Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I’ve just finished the first draft of my new YA science fiction. I’m quite happy with this one. It’s different and edgy. Next step: revisions, gah, --lots of them!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Book Vacation Review

There is a new review of The Digging Crew over at A Book Vacation. Reviewer Shana says “If you’re looking for something different with a flare of science fiction and some intense fight scenes, then I highly suggest picking this one up.”.  Read all the details here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mind Blown

I’ve started doing research for the new novel I’m writing. Normally, I enjoy leaning new stuff, but this one a doozy.  Right now, I’m reading three books: The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws if the Cosmos, Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds and String Theory for Dummies. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield rocks out in space

WOW! This guy has reached the summit of coolness!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


I’ve been rather silent lately; that’s because there’s a lot going on in my life right now. My husband has accepted a position in N.B., so we’ll have to move at the other end of the country. Gah! At the moment, we are looking for a house over there while preparing the one we have in B.C. ready for the market. And, of course, I’m writing a novel as well…which I desperately want to finish before the move.  Needless to say, this is a logistical nightmare.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I hate thunderstorms

Prince George used to have very few thunderstorms. Key words are “used to”.  I don’t know if it’s global warming or what, but this summer we’ve been plagued by all sorts of storms: hailstorms, electric storms, and thunderstorms. Last week we’ve got a really bad one that lasted an entire night. It spooked my dogs, kept us awake and fried a bunch of stuff in our home. My computer was one of the things that were damaged. Fortunately, I managed to salvage all my data (big sigh of relief), and I’m finally backed at work. It was a close call though—got me freaked for a bit. I’m just hoping there won’t be another one like that. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

From New Adult to Young Adult

As you know, I’ve been busy plotting a new novel lately. I’m also doing a second revision pass on BH, my urban fantasy, but that’s another story—no pun intended. I’ll tell you all about it in a future post. Going back to my plotting, I started with the intent of writing a new adult fantasy. I had set characters in mind and somewhat of a storyline already built up. As usual I was exploring the different directions the story could go in, when one of those led me to a completely different story: a better, fresher, more thrilling one, a YA urban fantasy.  I asked one question: What if my characters weren’t human? And the whole thing fell in my lap. At first I didn’t recognize it for what it was. I thought I took a wrong direction. But this morning I woke up with a clear mind. This is the story I’m going to write. All the major pieces are already in place. I can’t wait to start! :-D

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Plotting While I Wait

Writing is a hurry-up-and-wait business. Sadly, I am not a patient person. At all. Of course, right now I have a sci-fi at the publishers and a newly revised UF with my agent. And that means waiting. I found that the best way to occupy my mind is to start plotting a new story. I love this discovery stage. Sure it’s muddy and messy, but it’s also very exciting. It’s like making your way through fog. You meander for a bit; you hit a few walls and start over. It’s not a quick operation by any means, but I eventually get there.  It’s funny how sometime the smallest of detail can lit up the whole path. I just found one of those illuminating details this morning. I’m going to follow its tread and see where it leads me. Wish me luck.  =)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Write What You Love - Part 2

Lynda Williams just posted part 2 of Write What You Love on her blog Reality Skimming. Check it out! =)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in Lynda Williams’s series, Dialogues. The topic is Write What You Love. You can read the part 1 on Reality Skimmimg.

Monday, June 10, 2013


I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog front lately. I know. I should keep you updated. Believe me. I feel bad about that.  Really!

Truth is, there not much going on right now. It’s too early to have news from the publishers about my SF. Fingers crossed.  I’m still trying to revise/rewrite my UF…key word is try. In spite of the notes my super agent gave me, which are bang on by the way, I don’t seem to be going anywhere with this. This is pretty much what’s happening.

Social wise, I’ve been rather busy though. Looks like everybody I know and care for have their birthdays in June. Maybe that’s why I can’t concentrate on writing, too many distractions. Or just having a bout of laziness.

On a different note, the Night Shade sale to Skyhorse has gone through. What that’s gonna mean me?

I dunno!

Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Survive an Alien Attack

Just in case....

Famous Writers’ Libraries

This week we’re getting a peek inside the library of the leading lady of mystery, or “Queen of Crime” has she is often referred as, Agatha Christie. To my surprise, there is a touch of whimsy in the room I did not expect. I thought it was going to plain and bland. But it’s not. It’s elegant and feminine. And the banner running along the walls is beautiful. I wish I could find clearer pictures of it.

No: 7 Agatha Christie

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our New Toy

This year my husband and I decided to celebrate our birthdays together (They’re only two weeks apart, anyway.) and splurge on a big gift. We picked something we can both enjoy. So here’s our new acquisition:

                 I had a permagrin since it arrived yesterday. =)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Famous Writers’ Libraries

This week we’re getting a peek inside the library of one of the giants of American literature: Hemingway. In my search, I found many photos of the man himself, (He was a fox by the way.) but very few of his personal library. And those I found show a surprisingly modest room. I expected something a bit more dramatic. Then again, it is understated just like his writing style. 

No: 6 Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good movies that got bad reviews

I saw Oblivion recently and really loved it. That made me questioned the mediocre reviews it received. Why do good movies get bad reviews? Well, I don’t know. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions and taste is subjective. Still, it doesn’t explain why some people get it so wrong. That boggles my mind. Here a list of great movies that got, not bad, but scathing reviews:

Star Wars

"It’s an assemblage of spare parts—it has no emotional grip... an epic without a dream."—Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

Forrest Gump

"It is... glib, shallow, and monotonous, a movie that spends so much time sanctifying its hero that, despite his 'innocence,' he ends up seeming about as vulnerable as Superman."—Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

2001: A Space Odyssey

"pretentious, abysmally slow, amateurishly acted and, above all, wrong”—Stephen hunter, Washington Post.


"By the end of this long film, I would have traded any given gladiatorial victory for just one shot of blue skies."—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

The Godfather, Part II

"It's a Frankenstein monster stitched together from leftover parts. It talks. It moves in fits and starts but it has no mind of its own... Looking very expensive but spiritually desperate, Part II has the air of a very long, very elaborate revue sketch."—Vincent Canby, The New York Times

The Wizard of Oz

"It has dwarfs, music, Technicolor, freak characters and Judy Garland. It can't be expected to have a sense of humor as well, and as for the light touch of fantasy, it weighs like a pound of fruitcake soaking wet."—The New Republic


“An empty-headed horror movie with nothing to recommend it” –Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Schindler’s list

“A theme park masquerading as master’s thesis”—Luke Y Thompson, New Times

The Matrix

“It’s astonishing that so much money, talent, technical expertise and visual imagination can be put in service of something so stupid”—Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle

Gone with the wind

"Badly written…a bore” Arthur Schlesinger, The Atlantic

Okay, now you can scratch your heads.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Famous Writers’ Libraries

For the fifth instalment of this series, I choose one of my favorite writers, Dean Koontz. I must have read at least two dozens of his books, the latest being Odd Thomas.

No: 5 Dean Koontz

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Top 10 Jobs That Attract Psychopaths

I read this article on Forbes and thought. OMG! I have to reblog this. At some point in ours lives, we all had to work with crazy coworkers…I put up with a few myself. Well, maybe those persons were psychopaths. Apparently there are jobs that attract them.

Without further ado, here’s the list of occupations most attractive to psychopaths:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil servant

Here’s the list of jobs with the lowest rates of psychopathy:

1. Care aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant

Fascinating and scary!

Famous Writers’ Libraries

This week, I really wanted to show Oscar Wilde’s library. I love the guy! When I was a teen I was obsessed with him. I must have read The Picture of Dorian Gray three or four times back then. It still is one of my favorite. Alas, I couldn’t find any photo of his library anywhere. So instead I’m showing Rudyard Kipling’s. As you can see it’s a very English looking room. “What is the Law of the Jungle? Strike first and then give tongue.”—Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books.

No: 4 Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How I feel when I start the revision process

                                                Yup! :-/

Monday, April 29, 2013

So what’s next?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself all weekend. I’ve finished the Core-Born series’ synopses, so now I should start working on a new project, right. That’s usually what I do. Moreover, I already have an urban fantasy trilogy on the go that I really, REALLY love. It’s has a great premise, strong characters and enough originality to be distinct. But is it trendy? I have no clue! I never used to ask myself that question and don’t like that I’m asking it now.  It’s a question I can’t answer.  Sure, I have plenty of other stories in my mind that I can write. I know that some fit the market better that others…but do they speak to me. Right now…nope! It’s a heart versus head decision. When it comes to writing, my heart always wins.  Well, I guess I just made my decision…advienne que pourra.
          Me, when I'm trying to predict the next big trend in books. :-/

Friday, April 26, 2013

Famous Writers’ Libraries

I have a fondest for Victorian houses. I grew up in one, my grandfather’s. That’s why I picked Samuel Langhorne Clemens’, better known as Mark Twain, library for the third post in this series. Also the room is nothing short of spectacular…if one likes the over-the-top, cluttered Victorian style, which I do...very much.

No: 3 Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The right question

As most of you know, I’ve been struggling with a plot lately. Actually, it’s the synopsis for the second books in the Core-Born series, which my agent is currently shopping around. Fingers crossed! I couldn’t figure out the beginning…until one morning it came to me while I was eating breakfast with my husband. Like a skeleton key, that opening scenes unlocked everything. As a result, now I have the storylines for book two, three and four. I’m very excited about this. I really don’t like being stuck. Okay, I hate it! Having a clear direction to follow is a relief to me. All thanks to the right question. In this case it was: At the end of book one, what is Jessie still afraid of? As you may have guessed, Jessie is my protagonist. The answer: Going into her locker to pick up packages. Bingo! =)

Friday, April 19, 2013


Despite less-than-stellar reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, I’m still going to see it.

Famous Writers’ Libraries

For the second post in this series, we are visiting Norman Mailer’s library. I chose this one for its stunning architecture. A two-story library how cool it that? By the number of lamps in the lower level (I count six.), Mailer didn’t like dark corners.

No: 2 Norman Mailer’s

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stuck in the middle

Usually, when I plot a story, the beginning and the end are the first parts that come to me. But this time it’s the middle I’ve figured out first. That’s weird for me. It would be so bad if I knew how to get my characters there and out.  Well, no luck so far. All I’m getting is more scenes and details of the middle section. Maybe the key is in there, and my mind just isn’t seeing it…or maybe I haven’t asked the right question yet.

Monday, April 15, 2013

If Barbie were real

                                                    Oy vey!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Famous Writers’ Libraries

This is the first post of a series that will run on Fridays. Each will show pictures of a different author’s library. I love books and always wanted a library of my own. We moved often, so I was never able to set one up the way I wanted. Plus, I had to get ride of a lot of books with each move. The horror! Sadly I could afford to keep them all. A box of books is like a box of wood, and when you pay the movers by the pound you can imagine how expensive it can be. I didn’t abandon all my books though. I keep my favorites and most of my hardcovers. And now I finally have a library to display all my babies, which brings me to the first libraries in the series. It’s the one I envy the most because it makes me wish I still had all my books.

No: 1 Neil Gaiman’s

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sir Christopher Lee is not dead

                                ...but he's sure is awesome!

Sci-fi gets no respect

Popular sci-fi writer Robert J. Sawyer slams Canada Council for not giving him a grant

Twenty years ago, when my third science-fiction novel came out, Books in Canada magazine profiled me. The profile’s author, Andrew Weiner, quoted me as saying, “Maybe it’s a grass-is-always-greener thing. But I can’t help thinking that writers working in almost any other area are getting more respect. It’s really very frustrating.”
To which Weiner added: “No respect. At times Sawyer seems about to slip into a Rodney Dangerfield routine. I can’t get no respect.”

Well, of course, in the two decades since, I’ve gotten a lot of respect. Just last month I received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General’s office. And on March 18, McMaster University picked up 52 boxes of my papers to add to their Canadian-literature archives — surely a sign that SF is now part of the mainstream.

And yet that same week, the Canada Council for the Arts turned me down for the 10th time for a grant to write a novel. The Council’s “Grants to Professional Writers — Creative Writing” are valued at up to $25,000. One might argue that I don’t need the money anymore (although I certainly did when I first started applying). But economic need is not a granting criterion, and bestselling writers of other types routinely receive grants.

(Back in 1993, a churlish fellow claimed I wasn’t “grant-worthy.” I shut him up by applying for and receiving an Ontario Arts Council grant.)

There are those who say (although being so is nowhere in the Canada Council’s rules) that science fiction can’t really be about Canada. They’re wrong: my books are mostly set in this country, have Canadian protagonists, revel in our diversity, and deal with Canadian themes. As the Globe and Mail has said, “Sawyer sells so well in Canada because of his celebration of our culture; citizens seek him out for both a good story and affirmation of our identity.”

Then again, maybe the particular projects I’ve proposed to the Canada Council weren’t significant. Judge for yourself: here are some of the novels I went on to write after the Council declined to support them:

The Terminal Experiment, which won both the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula Award and the Aurora Award (Canada’s highest honour in SF) for best novel of the year, and was a finalist for the Hugo Award, the top international prize in SF writing.

Flashforward, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly (“denoting a book of exceptional merit”), won the Aurora Award, won in blind judging Europe’s top SF award (the 6,000-euro Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción), and was adapted by ABC into a television series.

Rollback, which also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, was named one of the 10 best SF novels of the year by the American Library Association, was the 2009 “One Book, One Brant” community-wide reading choice, and was a finalist for both the Hugo and the top juried prize in the SF field, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Wake (which I applied for three times), which won the Aurora, was a Hugo and Campbell finalist and a Globe and Mail bestseller, and also received a starred Publishers Weekly review.

Watch, which won the American juried Hal Clement Award for year’s best young-adult novel, won the Aurora, was one of three finalists for the Canadian Authors Association’s Fiction Award (“honouring writing that achieves excellence without sacrificing popular appeal”), was a finalist for the Audio Publishers Association’s Audie Award, and was a Globe bestseller.And Triggers, which made five year’s-best lists, was the publishing trade journal Quill & Quire’s “Booksellers’ Choice” for SF or fantasy novel of the year by authors of any nationality, was a Globe and Maclean’s bestseller, and is a current finalist for the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award and CBC Radio’s Bookie Award.

Yes, from time to time, writers of “speculative fiction” — the obfuscatory term used to hide what’s really being produced — do receive Canada Council grants, but for most of us whose work is widely read, crumbs may be had but not plums:
In the former category, five years ago, Toronto libraries hosted the “Canada Council Heritage Series on Speculative Fiction,” with authors paid $150 reading fees — less than 1 per cent of the maximum value of a creative-writing grant (I declined to participate).

But in 2007, after I arrived in the Klondike at Pierre Berton House, the famed writer’s retreat, I discovered the Canada Council had, for the first and only time, overruled the unanimous choice of the selection committee in Dawson City, denying funding for my stay.

Nonetheless, I did what one is supposed to do: I wrote a novel inspired by my time in the Yukon. Red Planet Blues, set in the Mars colony of New Klondike against the backdrop of the Great Martian Fossil Rush, has just been published under Penguin Canada’s mainstream Viking imprint, debuting at No. 7 on the Maclean’s bestsellers’ list. It, too, had its grant application denied by the Canada Council — as did the new book I’m starting to write now.

Andrew Weiner ended that 20-year-old Books in Canada profile with these words: “Robert J. Sawyer may indeed go boldly where almost no science-fiction writer has gone before, into the strange alien galaxy of the Canadian literary mainstream. And he may, in the end, get some respect.”

And I guess I did, from everyone except the Canada Council for the Arts. I suppose we can check again on that score in another 20 years. I’m sure I’ll still be around then — but if the Canada Council isn’t, I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t shed a tear.

Robert J. Sawyer’s 22nd novel, Red Planet Blues, is just out, no thanks to the Canada Council.

Rob is only stating what most Canadian sci-fi/fantasy writers have been complaining about for years.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Aurora Awards

It's Aurora time again. For those who don’t know, the Prix Aurora Awards are the Canadian version of the Hugo. They are given out annually to the best Canadian science fiction and fantasy literary works, artworks and fan activities from the previous year. So it’s time to nominate your favorites.  You can find the list of all works known to be eligible here:  Once you made your choices, follow the instructions at  It’s easy!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Awesome recipe

I had friends over the other day and I tried this new appetizer recipe: Prosciutto Asparagus Spirals. They’re awesome. They look amazing and are super tasty. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and left them in the fridge, covered with a plastic wrap, until it’s time to cook them. Very convenient. They are so good I decided to share the recipe with you.

Prosciutto Asparagus Spirals


1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed

6 tbsp. garlic & herb spreadable cheese, softened

8 slices prosciutto or thinly sliced deli ham

30 medium asparagus spears, trimmed


1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. Spread 3 tablespoons cheese on each pastry sheet. Top each with 4 slices prosciutto. Cut each into 15 strips crosswise, making 30 in all.

2. Tightly wrap 1 pastry strip around each asparagus spear, prosciutto-side in. Place the pastries seam-side down onto 2 baking sheets.

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.