Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out - arms and legs

The theme for this week's Friday My Town Shoot Out is "arms and legs" and this shot of step dancers from the Canterbury Folk Festival in Ingersoll last July came to mind. These kids were amazing and never stopped smiling.

Ingersoll isn't my town but it's only about 20km away and we pop by there quite often so, it's almost my town.

I've posted this photo before but I couldn't resist using it for this week's Shoot Out theme.

For more Shoot Out fun, please click here.

Novel Excerpt 1 25 12 - Excessive Greeting Disnrder!

[In which Proper, Joe, Thelonious, and Raine return from a day at a dog show with Emily, and reunite with Hope, Zack, Driver, and Emerson.]

Proper blasted through the kitchendoor, followed by Joe in a mock race. Thelonious bounded in next, and even HerHighness allowed herself a bit of silliness, woo-wooing her hello to Emersonand doing some mini zoomies around the kitchen. The dogs in the house were atthe ready, having been alerted by the van crunching up the driveway. Zackhowled gleeful hellos, and Driver, always vocal, bellowed his deep, nonstop Labradorwoof, woof, woofs. Hope, the quiet one, wagged her tail against a cabinet door,adding a statico drumbeat. Seven sets of dog toenails played scritch-scratchratt-a-tatt on the tile floor as they scrambled around. There was glorious chaos.Celebratory canine jazz.

hug your hounds

Blog roll failure

As you may have figured out I've been up to other things & blogging has taken a back burner. The blogroll thingy isn't working. I just removed a bunch that were 1 year inactive & I can't save or add any new blogs. I'm sorry I think I'm going to scrap the whole blog. I'm not active enough blogging  & I'm just not interested enough to try to find a new blogroll thingy  & deal with transferring all the active blogs to it.

If you are curious to what I have been doing: I've created a group on FB for Great Dane owners. It's called Dane Yard (  It's worldwide, at the moment I have just under 600 members.

Also, we have a new family member, Lily Luv. She has a health issue and we will be dealing with that thru here:

God bless & blog on!

Wintery Sunday drive

We finally had some real winter weather and the evidence is all around. We drove to Ingersoll and back and I captured these drive-by images while Geoff was driving.

These bright green garage doors were a flash of colour on a bright, white day.

Ethics 101

Would it be terrible of me to feed my family loathsome, artery-clogging fast food for dinner just so I can get one of these?

Shamrock Shake

say no say no say no say no say no say no say no say no say no say no say no say no say no 

Novel Excerpt 01 21 2012

Emily started to get a bit annoyed.
She must be hoarding a dead squirrel inthe yard. I don’t have time for this, Emily moaned. Damn dog.
She pushed the full dinner bowls to thevery back of the counter and pointed at Proper and said, “Leave it,” in hermost businesslike voice, and went out to the yard again.
“Little Hope, dinner! Dinner! Come on,Hope. Hope?”
Just a splinter of worry crept around thecorner of her consciousness. Where was her dog? Emily was sure she was out in the yard. Hope was always the first one in when the food dishes came out, not the last. Maybe Emerson had accidentallyclosed her in the bedroom. Relieved at that notion, she ran upstairs.
“Little Hope did you get locked in here?”
But as soon as she opened the door sheknew that she was talking to an empty room. Now the first feeling of real fearclosed around Emily’s throat. Where the hell was her dog?
She threw every door in the house open,searching in every closet, all four bathrooms, and she even went down in thebasement, perfectly aware of the futility of it all, but compelled to look.
She looked out in the yard again,pleading,  “Please, Little Hope! Whereare you?”
She didn’trealize that she had started to cry but her face was soaked.
Her husbandheard the panic in her voice. He stepped out of his study.
“Did you look in the bedroom? Maybe she got shutin the bedroom by mistake.”
“I’ve lookedin the bedroom, in the basement, in the yard a hundred times, Emerson. I tell you she’snot there. Little Hope!” she yelled to the house's walls. 
“I’ll go look again.”
This was nuts.Where was her little dog? She couldn't have gotten out. Finally convinced that Hope wasn't in the house or the yard, she threw leads on the confusedpack of whippets, who were in collective wonderment as to what the heck happenedto the whole dinner process. Their woman seemed to have totally lost her mind,and now, instead of giving them their bowls of food, she had decided to go for awalk. The whippets were fine with that, but the lab thought a little remindingwas in order.
“Woof,” hesaid, eyes smiling counterward, “you forgot our supper.”
“Driver, come on. Get overhere now. We’ve got to find Hope.”
The old lab,for the umpteenth million time, forgave his woman and wagged slowly over.
As they headedout to the back fields, the dogs felt their woman’s alarm, and noticed thatshe was searching everywhere with her useless human eyes. They heard her call the little one’sname over and over.
Proper felt lost. His Emily’s fright and his own lonelinesswere making him feel too heavy, as though he were walking through a deeplyplowed field. He was losing his footing.
They walkedthe entire two mile loop in the big back fields: down the tractor trail alongthe cornfield, left along the woods to the wheat field, through the woods toemerge at the soybean field, and up the hill that brought them back to thecornfield and home. 
Emily called for her Little Hope, at times through tears,other times with an edge of anger, but calling, calling, calling.
The woodsfilled with the her voice. 
“Hope. Little Hope! Come here Hope. Where areyou, Hope? Here Hope. Oh, Little Hope please come here.”
And finally,surrounded by her dogs and her very worst fears, Emily sat on a flat field rock andheard a sound bleed from her soul. A long, loud keening sound.
She knew shehad lost her dog, and the rest of the pack howled her sadness to the sky.


That's it for today. 
Hug your hounds

Sunday morning on the trail

It was a clear, crisp -21C when I took this photo this at 9:14 a.m. this morning.

The Cookie Caper

I haven't mentioned it, but I've had some health issues lately. Fortunately, I've had a little help getting everything taken care of.  My husband's office, in particular, has been fantastic about shuffling schedules around to allow my husband to cover the home front when I have to be at one doctor or another.  To express my appreciation, I decided to bake them some cookies.

When it comes to baking, I'm no newbie, but some unknown something went awry with my chocolate chip cookies.  They weren't horrible, but they weren't my best.  Fortunately, I had also whipped up a batch of double chocolate chunk, and they were fan-freaking-tastic.  So, to avoid shaming myself in the eyes of the office women, I decided to send only the double chocolate chunk; the less desirable chocolate chip cookies could be inflicted on my own beloved family.

Got all that?

Anyway, while the cookies were cooling, I roamed off to another part of the house to do . . . whatever.  When, I returned to the kitchen, I immediately felt that something was amiss. You guessed it . . . the dog had burgled the cookies.

Crime Scene Reenactment

But, not all of them.  Would you believe that that dog actually picked out all of the double chocolate chunk cookies and left all of the chocolate chip?  They must have been worse than I thought!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I guess I have to bake more cookies . . .

Sunday sightings

It was a beautiful day in our neck of the woods - the temperature got up to around 15C - it was glorious.

Geoff and I went to Stratford for a drive and stopped at Foster's Inn for lunch - delicious food and a great atmosphere.  

A couple of doors away from Foster's we discovered "your Local Market co-op" .  Here's Geoff picking out some yummy tomatoes.  

They also bake and sell breads and goodies.

And other wonderful treats.

Check it out online or the next time you're in Stratford.

Who's A Pretty Bird?

Camera Critters

How Not To Get Your Laundry Done

Courting controversy: On a pair of beige chinos the label states the standard washing instructions, but is then followed by 'Or give it to your woman'
Actual Label - Madhouse pants - Get the full story here

Or, How to Get Strangled with Your Own Dirty Drawers.

Hope your weekend is laundry free!

If I Have To Be Up This Early . . .

I might as well take a picture!

Hope you get to sleep in this weekend!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Do I Have What It Takes?



Couldn't talk about this for a couple of weeks. Well, I could, but it would not have been appropriate. I wrote a quickie synopsis of what's involved in Getting Your Book Published on my Fans Of Mama Pajama Tells A Story group on Facebook:

1. write the damn thing
2. revise the living poop outta it
3. send it to your Beta readers (oh yes, I am talking fancy writer-speak. Impressed?)
4. get it back from the Betas and revise all over again
5. have a little break down. or two. three is a nice round number.
6. (here comes the fun part)
7. begin to query agents. LOTS of theories on this, if you're an unpublished writer with not a lot of writing credits, maybe it's best to start querying young, hungry, new agents, or what the heck you can start at the top with NYC agencies. you send a query (type of book, word count, synopsis, your writing bio, first 6 - 10 pages).
8. expect the rejections to come in at 4 - 6 weeks post query
9. IF IF IF IF an agent likes your query they MIGHT MIGHT MIGHT request your full manuscript.
10. and then say "No thanks" and you start all over again

My excitement came a couple of weeks ago. Foolishly (and not living up to my name) I queried two agents. BIG time NYC agents. Presidents of the agencies, not some hot to trot brand new need some clients young 'uns. Nope. And here's the dorky part. I knew my book wasn't ready. But I queried. I figured I'd get rejected, but maybe the big shots would have suggestions for my query.

I've read that THREE out of 10,000 queries end up with a request for a full manuscript. One out of 80,000 ends up published.

So, I figured, what the heck.

And the day after I emailed my query, I got a reply: they wanted my full manuscript.

Oh. My. God.

I'll skip the part where I was at lunch at work when I checked my email and saw the request for my manuscript and started to scream and cry and called Bill who thought I had accidentally killed someone and said right away, "We'll get through this, Patience, no matter what it is," (oh how I love him), and I finally got out the part about them wanting the manuscript, and then he started to scream and cry.

Oh my God, they wanted my manuscript!

And I knew it wasn't ready.

My name is Patience. The name of this (my) blog is Patience-please. Every time someone says my name I get a reminder: patience, patience, PATIENCE.

I worked for six hours on the manuscript the next day and then emailed it to the fancy president of the fancy literary agency. Knowing it wasn't ready.

For two weeks I didn't get a rejection. I knew one was coming; of course one was coming. You've no doubt heard of the SIXTY rejections over the THREE AND A HALF YEARS of revising of the NYT best seller The Help. I couldn't sleep. In my little heart of hearts a silly voice would sing, "They're thinking of what a great movie it would make!" I had fantasies about the book tour in my (imaginary) motor home with Bill and all of the dogs. I told Bill, "It will get rejected. I will not go into a deep depression. I will soldier on, continue to revise, and keep querying. My God! I got a request for a manuscript on my first query! It's all good!" And in my little heart of hearts that silly voice whispered, "They won't reject. They'll offer you a contract. It is this easy."

The rejection letter came yesterday, an hour before folks started to arrive for Bill's opening. It was a personal, kind, lovely letter and it even included suggestions! That is huge! The big fancy NYC agent actually read the whole manuscript, and then she took the time to write a personal note and she included feedback. HUGE.

"Bill, it has to be okay with you, and with me, if I give up on this book and live my life as a normal person. You know, go to work, play with my dogs, go to movies." We were lying in bed, after hosting a couple hundred people in the house and gallery for the show. Food and wine were served, clean was the house, spruced was the yard. Bill and Patience were pooped.

In the morning - this morning - Bill held me and said, "You won't give up."

"But it has to be okay with both of us if I do."

"Yes, but you won't."

hug your hounds

Review: By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

As Amelia Gladstone is boarding the Titanic, she notices a scruffy stowaway being bodily removed from the ship.  Impulsively, Amelia gives the poor stranger her spare ticket . . . and finds herself unwittingly involved in a wealthy family's estrangement.  Can Amelia help a father and his two son find reconciliation?  Or, will her attraction to one brother drive the family apart forever?

Tricia Goyer's By the Light of the Silvery Moon (Barbour Books, 2012) is a history nerd's delight.  Goyer has done an incredible job describing the lush opulence of the doomed Titanic; no detail is too small.  Even so, the ship is really just a backdrop to a story that I found moving and inspiring.  By the Light of the Silvery Moon is a lovely romance and more.

Win an Flip HD Camcorder during @TriciaGoyer's Unsinkable Titanic Giveaway and RSVP for 4/10 Titanic Party!

Celebrate the release of By the Light of the Silvery Moon with Tricia by entering her giveaway and RSVPing to her Titanic party.

One "unsinkable" winner will receive:
  • Flip HD video Camera (Make your own dramatic saga!)
  • Titanic movies from the ages {Titanic (1953) Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), Titanic (1997)}
  • Secrets of the Titanic (Get the facts from National Geographic.)
  • And the Band Played On (Music Played on the Titanic.)
  • By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer (Be swept away in this tale of love and courage.)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 9th. Winner will be announced at "Silvery Moon" Titanic Facebook Party on 4/10. Tricia will be hosting an author chat (on Facebook and Live from her website) and giving away books, gift certificates and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club). During the live chat Tricia will have a *special guest* join her. More details coming soon!

So grab your copy of By the Light of the Silvery Moon and join Tricia on the evening of the April 10th for a fun chat, trivia contest (How much do you know about the Titanic?) and lots of giveaways. 

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!

I received a complimentary copy of By the Light of the Silvery Moon to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received.  For full disclosure, see the sidebar.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I need a vacation . . . from planning my vacation!  We're finally making the Great American Trek to Disney World this summer and trying to organize the trip is kicking my ass.  Have any of you done the Disney World thing?  Got any tips for me?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

That Old Slippery Slope

. . . and, before you know it, goats and turtles will want the right to get married, too!


Monday, April 2, 2012