Collecting, Space, and Nests

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

We here at Books End have a serious collecting problem. Books, Movies, Disney Infinity, Statues, Lego, Books, Autographs, and Books.

Once you’ve accepted that you have a problem, you can start work on organizing and displaying. Our friends and family have often laughed at us when they see we’ve moved an entire room around. We do it in a hunt for efficiency, how to best fit everything in the room that we want and not look like hoarders.

What happens when we don’t have optimal organization? Nests! These are piles of things that have no home. It starts with a simple, “I’ll just leave this here for now until I find it’s place.” and ends in a massive pile of stuff. We ignore it until I finally crack and go on a cleaning binge.

Often when this happens we need to find new. cheap, and innovative ways of organizing. Make fun of us if you will, but IKEA is an amazing place to get organized for cheap.

It’s also a lot of fun to look around, play, and waste a few hours. Not a store to go to if you can’t handle browsing.

Nice chat, I have some books to go organize.

Later Days.

Éric

Éric’s 2017 Resolutions

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

On Tuesday I reviewed my 2016 Resolutions. I managed to finish 60% of my goals, which is pretty good. This year I have 10 resolutions and I’m hoping, as always, to complete them all.

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1. Write 3000 words a week.

In years past, I’ve said 500 words a day. The importance for me is to write as often as I can. This 3000 will include books, stories, and blog posts.

2. Complete The Copper Tarnish by March

I’d like to finish The Copper Tarnish as soon as I can. I’m not sure if I’ll be submitting this book or not, but I’d like to finish it and see what I think.

3. Start the next Elizabeth Investigates

I really want to start The Hound of Baker Ville. I’ve been thinking about it for three years and it’s time to return to Baker City, Ontario.

4. Read 30 books

I failed at this last year but I was close. Let’s see if I can do it this year.

5. Write a Monthly Serial Story

This is going to be the fourth year for serial stories and I think I’m getting better at it. The goal is to write 800-1200 words every month without preplanning the story. Just letting it go where my mind wants.

Help me out and vote for the 2017 Serial Story – You Vote, I Write.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop 2 new coffee flavours.

The tough part will be not doing more. But we’ll be doing a lot of conventions and I want to give each flavour a chance to shine.

7. Playtest the new content for FADDS and get it ready for submission in 2018

I still have a lot of editing to do on the system, and with the new content it’ll take some time. Hopefully I’ll get to it and be able to shop it out in 2018.

8. Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs.

We’ve been going for four years now with content every weekday on JenEric Designs and I’m very proud of that. Jen and I have worked hard not to miss a day. A big thank you to all the guest posters on Fandom Travel and Blush when Keladry was born!

I’ll do my best to ensure we keep that streak going.

I also want to look into making a separate page for EricDesmarais.ca

10. Prepare A Case of Synchronicity submission to my publisher and Everdome for pitches at Can-Con

I have a lot of cleaning up to do in both novels, but it’ll be nice to revisit them and clean them up. If I decide that I’ll be pitching The Copper Tarnish, I’ll want to do that one also.


This years resolutions are skewed towards writing and are extremely ambitious but I’m okay with that.

What resolutions have you set for yourselves for 2017?
Éric

Éric Desmarais

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Éric Desmarais (FacebookTwitter, website) is one of those. He is a young adult urban fantasy/mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet him at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Fandom Guest Post: Canadian Lit Goes South!

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Kevin T. Johns (website, Twitter) is an author, podcaster, writing coach, and ghostwriter residing in Ottawa, Canada with his wife and three daughters.

Kevin grew up reading comic books, watching horror movies, and playing guitar in punk rock bands.

He attended Carleton University where he attained a double-major undergraduate degree in English Literature and Film studies and Master’s Degree in English Literature.

He has published five books, ghostwritten several more, and helped hundreds of writers from around the world get their ideas out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers hands.


On October 29th, I’ll be releasing my latest novel, a young adult action thriller titled M School.

M School is about Lilith Delaney, a 17-year-old girl who is recruited into a secret training facility for teenage assassins. (You can check out the book trailer here.)

As I created the novel, I wanted the M School facility to feel like truly exotic environment for the reader. It couldn’t just be a regular school building or a skyscraper in some urban center. It needed to be something different, something strange, and possibly threatening…

Ultimately, I decided to make M school an underwater facility, hidden beneath an oil rig, somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean.

While much of the story in M School takes place within the underwater facility, I also wanted there to also be several sequences set in a tropical jungle environment. As such, I created an island fairly close to the rig. In addition, I knew that later in the story, Lilith was going to leave the facility, arrive on a beach, and then make her way to a nearby city where she would catch a bus home.

Now, as a Canadian writer, a tropical environment just ain’t going to happen in my country, so the demands of the narrative meant it was time to take my story south!

I pulled up the ol’ Google map and started looking for a very specific real world setting: a beach/resort community in the South Eastern United States, with a city big enough for a bus station nearby.

After some searching, I found my perfect location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

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Pone Vedra Beach, Florida. Image from www.destination360.com

Ponte Vedra is a high income tourist community with long sand beaches, orange roofed resorts, and lots of golf courses. It’s positioned about 30 kilometres from the city of Jacksonville.

In other words, perfect for my novel!

As someone who has written his fair share of Canadian stories with chilly winds and falling snow, it was exciting to get to set a portion of my book in Florida.

The more I imagined the bright sun, warm sand, and flowing ocean waves, the more I wanted to not just write about it, but actually hop on a plane and live it!

If you are considering a Florida vacation, I suggest working with Jen to check out Ponte Vedra!

And if you are looking for a great book to bring along with you for some beach reading, make sure you grab a copy of M School later this month! If you get on the early notification list now, I’ll send you an email and let you know as soon as it goes on sale.


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

Cait Gordon

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Cait (pronounced Cat) Gordon (FacebookTwitter, website) is one of those. She is a science fiction/fantasy author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and she seriously loves desserts! She’s a fantastic person to talk to, and has a great Irish accent that gets more pronounced when she’s excited. You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Madona Skaff-Koren

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Madona Skaff-Koren (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is a mystery author published by Renaissance Press (Twitter, website), and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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Ten Days of Fatherhood

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Just a short break between episodes of Gladiators in SPACE!

I have officially been a father for ten days. So much and so little has happened since she was born. In an attempt to avoid rambling too much I’ll separate this into parts.

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Birth

A theme this past ten days has been, “I thought I understood what was going to happen, but I didn’t.”

The birth and labour was much longer than I expected and very different. I won’t go into details but despite all our preparation we had no clue.

When I saw the little wriggling baby for the first time I didn’t experience what a lot of people had described. I didn’t instantly fall in love, I didn’t just know, etc. I just saw an adorable baby that vaguely looked like her mother. I instinctively wanted to protect her, but I get that with all babies. There was nothing spiritual or magical.

All the love and the urge to make everything better for her came slowly over time. It started when we first learned she existed and continued to grow. It’s still growing now.

I think even if she weren’t my child, I’d find her adorable. She makes these little snuffling noises, squeaks, and mini-roars that sound just like what I’d imagine a little Dragon would sound like.

Imposter Syndrome

In case you don’t know what Impostor Syndrome is, it’s “an inability to internalize […] accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”

It’s most common in artistic people from what I’ve seen. I sometimes wonder how long it’ll take people to realize that it was mistake to publish me. By the way, check out A Study in Aether and leave reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Ahem…

I’ve found the same sort of feeling with Keladry. One moment I’ll be changing her diapers and the next I’ll wonder when her real parents are coming to take her home. It’s like my brain is unable to fully comprehend that we’ve created a human and are now responsible for her. It’s terrifying.

There’s a disconnect between understanding the principles of making and having children and truly internalizing the information.

I’m told that the Parental Impostor Syndrome goes away eventually. Hopefully the other one will as well, but it’ll probably take longer.

Sleep and Doing stuff

Everyone warned me that once the baby would be around, there would be no time for sleep or anything else. So far we’ve been lucky; she’s sleeping 2-4 hours in a row between feedings. I can’t imagine doing this and going to my full time job, but I’ve been able to do a few little things here and there on projects.

The first few days I felt utterly lost and a little panicked but we’ve been introducing elements of routine into our days and that’s making me feel better.

As she grows older, we’ll try to instill a nice routine into her life as well and we can hope that will prevent us all from going crazier than we already are.

Friends and Family

I’m a shameless optimist when it comes to the human race and the innate goodness in each of us. That being said, I’m extremely insecure and have as a default assumption that everyone dislikes me. (It’s unfounded and silly but my brain is a jerk.)

Our friends and family have been absolutely amazing. Any and all support we need is there and we greatly appreciate it. You are all amazing!

Godparents

We thought long and hard about who and what we wanted for our little Dragon’s Godparents.

We narrowed down the criteria to someone who:

  • was spiritual or had a good academic knowledge of world religions;
  • could teach her things she won’t learn in school;
  • was a good person and role model;
  • who would take the job seriously; and
  • who could be friend and confidant that wouldn’t have an issue telling us if we were being unfair.

In the end we chose her Aunt Lindsay, who’s one of the most good and genuine people I know, and S.M. Carrière, who’s a wonderful person with a lot to share with Dragon. I know both will be there for her and make sure she grows up to be an awesome person.

Read S.M. Carrière’s post about it that made both Jen and I cry.

 

There’s a lot more I could write but I’ll stop there.

Later Days,

Éric

Melissa Yi

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At Can-Con over the weekend of September 9-11, 2016, we had to opportunity the meet some incredible people. Melissa Yi (Twitter, website) is one of those. She is an M.D. and author, and incredibly amazing to talk to! You can meet her at the Mega-Multi-Author Launch happening Oct 29, 2016.

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