Friday, November 29, 2013

A Ferry Tale

Once upon a time there were three women who rented a car. This wasn't just any car. It was a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side. Not wanting a little thing like that to stand in their way of a good time, the three women bravely got in the car and headed out on a grand adventure.

As they were driving away Wise Woman #1, sitting in the front passenger seat, asked the Foolish Woman who was driving if there was enough gas in the car (you can tell Wise Woman #1 wasn't British since she used the term gas rather than petrol). The Foolish Woman assured her that she had already thought of that and had checked the gauge the day before. It was hovering just over half full, and the Foolish Woman knew she could drive a couple hundred kilometres in her vehicle at home with that much fuel.

One of the reasons the Foolish Woman was so confident was she knew that even though their Merry Trio would be driving north on Mainland, then taking a ferry to the island of Yell, driving up that island, then taking another ferry to Unst, the northern most island in Britain, the actual distance covered wouldn't be that great so they couldn't possibly need more than about a quarter of a tank.

Like all good ferry tales this one has brave friends on the path (or in the case of this picture, the ferry) to adventure.

It has hauntingly beautiful scenery,

 treasure (in the form of Shetland Lace),

Viking ships,

Viking longhouses,

and, of course, a castle.

The Ferry Tale day was turning out to be every bit as wonderful as the Merry Trio had hoped. The only thing missing was a spot of adventure. No worries on that account though, since it was Foolish Woman driving the car.

They were feeling quite pleased with themselves as they got to within a few kilometres of the ferry that would take them on the first leg of the return journey. They had arrived in plenty of time to catch the next sailing, which also meant they would make it back to Burrastow House in time for one of Pierre's wonderful dinners.

Then there was a noise. It was a strange noise, and not one the Foolish Woman was familiar with. However, Wise Woman #2, sitting in the back seat, said with a note of surprise in her voice that it sounded like the alarm on her car that goes off if the petrol is low (you can tell Wise Woman #2 lives in Britain since she called it petrol and not gas). Foolish Woman felt fear rise up in her, and quickly glanced at the fuel gauge (you can tell Foolish Woman has dual citizenship since she is using a neutral term like fuel). It was at the quarter tank mark. She breathed a premature sigh of relief and headed down the final hill that approached the ferry. Halfway there the fuel light came on.

It wouldn't be a good Ferry Tale if it didn't have a bit of treachery in it, and this story is no exception. The Foolish Woman didn't mention the fact the fuel light was blazing brightly from the dashboard to her traveling companions. She let them continue to believe the sound must have been a mistake, and casually suggested they find a fuel station on the island of Yell just to be on the safe side.

Yell has a population of just under 1000 people, so even the Foolish Woman was able to deduce there couldn't possibly be that many stations on the island. And it was Sunday. The few there were might all be closed. Visions of a Not So Merry Trio stranded on a lonely road in Shetland began to take shape. The Foolish Woman drove with the sweat beading on her forehead and gripping the steering wheel fiercely as if this might somehow slow down the consumption of fuel. Wise Woman #1 and Wise Woman #2, oblivious to the fact that the fuel light was on, kept reassuring the Foolish Woman that it was fine, it wasn't her fault, they would find a station, not to worry, etc. I would like to insert that this is the only point in the story where the Foolish Woman knew more than the Wise Women.

I'm happy to say that the Merry Trio did find a petrol station. Once they got over the embarrassment of having walked into a small convenience store to ask where it was, only to be told they were parked next to it, they filled up the tank and with much happier hearts headed to the final ferry that would take them back to Mainland and their beloved Burrastow House.

This is where the story would have ended, except it was still Foolish Woman driving, and she got a bit lost. For anyone who has ever driven through the island of Yell, you might be shaking your heads in disbelief thinking such a thing isn't possible. Well, it is. There is just one main road that cuts directly through the middle of the island. When Foolish Woman turned off that main road to get petrol she couldn't seem to find her way back to it.

This meant that instead of arriving at the next ferry with loads of time to spare, the Anxious Trio arrived just as the ferry was being loaded. Not only that, because they approached from a side road they somehow ended up in the lane designated for ferry passengers who had reservations, which they did not. Foolish Woman was flustered. She lives in a place where they can throw you into prison if you attempt to sneak into the ferry reservation lane (it wouldn't be a good ferry tale without a bit of exaggeration). Wise Woman #2, showing the wisdom of her years, spoke up from the back seat. "Just go. If they say anything tell them you're an ignorant American tourist." As it turned out, nobody even asked to see their non-existent reservation. Shetlanders are very trusting. In this case, perhaps a bit more than was warranted.

And so the Trio was Merry again. They drove the rest of the way back happy with the thought that their day had been a success, and knowing that a feast awaited them upon their return. Only the Foolish Woman knew how very close they had come to disaster.

Not Quite The End

There's a reason I'm telling this cautionary tale now, more than two months after it happened. Today Foolish Woman I will be driving onto another ferry, this time for a literary adventure.

Let's hope this ferry trip goes a bit more smoothly than the last one. And if you happen to be in the Victoria area Saturday, please stop by. I would love to see you!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cold Snap!

Last week we had a cold snap. The temperatures got well below zero at night, and barely crept above that mark during the day. The sky was blue, frost covered everything, and the air was chilly enough that for the first time since moving here I had to wear one of my handknit hats when I went out walking.

The sun sinks behind the mountains fairly early at this time of the year, and there are many places that don't get more than an hour or so of direct sunlight. This meant the frost was still covering much of the ground in the late afternoon when I went out for a walk along the road near where we live.

Here's a close-up view. I especially love how the rose hips look like they are coated in sugar.

I walked down to the lake. Just looking at the water made me feel cold in spite of my wool hat, mitts and sweater. In the distance you can see Mt. Cheam.

One day during the cold snap I needed to drive to Langley, about an hour away from where we live. I have driven that stretch of road many times in my life (it's just off the Trans Canada as you go towards Vancouver), and I have to say I don't think it's ever been more beautiful. The snow on the mountaintops was framed by the deep blue sky in the background, and the field of neglected pumpkins seemed to perfectly fit this shift of seasons.

Clockwise from top left: pumpkin farm; Mt. Cheam; Mt. Cheam; Mt. Baker

Of course, you know where all this talk about the cold weather is heading. Yes, I have knit something new to keep me warm. I saw this fingerless mitt pattern in the Winter 2014 Interweave Knits magazine and immediately went digging through my stash yarn until I found just the right thing, which turned out to be some leftover Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Bucheron Mitts, pattern by Mary Jane Mucklestone

I know there are many people who just don't get fingerless mitts. Granted, these are not going to be what I put on in the deep cold of winter. But for this time of the year, when the temperature is chilly but not threatening to give me frostbite, these are the perfect compromise. My hands stay warm, but my fingers are still free to do things like take pictures for my blog.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fergus Friday, November 22

Poor Fergus. I think he's feeling neglected. We've been at our cottage for four months now, and I haven't done a Fergus Friday post in all that time. I keep telling him he isn't a mischievous little puppy anymore, and now that he's a grown-up dog there isn't as much to blog about. Then he reminded me about the pillows.

A few weeks ago when I went to IKEA I picked up a couple new pillows for the couch. These were to replace the previous pillows that Fergus had ruined. When I got home I told him there was no way he was sleeping on these and ruining them like the last ones. They were definitely "out of bounds." For the first couple of days I stuck to my guns. Then, slowly but surely, Fergus edged his way closer and closer.

He became possessed. If you own a West Highland Terrier you know exactly what I'm talking about. On top of those pillows, covering as many square inches as he could manage, was the only place in the house he wanted to be.

Then Emily decided dog hair wasn't enough; those pillows needed some cat hair stuck to them as well.

If you come to our house for a visit I strongly suggest you don't use the pillows. Not unless you have a lint brush in your pocket.

Fergus has also had his knickers in a knot because of the new little human who keeps coming to visit. Jenny loves Lucy. In fact, we are quite sure Jenny thinks Lucy is her puppy when she is here. She doesn't understand why we won't let her groom her, sleep with her, and generally take over. On the other hand, Fergus gets a confused look on his face, sniffs Lucy a couple of times, then looks up at me with big, brown eyes that are filled with hurt. The first time Lucy was here and I was holding her Fergus looked up at me and peed on the floor. Intentionally. Boring holes in me with those brown eyes the whole time.

I'm not worried about this. Fergus might be quite a jealous little guy, but he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body. I'm quite sure they will be good friends once Lucy gets a little bit older and Fergus has had some more time to warm up to this new little person in his life. In the meantime, David is more Fergus's idea of the perfect house guest.

Fergus likes it here at Cultus Lake. There are lots of dogs to bark at, along with some squirrels and bunnies. However, there is one thing here that Fergus hates. With a passion. When it rains he acts like he is being mortally wounded with each drop that falls. And when it rains here it doesn't fool around. I decided it was time to take some action, so I knit Fergus a sweater. This is an indication of how much he has grown up since last year, when he would have eaten a sweater off his own back.

I used to think it was silly to put sweaters on dogs. And I also swore I would never, ever knit things for my pets. There's some sort of lesson in this, I'm just not certain what it is. Have I turned into a soft touch? Do you put sweaters on your dogs? When I was growing up our dogs lived outside, ate table scraps, and had a little wooden doghouse to sleep in at night. Things sure aren't what they used to be, and I think Fergus is very thankful for that fact.

*Ting Ting update:  Amazon has fixed the error on their site listing the book as a pre-order. It is now  in stock. I should also point out it can be ordered from anywhere in the world through Amazon, so if you live overseas you should be able to get a copy through them.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The World's Cutest Hat and a Party

This weekend we celebrated Jay's birthday. This wasn't just a run-of-the-mill birthday. It was one that ended in a 0 and, on a scale of 1 to 10, started with an alarmingly high number.

Lucy not only has aunts and uncles running out her ears, she also has quite a collection of great aunts and uncles as well. Jay's birthday was a chance for her to meet some of them.

Great Aunt Lynn (Jay's sister)

Great Aunt Maureen (Jay's sister)
Great Uncle Robert (Maureen's husband),who appears to have a talent for getting Lucy to blow bubbles!

There was, of course, cake. I had some of the gluten-free coconut cake leftover from the night before. This cake is the best. And I don't mean just the best gluten-free cake ever, I mean The Best Cake Ever. The recipe can be found here, and I use this frosting recipe.

I'm sure the rest of our family would take exception to me saying my coconut cake was better than the traditional Hammond birthday cake I served everyone else, which is this oatmeal one I blogged about three years ago. If you haven't made this cake yet I'm not sure what you are waiting for. I guarantee it will be love at first bite.

Here's the birthday guy, who was somewhat upstaged by his granddaughter. Not that he minded.

Lucy and Uncle Kellen are still trying to figure each other out. I'm not sure who looks more perplexed.

Aunt Anita helped Lucy model her new hat.

I don't want to sound boastful, but seriously, I think this hat/baby combo is the cutest thing ever. I have knit another one of these hats for a friend's baby, and it is every bit as adorable on him. Better yet, the feedback I have is that the hat actually fits, stays on the baby's head, and is worn often. I'm hoping this will keep Lucy's ears warm all winter long.

Ravelry details here

Of course, there was lots of Lucy snuggling time with Grandma, too.

I must say, I might be a grandmother, but I'm quite certain I'm too young to be married to someone who is now 60 years old. Just saying...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Strike Two

I'm sure there isn't a single person reading this who hasn't had a bad moment with their computer. Well, over the past week I have had two bad moments. The first happened when I was down at my mom's. Kath and I had been looking forward to getting together so we could exchange the pictures from our trip. I took my computer down so we could transfer Kath's pictures onto it, and I also took my camera card so I could transfer my pictures to her computer.

This was a great plan, except for I forgot one small detail. Kath doesn't have a laptop. Instead, she brought a thumb drive to put my pictures on, and also to transfer her pictures onto my computer. I stared at it when she pulled it out of her purse and said I sure hoped she knew how to use a thumb drive, because I had no clue. She stared back, then told me she had no clue and just assumed I would know what to do. I told her as far as computers go I am an idiot savant, and the idiot part is definitely more dominant than the savant.

We plugged the drive into my computer and to our surprise discovered it wasn't hard to figure out how to export my pictures. It all looked good right up until the moment when it informed us Kath's thumb drive didn't have enough room to hold all of them (we took a lot of pictures on the trip).

No problem we thought. All we needed to do was transfer her pictures to my computer first, then erase them so there were be enough room. We watched as 800+ pictures flashed in front of us as the import was happening, thinking we were way smarter than we had given ourselves credit for. We held onto that happy thought right up until the moment I clicked on the event folder in iPhoto and discovered it was empty. Like so many other times in my life I decided there was nothing to do but fall back on Einstein's definition of insanity. We tried three times, and I'm sure you can guess the result.

Our new plan is to use Dropbox. We have succeeded in creating a shared folder, but neither of us has attempted to put any pictures in it yet. It's like a computer game of Chicken. We are each holding out, waiting for the other one to make the first move.

Fast forward to yesterday. I had something on my computer that I needed to export. Something that I have been working on for quite some time. Something that looked quite nice while it was in the safe confines of the program, but something that looked like the dog's breakfast when I tried to get it out. Not good. I will spare you the details, and also the bad language.

I'm so thankful to be living where I do. In the midst of technology glitches it's so nice to be able to take a deep breath, grab a rain jacket, and head out my front door and be surrounded by trees and mountains. Right now the street in our neighbourhood is covered in cedar needles and leaves. I love the way this leaf looks like the tips have been dipped in a pot of red paint.

Then, later in the day, I suddenly remembered my Korknisse. Putting them in my kitchen window sill, decorated in their fall sweaters and hats, was like welcoming back some old friends.

Today's update on the export problem is that it has been fixed. More or less. As for that shared folder in Dropbox, I just checked and it remains empty. 

“If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer, a Rolls Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year killing everyone inside. ” 
― Robert Cringely

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Morroless and a Winner

A few weeks ago I got Mary Jane Mucklestone's latest book, Fair Isle Style.

Often when I get a new knitting book I'll thumb through the pages and find one, or maybe if I'm really lucky, two projects I would like to knit. Not so with this book. There are at least a half dozen projects that caught my eye, and one I knew I needed to cast on right away - the Morroless Socks.

These socks are knit with Jamieson & Smith 2 ply jumper weight yarn, which I love.

In the Shetland dialect the word morroless means "unmatched" or "odd."

These were a quick, easy knit, and I'm looking forward to wearing them now that the cold weather has arrived.

I have never knit socks with Jamieson & Smith yarn before, so it will be interesting to see how they hold up. I don't mind if the heels felt a bit - it just makes them sturdier and less prone to getting holes in them. However, I don't want the foot or leg to felt or I will be forced to hand them down to Alexandra, and I am a selfish enough mom to want to keep these for myself.

Now for the winner of the Ting Ting giveaway! Thanks to everyone for leaving such kind comments. I wish I was able to give a book to every one of you! I used a random number generator, which is an upgrade from the last time I did a giveaway and literally wrote down names and put them in a hat. The winner is Perpetua! Please email me with your contact info, and I will pass it along to my publisher so she can get the book in the post.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cataract Chatter

I'm down in Spokane with my mom, who had cataract surgery on Monday. It's turned out to be a fun experience (for me, not my mom). I went back with my mom to the area where patients are prepped for surgery, and while the nurse was working with my mom I pulled out my travel sock to knit on. Within minutes another nurse walked by and asked if I was knitting a sock.

She told me she used to raise Icelandic and Blue-faced Leicester sheep, and still had bags of the fibre sitting in her basement. When I told her those were both great to knit with she asked me if I wanted it. She assured me she isn't a knitter or spinner, and the wool had been taking up space in her house for a long time. We've arranged for me to pick it up on my next trip down. I wonder what kind of response I'll get when I phone the Spokane Eye Clinic and ask to speak to a nurse about some fibre? They'll probably tell me I need to talk to a gastroenterologist, not an ophthalmologist!

Right after the fibre discussion another nurse walked by, and it turned out to be someone I knew when I was growing up. We reminisced about people and events from our shared small farming community roots. When she told me how much she used to love coming to our home for a visit, and how she especially loved the zip line in our backyard, the nurse working on my mom looked up in surprise and said, "You had a zip line in your backyard?"

I assured her it wasn't like modern zip lines. It was a rather modest affair that my dad had jerry-rigged. It started high up in the big old cottonwood tree at the back of our farmhouse. The actual ride down wasn't nearly as thrilling as getting on it. First you had to climb partway up the tree, then you had to somehow balance yourself as you manoeuvred onto the splinter laden seat. Then you had to be careful not to hang onto the rope in the wrong place as you pushed off or you would get horrible rope burns. Childhood used to be much more hazardous than it is now, but I think it also used to be way more fun!

I will be here for a couple more days, driving my mom to appointments and getting her cupboards and fridge stocked with things she will need in the next week or two. The idea is to keep her off the road while her eye adjusts after the surgery. I fear this may be a losing battle. She is already insisting she can drive herself to her doctor's appointment this afternoon. The vision out of the eye that just got repaired is quite blurry. When I pointed this out to her, and said it wouldn't be safe, she countered with the argument that the office she had to go to wasn't that far away.

When she had her previous cataract surgery I was horrified when I called her just a few days post-surgery and discovered she had driven several blocks to the local grocery store. I asked how it was even possible since she had just been complaining that she couldn't even read, and she said it wasn't a problem. She just drove with one eye closed. Given that my mom's driving is fairly sketchy with both eyes open, this was not something I wanted to hear.

I can assure the drivers of Spokane that the roads will be safe at least until Friday morning, which is when I head back north. My best advice after that is, if you see a squinting, grey-haired lady whose head barely shows above the steering wheel weaving her way down the road, steer clear.

The winner of a copy of Ting Ting (links now in side bar) will be announced this weekend. The Kindle edition is now available. The paperback version has now sold out at Amazon, but will be restocked within a few days. Thank you to everyone who has ordered a copy of my book. It's all quite exciting!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ting Ting, the Story Behind the Story, a Giveaway and a Warning

I've decided the best way to tell you a bit more about my book is to do a Q&A. I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to answer all the questions since I'm the one asking them.

The bookmarks in the box were a nice surprise!

Q: When did you write Ting Ting?

A: I started writing Ting Ting exactly three years ago today. A few weeks previous to that I had gone down to Seattle to visit my friend Hilary. At that time I was working on writing something else, and Hilary arranged a meet-up to discuss my work with a friend of hers who is a writer. They both were very encouraging about my writing, and suggested I should enter NaNoWriMo.

I pointed out that it was just a couple weeks away, and besides, I couldn't use the story I was already working on for NaNoWriMo. The whole idea of NaNo is to start something from scratch on November 1. I also argued that it might not be a good idea to be working on two things at once. (I guess I had visions of my writing life turning out like my knitting life, with unfinished projects littering my computer the way half knit projects are stashed in every nook and cranny of my house.)

They did not back down. I caved. I came home, bought a a Macbook Pro, which to keep the knitter's analogy going was like moving from a cheap set of circular needles to Addis, and on November 1, 2010 I started writing.

Q: Did you have a plan, or are you a seat-of-the-pants kind of writer?

A: I am mostly a seat-of-the-pants kind of writer. Up until a few days before NaNo started I had a vague idea of a story I thought I might try writing. Then, at the last minute, I dropped that idea and decided to write about Ting Ting. I had a few main events I wanted the story to revolve around, but had no idea how the story was going to unfold in between those events. When I got up on the morning of November 1 I didn't even know how the story was going to start. And yes, I was a bit worried about that.

Q: If you didn't know what you were going to write, where did the ideas come from once you sat down at your computer?

A: I honestly don't know. When I sat down to write the story just came out. All I had to do was not let my rotten typing skills impede the process too much.

Q: Did you finish the book by the end of November, in time to qualify as a NaNo winner?

A: Yes, I actually finished a few days early.

Q: Did you know right away that your story had the potential to be published?

A: No. It might sound strange that I wrote a book, then set it aside and didn't think about it again for a few weeks, but NaNoWriMo is a very intense time. You have to write 50,000 words in a month. It consumes almost all of your free time and even some of what should be your sleeping time. It felt good to be finished with it. Plus we were moving into the busy Christmas season.

It wasn't until Rebekah came home for Christmas vacation that I pulled it out again. I told her I had written a book - up to this point I had been a stealth writer, telling no one in my family what I was doing - and she asked me to read a bit to her. Not wanting to be overheard, we snuck up to my room and I read her the first chapter. She asked me to keep going. I read another chapter. She asked me to keep going. It was just like when the kids were little and I would read aloud to them. When we were in the middle of an especially good book they would beg me to read "just one more chapter."

This was the moment I realized the book might have some potential.

Q: Was it hard to find a publisher?

A: The publishing world is very different now that it was just a few years ago. I think in many ways it can be discouraging for writers, especially new writers. I went into the process of trying to find a publisher knowing full well that even if the story was publishable, that didn't necessarily mean it would get published. In other words, I had low expectations. Not to mention the fact I am a terribly insecure writer. Even though Rebekah had been so encouraging, I still wasn't sure this book was good enough to find its way to print.

I decided that rather than send out query letters to dozens of publishers and agents all at the same time, that I would send them out one at a time. Not only that, but I looked very closely at a publisher's website before putting them on my "to contact" list. My book is about a girl who immigrates to Canada, so I decided my chances were much better with a Canadian publisher than an American one. That narrowed the field considerably. It might seem obvious, but I also made sure the publishers I contacted actually published children's books. In fact, I wanted one that leaned heavily, if not completely, in that direction.

I had a list of several publishers I wanted to contact. One of the ones at the top of the list was Sono Nis. By now it was the end of the summer of 2011. I went to their web page to read through their submission guidelines again(hint - this is a very important thing to do as the differ from publisher to publisher). I was devastated when I saw they had stopped taking submissions! I knew it was never permissible to phone a publisher and ask them to look at your book, but I decided it would probably be okay to phone and ask when they would be open for submissions again.

Well, that ended up being a very good decision. Diane Morriss, the owner, answered the phone. She asked what I had written. When I told her the outline of the story she said it sounded like something she might be interested in, and asked me to send along the first fifty pages. I hung up the phone in shock. I hadn't been expecting to pitch my book during that call, and I certainly hadn't been expecting her to express an interest.

A little while later (I would be more precise, but I can't remember exactly how much time went by) she requested the complete manuscript, and then some time later (memory issues again) I got the call asking if I was interested in publishing my book with them. In many ways I think my book getting published had a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time. Or, in this case, making the right phone call at the right time.

Q: Will you write another book?

A: Maybe. It could go either way. There might be another book, or I could end up being a One Book Wonder. It's too early to tell.

Q: Have you had any feedback from your book?

A: Not yet. One family member has started reading it and she is very enthusiastic. But let's face it. What are family and friends going to say other than that they love the book? I promise this is my final knitting analogy in this post, but what if my book is like those horrible slippers your favourite auntie knit you for Christmas - the lime green acrylic ones with the big orange pompom on the top. The ones you said were beautiful and slipped on your feet while sitting around the tree so you wouldn't hurt her feelings? The same ones you promptly put in the garbage two days later. I'm not saying I think my book is lime green acrylic junk, but still, I'm plagued with enough doubts and insecurities that I'm worried it could be that orange pompom.

This is the part that terrifies me the most about the book now being out in the wild. I know I'm no JK Rowling. I always cringe when I read nasty reviews on Amazon, and now I could end up being a recipient of some of those scathing words. It's enough to make me want to crawl under a rock.That's why I said at the end of my last post that I might faint.

Q: Is the story true?

A: I know I said I was fairly confident I would be able to answer all the questions, but this one is tricky. The short answer is no, the story is not true. However, the story was inspired by a real person. There is a real Ting Ting. She was born in Jinan, China. Her father came to study at UBC in Vancouver. Her mom went to visit him while Ting Ting stayed behind in China with an aunt. The real Ting Ting's parents were offered permanent status in Canada after the events at Tiananmen Square, an offer they accepted. These were the main events I had in mind when NaNoWriMo 2010 started. There are a  few other parts of the story that are vaguely similar to the real Ting Ting's story, but I don't want to give spoilers for my own book, so won't list them here.

Q: Who is the real Ting Ting?

A: This is where the warning part of this post comes in. This sign hangs on the wall in my home and I think all who enter should take it very seriously.

Some of you may have already guessed this, although maybe not since the one family member who is reading the book had no idea, but the real Ting Ting is my daughter-in-law Diana. This is a picture of Diana and her grandfather, taken in Jinan, China in 2009.

Q: Is Diana still speaking to you?

A: Yes. But I think she is now much more careful about what she says for fear there might be a sequel.

Q: If I want a copy what is the best way to order one?

A: If you live in North America your best option is to order directly from the publisher. You will get free shipping! The book is also in stock at Amazon is your best option if you live overseas.  Also, the Kindle edition should be on the Amazon site within the week. The book is also available in bookstores around the province, including Kids Books in Vancouver. I hope to have links in the blog side bar in a few days.

Q: Okay, we are tired of all these details. Can you please tell us about the giveaway?

A: My publisher has kindly agreed to send a copy of Ting Ting to one of my readers. If you are interested please leave a comment below. I'll leave the contest open until midnight on November 15.