The Dragon and the Phoenix, and Other Things

First there came a Great Dragon …

photo by Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng

photo by Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng

… who was soon joined by her good friend, the Emerald Phoenix …

photo by Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng

photo by Jingyi Zhang and Wang Zheng

I came across these two creatures today in my email inbox. They were featured in this article from the wonderful people at Space.com.

-oOo-

Prelude has a review, read it HERE. Many thanks to Jaye.

-oOo-

And, I put my Shaman-y hat on and went visiting HERE, at Dropping Pennies. Many thanks to KT, for the invite.

-oOo-

The sun is shining so bright it’s almost impossible to look out my window without squinting as the gorgeous beams dance over and bounce off of the hard packed frozen snow. A brisk northerly wind has blown every cloud from the sky and the gusts howl through my, slightly open window, because who can resist such a harbinger of Spring.

The shy, and seldom seen, Spring Harbinger Owl

The shy, and seldom seen, Spring Harbinger Owl

I Guest Posted …

… on Sue Vincent’s Blog, about a story I wrote whilst crossing the Prairies in 2015 … the year of our eventful trans-Canadian RV adventure.

Herewith be the LINK … hope you enjoy it.

And here’s the story of our Adventure … it loads the last post, first, for some unknowable reason, so you’ll have to scroll down to find the first one. It was quite a trip!

A Prairie storm covers the entire horizon

A Prairie storm covers the entire horizon

One of the many we encountered crossing that flat expanse.

Oh Bother! I forgot to …

… let you know that Prelude is now available as an ebook at Amazon and Kobo, as well as Smashwords.

You can follow the links here,  …

SMASHWORDS in mobi, (for Kindles) ePub, etc, formats

AMAZON – USA (.com) … CANADA  …  UK  …  AUSTRALIA

KOBO 

… and just about everywhere else eBooks are sold …

-oOo-

A couple of weeks ago I did a ‘Bon Voyage’ post for Carol Channing, and I couldn’t find a video that epitomized her. I went with one I liked, but it wasn’t quite ‘it. Today I found ‘it’.

I give you the stupendous, the magnificent, the quirky, Carol Channing … take it away Carol …

The Peanut Has Landed

Last time I saw a picture of her she was just an ultrasound.

Now she’s a fully formed human being.

P.S. – just to clarify, she’s our great granddaughter, but her great-great grandma is still alive

Welcome to the world, great-great-granddaughter!

Welcome to the world, great-great-granddaughter!

A whole lot of people are grinning, just like this!

A whole lot of people are grinning, just like this!

Lineage

This is a picture of someone taking a picture of a picture of an embryo.

Really, really, really, small human being

When this little peanut hatches in the not-too-distant future she will be our GREAT-grand-daughter.

And, there will be five generations of her lineage alive on the planet at the same time.

I think that’s some kind of wonderful!

Way To Go, Australia

The 24th country in the world where marriage equality is for everyone.

Couldn’t be prouder 🙂

That’s all three of the countries I’ve lived in! I’m sensing a pattern here.

57

It’s my Birth Day today.

 

Me. All day.

Me. All day.

Mrs Widds made me an angel food cake. She makes the best Birth Day cakes evah!

I saved you a piece

I saved you a piece

We hung out and had pizza for dinner.

Life is good.

Yeah, yeah. Time for my close-up

Yeah, yeah. Time for my close-up

Danger! Iceberg Ahead!

HUGE!!! Iceberg on Widderlake

HUGE!!! Iceberg on Widderlake

This recent cold spell resulted in a phenomenon I’d never seen before. Perhaps to Northern hemisphere dwellers it might seem like just another winter’s day, but for someone who’s experience of monochromatic landscapes has been drought baked deserts  or bushfire charcoal plains, the sight of an entire lake of frozen water left me with a sense of magical wonderment that’s difficult to articulate.

Widderlake is frozen!

Only tiny patches of open water remain

Only tiny patches of open water remain

The ice isn’t very thick, certainly not thick enough to walk on. This is the Lower Mainland after all – a little patch of rainforest tucked up against mighty Pacifica – but still enough to take my breath away. When the snow started falling and turn it into a giant white Portal to the Great Mystery, I found myself laughing and crying with the joy of it all.

Fun fact about the Pacific Ocean: If you look at a globe of the world, the Pacific Ocean almost covers an entire hemisphere.

Imagine if humans had evolved as an aquatic species … our world might be called ‘Ocean’ instead of ‘Earth’ …and think of the size of our backyard. Last time I checked our little blue planet was 30% dry dirt and 70% water … Hmmm … I feel a story coming on.

*

“I’m an Irish Catholic and I have a long iceberg of guilt!” Edna O’Brian, poet, playwright, novelist

Next …

The Summer revelers packed up their wagons and headed off the island for parts unknown. Every so often a speedboat attached to a SUV will stagger along the street in hopes of finding its fellow speed junkies, but all-in-all, the party’s over.

All us permanent residents have returned to our usual evening promenades along the street to the dock on the lake, where we gaze out across water, undisturbed by the wake of passing boats, to enjoy an ambience untrammeled by the energy of partygoers. Not that I have anything against a good party, but the quiet is a more natural state for Widderlake Island … and it’s time to get back to work.

A writer never stops learning. If we do, we’re done’fer. Especially right now in the middle of these ‘neither-here-nor-there’, ‘no-one-knows-what-the-future-of publishing-looks-like’ times.

Two things happened this week. I attended a webinar which refocused me on the business side of my writing … and I read an article in my regular WOW (Women on Writing – a wonderful resource) newsletter, about a woman who wrote a book via her blog posts – which refocused me on the writing side of my writing.

… and they both got me thinking …

I’ve had an idea for a serialised story floating around in my head for a while, so I thought, “Why not?”

There’s a catch with this story though. I can’t seem to figure out where to go after Episode 1. I have no idea what’s going to happen or what the characters will do. So, I’m going to take a giant leap of … of … something … and write the first episode, post it here, and do my damndest to have an episode finished every month.

That’ll show those pesky characters not to mess with my head!

*

“I start drawing, and eventually the characters involve themselves in a situation. Then in the end, I go back and try to cut out most of the preachments”Dr Seuss, of Seussville

Bon Voyage Ray Bradbury

We’ve lost so many talented artists recently. Some died young and some after having lived long and fully. Ray Bradbury was one of the latter and so, left us with a magnificent legacy; a body of work that just about every SF/F writer and reader could quote from.

 

This is from ‘Fahrenheit 451‘, one of his best known and challenging novels.

Everyone must leave something in the room or left behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”

May we all be gardeners such as Ray.