Archive for May, 2013

Murder, he walked

Monday, May 27th, 2013


My wife is an avid dragon boater, spending many evenings going down to river to paddle. I sometimes accompany her, although not to paddle in the boat. Those days are behind me because of a bad neck and shoulders. However, I did write a book on dragon boating, a sort of mystery/fantasy/humorous novel, as a tribute to dragon boating called Dragons in the Water. My reason for going down is to take a walk along the river valley trails, and lately to ponder how to add more elements to a murder mystery I’m writing.

I find the air and walking along the river allows my mind to think objectively about the story, where the plot weakness lies and how to refine a character or two. People passing by give me odd looks as I mumble “I shall kill him with a knife” or “I shall discover who you are”. I assume they must have a guilty conscience, or they wouldn’t be worried about what I said.

The trails are fun to walk along, and are a mixture of asphalt and gravel and dirt. The trails marked “Closed. Danger due to erosion.” especially intriguing to explore and helps keep the mind alert. Also, there are less people to hear my mumblings about death.

The only problem with the river valley trails is that eventually I have to climb out of the valley to the agreed meeting place with my wife. That final set of stairs can be tough. As I’m the one usually waiting, I get to pick the spot. That turns out to be a bar, where I can replace those lost calories on my ten kilometer walk.

Anyway, here’s to murder, walking and a cold beer.

A Blast of Summer

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The Blast of Summer

I live in Edmonton, a city fairly far north. Actually I think we’re the same latitude as Moscow, so we have a similar climate. Cold winters without the benefit of cheap vodka. So after a long winter, we look forward to spring. This year the weatherman forgot to put spring in his daytimer, because one weekend we had snow flurries with the temperature around 5c (41f) and the following weekend the temperature jumped to 30c (86f).

So we went from shoveling snow to dragging rakes across along lawn, trying to tear out the snow mold and dead grass. The sound of lawnmowers and other equipment filled the neighbourhood. BBQs come back to life and pale legged women walked down the streets in shorts.

My wife and I hauled out the patio furniture, did the yard cleanup and did some planting (she did the planting; I can’t the difference between a dandelion and tulip until it blooms). I changed the oil in the lawnmower, repaired a rain barrel- water left in it over winter burst the base- washed the siding and got the water fountains working again. There’s more, but the gist of it when our short summer arrives, we hustle to get everything out and ready.

Honestly, if you went around our neighbourhood, I doubt you could tell a couple of weeks ago we were still wearing winter coats with snow covering the ground.

I’m actually typing on my laptop right now outside on the patio, something I haven’t done since October. I took time out from the murder mystery I’m writing to do this blog, but will dive into it again soon.

Summer is time for reading. I’m reading two books. One is Day Into Night by Dave Hugelschaffer, a mystery/detective novel. It’s a little long winded, but a good read. The other is Physics on the Fringe by Margaret Wertheim, a fascinating account of alternate theories of physics. Both are good books and I can recommend them, although I’d prefer if you were to take a look at my Castle trilogy, a science fiction adventure to alternate world.

Enjoy your summer. Good books a must. Wine optional.