The To Do List

I’m getting so excited that my next book, How To Date a Hockey Player, is almost done. Of course, “done” has so many meanings. At this point, I'm almost done writing the final draft of the book, which means everything that happens from now on will be fine-tuning.

Here are the stages of finished that this book will go through.
- Rough draft (done)
- Final draft (almost done!)
- Editor changes (25% done, and editors are standing by. One anyway.)
- Beta reading (not done, but I don't have to do this)
- Re-editing after beta feedback (minor, I hope)
- Final read-through (ack)
- Formatting (cue pulling of hair and tantrums)
- Cover (already started)
- Proofing on different platforms (double ack)
- Corrections and links (triple ack)
- Publish (hooray! champagne for everyone)

But I’m a shirker compared to some, I recently read about an author who does 15 separate edits. Whew. In any case, you may not be interested in all the blood, sweat, and tears that goes on behind the scenes. What about the book, Mel? When’s the book coming out? I would say late March, but I’ll warn you that I have a tendency to be too optimistic.

Meanwhile, an excerpt from the first book of the trilogy. Yup, it’s a trilogy which takes our heroine from high school to university to a real job. And there are tons of hockey players, including our heroine herself, Kelly Tanaka. She’s half-Japanese, half-Irish, and all hockey.

To set this excerpt up, Kelly is seventeen, but she’s always been more interested in hockey than boys. I guess you could describe her as a bit of a tomboy. However, she’s just started dating for the first time, and her best friend, April Lachance, is very keen to meet the lucky guy.

April had been bugging me about getting to meet Nicklas. She had heard he was cute and she was extremely curious about someone she referred to as “the guy who turned Kelly Tanaka into a woman.” The problem was that Nicklas and I ran in two different social circles, which never seemed to overlap. When April began threatening to stalk us, I finally figured out a night when he had a game at Ice Sports, and I had a game after him. April could come to the rink with me and meet him in the half hour overlap between those two events.

April pulled up in my driveway, and I was all ready. I ran out and stuck my hockey bag and sticks in the back of her mom’s VW Golf, and then I hopped into the passenger seat.

“Okay, let’s go!” I said, cheerily.

April turned off the ignition.
“What, in the name of all that is ugly, are you wearing?”

I looked down. “Oh, this? This is my team tracksuit. It’s not too attractive is it? But we have to wear it to every game, you know, because we’re a team.”

“Team Totally Hideous! And are you wearing a sports bra again?”

“Duh! I’m playing hockey, which is a sport, therefore the sports bra.”

“Okay, but aren’t we meeting your boyfriend first? A boyfriend who is allegedly one of the cutest guys on the North Shore?”

“Yeah, but he knows why I have to dress like this. Besides, who can look sexy in a track suit?”

“Have you never seen Victoria Beckham? For starters, you could get a suit that fits a bit tighter. Okay, let’s go to your room,” she said as she opened the car door.

“What? April, this is not a makeover situation! Everyone else on the team is wearing their tracksuits; I have to wear mine too.”

“Oh Kelly, and if all the other girls were jumping off the bridge, would you too? Do you know how eight-years-old you sound? Don’t worry; I won’t make you change completely, only a bit.” She saw I was hesitating, “Quick now, it will go faster if you just obey me. Have I ever steered you wrong?”

“Yes, what about the time when we drank Hard Lemonade at the grade seven grad?”

“Okay, that was a mistake, but that was not a fashion decision. I am never wrong about fashion.”

Ten minutes later we were back in the car. I looked ridiculous, in my opinion. April had safety-pinned the tracksuit in some weird way, so that was now tighter at the waist and bust. I was wearing a push-up bra and a low cut tank top underneath a strategically unzipped jacket that I wasn’t allowed to zip up any higher. Luckily she hadn’t made me change from my running shoes into hooker heels, because then I could not have lugged my hockey gear into the arena.