Tag Archives: canada

Status Update – Get Outta Here!

Jan 29, 2017

So I was having a conversation with my friend and fellow writer, Laura L. Stapleton, yesterday about Canada. We’re both massive Canada-lovers, and given the choice, we’d both move to Nova Scotia in a heartbeat. The thing is, I’d move to London in a heartbeat too. Or maybe Hampshire, or France or Ireland or Australia. I haven’t been to those last three yet, but SOON! Yeah, Laura and I were saying that there should be mandatory quotas for traveling abroad. Americans gotta get outta here!

And I know, a lot of people have been ranting that they’re ready to move out of the US these days, but I can assure you that I’ve always wanted to move. I remember daydreaming about running away to England when I was a child. I think I must be part gypsy.

The funny thing is, I am also sort of starting to maybe think about buying an actual house instead of just renting. Although I don’t really like mowing or raking or shoveling or gardening or all of those things you have to do when you have a house. But the idea of having a place of my own is kinda appealing.

As long as I can spend about half of my time traveling abroad. Ha! I don’t know if I’ll ever make up my mind to definitely stay in one place or definitely travel. I think the only solution is to buy a house with an in-law apartment and hire my assistant, Julie, to live there. She says she’s totally on board with that plan, btw.

So here are some of my favorite pics of places outside of the US that I’ve been….

My first trip to England was in 2010. This is the Hampshire countryside, aka Jane Austen country! I loved it!

A couple years ago I went to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. I wish I’d taken more pics of things that weren’t the resort, because Nassau is fascinating place!

And yes, I’m a total nerd who drove to Halifax, Nova Scotia for a vacation in December! What you can’t tell from this pic is that it was 5 degrees. Farenheit! But beautiful!

London! London is my soul’s home. I would live there if I could. This is me and London, taken from The Eye of London. Magnificent!


Great Big Sea

Feb 01, 2013

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing your own creative endeavor from my efforts as an author, it’s that word of mouth means everything. So since it’s Fun Friday and I’m more or less obsessed with these guys, I’ve just got to introduce you to the group Great Big Sea.


I’ve been pestering my coworkers for more than a week with “Oh my gosh, these guys are awesome! You’ve got to listen to them!” And of course I get asked “Well what kind of music do they play?” I think I would have to classify it as modern Celtic rock with a few traditional Irish songs and some songs that sound a teensy bit like the love child of The Chieftans and Mumford and Sons. On their website the band describes themselves as a “dysfunctional-family-bar-room-brawl-student-art-project-musical-pirate-crew” Here’s one of my favorite songs (um, EVER):

Okay, a little technical background. Great Big See is a Canadian band, from Newfoundland. They’ve been together for 20+ years. The band consists of Alan Doyle, Sèan McCann, and Bob Hallett (with past or occasional members including Darrell Power, Kris MacFarlane, and Murray Foster of another great Canadian band I love, Moxy Fruvous). Most of the guys come from a whole different world than I do, steeped in Canadian fishing village traditions with strong Irish-Catholic traditions.

But really, it’s their music that is so awesome. It’s snappy and fun, but also incredibly emotional and uplifting. How can you listen to something like this and not be happy?

Also, singer Alan Doyle (who happens to be a friend of Russell Crowe and sang on/produced his album, which is how I discovered Great Big Sea) has put out a solo album with the single greatest break-up song I’ve ever heard:

Can I also add that Alan Doyle has one of those deep sexy voices that I can’t help but respond to and that I sort of have plans for a romance novel hero using him as the template?  I’m sure he’d love to hear that.

So yeah, I can tell you about Great Big Sea all day, but really you just need to listen. Their latest album, XX, is a massive compilation of their very best work and is available to listen in its entirety on Spotify.

Also, for those who live near me in Philly, they’re playing at the Keswick on April 18th!!!! Who wants to go with me?