Friday, July 31, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - Conclusions

So here it is the end of July, and the end of my weight loss challenge. This week, I've been hovering between 130 and 131, and I have seen the scale tipped at 129.8, so I'm pleased with what I've accomplished in this regard since last summer, when I saw the scales tip 156 and was appalled.

What conclusions have I reached?

First and foremost, losing weight takes self-motivation. All the articles and all the advice in the world didn't compel me to do what had to be done. I knew I was gaining and had excuses at the ready, especially "Doesn't every woman gain weight after 40?"

Then I saw a picture of me looking, to put not too fine a point upon it, fat. Even then, I don't know that would have been enough without my son's engagement. Knowing that in about another year's time I'd be posing for pictures again gave me the ultimate motivation. Without that, I don't know that I would have kept up with the exercising. There were many days I was frustrated because I seemed stuck at a given weight.

But consistency was key. I now believe that if you want to lose weight, and not just maintain it, you have to exercise every single day. I've done aerobics and other forms of exercise at rec centers and pools up to five times a week, but even then, I only managed to lose a little bit, or maintain my then-current weight. It took exercising every day to lose 20+ pounds.

Since I exercised by walking or using a used, old treadmill we got for $40 at a rummage sale, it didn't cost me a lot of money to lose weight, just time. And that's the enemy of consistency, isn't it? If you can't get the time, you can't be consistent. There were many, many days it would have been easy for me to say, "I don't have the time to exercise," but I did. However, I'm also aware that I'm very fortunate that I can schedule my days myself, so I could incorporate exercising into my lunch break.

I didn't use special eating plans or any particular diet. In fact, dieting was pretty much a non-starter for me and I never completely kicked my Coca Cola habit (had one just before writing this, in fact, albeit one of the teeny tiny 100 cal. cans). I like chocolate and alas, I reward myself with food. But I did aim for salads for lunch and cutting back the refined carbs and potatoes.

I also think it helped that I started my goal at the end of summer because believe you me, I'm finding it very tough exercising in the heat. My treadmill time is down from a full hour to 55 minutes. That's not much of a difference, but it is a difference.

I had to learn that there would be plateaus when it seemed I would never reach my goal, and that there would be backsliding - I just love me an O'Henry when the writing gets tough. But I also learned that you just have to keep slogging and you'll move off the plateau. And the occasional treat along the way isn't going to derail you - provided you remain consistent with the other part of the plan.

Bottom line? I think the notion that it takes some superior form of self-discipline to lose weight is wrong. What I did have was a powerful, self-generated motivation and the opportunity to do what needed to be done on a consistent basis.

And you know what? I could say exactly the same things about becoming a published author. It takes a powerful self-motivation, a will to write and get it to editors and/or agents, as well as consistency and sticking with it even when it seems like you're not getting anywhere. It also takes forgiving yourself when you get frustrated and stop writing for awhile - as long as you go back to it.

So what will I be doing with regards to exercise and diet now? Well, next week, I'll be exercising until Thursday, and then for the next week, starting with the day before the wedding, I'm going to eat and drink anything I want. I'll be exercising as the spirit moves me. I will be writing.

And then I plan to exercise at least three - four times a week, and try not to eat too much of the sweet stuff. You see, there's this party coming up in September....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More about Buggy

The first time we meet the hero of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS (out now!), he's still recovering from an illness contracted on his last voyage. However, by the time "Buggy" Bromwell appears in the next book in the series, KISS ME AGAIN, he's recovered enough to attend a party - and in costume, too.

Well, not precisely a costume:

"Buggy Bromwell came charging through the crowd, waving. People immediately made way for him, and it had nothing to do with his title or his accomplishments. he had the most hideous, huge, ugly spider on his shoulder."

Later we learn the spider isn't real, but a fake. As Buggy explains:
"I made it myself, out of bits of cloth and wire and buttons."

He's not just smart, he's crafty!

I gotta tell ya, I just love this guy. No wonder he appeared in so many of my books.

"Buggy" Bromwell makes his first appearance in KISS ME QUICK, which is still available in ebook format. Otherwise, you have to find it used.

KISS ME AGAIN is still available new in both paperback and ebook format.

A LOVER'S KISS, also featuring Buggy as a secondary character, is still available from Harlequin in ebook format and at Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the Origin of the Hero

As has probably not escaped your notice, I have a new book out now, THE VISCOUNT'S KISS.

What you may not know is that the hero of that book first appeared 'way back in 2003, in a book I wrote for Avon called KISS ME QUICK. Even then, we don't learn about the man known to his friends as Buggy Bromwell first. We hear about his bestselling book, THE SPIDER'S WEB, an account of his voyage around the world studying various flora, fauna and especially his favorites, spiders. The book is a favorite of the heroine of KISS ME QUICK, Lady Diana, who dreams of being a writer herself:

"She supposed she could always reread a few of her favorites, like The Spider's Web, if she couldn't find something interesting here today. Perhaps she could try to figure out how the author had managed to infuse his scenes with such action and movement, so that she'd felt she was right beside him in the jungle or on the deck of a ship caught in a raging storm at sea."

Later, Diana is thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the author:

"She was too awestruck to say much of anything, especially when Lord Bromwell kissed her hand.

She didn't feel the thrill she experienced when the viscount had done the same thing, or the shock of disappointment when Lord Fallston had. This time, she felt as if she'd received a benediction from one author to another."

There's more about Buggy in KISS ME QUICK and its sequel, KISS ME AGAIN, (excerpt tomorrow) and the next book in the series, which was out from Harlequin Historical last summer, A LOVER'S KISS (excerpt on Saturday).

KISS ME QUICK is still available in ebook format. Otherwise, you have to find it used.

KISS ME AGAIN is still available in both paperback and ebook format.

A LOVER'S KISS is still available from Harlequin in ebook format and at Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle formats.

Opinions please!

I've just uploaded my new home page on my website, as well as the various pages of my books by time period for reasons that should be obvious if you take a look.

I wanted something not too cluttered or fancy, but that has more information about my books and what's available on the site. And I thought I should put my mug up there, although this is not my final PR pic choice. I got sidetracked from that exercise with revisions of the The Welsh Lord's Mistress and my website.

I'd be delighted if you'd let me know what you think of the revamp. As I've often said to my editor(s): Revisions 'R' Me!

Website Revisions

I'm busily trying to revamp the front page of my website and organizing new pages for my books by time period. Since I've written over 40 books and novellas in a variety of time periods, that's taking awhile.

So no long blog post today. :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I've finished my edits and revisions for the Undone* story I wrote, THE WELSH LORD'S MISTRESS (October, 2009). It's the first time I've ever edited on the computer, so that meant a steep learning curve in terms of figuring out how to add comments, put my name into the program so it would show up on the comments, etc.

Now, I am the first to say I consider my computer to be, basically, a glorified typewriter. The most innovative feature for me, to this point, has been the cut and paste function, meaning I can move material without having to input it all again. Since I'm big on revising, this is no small thing.

Otherwise, I tend to resist using all the bells and whistles available. Not only am I rather resistant to any change unless I see a really good reason for it or have it forced upon me, I've never actually been taught or shown what all the bells and whistles are and how to use them. It's pretty much trial, error and asking other, more savvy users than I, how to do something.

Which is what happened when I had to edit on the computer for the first time. I wound up consulting Daughter and Hubby and noodling around on my own. Once I did get it figured out though....

Cue the angelic choir, because oh, baby, I could totally get into this!

With one major caveat: since I tend to make a lot of changes and changes to changes, all the colors and struck-out bits could get hard to read, so I wound up making a hard copy after all and I decided to do an extra edition to make sure everything was clear. But until that point and once I had a clue what I was doing? It was actually

But don't tell my editor I said so!

*ETA - I'm having trouble with this link. If you just get to the Harlequin site, click on Harlequin and you'll find a link to Harlequin Historical Undone.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - the effect of stress

You may have noticed that as of this past Monday, I was below 130 pounds, for the first time in years and years. I mentioned the cupcake/cookie/brownie diet, and the fact that I'd been running around getting ready for a party. Since the hubby was out of town on business and the cleaning lady was on holiday, I had a lot of running around. If I hadn't been doing all that running around, I probably would have put on a bit more.

After the party, I got some other major stress dumped on me in the form of deadlines, despite my very best efforts to avoid them at this time. I've got the work almost done, but I've also been noticing how something like this affects my weight.

I've read that stress can make you fat. It always sounds, on first glance, as if it's the way stress affects one's metabolism that makes the fat. That may be, but I also think it's the way we cope with stress that puts on the pounds.

I don't eat more when I'm stressed. I actually tend to eat less. But -- and this is the thing that could lead to a bigger butt - I snack more and I grab what's handy. This week especially, with party leftovers, that meant cookies, cupcakes and brownies. There were plenty of leftover veggies with dip, but I more often opted for the sweet stuff because, hey, I didn't even have to take it out of the fridge! Plus, when I get this kind of work-related stress, I find it easy to think I need a reward. And for me, that means treats of the food varity and often, a cola mid-afternoon, when the energy is starting to flag. So I totally fell off the cola wagon, even having two one day.

Which means that I'm back up to 131.6 today. Now, that's not bad. In fact, that's good. But it could be better.

Next week will see my last Weight Loss Challenge blog post, with my final thoughts on the walking/treadmilling/diet journey I've been on since August 2008.

This week's step/treadmill tally:

July 17 - 13,042 steps (no walk, just party prep)
July 18 - Party! Didn't wear the pedometer, but was on my feet all day
July 19 - party clean up. Didn't wear my pedometer, but was on my feet a lot
July 20 - crash time. Didn't exercise, just recovered.
July 21 - 1 hr. on TM
July 22 - 1 hr. on TM
July 23 - 1 hr. on TM

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ay yi yi!

Not only did I get my editor's edits, I received copy edits to check and either agree with or change. No time for blogging or much else today!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Woo hoo! Apparently the brownie/cupcake/cookie diet works! Stepped on the scale this afternoon and it said 129.8!! Below 130!!! Whoo hooo!

Or perhaps it was all the running around getting ready for the party....

On another note, I just got edits to read and revise, so no blog tomorrow, as I want to get them turned around quickly so I can get back to work on the novel. I want to try (note that's try) to get the third draft done before The Wedding.

Tea Party Post Mortem

The pre-wedding tea party has now come and gone. The weather (mostly) cooperated, and everyone seemed to have a good time. And I finally got to wear the sundress I bought back in March!

A few other random thoughts and observations for future reference:

The cupcakes turned out really well - I made the cupcakes and icing ahead of time and froze them, so all I had to do was thaw both and add food coloring before decorating the day before. I did the sugar sparkles the morning of the tea. But nobody ate them! Well, a few, but were they too large? Too pretty? I don't know; I do know my weight loss challenge is going to be a real challenge this week, what with all the leftover goodies!

Wondering about the colors? The bride's bouquet has peachy/orange gerbera daisies (her favorite flowers) and the bridesmaids are wearing blue with silver. The centerpiece was really well done by Canadiana Flowers. The picture doesn't do it justice.

I tried to make cucumber sandwiches. This was not the time for experimentation! As in, I had too little time to really give it a good try and abandoned the attempt.

In future, my husband must schedule a vacation day before any big parties. Or at least not be out of town on business for the three days before. Because moving furniture, etc. by myself? Not so good.

Ditto planning a party when the cleaning lady is on holiday.

I bought too much cauliflower and broccoli for the veggies and dip. Ranch dip was the clear favorite over dill.

Oh, and the one room I didn't clean? My office, that also turned into the repository of chairs, boxes (from serving pieces) and various other items throughout the preceeding week? Was the room to which my husband escorted the groomsmen when they wanted to have a quiet discussion about the bachelor party. Not the tidy rec room beside it that was also empty. My messy, messy office.

Now it's back to work for me until the week before the wedding. I hope I can remember what the heck I was doing with my story....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - revelations

It was almost exactly one year ago since my parent's sixtieth wedding anniversary and the taking of the picture that made me gasp with dismay. It became a major inspiration to lose some weight. The second inspiration came in August, when my son got engaged. I already knew my waist measurement was over the danger line for women, so something should be done, but I was lacking in motivation until those two events occurred.

When I began my weight loss challenge, I had actually already come down a bit from my highest weight of 156. That was after a road trip featuring much snacking in the car. I just about fell over when I saw that number on the scale. When I officially began the challenge, I weighed about 150 - still far too much for my body type (I'm small boned and about 5'4" tall).

That's about what I weighed when this picture was taken.

UGH! Clearly, something had to be done!

It's been a slow process to get down to what I weigh now, about 132. I didn't moderate my diet as much as I should have (see previous posts about cola), but I did do some - salads for lunch, eating at regular intervals, cutting out extra sugar in my coffee and cutting back on salt and white bread and potatoes.

The only cost incurred was $40 for a used treadmill, the old fashioned kind that operates solely on the user's muscles for power. That gave me quite a workout! And I shovelled snow. But mostly, I walked. And walked. And walked.

Timewise, going for a walk of about 15,000 steps takes about two hours. But 10,000 steps (usually the number recommended) takes about an hour. I would do an hour on the treadmill. This was actually less time-consuming than going to a gym or exercise class, because there's no travel time involved. Healthier for the environment, too.

The other thing that helped was consistency. Now that my kids are adults, I can find an hour a day to devote to myself. When my kids were little and I was writing? Not so much. I don't know that I would have been so successful without that opportunity for consistency.

So, I've lost about 25 pounds, give or take, from last August to today. And here's how I look in the same outfit (because I wanted a more equal comparison). I had to take it in about 6 inches altogether.

And here's another picture, in a top that was too tight for me to wear last year, and jeans I never could have squeezed into. I've lost over five inches around my waist, which is where I put on weight. Totally apple shaped am I.

Does this mean I can relax now and not exercise quite so much? Not yet! The challenge began in August and it'll end the first day of August. My original goal was, I see when I look back, 125 pounds. Somewhere along the line it morphed to 130. If I can make that, I'll be as thrilled as I was when I bought my outfit for my son's wedding. Size 10.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy week, so....

This is a very busy week chez Moore because I'm hosting a wedding tea on Saturday. That means much cleaning, baking, etc. etc.

On top of that, one of our cats needed some dental work and my husband has to go out of town on business.

And of course, despite my best efforts, I got work from my editor that had to be done ASAP because of a schedule change.

So there will be no blogs except the Weight Loss Challenge blog on Friday, wherein you'll see The Picture That Started It All.

In the meantime, this is the cat who needed the dental work, Luis. As in the actor Luis Guzman. Long story there, but here's a hint: his brother, below and looking very annoyed, is called The Count. As in "of Monte Cristo."

(Isn't there some of kind of "rule" that eventually, everybody winds up posting a picture of their pet(s) on their blog?)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Review of a four star review

Romantic Times gave THE VISCOUNT'S KISS a four-star review. Whoo hoo!

Unfortunately, even in this good review, there were a couple of points that made me wonder if I wasn't as clear in the text as I should have been, and a minor error that's definitely the reviewer's.

First, the good stuff:

"Moore spins an intriguing web of romance between a spider-obsessed aristocrat and a maidservant posing as a noblewoman in this fourth book in her Kiss series. This book blends humor and romance with a twist of suspense, and each chapter begins with an excerpt from Buggy's book about spiders or from the local gossip rag."

The review then goes on to give more details about the plot.

"Web of romance" - heee.

However, while Buggy is indeed fascinated by arachnids, I wouldn't call him obsessed. And the heroine was a lady's companion, which isn't the same thing as a maidservant. "Maidservant" is lower down on the social scale. To many, this may be a distinction without a difference, but it seemed important to me if the reader was to believe Nell could successfully trick Buggy and others into believing she was a lady. Now I'm wondering if I ever actually said she was a lady's companion, or if I assumed (oh, dear) that the way she described her job was enough to make that point.

I also have to say I didn't envision the Bath Crier (the newspaper I made up) as a "local gossip rag"; I saw it as a newspaper with a social column. But since it's never discussed in the rest of the book (only used for quotes at chapter openings), I don't think the reviewer's view of it can be called an error.

None of these things are enough to make me want to rip out my hair. I have had reviews where it was very obvious the reviewer couldn't have been paying any attention at all to what was actually written, and these minor quibbles simply don't compare in terms of angst inducement.

Also, I'm pleased with the general plot summary which follows. It tells enough without giving away too much, which has to be one of the trickiest things a reviewer has to do (and why I'd probably fail at it).

The book is 277 pages, though, not 311.

So overall, a good review with a few quibbles. That's a relief.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - past the plateau

Whoo hoo! I have finally busted past the 133 plateau! Today I weighed in at 132.4, although on Wednesday I reached an even greater milestone, 131.2.

Sadly, it has been confirmed that really, if I want to lose weight, I have to give up the cola, because I didn't have any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and my weight dropped. It's probably up a little today because I made peanut butter cookies yesterday, two different batches and I tweaked the recipe a little both times. So of course, I had to do a taste test. Mmmmm....peanut butter cookies.... And alas, I fell off the Coke wagon. It was a hot day, I was running around doing errands in addition to baking and cleaning...but really, that is clearly The Worst Thing I Can Do if I want to lose weight.

I'm going to be very busy for the next week getting ready for a tea we're hosting on the 18th, so I won't be blogging except for Friday, when I'll be posting The Picture That Started It All and pictures that show how far I've come, because it will be almost exactly one year since The Picture That Started It All was taken.

This week's step/treadmill tally:
July 3 - nuthin' (Sheesh, what was I doing this day? I really don't remember!)
July 4 - 16,254 steps
July 5 - 1 hr. on TM
July 6 - 1 hr. on TM
July 7 - 1 hr. on TM
July 8 - out for the day, so nuthin'
July 9 - 1 hr. on TM plus running around doing errands

See you next week for the big reveal! To any of you going to the RWA national conference in D.C., have a great time!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Updates, updates, updates

I just finished uploading the new additions to my Web Extras page for THE VISCOUNT'S KISS, about places I mention and/or use in the book. I've also started revising my home page, although it's still a work in progress.

I've also made a batch of peanut butter cookies. I used to make them with graham flour, but alas! I can't seem to find that easily, so today, I tried mixing some graham cracker crumbs in with the flour, to make up the full amount as per the recipe. I think they're a little dry, though, and you can't really taste the graham, so another try's in order.

I also made the butter tart squares recipe from Canadian Living. I substituted pecans for walnuts and raisins. They are definitely yummy, but I should have used smaller pieces of pecans, and perhaps not so many. Also, the bottom crust was a little crumbly, so I think they're a little too messy for the tea I'm hosting. However, I'll definitely make them again for other occasions.

Now it's on to other chores and moving things around in my manuscript!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


This is what I look like when I realize I have some major rearranging to do in the middle of my book.

For instance, yesterday.

How did I know I had changes to make?

It didn't feel right.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but that's the way I work much of time. Call it instinct or intuition, it's been that way since I first sat down to write.

I don't do big outlines. I don't map out the plot or character development. I don't use different color post-its for different elements - unless I'm totally, utterly stumped as to what's going on with the story.

But most of the time, it's just me reading and thinking the story's either working's not.

And then I start fixing and moving and deleting. Here are the revised notes I made (what? Everybody doesn't revise their notes on their revisions?), starting in Chapter 12 (out of a current 24):

On the terrace - use kiss from Chap. 15, pgs. 218-219
Esme flees (causes a bit of a scene) [that's a different ending to that particular situation] - use her reaction from Chap. 13, pg. 192-193 (marked with red ink) [because there's another bit outlined with pink highlighter on that page]

Go to Quinn @ the club, Chap. 14, pgs. 194 etc. Interruption Mrs. L-J etc

She goes to McH in his office [which means this scene is in a different place now and other material gets cut] Put confrontation with McH from Chap. 13 here in McH's office

McH has heard the rumor re E's condition - continue to almost consummation scene

As you can see, I'm putting bits from later chapters earlier, changing a setting, deleting material - and this is in the third draft.

Which tells me there will probably be five complete drafts by the time I'm finished.

I also decided I couldn't continue until I'd done all this rearranging and read it through to see if it makes better sense. I'm pretty sure it will from a pacing point of view; I want to make sure it does from a character and relationship point of view.

So now you know what I'll be doing for the next little while, when I'm not getting ready for the wedding tea we're hosting later in the month.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Branding...the pain...

So I've been thinking about this notion of "author brand," specifically why I resisted the very notion of branding, because oh, sweet fancy Moses, I did! Until, like, this week.

Here's why:

I'm a person, not a brand.

I feared that by branding my writing, I'd be forever locking myself into a set of parameters.

And frankly, the whole exercise seemed like a lot of work for...what, exactly? I wasn't sure.

Then branding was described to me as a way to tell readers what sort of thing they can expect if they've never read one of my books. If, say, they're just wandering around the interwebs and see my name and venture over to my website.

So okay, thinks I, that's a reason I can understand, so let's give this branding thing a shot.

And as I suspected, it wasn't easy.

See, I spend lots of time and effort trying to find ways to make my characters and stories unique; I'm not used to looking for the common elements.

I've written over 40 books and novellas in several different time periods, so it's not like I can pick just one setting for my brand description. Or one sort of character or story.

Finally, after coming up with something that sounded so generic as to be useless (or so I thought), I decided to take a look at the review quotes I've gathered over the years about my books, looking for common elements.

One thing stood out very clearly: my characters are "wonderful," "fantastic," "superbly drawn," "credible", "believable", etc. It's my people who make my work special. (And yeah, because I work really hard to make them credible, believable, etc.)

Apparently I'm also pretty good with intrigue.

And of course, I write romance, so there's going to be passion.

So, via research (how appropriate!), I've come up with three elements I can use to describe my author brand.

Now I'll have something else to add to my revised welcome page on my website.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Shaking my fist at Malle Vallik...

Malle Vallik is one of my Web Gurus and her last blog post got me thinking that I ought to redo my website, at least the first page.

So guess what I've been spending the last couple of hours on?

And that's before I start the new pages wherein I'll list my books by time period. I've already got a page with all my books listed, but the new ones will have the covers and blurbs. Since I've written medievals, Regencies, Restoration England, Victorian England, Dark Age Britain, a YA and pre-Civil War Massachusetts, that's going to be some work.

But for all my fist-shaking in Ms. Vallik's general direction, I'm doing the work because I believe she knows what she's talking about.

It's going to take awhile and I've also got a manuscript to work on and a wedding-related event at my house to prepare for, so I'm not sure when the new look will be ready. I'll let you know when it's time for the unveiling.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge - an unexpected benefit

I'm late with posting my weight loss challenge report today because I was getting new PR photos done, something I've been putting off for far too long. But that's one unexpected benefit of losing 20 pounds - I'm not quite so reluctant to have my picture taken.

However, it's clear that exercise alone isn't enough to keep losing weight. Maintain a certain level, yes. Lose more, no. In other words, I'm still around 134. I didn't get quite as much exercise this week as I usually do, and I did eat a host of sweet things (strawberry shortcake!), so I'm glad I didn't gain. But I'm beginning to despair that I'll ever see the scale hit 132, let alone 130.

OTOH, last year at this time? I was 154.

This week's step/treadmill tally:
June 26 - 1 hr. on TM
June 27 - no specific exercise, did walk around shopping, so probably between 5,000-8,000 steps
June 28 - nothing
June 29 - 1 hr. on TM
June 30 - 1 hr. on TM
July 1 - went for a walk, but didn't wear pedometer - probably between 5,000-8,000 steps
July 2 - 1 hr. on TM

Here are some of the many, many pictures taken of me this morning.

This is how I look when the writing's not going well.

This is how I look when the writing's going well.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

A few degrees from The Godfather, Part II

I think I've mentioned it before, but the fun and interesting things you can find out when you research never cease to amaze me.

For instance, I discovered that THE VISCOUNT'S KISS is only a few degrees removed from The Godfather, Part II.

There's a reaction to a particularly venomous spider bite that has a name derived from a Greek god they sure never told us about in school.

Did you know they used to think you could cure the bit of a tarantula by dancing?

Read more on the Web Extras page for THE VISCOUNT'S KISS.

And you can now order THE VISCOUNT'S KISS from eHarlequin.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day, eh?

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks!

And to those of you who are not Canadian, allow me to clarify a few things.

Should you ever decide to write Canadian-flavored dialogue (if you're writing Canadian, it would "flavoured"), "eh?" is used at the end of a sentence and while it generally has an interrogative inflection, it indicates an observation inviting agreement, not a question to be discussed.

We do not say "oot" for "out" and "aboot" for "about." We do, however, say, "Moo-er," not "more," when referring to someone with the last name of Moore.

If you're ever strapped for a subject of conversation, begin with the weather. We often do. Especially in winter.

By the way, we do not live in igloos. Or have snow in summer, except perhaps in the very far north. In my neck of the woods (which is a suburb of a city), we get 90 degree heat with 100% humidity in the summer.

Not every Canadian, no matter how long their family has been in the country (in my case, about 150 years) has made love in a canoe. Or wanted to.

But believe you me, I'm still Canadian. And very proud to be.