Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy holidays

So, how did everyone’s holidays go? Toronto escaped the snowstorms that incapacitated the east coast–even the light snow forecast for Christmas Day never showed up. I spent a quiet Christmas at home with Julian and the kittens. They’re settling in quite nicely, and I have high hopes that they will learn to stop stepping on our heads when we’re trying to sleep.

Here they are as reindeer, bugging Santa-Julian:

In book news, Fractured received a wonderful review from Pamela at At Home Between the Pages, and I was also interviewed by the lovely Claudia Osmond on her blog.

My big Christmas present this year was an ereader: the Kobo, to be exact. The first ebook I read on it was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.


  • I found the eInk reading experience to be just as satisfying and immersive as reading on paper–no eyestrain
  • Kobo is lighter than a book, and more compact than Kindle or iPad
  • Don’t have to hold Kobo open–much easier to read one-handed
  • Can carry around thousands of books with you: great for travel
  • Can download books without going to a bookstore (I looove bookstores, but I also love getting to read a book the minute I decide to buy it, rather than having to go pick it up or wait for it be delivered)
  • Can add multiple bookmarks
  • Can sync between computer, ereader, and iPhone so that I can pick up where I left off even if I leave my ereader at home
  • More space on my bookshelves! So much easier if I ever move again!

Cons (of ereaders in general and the Kobo in particular):

  • eInk is black-and-white, so covers/illustrations look horrible
  • Can freeze or run out of battery power, cutting off access to your entire library at once
  • No touch screen: can be annoying to have to use buttons to scroll through a long menu rather than just tapping the option you want (the iPhone has spoiled me!)
  • Somewhat slow page refresh can break the reading flow sometimes, especially when starting a new chapter
  • No lending capability yet, nor can I re-sell my “used” ebooks
  • Prices still seem high (about the price of a paperback), considering that I can’t re-sell, lend, or give away an ebook once I’ve bought it

Do you have an ereader? If so, which one? What do you love about it, and what do you wish was different?

Meet the kittens!

I am a dog person. I swear! But dogs require more time and attention than I can spare right now: they need to be housebroken, trained, taken out to pee at least twice a day, and exercised at least an hour a day. Otherwise, you end up with a frustrated, unhappy pup on your hands.

I finally had to bite the bullet and admit it: if I wanted pets, my lifestyle was much more suited to cats. So I perused the “kittens available for adoption” section of the Toronto Cat Rescue website, and lo and behold: there was a litter of 3-month-old kittens who the foster person described as “cuddle machines.” My partner Julian, a crazy cat lady in his own right, agreed that we should adopt two brothers (so they’d have company when we were off at work).

Yesterday my cat-loving coworker (the one who introduced me to the Toronto Cat Rescue website in the first place) took me to go pick up the kittens. There were six in the litter, and as soon as we entered the room, they all ran to us and started purring and cuddling. I took home a black one with a tiny white patch on his chest (Comma) and a black and white one (Sir William Purrington III–don’t blame me, Julian named that one!).

They’re settling in nicely. They quickly converted Julian’s winter accessory shelves into beds:
Comma & Sir William Purrington III

It’s pretty hard to get clear shots of them, as they don’t stay still very long, but here are a few more pictures.

Comma chilling on a cushion:

Sir William Purrington III takes his turn on the cushion:

Many more pictures on my Flickr!

Friday Fairytales!

Happy Friday! On the theme of fairytales, here are some hilarious skits by the Second City Network.

Advice for young girls from Snow White:

And here’s what the Little Mermaid has to say (I like that she mentions plastic surgery, which was the part of the story I focused on in my retelling “Swan Song”):

Still waiting on one for Cinderella… Enjoy!

Vancouver launch: photos!

I’m back in Toronto after a whirlwind book promotion in my hometown, Vancouver. Isn’t Vancouver gorgeous?

It was a busy visit. On Thursday, I dropped by the McKellar & Martin office to sign some books and chat about the Saturday launch. It was great to see the office, and I came away with a copy of Go Away, Unicorn, which is a hilarious picture book for non-girly-girls.

Thursday night, my mom had her book club over and they very graciously chatted with me about the book (they don’t usually read YA fiction!). On Friday, my mom hosted another party for friends and family, and we all spent the day catching up, chatting about books, and enjoying some tasty treats.

Saturday was the launch organized by my publisher, McKellar & Martin. The original venue was Coco et Olive on Main Street, but when we arrived at 9:15 am (the event was supposed to start at 9:30), the door was padlocked! As guests started to show up, my publishers got on the phone to find out what had gone wrong. It turned out that the owner had gotten busy at his cafe’s other location across town and wouldn’t be able to make it in time for the launch.

So my ever-resourceful publishers headed up the block in search of alternate venues. The Grind coffee shop was open, and very kindly agreed to let us have the event in their newly renovated back room. We left a sign on the old venue directing people to the new one, and thankfully we didn’t lose anyone in the location switch. Crisis averted!

There was a great turnout, and the illustrator Jenn Brisson and I had fun signing book after book. I wrapped things up with a short reading from the first story in the book: “Snow White and the Seven Dorks.” (It’s my personal favorite, although most people who’ve read the book say they prefer the Little Mermaid story, “Swan Song.”)

Here’s a picture that sums up my Vancouver launches:

Check out the rest of the photos on my Flickr account!

In Vancouver!

I’m back in my hometown: Vancouver, BC. The flight from Toronto is only about 4 hours but it always feels sooo much longer. I read Ali Smith’s The First Person and Other Stories, then a bit of She Loves You, She Loves You Not (an ARC I scored at NCTE), and then I watched the latest episode of Glee.

Today, I had lunch with my grandma and then headed to the mall to do my Christmas shopping. I only had five people to buy for: parents, siblings, grandma. I was able to finish up in a couple hours (yes, I’m bragging), so now I can relax and concentrate on promoting my book.

I’ve got two launches: one on Friday afternoon and one on Saturday morning. I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of my friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in over a year or two. Plus I’ll get to meet the illustrator who did the art in my book, Jenn Brisson. Should be fun!