Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pam has left the building.....

I left Liz in a flood of tears yesterday as if I was never going to see her again. Just like Elvis, I left the building, but it was only 10.30am. No point in prolonging the agony after saying my goodbyes. I don’t really remember driving home. I felt kind of numb. My husband took me for a quiet dinner at the pub that night and I had an early one. Slept for 10 hours!

So, Today is the first day of the rest of my life. How dramatic is that? John Denver sings the lyrics. Check Facebook.

This is a holiday w/e here about, but I, being on a permanent holiday will not notice. I doubt I will notice what day of the week it is either and have stopped wearing a watch.

I am not going to tell you how I am going to get fit and healthy as I am fortunate to have my health and the fit stuff, that means exercise and zippering my mouth shut, may or may not happen....but I did get up this morning at 7.30am and walked around the ravine. It truly is a wonderful time of the day. The trees have formed a canopy since the last time I walked there so it was cool. I saw loads of rabbits and all kinds of birds. There were people drinking their morning coffee as they read the papers happy to shout a good morning to me. A few dogs were having their morning walk before the heat strikes.

But, I am going to tell you that Liz and I are more committed than ever to getting our books published. We have had a long hiatus what with one thing and another but now it is time to work. It’s the kind of work we both love, even if it is unpaid. For now!

What I have learned from other writers and bloggers is that you need to be disciplined in this journey of writing and getting published. Each works differently and not many work like Liz and I, but it can be done. Thanks for sticking with us and we will post an updated chapter of Body Perfect soon. Just enough to whet your appetite before you will need to buy and read the rest of the story! Yes, optimism reigns and I feel good.

On to the next chapter in my life and I hope Jamie Tremain is along for the ride.

Talk soon,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And Now She Knows the Rest of the Story

Pam couldn’t understand why I was so stressed the past few weeks!  Well as her post below explains I had been somewhat preoccupied with plans for a Tea Party.  In the works since April, the final two or three weeks had been very busy with last minute details, buying of gifts, and decorating ideas.  The number of times I almost slipped up to ask “Do you think so and so should be invited” or “How much milk do you think we’ll need?” gave me cause to be constantly on my toes.

When I first thought of the Tea Party idea, I decided the best way to keep this a surprise was to do so right under Pam’s nose.  And under the guise of a team building event for one of our departments, that became the plan.  Pam even made her delicious scones for her own party!

I truly commend Pam on her ability to organize and run social events; it is NOT my cup of tea at all, but I believe all went well on Thursday to give her a memorable, and fitting, send off into the next chapter of her life.

Without the help of Cheryl, Stephanie, Amy, Jane and a handful of other dedicated assistants, the Tea Party would never have been the success it was.  Beautiful flowers from a staff member’s garden just added a finishing touch to the room’s ambiance.

Tea Pot sets and scrumptious treats were generously provided by many of our co-workers and helped set the mood.  Special thanks to Eleanor, Dorothy, Lolita and many more.

As this photo shows, I think she can give Vicki Delaney a run for her money in the hat department!

A unique gift was a keepsake Scrap Book,  which Pam is displaying above, where hand-written greetings and best wishes from almost two hundred co-workers (past and present) have been safely stored for Pam to read and re-read at her leisure. Hopefully this will give her an inkling of just how well thought of she is at the workplace.

The clock is ticking now on her final few days with the company and it will be a bittersweet day this Friday when she shuts down her computer for the last time.  I think up until just a couple of weeks ago I had been so busy with planning things I hadn’t really stopped to consider how much I will miss Pam at work.  Thank goodness we have our writing to keep us connected.  Now that the pressure of organizing this tea party is behind me, I'll have to get back to the revision that was put on hold for a little while.

All in all a day full of memories, laughs, and some delicious treats befitting an English Tea!  Happy Retirement Pam - I'm glad our paths crossed and that we co-workers have become the best of friends.

More to come as our writing future unfolds.....



Monday, July 25, 2011

The Tea Party!

This past week the big topics of conversation in my world have been, “Can it get any hotter?” and “What are you going to do with yourself when you no longer have to drag yourself into work every day”?

The answer to the first question was “Yes it can” as the temperatures rose to 38 degrees and the humidity was brutal. Liz’s air conditioning was put to the test and so was our disposition. We have a small break in the temps today and tomorrow and then it will creep back up.

The answer to the next question is.......”I really don’t know”. Sort of. This last month has been crazy busy transferring over duties at work and it seems like every time I turned around there was another celebration. At my 10th Anniversary with the bank we had a luncheon, a dear friend had her 95th birthday, and my son turned 40. When I thought I could not take any more partying I had a wonderful surprise from all my co-workers. A Tea Party.

I was taken completely by surprise as Liz and friends at work had spent months arranging a super retirement party with my husband and grandson in attendance. What a wonderful event they planned. Great food, flowers on the tables, lots of pressies for yours truly, plus a straw hat with flowers. I will try and add a picture of this wonderful sight!! What an amazing bunch of colleagues. So maybe I will stay..... No just joking. I will miss their friendship but it is time to do something else. I hope that something else will be for Liz and I to get our books published.

Writing the blog is such fun but I know it is a hit and miss affair with me but I will change my ways soon.

This week I am just tying up loose ends and saying my goodbyes. It’s sad to leave but I am looking forward to the future with time to try new things and spend time with my family.

My next blog will be as a newly retired person and the start of my new life.
I am entitled to wear the Hay tartan as my mother was a Hay. Their Motto on the clan crest is Hay Clan Motto: Serva Jugum (Keep the yoke). As of Friday I am giving up the yoke.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

How Do You Spell Relief?

My favourite topic of complaint – heat and humidity – will now perhaps lessen somewhat.  I’m sitting next to a newly installed portable AC unit and am enjoying the sensation of cool air filtering across the room.  Bliss!   Perhaps tonight I will finally enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep? With the upcoming long range forecast of humidity readings in the mid to high 30’s and beyond,  this reprieve is much needed.

It has been a very busy week at work; demands of the day leading to exhaustion by the time the commute was done.  My massage therapist commented that my shoulders hadn’t been so knotted in a long time.

I’m making progress on Draft Two revision of Body Perfect (ready to start Chapter 18).  Pam and I had been hoping that I could wrap it up before she leaves work in two weeks.  She has “connections” with our building’s printing department and has managed to get some good deals on photocopying and binding manuscripts.  With that goal slipping away, I suggested yesterday that if the printing doesn’t get done before month end, it would make a good excuse for her to meet me for lunch one weekday and then put in a print order.

As well, this past week I have been asked by not one, but two, friends to have a look at their writing projects.  One friend’s book is ready to publish but she would like me to review some sections first.  And another good friend is currently writing a book based on her life and past experiences.   So I said I would have a look at it as she goes along.   But for both friends, I have promised not much will be done before the end of this month.

I enjoyed a very nice evening last night with friends; home cooked lasagne and pie for dessert went down well, as did comfortable conversations.   A great way to end a stressful week.

But now I feel the sleepless night and today’s shopping trip catching up with me – time for my favourite Saturday afternoon activity; curling up with a good book and allowing myself the luxury to nap if it overtakes me.

So how do I spell relief?

A I R   C O N D I T I O N I N G!



Sunday, July 10, 2011


It has been almost two months since I blogged but my intrepid writing partner Liz has taken up the slack. I have been in a funk for a while and could not settle to writing. I think I am over the hump now as we had a terrific day yesterday as Liz has mentioned. We agreed on lots of new ideas and direction of how we will finish our second book.

The next phase or “chapter” in my life is only three weeks away so I will certainly have the time to devote to writing. I should be ecstatic that the day is almost here after working for 50 years, bar the three years when my children were babies, but I am not, and I don’t know why. I hate the word retire as it conjures up some old lady images to me. Don’t say it!

I have been taking trips down memory lane and been on a nostalgia bent for a while so now I have to get a grip and start enjoying my family and friends more. I assume, like all change, that I will go through a period of adjustment. My husband is probably shaking in his shoes wondering what jobs I have in store for him.

Saying goodbye to my colleagues at work will be hard as after 10 years many of them are friends. For the last year I have been writing short profiles on many of the staff for a Diversity project and in that way I really got to know them well. I hope it has honed my skills at interviewing to assist me in my writing.

Our car gave up the ghost this weekend and I am scrambling to get a ride with a friend from work until we buy a new car. My husband and I are both procrastinators so we have put off looking, but of course now we are forced to. I know, many people do without cars. My sisters do not drive and either take the bus or ride a bike but where we live here in Canada it is almost impossible to do anything without one. Definitely a car is a necessary evil. I hope I can get my gas out before the car is towed to the junk yard. I had just filled up with $60.00 before the steering went and some awful noise came from the engine.

Well that’s enough whining. I have my health and lots to be thankful for and if Liz and I put our minds to it we will see our books in print in the near future.

Talk soon,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

By Hook or by Crook(s)

Today was revision day and I’m happy to report that Body Perfect is alive and well!   I spent an enjoyable day with Pam as we continued, and almost finished, the first revision of Body Perfect.  Part of the time was spent outside and some indoors where the air conditioning was most welcome.   A delicious lunch made a nice break mid day and I couldn’t believe it when my watch revealed the day had flown by and it was after  4 pm.

So, the crooks have been dealt with and now it’s a matter of finishing the story on a strong note as we wrap up this first tale featuring Dorothy Del Rio and Paul Barron.

As well, two things were accomplished today, one of which was the result of a “light bulb” moment and the other was something we knew we had to work on.  Both of our main characters, Paul and Dorothy, have  something from their past that they have been keeping from each other and we needed to determine where and how this revelation would take place.   The solution was arrived at and I now need to make a more lengthy revision in the second to last chapter to bring this background to light.  And how will it affect  the  blossoming relationship between our favourite characters?   We can’t tell you, silly…that’s why you’ll need to read the book!

The “light bulb” moment came about as we were reading aloud portions of the story.  Without giving anything specific away, suffice it to say we have been wanting to find some kind of trademark that will be specific to this, and future,  Del Rio adventures.  We had already decided on a specific, easily identified marker for the series, but the little gem we thought of today will be more subtle and tucked away within the story.  If nothing else, it gave us a jolt of excitement and a good dose of motivation, to see this revision completed as soon as possible.  Hopefully another little device to hook our readers.   As with Madelaine, we would like to soon have some bound manuscripts available of Body Perfect which we can lend out for feedback.   So I know what I’m hoping to accomplish tomorrow!  

If the heat and humidity are at the same level tomorrow as it is right now, then strenuous typing will be as much as I’ll be able to muster!  Breakfast with some friends is in store for first thing, and then I hope to plunk myself down here and make some headway with the manuscript.

As noted in my previous entry, I have started reading my first Harlan Coben,  “Play Dead”, and really do find it hard to put down.  Lots of twists, and very interesting characters!

I hope your weekend is going well…stay cool and enjoy the summer weather!



Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's Back.....

The humidity of course.  Hopefully a thunderstorm in the forecast for later today will bring some relief, but the long term prediction shows more if it right until Friday..and all I can say is “Yuck”!

A beautiful day yesterday for Canada Day – our 144th birthday.   While I didn’t get out to see the fireworks, I could sure hear them and am glad that folks who used the day as time to be outside with family and friends had such a gorgeous day for it.

Paid a quick visit to Chapters today; have had a gift certificate in my wallet for a while so decided to start a new collection.  Harlan Coben.   I have a couple of his books that have been lent me, with extremely high praise I might add, and so I decided that I would look for his first book (Play Dead) and read it as a starter.   He has written quite a few and so I like to get a sense of the writer from the beginning of his works when possible.   Once I finish with Stieg Larsson, Harlan Coben will be next.  Maybe even before the weekend ends.  After all with such uncomfortable temperatures, I do believe the most strenuous exercise should be turning pages of a book  J - preferably in a lawn chair under a shade tree!

While at Chapters I also signed up for their new points program and received my free “Plum Rewards” card.   That’s a rewards program I can appreciate!

The countdown is now on for Pam; at the end of this month she bids adieu to the 9 – 5  working life.  Dare I admit to a certain amount of envy?   Well unless a lottery ticket finally pays off, I’ll have to continue the work day routine for some time yet.

I want to wish our American followers a happy July 4th as well!  And hope that you enjoy a safe and happy long weekend  with family and friends as we have been doing here north of the border.


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