Wednesday, April 29, 2009

a new book, a new pattern, a new day

New book:
Minutes ago I sent Maynely A Mystery to my editor for the final proof.
What a wild ride writing this book has been.
I thought writing the book was the thing.
Well, it turns out that was only the very tip of the iceberg.
There is so much more involved.
Good thing I was passionate about the story. This love didn't die it only increased. And now I am completely smitten.
In a mere two days, keep your fingers crossed, you will be able to purchase the ebook.

New pattern:
I finally added this...

to 's homepage.
It is a quick, easy and fun first sweater.
Stitch pattern used: garter stitch.
The finger puppet is included in the pattern.

A new day:
Its sunny and warm here.
What's it like there.

All the best

Thursday, April 23, 2009

...without a camera

Have you visited my web site lately?
On the homepage you will see a picture that I plan to use on Maynely A Mystery's front cover.
Beside it you will see me in the Hummingbird Vest.
Not exciting. That picture has been up there for ever.
I do have a new pattern. I wanted to add a picture of it on my homepage but...
It was a glorious day. The sun shone. The birds sung. I found the prefect location for my photo shot.
This will be a great picture, I thought.
I tried to take the picture and...
the batteries in my camera were dead.
We'll just have to be patient. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to add the photo. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
Take care,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Maynely a Mystery: a progress report

So much to report. Last Saturday April 11th, I attended a craft show to see if there was an interest in Maynely a Mystery. (Maynely a Mystery is my cozy mystery that will soon be published.)
What did I discover?
Enormous support. Everyone was so kind. I even sold some pre-orders.
Maynely a Mystery is currently with my editor.
I am currently look for printer.
Why am I self-publishing?
I want to explore the whole process of publishing a book. I want to nurture my baby and watch it grow. I have tons of ideas on how to market it. I know the venues (bookstores, markets, etc) that would be the best place to sell it. Knowing all this, I didn't even consider sending it to a publisher.
What printers am I considering?
Well, I plan to have Lulu produce the ebook.
For the paperback, I am considering Lulu, Island Blue Print in Victoria, BC or Alea on Mayne Island.
Today I stopped off at my local bookstore: Miners Bay Books. I discussed the book with Jennifer and to my delight she is interested in carrying the book in her store.
I am learning a lot about this publishing game and am excited by the process.
All the best,
PS Learn more about Maynely a Mystery by logging on to

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Attend a Mayne Island retreat

Yesterday, I received this email from a friend. I plan to attend. If you are interested in joining me please contact Terrill Welch

An email from Terrill...

I hope that your long weekend has met your expectations and today finds you vibrant and resilient! Yes? No? Either way, the following will intrigue your sense of curiosity, adventure and possibility.

With the next vision practice retreat registration deadline looming, I want to provide you with a bit more information about our guest co-facilitator...

Who is International Facilitator Sherrilene M. Collymore?

I am sure you have detected my enthusiasm to be co-facilitating with Sherrilene Collymore at the next vision practice retreat “Employ Your Natural Talents.” We will be exploring how we have everything we need right now to begin acting on our visions. There is no course we still need to take, no age we need to reach or financial wealth we need to gain. There is nothing we need to be waiting for.

But this is only partly why I am so excited about hosting Sherrilene here in Canada. Sherrilene exudes passion and joy for human capacity. She delights in getting to know people and believes in their innate goodness. People simply feel good in her presence.

To get to know Sherrilene better I have asked her some questions for you and posted our exchange on my blog at


AND for full details about the vision practice retreat “Employ Your Natural Talents.” go to

Participants must register in advance no later than this Friday, April 17, 2009
by calling Terrill at 250-539-5877 or emailing
Space is limited to 10 participants.

Hope you can join us! And if you are unable to physically be here, you can join us in spirit, and celebrate the perfectness of being who we are right now in this moment.

Please feel free to share this information with others you think might be interested:)

Warm regards,

Terrill WelchExecutive Leadership Coach

Ambassador World Leadership Day CanadaMarch 20, 2009

Terrill Welch - A Woman behind Women and

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ethnic Knitting Exploration

Donna, you and I share at least two things in common. Our mutual love of knitting and our need to write. As I am currently writing a mystery novel and as you have just finished publishing a book, I would like to talk with you about writing.

Me: From where do you draw your inspiration?

Donna: I'm inspired by everything -- by things I love, and things I hate, by things that make me laugh and things that piss me off. The only thing I don't find inspiring is boredom! As long as something is going on, I find ideas.

Me: What is your writing day like?

Donna: I have never been able to get into a fixed schedule. I usually go to write at a cafe for an hour a day, but sometimes I do other things while I'm at the cafe. I'm not a "write every day" kind of person. I write when I have something compelling that wants to come out, or when I have a deadline. I'm the same way with knitting. Sometimes I go months without writing or knitting much of anything. (Often when I'm not writing or knitting, I'm bingeing on reading.) It's very impulsive and not rigid at all. For years I got up at 5:30 or 6:00 and did some writing in the morning, maybe working on a project, or blogging, or writing "morning pages" in my private journal. But now I can't wake up early any more, I have trouble getting started before 8 or 9 o'clock. Now I write a lot in the afternoons and sometimes even in the evenings. It's frustrating because I really like organization and structure, but I'm slowly learning to go with the flow of my own energy levels and my own changing needs. I look at it as following my bliss. I'm interested in doing so many things, that I can't focus on one for any huge amounts of time. I found the book Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher to be very helpful in coming to terms with my own scattered interests and in finding tools to help me feel more in control of my life and work.

Me: How do you write: pen and paper, computer?

Donna: Both. When I'm early on in a project, I make lots of notes and rough drafts on paper. I call this pre-writing. Sometimes I do this on the computer, but not usually. The process seems much more organic to me when I'm writing in a notebook. It's not until it gets into the computer that I actually consider what I've written a "first draft". Then it starts to be work. Before that, it's all fun and games!

Me: How did you first become published? Do you have words of advise for the would-be published?

Donna: I wrote in notebooks and worked as a technical and marketing writer for a decade before I was published. Then I had one article published in a technical magazine, then nothing for several more years. It never occurred to me to write about what I loved -- knitting -- so I just kept scribbling in the notebooks, practicing, learning how to write, and not being able to focus on anything or find my niche. Then a friend in my critique group, whom I'd met at a yarn shop, asked me "Hey, if you can write a book about how to install a hard drive, why can't you write a book about how to make a sweater?" and that just opened up a whole new world of opportunity to me!My advice? Write. The rest will come.After you've written for a good long while... Pitch. Don't get discouraged. Learn about the business. Act professional. Join a writer's group or attend a conference to network. There are so many books of advice to writers and they're all good. Buy one and read it. Then do what it says.

Me: Have you concerned self-publishing? Why or why not?

Donna: Not really. I used to work as a graphic designer and technical writer and I have all of the skills to create a book and get the files to the printer and so forth. But I have no desire to do all of that now. I love writing and I am more than happy to let professional designers, photographers, editors, and illustrators do the rest -- to collaborate with me -- on my books. Sometimes that means a degree of compromise but that is OK. I feel like my books are greatly improved by the contributions of all of these other people on the publishing team. Plus I know nothing about the distribution side of publishing and I don't really want to learn about that part of the business. And finally, I don't want to tie up my money in thousands of books sitting in my garage!

Me: Have you concerned publishing your books as E-books? Why or why not?

Donna: Working on it! Several of my titles are coming out in Kindle and Sony Reader formats, although I don't know exactly when. And the individual projects from the Ethnic Knitting series are being released (slowly over time) in PDF format. Personally, I like books with pages made of paper. But I can see the appeal of having ebooks on a small device that you can always have with you for reference. When my books finally come out on Kindle, I will be very tempted to buy one. (I think Amazon should give them free to authors, but what's the chance of that happening?)

Me: Please share tips and techniques for web-based marketing.

Donna: Oh, I have a whole handout on that topic. I've attached it as a PDF so you can post a link and people can download it.

Me: How do you organize a blog tour?

Donna: Another handout! It's a little old, but I still work this way when setting up my tours.Thanks for being part of the tour! Good luck on all of your own knitting and writing explorations!

Note: I have read the articles Donna mentioned. They are very helpful. If you would like to read them please request them by emailing:

I would, of course, like to have been able to post a link to them but was unable to do so. I simply lack the technical know-how. However, I am happy (and am capable of) forwarding them to everyone interested.

The knit stitch and the purl stitch variations

Some of us knit with double point needles, some with circular, and some with straight.
Some of us knit by coiling the yarn around our index finger, some by drapping the yarn around the index and baby finger, and some drap the yarn around our neck or waist.
Some of us use the stitch pattern names "Seed Stitch" and "Moss Stitch" - some of us only use the stitch pattern name "Seed Stitch".
Some of us say "Cast off" - others say "Bind off".
Some of us say "double knitting yarn" - others "worsted weight"
Some of us use 4.50 mm needles - others of us use size 7.
These variations occur due to our geographical location or our ethnic background.
These variations make knitting a rich diverse community.
By exploring these differences, we grow as a knitters and as people.

Donna Druchunas' new book invites us to explore the Lithuanian, Irish and Icelandic knitting cultures.
I am thrilled that she choose to explore the Icelandic knitting culture. For you see, my Icelandic-Canadian grandmother taught me to knit. A couple of years ago, I was delighted to visit Iceland. I wrote a brief account of the trip and you may read it by logging on here:

Tomorrow I will be interviewing Donna about her new book. I hope you will log on to read it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

News about my novel

To help with the publishing costs of my new novel, I welcome pre-orders
Please read on…

Maynely A Mystery

Genre: Cozy mystery
Cozy mysteries de-emphasize sex, violence, and offensive language. The stories are rich with fascinating characters and charming settings.

Brief Synopsis: Olivia Weatherington was born in a nest of lies. The lies were spun to protect her. All she wants is the truth. Will she find it? What importance does Mayne Island play in this mystery?

Opening scene:
‘She stood in the pouring rain. He stopped and she climbed in.
When she opened the cab door, Hikaru Utada’s happy tunes spilled out of the car and tumbled onto Robson Street.
Robson Street was a shopping mecca. Sandwiched between Burrard and Jarvis, this section of Robson pulsed with the beat of capitalism. Sharing the street with avid shoppers were university students. For Robson Street was also the home of a University of British Columbia campus.
“Where to?” he asked.
“Point Grey,” she said pulling a book out of her leather backpack. It was a heavy, thick book and smelled of academia. If she was hoping to impress him by her destination she had failed. Point Grey may impress some but not Sam Berlin. He knew the neighbourhood well: expansive estates elbowing each other for space, for recognition, for importance: single-family castles on postal stamp-size properties.
Why was North America so obsessed with excess? Berlin wondered.
He knew his ilk – white, middle-aged, working class males – were supposed to strive for, be impressed with, acquisition, with wealth. Berlin wasn’t; what obsessed him was discovery but – not land, sea nor space. Nor, he was obsessed by the discovery of his inner self, his inner life. From boyhood on, he had had a recurring dream. He dreamed of Japan. As an adult, he had under-gone past life regression and it had confirmed that he had been a samurai. He filled his life with Japanese culture; he ate sushi, watched Anime, listened to Japanese musicians like Hikaru Utada and he studied Nihongo. It was a difficult language to learn. He sought out opportunities to practice.’

168 pages (approximately)
$20. paperback (shipping charges will be added to the cost of the book)

$10. ebook

If you would like to help me, and be one of the first to read my new novel, please email:
I would be delighted to add your name to the waiting list.

You may pay by PayPal or personal cheque.

Projected paperback publishing date: June 1st, 2009

Projected ebook publishing date: May 1st, 2009

Please forward this to a friend.
Thank you,

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sending you some spring

It has been such a cold, long winter that I crave spring. If you are like me, you will be delighted to see...

These beautiful flowers grow on the front of my house. They grace my house and cheer the world.
May you find sun to warm you,