Claudia Osmond ~ Reader, Writer, and Ruminator

Posts Tagged ‘Smudge's Mark’

Monday interview – with me!

In real life, Smudge's Mark on January 24, 2011 at 7:16 am

No, silly, I didn’t interview myself. But the fabulous Maureen McGowan did over on her collaborative blog, Get Lost In A Story.

(Psst! There’s also a chance to win a hardcover copy of SMUDGE’S MARK in there, too!)

Thanks, Maureen! It was fun!

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Today Totally Makes Up for Yesterday

In author events, School Visits on April 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Every now and then you need to have a good today that can make up for a bad yesterday.

Yesterday was a baaaaad day. The worst part of it by far was that as I was driving down one of our busy main streets, my brakes gave out on me! Totally and completely, sending me skidding as if there was a sheet of ice under my tires. I’ll tell you it was the strangest experience: no snow, no ice, yet sliding right through a main intersection on a yellow-now-turned-red light. I’m just so thankful there was no one crossing out in front of me to sneak in a last minute left turn before the light turned red. I’m okay, but my car? Waah! 😦 Although in a case like this, better the car than me.

All that to say: Today totally makes up for yesterday.

I was invited to speak this morning at a neighbourhood public school. The gym was full of close to 200 eager grade 4-8 students. Being a teacher it’s in my nature to be very interactive, which is fine in a contained classroom of 20 or so students. And, being a teacher, I also know how easily kids can get distracted and become very silly, especially if you’re ASKING them to talk and interact. So I got a tad nervous when I saw the size of the crowd; all sitting on the floor, no less. But they were a fantastic bunch! Very responsive, very engaged. The librarian later told me that usually they see a slow and steady trickle of kids “having to go to the washroom” during such events, but no one left their spot the entire time! And, me being me, I went overtime to boot! So, like I said, they were a fantastic crowd of kids!

After the main presentation I visited the individual classrooms, as I sent them away with a character sketch assignment and I had a random draw prize for each class as well. I lol-ed as I was bombarded in each classroom by scraps of paper, arms, ball caps and school agendas to sign. Luckily I brought pre-signed bookmarks and was able to placate them with those. A surprising number of them had their own copies of Smudge for me to sign and the questions they asked during our small group time were very well thought out (especially, I could tell, the questions about how much money I’ve made so far! LOL! :P)

Today was the most energizing day I’ve had in a long time. And yeah, it totally does make up for yesterday.

A Brilliantly, Awesomely, Horrific Idea

In a peek inside my head, Smudge's Mark on April 15, 2010 at 5:35 pm

How fun! Today is Operation Book Drop Off Day (a.k.a. #operationtbd on Twitter) which means that if you want to play, you’re to take a book to a public place and … drop it off. Yep. Just like that.

Needless to say, I just had to get in on the action! So, I signed a copy of SMUDGE’S MARK and wrote a note inside telling the finder that “Surprise! Finder’s Keepers!” Then I went to my neighborhood train station and strategically placed the book in a spot I knew it wouldn’t be overlooked: right on the steps that lead to and from the tracks! At least one person in the crowd that would soon be teeming out of the rush hour train would be curious enough to pick it up on their way up the stairs! Brilliant!

Brilliant idea!

I left the train station with a big smile on my face. I mean, who doesn’t love doing random things like this? And who wouldn’t love to find a free book, right? It was just so much fun, being all clandestine-like, dropping off a secret present for a secret person. Awesome!

About half-way home, I was struck with a horrible thought. What if … what if someone goes DOWN the stairs. And what if that someone doesn’t see the book and trips on it and falls all the way down the steps and breaks a leg! Both legs! And splits their head open on the concrete! And maybe sprains their wrist(s) as they’re trying to break their fall! And spills their hot coffee all over them and (gasp!) crushes their brand new iPad that they drove all night to wait in line for! 

Crap! I signed the book! I wrote a “Surprise!” note in it! I’ll be sued! Horror!

I’ve got to move that book!

I did a u-turn as quickly as I could (and those aren’t always legal here, in Canada) and raced back to the train station (which isn’t legal anywhere, I don’t think) I parked, jumped out of the car, and speed-walked in the direction of the stairwell. I didn’t run because I didn’t want to look, um, obvious in case that poor person was already lying on the concrete, crying out in pain and at the loss of their iPad, with a crowd of people around them.

Well, you’ll be happy to know that there was no one lying on the concrete, crying out in pain. (Or at the loss of their iPad) In fact, the stairwell was still empty. I scooped up my book and put it in a much safer place.

A much safer place

Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Hooray for Libraries!

In Libraries on April 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

You know, it really doesn’t take much to make me happy. And right now I’m ecstatic!

Taking a little five minute break and what do I find? The Edmonton Library System has 5 copies of my book! And all of them are checked out! And there’s one on hold!!

Edmonton, you have just made my day.

Hooray for libraries! 😀 I’m one of a million who thinks they are important.

Into the Wilds of the World

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 at 11:03 am

What a great day yesterday was! SMUDGE is now in the wilds of the world.

You know, when SMUDGE was released into Canada it was a bittersweet moment: kind of like seeing your first child off to kindergarten. So proud that you’ve worked so hard to help prepare them to be launched into the real world, yet deep down you wish you could hold onto them for just a little while longer.

This time around, however, the release feels more like seeing an adolescent, who’s been living in their parents’ basement playing video games for the last 10 years, decide they’re going to college. Yes! Finally!!

Whew! Raising a book is hard work! It certainly isn’t a predictable industry nor is it an easy job, but along the way there are rewards and little boosts that help keep you going. And sometimes you just have to give yourself that little boost!

Which is what I did by holding two book giveaways: one on Goodreads and one on this blog/Facebook. I love giving stuff away! On Goodreads, 3 winners were randomly chosen out of 781 entries. And here, because I had such a hard time picking the winners, I did a totally random “shout out a number” draw via Twitter and came up with my winners that way. And wouldn’t you know it, the same person won twice! She won a copy here AND on Goodreads! Out of 781 people! What are the chances of that happening?? She must have been born (or conceived) in a patch of four-leaf clovers!

So, off to the post office I go, books in hand. And just like paying tuition for the kid who’s moving out of the basement, now that the moment has finally arrived, I think I’ll just close my eyes and hand over my bank card.

The Best Visual Ever

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Picture this, if you will:

“…we have one copy of your book. The cover has been eaten by a MaltesePoodle; however, the kids are quickly passing around the only copy we have. Now, the kids are eating the WHOLE BOOK, they are so excited. Their imaginations are at work and their interest is keen.”

Can you picture it? Dog-eaten cover and all? (I love that! Ha!) Now, let me give you a bit of background info to help put it into context for you:

The aforementioned kids are connected to Lifeline Malawi; an independent Canadian humanitarian medical relief and development organization in Malawi, Africa. Lifeline’s mission is to provide medical aid without discrimination to the peoples of developing countries.

THIS is what it’s all about: The kids whose imaginations are sparked, whose interests are keen, and whose days are made a little brighter through the wonder and magic of the written word.

I’m humbled, choked up, and tremendously honored. As I read those words, I can’t help but think this just might be the best review Smudge’s Mark will ever get.