So, you’ve figured out by now that we’re having a Spring Writing Bootcamp over at the YA Buccaneers. To get things really going, we’re having a YAB InstaTour! What’s an InstaTour? Just a little bit of fun we’ve cooked up, and we’re hoping you’ll join us.



Starting today, drop over to the YA Buccaneers for your first InstaTour Challenge. You’ll need to sign up in the comments section of today’s post, add your Instagram/Facebook/Tumblr/Whatever account, and you’ll be signed up. Once you understand what it’s all about,  you’ll be directed to the first challenge. Drop by the Instagram page listed (which just happens to be mine!), and see what today’s challenge entails. Take your own photo, use the hashtag #swb2015, and we’ll count it as a point for your team. Not on a team yet? Leave us a comment and we’ll sign you up!



I’ll give you a hint about today’s challenge….it will be tricky, Matey!




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I don’t know about you, but my Facebook feed has been filled with pictures of beautiful beaches (Cuba, Bahamas, Florida, Hawaii, someplace other than here), and people having a wonderful holiday. Frankly, I’m sick of it. No, really I’m just sick of all the snow still on the ground, still falling, still in the darn forecast. When will it end, people???? When?



So, today, I’m going to be spending my morning at the coin wash. And I couldn’t be happier. It’s my little “holiday” during a busy month of work.



Yes, the coin wash. As you read this, maybe I’ll be fluffing and folding, or maybe still watching the spin cycle as I sip my green tea latte from Starbucks and read PAPER TOWNS for my teen book club later this week. Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s all good. I’ve earned this day off! I’m spring cleaning some bedding and tonight, I’ll sleep well under “spring blossoms” wafting against my nose.



March Break is finally over, and while it was a LOT of work this year (double the programs, double the tiredness!), it was also a lot of fun. I enjoyed working with tons of young writers on fractured fairy tales, poetry and even some mystery writing. (Can you believe the poetry session was the best one ever!) The rest of the week was filled with crazy bingo, painting with kool-aid, science experiements, Big Hero, and a French storytime. I think everyone had fun, including all of my co-workers, and now, I’m taking a break for a few days….re-energizing.





(A few gems from our Poetry Party. Who knew poems could be so much fun?)



I’m gearing up for some challenges, starting with our new Teen Book Club! Yes! We have nine kids reading this month’s book, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs, and I can’t wait to talk to them about it (or eat cupcakes….whatever they feel like, really). And now that I’m done with March Break, I can get back to reading. Up on my list? Fellow YA Buccaneer Kathryn Holmes’ THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND, the wacky western by Canadian author Patrick DeWitt THE SISTERS BROTHERS, and Neil Gaiman’s TRIGGER WARNING (which I just typed as Tigger Warning….a whole other set of ideas there, I bet!). Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think.



Now, back to regularly scheduled programming. See you later this week!




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Over at the YA Buccaneers, we’re taking a break this month. No, we haven’t forgotten about posts altogether, we’re just relaxing a bit and getting refreshed for next month, which is bound to have LOTS of interest. So, while we’re reading, getting out to enjoy some fresh air, and finishing up projects, we want you to think about doing the same. It’s been a loooooooong winter for most of us, so we deserve a break.



For my Spring Break, I’ve just completed the first major draft of a book I’d been working on since early summer last year. I’m looking forward to catching up on some reading and planning the upcoming portion of my year. I have several new ideas for projects in the works, and hopefully, I’ll have some good feedback on everything and can move forward. Let’s cross our fingers, shall we?



Right now, I’m gearing up for the March Break at my library. It’s going to be a week full of events for children, teens and adults….most of which involve me doing something each day. I’m looking forward to it all being over, I must admit, and a few days where I can sit back and do nothing (no, not at work…I booked a few days off. Expect to see me at Starbucks!). I’ll post photos when I have everything decorated and put together. Let’s just say, I’m making flowers….and lips.



What are YOU doing for Spring Break?




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I’ve been busy. While I’ve been thinking about posts, and about getting back to social media for the last month, I’ve been keeping my head down and my fingers firmly planted on the keyboard, trying to get revisions on MANIAC finished and out to my critique partners. So, I can finally say it…I’m done! YAY! Now, on to other things.



So, what am I up to now? Reading, complaining about the snow that’s still here, and new ideas. But first, a few good books to talk about.



First, I’m scrambling to finish up DEAR LIFE by Alice Munro for tomorrow night’s Book Club at the library. I don’t really participate in our book club, but I’m covering for my boss who is lounging on a sunny beach in Jamaica right now. (Good for her!) This is a different book for me…CanLit at its best, really….and I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying it. Short stories…these I can handle. I had so much to do these past few weeks in preparation for March Break, I feel like a kid who has left things to the last minute. As I write this post, I still have 30 hours to finish it before book club starts. Can I do it?




Last month, on my trip to Toronto for the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, I took along CREED by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie.  It’s about three teens who wander into what they think is an abandoned town after their truck runs out of gas. Okay, I swear, this book scared the HECK out of me! I couldn’t read it at night before bed, and yes, I’ll admit…I skimmed through a few pages because they were too scary. It’s a YA horror, so how scary could it be, right? S.C.A.R.Y.  Listen to this… “He bled her.” He bled her, people! It’s exactly what you think. Don’t pick this book up if you’re looking for a light read. You’ll be thinking about it for weeks after.






So, to get away from all the heavy stuff, I chose WE ARE THE GOLDENS next, by Dana Reinhardt. A tale of two sisters and their bond. Yep, just something light and fluffy. NOT! This was a heavy book, even for one that appealed to me because of the moody cover and the fact that it was skinny. I kind of liked that it was written in the voice of one character talking to another. That made it unique. But it had a lot of dark moments as we find out what happened in their young lives to damage them both so much. Life isn’t ever what it appears to be, right?






And my favourite of the bunch? ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven. I LOVED this cover…post it notes, cute colours. How could it be bad? And it wasn’t! I listened to the audiobook version, which was really great (even though I find it odd that two readers–male and female–don’t just read their own parts. It’s hard to listen seriously when a woman is reading the male part during “her” chapter etc. Why can’t they just read it like a play???? There’s two of them anyway……….Okay, don’t get me started.) But, this was a great book, along the lines of Rainbow Rowell’s ELEANOR & PARK, where two damaged teens come together to support each other in the most lovely ways. Finch and Violet were sweet, engaging, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always fascinating to piece together. I loved this book, and hope to share it with my new Teen Book Club at the library later this year. I think there could be a lot of discussion, and the characters are so likeable, it will appeal to both male and female readers. Loved it! Pick it up if you haven’t already.






So, now that I have my life back for a little while, I intend to post more, read more, and start thinking about what to write next. This is always my favourite time of year. If only it would stop snowing!!!




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While this might not be the clearest picture, it says a lot about my relationship with my sister. And today over at YA Buccaneers, you can read all about our blog hop happening this month in celebration of fellow pirate Kathryn Holmes‘ novel, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND. And yes, I’m thanking my sister today. Isn’t she great? Go read the post now!




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