A million little mosquitoes

Some days it feels as if I’m being eaten alive by a million little mosquitoes. I look at my to-do list of maybe 20 items, and I try to work through them. But at the end of the day, my list is always longer, instead of shorter! None of the items that have been added are usually that huge, but each one seems to take just a little bit of my blood out and leave me tired, frustrated, and wondering where I went wrong. Okay, that’s my explanation for not posting here recently.

And now, I will respond to a few questions I’ve been asked:

Dave asked about finding a Christian bookstore near Richmond Hill, Ontario.

The best online lists of Christian bookstores in Canada I’m aware of is that of Parasource Distribution. You can find it here: http://www.yourchurchzone.com/stores.php

Several people have asked me what I’m working on (as a writer, that is).

The short answer, not much. The longer answer, I’m actually trying to put my writing first. Hoping to write something each day. Hoping to make it a habit. But the reality is that until Write! Canada is history, I likely won’t get any writing done. My writing to do list includes trying to complete my edit of Princess Persnickety and figuring out what to do with it re publishing (find an agent who loves children’s fantasy, look for a publisher, etc.) I’m also trying to work on an adult contemporary novel called Transforming Jesse Owen Tucker which I started writing about 15 years ago, I think. One thing you can say for me is that I don’t give up on anything easily. It’s probably 1/3 written. I’m hoping to finish it this summer. I’m also getting ready to put a lot of my writing workshops into some form of book, ebook, audio, video, etc. over the summer.And then I have two mysteries, 2 non-fiction books, a memoir, a new teen novel, and a host of other things I’ve already begun. Sigh.

Where am I speaking?

Right now, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do in the fall and 2010, so I’m sort of “on hold.”

I did speak recently for a Unionville Women’s Group of 100 or so, and that went very well. My talk was based on my story “The Diamond Ring” in Hot Apple Cider. That story, by the way, is shortlisted for two awards in The Word Guild Canadian Christian Writing Awards. My other story in Hot Apple Cider, “My Letter to the Editor,” is also shortlisted for an award. If you’re interested in supporting Canadian writers, do consider coming to the Awards Gala June 17th. It’s open to the public.

And of course, I’ll be at Write! Canada (I am the co-director). I’ll be teaching and facilitating, with 4 other people, the continuing class, “Everything You Need to Know about Publishing a Book in Canada.” I’ll also be teaching a workshop on writing fiction and moderating a panel on creating a platform. Yep, looks as though I’ll be busy.

Why do I  look different?

Because over the winter, I let my hair go au naturelle, and this is the result. I hated putting chemicals on my head and only started because it looked so bad when I started going grey in my 40’s (still had long hair and it came in in streaks). But now I am very happy to be “me.”

If you have any other questions, on any topic, feel free to ask here.

Leave a Comment:

SJYanke says June 6, 2009

Dear NJ,

I recently attended some of your workshops at the Write! Saskatoon conference and found them very helpful. You encourage emerging writers to define themselves.

I also wanted to comment on your new ‘look’. I haven’t colored my hair, for several reasons. I like to be different. It’s expensive. With seven kids, I don’t have time to look in mirrors. Friends have died before they were old enough to turn grey, so my own grey hairs were a sign of the blessing of longevity. Besides, I thought, I really didn’t have too many.

But yesterday, I got new glasses. Bifocals even. And the first thing I thought when I looked in the mirror at the optical store was, “Man, am I old!” There were long grey hairs sticking out in all kinds of places that I never saw before.

So now I’m thinking that I either have to return the glasses, or find out how committed I am to going ‘au naturelle’. It’s encouraging to find that there are other women who are happy with the way they are, and who once again, inspire us to ‘define ourselves’. Thanks.

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