"Not much meat"?

Writing has reminded me to how important it is to always KEEP AN EVEN KEEL! 

Whenever you put yourself out there by taking risks and pursuing new endeavours, you open yourself up to encouragement and praise, and to criticism too.  

When I saw the book review below, entitled "NOT MUCH MEAT", pop up on the Amazon book page of my travel memoir Uncorked, I have to admit that it hurt to absorb it.  Though seeing it sandwiched by so many great reviews from people who find my writing entertaining, inspiring, and touching, quickly shook me out of that funk (2 most recent examples below).  And looking at the ugly review from a glass-half-full perspective, I thought to myself "any form of art never appeals to everybody ... 3 out of 5 is still a passing grade...  and the same reviewer gave a Bill Bryson book a 2-star rating, so I'll accept the 3-star rating and move on".

No matter what you do in life, never let the flattery bestowed on you get you too high on yourself, nor let the criticism thrown at you get you down! 





3 STARS:  Not much meat.

Pleasant enough read, interesting history of Petanque, The rest seems a tad sophomoric. Best for Mr. Shore to keep his day job.


5 STARS:  Delightful - Avec beaucoup pour dire à la condition humaine...De même le français: smiles peppered throughout

Recommend for the delightful story Paul Shore tells which is written well, but additionally for the ways he shares his breakthroughs with the "hard to crack" or "be accepted by" French! Lastly, enough French entwined to enhance language learners, yet not so much for anyone not interested in French language acquisition.  Hated to see it end! That says volumes. Viva la France!


5 STARS:  A different sort of travel book

Charming, lovingly assembled, and endearing at every turn. Paul Shore lands “plop” in the center of small-town French culture and manages the seemingly impossible feat of integrating his new world energy with the old-world stodginess he dearly loves and deeply respects. Don’t expect a tour book, but DO expect a peek at the depth and intricacy of French culture. Splendid!

A "Why not Try?" Top 10 List

What I Uncorked (learned) this year from writing and self-publishing...


#10.  Being a "struggling artist" is a very real thing!

#9.  Ten people at a book reading is a "huge crowd".

#8.  Five sales at a book reading is a "massive sales event".

#7.  "Don't take 'no' for an answer" applies to this pursuit too!

#6.  What Petanque lacks in world-wide notoriety it makes up for in intriguing quirkiness and charm.

#5.  We all need a dose of France and a glass of red wine from time to time!

#4.  Referring to any art as being "potentially frivolous" can earn a tongue-lashing from a wise cousin.

#3. Each reader who posts a review about being touched by or entertained by your writing, makes the work feel worthwhile all over again.

#2. If you win an award, you are an "award-winning author" ... so say it.


And the #1 thing I learned this year from writing...

#1.  The process is healthy and rewarding in many unanticipated ways... so if you have ever dreamed of writing, WHY NOT TRY?


Happy Holidays,


Canada Dry - audio excerpt #2

Playing mind-games and trash-talking tend to be required skills in almost any competitive game. Yet I never expected to hear the words "Canada Dry" used to rattle me, while playing boules in the South of France!

Enjoy this release of an audio excerpt from Uncorked.




The Whistler Writers Festival is coming up this week.  I am honoured to have been named an award finalist, and to be doing a reading at the Whistler Public Library at 6:00pm Thursday.  I hope to see a few of you there!

La Puff - audio excerpt #1

Dodging smoke exhaled into your face, when you say something silly, is part of being welcomed into French culture. The risk of a smoke puff in the face never stopped me from asking questions and taking risks during my year living in France.


Enjoy the first release of an audio excerpt from Uncorked below.



Incidentally, pricing for Uncorked will be increasing for both the print book and the ebook in October, so please take advantage of the current introductory prices soon.



Bobsleigh Jellybeans?

How in the world does a long-time high tech professional end up directing the operation of one of the most unique and stress-inducing sporting facilities on the planet?... a bobsled track! And how during that journey does said techie co-author a children’s book with his wife based on that exotic sport?

Answers to both questions begin with my favourite mantra… “WHY NOT TRY?”

With Vancouver bidding for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games back in 2001-2003, and with me growing restless with my life near the epicentre of the high tech world, I decided it was time to pursue a career change. I am a lifelong sports fan and weekend warrior, who loves the impact that sporting events can have on the pride of the communities and nations who host them. So after volunteering for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation for a couple years, while holding down a demanding tech job, I decided in 2007 that it was time to quit my tech career cold-turkey and focus on landing an Olympic job… “why not try?” By late 2007, I did land that job, just as our first child was about to be born… there is nothing like daring to change up one’s life in several major departments all at once!

The job was a business development role, working to try to ensure that three new sport venues being built in Whistler would not end up as unused, or financially failing, white elephants after the Games had come and gone. It was a fascinating job, filled with high-highs and low-lows, that taught me a ton about the amateur sport world and about the Olympics and sport event hosting. The tragic fatal crash of young Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili, during a training run on the day of the Opening Ceremonies of the Games, cast a shadow that will never leave those of us who had poured our hearts into bringing the Games to our region, and even more so on those of us who had helped to bring Whistler Sliding Centre to life. And yet somehow we carried on, and hopefully honoured young Nodar, as we worked hard and witnessed dramatic victories by Canadian athletes, and wonderful stories of American, British, and German triumphs, over the two weeks of Olympic competition on the track.

The year before the arrival of the Games, my wife, Talya, and I penned a children’s book, during the naps of our two year-old daughter during a getaway vacation. The book, titled “Bobsleigh Jellybeans” would be illustrated by, Chris Ripley, one of the bobsleigh athletes from a Canadian development team of four young men, who we billeted in our basement when they came to Whistler to train. The title and plot having been stimulated by them once mentioning that their red speed suits made them look like big, red jellybeans. It is a story of friendship, teamwork, and following dreams, and the book’s proceeds went to assisting with training expenses of our new speed-demon friends. We all had a lot of fun with the somewhat accidental project; book readings in schools, a few media appearances, and some solid book sales. And we all learned a few things about becoming self-published authors, illustrators, and marketers.  Once again, “why not try?”… good things can happen when you put yourself out there.

Becoming the director of a bobsled track, soon after the close of the Olympics and just two years into a sports world career, has got to be the most bizarre of my unorthodox professional endeavours! Although I only stayed in the role for a year, I learned a lot, including about my own ability to employ personal resilience, adaptability, and team building skills --- and that being a test dummy for tourist bobsleigh and skeleton sliding programs is both exhilarating and pretty hard on the spine!

The entire Olympic and sliding sports world experience was a wild ride and one that I will always cherish, despite some very trying times along the way! Yet again, it demonstrated to me that trying new things and not listening to naysayers was both a challenging and rewarding way to live.

Santé (to health),
Paul Shore

PS: Bobsleigh Jellybeans is still available today --- including as both a paid print book, and a FREE eBook, on Amazon --- reviews on Amazon much appreciated!


Why not try?... to be a rock musician!

Why not try?... to be a rock musician!

Grant and I certainly seem to share a belief in a "why not try?" mantra!  The story of his determination and creativity, in Dirty Windshields, further inspires me to ignore notions of artistic pursuits being potentially "frivolous", and to TRY NEW THINGS in the face of what appear to be insurmountable challenges!

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