Posts by Renee G Cote

I work and live in my solar-powered Portland, ME home with my husband and teen. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing for Children & Young Adults from Solstice. My short stories, poetry, and YA Fantasy interrogate mental health and social justice issues. I lead writing workshops, and my writing life helps pay for home renovations and doggie daycare. she/her/Wren Loyal Browncoat; huge fan of Neil Gaiman, Mercedes Lackey, James Patterson, Richard Castle, the Harry Potter movies and fandom, and the list goes on.

Freelancing & Loving It

Hello friends! Early this year I started reading, editing, and reviewing beta and Advance Reader Copy (ARC) books, and it’s so fun. I can’t believe I didn’t start ages ago! Beta books are usually fully written but are 1-3 steps away from being publication-ready. Some require developmental editing, others need copy editing, and many are in the proofreading stage, which is typically the last step in the editing process.

Before I satisfy your curiosity about reading beta and ARC books, take a peek at this stunning artwork of Nalakadr, a city in Megan Haskell’s book series The Sanyare Chronicles. Nalakadr is the main setting in the first book of her upcoming series, The War of the Nine Faerie Realms, which I am currently beta reading. 


Nalakadr, capital of the Shadow Realm in The Sanyare Chronicles, by Megan Haskell

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Demeter, Typewriter of the Olympians

I recently purchased a beautiful, vintage Green Goddess–the 1960 Olympia SM4 portable typewriter in this very picture. Demeter needs a small amount of restoration and repairs, which I think I can handle. i have no idea what i’m doing. I’m a little obsessed, am on *every* typewriter message board and blog, and am performing the surgical procedures a little at a time. The chrome clasps on her adorable travel case have some rust, and I’m tackling that too. Guys, I’m psyched about her new ribbon: black on top and purple on the bottom. Her 1960 ribbon had no words.

Olympia SM4 Portable Typewriter

1960 Olympia SM4 Portable Typewriter

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Pink Kicks; The Neil Gaiman Thesis; Not Enough Coffee in the World…

Kids. They are the greatest: At keeping you exhausted. Trying your patience. Implying your presence is absolutely necessary or the world will end right now needed, and then not, and then wanted again, all in a five-minute span. Hugging as though the warmth is a future lifeline. Absorbing all the yeses and letting the noes slide off like unrealized temper tantrums.

This is the Great Beauty of spending time with young kids. You remember hope, relearn the confident ask, raise your expectations because no won’t kill you, and you’re confident you can win the yes. The world hasn’t broken them yet, and if you can carry that fragile memory from your nieces in New Jersey all the way home to Maine, you can cheerful your way through the months until you hug them again.

But srsly, exhaustion. I may be speaking from a delirious, alter-ego state of being. Seeeee?, I’m actually writing, not speaking. Not enough coffee, or Ritalin, in the world when I’m staying with my adorable, energetic nieces. I wouldn’t give this time up for anything.

Moving on. I ordered Vionic brand pink kicks with orthotic soles, or insoles, or something podiatrist-approved. Very comfortable and adorable (pic below). Before I came to NJ, said podiatrist injected numbing solution into both sides of each ankle to release presumed nerve impingement. Ouch. Pain has decreased from walking on hot coals and nails, to walking on dull tacks with gentle-ish vice grips. Take that, toe arthritis. And bone spurs. And plantar fasciitis.

Putting a pin in my love for Neil Gaiman’s many Great Works. Will resume another day. I mentioned the exhaustion, right?

Bright pink sneakers with orange along the bottom edge and top of cuffs.

My new, pink sneakers. I love them!

Domain, Sweet Domain

I planted my flag in the rich and fertile lands of domain ownership (rentership?) yesterday. Do I own this domain, even though I must pay a yearly fee? As a former IT person I feel like I should know the answer.

Regardless, this hectare is mine, all mine. Wipe the mud off your feet and close the door; we don’t live in a barn.

Mansplaining for bears: Less fun than manscaping. While reading a Berenstain Bears book to my niece, G, today, I was blindsided by misogyny. Mama Bear attempted to explain Thanksgiving to the cubs, but Papa Bear interrupted Mama Bear and mansplained all over her monologue. Page images below.

As a side note, I looked up the spelling of Berenstain a moment ago and was surprised the name ends with “stain.”

Haiku: My Name is Aardvark

Aardvark, Aardvark, yes!
Aardvark, Aardvark, Aardvark, yes!
Just call me Aardvark!

I’m sick, and loopy on cold meds. That’s my only excuse.

Haiku: Misgivings about Thanksgiving

Thanks for the smallpox.
For killing all the bison.
War, famine…murder.

Written after a strange conversation with friends about what exactly we’re “celebrating” each Thanksgiving.

Haiku: Water Under the Bridge

I miss us sometimes.
Remembering the good times.
We had no bad times.

Written for my friend, Adam, when we were both feeling melancholy about people who’d left our lives.

Haiku: Ghost in My Bedroom

I see you, sort of.
Billowing, fair. Even though
no air stirs your hair.

Maybe I should’ve changed the last word and made it about jellyfish since I don’t believe in ghosts. Anyway, just having fun experimenting with creating a sense of meaning inside the constraints of this form.

Haiku, Questions for the Dinosaur on my shoulder:

Did you always have
feathers? Where did your fangs go?
Would you like some steak?

~Renee H. Gannon
Sept 15, 2009

Silence of the Lambs, Buffalo Bill’s Haiku

Man suit. Must make a
woman suit. Nice, pale skin. Do
you like this lotion?

~Renee H. Gannon
Sept 15, 2009