Eileen Cook Author, Writing Consultant, Editor

Dog Update

IMG_1341As you can see Cairo and Gimlet are now fast friends. Cairo has enjoyed all the extra cookies (he tends to take them from her) and this makes up for the fact that she is constantly hanging off of him biting his ear, ruff or tail.

It amuses me how different they are in personality. For example, Cairo has always been terrified of the vacuum. He tries to play it cool now, acting like he would just rather be somewhere else when it comes out, but you can tell the thing freaks him out.

Then came Gimlet. She observed how the vacuum came out and Cairo exited stage right. Instead of following him, she instantly leapt onto the hose, digging in her teeth, wrapping her paws around it. I imagine if she could speak it would be: “DIE you evil sucking dragon! I shall vanquish you for terrorizing my beloved brother. Your death shall be slow and painful.” She has no fear.

This process makes cleaning up the house interesting.

Gimlet has arrived


Gim peachland
So last Thursday we flew to Kelowna to pick up the newest member of our family.

So far it has been both easier than expected and more work. There is no energy like puppy energy. She goes goes goes goes goes and then falls over sounds asleep- then she snores like a wee truck driver.

Our other dog Cairo is not so sure about this addition. We wondered if he would be territorial with a new dog in his space, but he seems to have more wearied patience. Like she’s a drunk houseguest who showed up at his house, ate his food, ran around screaming “Look at me!!!!!” and then peed in the living room. Near as I can tell he’s still hoping she will go away. The fact that she follows him around and chews on his ears is likely not helping.

It will be busy around here at Chez Cook as we all get used to each other and our new schedule. Let’s hope for her stake she stays away from my good shoes.

Things my dishwasher has taught me

Some of you may remember that we got a new dishwasher about a month ago. The amount I love this dishwasher is hard to describe. When I put the dishes in, even if they are crusty with egg goo, they come out….CLEAN.

Now, you may not be impressed. Perhaps you’re thinking that the entire point of a dishwasher is to wash dishes. Technically you would be correct. Alas, our old dishwasher hadn’t been up to the task for a while. Instead of breaking down completely in a gush of water and steam- it just slowly, over a period of time, did a crappier and crappier job. First, it wouldn’t wash off the really crusty stuff. Then it moved to a stage where it didn’t so much wash dishes, as it sterilized all ready clean dishes. Then it didn’t even really do that.

I was in denial for a long period of time. It’s not that bad, I would tell myself as I scoured dishes before putting them in, or cleaning them as I took them out. Other things I told myself included:
– It will be a pain to get a new one.
– I don’t have time to go appliance shopping.
– It will be expensive
– I’ll buy a new one (insert random timeline here)

Then I finally bought it. And it was great. And I wondered why I waited so long. Why I settled for something that didn’t work that great. I think it’s a great reminder for life in general. What are living with that doesn’t really work? A friendship? A job? A living space? Something that you tell yourself is “good enough” when it really isn’t.

Imagine if your life wasn’t good enough- if it was just right. Then go out and make it happen.

Cue the Celebration!

imagesI am BEYOND excited to announce a shiny new book deal! It’s been on the down low for awhile, but I am now able to share the news. It’s a good thing too, because I’ve been ready to explode with happiness.

My agent, the divine Barbara Poelle, sold my novel WITH MALICE to the amazing Sarah Landis at HMH. The book sold in less than 24 hours of landing on Sarah’s desk and behind the scenes we have been hustling as the book will be out in JUNE 2016! Eep!

WITH MALICE is a psychological mystery. Think of the NPR Serial podcast meets YA thriller. Here is the description:

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

You can read more about the deal here at Publisher’s Weekly and also about it being featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair here. And for the record, hearing the term “Hot Title” makes me weak in the knees.

I owe a huge amount of thanks to all my friends and family who continue to support me in this wild decision to be a writer.

World, Meet Gimlet

Bob and Gimlet

We went this past weekend up to the Okanagan to pick our new puppy. World, I would like you to meet young Gimlet. So far she has shown top skills in areas such as chewing on things, peeing on things, and shoving her brother and sisters out of the way to obtain more food. We are hopeful she will also learn advanced skills such as sleeping on the sofa, chasing stuffed toys, and keeping our home safe from squirrel infestation.

Alas, Gimlet needs more time with her mum before she is old enough to come home. She’ll be joining the family end of next month and we’re already excited!


Random Monday Catch Up

I have zero idea how it is already the middle of September. This summer, which was filled with lazy afternoons reading on the patio, long walks with the dogs and edits aplenty has FLOWN by.

If you are in the Vancouver area, on September 25th at 7pm I will be speaking at the North Vancouver City Library with a great group of YA writers. Hope to see you there. Details (and registration for the free event) can be found here.

If you are looking for even more time with me I’ll be at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference at the end of October. There is a great group of writers, editors and agents this year so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already.

I am also starting this week teaching at SFU for The Writer’s Studio. This is a ten month program where I’ll be mentoring a group of writers (my group is YA and Speculative Fiction) and hopefully we’ll all be learning a lot. It has also provided me with an excuse to buy new school supplies. There are few things I love more than office supplies.

Under the heading exciting news- we’re getting a PUPPY! (picture me dancing in circles here) The puppy has been born and is still with her mum and littermates. She’ll be joining us here at Chez Cook at the end of October. No doubt she is already looking forward to all the floors to be peed upon and shoes to chew.

I’m knitting up a storm these days as I try and get some of my Christmas knits completed in an effort to avoid that last minute freak out that I typically experience. We’ll see if I stay on target.

Highlights of the past summer include: Seahawks game and Seattle visit with my parents, lots of relaxation at home, new book project that I’m working on, going to the Whitecaps games with DH, Cairo getting better post surgery, skeptics conference in Vegas (and also margaritas by the pool while there), Canada Day BBQ with friends and lots of great meals with great friends.

Now I’m ready for fall. Bring on the fuzzy sweaters, thick socks, books read under a blanket with a cup of tea and pumpkin flavored everything.

This is an addiction I know ALL too well


The World’s Most Boring Person

Have you ever seen the beer Dos Equis’ ad campaign with the World’s Most Exciting Man? I am the exact opposite of this- possibly the world’s most boring person.

I came to this realization a couple of weeks ago. DH and I had gone to the fireworks competition. We were excited because a) we were out for a big night on the town and b) we were awake past ten pm so we felt like rebels. We sat near a group of people, one of whom had just moved here. She asked up what kind of exciting things we could recommend to do on the weekends. Before thinking about it I spit out that I like to spend the weekend reading. I managed to avoid mentioning that I also like to nap.

That’s when it occurred to me that I’m boring and upon reflection I found more evidence to support this theory:
– I am a huge fan of oatmeal for breakfast
– The color I wear most often is grey
– It’s possible I have more imaginary friends than real ones
– I actually get a shiver of excitement when I hear from the library that a book I requested is in for pick up
– My wild hobby is knitting.

I think I am going to embrace my new status as world’s more boring person. Maybe have a t-shirt made. Add the line to my business cards.

I am beginning to think it is a lie

A little over a year ago DH realized that despite our best attempts to remain immature forever, we were alas, getting older. We decided that rather than grow old gracefully we wanted to go kicking and screaming so we have made a concerted effort to become healthier. We already ate fairly decently, and given that we both think kale tastes like a weed, we knew that to make a change what we needed to do was exercise.

I’ve never been an athletic person. My parents who gave me several good things (an ability to cook, a love of reading, sense of humour) did not provide me with a single athletic gene. I was the person you knew in high school who forged notes to get out of gym class. When forged notes did not work, I was the one who was constantly hit in the face with a ball, who fell, who twisted something, and generally would always be chosen last when making teams. I do not like the gym. Or sweating. It is not a case of not “finding just the right activity.” I have tried all most all sporty things. The truth is that my idea of a good activity is reading on the sofa followed by a nap. When I’m feeling really wild and crazy I like to knit. If reading burned calories I would make super models look like hippos. Alas, it does not.

So I started running. That’s a lie. I started walking and then slowly added in periods of running. People around me told me that there would be some kind of runner’s high. I have come to accept the truth- they lie. It’s been close to a year now and the only high I have is when the treadmill beeps indicating that I can stop.

I share an office with a lovely woman. T is incredibly bright, a great critical thinker, funny, kind. She is also an amazing athlete. Some days she talks about how when she doesn’t get to run she really misses it. I can honestly say this has never happened to me. Nada. Not once. She also looks great when she runs. I haven’t looked in a mirror, but I’m pretty sure I look hideous. At the very least I feel hideous and I’m never smiling.

My good friend J became athletic later in life. She used to be a couch potato like me. She told me once that she was intending to run for about an hour- but she was having so much fun that she just kept going. She “didn’t even realize how much time had passed.” This has never happened to me. Much more common is that I think surely the time must be over only to realize that time has slowed to crawl and that I still have forever to go.

On the upside I’ve lost some weight and my cardio is way better. So I’ll live longer. Or it will just seem like longer. I’m not sure which it will be yet.

eXTReMe Tracker