Wednesday, December 9, 2009

News from the Publishing World - Misc Christmas Thoughts


First, I want to apologize for not being around much. Truth be told, real has me busy this holiday season. I just finished my Christmas card list, but now I have to wrap gifts and keep the chocolate in the advent calender flowing. Haha. Which kind of takes me to my theme today - Christmas traditions.

When I was a wee thing, I remember my Dad would buy lobster and we'd all go over my Granny's house for a Christmas Eve lobster dinner. Being a wee one, I didn't appreciate the lobster at the time.

When we got older, we used to go to my grandmother's house (on my mother's side) for Christmas Eve. Since I lived in NH, snow would litter the ground. It would be COOL. The wind chill would put it about 20 degrees. We'd have to warm up the car before going out to it.

We'd make pedogies (homemade) and have a non meat dinner before opening gifts. I loved the comdarie of making homemade pedogies. The whole family would gather around and one would roll out the dough, one would use a cookie cutter to make the circles and one would stuff the dough. It was my job to boil the pedogies and then fry them up in a pan with butter & onions. Homemade pedogies taste fab, but looking back, that butter & onion couldn't have been good for the ticker! Haha! I would go to Midnight Mass with my aunt Mary and on Christmas we'd have a big turkey dinner and visit the aunts and uncles.

Nowadays, my Christmas traditions are a little different since I live in California. There's no 20 degree temperatures in California. I'm kind of sad that my boys won't know a snowy Christmas, but I try to make it as Christmasy as I can. I light an advent candle for meals and I have an advent calender filled with choc and lollipops. I put out a navity and each day Andrew and I add a piece. We have an ornament dinner every year and exchange personalized ornaments with family members. Opening gifts are usually reserved for Christmas morning. That's what they did for my husband's family when he was a wee one.


Both my boys are excited for Christmas this year. Joe is 3 and is just starting to "get it." He goes to the advent calender every day which is cute.

Christmas traditions are important because, for me, it makes the family unique. While lobster isn't on the menu anymore, I made a clam chowder and Brent will cook up a rib roast for the ornament dinner. I made sugar cookies with Andrew and he loves it. Joe should be old enough to get it this year. We'll see.

I hope you're having a good holiday season and enjoying your own Christmas traditions.



Did I tell you the reason why I neglected the blog? Part was because of National Novel Writing Month. I was tying my fingers off trying to get to 50K words. And I did! I'm a winner at 50,291. Mind you, my novel is probably just a little over 1/2 done but I've got a good start with it. I have to admit, I entered Novemeber prepared. I had character bios, maps, outlines and I was ready to write. I don't think without that prep work, I would have made my goal.


The other reason is the real life business of the holiday season. I work from 6 pm to 2 am and I usually have to get up at 630 am. I am exhausted all of the time. It sucks. I have to do my house work, and the Christmas extras. Not that I mind, but I find there's just not enough time in the day.

My NaNoWriMo project was "The Count's Lair" a book that will be published by Desert Breeze publishing. I'm very excited about the story. My hero is a werewolf who falls in love with a talented pianist in Hungary 1901. I love the time period. While werewolves don't have the appeal that vampires do, I enjoy them because I explore the more pyschological aspects of it.


New from the Publishing World.

I try to keep up with this one which isn't easy. I usually get my news from Publisher's Weekly as I find they are the most up to date:

A new program debuts on Sirius XM Book Radio this week: “Penguin Classics on Air,” a half-hour series devoted to the discussion and exploration of some of Penguin Classics’ 1,500-plus titles. Penguin employees will write and produce the series, and the show will air twice a week—Mondays from 3:00 to 3:30 P.M. and Thursdays from 11:30 P.M. to midnight—on Sirius 117 and XM 163.

It sounds interesting. This week is about Jane Austen. Having just seen Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightly and watching Becoming Jane, consider me a Jane Austen fan. Surprisingly, I didn't read her in High school, so I'm just now getting introduced to Jane.

I'm a firm believer in entering writing contests. It's where I cut teeth and I've entered the Writer's Digest Contests since 2006. Here's a contest being offered through Publisher's Weekly and Amazon:

Also today, Penguin Group (USA) and Amazon announced the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition. For the first time, the competition will award two grand prizes: one for general fiction and one for best young adult novel. The 2010 competition will also be open to novels that have been previously self-published. The competition runs from January 25, 2010 and until February 7 at

Here's something a little interesting: A Candianan Private school is switching to EBook readers!

The Blyth Academy, a private school in Toronto, is replacing its traditional textbooks with the Sony Reader Digital Book which will be loaded with electronic versions of students' textbooks. “There may be one or two [books] that we still find are better in the printed version, or that maybe haven’t been fully converted into electronic texts, but we’re hoping by the end of the year, that we’ll have all of our texts completely in electronic format,” said Blyth director of development Brandon Kerstens. He added that some of Blyth’s approximately 170 students in Toronto have opted to continue using hard copies of the books.

The school is maintaining its library of printed books, and students will still read fiction in printed versions. “We’re not doing away with printed text altogether because novels are so beloved, and people love to have their novels in a printed version,” said Kerstens.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

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