Bon Voyage, Aretha Franklin

There are going to be words all over the interwebz, but her music … ahh, her music … speaks for itself …

Aretha and Annie Lennox


2018 Summer Holiday – Part 1

I’ve been pretty much non-functional throughout this past heatwave here on Widder Island. I managed to get a few things around the huse finished but anything requiring the stringing together of words with two or more syllables? … forget it.

This past weekend was blessedly cooler that the previous two weeks, when my trusty backyard thermometer never ducked below 30°C while the sun was over the yardarm, and for considerably longer while under it. On Thursday it finally quit after registering 36°C, and refused to return until the snow did. (I was heartily in agreement)

Did you know that if your internal body temperature is 40°C or more hyperthermia sets in and your goose is, literally and figuratively, cooked?

It even rained a bit, so after wallowing in the misty wet stuff for a while I felt as though I could rub a couple of brain-cells together and create some cogent thoughts.


So, Summer holidays, eh?

Last year (2017) we were hemmed in by wildfires and smoke from late Spring until early Autumn, so haven’t had an away-from-home RV adventure since the year before last, (summer of 2016) when we went to Otter Lake, and I pondered the advent of the pine beetle and how is impacted on the little bit of woodland surrounding our camp.

(the link to those posts – highlighted in green – is to the Otter Lake category in my ‘Topics’ widget. Heh! Who knew you could link to an entire category! Learn something new every day!)

And before that was our epic cross-country ‘shake-down cruise’ to Niagara Falls/Michigan, and back. (unfortunately the posts are in reverse order, so, scroll to the bottom and work you way up)

This year we’re going to explore the West Kootenays.

After many to-ing’s and fro-ings we’ve finally settled on this region for our ‘forever home’. We’ve driven through it on a few occasions, on our way to elsewhere, but never really stopped and looked around, breathed the air, walked the land.

Last week, in the middle of the heatwave, (crazy, I know) we picked up our trusty travel trailer from the dealership where we store it, and magically turned this …

Empty driveway with a bit of early morning cloud

Empty driveway with a bit of early morning cloud


… into this …

Full driveway, full 34°C sun

Full driveway, full 34°C sun

Then the fun started.

Because it had been sitting for two years we had to haul everything out and wash/dust/replace everything that wasn’t nailed down, and a few things that weren’t.

Pots, pans, dishes, cutlery – the kitchen sink strayed where it was!

Pots, pans, dishes, cutlery – the kitchen sink strayed where it was!

I’d forgotten about this knife set.

Frivolously perfect

Frivolously perfect

Not everything escaped unscathed, however.

The saddest sight of all

The saddest sight of all

Next – Planning and packing.


… speaking of learning something every day … In my previous post I bemoaned the lack of easily accessible info on inserting the ‘umble ‘©’ into a Scrivener document. Well, the always erudite ‘Colonialist’ wondered if I’d tried, ALT 0169, using the numeric keyboard. I hadn’t, and it worked, both in Scrivener and Word. Thank you Colonialist! 🙂 … I have finally found a use for the numeric keyboard!

If you’ve a mind to explore a fun rabbit-hole, here’s where you can find a great many ALT commands.

The Missing Symbol

Scrivener has had me all hot and bothered all afternoon, which, given that it’s currently 34°C (93°F) in the shade today, is a very dangerous thing for all beings within a hundred meter radius of my Self.

No cranky feelings here!

I’m doing the ‘front bits’ for ‘Prelude’ and I wanted to insert a copyright symbol into the text. I couldn’t find it so I went on-line and asked pertinent questions … and found answers that were all for the Apple version of the Scrivener software.

I get that Scrivener was first developed in Apple-ese, and PC’s were the poor cousins who had to wait at the kiddies table until the grown-ups were sated, but  I thought we were all growed-up now.

Eventually, buried in the furthest depths of page ninety-eleven of my google search I found what I was looking for.

So, here it is, if you’re using Scrivener on a PC … first make sure your cursor is where you want the character to be on your document … and go to … Edit  > Character Map (no idea why it’s called that) then ‘select’ which character you want to use, then ‘copy’, at which point you’ll have to manually (using your keyboard) insert or paste (CTRL/V) the character where it needs to be.


Scrivener is wonderful, but perfect it ain’t.

Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

‘Prelude’ is complete, and well on its way to its next incarnation.

I’ve already taken the individual episodes out of the ‘topics’ section over there on the right but I’m going to leave it up on its page ‘Prelude’ up there in the Header for a couple more days and then sometime on … hmm … Thursday (26th) I’ll remove it from there too. So if you haven’t caught up with the entire story, now is your moment.

I’m going to do a bit of an edit, typos, etc, then I will publish it as a complete entity all of its own. 


As I read through my old notes whilst preparing each episode of ‘Prelude’, I came across quite a few scenes that had appeared, fully-formed, in Mortal Instinct. I chuckled to myself. There I was thinking I’d pulled all that imagery out of the aethers by myself!

For those new to my corner of the interwebz, Mortal Instinct was my firstborn that suffered from ‘Premature Publication Syndrome’, by a traditional publishing house, that, to make a very long and painful story short, screwed the entire publication process from beginning to end.

Lesson learned. Not going to use a trad publisher again.

My initial plan was to do a complete rewrite of the whole manuscript and self publish, but, as I was editing and publishing each episode of ‘Prelude’ I came to the slow realization that Mortal Instinct’s time had passed.

I suppose this is the logical extreme of ‘kill your darlings’ which advises authors not to hold on to characters, or scenes, which fall short of Vernor’s Law.

What’s Vernors Law, I hear you ask? A SF writer lad by the name of Vernor Vinge coined a wee missive that goes like this …

All scenes need to accomplish at least 2 of 3 things: 1 – provide background information, 2 – develop the characters, and 3 – advance the plot

My faithful old manuscript that had been with me, in various incarnations since 1985, is now no more.

Bon Voyage, old Friend.

Perhaps in another Realm, another version of me will publish it as it’s meant to be. Wouldn’t that be wild!

Smashwords Is Having A Sale

I’m coming to the end (hopefully) of a very nasty joust with some migraine clusters. I’m currently 7-6 in the lead. My last ‘Prelude’ episode is a tad shy of being completed, so I expect to get it up here poste haste.

In the meantime … free books: Smashwords July Sale … and

A little classical piano to chase the blues away … (you might have to ‘rewind’ the video. I don’t know why it’s doing that)

Kilauea Eruption at Fissure #8

If you haven’t been following the volcanic eruption in Hawai’i (or even if you have) this video will give you a sense of the sheer scale of the lava flow.

Watch for the houses near the sides of the flow, and take a moment to be in awe of Mother Nature. Then there’s the USGS (United States Geological Survey) person who ventures out onto the lava field, up close and personal, to do something video-y or measurement-y …

… and this is where all that magma (below ground) and lava (above ground) originates, well, several hundred meters (100 meters=328 feet) underneath this wee hole in the ground …

I doubt I’ll get the opportunity to witness (even if it’s through the camera lenses of others) an event like this ever again in my lifetime.

I’ve stood on the tops of mountains, at the edges of oceans, walked across sand dunes that touched the sky. I’ve breathed smoke from wildfires, and the ionised air of giant thunderstorms. And now through this medium that is sometimes as brutal as it is magnificent, I can also witness a volcanic eruption.

How cool is that.

The House With A Clock In Its Walls

The first trailer was a dud but this actually looks like a lot of fun, plus, Cate Blanchett.