Saturday, September 22, 2012

Paddle to the Mink Islands

We're back from our fall kayak trip, this time we explored islands in Georgian Bay. It was a chilly one this year - and the gale force winds made for some exciting moments! But the scenery made it all worth it.

loading my kayak

Is all that gear going to fit in your kayak, Den?
(It did!)

Love the rocks

Cooking supper

Soup goes down nice when it's four degrees Celcius out!

Anyone have kayak adventures they want to share?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

author photo shoot fail

Posing for an author photo is hard! Posing with a dog even harder. But try posing with two dogs and have everyone looking the right way at the same time! At one point, both dogs jumped in the lake! Here are some outtakes:

Can you translate what this dog is saying?

And finally we got this:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Amazing giveaway

The fantastic DearEditor is generously giving away a FREE CRITIQUE of your entire manuscript!!!!

Get thee to her blog immediately!

What an opportunity. She is FABULOUS.

and for your entertainment, here's a 25-year-old photo of my kid brother dressed as SUPERMAN.

Your very welcome, baby brother. heh heh heh.


I saw this cool game on Jemi's blog and thought I'd play along since I'm a huge offender of overusing the word LOOK

Do a search of your current wip to find the word look, then post a few paragraphs around that word.
Oy, I use that word too much!

here's my excerpt:

I peeled out of my sopping clothes, then wrapped myself in the blanket. It was silver. And crinkly.

            Dig offered his coat, but since he's sized like a twig, I couldn't even fit both arms in it and still drive. Which I had to do because Dig is a horror show of driving, putting everyone's life at risk. Trust me on that point.

            So I ended up wearing the jacket like a cape with it flapping out behind me as we sped down the trail back home. Did I mention I was draped in a silver blanket? Wearing my helmet with star stickers? And that's where we met Grandpa Morris coming toward us on his quad.

            Curses. I'm so busted. "Grandpa, this isn't how it looks ... " I trailed off when I saw his face.

Anyone want to play, leave me a comment if you are going to post so I can read yours!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Summer flying by

photo credit

Where did this summer go?

Kayaking, reading, work, writing, fishing, laughing, writing conferences, hiking, new puppy, surfing, camping, dog walking, revisions, author questionnaire, boating, bar-b-q, author photo, swimming, movies, poison ivy. 

Two weeks left. How did that happen?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Slate Islands kayak adventure

A kayak trip is not complete without a major wipe out
Back from another epic kayak adventure - this one to the Slate Islands in Lake Superior and Neys Park.

Highlights include:

  • man-eating waves and wipe-outs = bruises, lost sunglasses, and a gallon of water ingested. But wicked fun!
  • trout-infested waters allowing for delicious fresh shore-lunch served on rock platters
  • caribou sightings! Five in total, and one morning finding tracks less than a foot from our tent
  • a rather bumpy paddle in confused 3' seas through the fog along massive cliffs along west side of Slates. Amazing! And scary as heck!
  • EAGLES everywhere and a cool geological formation called shatter cone
first day Superior greeting us with style

Pic Island of Neys Park
I've just completed the 10 km open water crossing to the Slates
Caribou tracks

view from the tent
rod bent with 15 lb lake trout
shore lunch

unfortunately, no photos of the wild ride along the cliffs in the fog. both hands needed for the paddle!

Amazing trip! Now back to work and writing.

Anyone else have good summer vacation stories to share?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Puppies anyone?

Denali National Park Service has a new litter of cuteness.

They have a You Tube series called Puppy Paws that does a great job showing sled dog pups and describing the daily needs. Even at that age, their training begins.

Check it out!

Friday, June 1, 2012

New Things

Thing one - though more of a HE, is our latest addition with a cold nose and warm paws.

River the lucky lab

Someone had DUMPED this clever, sweet, funny boy, which was obvious by the ridge left where someone had removed his collar, and his behaviour like he was waiting for someone. He is also not a character that would run away.
He is FIVE MONTHS old! And all alone in a scary world. He was so covered in bug bites that he had an allergic reaction and swelled up like a monster puppy.
We've called him River (where we found him). He's quite a handful while he learns the house rules, but he makes me laugh every day.

Thing two - the new website design by She is brilliant and fabulous. Highly recommend her.  Under the contact page you can join my mother and be on my mailing list!

Thing three - new facebook author page for news and announcements about ICE DOGS, and other projects in the works. It's a bit skimpy right now, but will soon be filled with goodies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What I'm doing

Normally I only blog when I have something interesting to say. I don't stick to a schedule for the sake of a schedule. And usually that means I post about once or twice a week.

But holy smokes - I've just noticed how long it's been!

So here's what I'm doing:

ICE DOGS is kicking my butt with the final copy due in to my editor in September. Turns out, the work is NOT done once you've sold your manuscript. It has just begun.

Author Questionnaire
Once you sign with a publishing house, you normally get a multi-page document asking about you, your marketing plans, etc. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is keeping me on my toes.

New writing
I've just completed a new outdoor adventure loosely based on my own experiences working as a Park Ranger for twelve years in Quetico Park. Stay tuned.

New website
In honour of my new book coming out, the fabulous Maddee of is creating a serious work of art for me. I can't wait to show you.

Since I'm about to spill the beans on my new website, I'll say now that I actually have a full time job as a Conservation Officer. I've been busy protecting our natural resources (ie. in spring this usually involves the walleye run)

I've been getting in lots of camping and fishing this spring. And I've been planning our next kayak expeditions for the summer. Please check back again for more rugged Lake Superior coastline photos and near-death tales of adventure.

My man last weekend while we trolled for trout. No fish were harmed in the taking of the this photo.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The reason why being an author is awesome

I haven't talked about Dogsled Dreams for a while, but felt the need to mention I found this little gem thanks to Google Alerts.

Imagining my book being read out loud in a classroom,
and those kids actually liking it so much, they don't want the teacher to stop,
and then those kids reading it again ON THEIR OWN

and then having the totally awesome teacher,
who not only reads to her class, but also blogs about books,
take the time to post this about my little book ...

well, there are no words.

photo credit

just smiles.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Read any good books lately?

While waiting for my revision package from my editor, I've been on a reading frenzy.

Perhaps it's a YA burnout, or just my mood, but I'm not having much luck in my choices this year.

I don't like talking about books that I didn't care for, so here's a few that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED

I've read 26 books this year. This is a small percentage.

So I'm looking for your help in finding my next book crush. I'm considering Anansi Boys on audio. I've heard it's a great audiobook and I've just discovered the joys of driving and listening.

I'm looking forward to others that are coming out soon - Bitter Blue, The Drowned Cities, The Calling, Endure. I'll be purchasing all of these.

Any advice? What's your book recommendation?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

lucky seven meme

I've been tagged by Rena in a Lucky Seven meme. I don't normally do memes. And considered for a while how brave I was going to be, but it's only seven sentences, so decided to share this rough draft.

Here's an excerpt from my wip - WILD WOOD THUNDER.
Page 77, seven lines down, seven sentences.

"Logan!" I yell, and stumble forward.
            He's face down in the gravel with the water rushing around his legs. I place a hand on his back and feel it move with a breath. I let out a sigh of relief. A dark oozing blood trail soaks down the side of his pants from his knee. His lips are blue. I realize he must have gone through the second set of rapids as well.

And you know I have to post a photo to match. Since this is a canoeing survival story, here's a few from my archives when I worked as a backcountry Park Ranger in Quetico wilderness park.

Me and Taiga in the rain

Sunday, March 25, 2012


The winner of my latest book giveaway ...

is ...

Theresa Milstein!!

Thanks everyone for all your comments about how awesome dogsledding books are! What fun to read!

and, because I love pictures, here's a random photo from our trip in Georgian Bay last year. Paradise.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another giveaway

Truth by Julia Karr ARC
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
(from my publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Isn't that a stunning cover?)
My Big Nose and other natural disasters by Sydney Salter
My Very Un Fairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszweski

One commenter wins all four books. Randomly selected.

Simply leave a comment telling me why dogsledding novels are awesome.
And I would love it if you added ICE DOGS to your goodreads list.

Ends March 25.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Storm of the season

Over a foot of snow in 24 hours with high winds = no power for two days. But we've dug out, we're back on, and we're ready for the next one. Bring it!

and then the sun came out