A Story To Be Told

Top o’ the morning to all of you!  I’ve been away for a couple of months now.  That is quite a stretch, I know!

Still, I’ve been busy.  I have a new job in downtown Vancouver that I am just loving.  It is great to be part of team.  I am excited and delightfully taking in new information on a daily basis.

I’m working on my second book.  Oh, I’ve got six on the go and for quite some time ‘Insomnia’s Dream‘ was occupying my attention.   I hit the wall in Chapter 15.  I had lost some of what I’d written one night as I poured out a chapter that I thought was fabulous.  And exhausted I didn’t save it.  Oddly this incident seemed to really bring me to a complete halt for that particular story-line.  I began to consider the direction I was going in the telling of the tale.  I read back through the previous chapters and I liked how the story that was unfolding.  In fact there were a few stories developing along with sub-plots.

I didn’t want this project to become a jumbled mess.  And sometimes when I’m in the emotional write state, my sweet little imagination runs just a bit wild.

The idea for this story had changed a few times already and while the plot had pretty much crystallized  I found myself now in a bit of quagmire.  This is a pivotal part of the story and I need to work out a few things so that it will all tie in at the end.

I’ll go back to it in a few months.  By then I’ll know which way I want to go with it.

I looked at my next project.  This was going to be a trilogy.  Still I had some indecision about this one as well.

So for about three weeks I really took a look at all my projects.   I streamlined them, deciding how these tales would eventually unfold, created characters and developed in point form the basic outline.  Yes, they all have a few chapters written at this point.

Still the trilogy was something of a puzzle.  This was the project I had chosen to work on next and I was doing research to ensure my fictional story was authentic, genuine and told with passion for the subject matter.   The subject matter of this story is the written language and our desire to communicate, to record our lives, to tell our truth.

As I slipped off to sleep a few months back the story came to life in my mind’s eye.  I was in that place where I wasn’t quite asleep but not really awake either.  Yet, my awareness was such that I knew this.  And I played out the story-line in those moments. Cemented the idea then drifted off into a blissful slumber.

When I woke in the morning, the trilogy idea was no longer an option.  This would be one story…one book.  At the moment I am still doing research and I am creating chapters.  It’s coming together and I am enjoying the process immensely.   The first draft should be finished by October 2017.  That’s what I’m aiming for.

Stay tuned!



Time Be Flyin’ and the Beloved Characters on ‘Game of Thrones’ Be Dyin’!


time flys

This year has quite literally ripped past me with the speed of somethin’.

I think I had it in my head that by June 2015 I would surely have sold at least 100,000 copies of my book!  I would be getting ready to retire and devote myself to writing on a full time basis and begin the process of publishing others and building a giant of a company built on free thought, passion and creative genius!

I don’t expect much, do I, considering that I released the book in February 2015.

I am, of course, being a bit of tool here.

Realizing that public speaking was going to be a part of this journey that I’ve chosen and having done it a couple of times and in that process became a pool of human slush while I trembled and quaked before the masses (I’m exaggerating, of course), I joined Toastmasters.

I am trying to discover the key to distribution in book stores.  I have expanded distribution online and a small book store in New Westminster is carry a few copies of my book.

Now I contacted Chapters who referred me to iUniverse and everyday for close to two months Jessica Abbney has left me a message.  I will call her back, but what this iUniverse thing is appears to like an Authorhouse type thing where you pay them to publish your book.  I’ve published it.  Now I just want to distribute it.

My hot water is back on, though it’s still rather tepid.


I am finishing up physio and beginning active rehab to assist in recovering from the accident.  At this very moment, I’m exhausted.

I’m getting out and going for walks and end up being in absolute agony as the hips have a tendency to lock up on me these days.  Oye!

Also I’ve been practicing my writing of prose and poetry.

Have I mentioned I’m a little tired?


Keeping a clear head is paramount these days.

In the meantime I’m ordering and selling books on my own and I’ve been humbled by the gracious comments that the book has garnered and I’d like to share this with you from the Amazon site.

Most helpful customer reviews

WTIM Cover


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arlene on April 26 2015
Format: Paperback

Nancy writes a powerful account of survival, being a child in an abusive upbringing and her long and uphill fight to find her true worth and embrace it as a grown woman and mother. Her story is well written and compelling!
By Kelly Mitchell on May 12, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I truly appreciate being able to read a story that is so bravely written! From start to finish, I felt like a part of Nancy’s struggles and accomplishments. This is such a motivating story and proves how anyone who has been dealt a bad hand can make a choice to make their life better. Thank you for sharing your story with me!
So I will continue on in this vein and try to keep thing rolling along.  Lately it’s the time thing. But I’ll keep the machine going.
Back in March 2015 I did something I’ve never done.  I ‘binge’ watched a TV series.  I initially started to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ part way through the 3rd season.  It was now available to me to watch all four seasons in their entirety then launch into the new season.
That show consumed me!  Sundays I’d get up early, do my laundry and other relative domestic duties.  I’d clean myself up, kinda sorta, because I had no hot water and dependent upon how my back was feeling…I’d sit to take in an episode of ‘Game of Thrones’.
This series has seriously brought out every emotion in me.  Last night was the finale for Season 5.  And I’m still in shock, still mad as hell, still….
I’ve not read the books though I will but after the series wraps.  I’m enjoying the ‘shock & awe’ aspect that this series has inspired.
Still, did they have to kill off John Snow?  But…is he dead.  While ‘binge’ watching the show I did pick up on a number of nuances.  What pisses me off is I have to wait another 8-9 months to find out what the writers doth do.
So we were left with Daenerys and a sickly dragon and she is surrounded by the horse people.
Cersei having walked her atonement will either buckle or become incredibly dangerous.  I’ve a feeling next season will see her darkness truly shine.
Arya, well I’ve a feeling she’s going to be a killer of sorts, all in good time.  There is a price for everything.
Stannis got what he deserved and the poisoning thing is getting old.
Well, maybe by the time the 6th Season of ‘Game of Thrones’ begins I’ll have sold those 100,000 plus books.
Jon Snow
Dreams are better when they come true.
Peace out.

The Delicate Balance of a Book Review

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For those who’ve followed me for any length of time on here, you’ll know I share pretty much whatever happens to be playing out in this head of mine at any given time.

And I am entering the realm of a published author now trying to determine how I let the rest of world know that I’ve written a book.  They may want to read it….then again…they may not.

I’ve written letters as of late to ‘promote’ my product.  I’ve set them aside for a week then went back to see if the brainstorming session that had been initiated still held appeal.

the happy face

In the last few weeks nothing has been promoted as I’ve recoiled from first few attempts to try to ‘win’ attention of a media person of interest to review my book.  I’ve got this damn weird sense of humour that tries to slip in between the sheets  and (wow) the recipient of a letter just may feel violated!

Mind you, I did send that letter to Ellen…..hmmmmmmmmm!

Some of what I’ve written has been quite good.  However, closing the letter by saying things like…”my friends will tell you I am a good and dependable person.  They will also tell you I’m a little bat-shit crazy at times with a smile on their face in the telling.”

I then challenge the recipient of the letter (who has never met me…never heard of me) to read the book and decide for themselves who I am.  And this book isn’t really an introduction per se of who I am.  It is telling you the nasty business of how I got here.



So having pondered the best approach and a starting point I began to look for book reviewers online. Find someone who appreciates and/or has a preference for memoir and submit the book for an honest review.  The other aspect of this is to find credible reviewers.  I mean I want to garner more traffic and interest in my book.

That’s the point of the marketing.

One of the best ways to create interest is by word of mouth.  Get the buzz happening and people will check you out.  Hopefully the product will then entice you to purchase and read.

I’m wearing a different hat these days.  I’ve gone from being the ‘creative genius’ to being the ‘business mastermind’.

Am I not humble? (Insert a glaringly funny and obscene smiley face here).

In all honesty what I’m finding is that due diligence in this area is extremely necessary.

Many sites request a fee for their time and I can certainly appreciate this.  So far I’ve found sites that request $30 for their services and others that ask for $500 and up.

Then I got to wondering…if you paid the $500 then the $30…what type of reviews would you get? Money can be such an influential thing, can it not?

If I paid $500 for a book review wouldn’t I expect it to be decent and favourable?  And I don’t really have that kind of cash to toss into the arena.  The sum of $500 may well be the entire budget I want to invest in publicizing this book.  I’ve already spent $90 approximately on copies to send out for promotion.  The dilemma at this moment is who to send it to.  Who will have the most impact and do they appreciate this form of literature?

book 2

I read one site that guaranteed honesty in their review.  And I wondered how I would react to someone not liking what I’ve written, not understanding and completely trashing me.

Indeed it would hurt.

But not for long.  I’d have to be pragmatic and ask the reviewer where I lost them and what they found so unappealing.  After all there is the business aspect to this.

And besides, what I’ve lived can no longer hurt me. There will be the odd sting or two no doubt.  And I’m not out to convince this world of anything.

I just am who I am.  No more.  No less.

books 1

As I venture into the wide and wild world of publishing and marketing let me assure you in many ways it’s like seeing the sun rise for the first time even though you know you’ve watched it a hundred thousand times before.

There is a beauty that I just love.  And an innocence that,  damn, I wish I could hold onto forever, and a boatload of desire and passion to expose all that is in this heart of mine

And that’s what I must use as a compass point in this venture.

Take nothing for granted, appreciate any and all comments.

And always remember that I’m only human after all.

Peace out!



Five Hundred…But Who’s Counting?

Hey mista!  Yeah, you.  Hey buddy!  Get over here!  I said, get on over here!  Got somethin’ I gotta tell ya!  Yeah, you!  Don’t make me hurt you!

(Insert sound effects from an old black and white B-movie of the gangster variety where they get into a little of the fisty cuff stuff)

Now that I have your attention I’ve got this to say.



Not that I’m counting or anything.  But I wonder if WordPress will send me some kind of acknowledgement.  When I first started writing on here they used to send me a little ‘Congratulations!’ icon with every 10 posts I completed.  It has been a long time since they’ve offered up anything.

So let’s do a brief recap.

Lonsdale Quay 064

First I would like to thank all of you who’ve signed onto my blog and followed me over the last 2 1/2 years during this little journey of mine.

As you all know, I can be a little long-winded at times.  I’ve started projects on here that didn’t seem to get much in the way of response so I tucked the idea away and carried on with it in another manner.

We first met the day after I had a heart procedure done.  A stent was inserted for a blockage I wasn’t aware that I had.  We kind of just happened on it in a backward kind of way.

Things seem to go like that for me at times.

heart 1

For the next year I pounded out my first book, a memoir.  I joined a few writing groups and took photography classes.  I finally dealt with some of the most painful and darkest issues that have plagued this life of mine.

I had gotten into running would carry on and commit to it.  During 2012 I was on blood thinners so that the stent could become properly embedded into the walls of my aorta.  I was told to be careful as being on blood thinners would lead to easy bruising.

I don’t think there is a year that I’ve fallen down, tripped, bashed into doors, walls, corners, etc. more often than 2012.  I was, it seemed, something of Georgia peach….a bruised one at that.

As 2012 closed out I said ‘good-bye’ to the blood thinners. In celebration I signed on to do the 2013 BMO 1/2 Marathon.

I decided to write about the experience and the series was called ‘In Training’.  Fifteen weeks were recorded and about half way through my training….I began having health issues.  My energy had begun to do a vanishing act.

The Head

Still, I muscled through.  My fear was that some other heart ailment had come up but the heart was doing fabulously.  The cardiologist couldn’t even stress it out to the max.

More tests.

Four days after I completed the BMO 1/2 Marathon I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer.

And so began a year battle.  I have, as you well know, shared my experiences regarding this on here as well.

I am still kickin’ it.  My hair is growing back…oddly.  I’ve gained 42 lbs. as a result of treatment.  I am easing back into my fitness regime.  Still, its been tough.  The weight is sitting on me in an odd manner.  I don’t know how else to describe it other than when I do run I feel like I have a lifeless belt strapped on.  I have begun to refer quite affectionately to this portion of my anatomy as the Dead Zone.

I am checking out a few varieties of exercise now.  One is Tabata training.  It may be able to kick-start a few things.

It is my understanding that it takes time for all the toxins to be cleared from the body and for me, it has not yet been 6 months.  Am I expecting too much?


In any case, I’ve found a series of foods that should assist in cleansing the body of the toxins and help to restore the good bacteria that was killed off along with the bad during chemo and radiation.

And between these health issues that I’ve really tried to treat as just a minor inconvenience, I’ve written about any number of topics that have popped into this head of mine.

I finished the memoir which will be released soon.  In the mix I decided to start my own publishing company.  I’ve got six other books of various genres on the go.  I want to make a go of this and write on a full-time basis. I want to publish other writers as well.

If all goes as planned, and I’m sure it will, I will be quite successful.

In the meantime I will carry on posting on this blog of mine.  This began as a writing exercise.  I’ve had my moments where I’ve questioned why I am doing this.  I’ve questioned why I’ve never been featured on anything.  I’ve questioned a lot of things.

Cruise May 9, 2014 108

At the end of the day, it comes down to marketing.  Admittedly, when it comes to this blog of mine I am woefully bad at trying to market the thing.  I decided to stay true to the original intent which was to use this forum to write regularly and hopefully improve my skills as a wordsmith.

If I had more time then perhaps I could devote a bit more of this commodity to marketing.

As it is I’m stretching it.  Perhaps that’s why my sleep as of late has been off.

I’ve shared my heart with all of you along with some of my photography which is another love of mine.  I hope you’ve been able to take a little piece here and there and been able to either relate to a situation or given pause and been touched by something I’ve written.

What matters the most and is the highest of compliments, is that you, the reader, can walk away after reading one my posts and feel that the message conveyed is understood, heartfelt and honest in its diction.

Cruise May 9, 2014 198

And always I am humbled by those of you who do follow my ramblings.  This isn’t a popularity contest…at least not for this gal.

What this is and always has been is my deep love of the written word and wanting to become better at it with each passing day.

Many blessings to all of you.  Thanks for checking in.




A Moment Recaptured


I attended a workshop last weekend based on writing and healing.  I’ve done this one before.  A few years ago when first the pull of the pen had raised its expectations from me, I began seeking out several workshops.  I met Sherry when she was first piecing this workshop together.

I now consider her a friend.

This past year has pulled me in directions I’d never intended and I’ve been feeling the desire to reconnect to this craft that I love.  Not that I haven’t been writing.  Quite the contraire.

wr 1

I wanted to take it to another level and share this.

Explore it further. Let it grow, develop and nurture my skill within this realm.

There were nine of us in attendance on Saturday.  Sherry went through the information with a congeniality and passion that always shines through.  We came to the point in the workshop where we are required to write without pause for 20-25 minutes.

A previous exercise had planted a thought for me to explore and I did.  Upon completion were asked a series of questions to which we wrote down our response using our less dominant hand.

Then came the time to share.  I understand the hesitance of sharing the written word for many. Even more so in an exercise such as this because it is so raw, so organic and so revealing.  In a sense we are baring our souls to one another.

I offered to go first simply because I am familiar with this process and it doesn’t intimidate as it once did.

And as the others shared their pieces, I found myself humbled and grateful to be a part of this group.

Each telling gave a peek inside their very being.  The gaiety of smiles previously worn now held that fragility I rarely get to experience with fellow writers.  Let me tell you, when this occurs it is truly a magical moment.

I had arrived at the same time as Eileen and Mitzy.  I would later discover they’ve shared a friendship that extends 30 years.

As to their age I would hazard to guess that they are perhaps in their mid to late 60’s.

Both women were dressed in demure fashions for an aging gal.  They dress for comfort now.  It is I think sometimes a rite of passage.  Both ladies colour their hair to cover the grey.  I guess this too becomes a personal preference as I know many women who’ve opted to just let nature take its course.

And either way that’s cool.

I loved that they’d come to this workshop.  I loved that they were still curious and wanting. Still exploring what’s in their hearts and in their minds.

james_20brown_2012james brown

Eileen began to read her piece.  Shy and hesitant as she read, I was taken into the soul of woman who had a deep love of music, in particular the Blues.  This passion of hers had taken her to many points on this globe.

She spoke of being one of two white people at a James Brown concert.  Of how the tears had rolled down her cheek as he etched the rhythms of his life into her very being.

I felt her love, her passion, her drive which is still very much alive in her.

Then Eileen spoke of books.  Of how the years fell away when she happened upon a favorite from her youth.

Eileen looks like someone’s  beloved grandmother.  You would never have guessed that she once traveled to and rocked it out at several Blues’ festivals, James Brown being just one.

Perhaps that’s the disconnect these days.

More often than not aging is now treated as disease, an affliction.  And there is a ‘cure’ for this or so we are told.

Now that we are no longer in our prime we no longer matter. Yet we do. Our energy, our love, our passions are what we pay forward.  The wrinkles and creases that will inevitably come I for one will embrace.

Then Mitzy’s turn came to read and she was so reluctant to share her piece.  With gentle nudging and encouragement from Sherry she did.

By the end of the piece I had been reduced to tears.

Mitzy had, in short order, poured her soul onto the page. All of her vulnerability was laid bare, raw and so profound.


The pain of being judged, the extreme hurt at simply wanting to be seen, heard and acknowledged.   To be given that dignity that should never have been in question to begin with.

I could identify with the emotions she’d spilled upon the paper.

There was an eloquence in her words as with the others.

Maureen took us to a union with her love.  She walked us down a path lined with lilacs and sweet fragrances that seemed out-of-place for the prison that she was approaching.  Her love just happened to be in prison.


The sights and smells that her piece elicited, the surreal quality that it lent, the pain and the hope was all there in exquisite detail.

And Laurie had written about a consuming depression she’d experienced during the pregnancy and the birth of her daughter.  All the stresses in her life at that time and the guilt felt at not wanting this child at that moment in time.  Of feeling so torn and shackled.

Ronald too spoke of the birth of his daughter from a vantage point we don’t often hear about.

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And as I left the workshop, I felt a connection to each person there.  I was again reminded of my roots, my humanity and my deep appreciation for this life.  I left with a renewed conviction to live this life fully, with passion and with love every day!

I stepped back out into a cloudless day knowing the lives that had touched mine will forever have an impact.

That is the reward.  Right there.  I was able to look a little further into the human experience through the eyes of another and make it mine to honour.


Enjoy your day.



The Learned


There is a teacher’s strike brewing here in British Columbia.  They began withdrawing all the ‘extras’ a while ago and now they are escalating the disruption of services provided by initiating rotating strikes.

All the years that my daughter went to school the above analogy played out every few years.

Anya Prokopeva, Julie Prokopevavcrd103189503-high-jpgli-bc-140527-teachers

I suppose the thing that frustrates me personally is that the issues the teachers complained about during my daughter’s time in the public school system are still being bitterly fought over with the government.

Considering how this battle has raged on, you would think the quality of the education being dished up has improved?  Sadly, no it has not.

This is not a slam against teachers.  It’s not a slam against government but rather against the whole system and how it’s set up.

It is no longer working.  Why?

Over the years it has become increasingly fractured.  As the union and government quibble over money, benefits, class size, special needs, etc., and a few more generations of students are heading out into this world not really prepared.

I say keep it simple.

No computers in the classroom from grades one to six.  Introduce them then and only then as a learning tool.  Nothing more.  These days they’ve become a lifeline.

Cursive writing is being abolished from the school system.  Why?

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This one tool is major in the brain’s development in terms of creativy and cognitive functions.  Yet the decision has been made on what and how we want to teach children.

Did you know that the illiteracy rate has made a dramatic rise?  Are you really surprised? Apparently 40% of students these days are borderline illiterate.

WTF?!  (A display of just one of the problems)

And what is the role of education?  Is it not there to teach our children how to become criticaly thinkers, free thinkers?  Is it not there to challenge them to question and value the world we live in?  Is it not there to provide the rudimentary tools of how to learn, how to reason?


I would be a tough teacher but I would be a passionate one.

I am certainly not an academic.  Not even close.  Yet I am intelligent.  Were I able to teach the biggest payoff would be knowing that what I had conveyed to my class was based on the facts given. And if there were other viewpoints, those too should be observed and debated.

To teach someone to think for themselves, to explore their talents, to evolve…


That would be an enormous blessing.

Yet the job gets muddled up in contracts and harried teachers trying to work within a system that has long been broken and are seemingly ever pessimistic about the process.

A smiling Premier who looks like she should be doing a toothpaste commercial rather than trying to run a province, grins into the camera and ensures us that ‘our children come first.’

Tell that to all those who are graduating and not certain if their diploma will be awarded to them.

Ms. ‘Aw Shucks Golly Gee’ just spews the same bullshit that her predecesors have.

With every election I’ve ever voted in the issues remain the same.

Jobs. Education.  The Economy.  Affordable Housing. Health Care.

It’s getting old.

If you’ve not heard, Levar Burton is trying to bring back The Reading Rainbow. Power to him.

There are two things that should always be taught in school and that is reading and writing.  Those two elements will open a mind to many worlds.

Jim Carrey recently gave a commencement speech.  At the end he told them…

“You have two choices when you walk through those doors.  Love or fear.  Choose love.”

Could we go back to basics?  Could we roll up our sleeves and pull our head out of our asses and see that this foolish power struggle between union and government is leaving far too many casualties?

I never graduated high school.  A stormy home life found me on my own at the age of sixteen.  Much of what I’ve learned has come from my love of reading and writing.

I know too that learning is a lifelong committment.  It is being able to assess information that is offered up and being able to deduce its value.

Education should be free.  These days, like so many other things in this world, it has become a commodity.

Foreign students pay handsomely to attend our post-secondary facilities. At home, students take out loans that won’t be paid off until they are in their late 30’s early 40’s training for jobs that are no longer guaranteed.

Maybe, just maybe we need to do a serious overhaul.

But remember too, education starts in the home.  This is where the seeds should be planted and encouraged to grow. There is no blame being dished out.  Simply an observation on some issues that require our attention.