Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Centerpieces

Here are three of the centerpieces I made for the recent Night Out With Authors event.  I didn't come up with this idea.  I found it in a magazine.  Unfortunately, in my zeal to de-clutter, I didn't keep the issue, so I can't remember which one.  And I'll confess that when I first saw books used in this way, my first thought was "Desecration!"  

My second thought was, "Hey, I've got some foreign editions in the cupboard..." 

How did I make the holes for the ELECTRIC tea lights?   (And for reasons I hope are obvious, you must use ELECTRIC tea lights.) 

First, I found the center point in the cover and traced the tea light.  

Then I started to cut.  Someone thought I must have used a drill.  Nope.  I used fingernail scissors.

After I cut out the hole in the cover (and it's better to do this from the back, I discovered), I ran my pencil around the hole, gathered a few pages, and cut again, from the center out.  I did this many times, until I got down to about Page 200.  That seemed deep enough to me.   

I only encountered one minor problem - the covers tended to stick up, so they had to be taped down.

Cost?  The books I got free from my publisher, the tea lights were 2 for a dollar from Dollarama. 

That's my kind of craft project - easy, inexpensive and no fancy equipment required (although I did have to overcome my qualms about cutting into a book)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Boldly going where I've never gone before....

Unlike many authors who've been published for more than 20 years, I've never done readings of my own work.  It's not that I get stage fright or hate public speaking.  Quite the contrary. 

Why not, then? 

Because it just me.  Like I'm intruding on a reader's experience somehow.  Also, I tend to "hear" my characters more than "see" them.  For me, they have distinctive voices, and I can't really do them justice.

However, that's about to change.  On January 20, I'll be doing a reading from my next release, CASTLE OF THE WOLF, at Night Out With Authors in Toronto.  (Details of location, time, and who else will be reading, etc can be found here.)  I dipped my toes in the reading waters at the last Night Out With Authors, and it was...okay.  Even kinda fun.  So I'm actually feeling pretty good about the longer reading on the 20th.

I just hope Mother Nature cooperates, and doesn't send more cold, snow or ice!

Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 so far...

After a Christmas "holiday" that wasn't exactly that, what with the ice storm and power outage and subsequent unexpected overnight and dinner guests, I was hoping to start the New Year off on a less stressful note.

We decided to see the new Hunger Games movie on the 31st, only to find it sold out.  No problem, though. We saw the Hobbit movie instead and enjoyed it.  Then we had dinner out.  So far, so good, right?

Until we got home and realized something was Wrong with one of our cats and perhaps had been for awhile.  We have 2 cats, so we had to be sure which one it was, since both were acting quite normally.  We figured it out the next morning, and then spent the entire afternoon of New Year's Day at the Toronto Emergency Veterinary Hospital.  Lovely facility, but not quite the way we'd planned to spend that day.  Fortunately, it appears that it's not a serious problem, although more tests today will confirm.

Then, last night, we heard three loud bangs that seemed to be coming from the attic.  I'd heard two such noises before.  In fact, at one point, I feared one of my parents had fallen from the bed when they were having their impromptu overnight visit.  But they were fine, the chimney hadn't fallen down, no tree limbs were on the roof.  Indeed, nothing else seemed amiss.  Must be a neighbor's car door, or perhaps the newspaper delivery guys (because we read two newspapers every day and I will subscribe to the paper version for as long as it's published).   But the three noises last night had me worried that we had critters in the attic.  Until the early morning TV news (what can I say?  I like to be informed!) mentioned "ice quakes," and a check of the attic by my Intrepid Husband revealed no sign of animals.  Voila!  We have an answer.
Still, it didn't make for a restful night.

In fact, this may be the most sleep-deprived holiday I've had since my kids were babies, and I've had some serious jet-lag in my time.

That said, it could have been much, much worse and we'll be telling tales of the Christmas of '13 for years to come. 

How were your holidays?  Better?  Worse?  Will make for good stories...or just want to forget?