Sunday, 30 March 2014

Being Coaster Round 3

To read Being Coaster from its beginning, click the 'Comic Strip Being Coaster' tab above 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Copy of J.M. Lavallee's CFTH Radio Interview

If you didn't get to to hear my radio interview yesterday in regards to the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Lessons Learned on Gull Cliff Island), you can check it out right here courtesy of CFTH radio...

PLEASE NOTE:  Because I was so nervous during this chat I didn't realize I'd announced the wrong month in regards to my book's launch!  Morning Rain Publishing is aiming to have the read ready for purchase in August, not July.

Please share this with your friends!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Panic Mode Equals Inspiration

When I first received a contract offer from Morning Rain Publishing for the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Lessons Learned on Gull Cliff Island), I believed there had to be some mistake.  Despite my years of dreaming for such an offer, when it at last happened I thought "there must be a catch", and so I waited for someone to ask for money, or to say "sorry, we emailed you by mistake".  When this did not happen I still could not wrap my head around the reality that a publisher wanted my work, and I know I must have appeared somewhat detached for at least three or four days thereafter.

But then suddenly the situation became real and like a tidal wave crashing upon shoreline excitement pounded through me.  I was to be an author.  Morning Rain would provide me with editors, with a graphic designer, with marketing advice, and industry experience.  Morning Rain would share my words with the minds of others.  I became a vessel of erratic energy and could barely think straight.  I was thrilled and sick all at once and it was lovely, grand, curious, and uncomparable...

And now something new has occurred.  A higher level of comprehension has set upon me, a kind which has sparked my previous vigor into an ominous stomach and mind swirl of what ifs.  

  • What if my book launches and no one buys it?
  • What if people buy it but no one enjoys it?
  • What if people buy it and everyone hates it?
  • What if everyone hates it and Morning Rain no longer trusts me?
  • What if this beginning becomes an end?
My whole life has been a roller coaster ride of energies.  When something excites me the ride fires into speed, the world ignites and I move faster and faster, but then the world around me slows down and my ride slides back with its pace, and when that happens, I become inspired.  As the ride and real life become one my expression becomes inspired, and I must write.

That is how I work.  And so while I await a coming triumph or doom I will write...

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Radio Interview Today

Noon today I will receive a phone call from Lower North Shore radio station CFTH.  Monica Anderson will make the call, and she will interview me in regards to the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Lessons Learned on Gull Cliff Island) for her Harbourside Show.  I'm incredibly nervous.  Unlike my fingers for writing, my mouth always has trouble keeping up with my psycho, all-over-the-place thoughts.  My brain is too fast for me to form words and I tend to get all jumbled when I'm on the spot!  Thankfully this interview will be recorded and edited, it is not live.

I've just printed the questions I'm to be asked and think I'm ready...

Hopefully I will have access to a copy of this interview after it's been aired.  I'm hoping to link it to my blog and Facebook page!

Wish me luck!

Monday, 24 March 2014

I'm Ready to Enter Earthsea

The time has come.  I have donned my jammers and cozy wool socks (in place of slippers), and have my now book at the ready; Tehanu (The Last Book of Earthsea), Ursula K. LeGuin.  Oh Yeah.  
Bonus:  New Murdoch Mysteries on tonight!

An 'I Just Want To Read' Ramble

I woke this morning not feeling a hundred percent.  With a stomach that feels inside out and an energy level at nil, all I want to do today is curl up beneath a blanket in jammers with fat slippers on my feet and read a book or two.  If I were to do that my yucks would disappear because that's what reading does for me, it whisks me away, on adventures, through heartache, new loves, loves lost, through triumphs.  And then, when I close a book I never feel deflated or unhappy upon return to the 'real world', but bigger, wiser, stronger, because I'd just experienced other lives, other places, I'd just faced strange or new ideas, or maybe revisited old ones.  Reading makes me better.

There are many different forms of therapy.  Some people go their whole lives without finding what type works for them, but I've been lucky.  I have four forms of healing which I rotate depending on my mood, and tend to do so equally; reading, writing, surrounding myself with nature, and spending quality time with my family.  All of these things have the power to better me, and are things which I do not merely wish for, they are things I require.  Take these joys from me and I'd waste away, I'd become bitter and old.  I'd not be who I am today.

Maybe that's why my husband is so supportive of these hobbies...

But sometimes life prevents us from acting on our impulses as we'd wish to.  Feeling the yucks or not I have work to do today.  I have to deliver children to school and make sure they're equipped for hours of learning.  I have twelve squealing preschoolers to entertain and admire.  Therefore, therapy must wait until the day's close.  I can do that.  It will come, and can look forward to those jammers and slippers, to a good book with the moon.  And besides, I've had this moment to write.  It's just a little but it's something.

The day is looking better already.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Being Coaster Round 2

World Poetry Day

Oops, I missed World Poetry Day...  In that case, happy belated World Poetry Day!

I've never been much good at following the rules of poetry, which is perhaps why I enjoy writing songs instead.  That way I can be my own master!  In celebration of the great art, here's a little something I wrote after my husband and I visited with one of his old friends.  Hearing their memories eventually resulted in this...


I wonder what it is my shadows see,
When they’re looking up to and making mountains of me?
Lines and shelter, authority,
They don’t see the man I used to be.
Wild and remiss, and free to roam,
Always with a crowd yet forever alone,
Many strange faces, including my own,
My reflection and I sat upon a throne.

Looking back, there is some shame,
If I could turn around would I do the same?
You choose your own cards when you deal in the game...
When you chance to be risky and feed the flame,
When you carry the courage to not be the same,
That’s living the game of life.

I raced with fast women.  I raced with fast toys.
Wherever I went I made lots of noise.
I lived half dead to lead the pace of the boys,
Even good girls gave into my ploys.
Many times now I turn my head to forget,
How far away I was from knowing what’s best,
My head was a brick and fate was for the rest,
All I thought real was a misguided mess.

I carry a novel upon my face,
Whose lines tell of times my memory erased,
Light from my shadows assure it wasn’t a waste,
Gone if I hadn’t taken the time to taste?
I’m no longer alone when I play King of the night,
And despite my skin’s poetry I’m still able to fight,
With a wiser head for knowing what’s right,
I realize now my hand, in the game of life.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

How do you imagine the book cover for the Wishing Stone and Other Myths?

Morning Rain's adept Joanne Clendening will soon begin work on the book cover for the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Lessons Learned on Gull Cliff Island).  I'm immensely eager to see what path she will take for her first draft and have been considering how I wish to see my book's face.

And how about you?  After reading my book's blurb , what do you visualize as a cover for the Wishing Stone and Other Myths?  I'd love to know, so share your brainstorms via email, blog comment, or Facebook me at J.M. Lavallee!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Love Your Library

The Grande Prairie Public Library
Every individual deserves the sanctuary of a library.  In such a place a person can discover who they are, they may travel to distant worlds or learn more about their own.  Within the walls of a library anything can happen, and the power that lends can be magnificent.  My family are great lovers of the library and we visit ours often. As members of the brightly lit Grande Prairie Public Library we have access to hundreds of possibilities, and these are not limited to learning through books...

Libraries offer its patrons opportunities to learn in many forms, including the production of programs which enable those with similar interests to gather and discuss, and to share.  The GPPL has a splurge of strategies which give any personality a moment in the light, and I urge any who haven't yet visited their library to do so today.  Even if you aren't sure what niche you may fit into, a trip to your local library is worth your effort, as it may perhaps be the best place for you to find it!

Personally I greatly enjoy visiting the library simply to be surrounded by literature.  Often I visit to write where it's quiet and comfortable, and sometimes simply to meet a friend for a coffee and chat.

Some programs you may discover through your library...

  • Writing Groups
  • Book Clubs
  • Movie Clubs
  • Knitting Clubs
  • How to Learn a Language
  • Music Groups
  • Gaming Groups
  • (My two sons are members of a Lego Club!)
  • And More

Never forget, anything can be found in a book, and if you aren't finding what you're looking for speak to your librarian.  He or she has what it takes not only to figure what you might enjoy, he/she can request a title from out of house and have it delivered in a jiffy.

Support the love of books by buying a library card, and discover what's out there for you!

Monday, 17 March 2014

'Gull Cliff' or 'Gullcliff'... What do you think?

It's difficult even to find a map bearing the title Gullcliff.
This map on behalf of Canadian Geographic
Not before creating the Wishing Stone and Other Myths  did I realize there isn't (or doesn't appear to be) a concrete spelling for Gullcliff, a tiny island which neighbors inhabited Harrington Harbour of Quebec's Lower North Shore. While Gullcliff Island (let us go with this spelling for now) may no longer bare community, it does possess a significant past which many people along that Quebec Shoreline share.  Gullcliff was once bustling with fisher families in the summer months, their homes small and comfortable, and while some have kept up or reworked a tiny house for visiting, the island now is, for the most part, a home to memory.

The setting of my soon to be released novel begins on Gullcliff Island, and my talented Morning Rain  Editor, Ms. Jennifer Jaquith of course requires consistency.  We must decide on which manner of spelling should be utilized in the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Lessons learned on Gullcliff Island), but are finding the answer is undefinate.  Maps have proven unhelpful as I have found separate maps using either.  And so, I put these questions to you, the reader.

If you've never heard of this place before, what sits best with you; Gull Cliff or Gullcliff?

If you know this island and have lived by it, what, to you, reads the island; Gull Cliff or Gullcliff?

Please let me know your thoughts on this by emailing me or posting comments, then keep in touch as I will announce in a few days time the route Ms. Jaquith and I have decided upon.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

10 Books That Stir the Blood

Winter reading rocks.  I mean, it's hard to beat a good book cozied up by the fire when a snowstorm rages past your window.  But spring reading is top game too (I've read books in treetops this time of year, not kidding), and we're almost there.  Drops are dripping, boots are squelching, and energies abound!  If you're looking for something exceptional to match the joy of a long cold melting away, consider these greats, all favourites deserving to be read at least once in your lifetime...

What Inspired the Wishing Stone and Other Myths

While visiting Facebook the other day I saw a photo taken on Gull Cliff, QC, some time in the sixties.  There were two young girls in the photo, about the same age as the main characters in my up and coming children's historical fiction, the Wishing Stone and Other Myths Learned on Gull Cliff Island. I was reminded of the photo above. The black and white responsible for my novel's creation.

The snap I'm sharing was taken not on Gull Cliff but in Aylmer Sound, Quebec, and the two girls in it are my mother Charlotte and aunt Sylvia.  Though the girls in this photo are younger than my book's main characters, it was in fact this black and white which inspired my hand to weave a tale that would revive a unique history.  The communities along the Lower North Shore own an arduous past to be proud of, and those who lived it deserve recognition.  There wasn't much along that coastline for some time, but the people living along it endured, and created a peoples who even today work as a team.

Throughout my childhood I enjoyed tales told by my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc., about living in summer and winter homes, and how someone as young as my own mother knew a time without electricity.  During a time when I needed something new to write about I fell upon this picture, and the old stories came pouring back, flooding my mind with one name... Little Dot.  

The summer Camp my family enjoyed on Old Edward's Island

Please keep in touch to ensure you don't miss Morning Rain Publishing's release date for the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Lessons Learned on Gull Cliff Island).

Friday, 14 March 2014

J.M.'s the Wishing Stone and Other Myths is featured on Morning Rain's Website

Today the Morning Rain team introduced J.M.'s the Wishing Stone and Other Myths by featuring it on their website as a 'Coming Soon' item!  This 'coming soon' cover is not the official book cover however, that will go into its design stages in the near future.

Check it out...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

J.M Signs Her First Contract With Morning Rain Publishing

On March 11th, 2014, J.M. Lavallee signed her first book contract with Morning Rain Publishing for middle grade fiction the Wishing Stone and Other Myths (Learned on Gull Cliff Island).  The book will be launched sometime in August as an e-book and will later move to a printed edition the following Fall.

Make sure to keep posted for the official launch date right here, on J.M's Facebook page, or on the Morning Rain website!