Ta Da! Meet the Book :)

coverIt’s here and it is beautiful!

The past couple days have been about signing books, packaging books, and sending books. So I hope you receive yours soon. When you do, I’d LOVE to see a picture of you and your book (or just your book) that I could share online. Many of the Claires have a lust for travel and adventure in this novel, so it’d be great to see where the actual novel travels to 🙂 You send in pics through ClaireNeverEnding@gmail.com, or share on my facebook page, or tweet it at @Bumpyboobs. If you missed the Kickstarter campaign, the book is now available online (and at my parent’s office in Kanata).

Where can you buy the book? Soft cover novels are being sold through Amazon: http://amzn.to/1a60ypI You can also buy ebooks through Amazon for kindle AND Smashwords. Smashwords carries every ebook format, so it’s very good for any kind of device.

Reviews are a really helpful thing for an author. So, if you read the book and like it, please do give it a review on Amazon.com (book or ebook), and/or Goodreads. That would be amazing.

Lastly, my website is up! After a little trouble getting it connected, it’s finally flying. Check it out at http://www.CatherineBrunelle.com

I feel like I’ve asked so much from everyone with the Kickstarter campaign and this novel. Just so you know, I have been so touched by people pouring forth with their enthusiasm. In return here are my hopes for you:

  • I hope you find the story to be good, especially for all of you who have been reading alongside me with this blog.
  • I hope it carries you in that big yellow balloon and whisks you away for your own adventure.
  • I hope you have a favourite Claire.
  • I hope it helps you to smile, laugh and nod (and tear-up just occasionally) often as you read the stories.
  • I hope you recognize bits and pieces of yourself in these women. (Despite their being 100% fictional)
  • I hope when you chase after your own Big Dreams, you let me know so I can cheer you forward as you did for me.

It isn’t a perfect novel, but it’s one of the heart – as I am sure they all are. And for me, the pay off has been interacting with everyone on the Kickstarter campaign and allowing a new definition of myself to develop that is so, so good. The Catherine who made this book is a very happy Catherine, indeed.

Here’s a picture of my dad after I dropped the book off at his house. It made me smile, so I’ll share it with you too.

Picture 1

Have yourself a beautiful week.


How things are going, and a story about worms

I’m waiting for the chicken to defrost just a little before I slice it up. In the meanwhile, it’s time for a blog post! While I often update on Facebook and occasionally through the Kickstarter campaign, I thought maybe here in the land of blogging, it was quite a good idea to share on how the book is doing.

So, how is the book doing?

Very well, thank you for asking. There were starts and stops with a few things, but in reality  none of that even matters because it is all very good. This reminds me of why it’s good to do what you really believe in – like, from the gut and heart and whatever part of you taps that inside strength.

My point: When it is good, the hitches don’t matter.

The book is now off to the printers with the editing done (well, we did our very best for the time being), and cover designed. I have a proof copy, and it’s gorgeous.

Check out that investment sweater! Me being interviewed by Tina of Women In Leadership, Ottawa.

Check out that investment sweater! Me being interviewed by Tina of Women In Leadership, Ottawa.

Internal debate: When to reveal the cover?  Zsolt thinks we should ship out the book first, then show everyone the cover. He thinks it would be a lovely surprise in the mail. The man has a point. But on the other hand, I LOVE IT, and it’s sooo hard not to show the world when I’m going bonkers over something. Though maybe opening a book in the mail and seeing the picture would be very exciting… I imagine it could be fun. Your opinion?

Also, I’m planning on having a launch party. Now I’ve typed it out loud, I’m obligated! You heard it here – LAUNCH PARTY IS HAPPENING. Most of me wants to have it at the apartment. I’m wondering just how many people can fit into this space. Because really, all the best parties are house parties, no? Yes. It’s good to launch in a book store with wine and conversation… but perhaps it’s better to launch this book in my kitchen with pot luck, music and laughter? While the book is literary, it’s by no means stuffy. The party should reflect that, wherever it may happen.

Finally, in the very smallest cracks of the day, i.e. midnight-ish, I’ve started working on my writer’s website. This is all on me, I’m not outsourcing the business of websites. It’s mostly just a bit of fun, but also something quite practical. Below is a picture from the website, featuring an image from one of my oldest postcards:


And just to give a little update, kind of imagining that Lulu was still reading this blog, and I know she’d be curious: How are we doing? Zsolt and I are doing really well, thanks for asking 😉

In terms of life, it’s been beautifully normal lately. There’s an oncologist appointment coming up this week, and I am praying Dr. Canada isn’t going to ruin my buzz. Onco appointments give me anxiety hot flashes.

The IV Vitamin C is going well. I go to the OICC in Ottawa, and I’m very grateful for their services. It’s not cheap, but like one of my doctors said: can you really put a price tag on your life? Well, yes, you can . . . but nevertheless, this is my shot, my time to try my damn best with what I’ve got, and I’m going to take it. I’m lucky to be able to do this. Part of what I make from the kickstarter campaign – like whatever I get to take away after making the book, etc., will hopefully go to this sort of thing.

I’m also doing something called mistletoe. It’s an injection 3x a week that is meant to stimulate the immune system. Truth be told, this isn’t fun. But I’ve heard some good results from others, so that is very encouraging.

Also, Zsolt’s parents are bringing us to Hungary for the holidays! I guess you can call that a gift for the soul. I had tried suggesting they come over here, but it’s not easy for them with the language barrier and the world being big, fast, and a little intimidating. So we go there! I’ve found a place that will administer vitamin C while I’m in Hungary. There will also be Christmas markets, and puppies and goulash (I’m hoping). I reckon it is better to go now than wait, wait, wait for the right moment. Forget waiting for the right moment—I don’t know what that even means anymore, except that body allowing, now is the right moment for everything.

And we are happy. I haven’t been crying every day, Zsolt and I laugh and play, and I am glad. I’m glad to be happy. Not much has changed one way or another, I guess . . . well, we’ve just been allowed to step-back from the drama (or get used to the drama) and a bit of happiness has been finding its way back in.

Also, I went to my parents’ workshop this past weekend, which was a HUGE help emotionally. There were a few really solid realizations during that workshop. Mostly, I realized I’ve been quite hooked on this idea of ‘home’ and maybe that’s not working out for me anymore. Maybe it’s time to let go of that allusive dream, or redefine it. I like that, it’s less pressure.

Other news? Oh, let’s see. The man is cooking me eggs. I’ve been so busy that Zsolt has been making lunch several times a week. He has mastered the art of eggs with yolk that isn’t too hard or too soft. He fries the bacon so it’s cooked but not chewy. And, he’s insisting upon frying up broccoli every time since it’s so healthy.

*MAN. Speaking of broccoli. A while ago, we bought broccoli from the local organic farmer who sells on the nearby street corner. So, fresh broccoli – la, la, la, happy days. Zsolt does his thing and cooks it all up while I’m at the computer working away. We eat dinner, and then, toward the end I notice a dead worm! Grossed out, I push away the last bit of broccoli and refuse to eat more (due to a traumatic broccoli freezing incident as a teenager that also involved worms). So Zsolt tosses the insect, then goes to eat the remainder of my broccoli—again finding another worm, then another, and another! THE ENTIRE LOT OF BROCCOLI IS FULL OF DEAD WORMS, and we’d eaten it all, minus that clump on my plate.


But, at least they were organic worms.

The END. (of this blog post)

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

This weekend is thanksgiving in Canada, and I’m writing this post today because I’m so incredibly glad for the occasion. It’s a little bit ridiculous to be so glad for thanksgiving, particularly since my family long-ago gave up on the turkey and cranberries and mashed potatoes in exchange for Indian food . . . but the weather is just so lovely, and it’s always a pleasure to get all together. I can’t help feeling good about giving thanks.

YEAHA friend of mine recently said to me that it’s great to be a big dreamer, but even better to be a big DOER. And she’s so totally right. I love to imagine sunshiny weather when it’s raining, but it’s even better to actually get outside when the sun does shine (I say while looking at the window and typing on on computer from inside the bedroom – okay, from between my bed covers.)

So I dreamed about self-publishing my book, and now it’s really going to happen. (I wonder if I dream of it getting accepted by some huge publisher, if that would happen as well – I guess the lesson here is to actively make these things happen.) I dared to ask people to help, which is actually rather intimidating – so I don’t know how Terri of A Fresh Chapter manages it time and again.

BUT you know what?  Last year at the Mirror Ball in Toronto that raises funds for Look Good Feel Better and Facing Cancer, the hostess said something about asking for money that was so insightful and so valid, I still remember it. Tracy Moore stood up there on the stage and said that people suggest it must be hard for her and Sherry to go about asking for money during the night. But no, she asserted, it wasn’t hard to ask for money because it was going to a worthwhile cause – helping women navigate the emotional hurdles of cancer. It’s not hard to ask because the intention is good.

So that’s something I’ve kept in mind. Now, with the kickstarter I feel much less entitled to ask because while the intention is good, it’s impact is also small. There’s just me and my book. Though I really hope it resonates with those who read it, and that is how the impact can become larger – hopefully!

But anyhow, all that aside, today I’m thankful for being a DOER. It’s not easy, but it’s happening.

I’m also thankful to feel so much love and support. It is amazing. And I really mean it, too. It was amazing (Causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing) to receive such an outpour of support. Now we’re putting the book together bit-by-bit. I ordered more material for the tea towels yesterday, and am receiving edits, and have the cover with Ian, and am trying to learn more about ebooks (with some advice from Opal Carew). It’s overwhelming, it takes all kinds of time, and it’s fantastic. I’m grateful so many people gave their support to this happening.

* I am grateful for my breath. Air comes in and out of my lungs, and I love that sensation. Ever since the doctor said “there are spots” I have had trouble in my chest. Trouble like pain, wheezing, etc. Whether it is psychosomatic or cancer-related, I don’t know exactly. All I know is that it is uncomfortable, and comes on and off. The past week or so I’ve had some strong wheezing, and living with that sensation is truly challenging. Today the wheezing has backed off, and I am grateful for the ability to breathe in and out without that internal crinkling sensation. My mom gave me some drops, and I did some steaming stuff – honestly, I don’t know what helps, but so long as something helps, I am so incredibly grateful.

I am grateful for the tears, because they are easier than the stress.

I am grateful for butter chicken, which I’ll be licking of my  plate in a few hours.

I am grateful for family and friends and love.

I am grateful for an apartment that has been repaired. The handyman came by yesterday (and is here again today) and pulled out all our cupboards. Oh my goodness! You should have SEEN the MASSIVE holes behind our cupboards. So  of course the neighbours’ smoke was pouring into our apartment.  I am not grateful of an inconsiderate neighbour who won’t take his smoking outside. But if I talk too much about that my wheeze will return. Let’s just say that the holes are fixed and I am glad.

And last but not least, I’m grateful for this blog, for the leaves falling from trees, for my husband’s beautiful smile, for the tea we drink each morning, for the sunshine through the window, for hot showers, for friends and family, for the cottage we’ll escape to later this upcoming week, for the support I’ve received in all kinds of ways, for chocolate chip cookies made without much sugar (little bit of coconut sugar) and no grains or gluten . . .

You know what else, I’m grateful for feeling happy right now. It doesn’t always happen, but right now I am – Thank God – feeling good.

So Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful day whether or not  you are celebrating the occasion.


P.S. My “Catherine Brunelle Writes” facebook page has a very small number of likes. It was pointed out that maybe I should give it more attention, so if you are in the mood for a little “liking” (and want to follow writing adventures with pictures, thoughts, etc), please do click here and like the page. Thanks!