Heart Tea Heart

14021741_709076172580135_6951032992391347810_n

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I love coffee (if you’ve read this blog for a little you probably know that) but I also have a soft spot for good tea. I mean loose leaf, flavourful, and bold tea.

That’s exactly what you get with all the different blends from Heart Tea Heart.

14021741_709076172580135_6951032992391347810_n

I’m partial to the Knights of Avalon, the English Breakfast, and for reasons that are obvious in the next picture, the Harvest Apple Oolong.

15219985_768048206682931_572801978351135351_n
Heart Tea Heart has a pop-up location for the holidays and is stocking books along with tea. Including mine.

Books and Tea make wonderful presents.

They’re at the Merivale Mall 1642 Merivale Road, Ottawa, Ontario! Go check them out.

map_tile

Also go give them a Like on Facebook, and if you’re out of town, check out their website.

Later days,
Éric

Marvel cruise

disney-marvel

On board certain Disney Magic cruises, there is a new event – Marvel superheroes will be there as well!

disney-marvel
Isn’t Cap perfect? Image from disneycruise.disney.go.com

So if you would like to meet some superheroes, and would like to cruise the Bahamas for 7 or 8 nights, or Canada and New England for 7 nights, this is a perfect vacation for you!

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/onboard-activities/marvel-at-sea

If you are concerned about the price of a cruise being too expensive, remember, cruise prices include the accommodation, your meals, and activities on board the ship. So take the total cost, divide it by the number of nights, and try to find another vacation that is that good a price!

If you are interested in booking a Disney cruise vacation, you can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Serial Story and Criticism

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Creating things is hard. Showing it to other people is like ripping a piece of yourself off and hoping people will like it. (Van Gogh understood and took it a little too literally.)

There’s no trick to taking criticism. There are rules however, (which I sometimes forget) the chief most of those is: Never engage or defend. If someone says that your setting sucks because of X, you smile and nod. Later you can cry and rant and scream, but to the person you smile and nod and even thank them.

The second rule is just as important. Don’t dismiss or accept criticism until you’re calm. Once you’ve gotten over the emotional reaction, you’ll be better able to judge if you should take the criticism to heart or throw it out.

As a writer, there are things that I do well. I can create compelling characters, silly jokes, and I’m pretty decent at adventure style stories. What I don’t do well is realism.

All this comes from a criticism of this years’ serial story. It was harsh, sarcastic, and a little condescending, but not wrong. I’m not a hard mystery writer. I’m also not practised at realistic fiction. Wargrave Island has been a little cartoony in the deaths and I’m ok with that. It’s been an experiment and it’s taught me that this isn’t the genre that I want to be writing.

If you’d like to help me decide what to write for 2017’s serial story vote in the poll below. So far we’ve only had 5 voters so tell your friends and decide what 2017 will be like:


2017-serial-story

What Should be the Genre of the 2017 Serial Story?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What Point of View should I write?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What Form should the Conflict Take?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

How Many Main Characters Should Be in the Story?

Loading ... Loading ...

What should the Main Character(s) Be?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Should There be Time Travel?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

If you have any extra suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments. No promises that I’ll use all suggestions.


Thank you and Later Days,
Éric

Dil and Tabitha!

img_20161015_113314small

The TARDIS travelled into Dan and Phil’s Sims world and met Dil and Tabitha! Dil cosplayed by Lindsay and Tabitha by Victoria (website, Facebook, Twitter). Victoria has a really awesome Zine out as of yesterday – you should really go and check it out here!

img_20161015_113314small

Dear Dragon – Your Gramma

young001

young001

Dear Dragon,

It’s the first of December and that means that Christmas is just around the corner. We’ve been listening to holiday music for the past three weeks and other than “Last Christmas” I’m still loving it.

There are all kinds of reasons I love the holidays, the snow, the presents, sappy movies/tv, spending time with family and friends, but most of all, it’s a time that most people feel more hopeful.

I hope you grow up with the kind of holidays that your Mum and I had. Our parents went out of their way to make it a loving and wonderful time.

As much as I love this time, I’m always a little sad. It reminds me of your Gramma. She loved this time of year, she’d get as excited as a child. I can still picture her with her santa mug of coffee and a mischievous grin.

christmas06001

It wasn’t an easy season for her. She wanted to give me everything the other kids had but couldn’t afford it. I was still spoiled (especially by your Uncle Dan) but I remember the pain on her face when we received food boxes. It hurt her pride but she knew she needed to accept it.

No matter what happened, she made sure it was a great day filled with laughter and family.

She’s been gone for eight years now and when she died I took custody of an old box. It was packed in 1996 and says not to open until 2016. I remember packing it with some of my favourite toys, although I don’t remember the toys.

img_20161129_140122img_20161129_140147

I’m a little conflicted about the box. I want to open it, but I also want to open it with you when you’re old enough to appreciate it… to appreciate her. I’ll decide at the last minute.

She would have loved you sooooooooo much,
Your happy and sad Papa

Blush: Stretch Marks

stretch-marks

I’ve been thinking about something off and on for the past few weeks: stretch marks, and why mine don’t really bother me.

When I was 8 years old, I grew four inches in a year. Then it happened again when I was 9. I had stretch marks on my thighs from that point forward. They’ve faded over time and just look like little white squiggles now, but they bothered me a lot when I was a teenager.

I didn’t grow very much at the beginning of my pregnancy, but by mid-summer I had some tiny stretch marks under my belly button. Then in the last few weeks I grew a lot more, and quickly, so I got a few more. They were quite dark. They’re a little paler now, but still very much present.

I went swimming with Dragon last week, and I realized I didn’t really care about them, for several reasons. For one, superficially, I know that Eric loves me no matter what I look like, and I don’t need to attract anyone else. Two, whenever I look at them, I see what I went through to have my daughter. I never understood the sentiment behind the “tiger stripes” movement, but I get it now.

stretch-marks

And three, I understand where stretch marks come from, and why I have them. It makes such a difference to understand why your body does something, I find.

Reasons for Stretch Marks

  • Fast changes in the body (growing or shrinking)
  • Genetic tendency
  • Cortisone level in the body

You can be any gender, any size, or any age, and you could get stretch marks. They appear when the body undergoes a big change very quickly. If cortisone levels are high, the elasticity of the skin is compromised and stretch marks are more likely to occur.

People likely to get Stretch Marks

  • Bodybuilders
  • Pregnant people
  • Teenagers
  • Adults
  • You get the idea…

I hope this helps you to feel better about your own stretch marks.


Reference

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stretch-marks/home/ovc-20169154


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press

I’m Sorry You Had a Bad Year

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

A lot of weird, sad, and scary things have happened this year. A lot of celebrity deaths, a lot of fear and hate based electoral decisions. That not to mention the natural and terrorist disasters. Pile on top of that the fact that everyone knows someone who’s sick, dying, or dead; and a lot of people are saying 2016 is the worst year ever.

I’m not going to get into the statistics that say that humanity is better off now then it’s ever been (It’s not great or perfect but better.) It’s been a bad year for many people and there are some serious scary things started this year that will carry forward to next year.

What I will say is this: I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m sorry this year has been bad. I hope the next one is better for everyone.

I’ve been struggling with a large amount of guilt this year. Sometimes that guilt bubbles into anger, but mostly it’s sadness.

You see, this has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me and to my family. My wife and I had a wonderful little Dragon, my first book was published, my wife’s game was successfully kickstarted, I signed a contract for another novel, I’ve had steady work, my brother married a wonderful woman, and that’s just the short list.  Things are not perfect (I wish my mom could have met Keladry) but they’re good.

So every time I see a post or news story about how horrible 2016 was, I feel guilty. I feel like I don’t deserve to feel this happy because others are sad. It’s silly, I know.

I’m not asking anyone to change what they say or post; this is completely my issue. What I would like is to remind everyone that there are still plenty of good things happening and it’s important to look for the good. It’s okay to be sad and angry but make sure you find the good in your life.

That’s enough sappyness from me.

Later Days,
Éric