Book review of The Breeders by Katie Lynn French

I’d picked up The Breeders a couple of years ago when author Katie French and I were both involved in Author Salon.

She was one of the first people to leave the group and strike out on her own.

What Amazon says:

The Breeders

The Breeders

“When the Breeders come for ya, there ain’t no escape. They strap ya to a bed and all ya hear is the thud of your heart and the cries of your friends as they wheel ya down to hell. Then the doctors come. You squeeze your eyes shut and pray you can forget. But ya never do.”

Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world’s last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches—moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders’ long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they’re hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender—a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley’s affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?

The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico—escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is forced into the Breeder’s hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she’ll share unless she can find a way out.

My thoughts:

The novel opens in medias res, and the reader experiences first hand the dangerous world into which Riley has been born.

Her family’s farm is under attack and Riley must hide away in a storm cellar to avoid capture. The men responsible for the attack are armed and outnumber the farm’s defenders. If they get their hands on any of the women who could give birth to a healthy child, they’ll be sold to the Breeders.

Riley doesn’t really know who the Breeders are or what they’re capable of, but she believes the stories of her mother and auntie, and lives in constant fear for her safety and liberty.

A series of unfortunate events leads to the death of her step-father, Arn, who protected the family from the ravages of desperate men.

French keeps the pacing fast and the action fresh, rarely letting up on the throttle. The sense of danger established in the opening scene never lets up, even after the denouement, preparing the reader for the sequel.

The romantic subplot is deftly handled and the author offers some refreshing twists that pit Riley’s conflicting needs against one another.

The only dissatisfying bit was one character’s changing allegiance. While French is careful to plant the seeds of dissention in the good doctor’s speech and actions, the indications that he disagrees with his rich and powerful employer aren’t enough to make his sudden departure and support of Riley convincing.

His weasel-like behaviour only makes me think that he will betray Riley, and I found myself disappointed that Riley didn’t give any indication she sees it coming.

The Breeders is an excellent first novel and I’ve already purchased French’s second book, The Believers.

This YA dystopian paints a picture of scientific advancement gone wrong and its unexpected consequences. In a future in which boy babies far outnumber the girls, a working uterus becomes a treasure beyond value and a commodity worth killing for.

The “haves” are those that control the breeding program. Everyone else is a “have not” living in a wild-west world of testosterone-fuelled posturing and perpetual gang wars where women and children become both the ultimate victims and the ultimate heroes.

My rating:

4 out of 5 stars.

Coming up on Writerly Goodness:

An update on my television addiction and whether the series I’ve started to watch have offered any gems of Writerly Goodness; an update on the Sudbury Writers’ Guild critique sessions and other SWG changes; more book reviews and author interviews; a discussion of what I learned from the facilitating virtual classes course I’m taking; a monthly next chapter update on the writing biz, and any other things apropos of nothing as they occur 😉

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What I learned observing the Business Expertise Advisor Curriculum

In between my wintery road trips and getting stuck in an elevator last week, I was actually in Toronto for work.

Last summer, while I was still an acting consultant, the opportunity to observe and/or facilitate this course arose. The initial plan was that two sessions would be held, one in January and one in February.

I would observe the course in January with an eye to facilitating it in February. Unfortunately, the second session never materialized. It may not be until next year that I’m able to try my facilitation chops out on this course.

It’s a long time to wait in the wacky world of facilitation.

Here’s what I learned:

1. The course is a very demanding one for facilitators.

Class1One of the facilitators, who had actually delivered the course once in the past, said she didn’t want to facilitate the course again. It’s a fairly cerebral course, and a lot of material is packed in to four and a half days.

The course is intended to be an introduction to the basic duties of an advisor and as such, it covers working on a virtual team, change management, interpersonal relationships, providing advice and guidance, teaching adult learners, and workload/time management. Things are pretty tight and there’s not a lot of room to wiggle. It’s difficult to keep on track.

Because the course starts Monday morning, the facilitators and participants must travel in overtime (something management frowns on), and the facilitators can’t get into the room until the first morning of training. I prefer to prepare as much as possible in advance and to keep activities queued up and flowing well. Having an hour or an hour and a half for set up would be demanding. It also means that I’d have to come in earlier and stay later each day to stay on top of activities and exercises.

2. The course is something that every new BEA should attendClass2

And, the sooner the better.

Many of the attendees of this course had been BEAs for years and had had the course on their performance and learning agreements for years as well.

As a result, we had a lot of great discussion about our quality control processes, technology, communications, and training. I don’t know that a class of entirely new BEAs would have been half so dynamic.

We also had a varied group of participants from different business lines. One of the big questions I had when I started out as a BEA was what other BEAs elsewhere in our organization did and how those duties compared to my own.

Even though I knew there was a BEA course, it was being redesigned when I started as a BEA and was only piloted to select groups of participants in the next couple of years.

In the positions I’d held previously, there was training, weeks of it. Plus post-training monitoring. I learned the role of advisor by doing it, which is fine because it works with my learning gestalt, but I’m sure for others it was a bit of a culture shock.

After the BEA level, most of the training is piecemeal and you have to actively pursue those courses if you want to take them. Task or competency-based training is not mandatory once you’re out of production.

3. The BEAs in attendance thought the course had value for them

Class3This was a concern, because, after one of my colleagues attended a pilot of the course years ago, she did not have many positive things to say about it.

The BEA Curriculum is a course where you derive benefit proportional to the time and effort you invest.

It’s also one in which the participant should have clearly defined goals and expectations of the training. When the modules of the course that hold the most value for them come up, participants are more likely to play a more active role in their learning.

I presented a short exercise about performance management. I prefaced it with Cathy Moore’s flowchart: Is training really the answer?

Once the advisor has determined that neither training nor monitoring is the answer, what do they do? They perform a needs analysis to identify learning gaps and see if they can devise a plan, working with management, to bring the employee’s behaviour into line with the employer’s expectations.

I asked them to come up with some scenarios from their own experience, and once we had a few, divided them up by business line to review a tool in the training package and see if it would help them in those performance management situations.

Several of the participants told me they thought both the flowchart and the checklist were great resources.

So while the BEA Curriculum was not an unmitigated success (I forgot one of the groups in a breakout room and they didn’t return until after everyone else had left—bad Mellie!) I think it was a good course and one that I’ll enjoy facilitating in the future. If I can remember all the tips and trick I learned this time around!

Do you have any facilitation stories to share? New courses learned or delivered? Lessons learned in the delivery?

Do share.

Caturday Quickies: Hardy northern girl 2, winter highways 0

I left Toronto around noon and travel north through to about Pointe au Baril was good.

Then the snow started. The winds were high and blowing everything around. White out conditions pertained again.

keepinscore

I was thinking of putting a white square: Mel in white Optima in blizzard.

I was listening to the radio, attentive for not only weather and road reports, but reports of accidents as well.

It was not sounding good. A section of highway 17 west of Sudbury had been closed due to an accident. Highway 11 north of North Bay was also closed.

An accident involving a transport truck was reported around Key River.

Traffic, crawling at between 60 and 80 kilometres per hour since Britt, slowed to a stop.

We resumed a short time later with stop and go for a while, one direction of traffic being let through, and then the other.

When I reached Key River, I saw the transport in a ditch and three other vehicles were mounted on tow trucks for removal. Ambulance and police vehicles were also there and flares were being put out on the highway leading up to the accident.

Then I heard that there was another accident at highway 69 and 64, just before traffic slowed down again. Then the CBC announced that highway 69 was closed from Sudbury to the French River (highway 64 junction).

I’m not sure how long we were stopped. I turned the car off and then on again at intervals to keep the windows cleared of snow and ice, listening to the radio and watching people do the douche, trying to creep up the traffic in the oncoming lane or on the shoulder and try to find room to merge with the traffic up ahead.

I watched the guy in the car ahead of me get out to take an indiscrete piss (not something I really wanted in my image bank) and then get back in his car and turn around. Maybe ten minutes later we started to move again.

Neener.

Just north of the highway 64 junction, I saw the accident site. Four vehicles, two with destroyed front ends, were all being hauled away by tow trucks.

We were on our slow and steady way again, but the radio was still reporting that highway 69 was closed. As I was travelling on that highway, it clearly wasn’t …

Later, just south of Estaire, I saw that southbound traffic was indeed stopped, but northbound traffic was not.

I made it home. In one piece. With no damage to the rental and my sanity intact.

Caturday Quickies

By the way, the kitteh in this blog image is our dearly departed Thufir (Howat, the Mentat Cat)

Caturday Quickies: The further adventures of hardy northern chick

So.

After my adventure getting down to Toronto last week, I thought I’d had enough of an adventure.

Seems the universe disagreed with me.

On Monday night, I got stuck in one of the hotel elevators for an hour and a half.

This was a first for me. I’d heard of, and I’ve know of, many people who have been stuck in elevators over the years.  I’ve seen it countless times on television and in movies.

Another experience for the idea file 🙂

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m laid back. I’ll apologize in advance for the true story not being exciting, but here it is, for the record:

I was on the twelfth floor. I called the elevator, it arrived, I got on, and pressed the button for the main floor. The elevator descended, stopped, and then nothing happened.

I pressed the main floor button again, just in case. Nothing. I pressed the open door button. Nothing.

Swearing silently at my luck, I briefly considered hitting the “Alarm” button, but figured that it would only be loud and irritating, and I’d only be able to handle that for a handful of seconds before I went crazy.

So I looked around for some kind of call button, or an intercom. There was a phone behind a brass door beneath the button panel. I picked it up.

It connected me to the front desk. I explained my situation, and the desk clerk advised that he was sending his colleague down to reset the elevator in the control room.

They did that twice. I received three more calls from the front desk with status reports. I think I was expected to be claustrophobic, freak out somehow. The first reset had failed, and the second. They had called the service technician, but he was 45 minutes out from the hotel.

So I hunkered down on the floor and tried to get comfortable. What would be the point of When life gives you lemonsgetting upset?  I kind of dozed, but it was about as useful as trying to sleep on the red-eye back from Vancouver last fall.

The desk clerk called back as the technician opened the door to tell me that the technician had arrived. Um, yeah.

The technician advised me to jump for it. He was funny.

So that was my Monday night adventure.

It made for a great story in class the next morning: so what did you do last night?

And when I told Phil, he laughed at me. Nice one, dude.

By the way, what do you think of my first attempt at using Canva (for the picture)? From the user perspective, it wasn’t bad. Just getting used to the interface. Not sure if the wordage works either. It reflects my personality, but it’s a bit past its best before date 😛

Caturday Quickies

Sundog snippets: Hardy northern chick 1, winter highways 0

Just a quick note about today.

I was on the road, once again, for work. And once again, I was headed for Toronto (I’ll be here all week). Driving. I like to be in control of my own destiny 😉

I’m going to observing a course with an eye to future delivery. I’ll blog that once the week is over.

The issue was weather. This morning, it was snowing and blowing and I was not looking forward to the drive. I checked out the Weather Network for all points. Parry Sound and Barrie are snow belt cities.

It looked like the snow was going to follow me all the way down.

I got stuck behind ploughs not once, but twice, and stuck behind a transport toting heavy equipment.

As soon as I hit the Parry Sound city limits until I reached the district of Muskoka, I was caught in white out conditions.

There was a bizarre accident. I think a transport had stopped on the side of the road because of the white outs and an SUV didn’t see it until too late, swerved, and ended up on top of the guard rail and snow bank.

White outs again around Orillia.

Then some mystery slow down just south of Barrie. I saw no evidence of anything that would actually slow anyone down. I think it was just a chain reaction kind of thing. That cleared up by canal road.

I still made it here in five and a half hours.

I count it a triumph 🙂

Sundog snippet

Six questions with Jane Ann McLachlan

I “met” Jane Ann through a wonderful online collective, Wordsmith Studio, following Robert Lee Brewer’s April Platform Challenge of 2012.

Though I knew that many of us were writers, I had no idea Jane Ann was working on a science fiction novel. Last fall, she was even up in Sudbury, giving a reading at the Sudbury Public Library, which, because I was out of town, I had to miss.

I also had to miss her Twitterview with mutual friend Lori Sailiata for Hawaii Content Management (#HiCM), though I read the Storify afterward 🙂

Now that her novel is coming out in instalments, I decided I simply had to find out more about this virtual friend and fellow Canadian author.

Without further ado, here she is: Jane Ann McLachlan!

________________________________________________________________________

Jane Ann McLachlan

Jane Ann McLachlan

Hi Melanie. We’ll have to meet when I’m in Sudbury in September for Cinefest. My parents were both originally northern Ontarians, although I was born in Toronto and grew up in Newmarket, a small town near Toronto, Canada. I taught at Conestoga College until a few years ago, when I decided to write full-time, although I still teach a couple of evening courses a year. I have written two college textbooks, published by Pearson/Prentice Hall, a science fiction e-book on Amazon called Walls of Wind http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNXOG98 , and my collection of short stories, Connections, which came out last fall, published by Pandora Press.  My website is http://www.janeannmclachlan.com

________________________________________________________________________

WG: Welcome to Writerly Goodness, Jane Ann!

You are a writer of diverse talents. You’ve written two textbooks on professional ethics, a collection of inspirational short stories, and now a science fiction novel. I also understand you write historical fiction as well. How do all of your writerly personae intermingle, or do they?

JAM: I read extensively and enjoy a lot of different genres, so writing in different genres feels natural to me. But it didn’t always. I had to learn to accept the genre a story idea came to me in. I started writing science fiction, which I have always read, when I heard of a medieval superstition that really grabbed my imagination. An editor at Tor loved the idea, and liked my writing, and seriously considered it. He didn’t buy the book, but he gave me some excellent advice—he told me to re-write it as a medieval novel. I had to do a lot of research and reading in that genre (at that time I’d only read a few historical fiction authors) before I felt qualified to write historical fiction, but I’m pleased with the result. The Sorrow Stone is currently on offer with my agent. I guess I’m not a quick learner, because about the same time, I went through a traumatic event, and I tried to write it up as fiction. But it just kept dying on the page, until I gave in and wrote it as memoir. Impact: A Memoir of PTSD is now also with my agent. Now, I listen to the story and let it tell me which genre it needs to be written in.

WG: What is the origin story of J.A. McLachlan, author?

JAM: When people ask me, what made you start writing? I say, “I learned to read.” The first story I remember writing was a picture book, way back when that’s what I was still reading. It was about a pony, and I remember practicing for months to learn how to draw a horse. After that, I switched to poetry. I have a number of poems about dogs and horses my mom saved. They rhyme and they scan, but I wasn’t into very deep themes at age 8. 🙂

WG: Focusing on your fiction, what attracts you to each of the genres you write in (inspirational, historical, and speculative)?

JAM: I like a good story, with intriguing characters that are changed by their experiences in the novel, and an interesting “high concept” theme. Moral and philosophical quandaries really interest me, as well as a plot that keeps me guessing. These elements can be found in many genres.

WG: I’m a total process geek. I love to find out how people work their art and craft. Would you care to share anything about your writing process?

JAM: I need complete silence when I write, and NO interruptions. I write best when I’m all alone at home for hours, and I write on a laptop that is not connected to the internet (I have a separate computer in another room for that.) I start with a rough outline and let the characters alter it as I go. I would like to be a total plotter—that’s how I wrote my textbooks, with a very detailed outline for every chapter—but fiction, like life, just doesn’t work that way.  Stuff happens, and you have to adapt. Fiction (and life) can be a pain that way. 🙂

WG: With respect to Walls of Wind, why have you opted for publication in instalments?

JAM: It’s all about knowing your market. E-books do better in novella form, at low prices, for a number of reasons. It seems most people who read e-books like something they can read fairly quickly. If they want more, they’ll buy the next one. And since I’m an unknown author, readers are more willing to try me out if it’s not going to cost them much in time or money— Walls of Wind Part I is 4 chapters long and sells for .99c. I want people to be able to try it, because Walls of Wind is the best thing I’ve written, and I’m pretty confident anyone who likes science fiction and reads Part I will want to read the rest. Oh, and the link is:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNXOG98

But here’s an offer for your readers. Right now, book reviews of Walls of Wind are worth more to me than royalties, so anyone who will write a review on Amazon or GoodReads (or best of all, on both) for me—whatever they think of the book—I’d be happy to send them Part I for free. Just email me at:  jamclachlan@golden.net

WG: What’s next for you?

JAM: Right now, I’m editing Part III of Walls of Wind —Part II goes live on Feb. 1; Part III on March 1; and the complete trilogy, for those who want a longer read, in e-book form and in print, will be available on April 2. I’m also currently setting up a number of talks and readings in the US and Canada for Connections and will be doing the same for Walls of Wind when I have the print book. And while all that is going on, I have my next historical fiction novel—which takes place during the Third Crusade—AND a YA science fiction novel, both hollering around in my head trying to get out, so I’ll be writing them this year.

Thanks for a great interview and break a pencil in your future writing endeavours!

____________________________________________________________________

About Walls of Wind:

Walls of Wind, Part II

Walls of Wind, Part II

What if males and females were completely different species from each other?

Walls of Wind explores this question and its ramifications on a world in which males and females are two different, equally intelligent species: Ghen and Bria. They are interdependent and reproductively symbiotic, although physically, emotionally and mentally they have little in common. Or so they believe, until their city-state is threatened by increasing internal conflict and a terrifying external predator that has invaded the forests beyond their walls. A handful of Ghen and Bria struggle desperately to find a solution before their civilization is destroyed.

Walls of Wind combines anthropological speculation with the tragedy, suspense and triumph of individual characters who struggle to overcome external threats as well as their own internal fears and prejudices.

Read Part I of Walls of Wind: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HNXOG98  Look for Part II on February 1st, 2014.

Caturday Quickies: John R. Cameron book signing at the Fromagerie Elgin Jan 13, 2014

I posted my wee interview with John back in November.

He’s kept in touch with me through Facebook and let me know when his signings were. Though I had to miss his Coles appearance, I wanted to get out a meet John face-to-face at some point.

Last Monday was my day.

John at the Fromagerie

John at the Fromagerie

John set up in the Fromagerie Elgin from 5:30 to 7 pm to sell and sign copies of The Second Lives of Honest Men.

We chatted for a bit about social media and self-publishing.

Mel’s movie madness

Over the holidays, Phil and I rented a few movies on cable.

Here’s what we saw, and what I thought of them 🙂

Pacific RimPacific Rim

Phil and I were looking forward to seeing this, not enough to pay to see it in the theatre, but looking forward nonetheless.

We both enjoyed it.

The movie had no pretensions. It knew what it was and played to those strengths. It was a great “live action” version of some of our favourite anime.

We also appreciated the “tips of the hat” to what’s gone before. Easter eggs are hidden throughout for the geek who has memorized some of the best lines from the science fiction hits of the 70’s and 80’s. Phil and I enjoy films full of homage, like Shawn of the Dead.

I put live action in quotes because I know there was a lot of CGI and green screen work, but the effect was impressive.

I agree with K.M. Weiland in her post series of months ago when she had seen the movie in the theatre: Mako’s character arc and journey were the most interesting. The wounded warrior and the old war horse were okay, but offered nothing new or riveting for the story.

How the three characters were tied together was interesting, however, and something to be remembered for future storytelling efforts of my own. Coincidences must be significant to the plot to transcend the basic technique.

Elysiumelysium-poster

Phil and I had both enjoyed District 9 and were again looking forward to seeing Elysium.

We both enjoyed it, but were a bit disappointed.

The protagonist is much more self-centred in this film than in District 9, to the point that he actually walks out on the woman he once loved, and still might, and her child, leaving them in dire circumstances.

Yes, he’s dying, but there’s no way to paint such douchebaggery with a heroic brush.

As a result, his sacrifice rings a little hollow in the end because even he knows he deserved it.

Also, the villain was a little one-dimensional. There was insufficient backstory to justify her stance in opposition to both her government and the earthbound poor and nothing to engage the viewer. In that sense, District 9 was much more satisfying.

The concept was intriguing, though. Lesson for writing: an intriguing concept isn’t enough.

kickass2Kick Ass 2

We thought the original Kick Ass was, well, kick ass, but we’d heard some less than positive things about the sequel and were uncertain about it.

It wasn’t bad, but the original movie ended with both Kick Ass and Hit Girl settling into a “normal” life, so discovering that Mindy was still obsessed with crime-fighting didn’t make sense.

For her storyline, if the writers had started off with her failed attempts to fit in with the popular girls and then introduced the Motherf@#&%r’s vendetta, it might have been more satisfying. If she honours her promise to Marcus from the outset and only breaks it when forced to, it would have been more consistent for her character.

Having her prowl the night streets and only agree to Marcus’s rules “for Daddy’s sake” doesn’t make sense. Big Daddy would have wanted Hit Girl to continue the crusade regardless. Her refusal to help Kick Ass when the Mother f@#&%r threatens him also doesn’t make sense.

The protagonist and the antagonist’s character arcs were less interesting. Kick Ass was simply interested in taking up the mantle again and fulfilling the promise of his name. This switched to a wish to survive the antagonist’s “more money than brains” approach.

The antagonist, though understandably seeking revenge, was such a tête soufflé that it was hard to take him seriously. His complete lack of awareness and resulting ineptitude (case in point, the “fertilizer bombs”) was irritating at best.

Lots of lessons here, most having to do with character consistency, dynamic storylines for all, and creating an antagonist that inspires fear rather than ridicule.

Star Trek: Into Darknessstmovie

I’d watched this movie on my way out to Vancouver in October, but was willing to sit through it again when Phil rented it.

We were skeptical about “rebooting” the franchise. Phil in particular, because the original Star Trek (the series, not the movies) was part of his childhood. He was pleasantly surprised by the story and the performances in the first movie, though he was distinctly uncomfortable with the Spock/Uhura romance. In his mind, Uhura belonged with Scottie.

Again, Into Darkness surprised. The reinvention of Khan and putting the whole series of events before the crew’s “five-year mission” was, well-done, overall.

I appreciate J.J. Abrams’ vision with respect to remaking the movies for a new generation. He definitely makes a good movie with a balance of action and character development.

In this last case, the lessons are all positive in nature.

Have you watched any movies recently from which you drew lessons about the art or craft of writing? Do you agree or disagree with my assessments of the above movies? Please share in the comments below.

Mel's Movie Madness

The chaos continues

Just a quick note about work.

chaos - wikimedia commons

chaos – wikimedia commons

A scant three weeks after beginning my second acting consultant position, it has ended.

Once again, my acting was based on a series of circumstances. Think of them as dominoes, if you will. One of the dominoes decided not to fall, and so I am once again an advisor on the training team.

It’s been three frenetic weeks of planning next fiscal’s learning for not one, but two different business lines, creating third quarter reports, weekly reports, financial reports, etc.

Frankly, I’m a bit relieved. Though I had made the determination not to take things quite so seriously and not to be such a perfectionist about my work, I just can’t do less than my absolute best. This was why I needed a leave after my year and several months in the position. The way things were going, I’d probably need another leave in the spring after my acting was scheduled to end (March 31, 2014).

My pool has now officially expired, however, and I haven’t seen another posting for consultant that I can apply for. I did apply for a senior project officer, but I haven’t heard anything from that application yet.

As a result of that one domino’s misplacement, the training team is now in a bit of a bind. Due to a significant amount of hiring, my manager has over thirty staff to supervise. And all the training and monitoring to arrange. And several other projects to implement before March 31.

She’s advised me that she’ll be leaning on me heavily, so I’m sure things will be interesting. I’ll let you know what I can in the coming weeks.

Next week, I start mentoring monitors and assisting in the design of several action plans.

The week after, I’m away observing the Advisor Curriculum course so that I’ll be able to train it in the future.

After that, we’ll see how things go.

Something apropos of nothing: SNOW

So. We’ve just been through a record-setting cold snap up here.

On Thursday morning, it was minus 36 degrees Celsius with a wind chill that made it feel like minus 47.

That was the coldest, but the whole week was like that. On New Year’s Day, I didn’t take Nu for her normal walk. On Thursday, we just went into the vacant lot across the road and even then, she was limping with the cold on the way back.

Other areas had it worse, I know. Timmins and Montreal experienced wind chills of minus 52 and minus 50 respectively.

Still, that was cold.

Thankfully, we didn’t have an ice storm, like Toronto, or the resultant power outages.

Today, we were minus 4 degrees. Anyone who lives in a seasonal climate knows that in the winter, when it warms up, that’s when you get the precipitation.

So we had snow.

Environment Canada and the Weather Network predicted 10-15 centimetres. We had at least 20. Tomorrow, it will be minus 7 and they’re calling for another 10-15.

We don’t know where we’re going to put it all.

Corner lot. Big driveway.

This is not a bitching post. These are facts. You can check ‘em if you like.

I’m just sayin’. It’s WINTER up here folks!

That is all.

Lookit the SNOW

Lookit the SNOW