Saturday, 14 October 2017

Guests Sylvie Mazerolle & Jason Hamilton - Photographer & Author

Another First for the Scribbler.   

Partners in real life, Sylvie Mazerolle – photographer - and Jason Hamilton – author – are featured in a 4Q Interview.  Both have been guests on the Scribbler before but individually.  Sylvie here. Jason here

They met while working in the movie industry, Sylvie a makeup artist and Jason a lighting technician. They have a son, Dustin and now live in Dieppe, New Brunswick. They have agreed to a joint 4Q Interview.

(Photos by Sylvia are copyrighted and used with permission)

Thank you both for being our guests this week.

Sylvie, the first question is for you.

4Q: Since your visit to the Scribbler in June, youve added a new collection to your portfolio, “Colors in Motion” which is on exhibit now. Whats it all about?

This series was inspired by a string of Umbrella that were being installed just outside the office window where I work. I could see them going up one by one. Pops of color in bloom like spring flowers.  I got so excited, I knew I had to capture the energy they exuded. I grabbed my camera at lunch and started shooting.

 Instead of merely reflecting back the world around me, I wanted to show details, textures, movement and the color’s that caught my attention in the first place.   

The series is about bright vivid abstract images that resemble paintings.

This is my first solo exhibit and it hosts 12 images that are 20 x 16 print size. I hope this is the first of many more to come.


4Q: Jason recently published his latest novel, The Prince of Acadia. Please tell us about your book Jason.

The Prince of Acadia & the River of Fire is the result of a clash between a belligerent boss and a powerful urge to write a story that my son might enjoy, ha ha. The seed for the Prince of Acadia was planted just a year after Sylvie and I moved to New Brunswick. We were both starting over again and I found myself in the employ of a rather tyrannical supervisor (who’s name I altered to be the bad guy in the book. Ahh sweet revenge.) that I had to find a way to endure. I felt like I had no choice but to ‘suck it up’ and stay employed, but I couldn’t let the man’s behaviour make me crazy. I decided that, no matter how degrading the task, no matter how verbally abusive he was, I was going to kill him with kindness. I felt like Wesley in Princess Bride: “Good-night Jason, sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” At least, that’s how it seemed. But anger can be incredibly motivating.

I also had a broad concept about doing a story around a very real river in New Brunswick called the ‘Richibucto’ which, in Mi’kmaq means “River of Fire”. I would arrive about half an hour before starting work at 7 am and scribble my story, long hand, in my car before I started my shift. The more my boss yelled and screamed at my incompetence the hungrier I became to exact my revenge on the page. I suffered through John Jerryston (fictional name) for three months and in that same time I had the first draft of what would become “The River of Fire”. It was probably the quickest I’ve ever written!

It’s now the first in a series. I’m grinding through the sequel as we speak, but it seems a little harder to find the right motivation for this one, ha ha.

4Q: Did you ever wish you could make a living by being a photographer or is always going to be a hobby?

Do I wish I could make a living being a photographer?  Do birds fly? It’s my dream to make my living as a full time creative. Since the first day I sharpened a box of wooden coloring crayons I dreamed of being an artist.

4Q: Would you like to write full time Jason and what are you working on now?

The dream is to become a full-time writer and I’m piecing together the segments I think I’ll need in order to construct that vision. I’m working on “The Prince of Acadia &  the Lost Tribe” the follow up to “River of Fire”. When I haven’t been writing fiction, I’ve been polishing my speaking skills at various open mic stand-up comedy events in NB and PEI. (Hmmm, maybe polish is a bit generous.)

The better I get at promoting my work in whatever form it needs to take is another step further in my development as a writer. I’m having a blast, learning a lot, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the sweet spot between entertaining, inspirational and informative.   

Thank you both for taking the time to be my guests this week and making this a special feature.  

See more about Sylvie & Jason by going to these sites.

 A special thank you to You - the Reader, for visiting the Scribbler. Please leave a comment below before you go.

 Coming in November, e-book and paperback - Wall of War. Watch here for details and where you can buy YOUR copy.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Guest Julia Suzuki, British Author, Designer and Businesswoman.

An exciting week for the Scribbler to have Julia Suzuki as our featured guest: a British Author of fantasy novels, Designer and Businesswoman. Julia is known for her unique writing style; threading together adventure and suspense in magical epic settings, with plots that are topped off with beautiful messages.

She has been kind enough to answer a few questions for a 4Q Interview. See below for her website.

4Q: Thank you Julia for being our guest this week and sharing your thoughts. Your website tells us of the many things you are involved in but what inspired you to begin writing. 


JS: I have always been passionate about literature, especially fantasy, and later personal development books. I have an innate desire to learn and grow… that to me is our adventure – our personal story arc.

As a child my hobbies were the outdoors, and reading. I studied Speech and Drama with the London School of Music before hitting the business world in children’s licensing and then leisure which led me to travel the world.  It was the accumulation of my experiences that lead to my idea for the first book in the series, set in the magical land of Dragor. In fact it was a burst of inspiration that led me to actually start writing the series when the idea (as if from nowhere) popped into my head.


4Q: Please tell us about your Fantasy series.



The Land of Dragor Series

Julia Suzuki


Is a middle grade fantasy series that appeals to boys and girls and adults.

The world’s last remaining dragons and dinosaurs live secretly in hiding, while a new species – the dragsaurs – are planning total domination. Meet a dragon boy whose destiny through many trials is to destroy these savage creatures, and allow dragons and dinosaurs to live once more in harmony in his magical, bountiful homeland, Dragor… 

The books involve three distinct territories, and the main hero who is trialed to overcome his weaknesses, which involves many challenges and his nemesis is a fellow dragon who is committed to seeing him fail.

In their exclusivity, the dragons have become selective in sharing knowledge of the world beyond Dragor. They live by the legend – the most famous dragon of all times; the first to ever breathe fire; he who led dragons to triumph against the dinosaurs and secured their freedom; and who created the dragons’ power source by creating a setting of six precious FIRESTONES (opals).

The legend isn’t an exhaustive account of history, as our hero Jam discovers. Over the course of the series, he learns much to equip him in his challenges, but facts threaten to isolate him from the dragons he’s grown up with.



4Q: Can you share a childhood memory or anecdote?

JS: My memories when I first took speech and drama classes are particularly strong: walking down a long gravel, drive from the age of seven years, to greet the harsh, dramatic teacher – with her hair in a tight silver bun (and a stern welcome). But the classes were simply wonderful, joyfully learning to recite excerpts from books like The Snow Goose and Wind in The Willows, in a whimsical style with proper pronunciation. This was in preparation for the London examiners to come up to grade us. I continued until I had achieve all the grades.


4Q: What else would you like us to know about Julia Suzuki?

JS: I love to inspire and uplift others, to encourage them to believe in themselves and feel good.

My hobbies are dress design, in fact I love all things design from interiors to illustration.

I have a fifteen-year-old son who is very much a free spirit, like myself.

I grew up listening to the thrilling screeches of people enjoying theme park rides; opposite from where I lived (as a child) was a large theme park.
Thank you Julia for being our guest this week.
Discover more about this talented lady by visiting her website :

The Wall of War will be available in November/2017.  Watch the Scribbler for more information.


Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Wall of War is almost ready for publication. It's an exciting time for this writer!

So, people ask, "What's next?"

I've been writing an historical fiction tentativley titled "Alexanders - The Decades"
Each book will contain ten years in the life of Drake Alexander's ancestors, beginning with his grandfather, Dominic, in Scotland in 1911.


                              Alexanders – The Decades

This excerpt is from the second section - 1912-1914. It tells the reader how Dominic finds a new friend.

(Copyright is held by the author)

Being in the cooler northern region of Great Britain, Scotland is one of the windiest countries in the world with higher than normal amounts of rainfall. Winter usually brings copious amounts of snow in the Highlands with lesser accumulation in the lower regions. The days are much shorter. This first day of February, a Thursday and the last day of Dominic’s work week is clear, a cool breeze chills from the southeast as he walks along Langlands Road. Bluish shadows from a gibbous moon accompanies him home. Pulling his parka tighter about his face, he hurries his step knowing Uncle likes to eat at six o’clock and he guesses it must be a half hour later than that. He’s usually home by then, now that the days are not as long but he and Tubs had to finish replacing the door in Danny Meek’s bungalow in Ibrox.

He’s tired, his shoulders are slouched. One gloved hand carries his still stiff tool belt. A well-used hammer Tubs gave him hangs from one of the side loops and bumps against his leg. The repetitive slap in the only noise except for the distant clanging of the Fairfield Shipyards which go all night. The other hand holds the front of his coat tight at the neck. A well-used canvas lunch bag is slung over one shoulder. He was up at 6 this morning and helping Duff in his shop. The security men who pick up the repairs come every Thursday at noon delivering the jewellery to be fixed and pick up the completed jobs. Dominic spent the morning polishing chains that Duff had repaired. There was a silver one he really liked and hoped to own one day. While thinking of how much he needs to put aside when he turns onto Drive Road that will take him by Elder Park, he encounters three boys roughly his age.

Two of them are pushing and shoving a smaller boy who is doing his best to hold his own pushing and shoving when he can. The larger of the aggressors gets in close enough to grab the smaller one by his jacket collar and shove him against the wrought iron fence that surrounds the park. His companion steps closer and hits the smaller boy in the stomach. When the injured youngster falls to the ground Dominic is close enough to hear them. They don’t know he is near.  Not liking what he sees, the fallen boy much smaller, he sets his tool belt down gently and creeps closer.

“We told you before Pestov, you stay in the Gorbals. You Russian scum need to stay in the tenements where you belong. We don’t want you ‘Pests” around…”

Tall boy is interrupted by a blow to his left ear that causes him to stagger and cartwheel his arms before careening into his helper knocking them both down, the bigger one on top.  Dominic steps up to them, his gloved fists in the fighter’s pose his father taught him, taught all his boys.  His left foot back for balance, both feet on their toes.

“Try someone your own size ya bullies.”

Dominic is a scary figure, only his silhouette is visible to the downed ruffians, the partial moon shines over his left shoulder exposing his upraised defensive fists.  The downed boy is surprised by the aggressive act of the stranger and sits up trying to catch his breath and watch. The two on the roadway are scrambling backwards. The bolder one shouts while rubbing his ear.

“What’s it to you…and ya shouldn’t sneak up on people.”

They’re standing now and may be street tough but they’re leery of this stranger that is not an adult. They strike their own poses, the shorter one a step behind and bobbing his head back and forth from Dominic and his companion not sure what to do.

“Ya shouldn’t be picking on people smaller than you and you’re obviously not brave enough to do it on your own, takes two of yas.”

Dominic starts to bob lightly like a trained boxer.

“Step up now you cowards and let’s finish this…or bugger off!”

Tall boy and Uncertain give each other a glance before deciding that buggering off is probably the best option, turn and scamper away behind one of the apartment buildings on the other side of the street. Dominic relaxes and turns to face a bedraggled figure sitting with legs flat, holding his stomach and taking short breaths. The head is uncapped and hanging down. Even in the low light, Dominic can see the jacket is light and tattered.  Gathering his tool belt he wonders at the boy’s silence.

“Ya could at least say thank you.”

The voice is deep for someone so young and heavily accented from a foreign language.

“I didn’t need any help.”

“That’s not what I saw.”

No response. He reaches down with his free hand.

“C’mon, I’ll give you a hand up.”

Hesitant at first, the younger fellow offers an uncovered hand, small and delicate like a girl’s.  Dominic is startled by the uncovered limb. Grasping the hand, Dominic helps him to stand.

“Gracious, don’t you have any mitts?”

Tucking his hands in his jacket side pockets belies the next statement.

“No, I don’t, but I don’t need any.”

Stepping back Dominic tries to see his face but the lowlight only casts shadows. He can see that it is wide, lots of stray hair. The chin is up. Dominic stands at least five or six inches taller.

“So, what was that all about? And do you really live in the Gorbals?”

“They just think that all Russians are like the Ivanov gang and all we want to do is steal everything. And yes I do live in the Gorbals and I do live in a tenement before you ask.”

Dominic heard about the squalid buildings that housed immigrants in crowded quarters, often four to five in one or two rooms, lured by work in the yards. Always a shortage of homes drove the rents upward. Sanitation is a problem. Many do not eat properly. He didn’t believe it at first. He knew his family was poor but they always had a roof that didn’t leak, clean beds and food.

“What are you doing here? And at night?”

“I…I just need to get away from all that noise and dirty smells and…”

Dominic senses discouragement in the voice, a lower tone. The pitch changes, bolder.

“It’s not your business.  I should be going, my brothers will be home later and I need to be there.”

Without any further comment, he sets off towards the other side of the park. Dominic can see the figure shaking from the cold and stares at his gloves. He has an older pair at home, not as new but just as warm. Removing his gloves, he chases after the boy.

“Here, take these.”

Surprised by the command, the boy stops and faces Dominic, seeing the gloves in the outstretched hand. He is affected by the offer.

“You’d give me your gloves?”

“Well it’s two or three miles to Gorbals and I have another pair.”

He can’t say no. He can hardly grasp the gloves properly from chilled fingers. He stares at Dominic while twisting them on.

“Why are you doing this? You don’t know me.”

“Not so long ago I didn’t always have mitts either and I know what it is like. Now I’m working and can buy my own.”

There’s a moment of silence.  Dominic puts his own hands in his coat pocket.

“What’s your name?”


It comes out in Russian, eeVAHN. Not I-van like Scots call him.

“Ivan Pestov and what’s yours?”

“Dominic Alexander, but most people call me Dom. You can if you like.”

“Why would I like, I’ll probably never see you again. I doubt you hang around the Gorbals and I’m not welcome here.”

“Sure ya are, ya can come home and have a bite with me and Uncle if ya like?”

Dominic is worried about his spontaneous suggestion not sure how Duff will react to an uninvited guest but he needn’t be. Surprised by the stranger’s generosity, Ivan waves him off and starts towards the Gorbals.

“Thanks for the gloves and for getting those jerks off my back.”

Watching until the retreating figure is in darkness, Dominic hitches his lunch bag straighter on his shoulder and heads home wondering what the surprise is that Duff said would be there because today is his birthday.

I hope you enjoyed this brief excerpt as much as I enjoyed imagining it. It will be a couple of years before this novel is completed but I'll post an excerpt here and there in hopes you will follow Dominic's development.

Thank you for visiting the Scribbler, please leave a comment below before you go.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Guest Kerri Hayne of USA on Writing Cards.

Kerrie Hayne is a part-time editor and custom paper writer at Writemypaper123 with a master degree in Sociology. She does different studies and researchers in her field and shares them with her readers on the Web to discuss. 

Convenient tips for writing impressive cards for your recipient


If you are having trouble with writing the perfect card for someone, you should consider these tips for writing breathtaking cards that will never be forgotten.


Greeting cards are a great opportunity to express your wishes and thoughts to another person. Regardless of whether the event is; a birthday, promotion, anniversary, marriage, or any other event. If your boss congratulates the employees on a birthday or a partner for the anniversary, this has a noticeable effect on relationship between people. There are many events that are worth celebrating. In addition to a suitable gift, an individual greeting card is also important. A card often says more than the most expensive gift. Such a card shows that the wishes and gifts come from the heart. However, many people are not sure about the way they should express themselves with those cards. I am sure that you’ve been in this situation before, where you’ve purchased a card and thought about possible words you could write. Suddenly you realize, that it is easier to leave it blank and just write your name on it. I can tell you, that is not the right way and I am sure that you share my opinion. The reason I am telling you this, is because I was this kind of person before. I would just leave it as it was. However, I would always feel guilty at the end, because I knew that the other person would be happy if there was at least one sentence. That’s why I decided to change that. It is impressive what a great card you can write just by following some easy guidelines and tips. Keep reading to finally overcome your fear of expressing your thoughts and wishes with those beautiful cards. 

      Everything that comes from the heart is wonderful

The most important principle in advance: no fear of writing.

Even if you are not the wittiest person in the world or have the creative mind: Everything from the heart is authentic. And that is the only thing that counts. Make sure to express your real feelings, because people can tell if you are faking it. Just don’t be afraid to be who you are and to show how you feel.

      Get some help

Especially if you are about to write your first card ever. It is not a shame if you ask for help. You can reach out to a friend or family member. Let them read it or write your thoughts on a paper before you do it on the actual card. You can also find a custom paper writer. This way, you can also learn a lot about how to write properly and how to create impressive content.

      Use names  
What sounds simplistic is easily forgotten: Please, always address the recipient directly, ie with his name. Thus, the text immediately has a much more personal effect.

      Patterns as inspiration


Finding the perfect wording is really simple: the World Wide Web offers countless pages with ready-made patterns for every occasion. Perhaps you are lucky and read exactly the text in which you recognize yourself 100%. Usually, this is not the case. Therefore, you can always add your own touch to pre-formulated texts. A text should sound "real" in the way that you would express yourself in a personal conversation with the recipient. So you should ask yourself: “Does this really sound like me?"

      What do I feel?


No spontaneous idea how exactly this should look like? Think a little bit and find out what you really feel. For example, if you want to write an invitation, imagine your feast: How do you celebrate and what do you value? You have planned an informal summer festival in your own garden, to which your whole family will meet after a long time. "We are looking forward to a cozy summer festival, to have all our relatives around us, and all the wonderful family stories."

Avoid exaggerated, artificial or too thickly applied formulations, which you would not use in a personal conversation.

       Always remain friendly


Positive memories do not always come to mind. An example: "It was nice to be part of your wedding ceremony. We would not have thought the celebration would be so great. "This can be more friendly - without lying. Try it: "We were looking forward to getting to know you and your loved ones at your wedding." Or "Best thanks for the wonderful time at your wedding."

       What has happened in my life?


It will be even more personal if you let the people participate in your life. Typically there is a place for this in Christmas cards. Don’t just write anything. Tell about special events that have changed your life: a move, a new job, a new pet. People will be able to relate and to feel your emotions.

      What interests does the recipient have?


Nothing worth mentioning? Then follow this approach: Consider the situation of the recipient. In the thank-you card for coming to the graduation, for example, "Dear Aunt Maria, I was especially pleased that you made the long journey from Europe to come to my graduation."

Think about what the recipient of your card would like to read. What does he or she always ask first when you see or call the person? If Cousin Anna always asks how your children are doing at school, tell her about it. What are the hobbies and interests of the card recipients? Your best friend from kindergarten is a huge football fan. Then he will be happy to hear you tell him about the football match you went to. Does he like cooking or food? Then tell him about the delicious honey that you have tasted in Greece. Anyone who is able to put himself into the shoes of the receiver and formulate the correct map text is interesting and creative. Before you write the greeting card, you should think about the current personal situation of the recipient: What is he experiencing? How is he? What words would he be particularly looking forward to?

      Quote - completely individual


A quote can give your card a very personal touch. It should not only fit the occasion, but also the other person. It is also a good idea to cite people who are well-known, perhaps admired or revered. You can cite a line from a common song that is relevant to the recipient. A quote from one of your favorite movies expresses what you feel. Yes, you can even cite your own children or the wise grandma if it fits well in the context.


      Basic information spiced up


If the tone is appropriate for the particular frame or occasion: write loose and colloquially, possibly also with a bit of humour. Basic information such as date, route descriptions or dress code wishes can get an original twist. In the approach to the wedding reception, for example, could be: "On our big day, no one should be missed! Or:" I know how busy you are: so you should mark this important date very thick in the calendar! "

      Thank you


A simple "thank you" stands for itself and is - especially framed in a pretty card - always a sign that one is appreciated and pleased about his generosity. Tell the people that the new kitchen machine is almost daily in use, the concert ticket has given you a wonderful, fun evening or you have come closer to your dream of your own motorcycle or a designer handbag thanks to the generous money gift.

       A symbol says more than 1000 words


Emoticons, which many send by messenger, SMS or e-mail every day, are able to express what other words maybe can’t. If it suits your style or occasion – use it. You can also draw something, but don’t let the drawing take up all the space. Be a little creative. The recipient will appreciate it for sure.

      Write with hand


A hand-written congratulation is personal and is perceived by the recipient as a gift. Computer print, on the other hand, appears impersonal and unloving. Even e-mails are quickly lost in the daily e-mail flood and should be avoided.



I am sure that by now, you know some of the basics in order to write your card. However, you should always have in mind that you should write from your heart and consider the person that is receiving it. Pay attention to grammar and spelling, since the reader should have no issues while reading your sentences. It all depends on the occasion, but all those cards mean more when they have at least one sentence written on it. Don’t leave it blank, because I am sure that there is at least something you would like to say. It is like standing in front of a loved one and remaining silent. I am sure that it would feel awkward and that’s not what you want. So, make sure to use these tips and write your card with hand and heart!

Thank you Kerri for the informative suggestions.