A Collaboration – The Red Canoe

One of the fondest memories of my youth was at scout camp and enjoying the liberating adventure of canoeing. There were many woodcrafts to participate in as well as many games and other outdoor activities, be they hiking, carving, soccer and such, but it was canoeing that was always the subject of my deepest desires. It was the independence of course; the absolute freedom to slip the bonds that tied me both to land and to adult supervision. I always had a partner with me, but that was an irrelevance to the idea that I was alone in the world, for at that time alone was purely the absence of adults. My partner and I, whomever he may be, would paddle around the flat calm of Okanagan Lake as it baked beneath the beaming of a summer sun, happy in the dulcet warmth that seeped into our young bones. There might be a sunburn or two, but that meant nothing; a minimal price to pay for our freedom.

I didn’t have many options to canoe as I grew older. A momentary chance in the early years of my marriage when my wife and I rented a canoe for a few hours while camping in Manning Park in British Columbia’s wild interior. For me, it was an opportunity to reminisce and pine for my dimming youth, for my wife, who has a curious fear of submerged logs, it was an uncomfortable experience and not one to be repeated any time soon. So, my childhood and its pleasures faded until one day while haunting a local Canadian Tire store, I spotted a red canoe for sale and was instantly transfixed with the thought of reliving my youth with a son who had achieved the age where I had first learned the joy. So I bought it, and the family, though more my son and I, have enjoyed it ever since. Fishing or canoe camping, or just relaxing on a pleasant summer afternoon. That wondrous feeling of liberation never faded, and that first wobbly trip on the water near brought tears to my eyes.

I sorely missed it.


When writing the short story, A Canuck and a Canoe, as part of the anthology, The Scarlet Bastards – A Company Soldier, I reflected long on the simple joy that paddling my red canoe brought me, a joy that could sweep away the trials of a day and replace them with innocent joys of youth. My character, Alexander ‘Sikunder’ Armstrong, a young Okanagan lad who had joined the United Nations Off World Legion and found himself on Samsāra 20 light years from Earth and surrounded by all manner of hostile people who looked upon him as at best, a joke, and at worst, an easy target, found solace in the simple act of paddling a canoe on a nearby stream close to his home in the fort, Ophir Castrum. As I wrote it, with the canoe arriving on the back of a cloned wooly mammoth, it was hard to fight the smile as once again I was that young boy, paddling a canoe on Okanagan Lake and alone in a wide world that lay before me.

A Canuck and a Canoe:

“During my first summer in Samsāra, when the scant warmth of Delta Pavonis wrenched the colony from its long winter somnolence, MacShaka made another desperate attempt to introduce a new form of leisure to the decuria. I remember it well, for I was on latrine duty with Usman Khan hauling barrels of mephitic waste to a composter and cursing our plebeian place in the Legion hierarchy when a caravan of lumbering mammoths – that corporate genetic experiment that provided for much of the colony’s transport needs in the trackless wastes of Samsāra – arrived in camp with backs bent with supplies, and of all things, a bright red canoe.

“Aye, ye cannae tell me ye would hae thought o’ this?” MacShaka boasted proudly to our decuria’s jemadar and second in command, Er-hong Kim. She was a Manchu Messalina of extraordinary temper who looked upon the conveyance with a mixture of amazement and contempt.

“You right, I did not,” she replied with icy disinterest before walking away.

Usman and I gave thanks for the diversion and abandoned our latrine cleaning efforts to join the growing throng of jawans in various states of undress as they stared with all of the cautious curiosity of two dogs meeting in a park. I will even say, with no small exaggeration, that I observed one or two who sniffed and touched the diminutive vessel, while at least one bearded grandee dressed in his scarlet salwars and long kurta shirt, poked the conveyance with his Khyber knife. This all may sound fantastic, but recall that these jawans were mostly poor uneducated refugees from various camps in Afghanistan and Turkistan. They had no more seen a canoe than an Oregon pinot noir or a Toronto film festival. So their confusion was understandable if not predictable. After a few minutes of listening to the bewildering cacophony of Pashtu, Mandarin, Tajik, and Russian, I was about to leave when MacShaka’s booming bass called out, “Sikunder! Stand fast, lad!”

“Huzūra!” I replied as I jogged over and stood before a man who reminded me of a buffalo in rut.

“Sikunder, ye’re a Canuck. Ye ken how tae use one o’ these boats. Show the lads.”

As scandalous as his dialect was, I understood quick enough that he wanted a demonstration. And with the jawans beginning to jeer like Maple Leafs fans in May, I figured he wanted it done quickly.”

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Author Interview – Marie Saint Louis


Introducing Author Marie Saint Louis

Tell us a bit about yourself. Included where you were born, childhood influences and more modern muses that coax/pummel the inner writer out of you.

I was born in Illinois but in the late 70’s my parents moved our family to the Phoenix, Arizona area. While growing up, I was voracious reader and was always doing something creative, making crafts or cooking. Writing was something I did at school for assignments but rarely at home. I have brothers, so we were busy riding our bikes or playing at the neighborhood park. Looking back, we spent a lot of time outdoors.

While I attended college, I wrote research papers but didn’t write much on my own for pleasure. It wasn’t until 2008, when I began a hobby of entering contests and sweepstakes.

For the local contest, I won season tickets to the Phoenix Suns and concert tickets for an entire season. I was excited because my friends and I saw Beyoncé perform live while seated in a private suite. The other contest was a national contest, where I won a cash prize and a trip to New York City. Once again, this was the only writing I did in my life.

Over the years, it seemed all my clients were wanting to read my book but I didn’t have anything available for them. It was both my mother and younger brother, who encouraged me to begin writing about my personal experiences which are the foundation of my debut book.

  1. What is your preferred genre and what is it that has inspired you to work in it?

RSVP From Heaven falls under the nonfiction and spiritual genres. Over the years, I shared true stories of my spiritual sessions with my clients and they pressed to hear more of them. Subsequently, my clients were always asking me where they could purchase my book. The only problem was, I didn’t have one. So, with the encouragement of my mother and younger brother, I began writing the first draft. RSVP From Heaven will available in March 2015!

  1. Tell us about one of your books – start with the opening sentence, then pitch it, and end with some insight as to what has motivated you to write it – i.e. themes, characters etc.

(Opening sentence)

Space 51.

The tight-lipped event coordinator directed me to the corner, much like a naughty child sent to time out.


Marie Saint-Louis is a psychic medium who has spent years sharing guidance and communicating with the deceased for her clients from the comforts of her home. Now, she yearns to bring her spiritual gifts to the public.

Of course, it won’t be easy.

The stakes are high as Marie battles anxiety, rejection, and skeptics along the way at the most amazing parties and unique events around.

You’re invited to sit table side during readings at an Arizona casino swap meet and have front row seats with costumed guests during three nights of dazzling Hollywood Halloween parties. You never will know where Marie will show up next!

Told in a down to earth and often intimate style, Marie shares true tales of the compelling people she meets who are searching for direction in love, career, family, relocation, and other topics. In the midst of busy fairs and festivals, she passes messages on from deceased loved ones to the individuals seated at her vendor table.

RSVP from Heaven is a fresh new approach in spiritual books that will entertain and captivate readers around the world. A remarkable timeless tale about the shared emotions we experience as people and our quest to find answers while living our personal journeys.


Through the years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and guiding people. From college students to adult film stars which makes a more interesting experience for my readers. Through the book, you will witness people come to me when they are searching for direction and needing hope. We have all been there before. Times when our relationships are breaking apart, we are unfulfilled in careers, family members causing havoc, and wondering if relocating will give us a new opportunities and a new lease on live. We all have self-doubts if we are living life as it was meant to be for us.

I was having all these wonderful adventures and meeting so many people at amazing events. Some of these events could be considered controversial by others. I wrote the book for my clients but it’s also for those wanting to get a glimpse into my life as a psychic medium. In essence, to let people know you are not alone with your problems or wanting to hear from a deceased loved one. There are many people having a similar struggle within their own lives. It may not be the exact situation, but they are hurting as much as you or even more.

  1. What’s the next project and what is your writing process to produce it?

I’m already working on my next book in the RSVP From Heaven series. I keep a stack of notebooks and pens from the 99 Cents Only Store on me at all times. Each year, I take part in many amazing parties and unique events giving spiritual guidance and connecting people to deceased loved ones.  I write down pertinent details as they happen, which are the foundation of my books. Afterwards, I get busy in structuring the specific chapter and include the people I meet, the readings, and what is going on around me while I’m there. I want readers to feel like they are actually attending with me and have a front row seat!

  1. Marketing, marketing, marketing – what is your strategy here to ensure that this becomes your day job?

I began marketing my book even before I began writing the first draft. It seemed I told everyone I met about my concept and the response was favorable.  I believe in the importance of connecting with people and the power of “word of mouth”.  A few months ago, I read an article that stated 90% of consumers believe in recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising.

I love the one on one interaction because it’s so personal. Last year, I designed my own beautiful “rack cards” and had them reproduced by a printing company.  On the front is the image of my book cover and on the back is an excerpt from the book. While I’m out in the community I hand them out to people and quickly tell them about my book. This is to build rapport and answer their questions. The results have been positive so far.

I also utilize social media sites as much as my schedule permits. I maintain both Twitter and Facebook accounts. This means not only posting but also taking the time to respond to general requests. As an author, I take a sincere interest towards others. People want to feel valued, and I often take the focus of myself and place it on them. Remember without readers there is no book sales.

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Find Marie on social media:

A Collaboration – Golf

My wife was particularly interested in my piece that centred on my main character, Alexander ‘Sikunder’ Armstrong, and his round of golf in the Samsara tundra. Now, I’m not a particularly good player myself, indulging in that kind of stress only a few times a year as I do, but I admit to occasionally enjoying the challenge of using a metal club to put a ball in a cup with as few swings as possible. That the fairway looks like the Battle of the Somme afterwards, or that colourful language fills the air with more force than normally delivered by a troop of stevedores, or that I more often than not, come away with a new hatred for the dreaded game is completely irrelevant. I enjoy the challenge, or maybe I enjoy the company as I fail the challenge miserably. I’m not sure I had any particular event when I first thought of including g a round of golf in the story, but I certainly did when I mused for a while upon it. One of my worst games took place on a boggy little par nine in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a small fishing town on the north coast. Sure it was Spring, but after the rains of winter, the grass literally had bubbles of water beneath it, and the ball when it fell, created craters like mortars. It was a terrifically bad game and I lost the better part of 20 balls in the mud and rain that day. The company, however, was good and though I had to, on occasion, throw my ball in order to make any progress, it was just one more bit of comic relief. In the end, I chatted with the locals in a kilt damp with rain and mud, chuckled over my horrific game, and reveled in the companionship of a few of my fellow sailors on a much-needed bit of shore leave.

The story of Sikunder’s round of golf in the tundra, found in The Scarlet Bastards – A Company Soldier,  is a celebration of the game and rough companionship of his fellow jawans in the United Nations Off-World Legion. At a time when Sikunder’s spirits had plummeted and he grew morose in the first months of his new life on the colony of Samsara, some 20 light years from Earth, the simple pleasure of the game drew Sikunder from his growing depression and thrust him into an appreciation of living the moment.


I had thought, foolishly in retrospect, that I had seen all of the curious facades of Subedar Angus Motshegwa, but this latest had proven that arrogant assumption quite wrong. Grinning beneath his long sable beard, MacShaka pulled out a One Wood and rested it with a cocky nonchalance upon his broad shoulder – a Doryphoros statue minus the javelin and with a belly as broad as a barrel. Cong grunted beneath his long goatee.

Năo càn. Is it possible for you not to play fool, Angus?”

Beaming, MacShaka pulled a ball from a cartouche pouch on his hip. “Och, ye mawkit keelie,” he replied as he placed the ball on a tee inserted in the boggy morass, “ye’ve  a face like a burst melodeon an’ ye haver somethin’ awful!”

Shăguā,” Cong replied testily, “must you speak such incomprehensible filth?”

Chuckling, MacShaka swung back his One Wood, then with a grunt, let fly a brilliant drive.

“Marvellous,” Adoula remarked as she watched the ball disappear over a low rise.

“A miracle,” Cong muttered. With a surliness dripping with insubordination he asked, “Did you not slice so far to right last time that you land your first shot in stream?”

“Nonsense,” replied MacShaka as he placed the club back in its bag.

“And before that,” Cong continued with a wry grin, “was not your hook so complete as to ricochet ball off nearby rock and hit your own camel?”

“Hauld yer tongue, ye bletherin’ fantoosh numpty!” MacShaka snapped, parrying the good natured banter.

The biting chatter continued between the two – beyond Adoula’s slice and Cong topping the ball, a shot which resulted in it landing in a thick morass that required a full three swings from myself to clear. The game advanced as MacShaka and Cong shared contemptuous musings while Adoula and I chuckled as each barbed insult scored a mark. One could easily see that these two were close friends – otherwise they would have been at each other’s throats.

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The Draft is Done – From the Little, the Much is Known

irish-wolfhound-by-treeThe working title of my urban fantasy is the translation of a Gaelic proverb, Is ann air a’ bheagan a dh’aithnichear am móran. The initial edit is done and now I turn the project over to my editor with her big red pen.

Set in Esquimalt, British Columbia in present day, Jennifer MacGregor, heartsick and devastated over the loss of her father and brother in a car accident two years before, fled to a small hilltop in the middle of the township with a handful of pills stolen from her estranged mother. After taking the pills in a desperate effort to end her suffering she is brought back from the enfolding darkness by a most unlikely creature; a Ghille Dubh.

“He placed a hand on the deeply lacerated rock; heard the soft, distant memory of the ice from 10,000 years before.

Till this stone has been crumbled away.

Till the streams cease to flow from the mountains,

Till this tree with old age shall decay.

And drought dries from the hills all the fountains.”

The grass and Deer ferns waved in the breeze then suddenly the soft, laboured breathing of the girl faded into quiet, deep inhalations. A smile formed on her face.

“Wake up,” the creature said as it sat back on the stone. “Time tae come back.”

Another quote, as the Ghille Dubh named Aeonghus can also take the form of an Irish Wolfhound.

“Sitting off to the right upon a low hump of mossy rock amongst a brood of low lying Deer fern that waved in the soft south-easterly breeze was a dog. It was no ordinary dog that brought Jennifer up short and caused her to stare, however. It was a massive creature; its black wiry hair greying and its powerful body stooped with age, its enormous teeth exposed as it gazed upon her panting in the warm afternoon. She recognized the breed – an Irish wolfhound; an imposing and frightening creature that might have terrified her with its prodigious size and intense gaze upon her had she not had a faint feeling of placidity come over her as she and the creature gazed upon each other. The feeling persisted, maybe even strengthened, and the burdens of the day began to fall away. An odd tranquility rose within her and the strangulating fears vanished to be replaced with an exceptional euphoria. She felt, if only for a moment, a smile form on her lips as she and the dog continued to look upon each other. For a few more moments the curious connection endured then the animal rose stiffly to its feet, turned, and cast a final glance at her before disappearing into the shadows of the twisted Garry oaks.”

Catching Up

I can see that it has been quite some time since my last entry – an inexcusable lag in my blogging presence due to life, work, and all other things intruding. Of note from my author work, was my participation and completion of the National Novel Writing Month challange – this year’s project was: The Scarlet Bastards – Bone Witch, which had the first draft successfully completed. Of course it needs much work, and it will simmer on the backburner of my mind for the next month or two. Catching up also means catching up on my current books and converting them over to print on demand. So far it is only Europa Rising, but in the next month I’ll have converted Jupiter Rising and The Scarlet Bastards: The Company Soldier over as well. As for publishing, a new ebook is out, last years NaNo project: The Scarlet Bastards: The Cardinal of Gleann Ceallach. The holidays will see a push on marketing my other series which is not doing quite so well.

A Collaboration – The Tin Pot Battleships

A Collaboration

I’m rarely hesitant to admit the truth when it comes to my ability to market myself; I am a writer, not a marketer. This summer, I am deep in my first non-science fiction project, an urban fantasy set on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, so my focus these days is on anything but marketing (Add to that the weather is lovely and I have a canoe, backyard and dog all beckoning for my undivided attention) Sometimes, marketing opportunities literally sit down in front of you over a glass of pinot grigio and announce themselves, and one buys into them with all of the thoughtless zeal of a hot dog contest participant. This particular opportunity came from my wife, an award-winning artist, who thought a collaboration between ourselves – my writing and her art, would be a grand idea. I did so as well, and like renovations, trip planning and changing flat tires, it had its trying moments… very trying indeed for two very stubborn and opinionated artists.

The collaboration is complete, her works are up in a show at a local art gallery, garnering no end of quizzical looks and my imagined questions: “So, the mammoth in the painting, why?” or “Is that soldier playing golf?” or “Is he throwing up?”

So, I plan to deliver the series of works with commentary on this blog, beginning with, Tin Pot Battleships.

My wife was quite keen to capture the battle of Coloe Vallis where a mixed force of United Nations Off-World Legion jawan soldiers, Pavonis Constables and a hundred or so Neo Celts, also known as the Feradadh Boys, attacked the Tong Fort located there in retribution for the earlier murder of a pair of jawan soldiers. She was interested in the paddlewheelers, wondering at how they were laid out, requesting imagery, and generally wondering what a recoilless rifle was. As with any question posed to me in 2014, I quickly directed her to Google, but she has the tenacity of a terrier when she has questions, and she would not be swayed. So we sat down while I pulled up images of British Columbian paddlewheelers from the 1890s, a picture of a recoilless rifle, and laid out my own imaginings of the climax of the amphibious assault with recoilless rifles blazing away. It was exciting stuff, mind, my descriptions of the explosion,s the fires, the licking flames, the horrific damage, and the inexorable assault as the three paddlewheelers punched through hell to get to the beach. The enthusiasm I held faded slightly as my wife sat unmoved, then proceeded to lay out her ‘impressions.’ My wife is an impressionist, I might add, whereas I am a zealot for realism; that should have been the greatest warning to me of the storms that would come. Her impressions were indeed impressions, and contained little of the, or maybe it was ‘my’, emotion of the events. She laid out her thoughts and I balked; she mused over the imagery and I was horrified; and she considered the sentiments and I nearly cried. Although it lacked the volume of our other discussions – more on that in another post – we did come to a somewhat amiable conclusion with the imagery she ultimately chose.

I present to you, Tin Pot Battleships with the appropriate narrative from the anthology, The Scarlet Bastards

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We pointed our bow towards the beach and fired the recoilless rifle and the heavy machine guns. The battered Zhuanyun and the burningBelladonna did the same, but as we were in far better condition, we easily outpaced them. I kept low as we closed the beach for we again came under withering small arms fire. Lukinaos continued to blast the Black Hand defences causing great smoking rents in the fascines and Hesco while the streams of 50 calibre tracers punched deeply and ricocheted in a wondrous fireworks show. We closed the last 100 meters and entered a hailstorm of lead as the Black Hand focused everything upon us. I cowered quivering in terror at the thought of having to raise myself from my meagre protection and leave the ship for the open beach and its almost certain death. Yet that was my task, and as MacShaka crouched amongst us shouting encouraging words that I no longer remember, I gritted my teeth, closed my eyes and willed myself to work up the nerve.

I must admit that I was emboldened as the small arms fire began to fade, for the efforts of those three little tin pot battleships was enough to turn the Black Hand defences into a hellish mess. The fascines were nothing more than a low, smoking, splintered ruin; both of the towers had collapsed into burning messes; and the Black Hand recoilless rifles were silent.

In the diminishing din with less than 50 meters to go, MacShaka roared, “Steady lads, be ready tae gae!”

With Thoe steering and the Naimaidan Regina making best speed, we closed that beach with a rapidity that must have been daunting to the defenders. Then with a suddenness that belied my preparedness, there was a crunching sound and the bow rose as the paddlewheel drove the ship up onto the rocky beach.

“Now, lads! At ‘em!” MacShaka screamed. The jawans and Neo Celts on the foc’sle leaped over the bulwark to drop to the beach while those within the ship piled out of the cargo doors into a meter of water. While the paddlewheel continued to thrash and push the ship up farther, the heavy machine guns and recoilless rifle peppered the defences 30 meters away with an appalling destruction that showered the charging troops with splinters.

As you can imagine, I was not keen to move. I was well holed up in the bow with Usman, but MacShaka wasn’t having any of it. “Sikunder!” he thundered as he grasped me by the collar, “move yer fucking keelie ass!” With Usman in tow he manoeuvred me to the bulwark, picked me up with that latent strength of the Hyperion that dwelt within him, and tossed me over the side. I landed in a few centimetres of water on top of my backpack – which likely saved me a broken back – then rolled over and squirmed towards a rock that just barely protected my head. Usman pushed in beside me, and we had a wicked argument over who should get the rock and who should go find their own.

Around us, bullets chipped off rocks and fanned the air, bowling the jawans and Neo Celts over like skittles. They lay fallen, their cries rising into a chorus of soul wrenching shrieks that had me sobbing and cowering while above us Lukianos continued firing the recoilless rifle. The detonations from each hit were now so close that they reverberated through my body and sent waves of splinters around us. I shrieked my hatred towards the mercurial old Greek, but he couldn’t hear me. The sound, that terrible blasting bedlam that drowned out everything, the sound that pounded my skull beneath that horrific discord of death and destruction was too complete. Nothing could penetrate it.

Or so I thought.

As I sought to bury myself deep in the cold granite stones of the beach, a new sound entered my consciousness – the deep drone and screeling cries of the pipes. Yes, the pipers had struck up their tune again; standing in the water on each side of the groundedNaimaidan Regina they brayed Johnny Cope as the Zhuanyunand the Belladonna pushed on the beach on either side of us. Suddenly, scores of newly arrived jawans entered the fray, and the focus on our group wavered. We weren’t in the clear by a long chalk, but by God it was no longer raining lead.

“Cope sent a challenge frae Dunbar:

‘Charlie, meet me an’ ye daur,

An’ I’ll learn you the art o’ war
If you’ll meet me i’ the morning.’”


Somehow, and without any real planning, I found myself hitting the halfway mark on my urban fantasy project. A few words here, a paragraph there and suddenly I have reached a point in my story that seemed quite distant when I first started this journey so many months ago. Though I’d always wanted to delve into a fantasy project, I’d stuck with scifi, with some success, and left the fantasy side of my imagination well back on a burner rendered near invisible. When I decided upon my fantasy project, it was first as a National Novel Writing Month endeavor that fizzled fairly quickly due to a lack of proper planning. So I put it off for a few months, ruminated a bit more on the characters, tone and plot, and then suddenly, progress! Characters and background began to fill out, the plot solidified and now, halfway.

I had been pushing myself to begin the third book of my Gleisium Chronicles, but that’s stalled somewhat as my mind is whirling with the directions and tangents of my urban fantasy. So, here I am once again changing tack and going back to this project. I am to finish it this summer, writer’s block be damned!


So Many Directions

For some reason, my writing has been aimless of late. If I was brutally honest, I’d go back as far as the National Novel Writing Month competition where I successfully wrote my next novel from The Scarlet Bastard series of dystopian scifi adventures. After that, I took a pause over Christmas, only doing a bit of light editing. Come January, I resumed working on my urban fantasy, Aeonghus Dubh, where I made a bit of progress. At the same time, I decided to combine my novellas into an anthology so I could prepare it for print. All of these little projects pulled me this way and that, and although I now have the anthology out there, I was sorry to say my urban fantasy project only chugs along slowly. It’s of course a new genre for me and it’s proven to be a bit of a challenge, however, I was persevering until I began to see my sales suggesting I need to change tack. Over the last couple of months I’ve seen my sales go up for my military scifi series that began with Europa Rising and was followed up by Jupiter Rising. In fact, sales were doing so well (relatively speaking) that it strongly suggested I may need to move on the next book in the series, Titan Rising.

I really want to progress my urban fantasy, however, it seems that military scifi is drawing me back and Titan Rising has to be written. So, I will putter on that urban fantasy in the background as I focus on the next book, Titan Rising.

Meanwhile, my next book in my, The Scarlet Bastards series will go to my editor shortly. The Cardinal of Gleann Ceallach is coming soon!

Aeonghus Dubh

I thought I’d drop a few snippets of my urban fantasy, Aeonghus Dubh, a work thoroughly in progress. These are draft pieces, so ignore any of the outward signs of requiring an edit. That part comes soon enough.

The guilt suddenly overwhelmed her like a deluge; there was an indescribably feeling that she had somehow caused this. She placed her face in her hands and wept. What could she do? Why was she enduring this? For several minutes she cried softly, then she raised her face and wiped her eyes and nose with her sleeve.

It was then she noticed the bottle of pills on the table.

Picking up the container, Jennifer sniffed then looked at the name on the container; Oxycotin. She wasn’t sure where her mother got them; she rarely ever went to a doctor, but she knew they were powerful – a drug that lulled her mother into deep unconsciousness even without the addition of alcohol. She opened the cap and noted it was half-full. There was no directions on how many to take, but she knew her mother never took more than one, and she was an adult. Jennifer tipped the container, and four pills rolled into her hand.

That would do, she thought.

Pocketing the pills, Jennifer moved to the table with the telephone and pulled a notepad and pen from the drawer. She wrote her mother a note – she would stay the night at Karen’s, an acquaintance of sorts that her mother had met once. She would be gone the day but would be home for supper.

It would buy her time.

Jennifer pulled on her jacket to fight the growing chill of the evening. As she grasped the door handle, she looked for one last time around the darkened house. The sounds from her mother’s room had stopped and she had likely passed out. Now silence reined – a deadness of sound that matched the deadness of emotion that gripped her home.

“Good bye,” she whispered.


Faeries and History

As I progress my urban fantasy, Aeonghus Dubh, a tale of the meeting of young Jennifer MacGregor and a Scottish Gille Dubh faerie named Aeonghus on a rocky hillside in Victoria, British Columbia, I find myself trying to incorporate local history and folklore as much as I can into the story. It’s a fantasy of course, but being a student of history, there is a certain romantic attraction to the idea of mixing in local history into the experiences of a transplanted Scottish faerie who fled the old world for the new.

Certainly one such incident, the loss of the merchant ship, Tonquin, in the summer of 1811, is one I’m planning to add.

painting01Though said to have been attacked by local natives in Clayoquat Sound and eventually blown up by one of the few surviving crew members, Aeonghus Dubh contains the obscure local legend that natives were held back from their attack so that a horrible group of mysterious creatures, seals that could transform into humans, could attack it instead to rescue one of their own. Though history gives natives the credit, it was these mysterious creatures that brought about the true demise of the ship and crew.


There will be more points of history such as this as Aeonghus Dubh unfolds. 

Stay tuned.

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