Archive for April, 2011

Writing a story

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Writing a story can be work, but also a lot of fun. This is particularly true if you only have a general idea what you want to write about. The boundaries are loose and you can develop the characters as you delve deeper into the story. Often I don’t know how the story is going to end or what is going to happen much beyond the chapter I’m working on.

For example in my Castle series one of my favourite characters, Gilbert, had a mysterious tattoo on his back. In book one I mentioned the tattoo without giving any details about it, mostly because I didn’t know anything about it either. I mentioned the tattoo again in book two, but still didn’t have a clue how I was going to use it. But finally in book three I was able to explain the tattoo because, like the readers, I surprised how the tattoo became important.

I’m not saying I’m always clueless about the story I’m writing but rather I like to have some details fall into place by themselves. I’m a believer in not forcing some plot twist to cover up a mistake done earlier in the story and would rather let story roll on its natural course. Sometimes that makes me as surprised as anyone how the story turns out. If I really don’t like the ending, then I go back to the beginning and do changes. That doesn’t happen too often. I’m a bit on the lazy side when it comes to rewriting a story. I guess it comes down to I want to make the story as enjoyable to read as possible and not let my own wants to interfere with it.  But if a rewrite is the best way to handle it, then I’ll growl a bit and do it. 


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Wine Fair

Monday, April 11th, 2011

This is a photo of some rather expensive wines. In fact, and trust me as I’m full of useful facts, I found one wine, the Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2003, that retails around $800.00 a bottle. It doesn’t even include a corkscrew at that price. I could tell it was expensive just by looking at the fancy label and also because I had trouble spelling the name.

I mention this because I do wine tasting at some large events and some not so large events. At a recent wine fair where patrons paid the not so high sum of $20.00 to have a chance to sample some 100 wines. Hor dourves consisted of shrimp, cheeses, hot food and various fruit and chocolates.  I think it’s a great deal. You get to try some new wines and to chat with the agents who can tell you something about the winery and the wine.

Now some customers are grand. They have an idea what wines they want to try and usually go home with a new found prize, likely one of my wonderful wines. However there are also the “why should I have to pay more than $10.00 for a Rothschild equivalent?’ wine connoisseur. They make a great pretense of swishing the wine around their mouth while looking to sky for inspiration before finally spitting the wine into the spittoon. They then critique a wine that sell for $19.50 as if they hand picking a wine for the royal wedding. Oh well, no worries. After the third glass most wine will taste pretty good.


I survived another birthday. My lovely wife took me to a new bar, the Twisted Kilt, and reserved a party room. It was great. Friends and family all were there. Beer and food was served by some rather underdressed waitresses 🙂 and even a young fellow played the bagpipe. I was spoiled with too many gifts, including about ten Starbucks cards. Apparently lots of people think I look too sleepy. So to all those who made it to the party, and to those who were able to wish me happy birthday via email, thank you very much. Next time we get together I’ll even fork out a few dollars for a decent glass of wine for you.