Voting is Now Open

Hello Readers and Imaginary Friends,

Voting for the Aurora’s is now open until September 14th.

You still have time to get the voter’s package and vote for your favourites!

I hope you’ll consider The Travelling TARDIS and The Sign of Faust when you’re voting.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Sign up, get ebooks, read, and vote for your favourites before September 14th. It’s a great deal and you’ll love the books.

So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button.

Later days,

 Éric

Birthday Wish

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I turned 62 yesterday. This year for my birthday, you should buy yourself a gift.

Go sign up for the the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association and buy yourself 14+ novels, collections, short stories, and more.

Once you’ve signed up, you get the ebooks and the privilege to vote for the best in Canadian science fiction and fantasy.

Shameless Plug

I hope you’ll consider The Travelling TARDIS and The Sign of Faust when you’re voting.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

In Conclusion

Sign up, get ebooks, read, and then on August 5th you’ll be able to vote for your favourites. It’s a great deal and you’ll love the books.

So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button.

Later days,

 Éric

Harry Potter and the Magic of Words – Guest Post by Jamieson Wolf

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m enjoying some cuddles from Pegasus. You can enjoy this fantastic post by Jamieson Wolf.


Words have the power to heal. I experienced this firsthand.

In 2013, I woke one morning with little motor control and could barely walk. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis. I wasn’t allowed to read or watch television or write at my computer for two weeks. Thankfully, my mother suggested I listen to audiobooks. I downloaded the first two Harry Potter books and started listening to them, certain I wouldn’t like them. Thankfully, I fell in love.

Listening to Harry Potter brought the story and the world that Harry lives in alive for me in a way that reading the book couldn’t. Hearing Jim Dale read out Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and then Stephen Fry read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was also a balm to my soul. Over the two weeks that I had to take off work, I would sit back and close my eyes and let the words wash over me. I would let the world of Harry Potter fill in the darkness.

Then other problems began. I didn’t get better. I got worse. The left side of my body went numb; I fell almost daily. Eventually, after losing the ability to speak and type on a keyboard (having been able to type since I was in my teens), I knew that something was very wrong. There was something else wrong with my body and, after a day in emergency, the doctors had an idea of what it was that lived within me.

There was a neurologist on staff that night. After looking me over he informed me that it was probably multiple sclerosis, but they would have to run tests to make sure. It would be some time until I knew what was wrong.

I turned to books for comfort. As I didn’t have Labyrinthitis, the doctors said it was okay for me to read again, thank goodness. I picked up a book by a new author that one of my friends recommended to me: Cupcakes at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown. It was about a woman named Georgie Hart who was desperate to put her life back in order. In a bizarre coincidence, she had lost her mother when she succumbed to her multiple sclerosis. This touched me deeply and I felt deeply connected to the book because of that. I went on to read Cupcakes at Carrington’s three more times and it was magical every single time.

I went through a battery of different tests: vision and hearing, bloodwork, a CAT scan and an MRI and a spinal tap to finish it all off. Now all I could do was wait. While I waited for the diagnosis, I knew that I needed to write something, anything. I would lie in bed at night and watch the stories I wanted to tell float above my head. Before, I could write ten thousand words in a weekend without breaking a sweat. Now, I could only write five or so words at a time, forcing my fingers to hit the right keys.

I decided that I had to write. I had to write something. I had dabbled in poetry in my teens before turning to short stories, novellas and novels. I figured that writing poetry would give me another way to tell stories. My poems would do away with iambic petametre and a rhyming scheme. Instead, they would be raw and real, part memoir and part story. I would take those five words that I wrote a day and stitch the poem together when I thought it was done.

Each poem took me about a week or more to write, but as I continued, I noticed something: I was getting better. Five words a day slowly climbed to ten and then to fifteen. I remember hitting twenty words a day and I felt elated. It was as if I had climbed a flat mountain and could look back at all of the words I had written. It was as if I could fly. Soon, I had a small collection of poems. I even thought that I might one day collect them all together and publish them. I had an idea for a title: Talking to the Sky. It would be a reference to when I was trying to heal and would sit at the computer, staring at the blank screen unable to type and tell the stories that I wanted to. It was like I was talking to the clouds.

Then, after three months, I received my diagnosis, a day before my birthday: I had relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis. I wasn’t afraid. Now, I knew the monster within me had a name.

I retreated into the world of Harry Potter once again. I have read the Harry Potter series more than anything else. I read the series once a year and have stopped counting the fortieth time I read the series the entire way through. That was years ago. I turned to his story when I needed comfort, when I needed joy. When I was sad or depressed, the story held within the books was pure magic. I needed Harry and company at that moment more than anything.

I also needed to write more than poetry. I needed to break out of the constraint of sewing words together like a patchwork quilt. I needed to write a novel. I didn’t know how long it would take, or if it would be any good. It didn’t matter; I was angry, surprisingly so, and I wanted to write something that would help soothe the anger. I wanted to give the anger a focus.

With that in mind, I started writing a novel I called The Other Side of Oz. In the novel, Justin is an Oz fanatic who has started seeing yellow bricks everywhere he goes. Is it his imagination intruding into real life? Then Justin and the boy he likes are in an accident. They travel to Justin’s version of Oz, but again, is it real or is it their imagination? I wanted to find some way to convey the sense of the unreal that I lived with every day. While not about Harry Potter, it was about the other series of books that had formed a large part of my childhood and adulthood. I wanted to write about someplace magical that wasn’t the world I lived in.

By the time I was done the book, a few months had passed. It had been exhausting, trying to force my brain to think of a story and forcing my fingers to type the words out. However, when I typed The End, I was elated once more. I had climbed another flat mountain, this one higher than the others that I had climbed.

I noticed other things, too. I was lighter, as if a weight had been taken from me. Scrolling through the pages of the novel that I had typed out, I knew it was because I had put the weight of that anger and uncertainty into The Other Side of Oz. That novel has never seen the light of day; perhaps, with a hefty edit, it will someday soon.

What I’ve come to realize six years later, is that I would have been a lot worse without the magic of words. The books I love kept me sustained and comforted when I need it and, when that wasn’t enough, my own words had flown out of me to relieve me of the pain and angst I was carrying within me. Words were the magic that I wielded. As much as the multiple sclerosis took a lot of things from me and made me revaluate how I lived my life, the one thing that didn’t leave me was the magic of words. Each one I write is part of the spell that I weave and each one I read heals me still.

I would be lost without them.


Jamieson Wolf is a number one best selling author (he likes to tell people that a lot!). His recent works include the memoir Little Yellow Magnet and the novels Lust and Lemonade and Life and Lemonade. A third novel, Love and Lemonade, comes out later this year. You can learn more about Jamieson at http://www.jamiesonwolf.com

Éric’s 2019 Resolution Mid-Year Review

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s July 2nd and that means half the year has passed us by… whoa. That was fast.

Let’s see how I’m doing with my resolutions.

Doofenshmirtz: You there, what’s your New Year’s resolution?

Writing

1. Write a Monthly Serial Story (Succeeding)

So far, so good; I’ve written one every month except for April. But I wrote an extra chapter to make up for it so I consider that good.

Go Read Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

2. Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection (Failing)

I haven’t touched this yet… Hopefully I’ll get a chance this summer.

3. Finish Paragenesis (Succeeding)

I’ve written 8 of 15 chapters… so that’s good.

4. Get to the 2/3 mark on Mystery of the Dancing Lights (No movement)

I started the year with 10 of 30 chapters… so that’s a good thing… I’m not sure I’ll get this done but I’d really like to.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

5. Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Failed)

We broke our 6 year streak with a missed post in February. The post was set for the right day but didn’t actually post and we didn’t notice until the next day; so it’s a fail.

6. Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Succeeded)

We debuted Mighty ThOrange, In Another Castle, and Unbirthday Cake this year. So I went a little overboard.

You can buy them and JenEric Coffee!

Editing and Marketing

7. Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader (No movement)

I haven’t looked at it… 🙁

8. Submit Everdome for blurbs (Succeeding)

I wrote a draft letter, list of names, and started things off. It’s all up to my publisher now.

9. Playtest the higher levels of FADDS (Succeeding)

I’ve playtested level 10-11. In the fall, I’ll start a level 12-17 campaign.

10. Figure out how to market and sell CoasteRPG (No movement)

After a lot of thought, I’m come to realize this is a great concept, but not an easy thing to implement… I’ll think of something.

The game is great and works, but I have to find a better way to market/gimmick it.

Personal

11. Read 20 books (Succeeding)

I’ve read 13 of 20 so that’s great. I’m kinda hating the book I’m reading now, but we’ll see if it gets better.

12. Don’t Burnout (Succeeding)

I’m doing okay. I’ve come close a few times and been really in need of some rest, but overall I’ve done okay.

13. Be More Patient (Succeeding)

I’m trying… Really I am. I have my moments, but overall I think I’ve been better. My wife confirmed that I have been. Yay!

I still need to work on it. Especially at bedtime when all I want is sleep.

14. Play Some Video games with Dragon (Succeeding)

I’ve played some mobile games with her; she helps a little. Hopefully on parental leave we can try some console stuff.


So the breakdown is Succeeding/Succeeded 9, Failing/Failed 2, and No movement 3. At this rate I’m on course for a 60%+.

Hope you’re doing just as well!

Éric

The Sign of Faust and Travelling TARDIS Nominated for Aurora Awards

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

If you read the list of nominees in my last post about the Aurora’s you may have recognized a few names.

Voter’s Package

The Sign of Faust along with the majority of nominated works are available in the voter’s package now. Simply make an account, pay $10, and you’ll have access to a wonderful library of Canadian Science fiction and fantasy.

The Travelling TARDIS isn’t part of the package because you can access it for free on this site.

The Sign of Faust

The Sign of Faust is available at Amazon and Renaissance Press.

Elizabeth Coderre solves mysteries. Magic, wizards, and killer kittens didn’t stop her last semester. Now someone is trying to kill her in absurdly complicated ways, she’s hearing voices, her best friends are constantly fighting despite being madly in love, and the desires of Baker City’s residents are becoming reality. Can she find out who’s trying to kill her and discover the source of everyone’s luck, while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? She can only wish… and you know what they say about wishes!

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Voting

If you think The Sign of Faust and Travelling TARDIS are worthy of your vote, voting for the Auroras will be open on August 5th.


Thank you to everyone who nominated us and especially to everyone who reads and enjoys our content.

Thank you!

Éric

14+ Books for $10 (Aurora Awards Voter Package)

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve talked about the Aurora Awards before.

Now all the nominating is over and it’s time for people to read the nominees and vote for their favourite.

Here’s a list of the nominated works

If you sign up for the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association and pay $10 you’ll have access to most of the nominated works. That’s 14+ novels, collections, short stories, and more. The voters package will be available around June 15th.

Big bonus if you’re in Ottawa, the awards will be presented in October at Can*Con.

What are the Aurora Awards?

aurora

The Aurora Awards are awards “for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy works and activities.” They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

It’s a fan voted award in the vein of the Hugo’s, but with way more awesome people.

In Conclusion

Sign up, get ebooks, read, and then on August 5th you’ll be able to vote for your favourites. It’s a great deal and you’ll love the books.

So go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the Become a Member button.

Later days,

Éric

Teen Detectives

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I have loved Teen Detective books and movies since I first read Haunted Island by Joan Lowery Nixon and the BSC Mysteries. Even now I can’t get enough of them.

My wife has introduced me to Trixie Belden and I’ve loved the first few books.

I love the fearless and curious nature of these types of characters. I also love the way their victories are fuelled by their innate sense of right and wrong.

My love for these sorts of characters is a big influence on my writing. (Shocking huh?) From Elizabeth, Hal, Rachel and all the way back to Seren, my favourite characters are smart, curious, and dedicated to what they think is right.

Even in their arrogance and intellect these characters are innately hopeful. Solving a mystery means getting to a conclusion, discovering the truth, and often bringing to justice those responsible. It’s cathartic and wonderful in a world that has so many hopeless feeling situations.

And now for a confession. I’ve never read Nancy Drew. It’s on my list for this year; at the very least I should read the first one and see what I think.

Later Days,

Éric

Reminder Please: Nominate us for the Aurora Awards 2019

Hello Dear Readers and Friends,

The Aurora Awards Nominations close on May 18!

We would greatly appreciate if you were to nominate us for those categories we’re eligible for. Please, pretty please… 🙂

See below the cut to get more details

Read moreReminder Please: Nominate us for the Aurora Awards 2019

How’s Éric?

Hello My imaginary Friends,

This year has been extremely busy. I’m trying not to fall into old patterns of stress and overwork but it feels hard to avoid sometimes.

I’m surviving and I’ll be okay.

Writing

The past few weeks I’ve written a Ghostship story for July. You’ll get the next instalment in the Sun Speaker Series while we recover from the arrival of baby Pegasus.

Beyond that, I’m going to try and push to continue writing the novels that are calling me. I have two on the go and little to show for my writing this year. But I’m going to start… today even. I hope.

I do have an outline for another novel, which is awesome, but it’ll be a while before I get to it.

Coffee

I’ve been frantically roasting coffee. I’m roasting almost 150 lbs this year which is more than we’ve ever had before. We’ll have 17 flavours available for Ottawa Comic Con.

I’m loving the new roaster and the new method is working great. I’m still getting used to getting the perfect roast, but overall I’m extremely happy with it.

Keladry (Dragon) was helping us package coffee but after an hour got bored and started playing.

Editing

I have the edits for A Case of Synchronicity and will work on those this week. I’m still waiting on the second round of edits for Everdome but they should be here soon.

Gaming

I’ve been playing very few games. Haven’t touched Lego Incredibles in a few months. With most weekends dedicated to roasting, I don’t have as much time.

I have been playing Elder Scroll Blades on my phone. It’s an extremely beautiful game. It’s also repetitive and nearly impossible to do anything without paying. There are chests you can never encounter in the game but you can buy. Overall, it’s very much a micro-payment play-to-win style game.

Pegasus

Preparations for the baby are in full swing. We have a room, it has a bed, we have decorations, and a GIANT pile of clothing.

I got my tattoo this weekend. (More on that in another post.)

Things are feeling more real. I think after comic con, I’m going to quickly transition to impatiently waiting.


So in an eggshell (Easter joke intended) things are going well and I’m busy.

Now lets get to writing… after some breakfast and coffee.

Later Days,

Éric

Nominate us for the Aurora Awards 2019

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last year The Travelling TARDIS was nominated for an Aurora. It’s eligible again, as are a few other of our products. So go make yourself an account here and nominate your favourite works!

What do we have that’s eligible

What are the Aurora Awards?

aurora

The Aurora Awards are awards “for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy works and activities.” They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

It’s a fan voted award in the vein of the Hugo’s, but with way more awesome people.

You’ll have to join the CSFFA for a pittance of $10 before you can nominate anyone. Once you’ve paid, you can nominate 5 works in each category. You can nominate works from now until May 26th.

The extra bonus of joining the CSFFA is you’ll get a voters package that includes most of the works that make the ballot. That’s 8-10 novels plus a bunch of other awesome stuff.


Good Nominating and Thank you in advance!

Éric