So, this blog is my new favourite online novel.

Yes, gentlemen, you've read the title correctly: The Harlequin Project. Back to your other reading, now.

But knowing the author behind the chapters, I have to tell you it's good on several levels.... To start, the very surface Harlequin level. Storyline's not so bad. If you go in for that sort of thing.

Which takes us to "that sort of thing." Ready for a mind-blowing secret? One that will rock your world? Harlequin novels follow a formula. Usually the same formula, book to book, despite different authors. Sometimes they're historical romances, other times there's an age difference that makes your skin crawl because of the back story. But generally, formula. And Miss Katie's hitting them all: man with tiny yet feisty mom; woman driving along highway in sporty race car with blaring rock music in attempt to escape her problems; woman arrives in tiny town, keen to drop her big-city history again in an attempt to escape her problems. (Props for sticking the town in Canada's Maritimes, though. Who needs another Harlequin novel set in the Australian Outback or Montana?)

See, following the formula is kind of the joke for this blog. That, and the fact it's someone mapping out a novel online. (Level three?)

Anyway, check it out.

In other news....

  • Jennifer Weiner says: Good fiction never sets out to make a point, or reduce the reader's BMI, as much as it tries to entertain and enlighten and tell a good story.

  • Is it appropriate to say one swoons when they see a picture of Robert Downey Jr. decked out in Sherlock Holmes attire? I'm not sure. But I love the man. You should too. We will all go to watch this movie, yes?

  • Living in the UK has not dulled Fergis's humour. In recent weeks, he offered a paint-by-number love letter. Do not paint by his numbers. Or give him your number.

  • Does this bookshelf remind anyone else of the toilet roll in their bathroom?



I do realize this movie looks -- objectively -- not great.

But subjectively, two words: Hugh. Dancy.


o Paris, o Shakespeare, o Canada

So.... My name's Trish. You may recall me from such blogs as "Brilliant title to go here," and such rants as "Jane Austen men would never pull this kind of shit."

And I've been a bad blogger, all silent-like. I owe apologies.

Now, no excuses, but I was all busy with the election. The Canadian one. For those not paying attention, it went relatively well for some. Rather poorly for others. And in Edmonton, things got all twisty -- paraphrasing my colleague Darcy, the NDP lobbed a pumpkin at the heart of oil country.

Then, I went to Paris.

(Insert sigh here. Loved Paris. Loved it loved it.)

Let me introduce you to Shakespeare and Co., possibly the most fabulous bookstore ever.

While in Paris, my friend Shannon and I went to a discussion group one night where participants speak first in English for an hour, then in French after a couple readings. Somehow, the question was raised of whether there were any famous Canadians of note who don't have really large breasts.

"Margaret Atwood!" we cried.

No bells.

Yes, but gross.


Jim Carrey. Mike Myers.

They're Canadian?

The conversation moved on for the most part, although the hilarious Brit taking part in the discussion kept shaking his head at us. "I just can't think of any great Canadians," he said (I'm paraphrasing, though, and he was joking, so no judging).

Who? Everyone asked.

"Hockey! L'hockey? Hockey!"

No, the kind Brit explained. Hockey's not really an international sport now, is it? Not like football (soccer) or tennis.

Mike Weir? we tried.

Sure, sure.

How about Lester B. Pearson? He won the Nobel Peace Prize after all? Forty years ago? Never mind.