The first time I remember seeing an Inukshuk in person was on a trip to Vancouver in 2007. It was the inukshuk that overlooks English Bay off Vancouver's west coast to be exact. Possibly I'd seen an inukshuk before that but somehow failed to register the fact, but anyway, since that 07 trip I've always found the sight of them comforting.

In recent years I've noticed that someone near our bit of Lake Ontario likes to build inukshuks. I never see them at it, mind you, just spy the evidence of their efforts. The below inukshuk was standing by the rocky shore of the lake late this afternoon. It was fairly large (although I don't think you can tell that from the below photo I snapped of it) and, as usual, it gave me a good feeling. According to my research, "The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is 'Someone was here' or 'You are on the right path.'" I especially like the idea of being assured you're on the right path and wish there were more tangible signs of this sort in our lives. Sometimes it's really tough to know if you're doing the right thing — in relationships, in your career, and in so many different realms. Like in the poem The Road Not Taken, we always seem to be coming to forks in the road. Choices.

inukshuk, on the beach, Lake Ontario, September 24

I admit I've wondered, sometimes, if in becoming a writer I've allowed myself to travel too far down a rocky road that's only destined to get rockier or even disappear entirely. I can't imagine not writing but am I delusional to think I can make enough money to support myself by writing novels at a time when bookstores are disappearing, piracy is a chronic problem and the big publishers seem ever more like Hollywood studios in their choice of blockbuster material? I wrote that in past tense—wondered—as though I've finished turning the question over in my mind, but no, I still wonder. I wondered during the writing of My Beating Teenage and again during the novels I wrote after it. No doubt I will wonder again in the future (possibly even again and again and again) but I'm glad I didn't let that stop me from writing My Beating Teenage Heart and glad that very soon now it'll be finding its way out into the world. It's the most emotionally draining book I've ever written and while I think all my novels are both what people would term edgy while simultaneously wearing their hearts on their sleeves I believe that's most true of My Beating Teenage Heart.

I'm expecting revisions for my fifth book to arrive sometime Monday so I probably won't be posting on My Beating Teenage Heart's release day (the 27th) or the next little while, but you can catch up with the second week of my blog tour:

 Sunday, September 25: Hannah at Paperback Treasures (Character Book Picks)

 Monday, September 26: Cyndi M at Dog Eared and Bookmarked (Author Interview w/ Music Line

 Tuesday, September 27: Kari at A Good Addiction (Character Interview: Breckon)

 Wednesday, September 28: Jen D at What's On the Bookshelf (Review)

 Thursday, September 29: Bailey at IB Book Blogging (Multicharacter Interview)

 Friday, September 30: Ashley B at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing (Review)

If you're interested in checking out the songs I'd include on a playlist for My Beating Teenage Heart I have them posted here but the one I want to highlight today is one of my favourite songs from 2009—Geraldine by Glasvegas. I love this song to bits and, really, how many passionate rock songs about social workers do we hear? The lyrics absolutely fit the role Ashlyn comes to play in Breckon's life in My Beating Teenage Heart. I think many (if not most) of us need some kind of guiding and understanding voice/voices in our lives to get us through the hardest times. Sometimes we might be surprised who those people turn out to be. Sometimes they'll be close friends and family, other times teachers, social workers, therapists, religious figures, fellow members of support groups. And sometimes, we will be that voice for others.

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