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Showing posts from 2013

Feathered Holiday Guests

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Friday December 27, 2013

Sometimes when I go for a walk, I'm hoping for a good birding day. Maybe the weather just seems right, or I spotted a hawk through our window, or someone online has reported an uncommon sighting in the area.
Today though, I just wanted to get some pictures of the ice.


There was an ice storm in Ontario before Christmas, which knocked out power for thousands of people. We were lucky, and have been well-lit and warm all through the holidays. But today was my first chance to go out with the camera.





Although I wasn't particularly looking for wildlife, a Mockingbird showed up within minutes, and the ducks were out and about. 




But those are the usual suspects in our neighbourhood. This lady or gentleman, however, is not:



If my I.D. skills are serving me well, that's a Long-eared Owl, and it's the first time I've ever seen one. Actually, it's the first time I've seen any wild owl other than Snowy owls (they've shown up in the park as we…

Video: A Little Citrus This Christmas

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Tuesday December 24, 2013

It started with Thanksgiving, and now for Christmas the silly videos continued at our house:



When I was young, no one ever had to point out the little oranges to us on Christmas morning. They were happily devoured by my brother and I, and still are today.  Steve's not a big fan, but that just means that now I get the crate to myself.

Happy holidays to you and yours, whether or not you celebrate Christmas and whether or not you do so with citrus fruit.

Bonus Material!

Of course an epic production such as this deserves a few behind-the-scene photos. You know, capturing the magic and whatnot:





Now if you'll excuse me, I have some set dressing to eat.


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Happy With My Epic NaNoWriMo Fail

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Sunday December 1, 2013

Just before the start of November I made a last minute decision to sign up for National Novel Writing Month, an annual challenge to write a minimum 50,000 word novel between November 1st and 30th. Unlike the 3-Day Novel Contest, you don't submit your work for judging and there are no prizes - NaNoWriMo is just about using an online community and a deadline to get yourself motivated to get a first draft down on the page.

I've participated in and "won" NaNoWriMo twice before, but both of those books have been sitting around for years in need of major rewrites. I decided to sign up again this year when I looked at the rules and realized you're allowed to work on a revision of a previous work, as long as you start your prose from scratch. So I decided to use this November to completely rewrite one of those languishing NaNo books. I knew I'd be off to a late start, since I still needed to figure out my revised outline AND finish off some ot…

Reflections on Remembrance

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Monday November 11, 2013

In school, we always paid special attention to Remembrance Day. There were crafts and poems and assemblies to attend and, in later years, assemblies to put on. One of my most distinct Remembrance Day memories from my youth actually comes from high school, and the pride I felt the first time I was a techie at the student-run assembly. What I don't remember is ever having a veteran come and speak to us. When I was a kid, the two minutes of silence was spent imagining what the World Wars had been like; imagining the crack of bullets and the flash of explosions and the cold trenches slick with mud...

I don't think I'm alone when I confess that for several years after I finished going to school, I also stopped going to Remembrance Day ceremonies. I still wore a poppy each November and, if I could, paused for two minutes of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. But Ontario doesn't officially shut down for Remembrance…

Lessons and Photos from the Inaccurate Realities Launch Party

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Sunday November 10, 2013

Yesterday was the launch party for Inaccurate Realities #1: Fear, a YA speculative fiction collection which includes my short story "Model Citizen." This was particularly neat for me, because it was a soft-landing entry into the world of book events - I didn't have to do any of the work, but I still got to show up and sign things. :)

It was a really great event, and kudos to editor Christa Seeley and assistant editors Andrea Modolo and Sara Eagleson for putting it all together. I learned a few to-do things from them, and a few not-to-dos from myself.

Here are some of the notes-to-self I've made for next time. First, from the things I could have done better:

Practice signing your name beforehand.
(Seriously. That chicken scratch was just ridiculous.)
Bring a pen.
(How did I not think of this? Luckily Steve had some at the ready.)
Be on time.
(Although I was mostly delayed by the arrival of a stray cat I'd been waiting to feed, so I can't …

Model Citizen

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By Marilyn Anne Campbell

Short Story: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction
"The Invasion changed many things: the way people thought about themselves and each other, the landscape of the Earth, the very dynamics of the universe. But there were some things it did not change—things like the upper level food court of the Maddison Bay Mall." Scotty goes looking for his first retail job, and ends up leading the fight against alien invaders. Publication History
Model Citizen was first published in the YA speculative fiction magazine Inaccurate Realities. It appears in Volume One: Fear, which was published on October 22nd, 2013.

As of March 2016, you can read Model Citizen on Wattpad.

Story Notes
The first draft of this story was written way back in the summer of 2002. I submitted it to one magazine, got a rejection, and pretty much forgot about it for a decade. 
The main character was named after one of my roommates from 2002, although they are absolutely nothing alike. I was however usin…

Inaccurate Realities #1 "Fear" is Available Now!

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Tuesday October 29, 2013

Forget haunted houses, or cemeteries, or spooky old castles on hilltops. Real terror, true terror, lives at the mall...

My short story "Model Citizen" is about a first retail job gone wrong (like, earth-hangs-in-the-balance wrong), and it's now available in the first issue of a new speculative fiction magazine for YA readers, Inaccurate Realities.

Volume One also includes author interviews, book reviews and four other fear-themed stories:
“For Halloween” by J. W. Zulauf“And I Thought They Smelled Bad on the Outside” by Mackenzi Lee“The Usual” by S.H. Aeschliman“Dead Man’s Pond” by Rie Sheridan Rose
Read and Share
You can find  Inaccurate Realities Vol. One: Fear on Goodreads, for list-adding, review-sharing goodness.

And there are plenty of places to order a print or e-copy of "Fear" online. You can go directly through the good people at InaccurateRealities.com, or check out this blog post where they've collected the many links to pl…

A Geek's Thanksgiving

Monday October 14, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! Steve and I made this to celebrate:




Shameless Plugs! This video happened because I was trying to think of something fun to put on my Facebook page, which I'm not sure I've actually mentioned on the blog. Like it here, if you like.

Also, the first issue of the new YA speculative fiction literary magazine Inaccurate Realities - which will include my short story "Model Citizen" - comes out on October 22!

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Word on the Street and My First Story Mob

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Tuesday September 24, 2013

It's not like I didn't know The Word on the Street Festival was coming. WOTS happens every September in cities across Canada, and Steve and I try to go to the Toronto installment at Queen's Park every year. I went to Winnipeg last week knowing this annual "celebration of literacy and the written word" was happening the Sunday we got back, but I still didn't bother looking at the schedule of events. My plan was to just go and wander around and see what we could see...

Author Elizabeth Wein
Luckily, checking Twitter while lingering over coffee on Sunday morning saved me from missing out on hearing Elizabeth Wein, the author of Code Name Verity, read from her new book, Rose Under Fire. She tweeted (from @EWein2412) that she'd arrived in Toronto, and I put two and two together (because I'm clever like that. Also because I went to the WOTS website to confirm my suspicion).

If you haven't read Code Name Verity, stop doing anyt…