Moving into the 21st Century

I’m still not on Facebook and I don’t tweet but I’ve taken the plunge and bought a BlackBerry – a Bold 9700! I ordered it yesterday from my mobile phone carrier and with any luck, it will be delivered to me at my place of work tomorrow! Woo Hoo! I’m so excited… I’m all a-flutter!

Favourite Stuart #2

I had my bi-weekly appointment to get my nails done yesterday morning so took a book along with me. Usually, whenever I take anything to read, I’m in right away and don’t get the chance.

Yesterday was different. I got to read for the better part of half an hour. Yeah!!! I took Stuart MacBride’s second novel Dying Light with me. I wasn’t entirely sure if each book was a “stand alone” or how much, if any, reference there would be to his previous novel and would I be lost. There were a few references to the case in the first book but that was about it. Not enough to confuse things. So Stuart will likely be coming to work with me every day this week so I can finish reading it.

Who knows, there might even be some inspiration or something that will trigger my ideas for my writing that are stuck up in the gray matter and get them flowing, rather than just percolating.

Podcasts or lack thereof

As much as I love creating the podcasts for my website, I’m taking a hiatus. It takes a long time to come up with the idea, see it through to a publishable product, record and upload it. All time that I could be spent getting through the current rewrite of my first manuscript.

I need to concentrate my efforts on that. It’s certainly not going to publish itself and if I don’t submit it, there’s no chance of publication so I’ve got to get on track and back to work on it.

I promise there will be more podcasts in the future… maybe just some random readings of short (flash) fiction but I’ll be back. Please bear with me and wish me well during my absence.

In the meantime, I’ll try to post any triumphs I have on the writing front. Even if it’s just how many words I managed to write in a given day.


Dramatic Sky

When I went out this morning to put a bottle in the recycling, a huge cloud behind my neighbour’s across the street and the church at the corner was backlit by the rising sun. At that instant, it was gorgeous. I dashed back into the house and upstairs to grab my camera.

By the time I got back outside, the light had changed so much the cloud didn’t look nearly so dramatic. Here’s the photo I managed to get. Too bad the wires are in it. If I was a bit more adept at PhotoShop, I would get rid of them. Well, not so much the adept part, I can be pretty handy with that software. It’s more finding the time to sit down and do it.

Scene of the Crime

In a very short time, as in a week from this coming Saturday, I’ll be taking in my first Scene of the Crime mystery writers’ festival on Wolfe Island. Now that I can see it on my calendar, I’m even more excited!

Taking in a morning workshop on point of view. I’m not familiar with the presenter but one of the gals I’m going with is. We’re all excited about it.

Here’s the link to the 2010 edition…

Inspiration has returned

I had a rather productive day on the writing front, even though my wi-fi wouldn’t/couldn’t connect to the Internet. I settled in after lunch and throughout the course of the afternoon managed to write between 1100 and 1200 words. A complete new scene. And I inserted a previously written scene into where I wanted it to reside in the grand scheme of things with a few revisions.

I need to do some research before I can continue with the scene I wrote today. So… off to check a few things out.

Favourite Stuart #2

I finished reading Cold Granite yesterday. An excellent read. I can relate to the portrayal of winter time in Aberdeen. I’ve only been in the city on three occasions – all in the autumn – and it was cold and drizzled rain on the two latter ones. The first time, I only went from the bus station to the nearby bus stop to make my way out to the airport. It was sunny on that October day but mighty cold. Stuart didn’t exaggerate the icy wind coming in off the North Sea and chilling you to the bone. Add some moisture and you become a human icicle.

On our last trip into Aberdeen by train from where we were staying, we took at wrong turning when we got to Market St and I’m 99 44/100% certain we were in the red-light district mentioned in Stuart’s novel. Glad it was daytime. It was pretty scary not to mention cold. The sun actually shone for a wee bit but it was only a flash in the pan. In no time, it clouded over and drizzled. Dreich day for sure.

Call me a glutton for punishment but I want to be in Aberdeen in the winter. I want to be there for the Christmas lights switch-on and its related festivities, the Christmas tree lighting at the Castlegate, and the big Hogmanay party.

And on that note, Dying Light is next on my must read list of Stuart’s work.

To market, to market

Very soon, I’ll be heading down town to the local farmers’ market. According to the weather network and the local paper’s website, it’s only 9C out there. Looks like I’ll be dressing a bit warmer than I originally planned. I think long pants will be the order of the day, not shorts. Maybe even a jacket or sweater.

My Favourite Stuarts

I stumbled onto Stuart McLean at least eight years ago. I had my car radio on CBC (like most of the time) and happened to come in to the middle of The Vinyl Café. Stuart was in the middle of a Dave and Morley story. It was the Christmas story when Dave was cooking the turkey… well, if you know Dave, nothing ever goes quite according to plan. Anyway, I was hooked and thus began my love for Stuart McLean. I’ve got a few of his books, borrowed one from my cousin, and have some of his CDs. I turned my girlfriend from the UK onto Stuart as well. We listened to him on a trip to Niagara Falls. I’ve been to one of his concerts, too. The Vinyl Café can be found at:

My other favourite Stuart is Stuart MacBride, a crime writer from Aberdeen. I knew of him for a while but only recently discovered his website and blog. I’m glad my chair has arms on it – they kept me from falling off when I read some of his posts. Since then, I’ve picked up his first two books in his DS Logan McRae series and the last one. The others are on my wish list at I started reading his debut novel Cold Granite on Saturday but with other distractions (job, house, etc) I’ve not got as far along in it as I would like. I love the fact that Stuart MacBride’s books are set in Aberdeen. I think of myself as a displaced Scot although I was born in Canada. Reading about places in Aberdeen that I’ve seen on holiday or on maps or when doing “virtual” research for my own writing, it brings it all to life. Stuart’s website is located at well worth dropping in for a look around. There are boxes across the bottom of the page with links to other parts of his site, ie blog, books etc.

Off to do a little reading before I have to start supper.

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King