Comments on my Review Chair of 1923: A Memoir

For those of you who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter or a member of the Love a Happy Ending group, I thought I would share the comments my review of 1923: A Memoir generated…

Harry Leslie Smith:  What an insightful ‘Review Chair’ of my memoir 1923 by Melanie Robertson-King. She did a marvellous job! I could not ask for a better associate reader.

Melanie Robertson-King:  Thank you for your kind words, Harry. It’s been a pleasure.

Janice Horton:  Your Memoirs sound like a must read, Harry, and Melanie’s enthusiasm for your writing shines through in this review.

Melanie Robertson-King: Happy to help.

Linn Halton:  A big round of applause to Melanie, Harry and Janice – what a brilliant example of team working to produce something to capture the readers’ interest! Well done.

Chris Longmuir: Yes it was a good one. Hope it leads to lots of sales.

Kathryn Brown: This book fascinates me. My late father-in-law lived here for all his 83 years and passed away 4 years ago. He would have had a lot to talk about with Harry, I’m sure.

Harry Leslie Smith: Cheers to all of you. If you were near, I would offer you all a gin and tonic or what ever your poison might be…

Melanie Robertson-King: If my dad was still alive, he’d have lots to talk to you about, Harry.

Melanie Robertson-King: Thanks Linn for your round of applause for us… you’re making me blush.

The Revision Process

We all have different methods and preferences when it comes to how we handle the revision process. Depending on the size of the document and how much revising I’m doing, I’ll do it on the screen. This usually only happens when I’m writing short stories or only looking at a single chapter of a manuscript.

One of the pages from my WIP.

However, when I’m into a huge revision, I prefer to print the document and haul out the red pens. Before you get up in arms about my killing trees needlessly, after I’m done and my revisions are entered in my document, I shred the paper and it goes for recycling.

This is probably one of the more severely marked up pages in my manuscript.

I’d hit the dreaded sagging middle. I didn’t like the way things were coming together. I had a pile of “crap” that did nothing to further the plot. All it did was take up space.

I’m currently working on page 314 of 355 and I’m thinking there will be a few more pages hit “the cutting room floor” (actually a separate document in case I need snippets from them later on) before I’m done.

I think my biggest challenge is going to be reading my handwriting when it comes time to actually enter my revisions in my manuscript.

But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, carry on with the red pen and when I hit the last page, I’ll let it sit for a bit so I can digest what I’ve changed and maybe go off and read a couple of books before sitting down with my chicken-scratched pages and the computer.



Coming soon to the website

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Coming soon ……..the ideas don’t stop!

Category: Coming soon

Join us on 1 August 2011 to celebrate the launch of  featured new Author Sue Johnson’s novel Fable’s Fortune, published by Indigo Dreams.

Coming up on 8 September 2011 another celebration –  Sue Watson’s tale entitled  Fat Girls & Fairy Cakes goes on sale, courtesy of Rickshaw Publishing.

We will be showing extracts from both these novels that can’t be read anywhere else!  So do come back and help us celebrate style!  We would also like to know what you would like our future book ‘launches’ to include.  Do you find small extracts tempting, or would you prefer to see a few pages lifted from the story?  You can post a comment or click on our Feedback contact link on the righthand side of the website.

So who else will we be talking to on our ‘magazine style’ blog?

We will be talking to publishers – Indigo Dreams and Rickshaw Publishing will be featuring on our blog in the coming weeks to talk to you, our readers, about what is happening in publishing today and giving an inside view of what it’s like on the other side of the fence!  We will be asking them what they think of our innovative and new interactive website – asking them about what does make a difference in today’s changing world.

We also have our very own Resident Astrologer – Shaz Goodwin, who is on hand to talk to our new Authors and Associate Readers about how their star signs affect them –  Shaz’s Stars. But does Shaz have anything else in store to surprise us?  I’ve been sworn to secrecy, so you will just have to keep coming back to see what’s going to be on offer!

We will also be launching a new graphic to head up Shaz’s articles, which has been designed by one of our own new Authors – Lun Kikogne! So thank you Lun – who (by the way) also designed his own book cover … so check out Lun’s author page on the righthand side of our website ——->


And we have new Author Janice Horton wearing her Editor’s hat, as she interviews our wonderful Featured and Associate Readers when they sit down in the Review Chair to talk about some of our authors’ books.  But we want to know all about those readers too, because it’s readers who buy books and feedback is invaluable to our new Authors.

Of course, Editor Missy P Wadkins will be keeping you up to date with all the fun and gossip that comes with being a part of this innovative interactive website, and The Fizz will be full of snippets on our magazine style blog.

If you see one of our new Authors or meet up with them online – please contact us as Missy would be delighted to hear about your interaction!  Photographs would be fun……

Also coming soon is new Author Mandy Baggot doing just a little ‘mingling’ to report back on how important music is to aid inspiration whilst writers sit glued to the keyboard….

If you buy one of our authors’ books because of our website, then tell us so we can shout about it.  If you don’t want to be interviewed that’s fine, we understand, but we would like to acknowledge ALL levels of support.  We are grateful if you choose one of our authors books to help an unknown, one book at a time….  a simple Email via our ‘Feedback’ Contact Us page and why your hand selected that book…….. sharing is caring!

So whether you are someone who wants to join our team and take an active part, or you are just visiting the website to read what’s going on – we love having you and we appreciate your support.  Hope to see you again soon!


Patricia Sands joins

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Welcome to Patricia Sands …

Everyone at is delighted to welcome new Author Patricia Sands, as her author’s page goes live here today!  Patricia lives in Toronto, Canada and has a very busy family life with seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren!  She devotes quite a bit of time to her love of photography as well as  promoting her debut novel, The Bridge Club, published through iUniverse.  Read more about Patricia’s intriguing story of life time friendships, check out her new author page on the righthand side of our website ——>

Currently at work on her second novel, Patricia admits the writing muse has possessed her. She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. “It’s never too late to begin something new,” she enthuses. “As the saying goes, just do it!”

So a very warm welcome Patricia, we hope you will enjoy taking part and interacting with our Associate Readers.

*** The Bridge Club is included in Barnes & Noble’s “Catch A Rising Star” feature for the month of July with special discounts****

A few words from Patricia about ‘The Bridge Club’:-

“Although this novel is a work of fiction, many of the issues are based on the experiences of my real-life Bridge Club of over forty years. The friendship is certainly true of us. I chose to write about the controversial topic in the final chapter after watching a friend deteriorate intellectually and physically in a locked Alzheimer’s ward at the age of fifty-three. It was shattering to observe.

Throughout the story each of the characters faces challenges and change in her life. The Bridge Club emphasizes how strong friendship helped to enable these changes and demonstrates how these women empowered each other and indeed how much they learned from each other in the process. Change is inevitable and personal growth should always be the outcome. This novel encourages women to feel positive about facing the challenges, large and small, that may arise at any stage of our life and to recognize how building a strong foundation of friendship is a priceless asset in so many ways. Knowing you are offering true friendship to someone is as rewarding as receiving it.”

1930 on the steps of Fairknowe Home

This photo was taken on the steps of Fairknowe Home, the receiving home used by The Orphan Homes of Scotland, when my father first came to Canada.

1930 boys party on the steps of Fairknowe Home. My father is on the left side of the second row.

Fairknowe Home still exists but has been converted to flats. This impressive verandah no longer exists but other than that a change in the upstairs dormer and the paint colour, the building still retains much of its original character.

Pictures from World War II

My dad served with the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders during the war. Born in Scotland, he came to Canada in 1930 through The Orphan Homes of Scotland and worked on farms in eastern Ontario. He enlisted at the local armouries and soon went overseas.

These two pictures were in a box labelled “pictures for Melanie” that my mother had carefully preserved.

L-R. Unknown, Robert A Robertson (my father)
L-R. Unknown, Robert A Robertson (my father)

There are a couple more photos, one of the two gentlemen who are with my father in these pictures and another one of the “bat man”, Gordon Armstrong, my father drove for. The backs of all of these photos have been stamped Passed by First Cdn Army Film Service.

These pictures are quite small – maybe 2.25 x 1.5 so until I scanned them at a high resolution, it was really difficult to identify the people.

In 1943, my father was granted leave so he could attend his youngest brother’s wedding in Scotland. He wore his kilt for occasion. It wasn’t until long after my dad died that I got a copy of this photo from a family member overseas. I’d never seen my dad in a kilt, even though his Scottish roots were so important to him.

Peter, Robert and Angus Robertson

This picture came to me from a cousin in England. Another picture of my dad in uniform. After reading Harry Leslie Smith’s book, 1923: A Memoir, I always assumed the one photo I had of my father had been taken by the army. After finding this other one, I think my dad did like Harry and had photos done to send to his family.

Another photo of my dad in uniform

I’m proud to say I have my dad’s Glengarry, leather dog tags, and his medals.


The historic Babcock Mill at Odessa

This was our final stop on our quest yesterday. After all, if we were going to travel over half the distance to Toronto for some photos, I had to make it a worthwhile trip. Dear Mr M R-K and I had been here and along the river in Napanee when our children were small. It was SO nice to be able to repeat the trip – just us.

Babcock Mill - side & back
Babcock Mill - back
Babcock Mill - front

While we wandered around the mill, I found a large goose feather. I know it was from a goose because of the great gobs of goose *poop* that were in various stages of decomp around the place. Well, when we got home, I told my oldest grandson that I plucked the feather right out of the goose’s butt! And he believed me!



Last day for the contest giveaway

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This is the last day to get entered in the contest giveaway. Over 70 books are up for grabs!

Click on the link above and check out the list of authors participating in this fun interactive project with writers and readers. Then, visit the authors individual blogs and leave a comment there telling them why you want to win their book!

It’s simple! But don’t delay. The contest giveaway ends at midnight tonight!

And don’t think it’s all romance books. There are crime, fantasy, paranormal, Young Adult, memoirs… something for everyone.


After we left the impaled, legged Volkwagen

In order to enjoy a more leisurely pace on our homeward trip, we came home via County Rd 2 through all the towns and villages along the way… far more relaxing than motorway driving. I was a bit disappointed that the road didn’t run closer to the water like it does in places down here.

We stopped in Napanee (home of Avril Lavigne) at Springside Park. Just inside the roadside car park, the CN mainline crosses the Napanee River on this viaduct and trestle. While in the park, we strolled along the path next to the water.

CN viaduct
Napanee River
Napanee River
Blue Heron
One of the Napanee River fountains

Just past this fountain, we reached the bridge on Centre St. We left our oasis by the water and worked our way up to the corner of Centre St and Dundas (Cty Rd 2) where I took a photo of the mural on the side of the Flowers by Barbara shop.


I had to be quick here when I took the picture as I only had a very short break in the traffic. As it turned out, I did much better than I suspected.

After getting the photo of the mural, we made our way back to the walkway along the river. To my delight when we got back near the foot of the falls, the blue heron was still there. He seemed quite comfortable around people and was likely only about ten feet away from us and didn’t seem to be the least bit frightened. I think he was getting himself ready for the camera here.

Getting ready to be photographed
Posing (again) for the camera

 After this we headed off to Odessa and the historica Babcock Mill there. But that adventure I’ll put in a separate post. This one has gotten quite long, not to mention, I keep losing my Safe Draft button.

Things to do with/to a Volkswagen Bug

Yesterday my husband and I took advantage of the sunny, warm day and went on a quest so I could photograph this. We’ve seen this many times on our way to or from Toronto as we’ve passed by on the motorway (aka 401) but even with the wide shoulders, stopping out there to take photos isn’t the most advisable.

When we reached the road that led to the field where this particular VW resides, there was a chain across it. It hadn’t been posted No Trespassing, so we grabbed one of the bottles of water we’d taken with us and hiked in down the gravel road.

Even with the length of the hike, the soft gravel in places, it was worth it to capture these pictures.

Spider? Ladybug? Beetle? You decide.

Spider? Ladybug? Beetle? You decide.
Spider? Ladybug? Beetle? You decide.
Skeleton suspended over mailbox at the end of the gravel road

There is another creative use of a Volkswagen Bug further afield, but a wee bit too far to make into a day trip. It will have to wait for another time… maybe August.