a peek inside the fishbowl

15 Sep, 2009

Writing. Leaping. Landing.

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Publishing/writing/career stuff

I’ve been looking at this photo today. It was posted almost exactly a year ago. It’s not me in that photo, but I love looking at it all the same because I DID THIS. I jumped from a wooden scaffold into the big blue void, wearing nothing but a harness and a pair of worn work gloves (okay, I was fully clothed too) but my point is that I DID IT. And I lived to tell the tale. And I am a better person because of it.

I’ve been thinking about how to write this post for weeks. I’ve been hinting at a big project and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this point. As a gal who has an endless supply of words for a lot of different things I have found myself fumbling for the right ones this time.

I know a lot of you will be happy and excited for me and I wanted to share this with you when the time was right. 

First, let’s get something out of the way. I’m not pregnant. ;)

A few months ago I received an email asking whether I’d be interested in a different kind of writing project. 

I was. She and I met. I accepted the challenge. The end.

Ok, well, not really.

That out-of-the-blue email came from a successful and well-known Ottawa-area woman with a story to tell. She is, in a word, amazing. And passionate (oops, that’s two words, isn’t it?). She has asked me to ghostwrite a memoir based on a unique aspect of her life. Our publishing model is a bit offbeat. She’s paying me. We’re self-publishing. She has an audience who’d be interested to hear more about her but at the same time her goal isn’t to top the bestseller lists. This is a bit of a relief because I don’t know the first thing about finding a publisher.

I am honoured, thrilled and honoured, that this person is trusting me with her story. I asked her if she was interviewing other freelance writers in Ottawa. She said she wasn’t. (!)

I can’t tell you more than this. Everything is still floating around in my head and not quite developed enough to see the light of day. One of my ideas is to create a spin-off blog which I will use to hash out some ideas as well as document the process as I go along.

I am certain that many of you will find her story just as compelling and inspirational as I do. I hope you read along and ask questions and give us your feedback as we take this journey together.

As I write this I realize I’m not sure if she reads this blog.

I’m not going to reveal her name just yet. I think I’ll hold on to that one for awhile.

I’ve long used the line “effervescent writer seeks publishing adventure” as part of this website to advertise my freelance writing in a roundabout way. SavvyMom, my bits for Ottawa Magazine, script writing for various projects, my on-again-off-agains for my little local neighborhood paper … all have been great adventures in their own right. I’ll still be freelancing, but this is a little different. I can hardly believe it. I.Am.So.Lucky.

I’ve read this post over and over. I hope it doesn’t sound too braggy. I am not entirely comfortable tooting my own horn, but someone once said I should feel free to toot away every once in awhile. Besides, I just wouldn’t feel right moving ahead without posting about it here, you know what I mean?

Okay. Off to get ready for a photoshoot this morning.

31 Responses to "Writing. Leaping. Landing."

1 | Gwen

September 15th, 2009 at 7:56 am


Wow Andrea! So very excited for you! What an honour to be chosen for such a special project. I have no doubt that you will do her proud. Looking forward to more details when you are ready to share them!

2 | Patti Church

September 15th, 2009 at 8:02 am


How thrilling!!! Your excitement is invigorating. I’m very excited for you. A project like this feeds you energy because of the passion you feel for the topic and the skills you can bring to the project. You’ve found your ‘flow’ and isn’t that what we are all looking for.


3 | Melissa

September 15th, 2009 at 8:04 am


That’s really super! It’s great when we’re given a chance to live our dream, even if only for brief moments here and there! I hope you really enjoy this project and that fulfills you in all the best ways.

Life is too short to sit on the sidelines. Good for you for being open to Opportunity. :)

4 | DaniGirl

September 15th, 2009 at 8:21 am


So happy for you Andrea — you’ve earned the right to brag! I think there is a huge difference between obnoxious “I’m so great” posts that brag and happy, celebratory posts like this one.

Can’t wait to hear more about this project — sounds fascinating from a writer’s and a reader’s perspective!

5 | Amy @ Muddy Boots

September 15th, 2009 at 8:23 am


Congratulations, Andrea! Toot away!!

6 | porter

September 15th, 2009 at 8:25 am


andrea congratulations! i’m so happy for you. what an interesting project…i’m eager to hear more.

7 | coffeewithjulie

September 15th, 2009 at 8:35 am


I’m so happy that you shared this wonderful news with us! It’s not bragging, it’s SHARING!

This definitely fits the “publishing adventure” definition and I can’t wait to follow along on your journey.


8 | Ginger

September 15th, 2009 at 8:50 am


So awesome! Congratulations! I love reading what you write and can’t wait to read more!

9 | Lee

September 15th, 2009 at 8:52 am


Congratulations Andrea! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity!

10 | Mary Lynn

September 15th, 2009 at 8:58 am


Sounds fabulous. As a writer, I can just imagine how exciting and interesting (and a little bit scary) it must be to have such a great opportunity. You have a wonder way with words…you’ll do well.

11 | Mary Lynn

September 15th, 2009 at 9:00 am


And you also have a wonderFUL way with words. And I have a significant need for coffee. :-)

12 | Chantal

September 15th, 2009 at 9:01 am


That is wonderful news! You really are living your dream and deserve to be as happy as you are about it.

13 | Marla

September 15th, 2009 at 9:18 am


How lovely! Warmest congrats!

14 | Mike

September 15th, 2009 at 9:26 am


This is great Andrea, although more work than you can imagine. There’s a publisher close to you named Baico that specializes in this sort of thing if you guys are looking.

15 | Ryan

September 15th, 2009 at 11:19 am


Amazing and you deserve it. Congrats and felicitations on all counts and I look forward to reading more about the entire thing.

16 | Lynn

September 15th, 2009 at 11:58 am


That’s great news, I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to hear all about the process.

17 | Natalie

September 15th, 2009 at 3:39 pm


Good for you Andrea. That’s exciting news! Congrats and good luck!

18 | Writing. Leaping. Landing. >> a peek inside the fishbowl Scripts Rss

September 15th, 2009 at 4:39 pm


[…] here:  Writing. Leaping. Landing. >> a peek inside the fishbowl By admin | category: script writing | tags: around-being, cron-job, freelance, long-used, […]

19 | andrea

September 15th, 2009 at 6:36 pm


Thank you everyone!!

20 | Jen

September 15th, 2009 at 6:44 pm


What exciting news! I’m so happy for you (and dying to know who, and what the story, is!)

You’re going to be great!

21 | Laura

September 15th, 2009 at 8:10 pm


Congratulations! I’ll line up to buy it when it’s ready!

22 | Shan

September 15th, 2009 at 10:03 pm


Congratulations! You should toot!

23 | Ann D

September 16th, 2009 at 7:48 am


Andrea – This is so exciting. BTW – I’m not surprised that your effervescent ad campaign is bringing you the exact type of writing projects you want. You’re asking for what you want and the universe (or the patron saint of writers or whatever) is listening….

24 | The power of The Ask >> a peek inside the fishbowl

September 16th, 2009 at 9:46 am


[…] you all very much for your kind comments regarding yesterday’s post. I am feeling totally charged and ready to rock. […]

25 | Julie Cole

September 16th, 2009 at 11:41 am


Andrea – that is awesome! bravo!

26 | Miss Vicky

September 16th, 2009 at 12:15 pm


fantastic news! Congrats

27 | Rebecca

September 16th, 2009 at 4:17 pm


It’s not bragging when it’s so well deserved and such wonderful news. You are a fantastic writer, I look forward to hearing more.


28 | BeachMama

September 16th, 2009 at 7:12 pm


Wonderful news Andrea. I have a sneaky feeling I know who asked you to write for her, but I will await the reveal to see if I am right or not.

I understand the not wanting to be braggy, I too feel the same way. But, every now and then you just have to shout out the good things that happen, if only to encourage others that these things do happen when you put yourself out there.

29 | LO

September 16th, 2009 at 7:26 pm


super! super! great!
enjoy the adventure!!!!

30 | Dee

September 16th, 2009 at 9:59 pm



Can we submit names of the person we think it might be? Take bets? C’mon… :-D

31 | andrea

September 18th, 2009 at 2:00 pm


Hmm. Not sure Dee. I don’t want to reveal it yet although I except everyone will know soon enough. :)

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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