Friday, February 29, 2008

Unexpected Journey

Publishing "From the Dust" has provided unexpected pleasures. It's allowed me to visit people in other parts of the world without ever getting on a plane. I hadn't anticipated that. I discovered people who are thrilled to chat with others that share a love of words. It is a joy to discover that many of the books I love are loved around the world. Apparently, book lovers have a commonality that jumps over geographic and cultural differences. Possibly this is something that Oprah knew all along - thus the Oprah Bookclub.

It's like an unexpected Christmas gift to open up an e-mail and read that someone else half way around the world is interested in what I have written. That someone else may care enough to read about the quirky Hilda or the precocious Maggie as they roam through the pages of "From the Dust". How amazing and wonderful is that?!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Traveling Backwards

Today, as I fire up the laptop and avoid the chill winter weather by crawling back into bed with my latest story and a cup of coffee, I travel back to Borneo. That's where the story, Last Man Standing, takes place. I take a sip of coffee waiting for Word to light up and previously written words to flood the screen and call me back.

I jump back into the lives of a greenhorn group of entomologists lost in the Borneo rain forest. As I cheer on Aidan, our resident hero who has the misfortune to have to rescue them, I'm reminded why I love to write these stories.

Every story is a journey into beautiful countries I have briefly touched and into the lives of fictional characters who lead me to places even I can almost not imagine.

So while the ground lies frozen and dormant here in my real life, in my fictional world I am standing on the bank of a river in Borneo waving to my team of misfits as their plane takes them to Kuching and safety - the end of their journey.

Or so they think.

Last Man Standing
Chapter One

He floated headless in a mist of tears. Even th
e river’s roar was not enough to mask the scream, so piercing was it and so unnatural that it silenced the never silent land. Overhead the Borneo midday sun skidded a brilliant reflection across the river’s surface.
Garrett clapped her hand against her mouth like she owned the scream and squinted trying to clear her tear blurred vision, as if that w
ould shift reality. As if that would change the fact that the San Diego Chargers’ logo on the corpse’s torn, water soaked t-shirt was all that stood between Malcolm and anonymity. Malcolm’s smiling face flitted across Garret’s memory as tears obscured her vision and drained down the back of her throat - his smiling, missing face – she choked and her foot slipped and carried her dangerously close to the river bank, and the body.

And so a journey begins. It doesn't sound much like a romance, not at the beginning. But my merry group of travelers are challenged in every way. So for the main characters for sure, at the end it so only fair that they get their reward. After all, it is a romance. But midway through, I am anxious to get my group to safety's shore but they have other ideas and already in the first draft they have pointed their path in directions I would never have chosen for them. Writing is definitely a journey. A journey that is always best shared.

Until next time.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Ice Fishing and the Hells Angels

Frozen lakes do not stop an ardent fisherman and they certainly never stop a good friend of mine. She loves to ice fish. And in the frozen Saskatchewan winter there's lots of opportunity to do so. Ice fishing shacks dot many of the popular lakes all winter and tournaments fill many weekends. Apparently there is joy in sitting on a cold chair in the middle of a frozen lake waiting for a fish that may or may not show. It's an all day event and usually involves much comraderie, refreshments and for the tournaments, prizes after. That part sounds like fun. The fishing part - not so much. But for many people, ice fishing makes a long, cold winter just a little bit more enjoyable. Cheers to that.

But this year my friend took it one step further - she went on a fishing tournament hosted by the Hells Angels. Call her crazy but she had a good time. Apparently bikers can be really nice folk.

I can only assume that when fishing with the Hells Angels there may be one rule:

What happens on the ice fishing trip stays on the ice fishing trip.

And again I ask - where are my flip flops!!?


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Where Are My Flip Flops?

Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's because here it is February and I've already been somewhere warm, I don't know what the reason is but I'm dragging. My energy level is zip. Usually February is the month to get out of Dodge and travel the world or at least a new piece of the world, maybe that's why the winter blahs have set in so quickly. Here it is February 3, I've been back from Asia for exactly 13 days. In that time there was a stretch of extremely cold weather followed by blizzard conditions. Is that why a good book and my couch are becoming more and more attractive? I'm not usually a lazy person but continuous cold weather, well it's draining. On the upside, the last few days have been almost balmy. Today was -16.

And despite the lack of flip flop weather conditions, even the near blizzard was considered an opportunity for just a little fun for Rourke. If it's going to snow you might as well dive in head first!

To divert my thoughts from weather issues, and just for the fun of it, I entered Nathan Bransford's first page contest. While the first page of "Tall, Dark and Exotic" didn't win, it was still fun and there's voting going on for the six that were picked. Drop on over and cast your vote at Nathan's blog. Take a look - there's an eclectic mix of genres and styles that makes for an interesting read and with over 600 entries you could be reading for awhile. Here's the link:

But I still ask - where are my flip flops?