I have bought a house. Such a small paragraph for such a profound, life-altering responsibility, isn’t it? Home ownership takes many forms and has many motivators. For me, it’s all about the fixer upper.
Here is where my head was at when I started this process. I was going to find a place that needed me, and I was going to make it my own. All it would need was a little love, a little patience and a little TLC. Me and my home were going to travel on a journey together. I would do the updates, and it would allow me the opportunity to build my (currently non-existent) home improvement skills. In my DIY Utopia, my little house would be an oasis of craftsmanship, and I would be the next Nicole Curtis… complete with bad-ass tool belt and smoking hot body.
Well, step one: Check. I’ve bought myself a beauty of a fixer-upper. Built in 1976, my little raised bungalow has a liveable layout, a good-sized yard, no major structural urgencies, and a swimming pool for my wee man and his friends. And hey, some of the original features are even charming. The yellowing pendant hanging lamp in the foyer, the avocado door handles with the sunburst pattern on the face, the brass door chimes with plastic mount that looks kind of like wood if you squint and don’t look directly at it…
Ah, the joys of nostalgia. Or at least that’s what I told myself when I signed the papers. Continue reading
ROUTINE. That was going to be my goal for 2018. It was going to be my mantra. My raison d’etre. 2018 was going to be a year of order and structure, of productivity and of set times for set activities. After a year of upheaval and personal trauma in which I couldn’t seem to get my shit together, I was finally going to get my life back on track!
It is now halfway through March, and I remain routineless. I am still in a constant state of catch-up, and for every one item I knock off my to-do list, it seems like another one of those suckers jumps on and brings a friend or two. And unfortunately, I have this annoying little personality trait: I am unfailingly hard on myself. I set expectations for my time and my day, and if I fail to live up to them, then I am failing personally. You can imagine that, with no routine in sight, this is exactly how I’ve been feeling for most of 2018: I’m an utter and complete failure!
Okay, reality check. My inner perfectionist is not actually that much of a drama queen. But you get the idea of what’s been going on in my head. Continue reading
“I’ve lost my muse.”
So laments The Bard himself, as portrayed by Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love. It was one of my favourite movies through my teen years, and my VHS copy was well worn… yes, I realize I’m dating myself with that admission. The loss of Shakespeare’s muse, the Elizabethan “cure” of writing Mistress Rosaline’s name on a slip of paper so it would return, even the cheekily Freudian therapy session (“It’s like trying to pick a lock with a wet herring”). It’s entertaining, and ultimately it’s no big deal. We know Will goes on to meet the lovely Viola de Lesseps, regain his creative genius, and pen the most famous love story of all time.
That’s in the movies, though. That doesn’t happen in real life. It certainly doesn’t happen to me. At least that’s what I thought… until it did. Continue reading
I’ve got a post today that has nothing to do with my writing or my books … or anybody’s writing or books for that matter. I tried, at first, to tie it all together, but about half way through it felt forced, contrived. So I’m just going to go for it and tell it like it is. Today’s post is an amazing, inspirational story about a real life hero. He has been going about his real life heroics in a quiet way, seeking neither praise nor glory. Nothing more than support for his cause.
Oh yeah – did I mention that this real-life hero is only fifteen years old?
Do you remember your first childhood love? That tongue-tied, red-faced, all-consuming crush where you don’t know if you’re coming or going, but it’s the centre of your universe and you wouldn’t change it for anything?
I do. I was nine. Twenty-odd years later, my first crush still haunts my subconscious. Literally. Continue reading
Journals. If you’re a writer, you’re supposed to keep one, right? Virginia Woolf did it, and so did other greats like Franz Kafka, Susan Sontag and C.S. Lewis.
So yeah, okay, for a long time I felt like a total failure because I couldn’t maintain one, despite my many attempts over the years. And believe me, I tried. I’d be totally committed for a few days, maybe even a whole week. But sooner or later (usually sooner), I’d find the process cumbersome. I would run out of things to write about each day. I would get bored with the process of explaining the people and events of my life to my journal as if my journal were an outside person. I would spend too much time on verbiage and, worst of all, I would try to tie the endings of each entry to the beginnings to make the whole piece a coherent mini essay. Continue reading
Well, here we are in a new year. I’ve learned lots of lessons in 2016, and I hope to carry them forward to make 2017 the best year yet. The best part of last year was, by far, the unprecedented response I’ve had to the release of my latest novel, The Ghosts of Tullybrae House. Thank you to everyone for your support. I can’t wait to see what’s next for me.
If you’ve read any of my interviews, you’ll know that I do read the reviews that readers leave on my books. Some authors will suggest that you shouldn’t do this. It’s best, they’ll tell you, not to dwell on what someone said, but rather to look to the future and continue writing. For me, taking the time to consider and evaluate what my readers are saying about my work gives me a chance to gain insight on what I might improve on. After all, every review is a chance to learn. And I’m not just talking about the negative or critical ones. I mean the positive ones, too. Continue reading
This weekend I was all set to write a book review for my next blog post. I had one drafted, I’d given it a lot of thought, and then on Saturday night I found myself with a rare stretch of time and no pressing tasks or engagements. Now what, one might wonder, does Veronica do when she’s got time to herself? Well, I should be writing, buuut … nah. Movie night! And I’ve been dying to see Brooklyn. Continue reading
If you read one of my more recent posts, When It’s Time to Make those Tough Decisions, you may recall that I have recently taken a hard look at what I’ve been spending my writing time doing, and had concluded that I need to cut a whole bunch of starchy, superfluous “stuff” from my plate. Translation: I dove too deep into the freelance content writing. I was good at it, sure. But I dreaded doing it as much as I dread going for blood work (or some equally distasteful activity … like bone re-setting or dental surgery). Because so much of my time was focused on content writing, I was not spending enough time on my books and my blog. Continue reading
Startup Stock Photos
Personal branding. It’s a big thing these days. It doesn’t matter what you do, what you are or what you want to become, you can develop your very own personal brand. And you should. I’m not the only one who thinks that, there are hundreds – nay, thousands of blog articles on Personal Branding 101. Continue reading