Martha's World

Martha's World
Alberta is the setting for Martha's Vine

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Mists of Time

The Mists of Time
Originally uploaded by Sheree (Martha's Mirror on!)

Moving along in the saga of Martha's world...not another book, but another adventure. New York in January to meet with agents.

Love and peace,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Martha's Mirror will make its debut on August 13th

Getting ready for the launch of Martha's Mirror at the Westside Chapters this Saturday.
My thanks to Scott Hayes of the St. Albert Gazette for his recent story.

Still awaiting the books coming in from Toronto, but they should make the deadline. Fingers crossed.

Warmest wishes to everyone.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Martha's Mirror will make its debut on August 13th

Brad, Ruth thought.
She swiped at an angry tear. She clenched her teeth and re-shouldered her long gun.
I can handle a few hours of this.
A seed of hope began to grow.
Then Mom can take over.

But she didn't know that a new hell was coming...
And it was going to last for months…

The Sequel has arrived!

Martha's Vine: Book II - Martha's Mirror

The story picks up exactly where Martha's Vine left off.
Find out what happens to Martha, Matthew, Meteor, Virgil, Anna, and Martha's daughters, Ruth and Elizabeth.

Announcing the highly anticipated sequel to Martha's Vine from Edmonton author, Sheree Zielke.
As promised, Martha's Mirror makes it debut this Saturday:

Westside Chapters
(in the Toys 'r Us parking lot next to the Keg)
9952-170 Street
Saturday, August 13, 2011
11:30-4:00 PM

(Please note: A limited number of "Author's Editions" will be sold to current fans of Martha's Vine. These books are on a first come, first served basis.
There will be only ONE print run of these collectible copies; after that a first edition will be made available to the general public.

Don't miss out!
This will be your ONLY CHANCE to get a signed "Author's Edition"
of Martha's Mirror.
(If you cannot make the signing, you can buy an autographed Author's Edition from me directly. But these must be pre-purchased in PayPal before Friday. Just let me know via email.)

This offer is NOT available to the general public.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Martha's Mirror will make its debut on August 13th

Today, I received the Author's Editions of Martha's Mirror, the sequel to Martha's Vine. We have decided to go ahead with the launch on August 13th at the TerraLosa Chapters. We will be selling the collectible Author's Editions, which have had only one press run. After that, only First Edition books will be sold.

Hope to see you at the Chapters book launch...and if you can't come...then hope to have you there in spirit.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Edmonton Indy 2011 Winner

Edmonton Indy 2011 Winner
Originally uploaded by Sheree (Martha's Mirror printed soon!)

Spent the week working the Indy race here in Edmonton. Still waiting for a copy of Martha's Mirror from the printer.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Trip up the Alaska Highway!

Sharon! Let's go to Alaska! (Kinda sorta)
Originally uploaded by magic_fella

My husband David tells the tale his way about our trip out of Fort St. John.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Monster Fly

The Monster Fly
Originally uploaded by Sheree (on final draft MV2 - Martha's Mirror)

Martha's Mirror is on the way...but had to take some time to shoot a fly!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baby Great Horned Owl - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Baby Great Horned Owl - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Originally uploaded by Sheree (editing Martha's Vine II)

Photographed and touched my very first Great Horned owl tonight. What a rush.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back from the royal wedding and now editing on Martha's Vine II

Enjoyed the royal wedding very much, but mostly from a promotional aspect. If you Google my name and add the words, "royal wedding" or "romance novelist" you will be stunned by the coverage I got.

Here are a couple of samples:

Romance novelist attends the royal wedding

Canadian author sleeps on the streets of London

Still trying to get back on Alberta time.


Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Cover for Martha's Vine: Book II is done!

The cover for Martha's Vine: Book II is now designed. Fred SanFilipo, who designed the cover of the first novel, has once more worked his artistic and photographic magic. Just wait till you see it. Even more stunning than the first cover. And this's a woman.

Fred never ceases to amaze me. He and I have worked on two projects before, and I am still flabbergasted at his ability to visually interpret my written words.

Thank you, Fred!

Both the title and the cover will be revealed in May.

I am still hard at editing the 2nd draft of the sequel. My endless thanks to David, Susan, and Rob for their tireless edits and constant support as I slog through the hardest of all the drafts.

I am off to adjudicate an Arts Festival in Hinton and Edson next week. And then David and I are off to the royal wedding in London.


Hanging Around

Monday, April 4, 2011

Next book signing date set - April 9th at Indigo Books in South Commons

Please tell your friends and family! Help make this book signing a success, too. Please help build a strong fan base for Martha's Vine: The Sequel coming out this summer.

Place: Indigo Books
Date: Saturday, April 9th, 4-8 PM
Place: Edmonton

More details HERE


Fading away till another day...

Fading away till another day...
Originally uploaded by Sheree (gone - editing Martha's Vine II)

Doing the hard work now! But if I am to make the summer deadline...


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fading into the background...

Fading into the background...
Originally uploaded by Sheree (aka Hadassah28)

Heading back to the drawing board....will be fading away for a couple of weeks as I plug away at the second draft of Martha's Vine: the sequel.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who's really in charge?

Who's really in charge?
Originally uploaded by Sheree (aka Hadassah28)

So glad to see the sunshine again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Arwen's Waterfall

Arwen's Waterfall
Originally uploaded by Sheree (aka Hadassah28)

Taking time to rest before I get back to the second grandkids are on spring I took my little Arwen to the conservatory.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sheree tries out a 300mm 2.8 Canon lens

Originally uploaded by JJTortuga

Thanks for the image, Jason! We will have to try this again when the weather is warmer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Partridge exercises

Partridge exercises
Originally uploaded by Sheree (aka Hadassah28)

Love my funny grey huns...they come back on a regular basis to forage through the mess made by the sparrows.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Daily blog?

So, that's my definition of "daily" is it? Oh, was a good notion. It's only been 13 days since my last entry, so here goes.

What's up with me you ask? Or maybe you don't, but I will tell you anyway.
Busy teaching, and fretting over MV2. It's very hard to get back to the book once it's sat for a bit. Well, a long bit, too long a bit, actually. Not good. But I set a deadline and I am good at hitting deadlines, no matter how stressful. So, I will get back to the book. I must be finished my 2nd draft before the Easter weekend.

I am adjudicating the photography portion of the Yellowhead Rotary Arts Festival in Hinton and Edson over the Easter weekend. And then we fly to London for the royal wedding. I am not really into the bridal couple, but I am looking forward to the hoopla and fanfare, as only the Brits can do. Should be a real smörgåsbord of fans and paparazzi. And I shall be among them.

Miss Kate Middleton is certainly causing quite the stir among the fashion-conscious. Very reminiscent of the stir caused by Prince William's mother, Princess Diana when she married Prince Charles.

Not taking my heavy camera equipment though. I need my energy for walking around, for hours and hours.I will carry a couple of very credible P&S cameras. That will do the trick. A new Panasonic and my trusty concert-going Fuji with its 720 mm zoom.

In the meantime, wishing all of you a wonderful week.

PS Went to Hinton to meet with the festival coordinators...drove through some heavy fog that made for some great images.

Cutting through the Fog by Sheree Zielke

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kicked up and raring to go

No longer stuck...I thought it through...and I will take the Tolkein route..I will write a Synopsis for MV2. I adore the prologue...but one of my editors feels more is needed to help a new reader to understand the book, and I agree. I am once more having fun. Shall have a synopsis within the hour.

And then on to the full edit of MV: The Sequel.

Love and hugs to all of you who come by to read this...not sure if I am just shouting into an apple barrel...but I hope not.

Is anyone out there? Please say hello in the comments.


PS My partridges came back to nosh on my porch today. The sun is shining...and I am back into jewelery design with a vengeance.

It's like this, Alice...

Shot at my girlfriend's place out near Allan Beach...still very much under construction, but she's got these great statues awaiting in the snow...for their place in her garden.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Some days are tougher than others

I loved writing Martha's Vine...and I loved writing the sequel, but I don't love trying to figure out how to edit the sequel. It takes so much discipline to wrap one's mind around a novel, embrace, tear it up, and lovingly lay down the mind tiles again.

I am so grateful for the support I have. Some of the best friends and editors ever. Rob, Susan and Bill, and David. Each one of them have provided tremendous insights into the new book...but with each insight comes WORK...and concentration. And some days, my brain thinks concentration sucks.

David thinks I have ADD, and so do I. Once I am bent to a task, I will stay with it till my eyes bleed. But getting down to the task--now that takes some doing. I would so much rather be watching a bird, or a sunset, or fiddling with my camera controls, or designing a new piece of jewellery, or letting my mind amble through memories...than actually working on my book.

But a deadline is a deadline...and come what may, I must have the 2nd draft completed before going to England for the royal wedding the end of April.

Thanks so much to Susan and Bill for their painstaking efforts in reading and pointing out things that need work in the sequel. You two are loved more than you know, I think. I must apply myself. Wait...what's that?

It's my birds tweeting outside...must go check on them. *grin*

Ah, I am such an Alice, a Pollyanna, an Anne...a Red Queen...dropping down rabbit holes, chasing rainbows, devising melodramas, and flying off the handle...and flitting about an insane, but quite sane, tapestry of wild notions.

Love to all my faithful and trusting readers!

PS Still haven't heard my interview on CKUA...listen HERE.  It ran February 27th.

Our sunset was so strange last did this wonderful vertical flare...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chilling for a bit...letting the novel sit fallow

This is the time when I let the novel steep...allow it to rest... and rejuvenate my creative self. It's a must or I shall explode or vanish into a crazy patchwork quilt of indecision and self-doubt. It happens. Try writing a novel--you will see what I mean.

Martha's Vine has now had its 3rd successful book signing, the Coming Out party for the sequel was great fun, and a terrific interview with me was aired on CKUA Radio. Want to know what goes on inside my brain? Give the interview a listen.

By the way, if you have a copy of Martha's is now a collectible...because no more First Edition books are available. We made small edits and the 2nd edition is now selling well on In addition, Martha's Vine, the eBook, will be up on Kobo.

How do I chill? I sleep in. Nah, I don't sleep in...don't know how to sleep in. Instead, I get up 3, 4, my thing (working images, catching up on emails, playing on Flickr), and then catch a nap a few hours later. I watch movies (my guilty pleasure...and best escape), and I watch my favorite TV shows: American Idol...and soon, Dancing with the Stars.And I take photos.

Speaking of which, the mailman arrived with my prize money cheque today for the crystal butterfly...chosen 1 of 6 out of 7000 images across Canada. You will be seeing that image gracing boxes of Royale facial tissue come May.

I am teaching, too...I love teaching digital cameras...I really enjoy my students, especially the lippy ones, and I get at least one of those in every class. I enjoy helping people to understand the foreign beast in their hands; I want them to know the joy that a shutter and aperture can bring. But most of all, I want them to feel free to explore their creativity. Like I do.

Sending you all my warmest blessings for joy and success in your lives...

Letting the shadows fall where they may...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Martha's Vine 3rd Book Signing is Another Success

So, off we went into a very cold Saturday to West Edmonton Mall. Had a date in the Chapters store for a book signing. I am so lucky to have the support crew that comes out to help me...Wonda, Jason, Kevin, Ashley, Marilyn, Sylvia, and my husband, David. I just couldn't do it without them...they are terrific and have my undying gratitude.

Met lots of new readers, some of which have already indicated how much they love Martha's Vine

At the beginning of the signing, Ken Davis with CKUA radio showed up and interviewed me in the store. Very pleasant fellow with excellent questions. To hear the interview, listen to it next Sunday (12:30 MST) on CKUA Radio. Here is Ken's blog.

Here is a link to the radio site and Bookmark show.

What's up next? I have heavy editing to finish on the first 3 chapters since the "Coming Out" party is scheduled for Wednesday night at West Edmonton a meeting room at the Ice Palace. 7-8:30 PM. I will be reading the Prologue and the 1st three chapters aloud.

Might post a video to YouTube...not sure yet.

Blessings to all my friends...may you have a wonderful holiday Monday.

Cold and lonely...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Next book signing date set - Tomorrow at WEM Chapters

Hi all,

Heavy teaching week...and I find it takes a lot out of me. Haven't written a word on Martha's Vine, and I am itching to get back at it...and begin those edits. We have edited the first book for minor edits, and resubmitted, and I have a new 2nd edition now. So, all the 1st editions are collectibles.

The book signing is on at the Mall tomorrow...Chapters. I have met with George who manages book consignments and signings. Sounds like they are looking forward to seeing me and my peeps (I am so very lucky to have the support of awesome friends and family).

Ken Davis, with CKUA Radio will be there, too. He is interviewing me as  feature for his show that will run February 27th.

Do you know that I write poetry? Just thought I'd ask. Poetry keeps me sane. I love words, and I love putting words into incongruent  patterns, that make no sense, but make much sense.

Sending you all my warmest blessings for a weekend filled with joy and rest,

The Silver Skate festival is on this weekend in Edmonton. It's always so cold, but the skies are always so blue, and the snow is always so white.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Drumheller, the city of we come!

Why am I going to Drumheller, you ask? Of maybe you don't ask. Drumheller is featured in Martha's Vine 2; it is a very important city in the overall scheme of Martha's world. But that's all I'll tell you, except that it meant a lot to The Man, too.

Since finishing the first draft, I have slowed down just a tad. Went shooting out at Elk Island Park today with a friend of mine. Great guy named, Jason. He is very much in tune with Matthew; he's a self-starter, independent, organized, and a very nice fellow. And he has this great acreage near the park...and two huge dogs. Very friendly dogs. We took a trip into the park where we found a nice collection of songbirds..and then a whole herd of bison.

Tomorrow, David and I make an early start with one of our grandsons. I think we are in for a fun day. Nothing like road trip and research. With a camera, of course.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs and love to all my friends,

Bison in Elk Island Park

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The last word of the last does it feel?

Martha's Vine: Book II is born.

I have made my goal, my friends. I have made it.

Not more than a a few minutes ago, I penned the last words of the last chapter in Martha's Vine: Book II. I have known what the last words would be for a few days. I usually know the last words of a story long before I have written the body, but these words surprised me. Why?

Because I have seen these last words before.

Please celebrate with me. A new Martha's Vine exists. And I think you will love the triumphs and the despair that Martha and the people in her world must face in this new novel.

The print edition will come out in early summer, but for now the real work begins...the editing of every niggling detail, every single word.

But not the last words.

Those words need no editing.


Can we talk this over? (Brad to Martha) LOL  No, those are definitely NOT the last words in the book.

An impromptu side trip to a night rodeo in Cody, Wyoming...netted this shot.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How can a fictional character take such a hold on one's heart?

I just read Chapter 35 out loud to David. We both sat here blubbering like a couple of babies. The story and the characters surprised me with a wild turn...and sacrificed one of my most beloved characters. How can a person that is real only in my imagination, command such grief?

One more chapter to go...the epilogue, and the prologue...and the first draft of my second novel is complete. I can barely wrap my mind around "second" novel. Who'd a thought it? I certainly didn't. But it's real...and I think you, my dear reader, are going to love this sequel.

Now, I must gear up for another book signing and the "Coming Out" party. I might even give a tiny hint as to how the book progresses. And then again, I might not.

I feel a little drained now...and I have a chapter to write tomorrow. It'll be hard to do, because everything inside me does not want me to finish the story...because it'll mean I must leave Martha's world. I am not sure my heart can handle that.


I wanted a lonely picture to go with this entry...this is near "Old Faithful" in Yellowstone National Park.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Logistical Errors and Roadblocks -- A Typical Day of Writing

Oh sigh, I was in such a fix hard to get my 3000 words down, not because I ran out of words, but because I made a little error in reading a map, and directions matter in a story, especially a story set in a real province, with real roads. I don't mind fudging some things, but big highways had better be running through the right towns.

The story has taken the characters into the Drumheller area, this is our city of dinosaurs. It houses the largest steel dinosaur in the world, and the famous Royal Tyrrell museum. Great place...wonderful hot weather destination.

Anyway, I got lost and could not figure out how to get the characters where they needed to be, at the right time. I finally figured it out. Only took me 12 hours.

Taking the day off tomorrow...need a little outdoor time. And my shutter finger needs a little limbering up, so off I will go. Sorry I missed out on today's mild temps.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Here is a great shot taken of me, my husband, and 3 of my oldest Sylvia Labelle -- thanks, Sylvia.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

YES, I want to attend the "Coming Out" party for Book TWO

I am totally amazed at how well this 2nd book is coming along. I've said it before...that this book feels more like me...less frenetic...more structured. Today, I completed chapter 32. I can't tell you how many more chapters there are to go...the characters just keep them coming, but I do know, the book is nearing the end. I hope it doesn't go past 40 chapters, because there is so much editing to do. Very fatiguing.

I want to turn over a bit of space here to a brand new reader...who has become a friend. She received Martha's Vine on Monday, and posted her review on Amazon today. She was hooked.

"Now that I devoured Martha's Vine I am at a loss till Martha's Vine 2 comes out.
The Vine's characters took on such life in all their attributes, personally becoming a part of me I'm not prepared to move on from. I saw their world, I walked in their shoes, I lived their experiences through every page - all put together quite thoroughly and quite apt if our world were to become Martha's.
Immersed is what describes my time with Sheree's creation!"

Thanks, Laurie!

For those of you in the Edmonton area, please tell your friends about the Coming Out party happening on the 23rd of this month.


A flashback to many, many years ago...guess how old I was...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And speaking of giving birth--it's a BOY! February, 1, 1973

Baby boy Zielke

Thirty-eight years ago, I was alone, I was pregnant, and I was overdue. I had a weird doctor who thought that because I was pregnant, I couldn't attend highschool. I told him in no uncertain terms where to shove his advice. I was finishing Grade 12, and I had only 7 months to do it.

This same doctor was not into Mother Nature doing her own thing, in her own time. So, at 11:30 at night, I was told (against my legal rights and without any signing authority -- I was underage, so they made me a fast ward of the court), that I was too long overdue and that I was going to have an emergency C-section. I already hated doctors--he cemented the deal. 

In those days, unwed pregnant mothers, with plans to give their babies up for adoption, were kept away from their children. So, I lay in bed recovering from been ripped open against my will, and wondered what happened to my baby.

A tiny British nurse came in one day; she could see I had been crying. She listened to my story, and then she said, "We'll do something about that. You want to see your baby? Let's go." This was 8 days after the birth of my son.

I remember how tiny she was, because she had to help me out of the bed. And I could barely help myself. She took me to the nursery, we walked inside, and she pointed out a baby to me. "That's your baby," she said. "Do you want to hold him?" I had no idea what to do. I had no idea how to feel. "I said, NO."

I also said, NO," to the social worker pushing the adoption papers at me, along with the pressure to sign quickly because the parents were waiting.

I kept my son against all odds. And, today, I had lunch with him.

He's a great kid--a man, now. And I am so proud of him.  He is strong in the Lord, he cares for others weaker than himself, and he is a hard-worker. He throws lumber every day, even in sub-zero temperatures.

Happy birthday, Ryan. May we share many more birthday lunches together.

Love, Mom

PS Didn't write a single word on the Vine today, but did meet with the bookstore manager at West Edmonton Mall, where I will be signing books on the 19th of this month.

Ryan shows off his birthday "cake":

The "apple bird" served on birthdays:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Final chapters...almost like giving birth

I pushed through Chapter 30 today...exhausted. Took me all day to push out 3-thousand words. I have to wait for the characters to tell me what's going on, and some days they talk and act so fast, I can barely type fast enough to keep up. Today, they moved in slow motion. And it was excruciating.

But I prevailed and met my daily quota of 3-thousand words...and my January 31st goal of 30 Chapters. Only 5-10 chapters to go and the first draft is done.

Going to bed now.


Oh, BTW, my crystal butterfly WON! It will appear on Royale tissue boxes by May 2011. Thank you to all my friends who voted.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Martha's Vine II is nearing completion but time out for Narnia!

My brain is so happy to be in all the action of the ending of a novel. Things are moving in both camps. The combatants have different names, but the struggles to survive and thrive remain the same. Times are tough in post-apocalyptic Alberta.

Don't worry, your favorites are still there, but they are taking a bit of a breather after that last big battle. Winter has helped to cool things down. Snow has a way of doing that in a world without snow graders and city snow removal crews.

This weekend, we have our grandkids. We are taking them to a Narnia exhibit at the Telus World of Science. It looks like it will be fun. We must have 3 children up and dressed and out of the house by 7:30 AM. That's gonna be one fast breakfast.

Are you reading this blog? If so, type your name into the comment box below. Anyone can post. Depending upon the strength of your interest in Martha's Vine, I might choose you as a reader of the entire novel once it reaches a 2nd draft.


A shot taken in England. Why am I posting a shot from England? Because I will be there the end of April attending the event of the century: the marriage of Wills and Kate.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steven Tyler -- you made me cry

Wow, some days it's so hard to find inspiration to write. So, I won't talk about Martha's Vine. Except that I am writing Chapter 26 today.

I want to talk about American Idol. I saw the most touching thing on last night's show, the Milwaukee auditions. A singer came with his wife who had been crippled in a car accident. The three judges called her in before they announced that her husband was going to Hollywood. I had a sneaking suspicion that one of the judges would be very tender towards her. I thought it would be JLo...a woman. But no.

Randy was no surprise; he looked like he was listening to prompts from the producers, and JLo was rather reserved. But Steven Tyler knocked my socks off...and brought me to tears. What a tender moment. He was so sweet to the woman.

I liked Tyler as one of the new American Idol judges...but I love him now. Good for you, Steven. Good for you. So glad that after all these years in a hard rock lifestyle, you have maintained a precious heart.


Dedicated to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Monday, January 24, 2011

Staring at a blank page

Here it is...9 you know where your novel's words are? Nope. My silly, busy day resulted in a wonderful new laser mouse and new desperately needed eyeglasses, but not a single word on the Vine.
Makes me upset with me.
And what's worse...I opened up a page upon which I can usually spin a tale, but nothing came...not a word, not a gesture, not a thought.
So, I shall do what writers sometimes do best...procrastinate. *grin* And write a blog. I think that's who designed blogs, you know...procrastinating writers.

Tomorrow...there is always tomorrow.


Shot outside West Edmonton Mall...this AM...while on my way to tutor two new students on a Sony camera.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Glad to be a writer

It's Sunday...a good day to stay in bed and listen to the wind blowing outside. Once again, I am so glad to be a writer. I get to work indoors. Meeting my quota today on Martha's Vine TWO. Hoping to take a bite out of tomorrow's quota, too.

Sending all of you my very best wishes for a wonderful week filled with all good things


A wee bit of summertime to encourage those of us still deep in winter.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Absence makes the novelist's heart grow fonder

You know that silly saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder?" Well, I have seen too many instances where it simply isn't true of the human heart, but of the novelist's there is truth.

I have this love affair going on between me, my computer, and my novel. A three-way. More or less.  If I want my novel to sing to me, to draw me back in, back to my computer keyboard, all I have to do is be away from the computer with something else demanding my attention Like working for a living. Doesn't take long for me to be yearning to have my keyboard back under my fingers again.

I met all of my outside responsibilities today, and then could hardly wait to get back home, to writing again. You see, Brad came up with this absolutely devilish plan. But little does he know--disloyalty can work on both sides of the fence. Ha-ha, Brad!

If you are local, and you've read Martha's Vine, and you'd like to know what happens next, then come to our Coming Out party on February 23rd.

Have a great weekend,

Ooh, pretty metal...on a motorcycle. Yummy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Humor is good

I must share a secret with you. Sometimes, when I am writing, I plant little jokes into my narrative to amuse myself. Writing can get physically exhausting, but a shot of humor picks me up and gives me a little edge to go another 500 words or so.

In fact, many times in Martha's Vine, the humor that comes out of the mouths of the characters is because I've asked them to say something funny. Humor is so energizing.

I don't particularly like spending time with Brad or The Man...but if somebody in their presence can crack a joke...I am good. That's what happened today.

Wishing you a a touch of impromptu humor to brighten and enliven your day.


It's a wonder my poor neighbor can find his house. Maybe he won't be able to in a day or so -- more snow coming.

The book signing in West Edmonton Mall is coming...please tell your friends.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Major re-structuring of the chapters today

Today, I did what needed to be done. Today, I overhauled my first 10 chapters. Did some switch-ups and rewriting...and began matching up the Under Chapters. It took me away from moving further ahead with the new chapters, but it needed to be done.

I am amazed at how much I have learned about writing a novel...from the first book to this one...and I think it shows in both my writing and the architecture of the book.

I now know the major turning point in the story, and I have seen the ending. The characters did their reveal today...while I was driving my car, of course. So, I scrawled it all down at traffic lights.

When I say I have seen the ending, I mean that. I see mini acts, scenes from the story...alive and happening in my head, complete with dialogue. How I love being a writer. And I have since I could first hold a pencil. I don't remember a day in my life that I wasn't writing something.

Cheers everyone!

I love something else, at my back deck with a sunset. Pretty, huh?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Next book signing date set - February 19th at WEM

Just a quick blog entry for tonight.

I now have a book signing set for Saturday, February 19th, in West Edmonton Mall. Hoping people will come out 11:30-3:30 pm. We will be inviting readers to attend the "Coming Out" party---Sheree will read the next 3 chapters of the sequel.

Sign up on FACEBOOK

My son Ryan and I. Photo by my friend, Sylvia Labelle.

Hurrah, I am finally into the Under Chapters

Those of you who have read Martha's Vine know that the Under Chapters deal with life in The Man's camp. I decided to spend my time on Matthew's world and his people for the first 1/2 of the book. But today, I revisited The Man.

If you've never written before, then you don't know that a writer must immerse herself into a character's mind, even the villains, in order to get the right "voice." I always have a hard time mucking about in The Man's head -- some pretty nasty stuff in there... but once I get inside, and the writing begins, I like it there. The Man never fails to interest me with his cold-blooded cruelty. Are there really people like that in this world? Well, I once studied serial killers -- I was going to become a criminologist -- so I know this to be true. There are some people whose mind is as cold as hard-packed January snow.

Speaking of which, it is so good to see the snow has stopped and the sun is casting golden rays through my window.

STOP reading if you don't want to read a little snippet of an Under Chapter I wrote today:


THE TRUCKS raced in single file up the main highway. The Man and his guards were in the lead truck. Behind them sat a woman. Her thin body was hunched over. She stared at her manicured fingernails, and listened while her "brother" laid out his plans. She said nothing.
The truck’s driver glanced into the rear-view mirror. The woman looked up. He caught her eye and shot her a knowing grin. She stared back at him, her face as pale as her blond hair, her eyes wide with fear. With one thick finger, he tapped the brim of his cap in greeting; the cap was tattered, greasy, and worn, but a large gold ring, surrounded by a collection of diamonds, sparkled with newness. “Where we taking her?”



After some serious shoveling the other day, I took some shots. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snowy greetings to all of you!

Greetings, Flickr friends!
Originally uploaded by Hadassah28 (Sheree signed off & writing the Vine2)

I hope this Monday is treating you well. We have already shoveled once, and can see we will be shoveling again in a few hours. It's really not so bad...kind of fun after awhile...especially when you give yourself over to it.

Warmest greetings and blessings to all of you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

21 chapters done

Happy Sunday, everyone.

I am heading into the new week with 21 Chapters finished and 60-thousand words penned towards the completion of Martha's Vine:The Sequel.

This is my last full week of concentrated writing before I get back into tutoring and teaching. So, my head will be down, and my shoulder will be to the proverbial wheel.

Wish me luck.

And to all of you I wish a week filled with blessings and much happiness. And if you live in Edmonton, I wish you less snow.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Damn the torpedoes...and everything else!

An unfavorable review of Martha's Vine was posted to Amazon. I haven't read it; nor will I. Not that I don't want to read it...but I can't read it right now. I am very careful not to read anything that might affect my creative decisions when I am writing. To be clear, I read very little of anything when I am writing.

Why? I don't want to be inspired or manipulated or motivated into writing something in accordance with what someone else has written, says, or believes to be true about Martha's Vine. If I am to write, then I can't allow for naysayers or strong opinions to meld into my writings. I must stay true to my own voice, no matter what. If I look over my shoulder, if I second-guess myself, if I begin to do double-takes on my ideas, the creative process staggers and it becomes something else. Something not of the creator. That is what I guard against when I am writing.

I will write a 2nd book, and whether I win or lose, whether I finish way out in front, or I finish dead last...none of that matters. The only thing that matters is reaching the finish line, another published novel, with my voice intact.

To those who have read Martha's Vine

I owe so much to the people who have read Martha's Vine and who then provided me with their feedback, asked questions, and shared their beefs and bouquets. I had eager ears when I WASN'T writing. Many of their observations and comments were taken into consideration before I began penning the sequel. And I thank you all profusely.

But for now...and for at least the next 8 weeks...any critiques will just have to wait. I have a sequel to write, and I will write it...torpedoes and everything else be damned.

BTW, I finished Chapter 19 today.


I met with three gals today: Wonda, Asheena, and Ashley. They are avid readers of Martha's Vine, and they have become great friends and supporters. We are planning the "Coming Out" party for the 3rd week in February. We are also initiating a quiz on the Martha's Vine FB page with fun facts. When answered correctly, you will qualify for an invitation to the party. Fun, prizes, and best of all, I will read aloud the first THREE chapters of the sequel.

For those of you  who cannot attend the party, I may do a virtual party...a reading on YouTube...but only if I see there is support for that option. So let me know. Let your voice be heard. *grin*


Only -35 today...and a little more snow...not a dump...not yet. My backyard continues to mushroom upward with great heaps of snow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm here for the party!

I am often asked where I get my ideas I plan the plot twists...the characters...and the storyline.

My answer: I don't. That's right, I don't.

I went for dinner with a friend, who is also a fan of MV, last night...and she asked me about how I write. Here is what I told her:

Everyday, when I face my computer and my open Word program, it's like facing a set of barred doors, thick doors, butcher block doors, the kind of doors that would guard a castle keep. Behind those doors, I can hear people's voices, people arguing, people laughing, people having a party. And I so want to get to that party, but I must push my way into the room first.

Some days, the doors are easy to open, but some days they take everything I've got inside me to push them open so I can take part in the party. So, I push as hard as I can. Once those doors open, and I enter the party, the rest is pretty easy. I just become part of the group, listen in on conversations, and watch interactions. Like a movie in my head. Then I write as fast as I can type.

The worst is when I manage to push the doors open, but I am in my shower or driving my car. Then I go half nuts trying to memorize everything I am hearing and saying. That part makes me panic.

I made my quota again today. And that's after getting a very slow start on my day. But luckily today, the doors swung open with a single push. And that's such a good feeling.

I am close to 1/2 way through the book. I am finding Ruth's life to be totally intriguing, but the wild dogs back on the compound are giving Matthew's people a very hard time.


Do you know of someone else who has read Martha's Vine, but who isn't reading this blog? Would you please send them the link? Thanks.

Isn't she sweet...I shot this little mother fox two springs ago. She was injured, but she was so involved with her babies. I found her courage to be awe-inspiring.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Crafty Idea

I'll bet those of you who have read Martha's Vine...all the way to the end...think I planned the ending as some sort of crafty way to hook you on the next book. But that's not why I ended the book the way I did. The fact you are hooked, and waiting for the sequel was a side-effect.

I actually did it to force a discipline on myself. I never make promises I can't keep. I will bend over backwards to keep a promise. My ending was a kind or promise to my readers...and I am now bending myself in 1/2 to keep that promise to you.

Just finished another 3-thousand words today...I will start Chapter 18 tomorrow.

Would you like a sneak peak?

For those of you who would rather not know anything about the 2nd book, STOP reading now! (Yeah, good luck with that.)

~~A little backstory...Ruth has been captured by The Man. She lives under his command now. She is not happy about it, but she is making the best of things. It's been months since she has seen her husband, months since she has lived at Matthew's compound. One of The Man's soldiers has befriended her.~~


RUTH JUMPED at the unexpected sound. She was alone in the craft room. She was staring out the window. The darkness was inky black, but moonlight illuminated the fir trees near the home. 

“Hi,” a male voice said. “You alone here?”
Panic rose in Ruth’s chest, but then she relaxed—it was Mervyn. “Hi,” she said. She held a hand to her chest. “You nearly gave me a heart attack.”

“That wouldn’t be good,” Mervyn said as he walked toward her. He smiled. “I looked for you at dinner. Where were you?”

“Not feeling so good.”

“Can’t sleep?”


“How about some fresh air?

“Fresh air?”

“Yeah— Let’s take a snowmobile out.”

Ruth smiled at the thought. She’d had wonderful times at Matthew’s camp when she and Peter, and a group of friends would go out night riding. They’d stop along the trail, start a fire, and have a cookout under the stars. She remembered the stillness and the intense brightness of the stars. But mostly the deep almost heavenly quiet. It had spoken to her soul.

“Yes, I’d like that.”

“Got a suit?” Ruth shook her head. “I’ll find one for you.”

Before long, Ruth was dressed and the pair headed to the Quonset hut. Mervyn grabbed a lantern, and he lit their way to the machines. “This one is good,” he said. “It’s gassed up.”

“Just one?” Ruth asked. She looked disappointed.

Mervyn smiled. “Oh, the deerhunter lady wants her own machine.” He shook his head. “Yes, we’d better stick to one.” He pulled off his glove and started the engine. “Don’t want to piss off The Man.”

“You won’t upset him by taking this one out?”

“No— I’ll just say I was scouting. He’ll be okay with that.”

“With a woman?”

Mervyn laughed. “He won’t know that part.” 

He ran the machine out of the hut, turned, and patted the seat behind him. “C’mon.” Ruth straddled the seat and grasped his sides. She could feel the hardness of his body through his snowsuit and heat rushed through her. She blinked in surprise.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.” 

Mervyn pressed down the thumb throttle and the machine roared ahead, its headlight bucking up and down in the trees as it passed. 

Ruth closed her eyes and yielded to the power of the machine. Wind mixed with tiny ice darts stung her cheeks and her eyes, and she leaned into the man’s back for protection. The machine hit a drift and bucked upwards nearly unseating her. Mervyn slowed down. He reached back and grabbed her arm, pulling it tighter around his waist.

Ruth didn’t resist. She shivered.

PS Let me know you are reading this blog...leave a comment. If I can write 3-thousand words a day, surely you can write 10. *grin*

Cold and grey today...and light snow falling.

Just a pretty shot...