Sunday, December 30, 2007



No writing to speak of -- taking a little break for a few days. But tonight I watched a lovely little movie called "Once". I tried to post the cover picture here, but alas...

Will have to embed the link to the official site, instead:

The movie stars Glen Hansard, a member of the band The Frames and late of The Commitments -- another amazing music flick from Dublin. Also newcomer Marketa Irglova -- and the two stars, being both musicians in real life, combined to write most of the songs they perform.

This movie was made on a dime and could maybe have used a little bit of a tighter edit -- but eminently watchable. Loved it, in fact.

Just remembered tomorrow is New Year's Eve... more then, I think.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wishing you a moment of peace... this busy and stressful season.

We had a white Christmas and today I took my Very Happy Dog for a walk in the snowy woods. The real world with all its anxiety and joy will return soon enough, but for me, the sound of an eagle's chuckle through the trees made everything stop this afternoon.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Checking in...

James McCann and I had a couple of GREAT signing events over the weekend -- a busy time and lots of fun.

But right now I have my head bent low over a manuscript that I want to have polished by Wednesday night. I'll post an event update with pictures and description as soon as I get this baby to bed.

Am also answering only emergency emails at the moment -- will resume radio contact later in the week.

Happy last week of school before Winter Break!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Cool...

Okay, here it comes. No matter how much I try to hold it back -- fingernails rending and tearing to keep those calendar pages in place -- today marks two weeks to Christmas day.

My shopping is not done. My tree is not even bought, let alone decorated. Cards unwritten, and of course -- unsent. And worse, I received my sister's Christmas parcel today. (I'm pathetically grateful not to be celebrating Hanukkah, since it started so much earlier this year...).

When I picked up my mail today, along with the parcel came the first holiday cards. As my children built a gingerbread house (even THEY are more organized than I...) I sat down to open the cards with the guilt of things undone weighing heavily in my heart.

But the very first card I opened brought the cool right back into my Christmas. In an effort not to infringe on the artist's copyright, I am only printing a small segment of the card cover here...

How cool is that? The first card, from my talented friend Lee Edward Fodi, self-illustrated. It almost made me forget that as a male, he has totally put me to shame by getting his card to me first. (I still haven't even looked up his address, for goodness sake.)

I love that Lee designs his own cards. I love that he sent one to me. I feel very privileged to hang out in a circle that includes such amazingly talented individuals. Also upping the cool ante at the card-opening moment was my new Colin James & his Little Big Band Holiday CD playing at the time... another friend whom I watch proudly as he makes his way as a success in the arts in this community and beyond. (I'm pretty sure he had a gig with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra last night...)

How lucky are we to be doing what we love for a living. Makes a person feel like celebrating, somehow. If only there was a chance to do that anytime soon...


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Exit Music

Finished Ian Rankin's latest this weekend, in which DI Rebus faces the spectre of retirement from the force. I can't quite make myself believe he's really going, but --

the final nothing less than perfectly fitting.

A great read.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Holiday Gift Ideas

This idea is courtesy of MotherReader (, and a great one it is...

Looking for a great holiday gift idea? Give a copy of MS. ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK with a ticket to your nearest planetarium (or the Vancouver Space Centre!), so that your young reader can learn more about the world of telescopes and astrolabes and Carl Sagan.
Or how about a complete set of the Eagle Glen trilogy (SEEDS OF TIME, SECRET OF LIGHT & SHADES OF RED) along with a bag of peppermints -- sure to settle the time-travellers tummy!
Looking for more great ideas to make book-giving fun? Check out CWILL's blog this week. The link is just over there -- to the side of this posting, and when you hie yourself over there, you'll find a lot more ideas for BC book giving, courtesy of Adrienne Mason. (Thanks, Adrienne!)
If you'd like to get yourself a signed copy of any of my books, I'll be at the Park Royal Indigo store this Friday afternoon (December 14th) from 2:30 to 5 pm and at the Surrey Strawberry Hill Chapters store Sunday, December 16th, starting at 1:00 pm. As a special bonus, James McCann will be signing his books PYRE and RANCOUR right beside me. A great way to cross off a number of those difficult-to-buy-for teens on your list!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My office...

My office is a lovely room.


Just last year the very incredible talents of one Peter V. Smith were put to work, creating the masterpiece within which I sit every day.

Problem was -- I had a very busy year...
Let's just say I have a lot of empathy for the disgraced coroner from Ontario -- or for his filing skills, anyway.

Well, I'm home now, and am trying to turn my attention to all the stuff that has fallen -- abandoned and in ruins -- around me while I have been running around promoting Ms. Zephyr, dealing with SiWC issues and writing DEADLINE in between.

I do have a few more events between now and the end of the year, (more in the next post on that) but in between -- it's time to open my mail. (2.5 ' stack under arrow...)
I spent most of the day cleaning out my office, organizing, re-shelving and so on. And no, this is not the 'before' picture.
So let's just get this straight. Coroners are supposed to have tidy offices. But writers...?
PS -- Watch this space for upcoming signing events before Christmas...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Calm after...

Storm watch seems to have settled down a bit here, thankfully. The folks in Strachan Point are back in their homes after a helicopter survey of the creek above them proved things to be less dangerous than first thought.

This is an aerial shot of the debris torrent dam above my own little village. We have two creeks -- Harvey & Alberta -- in the village proper (and another -- Magnesia Creek -- in the Brunswick Beach section of the village).

For those who asked -- a brief word or two on the nature of a debris torrent. The combination of development, poor logging practices and severe weather (in Howe Sound we had 100 mm of snow followed by 150 mm of rain on two consecutive days this week) means that debris in the form of logs, mud, snow and branches can build up high in the creeks on the mountainsides where the water flows most swiftly. If the pressure builds up sufficiently, this material can rocket down the side of the mountain like a combination tidal wave and avalanche, wiping out whatever is in its path.

In 1983, after a debris torrent tore down the creek bed, destroying five houses and and killing two boys, dams like the one pictured here were built above the village on the mountainside to prevent this from happening again. Charles Creek, above Strachan Point, has one of these too, but a debris torrent in 2006 left the emergency authorities just a little nervous about the potential for disaster this time. Thankfully, all appears to be well for the moment.

Just as happily, the fundraising event for Rockridge School at 32 Books last night seemed a big success, judging from the number of bodies crammed into the bookstore. Congratulations to Deb McVittie and her staff for putting on a great event. Special props to the student volunteers who worked so hard to make sure everything went smoothly.


Monday, December 03, 2007

24 hours on Deck...

A view from my window...yesterday morning, just before dawn.

Approximately 12 hours later... last night.

And this morning, just after sunrise...

Same section of deck rail, roughly. (In the second shot, you can see the lump made by the snow-covered brick...) Massive, heavy snowfall -- roads impassible, highway blocked. Then ....WHAM.

Pineapple Express.

It hit last night sometime after midnight. By noon today, all the snow was gone, trees bending sideways, and flooding, flooding everywhere. The tiny community of Strachan Point, just down the road, evacuated due to debris torrent hazard. We mountain dwellers fear debris torrents -- they've taken many lives over the years.

Only lost power once today -- not bad!

Life on the coast is never dull...

In other news, be sure to drop by 32 Books in North Vancouver tomorrow night. Deb McVittie and her gang are putting on a special Rockridge Secondary School fundraiser:

Celebrate the Book: A fundraiser for Rockridge secondary school library featuring authors kc dyer, John Vaillant, Mary Novik and entertainment provided by the Rockridge student combos, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30-9 p.m. at 32 Books, 3185 Edgemont Blvd., North Vancouver.

Hope to see you there!


Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Power Flickers... I'd best be quick. We've lost power three times today -- heavy snow on the wires, I think. At least a foot of snow has fallen during the daylight hours today -- with much resultant happiness ensuing from the local denizens.

Time then, for just a few visual memories of book tours past.

This shot is of the moon shining down on the beautiful main street of Lindsay, Ontario, after the first snowfall of the year.

A very pretty town, as was Omemee -- just down the road a few clicks. Full of most excellent kids with GREAT questions who made me feel right at home.

This shot is of old Montreal, through the window of a creperie, where a brief (but rollicking) lunch was consumed with great gusto. It was Grey Cup Sunday and the streets were fairly empty, and strangely enough it was darned tough to find a place to eat. But we managed it, and were very happy with the results.

And this is the real reason, of course, that I hied myself to Montreal for lunch and a tour of the old city in the first place...

Now just look at that face and tell me ANYONE who would pass up a chance to spend time with this woman? You'd have to be crazy...

Thanks for a great day, Pamela!


Saturday, December 01, 2007


...not Michael Moore, though I do want to see his latest. No -- it's me this time, courtesy of (I am convinced) the generous fellow who sat in the row behind me on the plane from Toronto and coughed and sneezed into the air the entire trip.
I am hoarse, crabby and am cultivating a bit of a Darth Vadar vocal vibe.
But it is snowing, my children are cosy and warm and my dog wants to go for a romp, so I guess things could be worse. I think I'll still lobby for surgical masks on airplanes, though!