Monday, 29 August 2016
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Monday, 6 June 2016
Monday, 23 May 2016
Are there people in your life with whom you'd like to be in contact again? Maybe you met them in your youth or on your travels.
Read about 3 of mine: http://www.pattylesser.com/blog/do-you-know-these-people
Monday, 9 May 2016
Monday, 18 April 2016
Have you considered holding a signing at a bookstore? Would you like to know how to go about it? Are you excited or nervous? What are your questions?
Read my 9 Steps to a Successful Signing.
Monday, 11 April 2016
Monday, 4 April 2016
Monday, 21 March 2016
Check out my blog on my website http://www.pattylesser.com/blog/behind-that-truthful-place about my inspiration for That Truthful Place.
Then you can get a free copy on my website www.pattylesser.com
Monday, 29 February 2016
Monday, 22 February 2016
When I was 17 years old, I joined the Junior Forest Rangers' program for the summer. It was a youth program run by the Ministry of Natural Resources. To apply, you had to be in your 17th year and a resident of Ontario. The program began in 1944, but unfortunately ended in 2012. Big pity
I was assigned to an all girls group near Chapleau, Ontario. That's way up north past Sudbury. If I remember correctly, it took a full day to get there.We named our camp "Five Mile Style" because we were located near the Five Mile Park. That's a picture of us above. I'm the one in the middle of the first row wearing the 79 shirt reminding us that that was 1979. I'm glad I wore that shirt.
The program involved work, education and recreational components. We learned how to clean campsites, clear trails, plant trees, maintain canoe routes, how to combat forest fires, and wildlife projects (we learned the proper way to skin a beaver. The whole camp turned out for that, but I was the only one who remained until the end).
We were there for the two months of July and August, and it was a lot of fun. I met other girls from all over Ontario and from many different backgrounds. There were also a few other camps near us. We came together for parties and everyone had a great time.
The hardest thing we had to learn was to put out forest fires with a portable fire extinguisher. We were trained how to properly put it together and how to use it. It was a difficult device that required hours to learn but, once achieved, we were very proud of our accomplishment.
On the first day, we were given a number of rules to follow. They included everything to keep us safe and free of injury. Being the rebel I am, I encouraged everyone to break the rules. We broke every one but, at the end of the summer, we won the prize for the most successful camp and received a small pocketknife with the Ministry of Natural Resources emblem. It was so funny we received this after breaking every rule. I still have it.
It was a wonderful summer full of excitement and adventure. We hiked many trails and even went on a fun canoe trip. I don't remember any fights or difficulties. We all got along well and enjoyed the friendships. It was an experience I'll never forget.
My new website goes live on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016. Let me know what you think.
Monday, 15 February 2016
I have many fond memories of my childhood summers at Prince Edward Island, Canada. My family visited this incredible island for six consecutive summers while my brother and I were growing up. Driving from Ontario took three days, so we were ecstatic when we arrived at the P.E.I. port. The entire vacation was spent at a lovely, quaint motel in the small town of Souris, which is on the eastern tip of the Island.
My family swam and relaxed much of our time on the stunning seascape. The long, empty beaches created by red warm soft sand were a simple joy. Swimming was a little difficult because you had to walk far out into the ocean before you reached a point where the water was over your head. The ocean could be quite cold, but we didn’t care and swam all the time.
Along the red beaches were spread every possible kind of shell and sea creature. I loved finding the circular imprinted sand dollars and the dead, stiff star fish. As we sauntered along the warm coast, we would collect all sorts of natural debris. My mother and I created very artistic ornaments by pasting the coloured shells onto many different shapes of driftwood. Much to our surprise, we later discovered similar crafts being sold in the tourist shops for $10.00.
My parents always organized small adventures around the island. One such scheduled trip was to Green Gables and the make-believe home of Anne, the main character in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables. It is such a wonderful story about an odd little girl who was adopted from an orphanage by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert who lived in Avonlea. Due to many mishaps and good deeds, not only do the Cuthberts fall in love with Anne, but she also earns the friendship of the townspeople. It is a marvelous tale full of laughter and tears. It was made into a television series.
One day, a brown station wagon pulled up in front of one of the rooms at the motel with two big, beautiful, black Labrador Retrievers in the back of the car. Like a magnet to all dogs, I immediately marched over to make friends. Suddenly, from the front driver’s side of this ugly brown car, came a very gruff and angry short man with a full, brown beard and steely brown eyes that seemed to pierce right through you. He vehemently shouted at me to get away from his car and to leave his dogs alone. I slunk away feeling quite dejected.
The next day, the horrible, little man’s lovely wife invited me into their room. Her husband was out walking the dogs. They were her husband’s dogs, she explained, and he did not like anyone touching them. I was not to be upset by his behaviour. He wasn’t good with children, she added. She then talked to me about my holiday and other incidentals. We had a very pleasant time. When it was over, she gave me a big hug and sent me on my way. I liked her very much.
After the couple and their dogs had left, my parents told me that the man was Farley Mowat; a renowned and well-respected Canadian author who has written many novels. I must admit that I was very surprised. From that day forward, I never again read any of his books.
Do you have any childhood memories that bring sunshine to a dreary day?
As far as the Syrian refugees are concerned, I arrived at the soccer venue at 9:20 a.m. They didn't arrive until 10:15 am, but it was only the men and kids. The women remained at the hotel because of sick children. It also snowed so that probably freaked them out. I left my card with a couple of men looking after them so if they need me, they'll call. have fun,
Monday, 8 February 2016
One thing I can thank my parents for is raising me ignorant of prejudice. My parents never said, "You can't go to their house" because my friend was Chinese, Native Canadian, Black, or East Indian. Growing up, I always had friends from other countries. I saw them as equals and felt that I could only learn from them. My knowledge about different cultures, languages and ways of life grew. I absorbed and reveled in it.
Because I loved studying other cultures, I decided to travel the world. It was a dream of mine as a kid to live and work a year in every country. Of course, I didn't make it to them all but I did get to a few (England, Europe, Middle East and Australia). I prefer to live in Canada but I still like to travel. Unfortunately, I can't go anywhere at the moment because of an old dog and cat. When I'm free, I will travel again. My first 3 trips are planned to South Africa, Brazil and England/Ireland. Then the rest of the world!
On Wednesday, I'm driving to an indoor soccer field where this great guy named Duncan, who owns the place, has opened it up to the Syrian refugees who have made Hamilton their home. It's fantastic that they are here and away from such a horrible existence. But most don't speak English and have nothing. The kids need a place to run and play and the men enjoy playing some soccer so it's great they have this field, but the women do nothing but sit on the sidelines.
I will be meeting with these women and hopefully, in some small way, I can help. I remember a bit of Arabic because I lived in the Middle East for 6 years. I hope it's enough to help them understand that I'm trying. I plan to teach them English and help them understand our culture. I love teaching English and spreading knowledge about the language. It's a real joy when you correct someone about a pronunciation and they get it. When you see that light in their eyes brighten because they've understood.
So as you can see, there is not a prejudicial bone in my body. I accept everyone no matter what colour, race, religion or sexual orientation. I wish everyone could be the same way and that's why I wrote That Truthful Place. It's about 10 kids from different ethnic backgrounds. I wanted to show how people with many difference can work together and be successful.
By the way, have you ever noticed that on an airplane there are people from all over the world? And they're not fighting. Everyone hopes it will be a safe flight and they will land on time. They don't care that the person beside them, in front of them, behind them is of a different race. See, we can live together in peace.
In my blog next Monday, February 15th, I will describe my experiences with the Syrian refugees.
Monday, 1 February 2016
Check out my interview with Youngman Brown on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at http://yourcreativepush.com/pattylesser
Opposite to most people, I don't like weekends. Nothing on TV and no one works. But I love Mondays. However, I didn't enjoy last Monday as much. I apologize for not posting a blog last week and below is the reason.
First thing Monday morning, I received an email from my editor Andi advising that Amazon had changed their format requirements. My novels had been published in bold font and I had to change that. So all week, I reviewed my novels and deleted the bold. Then I had to re-publish them all. This is not a difficult feat, just very time consuming.
Check out this site if you wish to learn more about this: http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/kindle-e-books-will-have-a-warning-message-if-they-have-spelling-mistakes-or-bad-formatting
Another project I'm working on is creating a whole new website. I have been told by some experts in the industry that my site is a liability. My new site should be live in a week or so. I will let you know when to check it out. Though it's in the beginning stages, it looks much better. I've very satisfied with the result. Can't wait to show it to you.
Then I get a call from Animal Control that Kira's dog license has expired. Every year I get a form from them in July to renew Kira's license. I always pay it well in advance of the deadline. However last year, I didn't realize that I had forgotten about it because I didn't receive the form. Luckily because my record is excellent, they didn't charge me late fees. I quickly paid the fee and made a note in July to pay.
On Wednesday, my mother and I attended a meeting about how we can help the Syrian refugees who have arrived in our city of Hamilton, Ontario. They are in great need of ESL teachers. I have taught English as a second language to adults in my past and, for the last year, I have been teaching English to students in Brazil over Skype so have lots of experience. The organizers were pleased to meet me and promise to put me to work.
I know what it's like to travel to a new country, not knowing the language or understanding the culture. I hope I have the opportunity of acclimatizing the Syrian refugees. Their children should pick up the language, but adults will have a more difficult time. Helping them out could be as easy as taking them shopping to show them where and what everything is.
One other fun occupation was taking the car into the garage to have the rear lights repaired. Like everyone, I dread taking the car in because I'm always afraid they'll find something wrong which will cost hundreds of dollars to repair. Luckily, I only had to pay $29 for the lights. Whew!
Over the next two weeks, I will be taking part in the Amplify Summit during which time I will listen to broadcasts presented by many various experts in the writing field. I'm looking forward to learning something new.
So time is flying. I can't believe January is over and it's been a good month. Looking forward to February to see what will happen next.
Monday, 18 January 2016
I didn’t read my first book until I was 10 years old. Somehow, I was able to hide my lack of reading from my teachers. However, in grade 5, I ran into Mrs. Markham who insisted I read Mrs Pickerell Goes to the Moon. I loved it.
From that point onwards, I became a voracious reader and read any book I could get my hands on. An underlying dream was to create one of my own. I wanted to bring people to my words as the authors I was reading.
As a young child, I wrote poems about dragons. I did that for a few years, then tried my hand at short stories. I wrote a few over the years but found them difficult. Never tried to publish any. Didn’t think they were good enough.
One morning, years later after I had returned to Hamilton from overseas, I woke up with a full dream in my head. I sat down at the computer and wrote. I worked 12 hours a day for 4 months until Locker Rooms was completed. I had written my first novel and I felt a great thrill.
Then it was edited. Since it needed so much work, I put it in a drawer. I was disappointed that I hadn’t written a best seller. I forgot about writing for a few years. Then, took it out and dusted it off. I made the editor’s corrections and wrote publishers.
While receiving rejections, I began another novel. I kept at writing for a few years always hoping for a publishing deal. Then I learned about self-publishing.
My five novels have now been self-published. I accept writing like a job and write every day from 9-10 a.m. until 4 p.m. I’m so happy when the words flow. I love writing and will continue as long as possible.
Monday, 11 January 2016
I have to admit, I love doing interviews. It's so much fun talking about yourself. You can't really do that much these days without sounding arrogant or self-absorbed. But, in an interview, all the questions revolve around you and your books. You get to enjoy that pleasure.
Tim Knox interviewed me for his website Interviewing Authors. It was so much fun and it turned out great. If you'd like to hear it, you can listen to my Interview here.
I've done a few written interviews with Kevin Peter, Motewriter for my novels Locker Rooms, That Truthful Place and A Discerning Heart. You can read the full interviews on my site Interviews here.
Here is an excerpt from the Locker Rooms Interview:
KP: What was your inspiration behind ‘Locker Rooms’?
PL: Actually, it was a dream. I woke up one morning with the novel in my head. I sat down at the
computer and wrote for twelve hours a day for four months until the novel was finished. But, it
took me five years to edit and complete it satisfactory.
KP: How would you describe your lead character Alida on whose strong shoulders the entire plot line rests?
PL: She’s me and how I would react in those circumstances. I fashioned her after various aspects of my personality. I wrote her to be able to accomplish whatever she desired.
This is a bit from the That Truthful Place Interview:
KP: What was your inspiration behind ‘That Truthful Place’?
PL: The telepathic idea originated from Deanna Troi, a character in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I always loved her telepathic abilities and wished to create characters who were telepathic. I
picked 13 year old children because, at that age, they change from children to adults.
KP: Who is your favourite character and why?
PL: I love all the characters equally. They are all a part of me. Every year growing up, I wished to
begin a different career. These children are me as I would be if I had their abilities.
From A Discerning Heart Interview:
KP: ‘A Discerning Heart’ – give the short take on it?
PL: Its about a poor man who dreams of becoming rich and famous. He sets out to achieve greatness only to fall victim to the mighty ocean. Saved by a mermaid, his life changes.
KP: What was the inspiration behind this book?
PL: I was chatting with a guy named Jim who said I should marry a rich fisherman. I said only a poor fisherman would want me and then Dim Jim was born.
I'm redoing my website and the new site will be up soon.
Monday, 4 January 2016
For the past ten years, I have been chatting online. I started with Yahoo until they closed their site. Then I moved to ICQ where I stayed for many years until it recently closed. Now I'm chatting on a site associated with ICQ. It's not a bad place to meet people though enough idiots can be found there.
My first book is non-fiction about chat. It's entitled Shall We Chat? Revealing the Secrets of Chatting Online. There are ten chapters revealing everything you always wanted to know about chatting online. It's an honest, direct view and you'll laugh often.
An except from the book:
The wonderful world of chatting online can almost but replace people’s real and private lives because of its ability to connect people from all over this great world. The principal purpose people enter a chat room is to make a new friend, either for friendship or sexual reasons. The whole purpose of the chat conversation is to conduct a naturally flowing discussion about mutual experiences and interests, relating to someone about their world. It is possible to meet genuine and interesting people from whom to learn and enjoy chatting with for a few hours. However, for most chatters, their sole reason for entering a chat room is sexual in nature.
What is a chat room? Firstly, find a chat website by using Google and search the term: "chat room". Pick an appropriate chat site and then the preferred chat room. A small box will open to provide an opportunity to choose a suitable screen nickname. After clicking ‘Enter’, a large square box will appear taking up the majority of the computer screen. Immediately, there is the hectic view of the constant conversations by the regular chatters. This is called the main room. Usually, a vast community of people chat in this public area. Everyone can read and join in the open conversations of these constant chatters.
On the right side of the main room, there is a list of every chatter’s nickname. Double click on one of those chat nicknames and now it is possible to privately chat with someone. When choosing to chat privately, a small box will appear with the chosen person’s nickname at the top and a small empty space where the chat conversation can be held. This chat conversation is technologically private so no one but the two chatters can read what is being written.
For someone who is alone at home most of the time, chat is helpful. I have a few good friends with whom I can have interesting and fun conversations. I can share my life and look forward to their comments and suggestions. No, I don't meet these people in person and that is accepted. We just enjoy each other's company in this limited fashion but, at least, it's a distraction.
Chatting isn't for everyone. It helps to be a fast typist and someone with many interests upon which to discuss. But if you are interested in know what chat is all about, check out my book.