December 1, 2016
The last month of the year and a wild day of wind and rain. We're on the 8th floor and you would swear there were a hundred banshees wailing outside. Thankfully all the summer furniture on the balcony has been put away and the bbq cover is well secured. It's a great day for reading. We were at Chapters a couple of days ago and I picked up a copy of Mordecai: The Life & Times for just $10.00. A pretty good deal considering it sold for $39.95 when it first came out. I had thought about buying it then. Glad I waited. I've always been a Richler fan and Charles Foran does a great job with this biography. Entertaining and informative.
As I have indicated in previous ramblings, such weather is conducive to writing and I have made good progress in recent days on novel #2.
Well, here we are in Toronto after a very successful book signing event last Thursday evening in my old home town of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. It was great to see old friends from years gone by. I need to make a point to get back there more often in the future. When we have some additional time to visit I want to travel up along the Tobique River and maybe even climb Mt. Carleton. The back is improving somewhat but will have to feel a lot better before I climb any mountains.
Our current plan is to start the drive back to NS by Thursday. Would like to be home for Canada Day. What a joy it is to live in this magnificent country.
January 22, 2017
I haven't added to my Ramblings page in some time and I'm not sure that this is going to work. Go Daddy has been having some difficulties that continue to be unresolved. The upper right corner of my screen is warning me that we have hit a snag so this may not publish. We'll think of this an experiment.
Every fiber of my long frame wants to comment on what's happening to our south but I am not going to do that. I will say there were some damn impressive gatherings in cities and towns around the globe yesterday. My niece took part in one of those massive demonstrations and I'm very proud of her.
Still working hard on novel #2. I'm going to hit publish now and see if this
December 5, 2017
Man, it's been a long time since I've rambled. A friend pointed this out to me. I'm going to do better now that the winter months are here. Golf season on the east coast of Canada is over, the balcony has been winterized and we are even giving some thought to putting up the Christmas tree this week. Lousy weather means more time in the den at my writing desk. The 1st draft of novel #2 nears completion and I'm pretty darn pleased with it. A few holes to plug but overall I think I've got a sound story that should make for an exciting read.
On another note, I don't know about you but I'm not a shopping fan. I hate crowds and that horrible X-Mas music that seems to be everywhere from about the latter part of October. Despite this I will have to brave the crazed hordes and buy Bonnie a lovely gift. Wonder what it will be.
That's all for now.
October 27, 2016
We went to see the latest Jack Reacher movie yesterday. Man, that little 5'8" Tom Cruise can do a heap of damage. Lee Child tells us that Jack is 6'5". I guess I'm with most fans in thinking Cruise may not be the best choice to play Reacher. Never the less, we enjoyed the flick despite having to pay $21 and change for a matinee. And that's without any popcorn. It sure was a whole lot cheaper in Texas. Go see Jack Reacher. Lots of action.
September 20, 2016
Novel #2 is progressing quite nicely at the moment. I've had a couple of days where I have been able to stay on task and I know why. It's the weather, stupid. Summers are short and when the days are as beautiful as they've been over the past number of months it's very difficult to have the discipline to sit at a desk and write. Now we are getting some very much needed rain and I'm enjoying my time in the den. My task now is to get Kyle McKinley to Eagles Nest Lodge and set up the conflict between the artist and the lodge owner, the mysterious German, Erich Giesel. In the meantime, Kyle is counting the days until Marie Arsenault arrives in NB to spend two weeks with him on the river. Will that relationship continue to sweeten or will it sour?
April 9, 2017
I have a feeling that Spring is truly here. Don't get me wrong. It's not really warm, golf courses aren't open, the garden isn't in and I haven't heard any lawn mowers. I did see a kid on a motorbike yesterday. He was smiling but no bugs in his teeth. Bugs are still hiding, wherever it is they hide over the long winter months. People have more relaxed looking faces, they are moving with more determination. They're wearing less clothing and there's a spring in their step.
River Heat continues to move ahead. No work yesterday but I think I might get a bit of time today.......no, wait, it's Masters weekend and a young Texas lad is red hot. Go Jordan.
January 1, 2017
It's a new year. The wind blew and rain lashed the building all night long and now the sun is trying to make it's first appearance of 2017. No hint of snow here in the capital and a balmy 6 degrees. If we have to spend winter in Nova Scotia this is about as good as it can get.
There's been very little work on novel #2 over the holidays so I will pick up the pace tomorrow. The plan is to have #2 ready to go to Allister Thompson for editing by late Spring and #3 underway shortly thereafter.
I was delighted to receive my copy of agelessNB just before Xmas. Great piece on me and Revenge River including a short excerpt from the novel. Many thanks to Theresa Blackburn for the exposure in her great magazine. We'll see how much interest it generates and if things appear positive I'll take a trip to NB for a reading and signing sometime through the winter. Regardless, New Brunswick will be on the visit list for next summer. Want to drive along the big rivers and take some pictures. I haven't decided just yet if #3 will be set in the Picture Province or if Kyle McKinley will have an adventure in deep south
Texas. I think this is most likely.
November 9, 2016
Well, the unthinkable has happened. Donald Trump is going to be the 46th President of the United States. This depresses me to no end. I am very glad I live in Canada.
December 21, 2016
The winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. Tomorrow we start picking up a few more minutes of daylight each day. I like this very much since I have always been a bit of a sun worshipper. I'm willing to admit there is some beauty in winter at these latitudes. I can even handle a skiff of snow around Xmas. But really folks, give me summer weather any day. It's better because it's nicer. Full stop.
I may have chosen a title for novel #2. I'm going to let it rattle around in my head for a few more days and if it still sounds right, I'll at least use it as a working title. In the meantime it will remain as novel #2. At the moment Kyle McKinley and RCMP Staff Sergeant Marie Arsenault are having burgers at Michaud's Café after having narrowly missed being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. There's been another murder and things are really starting to heat up on the river.
October 15, 2016
I've had several quite productive days recently. Probably nothing to do with the fact that Bonnie has been in Ontario since Wednesday. In fact, to even hint that is not fair in the least. We each have our own work areas in the apartment and they are far apart. No, I chalk this burst of creativity up to a promise I made to myself. That promise was that regardless of output, I would spend at least two hours each day on novel #2. So far, mission accomplished. I did make this promise to myself, so I might break it. Really, I'm just writing to amuse myself and, at any time, I might find something else more amusing. A finished product is a bonus not a necessity.
March 4, 2017
Let me just say how much I enjoyed our eight winters at our home in south Texas and how much I regret having had to sell the place. We made wonderful friends and we were close to our Mexican "daughter" Elisa and her family, too. We got to see them at least once every winter. Some of our American friends were Democrats and some were Republicans. I always figured their political leanings were none of our business and I did my best to keep my mouth shut. But, man, what a mess they have right now. America has weathered many storms over the years and I know they will get this resolved. Won't they?
October 22, 2016
A wild night of wind and rain and more of the same through today. I'm enjoying the weather despite a bad back that makes sitting at my desk and writing more than uncomfortable. Two days ago I guess I took my morning yoga stretches a step too far and now I'm paying the price. I did golf on Thursday and had my best round of the summer. The tightness in my back must have forced me stand more erect and the result seems to have been a more consistent swing. I'll have to remember that for next year because that may have been the last round of the season. After this tropical depression passes through the temperature is going to drop and fall will quickly meld into winter.
In novel #2, Staff Sergeant Marie Arsenault is about to leave BC for her visit with the artist, Kyle McKinley. I'm thinking she's going to help Kyle deliver a painting to Eagles Nest Lodge, where they may come across a clue or two that will lead to another action packed adventure on the river.
June 3, 2017
It's been quite some time since I've posted on my Ramblings page. I'm just now able to sit with reasonable comfort after having done something terrible to my back a week ago Wednesday. Bad backs seem to be the curse of the family. Mine has been troublesome since my mid teens. It usually lets me know it's pissed off at me about once a year.
Progress on River Heat has slowed to a crawl. Same excuse.......very uncomfortable sitting at my desk. This does not mean that I'm not writing in my head. I do that all the time. In fact, much of Revenge River was already done. I just had to write it down. Poems always come that way of course. I never sit down to write a poem. They start, usually with just a few words or a line in the head, while I'm walking, golfing, gardening, or making a ham sandwich. I jot the thought down in my notebook and might not go back to it for weeks or months. It's just there for the future. A little stock pile of thought starters.
Well, I've knocked on wood and with any luck the back will hold up. I'll start my yoga exercises again and get Kyle and Marie back in action. When I left them on the page they were in bed.
That's all for now.
April 13, 2017
Man, am I ever upset with the Blue Jays. They really stink this year. Boys, you just can't continue to strand runners. Here's a suggestion.....bring back Chris Colabello. I know the Indians own him now but work something out. Remember what a spark plug he was in 2015? He can hit and he sure can play first base. That's all from the base ball front.
There was little progress on River Heat for about 3 days but that was remedied yesterday. Made some great progress and resolved a couple of pressing issues. All is well.
June 17, 2017
Well, just above this rambling I indicated the old back problem was almost under control and I expected to be fully back in business. That hasn't been the case. The "nasty bastard" lingers on.....a bit better one day and then agony the next. I've been on an anti-inflammatory since last Saturday and I think it is helping. I haven't been at my desk and truly worked on River Heat in some time. Sitting is the main problem. I manage a paragraph here and there and a juicy line now and then. The story is moving along in my mind and I know where I am going so that's good. No golf.
I'm excited to tell you that I will be doing a reading and book signing in the Plaster Rock Public School Library the evening of the 22nd. That's where I went to high school and I'm looking forward to meeting old friends some of whom I haven't seen in half a century. The next day we are on our way to Toronto for a few days. I'll be posting pictures from the reading and the trip on my site.
That's all for now.
January 7, 2017
It's been a very easy winter so far. That is about to change. All sources indicate a major snow fall over night. As much as 40cm. For my American friends that's a little over 15 and a half inches and it's coming with high winds and the possibility of changing by morning to ice pellets and freezing rain. Nice. This is the same major disturbance that is moving up the eastern seaboard and causing all kinds of travel trouble for several million folks. They're even getting snowfall in Atlanta. Probably not too many plows in that southern city. The good news is that by mid week the temperature will climb to almost double digits again.
I had a productive day on novel #2 yesterday. I have a bit of a timing hurdle to solve but I think I have I have it in hand. The issue is a warrant request that I know in real life would take a minimum of a week to secure. In the movies I could simply write on the screen "One week later." Still haven't settled on a title for #2 but I am close. When I have it I will send in my application for a certificate of registration of copyright and that little chore will be off the list.
Kyle McKinley would be on South Padre Island right now and in past years we would be in Mission, Texas, and probably on the golf course. It's okay. We are snug in our wonderful apartment high up on the eighth floor. The car's in the heated underground parking garage and someone else will deal with the ice and snow. Well, time to work on #2.
There's little wonder that Kyle McKinley has decided he's much better off in northern New Brunswick in the summer time than in the Rio Grande Valley. Today is the seventy first straight day of temperatures over 100 degrees there. That's just way too hot, don't you think? While we've had warm dry weather here all summer long, our friends in deep south Texas would find it cool and refreshing.
July 25, 2016
Excited to let you know that I have joined Crime Writers of Canada as a professional member.
December 11, 2016
Let's make no mistake....this is now winter. Not the cold that they are getting in the west but -7 with a wind chill making it feel like -14 is pretty darn cold by Nova Scotia standards. We have no significant snow accumulation yet but the word is it's on the way. A note on FB from a friend in south Texas indicated it was so cold in Mission yesterday that the ducks and Pelicans were hesitant to go in the water. Back in the 80s there tomorrow. That won't be the case here for many months.
I'm still trying to come up with a title for novel #2. Still nothing that sounds right to my ear just yet. I'm also at a point where I may change a couple of minor things that should tighten the plot and introduce a little more action early on. I need a little more tension between Kyle and my main bad guy. I've only written a couple of pages in the last four days. Slow even by my standards. It's always hard mental work that proceeds words on the page. Sometimes, when I'm really cooking the thing seems to just race along and I look back and realize I have ten pages of draft down and I haven't changed a thing.
Yesterday I got confirmation that Crime Writers of Canada have Revenge River entered in the 2016 competition for best first crime novel. I had been getting concerned because I hadn't heard anything from them and the December 15 deadline is fast approaching. It turns out they don't confirm receipt of novels unless requested.
Okay......time to get to work.
October 10, 2016
How very wonderful to have experienced a night and day of almost continuous rain. I've given considerable thought to novel #2 for the last few days but have not, as they say, been able to put pen to paper. I'm inclined to think my thoughts simply needed watering. I'm now ready to get Marie and Kyle together on the river and we'll see what happens from there. A little romance perhaps and then an abundance of action.
August 9, 2016
Novel #2 is progressing at my normal rate. That is to say, slowly. I'm afraid my work habits can best be described as sloth like. Some days a few pages and other times no words for days. I guess that's okay. That's how I wrote RR and it finally came to an end. Just because I'm not writing doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about the story all the time. Writing a novel is very hard work. There are a whole lot of puzzles to be solved.
I'm toying with titles for #2. I think maybe I'll stick with the river theme
August 12, 2017
I haven't rambled in some time so I'm going to have at it right now. It's been a rainy, foggy, day and therefore conducive to writing and taking care of other indoor activities. We've been away for just over a week and it's always good to get back home. Daughter, Caitlin, married Terrance Stretch in Calgary a week ago today. What a wonderful ceremony. They did it their way, orchestrating the entire program and putting their personal stamp on the marriage which was held in the back yard of their beautiful home. One of the real highlights was the surprise arrival just hours before the ceremony of our former Mexican exchange student from thirty years ago, Elisa Cantu and her husband Juan. Caitlin was totally thrilled to see her "big sister" on her special day.
Moving on but still related to the marriage. Canada is a massive country and Calgary is a long way from Halifax. I'm a big guy and airplane seats are tiny. From now on this guy will only be flying Plus or Business class. We upgraded in Calgary after a brutal five hour flight out. What a difference!
I mentioned today's weather being conducive to writing. Got a good solid five pages done on River Heat and I like where I am. My bad guy is getting very bad and ready for more action. Almost time for the big showdown. Meanwhile, I'm still getting great feedback on Revenge River. Yesterday I found out I will be doing a live interview on CBC radio from New Brunswick on the morning of the 21st of this month to talk about the novel. Should be a blast.
That's all for now.
November 27, 2016
It was bound to happen.......it's snowing. It started overnight and it looks like we will get around 5 cm. here in the city and probably more farther north. It will all be gone by tomorrow but it's a little reminder of what's to come. We're not in deep south Texas this winter.
Novel #2 is progressing at what I consider an acceptable pace. Just a page or two yesterday but I feel the bleak weather today is going to lend itself to greater burst of productivity. The writing will start immediately after my weekly watering of the houseplants which are very healthy and give us great pleasure.
August 30, 2016
I was interviewed today by Theresa Blackburn, the publisher/editor of two very popular New Brunswick magazines, agelessNB and Hook & Ladder. This was cool in itself but even more so since Theresa was one of my broadcast students many years ago. The interview will be featured in the Christmas edition of agelessNB. I haven't seen this dynamo of a woman in 27 years. In addition to her work on the two publications, Theresa is a town councillor in Woodstock and a mother of three.
March 26, 2017
I'm at the 400 page mark of the first draft of River Heat and about to put my main characters into a very dicey situation. I need to take a day or two off and let things sink in. Where are they going to be? Should the action take place at Eagle's Nest Lodge or deep in the northern woods? How will they respond? I'm going to let this age a little bit and then have at it.
It's a sunny day today but it's not a warm day. They will come. Last evening I checked out last year's journal just to see when we played our first round of golf. It will be a couple of weeks yet. Maybe longer because I hate the cold and our course is right on the edge of the Atlantic ocean. We need a summer like last summer. Long, warm and sunny. Bring it on.
October 30, 2016
At this stage in my life, few things amaze me more than the speed with which the weeks fly by. It's Sunday again. I start my Sundays by reading the Saturday Globe & Mail. I don't read it on Saturday. I always wait until Sunday morning to consume it while sipping my tea.
I've had a fairly good week at the writing desk and seem to have a better grasp of where I want to go with the story. The goal is a finished product by Spring. We'll see what happens.
May 16, 2017
After several grey and chilly days, we now have a promise of sun and heat....starting tomorrow of course. I have very little faith in the forecasting of weather, particularly here on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Despite my lack of faith I have booked a tee time for Thursday based on a promise of a beautiful 25 degree day. For my American readers that's 77 f. Nice by any standard.
My productivity level has been down a tad over the past few days. I'm not worried. Just at a stage in the novel where I can take a couple of different paths and not sure which one I want to take. We're almost ready for a major confrontation between McKinley and the folks from Eagle's Nest Lodge. How and where the show down takes place is the
question. I think I'll know by the end of the day. You'll know in a few more months.
August 18, 2016
Been away for a few days and haven't had time to do anything on novel #2. Had to drive to Ontario for a family reunion on Bonnie's side. Great to see everyone but it's a hell of a drive.
Have been able to write a few hundred words today and things seem to be progressing at about the same pace as novel #1. That is to say, quite slowly. Kyle McKinley has been at the cabin of his old friend, Arnie Cousins, but poor old Arnie is missing. There's an open journal on his desk that may offer a clue.
February 10, 2017
The title of novel #2 will be............River Heat. I've been playing with a different title and I like it almost as much but I think I'll stick with the river theme for this one.
My recent exposure in agelessNB has resulted in a number of contacts from old friends I haven't seen in many years. In some cases I'm talking half a century. I look forward to renewing many of these childhood relationships when Bonnie and I travel to NB this summer.
Progress on River Heat has been steady. That doesn't mean I don't take a day or two off now and then but the draft is now over 300 pages. I'd say I'm on about the same pace I set for myself when I was working on Revenge River.
On another topic all together, our Golf Club applications for the 2017 season arrived last week. This is the first winter in eight years that we haven't been on a golf course so we're getting pretty excited for Spring to arrive. Come on April.
April 23, 2017
Revenge River was one of twenty novels competing for the Arthur Ellis Best First Crime Novel sponsored by Kobo. Crime Writers of Canada announced the 5 short listed novels Friday night. Revenge River was not one of them. Yes, I was a tad disappointed but certainly not devastated. Let's say my expectations were modest.
I haven't written more than five hundred words on River Heat in the past few days. In other words, I'm progressing at my normal pace. I anticipate a surge in production this evening and tomorrow.
As I write this the Blue Jays are playing the Angels. I'm still watching the guys but they are not impressing me one little bit. Pillar is the only bright light. Bring back the Expos!
August 28, 2016
Novel #2 (no title yet) is now moving right along. I have a nasty bad guy for McKinley to deal with. Marie Arsenault is coming to visit with Kyle at his cabin for a couple of weeks and his old friend, the hermit, is still missing.
July 3, 2017
We arrived home Saturday evening after our week in Ontario. We love this apartment and it's always nice to get back.
I'm delighted to report that my back feels better today than it has in over a month and a half. To celebrate this we are golfing tomorrow. I'll be anxious to see how it holds up to my rather unorthodox swing. The first test will be to see if I can bend over to tee up my ball. Last outing I was unable to do so.
Writing is going along nicely again and I will still aim for completion of the first draft by late summer. It is a relief knowing that there is no firm deadline. I'll get there when I get there.
March 15, 2017
What a wild night on the east coast. Snow early then vicious wind and rain that lashed our building for hours. Calm now so maybe this was the last of the winter nor' easters and we will begin our long, slow, but delicious slide into Spring.
River Heat is progressing at an acceptable pace now and first draft completion within a couple of months seems possible. Then again, it doesn't really matter all that much. Fortunately our financial survival does not rest on my literary output. If it did we would starve.
August 22, 2016
Had the opportunity to attend a book fair in Halifax on Saturday. There were about thirty writers from the Atlantic Provinces in attendance. Met lots of interesting and talented writers and did a reading from my novel.
January 14, 2017
Well, we have survived Friday the 13th. Here in Nova Scotia it was a very mild day. In fact, we had the distinction of being the warmest place in Canada yesterday. Not south Texas and not Cuba but we'll take it. Things are back to normal today with the early morning mercury reading -13 c. but it's okay because it's going to be a bright, sunny one and that, as Martha Stewart might say, is a good thing.
I am almost convinced I now have the title for novel #2. I'll let it rattle around in my head for a few more days and then I'll contact Industry Canada and copyright it. Clue.......... it will be another tight, two word title. The story is moving along quite nicely. Hope my readers will like the new one every bit as much as they do Revenge River.
April 2, 2017
Today is my birthday. It's supposed to be Spring but there have been flurries in the air all morning. There's hope in the long range forecast with the promise of temperatures maybe hitting double digits. That would be so welcome because I am deathly sick of winter. I'm a man for the green grass, soft breezes, blue skies and bright sunshine. My day has been brightened by so many well wishes on FB and the lovely gift, from my wife, of a beautiful fountain pen. I'm a fan of FB and I love writing with fountain pens. So, all in all, I guess being 67 isn't that bad.
Work on River Heat has been slower than usual over the past few days but I have a much clearer vision of where I need my plot and characters to go now so I anticipate some major progress this week.
February 26, 2017
Note the cold I mention above.........I've still got the damn thing and I'm really not happy about that. I am happy though to be watching a baseball game. That's right. It's finally Spring training time and this afternoon the Jays are playing Philly and so far we are looking pretty good. Unfortunately, I'm not in Florida watching the game, I'm in my den/office/study. My favorite little room in the apartment where I spend a tremendous amount of time. Even though I'm a Canadian and supposed to be hockey crazy I'm not. I'm a baseball fan. I do love baseball.
Despite the nasty cold, I've had some very productive writing days since my last entry. Three hundred and twenty five pages of first draft done and a reasonable idea of where I need to go from here. Ok....back to the game. Now, where's that Kleenex box?
Type your paragraph here.
November 24, 2016
It's Thanksgiving Day in the USA. For the past eight years we have had the opportunity to enjoy two Thanksgivings each year. Now that we've sold our condo in Texas that's no longer the case. We've already had our turkey and the truth is I'm not really much of a fan of that particular fowl. I do love cranberry sauce, mashed spuds, gravy and dressing.
By this time of year Kyle McKinley would already be at his winter retreat on South Padre Island, enjoying the deep south Texas heat and painting up a storm. He'd have eaten a lot of fresh fish at Dirty Al's and walked a lot of miles along the beach.
Well, no Texas heat for us this year. Yesterday we cleaned up the golf clubs and stored them away for the dreary months.
Had a good writing day yesterday, too. Still measuring progress in notebook pages at the moment and not thinking about word count until I move everything to my laptop. For me, the first draft has to flow from the end of a black ink uniball 207.
September 3, 2016
It's hard to believe that it's September already. But what a summer we have had. The best I can remember in a good many years. I used to spend a lot of time complaining about Nova Scotia summers. Too wet and too cold. I guess if there are any complaints this summer it's how dry everything is. Lawns have turned brown, wells have dried up and tinder dry forests even led to the unusual step of having our woodlands closed to camping and hiking for a short period.
For the first time in eight winters, we will not be in south Texas for six whole months. We're going to miss our winters in the Rio Grande Valley but we do plan to get away for a few weeks. I need that winter blast of sun and heat.
Novel #2 is moving along quite nicely now. I've got to get Kyle McKinley's love affair with Marie Arsenault sorted out and he's going to have to deal with a real tough character as he tries to solve the case of the murdered Asian girl and the disappearance of his old friend, Arnie Cousins.
November 4, 2016
Here we are in a new month. Only a few days ago I commented on how quickly the weeks fly by. We would normally be settled into our condo in south Texas by this time but we've sold it and will brave an east coast winter for the first time in many years. How hard can it be?
I've had a pretty good week at the writing desk and now have a stronger vision of where I'm going with the story. I don't do any outlining of things in advance. That's not to say I don't think about the plot and the action much of each day, it's just that the story takes it's course only as the words go on the paper. Yes, on the paper not the screen. The first draft is done in long hand with a black uniball 207 in college ruled composition books. Four of them will give me about 80,000 words. I can't wait to see what happens next.
September 12, 2016
I haven't really had many productive writing days recently. Mostly dealing with plot issues and a seemingly never ending run of incredibly delightful weather. I console myself with the knowledge that this is exactly how it went with Revenge River. Stops and starts but it all came together in the fullness of time. It's just my style and, fortunately, our financial well being is not dependent on my literary output.
May 7, 2017
A very productive morning of writing and I know why. It's foggy and wet out there. Been raining for a couple of days and it's going to continue for several more. Nothing like what they're getting in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick but way more than enough. There's something about rain and fog that stirs my creative juices. This despite the fact that the weather in River Heat, my current novel in progress, is very hot and muggy. As much as I love the bright sun and warm temperatures it's kind of neat being perched up here on the eighth floor on a day like this.
The plan for the afternoon is to reward myself for writing a few good pages this morning. The reward? Well, there are two. A ball game and some binge watching of the fantastic Amazon production of Bosch on Crave TV. We finished season one yesterday and we'll tackle season two today. Baseball in the den and Bosch on the new Sony in the living room. I like television and rate it right up there with A/C and dishwashers.
December 15, 2016
Christopher Hitchens died five years ago today. Just thought that was worth noting. If you're not familiar with the man
check out some of his great debates on YouTube, buy a copy of Hitch 22 and marvel at his razor sharp mind.
The first draft of novel #2 is now at 223 pages. I'm pleased with the progress despite knowing I should be working much harder than I am. It's that lazy thing again. If not laziness, it's avoidance. I love writing but I can think of hundreds of other things to do. I can watch tv, go to the kitchen for a drink, read a book, talk to Bonnie, play shuffleboard with Bryan, go shopping for Xmas presents (I do need to do this prior to the 24th), wash the car........well, you get the point. I've set a goal of having #2 in the hands of my editor by the Spring. Late Spring.
March 9, 2017
Just thinking how wonderful it is to live in a country with universal health care. I had an appointment with an ophthalmologist this morning and Bonnie has an appointment this afternoon with a specialist. All we do is show our health cards. There's no cost and no bills will be arriving in the mail. Canadians don't go broke because they get sick or need an operation. I'm watching Paul Ryan trying to sell the new Trump plan on CNN as I write this. No need to comment further on this issue.
River Heat is moving along at my usual pace. I should have the first draft finished within a couple of months. Maybe even less. It's wrapping up the first go through that seems to take the longest. When that's done it's simply a matter of putting flesh on the skeleton. Sure it is.
November 22, 2016
I'm entering Revenge River in the Crime Writers of Canada 2017 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime First Novel. Feed back on the novel has been excellent and I feel quite confident in competing for the award. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Meanwhile, progress on Novel #2 moves along at about the same pace as #1 did. Still no ideas for a title just yet. I had thought of sticking with the river in there somewhere but I'm not so sure about that now.
On a different topic.......there were snow flurries in the air earlier this morning. We may not get south at all this winter but we are snug in our new apartment, I have AWD and snow tires on the Santa Fe and a novel that needs writing. Nasty winter days will help keep me at the writing desk.
June 30, 2016
October 3, 2016
It rained off and on all day yesterday. I guess it's not really accurate to call it rain since it was more like drizzle. At least we are getting much needed moisture into the ground. The nights are getting cooler and the fall colours are starting but not anywhere near the show we can expect over the next few weeks. I've mentioned here in the past that this will be our first full winter in Canada in many years. It will be an adventure. I did buy winter boots last year but never needed them. Still don't have a winter coat.
Golf season is getting shorter. We hope to get out a couple of times this week. After that there will be few distractions, other than shuffleboard in the lobby with my pal Bryan, to keep me away from my writing desk. We've had company for the last few days and I have not been productive at all. My next chapter has to deal with Marie's arrival in NB and from there how the relationship between she and Kyle will progress. Will the attraction still be as strong or will they, or at least one of them, decide their long distance relationship just won't work?
Whatever the outcome of the romance, they are both about to be caught up in another violent adventure on the river that will test the considerable skills of the former undercover cop and the beautiful Staff Sergeant
December 7, 2016
Time for a little history. The Halifax Explosion occurred 99 years ago yesterday. It killed 2000 almost immediately, blinded 1000 and injured another 9000. Two ships loaded with ammunition destined for the battlefields of Europe had collided in the harbour. Seventy five years ago today, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and launched America's entry into the Second World War. A couple of real bad December days.
On a much lighter note, I've been away from novel #2 for three full days. That is to say, away from writing about Kyle McKinley and his friends on the river but certainly not away from thinking about them and what is going to happen next. The artist and Marie have been swimming, the owner of Eagle's Nest Lodge has just flown in a new shipment of heroin and RCMP Corporal, Steve Sutherland, is investigating a mysterious fight at the Milltown Arcade. I think tomorrow is going to be a good writing day.
May 1, 2017
May Day, not the repeat three times we're in big trouble May Day, just the first day of May. Although reflecting on current world affairs, maybe we are in big trouble. Some very flawed characters on the world stage at the moment.
Now that income tax time is over, Bonnie is busy typing out the first draft of River Heat. I'll then put it on my machine and start editing and writing the second draft on my laptop. The first draft is always done in long hand. It just seems to work better that way. Over the past few days I have re-read the story as it exists now and I'm not disappointed but well aware that
some changes are in order. Several changes to timeline and I sent one of the bad guys away and I now know I need him back. It's all so much fun.
Type your paragraph here.
August 27, 2017
We've been playing a fair amount of golf lately. In fact, we were out three times this week and although I was used to 4 or 5 times a week each winter in Texas, I found this week a bit too much. I'm not sure what this means but I'm going to keep it to no more than twice a week from here on in. As the days shorten and start to get cooler my interest in the game will diminish. Being cold on a golf course just seems wrong somehow.
River Heat is progressing at my normal pace. I was delighted to get a phone call earlier today from a former neighbour who had just finished reading Revenge River. Barb said she loved the novel and was now passing it on to friends. It's always great to get positive feedback on one's efforts. I hope I can pull off something at least as good with this next one. Regardless, the journey is interesting and it fills in the time when I'm not doing something else.
In my rambling above, I mentioned the pending CBC radio interview with Rachel Cave in Saint John, New Brunswick. It went well and I have provided a link to the interview on my news page - click here. Hope you enjoy it.
That's all for now.....
January 29, 2017
It's been some time since I have been able to enter anything on my Ramblings page. GoDaddy issues for a couple of weeks and then a corrupt image meant an inability to do any publishing. You will notice that the last sentence in the January 22nd post above is incomplete. I'm leaving it that way to remind me of the pain in the butt the whole thing has been. It's over now and with great service from my website provider this morning and some help from renowned artist, Bryan Maycock, I'm up and running.
Now just because I haven't been able to post here doesn't mean I haven't had a couple of productive weeks on novel #2. In fact, I'm moving along nicely. I've got McKinley and Marie at Eagle's Nest Lodge and they are about to meet the owner. I usually read my daily output to Bonnie because I need to run it by another pair of ears. Yes, I read everything I write out loud. Always have. It's all about cadence. She tells me she likes #2 every bit as much as Revenge River so far. That's encouraging.
Crime Writers of Canada just published the list of titles entered in the competition for Best First Crime Novel. It was exciting to see Revenge River on the list with nineteen other entrants for the Arthur Ellis Award. We'll see what happens.
September 23, 2017
Wow.....almost a month since I've rambled. Lots of productive writing days recently and I believe I now have a fair grasp on my ending which, of course, I will need to keep secret. River Heat is a bigger and more complicated story than Revenge River but it's moving along more quickly than the first one. I've been taking breaks but mostly they tend to be only a few days not weeks like last time. I like barging ahead and letting the characters help me figure out what will happen next. With that part almost over the tedium starts.....editing the first draft. I'll have a couple of goes at that before I send the thing off to my editor.
I'm on my own for the next couple of weeks while Bonnie is in Ontario visiting with her family and doing more ancestry research. Of course this means that I not only have to do all the cooking, I also have to do the cleanup. Our deal has usually been I cook and Bonnie does the rest. I may rely more on M&M. I just hate that dirty dish and pots part.
That's all for now.
December 25, 2016
Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays to family and friends around the world. It's a green Xmas in Nova Scotia and for a winter weather hater that's the very best kind. It's even relatively mild and that's a good thing too.
January 10, 2017
Since Jan. 2, I have spent a number of hours reading about and watching You Tube interviews with John Berger the great artist, art critic, writer and thinker. In fact, I have spent more time on him than I have on novel #2. Very inspiring man. I would love to visit Quincy in the French Alps where Berger lived the majority of his adult life. Maybe I'm on a French kick. Last night I started reading James Salter's great novel, A Sport and a Pastime. I had put a sample of the novel on my Nook reader some time ago and bought it last week. Glad I did. The guy could write. Unlike many people, I have nothing against e-readers and I have amassed a fairly extensive library on my old Nook. Very handy when travelling. They must be quite popular because I see a goodly number of Revenge River sales have been e-book purchases. I will admit, however, that I much prefer the feel and smell of a "real" book in my hands.
Well, that's enough rambling for this morning. Novel #2 is calling me. Kyle and Marie need my attention.
November 13, 2016
I've just given the fictional Milltown their own little motorcycle gang. One of their members, the newly patched Noel Legace, has screwed up big time and that has the owner of Eagle's Nest Lodge very angry. So angry that he has sent his man, Thaddeus Thorne, to have a serious talk with the gang's President.
Meanwhile, Kyle McKinley is getting ready to fly down to the capital to pick up Marie Arsenault, the RCMP Staff Sergeant who helped him take down Marcel Latour last summer. Will the romance blossom or will it fade?
February 14, 2017
Those of us who live here on the east coast of Canada are in the process of digging out after experiencing a major winter blizzard. Just shy of 60 cm. of snow whipped around for more than 24 hours by winds, that in some regions of the Province, hit more than 100 kms per hour means that many schools, colleges and universities are still closed today. FB friends are posting pictures of their driveways and cars covered in snow. They've got a lot of cardio ahead of them. I'm sure glad I live in a beautiful, eighth floor apartment and our car is in the underground garage.
Well, I've got a novel to write. However, I'm finding it difficult not to keep watching CNN. A friend wondered today if we would ever remember there were such things as slow news days. We are living in interesting times. Glad I'm a Canadian.
February 3, 2017
We have been experiencing an above average winter . Obviously I'm not writing this from the perspective of a skier, snow shoe hiker or power sled fanatic but from the perspective of a guy who really hates ice, cold and snow. We've hardly had any of that crap to date. It has turned much colder now and despite the fact that our east coast rodent, Shubenacadie Sam, failed to see his shadow yesterday I 'm not anticipating an early Spring in Nova Scotia.
I'm going through pens at a furious rate so that means the first draft of novel #2 is moving right along. I've almost settled on a title. Well, at least I narrowed it down to two. Trouble is, I like them both. Maybe I'll just flip a coin. I'll let you know in my next rambling.
September 28, 2016
I've had several productive days recently and I attribute the fact to the fall weather. It's been cooler and we have finally had some much needed rain. Marie Arsenault is getting ready to make her trip east to visit with Kyle. They're both wondering how that's going to workout. The truth is, so am I. Meanwhile, the investigation into the deaths of the Asian girl and Kyle's friend, Arnie Cousins, is well under way and so far McKinley is not involved. He will be pretty soon.
July 15, 2017
Let me be completely truthful with you on this somewhat overcast, summer, Saturday morning. Oftentimes, as I sit here in my little writing den, I am not working diligently on my novel. I have any number of diversions. There's always something or someone to look up. How about this great quote from Sean O'Casey? "No man is so old as to believe he cannot live one more year." That's a pretty insightful observation. I have no idea why I looked up O'Casey. The other night a friend mentioned Tim Dorsey was a favorite author. I'm an avid reader and fairly up on who's who in the literary world but I had never heard of the guy. So I looked him up. Sometimes when you Google someone, they provide an entire list of other people you may want to check out. I often do and that takes time. Then there's CNN, ballgames, The Tour de France, golf...all attractive diversions that keep me from doing what I really should be doing. Well, I must get at it.
November 18, 2016
There is very little doubt that I am a rainy day writer. I've had a couple of productive days at my writing desk. Kyle has had Bunny fly him down to the capital to pick up Marie and they're in the 182 headed back to Spruce Lodge. From there, Kyle will get Marie and her luggage into his trusty red Jeep and they will head farther up river to the artist's cabin. The painter has a great meal planned and the cabin, of course, is neat as a pin. Let's see what happens next.
July 23, 2017
What an incredible string of lovely weather we've been having. The plants on the balcony are exploding with growth and our little vegetable garden is loving the heat and nightly watering. I do love summer at this latitude and now, as July offers up it's final full week, I can still look forward to another three months of delightful days before winter's ice, snow and sleet make me long for deep south Texas.
River Heat is progressing at my normal pace, which is to say, slowly. I do have my bad guy poised to unleash some real evil on Kyle and Marie. As that action heats up, I've thrown in a raging forest fire to the north that threatens not only the residents along the big river but the village of Milltown itself. We'll see where it all leads.
February 18, 2017
For the first time in many years I have a cold and I'm not happy about it. I thought I could handle a Canadian winter. I was wrong. I've found myself looking at ads for all-inclusive trips to Cuba and the Dominican. We've been to Cuba several times and I'm leaning that way. We don't have our condo in Texas anymore and we can't be gone for extended periods but I think a week in Cuba, sipping that great rum, drinking their wonderful beer, baking in the bright sun, swimming in the clear blue water and strolling along a perfect beach in my bare feet might just be what the doc ordered.
The first draft of River Heat is now 313 pages. My plan is to pick up my pace just a bit so I better get at it right now.