Space Opera With a Twist

Month: June 2016

Here Be Dragons

Or at least dragonflies


And magic mushrooms


We’re lucky to live in a part of town where a 10 minute drive will take us to several nice woodland trails (which also accommodate cross country skiing in winter) and even though they’re close enough to the hustle and bustle for us to hear distant traffic, trains and plenty of airplanes overhead, it’s still enough for a good two hour hike in the forest, far from the concerns of everyday life and a world that, at times, seems to have gone insane.  All in all, it was a good way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon.  For Mrs Thomson, the hike brought a bit of peace before another week in the bowels of the demented bureaucracy and it gave me a few hours away from my current work, revising Like Stars in Heaven.  Progress on the latter has been good over the last three days and I intend to keep plowing ahead during the coming week.



June is Bustin Out All Over

Yesterday, we did our weekly trek through nature, this time at the northern edge of Gatineau Park, and though the temperature was 31 degrees Celcius, it felt quite pleasant in the shade of the trees and under a light breeze.  Flowers everywhere, dragonflies buzzing, birds chirping and running through my mind was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s June is Bustin Out All Over from the musical Carousel.  We ended up walking for two hours, covering about 7 kilometres of woodland, open glades and over hill and dale, as it were.  Of course, the rest of the day was spent in lazy repose, our fifty-something bodies having given their all.  As a result, I didn’t quite reach my word count goal for the first draft of Howling Stars, but since I’d written over 5,300 words on Saturday, I forgave myself for only writing 1,100 words on Sunday.

Flowers as far as the eye can see:


And the remains of a tree:


But, it’s Monday and back to work.  Zack Decker’s latest adventure won’t write itself (sadly).

Can’t Stay Away

Yesterday, I wrapped up the first draft of Like Stars in Heaven and promised myself a bit of rest and relaxation as a reward while it fermented quietly in preparation for the inevitable rounds of editing.  My resolution didn’t last.  I got around to playing nine holes of golf this morning and established that, as expected, I still suck.  This year, however, it seems that the sarcastic gods of the golf course have decided that I can no longer hit the ball with my fairway wood in any manner that can be even remotely described as effective, where last summer I didn’t look like a complete idiot swinging it.  Which makes my tee shots, much better now than last year, kind of moot, because the distance I gained with my driver, I lose with every subsequent stroke.  My best was a bogey on a par 3 hole, and then only because I didn’t have to pull that dratted #3 wood from the bag.

After a quick meal of burger and fries (hey, I exercised – I can afford to eat crap food just this once), I tooled around the house aimlessly until, somehow, I found myself staring at the open Scrivener file for Howling Stars (Decker’s War Book 4).  Yes, I began to write and one hour and 1,500 words later, I have to accept the fact that I have no willpower when it comes to staying away from the keyboard even for just one day.

Oh well.  I suppose when you finally get that job you really love, you stop counting the hours and revel in the satisfaction.  Decker lovers, you’ll get another fix in a few months.  At this rate, it might even be a (Canadian) Thanksgiving gift.

Another One Bites the Dust

I’ve just typed the last period at the end of the last sentence in the last chapter of Like Stars in Heaven (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 3). It’s been a long time coming. The previous installment in the series came out almost a year ago, but I think it’s all the better for my taking time to craft it. Now, the manuscript gets to ferment quietly in the darkness of my server’s hard drive (with nightly backup to an external drive) for a while, so that I can get some distance before the first round of editing. But no fear, I won’t spend my days in idle golfing or sampling micro-brews up and down the Ottawa Valley. The fourth installment of Decker’s War awaits, as well as a new, untitled project set in the Decker’s War era which I hope to publish before the end of 2016.

LSiH 14MAY16 small

If I assumed that retirement from my corporate job meant long days of doing what I pleased, interspersed with bouts of writing, I’ve been thoroughly disabused. Long days of writing, with brief bouts of errands and chores seems to be the reality. I have yet to play a round of golf, but perhaps I can grant myself a quick nine holes tomorrow, as a reward for completing my sixth (yes, sixth!) novel.

I’ve promised my editor I’d have the manuscript in her hands by the end of the month, and that’s an appointment I intend to keep.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Yesterday, my hometown of Ottawa experienced the joy of a large sinkhole right in the middle of the busiest part of the city, a stone’s throw from Parliament, right outside the city’s largest shopping centre and near the light rail tunnel currently being built. Hearing about the traffic chaos, with all the street closure, makes me doubly glad to be working from home these days.

Of course, the usual internet comedy quickly followed, with Godzilla emerging from the hole, jokes about the federal government’s deficit budgeting putting the country in the hole, etc.

As a writer, I can’t help think of story ideas surrounding this little (big?) mishap. Perhaps finding human remains that lead to a massive conspiracy still resonating in the hallways of power in 2016. I suppose it’s a good thing I write science-fiction and not political thrillers or murder mysteries, otherwise, I’d never finish anything thanks to new ideas surfacing every day. Of course, as a sci-fi guy, the Godzilla meme is more up my alley.

Now if only the weather could stop trying to pretend we’re in October and remember it’s June. At least we got a good hike around King Mountain last Saturday, before we skipped summer and went straight to autumn. Back to Like Stars in Heaven…I can’t wait to wrap up the first draft.