Happy Canada Day Catch Up

Canada day flags - google images

Happy Canada Day. To go along with the celebrations, we are having a heat-wave. I took my first swim of the year a couple of days ago and the lake felt as warm as it usually does in August. With the advent of warmer, longer summers our tried and true gardening knowledge has to play catch-up. We are already eating tomatoes, basil and fresh cilantro. A veggie and chip dip made from cilantro, pressed garlic, plain yogurt and a bit of Helman’s for smooth, richness is the order of the day. Even a confirmed anti-cilantro person like Bruce is hooked.

Tomato on the vine - Guenette photo

We do worry about the lack of snow-cover on the mountains and what these hotter summer months mean in the grand scheme of things. In the meantime, we adjust, plant and harvest. 

Watering Timers - Guenette photo

Oh, and speaking of the garden – the automatic-timer watering system is driving me crazy. Wonderful in theory but we are having a devil of a time making sure each one works the way we programed it. Last night one of the sprinklers didn’t come on. This morning the water pressure was way down. I discovered that the reason one hadn’t worked was because another hadn’t turned off. The pressure was too low for all those sprinklers at once. That has resulted in going back to manual override on a couple. Never a dull moment.

I want to update everyone on the blog contest I ran last week. The winner of a softcover copy of Chasing Down the Night is Geralyn who blogs over at Where My Feet Are. Her copy is on the way to her as I type. Congratulations, Geralyn and many thanks for commenting on my blog post. I hope you enjoy the book.

Just a quick plug – if you’ve read Chasing Down the Night, how about posting a review on Amazon? You may not realize how much reviews matter as a part of the whole mysterious way in which Amazon promotes books, but they do.

3-D Box Set - Crater Lake Series

My second publishing project of 2015 is soon coming to fruition – The Crater Lake Series: Box Set One. This newest offering is part of my five-year marketing plan – get as many writing products out and about as I can. I will set the price for the box set competitively and hope that this will be an economical way for readers to start at the beginning and enjoy all three books. My idea for the cover came from browsing through several examples of other box sets on Amazon. I popped over to Fiverr and found someone who makes 3-D cover images for a song and I’m using the service of Doug Heatherly at Lighthouse24 for e-book formatting. Viola – another e-book soon to be selling on Amazon.

Before company descends on us for summer fun, I will be dedicating myself to a line-by-line edit of Maelstrom. It is amazing what some distance from a manuscript can lead to. When I left this book in the drawer back in early April, I thought it couldn’t be cut anymore. It seemed the story was wound so tightly together that no string could be tugged without unravelling the whole. Not true. I now see a number of things that must go. I’m looking specifically for my crutch words (you know what I mean – those words and phrases that we can’t seem to live without – I have people hopping out of vehicles so often it seems like I’m writing a novel about kangaroos!), clichés, redundancies, overly florid or wordy descriptions, awkward dialogue and explanations where none are necessary.

Many of you know that I began this novel by building onto a scaffold provided by a lengthy, old manuscript that my mother had written years ago. Many cuts, revisions and new sections later, I am editing my fifth draft of the work. What I see are layers of words, mine and my mom’s, especially when it comes to dialogue. At times, I took her idea of what the character would say and then added an additional line of my own to explain the same thing. I must now decide which line stays and which line goes because these characters are far too wordy for their own good.

Once again, many well wishes to fellow Canadians as we celebrate this great country we call home and a shout out to American followers with their big day just around the corner. Let’s enjoy the parades, the flags, the cakes, the fireworks and the pride we take in the places we call home.

Canada day fireworks - google images

15 comments on “Happy Canada Day Catch Up

  1. I received my book yesterday, Francis. Thank you so much! I purchased Disappearing in Plain Sight for my kindle (will do the same for The Light Never Lies) and will read in order.

    I’ve been picking cilantro, basil and oregano from my garden and putting it in everything! No tomatoes yet, though.

    I always appreciate reading about other’s writing and editing processes. I took a workshop last Saturday and have been committed to writing everyday. I’ve also got a story I wrote years ago that I recently started reworking.

    Enjoy your Holiday!

    • I think that commitment to writing is key. Right up there with giving ourselves the permission to be writers. Here’s hoping you enjoy all three books in The Crater Lake Series.

  2. orangepondconnects says:

    Happy Canada Day 🙂

  3. diannegray says:

    Happy Canada Day, Francis! Enjoy the parties and fun 😀

  4. noelleg44 says:

    Happy Canada Day! I have a friend that had a sprinkler system with problems like yours,same problems. She put in a drip system. Would that work for you?

    • A drip system is another of those things that sounds good in theory – we had some friends who went in for quite an elaborate system. More parts, more to go wrong. They defaulted back to the same timers we are struggling with. We usually get all the kinks out just before the fall rain 🙂

  5. Behind the Story says:

    Happy Canada Day, Francis. The heat wave is hitting us in Washington too. Like all true Washingtonians (on the West side), I don’t have air conditioning in my home. But with this hot weather, I’ve decided to get blinds for my skylights. The blinds people are busy, though. I can’t get an appointment for a quote until July 7. I should have planned ahead.

    • Yes indeed – Pacific Northwest people do not need air conditioning but blinds and other passive shading devices are a must. We are quite lucky living right beside a lake – breezes keep the inside of the house cool almost all the time. Well done overhangs and a big fan help out, too. But of course, we have the bugs to contend with. This heat seems to make the horseflies insane. Life, right?

  6. The box set cover looks good Fran… sorry about the timers… i think it’s a issue with those older ones. Just about ready to stop for lunch but thought I’d first check my emails,and the blogs. Talk later … Bruce

    • I’ve got it down to just two that need to be handled manually and that’s nothing compared to what it would be like to have to go around with a hose in hand and water the whole garden! Can’t complain.

  7. Debra says:

    I’m a little behind, but it definitely sounds like you had a lovely Canada Day. I’m sitting here this evening hearing far-away fireworks in anticipation of tomorrow’s 4th of July celebrations. My poor dog is a nervous wreck. I enjoy hearing about your garden and your concerns about the snow-pack. The lack of rainfall in Southern California and the resulting mandatory water restrictions made it impossible for me to plant my garden this summer and I really do miss my fresh tomatoes. 🙂 Your writing projects ALL sound very interesting and a lot of work, Francis!

  8. Roy McCarthy says:

    Happy Canada Day! Great idea for the box set. I’d do one but I’d end up giving the sets away rather than single books. I’d never make a travelling salesman.

    On editing you’re very good and diligent at it. For me though I’d think twice about cutting it to the bone. Personally I love a bit of rambling description, if done well. I mentioned to Dianne Gray how much I loved her portrayal of the Australian bush in one of her books; she told me her editor had ordered her to cut the majority of it out which she (and I) questioned as being too harsh a treatment.

    • On the editing scene, I suppose I won’t get rid of the rambling. I will weed out the repitions, though. Maybe put in some more descriptive scenes. This particular work is so heavy on dialogue it bounces along at break-neck speed at times. Might need a few whoa moments. Thanks for the Happy Canada Day well wishes, Roy.

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