Thank you!

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been so incredibly kind and supportive of my book. I thought of the Surprise idea as a sort of fun post/free gift but I really had no expectations. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the outcome.

People got my book. They bought it even though I explained I would give it to them for free. They bought it even though they don’t even read romance! They Twitted messages, made banners for Facebook, they re-blogged the post and basically shouted out support for my book everywhere.

I was overwhelmed. I shared it with my hubby, who was amazed, and my mother-in-law who forgets things and asked: “You wrote a book?”

It was really incredible and I wanted to say thank you so very much. You guys are so kind.


Sunday Photoblog

An absolutely incredible picture. I know Gene’O is a very talented writer but check out the photography! Amazing. I loved this picture and he’s considering posting more photographs on a more permanent basis. I, for one, I’m thrilled about that. Can’t wait.

My Former Blog

Taken just after a rain on a cloudy day.

© Gene’O, 2014. Free to use with credit and a link. © Gene’O, 2014. Free to use with credit and a link.

Note the texture and the fine details. The edges of the leaf, the clarity of those raindrops. That’s what even, overcast light gets you. If you’ve been following my photoblogging for a bit, you’ve seen shots taken in late evening light and ones taken a little after midday already. This is the first of a batch I took on cloudy days, and it’s the last example I need to explain the basics of natural light photography for people who’d like to improve their photos.

I’m not sure yet when I’ll do that, or on which blog, or how many posts it will take, but it’s on my to-do list. In the meantime, the Sunday Photoblogging is evolving. Starting next week, I’m doing Silent Sundays here for awhile, because the Wordless…

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Do you need to unplug?

The more time I spend at the computer…the more time I spend at the computer.  Part of me always thinks that more time at the keyboard means productivity (and I think some of that is true) but should I also try to step away and look around once in a while?

I was pondering this when I read this great post by SEAN D’SOUZA.

He says: “Sit back and think about all the ideas that changed the direction of your life. And think of where you were at the time. Nope, still not in the shower. You were somewhere on the road, somewhere deep in conversation with someone or lost in a book.”

He argues that computers are “output machines. When we deal with computers we’re rarely getting input.” In other words, we won’t get inspired seated at the computer.

What works for him is “take a trip to the cafe. I sit down and then I let two hours pass while I doodle my way through my plan. It’s not like I have a plan, but the plan unfolds. As I sit, the plan takes on a different dimension.” Even if he’s busy.

I too go to my favourite cafe. I do this often. And I get inspiration from life. But I have to add, that I also get inspired by the amazing posts I read online. There are some good posts out there (ahem, like this one by Sean D’Souza). 

Still, I think there’s something to be said about balance. Perhaps I should lift my head from the screen once in a while. Who knows what I will see.

Right. I forgot. I live in Canada.

A little humour goes a long way

I like to throw in humour when I write. I think it helps keep the reader interested. It can’t go into every scene (like if someone dies) but here and there it helps keep the book flowing. Also, the funny bits help me keep going when I’m editing…and re-editing and re-editing.

Here’s an example that might come in handy. We’ve all read posts warning us not to do this or that rookie writing mistake. True? This post by Joanne Harris is also about not doing rookie mistakes…but it’s funny. Ahhhh.

A little humour goes a long way to help make any post or book more readable.

On that note…did you read the one about the penguin?




I loved this post. I read it and tried to put it out of my mind…and it haunted me all night. All. Night. I couldn’t put it out of my mind and finally I had to go and re-read it. Then reblog it. Be warned though, spoilers ahead.
I started to read it and it immediately caught my interest. That phrase: “I do not believe in magic.” was genius because it created interest. I knew that something was going to happen to Montgomery that would challenge that belief and I wanted to find out what it was.
Then the description of the book. I was there. I could actually smell the old books and feel the pressure in the room. I could believe I had been in a room like that. And when he mentioned that he was going to open the door…well, I’m in terrified anticipation for what happens next. I really hope, he’ll post a part two to this because….well, I need closure.
Sheer genius. That writing caught my interest like a fist and I’m still wondering what on earth is going to happen when he opens that door…yikes.

Welcome to infinitefreetime dot com

My name is Montgomery Vale, and I do not believe in magic.

I repeat myself:  I do not believe in magic.

I do not believe in magic, and therefore nothing I am about to write can be true.  I am an old man, asleep in my bed, and the night’s ill humours are clearly affecting my dreams.  I write to calm my nerves, to simply record the events of recent hours.  For if I am sane—if any of this has truly happened—I must leave warning for others.

I write because I may be insane, for surely none of this can have happened.

I write because the door must not be opened.

 It seems ages ago that I found the book, but it can scarcely have been more than a day.  I found it in my own library, on the floor by the fireplace.  It was a massive tome, five…

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My favourite Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain was literary genius and wrote incredible books but, what I didn’t know, was he also had a great sense of humour. These quotes are all his. I chose them because they’re also surprisingly funny.

1. “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” Love it. I love that one.

2. “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Isn’t it hilarious? Ha! Still chuckling over that one.

3. “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” I don’t smoke but I find this one hilarious.

4. “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” Another hilarious and really good one.

5.  “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

6. “Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.”

7. “All generalizations are false, including this one.” Ha! It’s that twist he does at the end that makes his quotes so funny. They look like they’re going one way, then quickly turn.

And, my all-time favourite: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

Isn’t he great? Love those quotes!

An absolute favourite

Nora Roberts has often been called a ‘publishing phenomenon’. With so many published books under her name, I believe it. But, let’s look at the numbers and see:

* Nora has written 184 New York Times bestsellers including 33 as J. D. Robb and one written together with J. D. Robb.

* 55 of her books have debuted at the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

* There are more than 400 million copies of her books in print worldwide (as of 9/1/09)

* Over the last 30 years an average of 27 Nora Roberts books were sold every minute.

(copied from her website:

The numbers in fact, go on and on. Her writing style has been copied but, to this day, no one has achieved her success. It’s unparalleled.

One of many, I also love her books. She’s, of course, on my automatic-buy list. But there are some of her books that touched my heart more than others. One series in particular stands out. The Chesapeake Bay series. It consists of four books: Sea Swept, Rising Tides, Inner Harbour and Chesapeake Blue. It’s the story of four brothers and how they dealt with their father’s death. It’s also the story of how they all found love. And it’s absolutely wonderful.

Among her many talents, Nora Roberts knows men. The Quinn brothers act like real men. They’re not the typical heroes who are described as ‘quiet and mysterious’ but suddenly explain their entire life story to the distraught heroine. They stay true to character and (this is where Nora Roberts is magical) we love them in spite of their faults.

One more bonus, the ladies in the stories are awesome, fully formed women who I’d love to have as friends, who take no crap from anyone and still manage to be vulnerable.

But the best part, no hands down, is the writing. I love Nora Roberts’ style. I love to just read it. I love to become submerged in it.

If you haven’t tried her, I hope you do. She’s absolutely amazing. If writing had their Wonders of the World, Nora Roberts would be in the top 3. If not top 2. Or one. 🙂



Thinking Into Your Destiny

I have a nagging suspicion that what we believe, we make come true. I thought of this when I read this post by Jeff Moore. Soo interesting. Loved it.

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I went to the used book store yesterday and found a couple of books…One of them was The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I thought I’d just start it, just read a bit this morning…fast forward a few hours and my husband asked me if I was leaving the house today. The answer, of course, was not yet. A few hours later, I finished the book.

The Great Escape is another of those great books I’ll reread. I loved it from the start. I loved the premise and I loved Lucy. She was a kid who had been trying to help everyone her entire life and finally, on the eve of her wedding, has a bit of a breakdown and runs off. I love stories about new starts. What would she do? How was she going to figure out her life? I was hoping that Ms. Phillips wouldn’t make the mistake of trivializing Lucy’s challenges by dealing with them overnight. I wasn’t disappointed.

Lucy figures things out the way we all do, making mistakes, taking one step forward and two back, slowly and over time. I loved being along for the ride. She also runs off with a very shady character who has a few surprises for her (I won’t ruin the book by giving anything away). Lucy and Panda have rich, dark pasts and issues to work out. I love stories that deal with problems that feel real and don’t just fix major traumatic events with a few lines.

The awesome thing about Ms. Phillips is her secondary characters are almost as good as her first and, this book didn’t disappoint. I laughed and cried with them and, though I wanted to only hear about Lucy, I fell in love with them anyway. They were really likeable.

Another keeper for me. I know I’ll join them again and reread the book with delight because I know just how good it is.