Happy Canada Day Catch Up

Canada day flags - google images

Happy Canada Day. To go along with the celebrations, we are having a heat-wave. I took my first swim of the year a couple of days ago and the lake felt as warm as it usually does in August. With the advent of warmer, longer summers our tried and true gardening knowledge has to play catch-up. We are already eating tomatoes, basil and fresh cilantro. A veggie and chip dip made from cilantro, pressed garlic, plain yogurt and a bit of Helman’s for smooth, richness is the order of the day. Even a confirmed anti-cilantro person like Bruce is hooked.

Tomato on the vine - Guenette photo

We do worry about the lack of snow-cover on the mountains and what these hotter summer months mean in the grand scheme of things. In the meantime, we adjust, plant and harvest. 

Watering Timers - Guenette photo

Oh, and speaking of the garden – the automatic-timer watering system is driving me crazy. Wonderful in theory but we are having a devil of a time making sure each one works the way we programed it. Last night one of the sprinklers didn’t come on. This morning the water pressure was way down. I discovered that the reason one hadn’t worked was because another hadn’t turned off. The pressure was too low for all those sprinklers at once. That has resulted in going back to manual override on a couple. Never a dull moment.

I want to update everyone on the blog contest I ran last week. The winner of a softcover copy of Chasing Down the Night is Geralyn who blogs over at Where My Feet Are. Her copy is on the way to her as I type. Congratulations, Geralyn and many thanks for commenting on my blog post. I hope you enjoy the book.

Just a quick plug – if you’ve read Chasing Down the Night, how about posting a review on Amazon? You may not realize how much reviews matter as a part of the whole mysterious way in which Amazon promotes books, but they do.

3-D Box Set - Crater Lake Series

My second publishing project of 2015 is soon coming to fruition – The Crater Lake Series: Box Set One. This newest offering is part of my five-year marketing plan – get as many writing products out and about as I can. I will set the price for the box set competitively and hope that this will be an economical way for readers to start at the beginning and enjoy all three books. My idea for the cover came from browsing through several examples of other box sets on Amazon. I popped over to Fiverr and found someone who makes 3-D cover images for a song and I’m using the service of Doug Heatherly at Lighthouse24 for e-book formatting. Viola – another e-book soon to be selling on Amazon.

Before company descends on us for summer fun, I will be dedicating myself to a line-by-line edit of Maelstrom. It is amazing what some distance from a manuscript can lead to. When I left this book in the drawer back in early April, I thought it couldn’t be cut anymore. It seemed the story was wound so tightly together that no string could be tugged without unravelling the whole. Not true. I now see a number of things that must go. I’m looking specifically for my crutch words (you know what I mean – those words and phrases that we can’t seem to live without – I have people hopping out of vehicles so often it seems like I’m writing a novel about kangaroos!), clichés, redundancies, overly florid or wordy descriptions, awkward dialogue and explanations where none are necessary.

Many of you know that I began this novel by building onto a scaffold provided by a lengthy, old manuscript that my mother had written years ago. Many cuts, revisions and new sections later, I am editing my fifth draft of the work. What I see are layers of words, mine and my mom’s, especially when it comes to dialogue. At times, I took her idea of what the character would say and then added an additional line of my own to explain the same thing. I must now decide which line stays and which line goes because these characters are far too wordy for their own good.

Once again, many well wishes to fellow Canadians as we celebrate this great country we call home and a shout out to American followers with their big day just around the corner. Let’s enjoy the parades, the flags, the cakes, the fireworks and the pride we take in the places we call home.

Canada day fireworks - google images

Happy Birthday, Canada

Canada Day fireworks in Ottawa 2 - google images

Today, in Canada – the true North strong and free – we’re celebrating our 147th birthday! In communities large and small, from sea to shining sea, they’ll be bringing out the huge bakery slab cakes emblazoned with red and white maple leaves. There will be parades, local artists belting out tunes from town centre bandstands, face painting, sack races and everyone waving mini flags and proudly wearing maple leaf T-shirts and hats.

Canada Day Cake - google images

It’s our birthday and though we Canadians have a reputation for being self-deprecating and laid back – always apologizing and saying things like please and thank you and excuse me – we can party down with the best of them. You get what I’m saying – eh?

Here are a few facts about Canada that some of you may have been unaware of – including the Canadians out there.

From 20 interesting facts about Canada

Canada is huge! At 9 984 670 square km and comprised of 6 time zones, you better believe it.

For all you Winnie the Pooh fans – a bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short) and his love for the bear cub inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne.

Giant Sudbury Nickel - google images

The Big Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario is the world’s largest coin. It is a huge reproduction of a 1951 Canadian nickel and measures 9 meters in diameter.

Canada has a desert. It’s only 15 miles long but it’s the only desert in the world with a long boardwalk for visitors to walk out on. (Desert Centre in Osoyoos, British Columbia)

Osoyoos Desert Centre

From 50 insane facts about Canada

31% of Canada is forest. Where I live that is quite easy to believe.

Bald eagle,near Mt. Washington, British Columbia - by Charles A.E. Brandt

20% of the world’s fresh water is in Canada. Think the Great Lakes and you’ll understand, to say nothing of Manitoba – known as the land of a thousand lakes.

247 car accidents a year in Canada involve a car and a moose. I’m thinking many of these happen in Newfoundland but the mighty moose roams more than one province.

Canada produces 77% of the world’s maple syrup. There’s a reason they sell it in the airport gift shops.

From 10 funny facts about Canada

Canada’s name comes from a misunderstanding between Jacques Cartier and some Iroquois youth who were pointing out a village (for which they used the word “Kanata”). They were actually trying to identify the small area which is present day Quebec City, but Cartier used the similar-sounding word “Canada” to refer to the whole area. Oops!

Narcisse Snake Dens sign

The Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba have more snakes in a concentrated area than anywhere else in the world. Tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes gather there every year. On the other hand, there are no snakes on the island of Newfoundland, at all. I’m thinking maybe St. Patrick made a stop there on his travels.

Wind mills outside Pincher Creek - Bruce Witzel

In 1962, Pincher Creek, Alberta experienced the fastest, biggest temperature change ever recorded in Canada as a result of a Chinook (a warm, dry wind that comes off the Rocky Mountains). The temperature rose from -19C to 22C in just one hour! Hardly enough time to get the long johns off and the bathing suit on.

Between 1984 and 2008, it was illegal to sell pop in cans in PEI. All carbonated drinks had to be purchased in refillable glass bottles. PEI was the only place in North America to have a “can ban.”

Forget the Loch Ness Monster: Canada has its own mysterious lake creature, Ogopogo, who reportedly lives in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.

Ogopogo - google images

From 13 strange things you didn’t know about Canada

We are home to “Iceberg Alley” where every spring, massive islands of ice break off glaciers in Greenland and parade past the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland. That is definitely on my must-see list.

Iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland - google image

It’s thanks to thousands of kind Canadians that kids around the world get answers to their letters and emails to Santa each year. Canada Post volunteers have answered more than 1 million letters in 30 languages (including braille). They ask that you don’t include cookies, but do include the postal code: HOH OHO.

From 13 awesome things you didn’t know were made in Canada

Sam Bat - google images

Carleton Place makes the world’s best baseball bats – In 2012, more than 100 Major League Baseball players chose to swing Canadian maple wood bats – better known as the “Sam Bat”. Sam Holman, founder of the The Original Maple Bat Corporation, invented the bat by choosing maple wood, a harder wood than the traditionally used ash. So, if you see a professional player with a little logo on their baseball bat, that’s one of the 18,000 sluggers produced each year in Carleton Place, a half-hour from Ottawa.

95% of the world’s lentils are grown in Saskatchewan. Wow – all I can say is wow.

Scarborough makes most of the world’s Halls cough candies. The plant at Bertrand produced more than 6 billion pieces of “medicine” for the U.S. last year – enough that if you lined them side-by-side they would circle the earth at the equator approximately 3.4 times

The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg produces coins for 60 different countries – kroner, peso or centavo, anyone?

Swedish FishHamilton, Ontario makes the world’s Swedish fish. Those chewy Swedish Fish sure weren’t made in Sweden! More than 5 billion of the colourful little candies are produced in Hamilton, Ontario every year – that’s all of the Swedish Fish consumed in North America.


The world’s best cymbals come from New Brunswick. Just ask Rush, Keith Harris of the Black Eyed Peas, the Philadelphia Orchestra and marching bands around the world. The small village of Meductic (population 300), located along the Saint John River in southern New Brunswick produce the SABIAN cymbals which are sold in 120 countries around the world.

Well, there you have it, folks. Canada – we love you – one little, two little, three little Canadians. Who remembers learning that song for Expo ‘67?

Here’s a couple of hashtags to get trending: #CanadaDay and #mycanadais – fill in the blank.

Prince Edward Island is hosting the biggest fireworks display in the country. Marianas Trench is playing on Capitol Hill in Ottawa. Sam Roberts is rocking out in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The never-ending rain didn’t stop people from forming a massive Canadian flag in Winnipeg. All I can say is, Go Canada.

I’ll leave you with my two favourite little Canada Day celebrants having fun at their local festivies.

Emma & Brit at Canada Day Celebrations

Canada Day, Contests, and Countdowns

IMGP6343 (July 1st, 2012)

Happy Canada Day! I feel fortunate to be Canadian. Canada has been my home all of my life, so I have nothing to compare it with. I do know that we Canadians are far from perfect. So this isn’t a superiority thing. I’m sure other countries have bits and pieces that are every bit as beautiful. But still – being Canadian means something special to me. Check out Maggie Thom’s blog post. I think she does a great job of describing our reality. And Savvy Writers and e-Books Online, Happy Canada Day, Happy Canadian Writers was an eye-opener for me. Now I’m even happier to live in Canada.


On this special July 1st Canada Day – Disappearing in Plain Sight is celebrating, as well. I just found out that I have made the semi-finalist cut in the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards. I am in the literary fiction category.

I have read that the semi-finalists received 2 out of 3 “Yes” votes from the 3 screeners. All submissions were judged on the first several pages of the book. The most critical elements at this stage were: Did the book grab our attention right away, quality of writing, and formatting.

Now What Happens?
From here, the judges will read all the 298 entries in full, and choose the Top-5 in each category. They will announce the Top-5 Category Finalists on Sept. 1st, and the Category Winners on Oct.1st. The judges will rate the semi-finalists in 10 categories: Formatting, sample, plot, style, editing, character development, themes, story, ending, and in the case of a tie, they will judge books by their cover. Who says a book can’t be judged by its cover? Not these people!

The website says that semi-finalists have nothing to do but wait. Nice advice – like waiting is ever fun. Oh well. I am in a Yippee mood to have made this first cut. Feel like I’m having my own personal Stanley Cup play-offs. Hockey – Canada. Hey!

June Blog Party Prizes

And what about my June blog party prizes!!! I am busy tabulating all the likes, comments, pingbacks, and new followers for these exciting prizes:

  1. An opportunity to make a guest appearance on my blog!! (Keep in mind – I am nearing the magical 1000 followers mark.) All likes for the month of June go in for this draw.
  2. A $5.00 Amazon gift certificate. (No obligation to buy Disappearing in Plain Sight – just hint, hint, hint.) All comments for the month of June will be considered for this prize.
  3. An autographed and mailed directly to you, copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight. This draw is for all those who did pingbacks, tweets, and new followers.


On July 3rd Disappearing in Plain Sight will begin an Orange Berry Blog Tour. I’m so excited to be out in the blog world hopping around for an entire week. Please check out the link to the entire blog tour schedule. I am offering two $25.00 Amazon gift certificates as prizes over the duration of this tour, so do plan to be part of the fun.

What a difference a year makes!


(July 1st, 2013)P1070685

Happy Canada Day!

Crisis Situations – Are You Happy With the Way You Respond?


Today’s DP Challenge – Honestly evaluate the way you respond to a crisis situation. Are you happy with the way you react?  This challenge really got me thinking!

The answer, in a word is – no!

Let me tell you a little story – because that’s what I do.

A few years ago my husband Bruce and I were visiting my dad and stepmom at their lovely home in Osoyoos, BC. It was the Canada Day long weekend.

Canada Day dawned as warm and beautiful as you would expect a July day in Osoyoos to be. We decided to walk down to the community park by the lake to enjoy the festivities – open stalls of people selling this and that, live music, brave souls being tugged up into the air clutching to the ropes of large, colourful, kite-like sails to paraglide over the lake – the motor boats used to get them airborne zooming loudly away from the shore, local colour in the form of a huge, yellow, floating banana, loaded down with screaming swimmers as it whipped around out in the waves of Osoyoos Lake, and of course – the massive Canada Day cake to be shared out amongst the crowd.

Chairs were set up in front of the band shell and the cake was clearly visible on a table nearby. Bruce and I had been milling around enjoying ourselves – we sat down for a couple of minutes to listen to the opening number from a local band. As the song was winding down, I could see the mayor and an assortment of local dignitaries getting ready to start cutting the cake. I stood up and gestured for Bruce to follow me – I wanted to position us a bit closer to the front for when they started handing out slices.

We had just left our chairs and were moving forward when pandemonium broke out. A very large motor home came down the small hill from the parking lot above, out of control, pushing a motorcycle and car in front of it. This mad train of vehicles whammed through the stalls and the crowd, passing right by us and crashing over the chairs we had just moments before been sitting in.

I froze where I was standing. It was only later when I replayed the scene that had unfolded before my eyes that I realized other people reacted quite differently. Bruce moved so quickly that he was able to catch a woman who had been sent flying – blood pouring down her face from where her shattered glasses had embedded themselves in her skin – before she even hit the ground. I stood completely frozen while the motor home continued its path of destruction, knocking several more people over like match sticks and pulling down a few stalls. It ground to a halt quite suddenly against a tree at the edge of the slope of grass that led down to the lake. I was still frozen in place when Bruce returned to my side – other more qualified first aiders had rushed to assist the woman he had caught.

I wonder to this day – would I have stood that frozen in place if the motor home had been bearing right down on me?

We never found out what caused the motor home to crash through the crowd. Several people were injured, a couple of people seriously so – but no one died.

So – there you have it – in the event of a crisis people have a few choices – fight, flight or freeze. Given the nature of the crisis, any one of these three options could have their own merits. The problem is being locked into one response regardless of circumstances.

The whole experience certainly left me wondering about my value (or lack of) in a crisis situation. This daily post has given me an opportunity to revisit these wonderings and I am no closer to any answers. But I certainly enjoyed perusing the photos we have of Osoyoos and remembering the fun visits we had there with my dad and stepmom, Ann.

(The photo above is a beautiful sculptured fountain that sits on the waterfront of Osoyoos Lake.)