Happy New Year

Today is the first day of 2018. Please take a moment to reflect back on what a year 2017 was. I think we can all agree it was one for the history books. I honestly have feelings of trepidation looking forward to 2018. The world is unstable and we have people of horrible character in charge seemingly oblivious to the negative rhetoric they foster. Sabre rattling is non-stop and we have rulers who openly embrace methods that most well-educated people and people who value tolerance shun. We all feel so helpless watching these machinations. These days anger rules reason and hatred rules compassion.

Enough of that. We should be more hopeful.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Yule. It’s a time for family and friends and reflection. ‘Mother’s Night’ has a long tradition in Anglo-Saxon lore and was borrowed by Christianity for Christmas. It is a midwinter night where we gather to feast and celebrate. The sun will hang a little longer in the sky and with it comes hope.

Be kind to this home of ours floating in space. Weather patterns are getting worse and worse. Gaea warns us. Stay safe and keep reading. Reading brings knowledge. Scientific method validates knowledge and lifts us out of ignorance. Fight those who would strip knowledge and science. And as always: embrace life.

Happy New Year!

Ciao

donald

Southern Writers Magazine

Southern Writers Suite T button
I was asked to submit a blog entry for the Southern Writers Magazine. I was quite pleased and was allowed to submit what I liked provided it helped writers. So I picked a subject dear to my heart: editing. If you click the cool button on this post it will take you to my entry.

In other news, I successfully completed the NaNoWriMo with a couple of days to spare. Here’s a fun story: I was so happy to have completed the challenge I decided to purchase their “I am a Winner” t-shirt, to celebrate. It cost $16 USD. I hesitated then said “why not?”. I then went to my cart and found out the shipping was a whopping $16 USD. “Wait a moment,” I said. I scratched my head and thought maybe it isn’t worth it. “Hogwash! It totally is!” I answered and smashed the check out button.

Fast forward a little over a week later. I get a notice from Canada Post saying I have to pick up a package at the nearest outlet. I head over and I find out I am being charged $12.77 CAD for a handling fee. No duty, but taxes, and they added a $9.99 CAD handling fee. “What!?” I exclaimed to the poor girl behind the counter. She shrugged and happily ran my card.

Back home, I went to the Canadian Border Services Agency website and found out that any small packages that require hands-on inspection get charged a $9.99 handling fee – EXCEPT when no duty AND/OR taxes is charged. I was charged $2.76 CAD in taxes, so CBSA added $10 more bucks. Cause, why not? I feel robbed, truly. My $16 USD t-shirt cost me around $45 CAD. Woah is me. And it’s really a cheap t-shirt. Dammit!

I hate the border stuff. I was once charged $20 CAD by a company that arbitrarily scoops up packages at the border and delivers it to you. Cough. DHL. Cough. I hate those guys. They grab your package and hold it hostage until you pay up. This is not a duty. This is ON TOP of the shipping and handling you already paid the company that shipped it to you. It’s a scam, all supported by CBSA. Grrr. If I buy a dozen of my novels to sell I then have to add that increase.

I wonder how their business model works?

“Hey, our quarterly revenues aren’t as high as last quarter,” says corporate exec #1.

Corporate exec #2 looks up from his rare wagyu steak, which he has just covered in ketchup. “No, really?”

“Yeah. Dammit. Call the border, tell them to scoop up, I dunno, say another thousand parcels? That should work out to a new Mercedes! Bahahaha!”

“Bahahaha! Make it two thousand!”

They laugh for an hour and then head home in their BMWs.

That’s how I see it going down….

New Author Interview

The Dorset Book Detective was kind enough to want to interview me. The interview can be found here. Many thanks to Hannah Stevenson for approaching me to do it. It’s always a pleasure to talk about me, me, me. Haha! Just kidding. It actually makes me cringe a little inside. BUT, it does get the word out about my New Druids series.

In other news, I am just shy of 40K words in NaNoWriMo for my fourth novel, Freamhaigh. I am loving that NaNoWriMo forces me to commit to 50K words for the month. It’s just the right amount of chutzpah to motivate me. My last novel dragged in my writing and as such, I was very late in publishing it. No more! Freamhaigh is scheduled for an early May 2018 release at this rate. That’s my goal and I will stick to it. Promise!

I would like to shout out to the Ottawa Chapter for NaNoWriMo. The MLs planned and hosted a couple of write-ins at some local Barrhaven cafes. Great atmosphere for writing. I also now have heard more about female superheroes than I ever did. Thanks, ladies!