Friday, November 28, 2008

It's a Wrap

Or maybe I should say "It's a warp" as in my very warped friend Helaine Becker and I just finished laying down about 90 hours of tape for our radio show pilot...which our lucky editor now has to get down to 24 minutes. Yes, our half hour has 24 minutes. We taped most of our stuff in the "Quirks and Quarks" studio which was probably fitting.

Working in the hallowed halls of the CBC Building for a week has been an interesting experience - met some great people and saw some interesting demo's in the atrium for upcoming "Dragon's Den" episodes.

My kids will be glad to have me back in work-from-home mode next week. No, not because they miss jumping off the school bus and leaping into my loving arms, or sitting quietly doing homework and sharing quality bonding moments with me.

None of that.

It's because I'll finally be making a meal OUTSIDE of my crock pot.

LOVE that thing. Maybe that's the NEXT show.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't I Know You From Somewhere...

I'm spending the week at the CBC Building in downtown Toronto this week, working on a radio pilot. The building itself is at the same time open and airy (the central atrium) as well as a rabbit's warren of cubicles and darkly lit hallways.

Myself, my co-writer/host Helaine Becker, and Peter Brown (our producer and mastermind behind CBC's hit comedy summer show, "The Irrelevant Show") have been hammering out scripts, booking guests, and generally assaulting people on the street for interviews.

At the same time, as I sit and have my sandwich in the Ooh La La restaurant off the atrium, I've been able to indulge in a bit of Canadian celebrity watching - Wendy Mesley, Jian Ghomeshi, Nicholas Campbell and Matt Galloway have all walked past. Not to mention actually meeting the Queen of CBC, Denise Donlon. Last week when we were in getting audio equipment, Peter Freaking C. Newman walked by on his way to an interview.

(And don't worry Jian - I read your column in the Post this morning, and my teenage daughter thought Twilight was awful as well - she won't be lynching you for your review.)

Haven't seen George S yet, but if the line-ups for tickets to his show, The Hour, are any indication, I'm sure I'll never break through the crowd in order to offer him a seat at our lunch table.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Morning...

On Thursday of this week I was on Canada AM, talking about Bedtime Tips for kids. I hadn't done this show before, and it was great.

I was interviewed by Seamus O'Regan, who is just as cute in person, and chatted with Beverly Thompson as well, about the teen obsession with the movie "Twilight". In fact, as I write this, my 17-year-old is driving to the movie with a friend. I hear it's terrific...if you are a teenage girl. Sort of Harlequin meets Dracula.

The only thing scarier than a vampire is the traffic I had to face at 6:30 in the morning to get to the CTV Studios in Scarborough, from Mississauga. Got there precisely on time at 8:10. Seamus tells me he doesn't face much traffic at 4:40 a.m., when he's on the road to work.

If you want to see the Canada AM clip, click on this link:

This week, I'm getting a taste of my old 9-5 life, but in a much more exciting way. I'll be down at the CBC building all week taping a pilot for a radio show, with my writing partner on this project, award-winning children's author Helaine Becker. Stay tuned for information as to whether we can impress the CBC brass enough to land a summer series.

Fingers crossed...and garlic necklace on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anne of Green-ish Gables

Last night my 9-year-old daughter Bridget and I were invited to attend the Toronto premiere of "Anne of Green Gables, A New Beginning", in which writer/producer/director Kevin Sullivan explores Anne's time before she gets to the Gables, and also her life as a mature woman with grown children.

Bridget was especially thrilled that the young girl who plays Anne, 12-year-old Hannah Endicott-Douglas, was at the screening. She's great, as is Barbara Hershey (who plays Anne in her later years), with Shirley Maclaine stealing every scene she's in as the indomitable Mrs. Thomas. You'll have to see the movie to figure out her role in the story.

Bridget asked me why all the grown ups kept laughing at the way Anne speaks - you know, "Oh my heart is filled with such glee that I cannot contain myself" - that sort of thing. I said it was because she spoke in such an unusual way for a child, and that frankly I was relieved that my children spoke in less flowery terms, for surely I would not be able to contain myself from telling them to get to the point.

The movie is shot on location, with Dundas and Rockwood Ont standing in for PEI and it's is the theatre which presented the movie, the Regent, in the Mount Pleasant and Eglinton area. Bridget was a little miffed that they didn't have the now-traditional cup holders built into the well worn seats, and I didn't think it prudent to point out to her it was probably ashtrays that were installed there originally.

The movie will be aired on CTV on December 14th. Watch for it. But don't pull out the ashtrays just for old times sake.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Have a Cover

My fourth book, "The BlackBerry Diaries: Adventures in Modern Motherhood" is going to be released in March, 2009. As a relative newbie in the publishing business, I'm always surprised how many steps you go through from getting words on the page (or screen) to getting a book on the shelf.

And, sometimes you can judge a book by its cover, and as a consequence cover art can take a long time to put together. So I'm really pleased that after months of discussion, proposals, and negotiations between editorial, sales and marketing, and myself, we have a final cover. And I really love it.

The book is already available for pre-order on or

Do you have a BlackBerry? If you do, and you love it, drop me a line and let me know why...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is This What Women Want?

On Sunday I went down to the National Women's Show, to make an "appearance" at the Health & Harmony booth. They were giving away five copies of my book, "Journey to the Darkside: Supermom Goes Home", which they sell on their site

The women I met from Health & Harmony were lovely I had a great time chatting with them and the women I met who dropped by the booth. (I also enjoyed sneaking furtive glances at the "Hanky Panky, Adult Home Parties" booth next to me.)

I brought my 17 year old daughter (looking to escape her studying for a few hours), and she wandered around the show, picking up samples and buying organic make up. But when I took a quick tour with her I wondered about the message we were sending our young daughters when every other booth was about rejuvenation - cosmetically, surgically, organically, medically, physically. While there were lots of companies offering beautiful jewellery, clothing, and healthy food alternatives, the message of "step it up sister" was clear to me. The Botox line-up was wrapped four times around their sizable booth. Not sure what for exactly - the bright pink bag with "BOTOX" on it? Surely not.

It was terrific to see so many women of so many different ages out at the show, clearly enjoying each other's company. Let's hope they didn't come away with an overall feeling of needing to fix what probably isn't broken. Maybe just an appointment for one of those home parties.

Friday, November 7, 2008

If this is Friday it must be Hamilton

It's been a hectic week travelling from Calgary to Vancouver, back to Toronto, Hamilton and Mississauga going on shows to talk about bedtime tips for kids. It has of course resulted in me not being around to tuck my own kids into bed for quite a few nights.

The kids seemed pretty well rested when I got back so I can assume my husband was following all of our regular routines (for my tips, visit and click on my book - you can also see some great nighttime products I highly recommend).

I left town and only left him my contact information - no pages of lists, post-its stuck to every appliance, meals made in advance...forget it. He's a grown up and can figure these things out for himself.

A friend asked how the poor fellow survived and I said "He did, and I don't want to know all the boring details. I don't normally share them with HIM, I don't want them shared BACK either."

I did hear from the kids about arriving at a hockey game at the wrong time, the laundry ending up in the wrong baskets, the oven timer that mysteriously stopped working when I left the house...and for a bonus one child even vomited. As far as I'm concerned, it was a total success.

FYI - for readers wondering about the Staples Teacher Appreciation Contest Winners - they will be announced in January, and I'll post them on my website at Sign up for the "Funny Mummy Files" newsletter on my site and you'll be the first to know.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yahoo - Greetings from Calgary

Yep- I'm here in Cowtown for some television interviews - today Global News and tomorrow Breakfast Television. I'll be talking about Sleep Tips for Children and liberally dispensing some "do's" and "don'ts", which will hopefully help some of the sleep deprived and frustrated parents. I'll also be showing off some terrific bedtime products (check them out at

My second child Alexander was born in Calgary some 15 years ago - little did I know when I left here in 1994 that I would add two more kids to the brood and in the process make my kids my material, and my new career.

There were signs that babies and kids would leak into my professional life, as when I lived here, I owned and operated a children's and maternity clothing store. I opened the doors when Alex was just five weeks old - I'd just throw him in a sling and have my two year old Victoria watch over the kids' play area (she was a little territorial but there was no permanent damage).

Still I spent another eight years in corporate marketing before deciding to hang up the briefcase and pick up the pen. So glad I did. Hope others are as well.

And, for the record, I don't personally recommend the five week maternity leave. I'm much happier with my "eternity" leave.