Category Archives: Brockville

Making a list and checking it twice…

I sound like the jolly old man in the red suit but I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m talking about preparations for my trip to Kansas for the debut of my novel, A Shadow in the Past, on September 15 – things to take, things to do before I leave. Most importantly passport and plane tickets, clothing (for the event and the rest of the weekend and sleepware), medications, glasses and cleaner for same, promotional stuff (business cards, postcards and bookmarks), pens to sign books, extra bag to bring books home in, followed by camera, iPad, iPad card reader, extra batteries and charger, mobile phone and charger for it. With the phone… must turn off a lot of e-mail notifications and remember to turn the beast off before I get on the plane or will get zapped with exorbitant roaming charges (maybe even go so far as to delete the Facebook and Twitter apps temporarily) to really ensure there’s not a lot of stuff happening. Phone on in the morning, then off until later in the evening. And the hotel has free wi-fi for guests so I could get along without the phone entirely since I can login to my webmail using my iPad when I’m there.

Then there’s my launch in Brockville the following Saturday which means charge my DVD recorder, format a DVD, get my book cover poster mounted, make sure my camera battery is in a fit state, decide what to wear because I don’t want to wear the same thing as I did in Kansas (I mean I can’t have people thinking I only have one outfit).

Oh, and then there is my fifteen day, twenty-one stop blog tour that starts on September 28. Have I sent my posts, author info, cover and author images, and where to buy links back to mine hosts and hostesses? I think so but must touch base with everyone to make sure. So I hope they understand my scattered-brainedness when I e-mail them AGAIN to ensure they have everything they need for my date with them.

I’m thrilled to be in this position and have dreamt about it for such a long time. My brain might be on overload right now but I’m loving every minute of it.








Thousand Islands Writers Festival Second Annual Storefront Writing Contest

The second annual Storefront Writing Contest sponsored by the Thousand Islands Writers Festival takes place on

Saturday, August 25, 2012

from 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m.


Downtown Brockville

So how does it work you ask? Well, it goes like this…

Rules of the Game:

  • Each designated storefront will host two or three contestants, each writing at a separate table.
  • Contestants will use a number in place of their name on their work to avoid judging bias.
  • Each contestant is given the same writing prompt supplied by TIWF at registration.
  • Contestants must produce a short story of no more than 2000 words, in a genre of their choice.
  • Contestants may use a laptop computer, typewriter or even write by hand in ink or pencil. If using a laptop computer, contestants must use a flash drive to avoid hardware conflicts during printing.


  • Entry Fee: $5
  • Entries must be submitted, along with the entry fee, by Monday, August 20. Download and print a copy of the entry form (use the button at the left).
  • Registration is held at the Brockville Public Library at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, where contestants will draw a location and be given the writing prompt.
  • Contestants will go to their designated writing location, where a chair and table will be set up. Electrical power will be available, if necessary.
  • Contestants will begin writing at 10:30 a.m. at the latest
  • Contestants must write a short story of no more than 2000 words, finishing no later than 4 p.m.
  • TIWF volunteers will be available from time to time to provide any help necessary to contestants.
  • Contestants must provide their own lunch and beverages during the contest.
  • When finished writing, contestants will turn in their writing at the Mill’s Grindstone Tapa Lounge on Water Street and join us for a post-contest social hour with refreshments.
  • Five judges will be given the entries on Monday, August 27 and be given three weeks to make their decision.


Registration on the day of the event takes place at the Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell St., Brockville at 9:30 a.m.

Entry Fee: $5
Entries must be submitted by Monday, August 20. Register early as space is limited.

Entry form can be downloaded from the Thousand Islands Writers Festival website at this link.

Automotion – August 5, 2012

Car shows might not have anything to do with writing, but it this car show is in my hometown and since I’m writing about it, it makes it about writing and photos and other little snippets of life I’ve included.

This morning’s thunderstorm around 5:00 followed by another rain shower around 7:30 severely reduced the number of participants at this year’s Automotion car show.

Normally, there isn’t an empty space to be had anywhere on Blockhouse Island, the Water St parking lot, Market St West and Armagh Sifton-Price Park. It’s always wall to wall cars. I’ve marvelled at how they get so many cars packed so tightly together and have thought I’d love to see them getting these beautiful machines maneuvered without damage.

After lunch, Mr MR-K and I walked down to the event in relative sunshine. At least there was a breeze down at the river and despite some ominous looking clouds blowing over, the only water was in the river and the bottled variety they were selling. The occasional spray from waves crashing against the breakwater was actually quite refreshing.

Because the weather forecast was for showers all day, I didn’t bother taking my digital SLR camera with me and just used the camera on my Blackberry.

Tow Mater’s cousin – Odessa Mater
Pontiac GTO Judge

My mum had one of these cars. Hers was a 1970 green in colour with a darker green vinyl roof. Pretty snazzy wheels and all of the neighbourhood kids lined up to be the first to go for a ride in it.

1955 Chev Belair 2 dr hardtop
1955 Chev Belair 2 dr hardtop

This white ’55 Chev is my step-dad’s. It didn’t look anywhere near this good when he first bought it but over the years, he worked away lovingly restoring it, has taken it to a number os shows and has the trophies, plaques and other prizes it’s won.

1957 Hudson Metropolitan
1957 Hudson Metropolitan

Of all the cars there, I would hazard to guess this little Hudson Metropolitan travelled the greatest distance – Elliott Lake to Brockville.

1958 Buick Century
1958 Pontiac Parisienne

The first car I remember my mum and dad having was a 1958 Pontiac Pathfinder that was yellow and white. I remember sitting on my father’s lap driving this boat on one of the back roads when I was three or four years old. Years later when he had a body job done on it, he had it painted red and white.

Modified Volkwagen Beetle

Nothing like the VW Beetle I had when I got married. Mine was a 1970, pale yellow with a semi-automatic transmission. Had to shift like a standard but there was no clutch. It was a fun little car to drive.

Well there you have it in a nutshell … a bit about me, a bit about some great looking cars … and a bit about Brockville.

Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life – Results and Pictures

The last total I have from the Brockville Relay for Life website, shows our team “Annie’s Angels” in second place with $6651.57. The amounts are still subject to change as the donations are still open for a few days, and we heard last night that we had another cheque that wasn’t included in that total. Yay!

Setting up our camp site for the night
Survivors’ Walk
Our team, Annie’s Angels
The Luminaries just after lighting. There were at least 1200 sold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t do the luminaries justice because of the flash on my camera. So when I got a bit further around on the track, I changed my camera settings to aperture priority and got this one instead. Much better effect as far as the glowing candlelight goes but when you don’t have a tripod with you, it’s really hard not to move, especially when you’re squatting.

The luminaries without flash – as I said a wee bit shaky

Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

Tonight I’ll be walking in the Brockville Relay for Life on Team #29, Annie’s Angels. A bunch of us from work, and Anne’s sisters will be taking part tonight in honour of our beloved Anne, who lost her battle with cancer in January.

At last count, our team was in first place in fundraising, and two of our members are firmly in the top ten for individual fundraisers. You can check us out at Brockville Relay for Life.

I’m taking my camera so will post pictures tomorrow.

Leeds County Books has an online home…

Brockville, Ontario’s independent bookstore, Leeds County Books, now has a website, Facebook page, and online store.

Owner, Courtney Sadler, is hoping the online presence will result in more traffic at her King Street location which in turn will increase sales.

Leeds County Books believes in supporting local authors. Fiction authors whose names have graced the shelves here over the years include Maggie Wheeler, Mary Cook, Leo Brent Robillard, Andrea Cameron, Carole Reesor, Crystal Mazurek, Mary Higgins, Mary Mueller, Nancy Wickwire Fraser, Jeff MacMillan, Neville Johnston, and Dennis Stein. Non-fiction names include Russ Disotell, Don Ross, Glenn J. Lockwood, Ian Coristine, Brian Porter, David J. Wells, and the lists go on.

In addition to books by local authors and books of local interest, you’ll find national and international best selling authors, children’s books, greeting cards, and recently added items from Out of Print Clothing.

Leeds County Books is located at:

73 King Street West
Brockville, ON
K6V 2G5

Phone: 613-342-5728
Facebook: Leeds County Books