Book Selling and Solar Cooking in Lund, BC

Lund Harbour

Last weekend, we packed up a box of books (Disappearing in Plain Sight) and our hybrid Tulsi Solar Oven and headed over to Lund, BC for a solar cooking demonstration and potluck.

Map of Sunshine CoastLund, BC is located at Mile 0 of Highway 101, a twenty minute drive from Powell River, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. We arrived in Powell River via a BC Ferry from the Little River terminal (just outside Courtenay) on Vancouver Island.

Our first stop was Breakwater Books to see if we could work out a consignment book deal with the owner, Sean Dees. We were also there to enjoy the delicious quiche that is served in the bookstore café. Breakwater Books is a treat and if you’re ever in Powell River, I urge you to take the time to explore the eclectic and well laid out shelves. And do try that quiche! You could also purchase a copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight, as our negotiations with Sean worked out satisfactorily on both sides.

We were then on the road to Lund to spend an enjoyable evening with our good friend, Jack Anderson, the force behind Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society. The society is part of a larger international network of solar cooking advocates that work to develop and spread the message of this beneficial technology around the world.

Jack's place

Jack and his partner, Maryanne, live in a wonderfully creative home nestled among the tall trees. We were treated to a garden tour and a tasty lasagne for dinner. Have you ever tried chopping fresh chard and mixing it with the cottage cheese as a layer for the lasagne? Please do – delicious!


The next morning, our first stop was Pollen Sweaters in downtown Lund. This beautiful little store is owned and operated by Evelyn Pollen and commands a breathtaking view of the Lund harbour. Evelyn took a copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight and is currently reading the novel before she makes a decision on stocking and promoting it in her store. Fingers crossed . . .  I’d love to know my book is gracing her wonderful shelves across from some of the most beautiful knitwear anyone is ever likely to see.

P1080490My niece, Jade and I made our way all around “downtown” Lund, exploring everything we saw. A highlight was watching weavers work in traditional Sliammon ways to demonstrate the making of cedar hats and baskets. The Sliammon First Nation offer cultural and educational experiences of this type throughout the summer months.

Later we enjoyed a great lunch on the deck of the Boardwalk Restaurant. Stuffed with the best halibut I’ve ever eaten, we made our way up to the Alternative Technology and Solar Cooking Demonstration at the Lund Community Center – a converted elementary school now put to great use as a preschool and gathering spot.

Lund Community Center

Jade at Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking FundraiserJade helped me get the word out on Disappearing in Plain Sight while Bruce spread the solar cooking message. As fate would have it, Saturday was not the best day for solar cooking – the sun refused to make a prolonged appearance. Hard to believe on the Sunshine Coast in August, but there you have it. This was a sad state of affairs for the people who had set up various models of solar cookers with the hope of demonstrating the wonders of cooking with the sun. The potluck meal was meant to be cooked outside. Luckily for the solar cookers and the people who attended the potluck, there is a full kitchen in the Community Center. Most dishes ended up being cooked there, though Bruce made two batches of rice in The Tulsi.

Bruce explaining  a solar parabolic device

Honda Fit Dashboard Solar CookerThe day was great when it came to meeting interesting people. Rose, an inspiring woman in her 80’s, told us of how she gels jam on the dashboard of her car. She also described a method told to her by an old Scottish midwife on how to potty train a baby! Fascinating. I was also fortunate enough to connect with a traditionally published author who thinks she might go indie and an aspiring photographic artist/author who is also leaning in that direction. The conversation was as lively as you might imagine.

After the wonderful meal, Jade and I made our way back to Jack’s place to relax while the Kyoto Twist Society prepared for their meeting, complete with a copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight to give-away.

In the next weeks, please look forward to a couple of more posts on our trip to Lund – permaculture, cob construction housing, and a solar powered beach side cabin. I can’t wait to share all of these great experiences.


The Tri-Port Music Festival



Over the past weekend, Disappearing in Plain Sight attended the Tri-Port Music Festival. This festival has become an annual event on Northern Vancouver Island. It’s been held three years in a row at the Cluxewe Resort, just a few minutes drive out of the town of Port McNeill.



The young lad holding my book is Nick. He did a great job directing traffic and was kind enough to take a moment out to pose.



We decided to take the deal the festival offered for a vendor table plus two passes to the event.







We combined a fantastic day in a beautiful setting, friendly faces newly met and well-known, wonderful music, food and drink, with the opportunity to sell a few books.


Cluxewe Resort is situated on this amazing ocean cove.


Crabs, caught right off the shore are prepared for an evening feast, while eagles soar overhead.

Valdy was the afternoon headliner. The guy is getting up there, but he still has the performance chops.


As luck would have it, my son was visiting from Ontario. We dragged him along for the fun. Who doesn’t want a chance to see Chilliwack play an intimate outdoor venue?



Not my best ever photographic moment, but a day in the elements takes its toll.


Check out this great You Tube video to see Chilliwack back in the day. I’m here to tell you, Bill Henderson can still rock a crowd!

As you can see from the photos, the day was everything I have described. Congratulations must go out to all the organizers, the performers, and the excellent staff at the Cluxewe Resort. And a big thank you to each and every person who stopped by and showed interest in Disappearing in Plain Sight.

You guys made the day such a treat for a local author Open-mouthed smile

Back to Twitter–Tweet, Tweet


My on again, off again relationship with Twitter is back on! A few posts ago, I wrote about reassessing my social media platform for book promotion. The discussion that followed this post was engaging and useful.

Peter Mallet commented: Twitter is very social. You won’t see value if you only tweet buy my book, or service. Instead, do those kinds of things rarely. Do have your link to your site in your profile but then try to be useful. It does come down to being social. These aren’t ad platforms, so if you’re social first you’ll find people being more interested in what you do. It’s harder, but it’s what works. It’s like speaking first (providing a service) and then having a book table at the back.

Check out Peter’s own post on this subject – Gaining Attention Without Losing Ground

I’m back at Twitter and actually enjoying it! Here’s how I’m currently making it work for me.

First, I seriously honed down the number of people I was following – probably by 100 or more and that process is ongoing. If it isn’t working, folks – change it up. I stopped following people for a number of reasons.

  • People who re-tweet other people over and over in a short time frame – say five minutes. (My impression is that they must have a reciprocal arrangement with these people. Maybe I’m the crazy one here, but – you tweet me and I’ll tweet you – defeats the purpose of being socially genuine.)
  • People who tweet or re-tweet things I find questionable. I’ve dropped most people who use foul language or mentions private body parts in their tweets. Really – is there a need for this? (But no hard and fast rules either – if it’s a funny use of profanity, there’s no reason to over-react, right?)
  • People who tweet about how many people they have unfollowed in a given time frame – who cares? (The argument here is that you must follow everyone who follows you or extreme circumstances will befall you – crap to that.)
  • People whose tweets are overflowing with mentions and hashtags – so blue, I can’t determine the purpose of the message.
  • People whom I have never seen tweet anything but – BUY MY BOOK or avail yourself of MY SERVICE – boring.

With those changes in place, I am enjoying my Twitter feed more and more. But I also needed to take a serious look at the way I was tweeting and change my own habits.

I still tweet out a link to my book on Amazon, or to let people know if I have a new review, or if I’m going to be appearing on a blog, or if something exciting happens to me in my self-publishing life. But that isn’t all I tweet (and, by the way, it never was!)

I’m now working hard to be much more social. I pull off a brilliant one-liner in response to someone else’s tweet, re-tweet other people’s blogs or articles, tweet out some value-added information. Recently, I took three days to tweet my whole dirty dozen list of bad communication styles from my Saying What Matters Blog.

And some days, I just tweet for fun.

Here’s a link to a excellent post I found today on (you guessed it) Twitter – How not to annoy your Twitter followers. Belinda Pollard at Small Blue Dog Publishing has this subject nailed and if you follow the link to her site, you’ll discover this for yourself.

And another I discovered while participating in a great sharing event, Tidbit TuesdayTwitter Prose: The 411 on Crafting Good 140’s

It’s all about attitude. Social media platforms don’t sell books. Books sell books, one reader at a time. If you’re only on the social media bandwagon to sell stuff, you’re bound to be disillusioned pretty quickly. I love the way Peter Mallet says – be social first, but you can still have the book table in the background. That’s me – social foot forward, and if you’re interested . . . I did write this book . . .


We even get social here at the lake now and then Open-mouthed smile

When Great Writers Vanish

Trying something new today – re-blogging a post. This is an inspirational piece for all writers. Enjoy and much thanks to Crows Dream for these words.

Crows Dream

GeezerBeing a geezer writer has its advantages. Decades in the business makes for a slice of clarity, a broader understanding of why some writers make it while others fail, or just choose to disappear. It’s usually a strange and toxic mixture of life ingredients.

It often doesn’t have anything to do with talent.

Some of the best writers I’ve known simply walked away from the trade. These were gifted people whose work I admired and thought was outstanding. But they gave it all up. They just vanished from the scene.

It’s not easy to wrap your head around this problem. Still, there are some common themes, scant threads that seem to surface with these individuals. Even though they disappeared as writers, a few of them stayed in touch, a few gave explanations. There are lessons.

Feedback fail. Many of the writers I’ve known needed a good deal of feedback. When…

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Orangeberry Hall of Fame Finalist

ob hall of fame finalist [1]

OK – OK – I paid to be on the blog tour and now Disappearing in Sight is a finalist for the Hall of Fame in the literary fiction category. And they sent me the cool graphic above to display on the appropriate social media sites. Suspect – maybe? Who knows? Could be every person who paid for a tour is a finalist in one category or another. What the heck, right? Share the wealth.

Guess what? I still wouldn’t mind winning. Human nature, I suppose. Guilty as charged.

Here’s the link if you want to pop over and vote for Disappearing in Plain Sight.

Orangeberry Hall of Fame Finalist – Literary Fiction

If Disappearing in Plain Sight won, I might be in line for some cool swag. Possibly another neat graphic. Who knows. The sky is the limit and I only sound sarcastic to cover my pie-faced grin. Come on – we all love to win (even if we did pay to get in the draw).