Purple Passion

A complete stranger came up to me and asked, “Do you like purple?”

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I swallowed and looked down at my purple glasses. Glancing sideways, at the purple tablecloth with two stacks of different purple books, behind me at two predominantly purple standing banners, posters, flowers and even a purple pen, I answered quietly, “Yes, I guess I do.”

“Your outfit even matches your book.”

“Yes, yes it does…”

Geez.

 

 

 

Yes, I have worn a lot of purple over the last two years while promoting my books, “Gifts of the Crysnix” and “Mother Nature’s Kiss”. I just want people to know who the author is.

 

I have been seeing a lot of purple out there since that stranger’s question. I just love when my lilacs bloom and I make a huge bouquet in my beautiful antique vase. It is the happy colour of pure joy while Poppy swings on a sunny day and the hopeful colour of pansies popping up from the winter soil.

But more than all that, I feel it is the colour of compromise. Looking at a colour wheel, purple is the tempering of a hot red with a dash of cool blue or opposite the excitement of bright orange, is the calm violet. I chose purple for the cover of my books so they would appeal to anyone. Not blue for boys or pink for girls, but a neutral purple for everyone.

With Canada Day tomorrow and Independence Day coming up in a couple of days, I want to celebrate the love I have for my American friends and their country as well as my beautiful life in Canada. We are all so fortunate to live in North America. Our cultures are as stable as they are by the strategic acts of compromise. That’s as political as I will get but I know you will read between the lines.

Let’s just say that if we blended all the colours of our flags, we would end up with a beautiful shade of purple!

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I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend celebrating what makes our lives, homes and countries so special. It is in our uniqueness that we find tolerance and compromise, and that is what makes our countries strong.

Even if you don’t like purple, I respect our differences and that’s a cool way to live.

Have a positively and perfectly purple day!

xox Lisa

A Night Under the Stars

It was a warm evening, the thunderstorms of late, a mere hint of humidity in the air. “The air feels friendly on my face.” The sunset streaked the sky with ribbons of pink and set the scene … “A wisp of magic fill this space.” It was the perfect night for my launch of Mother Nature’s Kiss.

FireRock Country Club has an event lawn that was made for this event. Strings of lights accompanied the clear starry night and the feel of grass underfoot connected us to Mother Nature in the most visceral way. Flutes of sparkling Prosecco and star cookies iced to match the book were in hand to add to the sweetness of the night.

My friend, Vicki O’Connor, warmly introduced me. As an artist, she is all too familiar with the feeling of putting yourself out there when you create something so dear to your heart. It was a lovely beginning to a very special night. Have a peek at Vicki’s art here.

I welcomed friends, acquaintances and young ones to settle in as I spoke about the story behind the story. Instead of reading the book, I recited it to the magical music of Tracey Chattaway’s “Light the Night”. You can listen to it here.

It was a magical evening and an excerpt from the introduction describes my feelings perfectly. I wanted to share it as a common love for a warm summer evening. The idea of Mother Nature is one of universal and perfect love. It crosses borders, culture and time. May we be reminded that with every shooting star and every warm breeze, Mother Nature is reaching out to all of us.

For me, it was a night meant to share. I was thrilled that so many people came out and bought multiple books for many little loved ones. It is a story about letting your imagination soar into the night sky. The evening was all I had hoped for and more. I sold out in four days!

Let me end with the words of one of the most talented and creative men in history, Walt Disney.

I want to thank all who came and shared the evening with me. The next launch will be in Winnipeg, June 12th, at McNally Robinson, Grant Park. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Launches and Marketing Hoops

I feel like my brain has been doing gymnastics. I am preparing for a couple of launches for Mother Nature’s Kiss and the panic is setting in with the hope that all will come together in time. So many moving parts are keeping me up at night. I know I’ll just (hopefully) relax and have fun when I finally share my new book with you!

Today, I created a freestanding banner and bookmarks from Vistaprint. Boy, that service is amazing! They are right there, at the end of the phone, with excellent customer service if you need it, and I am always pleasantly surprised by their great products.

If you have ever used them, you will know how many products they have available. It’s hard to stop when there are puzzles, tote bags, pillows, shirts, lip gloss – really??? – that you can have printed with your design.

Oh, the lipgloss was a hard one to pass up… Mother Nature’s Kiss – a natural, right?

Well, I resisted. I’ll make some sales and then…

I have been working with two major venues for my launches: McNally Robinson in Winnipeg, and FireRock Golf and Country Club in Fountain Hills, AZ. They are both so wonderful to deal with. I will be in the Travel Alcove (fitting, since the story is about a journey) at McNally Robinson and on the event lawn (complete with hanging twinkle lights and star cookies!) at FireRock.

I am blessed with a treasure of dear friends at both locations and can’t wait to share my book with you.

So mark your calendars!

April 2nd at 7:30, I’ll be in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson. https://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/event-17137/Lisa-G.-Shore—-Book-Launch/#.XH3V3VNKjOQ

May 1st at 7:00, I’ll be at FireRock CC.

I’m thinking of reading the book to music. Tracey Chattaway has a piece called Light the Night from her Nightsky album that is enchanting and I hope to figure out the timing so that I will be able to have her accompany me. Please check out her amazing music here. https://traceychattaway.bandcamp.com/album/nightsky

The book was ready to go in October but I had a couple of changes made, including a wonderful quote from a review. Now I hope the new books will reach me in time! That’s what is really keeping me up! As it is a story about a warm, starry night, I thought it would be fitting to hold the launches in the Spring when thoughts are turning to warmer weather.

Readers’ Favourite has awarded me 5 Stars and has overwhelmed me with a great review. I am so humbled by a complete stranger who loved my book and raved about it. I am so excited to have the 5 Star seal printed on the cover and an excerpt from the review printed inside! I was so frustrated when it was taking so long to do a couple of simple changes. When the review came in a couple of weeks ago, I thought I’d have the publisher add the excerpt and the 5 Star seal since they were fussing with it anyway. Everything happens for a reason! 🙂

You can read the review here. https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/mother-natures-kiss

Well, that’s about it for now. I have to get this tired brain to bed. Working on the launches has felt like launching through hoops but it is always fun.

I hope you will consider joining me at one of my events. I would love to see you there. Please bring your family and friends. This is all about a common love for a warm summer night and a sky full of stars.

“Inspired by true events, this dreamy bedtime story will change how we look at the summer night sky forever. Whisking us into the heart of the universe, the curious twinkle light unites us all with a wink and a kiss.”

Sweet dreams, dear ones.

With a Kiss…

-Mother Natures Kiss Cover

 

Well, Friends, my new book, Mother Nature’s Kiss has hit the ether! That means you can order it online and if you do it today it will arrive by mid-December.

It is a rhyming, dreamy drift from a cottage window, out over the water and into outer space and back again. This unique bedtime story will hopefully become a new family favourite.

As the back cover says, it “… will unite us all with a wink and a kiss.”

-Mother Natures Kiss Back

Over the spring and summer, I have worked with my publisher, Tellwell Talent to bring this new book into the world. Yes, it took about nine months ;). It is finally ready and I can’t wait to share it with you.

I have blogged about the journey with previews of a few of the illustrations. You can see how long it takes to create a physical book from an idea! This was actually fast! 🙂

I have dedicated the book to my grandchildren.ded

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As I said in the book, they are my heroes and the leaders of tomorrow.

Thanks to all of you who have championed me along the way. You will find many of your names on my Acknowledgements page. (If I have forgotten anyone, I am sincerely sorry.) I feel like this book has a community already. Please spread the word to make the Mother Nature’s Kiss community bigger!

Order one for you wee ones in time for Christmas! Click HERE to go to Amazon.

Enjoy, enjoy!

With gratitude and lots of Mother Nature love to all! xoxo

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Hold Onto Summer!!

I don’t know about you, but it feels like we never had much of an autumn. All of a sudden, snowflakes were flying! As Thanksgiving approaches, I would love to share the feelings, the love and the memories of summer.

Remember those soft, warm nights with a sky filled with stars? Or the touch of a silky evening wind on your face? How about the dazzling blinking of a firefly or the sparks from a bonfire? How many new friends did you meet? Were you ever lulled to sleep on a boat? Weren’t the sunsets amazing, and those Northern lights? How many times have we looked up to the night sky and marveled at the depth and beauty of the universe?

Well, Friends, my new book which is a bedtime story, Mother Nature’s Kiss, has all that and more! As our summer of 2018 closes, we can still grab those special moments. This book is for anyone who loves to look out onto a body of water and dream. The relaxation of letting your mind drift as you look out – no matter where I am – it is my happy place.

I wrote and illustrated Mother Nature’s Kiss with little ones in mind. It is a bedtime story that gently guides your imagination across a lake and into the possibilities of a twinkling night sky. We meet a firefly, a sleepy family on a boat, campfire kids, new friends, a lonely alien, a fanciful angel and, finally, Mother Nature! We feel the breath of a warm evening wind, silky across our cheek and the wisp of the magic of a good bedtime story.

Hold onto summer, with all the charm and memories of a warm, starlit evening. I invite you to a sneak peek at the images in Mother Nature’s Kiss.

 

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Coming soon to Amazon and a bookstore near you!

Warm wishes for a lovely Thanksgiving. xoxo

Gifts for the Irish

When an author, artist or musician sets out to create, it is usually a personal expression of something they hope to viscerally touch the masses. Because the end product is a personal expression, one can’t expect it to be understood by everyone, but hopefully, the impact intended will move many in one way or another.

I have friends who are artists and they pour themselves through their media, making themselves vulnerable to the expectations and judgments of the masses. Some like, some love, some don’t get it. That’s ok. It’s expected.

Recently, I went to Ireland and at the last minute, I threw some of my books, Gifts of the Crysnix, into my suitcase. I hoped that of all people, the Irish would “get” the story. Centered around a small seaside town, the story could be set anywhere in the world, and that is what I intended. I wanted it to be personal to many but to the Irish, I wanted it to be viscerally owned.

On our travels around the Ring of Kerry, we went by the beautiful town of Kells and its small cove. I turned to my husband and said it could be Galvin Cove! He smiled and nodded. With its cluster of houses overlooking the sea and the amazing Blasket Islands in the distance, this was the kind of place I envisioned as the setting for the book.

Emboldened by this, I took a few books under my arm and went looking for small bookshops to see if they would be interested in selling  Gifts of the Crysnix. To my happy amazement, I was well received.

In Dingle, there is a small bookshop called An Cafe Liteartha, which was my first success. It is an ancient (by our standards) shop where you can buy a book in the front and have a small meal in the cafe at the back and crack your new purchase. The place is tiny, homey and bursting with charm. The manager was so excited about my book, she immediately wrapped it in cellophane and displayed it in the front window! How fun for me to see it there as I walked on.

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The adorable gift and bookstore, Sweet Pea just drew me in! On a quaint corner in Dingle, it offers beautiful treats for the home and person. Jewellery, candles, books and gifts are displayed in the little shop that just brims with personality. I was so honoured to have my book welcomed there!

 

 

In Dublin, two gorgeous bookshops are now home to my book. True to the historical beauty of the storefronts in the Emerald Isle, Books Upstairs and Jewels and Gems can be found in age-old architecture. Books Upstairs is nestled in the heart of Dublin and has seen hundreds of years of history played out on its front street.

Jewels and Gems is a sparkly store offering jewellery, gifts, books and wait for it – chandeliers! My book’s front cover looked pretty nice in there.

There is a very special place called Moy House. It is a boutique hotel near Lahinch that boasts an amazing history, a view to die for, hospitality, service and food to make you think you have died and gone to heaven! Along with the many, many touches of old world charm, there is a library. I couldn’t help wanting to donate a book to it.

I am so happy that I have shared my story with a bit of Ireland. What a gift! It is a story of endurance, faith, honour, courage and being true to yourself to bring about your best life. Very much like the history of Ireland and all that the Irish people have endured.

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It may not appeal to some, but I think it is enjoyed by those who like a bit of charm and magic to help us on our way. I wrote it from the heart. After all, I am Irish. The town of Galvin Cove is named after my family name, Galvin. It is a fictitious place but hopefully will feel like home to all who read the book.

Cheers and Slainte (good health) to all. xoxo

P.S. Christmas is coming! How about purchasing Gifts of the Crysnix for the young dreamer in your life? Check it out HERE and HERE.

Can you say edit? Can you say neurotic?

Jeez! I am driving myself crazy! I can’t imagine how my editor, book designer and publishing consultant feel! You have no idea how many decisions go into the final stages of producing a book! Endless word and font changes, page weight, glossy vs matte, BISAC codes, SEO keywords, and my personal favourite that has kept me up for the last two nights – THE FRIGGIN PRICE!

Without seeing and feeling the final result, I am flying blind when I choose the price. I just hope it is a wonderful surprise and the value is more than the price I chose.

All this drama and the hard work of promoting hasn’t even begun yet! Argghh!

Anyway, I have to say it felt pretty good to finally press the A-OK button! Now, all that is left is the final signing off and to the printer, it goes!

This really has been a journey and I thank all of you for your amazing support and excitement that you share with me. My only regret is that I didn’t have the book ready for the lake/summer season. However, if I really think about it, I would be wanting to start the promoting and be traveling now and I am really happy to be enjoying this beautiful summer doing my lake hopping.

I intend to promote the book online over the fall and winter and see a lot of you in person next spring when I launch it for the 2019 summer season.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these last days of summer. All my very best to you for a lovely Fall. xo

 

I Did It!

Whew! I finally sent in my manuscript and illustrations to my new publisher, Tellwell Talent out of Victoria, BC. It has been a journey of exhilaration, self-doubt, commitment, fear, abandon, determination, oh – and I said exhilaration, right? The process is tough and fun but the hardest part is trying to get it RIGHT. As I said in my introduction in the book, writing a book of poetry is never finished. I have agonized over the wording and syntax and I can’t tell you how many sleepless hours I have had over this darn project! Anyway, at some point, I have to let go and today, I have. (Now comes the exhilaration part.)

 

 

I am not so green as to think this is the end, though. I will be working for at least another 6 weeks with the book designers to get the placements and hues of the illustrations right, the fonts and editing correct as well as designing the front and back covers. Then comes the first printed draft for me to approve. You just never know how it will turn out until you see it and hold it in your hands!

You know, the process can be crazy and you can’t think that all will go smoothly. Knowing I couldn’t rely on my own scanning and printing equipment (oh yeah, I have run out of ink how many times on a tight deadline?????), I decided to have a professional scan the illustrations so they would be at 300 dpi (high resolution for commercial printing) and put them on a USB stick. Easy, right??

 

 

The first time the paintings were scanned too dark so I brought them back to be rescanned and lightened. The second time I brought the stick home and started to download all my info to find the link only accepted jpegs and not pdfs – of course mine were pdfs. The third time I went back and had the info changed to jpegs but when I got home to download everything again, I found THEY GAVE ME THE WRONG USB STICK!!! The fourth time I went back to the printer, I received my correct information on another stick and happily went home and uploaded my manuscript and illustrations. Oh, but maybe I forgot some people to thank in my acknowledgments!!!!! SHIT! Whoever you may be (I won’t embarrass you here) who was a cheerleader for me along the way, I hope I mentioned you and please forgive me if I missed you.

I have to say a huge thanks to all of you who “like” my posts. It is incredibly encouraging when this writing thing is a lonely process.

 

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I want to be able to get “Mother Nature’s Kiss” out to you before the end of the summer but it is now in the hands of the publisher. I chose a Canadian publishing house this time as I felt I can keep the price at a competitive point without worrying about the Canadian exchange working against me. In other words, all my American friends can buy it for a real deal!!

I’ll keep you posted but in the meantime, keep enjoying the summer and looking up at those beautiful starry nights.

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As I wrote in the introduction:

I wanted to share it as a common love for a warm summer evening.

The idea of Mother Nature is one of universal and perfect love. It crosses borders, culture and time.

May we be reminded that with every shooting star and every warm breeze, Mother Nature is reaching out to all of us.

Happy July to you all. xoxo

 

 

Star-Gazing

“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight. Wish I may wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.”

How many of us have looked up and allowed a star to touch our dreams? Or maybe launch them? As children, we would look up and chant at the brightest early evening star, holding onto a sacred wish deep in our hearts.

For my part I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream.

  download-5Vincent Van Gogh

There wouldn’t be a sky full of stars if we were all meant to wish on the same one.

 images-2 Frances Clark

The stars call to all of us, not just the artistically gifted such as Vincent and Frances. They are there, day (you just can’t see them) and night, and they touch each and every one of us who live on this planet, uniting the world with a sense of wonder.

Imagine… If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.

images Ralph Waldo Emerson

They inspire us to live a better life, be a better person and to challenge ourselves to make a mark. With all that inspiration, they succeed in making us feel humble and very small.

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I’ve loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.     

Galileo Galilei

 

The power of stars is amazing. Just by looking at them, we are filled with a sense of awe. How many time in our life have we looked up and taken a deep breath, stopped what we were doing and breathed out, “Wow.” Some believe the stars have a healing power. I don’t know but I can say that one of my favourite things to do is sit and look out on a starry night and let my mind drift. It is so calming, it must be healthy for me!! 🙂

I have loved painting the stars for my latest book, Mother Nature’s Kiss. I was inspired by the circles in Vincent Van Gogh”s Starry Night, above. I wanted them to be loose and fun so I thought I’d share how I create a night sky.

 

While I am painting I listen to my favourite starry music:

So Long Lonesome, Explosions in the Sky play it here , Light the Night, Tracey Chattaway listen here and Glow, Lights and Motion yes, you’ll love it!

My dreamy music takes me away and lets me create, feel relaxed and happy as I paint and play as I go.

This was just a fun post to share and say hi. I hope you are having a great day and I wish for you a beautiful night. Check out the stars!

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xox

 

The Making of an Angel

Procrastinate No More! My head was full of doubt when I woke up and said to myself, this is the day! I have been putting off painting the last few illustrations for my new book, the bedtime story, Mother Nature’s Kiss. I don’t know what gets into us to create doubt and fear, but it is insidious.

The most daunting illustration was to be of an angel flying with a comet to accompany:

Out in the galaxy, angels abound,

Flying with the comets with all the stars around!

Zooming by, they smile and shine down their love

And sprinkle twinkle stardust from Heaven above.

I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t find it within me to begin…

But I did.

First, I like to search for visuals on the internet to help me find an inspiration. I didn’t find what I was looking for so I started sketching and after a couple of duds, I came up with this.

Now, I had to commit! I started sketching on the final paper and tried to trust myself. I put in my earpods, fired up spotify and went to work!

Just for fun, I’ll show you a progression.

I looked around for a cool image of a comet and finally came up with this:

Here she is! I think I’ll call her Stella.

Stella has taught me to trust myself. Maybe it’s a bit of twinkle stardust that helped me today. I hope you felt some too. xox