Tuesday, December 18, 2012


It's been awhile since I posted and my first thoughts were to sum up my year like I did last year.However, it seems to me a little self-centered to focus on me in  light of the horrific events in Newtown, Connecticut. And it is hard to be in the spirit of Christmas without feeling guilt.

Living in a small village, I can imagine how hard this season will be for the residents of Newtown. Even those parents whose children survived, know the parents whose children did not. The children who survived have lost classmates and close friends. Some have lost relatives and neighbors. How do they act as if all is normal and celebrate the holiday season?

News stations, TV talk shows, radio talk shows, e-news, newspapers..everyone is talking about Newtown. Conversations about the incident quickly turn into debates for gun control and more stringent security, with talks of arming teachers (a thought that truly frightens me).

As a writer, I have always tried to stay apolitical and avoid taking a strong stand on the side of anything. My choice has always been to side-step controversy. I have never been a good debater, unable to push my voice forward and command the audience's attention. Today, I make an exception. Here on my blog I'm the speaker with no one to challenge me or out yell me. So I'm taking a stand.

I don't blame lack of gun control for what is becoming too common a tragedy. Gun registration keeps the honest people honest. The bad guys aren't going to register their guns and they don't buy them at a gun shop. If someone wants a gun for a bad deed they know where to get them underground. I also don't believe arming teachers is going to solve anything. First of all I can't see the average teacher wanting a gun, and unless they are outfitted with semi-automatic weapons, their hand guns will just be pea shooters in comparison. Teachers are a caring, supportive breed of human beings whose mission is about helping our children become better adults through education, social interaction, and mutual respect. For most teachers,  this fundamental core of their nature would deter them from wanting to carry a gun, let alone shoot to kill...and shoot to kill they must if taking on a dysfunctional shooter determined to kill them.

The issue is a social one, full of complexities such our lack of support for victims of mental health; our obsession with the "American" dream; we're losers if we don't have enough money, aren't pretty or handsome enough, aren't famous, aren't educated enough, or don't have enough "toys". What's wrong with being a good person, who lives by the golden rule and treats those as they would like to be treated. There's a lot more satisfaction in being the best human being you can be as opposed to accumulating "things".

My thoughts are full of compassion and healing energy for the people of Newtown, Connecticut.

Just sayin...

Monday, October 8, 2012


So last weekend, my hubby and I travelled to Vancouver for the Word on The Street Book Festival. It was so much fun, great weather, lots of people, a few sales. I wish it could have been more for the other authors I represented at my table for our common publisher. Most people wanted to support the only BC author and I appreciate that.  It was a wonderful experience. I talked to so many people about publishing, writing, ebooks, and finding that right publisher. And I noticed this week that visits to my webpage and my blog site have increased big time, as well as sales increased on Amazon Canada. 

Our table was set up close to the main live stage which entertained us all with music, story telling, poetry, and  readings from the BC Book Award winners. I was representing my publisher, Asteroid Publishing, Toronto, so I offered up books from other published authors of Asteroid's as well. See picture below. All in all a very positive atmosphere, and even ran into an old neighbour from Gibsons.

Preparing my table

For all of you ebook lovers out there, you now can get a free ebook download from your local library of my book, Winters Captive. If your library says they do not have it, tell them they can obtain a downloadable copy from EBSCO and Overdrive. Some American and Canadian Libraries already have it available.
Finally, it is Thanksgiving weekend for Canadians and I would like to share the following with everyone, Canadian or not. It says it better than I can.

Rachel Coldwell, a local rancher gives us this to ponder and I think it is so fitting for Thanksgiving: If you've food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep..you're richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace..you're among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. (Hmm...) If you woke up this morning with more health than illness..you're more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. If you've never experienced danger of battle, loneliness of imprisonment, agony of torture, or pangs of starvation..you're ahead of 500 million people in the world. If your parents are still alive and still married..you're very rare, even in Canada. If you hold up your head with a smile and are truly thankful..you're blessed because the majority can, but most do not. If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch their shoulder..you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch. If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing as someone is thinking of you and you're more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and pass this along to remind others how blessed we are.

Keep on keeping on writing.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


In wondering what my next post should be about, and thinking about featuring a fellow artist, the decison was taken out of my hands. I guess it will be all about me again.

I have my name and book name in Google Alert. Anytime my name or book is mentioned in Google anywhere, an email is sent to me and I check it out. Imagine my surprise last night when a Google Alert showed up telling me I was linked to the Giller prize. 

Check out this article in Thursday's edition of the National Post.


Okay so a name mention isn't winning, short listing, or long listing (announcement on Tues Sept 4) but to be mentioned as an obscure title along with best selling author, Vincent Lam, in an article about the Giller Prize (One of Canada's prestigious literary awards)...I'll take obscure any day. Am I flying? Oh yeah!

As the article says, after the long list is announced, the other 214 eligible titles could slip into oblivion. I appreciate the fact, as I'm sure do all the other authors, that we are available for viewing on the Scotiabank Giller Prize website,

The past six months of marketing since my book was released has been exciting, yes...but also hard work and not always fruitful. But I keep slogging along because I believe in my story and what I think it has to offer my readers,  in the hope that my efforts and that of my publisher, Asteroid Publishing Inc., will pay off.

As a family friend said, "Ironically, having your name mentioned might just bring your book out of its "obscurity". I can't think of a better plug for it." He's so right. So if after the long list announcement on Tuesday, my book disappears into oblivion, I will have had my "mention" in a Giller article. It's humbling and inspires me to keep on writing. 

To all my fellow competitors, good luck on Tuesday and keep on keeping on writing.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Writing is such an elusive activity that is so tied to your emotions. One can feel empty and a failure or fulfilled and ecstatic at the accomplishment. Last month my creative pool was dried up, tapped out, painfully non-existant. This month the muse found me again. Well...I'M BACK!

Reading the above paragraph sounds like a description for manic depression or bipolarism, which I don't suffer from to my knowledge. But writing can feel like that at times. And I certainly hope I don't sound like I'm demeaning those who suffer with the any of these conditions. I can walk away and forget my writing for a while and gain a new perspective, whereas diagnosed sufferers have to deal with their symptoms on a day to day basis. They have my utmost empathy and respect.

My sequel to Winter's Captive, tentatively called Finding Georgia is coming to fruition. The story is in two parts. One more chapter and part one is complete. Two more chapters in part two with a little flushing out, and the book is complete. At least this book only took a little over a year and half to write, as opposed to the first one that took me nine years LOL.

I do believe the sequel will be the end of Georgia's journey. As much as I love Georgia Charles, who is my alter-ego and I hope the alter-ego of many women out there,  I'm ready to move on to a completely new heroine, a new story with new twists and empowerment of a different kind.

Just for those who are in the nieghbourhood, I have a signing at Cole's Bookstore in Vernon, BC on Saturday, Augst 11th, Noon-3:00 p.m.  Love to see you there.

Have a great week and those who write, keep on keeping on writing.


Monday, July 2, 2012


Today, I've been reflecting on Canada Day and what that means. I'm lucky enough to live in a great country that allows me to be free. Freedom is multi-faceted and encompasses so much like freedom of speech, freedom to travel, freedom to vote (not only democratically, but as a woman), freedom to become whatever I choose to be, freedom to live where I want to live, freedom to follow my own belief system...it's endless.

Estentially what that means to me is freedom is to not have to do what I don't want to do, 'cause the only thing I have to do is die. Until then, everything else is optional.

I love my country, I love living in a beautiful province surrounded by raw nature...unpredictable, challenging...yes, but Mother Nature is constant and she's free.

On checking my visitor stats on my blog I have had visits from all over the world. I don't know who you are but I know what country you're from.  This morning saw a huge jump in my blog visits. A big portion of those have come from a little country in Europe called Latvia.  A nice surprise. Latvia is a small country on the Baltic Sea and borders Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Eastonia to the north. Probably about the size of Vancouver Island. They are an independent, democratic country of about two million people whose land mass is hugely raw, natural forests, undeveloped beaches, protected wildlife. I'm sure these people are fiercely proud of their country and heritage as I am of mine.

Yes, I'm a Canadian and proud to be one of its citizens. But living in my cyberspace world, I'm linked to people from all over the world just as proud of their citizenship. This has me reflecting if perhaps our fierce pride in our own little spot of the world can create an isolation. Cyperspace confirms we are all citizens of a global village. And if we believe we aren't alone on our little ball in the universe, then we are all citizens of the universe.

Yesterday, I wished my fellow Canadians a happy Canada Day. Today I wish my fellow citizens of the universe a happy Monday. Just sayin'.

And to all my cyberspace visitors, thank you for visiting me and next time leave a comment, so I know who you are.

All you writer's out there: Keep on keeping on writing!



Sunday, May 27, 2012


Hmm...I wrote a post last year regarding action and how if you get writer's block keep moving forward. There are other options like research, creating business cards and book markers, reading for idea stimulation, etc., etc.. I thought it was an informative and helpful piece. 

Now here I am. At a stalemate. The past two months of my life have been full of stress and decision making that have had nothing to do with my writing. Writing became non-existant, promoting my exisiting published book has become secondary. I've been facing the exact dilema I offered advice about in my December 18th blog post. 

Just so you agree that I have a right to whine, here's some of what I've been facing. My 90-year-old mother fell and broke her hip. Visits to Vancouver for a coupleof weekends were a necessity. She had surgery and survived. She is back at the care home and a physiotherapist visits her three times per week to increase her walking and strength. Now if I could tap into some of her determination...wow. But it was a very stressful time for the family as I'm sure you would agree.

Our toilet broke and had to be replaced. Then our sewer pipe backed up and we had to replace the whole system. Not only did that stress me personally, it stressed our savings too. I had to cancel a visit from the brother and his wife who are over from England because I couldn't very well send them into the bathroom with a bucket. Then, there was the fact that the water was shut off, so no showers, no washing dishes, laundry, etc. Onto the Greyhound bus I went to Vancouver to visit them at my sister's while hubby stayed home and dealt with holes in the ground and new pipes. Fortunately, we got it all together and my brother and wife were able to come up here last weekend for a few days. 

Onto my job. I went full-time at my job as an Admin. Asst in local government. My choice, yes. But definitely a few adjustments have become necessary to accommodate a full-time job as writing time became scarcer. 

My sister's husband had an emergency quadruple bypass surgery where he left us on two occasions. He's back home now recuperating and my husband's brother had a stroke and lives in Saskatchewan. Plans have been made to get him back to BC and around family. He too is recuperating.

Life has settled down. I feel back in control. Yea.... Here I am with a weekend all to myself. Time to write and do marketing. Not!  I'm tapped out. I can't focus, can't concentrate. Don't want to market, don't want to write, have my book markers and cards already. Research seems like a chore today.

So...in keeping with my own advice and staying in the genre. I'm writing this blog post to whine, whine, whine. I think I've done a pretty good job-don't you?

Off to reread my December 18th posting and see if I can motivate myself. For those of you who are writing... keep on keeping on writing. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Today, I want to talk about a book that moved me so much. After I finished reading it, it haunted me for days before I felt able to write a review. This tale is a true story written as creative non-fiction. Because it reads like a novel in the first person, I had to keep reminding myself that this is someone's real life testimony, one full of courage, grit, and vulnerability. The author has a unique writing style all his own. I warn you the language may offend some. However, they are just words, descriptive words that are unique to this man's true life account.

Our lives in comparison couldn't be further apart, thus the title above. In fact, some people in my circle would call him a homeless, alcoholic. Well, that is exactly what he calls himself. But the author of Boxer Hobo, Johnny T. Noctor, tells a riveting tale that not only chronicles his life as a boxer, exposing his demons and vulnerabilities, it also exposes the underworld element of the boxing world in Australia. A courageous expose by a man not afraid to talk about how that world affected his life professionally and personally.

What moved me was his battle to sobriety. I found it amazing that after falling into the depths of alcoholism on numerous occasions over the years, his mental focus was so intense that he was able to overcome the physical affects and throw himself into the extreme physical training required of a boxer and find his way back to sobriety and another fight. And it wasn't just his journey that fascinated me. This man wormed his way into my mind and into my heart because he is a writer. A VERY TALENTED WRITER, in my opinion. I love his writing style.

Here is a description of his book from Amazon:

When a homeless alcoholic boxer wakes up in a Tasmanian Neuro-Trauma ward with a fractured skull, doctors inform him he won't be able to box or drink alcohol ever again. Though he's now having seizures and in excruciating pain, that's not an option for this thirsty pugilist. While in hospital, he has no visitors or phone calls because nobody it seems has contacted his family. No one is willing to help him find out who attacked him on the dark streets of Hobart, they say he probably fell over drunk, but this old tramp knows different and is determined to find out who the perpetrator was. The Hobo refuses to give in to the prejudice of society's laws and is determined to get well and fight again. After all, he took up boxing to keep off the grog.

This is the review I gave him:

I don't even know where to begin about how this story affected me. I have never been a boxing fan, or understood the need for men to bash each other's brains out, but this story is spellbinding. Johnny Noctor gets under your skin, into your head and has you feeling his pain, sharing his dreams, and rooting for the underdog. Entering a world filled with criminal intent came as no surprise but reinforced that the boxing world is a corrupt one that feeds on human prey.

Our worlds couldn't be further apart, but the author writes with such an intensity and passion that I not only lived every step of the way with him, but understood his frustrations, his demons, and his hobo existence. On one hand, I'm angry at him and want to shake him and tell him he is a highly intelligent man who has many talents, writing and boxing just two of them. So why does a self-proclaimed alcoholic healing from brain damage, whose behavior is up one day and down the next, let his low self-esteem drag him under and allow himself to be used as a human punching bag?

On the other hand I admire his courage, his tenacity, and his ability to keep dragging himself out of the lows and put himself back on his feet. I admire him for not giving up on his dreams. I respect his intelligence and his obvious writing ability and unique style.

This is a story of a man who isn't afraid to expose his frailties and the corruption and injustice of others. A must read for anyone who has the guts to enter the world of boxer hobo.

Keep writing Johnny, I want to read more.

Johnny Noctor self-published his book through Amazon. He has received 5-star reviews. He remained sober during the editing and publishing process,  and has been travelling through Tasmania and Australia promoting his book. He is writing a sequel book as you read this. His book is available on Amazon. See the link below and a link to his blog site.
        To all the writer's out there, keep on keeping on writing!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I came across this blog recently and I just love this lady's honesty and gutsy posts. Her latest post WHY DO I WRITE?  got me to thinking about that myself. Her link is at the bottom of this post so you can read it for yourself.

In the past when asked this question I have always answered that I feel compelled to write. It has a life of its own. And while this may be true of most of us writers, I've come to believe this is a pat answer that sounds a bit pretentious. So let's give this a little depth.

On the creative side, I've always loved to write, even back in elementary school writing story assignments. Living other people's lives, creating the outcome of their situations, to making them bad or good. This is the fun side of writing. The research into topics I know nothing about to add to the story line...this is fun for me.

Then there is the emotional side. This is a little more complex. For me, my writing has become a healer. The characters I write about contain a part of me and working their problems out in ink helps heal my own.

My writing also gives me a voice through my characters. I've grown from a very shy child and young adult to a person who can walk up to strangers and introduce myself and carry on a conversation. I can stand up and sing, give a reading from my book and talk about myself and my writing-all in front of an audience.

But ask me to sit in a group discussion and have a voice that is heard, stand up in a debate and take control? Cannot do. Writing is where I find my voice, where I'm most comfortable, and where  I'm most likely to influence anyone.

That brings me to another reason why I write. Do I want to influence people?  I do want to share my experiences in my life with other women and hope that through my character's experiences they can relate to their plight and learn something about themselves. This is why I wrote Winter's Captive, to express what I learned about myself and share the lessons learned through my main character, Georgia Charles. The story is fictitious, but her pain, angst, and lessons learned are all mine. But I also want to entertain. Was I successful?

So far, the feedback received about the book has been very positive but an interesting thing has happened. I thought I was writing a book about women, for women and paying forward through my own experiences. However, my book is being labelled as an adventure, a suspenseful thriller, you won't want to put down.

Huh?  Surprise! Somewhere along the way, the story has taken on a life of its own and men are reading the book and enjoying it. Am I pleased? You bet. A 93-year-old Australian lady has read the book three times and totally relates to the main characters plight and yet, men are reading it and being entertained.

Writing also has another side to it. It can be painful. When you don't have the muse, are having trouble developing a character's voice, or can't seem to pull it all together, frustration can creep in. I like to think that that is positive stress. It forces the writer to try harder and write stronger.

Here is the link to: Are we there yet? the site that inspired me to write this post. If you are a writer, what makes you write?

Just a little housekeeping here,  I previously wrote a post about doing the A to Z's of writing a novel. I have rethought this because in doing my research on it, I ran into trouble finding definitions for all the alphabet characters pertaining to writing. Instead I will add posts on the elements of writing a novel without any cutsie alphabet order.

Meanwhile, keep on keeping on writing.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I have three free ebooks available for download.  If you would like a copy send me a message on my website CONTACT page with your name and email address. First three to respond get a copy.  All I ask is that when you've read it you write a review.

Enter here:  www.junebourgoauthor.com