Life in progress


35 Comments

#SoCS – Fantastico

I just learned a new word: fantastico. According to The Free Dictionary, it means a very bizarre person. Merriam-Webster has it as an ridiculously fantastic individual. But “fantastic” isn’t very wonderful in all the definitions of it.

In any other company, I suppose I would have come across as a bit of a fantastico (Free Dictionary definition) last weekend. Since I was in the company of authors, I was likely just looked upon as introverted. I barely talked to anyone because I was so damned sick. I went out of my way, in fact, to keep out of everyone’s way so I didn’t infect them. I still made it to almost all 12 of the lectures and masterclasses, though. Some I was nodding off during, mostly because I wasn’t sleeping at night for the coughing.

So I have a few regrets, none of which I had any control over. But I still feel bad.

I regret not being able to enjoy myself fully.

I regret not being able to mingle and make friends.

I regret not writing and/or editing more: I was in the ABSOLUTELY perfect location for the book I’m working on, but I couldn’t take advantage of it.

And I regret not participating in SoCS last week. I had the perfect response, because man, could I have used an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist). 😛 Saturday night I missed one of the events I had a ticket for: I coughed so much, I made my throat bleed.

I’m still not over it. It’s a nasty one. With really bad timing.

I did get a few pictures, though.

It’s funny. This is the second time I’ve had a reservation at this particular hotel. The first time, in 2016 I think, I got sick before I got there and had to cancel. Maybe the hotel is just unlucky for me. :/

SoCS badge by Pamela, at https://achronicalofhope.com/

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find all the other posts in the comments, and join in! It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2019/10/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-5-19/


8 Comments

Reflection – #JusJoJan Jot #14

I do love taking photos with reflections. I think these reflect that:

I suppose I must also like taking pictures of water.


The prompt word, “reflection,” for today’s post is brought to you by Janet! Thanks, Janet! If you haven’t already visited her, click here. And say hi while you’re there!

It’s never too late to participate in Just Jot it January! Click the following link to find out how, and see all the other participants’ links in the comment section. It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/14/jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-14th/


30 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday – Settings

There’s something uniquely beautiful about having a place that inspires you enough to set an entire book in it.

The Hochelaga Inn, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

The Magician’s Curse ~ The Great Dagmaru, Book One


If you would like to participate in this prompt, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a pingback from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!


18 Comments

#SoCS – Montage

Welcome to my literary montage, which, in other words means Hi, it’s another random post. A post of stuff I like. Random stuff. Like the flowers outside that have been buried under inches of freezing rain but that looked like this two days ago.

Early spring flowers, silky and purple with fuzzy yellow stamens.

I like taking pictures. I wish I had a real camera. You know–a REAL camera.

I like traveling to different places and I like walking, especially when my body is in shape.

And I like the Glorious Sons.

They’re an amazing band out of Kingston, Ontario.

You might have noticed I like writing, too. Especially when I can sneak in the letter M without anyone noticing that I’m not really doing the A to Z Challenge when I really am. (Shhhh!! I don’t think they’ve caught on yet.)

What do you like to do?

This post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday and NOT AT ALL by #atozchallenge. Here’s the link to SoCS: https://lindaghill.com/2018/04/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-14-18/


25 Comments

6 Things I Learned from my First Book Signing

As you might be aware, I had my first ever book signing event last weekend in Kingston, Ontario–the city where The Magician’s Curse takes place. The lady in the shop where I bought my rose asked me if I was nervous. I said without hesitation that I wasn’t. And I really wasn’t–I’ve worked in retail many times throughout my life, and selling my own book didn’t seem that different. Besides that, I feel at home in a book store. I lurve them.

But like most things, the first time we do something is usually a learning experience. Right? Here are the things I learned:

  1. Smile at people and don’t be afraid to take the initiative to speak to them first. Otherwise, chances are they’ll just pass you by.
  2. Chocolate Kisses™ may seem like a good idea to have on the same table as a romance novel, but make sure to stress the “chocolate” part when offering one to a man who’s standing beside his wife.
  3. Bring something to take the lint off of a black top hat.
  4. Do what you can to advertise ahead of time. This is particularly difficult when you’re signing books in a store that’s a long way away from where you live: be inventive.
  5. Don’t do a book signing when there’s another major event in town that features a bunch of authors whose names are more popular than yours. (I’m looking at you, Kathy Reichs.)
  6. If you’re going to spend hours sitting beside a book written by an offspring of Stephen King, make sure it’s Joe Hill (particularly if your last name is Hill).

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be getting ready for my second ever book signing event. If you’re in the area of Belleville, Ontario today (October 8th, 2017), please stop by Chapters between noon and 3pm. And get a Kiss. A chocolate one.


76 Comments

A Haunted Visitation

July 19th, 2013: My trip to Kingston was interesting indeed. With so many strange goings-on, I can’t help but wonder if I somehow ended up in my own novel. Without giving too much away, this is how it went:

The Hochelaga Inn was much as I expected. Built in 1879, it has been well-preserved not only in its physical appearance, but for its ambiance as well.

A Welcoming Prayer

A Welcoming Prayer

Peace and rest, however, although perhaps wished upon me by the Management and Staff, were not what the Inn itself had in store.

Having not a great deal of money, but wishing to take an extended weekend away, I booked the cheapest room in the Inn for the first two nights, (Saturday and Sunday) and the Tower room–the most expensive–for one night (Monday).

My first night didn’t include much sleep. Three times during the course of my slumber, I was awoken by the fire alarm, which was situated on the ceiling beside a spinning fan, for no apparent reason. When I asked about it at reception the next morning, because I thought there might have been a problem in another room, they said they had no idea what had happened. Unfortunately, I was told, the Tower room was booked for that night, otherwise they’d have moved me in there early. So I gave back my room key with an assurance that I would be moved to another room for my second night at no extra cost.

The conversation between the two ladies I had spoken to at the desk, overheard after I walked away, went something like this:

“Her fire alarm went off three times last night.”

“Wooooo …” in a ghostly voice.

Okey dokey then.

Later, when I arrived back at the Inn after spending a lovely day wandering around Kingston and getting burned to a potato chip by the sun, I was handed the key for the Tower room.

“We were able to move you up there a day early,” the lady said without further explanation.

The house wants me in the Tower, I thought.

I happily I went up to my room to take a few pictures before dark.

The lower part of the tower.

 

The view from the top

It was a long day and I didn’t feel like doing much, so I sat on the bed with my feet up and watched a movie on my laptop. I didn’t bother to turn on the lights, and by half-way through the movie (The Brave, with and by Johnny Depp if you’re wondering) it was dark. That was when my friend decided to come along. I didn’t take a picture of my friend, and in fact I’m quite proud of myself for not throwing my laptop across the room. Let’s just say he had eight legs and appeared to be the size of Jaws as he scurried across my screen.

My second night didn’t include much sleep either. I think my camera catches quite well the state my eyes were in by Monday morning:

blur

A lovely blurred view from the lower tower window

I spent most of Monday driving around town. I went to the VIA Rail station, where my two main characters disembark after having met on the train, and I was able to record many small details such as the waiting room seat colours and the fact that there are sliding glass doors on both the back and front. I drove from there to where my story is set–where I imagine the house to be–to see how long the journey would take, as well as noting different things they might see on the way.

When I got back ‘home,’ the first thing I did was look for the spider. There was no sign of him whatsoever.

Yay! I thought. I’m going to get a good night’s sleep!

HA!

So I was downstairs talking to the lady at reception again after having spent a few minutes poring over a framed blueprint of the Inn, from 1920 when they were hooking up the electricity. The house had changed quite a bit, and we were having a lovely discussion about where the rooms were and the staircase that wasn’t there any more etc.. when she mentioned the ghost.

“There’s a ghost here?” I asked, my eyes like saucers, I’m sure.

“Yeah,” she said. “We’re part of The Haunted Walk of Kingston. You should go on it.”

All righty then.

From there I went to a bar. Okay, I went to a restaurant. But must say I indulged just a little. As it turned out, I was sitting on the patio waiting for my bill when a strange looking man wearing a black cape and holding a lantern (click on the Haunted Walk link above for a visual) exited the building that housed the restaurant. He stopped and stood not six feet away, waiting. It took me a few seconds to realize he was the tour guide for The Haunted Walk. (Like I said, I’d had a few.) So I thought it might be fun to talk to him.

“Excuse me, are you guiding the Haunted Walk tonight?” (All right, all right. Maybe I was sloshed.)

“Yes,” he replied.

“I’m staying at one of the places on your tour: The Hochelaga.”

“Yes, that is one of the places we visit,” he said politely.

“Would you like me to put a sheet over my head and stand at the window in the Tower?”

I thought he was going to blow a gasket.

“YES!” he exclaimed, all but jumping up and down in excitement. “The people would love that!”

So guess what I did?

 

DSC00436

At dusk. I turned on the lights in the Tower so they would glow.

After the people left (they actually pointed at me, standing at the very top window at the front, looking down) I turned on the lights and went outside to take a picture of the most incredible Hochelaga Inn.

And that night? I slept like a baby knowing the ghost was safely tucked in bed.

Spooky, no?

Spooky, no?

To this day the spirit of the place haunts me. My characters, whose footsteps I was privileged enough to walk in, are with me in a way they weren’t before. The sights I saw are imprinted on my vision, deep and immovable. I’m lucky to have been able to visit the wondrous settings from which I was able to tell my story.

If you’d like to visit The Hochelaga Inn, click here for their website. I highly recommend it for its ambiance, its breakfast, and for the experience of sleeping in such a beautiful old Victorian mansion.

My Gothic paranormal romance, The Magician’s Curse, which is set in Kingston and features a house that is inspired by The Hochelaga Inn, is available on Kindle, Kobo, and in paperback on Amazon, as well as on the shelf in the Novel Idea Bookstore at 156 Princess Street in Kingston.

Here are some more photos of The Hochelaga.

 


32 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday – The Temptation of a Masochist

Blunt Hair Studio, Kingston

Blunt Hair Studio, Kingston

I was sorely tempted to go into Blunt Hair Studio last weekend, just to see if they’d say, “Holy shit, you went out in public looking like that? For God’s sake sit down and let us do something with your hair!”

_____________________________________________________________________________

Anyone who would like to participate, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do,
you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our very cool badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com

#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com