback from my fellow writers on their experiences with different agents and agencies. So time to back track, do my research and get those queries out there!

It's amazing how taking a little action helps dispel the blahs!

Take care everyone and keep thinking positive thoughts.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jane Austen Mania

It took me a while but I have now caught the Jane Austen fever. After watching "Pride and Prejudice" and then "Sense and Sensibility" on Masterpiece theatre for a few weeks in a row, I got hooked. Somehow the BBC versions were more realistic to me than the big Hollywood productions.

After watching those series, I had to rent "Becoming Jane" with Anne Hathoway, who does an excellent job of portraying this remarkable woman. As I forge on with my own writing career, I think about Jane and how amazing it would have been for a woman in the late 1700's and early 1800's to have her work published! She was way ahead of her time.

Jane's unrequited love story was so well done, even though I know they embellished a few details and maybe changed the timing of some events. Her conflict over her ill-fated love for Tom Lefroy, as well as her refusal to marry another man for money only, despite the pressure of her family, were poignantly portrayed.

So enthralled was I with this real life story, that I had to look up Tom Lefroy's biography. He married not long after his "flirtation" with Jane, and had 8 children, one of whom died in infancy. He went on to have an illustrious career as a Chief Justice in Ireland as well as to serve in politics. Unlike Jane who died quite young, Tom went on to live past 90. His first daughter was named Jane, and some speculate that it was after Jane Austen. He apparently did confess to a nephew that he had been in love with Jane. There is some proof as well that when Jane died, he travelled back to England for her funeral and that later he bought a rejection letter from one of the publishing houses. Now that is romantic! Big sigh!

So if you get a chance, rent "Becoming Jane", but have a box of tissue handy!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 Golden Heart® Finalist

For anyone who writes Romantic Fiction, the Golden Heart Contest will mean something to them. Hosted by the Romance Writers of America, this contest for unpublished authors receives entries from all over the world. To get that phone call saying that your manuscript has finalled in the contest is quite a thrill to say the least!

Well, I received just such a call on March 25, 2008! My book "Wyndermere House" is one of the five finalists in the Inspirational Romance category. And I almost hung up on the poor woman! I thought it was a telemarketer who didn't even know what company she was calling from! Luckily I didn't cut her off with an "I'm not interested" remark as I so often do with those pesky callers. When the term RWA still didn't sink in, the term Golden Heart finalist got my attention!

To all the other women out there who have received the same honour, I say congratulations and wish you all the best of luck.

And now I can add the tag line "2008 Golden Heart® Finalist" to my name. For the next little while at least.

Welcome to My First Blog!

Welcome everyone to Sue's blog! I must admit up front that I am a blog virgin. This is a big step for me. The next one will be to get a web-site. Or maybe I should start with a My Space or Facebook page. My daughter can help me with that one!

Stay tuned for more!