Okay, This is Pretty Cool

It’s been over three years ago since I began penning what would become my first complete novel, “The Gift”. Unlike anything I had ever written before, it became what I consider to be my most impacting story and some of the most fun I’ve ever had staring for hours and hours and hours in front of a computer screen. Everything I do with this project is new and a bit scary. The end of the first draft: is this truly the end of the story I want to tell? The daunting task of re-drafting multiple times, releasing it to my beta-readers: will they think it’s as good as I do?,  and now I have secured myself a spot in an editor’s queue. How much will he think needs to change? My baby is going under the keen eye of professionalism, how will it stack up?

While these questions certainly are in the back of my mind, I couldn’t be more excited to announce this amazing news to everyone who has been tracking with me throughout this journey. While this doesn’t give me a certain time for release (still stuck on the dilemma of self-publishing vs. seeking out an agent- it’s a question of cost vs. patience), it does bring me one step closer to realizing something pretty awesome. July 1 is my start date with my editor, a man who has edited for one of my literary heroes New York Time’s Best Selling Ted Dekker, and another favourite, Tosca Lee, so I couldn’t be more excited at this stage of the process and I remain confident that this investment will pay off!

The book is slowly coming, don’t lose faith.

 

 

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Dear Diary,

3/15/15
Dear Diary,
It snowed last night. Actually, it still snows this morning. It’s pretty, snow always is, everything is covered in white again just like a Thomas Kinkade painting. Some might say the earth is in mourning, covering the woes with a clean slate; mourning over what would be up to interpretation. Maybe it’s winter sighing its last breath, or the death of freedoms, or a moment of silence in honour of the Ides, I suppose it depends on the person. Others might embrace it more jovially, the skiiers holding on for one last hurrah, the dogs who love frolicking through it, kids who suddenly become religious and start praying that the sparse flakes turn into an overnight blizzard. Maybe this snow is a little bit of everything and more. As for me, well, Diary, what this snow really means for me is hope. Hope that one day, when I wake up with snow outside my window where there’s supposed to be green instead, there is a chance I will be in Narnia.

Why I Do What I Do

When I was six years old my Mom moved me to a different school. I had been caught in an incident of school yard gang violence and I kicked a girl in the stomach when she was down. I don’t remember who the girl was that I kicked, who I was with, or what the incident was about, but I do remember what it was like to sit in the principal’s office afterwards. And I do remember what it was like that first day of Grade 2 in a new school and what it was like for the next eight years being the one bullied. Karma sucks.

I guess it was inevitable then that fighting would come back into my life and by fighting I mean Martial Arts, because I don’t do Fight Club and this time I knew a thing or two I didn’t when I was six, mainly, that it’s not cool to be a thug. So what I want to talk about today is what Martial Arts means to me, or more precisely, what Martial Arts doesn’t mean to me because having a girl talk about martial anything is often like a girl talking about cars- a lot of people still can’t understand the two being in the same sentence together. So let’s get some things straight.

Martial Arts does not mean that I watch Anime, have a collection of fantasy weapons on my wall, and think that metal underwear is somehow a good way to go into a fight. It doesn’t mean that I have forsaken my gender, or that I’ve bought into girl power. Martial Arts isn’t a fad like Zumba where I get to model cute pink boxing gloves and I get to sound tough by using words like “round house” and “upper cut” in my selfie hashtag. My fist kickboxing class was in a concrete floored room with a hanging banner which said “House of Pain” and was taught by one of Canada’s Lightweight Champions- there was nothing chick about that class.

A question was once asked to Hollywood director and writer Joss Whedon, “Why do you write strong female characters?” His response was perfect: “Because you’re still asking me that question.” I’m entertained when people find out that I train in Krav Maga or Martial Arts and they suddenly become really awkward. Some people still don’t know how to be around a girl who would rather play with a sword than a credit card and I won’t lie, I like to throw out jokes about curb stomping and throat punches to these people because it really is fun to see just how uneasy they will become. What they don’t understand is that Martial Arts answers so many of the gender issues which have arisen in recent years and that they should foster it girls and women not be afraid of it. Martial Arts means never being the victim, and it means not having to let someone else fight your battles for you. It means being strong by virtue and not from abused human right claims. And most encompassingly, Martial Arts means not letting anyone have power over you unless you give it to them.

Do I live and breath the sparring floor? No, but it is a place where I came full circle to where I began my journey back in elementary school. I only have myself to prove anything to so no more kicks to the stomach while the person is down, but I’m no longer the victim either. I just take numbers.

Wrong Girl

At first I thought you got the wrong girl

when I saw a new message from you flash on my screen.

You thought you knew me, wanted to check this out.

I thought I was lucky for your attention,

turned me into a cute blushing school girl,

tried to play like a man but you were still a boy.

The school girl didn’t last long and neither did you,

trying to change me because you thought you knew what was best.

Your ego kept you believing you were still king of the hill-

didn’t take long to figure out that you definitely got the wrong girl.

You stopped showing your face to let your words do the talking,

but tried to use me as your Thesaurus to help you along;

if you don’t know the steps, you shouldn’t be dancing.

You weren’t worth waiting around for the day my message box stopped flashing,

wherever you went, I was already there-

always trying to play catch up with me

I never shed a tear.

Won’t bother thanking you for nothing

But I do thank you for playing along

You took some words but not much more

You can kiss my hand of dismissal

And know that you’re an end note, the kind no one reads.

Dreamtopia

If you could look into my mind
Oh what treasures you would find!
You’d finally see beyond that distant look in my eyes
And hear the waltz I dance to with my fingers on the table
If you could get lost in my mind like I do
Then you would feel as I do
As though the adventure would never tire
As though forever was counted by the moments of young love which never grew old
You would never want to leave the moon lit night
For there would be no mystery beyond
You would feel as though you were facing every fear bred by horrors and disappointments unseen
As though you had everything to lose and nothing to gain
And then another day the tables would turn and the stakes would be turned!
You would feel the sun of a little girl’s laugh in a field of wild flowers
And gallop along the tops of mighty mountains
You would take archery lessons from the elves in their trees
And pay courtier to wise men of long life and powerful women who showed no weakness
The sound of the sea with its salty air could hardly hide the treason at sea
Pirates were deadly and alluring not because the movies said so, but because you are one!
While the adventure just outside your window would always beckon you to come
Every great story would come with its own soundtrack to spur you along
And you would live like a Broadway show and see the world through beautiful tears of sound
Your favourite characters in their most precious scenes would be replayed over and over again until their story became yours and their life became your dreams and emotions to drive your secret smiles
You would pop-up in the Roman forum in jeans and leather jacket looking for a safe place to sleep that night
Or a Victorian square with aviators to boot just to be the scandal for their tea talk
Rich men and leaders of yore would knock on your door to learn the future’s secrets but with an understanding beyond the money they’d pay you would tell them that you cannot
You would know the pain and joy of winning a love hard fought
And the painful passion of an unjust execution
You would feel the struggle to deconstruct the secret ways of people
And the desire to plan the unpredictable
If you could look closer in my mind
And join me there
We might not ever leave
But oh, what lives we could lead!