Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Toronto Tuesdays Guest Post with Helene Boudreau, and a chance to WIN a signed copy of Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings!

In book giveaway on December 14, 2010 at 9:00 am

Hélène Boudreau is the author of Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, a story about first zits, first crushes and first…mermaids’ tails? 

Hélène had announced a little while ago that she had a few “spare” copies of her new book to give away, and since she’s having her launch tonight I thought, hey, why not see if she wants to give one away here to add to the celebration? And why not get her to write a guest post while she’s at it?

So here’s torkidlit author Hélène Boudreau to talk about how to incorporate conflict in a story. And then she’d like you to join her in a celebratory book-launch-day-game of I HEART THE STORY: I HATE THE STORY. Play along for a chance to win your very own copy of REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS! 


Conflict. Wanna make something out of it?

Conflict is the engine that drives a story for me and it was the jumping off point for my character, Jade, in ‘Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings’.

At the very opening of the story, Jade has been invited to a pool party by her best friend, Cori. Jade tries to wheedle her way out of it because she hates swimming but Cori holds her to her promise to come. Jade needs to buy a new bathing suit for the party but she is at odds with her ample frame and has trouble finding a suit that fits. This is further complicated by the arrival of her first period in the middle of Hyde’s Department store. Moreover, when this surge of hormones brings on another metamorphosis, complete with scales and a tail, Jade is horrified because her disdain for swimming is actually more than that. Jade has been deathly afraid of the water ever since she witnessed her mother’s drowning the previous summer.

These are all examples of conflict and they are what (hopefully) keep a reader engaged in the story. Will Jade convince Cori to let her bow out of the party? How will Jade deal with this unexpected surprise visit from Aunt Flo? And, whoever heard of an aqua-phobic mermaid, anyway??

Conflict exists when characters want different things (Jade vs. Cori), or when a character is having an internal struggle (Jade’s feelings about her body) or when a character is at odds with their environment (Jade vs. the water).

So in that spirit, let’s play a game called I Heart the Story, I Hate the Story. The object of the game is to write a story starting with a positive sentence, then follow it up with a negative one which turns the story on its ear, then back again. I’ll get the story going and you can play along, adding your continuation of the story in the comments. Please alternate Heart and Hate sentences in the comments and let’s see how silly we can get.

Every comment is entered to win a copy of ‘Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings’!

I Heart the Story: “Once upon a time, in an underwater sea world, there lived a beautiful mermaid.”

I Hate the Story: “Except for the ugly black mole growing out of the side of her nose with wiry hairs sprouting from it.”

I Heart the Story: “But moles were a sign of beauty in her sea-culture and she dreamed of one day meeting her Prince Charming.”

Get the idea? Over to you… 🙂


Okay, let’s see what you come up with. Remember, each comment = one entry for a chance to win!!

P.S. For more info on Hélène and her books, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook and on her Website.

  1. […] #3: Claudia Osmond / Where the (not so) Wild Things Are: 1 copy with signed bookplate! […]

  2. I Hate the Story: “But the king of the Sea had decreed that all moles be removed, for he didn’t have one and was jealous.”

  3. Neat idea for a giveaway! I’ll play.

    HATE: Unfortunately, all the princes in the kingdom were completely mole-free.

  4. Is more than one comment from the same person okay?

    HEART: The beautiful mermaid despaired, until one day she found a golden coral reef that, when touched, transported her to an entirely different kingdom, where she hoped to find her Prince.

  5. Last comment from me:

    HATE: But the mermaid soon discovered that the kingdom’s waters were polluted, and she couldn’t breathe.

    This is fun! I’m going to post a link to this on my blog.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Claudia Osmond, Hélène Boudreau. Hélène Boudreau said: Play "I Heart the Story/ I Hate the Story" on @claudiaosmond's blog 4A chance to win Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings! […]

  7. Heart (following the last hate in the comments), but just as the mermaid thought she couldn’t hold her breath any longer, a handsome merman with a mole just to the left of his nose pulled her to the surface.

  8. Great entries, everyone! I’ll play…

    HATE: But the merman was also sporting a mullet haircut–and the mermaid couldn’t bear to think of becoming an underwater hockey widow.

  9. LOVE: But she also had a secret obsession with Duran Duran and the moled and mulletted merman reminded her so much of Simon LeBon that before she knew it she had told him her name was Rio and she loved to dance upon the sand.

  10. HEART: The merman confessed he loved to dance upon the sand as well. Hand in hand they swam towards the shore, ready to bust a move.

    HATE: Both blinded by their lusty merfolk desires, they climbed onto the sand. It was only then that they realized they had no legs and were unfortunately beached there, baking in the hot sun.

  11. […]   Claudia Osmond / Where the (not so) Wild Things Are: Play “I heart the story/You hate the story” for a chance to win 1 copy with signed bookplate! (ongoing)… […]

  12. Heart: But as their sun completely dried out every scale, their fish tales began to tingle and split into human legs.

  13. That should have been “the” sun . . .

  14. Hate: As the sun melted their scales away and joy leapt back into their hearts, hair began to grow wildly. Starting on the merefolk’s toes and traveling thickly to their necks.

  15. Heart: Just as they were about to despair, they looked around and exclaimed simultaneously, “Look! We’ve reached the Kingdom of Hair, where thick bodily hair is the sign of great beauty!”

  16. Hate: Unfortunately, the current Prince was far less hairy than our beautiful “merefolk,” so he decreed that all other inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hair be shaved completely.

  17. HATE: The princess demanded to have her head shaved since the prince had his.

  18. The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! This just in via facebook chat with Helene Boudreau:

    “My random number generator picked Melissa!! ‘Hate: Unfortunately, the current Prince was far less hairy than our beautiful “merefolk,” so he decreed that all other inhabitants of the Kingdom of Hair be shaved completely.'”

    Congratulations, Melissa!! Please inbox me with your snail mail addy and I’ll make sure you get your personalized, signed copy of REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS right away! (

    Thanks to everyone who played. It was fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: