Saturday, December 20, 2008
I hope all of you are healthy, happy and terrific! I certainly am. I wish you all a cool Yule and a frantic 1st!
As most of you already know, I have been working over my manuscript for "Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume 1" since the end of July 2008. I carefully went through the manuscript four complete times, in these past five months, reading (aloud) many hundreds of thousands of words in the process. Whew!!! I felt like I was staring in the movie "Groundhog Day"! It was awesome though, and I'm so very glad I did the four additional edits. It amazed me to realize that I could still find errors - even after working so meticulously to get rid of them. That means only one thing - I really am just human. Oh well, did you expect more???
Anyway, the completed manuscript is now in the able hands of my publisher. Now I wait. The manuscript is expected to go past the eyes of the owner of Writing On Stone Press and then to a final-touch editor before I see it again. I don't expect any changes, but I'll know soon.
While I wait, I have resumed work on "Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume 2". It is progressing much faster than Volume 1 did. I suppose that seven years of intense writing have taught me a little.
I have temporarily set my fiction novel aside, but still haven't decided if I will save it for NaNoWriMo 2009 or not. "In Ravenscrag's Shadow" is nearly finished, and I don't know if I can stand a 10-1/2 month wait before I see how it ends. The epic novel is a work of pure fiction, but there is an actual location that provides the setting for the story. I hope to visit that remote location in the summer of 2009. I cannot just go there on my own because the region is the home of grizzly bears. (Bears are intimidated by groups, not by individual humans - and perhaps the term intimidated is a bit too strong.) If I visit the region, as part of a group of five or more, we should not have any trouble, so I have to organize the event before I can be certain of going. Stay tuned.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This morning, I was reading a blog that challenged the creation of words (in Nanowrimo) without employing the editing process. I have not edited my novel, but I will. If I think it is good enough, I will consider publishing it as well, but that is not the point of my writing it. I participated in Nanowrimo to stretch myself. Adventure is what you have when you explore uncharted territory - inside your mind or with you feet. It is true that I never made the 50,000 word threshold, but that is really not important to me. I participated. I had a blast. I did something great that I am very proud of. After I read the fore mentioned blog, I wrote a comment. I thought you would enjoy it, so here it is: (Jody left a comment before I did. She expressed struggling with procrastination and felt that she was getting off to a late start in life - in so far as writing was concerned.)
"I agree with Jody on several levels. Procrastination kills. An overzealous inner-editor isn't good either, but I don't like to kill him off as much as I like to team up with him. As far as my own writing goes, I am about to become a published author (of an 8-year-in-the-making non-fiction book). I also have a word count of 45,540 at Nanowrimo 2008. I lack, however, the perspective of authors who have already travelled farther down exciting literary roads than I have… but I do have an opinion. As far as Ian's question goes, I am left to wonder whether he was just asking, for the sake of provoking thought, or if Ian was really trying to infer that there is no point to writing without an anticipated editing process in the future. I agree that editing is essential to a published product, but I see only a benefit to writing - no matter what follows the creation process. I know people who go on hikes, not intending to reach the trails' final destinations, but to simply go as far as they can. While their experiences may seem pointless to some, these hikers do enjoy the sights, scents and sounds that they have the power to reach. Not every writer is going to be published, but that should not stop anyone from taking a stroll down Literary Lane. Who knows, maybe they will get farther along than they anticipated? I say, “Just write something and then see what happens.” The future awaits, and it isn’t written yet!"
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I was born in 1960 - to white parents. I have three older sisters, (adopted if you must know): one Métis (French Canadian and Native) & a set of Japanese and Irish twins. Following me is a blood-related sister and at the end of the family is my youngest sister, a full-blooded Native girl from the west coast of Canada. Now you may be surprised or not, but us six kids grew up as siblings and my four adopted sisters are as much my sisters as the one who was born to my mother. I don't have as good a tan as some in my family, but the colour difference is meaningless to me. My nieces and nephews come in several shades, but who cares? They are all my family & I love them equally!
In 1967, my father received the Order of Canada for service to his country - for having adopted my four sisters & creating a diverse inter-racial family. The recognition was awesome, but in some ways it’s sad. What difference does the colour of one’s skin make? Why should the adoption of a few children be considered so worthy of such accolades in the first place? We are all human beings – members of the human race. We are all here on this vast planet called earth – together I might add. We all want to live after the manner of happiness. I think we are all agreed on that? Perhaps the racists of the world should take a good look in the mirror. What gives their reflection any more right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness than anyone else’s? I say, “Just calm down and forget about colour because it only matters if you are feeling the poisoning influence of racism!” Instead of hastily climbing onto the high horse of haughtiness, perhaps we should all pause to look in the mirror. Perhaps we should ask ourselves the tough question? “Does skin colour matter to me?” I don’t think it should.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The morning dawn adorns your hair,
Sprinkling life on tired eyes.
I dare not move, but stare with awe...
Your love’s a cherished prize!
I lay awake near your sweet warmth,
Hearing slumber’s gentle breath.
I brush the freckles on your skin,
And kiss your tender neck.
The promise of a thousand rainbows,
And ten thousand butterflies,
Stirs all my soul from height to depth.
With you I’ve no disguise.
You stir from sleep – enough to smile,
Ere dreams take you again;
And I am left to hold you close,
As light transforms the dawn.
Our love is old, yet new somehow,
When I see your green eyes,
And look with care on your sweet face.
‘Tis true; I’ve won the prize!
Your hand in mine; your tender touch;
The music of your voice...
All join as one to fill my breast,
And cause me to rejoice!
By Davis Bigelow
Thursday, May 29, 2008
As for my upcoming book, "Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off - Volume I"; it is still in the cover-design phase. I am anxious and excited but I'm working on Volume II while I wait. I sure enjoy writing! I also look forward to resuming the creation of my fiction novel, "In Ravenscrag's Shadow". It is 100% outlined and about 25% written. This summer I plan to create a few photographs for it. In November, if I can wait that long, I plan to finish it. (You can read a "first draft" excerpt from the novel at the above link.)
A week ago, my sweetheart left me for some much needed time with her parents. Diana's mom has been fighting lymphomatic cancer for about three years now, and the doctors are amazed that she is still alive. The disease is progressing, but thankfully it is slow and Mom can still do much. She suffers from serious heart problems and kidney failure too - as if the cancer were not enough. It seems that sad times overtake us all! Two summers ago, we all met for a giant family reunion to celebrate Diana's parent's 50th wedding anniversary. It was a great time for family memories and I'm grateful we could all make it. It is an 1800km+ drive from our house to theirs, so the trips are not as frequent as we would like, but we keep in touch often by phone. I am blessed with a great mother & father-in-law - and I'm grateful.
I miss Diana like the taste of fresh air, but I'm glad she could go anyway. These next two weeks will pass - hopefully quickly, and Diana and I will be reunited again. Then, our three weeks apart will be but a fleeting, painful memory and Diana's precious memories with her parents will linger on and an. The loneliness of bachelorhood is not at all a welcome companion, but I'll make it. When I think about the thousands who are off in some war-time pursuit, at school or work - all for extended periods of time that make my three weeks seem minuscule, I feel a new respect for them and wonder what right I have to whine. Sacrifice of one kind or another is just part of life. Perhaps I need to take the advice Wesley gave to Indigo (The movie: Princess Bride), "Get used to disappointment!"
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thank you for posting "Duty, Honor, Country". I have long admired General MacArthur and it felt rather nostalgic to read his address. General MacArthur was eloquent and insightful and a man who loved his country. As I consider those who have purchased freedom with their precious blood, I deeply appreciate their sacrifices. Recently, I have been reminded and your post has reminded me again today, that a single individual can do much good if they try. Of course, the opposite is also true - a single individual can do much harm if he chooses. Ours seems to be the task to choose what we will be, whom we will influence and whether the force of our lives will exert good or ill on the rest of mankind. And I don't believe that we have to be on the front line of war to do our work. Perhaps the toughest front line we face is within our own hearts? Do we fulfil our duty to both man and God? Do we honour the noble things of life? Do we honour the sacrifices of those who pioneered our present ease? Do we protect our country from moral erosion as well as physical bondage? I, for one, struggle to do these things. Today, I suppose it is good to be reminded that others have struggled too - and because many have succeeded, perhaps we can too. Perhaps I can…
This past Friday night or early Saturday morning (May 23/24), eleven pieces of art, created by the skilled hands of Haida artist, Bill Reid, were stolen from the museum at the University of British Columbia. In my opinion, Bill Reid was one of the greatest west coast artists of all time, and his works are priceless! As the years of my life have passed and my own interpretation of west coast art has been expressed, the work of Bill Reid has continued to inspire me. In fact, in my home, I proudly display three pieces of Bill Reid art. How tragic that the legacy he left has been stained by greed! Perhpas the pieces will be recovered without incurring any damage.
Now the bride and groom were tough and smiled for each and every photo, but not Kadie and Miya. They made me laugh though. What Miya had in shyness, Kadie had in exuberance! But the flower girls, sisters as well as nieces to the groom, began to fade as time wore on. I was actually surprised that neither of them curled up on their mother’s lap for a snooze! When the flashes were finally finished blinking, the food eaten and the well-wishes extended, Kadie and Miya were still going strong, but as the still smiling bride and groom made their getaway, a serious nap was well on its way to overtake us all! I expect it caught the young first!
PS. The wedding was May 10th. I've been trying to get this post finished for a while now, but what can I say? My life's a whirlwind! For the photo of Heather & Joe, I used photoshop to turn it into a watercolour. The original looked good too, and I think they make a sweet couple - in any medium. May you live happily ever after Heather & Joe!
Oh, & Kadie & Miya; you were awesome flower girls!
And to all who attended the wedding - thank you for making it a great day!
Finally, thanks to all those who didn't get to enjoy the wedding first hand. I'm glad you stopped by for a visit to my blog anyway.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Having had adventure in my blood since before I can remember, I strapped on my camera and located the ladder. “Watch out for the mother!” Ron said as I began. “She has about a four inch beak and is quite protective!” I nodded, but never slowed. About two thirds of the way up the complex of ladders I was feeling the burn. Sitting in my semi for the previous 4 ¼ hours hadn’t helped my aerobic capacity any! I pushed onward, upward until suddenly, a chilling cry sounded overhead.
A huge raven launched herself out of the nest. She was polished ebony against the deep blue sky; so perfectly preened that she appeared to be an animated argillite carving. I felt an unbidden chill shoot through me. She had a wingspan of at least 40 inches and an intimidating black beak glinting in the brilliant sunshine. As the giant bird hung in the warm air the burnished beak parted to expel a threatening cry. It was not a cry of fear, but of anger. I glanced happily at the cage behind me, put there to protect the climber from falling off the exposed ladder. I had no fear of falling, but the steel strapping was protecting me from a worse fate.
I peered upward at the massive nest. It was at least thirty inches across and constructed of sticks as thick as my fingers. I had barely focussed on it when a second raven swooped towards me; screaming wildly. My wide eyes darted from bird to bird. Still, I held my position within the ladder cage. The pair of angry fowl circled and wheeled. They perched for fleeting moments on bits of steel out-rigging before taking to the air again. “Ron never warned me about a second bird” I thought as their screeches and screams shattered the silence. I watched a moment and then pulled out my camera. At least for the moment I was safe.
I snapped several shots of the magnificent birds. Then, with my wits on edge, I began to climb the last ladder below the nest. The cries increased, but I was so close. Upward I moved, slowly but surely. Finally, the top of my head came level with the massive nest. It was a work of art! I stared in awe! I listened, but between the angry cries, I could hear nothing to betray the sounds of hatchlings. Perhaps there were just eggs inside? I glanced apprehensively at the distraught parents. They were above me, and seemed to be maintaining the same distance from me as before. I poked my head above the protective ladder cage, dying with curiosity to see into the nest. Without the cage for comfort, I feared. My legs stopped pushing me upwards, and instead, I raised my camera. Holding it high above my head, I aimed the lens at the nest and carefully squeezed off a shot. Grateful for a digital camera, I examined the photo on the display. It was not a very good shot. The nest was deeper than I had anticipated.
Slowly I pushed up one more rung. Now my entire heard and shoulders were exposed. Quickly I raised the camera again. The shutter fired and I hastily descended to the safety of the cage to inspect the shot. It was perfect! Lying on the bottom of the giant, feather-lined nest were four pink baby ravens and two unhatched eggs. I stared in awe at the sight. I never expected the hatchlings to be so pink!
I tore my eyes away from the photograph; my attention returning to the anxious parents of the little miracles. I could not in good conscience climb up for a second look. Reluctantly, I began my decent. Perhaps I shouldn’t have disturbed them at all, but I was glad I had. And if I hadn’t brought my camera, perhaps I wouldn’t even have gotten a look into that wondrous nest.
PS: I later learned that the Corvus corax, or common raven, is also known in French as, Grand corbeau, and in Spanish as, Cuervo grande. My Internet searches for newborn ravens turned up nothing, making these photos a very special rarity to rave about!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
There once was a man name of Cam,
Who was filled with a whole ton of spam.
Cam asked marriage of Judy,
Who felt none to prudy,
And ran off with the man and his spam!
Here’s a poem for you,
Mister Cam Lamoureux.
And it’s not just for you,
But your wife, Judy, too!
It’s a quick-witted rhyme,
Prompting laughter like chime.
It’s not rude, lewd or crude,
But not pretty - like Jude.
Cam’s the king of his house.
Though he’s short – like a mouse.
If it weren’t for his bride,
He’d be doomed to his pride.
With the name Lamoureux,
Cam can’t help but be true.
And when she yells, “Hey you!”
He’s a wild kangaroo!
Leaping right to her side,
Taking life in its stride.
Cuz its all about love;
Both for now and above.
So Cam still courts his Judy.
She’s forever his beauty.
And Jude’s love through and through,
Is for Cam Lamoureux.
By Davis L. Bigelow
April 8, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
My website is also progressing, but I’m still not sure of when it will come on line. (No pun intended.) Writing On Stone Press just asked for a list of page ideas for the site. I created the list and sent it off this past week.
My picture editing is still ongoing. I happily found a set of ten medium format slides (film about 3x bigger than ordinary 35 mm film). My mother created the collection in 1983 – all looking at Pointer Island Light, from various spots along the shores of Hunter Island. By the look of structural development of the lighthouse, the pictures were taken over a year after I left and just before Mom & Dad retired. The images are perfectly exposed and preserved! I’m trying to get them digitized so I can show them to you. Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment to process them myself, or you’d already be enjoying them.
In addition to my book work, and, of course, my job, my wife, Diana, and I are repainting one of our bathrooms. The room is small, but there are numerous angles and tiny alcoves to dab paint on. To further complicate the project we have employed two shades of blue – one very light and the other a touch darker. The effect is beautiful, and we are nearly finished. I can’t believe how much masking tape was used! This is the first time we have painted this room since we moved here nearly 20 years ago! I think it’s due!
My carving is also progressing. I created, laid out and traced the design onto the wood. Then, I swallowed hard and put blade to wood on my grand son’s birthday sign. So far, it is going well. I’m trying not to rush, and so far, my pace seems to have saved me from any slips. I like the way the project is going. It is so magical to be able to transform an ordinary, plain piece of wood into a work of art! And I haven’t even cut myself – yet!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I just returned from a fifteen minute visit to Sweden, courtesy of Anita. I thought some of you might like to visit too. Her pictures are great. (To view some of them, you use the space bar and arrow keys.) Enjoy...
As for my book, I got very good news. When I returned my changes from the first edit, the editor liked them all and forwarded the manuscript to the copy editor. The manuscript just came back for the second time - this time it is formatted to publish. Awesome! I am now going through it for perhaps the last time!!!! Yes!!! Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not excited - ecstatic, thrilled and electrified perhaps, but not excited.
I'll keep you posted, but right now I am on page 65 of about 500. (The font size may change, but right now, the book is huge in its 6x8 inch format.) I've also been working on front cover designs and finalizing my photos and photo captions for this first volume. Thank you for your interest. I appreciate your many visits. I'll put editing progress updates in the side bar.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
From 110KPH/68MPH, on level ground, when I prepare to stop my loaded Super B Grain Truck, I let off the fuel: 2000 M before a stop sign
From 68MPH / 110KPH, a loaded Super B Grain Truck and its 2 Trailers, on level ground, can coast: 3000 M before rolling to a stop
A Super B Grain Truck & its 2 Trailers have: 30 tires
In Alberta, Canada, a legally loaded Super B Grain Truck & its 2 Trailers weigh: As much as 40 mini-vans
Saturday, March 15, 2008
A lone spotlight burst upon the stage, revealing a shiny stand that held a unique looking microphone. Instantly, a profound hush settled over the sold out seats of the auditorium. Hundred of bodies silently breathed in expectation. There were so many people sitting around me, yet I could have heard a pin drop. An unfamiliar figure strode out of the darkness and up to the illuminated microphone. He began to speak. The sound was clear, but my eyes were still adjusting to the light. The familiar radio voice, I knew so well, reached out to me and I smiled with a mixture of surprise and delight. No preamble, no introductory act to warm up the audience, the tall, slender figure was the man I had come to see. He was live and in person and I had a forth row centre seat! Sound filled the theatre as he spoke, “Hello everyone,” the grey-harried man greeted, “I’m Stuart McLean and this is the Vinyl Café.” The first of countless cheers spontaneously thundered into life, filling the confines of the curved theatre with approval. The show had begun!
For over two hours, Stuart entertained us. He read three Dave & Morley stories, two of them brand new. I especially enjoyed his tale about the lottery ticket. In the story, an old man claimed to have a million dollar lottery ticket, yet he finally died without ever having scratched it to be sure. During the ten years the aged man had owned the ticket, he often asked his visitors what they would do with a million dollars. To his last breath, the old grandfather claimed that having a dream was more important that the money he would win, but he insisted that the unscratched ticket was a winner. The tale made me think – and those who know me, even a little, know that I like that sort of thing.
Intermingled with the wonderful stories, Stuart also presented a mini concert. Original and unique musical numbers were performed by Sheila & Amanda of the group called Dala, as well as a soloist, Danny Michel. The delightful musical score was rounded out by a brilliant piano piece performed by John Sheard. All in all, the evening was wonderfully refreshing. Following the grand events, I was privileged to meet all the performers. Greetings were exchanged and autographs obtained. Are we having fun yet? Oh yeah! I smiled all the way home!
Monday, March 3, 2008
On March 1, 2008, Decon and I took our daughters, Tara and Amberle, as well as friends, Greg and Adam, on another snowshoeing adventure. This time, we went to Chinook Lake in the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. The day was perfect! This was Decon's and my third snowshoe trip (I haven't posted photos for the second one yet, but plan to.) Our group of six ended up tramping out about a 6 KM trail (about 4 miles) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. At the far west end of the lake, after we all walked on water (OK, it was frozen but it was actual water), we boiled up some savory, sweet, hot chocolate. The snow was beginning to get soft, and this trip looked to be the last for this season. However, there is always next year. It was totally awesome!!! Here's the slide show.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
According to Glenn, "The record I wish to set is to be the first person from North America to sail single-handed nonstop, west about, for which there is no speed record."
Any of you who read my blog and enjoy adventure, will want to check out Glenn's website. He is just about half way around the globe and I expect that he will complete his epic journey as planned. Glenn plans to arrive back at his home port of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in July 2008. Go Glenn!!!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Virginia H. Pierce, daughter of Gordon B. Hinckley, made this sweet comment at his February 2nd funeral: (The first few minutes of the funeral service is music, and the entire broadcast is about 90 minutes in length. You can also visit the church's website for more info - ie. press releases, about the church, etc.)
Virginia H. Pierce said this about those who worked closely with her father: "There is nothing so touching to the human soul as to see men and women of great power extend private, thoughtful and quiet kindness."
In my life, President Gordon B. Hinckley has been a profound influence, leading me by example as well as inspiring me with the spoken word to try to stand a little taller and be a little kinder. While I have sometimes forgotten his wise council, I have also sometimes succeeded in practicing it. My small successes continue to give me hope.
Several years ago, when President Hinckley last visited our area, he took a few moments of his precious time to shake the hands of my son and a few of my son's friends. Over the years, I have observed Pres. Hinckley and greatly appreciate that kindness to my son as well as his many other influences on my life and the lives of my wife and children. I knew Gordon B. Hinckley as Prophet of God - a man to listen to and a man to believe. I will greatly miss him. In my own life, I wish I was half the man he was, yet because of his stellar example, I have hope to do better. I think that if I stand a little taller and be a little kinder, for a long enough period of time, perhaps I will get there too. Here's hoping! Now its time to go to work - one step at a time.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The day was not very cold, perhaps –5 Celsius (23 F). We chose the trail leading to Bertha Falls and strapped on our snowshoes.
Under foot, the thick blanket was powder and perfect. The day was dim from thick cloud cover, but not a breath of the area’s usual wind rustled the tenacious evergreens or kissed the barren bark of the hardy deciduous trees and bushes. The place was hauntingly gorgeous.
We plodded purposefully up the trail. It had been ages since either of us had created such giant footprints. I wore my old wood and rawhide snowshoes and Decon wore his new, high tech Christmas presents. After some unsteady minutes, I finally got my snow-legs and progress began to be rapid. Well, at least for a few strides.
Without warning, my left leather binding gave way. The binding was old, but I had come prepared. In seconds, I produced an old leather bootlace from my pack and had it looped and knotted in place. It was as good as new!
Decon & I moved foreword again, stopping here and there to catch our breath and to take some beautiful photographs. Without the slightest breeze, the place was like an expansive tomb, complete with a thick layer of white sound silencer and a huge frozen lake protected by mighty, snow-capped mountains. To call the wondrous scene ‘peace giving’ was an understatement!
Tranquil vistas followed by serene, soothing scenes, burst upon us. Tiny mounds of pure white snow adorned the evergreen bows along the trail, perched like sculpted puffs of albino cotton candy on the green. Towering above us, the steep mountain slopes were spread with a thick layer of conifers dusted in icing sugar. On we strode in awe!
All of a sudden, we heard voices. The area was well travelled in the summer time, but in the dead of winter, we thought we were alone. Two girls, ladies actually, emerged from the trees along the trail ahead. Decon and & I moved off the path to let them pass, visiting briefly with them for the duration of our unexpected encounter. We were on our way to visit Bertha Falls, and one young lady told us that the picturesque waterfall had been named after her Great Aunt. Wow! What were the odds of meeting such a person in such a remote location?
Decon and I moved upwards while the girls headed down. How cool would that be to have something so notable and beautiful named after a member of your own kin? A sweet family treasure to be sure!
As we hiked along, the alpine chill seemed to settle upon us. The visibility gently shrank and tiny snowflakes began to sprinkle down. I had packed my stove and my thoughts lingered on the hot soup I would soon be sipping in the snow.
Finally, we reached the frozen waterfall. It was so snow-covered as to be unrecognizable as a falls, but both Decon and I remembered a hot summer’s day when we had enjoyed its splendour with some of our children. Just below the falls, a stout wooden bridge spanned the silent stream. Its deck and railings were filled to overflowing with piled snow. It looked like a whipped cream display gone wrong!
Without the warmth of hot soup in my belly, I set up my camera and tiny tripod on one of my snowshoes and we immortalized our frozen selves. The snow was heavy now, and the camera’s flash highlighted every flake between the lens and our chilled bodies. Streaking flakes obscured our images a little. The day was waning, so I quickly gathered up my strewn belongings: the stove, fuel bottle, the plate to set the absent pot on, the thick, flexible foil (that protected the intense flame), and my tripod and camera. By the time I had everything stowed, my fingers were beyond numb. The temperature was plummeting, and the weather was definitely changing for the worse.
An inspection of my snowshoes revealed that my old, reliable leather bootlace had broken in several places. With the trailhead more than two kilometres away, I was out of rope tricks. Fortunately, Decon had some rope in his pack. We quickly cut a chunk and I fastened it where the spent lace had just been. Off we went – again.
The visibility dropped to about two hundred feet, making the panoramic view of the lake feel like we were standing in a large room with drab, windowless walls. It was just the trail, a few visible trees and us under a sky full of fluffy snowflakes. When we reached the place where the trail widened and Decon and I had plodded side by side on the way to the waterfall, I stopped for one final photo op. Cold fingers or not, the fish-shaped tracks in the virgin snow just looked too good to pass up!
With about a kilometre between us and our destination, I absentmindedly glanced down at my feet. “Not again?” The rope that had replaced the worn leather lace had nearly cut its way through the leather that held my toe. The whole binding appeared to have just a few more steps before total breakdown. I stopped and dejectedly unstrapped my oversized paws. It was no longer a snowshoeing trip for me.
Like walking on a vast waterbed, I slogged into step behind my friend. The trail was already packed down several inches by several sets of snowshoes, but I still had trouble. Every few steps, without warning, one of my booted feet would sink into oblivion. I tried to keep up with Decon, but slowly but surely, he pulled away. With my shiny wood and golden woven rawhide across my shoulders, I pushed on.
For fifteen long minutes I slipped and slid, constantly fighting for balance. Up the hills and down the slopes the trail twisted and turned. Finally, the car came into view.
It was covered in at least two inches of fresh snow! Unreal! I got the doors open, brushed it off and dumped my pack and snowshoes into the trunk. We paused for one final photo. Decon stood beside the “Bertha Falls” sign while I snapped.
With that, the adventure concluded, and as always, not everything went as planned. Funny how adventures and life can be so similar. Oh, did I say that the adventure was over? Well, only almost!
Our retreat from the newly whitened mountains was slow. I drive a double trailer, 82-foot monstrosity for a living, so a car usually seems pretty easy. However, not everyone I caught up to shared my feelings. As we overtook civilization, the two-lane road became more and more thick with traffic. Soon, I gave up trying to pass people. I was overwhelmingly outnumbered.
Now ordinarily, returning late from a jaunt in the mountains was perfectly fine. In fact, it happened most of the time. However, all the slower going created a problem. I was supposed to use the car, which was really my wife’s car, to pick her up from work at 7pm. I had dropped her off there at 7am and should have easily been back when she finished at 7pm. Well, I tried, but in the end, it was 7:45 before I rolled, or rather slid, into her view. Diana wore an “I told you so” expression, but successfully kept it under raps; masking it with a relived smile. On the way home, she had to hear the saga. Diana eagerly listens to my narrations and descriptions, but is secretly glad that it is usually only one of us that experiences them.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
These were all taken in the summer of 1975 by one of my younger sisters, Amy. This first one is looking South-Southeast from the helicopter pad. This next one is also from the helicopter pad, but my sister moved about thirty feet to the right.These last two shots are taken from around the corner of the big house at the end of the helicopter ramp and landing (in the centre of the above photo). The two photos, below, are mirror images of each other. The railing, in the left foreground of the bottom shot, is the same railing in the bottom-centre of the top shot (where the white gate is standing open). Also, in both photos, you can see the garden netting over my Mother's garden boxes.
Monday, January 7, 2008
The fiction novel I began for nanowrimo 2007 is called "In Ravenscrag's Shadow". It is an adventure novel and is only partially written, but I have a completed outline for the entire book. I completed its conception, invention and nearly 15,000 words in the month of November. (I was trying for 50,000 words but needed sleep.) Once November came to an end, so did my work on that fiction piece. My publisher is aware of the 15,000 words, but my publisher has never published a work of fiction. (ie. I'd probably need a different publisher.) I have plans to publish "In Ravenscrag's Shadow", but "plans" are all I have at this point. I may publish the book a chapter at a time on my website (when it is up and running). It was extreme fun to write the first part of this fiction novel, and I will definitely finish it. I may wait until nanowrimo 2008 before trying to reach the 50,000 word goal, but if I get time, I will complete it sooner.
Presently, I am on page 187 of 261 pages in Three Seconds On, Three Seconds Off – Volume I. My editor has returned the manuscript with her recommended changes and I am reviewing them - making further changes where I think they are needed, but mostly just going with her recommendations. I hope to have the entire book completed within the next two weeks. After that, the manuscript goes back to the editor so she can review my changes. I think that she reviews it again and either accepts my revisions or makes new ones. Then the manuscript comes back to me to review a second time - and so on until we both agree on everything. Then the book goes to an editor who checks for grammar and spelling. Then, if I understand it right, the manuscript goes to the printer. At this point in time, I do not have a tentative publication date, but it is anticipated to occur in the neighbourhood of March 2008. My publisher is anxious to complete the project, but is more anxious that it is done right. I feel the same way.
My full time job demands a lot of me, and I have to sleep some of the time too. (I drive a double trailer semi, hauling grain so that cows can eat and do what they do.) However, I make good use of any down time I have by pulling out my laptop or a notepad. I was able to get through over 30 pages of editing today while I waited to unload, load and get a tire repaired. (So far this year, my semi has run for nearly 50 hours - and I took the 1st off.) It is a challenge to get writing things done, but a challenge I usually enjoy - its always an adventure.
I hope I have clarified a little. Thank you all for your interest. I will keep you posted (no pun intended) on my progress, but please feel free to ask about anything that you're not sure about. Talk to you soon!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Australia: Queensland, New South Wales
Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia
United Kingdom: England, Isle of Man
United States: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., Wisconsin