Sleep. Art. $. Plus, I sold a Hope Sze short story!

You know how it feels when your kids don’t let you sleep and you want to die?

No? Well, count yourself lucky.

Matt and I are just barely starting to feel human again, but now we’re back to zombie-land. Which makes it very appropriate to post my second #walkcast (podcast recorded whilst walking)–recorded before school ended, but never posted, until NOW.

My first #walkcast is about multitasking: Secrets of Highly Efficient Writers Tip #1: Make Writing a Habit. We’re called the Creative Doctor & Dog because I generally walk with our dog, Roxy. Anastasia appears in later walkcasts too.

Secrets of Highly Efficient Writers Tip #2: Zzzzzzzzz

I was thinking of doing Walkcast Wednesdays. But, of course, that would require organization. However, I do now have a few nice pictures of me and our dog, Roxy.

My artist friend Jessica Sarrazin just had a show at the Quirky Carrot. She made this original, unique cyanotype skirt by hand-exposing flowers and leaves on a wraparound skirt. She explains it much better than me here, with pictures of the process.


Meanwhile, I sold my first Hope Sze short story to Jewish Noir, edited Ken Wishnia.  Just for fun, I made up a cover already. I won’t be able to indie publish it for two years, but you know how I was anxious about losing money on going to Bloody Words? $250 helps a lot! (“Payment on acceptance, baby,” wrote Ken.) Plus Scene of the Crime Books already paid me for the books they sold, and I used Tangerine to photo deposit the cheque. Hooray!

Blood diamonds cover

Hey, if you open a brand new Tangerine account and deposit $250 before July 31st, you get a $50 bonus. And if you tell ’em I sent you (with my Orange Key: 22510100S1), I get $50 too! So far, they’re a vast improvement on HSBC, who closed my business bank account for no reason.

So I’ve got a little money, but our daughter kicked our behinds. How about you? Do you get to sleep?


My Newest Fan

Today was a busy day at the bus. I got a note! IMG_6121 But first, I’ve got to give props to Cornwall Living Magazine and their launch party last Wednesday. Not only did they let me bring my kids to the launch party, but the swag was perfectly kid-friendly: pencil crayons! And they fed us pizza. Then they played this video:–nA_4E& I laughed when I saw myself at 0:55, and Max said, “That’s you, Mama!”

Is it a selfie when you take a picture of your picture?

Is it a selfie when you take a picture of your picture?


Okay, that's a selfie. But Max steals the show.

Okay, that’s a selfie. But Max steals the show.

Where's Anastasia? Rolling around on the ground, of course. What else would you do in a restaurant?

Where’s Anastasia? Rolling around on the ground, of course. What else would you do in a restaurant?

Cornwall Living Magazine has generously offered to send free copies to people who ask. So get in there! They also send copies to embassies around the globe. Max, Anastasia and I raced home so I could hand off the kids and hurry over to my interview on Vankleek Cooley via VankleekFM. You can listen here: if you page down to “Listen to the May 28th, 2014 Show – Hour One.”  My interview starts at 31:00.

Fascinating to meet Louise Sproule, the owner and publisher of The Review. We chatted after, and she mentioned that she’s owned the newspaper for 22 years, and her articles can make people cry. They stop her on the street to hug her. One woman brought her flowers.

I explained that my overarching goal is to have my writing connect me with people, places, and things that excite me. But I started off writing in a vacuum, with only “It’s good. Keep writing” from Matt and editors’ rejection letters for feedback. So Louise and I are kind of the opposite. She knows that she has a dedicated audience every week who pay for her words and may tell her so every week, whereas I’m hungry to carve out my audience (not that I’m going to eat them, but while it’s mega-awesome to have a fan in Saudi Arabia and nab a rare sale in Trinidad and Tobago and Norway, I don’t have people crying on me).

Thus, I was blown away when the Glengarry Book Club chose CODE BLUES for their inaugural meeting.   IMG_2342 Then I waited for them to tear me into tiny strips of beef jerky, since that’s what writers usually do. My own daughter said yesterday, when I was packing my books up for Bloody Words 2014, “Mommy, I don’t like your books. I hate them.” Instead, they said that they enjoyed all the Montreal references, the joie de vivre, the multiculturalism. Fast-paced. Easy read. And they liked Hope.

  • “Hope was a really accessible, normal character. Nothing seemed ridiculous.”
  • “I felt sorry for her. The loneliness, the misery, the stress, a new city, her job, working with difficult people and bosses. I felt dirty. She hadn’t had a shower. I felt how she was feeling.”
  • “I’m looking at Hope, working in a hospital is just so foreign, it would never happen to me, I’d be on the floor. But here, I’m following her around, I’m right with her. She’s got these clues, I can put it together, I can relate to her.”
  • “Most people just don’t give a s—. ‘I just got here, I’m not doing that. I’m not going to worry about it.’ Hope just took off with [the murder case] right away.”

None of them figured out the murderer except Anne, a few pages before. Rhonda always reads the last page first, and she was still surprised.

Rhonda is the one holding up Notorious D.O.C. in the back. Isn't she cute?

Rhonda is the one holding up Notorious D.O.C. in the back. Isn’t she cute?

One of them said that she liked she sex scene. “Your description went to the senses instead of a visual image, which I really appreciated, the tactile details, instead of flowery description.”

Code blues cover 2013 EBOOK-200

The one with the sex scene. Among other things

I was waiting for the “but.” It never came. Maybe they’re too polite to say anything to my face, but it dawned on me that readers want to be entertained. They want to be pleased. They’re not like writers and critics. On a related note,



I was delighted when Bob, Max’s bus driver, wanted to buy “my best work.” I gave him TERMINALLY ILL, and now he periodically updates me on where he is in the book. “Elvis is awake!” “The other doctor wants to take the case!” Or, “There’s a bit of sexual tension here.” (Good thing I didn’t give him CODE BLUES, huh?) “My wife wants to read the book after me.”

If you got anything out of this post, join the team. Buy my book(s)!

In case you missed the Terminally Ill memo. Including the one that Ellery Queen says Hope Sze is “utterly likeable.”

To my amazement, one of the students piped up and said that she was reading HIGH SCHOOL HIT LIST on iBooks (High School Hit List – Melissa Yi). “It’s a bit scary. Is that okay?” I said, and she nodded. hit list POD cover-2013-ebook   Today, Isabelle passed me the note, and I’m waiting for the bus to come, so I can give her a signed copy of HIGH SCHOOL HIT LIST.


Vince wanted more dog pictures. Here you go.

I’m happy on so many levels. She’s obviously intelligent and curious, probably heard about the TERMINALLY ILL book launch and went on my website to find something that spoke to her age group. She reads both e-book and print. And she and her family are willing to spend their hard-earned money on my work! To answer her question, my e-books are available everywhere (just starting out on Google Play today). My print books are available on Amazon, and you can order them through your local bookstore, including R&L’s Book Nook, which will be hosting a book launch for the latest Hope Sze novella, STUDENT BODY, on September 20th, 2014. The Hope Sze medical mysteries are now available in trade paperback at the following locations:

R&L’s Book Nook in Alexandria
58 Alexandria Main, Alexandria, ON K0K 1A0; (613)525-9940;
The Quirky Carrot
1 main street south; (613)525-2229; Facebook
Sunset Yoga
Église Ste. Marie de l’Assomption, Cp 119 4172 Route 34, K0C 1L0; (613) 662-YOGA(9642);
Fassifern General Store; RR 5 in Alexandria, ON; (613)525-2144
Penny’s Market7340 regional road 23, K0C 1J0; (613)551-4806;
We’ve added three more retailers:

The Review 76 Main St. E, Vankleek Hill, Ontario, K0B 1R0, Tel: (613) 678-3327, The Brown House 20363 Concession Rd 5, Green Valley, ON K0C 1L0 (Hwy 34 & Brown House Rr 2), 613-347-2583 A L Macdonald Grocery Inc. Williamstown, ON K0C 2J0 Phone: (613) 347-2770 Happy reading!


Here she is. Yay, Isabelle!

From to Google News, VankleekFM, and Cornwall Living

Bob Peters interviewed me for last month. Then he took pictures of me for a page in Cornwall Living Magazine. I got to feel like a movie star because I rushed out of the livestreamed North York Emergency Medicine Update conference to get my photo taken in the emerg on my lunch hour. Bob was great, and the nurses and clerks enjoyed getting their photos done too.

(Aside: I’d just worked the day before, which was hellish, but for some reason, that day, we didn’t have as many patients jammed in the hallways. Is that like how patients say, “I was sick until I got here”? Maybe we just need to hire a photographer every time we get overcrowded.)

The day after the article, my husband, Matt, sent me a picture. “You’re on Google News.”

Hey! I beat out dozens of gardeners on Google News!

Hey! I beat out dozens of gardeners on Google News!

Now, Matt had set his Google News to our small town. But even so. Kind of cool, non?

Today is the debut of the newest edition of Cornwall Living Magazine. Par-tay at 4 p.m. I’m bringing my kids.

Max is wearing a shirt by Fili. I love the African trim. I'll try to get a better picture, when he's not hurrying for the school bus.

Max is wearing a shirt by Fili. I love the African trim. I’ll try to get a better picture, when he’s not hurrying for the school bus

Anastasia refused to show her face. But you can see she likes Chirp Magazine, a gift from Helen, the SDG librarian.

Anastasia refused to show her face. But you can see she likes Chirp Magazine, a gift from Helen, the SDG librarian.

At 7:30 p.m., I’m appearing on the radio show Vankleek Cooley, in an interview with Louise Sproule, the publisher of The Review, a 121-year-old, award-winning community newspaper. This is my first show where the interviewer has read my novel, TERMINALLY ILL, in advance, so that’s exciting. Even wilder, it’s live radio, so anything could happen. Listen locally at 88.7 FM or livestream it here:

After today, my paperback Hope Sze books will be available for sale in the lobby of The Review. They’d make a perfect end-of-school present, Father’s Day gift, or “because you’re worth it” pick-me-up. Just sayin’.

 Here's my baby again. Hello, Terminally Ill! Soon to be distributed through Ingram Spark.

Here’s my baby again. Hello, Terminally Ill! Soon to be distributed through Ingram Spark.

As I’m gathering my wits and my books for Bloody Words 2014, I noticed an uptick in sales of TERMINALLY ILL. I fully credit, Steve Steinbock’s “utterly likeable” review in July’s Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. I blogged about how I’d told Steve that Kris Rusch had pointed out the review to me, and that I’m a big Smokey Dalton fan. He’d never read any of her books, but after my tip, he just messaged me to say that her latest, Street Justice, rocks. (Well, he put it more poetically than that. You get my drift.) Sweet!

Speaking of giving credit, I’m appearing on because my friend, the artist and financial planner Jessica Sarrazin, bought TERMINALLY ILL and got Louise hooked on it.

Jessica’s father, Jean Sarrazin, started the radio station. He used to work for the CBC and is “a seasoned audio editor, harking back to the days of 1/4 inch tape, razor blades and china markers.” He “sliced out-takes of piano music for Glenn Gould with those blades.” And now he’s editing the audio book of THE MOST UNFEELING DOCTOR IN THE WORLD. Nifty, huh? (BTW, this book was cited in the Ultimate Reading List for Nurses.)

E-book and print available. Audio coming soon!

E-book and print available. Audio coming soon!

If you’re sick of books (say it ain’t so!), Jessica’s having an art show on June 28th at the Quirky Carrot. Support the arts! As one of Hope’s men, John Tucker, quotes from Dead Poets Society, somewhat tongue in cheek, “[M]edicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”