Friday, September 29, 2006


I read part of this story in yesterday's Globe and Mail, but it's been in most national US newspapers and likely on TV as well. It's the story of Anthony Stockelman, who raped and murdered 10 yr old Katie Collman in January 2005 and is now serving a life sentence in Indiana. He was "mysteriously" tattooed on his forehead by inmates with the words "KATIES revenge". This while he was in protective custody. I have to smile...sorry, but I know how jails and prisons work. Some guard had to have left his cell door open, and his back turned, for enough time to elapse for that to happen. I tried to upload the picture of his sorry looking face, but couldn't, so you'll have to imagine a shaggy-haired, cold-eyed young man with capital letters KATIES and in smaller letter "revenge" in black ink covering his entire forehead.

I googled farther into the story and found a website called Katie's Playground which was started by her parents, her school, and classmates on August 3, 2005. It's 8,000+ square feet, and the students made a list of everything they dreamed of having in a playground. The design was done by an architectural firm Leathers and Associates. It was all put together by volunteer labour, with volunteer day care provided. Amazing! A list of the play equipment and the cost of each piece was put up on a website page, and gradually things were bought and paid for.

The playground hosts events that are listed on the site. There are directions to the Playground. It's become a living memorial in a small town. A memorial to a little girl who didn't return from her short walk to the dollar store one January day over a year ago.

This is why I can never write about children or abducted children in my books. As a parent, I can think of nothing worse. I praise and admire the Collman's for their brilliant idea to make this playground as a testimony to their beautiful little girl. (An apartment building that housed a meth lab was torn down to make the space - all the more fitting to put up a children's playground)

As for tattooing Stockelman - he's lucky that's all they did to him. Anybody who checks in here even once a month knows I put out our Amber Alert for the little guy who was abducted in a small town in Saskatchewan. The pervert was caught, the two boys saved, and all of this could've been avoided if the police force out east had been on the ball enough to put it on CPIC that he was at large again. I think we need to do more than let communities know we have sexual offenders/child molesters living amongst us. Tattooing their forearms seems like a good idea to me - we could all see it - even tattooing their knuckles would save many children who could recognize it and run and scream away from them. If I sound like a neo-Nazi, well, sorry, but I was a cop, remember? :) I've dealt with several sexually assaulted children and you never forget - and regardless of what my PhD SIL believes, bless her, I don't believe the perps can ever be cured.

So let's tattoo them where it shows. Let's protect our children with such stringent laws that eventually there will be no more Katie Collmans, or Cynthia Luengs abducted and murdered.

And grace to Katie's parents, who must look at that playground some days with a heavy heart, but who have shown great courage during the worst year of their lives. Now some strangers they've never met have sealed their tormenter with "the mark of Cain" and he'll never be able to rest if and when he does get parole. Justice has been served.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Blogger's working for me again - it seems to have gotten rid of its bugs! I found the perfect visual for my heroine in my current WIP that I'm reworking. I sent this link to my good friend Toni Anderson (see link to her blog at right) yesterday. I play this video at the start of my writing day to get me inspired. Makes that rewriting go faster. :)

Go to and click on "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado (another international star who's a Canadian export, lol). It's at the top of the Top 100 Video List. Imagine that's my dark-haired, beautiful, undercover cop in her gritty, crime-filled world. :) Sometimes pictures do it for you and sometimes a video can help too.

My kids think that watching this on my full computer screen is pretty neat. It sounds alot better on the home theatre though. :)

Have a great writing weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I'm currently taking Margie Lawson's online course called "Deep EDITS" - which she humourously calls "a graduate course in rewriting". If you want to check out her website at you'll find all of her courses listed and when you can get in on them.

It's completely turned my editing/rewriting world upside down. I can't believe what I didn't know before about writing, and I mean that sincerely. (and btw, my Blogger hasn't recovered from it's scheduled outage at 4 p.m. yesterday - my dashboard has disappeared!)

Anyway, I've learned such big words as:

CONDUPLICATIO: it means to use a key word in your previous sentence to start off your next sentence.
ONOMATOPOEIA: it means to use words that gives you the sound you want. Eg. roar, growl, whimper, whoosh.
ANADIPLOSIS: it means to repeat the last word of your sentence at the beginning of your next sentence.
EPISTROPHE: it means to repeat the last word OR final phrase (three or four) words or phrases in a row.

Maybe you readers out there are all English majors and are way ahead of me! I'm sure any editors reading this are all familiar with these techiniques, if not their names. :) But each of Margie's lectures have been a cornocopio of discovery for me, and although the course has slowed down my writing this week, I know it'll pay big dividends for the future.

I highly recommend any of her courses. Check out her website. You won't be sorry!

And yes, I've rewritten my BA heroine back to a cop, from an investigative reporter. She just told me too, and I had to pay attention to my character. Somehow, they always know what's best.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I can't help but brag here - Canadian talent has taken over Rockstar's reality show two years in a row now!! It seems that Canadian music talent (Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion - well, ok, you can have *her*!) is one of our greatest exports. First, J.D. last year won with INXS and has done a fantastic round the world trip.

This summer, it's been all about Lukas, our "little punk" from Toronto, Ontario. I used to live an hour north of Toronto until March of this year, and I couldn't be prouder of this little guy who up until last night, was a waiter at Hooter's and rocked in bars in the rattier areas of Toronto. He admitted on the show that one of his "originals" was written for his mom - "Headspin", and he played it once with the house band and once again unplugged. If he keeps writing songs like that, he'll be the one taking Supernova to the top, not Tommy Lee's drums.

He also chose to sing Coldplay's "Fix You", for his broken relationship with his dad. He said he hoped that if his dad was anywhere, watching the show he'd realize that he wanted to fix his relationship with him. Lukas belted out a fabulous rendition of "Fix You", and if you'd caught that prior quote from him, it made it all the more haunting.

Here's to you, Lukas Rossi - for proving that even the little guy from "the Great North's New York" as the Rolling Stone's like to call Toronto, can pull it off for us, two years in a row. :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CALLING ALL WRITERS: "The Arms That Hold Us Up"

I'm writing an article called 'The Arms That Hold Us Up' for the March 2007 issue of Romance Writers Report. This is the monthly magazine put out to members of ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA. The article is about an aspect of writer's lives that isn't often talked about - managing to keep on writing when your spouse/significant other/or family members don't support your writing or writing career. This may be because of your current family situation: young children, finances, unemployment, a jealous spouse, aging parents who need you, or a spouse or family who think that you've "tried so long, why don't you just give up?" It can be many, many reasons. This can often apply to published writers as well as unpublished writers.

If you are interested in answering my short questionnaire about this subject, please contact me at I'd like to get any anecdotes you may have, your strategies for coping, how you've negotiated writing time with your spouse/family. How have you kept on writing in spite of any adverse areas in your life? What does writing mean to you when you have negative people in your life? You can remain anonymous, or sign a consent to be named with your quotes.

Thank you for your interest in this questionnaire!"

Monday, September 11, 2006


Words can't say what the heart remembers.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Argh! In the intense stress of getting two kids back to school, and having my dh undergo more test flights....I MISSED sending in my registration for the Labour Day Weekend's 3-DAY NOVEL CONTEST!!!! I truly meant to send in the $50 registration fee and try my hand at pouring out the first draft for COLD JUSTICE over these three days. Outline notes are allowed in the rules, and as I have those, I figured I was all set. :-( Observe my unhappy face.

However, my soul-mate was unhappy enough that I spent 3.5 hrs in my dusty basement office pounding away on the keyboard, and missed the fact that it was 7 p.m. AND, hadn't started supper yet, thereby putting back the time for hairwashing and showers for above two kids. Which meant that we couldn't watch our movie of the weekend. So unhappy, that after he bar bq-ed the burgers, we yelled back and forth, as husbands and wives are wont to do, he couldn't eat supper. (I'm a mean witch when I point out that my writing time is just as important as reading in the backyard, and we both wear watches). Sigh, guess I never would've made it through three days of uninterrupted writing time to make it to the end of a novel anyway. What a waste of $50 that would've been.

At least the kids got showered and had their hair washed. I mean, being a wife and mom means you have to keep your priorities straight. It's not like being a dad. (sarcasm alert) Maybe next Labour Day Weekend - or maybe some other weekend I can just do it myself for the fun of it.

Are there any more inflated egos on the planet than writers and pilots? I think not. :-( Observe my unhappy face.

45/85,000 pages of rewritten (completely) work on BLACK ANGEL

P.S. I now have two wonderful critique partners. The excitement is back and having a deadline is making everything easier. I'm also taking Margie Lawson's "Deep EDITING" course this month. If you're interested in some really intensive online workshops, check out .