My Fireside Dance (Go Ahead, Laugh!)

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I dance by the camp fire with a S’more every year. It’s my way of appreciating my life and all my blessings, and trying to entertain my family. It’s me being me and communing with nature. It’s my weird ritual, and man, it feels good.

One year, my family got it on camera, and I posted it for you readers to have a laugh at. My dear friend Larry, who has since passed away, had an especially long

good belly laugh over it. This one’s for you, Lar.

This white poet can’t dance (or rap). I sure do have fun trying, though.

 

It’s the Time of the Season….

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..for being inspired by all the beauty around me!

In between writing books, I often turn to photography and reading other authors’ books as a mini-vacation from the work involved in writing a book. I love writing, but I find I’m at my best when I’m rested, and when I’ve taken a break to be inspired by certain aspects of my world. Such as:

 

Friendship!

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A gift of flowers from our nine-year-old, placed in an old Buckley’s jar…

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Entertaining for Friends and Family (Move over, Martha Stewart) :)

The breakfast was cooked by hubby. I just do the decorating :) Wait, not true. The dinner (Salad, appetizer, Indian butter chicken) was cooked by me. But seriously, I write and photograph – I rarely cook. I will cook if I think it will look pretty for my photographs :)

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Alright, one more. Having the girls over for drinks? Confession: That’s not research. That’s just plain FUN!

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What inspires YOU most in the summertime?

Born to Blog

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It took me several years of playing around on social media to realize that my first love on the Net – blogging – is still my passion. I love blogging!

I miss posting photos and blogging regularly. Writing a novel took me away from that, as I needed time offline to get the novel finished, but time on Twitter and Facebook has also cut into my blogging time.

I’d also noticed a drop in commenting in the last few years, and that was discouraging. The LIKE button came along, and many of us – yes me included – now find it easier to simply LIKE a blog post, rather than take the time to log in and comment.

While I can’t promise another novel won’t take me away from regular blogging (that would be a good thing, right?) for now, I’d like to try posting at least once a week again; to have some fun with taking and posting photographs again, and to try commenting on more blogs each week. I know how great it feels to read someone’s comment on my blog. I hope to give that back.

Meanwhile, it’s Saturday and it’s summertime, so I’ve just been chillin’: reading, gardening and picking bouquets of lilies, floating in the pool, and taking lots photographs ….my daughter and I loved these tangerine drinks, and I loved how they made those lilies pop!

:)

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A Few of My Favourite Things: Dresses and Heels

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Heather Grace Stewart:

Confessions of a Girly Girl

Originally posted on Where the Butterflies Go:

I’m a girly girl.

There, I said it. Sometimes I have problems admitting it, because it seems a little weak. And I’m not weak. I like to inline skate long distances. I love to cardio box. I like to debate a point. I love to win.

But the girly girl in me takes over when there are dresses and heels in my vicinity. I don’t own many: maybe just three good party dresses and three pairs of nice heels. But I love it when I get a chance to wear them.

Dressing up lifts my spirits, and makes me feel youthful (with the big 4-0 approaching–in 2012–feeling youthful is a very, very good thing). I’m not saying I’d happily go grocery shopping in heels–that’s when I break out the running shoes–but fashion can be so much fun. Life is short. Play it up!

Me in one of my favourite dresses

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Where Good Books & Friends Meet

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I finally had the opportunity to meet some of my Morning Rain Publishing colleagues last night!

Editor Jennifer Bogart kindly invited me, Nancy Beattie, and JM Lavallée and our families to her home for a BBQ. JM and her family were traveling from their home in Alberta to Quebec’s Lower North Shore, where JM is going to be doing several book signings (be sure to visit her Facebook Page to learn more). We met up just outside of Montreal.

It was fun getting to know each other, and doing a silly photo shoot with our books. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get together again soon, because we all really hit it off – and our kids had a blast together, too.

Thanks to my husband, talented engineer/ photographer :) Bill Stewart, for all the great photos.

Blog Tour: Interview: Heather Grace Stewart

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Heather Grace Stewart:

Cosmochicklitan interviewed me! Find out when I write, how Twitter helped me write my first novel, and what Superpower I’d choose to have.

Originally posted on cosmochicklitan:

I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Grace Stewart as part of the blog tour for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Thank you so much for visiting Heather! 

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Your debut novel is called Strangely, Incredibly Good. Could you please tell us a bit more about this book?

Sure, and thanks so much for having me here. My novel is about Cat Glamour, a 38-year-old woman who has just been through a rotten divorce and now she’s struggling with finances, self-esteem and balancing her personal life. She lives with her two teen daughters and her 91-year-old grandmother who…let’s just call her a unique trip. On the day that Cat decides to start an exercise routine, the last thing she expects is a modern-day Genie to pop out of her Wii machine. Unfortunately for Cat, her genie is somewhat unreliable in his wish-granting capabilities. In a series of hilarious misadventures, he sends Cat…

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A book in review & author interview!

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Heather Grace Stewart:

In this interview, I talk about when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and divulge my guilty pleasure!

Tour Stop One: Keep Calm & Blog On – Interview & Review

Originally posted on keep calm & blog on:

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Book Description

Cat Glamour is an overweight 38-year-old divorcée who is struggling with finances, self-esteem, and balancing her personal life. While her 91-year-old, decidedly different, grandmother provides emotional support, Cat needs to take control of the life that has been shattered by her abusive ex-husband and tragic events of the past. On the day Cat decides to start an exercise routine, the last thing she expects is a modern-day Genie to pop out of her Wii machine. Unfortunately for Cat, her Genie is somewhat unreliable in his wish-granting capabilities. In a series of hilarious misadventures, he sends Cat to a castle in France and back in time 20 years in an attempt to solve both Cat’s weight issues and emotional stresses. Cat’s journey is one filled with quirky adventures, realistic love, and above all, self-discovery.

Review

First, I absolutely love Heather, her interview below is so fun and I thank…

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How to Make Sweet Easter Treats

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Hey gang!
I’ve decided to start sharing some of my artistic hobbies with you: chocolate lollipop making, flower arranging, and perhaps even patio table-decorating if we ever get rid of this snow!

These are the arts and crafts I do while I’m plotting my next novel or poem. I like to keep my mind busy with another art form while I’m ironing out the writing project I’m working on, or when I just need to do something different with my creativity.

These easter lollipops are the latest batch of lollipops I’ve made with my nine-year-old daughter. We don’t like to use the words, ‘I’m bored’ around here, but that means coming up with creative activities to suggest to your children, or to do with them.  If you always have some chocolate compound (also called melts), molds and lollipop sticks on hand, you’re set for a fun (though rather messy!) afternoon with your children aged 7 and up. They may even forget about their iPhones and iPads for a while!

It can be an expensive hobby to start up just because you’ll probably want to get molds for every holiday – when we started we got ones for my daughter’s birthday, Christmas, and Easter. The molds are only $3 each, and the compound that melts in the microwave is $5 at Goldas Kitchen (where I love to order all my supplies as they always arrive the next day or in 2 days at the latest). You can probably find it cheaper somewhere like Bulk Barn. The lollipop sticks are $7 for 150, but again you can maybe find them cheaper at Walmart or a party store.

My daughter has told me she’d much rather make chocolate lollipops with us on a weekend afternoon than go to a movie – which these days runs at $50 for a family of four, if you want drinks and popcorn too. The best part is that I can spend $50 on supplies and we get to make the lollipops several times a season (and the molds are reusable forever, just don’t put them in the dishwasher!)

We use paintbrushes to fill in the fine details before filling the molds up with melted chocolate. We had to experiment with bowls and microwave time before being able to make really complicated and detailed molds. Some bowl types get really hot and then burn the chocolate. We now put in 1/4 cup of chocolate melts, put it in the micro for 35 seconds, stir it, then put it in for another 35 seconds, stir again until smooth, and place as much is needed in mold. Now that we’ve figured out the process (we each like to have our own mold to work with, a paintbrush or two of our own, and a section of the counter where we can ‘share’ a bowl of chocolate) the sky’s the limit, and we even make some of these without lollipop sticks to place as decorations on cakes.

We love giving the treats away as gifts. We use small plastic bags, tied with dollar-store ribbon. It feels good to give someone we love a chocolate treat and see their face light up.

Please ask any questions below – I’m happy to try to answer them.

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