Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In-studio Author Interview

I just received this recording of my 9 January 2013 in-studio interview with Evan James on 97.7 THE SPUR. We talk about THE TRAZ, FATAL ERROR, and my author presentation to the students at the St. Paul Alternate Education Centre.

Eileen Schuh, author Interview | Muziboo
This was my second live in-studio radio interview, I did one around this time last year on CKLB-FM 101.9 in Yellowknife. I've also done several phone interviews for radio stations.  This, however, is the first time I've been able to hear what I sound like on air.

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Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Happy Birthday to me!

Although I look 50 and I say I'm 50, there are those who suspect I'm not. old am I today? 
What better day than a birthday to reminisce about those days of olde...

I’m so old I remember party lines and owned a car with an 8-track player.
I’m so old, I remember the first time I heard the word “microwave” and decades later, the word “cell phone”.
I remember black and orange computer monitors, learning DOS, and buying floppy disks.

I’m so old I remember my mom being appalled when women started wear pants...with zippers in the FRONT.
I’m so old I remember my mom being appalled at the shortness of my miniskirt and the longness of young boys’ hair.
I’m so old I remember being appalled at men wearing earrings.

I’m so old...
I’m so old I remember riding in a car that had to be cranked to be started.  I remember my sister going to a one-room school house. I remember Dick and Jane and Sally, and Betty and Tom and Susan.

I remember not being able to apply to become a police officer when I finished high school...because I was female. (Not that wanted to. I just was upset that I couldn’t—you had to be there to understand. These were bra-burning days, you see. Which, by the way, was also an activity that appalled my mother.)

I’m so old both my mother and I overcame being appalled at things. 

I might be old, but, I'm not too old to make my dreams come true  Two years ago I had no books published, now I have four novels with my name on the covers.

But, here’s the real clues to how old I am...

I'm so old I was already 9 when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. I didn’t see them, though, because I was13 before we had electricity in our house and 14 before we got our first TV. 

My dad finally broke down and bought that old black and white because he wanted to watch the first man walk on the moon.

That, my kidlets, is how old I am. So...happy birthday to me!

          THE TRAZ
      My Debut Novel
    A dream come true
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Business Writing...

I used to quite like writing the annual Business Plan for our family company, Genesis Homes Ltd. It took a creative use of words to put the proper spin on things like market conditions, competition, and the world economic crisis. It was uplifting to review where we’d been and where we were going as a corporation. It was rewarding to look back on the hardships we’d overcome and make definitive plans to meet the challenges of the future.

But this year...

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Compared to penning stories about drug-dealing biker gangs, undercover cops, alternate universes, and run-away teens...prattling on about profit margins and debt-to-equity ratios is dreadfully dull.
I’ve thought about enlivening the prose with a bit of fiction but I’m not 100 percent certain the banker would appreciate the drama...

“The market for new housing was slow at the beginning of our fiscal year. However, after the disappearance of a young local girl with gang connections, the local police force was expanded considerably to deal with the ongoing drug dealing and biker problems. The influx of law enforcement personnel spurred the housing industry. Half-way through the year, sales skyrocketed...”


“The Town’s plan to develop the property it holds north of the tracks and bring a new subdivision, has not proceeded. It appears we’ve slid into an alternate universe, where the Town land will forever remain un-serviced and a shortage of lots on which to build will continue to be a major factor influencing the St. Paul real estate market...”

In any event, I WILL write the Business Plan, because after all, it is the family business that pays my room and board and allows me the freedom to pursue my dream of becoming a self-sufficient, best-selling international author...

“Genesis Homes Ltd. was incorporated in 1991...”

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's cold in the Arctic...

It’s cold in the Arctic this time of year...and dark. Those above the Arctic circle get no sunlight. It was on just such a December day that we first meet Katrina in the prologue of THE TRAZ. It’s 1986, she’s four and playing with her computer while Tanesa, her mom—steeped in depression—sleeps. Outside, the wind howls.

Much of what Katrina dreams, does and becomes in the BackTracker series of novels has its origins back in those Arctic childhood days.

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While I’ve never been as far north as Cambridge Bay, Canada where Katrina lived, I have been as far north as Yellowknife, experienced the mid-night sun during the summer solstice and a dog-sled ride during the winter one. 

I’m familiar with snow and cold, long winters and dark days, having spent my entire life in central and northern Alberta, Canada. What one is familiar with often seems quite unexciting and not worthy of mention, but artists and artisans, poets and novelists know how to weave familiarity into their work and cast a new magical light on the ordinary. 

So here’s some trivia that may help you appreciate four-year old Katrina’s life in the Arctic.
Bare skin exposed to the elements can freeze in a matter of minutes when temperatures drop and wind chill rises. Faces are often the only exposed parts of northerners when they face winter. However, even covered parts can quickly freeze, especially those parts farthest from the heart, such as toes and fingers.

 Trivia question:
As skin freezes, when does a person feel the most pain?
  1. When it first starts to freeze, a warning to cover up and/or get warm
  2. When the skin turns white and freezing sinks down into the tissue
  3. When the skin begins to warm and thaw

Oh, yowsers! I can tell you from experience, it is #3. When the skin starts to thaw, it is very, very painful. Almost makes you want to stay frozen.  When skin first starts to freeze, one notices a bit of nippy pain but nothing severe. On the face, once the freezing sets in and white patches appear, no pain is felt at all. The area becomes numb. Fingers and toes may become increasing painful as they get colder, a stern reminder to get indoors, but if the warning is ignored, they, too, will eventually turn numb.

If the freezing is very deep and/or prolonged, tissue may be damaged beyond repair and amputation or other severe measured may be required. 

Here’s an excerpt about cold weather from THE TRAZ: (Katrina is 4 years old and in Cambridge Bay. December 1986)

 "I was going to come and see you, Daddy. Then I got caught up with the computer. I got bored with the Garfield game but I learned how to compose music using DOS. After supper I'll play you the song I wrote."
"Tanesa, that's why she needs a mother. Would you even have noticed if she'd taken off in the dark and the fifty degrees below to find me?"
"I would've found you, Daddy. I know how to get to the police detachment. I'm not stupid."
"No, you're definitely not stupid." Dave sighed.
"I know how to dress for the weather."

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