Category Archives: General

BBQ season is upon us

It’s here… well in our case, has been all winter long providing we could get to the barbie. Wallowing through snow up to your wazoo… not pleasant.

This weekend is the first “official” long weekend of the summer season. Campgrounds open with restrictions, people start planting veggie gardens and flowers, and then there’s us poor sods who will be putting on a new roof.

Even though there will be mass confusion on Saturday and Sunday, I plan on cooking outdoors both days. Time will tell if I’m successful…

Then on Monday, I’ll kick back and relax and enjoy my week’s holidays.

Breaking Loose – the final draft…

Before I post this draft, I should say that my “Narrow Escape” was the winner of my writing group’s impromptu contest – not so much a contest but a dry run at how we’re to determine who’s piece will be sent off to Real Life magazine for their fall issue.

So without any further ado my second draft of Breaking Loose – exactly 250 words! Woo Hoo!!! Hmm… I have a dark side that’s even darker than I first imagined. Must have something to do with all those Hammer Film Production movies I watched as a kid.

Breaking Loose

Anne woke suddenly; her skin cold and clammy. When she tried to move, she discovered that her hands were bound behind her back and her ankles tied together. Even though her eyes were open, there was nothing but darkness, yet she felt like she was being watched.

When the feeling subsided, Anne rubbed her head up and down over the musty-smelling surface she lay on. Eventually, the blindfold slid up and she was able to see her tomb. A sliver of light shone in from across the room which smelled of decay.

She reached down so that she could wiggle her ass over her bound wrists until her arms were under her legs as far forward as she could move them. Painfully, Anne drew her legs up tight to her chest. Once in that position, she fumbled with the ropes around her ankles until they dropped to the cold cement floor.

Unable to free her hands, Anne shoved her feet into the gap between her bound wrists and thighs and slowly worked them through. The rough ropes cut into her wrists and burned her shins but she didn’t give up. Eventually, her persistence was rewarded. Barely able to walk, Anne moved to the sliver of light. She gratefully inhaled the fresh air outside.

Suddenly, the door opened and she was able to see where she had been imprisoned – a cemetery vault with a dead body! She swung her clenched fists with all her might, knocking her captor unconscious and ran.

Monday, Monday

What can be said about Monday? It’s back to work for those of us who work a normal five day Monday to Friday schedule. It’s usually a day from hell and if things go totally right, you think there has to be something you’ve forgotten to do and it’s going to come back and bite you in the arse a few days or weeks later or even longer!

After the glorious weather we’ve been experiencing these past couple of weeks, today was quite the shock to the system. Cool, rainy and just plain dreich. It could be worse, though… we could be getting the 10-15 cm of snow that parts further afield were to get. It can stay with them, I say. It can stay with them (for those who are Coronation St viewers, you’ll recognize my impression of the not-so-recently demised Fred Elliott.)

How many people can say that their almost 12-year old grandchildren think that their grandparents (grandmother specifically) are cool? I can and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it because I know that it won’t be much longer and I’ll no longer be ‘cool’ but relegated to being just another ‘old fart’.

And on that note… that’s all for now folks!

Sarah’s Gift – my first novel

Sarah’s Gift started out as a short story, written not long after I discovered Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series. A good friend and co-worker told me I could write something just as good – so I tried. A few years later, while taking a Creative Writing course, I was encouraged by my instructor to write a novel. I believe his exact words were “you could write a cracker.”

Since then, Sarah’s Gift was first entered in the 2007 Dundee International Book Prize. After it was over and there was no success there, I tried marketing it to various publishers. I’ve sent it to Avon Romance, Oak Tree Press, New Concepts Publishing (they asked for the entire manuscript), Annick Press, Lilley Press – all with the same result – rejection. Currently, an electronic copy of my manuscript is with Drollerie Press.

Somewhere out there, there is a publisher that’s the perfect match for me.

My Scottish Roots

I suppose since I’m calling my blog “My Scottish Roots and Writing” I really should put something on here about my Scottish roots. Well, here it is.

My father was one of 10 children, born to my grandparents, just outside the village of Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. (My grandfather had another family of 10 children with his first wife.) After my grandmother died, my father and four of his siblings were sent to The Orphan Homes of Scotland near Bridge of Weir near Glasgow.

My father came to Canada in 1930 and settled in eastern Ontario. He died in 1969 a few months short of his 56th birthday.

On my first trip to Scotland in 1993, I visited The Orphan Homes of Scotland – now known as Quarriers Village and no longer used as an orphanage. I also made the trek north and saw the remains of the house where my father was born and the cemeteries where my grandparents and other relatives are buried. I even met living relatives that I’ve kept in touch with regularly ever since!

Since my first trip that year, I’ve been back five more times – the last in 2005 and was just an overnight visit into the south – just far enough to say I touched my feet on Scottish soil.

My most memorable moments about my trips to Scotland have to be that first trip and in 1999 when I met Princess Anne at Quarriers Village.

Summery weather…

Where did spring go? We seem to have jumped straight from winter to summer. I’m not complaining. I’m rather enjoying this warm sunny weather.

I should be writing but am having a hard time getting my mind to settle on the task at hand. How can I be expected to sit in doors in front of the computer when I could be sitting outside catching some rays!

I do have a network connection so I can take my laptop outdoors but, I can’t see the screen! So should I decide to write whilst outside, it will have to be the ‘olde-fashioned’ mode of writing – pen/pencil and paper.

Now… A Narrow Escape… the prompt for this month.  Maybe I can come up with something for it when I go back outside.