Dear Dragon – Welcome to Level 6

Dear Dragon,

In some ways, this has been an exciting year, and in others it’s been a lot of the same.

You finished senior kindergarden and were really sad to say goodbye to your teachers. You learned a lot of things this year.

  • You can count and recognize numbers in both languages.
  • You’re an (eggs)pert at cracking eggs.
  • You can recognize your letters in both languages with only a little trouble with U in French.
  • You learnt to read this summer. It was slow and you didn’t want to, but now you’re pretty good at it. Your French reading is also doing well.
  • You helped me garden.
  • We played all of Yoshi’s Crafted World together, and most of Kirby and the Forgotten Land before I hurt myself.
  • You learned to play multiple songs on the piano.

You’ve learned a lot more, but that’s what’s on the top of my head.

Excitingly, this past year has seen both you and your brother fully vaccinated against covid-19. It’s a big relief for evertyone.

We had planned on putting you into in person school once your brother was vaccinated, but we missed the deadline and you’re in digital school again this year. It has its advantages; mostly the class size and extra sleep. You have about 12 kids in your class which means you get a lot more attention and help.

You had your first playdate in almost 3 years and it went great. It was a friend from your digital class. We’re hoping to bring you for a day at Can-Con and it’ll be nice to do things with you out of the house.

You’ve grown so much this past year and I love who you are. Every day I get to spend with you and your brother makes me happy. I hope that when you look back on the past 3 years that you have happy memories of us being together as a family. I know I will.

Happy Birthday Little Dragon!

I love you,

Papa

This Saturday! Support Dragon and Jen at the Auroras

Hello family and friends!

Just wanted to let you know that the Aurora Awards are happening this Saturday (virtually)!

As you may be aware, Dragon and I were nominated for an award in the Best Fan Related Work category.

Here are links to the live-streaming awards ceremony. They are open to the public so you can watch:

The ceremony begins at 7pm EDT (5pm MDT) on Saturday, August 13th. Here is a quick overview of the order of what is happening at the ceremony:

  • Introduction 
  • Announce the first time nominees (Dragon will not be on camera at this time, but she will be named)
  • Hall of Fame Inductees
  • Update about the awards program and a look at this year’s trophy
  • Aurora Awards:
    • Fan Related Work (this is our category!)
    • Fan Organizational
    • Fan Writing and Publications
    • Artist
    • Visual Presentation
    • Related Work
    • Poem/Song
    • Graphic Novel
    • Short Story
    • Novella/Novelette
    • Young Adult (YA) Novel
    • Novel
  • Closing Remarks

We were nominated for How I Taught My Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media.

It would mean a lot to us to have your support by watching the show.

Thank you!

Jen

Last Day to Vote for Jen and Dragon

Hello Friends,

LAST DAY to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. 

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

Here are some examples of what Dragon made:

Look at this awesome art that she did as part of her school:

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing is included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Jen and Dragon Need your Aurora Vote

Hello Friends,

It’s time to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. 
You have until July 23rd to vote!

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media in the category of Best Fan Related Work

Here are some examples of what Dragon made:

She also created a stop motion film:

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing and work are included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Stress

***TL:DR I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Posts will be shorter and I might be doing some repeats. Guest Posts appreciated.***

Hello,

I’ve been a fool. Since February, my work has been fairly busy and regular. It’s a lot of short keys, typing, and mouse work. I’ve been having pain in my hands for a while now.

I wrote about it for the Spoonie Author’s Network. At the time, the Doctor thought it was the same arthritis that was in my big toes. After a year of tests he eliminated that option. We thought it was maybe tendinitis and he sent me to physio.

My prescription for physio was written in February 2020. I didn’t make it. I didn’t want to risk getting my children sick and was experiencing long covid. A few weeks turned into a few months and then a few years.

The pain came and went, but was usually worse when my hands were cold. So I didn’t worry. I kept thinking, “I’ll see my doctor about it when the pandemic is over.”

Fast forward to last November and I noticed my arms getting numb when I slept. (I sleep on my sides and it was the ones that I didn’t sleep on that went numb.) The pain got worse around Christmas, but got better after 2 weeks off.

Then we went into report season at work and I started writing a new book. So my days looked like this: Work 8 hours, Ukulele practice 15-45 minutes, and then 1-2 hours writing, formatting, etc. I’m also the primary diaper changer in the family… so… yeah.

The pain got worse and worse and I just kept thinking, “I’ll see my doctor about it when the pandemic is over.” and, “It’ll get better when I have less clicky work.”

Then Monday, I was told by my bosses that I had to come into the physical building of work. The meeting was tense and I won’t lie, I felt attacked. We’re so close to an infant vaccine for Pegasus… I asked if I could wait until September and they refused. “Isolating is a choice we made. Coming in to work is my responsibility.” That’s a paraphrase, but arg. I’m still angry.

I’m not sure what I did during that meeting to myself, but after, my pain in my arms and hands went from a 5 (Interrupts some activities) to 8 (Hard to do anything) the pain has been fluctuating from 6-8 since.

I made an appointment with my doctor, but he couldn’t see me until a week later. I was in tears as I tried to figure out what to do. I eventually decided to go to the after-hours clinic and saw a wonderful doctor. He diagnosed me with confidence after asking some insightful questions. He gave me two weeks off work, tests for my family doctor, and a prescription for splints to sleep with. Now it’s a waiting game. I’m seeing my doctor next week and so far, after 3-4 days, I’m still in a lot of pain. This post is taking forever to write, but I’m taking lots of breaks.

I’m worried that my reticence to see the doctor will result in permanent damage. It shouldn’t have taken a level 8 pain or my bosses showing how little they care about me to make me listen to my body and get help. The moment the pain started to increase, I should have made appointments.

I didn’t want to let my family down, I didn’t want to let myself down, and I didn’t want to let my work down. It was foolish! Work doesn’t care about me, they never really have, family only want me to be healthy, and I’m more disappointed now than if I had been treated earlier.

Expect this blog to have shorter posts (this took most of a day with breaks). I’ll let you know what happens.

At least I’m getting a lot of snuggles.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Vote for Dragon and Jen

Hello Friends,

It’s time to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. Go to https://prixaurorawards.ca/ and click on the “Become a Member” button. Once you’ve paid, you’ll be able to vote. Don’t forget to download your voters package.

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media.

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing is included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Backyard transformation

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I have a bad habit. I like to feed the local wildlife every year. This is my eighth year gardening and other than a few times, I haven’t been extremely successful.

Dragon with a massive zucchini from 2017

That was the last year we were able to grow more than a few zucchini.

So I decided to completely revamp my garden and backyard.

Dragon modelling where we’re going to put the new pear tree.
Arial shot of my backyard.

I took apart all my boxes and spread the dirt across the yard before seeding white clover. I’d like a “lawn” of clover, mint, and dandelions.

Dragon and Pegasus lying in the bed. I guess they helped make it so…

We bought and built 3 new garden beds and set them up, re-purposing our old beds in new places.

The garden boxes are placed, now I just needed plants, dirt, and a tree.

I ordered dirt and a tree and then I just had to wait. I ordered a Flemish Beauty from Peter Knipple Garden Centre. I’m extremely happy with their work.

Our new tree, called Agent P or Peary the Pear Tree

Agent P looked a little sad to start with, but has perked up since. Maybe he knew that we were in for a severe thunderstorm later that afternoon.

With dirt and tree, I spent two weekends moving and planting and then everything was in.

A lot changed and I was still not done. Another arial view of an almost finished back yard.

The last part was adding the potatoes and I also added a chickenwire fence around the tree to protect it from the large rodents.

Final arial view of the back yard.

Now everything is in place. I’ve seeded more white clover and all I need now it to weed, wait, and water.

Let’s hope I’ll be able to harvest and eat things this year. At the very least, the herbs, spices, a chives, and rhubarb are killing it.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Semi-Coherent Ramblings

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Last night, between Pegasus waking up several times (it’s been a while since he’s done that), insomnia, stress dream, and a couple of days of really bad allergies; I didn’t sleep well.

I’m a little grumpy today. Mumble mumble mumble. So I apologize for today’s disjointed post and possible incoherence.

Jen and I’s newest work in progess is going well. I love being able to plan and geek out about stuff with her as we write. Even if it means we don’t get to bed at anything related to a reasonable hour. I’m planning on writing a song for it and I’m terrified I’ll screw it up.

I read up on the plot, deaths, and story of the new Doctor Strange movie and I have to say it sounds pretty tedious. I loved WandaVision and from what I’ve read, it undoes a lot of the character progression of Wanda and falls into the “hysterical woman” trope that Marvel comics love so much. It’s a good thing Marvel releases so many movies because there are more and more of them that I don’t like.

I’m just waiting for a large bag of dirt that comes in on Friday and I’ll be able to plant my garden. Every year I say I won’t garden, and every year I do. I love the idea of growing my own food. Unfortunately, I only have a green thumb with the help of a marker.

Shamelessly cute photo of the kids.

Jen and I are prepping two manuscripts for submission and it’s a little stressful, but fun. Both are related to Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers (Pre-orders now open at your local bookstores for September 15th) and that makes it awkward for our publisher. They have to judge the quality, but also have to decide if it’s financially worth publishing a sequel and story collection without having any sales data. You could make their decision easier by pre-ordering it. 🙂

I’m not good at this whole publicity thing. I need to improve my ability to get people interested about my books. They are awesome, but if you don’t read them, how do you know you want to read them? Jen has all sorts of exciting ideas that are great.

I think I’ve rambled enough for today.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Magic Key?

Dear Readers,

Here’s a conversation my kids had yesterday. Reminder that Pegasus is two and Dragon is five.

Pegasus: I want a cupcake.

Me: *Clears throat agressively*

Dragon: What’s the magic key?

Pegasus: Magic key?

Me: She means say please.

Pegasus: Please can I have the magic key?

Me: No, say please for the cupcake.

Pegasus: Please for cupcake. *I give him a cupcake* Where’s magic key?

Me: She meant magic word, which is please.

Dragon: The magic key is please.

Pegasus: Can I have magic key please?

Me: There is no key, it’s a word.

Pegasus: What’s magic word?

Me: Please.

Pegasus: *Confused* Can I have magic key please?

Dragon: *Mimes handing him a key* Here you go.

Pegasus: Yay! Magic key!

Me: *Throws hands in the air* Eat your cupcake please.

Some days I feel like an extra in Who’s on First.

Hope that made you smile.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Jen and Dragon are Nominated for an Aurora

Hello,

I’m so proud of Jen and Dragon for all their work on How I Taught my Dragon. And now it’s made the ballot of nominees for the Aurora Awards.

Congrats to both and if you’re a voter please consider How I Taught my Dragon in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

Congrats again, it’s great to see all their hard work recognized.

Éric