Things We Take For Granted: Our Hair

Anyone who knows me is well aware that my hair has been long the bulk of my life.  The only exception was in grade 7 when a new hairstylist decided to “try something new” which, from my perspective, was disastrous.  In the age of big hair the likes of Madonna and Cindy Lauper I sat in horror with tears streaming down my eyes as my long hair fell to the floor and was replaced with a Pat Benatar (circa1985) cut that just really wasn’t me in any capacity.  It took three full years to grow it to a chin-length bob.  Growing out your hair in junior high sucks.

What sucks more, though, is getting cancer when you’re in junior high and losing your hair as you fight for your life.  That’s why last week I went to the hair salon and said, “Chop it.”

Before

Before

I found a hair extension/wig company in Langley, British Columbia called 360 Hair that creates wigs for kids and teens with cancer.  They do the work 100% pro bono and not only are the wigs free for these kids but they are uniquely styled for them.  Since long hair is in right now they have a strong demand for long lengths thus the reason I let my hair grow longer than I usually do and have been sporting a ponytail to keep it contained for the last 6 months or so.

hair cut - braids

What I especially love about this company is their minimum length is only 6 inches and they can take hair even if it has been coloured or it is grey which means my hair qualifies.

I ended up cutting off 12 inches.

The result….

hair cut - after

…a fresh new bob for summer!

So, now it’s just a matter of sticking my braids in the mail and sending them off.

If you have long hair and you want to donate it visit 360 Hair’s website for details on how to do the cut and where to send it.

http://360-hair.com/how-to-donate-hair/

Lisa Pomfrey-Talbot is the author of JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER (Cathydia Press, 2014). 

Things We Take For Granted – Our Hands

There’s nothing like an injury to remind us of some of the most basic things we take for granted.  I’ve been struggling with carpal tunnel for the past several months which has slowed me down immensely in terms of writing, however, a fluke accident while shovelling snow a few weeks ago left me with a sprained right hand/wrist. Here are five things I’ve realized I completely take for granted:

1.  The ability to zip my own coat – It has been REALLY cold here in Nova Scotia (it’s February) so probably my biggest frustration since getting hurt has been my inability to zip my coat.  I have been freezing for weeks simply because I couldn’t turn my wrist in the way needed to zip my coat so I’ve been running around with my coat wide open.  You’d think after all the years I spent zipping my kids’ coats when they were little that they’d help, but no.  Apparently it isn’t cool for teenagers to zip their mom’s coat for her.

2.  The ability to open anything in a container – Juice, mayo, soup, you name it.  If it has a top I haven’t had much luck getting into it.  Luckily, my teen daughters like to eat so they’ve been more helpful with this challenge but sometimes even they haven’t been able to get the tops off so we’ve had to wait for my husband (who works in a different part of the province during the week) to come home and open it for us.  I have learned I will be absolutely doomed as an old lady.

3.  The ability to turn the ignition switch of a car – Getting my kids to school and their activities has been a bit of a challenge.  I have come to dread the moment each day I have to start the car and release the emergency brake as it has become a source of pain I would equate with torture.  This still hurts even though my hand is much better than it had been.

4.  The ability to put hair in a ponytail – I think it is safe to say my hair looks like it was styled by a three year.  Who knew elastics were so complicated?

5.  Using toilet paper – Let’s just say things can get tricky. Enough said.

I realize there are people everyday who face these same challenges and a whole lot more.  I am thankful my injury is just temporary.

Cause of Death: Acorns

2014-09-18 14.06.57I’m pretty sure that’s what my death certificate will read.

My house is surrounded by oak trees which are bold and beautiful and give me much-appreciated privacy and shade throughout the summer months.  Unfortunately, the joy of them fades in autumn when the acorns they produce become my enemy number one and a threat to my physical wellbeing.

So far this year I have been practically pounded mindless by random acorns falling that have clearly identified my head as their target.  Don’t be fooled – acorns may be small but they hurt when falling 40 feet onto your skull.  I couldn’t dare invite anyone into my backyard without first offering them a hardhat for protection.

Then comes the endless hours spent scooping the acorns off my lawn each year that would be better spent writing or spending time with family.  I think the local squirrels really need to pick it up a notch as their productivity levels in terms of acorn gathering seems to be low.

So how will they actually kill me?  Based on several near-misses I am going to predict that one of these days I’m going to trip on them, fall backwards, and crack my head on the pavement.  I already have taken a rather embarrassing tumble down my driveway this year because I stepped on a clump of them, rolled my ankle, lost my balance, and went flying down my driveway.

Serious injury or possible death seem likely.  Wish me luck!

Launch of Cathydia Press Website & Book Giveaway

I’m thrilled to be launching the website for my new publishing company, Cathydia Press.  A huge thank-you goes out to Belinda Naugler Adams of WiNiTh Website Design for such a great job. 

Our first title was released on August 15th and we will slowly but steadily be adding more as we grow over the next three years.

Take a look at the website and let me know what you think!

http://cathydiapress.ca/

And…

Don’t forget to enter our Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of my first children’s book, JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler by Lisa Pomfrey-Talbot

Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler

by Lisa Pomfrey-Talbot

Giveaway ends October 03, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter to win

Calling All Parents and Grandparents

I’m giving away 10 paperback copies of my children’s chapter book, Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler, in a Goodreads Giveaway.  If you’ve got a child in your life in elementary school you won’t want to miss out on this chance to win the first book in a brand new series.  The contest is open to those in Canada and the U.S. where laws permit. 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler by Lisa Pomfrey-Talbot

Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler

by Lisa Pomfrey-Talbot

Giveaway ends October 03, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Enter to win

To the People Judging My Parenting Style

Last week I took my 11 year old daughter to the hair salon.  She doesn’t ask for much so when she asked if she could have the ends of her hair dyed hot pink I thought why not?  It’ll make her happy, the colour is only temporary, and it will grow out pretty quick.  Not a big deal.  Despite the fact it took 3 full hours (because they had to first bleach the ends and then add the pink) she sat there happily without a complaint.  When it was finished she climbed out of the salon chair with a huge smile on her face.  It looked awesome and fun – a perfect match for her personality.  She was so excited. I envied her for having the confidence to do something so bold.

2014-08-14 14.03.40

We walked to the cash register and a man I would estimate to be in his late 40’s who didn’t seem to have enough hair to even need to be in a hair salon in the first place looked at my daughter and then said sarcastically, “Nice parenting.” At first I thought I must have misheard him. Surely this man isn’t judging my parenting on the sole fact that my daughter’s hair is now pink?  Is he?  I turned back to look at him. He sat there with a disapproving look on his face shaking his head with very clear disgust. I had heard him correctly.  In his little closed mind I was a terrible parent who had just turned my kid into a punk with no future.  I was a crappy parent.

*Newsflash – A week passed and the pink colour mostly washed out.  My 11 year old daughter shows no signs of becoming a punk or menace to society. She remains a straight-A student, the Nova Scotia U12 girls provincial badminton champion and East Coast Open Champion, and the same child who was honoured by the Nova Scotia Arthritis Society earlier in the year as their 2014 Arthritis Hero at their Annual Celebrity Roast whose speech in front of over 400 people assisted them in raising close to $26,000 to send kids like her living with juvenile arthritis to Camp JoinTogether for a week at camp.  Nope, not a punk.  Just an all-round good kid despite being raised by someone with questionable parenting skills…according to the bald guy in the hair salon. 

Yesterday, little over a week from the hair salon incident, I took both of my daughters and their friend to Halifax for the Cody Simpson concert (which was truly amazing I might add).  Before the concert started we went downtown to a pizza place to grab a quick bite to eat. 

Two other moms showed up shortly after us.  They were with much younger girls, likely in the 6-8 age range. I could see the moms looking at my oldest daughter who will soon be 14.  They kept looking over at her and it wasn’t hard to know what they were thinking.  She was wearing short jean shorts and a short crop tank that was loose. We have a pool at our house and she wears this style of tank all the time over her bikini top. Her belly was visible and you could see her teal-coloured bra at certain angles.  Not a big deal for a teen who spends two months of the year around lots of people in a bikini that is far more revealing.  I was not concerned.  After all, we were going to a sold-out  ‘rock’ concert and it was going to be hot inside.  Not to mention, when I was her age I wore pretty much the same style and miraculously turned out just fine.  Had she been going to school she would have been ordered to change, but we weren’t going to school. We were going to a concert in the city. 

As we got up to leave the pizza shop, my daughter walked ahead to empty her garbage in the bin.  The two mothers, completely indifferent to the fact I was right there and could hear every word they were saying, sat there staring at my daughter with the one saying, “Oh my God, I could never handle having a child like that. Can you imagine? I would never survive the teen years.”  With the other replying, “Well, ours won’t turn out that way.”

What way?  Really?  Are you, strangers who don’t know anything about me or my children, really implying that your parenting will produce better children than mine? 

For the sake of the children I bit my tongue in that moment and I watched as my beautiful 13 year old daughter who had heard every single word and had been happy and giggling all day suddenly became very self-conscious and quiet. 

So to you, Judgmental Pizza Place Moms, I have this to say:  If you don’t want your children to turn out like my daughter then you are the ones who need some advice on parenting, not me. My 13 year old daughter (you know, the one in the crop top and short shorts that you could never handle having as a child) is one of the strongest, most talented, and smartest kids you’ll ever meet:

She achieved gold level honours this year in grade 7 – the highest academic achievement awarded at her school. Her Cody Simpson concert ticket was her grading present. 

At the age of 8 an art collector who travels the world gathering pieces for his collection by chance came across one of her drawings that was on public display.  He insisted that he be allowed to buy it and had people find us so he could meet her and have her sign and date it because he was certain it will be worth something some day.  She donated the money he gave her to a local after-school program. 

This child of mine, the one you don’t want your children to be like, she also plays volleyball.  Despite spending 16 days at the IWK Children’s Hospital last summer hooked up to machines and fighting for her life, followed by months of bed rest and physical restrictions, she still managed to earn a spot playing for one of the best volleyball clubs in the province.  Her U14 team won the provincial bronze medal in April.  She was the starting setter. She didn’t start the season in that position but she worked really hard and earned it.

This summer she started babysitting for a family with 3 young active kids.  She earns her own spending money and because she earns it herself she spends it wisely.   At the Cody Simpson concert last night she bought a t-shirt and like every other kid in the Metro Centre threw it over what she was wearing.  While her sister and friend complained about being too hot from wearing two t-shirts in a hot stadium my daughter was perfectly fine.  I guess wearing a short crop tank wasn’t such a bad idea after all. 

And maybe -just maybe – despite the fact I let my kids dye their hair funky colours and wear what they want to music concerts I’m not that bad of a parent.  I just parent differently than you do and so far for me it seems to be working just fine.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Books Have Arrived!

Today was a pretty exciting day. Aside from the general excitement of it being my first official day of vacation (YAY!) just before lunch my shipment of bookmarks arrived and I was relieved to see they turned out well having used an online printer I had never heard of.  I was also relieved that it wasn’t raining and that I don’t live in a neighbourhood filled with thugs and thieves because the delivery guy just rang the doorbell, left the package in front of my door, and then drove off before I had the opportunity to get to the door which took me at best 15 seconds.  I now understand why the printing company has a disclaimer that they aren’t responsible for the product after it is given to their shipping company. 

A few hours later I heard a thump, looked out the window, and was delighted to see a courier driver heading up my driveway with two boxes.  The driver was the same fellow who had delivered the proof of my book a few weeks earlier who got to witness firsthand the excitement of a first time writer being handed her very first book.  When I opened the door he seemed genuinely excited as he asked, “Are these your books?”  I signed the electronic signature thing that does not have enough space for someone with a long hyphenated last name like mine to neatly sign and as he wished me well in my writing career I was genuinely touched by his sincerity.  It also made me feel this odd sense of obligation to work even harder to make this book a success so someday he can say, “I remember the day I delivered her first book…” 

I hope that day comes.

So, here they are… 

They have arrived!

They have arrived!

 Now the real work begins!  Anyone want to buy a book?

 

Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler is Available…NOW!

Jennie Fowler 1600 (2)I am thrilled to advise that the paperback version of my first book, Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler, is now available through major retailers in Canada and the United States!  The eBook version was also released today worldwide through all major online book retailers. 

I had originally been told that it would take anywhere from 6 – 8 weeks for the book to move throughout the distribution chain so it came as an absolute surprise and delight to arrive home from an early morning budget meeting on what is normally my day off to discover that my book was available and in stock as of today through the Indigo/Chapters/Coles chain in Canada and Barnes & Noble in the U.S. 

The eBook is available from Amazon but the print version is not available through them yet.

A lot of people have asked when Jennie Fowler Nighttime Prowler will be available in bookstores.  Because I am an unknown new author it is unlikely that you will walk in and find my book on the shelf of your local bookstore today, however, they should have no problem ordering a copy in for you.  I anticipate that the book will be stocked within the next month or so locally.

I also have a case of books that should be arriving late next week for anyone who wants to purchase from me directly either in person or via the Cathydia Press Website that will launch very soon.

I will be doing an official launch in the next few weeks and some author signings in various communities beginning this fall.  I was expecting to have a lot more time to plan!

Here are the online links for those looking to purchase online:

Canada – Available online through Indigo (I’m not sure why the book cover isn’t appearing yet):

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/jennie-fowler-nighttime-prowler-jennie/9780993817304-item.html?ikwid=jennie+fowler+nighttime+prowler&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

US – Available online through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jennie-fowler-nighttime-prowler-lisa-g-pomfrey-talbot/1120021907?ean=9780993817304

I’m looking really forward to hearing what you think of it!

 

The Proof of My Book Has Arrived!

Yesterday was a big day for me. The proof of my first book, JENNIE FOWLER NIGHTTIME PROWLER, arrived mid-afternoon.   I think it’s safe to say that when you’ve spent your entire life dreaming of someday becoming an author when that moment actually arrives and you find yourself holding your very first book in your hands for the first time it is, without question, one of the greatest feelings ever.   I’m almost there.  Life is good!

2014-08-05 15.27.52