Space Opera With a Twist

Month: March 2019

Sunshine Musings

Spring may have sprung and the snow/ice pack is slowly shrinking, but you wouldn’t know it based on temperatures and windchill this week. Yet the bright sunshine is ever so nice. And strong. Migraine strong. But who am I to complain? Soon enough, my wee little dog will be able to take his first walk around the neighborhood for 2019. Mrs Thomson and I took our first on Sunday rather than head to the gym for an hour of cardio. Funny how things can change in the space of six or seven months. In our area, the first wave of home building dates back to the nineteen-fifties and early nineteen-sixties, with newer houses springing up around them in recent decades as large lots were subdivided and patchy neighborhoods grew to merge into a single quasi-suburban area.

Nowadays, a surprising number of those early homes are being razed, their foundations dug out and the latest in construction techniques applied to dazzling new houses worth many times what their predecessors could command. We unexpectedly came across one rebuilt property on Sunday where an older family home stood last fall. It was another sign of the turnover that will eventually claim everything around here dating back to the last century, since none of the houses were actually built for the long haul and become heritage buildings preserved for posterity. I don’t know what that says about modern construction. You’re free to make your own conclusions.

Seeing as how our own house was built in the early 1970s, I can imagine that in twenty or twenty-five years from now, when we finally downsize and move into something more manageable for creaky old folks in their late seventies, someone will buy up our property only to demolish the house and build a mini-mansion on the lot. As we ambled along on Sunday, Mrs Thomson and I wondered whether any future renovations with a view to resale were even worthwhile, or whether we should simply strive to make our surroundings more congenial and not worry about what the property will look like twenty years from now. We didn’t buy this place to make a profit on resale but to live in, and perhaps live out our days in. Not worrying about resale value does put a different spin on priorities, so long as it remains in good shape, healthy, and able to ward off the worst our weather can produce.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Empire: Imperial Twilight is now past the halfway mark and chugging along nicely. I think we’re realistically looking at a June publication date, but it’s unlikely to slip any further. And I’ve reopened the ability to comment on blog posts. So far, no spam attacks. We’ll see if it stays that way.

March Mildness

It seems spring has finally sprung in our part of the Great White North. And with St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, it’s not before time – so long as I don’t run into any leprechauns asking me if I’d be interested in 50 Shades of Green. And hopefully, even with all the heavy snow that accumulated this winter melting away, our basement won’t spring a leak or two.

You’ll be glad to know that work on Ashes of Empire: Imperial Sunset is accelerating. I’ll hit the halfway mark in the next day or two. The chances of it coming out in May remain good, though publication might slip into early June, depending on my editor and her availability.

Finally, if anyone has tried to comment on this blog in the last week and been unable, it’s because I’ve had to shut comments off. My spam filter was getting slammed with garbage from ugly little gnomes inhabiting the internet’s most odoriferous swamps. I’ll leave commenting off for a little while longer, until their spambots move on to other victims. However, commenting on my Facebook page remains open.

And that was all of my news. Happy spring equinox, everyone!

A Bit of Clarity

In my last blog post, I mentioned I had creative issues with where Ashes of Empire: Imperial Twilight was going. I’m happy to report those are now sorted out. Work has resumed and the first draft is now a little over one third complete, after making the necessary changes to set the correct course. But I wasn’t idle in the interval. While I let my subconscious figure Imperial Twilight out, I managed to write the first three chapters of my next project, one which I’ll keep under wraps until it’s done.

I only wish Mother Nature would sort herself out just as quickly as my writing muse. We’re in March and the temperatures are still well below freezing. In fact, so low it could still be January even if the sun says spring is two weeks away. And right now – drum roll – it’s snowing again. This winter has been one of the most challenging in many years. I’ve never seen such a thick layer of ice everywhere and my poor wee dog can’t even remember what a walk through the neighbourhood feels like. I think we’ll all be happy when we can consign the 2018-19 winter to the history books.

Finally, if you’re both a scotch whisky and Game of Thrones afficionado, check your local liquor store for a new blend called White Walker. It’s easy to recognize – the bottle is covered in a white and blue sleeve, and the face of the Johnnie Walker gent on the label has been replaced by that of the Night King. As of writing this blog entry, I can’t tell you how it tastes. The bottle is still chilling in the freezer, as per the distiller’s instructions.