Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My Year in Writing, 2013

In terms of organizing my life and setting new goals for 2014, I like to review the past year to see what happened in my writing journey month by month. You can check out last year's post for 2012 here.

So, let's get started on 2013, or as I like to call it, the year in which ALL THE THINGS happened.


I worked like a mad woman on BUSGIRL BLUES to meet the deadline for February. Hair reached Mad Max proportions due to lack of time for personal grooming.

The massively revised version of NIGHT SHIFT was returned to an editor who had requested R&R back in July 2012.

Then something exciting happened. An editor who had read JUST JESSE in November 2012 loved it and was planning on taking it to acquisitions. I was super secret with this nugget of fabulous news, fearing I would hex any chance I might have, and only told my family. At this point all the other editors who read JUST JESSE last year had passed.

Although one of the editors who passed on JUST JESSE requested the newly revised NIGHT SHIFT!

So it was high kicks and jazz hands all around. Near the end of the month I found time to have a shower. My family was grateful.


BUSGIRL BLUES was featured on Wattpad! I checked my reads and votes four times a day. Oddly enough this did not increase my reads or votes, much like the watched pot of never boiling water. I was able to muster enough self control to push away from the computer. Valentine chocolate on sale helped.

In two weeks my reads reached 10, 000. It was encouraging, but the best part were the amazing comments from readers all over the world. A sixteen year old girl from India sent me a message thanking me for sharing the story because she felt I wrote the story just for her.

Me and my cheap chocolate melted into a puddle of love and gooey joy in front of the computer.

I made Pinterest boards for all my stories *cough* time suck *cough*


BUSGIRL BLUES continued to do well. This was a much needed boost as I had been on submission for a combined time of two years and the constant rejection was making me doubt why I was writing at all. The encouragement from the Wattpad community was essential.

Another story took root in the ole' noggin and I started writing a YA mystery.

My family and I went on vacation for March Break. I did a quick check of my e-mail and saw one hundred messages from Wattpad readers. O-o. By the end of the week, the story had received over 200, 000 reads.

During our vacation in Miami, I saw Lionel Richie in our hotel lobby. When he walked by I reached out and shook his hand. "It's so nice to meet you!" I gushed.

I should tell you, my confidence was running high. I was wearing a wicked awesome black dress and had just finished a meal with lots of wine. Therefore, I felt perfectly within my rights to approach the above mentioned super star.

Lionel (because friends call each other by their first names) smiled at me and said, "Well, hello sweetheart. How are you?"

True story.

My agent told me JUST JESSE was given an R&R by the acquisitions team. After reading their short note, I had the feeling this certain publishing house wasn't interested and making the minute changes would be moot. However, I worked on JUST JESSE and hoped I did enough to address their concerns. My agent sent back the revised version and the waiting started again.

The editor who requested the R&R for NIGHT SHIFT passed. My agent and I discussed taking it off submission since she had been shopping it around for over a year. I hated to do this since NIGHT SHIFT was the story I'd worked on the longest and was closest to my heart. Still, we felt it was better to concentrate on the novel we thought had the best chance at selling.


No news from editor re-reading JUST JESSE.

BUSGIRL BLUES passed one million reads and was continuing to grow like a Chia Pet on Red Bull! People were actually asking where they could buy the book. But with all the great exposure, nothing else was happening.

Near the end of April, hope was fading. I was anxious to take JUST JESSE to smaller publishing houses. Everyone on twitter was announcing major deals only days after going on submission.

What was I doing wrong?

I continued to do all the things published authors say you should do while waiting on submission.

I concentrated on finishing my YA mystery.

I wrote upbeat blog posts.

I managed my platform.

I read everyday.

I baked cookies.

I helped my kids with their homework.

I started running again.

I went to work and talked about things other than writing.

...And then I went into the local bookstore and started to cry in the YA section.

My husband told me I had to make a decision about my writing or I'd go insane. I lamented about the long process. He said, "Make up your mind, it's either a hobby or a career." Then he asked, "Isn't there anyone local?"

There was.

In fact, I had two small publishing houses on my radar, one local and one in the States. I had nothing to lose so I sent them BUSGIRL BLUES, describing the success it was enjoying on Wattpad.


The month in which all the stuff happened.

Three weeks went by with no news. I watched tumbleweeds breeze through my e-mails. I asked my agent to withdraw my submissions for JUST JESSE and NIGHT SHIFT. She promised to schedule a time to talk about it further.

On the Victoria Day holiday weekend my family and I went camping. Drinking coffee while watching sea birds dive for hot dog buns cleared my mind.

I realized writing had become a miserable habit. Trying to get published had turned a quaint love affair with creating stories into a nightmare of being trapped inside a brothel full of zombies.

I didn't want that anymore. I just wanted to write.

On my birthday (yay 42!), when I returned home from the camping trip, there was an e-mail from the publisher in the States. They really liked BUSGIRL BLUES! They'd checked my website and wondered if they could take a look at JUST JESSE as well. I sent a quick e-mail to my agent, awaiting her instruction on how to proceed.

My impatience was finally wearing down my agent. It was clear by this time we had differing views of which publishing houses we wanted for JUST JESSE. We had reached a stalemate, and she felt it was time to end my contract. 

To be honest, it was for the best. And even though she never read BUSGIRL BLUES, I admit I should have told her I was planning on submitting to smaller publishers.

I will always be grateful for the work she put into helping me these last two years, especially with NIGHT SHIFT. Any success that story enjoys will be due in part to her efforts. We wished each other well and ended things amicably.

Then I received word the editor considering NIGHT SHIFT passed, but with nice compliments.

Four days later, (on my niece's fifteen birthday) I received a phone call from the local publisher. Penelope J, an editor from Nimbus Publishing, made an offer on BUSGIRL BLUES. The finer details are here. When I told her about JUST JESSE, she requested that as well. A week later she called with a two book deal!

I contacted the other small publisher. They were excited about both books, but requested an R&R for BUSGIRL BLUES before they would consider making a counter offer.

Penelope and I had already discussed the extent of the revisions that would be needed. She was enthusiastic and totally won me over with her passion for my characters.

It was an easy decision. R&R's have never really worked out for me. I accepted the offer from Nimbus.


The editor considering JUST JESSE passed. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with her. She was lovely and took the time to explain my revisions weren't up to what they were hoping to see, and that a second revision wouldn't have made a difference in their decision.

I appreciated the time she took to champion JUST JESSE. As writers, we don't realize the huge amounts of time editors put into manuscripts that may never be published.

Speaking of being published...

I signed my contract with Nimbus and the party began.

Funny thing about positive feedback, you tend to write more. That story I was tinkering with back in March had taken flight and had reached over 85, 000 words. I began posting the first few chapters of THE ASP, a YA mystery, on Wattpad.


I have three awesome friends who have been reading all my stuff from the very beginning—that's six years worth of bad spelling to slog through, folks. They threw me a party and made this frickin' awesome book cake with the last line of JUST JESSE's query.


I posted the Epilogue for THE ASP! It had reached over 250, 000 reads by this point.


I started outlining a new YA sci-fi idea that had been kicking around in my head. And yes, even that one has its own Pinterest story board.

I was lucky enough to be the beta reader for two fantastic writer friends.

Jennifer Swann Downey wrote an epic middle grade adventure with magical realism and a spirited girl who loves sword fighting and books. And you'll be able to read it soon too because it's going to be published by Sourcebooks in Spring 2014.

And the other novel was a contemporary romance with lots of um...other kinds of action. That book will soon be snagged by a publisher when it falls head over heels in love with its steamy, schmexy scenes. Ann Marie Walker is the lady behind the trilogy that's soon to set the world on fire.


NIGHT SHIFT was featured on Wattpad. This was a hard decision to make because I've been revising and working on this story for the last six years. However, I realized the characters will wither away and die if no one reads about them. So, yes, after all those sleep deprived nights, I'm offering my blood, sweat, and tears for free.

For Halloween, my thirteen-year-old daughter dressed up like DumbleDora the Explorer and my ten year old son went as a bloody surgeon with a chain saw. It was epic.


NIGHT SHIFT was getting blush-inducing, amazingballs comments! I was thrilled! I also noticed a lot more published authors were making profiles on Wattpad, posting the first few chapters of their published works for more exposure. Fantastic!


I got my editorial letter for BUSGIRL BLUES! I'd never been so happy to stay up late writing again. I finished my work by the end of the month, and when I read through it (for the millionth time) I knew I made the right decision in accepting the offer from Nimbus. The story wouldn't have evolved the way it had without Penelope's guidance.

I guess I should listen to my husband more often ;)

So that's 2013 in review. Phew! I'm exhausted.

And in a few days I'll finally be able to say, "I'm getting published THIS year."

What are your writing goals for 2014?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Treasure in the Trash

Personally speaking, I hate writing the first draft of any story because I know it's going to be garbage. I fight each sentence, wishing I could toss it in the rubbish and start fresh. I have to keep reminding myself to turn off the inner editor and just get the damn words on the paper.

After all, I can't edit a blank page. Garbage can always be thrown out.

However, I've recently learned to be careful not to lose the treasure hidden among the trash.

Let me explain...
Before all the snow came, making Halifax look like a living Christmas card, I prepared my garden for the winter. An old wooden bird house my father had made for me many years ago, finally succumbed to the elements and was basically rotting off its spot on my backyard fence.

My dad is a retired Mountie, but he's also a jack of all trades. I've never known him not to be tinkering with some broken appliance or out in his workshop. The only thing he can't do is cut his own hair, this is a task he hands over to me.

FYI, I don't know how to cut hair, but I have electric clippers and that's good enough for my dad.

I suspect he's so proficient at fixing/making things because he's too cheap to buy something new. A quality that's endearing, actually...unless you mind waiting weeks for the toaster to work again.

In all its time on the fence, I've only ever seen one chickadee perched on top of the bird house. To my knowledge, no birds ever found refuge in the little box with its circular opening, promising shelter from the rain and neighbourhood cats.

Even though its purpose was unfulfilled, I kept it up on the fence for its aesthetic appeal—nothing like a weathered bird house to invoke the imagination.

Once, two years ago, a family of bees set up shop, buzzing in and out of the opening like a well organized flight deck. I imagined splitting open the old bird house to find honeycombs dripping with sweet honey. But the house remained intact, I didn't have the heart to disrupt what they might have created.

And so the little house stayed in place, facing the elements of each season. Until finally, this fall, the small crack in the front spilt wide open and the whole thing sagged away from the fence.

Did I look inside?

Of course I did.

The wood was so pliable, I pulled it apart with my bare hands. When the sunlight shone on the contents, I was amazed at what I found.

Sitting in a cloud of brown leaves was a soft, perfectly round bird's nest. I could see where the twine we used to secure some of the larger plants in the garden had been painstakingly pulled apart, creating thin stripes of silky thread to line the nest.

There was a red strand of yarn from a school project that must have been discarded with the leftover craft supplies.

And when I looked closer, I found tufts of grey fluffy hair—my dad's hair to be exact. The cuttings from his regular visits that gathered on the towel around his neck and then shook free in the backyard, had also found a purpose.

Archaeological layers of my family's life had been braided into this little nest; tiny bits of garbage that the birds had turned into treasure.

So don't turn your nose up at the stink of your first draft, instead relish the icky, sloppiness of it and know that you're getting closer to the treasure hidden within.

Happy writing! And Happy New Year!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 11, "Going Home"

Or better title, “No Happy Ending For You!”


Fake Henry and Felix go to the well in the forest and cast the curse, ready to wipe everyone's memory and make them his slaves in his new Neverland. Felix thinks this is a super fabulous plan.

Mr. Gold tells Emma and the gang the curse can be stopped only by the person who used it the first time—Regina. She must destroy the scroll, but there will be a major price. But in order to get the scroll they have to get Henry's spirit back in his old body. Only the most powerful magic can pull off that spell.

Fake Henry drops all the stuff down the well, but he needs one more ingredient, the heart of the thing he loves the most. Felix doesn't like the way Fake Henry is talking about how loyalty is as strong as love. Before you can say, “We can fly,” Fake Henry rips out Felix's heart and completes the spell.

Tinkerbell shares some information about a certain wand that is rumoured to be the most powerful of its kind. It used to be owned by an evil fairy full of black magic. But the Blue Fairy managed to take her wand, and has had it hidden in the convent all these years.

At Mr. Gold's shop, Mary Margaret shows Emma the glass unicorn mobile that was over her crib before she was born. They talk about what life would be like if they hadn't given up their kids.



Tinkerbell, Neal, Hook, and David break up the Blue Fairy's open casket wake. Before they can start looking for the super powerful wand, Peter Pan's freaky shadow thing arrives and makes them scatter like mice.

Hook decides to be the hero and tries to fight the shadow. Neal has his trusty 'coconut shell shadow catcher', but he can't get high enough to capture it. Tinkerbell takes out her pixie dust and with all the belief she can muster, she flies up and captures the shadow. Then she tosses the whole thing in a flaming cauldron.

Why are there dishes with fire in the church?

With the death of the shadow, the Blue Fairy is revived. She congratulates Tinkerbell for finally believing in herself. She gives her back her wings and hands over the dark fairy's wand.

Mr. Gold still has the bracelet that Greg and Nadine used to render any magical being helpless. He places in on Peter Pan's wrist so he'll be powerless when Henry's spirit is swapped. Once Henry is back in his own body and in possession of the scroll for the curse, he'll find them lickity split so Regina can stop the curse.

Iron clad plan. No problem should arise.

Mr. Gold uses the black fairy's wand and performs the spell to release Henry's spirit. Mr. Gold stays while everyone else runs into the street.

Of course, why would anyone want to stay behind with Mr. Gold to make sure Peter Pan doesn't outwit him?

We travel back to a gentler time in Storybrooke when fourteen year old Henry is trying to act eleven. Mary Margaret has a heart to heart with a confused Henry. He's feeling lost because his birth mother gave him up and his adoptive mother is the meany pants Mayor.

Mary Margaret is all smiles. She hands over a book of fairy tales that she just happened to find in her closet that morning. Henry is unconvinced this will help him feel better, but she tells him the book is more than fairy tales, it's hope.

“Your happy ending may not be what you expect,” she tells him, “but that's what makes it so special.”

Henry starts turning pages...and well, you know the rest.

Granny leads Emma and the gang down main street. Since she's part wolf, she can track him down easily.

Where's Ruby these days?

The real Henry runs out of the library to be with them. He has the scroll and gives it the Regina. When she touches the curse, she falls to the ground.

Mr. Gold is there to greet Peter Pan when he wakes up in his own body.


Peter Pan talks about how Mr. Gold was a baby who needed a lot of attention. He regrets nothing. Mr. Gold grabs a sword, ready to end his father's life. Peter Pan whips off the cuff—it doesn't work on him because he's the one who made it and gave it to Greg and Nadine.


He magics it to Mr. Gold's wrist and starts throwing him around the room.

Watch out for the glass unicorn mobile!

Peter Pan says it's too late to stop the curse, and that without magic Mr. Gold is right back to where he started, the village coward.

Regina finally wakes and realizes the price she has to pay for breaking the curse. Peter Pan shows up and starts a monologue about his awesome curse. He's about to kill Neal when Mr. Gold shows up.

Mr. Gold says he's finally willing to pay the price, then he tells Neal and Belle how much he loves them.

Peter Pan laughs because he has no magic to fight with. Mr. Gold says he doesn't need magic because he also has a shadow to do his bidding. The shadow appears with his long lost hidden dagger.

Remember when he asked the shadow to hide it the first night they were on Neverland?

The only way Peter Pan will die is if he dies. He stabs Peter Pan with the dagger. When he returns to his form as Rumpelstiltskin's father, he begs for Mr. Gold to spare his life, promising they can start over.

Mr. Gold says villains like them never get happy endings. Then he thrusts the dagger deeper and they both disappear in a plume of black smoke.

Belle crumples to the ground, inconsolable. Regina is in shock. Green smoke pours out of the well. Grumpy comes screaming down the street saying the curse is coming from all sides. There's no escape.

Regina says she can stop the curse, but only if she says good bye to the thing she loves the most—Henry. When she breaks the curse, it will destroy the town and everyone will return to where they came from, everyone that is except Henry and Emma.


Henry was born outside the enchanted forest and Emma is the saviour that was meant to break the curse, and therefore is immune...or something like that.

Mary Margaret tells Emma and Henry they have to take this chance, even though it means breaking up the family again. A happy ending, but not exactly.

Emma and Henry go to the town line where her yellow bug is waiting.

*Cue the tearful good byes and reconciliations*

Regina only wants Henry to be happy. Emma tells Neal she's sorry. He says this isn't over and he'll see her again someday. Hook lets her know he'll be burning the torch as well, and she's cool with that.


Regina tells Emma that her memories of Storybrooke will also disappear. She doesn't know what will happen to her and Henry, but she gives Henry and Emma the gift of happy memories, where she never gave him up, and they had always been together.

Their past will be fake, but their future will be real.

I liked that line. Nice job, ABC.

*Cue the tears and kisses*

Emma and Henry get into the yellow bug and drive away. Regina starts to break the curse. Everyone is enveloped in a cloud of purple smoke as Storybrook3 disappears.

One Year Later

We're in New York City, Emma is making scrambled eggs for herself and Henry in a swanky apartment. There's a knock at the door. Hook is standing there is all his leather clad loveliness. He says her family is in danger and desperately need her help. She slams the door and gets the willies that some crazy guy had gotten into her swanky apartment building.


Man, that was good.

Okay, since another episode won't be airing until March, I guess I'll be blogging The Bachelor when it starts in January. Oh, Juan. What were you thinking?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Stop Thinking

Do you keep editing stuff you've just written before going on to the next scene?

Are you stuck on dialogue that seems to be going nowhere?

Not sure how to connect the B storyline to the main plot in the A storyline?

Here's my advice...


 And just write.

It won't be great. It won't even be good. In fact, it will probably be garbage. But it will be done and you'll edit it brilliantly later.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 10, "The New Neverland"

 Or better title, "Pass the Tylenol"


We're in sunny Storybrooke. Belle takes Ariel to the wharf to meet Prince Eric. He's a fisherman gutting the day's catch.

What will happen?

He recognizes her immediately and they start to make out.

Well, that was easy.

A shadow passes over. Belle looks up and sees the Jolly Roger emerge from the clouds.

*Cue the touching piano music and sweet reunions*

Except for Regina, none of the fairy tale characters are happy to see her.

Belle and Mr. Gold embrace and thank God, ABC has spared us a kissing scene with these two. Wendy Darling comes off the boat, and hugs her much older brothers, John and Michael. They plan to fly back to England.

Good idea. Storybrooke is crazy pants.

Mary Margaret lets all the happy peasants know that Regina is the main reason they're all together again.

We flashback to Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding. The Evil Queen makes her famous speech, “I will ruin your happiness if it's the last thing I do.”

Upset with the Evil Queen's latest threat, Snow White is determined to fight back, but Charming convinces her that the best way to defeat the Queen is to have a good old fashioned honeymoon with plenty of lovin'. Snow White chooses a her summer palace where her own parents had their honeymoon.


Grumpy shows up and tells her the castle is secure but he worries about their quick trip. Snow White gives him a wink and says there's something at the summer palace that will defeat the Evil Queen once and for all.


Peter Pan is walking around in Henry's body and meets with the older Lost Boy (Felix). They make a plan to take over Storybrooke...or something like that. To Felix's surprise the first step is having Emma put him in jail.

Belle and Mr. Gold plan a future now that he doesn't have to worry about the prophecy of Henry being his undoing. Stupid seeer.

Oh, wait. Henry is Peter Pan now. Hmm...

Emma meets Fake Henry at Granny's pub/diner/laundromat. She hands him the big book of fairy tales.

Meanwhile at the bar/lunch counter Hook and his chest hair are facing off against grubby Neal, vying for Emma's heart.

Seriously, there's no contest, right, ladies?


Hook lets Neal know that he's in this quest for the long run. He thinks he has a good chance since he's never left her pregnant and alone and let her go to jail for him. Also, he's much, much hotter.

Team Hook ;)

Regina and Tinkerbell arrive and march right up the Blue Fairy who still dresses like she's Mother Superior. Regina demands Tinkerbell's wings be given back since she helped them escape Neverland, plus let's not forget she made some left over pixie dust glow.

The Blue Fairy demands a demonstration, but Tinkerbell is too nervous. She denies Tinkerbell her wings siting, “If you don't believe in yourself, how can I believe in you?”

Oh shut it, you Ninny!

Tinkerbell rolls her eyes says, “I need a drink.”

Spoken like a true fairy.

Speaking of fairies...remember Nova? The fairy that was in love with Grumpy? What the heck happened to her? And where are Cinderella and her Prince? Wasn't there some kind of deal about her baby and Mr. Gold?

Reaches for Tylenol.

Fake Henry reads through the book and sees a picture of the Evil Queen in front of a vault. Neal asks Emma if they can have special talk time, ie: a date. She says she doesn't want to start a relationship since Henry just had his heart ripped out and everything.

Prince Charming carries Snow White across the threshold of her parent's summer palace. She reminisces about her time their as a young girl. The Prince is ready to start practising making heirs, but Snow White pushes him away, saying she has something special planned for tonight.

He leaves to go stable the horses. By stable the horses he means some special alone time...sorry, never mind.

Snow White quickly grabs the families supply of archery weapons and tears off into the woods. But Prince Charming must stables horses er... pretty quickly and he's blocking her path.

Snow White confesses she came up to the summer palace to hunt a creature who has the ability to destroy the Evil Queen. Apparently one look from this beast and you turn to stone.

Oh, Medusa. I was wondering when the Greeks would show up.

Here's the plan: Snow White and Prince Charming will team up and find this beast so they can behead it. He says he can't wait until they slay this thing and start their real honeymoon.

Yeah, slaying mythical beasts is a total turn on.

Fake Henry asks to have a sleepover at Regina's. She's all for it, and Emma reluctantly agrees. He asks Regina if she still has all her magic in her secret vault. He uses the excuse that he's worried Peter Pan will come after him again and he'll need protection.

She tells him not to worry, and that magic is not the answer.

What? Hasn't she been watching the show? Magic is always the answer. Right, ABC. *Wink, wink*

Fake Henry is right because hidden on the Jolly Roger is Peter Pan's shadow.

Didn't Regina kill it? Isn't that how they could leave Neverland?

*Reaches for Tylenol*

Snow White and Prince Charming comb the woods and reminisce about their wacky romance. Snow White lets him know (and us) the only way to reverse Medusa's curse is to kill her, thereby bringing all the previous stone victims to back life.

Mr. Gold shows up at Granny's where David and Mary Margaret are having breakfast. He hands David his cure so he can stay in Storybrooke. He lets them know they owe him BIG TIME.

David takes the potion and ta-da! His creepy mark thing is gone and he's ready to make that second baby with Mary Margaret.

But, boo-hoo. Neal is sitting by himself the next booth over, waiting for Emma who has purposely stood him up.

David takes off to talk his daughter into giving the guy who let her go to jail for his crime another chance. Emma wonders if he's trying to make sure she doesn't start dating Hook.

Back on the Jolly Roger, Hook is already propositioning Tinkerbell, but she's no dumb fairy, she knows he's just killing time before Emma changes her mind.

They hear screams and follow the commotion. The Blue Fairy is being chased by Peter Pan's shadow. It knocks her down and takes away her shadow, thereby killing.

What will Storybrooke do? She was the only fairy who knew how to work with pixie dust!

*cough* foreshadowing of Tinkerbell's moment of triumph *cough*

Hook says the shadow only takes orders from one person...Peter Pan.

Snow White and Prince Charming enter Medusa's castle.

How on earth are these two dimwits going to defeat Medusa.

They don't. Snow White fails to chop off her head. Charming throws a shield like a Frisbee, but that only makes her madder. They try to escape, but Snow White trips and Charming ends up being turned to stone.

Twenty points for Slytherin.

Regina is shocked to discover that Peter Pan's shadow is out killing fairies when she already destroyed it. Fake Henry pretends to be worried. He asks Regina to protect him. Emma takes Regina aside and voices her worries that Henry doesn't exactly seem all right.

Regina rebuffs her suggestion saying she's jealous Henry keeps choosing her. She takes Henry to the safest place in Storybrooke—her secret vault of magic!

Snow White calls out encouragement to the stone faced Charming. The Evil Queen's face shows up in the reflection of the shield, laughing because she ended up destroying her own happiness.

Medusa charges at Snow White, she holds up the shiny shield. Medusa sees her own reflection and changes to stone. And ta-da! Charming returns back to life.

Well, that was easy.

Emma, Mary Margaret and David rush to Mr. Gold's shop. They want him to open up Pandora's Box and release Peter Pan because they want answers, damn it! Emma has a plan and they drive to the town line.


Mr. Gold enchants the box and give it to Emma. She takes it across the line, waiting with her gun. Peter Pan emerges, looking confused. He frantically tells Emma that Peter Pan switched their bodies and he's the real Henry.

He proves himself by recounting the moment when they connected, when she told him the reason she gave him up as a baby was to give him a better shot.

They hug and everyone rejoices...sort of.

Then David says, “Hey, if this is the real Henry, then where is Pan?”

Fake Henry sits inside Regina's magical emporium of wonders practically salivating at all the awesome vials of stuff that can help him take over Storybrooke. He gives Regina a fake hug, then uses one of her potions to render her unconscious.

Snow White tells Prince Charming that they have to start a family speedy quick because the world needs more good than bad. He's like, sure that's what I've been saying all along.

Emma and the gang meet up with Neal, Tinkerbell and Mr. Gold at the vault. While Mr. Gold uses magic to break open the door, Emma monologues that she can never have a happy life because the price of being 'the savior' is that she doesn't get a day off, therefore no time to date and stuff.

Mr. Gold finally breaks through. They find Regina unconscious. Mr. Gold wakes her up. She feels stupid because she fell for Fake Henry's talk about family and love and blah, blah, blah. Peter Pan (aka the real Henry) gives her a hug and sets everything right.

David asks the main question we're all wondering, “What was Pan looking for down here?”

Mr. Gold notices the one empty box, he shots Regina a look. “Please don't tell me you kept it down here?”

She looks sheepishly at everyone, “Where else would I keep the curse.”

Yup. The curse.

Fake Henry breaks Felix out of jail and they run to the woods with the curse. Once he casts the curse again, everyone in Storybrooke will forget who they were and time will stand still. And Fake Henry and Felix will run the show.

Whoo-hoo! That means Emma and Hook have a chance to make out again!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Once Upon A Time, Season 3, Episode 9, “Save Henry”

Or better title, "Babies Are Hard Work"


The Evil Queen rejoices in the black spell's success. But Rumpelstiltskin reminds her Snow White's baby will break the curse one day. She rebuffs his comment saying she has everything she's ever wanted. Rumpelstiltskin warns there's a hole in her heart that will need to be filled.

Emma and the others try to revive Henry while Peter Pan goads over the fact he has Henry's heart—and it's awesome power. He also tells them Mr. Gold is now inside Pandora's box.

Regina confesses to Dr. Hopper that being the Mayor isn't as fun as it used to be. She feels empty and lonely. He tells her she needs someone special in her life to love.

Yes, that's the answer. A baby. What is this? 1950?

She goes to Mr. Gold hoping to get through the red tape of the adoption process. He's not surprised at all, but he questions her ability to put the child first.


Back on Skull Island, Regina performs a preservation spell on Henry to keep him alive. Emma is upset because she doesn't know any spells and therefore feels useless. Regina cries because unlike Emma, she doesn't have parents, or two guys vying for her. All she has is Henry.

Regina vows to kill Peter Pan. That's the only way they can save Henry.

The logic of this conversation is mind blowing.

Everyone storms the Lost Boys' camp, but they're all tight lipped about Peter Pan's special hiding place. Regina is ready to force them to talk through torture. Emma presents a cooler plan and offers the boys something they really need and want...a mother.

Regina is tickled when Mr. Gold tells her there is a baby ready to be adopted. She travels to Boston to have an interview.

Um...how can she leave Storybrooke?

She sits in an office across the desk from the lawyer. After a friendly chat about the weather, a nurse brings a baby. She names him after her father, Henry.

Remember him? She ripped out his heart so she could create her grand curse of revenge. A revenge against Snow White for telling Cora about Daniel the stable boy—the same stable boy Cora murdered so Regina could be Queen. Sorry, don't go back too far, you'll get a headache.

Emma tries to convince the Lost Boys that Peter Pan doesn't care about them and offers them a home back in Storybrooke. Only the oldest Lost Boy remains faithful, the other quickly tell Emma about the Thinking Tree, Peter Pan's special hiding place.


Regina struggles with a fussy baby Henry. She's so concerned, she takes him to Doctor Whale where they both discuss the reason Henry is crying so much. He thinks they'll need the biological parents medical records. The baby cries unattended on a stretcher while they walk away arguing.

Regina gets Sydney Glass on the phone and demands he find out Henry's birth mother because obviously that's the only thing to keep him from crying.


David and Neal take Henry's body to the Jolly Roger where Hook “Captain Sexy Eyes” is offering all Neverland creatures big and small a trip off the island.

Emma, Mary Margaret, and Regina head toward the Thinking Tree.

Regina finally figures out how to hold a baby and Henry stops crying. Sydney faxes over the information about Emma. Regina marches over to Mr. Gold's upset she managed to adopt the curse-breaker's son.

She realizes Mr. Gold has manipulated the situation from the very start. She vows to send Henry back to Boston the next day. She can't risk having Emma show up in Storybrooke.

Mary Margaret trips or something stupid and manages to trap all three of them to the Thinking Tree. As vines tighten around their chests, Peter Pan struts out of the jungle and says the only way they'll be reunited with Henry is in death.

Regina returns Henry to the adoption agency. The lawyer tells her there's already another family lined up to take him. But when it comes time to say good-bye, Henry flashes Regina a smile and she promises to never let go of him again.

The other family leave upset. It's John and Michael Darling. They've been on orders from Peter Pan to get Henry too!

Back at the Thinking Tree, Peter Pan tells them his true identity as Rumpelstiltskin's father. Regina calls him a fake. He lets them know the tree attacks anyone who has regret.

Emma she's full of regret because of all the the times she's let Henry down, and Mary Margaret is the same. But Regina has the most regret of all.

Regina lifts an eyebrow and tells Peter Pan she's killed and tortured thousands, so she should be full of regret, but she's not because she'd do anything for her son. She breaks the vines and punches her fist through Peter Pan's chest. He collapses to the ground.

Emma and Mary Margaret stare with open mouths—helpful as always. With Henry's enchanted heart in her hand, Regina leans over and picks up Pandora's Box. “Now,” she says to the two dimwits, “let's go save Henry.”

On the Jolly Roger, Henry quickly revives after Regina does the heart transplant.

Regina talks with Dr. Hopper about her fear that Henry's birth mother will come looking for him one day. He tells her not to worry about the future and enjoy the present and the love she now feels as a mother.


Regina visits her father's crypt and starts story time with little Henry. She mixes a spell that will help her forget all her troubles, worries, and fears. She needs to put Henry first. She takes the potion, knowing it will erase her memory of being the Evil Queen.

Won't she find it weird to be in a basement surrounded by flasks?

Regina tucks Henry in and does a healing spell—just to make sure no one can ever take his heart again.

He says, “Thanks, Mom.”

Yeah, thanks.

She leaves and Peter Pan pops up from behind the bed with a dagger!

Top side, Neal opens Pandora's Box, releasing Mr. Gold. There's a nice father and son hugging moment. Neal lets him know he's nothing like Peter Pan because he came looking for him. Neal finally forgives Mr. Gold for abandoning him.

Emma and Mary Margaret get misty eyed because now that Mr. Gold is out of the box, he can work on David's potion and they can stay together as a family. Mr. Gold suddenly gets a chill.

Peter Pan receives a shock when he tries to rip out Henry's heart. Mr. Gold arrives and opens Pandora's Box. It starts to pull at Peter Pan and his shadow. He and Henry do a weird eye switcher-roo moment. Peter Pan screams out as he's finally sucked into the box.

Regina destroys Peter Pan's shadow, releasing the Jolly Roger. The pirate ship takes off into the sky, headed for Storybrooke.

Wendy and Tinker Bell have a heart to heart. Wendy gives her a vial of fairy dust but Tink is sad because she has no wings, and therefore has no magic.

Henry arrives on deck and Neal lets him know he'll be a super fantastic dad for as long as he wants. Tinker Bell and Regina make up. The fairy dust in the vial begins to glow.

The oldest Lost Boy, whose name I can never remember, is still upset he's being taken away from Neverland. Henry brings him food and begins to chat. It's not long before the boy figures out Peter Pan is in Henry's body.

Henry's last words are, “Let's play.”

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