monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Oct
29

Burst Water Main

A burst water main is a serious thing, but when it happens at your school and it means YOU GET AN UNEXPECTED DAY OFF, well, let's be honest, it's kind of nice! My office partner at school, the very dear Mary Frauley, phoned me early this morning just as I was pulling on my leotards -- and told me the news. So here I am with a very rare commodity -- A LITTLE FREE TIME. My, it feels nice!!

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Guest — Kim
The burst water main also turned out to be beneficial to me today -- this morning, I had 2 arteries (or maybe veins, I'm not sure)... Read More
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 10:51
Guest — tamar
Have fun in Toronto. I too enjoyed my day off and a bit of time to catch up on some much needed sleep!
Wednesday, 29 October 2008 20:57
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Oct
27

CBC Interview with Me & My Mum

So my mum -- whose story inspired my new book, What World Is Left, and I were interviewed for the CBC radio show, All In a Weekend. The interview aired yesterday morning and I cried when I heard it. I'm trying my best to figure out how to post the mp3 of the interview on this blog entry, but I'm having a wee bit of trouble... may need to get the help of someone more technically savvy than

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Guest — Kim
Sorry to burst your bubble... but I can't access the file I think it worked for you because it's a shortcut to your desktop, but ... Read More
Monday, 27 October 2008 18:25
Guest — Julia at Orca
I think anyone who wants to hear it will need to have quick time installed to hear it.. I heard it no problem. What a great int... Read More
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 13:29
Guest — Sophie B. X.
The fancy clothes for Anne Frank... beauty could be harmful. The lab I volunteered at is full of Chinese people, and so I try to ... Read More
Tuesday, 28 October 2008 19:20
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Oct
25

What a Launch -- if I may say so myself!!

It was a wonderful wonderful launch. No matter how many more books I write, I don't think there will ever be such a special launch. Everyone who was there -- and there were nearly 300 people -- was special. My mum, whose story inspired What World Is Left, spoke and I spoke, too, and read from the book. One of the special things about my mum is that despite how she suffered as a teenager in Theresienstadt

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Guest — tamar
It was a lovely launch. It was a pleasure to be there! And I started the book last night, sooo good!! It will be done very shortly... Read More
Saturday, 25 October 2008 14:44
Guest — Kim
I agree with Tamar in that the launch was really wonderful. All those months of anticipation were certainly worth it! On the other... Read More
Sunday, 26 October 2008 11:44
Guest — Rachel
Congratulations on the book, the launch and all the other exciting things that are happening! I'm sorry I missed the launch but ho... Read More
Sunday, 26 October 2008 21:33
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Oct
23

MORE EXCITED THAN ON MY WEDDING DAY(S)!!

I say dayS because I had TWO wedding days!!

Tonight is launch night!! Here's the article that appeared in today's Gazette. Later, this morning, my mum and I are doing an interview at CBC, and CTV's Debra Arbec will be interviewing us before the launch. I have to admit I'm feeling like a bit of a celebrity. Here's the link to The Gazette story: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette

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Guest — tamar
great article! love the picture in the gazette. Let me know if you want another copy and I will keep mine and bring it in to you. ... Read More
Thursday, 23 October 2008 10:16
Guest — Kim
The launch was so much fun!! I really enjoyed the talks at the beginning as well. the article was equally interesting... I also k... Read More
Friday, 24 October 2008 21:15
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Oct
21

Marking, Marking... and Launching a Book!

Only time for a super quick blog entry today. I've got a mountain of correcting! My cousin from Santa Few, New Mexico arrives tomorrow -- she'll be here for the launch of What World Is Left -- so I want to get as much work done as possible before she gets here.

Because I'm in the midst of all this busy-ness, I have a few reflections to share about being crazy-busy (I bet a lot

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Oct
18

Outlines and George River

It's Saturday morning and I've been catching up on comments and questions posted here this week. Tamar asked what is happening with the George River manuscript (that's a book I was busy with all summer, set in George River in Nunavik, Quebec). Here's the latest update: the first draft, due December 1, 2008 is written -- but I have it out now with an Inuit friend, whom I hope will

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Guest — Kim
Sounds like writing will really keep you busy for the next little while! And when you're not writing, I suppose it's grading... Oh... Read More
Monday, 20 October 2008 18:48
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Oct
14

The Busy Life of an Author Promoting Her New Book!!

It's busy, all right. With everyone feeling budget squeezes, including publishing companies, it stands to reason that most authors need to do their bit to help promote their books. So I'm trying my best to get some buzz going about my new book, What World Is Left. Promoting the book feels kind of like fishing -- I'm putting a lot of lines into the ocean and hoping to catch something

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Guest — tamar
what ever happend to that george rivers book?
Tuesday, 14 October 2008 22:34
Guest — Kim
It's awesome that your most recent book is getting lots of coverage in the media. I really can't wait to read it, now! I find it ... Read More
Friday, 17 October 2008 19:55
Guest — Julia
Do you know if this will be aired via internet? If so do you know what time? I would like to put a thing up on our blog about this... Read More
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 11:24
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Oct
09

Check Out the Book Launch Invitation!

Of course, this is all depends on whether I'm technologically-savvy enough to figure out how to post it. Here I go! BY GOLLY I THINK I JUST DID IT!!whatworldisleft.jpg
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Guest — Kim
Congrats on your increased "technology savvyness"! And I'll be sure to be at the book launch, it sounds really special ... Read More
Thursday, 09 October 2008 21:12
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Oct
08

My Turn to Answer Questions

If you know me, you probably know that I ask A LOT OF QUESTIONS. Some of my friends think this comes from being a journalist. Sometimes they even get a little annoyed with me and say, "What is this, Monique, an interview?" It is funny how the work we do tends to influence our personalities -- or perhaps it's the other way around and we pick the kind of work that suits who we are.

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Oct
07

Busy With Book Promotion!

So we're launching What World Is Left at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 23 at Marianopolis College here in Montreal. YIPPEE! Now I have to say I'm in another phase of the writing life: book promotion! I'm getting a lot of help from my friends at Orca Books and also from the communications officer at Marianopolis, Kathryn Haralambous. Kathryn just phoned to let me know that CBC Radio

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Guest — evadne
Hi Monique, Out of curiosity, I decided to track you down via your blog. You never cease to amaze me--your energy, kind heart, lot... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 13:38
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Wow! Congrads! CBCradio one is all over Canada, so they'll be amazing! =)
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 17:43
Guest — CNN
Congratulations Monique on your latest success! I will order online and look forward to reading your mom's experiences. I wish I... Read More
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 18:56
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Oct
02

Notes from the Energizer Bunny

Okay, I admit it, some people tease me and call me the Energizer Bunny. And I don't even have long pointy ears! I'm thinking of the bunny business because I am extra-energetic today. I don't know about you, but I find that doing interesting things and meeting interesting people GIVES me energy.

Last night, my friend and fellow YA author Lori Weber and I began team-teaching a

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Guest — tamar
agreed that you were quite peppy today at school
Thursday, 02 October 2008 20:01
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Just saying hi =) The latest topic of interest for me is dreams. It's a shame that I only started to keep a journal on Thursday, ... Read More
Saturday, 04 October 2008 18:30
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Sep
25

Meet Anne Renaud

Well, I guess it's your week for meeting children's writers, isn't it? Last night, I did a short presentation at Westmount Library, along with several other local writers who are launching new children's books this season. Today, I want you to meet Anne Renaud, who has published several non-fiction books for young readers. Her latest is called Pier 21, and it's part of Stories

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Sep
24

Meet Frieda Wishinsky

I promised to tell you a little about Frieda Wishinsky -- a Toronto children's author who had dinner with us on Sunday night. Frieda is the author of over 40 books for children. Her picture book, Please, Louise! illustrated by Montrealer Marie-Louise Gay, was recently nominated for the TD Children's Literature Award, one of the country's most prestigious literary prizes.

So,

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Sep
22

Circles of Bloggers

A few months ago, I got a comment on this blog from a young woman named MaryAnn. Well, MaryAnn was in touch again last week and it turns out she is a writer and blogger, too. A graduate of Concordia, Maryann Hayatian has published a book of poetry, a children's book, and a novella with the very cool name, Love Is Blind, But the Neighours Ain't. MaryAnn told me she started her own website

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Sep
18

Learning About Guard Dogs

This is going to be a sad entry, so if you're not in the mood for something sad, better to take a pass on today's entry.

Don't have much time, but I wanted to tell you a little about my interview with Alanna Devine, acting director of the Montreal SPCA. Alanna knows a lot about guard dogs and she told me some heartbreaking stories. I'd heard that some guard dogs have been &

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Guest — tamar
cool article. the twins go to our school...
Saturday, 20 September 2008 15:45
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Sep
16

Heading to the SPCA This Morning...

You know that research I'm doing about junkyard dogs? Well, this morning I'm headed to the Montreal SPCA. I'm going to interview the acting director, Alanna Devine, who tells me she knows "too much" about guard dogs. Hope to take lots of notes for my new book project. The rest of the week is going to be super busy -- my students are writing exams for me and one class is handing
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Sep
15

Courageous Young Women I Know

I've been thinking a lot about courage lately. And instead of looking to older people as role models, I've been learning some big lessons from several young women in my life. So today's entry is dedicated to them. One's my daughter, who moved to New York in August to start a job in the fashion industry. As I keep telling her, I don't think I would have had the courage to do what
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Sep
11

Doing Things Differently

Recently I read that it is good to do something different every day. When I googled that line just now, I couldn't find exactly who had said it. But I did come up with a similar thought from Eleanor Roosevelt, who advised: "Do one thing every day that scares you."

Lately, I've been thinking about doing things differently. Not so easy for me since I am definitely a creature

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Guest — SOphie
Good luck miss! I'm personally slowing down too- which is scary for me. Taking time off to think. Just think.
Thursday, 11 September 2008 18:21
Guest — tamar
sounds cool sorry that i have been absent from reading your blog.. i hope to resume again as of now ... Read More
Thursday, 11 September 2008 21:21
Guest — Emily
That's good advice. I'm all alone in what other people here have aptly called the middle of nowhere, and I have to do the scary wo... Read More
Friday, 12 September 2008 13:35
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Sep
03

Why Do Dogs Bare Their Teeth?

Quick entry because I have to leave for school in six minutes. So I had my first interview about guard dogs yesterday. I met with a gentleman named Robert Des Ruisseaux, who is a longtime dog trainer. He has worked with guard dogs for almost 50 years. Here's an interesting thing I learned: dogs bare their teeth when they are frightened. Des Ruisseaux told me that dogs who are a little nervous

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Aug
28

Whoa, Girl!

Whoa, Girl is the sort of thing you'd say to a lady horse, right? Well that mare is me -- and it turns out I need to "hold my horses." I sent the first three chapters of the new novel I've been tinkering with to the publisher at Orca Books, and though he likes my narrator, he doesn't think schools -- one of the main markets for their books -- will be comfortable with a story
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Guest — Kim
Ouch, it musn't be fun to be asked to restart on a whole new project after working hard on another for quite a while. I think it's... Read More
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 10:47
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Aug
27

What Does Hillary Clinton Have to Do With Writing?

Guess it's my week for writing about celebrities. Did you hear the speech Hillary Clinton made in support of Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention last night? Well, my favourite part was about the importance of perseverence. Clinton was talking about politics and the future of the United States, but she could just as well have been talking about being a writer. She quoted Harriett Tubmann,
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Aug
25

What Does Michael Phelps Have to Do With Writing?

I heard today on CBC radio that Olympic champion Michael Phelps had some trouble with his middle school English teacher, who told him he'd never amount to anything!!

What, you may ask, does this tasty tidbit have to do with the writing life -- the subject of this blog? Well, I've been reading a book where the main male character is too perfect. The best characters -- the ones who

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Aug
21

Back to My Old Writing Routine

Well there is something to be said for getting back to an old routine. It's only the third day of school, but I'm already feeling used to it. And there is a certain comfort, at least for me, in routine. Today, I only have classes in the afternoon and so, besides going for a run this morning, I've been writing. I'm still tinkering with my latest idea for a YA project. It involves Internet
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Guest — Kim
Ah... so, not only do you write in the morning, but you talk about writing in the late afternoon. Not bad! Unfortunately, I can't... Read More
Friday, 22 August 2008 00:44
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Aug
19

Back to School!!

Classes start today at Marianopolis College -- which means that at precisely 2:15 this afternoon I undergo a major transformation: I turn back into a teacher!! Though it's more than a little difficult to give up my summer writing schedule, part of me actually looks forward to having students again. I think it may be partly because my daughter flew the coop in July and I've been storing up
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Aug
15

Special Afternoon

Today was a special afternoon because I met up with Sapina, one of the students I worked with in Nunavik in the winter of 2007. As you may know if you've been keeping up with my blog, I've spent most of this summer working on a YA novel set in Nunavik. And Sapina has agreed to be my first reader. YESSS!

I met Sapina at the Lionel Groulx metro station. Oh, I forgot to tell you something
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Aug
13

Are You the Sort of Person Who Always Needs a Book?

I am the sort of person who always needs a book. In fact, I realize that I need at least TWO books: one to read (ahh, the pleasure of lying down on my sofa at the end of the afternoon with a delicious book to read); and one to WRITE. Some writers I know take breaks in between book projects, but that doesn't seem to be my way. You know there are women who always need a boyfriend? Well, I always
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Guest — Sophie B. X.
It's funny that you compared a book to a boyfriend, since a good book is, in many ways, your ultimate companion. I've just finishe... Read More
Sunday, 17 August 2008 22:08
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Aug
12

A Funny Thing Happened Out on My Porch Today

I was taking in the laundry when I spotted a young person scraping the neighbour's balcony. "Hello," I said, "who are you?" (If you don't know me, I should explain that I am unusually friendly.) Imagine my surprise when the person looked up -- and he was one of my students from last semester. He was even more surprised than me. "Miss Polak," he sputtered. Gee

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Aug
11

Stoner & Spaz

Catchy title, no? Unfortunately I can't take credit for making it up. It's the title of a YA novel by Ron Koertge that I just finished this morning and MAN, WAS IT EVER GOOD!! Un-put-downable. It's the story of unlikely friends: Ben Bancroft, who has cerebral palsy, and drugged-out Colleen Minou. Great dialogue, great setting, great plot, great themes.

My friend Lori Weber

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Aug
08

Galley Copy Arrives

The galley copy of What World Is Left just landed on my doorstep. The galley is a typeset version of the book. This is my last chance to make any small changes before the book goes to print. Am still doing some work on my new manuscipt, but once that's done, I'll start reviewing the galley.

Yesterday a student whom I met when I was in Nunavik two winters ago phoned to say she'

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Aug
05

What the Joker Has to Say About Making Plans

Have you seen the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight? In it, Batman's nemesis, the Joker, despises people who believe in making plans. Well, he wouldn't like me! I've got exactly two weeks until I turn back into a teacher. This calls for a plan, and here's mine: this week, I'm going to reread and revise the manuscript I've been working on all summer, and next week, by hook or

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Jul
31

Pressed Pennies & Beijing Noodles

What, you may ask, do pressed pennies and Beijing noodles have to do with each other? If you've been reading my blog this week, you'll know that I am doing a story for Maclean's about people who collect pressed pennies. Well now, I've got another story to juggle. Because the Beijing Olympics begin next week, the Gazette wants to run a story about Beijing-style cooking in next Wednesday

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
I'm back miss Polak!!
Saturday, 02 August 2008 22:21
Guest — m. henry
All this tasty talk about China has whetted my appetite. I've gone past the Beijing restaurant many times, think I once even had ... Read More
Friday, 08 August 2008 01:52
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Jul
30

Energized

Some of my friends already call me the Energizer Bunny (I don't like when they say so), but I have to admit that today, I am feeling unusually energetic -- even for me. Maybe it's a result of the vacation, or that my Mom energy has to be channeled elsewhere since as of yesterday, my daughter has become a resident of Brooklyn, New York. Anyway, I've been a-writing. Finished a personal essay
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Jul
29

Endings

Today must be a day for endings. I just just wrote the last sentence of the book I've been working on all summer. (Though mind you, the re-writing, which some people say is the most important part of all, comes next!) The other ending is the end of my official duties as mum. My daughter left home today to start a job in New York City. I didn't think I'd cry, but I did (of course, she

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Jul
28

Back at My Desk

It's Monday afternoon and I'm reinstalled at my desk in Montreal. The holiday did me loads of good and I'm feeling very energetic and happy to be writing again. Of course I did keep my trusty journal and though I didn't exactly work, I did do some interviewing for a possible story. Best of all, I keep waking up with IDEAS IN MY HEAD!! This is very fun.  My main goal writing-wise
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Jul
23

Literary Street Car Ride

It's our last night in San Francisco... wanted to tell you about the street car we rode today to Fisherman's Wharf. Many of the street cars in San Francisco were used in other cities. It just so happened that the one we rode today came from New Orleans where it was used on the Desire line. Playwright Tennessee Williams named his play after a street car like the one we took today. And because

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Guest — Sarah Mac
Hi Monique... lucky you, in SF! this is so funny....I can just picture you answering the questions and helping out you are prob... Read More
Friday, 25 July 2008 19:47
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Jul
19

Hello from Sonoma!

So we're spending a couple of days in wine country. Before that we were in Berkeley. Yesterday, we went to two wineries; our plan is to visit three or four today before we had back to San Francisco for the last leg of our trip. Don't worry -- we're just sipping!!

Mike's gone to the lobby to print up tickets he bought on line for a baseball game tomorrow: San Francisco Giants

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Jul
15

Greetings from San Francisco

Well here we are in San Francisco, having a super fun time. This is my first visit to California and I feel very at home here. We've already met lots of interesting people with interesting STORIES, like a young man who's made his fortune designing a new kind of penny-stretching machine. Yesterday we went to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. Kahlo and

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Jul
11

San Francisco Here We Come!

So we're headed to San Francisco tomorrow morning. Means I won't be around to catch my "Summer Reading" segment on CTV this weekend. Melanie Porco, researcher for the show -- and Marianopolis College graduate!! -- e-mailed to let me know that the segment will air Saturday, July 12 between 9:30 and 10 a.m., and then again on Sunday, July 13 between 8:30 and 9 a.m. If you happen to
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Jul
10

Hello from Winnipeg!

So here I am in Winnipeg -- have taken care of the official business I came here for (I was on a top-secret mission!!) and now I have the afternoon off. It's a short trip because I arrived at 11 p.m. last night and I leave first thing tomorrow morning. The joke here in Manitoba is that their provincial bird is the mosquito -- but so far, my combination bug and suntan lotion seems to be doing the
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Jul
07

Writing Advice from American Author/Historian David McCullough

This weekend, we caught a bit of an old Charlie Rose show in which he interviewed American author/historian David McCullough. McCullough whose books include 1776, shared some practical writing advice. He explained that he does 60 per cent of his research before he starts writing a book. Then he researches as needed. I thought this was interesting because I've heard other writers say they sometimes
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Jul
04

Mothra!!

Mothra is the name of an old Japanese movie about a moth monster. I'm thinking about Mothra today because I just finished writing my story about moths for Maclean's Magazine. I got the idea because there are moths in my kitchen. Every time I think I've wiped them out, they're back -- like Mothra, who was the enemy of Godzilla.

It's July 4 and we're having a barbecue

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Guest — tamar
you made a typo... it's july not june
Friday, 04 July 2008 21:55
Guest — Kim
Hm... from one blog post to the next; from Canada Day to July 4th At least it was nice out yesterday for a barbecue! I'll have t... Read More
Saturday, 05 July 2008 13:29
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Jul
01

Happy Canada Day!

It's a gorgeous Canada Day here in Montreal -- and I have no special plans, except to work on my manuscript. Ahhh! I'm still  rereading and making adjustments. Today, I'm thinking what I've done so far is pretty darned good. I've been in this business long enough to know that I should savour this feeling -- there are lots of times when I'm dissatsified with what I&#

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Guest — tamar
enjoy all your travels.
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 21:15
Guest — Kim
Enjoy all of your travelling! It sounds like you're going to be pretty busy for a while. And though you might not actually work w... Read More
Wednesday, 02 July 2008 22:29
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Jun
25

Devoir reculer...

Hope the French title won't put you off from reading today's blog entry. I'm reviewing a fun book for The Gazette -- it's called Petite Anglaise, and it's the true story of Catherine Sanderson, a young British woman living in Paris, and how she starts a really successful blog called "Petite Anglaise." Apparently, she gets 100,000 visitors a month. Let's just say

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
Moths. I do remember them from when I was a child in China, since I lived in the countryside where bugs were abundant. I dreamed ... Read More
Thursday, 26 June 2008 00:49
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Oh! If you have time, please check out this film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd3LCbnzFNw instantly press pause and watch fr... Read More
Thursday, 26 June 2008 00:59
Guest — tamar
moths and bugs in general suck but i am excited to read the book you are reviewing, your review of it (satursday's gazette) and th... Read More
Friday, 27 June 2008 03:31
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Jun
23

Going Back in Order to Move Forward

I'm a person who likes moving FORWARD, but today is a day for GOING BACKWARDS. Have you ever noticed that sometimes you have to go back in order to go forward? In my case, I'm returning to the beginning of the manuscript I'm working on -- I'm making adjustments and reading out loud and generally getting ready to MOVE FORWARD!  Though I know this is an important part of the

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Jun
20

Testing!

Just testing to see whether I can post a picture from home without the help of Gord, my web guru. Trying to post a photo of my neighbours' poppies. There's no fence between our two houses and I must say the poppies lean quite a bit towards OUR side of the garden!! I took the photo last week... and alas, the poppies have shed their beautiful orange-red flowers. Imagine what it would be like

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Guest — tamar
hey! i saw your article in macleans but haven't read it yet, mom "kidnapped" the magazine.. the again, the subscription is in my p... Read More
Friday, 27 June 2008 03:26
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Jun
19

Learning to Post a Pic

WhatWorld.jpgHey, blog readers out there. Today I'm writing to you from web-school -- that means Gord Fisch, my web guru (he told me to write that) is teaching me how to post a pic on this blog. Okay, here goes. Gord and I are going to try and post a pic of the book cover of What World Is Left -- my fall book
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Guest — Meir Weiss
thx have a great week
Sunday, 22 June 2008 16:57
Guest — Kim
Wow... nice cover page, I really like it! Although the drawing is difficult to see on the picture... I can't wait to see it clos... Read More
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 19:47
Guest — tamar
love the book i cant wait for it to come out!
Friday, 27 June 2008 03:24
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Jun
18

Cleavage

So today, I promised I'd tell you a little about an upcoming book called Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls. It's a collection of short stories about girls, their bodies, and their relationships with their mums -- and it's edited by two of my friends, Deb Loughead and Jocelyn Shipley. I caught up with Deb and Jocelyn when I was in Toronto on the weekend, and they told me a little

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Jun
17

Back From Book Expo -- With Lots of Stories!

Well hello again. I'm back from Book Expo in Toronto and fortunately for you, I've got loads of stories about other writers and I've asked them for writing tips I could share on this blog. I figure I have enough cool stuff to tell you to last all week and maybe into next week, too!

The first author I want to tell you about is Bilaal Rajan -- the amazing thing about him is that

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Jun
10

Meeting-ed Out

I spent most of the day in end-of-term meetings at school. Not that the meetings were uninteresting -- they weren't -- but they did leave me feeling kind of drained and not especially creative. So when I got home, I could have taken a nap or vegged on the couch, but no, not me... instead I started working on a book review I have to do for the Montreal Gazette. It's about this book called Novel
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Guest — Kim
Wow... I'd almost forgotten about school (!), but I have 2 meetings tomorrow morning at work. I agree that they're not the most in... Read More
Wednesday, 11 June 2008 23:50
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Jun
09

Thinking of My Opa

Opa is the Dutch word for grandfather. Though my opa died in 1977, I think about him almost every day. More than anyone else I knew when I was growing up, my opa was my role model. He was a painter who worked out of his house in Plandome, New York. In my mind, Opa was the ultimate artist. He even wore a cap that was a little like an artist's beret. (He also drove a yellow Stingray Corvette,

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Guest — Kim
Aww.... that's a really cute story Although I do agree that your way of describing your writing hours lacks romance!... Read More
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 21:16
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Jun
05

Ups and Downs of the Writing Life

I have a confession to make: one day this week, I was working on my new manuscript and thinking, "Gee, this isn't very good. It's not at all the way I wanted it to come out." I ended my writing day at around four that afternoon, feeling kind of crabby with myself. The next morning, I returned to my desk and plunged back into the story. And guess what? By the end of the day, I

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Guest — Kim
When are we going to know what the new manuscript is about??? ;D Tood bad ups are followed by downs.... but I suppose that, if th... Read More
Friday, 06 June 2008 22:59
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Hi miss .... just a quick question =) Do you capitalize the word "between" in a title? Thanks!
Sunday, 08 June 2008 14:05
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Jun
04

Author Marsha Skrypuch Pays Another Visit

So my friend, author Marsha Skrypuch was back in Montreal last weekend. She was here to launch her latest book, Daughter of War (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), which I am looking forward to reading. I find that sometimes, it takes another author to understand what goes on inside my head.

Over lunch in Old Montreal on Saturday, I told Marsha my writing plans for this summer -- to finish the

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Guest — Kim
Wow... those are hefty plans for the summer! However, I think Miss. Skrypush has a point; if you're passionate about something, th... Read More
Wednesday, 04 June 2008 21:45
Guest — Tamar
I googled the book and it sounds quite interesting if I have the correct book, about the Armenian Genocide? Also, is the draft you... Read More
Saturday, 07 June 2008 21:05
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May
30

Writing Snarky!!

That's writing snarky -- as opposed to feeling snarky. Actually, I'm in my usual mental state, which is generally friendly and mostly kind. But I'm WRITING SNARKY!! That's because when Sarah Harvey, my editor at Orca, and I had our phone "meeting" this week, she suggested that Noah, the protagonist in my latest book project could be a little snarkier. Now that's fun

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Guest — Kim
I suppose that's another advantage about being an author -- exploring all these ideas which you can't really carry out in real lif... Read More
Sunday, 01 June 2008 00:01
Guest — tamar
oh no! i missed your radio interview!
Sunday, 01 June 2008 22:01
Guest — Sophie B. X.
Hi miss, it's been a long time since I wrote a comment on your blog. =) There's a fomality about writing a comment, having perfect... Read More
Tuesday, 03 June 2008 02:04
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May
28

Stories Calling!!!

I just got off the phone with Sarah Harvey, my editor at Orca -- and besides discussing my latest book project, we compared notes about the writing life. I told Sarah how my favourite part is coming up with the next story idea. There's so much possibility at that stage and so much energy and excitement.

Sarah told me that though she has begun work on a new novel (I've already mentioned

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Guest — Kim
Ah... I wish I had time to sit down an write. These days, I've been sorting through piles of documents to make sure they're entere... Read More
Friday, 30 May 2008 00:26
Guest — Anita
Hi Monique! Just thinking...writing a novel might be good therapy for people who have trouble with commitments. I wonder...the ... Read More
Saturday, 31 May 2008 14:06
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May
23

Writing and Running

I woke up one morning this week with a really sore knee. Uh oh, I thought, this could have a seriously negative impact on my life. First, if I ever had to stop running (and after a certain age, many runners do), it would curtail my cookie-eating habit. I am, if I may say so myself, a very good cookie maker and a frequent cookie consumer. Also, running helps me manage stress and it helps me WRITE

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Guest — Kim
Ouch... I hate it when I can feel my knee has to crack and it feels blocked. Good luck on that Maclean story. I'm interested in re... Read More
Friday, 23 May 2008 22:15
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May
21

Precious Time to Write

Good morning! So, except for some odds and ends at school, I'm pretty much into full-time writing mode. Ahhhh with five h's!! The only complication is I'm feeling like I kind of have to fight to preserve chunks of writing time. If not, the days'll go by and I won't get done what I so want to do. A phone call here, a chitchat there, and next thing I know -- the morning (or afternoon
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Guest — Kim
I kow the feeling of having to fight to find time for something you enjoy... except, in my case, there are so many activities whic... Read More
Wednesday, 21 May 2008 21:30
Guest — tamar
I can't wait for your book about your mom to come out, I appologize for forgetting the name... Also the george river story there??... Read More
Thursday, 22 May 2008 04:16
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May
16

On the Cusp of a Long Weekend

I've had a little technical trouble this week -- I had trouble saving yesterday's blog entry, which is why it appears today. (It's the one that has the five h's in "Ahhhhh!") I don't have much to tell you this afternoon. Actually, I feel a little boring. But -- this is a bit difficult to explain -- it's because I'm writing away. I'm getting lost in my new

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Guest — Kim
Reading that you hear voices made me think of Joan of Arc (which is actually me grandmother's name... not quite sure why her paren... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 01:49
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May
16

Ahhhhh!

That Ahhhhh! (with five h's) is because I'm done correcting. Except for a few days of meetings at school, I'm pretty much done -- which means I can make the switch to full-time writing.

Ahhhhh! In the past, I've sometimes needed a little transition time between school and writing, but I'm trying to get right back into the writing so I can make the most of my long free
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Guest — Kim
I cannot say no... or rather, I can, but I still end up saying yes to so much stuff that I am often overwhelmed by everything I ha... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 01:43
Guest — tamar
I am a pushover most of the time but if I really do not want to do something I stand my ground. I did it today Although I do feel... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 03:46
Guest — Rachel
My mom always complains that I'm one of those "can't say no" people, except when it comes to saying no to her... I was so proud of... Read More
Saturday, 17 May 2008 04:37
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May
12

Monday Hello!

I'm still marking away like a fiend, but I'll take a short break to write this blog entry. One of my students, Anastasia S., dropped by during office hours today and we discussed how much her writing has improved over the semester. "The thing I really learned," she told me, "is that I have to keep writing and re-writing. And sometimes I need to take a break and then go back

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Guest — tamar
hope you are enjoying marking! I, and I am sure most of the other students as well... am very very stressed for exams i did howeve... Read More
Monday, 12 May 2008 20:51
Guest — Kim
I agree with Tamar about being stressed out. At least, I can now say I have on "Final" that's over with -- my flute recital! Now I... Read More
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 02:00
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May
08

Quick Hello!

Today is the last day of classes at Marianopolis College. Boy, did this semester ever fly by! I've got a mountain of correcting, but I hope to be through it by the end of next week. Then I'm going to turn back into a full-time writer. Ahhhhh! (That's the sound of happy anticipation.) Okay then, gotta run to make it to school on time. Likely won't write another blog entry till next
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Guest — tamar
Thanks for the kind wishes of encouragement I think at this point everyone, teachers and students, are eagerly anticipating the ... Read More
Thursday, 08 May 2008 23:15
Guest — Kim
End of classes for you starts a day early, it seems -- I have one last Spanish oral tomorrow morning and it looks like there's a w... Read More
Friday, 09 May 2008 00:10
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May
06

Wisdom from Writer Nancy Huston

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that I went to hear an interview with Canadian author Nancy Huston during Blue Met and I thought today, I'd do a blog about some of the wise things she had to say. Her latest novel Fault Lines is narrated by several children. Asked how she was able to imagine these narrators, Huston said: "I had many childhoods." She went on to explain that most

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Guest — Kim
I think we have one childhood, but many stories, and even more different ways of seeing those stories. We also have different ways... Read More
Wednesday, 07 May 2008 01:26
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May
05

Photo Shoot for Cover of "What World Is Left"

So today, my friend and super-talented photographer Monique Dykstra came over to shoot some pictures for the cover of my fall book, What World Is Left. Many of you who've met me know I often wear a very special necklace -- a simple leather cord with a pendant attached. The pendant is a scene my grandfather painted and gave to my mother for her 15th birthday. It's no bigger than a postage

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Guest — Kim
Hm.. I never noticed your necklace. I'll have to pay attention next time! And wow... 2 hours and a half for one photo. That's a l... Read More
Wednesday, 07 May 2008 01:09
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May
04

Trying to Post a Pic!!

Oh my goodness!! I think I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO IT -- AND IT WASN'T EVEN SO HARD!! I've just posted a pic of Wednesday's launch of my latest book, 121 Express. The lady in the middle is me -- the young people are some of my students (past and present). You can tell from the pic, how pleased I was to see them at the launch. Way to go, Monique! (If I may say so myself!!)

(

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Guest — Kim
Oh well... at least you tried!
Monday, 05 May 2008 20:30
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May
02

Notes from Blue Metropolis

The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. Many thanks to those of you who turned up for the launch of 121 Express on Wednesday afternoon. It meant a lot to me that many of my friends and students turned up to celebrate. Now if only I could post those pictures!! (I SOLEMNLY PROMISE TO LEARN HOW -- but you'll have to wait until I get through the mountain of term papers that arrives next

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Guest — tamar
i can't wait to see the cover of the book or to read the book for that matter!!! 121 express was very good by the way, i finished ... Read More
Saturday, 03 May 2008 03:45
Guest — Kim
I can't wait to see the cover of What World is Left, either!! Only a few months of waiting left... and I've already finished 121 ... Read More
Saturday, 03 May 2008 16:12
Guest — Ruby
Hey Monique! This is Ruby. I was at your workshop on Thursday with the Massey-Vanier group, I was the one with good posture and i ... Read More
Saturday, 03 May 2008 20:31
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Apr
30

Blue Metropolis Literary Festival Kicks Off!

Today is the first day of the 10th Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival! I'm doing a series of writing workshops today, tomorrow and Friday. Plus, I launch 121 Express later this afternoon; and tomorrow, we're launching Quebec Roots: The Place Where I Live (2008) -- that's the project I participated in along with photographer Monique Dykstra (that was when we worked

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Guest — Kim
Wow... a town of 32 people is quite small. Especially if the families are large, that doesn't give many families in town! A story ... Read More
Friday, 02 May 2008 01:21
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Apr
29

Gearing Up for Tomorrow's Book Launch

So the official launch of my latest book, 121 Express, is coming up tomorrow!  If you're in Montreal and looking for something to do, come join us. Here are the details:

The launch takes place at the 10th Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival, Wednesday, April 30 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., at the Delta Centre-Ville, 777 University Street. (The closest metro station is

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Guest — Kim
It was quite neat to meet the teacher who influenced the teacher in the book, along with the people who help you out... and see yo... Read More
Thursday, 01 May 2008 02:00
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Apr
28

Literary Breakfast in the Gaspe

I'm back at my own computer in Montreal, but my head's still in the Gaspe! Thought I'd tell you a little about this literary breakfast I went to on Sunday morning in New Richmond. I got to sit at a table with lots of quebecois writers and hear them interviewed for a local radio show. Of course, you know me, I had my trusty writer's notebook on hand -- and I used it to jot down some

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Guest — Kim
Interesting quotes... and all of them seem more or less poetic in nature. I particularly like "Real beaty is truth"; especially af... Read More
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 01:18
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Apr
25

More News from the Gaspe!!

Hello again! Today I'm writing to you from New Richmond High School. I just fished my last talk and I thought I'd write another blog entry to fill you in on my adventures. It snowed up here eysterday morning, but it's bright and sunny today, so the Gaspe looks even more beautiful!

Yesterday, I spoke at New Carlisle High School.There were also students there from Shigawake Port

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Guest — sierra
hi i realy liked your talk!!!!!an other thing is that i sing really good!!you should hear me.well should go do my work now so buh ... Read More
Friday, 25 April 2008 19:51
Guest — Kim
I can't believe it's snowing out there in Gaspé... I'm glad the white cold sutff is done falling from the sky for the next couple... Read More
Friday, 25 April 2008 23:20
Guest — tamar
I also play with my necklace the way Mike does.. i pull it up to my chin and then i play with the star of david hanging for the ch... Read More
Sunday, 27 April 2008 03:18
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Apr
23

Hello from the Gaspe

My, my, it`s been quite an exciting day. First news: I flew here on a FOUR-seater plane and the PILOT WAS A WOMAN. Her name is Karen Stone, she is 32 and has two small daughters. The co-pilot was a guy named Marian Musil. He told me, ``I am the captain`s slave and secretary!``

I did three talks today at Bonaventure Polyvalent, where I met many young Gaspesians. I thought I`d tell you a little

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Guest — Kim
(I'm sorry but I have to note this -- I love it when you type with a French keyboard because the key used as the apostrophe in Eng... Read More
Thursday, 24 April 2008 01:51
Guest — Marian
Good to hear you had a good time, thanks for flying with us! All the best, Marian PS: it's a 10 passengers plane ... Read More
Tuesday, 29 April 2008 00:40
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Apr
22

Hello -- and Good-bye

...Hello since it's Tuesday morning and I'm checking in with the blog; good-bye because I leave tomorrow morning super-early for the Gaspe! The taxi comes to pick me up at 4:45! YIKES!! My plan is to go to sleep really early tonight, since I'm speaking to three groups of students tomorrow. If I have the energy and I can get to a computer, I'll try to write at least one blog entry from
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Guest — Kim
Wow... 4:45 is quite early!! I suppose I had better not complain tomorrow morning when I get up at 6:15! I like that quote about ... Read More
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 00:31
Guest — tamar
have a safe trip! so envious that you get to travel. when i have to travel early in the morning at like 3 am and such, i just dont... Read More
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 04:28
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Apr
21

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Shares Some Advice

I'm supposed to be making supper (it's Melanie's last night in Montreal and it's warm enough for a barbecue!), so I don't have time to tell you all about the dinner party we had where Melanie (my editor on 121 Express) met Andrew Adams (who's actually a character in the book). In short, we had a great time and the party didn't end until nearly one in the morning, which

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Guest — Kim
My family had the first barbecue of the season this evening... to celebrate my sister's birthday (though we were interrupted by th... Read More
Tuesday, 22 April 2008 01:47
Guest — tamar
i like the what J. had to say about painting. I paint for fun but don't usually show anyone my paintings.. it is so true though th... Read More
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 04:25
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Apr
18

Meet My Editor Melanie Jeffs

So lucky me, I get to spend the weekend with Melanie Jeffs, who edited my latest book 121 Express. Melanie arrived from Victoria yesterday. This is her first visit to Montreal so she's eager to get a feeling for the city. Today, we went for lunch to Santropol, a restaurant on St. Urbain St., where on a wonderful warm day like today, you get to sit outside. And while we were there -- now I&#

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Guest — Kim
I never thought about the narrative pronouns being used in a story -- ie first person point of view versus third person. Now that ... Read More
Saturday, 19 April 2008 02:23
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Apr
17

Spring Fever -- Part Two

Did I tell you that my neighbours on both sides are already busy in their gardens? So, first thing this morning, I gave into temptation and did a little tidying up in the garden, too. My reward? I saw a cardinal and heard his trill! 

Melanie Jeffs, the Orca editor who edited my latest book, 121 Express,  will be here when I get home from school tonight. I met her when I toured Vancouver

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Guest — Kim
Ah... the joys of cleaning up the garden. I haven't had the chance to spend that much time outside (blame schoolwork!), but I now ... Read More
Thursday, 17 April 2008 22:29
Guest — Rosa
Do you garden a lot? I love gardening and love seeing the "wildlife". I saw a woodpecker right in front of my house the other day!... Read More
Monday, 21 April 2008 02:14
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Apr
16

This 'n That

Today's been a this 'n that sort of day. Lots of little things to do -- and not a long enough block of time to really work on the final go-through of What World Is Left. Also, I've been busy with the "business" of writing. Today, I had my photograph taken for a Ville St. Laurent weekly newspaper -- my not-so-imaginary school in 121 Express is located there - - and so, they

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Guest — Kim
I like the line about not writing 5 words without changing seven -- I have that problem with opening sentences, and, after reworki... Read More
Thursday, 17 April 2008 22:17
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Apr
15

Workshop on Dialogue

I'm just home from my final writing workshop at Hebrew Academy. Today, we talked about dialogue and how it can help bring a story to life. We also discussed how dialogue that doesn't work can distract readers from the story you want to tell. Because it was our final workshop, I gave the students a little more time than usual to work on their stories -- and then to share them with the rest

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Guest — Kim
I love dialogue when it's well done -- my pet peeve is when two characters have similar personalities and I can't tell which one i... Read More
Wednesday, 16 April 2008 00:28
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Apr
14

Spring Fever!!

It's a little hard to concentrate when it's warm and sunny and my clothesline is calling to me! "Monique! Monique! Hang out the sheets on me, please! Think how nice they'll smell when you crawl into bed tonight!"

I'm getting to my computer late today (blame the clothesline), but I need to get cracking on that final read through "What World Is Left." 

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Guest — Kim
Ah... the joy of clotheslines. The strange thing is that I actually notice them, now, ever since I had to write a paragraph on one... Read More
Wednesday, 16 April 2008 00:12
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Apr
11

Big Day at LaurenHill Academy Junior Campus!!!

I'm sitting at my computer, but I'm still flying from my big day at LaurenHill Academy's Junior campus in Ville St. Laurent. LaurenHill is a special school  for me -- since that's where I got my idea for my newest book, 121 Express. The idea came about in November 2006, on the day I met Andrew Adams, an English teacher at the school. Andrew and I were paired up for a Blue Metropolis

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Guest — Kim
Well, how about coincidences. I discovered yesterday that one of my friends at another CEGEP takes the 121 quite regularly -- thou... Read More
Saturday, 12 April 2008 14:21
Guest — Tamar
I feel like some of the students are going through what they want their characters to go through... I feel like writing about "the... Read More
Saturday, 12 April 2008 18:38
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Apr
10

Visit to College Brebeuf

Bonjour. I greeted you in French today because I'm just back from a visit to College Brebeuf, where I spoke to Lawrence Szigeti's English as Second Language students. Lawrence invited me in to discuss my short story "Row by Row," which is going to be published later this year in an  anthology

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Guest — Kim
Well, now I'm waiting to read "Row by Row" I like Alexandra's way of getting into that "zone" of creativity where nothing can dis... Read More
Friday, 11 April 2008 00:04
Guest — Tamar
is 121 express out already?
Friday, 11 April 2008 03:47
Guest — Erika Jeyamohan
This is really funny. I actually got Row by Row for an english midterm and decided to do some background research on the the write... Read More
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 11:15
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Apr
08

Today's Workshop on Setting

So I was at Hebrew Academy again this morning, this time to do a workshop on setting. We spent the first half hour on theory. I explained how setting is a way of taking your reader with you -- transporting your reader to another time and place. I also talked about the importance of selecting sensory details in order to create an overall mood or impression -- and we looked at several YA authors&#

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Guest — Kim
It's neat to see how the students can come up with really good ideas within 20 minutes... and I'm thinking I should start paying a... Read More
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 23:50
Guest — noah cohen
u wrote about shira and charlie twice so could you write about different students 2? (ex= Talia- snobby rich girl's mother, Adam- ... Read More
Thursday, 10 April 2008 22:05
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Apr
07

New Friends at the Terryberry Library in Hamilton

Hello, hello, blog readers! I'm back from GritLit -- a literary festival in Hamilton, Ont. The bed sheets are out on the clothesline and I'm having the tires on my car changed (Goodbye, Winter Tires! See you in November!). Can you tell we Montrealers are eager for spring?

So, let me tell you a little more about GritLit. On Friday, Don Aker (Don, if you're reading this, Mike who

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Guest — Rachel
There's an anatomy class at my school and the way the students study is by writing the names of the bones/muscles on the correspon... Read More
Monday, 07 April 2008 20:02
Guest — Kim
Just a quick comment because I'm drowning in school work -- I find it strange that YA writers end up reading to mostly adults... a... Read More
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 00:50
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Apr
04

Meet Don Aker!

Well you've got to meet Don Aker -- my speaking partner this weekend at GritLit, a literary festival in Hamilton, Ontario (or "The Hammer" as the locals call it). Don and I just did a reading and talk together at the local high school. The kids, who were in grades 9 to 12, were great. They were attentive listeners and they asked smart questions. I took notes on some of the things

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Guest — Kim
I love the quotes you choose to share with us... they're all so inspiring! It's true that real life has plenty to offer, you just ... Read More
Friday, 04 April 2008 21:27
Guest — Rachel
I love that quote "Surround yourself with people who believe in what you're doing", not only does it apply to writers but to every... Read More
Monday, 07 April 2008 19:59
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Apr
03

YA Author Lori Weber Visits Marianopolis

So we had another cool visitor at Marianopolis today. This time, it was Lori Weber, author of Klepto, Split, Strange Beauty and Tattoo Heaven. Lori did a general presentation that was open to all students, and later a special workshop on setting for my "Writing for Children" class. So I'll devote today's blog entry to sharing some of her wisdom. During her general presentation

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Guest — Kim
Wow, you're still way excited... seems like you haven't calmed down since Activity Period!! I really enjoyed Lori Weber's present... Read More
Friday, 04 April 2008 01:17
Guest — tamar
have a great trip!
Friday, 04 April 2008 17:55
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Apr
02

Gearing Up for GritLit 2008

What is GritLit, you ask? It's a literary festival in Hamilton, Ontario -- and I get to participate this weekend. Friday, I'll be reading at Westdale High School in Hamilton; on Saturday, I read at Terryberry Library. I'm partnered up with Nova Scotia YA author, Don Aker.

So, to gear up for my visit, I'm reading Don's latest book, The Space Between. It's about a 17

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Guest — tamar
i think i just added another book to the massive pile on my nightstand!! i need summer already so i can read by the pool!!
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 19:27
Guest — Kim
That book sounds nice... though I'm happy my weekend away in Toronto only involved sharing my room with a friend. Also, the drape... Read More
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 23:26
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Apr
01

Working With Budding Young Writers at Hebrew Academy

This morning, I worked with a group of grades five and six students at Hebrew Academy here in Montreal. (It's part of a project organized by the Quebec Writers' Federation. The students have been specially picked and they get to work with a poet, a journalist, and a children's writer. As you may have surmised, I'm the children's writer!)

Anyway, they were a very keen group

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Guest — Kim
I think there's something with characters who suffer misfortunes that makes them more appealing to readers... if the story's well ... Read More
Tuesday, 01 April 2008 23:34
Guest — tamar
hope you enjoyed the children! some of them went to my class and/or took a drama class I offered... let me know if you work with s... Read More
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 02:58
Guest — Rachel
My mom teaches english to kids in grades 1-6 and she always tells me about the amazing ideas they come up with for stories. Why ar... Read More
Wednesday, 02 April 2008 03:31
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Mar
28

Ever Notice How Things Sometimes Turn Up at Just the Right Time?

Just now, as I was tidying up (you may know that tidying up the house is part of my writing ritual!), I noticed an envelope peeping out of the basket where we keep mittens. When I checked to see what was inside, I found some notes I took last spring when I was in Holland doing research for What World Is Left. I took these notes at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation in Amsterdam. There

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Guest — tamar
your mother was in Theresienstadt? My late grandfather was liberated from Theresienstadt... Also, when is 121 express coming out? ... Read More
Friday, 28 March 2008 21:38
Guest — Kim
Nice quote... though I prefer to write for myself, because it's easier to write about things which mean a lot to me, and in those ... Read More
Sunday, 30 March 2008 16:26
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Mar
27

Journalist/Author Joel Yanofsky Visits my Journalism Class

Yesterday, Joel Yanofsky, author of the novel Jacob's Ladder, as well as a non-fiction book called Mordecai and Me (about among other things, Mordecai Richler), visited my Journalism class at Marianopolis. In addition to being an author, Joel is a busy journalist, who does book reviews and author profiles for publications like The Gazette, the National Post, and a publishing industry magazine

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Guest — KIM
Just a quick comment while I'm supposed to be scouting -- checking out the other 65 teams here at the Toronto Robotics Regional --... Read More
Friday, 28 March 2008 14:19
Guest — Kim
Okay, I meant to have that comment on the previous entry but, seeing as it's not working today either, it'll be fine Thanks Sophi... Read More
Sunday, 30 March 2008 16:13
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Mar
26

More Wisdom from a Student: "I'm not that good a writer -- yet"

Yesterday, in my "Writing for Children" class at Marianopolis College, another one of my students said something deep about writing. Today's quote comes from Kelly G., who is thinking of doing her next assignment (the first chapter of a YA novel) on an Indian girl living in Canada who is hooked on Bollywood movies. Great idea, Kelly! Well, yesterday, Kelly and I were reviewing her

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Mar
25

About This Play I Saw Last Night

Last night, I went to the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal to see the play, "No More Raisins, No More Almonds." Performed by local teens, the play is set in a Jewish ghetto during the Holocaust. One of the actors was my former student Tamar Eliashiv -- who was just great (and when I caught her eye, she didn't even smile! Very professional, Tamar!!) 

The play was based

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Guest — Sophie B. X.
Congrads Tamar on your performance! ;D When I take class notes, I usually write what's on the board in pen and the little "detai... Read More
Tuesday, 25 March 2008 15:54
Guest — Kim
I see you finally managed to get to see the play on Monday, after all! Congrats Tamar on your performance -- strange how, for the... Read More
Tuesday, 25 March 2008 19:58
Guest — tamar
*blush* thanks for the compliments... I knew you were coming though since I asked the box office if you were able to make the rese... Read More
Tuesday, 25 March 2008 20:18
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Mar
23

Thoughts on Happiness

I'm preparing for a talk I'm doing about a book called Happier by Harvard psychology professor Tal Ben-Shahar. In this inspiring book, Ben-Shahar points out that most of us tend to focus on the achievement of goals, rather than the process involved in achieving them. A former Israeli squash champion, Ben-Shahar says he felt "empty" after winning at squash. In this book, he writes

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Guest — Kim
I agree with Csikszentmihalyi's quote -- I love the feeling I get when I finally accomplish something difficult, or anything that ... Read More
Sunday, 23 March 2008 22:13
Guest — Sophie B. X.
I love professor Tal Ben-Shahar's point about happiness coming from the process, and not always the finished product. I always fee... Read More
Monday, 24 March 2008 13:04
Guest — Rachel
What a perfect time to read this! I have my skating solo test tomorrow and it seems like the culmination of all the work I've put ... Read More
Tuesday, 25 March 2008 20:35
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Mar
20

Here's What One of My Students Has to Say About the Writing Process

The students in my "Writing for Children" have been working on their first chapters of a junior novel. Thanks to them, I'm getting to read some pretty amazing stories. One of my students, Emily Distefano, is writing about a girl from Texas who comes to Canada to live with her magician uncle. The girl's parents have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. At the end of Tuesday
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Guest — Kim
Wonderful timing -- I spent so many hours over the past week correcting my French fairytale analysis! I agree with Emily saying t... Read More
Thursday, 20 March 2008 23:33
Guest — tamar
i think that knowing what you want but struggling to get there applies not only to writing but to everyday life.. kind of like me ... Read More
Friday, 21 March 2008 04:41
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Mar
18

Preparing for a Talk about "Capturing the Teenage Imagination"

For someone who enjoys TALKING as much as I do, preparing for a talk is not usually too difficult! In a little over an hour, I've got to be at the McCord Museum here in Montreal, where I'm doing a talk called "Capturing the Teenage Imagination: Writing for Young Adults." As you know, this is one of my favourite subjects. I've scribbled a bunch of points on a sheet of paper and
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Guest — tamar
it is gorgeous outside!!! my dad burst my bubble and told me about the upcoming yucky weather... also, i remember hearing you read... Read More
Tuesday, 18 March 2008 20:15
Guest — Kim
I have to say my favourite of all your books is Scarred... I especially like the ending and the book is always on my bedside table... Read More
Wednesday, 19 March 2008 01:21
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Mar
17

Correcting Frenzy!!

Did I mention that I recently reviewed a book for The Gazette called "Complaint-Free Universe"? According to the book, we're not supposed to complain (because according to the book, complaining about things only makes us unhappier). So all I can tell you is I've got a pile of correcting sitting on the dining room table and it needs doing. It also means I may not get much time

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Guest — Kim
Well then, first off, thanks for taking the time to write in your blog despite all the rest of the writing which you have left to ... Read More
Monday, 17 March 2008 20:38
Guest — tamar
hahaha! give up complaining? that's hard... i even got voted biggest complainer for my high school year book!! I am assuming you j... Read More
Tuesday, 18 March 2008 20:11
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Mar
14

Goodness Gracious, Almost Forgot to Write a Blog Entry...

That's because I've been so busy working on the "track changes" for What World is Left. (I'm starting to get used to the name of my fall book, which was re-christened this week by my editor in B.C.) Only time for a short entry today since I'm headed out for dinner with a friend. But I wanted to share something interesting that Manitoba writer Anita Daher wrote to me today

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Guest — Kim
Before I forget, I must say I enjoyed your article on procrastination -- especially the last quote, from the person who said she d... Read More
Saturday, 15 March 2008 03:03
Guest — tamar
hope you enjoyed your dinner i got an idea for a book today, but will probably never write it out haha... so true that misery make... Read More
Saturday, 15 March 2008 05:18
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Mar
12

My Character Gets a New Name -- and So Does My Book

So, after a great deal of deliberation (e-mail consultations with my editor Sarah Harvey in B.C., phone consultations with my parents, and several chats with my husband and daughter) the main character in my historical novel has had her name changed from Lotje (deemed too difficult for North American readers to pronounce) to Anneke. Hope you like it!! One of the funny things about deciding on her

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Guest — tamar
Hi Ms. Polak First off, I loved the National Post article and find it so true!! I am procrastinating right now..even though I have... Read More
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 18:44
Guest — Kim
Hello again Miss. Polak I like the name change for the character... at least I'm now relatively sure I'm not going to seriously m... Read More
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 19:05
Guest — Anita
Hi Monique! I'm still waiting to hear back from Sarah re my fall book...sweat, sweat, nibbling fingernails. Of course I know she'... Read More
Friday, 14 March 2008 11:07
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Mar
11

Early Morning Coffee with Toronto Writer-Editor and Toronto Teacher

A person like me probably shouldn't have coffee ever, but alas -- I had a cafe au lait downtown this morning with two friends from Toronto -- and now I'm even livelier than usual. My poor students!!! So I met up with Toronto children's writer and editor Gillian O'Reilly and Toronto elementary school teacher Nancy Rawlinson. Not surprisingly, we talked about kids books and I asked

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Guest — Kim
I am now convinced that a writer's mood affects their writing style -- your energy is apparent through your writing, and, while it... Read More
Wednesday, 12 March 2008 00:41
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Mar
10

Hola Senor

... or senorita! Now that I'm back in snowy Montreal, I have a tremendous urge to speak Spanish!! Those of you taking Spanish classes are SO lucky. If I had a little more free time, I'd ask one of the Spanish teachers at school to let me sit in on her (or his) class. 

So I'm back at work. I've already taught and tidied up my house (the tidying if you're new to my

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Guest — Kim
Hola!! I have Spanish class twice a week Although I started back in Grade 7 so now I'm quite confortable with the language -- I e... Read More
Monday, 10 March 2008 21:04
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Mar
08

Last full day of vacation...

So we're now in Puerto Vallarta, since that's where we fly home from tomorrow. Not to get into the gory details, but we took a bus here yesterday from La Penita... and I got... well... sick. Mike was my angel of mercy. I can't give you the details, but let's just say that if ever in one of my future books, a boy (you see I'd likely change the sex to protect my privacy) gets sick
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Guest — tamar
I can't help but laugh at your story... I was on a trip and a boy on my bus also threw up on the bus aisle on the way to the airpo... Read More
Saturday, 08 March 2008 20:52
Guest — Kim
The worst part about your misadventure (misfortune?) is that, well, you're right: it does make a good story. And threre won't be t... Read More
Saturday, 08 March 2008 21:35
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Mar
06

Reading on the Beach

So it's jueves, I think that's the right way to say and spell Thursday in Spanish. That means it's market day in La Penita de Jaltemba, so this little town which is usually pretty sleepy, wakes wide up. Mike and I are heading to the market soon, but first, I thought I'd say hola and tell you about the wonderful books I've been reading this week. I've finished Meg Rosoff'
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Guest — Kim
Reading on the beach sounds so inviting... especially after reading the newspaper headlines on how we received 5 centimetres of ic... Read More
Thursday, 06 March 2008 16:24
Guest — tamar
hope you have a safe flight home!! the snow will welcome you i had to read the eggers book for school in grade 11 but couldnt get ... Read More
Friday, 07 March 2008 18:28
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Mar
03

Quick hello

Hello out there... all is well, except for one small glitch: I can't seem to check my website email from here, so Kim, Sophie and Tamar, in case you're  sending me comments, I'll have to wait till I'm back in snowy Montreal to read them.

I was going through this little notebook I keep and I found a quote about writing that I'd meant to post on the blog, so here it

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Guest — tamar
haha you are so cute!! you know kim and sophie and i all too well!! enjoy your vacation while it lasts! i got a recoomendation for... Read More
Tuesday, 04 March 2008 05:49
Guest — Kim
Well, I suppose all three of us (Tamar, Sophie and me) are quite predictable! I suppose writing about the dentist is a "radish"-t... Read More
Tuesday, 04 March 2008 13:57
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Mar
01

Hola de Mejico!!

Quick entry since I´m working on a little old computer in an Internet place in Mexico -- and it´s hard to find the right buttons. We´re in La Penita. It´s warm and sunny and we´re going to spend the whole day READING on the beach. Ahhhh!! Did I tell you I was planning not to write... can´t find the question mark. Not sure I´ll be able to keep that promise.
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Guest — tamar
i wish i could read on the beach!!! i love "pool reads" and get through so many when vacationing in a warm location... next time i... Read More
Saturday, 01 March 2008 21:39
Guest — Kim
If Tamar gets to come, so do I! It sounds so nice to say that you're reading on a beach... much better than if you said you were ... Read More
Saturday, 01 March 2008 23:52
Guest — bill@ontheroadin.com
[url]http://www.jaltembasol.com/Archives/2008/March 2008/March 3/20080229_5387.jpg[/url]... Read More
Monday, 03 March 2008 16:52
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