Archive for March, 2012

What? (that’s what you are probably thinking about the title of this post, right?)

A few years ago during one of our family vacations, I read french author Marc Levy‘s first critically acclaimed novel, Et si c’était vrai… Toward the end of the book, there is a dialog between the two main characters about an interesting riddle.

If a bank suddenly approached you and decided to open an account specifically for you in which 86 400 $ would be deposited every day, for you to spend in any way you wish, with no strings attached, what would you do with it?

Hold on before you answer. If you don’t spend all that money in a day, it is lost. Nope, there is no carryover to the next day. The next day you will start with 86 400 $ again. Are you thinking: Wow, this is still very cool! I want it!

Here’s the “catch”: the bank may decide, at any moment, without any warning, to end this peculiar ‘arrangement’ !

86 400 $. Change the $ sign for ‘seconds’. Hmm. This riddle is starting to make more sense.

Everyday, life gives us 86 400 seconds to spend in any way we see fit. At the end of each day, the time we haven’t spent wisely doing the things that matter simply vanishes. The cycle continues everyday… until the “bank” decides to put an end to the “deal”.

I love writing. A lot. My head is full of ideas for stories I’d love to write. But in a typical day, a good chunk of the 86 400 seconds are spent doing other important things. Whatever remains, I can choose to do whatever I want with it. There are some days when it’s only 3 600 seconds. Some days it’s a little more. Some days it’s less. The biggest challenge I face is always to decide what to do with those remaining seconds. Writing? or Reading? Because I love doing both!

Marc Levy‘s novel Et si c’était vrai… was adapted to the big screen in 2005: Just Like Heaven, starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo.


First time at bat

Okay. So I’ve decided to put one of my short stories “out there”. It’s called “The Champion of All Snacks“.

I had some fun doing the following:

  • I learned how to properly format my document using Microsoft Word (I did some research on the internet).
  • I learned how to convert it using  Calibre (a free e-book management tool which also converts e-books to various formats).
  • I took some pictures for the cover (I’m a decent photographer!)
  • I chose the best picture and I used a free web‑based image editing tool called befunky® and transformed it using some of the available special effects.
  • I cropped the transformed picture and used it to make my own cover art for my e-book.
  • I signed up at Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and uploaded my e-book.
  • … and I published my very first short story in the Kindle Store!

The self-publishing process with KDP is simple. Now, how I plan to promote this first e-book (and all its future brothers and sisters) is another story… Let’s wait and see.

This short story is a humorous slice of life between a loving daddy and his very cute, but cunning daughter.

His stomach gurgling, he decides to make himself a good late night snack. Not just any snack… the Champion of All Snacks! But as he lines up the ingredients on the counter, his young daughter walks in the kitchen excitedly. After she realizes what he’s up to, she places her forearms on the counter, waiting and smiling cunningly, hoping to get a piece of her favorite delicacy. He agrees to teach her how to make his Specialty Snack, however he clearly states he will be the one eating it since she has already had her dessert earlier. The lesson on how to prepare the infamous snack turns out to be a little too technical for Sabrina, so she plays the game… almost up to the end!

The Champion of All Snacks is available in Kindle format here. Happy reading!

You don’t have a Kindle reader? You can download the Kindle for PC (free) here.

Derek Redmond was favoured to medal in the 400 metre sprint at Barcelona’s Olympics in 1992 when he felt a searing pain 150 metres into the race.

This is an inspirational true story. I think we can learn one important thing from this story: never give up!

Suite au succès de la première édition du Concours des Nouvelles de Gatineau en 2011 (108 nouvelles reçues de 108 auteurs de tous les horizons de la francophonie; Québec, Ontario, France, Allemagne, Luxembourg, Belgique), une deuxième édition du concours a été lancée lors du Salon du livre de l’Outaouais le 2 mars dernier.

Si ce concours vous intéresse, rendez-vous sur le site de la Ville de Gatineau à l’adresse suivante:

Pour ma part, je compte bien sûr soumettre une nouvelle dans le cadre de cette deuxième édition du concours!

La date limite pour faire parvenir son texte est le 31 août 2012.

Author K. M. Weiland blogs at “Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors” where she mentors other authors and shares the ups and downs of the writing life. I spent a bit of time browsing the content of her blog. I plan to go back! The “A Wordplayer’s Manifesto” (at the bottom of her blog page) attracted my attention; it’s very inspiring!

This afternoon, in Gatineau, Quebec, the thermometer hit 23 degrees Celcius. Unbelievable. I cannot remember the last time it was this warm in March… should we worry?

* * *

Cet après-midi, à Gatineau, le thermomètre a atteint 23 degrés Celcius. Incroyable. Je ne me souviens même pas de la dernière fois où il a fait si chaud au mois de mars… devrait-on s’inquiéter?

He goes only by Agent Snickerdoodle. He delivers cookies in disguise. And his business is thriving.

I admire the people who have creative ideas and the guts to follow up on their dreams. This is one example. If The Secret Cookie Service delivered cookies in the area I live in, I would order a dozen!

Link to read the article:

Link to watch the video:

Came across this while browsing on the internet (it is posted on Paul Coelho’s blog). Worth sharing!

My favorite one:  Perseverance is Priceless “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

From epic asteroid bombardment and lava flow to man landing on its surface, the Moon has a rich and violent history. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is uncovering a treasure trove of knowledge on the past and present state of Luna.

Very interesting video! You can watch it on YouTube at

(or simply click on the imbedded video feed below)