Tag Archives: life

Creative Crossroads.


One of my biggest life goals is to get paid to write.

And when I say paid, I mean actual cold, hard cash.

I’m not interested in writing for “experience” or “exposure” because neither of those things buy groceries or get me any closer to achieving my goal.

For a long time, I told people that I would have a book published by the time I turned forty. I’ve come to the realization that this is not going to happen. I mean my fortieth birthday is just over a year and a half away and the only books I’ve written are the imaginary ones that I day dream about while I’m in the shower.

So if I’m not going to write a book, how else can I make money from my writing?

I have this nifty little blog, but publishers aren’t exactly lining up to throw money at me for my musings about parenting, cats and short shorts.

Do I gather my best work and randomly send it out to different publications? In theory this sounds like a great idea, but when I actually sit down to do the research, I get ridiculously overwhelmed. Then I get stressed and find myself shamefully polishing off an entire family sized bag of  M&M’s.

Do I send my writing to other blogs? Websites? Magazines? Newspapers?

Do I start with local publications or the New York Times?

And then there’s the whole world of writing contests. I’ve entered a few over the years and have had a one hundred percent failure rate. Just the thought of entering another one fills me right up to the brim with self loathing and dread.

Do I start my own website? Self publish? Write a play? TV show? Screenplay for a movie about a writer at a creative crossroads?

Where is all this coming from? This need to make my writing for money dream a reality?

Could be that there are big changes happening at the toy shop.

Could be that the beginning of a new year has me feeling like I need to get my shit together.

Could be that I’m ready to put myself out there, to take a leap of faith into the writing world and see what happens.

So if you want to help out your old pal NFred reach her writing for money goal, please spread the word that I’m willing to write literally ANYTHING for money.

Essays, taglines, short stories, tweets, jokes, non-fiction, poetry, product descriptions, reviews, flash fiction, comics, grocery lists, obituaries, blog posts, speeches, Facebook statuses, Dear John letters, greeting cards, hieroglyphics, ANYTHING!

Also, if you have any suggestions of where I should start, I’m all ears.

Thank you so much and happy freak’n New Year! Here’s to a creative 2017!

Big hugs,




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NFred’s Delicious Little Secret.

I couldn’t quite place her, but I knew that she looked familiar.

It was at my son’s hockey evaluations a few weeks ago. She was registering the kids as they arrived at the arena.

“What’s your name, Honey”, she asked my son. He answered and she sweetly told him which dressing room to use and wished him good luck.

As I sat shivering  in the stands, watching my son play, it suddenly came to me.


A few years ago while working at The Toy Shop, I had a customer who was very upset with the quality of our free gift wrapping service. I remember that she bought an item and asked to have it wrapped. As I was removing the price tags, she went off on an unprovoked rant about how poorly wrapped her previous purchase had been and that she had to redo the whole thing HERSELF in her car because she was too embarrassed to give such a horrible looking gift. I apologised and took extra care to fluff the tissue and curl the ribbon to perfection. When I asked her if it looked okay, she rolled her eyes, snatched the bag from my hands and said, “I’ll do it myself” before storming out of the store.

It was one of the most perplexing customer interactions I’ve ever had in my entire retail career. How could someone be so upset about a totally optional and completey FREE service?

I sat there in the stands, my butt frozen and fingers numb and I smiled. As if this was the same woman who just called my son “Honey”! What I delicious little secret I had.

And the best part?

I’ve seen her on a weekly basis at the rink ever since.


Needless to say, I’ve been a little guarded in my interactions with her. I’m cautiously waiting for her inner asshat to escape.

In all fairness, I don’t know this woman. She could lead a very difficult life. But there’s just something about people who aren’t cordial to those in customer service jobs. Your server, cashier, the person that pumps your gas are all paid to help you in one way or another. However, being outlets for your misplaced anger is NOT part of their job description.

Anyhoo, it’s going to be an interesting hockey season to say the least! Last week I made sure to wear my staff shirt to see if she’d say anything, but no dice.

Who knows, maybe we’ll become friends and one day we’ll laugh about her inner asshat?!?!!? It’s not likely, but you never know….life is full of surprises…

Thanks for reading,






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NFred’s Day Off.


Days off are weird.

Especially when all your kids are at school and your husband’s at work and you’re alone in your home.

It’s blissfully silent, but weird.

I work on Saturdays and have Sundays and Mondays off. So this morning, I got the kids ready for school, put them on their bus and came back home. No running off to work or hockey or playgroup or the park or the grocery store. No rushing to get dressed or showered. I just came home, ate a bowl of Cheerios, read some celebrity gossip on my computer and had an extra cup of coffee.

In silence.

I’ve been fantasizing of these days all to myself for over ten years and now that they’re finally here, I’m surprised at how frazzled I feel. In my head, I convinced myself that I would use my seven hours of child free time to accomplish great tasks. I’d clean my dirty house, get in shape and obviously write the next great Canadian novel. But in reality, I seem to be sitting on my couch, watching cat videos on my computer. As the minutes tick away, I feel increasingly guilty that I’ve wasted my day when I could have accomplished something, anything, more profound than sitting on my ass.

Since school started, life has been bananas. I’m working full time, the kids are all back into their various activities and my old schedule that I lived and breathed for the past three years has totally gone out the window. If my life were a person, she’d be an overzealous personal trainer screaming at me constantly to GO GO GO while I fumbled gracelessly trying to keep up.

But don’t for one hot second think that I’m complaining. I love my crazy life. And obviously I’m going to have a hard time adjusting to this whole concept of a day “off”. For a whole decade I full time momed and part time worked. If I wasn’t at work I was with my kids and vice verse. No wonder I’m all in a tizzy. The concept of a “me day” is totally foreign.

It’s now twelve-thirty and this is what I’ve done with my day so far;

  1. Got out of bed.
  2. Made three lunches.
  3. Did a “ballet bun” to the exact specifications of my four year old daughter using both the yellow and the blue sparkly bobby pins that took her a solid ten minutes to find in her room.
  4. Argued with my seven year old about brushing his teeth.
  5. Walked to the bus stop.
  6. Embarrassed my ten year old by insisting that he kiss me before getting on his bus.
  7. Walked back home.
  8. Ate breakfast.
  9. Sat and stared at my computer.
  10. Felt guilty about sitting, decided to try and fix my vacuum.
  11. Failed at fixing vacuum.
  12. Cleaned the kitchen instead.
  13. Went to the bathroom TWICE sans interruption.
  14. Cleaned out my front hall closet. Got Eminem’s song by the same name stuck in my head.
  15. Answered two emails.
  16. Sat back down.
  17. Started writing.

Now that I see those seventeen things staring back at me from my computer screen, I guess I have accomplished a few tasks today. Maybe I should give myself a break, cut myself some slack and use these precious hours to recharge for the week ahead? I don’t know where my constant need to “do something” came from, but I think it’s time I learn to say NO NO NO to the constant GO GO GO of my life…at least on my day off.

It’s almost one o’clock.

Two and a half hours before the kids get home.

I think my next task will be eating a sandwich. After that, maybe some more sitting followed by a lot less guilt.

Thanks for reading my gibberish,


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