Author Archives: Brigitte Pellerin

Not just for kicks book – another update

Yes, I’m on vacation, but still I managed to squeeze in a little work time and lo! The revised draft is now done. It’s off to the copyeditor now and should be back soon I hope. Then it’s the final layout work, followed by ebook version then paper version. We’re looking fairly good for the end of the month – at least for the ebook version.

Thanks again to all those who’ve supported this project! You guys rock.


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The magical tea bag

We are roadtripping these days, on our way to Florida for a few days of theme parks. No, not Disney. We’ve done Disney. We wanted to do the other ones this time.

We love theme parks. The rides, especially. I always loved thrill rides, and I’m delighted that my kids also enjoy them. I’m excited because I got a huge deal on Six Flags season tickets last fall ($53/person for unlimited access to any and all parks for a whole year, parking included), and I can hardly wait for the nice weather to come back to Canada so we can go hit La Ronde.

So yes. Florida. Which can be done on a budget provided you plan right and execute the plan according to, well, plan. That means driving instead of flying, and staying at budget hotels. Oh, and saying No to children who want all manner of treats on the way down. See, kids, the big treat is Universal… Try to behave grateful.

Another way we manage to make these trips work is on the food front. We don’t go to restaurants much. We go to grocery stores instead. I always travel with a few insulated bags to store my things, a few empty plastic containers to store/serve food, a few utensils, and a sponge/detergent kit to wash dishes in my hotel at night. Amazing how much money (and time) you save that way. And how much healthier you eat…

Plus – and this is where we reach the point of this post – you discover all kinds of fun things about the places you’re visiting on you way. There’s this big Giant Eagle on the side of the highway in Frederick MD that I like to stop at whenever I’m in the neighbourhood. I went there yesterday. Dropped Dad and the kids at the deli counter so they could order themselves a salad or sandwich, and went merrily on my way through the giant labyrinth of aisles filled with products both familiar and not.

I love doing that. I love exploring a grocery store, seeing what kinds of food people tend to eat. And I love to try new things, such as melon kombucha, Lapsang Souchong and Prince of Wales teas from Twinings. We have that brand of tea where I live, but not those particular varieties. I tried them both in my hotel room this morning and find them both delish. I’m planning to grab myself a few boxes on the way home. I also tried a container of some Cajun fish spread that was made in-store. It had cream cheese, some bits of fish, cheese and spices – and it was crazy good.

I’m looking forward to another grocery-store expedition in Georgia later today, very much including finding a new kind of craft beer I haven’t tried yet. I find much joy in these small, inexpensive pleasures. They help put a little sunshine in my heart.


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Some days you win, some days you learn

Sensei Megan comforting Youngest after a disappointing fight.

It’s true what they say, you know. You either win or you lose. Today, there was a lot of learning.

Nope, we didn’t bring home anything shiny. It wasn’t that kind of day. But among the things we learned is how to deal with disappointment and defeat – especially true for Youngest, for whom this is all very new (today was her second tournament). We also got good lessons in how to manage our nerves, how to be less scared of enormous opponents, and how to handle defeat gracefully by cheerfully going about the business of cheering on our teammates.

Not everything in karate has to do with kicks and punches.


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Challenge accepted

Hey! Tomorrow is the first tournament of the season, just north of Montreal, and it’s one we’ve done before. Yes! This is officially our second year on the circuit, and we have a whole bunch of new goals and challenges ahead of us, first among which is the drive to continue improving ourselves and keep working towards being the best people/martial artists we can be.

Here are rules I gave my daughter last year, and they still stand today:

  1. Remember that I love you.
  2. Remember to fight clean, even if your opponents don’t. Titles and trophies are not nearly as important as your honour and character.
  3. Remember that sometimes judges and refs make mistakes because hey, we’re all human. Accept the ruling with good grace and move on.
  4. Always show respect for your opponents, their coaches, the judges and referees. If you win a fight, bow to the ref and your opponent and go shake hands with your opponent’s coach before you start celebrating.
  5. Fight to win, but don’t worry about winning. Worry about being a good person. That way when you win you’ll still be pleasant to be around.
  6. Now go kick ass. 😉

That’s it! I’ll let you know how it goes.


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An update on my Not Just for Kicks project

Well! Now that February is around the corner I feel like I should let folks know where I’m at with the Not Just for Kicks project. The writing of the book is going well. I’m still looking at a February deadline but, ahem, we might be looking at late-ish February… The video will come after. I’m still hoping it’ll be ready by the end of February and keeping my fingers crossed.

I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks again for your support!


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“Self, I said, you monumental moron…”

Hey! We have our first tournament of the season next weekend. So to mark the occasion let me repost this thing from last year. I will point out that the novel is now published (serially on this website; look under the “Fiction/Normal by Death” tab).

Soul-searching times, aka tournament week

There is a pattern here somewhere. Every week there is a tournament I find myself searching my soul for answers to the great questions of my life.

Such as: Am I good enough?

I don’t mean, am I good enough to win. I’m not yet at the point where winning is all that realistic so my goal is to be the very best version of me I can be right now, and to keep improving. I’m training as hard as I know how, through cold/flu, soreness, stiffness, and so on, but it’s amazing really how it takes competition to push you past your limits.

So yeah, I compete. But that’s not what the soul-searching is about. It’s much more general than this.

See, I’m finally getting around to editing my novel, after sitting on it for about a year, and also – not particularly related, but there you go – I’m finally getting around to working for real on my home renovations. We started fixing up this old house back when I got pregnant with the Eldest, and did a fair bit of work over the following three or four years, but something about having three babies inside of four years plus buying a cottage that also needs extensive work slowed me down some. Oh, alright. The work has completely stopped. And even though both endeavours, novel-writing and renovations, are unrelated, they share a trait: I’ve been waiting for the longest time to do both because I was somehow convinced that I had to wait until I was in the right space (mentally, financially, head-space-ly) to get started on those jobs.

And recently I said to myself: Self, I said, you monumental moron, you gonna wait like that until your teeth fall out, or maybe get going? What are you, chicken?

I didn’t really like that question, and I especially didn’t like the answer. So I changed it. I decided I didn’t have time to wait much longer, that if I did wait much longer I’d never get to it (plus I’m sick of unfinished jobs), and so I should just get to it and get it done, however imperfectly.

I decided to convince myself that I was in the right space now, even though I’m not really. That the space I’m in right now has to be good enough. That people publish novels that suck more than mine, and live to tell the tale. That I can certainly stain my oak windows and make them look awesome. That if I can go and battle scary opponents at karate tournaments that meant I was no chicken and what was my excuse for not getting that novel done, huh?

So yes. I need to work at it and keep getting better. But I am good enough.


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What I miss the most these days

It’s January and I’m grumpy because I’m always tired and low on energy plus these days I’m fighting off the cold or flu or whatever bug it is that’s plaguing my house (Youngest hasn’t been herself in a month), mostly by ignoring it, gngngn.

I was going through my old posts this morning and this one, from July 2015, made me wince with envy. The only positive thing about it is that I know spring is coming back and I’ll get to do the morning swim thing again in just a few months…


A picture I took two years ago that gives you an idea of what my swim felt like this morning.

Or why I need a waterproof camera. My swim this morning was nothing short of magical. It’s quite cold these days, about 11C (slightly under 60F) this morning and the water is much warmer than the air, which creates this thick mist that slowly dispels as the rising sun warms up the air. There’s barely any breeze at all. The whole thing feels like Middle Earth except the lake isn’t spooky.

There’s nobody but me and some fishing guy in the distance (plus wildlife making its usual cacophony), and it’s like I’m gliding smoothly into liquid smoke as I swim westward towards the island across the channel. I go like this for about 300 feet, then turn to face the beautiful golden pink of the rising sun and swim back to my dock while a flock of birds skim across the quiet waters.

I’m just sorry I couldn’t film it for you.


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