As Promised: COUPONS!

Laurie Stewart:

I will be receiving my paperback copies of Mechanicville book 2: Alone in the Night within the next couple weeks. Hopefully before the big Xmas craft fair I have a table at.

To celebrate, I am giving away copies of book 1: A Test of Loyalty, on Smashwords. This is a limited time offer, only until Dec 28th. But those who get ereaders for Yule can still pick it up!

The code is KE56Y, paste it into the appropriate spot BEFORE paying.   Feel free to share the link and code with everyone you know.

Also, I will be putting up a free horror-fairy tale on my website today.

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My last film

Laurie Stewart:

As you may or may not know, dear readers… I am also a film-maker. Low-budget, independent, first step for new actors and crew… films.

Well, my last two films are likely to be my LAST films. The chronic pain in my back and hips is not conducive to 16 hour days. Even with a friend whose only job is to make me sit down, I was in tears from the pain by the end of every day.

The one closest to completion is Reliving Marilyn, an intimate look at the woman behind the legend. Painstakingly researched, vetted by experts in Marilyn Monroe’s life, and thisclose to finished.

We are holding an Indigogo campaign to raise the funds for for finishing the last 10%. Go to the page to see the trailers, photos etc. The film is visually stunning.

“Completing the film is just the beginning of the journey. We need your…

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Nano killed me this year

Laurie Stewart:

I have officially given up on Nano for the first time in years. I had a good streak, 4 straight years, but this year it was not working. It was closer to pulling teeth from a live, awake and pissed off bobcat, than writing.

It didn’t help that we had a long, warm Fall which encouraged mold growth up the wazoo. Usually we have had several days of hard freeze by now, which kills off the mold. Mold of pretty much any kind, but especially cellulose mold, gives me migraines. Bold, visual, pounding, nauseating migraines. Guess what the moldy leaves and grass are made of?

Staring at a computer screen trying to force out a set number of words didn’t help either.

Neither did the pressure of a deadline, trying to get 2 books up on every imaginable platform, a sinus infection thing that may be mold related since I’ve…

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Guest Blogger: Jamieson Wolf

A wee introduction to a man who inspires me. He’s been a friend for *cough* twenty years, though we lost track of each other when I moved out of the city to a small farm.  Yay for FaceBook!

Jamieson Wolf is an award winning author of short stories, novellas and poetry.  He writes in several genres, and has held the #1 best-selling genre spot on Amazon!  Pretty fly for a sweet natured guy from Canada.

Jamieson inspires me to call myself on my procrastination, own my shit, stop using chronic pain as an excuse to not do *anything*, and write.  Gloriously, bravely, endlessly write.

So, without any more stalling… *drumroll*… an exclusive guest post from Jamieson.

(look for Jamieson on other writing blogs, he’s on a virtual book tour!)


Memoires on the Wire

 I was out at dinner this evening and a woman saw me taking a picture of my dinner with my smart phone.

 “Oh, are you a food blogger?”

 “No, I’m a writer. I’m just putting the picture on Facebook.”

 A woman across the table leaned forward. “Why are you putting a picture of your dinner on Facebook?”

 “So I don’t forget anything.”

 That’s usually the answer I give to why I use social media so much. Social media serves a purpose: it helps you connect, helps writers and artist promote ourselves (yay us!) and it helps us stay in touch with our loved ones.

 I use it for one other important purpose: I use it to remember.  

 I use Facebook a ridiculous amount; I’m also hooked up to Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and others. I post poems, articles, novels, short stories. I post pictures of my life from that random moment, something I’m able to capture.

 All of it is lived in the moment.

 I have trouble remembering things. My thoughts sometimes get hard to hold on to, as if they are made from smoke. I’ve forgotten a lot of what I used to know or what I’ve just taken in.

 It used to be I could recall whole plots of books I’ve read and loved. Now I can’t remember what the last book I read was. When I want to write a book review, I usually have to read the book a second or third time.

 What I put out on social media are like pebbles, left along the roadside. Sometimes the pebbles go amiss: they get moved by the wind, scuffed by someone’s boots, carried in the beak of a bird. Some of the pebbles go missing.

 Social media is a way for me to gather all of those stones somewhere, so I can find them again.  I think of each post, poem or word like a memory, preserved in electricity. They are like snapshots of a moment.

 I was broken into earlier this year. One of the things that was taken was my laptop…and the memory key I left in it that day that contained all of my writing from my whole literary career. All my novels, my manuscripts, everything I’ve ever written.

 I’ve since started backing up everything I write. That was a lesson I learned the hard way. When I went to the internet to gather the poems for Talking to the Sky, I was very thankful that I had put every poem I wrote last year up on the internet. They were all there, waiting for me.

 The problem was that I didn’t remember writing a lot of them. When I put Talking to the Sky together, I was reading the majority of the poems for the first time; and I was the one that wrote them. I had forgotten them completely.

 Never have I been so thankful to social media and the lives we live within the wires. It held on to piece of my voice and gave it back to me when I needed it.  For that, I will always be grateful. I was able to gather these snapshots and now I give them to you.

 1624629_10153785530945702_231861193_n       1800816_10153785531875702_1536030081_n

 Talking to the Sky; Poems                                  Jamieson Wolf

Available in paperback or ebook.

Jamieson Wolf and documentaries about Attawapiskat.

So, in 2010, I co-produced a documentary about the terrible living conditions in Attawapiskat, One called “Canada: Apartheid Nation”.  The Cree people living there had a 50% homeless crisis, a school built on the largest oil spill in Ontario, a twelve year water ban, and crushing poverty.  We released the film at he Toronto Independent Film Festival, and it has since shown in select schools and theatres.  (Available for sale for $10, contact me)

We received a lot of flak for the name, but it really fits. Those who have never seen a remote, isolated reserve have no idea how well the title fit.  Believe me.

We tried the CBC and NFB for support, then for sales or broadcast, and were told no thanks.  Not interested.  Well, the NFB has now released two films about Attawapiskat by Native filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.  Both were filmed after the RELEASE of my doc, which the NFB said didn’t interest them.  They didn’t even want a screening copy, so it wasn’t anything to do with technical quality.

Now, I’m not mad, exactly.  The situation up there, and on all remote reserves, definitely needs the exposure.  BUT… To date we haven’t even recouped the cost of making the doc. And now, with a world renowned filmmaker releasing a doc on the school, and another on the housing crisis, our doc has only it’s section on water that is still unique to us.

Anyone taking bets that the NFB has another doc in the pipeline?

In much happier news:  my dear friend Jamieson Wolf has written a guest post promoting his new (BEST SELLING!) book of poems called Talking to the Sky.  Jamieson writes with real heart, his images and insight often move me in ways more traditional poetry just fails to.

Read his essay about the Tarot here.  Now, I’ve read the tarot for about 20 years.  I know the stuff he’s talking about.  I’ve got several decks that I use depending on the reason or the reading, or just the personal preference of the person being read for,  I don’t have the Thoth deck, but most Tarot decks have the same meanings and uses.

But as usual Jamieson made me think about the cards in a way that I hadn’t.  At least not for a long while.  I had become used to them, taking them for granted.  Now I want to go and actually talk to them again.

So, all of this to say that Monday or Tuesday, Jamieson has a special blog post for me, and thus, for you.  (I’m always tempted to say “dear readers” like Agatha Christie, but I will resist)  It’s not going to be posted to his blog, it’s mine, mine I tell you!

And I’ve already seen it.  Keep a hanky close by while you read.  Trust me.


So many creative things going on!

The biggest, for me, is that after several years away from novel writing, I an returning to finish my magnum opus.  I have heard the cries of my beta readers, who received only 2/3s of the high fantasy novel and am determined to finish the first draft this year.  Hopefully, this winter.

It is the fantastical tale of a woman of our world and time swept away to an alternate Earth after her death.  A world where magic and the Fey are real, but people are still people, and power brings out the worst in us.  Kind of Gail Z Martin meets a really weird dream I had about elves….

Next is that I will be directing Reliving Marilyn, a retrospective drama by Morgan Blackbyrne, and starring Nadine Banville.

I am hoping to redirect my energies to my writing and painting this year, after 2 years of almost nothing.  So I have pulled out the old scripts and first drafts, reopened the inspirational books, like On Writing by Stephen King, and Techniques of the Selling Writer.

And I am finding an extension cord so I can plug in a heater by my attic desk, digging out a low cal nibble to chew on ruminatively, I find that I have over a dozen scripts, novels and short stories to finish.  This could take a while.  But with the inspiration of music by Heather Dale, and my friend Jamieson Wolf getting the #1 bestselling poetry book spot (pause for cheering), I am ready to tackle the pile of paper.

And just to keep you all tuned in, I have a surprise coming up soon that involves one of these lovely people.

Welcome to 2014!

So, 2013 was a crapper of a year.  I’d had high hopes, a new Dr seemed to take the edge of my multiple health issues, and Jim was working with promises of extending his contract.

  Neither worked out the way it should.

  My crushed vertebra and ruptured discs achieved all the damage they could, so another bone started degenerating.  And I started falling.  Randomly.  Repeatedly.  Down a mountain.  Down stairs.  Not fun.

  I pulled all the muscles between two ribs, bruised both elbows, both hips, cracked a bone in my toe…

  My Lyrica helped with the nerve damage, but I gained weight.  I went wheat free, lost 4lbs, and developed an allergy to wheat.  My painkillers stopped working, so we tried something else.  It made me dizzy.

  By the end of the year I was on 3 daily medications, plus my weekly bone pills and migraine pills.  And have spent the last 2 weeks dizzy again.  I see the Dr on the 6th.  Thank Gods.


  Needless to say my creativity took a nosedive last year.  Not a single new painting, story or film.  No rewrites, no edits.  I feel terrible for doing nothing, but the well was dry.  Or the dizzyness made me barf when I concentrated.

  For the first time since I was  a teenager, I was depressed.  Real depression.  Not wanting to move, everything hurts, can’t think depressed.


  And now I’m on another pill.  A wonder drug that should ease my depression, lower my blood pressure and prevent migraines.  Now if it could do dishes, I’d be thrilled.


  So here comes 2014.  I have high hopes for getting back on track this year.

  I have 30 days of writing exercises in case I get stuck, I have my list of prioritized ideas and scripts to rewrite and stuff like that.  I have photos of haunted mansions, new books by fave authors and other inspiring things in my office.

  And I have a plan.  Be afraid….


  The first week or 2 will be spent getting my house in order.  Literally and figuratively.  I plan to move my laptop up to my office where I can plug it into a big monitor, and work.  I plan to (as soon as I can get through the snow to the trailer) get a few dozen hangers and hang up all the wardrobe, getting it out of garbage bags and off the floor.

  I’m going to organize my desk so I can find my pens.

  I’m going to make a few make-ahead meals, flour mixes, etc, and clean up the kitchen.


  Then I am going to write.  And maybe paint.

  It really is beautiful out here in the winter, and I love the play of golden light on snow.  So, I should paint.  Or photograph.  And write.  Write, write, write!