Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lighthouse Photos

You asked about more lighthouse photos and how many will be in the book. The manuscript presently has between one and four photos per chapter, but my publisher has not confirmed the acceptance of that. Photos raise the cost of a book, but if it were up to me alone, I'd keep all the shots that I have in the book.
I will post more photos in my online album soon. I'm glad you like them. Hopefully I will be able to post a few more over this coming weekend. I have some additional photos on my MSN space. Here is the address

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pointer Island Lightstation

Thanks for your questions.
The lighthouse was on Pointer Island for nearly 100 years, but the houses and out buildings have all been cleared. All that remains today is a helicopter pad and a white, automated tower. From what I can tell, even the fog horns have been removed. Please click on the "Pointer Island - 1993" link to see a modern day photo of the lighthouse.
As for your second question, Pointer Island is about 200 miles north of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Click on "Lighthouses of British Columbia" to view a map. If you scroll down, you will find Pointer Island located under "Automated" and a line and dot indicating its location.
Davis Bigelow

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Lighthouse trivia - Have you visitied one recently?

Hi Y'all,

Remember how I was thinking about asking on-line questions? Well, here are two I thought of...

1. Have any of you readers recently visited any lighthouse, anywhere in the world?

2. Any chance any of you have ever visited Pointer Island Lightstation?

Let my know and I will post your comments. Take care,

Davis Bigelow
Author of Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off

More Measured For a Casket...

Hey everyone,

Hope you are all enjoying my blog. Please feel free to post comments if you do. I'd love to hear from you.

On Friday, Mar 23, while I was unloading my 44 metric tonnes of barley - two different times at the same feedlot, I worked again on "Measured For a Casket". It is the only story in my book that touches on my religion, and I am trying to present the religious parts of the story in such a way that all who read will like it. I am aware that many of you are very private when it comes to your faith, so I was typing with my "Kid Gloves" on.

Last night, as I sat and savoured a great supper with my sweetheart, I got an idea. I began to think about things I could ask you - the reader, to comment on. Kind of like a public opinion pole. The notion is still swirling, but I'll keep you posted. If you have any questions that come to mind, just let me know.

Take Care,

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thank you

Hi everyone, and thank you for your comments. I am glad you are all excited about the upcoming publication.
Today I am loading barley at a farm east of Red Deer, Alberta, and I am almost finished loading. The weather was awful this morning, but is great now. I have been working on "Dad's Lesson On Mercy" while I let "Measured for a Casket" rest a bit. It is a bit of a challenge to write and load at the same time, but do-able.
Hey, got to run.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Two Panorama Photos

Hello everyone,
Just a note to let all you readers know about a couple of new photos in the album (link #6). If you click on the "slide show" option, the pictures will fill your screen - more or less. Photoshop is great! The south and west panorama is made from three shots and the NW to NE view is made from four different photos. The white, blurred line at the bottom of the shots is the upper railing on the top of the skeleton tower. My mother took these on a medium format film camera, but it was a camera that was held at waist level. I would have liked the railing to have vanished, but even photoshop has its limits. Enjoy...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Photos and Links are here

Hi everyone,
This morning, I spent some time adding some links and photos to my blog. I have more photos to add, but want to add them as a link instead of filling up the home page. This blogging thing is new to me and I still have to figure out how to add a link to a photo album. All in good time. Thank you all for visiting. Please tell your friends about my blog and look for my new website. It will be ready soon. I may just put the photo album on the website, but we'll see. My data is still evolving, but extinction is not an option!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another story finished

1. Today, I finished High and Dry. It is the story of a large seine boat that ran aground a few hundred feet from the lighthouse. At just over 7,000 words, it is one of the longer stories in the book.

2. Also, I was asked if the book will be available in the USA. YES! It will be available to order from anywhere in the world on the Internet as well as in any retail outlet we can get it in.

3. The next story I am working on, Measured For A Casket, was begun in 2003 and up until a few days ago, I thought it just needed a final edit. It is about the time when 2 missionaries from our church came to the lighthouse. I have decided to use what I have already written and add some more to the beginning. Right now, it is only about 500 words, but that will change. Later...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Publishing contract

Yesterday, March 10, 2007, I signed the publishing contract with Writing On Stone Press. I asked Elaine S., the first person who read for me years ago, to witness my signature on the document. I guess I'm a sucker for nostalgia! It was very exciting. Now I have to get back to finishing the manuscript by the end of August, 2007, so all of you can read it too.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

"Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off"

March 1, 2007 - Today marks the beginning of my blog, but not yet on the Internet. It will be a week or so until the blog is set up and I can actually post this, but I thought a head start was in order. At this point, I expect my blog will to be more or less about the process of writing my first book entitled, “Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off,” (Writing on Stone Press) but who can say. One way or the other, however, I want to take this opportunity to welcome all who visit this site and read my updates and musings. I appreciate your attendance here and hope you will enjoy what you find. I will do my best to post any comments you wish to write as soon as I can, but considering my full-time work schedule, that could take several hours or several days.

And, yes, I plan to write at least one more book about Pointer Island. There are many more stories for me to choose from - my short list of possible story lines is over 80 and this first volume contains only 26 of them. For this first book, I chose stories in an ascending chronological order, taking you from my earliest memory at Pointer Island to my last few days there. I hope you approve.

The Blog
Ok, here we go…. In about the middle of 2001 I began writing down notes about any experiences I remembered while growing up on Pointer Island Lightstation. In 2001, I worked in a factory environment and carried a folded paper in the pocket of my coveralls so I could quickly jot down any new memories that surfaced. On my breaks, I transferred the notes into a small binder. This process went on until I hadn’t thought of any new events in over a month. I wanted to be sure I was done remembering before I moved on to the next step. Once the notes were more or less complete, I went through them and synthesized them into potential story lines. At this point, my intended audience was only my children, future posterity, and perhaps a few close friends.

On Jan 10, 2003, I wrote this in my personal journal:
“Last night I began writing the first part of my book on my life at the lighthouse. I find it difficult to jump back to the past in such detail for only a few minutes at a time and then back to the present. The feelings are strange. One minute I am in the present and the next I can see and smell and touch the past. My memories are so vivid that it seems I am actually time traveling.”

Four years ago, when I wrote this, the process of autobiographical writing was unexpectedly strange, but I liked it.

On Feb 15, 2004, I read an article in the Lethbridge Herald newspaper. It claimed that there was but one manned lighthouse left in all of North America. I had already seriously considered writing an autobiographical novel for the whole world to read, but this article provided the catalyst that solidified the consideration into a commitment. I have since learned that the newspaper article was not 100% accurate, but nonetheless, its influence catalyzed a change in the focus of my project.

In March of 2004, over a year into my writing, I gave copies of three finished stories to two retired English teachers, Elaine S. and Ross J. It was an agonizing wait while they read. What if they hated my writing style? Maybe I just thought I could write and was just fooling myself? Self-doubt plagued and pestered my conscious thoughts. It seemed like an eternity, but finally Elaine returned my stories with both written and verbal feedback. She liked the stories and overall project and told me not to worry about my writing style because it would develop naturally over time. She told me to just do it. Elaine also expressed a little confusion over the location of Pointer Island Lightstation, so I began drawing maps to use in the book. Ross’s feedback arrived next. His approach to feedback was different but equally welcome. Ross was also positive and encouraging, even asking me for a signed copy when my book was published. The best part about the opinions of Elaine and Ross was that they saw the world differently from me and they offered me a perspective that I could never have on my own.

Encouraged by Elaine and Ross, I began writing in earnest. Even though there was much writing to be done, I decided to see if I could find a publisher. I wrote a brief outline of the project, took my list of potential story lines – over 80 in all, and submitted requests to several publishers. They all responded, but politely declined publishing my work.

Dec 2004 found me a bit discouraged, but not out of it yet. I asked myself, “Why did I get rejected?” I attempted an objective look at my publishing request and realized that the proposed project was nebulous and needed to be more refined and focused. When I stopped to think about it, 80 short stories in one book was more than huge. It was then that I decided to create more than one volume and drew up an outline for volume one.

Throughout 2004, and into 2005, I worked on one story after another, sometimes re-visiting them to edit. Being the perfectionist that I am, I learned well the adage, “An artist is never satisfied with his work.” I primarily used my palm pilot and a portable keyboard, usually writing during breaks at work or while waiting for the occasional doctor’s appointment. Since 1993, I have run a photography studio – in my spare time, and 2004 was a good year for us. Using my palm pilot I could squeeze out time to write, but when I was home from my regular job and could access the computer, I had precious little spare time. Sadly, I made very slow progress.

Feb 7, 2005 – Was a major turning point for me. I had been having immense problems with a few co-workers in the factory where I worked. The trouble went way back into history, but came to a head as 2004 concluded. Twice, at work, the same co-worker assaulted me, and in plain sight. Other workers witnessed both events, but amnesia and blatant lying ended up being the order of the day. On February 7th I was fired from my job of nearly 18 years.
I entered a period of discouragement and could not write anything for a month. I went to counselling to see if that process would help me in my fight to get my job back. One of the first things my councillor asked me was, “Why do you want to go back to work in such and abusive environment?” He had a point, so I began exploring other options.

While I was exploring employment options, I began writing again, and it was very enjoyable, but my moods were up and down depending on if I thought I was getting somewhere with establishing a new career or not. A few individuals paid big dividends into my life and things began looking up. However, “looking up” wasn’t paying the bills very well.

By September 2005, I could see that if I didn’t enter a well paying career soon, that my sweet wife and I would lose our house. I decided to get my Class 1 drivers licence so I could pursue a career driving a semi. On October 3, 2005, I began a career as a professional driver.
I took my laptop on the road – Monday through Friday, but drove so much that I had only an hour or two a month to write. It was discouraging to sit behind the wheel of my 140,000-pound semi, barrelling down the road at 110 kilometres an hour and thinking of things I could not write down. After a while, I left that company and started with another. This second company supplied anhydrous ammonia (fertilizer) to local farms. Even though I worked long hours, I often had breaks where I had to wait for the farmers to bring their tractors to me so I could refill their ammonia tanks. I took full advantage of this free time. I began to write poetry and play with descriptions of nature’s simplicity. I couldn’t take my laptop, but the writing I did was helpful to my well-being and kept me thinking about how I wanted my writing style to be. When the weather was wet, I couldn’t work and had time to write in Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off. It was slow but sure.

After working for this second company, the season of fertilizer ended and I left Canada to visit my wife’s parents in Indiana. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and it was wonderful to be there with my son, daughters, son-in-law and grandson. Some time prior to this anniversary event, my wife’s mother was diagnosed with lymphomatic cancer (cancer in the blood) and her doctor told her that it would end her life - eventually. We continue to be sad about all this, but nevertheless, sickness is as much a part of life as health. So far she has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and is about to begin a fifth on March 5, 2007. We pray for her every day, and hope the Lord will either heal her or make us up to the task of handling something worse.

When my wife’s mother was first diagnosed with cancer, I wrote a lengthy and heart-stirring poem that I will eventually share here. This blog is supposed to be about the creation of my book, but perhaps the time will come when this poem will be an appropriate addition.
The day I returned home from Indiana, I got a job working for another trucking company – a much nicer one than the first one I was with. I worked less hours, but still a lot, and again had time to write. I began to make good progress and planned to complete the book for publication before approaching another publisher. Then, something unexpected happened.
I met a man who just so happened to run a publishing company and when I mentioned my book, he expressed interest. The rest is history, and by the end of February, we were discussing a publishing contract.

March 3, 2007
Today, my wife was scheduled to work, but took the day off to have some fun with me. Every second Saturday she works. To me, that means that every second Saturday, I get to work on my book. However, instead of writing today, I helped out with a funeral. Following the funeral services we served a wonderful, hot meal to 101 people. I am glad I helped out, but a little sad that I didn’t get any story writing done today. Sometimes, however, it is good to sacrifice something to help your spouse.

At this point in my blog, I am going to include my book’s table of contents. Since this first volume has not been finalized, there may be some changes, but I think that this will be the way it ends up.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ----------------------------------------- Pg i
Introduction ------------------------------------------------ Pg iii
Maps -------------------------------------------------------- Pg v
The Middle of Nowhere? – 1960 ----------------------------- Pg 1
My First Home – 1960 -------------------------------------- Pg 15
A Soggy Halloween – 1963 ---------------------------------- Pg 32
Terrified - 1964 --------------------------------------------- Pg 41
The Secret Tunnel – 1964 ----------------------------------- Pg 47
A New Flag – 1965 to 1967 ---------------------------------- Pg 52
Dinah – 1964 to 1967 ---------------------------------------- Pg 60
A Surprise Start - 1966--------------------------------------- Pg 69
Over The Edge - 1966---------------------------------------- Pg 79
Dark Haired Surprise – 1967 -------------------------------- Pg 86
The Goat – 1968 -------------------------------------------- Pg 90
Tattered Traps & Make-believe Monsters - 1968------------ Pg 97
High and Dry - 1969----------------------------------------- Pg 100
Measured For A Casket - 1969 ------------------------------ Pg
Dad’s Lesson On Mercy – ---------------------------------- Pg
Windows & Waterspouts - 1970 ----------------------------- Pg
Tag - 1972 -------------------------------------------------- Pg
The Gap – 1973 --------------------------------------------- Pg
A Wolf In The Forest? - 1974 ------------------------------- Pg
Gloomy Day Miracle – 1974 --------------------------------- Pg
Ruby Throats - 1974 --------------------------------------- Pg
Deluge and Oars - 1976 ------------------------------------- Pg
The Good Samaritan - 1976 -------------------------------- Pg
The Maker of Hockey Pucks -1976 -------------------------- Pg
A Cruise To Remember - 1976 ----------------------------- Pg
Rivalry at it Best - 1978 ------------------------------------ Pg
One Last Ride - Dec 1979 ---------------------------------- Pg
Glimpses of the Future – 1982 ----------------------------- Pg
Glossary --------------------------------------------------- Pg

Most items on the list correspond with a completed story, but there are still a few to write and several to do a final edit on before my end of August 2007 deadline. I am currently working on High and Dry. It is one of the stories for which there was only an outline written, but now it is nearly finished. As a side note, the page numbers listed are for 8½ x 11-inch paper format. At this point, I don’t know how large the book will be, but I’ll mention that when I know.

March 10, 2007
Today is the day. In a few seconds, I will be posting this blog. Please feel free to make comments or ask questions. Enjoy…