I Just Came off a Gruelling Promo Tour, You Guys.

I just came off a gruelling promo tour, you guys. You heard me—tour. Odette, Beth and I participated in the 2017 Impossible- to- Snag- an- Invitation -Unless -You’re -a- Huge – Celeb- Frye Festival during which we I read Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! was a total rock star. I know you’re super jealous, but being on the road for days half your life isn’t as glamorous as it looks. Fame can be gut-wrenching and thankless and in my darkest moments, sometimes I long for my old life back. Crazy, right?

When I stepped out of the car limo after arriving at the first gig, I knew my life would never be the same. I took a deep breath before being ushered into the library venue. I was handed tour swag in the form of a badge  with unlimited access to all Frye Festival events (Na! Na! Na! Poo! Poo!), a schedule for the week, and as per my demand, a cheque family-sized bag of M&Ms (Red only. No peanuts. Room temp. Lined up in straight rows of 10 with each ‘M’ facing North.) for my dressing room. Boom. Famous.

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It was show time! The kids groupies were screaming and rolling around on the floor like it was a mosh pit. The tension was palpable and you could feel the building shake. In a frenzy, I grabbed the mic and screamed, “Hello, Monctoonnn!! Miss Nackawic 1981 is in the hoouussse!! Are you ready to read rock??!” The fans were rabid—they laughed, they cried, and some even wet themselves! This was hardcore, you guys. At the end of it, I literally had to barricade myself as my devotees raced towards the stupid snack table me for an autograph. It was super awesome but also terrifying because security was nowhere in sight and I could have been trampled! Frig.

This is right before the stampede–no clue who these two are. I was photobombed. Obviously.

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Here’s me all alone in the spotlight. I know I look super catwalk- ready, you guys, but it’s only because I was in the makeup chair for hours and hours, sipping lattes and screaming at my negligent makeup artist: You know I don’t look good in earth tones and I don’t give a #$% if my eyebrows are sparse or my moustache is scratchy! That’s no longer my problem. It’s yours!! PS My latte is freezing cold!! PPS You’ll never work in this town again!!! Omg, good help is impossible to find. Whatever.

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The next stop was filled with highly demanding toddlers fans. These guys had literally zero appreciation for the arts or what it’s like to be on the road day after day, away from my family. They didn’t care one iota that my throat had a tickle and that I had to scream over them while they babbled, danced and drank non-stop from their stupid bottles. Omg—total divas. Those were the hardest 20 minutes of the tour, bar none.

After two days of my regular job rehydration and strict bed rest, the thrill of the tour was starting to wear off, you guys, but I wouldn’t hear of quitting because the contract was super clear in that I absolutely had to show up; touring is not for the lazy weak, let me tell you. At the next leg of the press junket, I was greeted by a jaunty 8-year old girl who took one look at my oversized sunglasses and blonde wig disguise and whispered, “Are you the author celebrity?” I gave her a quick nod and she whisked me in through a side door. Once it was clear we weren’t being followed by the paparazzi, she offered me a drink from her juice box. I grabbed it. There was hardly anything left in it, for crap sake!! Google star treatment for once in your life!  Honestly…

I didn’t even know which city I was in at this point, hand to God.  Disoriented but hell- bent on giving the performance of a lifetime, I followed the self-absorbed girl down a dark hall to a fluorescent-lit room filled with starry-eyed wannabes. I strode past them, grabbed the mic and yelled, “Hello, boys and girls San Franciscoooo!!! Let’s read rock like yo’ Mama taught you!!!” They totally loved us me, you guys, which made the exhaustion, chapped lips, and chronic throat tickle worth the physical toll this was obviously taking on me. The autograph signing was civilized for a change which allowed time for questions from the 8-year olds crowd: Can you sign my lunchbox bicep?  Do you know my cousin, Braden Justin Bieber? Are you wearing a wig famous? Duh. Obviously.

As the last wisp of dry ice vanished, I knew it was my cue to hit the road again. Sigh. Would they remember me tomorrow? Would my signature on their lunchboxes biceps fade? Try grappling with questions like that at night and let me know if you still wish you were me…Didn’t think so.

Then there’s this…oh sure, the impressive line-up of people dying to meet Diana Gabaldon me is super awesome but after hours of signing, smiling and having people bow at your feet, trust me- it gets old in a hurry. I just wanna be me…

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I could go on and on but the truth is every city is the same. Every stage is the same. Every adoring fan? The bloody same. The second I closed the car limo door after my last performance, I felt gutted, empty, and utterly alone, you guys.  It’s the part of touring no one talks about—I call it the underbelly.

Here I am in the car limo regrouping and wondering if life on the road is worth it, before making the 12 kilometre long drive home. Missing my life so much right now…

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By the end of the week tour, I needed my bed, I needed my space but mostly I needed my beloved Netflix family. One day I’ll tour again. How could I not when it’s in my blood!? For now though I just want my old life back. I want to go to the grocery store without getting mobbed so if you see me there, please don’t approach me unless I’m waving my Autograph Signing from 1-5 sign, okay, you guys? Air kiss and peace out.

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Of Course Miss Nackawic 1981 is a Super Awesome Skier! Duh.

How dare you imply that just because I’m a former beauty queen I don’t have other talents. How dare you. I’ll have you know I’m very delusional athletic. In fact, I recently dusted off my 15-year old downhill skis, drove seven hours to a ski hill in Quebec—well, Phil drove while I snacked, slept, and screamed when he tailgated but still…based on the distance I was willing to travel, my commitment to sport is rock solid—and showed the world what I lacked had. You heard me. Of course Miss Nackawic 1981 is a fair weather super awesome skier. Duh.

Okay fine. I won’t pretend that when we pulled up to the ginormous ski hill I didn’t for a split second regret saying, “Let’s try a different vacation this year and do something active! Blah. Blah. Blah.” The parking lot was crammed, our lift tickets cost more than our actual house skis and the ridiculous Stay Alive; Wear a Helmet posters plastered everywhere made it crystal clear I wouldn’t be wearing my tiara on the hill. Whatever.

Here’s the good news—when I got on the chair lift and took a swig of Fireball look at the gorgeous scenery, I became super euphoric and said things like, “Man, just look at this view! That sun! My new psychedelic goggles!!” During the 10-minute chairlift ride up the hill, I reminded Phil how much I loved skiing and wondered aloud more than once how anyone in their right mind could be anything less than joyful out here on the slopes.  I was all: This is amaaazing! I can’t wait to destroy that hill! I am totally drunk one with the universe! I was 100% in. Boom.

Then we got to the top and I remembered my fear of heights, speed, and death by height and speed. As Phil glided towards a sign that was peppered with scary hill names like Death Do Us Part and Nice Knowin’ Ya! I screamed, “Where the **** are you going?? I’m not ready for a Black Diamond run!! Are you trying to kill me for the insurance money?? Say it out loud. Say it to my face so you can watch the life drain right out of me, you greedy son of -” After he administered CPR assured me we would stick to intermediate hills, I simmered right down.

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What was I so afraid of?? Holy—I totally nailed my first bunny hill run, you guys! (See above) I was in the zone, with the sun on my face and the sound of my skis carving through the snow (like in the Olympics—that sound) as I out-skied the lazy toddlers and pretend paparazzi. When I reached my man, who was gasping for air, (serves him right for skiing ahead of me…) he said, “You’re doing great, honey, but remember what I told you about your poles–the pointy part goes in the ground. They are not wings. We’ve been over this.” Someone was obviously jealous of my new psychedelic goggles and was lashing out. I let it go.

With each hill I totally aced, I became more euphoric and I just had to share it with the world. I tweeted—Meet ‘n’ Greet in lodge 6-9 pm #Miss #Nackawic #1981; I posted on Facebook—My beloved and I having the time of our lives on expert runs and I even resorted to screaming from a mountaintop—I’m offering free autographs ski lessons, everyone!!   Suffice it to say that by the end of the day, I was ‘this close’ to becoming a member of the ski patrol—they approached me more than once to ask me to lower my poles before I took out someone’s eye join, but I politely declined. Too busy.

Frig…now that I see us side by side, it’s obvious Phil’s goggles are more psychedelic than mine!!! Why can’t that man let me shine?? Just once!

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On the drive back to our adorable boutique hotel after our fantabulous day, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the value of a ski vacation—last count I had 52 bullet points. Boom. Once at the hotel, I kept my ski boots on so everyone would know I was an athlete and I clomped down to the bar, sat by the fireplace, and exclaimed to no one in particular, “What a day!! Just fantastic! The slopes were wicked awesome! Can’t wait for the bartender to take my order next ski day!!”

Then the next day happened. I woke up and screamed, “I need maple syrup-drenched crepes and a latte a chiropractor, STAT!! I can’t walk! I’m literally crippled!!” Phil, who pretends he’s deaf half the time, said, “Let’s go so we can get to the hill when it opens.” I responded with a hint of doubt, “Are you on actual full-blown crack?? Do you want me dead?? My muscles are seized up and there is freezing drizzle in the forecast!! We can’t ski today!”

We drove to the stupid ski hill in silence… minus the crackling sound my computer made when I set the PowerPoint presentation on fire. We were silent on the chair lift too—Phil no doubt was plotting how to ‘off me’ on the first run. Pffftt. I became super certifiable chatty, however, as I skied down the hill: “My legs!!! Abort!! Abort!! I can’t do this!! Airlift me out of here!! Don’t let my perfect form fool you! I’m in deep, serious pain!!” Mr. Insurance Money stayed like 7 miles ahead of me for whatever reason. See if I care.

I knew our marriage I was in trouble when he noticed there was no line-up at the T-Bar ski lift and said, “Let’s go there!” I responded, “I hope you find love again know my legs will literally snap off my hips if I have to stand against this metal bar for 20 minutes and also I haven’t eaten for over two hours! Is this a vacation or boot camp??” He had the audacity to question my commitment to sport: “Yesterday you were ‘euphoric’. What changed?” to which I responded, “Yesterday??! Are you kidding me?? Yesterday the sun was shining and I wasn’t crippled and the ski patrol couldn’t get enough of me and I was drunk happy and the conditions were better and I could see more than shapes and I didn’t realize there was a cute little bistro across the street from our hotel where I should be right now sipping a latte and practising my French!!” Sometimes I wonder if we even speak the same language. OMG.

I soldiered onward and completed a few more runs but when my psychedelic goggles grew a thin layer of ice, keeping me from seeing the hill, not to mention the pretend paparazzi from recognizing my golden-flecked eyes, I knew it was time to throw in the towel. “Last run!” I declared to a total stranger whom I thought was Phil because I could only see shadows due to my iced-over goggles.

My sense of smell didn’t fail me though. As I rounded the last icy corner, I got a whiff of maple syrup. Like a hound dog, I followed the scent to a maple sugar shack smack dab on the side of the hill. You heard me. I skied over a few annoying children to the counter and offered the pleasant maple syrup worker a free autograph for some maple taffy but he didn’t answer- he just looked at me funny which compelled me to march over the the suggestion box and write this: LEARN ENGLISH!!-MN1981

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Don’t tell Phil but this was the best part of Day 2. Check it:

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Here’s MN1981 taking a much-needed break from the rigours of being a pretend Olympian:

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Phil wanted some too but we only had $10 on us and they were $2 each so it was really hard for me to only have 3 when I really wanted 5teen Whatever.

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Thankfully the maple taffy gave me just enough fuel to get to the bottom of the bunny hill, where I kissed the ground and screamed, “This day suuuccckked!!” I winced in pain all the way to the lodge, tore off my clunky boots, replaced my ugly gray helmet with my streamlined tiara and watched people’s eyes grow large as they stared at me. Sigh…I never get tired of that, you guys. It’s such a rush!

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On the drive back to the adorable boutique hotel, I patted myself on the back for my rock solid commitment to sport, but not one to rest on my laurels I blurted my best idea yet, “I’m thinking somewhere warm next year. I want to be an Olympian surfer for one hour. Boom!” How dare you doubt me. How dare you. Of course Miss Nackawic 1981 will be a fair weather super awesome surfer. Duh.

 

We Are-er- Met Literary Rock Stars!

Hey, do you guys remember me mentioning a million times that I was Miss Nackawic 1981 wrote a children’s book (with two other writers whose names escape me at the moment)? Well, of all things, we received an invitation to be presenters at UNB’s Children’s Literature and Literacy conference two weeks ago! Obviously, my dreams of becoming a literary rock star were coming true and it would only be a matter of time before I had my very own bodyguard, clothing line, and ‘smoky eye’ make- up expert. Boom.

 

Thank you for asking- the presentation went very well! The crowd clapped vigorously and I’m happy to report they didn’t throw stuff at us, unless you count the fragrant bouquets of flowers my fans placed gently at my feet when I was done speaking. Gosh, I hope the other two didn’t notice and feel left out. Oh well. It’s a tough business. Afterwards, at the reception, I was exhausted from all the paparazzi chases selfies I took with the show-off accomplished, award-winning children’s authors who would be headlining the conference the following day.

 

I’m the one with the ‘smoky-less eyes’. Whatever. Just picture me with brownish/ plum eye shadow, blended just so, k?

 

The next morning, I just wanted to escape the limelight for a bit and relax with a hot stone massage, an organic, free-trade, edible seaweed wrap and a few hours in a salt water floatation pod– as one does when one is a pretend celeb. I no sooner uttered the words, “flotation pod” at breakfast when Ms. Read Your Itinerary, You Idiot Odette reminded me we were attending the conference all day. I knew that.

 

I hardly even noticed that it was standing room only as people piled in for the keynotes for the day. Big deal. The introductions went on and on and were laced with overrated words like: prolific, award-winning, renowned. Blah. Blah. Blah.

 

The first presenter was Barbara Reid. She dazzled us with her mind-blowing plasticine illustrations. She creates the art AND writes the stories. You heard me. Last time I checked that is downright illegal really unfair to the rest of us. She showed us photographs of her art work at various stages. I could hardly hear myself think from all the “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” coming from the audience. Frig. “Anyone can do that!” I thought to myself. To prove it, once home, I went straight to Walmart and dropped $1.99 on some modelling clay and got to work, creating our main character, Camelia Airheart, the Canada goose:

 

Boom. Mutilated Nailed it.

 

Now here’s one of Barbara’s many creations:

 

 

I know, right? Hard to tell the difference. I’ll bet she feels silly spending all that time on her art after seeing what delusional inexperienced people can do with clay.

 

Next on the roster of show-offs established children’s authors was Frieda Wishinsky. She writes picture books, chapter books, non-fiction and novels. Yea. Just that. She writes approximately a book/hour and each one of them is nominated for an award. No biggie. Besides… a book/lifetime year is ALL I HAVE TIME FOR, YOU GUYS!! I can’t watch all those Netflix shows AND write every minute of the day. Frig that. I won’t lie; Frieda was amazing and funny and put me to shame. Okay. Okay. Maybe I’ll give up ONE Netflix show and try a little harder to write more than a book/year. Whatever. Get off my back.

 

 

Cybele Young was another presenter who has too much talent for her own good and in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have blurted out in the middle of her presentation: “Time’s up!!” but it just got my goat that she has it all. She writes children’s books and articles, and is a renowned artist, and a sculptor who creates teensy weensy sculptures from fine Japanese papers (Duh. Who doesn’t??) and has had her work displayed in galleries around the world and even sold a painting to Ben Stiller. (Oh yea?! Well, I won the Easter bunny drawing contest at my school in Grade 3 so there! Hmmph.)  Her paper sculptures are astounding, I’ll admit, but I wondered why she spends so much time on these miniature sculptures when I could do it in under five minutes.

 

Ta da! (Note to Cybele: Just take regular scissors and cut paper all willy nilly. So easy!! Inbox me if you need help getting started) I call this one Piece of Crap Snow and Ben Stiller is likely in a bidding war for it on EBay at this very moment:

 

 

Here’s Cybele’s for quick comparison. Hers is made of paper (Hand to God…) and so is mine so there you have it. ‘nuff said.

 

 

Sheree Fitch took the stage at the end of the day and let’s just say she’s made me look bad a name for herself. The same pushy children who don’t even know I was Miss Nackawic 1981 wrote a children’s book trampled me to get to her! Babies were literally sliding out of uteruses weeks early just to hear her read but so what?!! (Authors don’t need humans crowds for a successful reading, you guys, and just because I (and the other two) have read our book, Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart!, to janitors, teddy bears and plants due to ‘no shows’ doesn’t mean a bloody thing!!) Sheree held the thousands of children rapt with her famous tongue twisters from her many award-winning books that- get this- she had memorized for the lovovgod! (Well, I can recite my grocery list, FYI, but no one gives two hoots about that! Pffft. Who cares?) I admit it. She’s phenomenal but c’mon. How hard can it be? I wondered as I rubbed my soft ‘bankie’ against my nose and sucked my thumb while she read. During coffee break, I scratched out my very own tongue twister on a napkin. Newsflash: It was effortless!! Check it:

 

 

Um… I hate to brag but that took me like- two nanoseconds.

 

It was an awesome weekend and I learned so much: There are unbelievably annoyingly talented children’s authors out there; that they have raised the bar too friggin’ high for the rest of us; and that and very few people know I was Miss Nackawic 1981 can do what they do. Beyond that, though, I learned that I have some wicked, untapped talent (See plasticine and paper sculpture above) and it took a day with gifted professionals who have honed their crafts to make me see I need to never dabble in art ever again push myself harder. Those prolific, award-winning and renowned (Blah. Blah. Blah.) authors made me want to do it all: write tons of books, and create art to accompany them. These things take time though, you guys, so I’m not gonna rush into anything. Nah. I’ll watch a few hours of Netflix and let it all sink in. I’ll get on it tomorrow(ish).

 

 

Hey, You Guys! We Are-er- Met Literary Rock Stars!

Hey, do you guys remember me mentioning a million times that I was Miss Nackawic 1981 wrote a children’s book (with two other writers whose names escape me at the moment)? Well, of all things, we received an invitation to be presenters at UNB Children’s Literature and Literacy conference two weeks ago! Obviously, my dreams of becoming a literary rock star were coming true and it would only be a matter of time before I had my very own bodyguard, clothing line, and ‘smokey eye’ make-up expert. Boom.

Thank you for asking. The presentation went very well! The crowd clapped vigorously and I’m happy to report they didn’t throw stuff at us, unless you count the fragrant bouquets of flowers my fans placed gently at my feet when I was done speaking. Gosh, I hope the other two didn’t notice and feel left out. Oh well. It’s a tough business.

Afterwards, at the reception, I was totally exhausted from all the paparazzi chases selfies I took with the show-offs accomplished, award-winning children’s authors who would be headlining the conference  the following day. Check it.

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I’d look way better with a ‘smokey eye’ but whatever. Just picture me with brownish/ plum eye-shadow, blended just so at the outer corners of my eyes, k?

The next morning, I wanted to escape the limelight for a bit and relax with a hot stone massage, an organic, free-trade, edible seaweed wrap and a few hours in a salt water floatation pod…as one does when one is a pretend celeb. This all went to hell in a hand basket when Ms. Read Your Itinerary, You Idiot Odette informed me that we were attending the conference all day. I knew that.

I hardly even noticed that it was standing room only as people piled in for the keynotes for the day. Big hairy deal. The introductions went on and on and were laced with overrated words like: prolific, award-winning, renowned. Blah. Blah. Blah.

The first presenter was Barbara Reid. She dazzled us with her mind-blowing plasticine illustrations. She creates the art AND writes the stories for her children’s books. You heard me. She showed us photographs of her art work at various stages. I could hardly hear myself think from all the “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” coming from the audience. Frig. “Anyone can do that!” I thought to myself. To prove it, once home, I went straight to Walmart and dropped $1.99 on some modelling clay and got to work, creating our main character, Camelia Airheart, the Canada goose:

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Boom. Mutilated Nailed it.

Now here’s one of Barbara’s many plasticine creations:

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I know, right? Hard to tell the difference. I’ll bet she feels silly spending all that time on her art after seeing what delusional morons inexperienced people can do with clay. Live and learn, Barbara.

Next on the roster of show-offs established children’s authors was Frieda Wishinsky. She writes picture books, chapter books, non-fiction and novels. Yea, just that. She writes approximately a book/hour and each one of them is nominated for an award. No I’m NOT jealous!! I’ll have you know that a book/lifetime year is ALL I HAVE TIME FOR, YOU GUYS!! I can’t watch all those Netflix shows AND write every minute of the day. Frig that.Sigh. Frieda was amazing and funny and everyone enjoyed her presentation. Okay. Okay. Maybe I’ll give up ONE Netflix show and try a little harder to write more than a book/year. Whatever. Get off my back.

Here’s Frieda’s Book # 937:

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Cybele Young was another presenter who has too much talent for her own bloody good and in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have blurted out in the middle of her presentation: “Time’s up!!” but it just got my goat that she has it all. She writes children’s books and articles, and is a renowned artist, and a sculptor who creates teeny weensy sculptures from fine Japanese papers (Duh. Who doesn’t??) and has had her work displayed in galleries around the world and even sold a painting to Ben Stiller. (Oh yea?! Well, I won the Easter bunny drawing contest at my school in Grade 3 so there! Hmmph.)  Her paper sculptures are astounding, I’ll admit, but I wondered why she spends so much time on these miniature sculptures when I could do the same thing in under five minutes. Ta da!

I call it: Piece of Crap Snow and Ben Stiller is likely in a bidding war for it on eBay at this very moment.

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Here’s one of Cybele’s for quick comparison. Hers is made of paper (hand to God…) and so is mine so there you have it. ‘nuff said.

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Sheree Fitch took the stage at the end of the day and let’s just say she’s made me look bad a name for herself. The same pushy children who don’t even know I was Miss Nackawic 1981 wrote a children’s book trampled me to get to her! Babies were literally sliding out of uteruses weeks early just to hear her read! So what?!! (Authors don’t need humans crowds for a successful reading, you guys, and just because I and the other two have read Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart!, to janitors, teddy bears and plants due to ‘no shows’ doesn’t mean a friggin’ thing!!)

Sheree held the hordes of children rapt with her famous tongue twisters from her many award-winning books that she had memorized for the lovovgod! (Well, I can recite my grocery list, FYI, but no one gives too hoots about that! Pffft. Just forget it.) Sheree is phenomenal but c’mon. How hard can it be to write this stuff?? I wondered as I rubbed my soft ‘blankey’ against my nose and sucked my thumb while she read. During coffee break, I scratched out my very own tongue twister on a napkin. Newsflash: It was effortless!! Check it:

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Um… I hate to brag but that took me like- two nanoseconds.

Here’s one of Sheree’s million famous books. Disclaimer: You might get trampled if you show it to little people. Just sayin’. Save yourself.

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It was a totally awesome weekend and I learned so much: There are unbelievably annoyingly talented children’s authors out there; that they have raised the bar too friggin’ high for the rest of us; and that very few people know I was Miss Nackawic 1981 can do what they do. Beyond that, though, I learned that I have some wicked, untapped talent (See plasticine and paper sculpture above) and to think it just took one day with gifted professionals who have honed their crafts to make me see I need to never dabble in art ever again as long as I live push myself harder. Those prolific, award-winning and renowned (Blah. Blah. Blah.) authors made me want to do it all: write tons of books, and create art to accompany them. These things take time though, you guys, so I’m not gonna rush into anything. Nah. I’ll watch a few hours of Netflix and let it all sink in. I’ll get on it tomorrow(ish). For sure.

 

 

My Work Here Was Done

We just moved our older son, Alex, to Toronto, where he will be attending medical school. I can’t take any of all the credit for his accomplishment, but when he was a little boy, I did cut various-shaped sandwiches for his and his brother’s lunch boxes. (I’d hate to think of where they would have ended up if the sandwiches had been in triangles. Shudders…) As if that wasn’t enough, I often slipped a note in with their lunches. Gosh, I can barely remember what they said but here’s the gist: Have a good day! See you after school! You will become a doctor one day! Bam! It worked! (His brother got the same notes, so do the math. Duh.)

Speaking of math, shortly after the sandwich/note phase, I noticed I was gradually being phased out our boys began to take a keen interest in math and science which would have been wonderful if I could figure out how to split a lunch bill but here’s the thing: I no speak-a the language. I majored in English and I assumed we would dissect poetry together, not test the strength of various mixtures of concrete for a science experiment (that I named Concrete Thinking by the way. Catchy, right?). I panicked and insisted they recite Shakespeare every night. I still get shivers when I remember those precious pre-schoolers mumbling: “This above all else: To thine own sewlf be twue. Swoon. Despite my efforts, the boys still concocted stupid experiments, understood that pi didn’t come with meringue, and one of them even had the audacity to correctly use the words ‘string theory’ in a sentence circa Grade 5. It was clear they were show-offs pulling away from me. I was dead inside the water.

Oh sure, I failed took high school science and math courses and I totally get that a polynomial is a shape with nine equal sides, but when the boys throw out words like parabolas (WTH?) kwantum fisix (Oh really?? Well, how do YOU spell it, Captain Intelligence? Bite me.) and the Periodic Table, I try to fit in by saying wrong and inappropriate things like: Oh! I know what that is!! Back in the day, I used the Periodic Table to chart my menstrual cycles and I’m here to tell you it’s a total crock and does NOT- I repeat- NOT work! You try counting 14 days from Fe (Iron) and see how many times you get pregnant. The ‘Idiotic Table’ might be a better name for it!

Pffft. I’m over it. Even though I don’t speak gibberish their language, I do other awesome and helpful things around here! Facts: I make a mean martini sandwich (See Paragraph 1), I can grocery shop in under 22 minutes (My personal best. Jealous much?) and I can pull together a dumpster with the perfect, well-placed throw cushion. I’ll have you know, when we moved our boy into his new place, he was not begging for my decorating advice so there! Hmmmph.

His apartment was in need of some TLC. My heart fluttered. I finally had something to offer! I could envision endless possibilities to jazz things up: plants, pictures, a mirror-tile backsplash and marble countertops… Where to begin??

On my way out the door to Walmart, I asked him, “Would you like some pictures for your walls?”

He responded, “Why?”

Next, I asked, “How about a few plants?”

Him: “Nah. They’ll die.”

Me: “A bowlful of potpourri? Wicker baskets? Slipcovers for those chairs?? A robin egg blue accent wall?? Work with me for the luvofgod!”

Him: “I don’t understand why you’re still here anything you just said.”

Sigh. Words weren’t working. I had to show him the possibilities, so on our third hundredth trip to Walmart, I dragged him to the home décor section and pointed out things like:

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And this to make the walls pop:

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Awwww… ‘member this??

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His response was consistent: “Get some help. Nah.”

Dejected but determined, I slipped a cinnamon-scented candle into the shopping cart:

He asked, “Uh. What’s that thing?”

Me: “Duh. It’s a candle. You can hide it behind the toaster if you want but the smell will hopefully remind you of the Christmas we made that gingerbread house and it took over 2 hours and the roof slid off and the walls fell over and I yelled, “I hate you, Martha Stewart!!” we laughed until our stomachs hurt. Remember??” (He didn’t, FYI.)

There was no way I was leaving that store without some apartment bling! As he ran away from me went in search of an ethernet cable (boooorrring!), I boldly grabbed a floor lamp, a gray throw blanket and a plaid throw pillow. This…was…on.

Back at the apartment I fussed for seconds hours, while the guys tried to set up the TV (boooorrring!) and here’s the final product. Ta da!!!

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I nailed it right?

The guys were all like, “Mom, you killed it! We’re hungry.”

Once they all stopped ignoring me gushing, I had to remind Alex of the throw cushion rules:

Do not sit on it. Ever. Promise me.

Fluff it up every time you walk by it.

 And, the throw blanket rules:

Drape it carefully over the arm of the chair.

Use it only in emergencies and re-drape when finished.

My work here was done. As I turned towards the door to leave, I took one last glimpse at my towering son. It was clear he had already squished the damn cushion was no longer the little boy who needed notes from me. But I left him one just the same. It went like this:

Have a good semester! See you in a few weeks. You will become a doctor one day.

PS Call me every day no matter what if you have questions about home décor or how to make a PB&J into a bread Picasso, but no parabola-related questions, please.  

PPS What even is a parabola?? 

PPPS The cinnamon-scented candle is in your top kitchen drawer beside the floral-patterned oven mitts.

Love Mom xox

 

Unfortunately, I Can’t Cook for a Month Because I Got Hit by a Car

Yesterday I came ‘this close’ to being the victim of vehicular manslaughter and NO IT WASN’T because I darted in front of an 18-wheeler without looking like the last time so you can stop rolling your eyes!! Frig. I’m lucky to be alive, even though it feels like you don’t take me seriously at times. Look, if you feel horrible (as you should) about doubting me, you can contribute to my convalescence. To do so, simply click on the fake legitimate link at the end of this story and donate to Go Fund Me. I’ve been to hell and back and your support makes the struggle worthwhile. Blessings to you and your family for giving your last fifty generously.

Here’s my gory recount of what happened yesterday. Reader discretion is advised! Here goes…I noticed after a large breakfast of bacon and eggs (and waffles) that my muffin top was spilling over my shorts the rain had dissipated after a dreary weekend and I figured it was a good time for a vigorous(ish) bike ride. I donned my skin-tight sweats biking outfit and set out to beat my personal best of 10 km in 60 minutes. (Bite me). I had just emerged from the totally flat gruelling 5 km wooded trail and stopped briefly to vomit catch my breath before venturing onto the city streets to finish the remaining 5 km. I was totally killin’ myself it.

I approached a small street at lightning speed (obviously) but when I noticed a blue car coming down the street– which had a STOP SIGN AT THE END OF IT… WHICH MEANS TO STOP!!!!! — I slowed down. The homicidal sociopath who was hell-bent on snuffing me out driver appeared to slow down, WHICH, LAST TIME I CHECKED, ISN’T THE SAME THING AS STOPPING (!!!), and I thought she saw me. Due to my misplaced faith in humanity uber-focused athletic mindset, I blocked out any potential harm and crossed the street. First mistake. (Second mistake was being caught on camera without makeup, obviously).

This next part gets pretty graphic so I’ll never forgive you if you can’t get through it. (Takes deep breath). I felt the car’s metal (Are cars made of metal these days? Not sure. Whatevs. I felt something.) brush against me. Down, down I went. Everything happened in slow motion and before landing ankle-first on the hot asphalt while humming, Don’t Fear the Reaper, I had lots of time to entertain some pretty gruesome thoughts:

So help me God, if I make it out alive, someone will pay for this!!

 As if my hair didn’t look bad enough before. Now THIS!! ARGH!!

 Please God, let the damage be enough to keep me out of the kitchen forever a month but not enough to disfigure this already disfigured face.

Before I could yell, “Murderer! Murderer!”, I was on the ground with my bike on top of me. Thank GOD the pretend paparazzi wasn’t hounding me street was quiet and empty, because I look super ugly when I’m bleeding out on the pavement, while begging for an emergency transfusion. Ooooh. You’re just sooo tough. Well not EVERYONE wants to bleed to death while waiting for the ambulance that never came. I don’t need your approval for the way I handled things, thank you very much. Back to my near-death experience: I saw the dreaded bright lights driver approach me with wide eyes and her hand over her mouth. She screamed, “OMG, are you Miss Nackawic 1981 okay???” I was all like, “What do YOU think? Would YOU be okay if you had to give back the crown were mowed down by a vehicle on purpose??” Then I looked down and saw that I was bleeding in TWO places. O.M.G.

two cutsWhat do you MEAN you can’t see it? Are you blind? Gawd.

Naturally I lost my mind. Blood loss does crazy things to a person. I started screaming, “Tell my family I won’t be able to cook for at least a month love them! I was weak and slurring my words. Obviously, I feared another brain injury. I was confused and in my stupor, I automatically signed autographs for the driver and her boyfriend who didn’t even seem to know where Nackawic was much less who reigned over the town for 365 days, during which time I was under such scrutiny I felt like I was living in a fishbowl!! went into maternal mode and lectured the young woman on the importance of STOPPING WHEN YOU SEE A STOP SIGN and that ROLLING STOPS AREN’T STOPS and that she RUINED MY ANKLE AND MY HAIR WITH HER NEGLIGENCE!! She swore she had learned her lesson and that my hair still looked super fab so I decided not to sue her because of the second thing she said.

I’m very not proud to say I left a dent on the side of her car. Na! Na! Na! Poo! Poo! It totally did didn’t make me feel one bit better to know the driver suffered a bit too. I told a really hilarious joke about making an impact on them! Ha ha!! Get it?? Oh how we laughed!! Wait. I think it was just me who laughed, but I’m pretty sure it was from the brain injury I sustained when I GOT HIT BY A CAR. (I used All Caps because I sensed you were forgetting the whole point of this story which is I GOT HIT BY A CAR YESTERDAY AND I LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT! Don’t forget, k?)

I somehow managed to stanch the bleeding and bravely biked all the way home. Once through the door, I immediately called my husband to tell him how lucky I am to not have to cook for a month be alive! He couldn’t chat for very long because he was in a meeting but I’m almost certain he was thrilled to hear I was alive. I could tell because at the end of the conversation he said, “Who IS this?”

I’m on Day 2 of recovery and it’s going better than expected. The pretend doctor told me I was a hypochondriac very brave woman and though I fought him tooth and nail to continue my regular duties, he said I MUST stay off it lest I compromise the healing process. I just can’t risk it, you guys.

Which is why this is happening:

me on couch

Here’s me looking at the clock wishing like hell I could prepare something- anything!!- for my menfolk for supper! What a total drag, right? Frig.

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Uh oh. Almost supper time…crud. Kinda hard to cook with this happenin’:

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So the obvious moral of this story is to be ever vigilant, always wear makeup a helmet and for the luvofgod, don’t trust drivers to know your back story look both ways! You do not- I repeat- you do not want to end up like me on the couch watching TV at supper time. No sir. Oh! Before I forget, click HERE to help us recoup our losses for such things as restaurant vouchers, highlights (my hair was a total disaster after lying on the pavement in that hot sun for all of two minutes that time) and court fees for my so- called ‘court-ordered mental assessment’. Pffft. Don’t care. I’m on the couch not cooking. Who’s the crazy one now, hmmm? Thought so.

Bye! Bye! Privacy and Normal Life!

Look, don’t get me wrong.  I’d love nothing more than to take a selfie right now and send it to you but MY EYES ARE BLOODSHOT FROM THE PRETEND PAPARAZZI’S CAMERA FLASHES! I didn’t want to say anything about it but since it’s all over CNN Facebook, let me explain– My book (Thanks beth & Odette, for your help on it, by the way) is in Chapters in Dieppe, NB! Hold your applause– I just need a little break from all the attention. Okay. Break’s over. Back to me…

I’ll start with the moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for. I used to look at famous authors and think “Their book sucks!! “Man, that would be so cool to have my face splashed all over VOGUE Chapters book shelves like that. Frig. Then it happened to me and I couldn’t have been less prepared for the deafening silence aftermath.

So I’d heard my our my our my our my (just sounds better) book Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! was in Chapters and I wanted to see for myself. I hopped in my car and on the way there it hit me. I can’t just stroll into Chapters like a regular person anymore, I told myself. I’ll be mobbed for sure! Sigh. Bye bye, privacy and normal life! I parked the car and sat there for a minute wondering how other celebs handled this fishbowl existence. To no one in particular, I said, “Honkity hink! Focus and think!”(Ahem, read the book) The parking lot was empty (relief!!) so I slithered in on my stomach ever so stealthily.

Once inside, I shielded my eyes and squinted hard awaiting the frenzy of camera flashes. After smashing into a wall by mistake I opted for a disguise instead. Here’s how bad things got: I grabbed a scarf off the shelf and I wrapped it around my head in such haste I didn’t even realise IT WASN’T MY COLOUR!!! OMG. I looked super washed- out but I had no choice.

me

 

Then, I whipped out my oversized sunglasses from my purse and covered my eyes. I found a copy of the book and hid behind a book shelf  (How does Justin Bieber LIVE like this I wondered.) I thought I heard, “Who’s the freak?? Beyonce! Over here!! Smile! You’re stunning!” but I didn’t can’t be sure.

shhh

Look what I saw!! OMG- this woman- whom I’ve never laid eyes on before- LOVES it. Better order more, Chapters!! Just sayin.

nicole

I roamed around the store incognito for a while and I couldn’t believe how many places I found the book. This thing was on FI-YAH! Check it.

It was in the travel section because Camelia, the Canada Goose travels all across New Brunswick. Duh.

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Are you kidding me? It’s only been in the store for an hour and this happened! Whoa.We are honoured.

top read

When did the staff even have time to read it? What diff? We’re their faves! YES!!

staff pic.

Even the CEO of Chapters chose us?!! We are blessed.

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Now THIS is cray cray.  EVEN THE MANNEQUIN LOVES IT! I’ve never seen that before…ha ha

mannequin

Here’s the shelf most of them are on. I find it kinda sad that the other authors don’t have a fighting chance but whoever arranged the books must have wanted it that way. Whatevs. (Shrugs shoulders).

nicole

Aaaaaand here’s a close -up of the book:

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No I’m NOT hiding anything and I don’t like where you’re going with this! I got PLENTY of attention as a child and I don’t know WHY you’re saying I didn’t!! I’ll repeat: B & O have sucked up enough of the limelight already (beth has another published book under her belt and Odette drew the fancy pants pictures in the book, okay??). Can’t you just be happy for me for once? I don’t even know who my real friends are at this point. Fame taints everything eventually.

Things weren’t moving as quickly as I’d hoped. Sure, it’s awesome hard to be  bombarded by fans 24/7, but I wasn’t expecting crickets my disguise to be THAT good. I decided to remove the scarf and sunglasses and let the imaginary people have a shot at meeting me. As I slipped the sunglasses back into my purse, I heard the words I’d waited my entire life to hear, “Ma’am, let me escort you to the door. Would you mind signing these?” The lovely lady who worked in the store had somehow figured out I was the co- sole co- sole co- sole (just sounds better) author from when I jumped out of hiding and screamed, “Hey guess what you guys?? I wrote this book!!” and asked me to sign a few copies. Then she put this sticker on it. Note the singular (AUTHOR) noun. I begged her to add an an ‘s’ but she wouldn’t have it.

sticker

It’s hard to argue with stickers, don’t you find?

me myself and i

The signing went on for seconds hours. My wrist was practically falling off!!

sore wrist

Here’s me after signing the fifth gazillionth book without so much as a sip of water or confetti falling from the ceiling. I’d just about had it at that point. (Yes, I KNOW there are no people in the photo but that’s because there were no people this was taken 9 seconds before the people came. Be patient!)

pressure

Exhausted mentally and physically, it was time to leave. The nice security guard pushed me out held the door while I waved to my imaginary fans and blew kisses. What a letdown rush! The second (but most important) moral of this story is pretty simple: If you don’t have your copy(ies) of Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! you know what to do.  Go to Chapters and tell them I sent you. They’ll remember me. Trust me.

PS I’m not allowed within 20 feet of Chapters for a ‘trial period’ (Blah blah blah) but if you would like me to sign your book, call my pretend agent and we can arrange it. Mmmwwwaahh (Famous author air kiss. You’re welcome)!