A few weeks ago I mentioned something about having to get author photographs done, and Valerah left a comment asking why I needed new photos when I have 800+ glamour photos sitting on my hard drive just begging to see the light of day once more.

I was like, OMG. The glamour photos!

I had completely forgotten about The Curious Case of Ryan Gosling and The Glamour Photos (told in two parts, naturally. Part I and Part II).  So, seeing as I am procrastinating, I thought I would publicly comb through that gem of a photo album and see what I could come up with. The album, in case you were wondering, is called “Let’s Get Glamorous”.

Yes. Let’s.

Without any further ado, here is the first candidate for my author photo:



I call this one, “Whoops! I wrote a book! How’d that happen?”

(Ignore the amputated arm to my left – it belongs to my dear friend Kris but because she hasn’t written a book I had to crop her out.) (It’s not personal, it’s business. She understands. Probably.)



This next one I call, “Don’t walk – RUN!- to pick up your very own copy of my book!”

As you can see, it’s a very dynamic photograph and I think it conveys my muscular physique and powerful athletic prowess quite nicely.

I am thinking of having this one made into a statuette for my mantle.


Next we have “Extreme Close Up: Black and White Edition”


Every time I read a book, I flip to the back cover and think to myself, “You know what this author photograph needs? More pores.”

People just don’t see enough extreme closeups these days. And almost everyone’s headshots include necks and shoulders so they are really more like “Head-and-partial-torso-shots”, but not this one! This headshot is JUST my head and not even the whole thing! I particularly like how the photo showcases every wrinkle, every errant eyebrow hair, every crooked tooth.

So relatable. So appealing.

Second last we have my all-time personal favourite: “The Baroness”


The strength of this picture lies in its slightly threatening nature. Like, if you don’t buy this book, I will CUT YOU. With HIPPIE MAGIC. Or possibly strangle you with FAKE PEARLS.

Also working in my favour is the fact that the shadows make it look like my top lip is in fact a sinister mustache.

In the biz we call this Creating An Aura of Mystery. People will say “Who IS this Madeleine character, anyway? I’d better read her book to find out!”  Perfect.

Last but not least, this. A little something I like to call “The Outtake”


Here I am probably saying something like “I have hair in my mouth and it tastes like Apple Cider Vinegar. Terrific!”.

People will like this one because people love seeing bad photographs of other people. Someone picking up my book will be all,  “Oh my gosh. Look at this tragic individual. This was the best photograph she could find? Poor thing.”

My pity-sales will go through the roof!

So thank you, Valerie, for reminding me of these gems. Author photos: Check!

One more thing off my list.

Conversations with Adam

We are having a mid-afternoon kitchen dance party, as one does, when Adam breaks away from Olive and I and starts doing…a solo routine. A slightly disturbing solo routine. then this happens:

Adam: Madeleine! What do you think of THESE moves, huh?

Me: *literally speechless*

Adam: Is this twerking? Am I twerking? Is this how you twerk? Hey! Look at all of this twerking going on over here!

Me:  OhmygodIcan’tBREATHE


The time I accidentally almost bought a (gorgeous! but still) Kilim rug off of eBay

Nighttimes are interesting around here lately. And by lately I mean for the last four and a half months. I am trying not to be a mommy martyr about it because I mean when we had a baby we knew we wouldn’t be getting much sleep – that’s kind of the deal, right? 

You get an all access pass to chubby bellies and gurgling laughs and unlimited hugs and entertainment, but you don’t get sleep. We were prepared for that. Nevermind the delicious trickery that happened in months 0-6 where Olive was a rockstar sleeper, we don’t talk about that anymore. For fear of nostalgic tears. 

So anyway I am taking it as this matter of fact, “We have a baby. We, like most people who have a baby, aren’t sleeping” and leaving it at that. Nevertheless, the ramifications of this sleep loss do make themselves known in strange and interesting ways. Like the time I accidentally almost bought a $200 rug from eBay because I was so sleep deprived.


This was the rug – and I am not going to lie, when I woke up the next morning and read the “You currently have the winning bid!” eBay email I was filled with a mixture of “What the WHAT? No! How am I going to explain THIS?” and “Oooh! Pretty!”.

It didn’t come totally out of left field, this rug. I am moderately to severely obsessed with jaunty Kilim rugs right now, and I like to think that this bid was my subconscious’ way of acting out all of the nesting urges that my conscious self is to practical to engage in. I mean who buys a $200 rug without a room to put it in? 

This is what happened: I was sleeping, Olive started crying, so I went and lifted her out of her crib and took her into bed with me to nurse. I found myself sleepy, but awake, so I grabbed my trusty iPhone to see if anyone had posted anything interesting at 4:08 am (Answer: no. No one ever posts anything interesting at 4:08 am. I really need to branch out my social networks to include people in different time zones so the Internet can entertain me at all hours of the night and day. Dream big, Madeleine. Dream big.)

On my iPhone I decided to open eBay on a whim, for I am not an eBay person – something about the competitiveness of bidding, I just hate it. When I was in Thailand I infuriated the street vendors by just paying whatever they were asking. 800 baht? Sure! Here you go! I figured I was doing a good thing, because here I was this entitled white girl on vacation, who was I to be haggling over what amounted to $1-2 Canadian dollars?

It wasn’t until our guide, a sweet Thai man named Pipith, informed us that by not haggling I was ruining their day because the vendors immediately started second guessing their prices and wishing they had asked for more, that I realized my mistake. And then I just started shopping by proxy, making one of my friends do all of my haggling for me.

“I want that wooden photo album” I would whisper surreptitiously, and she would do the haggling, which she quite enjoyed, and look at me every so often for confirmation and  I would give tiny indiscernible signals like nods or ear pulls. It was all very clandestine and exciting. 

So I opened eBay and searched for Kilim rugs. And then I don’t know what happened next but I can guess, judging by my email account, that I put in a bid on that rug. The gorgeous multicoloured monstrosity you see above. I don’t know what I wanted it for. Olive’s future room maybe? A bathroom? It’s a beautiful vintage thing, 60 years old but roughly 5×7 in size, which can be kind an awkward size for a rug anyway. 

(That’s me trying to console myself because I didn’t win the rug I didn’t even know I wanted)

For the whole rest of the day I kept compulsively checking my email account, because the auction closed at 6pm. I was able to do this without raising anyone’s suspicions because I always compulsively check my email account. 

And then at 5:47 I got an email that I had been outbid. By two measly dollars! Internets, I was so relieved. And outraged! And relieved. And heartbroken! 

I had already prepared my, “Haha, oh my goodness, you’ll never guess what I did last night!” speech to Adam. I would recite the funny tale of a sleep deprived mother’s sleepwalking antics and Adam would laugh and I would laugh and when the rug was delivered (within 5-7 days, as promised) we would admire it and laugh some more. Maybe talk about how I made good decisions in my sleep. And in our future home whenever anyone commented on the rug we would get a kick out of telling people how I accidentally bought it at 4:08 am one long summer’s night, when Olive was just a baby. 

I am not saying that I considered re-bidding, but I didn’t not consider it. My finger hovered over the button, is what I am saying. 

Is it a bad thing that what stopped me wasn’t the impracticality of buying a completely unnecessary rug with nowhere to put it, but instead, my reluctance as a  writer to interfere with the integrity of the narrative?

So it was with wistful sadness that I bid adieu to the rug. And hid my eBay app in a harder to locate folder on my phone. But when I went to the expired listing to get the picture for this post, a “Related Items” tab popped up, and what should appear  but THIS little darling!


Oh my.


…but not in a cool skateboarding dude way. Sick like, SICK.

We are all sick. Mucous and coughing and Olive even woke up with a gross gunky eye. No one is sleeping because our coughing keeps waking each other up, and if you have never heard a ten month old cough, I mean I swear I could sell the audio. It’s the tiniest, sweetest little “ahem, ahem” but still. STILL not great to hear at 10pm and 10:13 pm and 10:30 pm and so on and what’s more, I have to put her back to sleep each time because the coughing wakes her up and ever since she learned how to stand, waking up sends a signal to her mind that says STAND UP IMMEDIATELY!

So she doesn’t really ever go back to sleep by herself anymore, which is not really an issue when she’s only waking up once a night, but when she’s waking up eleventeen million times… it’s insanity. We are all crazy. And sick.

As soon as we woke up and I understood the full reality of this evil bastard that had overtaken our little family, I started brewing a large batch of Magic Tea. What is Magic Tea you ask? It’s one of the wonderful natural crazy hippie lady things I do in my spare time, that’s what. Neo Citron’s got nothing on this tea.

And here is the recipe! For you! In case you too have a throat that feels like razors and a gunky eyed baby and a husband horking phlegm into the toilet every few minutes (Sorry. For you and for me)

Madeleine's Magic tea for Cold and Flu

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. When it comes to a boil, add the following:

  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper

Simmer for around five minutes, then pour into mugs and enjoy when it’s cool enough to drink.

This stuff is honestly the best hippie cure for every single cold and flu you will ever get, and is even effective against Man Colds! It’s best if you brew a fresh batch each time but if you are all “Phht! I’m sick! Ain’t nobody got time for that” just double or triple the recipe, make a big batch and heat and serve as needed.

The reason behind the magic is that garlic is a powerful antifungal, honey soothes and coats your throat, lemon juice cleanses your system, ginger is anti-inflammatory and helps ease achy joints, and that little pinch of cayenne (or more if you’re brave) clears out your sinuses.

BOOM. Hippies to the rescue!

You’re welcome, Internets. Now I’m going to go dig out my neti pot and join the rest of my family in pajamas like the slugs that we are.