Archive for January, 2011

The Jersey Shore

Posted: January 28, 2011 in bus, eavesdropping, The Jersey Shore

I was riding the bus today and couldn’t help overhearing a conversation between two teenagers on the next seat.

“So!” one of them said, “I watched the Jersey Shore last night.”

“Yeah?” The other one replied. “I’ve never seen it. Any good?”

“Well, there’s this couple,” the first one replied, “Sam and Ronnie, and they had a huge fight. Sam was going to leave the house — and the show! — but her roommates talked her out of it. Anyway, Sam and Ronnie were lying under the covers together having a personal conversation — Sam was saying how sorry she was for getting upset — it was an intimate moment — and then there’s this other guy in the room! He’d been there the whole time. He said, ‘Look, if you guys want to get busy, I can go and sleep downstairs.’ Oh my gosh, it was _so_ funny!”

Both girls laughed then the first girl said. “I like watching The Jersey Shore because it’s so funny, they’re a bunch of old people trying to party like they’re teenagers.”

It was the last line there that made me want to laugh.  The guys and gals on The Jersey Shore all seem young to me, but I guess not if you’re a teenager.

I guess that perhaps age, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Picture of the day:

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Posted: January 26, 2011 in british shows, remake, Skins, titles

I watched the first two episodes of Skins the other day. I thought the show was well put together and was surprised that it was rated so low in IMDB (2/5 out of 10) compared to the British version (8.8 out of 10). Makes me want to watch the British Version!

I’m a big one for titles. If the title of a book or movie doesn’t make sense it irritates me and I’ll like the book or film less. I know, I’m weird, but there it is. That’s one thing that I thought was cool about Skins, I guess “skin” is another name for, ah-hem, cigarette wrapping paper. Of course the title likely means various things. Teenagers are often not comfortable in their own skin, etc., etc. Still, I thought it was clever.

Here’s our picture of the day:

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Usually I blog about issues related, however tangentially, to writing and keep my personal life out of it but, today, the two have combined. 

“What is so special about today?” you might ask.  Well, let me tell you.  Today I got an ISBN number for my book, The Sandman.  What I didn’t know when I applied for the ISBN number is that every publication in Canada — I guess any publication that’s assigned an ISBN number — has to be submitted to Archives Canada for inclusion in a vast archive to “collect and preserve the nations published heritage.”

I think it is incredibly cool that my book — which is a retelling of a story my father told to me — is considered part of Canada’s heritage.  I know, I know, it really isn’t that big of a deal, but for some reason I’m thrilled by it.

So, there it is, that’s my blog for the day. 🙂

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As I announced in my blog yesterday, I recently published my first book, The Sandman, on Smashwords.  I had written the story two years ago for a public reading I was doing.  My main goal in publishing the story was to share it with others and help build my platform.  In this blog I thought I would share what, to date, the response has been.

– So far 49 people have downloaded the book
I am thrilled with this number!  Stories are meant to be shared.  That 49 people were interested enough in my story to download it … well, I was over the moon.  I know that just because 49 people downloaded my book for free doesn’t mean they all read it, but if even 1/8 or 1/16 of the people who took the time to download the book read it then I will be very happy.

If anyone who has read the book wants to give me feedback, that would be wonderful!  You can get in touch with me at mail@karenwoodward dot org or even post a review of it on Smashwords.

– Traffic to my blog has increased by 373%
I use Google analytics to get an idea of how many people have come by to take a look at this blog — there aren’t many! — but since I published The Sandman traffic has gone up 373%.  I know this is probably temporary, but, still, it was nice.

Overall, so far, my experience of publishing on Smashwords has been very good.  I will post again about this in a couple of days to let folks know how things are progressing.

Thanks for dropping by!

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I just published my first book! I shouldn’t say that I’ve published a book since The Sandman comes to only 4,000 words or so. Oh, and IT’S FREE!

Here’s my description:

Seven year old Maria and her parents go on a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. They have reservations at the best and most expensive resort in the world, the Dolphin Club. Little Maria looks forward to tanning on the warm white sand of the beach and swimming in crystal clear waters of the lake. Then something terrible happens, someone takes away all the sand from the beautiful beach and leaves behind nothing but mud and rock. Will Maria be able to discover the culprit and get the sand back before the Ordin’s vacation is ruined?

When I was a little girl my father used to tell me a story every night before I went to sleep. Sometimes he would tell me about his life as a boy growing up in Russia, or about his little red hen who knew how to count, or about his two huge wolfhounds and how they caught rabbits. Other times he would make up stories for me, stories like The Sandman or How the Lion Got to be King. I loved all of his stories and asked him to tell me them over and over again.
A few weeks ago I asked my dad to tell me his stories one more time so I could write them down, but as I wrote a funny thing happened: the stories became longer and new characters sprang to life.
Although I have been careful to keep the main points of The Sandman exactly as my dad told it, I have taken a few liberties with the story, adding things here and there.
For the last few years it has been my passion to take tales I loved as a child and to retell them in contemporary settings and, where possible, include female heroes while preserving the original magic of the story. I’m not going to speculate on whether or to what degree I have succeeded, but if these stories are used to entertain a child before they close their eyes and drift off into the land of sleep then my efforts have been well spent.

You can find the book on:
– It will soon be up on Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

Seth Rogen: Lucas believes we’ll all die in 2012.

This article has nothing to do with books or writing but I thought it was very funny so thought I’d share it.

Todays Picture:

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Paranormal stories are still selling. According to, Simon & Schuster bought the rights to three paranormal thrillers by debut author Sarah Alderson. Yay Sarah! Congratulations.

Editorial director Venetia Gosling had this to say:

Hunting Lila is a slick romantic thriller, with great sexual tension and a gorgeous hero, as well as a fantastically page-turning plot. It’s a really commercial read, from a talented and highly promotable debut author, and we’ve already had a huge amount of international interest. We’re delighted to welcome Sarah to our list and urge you to keep an eye out for this great new talent!”

To read the entire article, click here.

The picture of the day:

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