My Published Work

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It’s all about the Zamboni

Not that long ago I finished my first historical short story, Accrocher Ses Patins, set in 1927 Nova Scotia.  The story deals with an original six era ice hockey team, that is made up of immortal hyena shape shifters.  I spent a huge amount of time researching.  I work at a historic site, but had never tried my hand at writing anything set before my date of birth and I was nervous about it.

There is a lot of good information out there about that period of hockey; rules and equipment changes, not to mention the spread of the league into the US, caused upheavals in the game.  

 But I was left with a question.  How was ice resurfaced before 1953, when the Zamboni was patented?   The only thing I could find was that it was a three man job. 

I finished the story before I found the answer, but I did find the answer.  One man scraped the ice with a shovel, one man rolled something like a giant bucket on wheels that sprinkled water and the last man evened the ice surface with a broom.  The process could take up to ninety minutes.  I haven’t used that piece of information in my fiction.  I probably won’t but I know that my characters would know.

I am very thankful for the Zamboni.  And I bet my characters are to.

One lucky commenter will win a PDF of, Accrocher Ses Patins (hanging ‘em up) and a hockey or wolf themed charm bracelet.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shooting Low

I signed up for a mini-nano. The stated goal is 250 words a day. I know that the writers reading this blog are thinking something along the lines of ‘that’s it?’

But it is November and shooting low is the best I can do. I travel for work in November and when I travel for work I’m on the go from 7:30 am to about 11 pm, that doesn’t leave time for a real stab at nano.
The past few months I’ve been pushing hard both as a writer and as a person. I’ve finished the final edits on the novel during a month that I worked 29 days straight. I’ve worked my way right into writers block.

It happens from time to time. You can see the characters and maybe even the plot, but you can’t get it to move onto the page.

If I push hard for a long time when I stop, I stop dead.

For the past few days I’ve been looking at a blinking cursor, trying to wish the ideas out of my head and onto the paper. Over the years I’ve learned that to re-start myself I need to start slow and shoot low.

So for the next month I’m going to be shooting low. Hopeing that low word count will get me back in the habbit of meating goals in my extreamly limited free time.

How about you? How do you get back in the swing of things after time away?

Monday, October 8, 2012

The devil is in the details

I read quite a bit and I watch television.  I guess we all do.  But I have a problem; I can’t watch or read without being pulled out of the story by little things. 

I work in a living history museum on the weekends, so sometimes even my favorite shows can drive me crazy.  Fantasy, historical and post-apocalyptic things are the ones most likely to have things that drive me nuts in them.   You have to understand that I have ridden horses, raised, killed and dressed my own food, loaded and shot a flintlock.  Oh yeah, and we use a water powered grist mill.

It takes me right out of the story to see things done wrong – or weirdly or whatever.  The image sticks in my head for days and days.  Or the image of the words in the case of a book where a woman took off a bra in the about 600 years before the bra was invented.

So if you are writing, try to make the details as right as possible.  After all, if I notice, others will.   

Monday, October 1, 2012

I wish I had a good excuse for dropping off the map the way I have.  Most of my time has been taken up with work, but I also worked through the edits on my novel.  It was a lot of work and I’m still not as happy with it as I had hoped to be.


When I was done with it I turned around and wrote a 10 K Christmas story.  It was fun creating something again.


My new short story is out


So what has everyone else been up to?