This summer, I’ve learned more interesting stuff looking out my home office window than I would have if I were still working in the bowels of the demented bureaucracy. Today was a case in point. With the new water mains installed and connected, the contractors hired by the city have now begun the arduous process of returning our street and hopefully our front yards to their previous state. As of yesterday, all of us on the affected section of the street have had to park around the corner as the workers installed guidelines and dug trenches on both sides to lay new cement curbs, in preparation for repaving our lovely little avenue.
For some reason, I expected the arduous installation of plywood forms into which cement would be poured. Not so fast, old guy. Technology has marched on. They now have a machine that swallows cement straight from the truck and spits out a continuous concrete curb. In the space of one afternoon, they were able to do the opposite side of the street, meaning tomorrow they’ll do ours, and hopefully by the end of Friday, we’ll be able to park in our driveways again. And next week? Paving! After more than three months of dust, mud, gravel and gunk… real black pavement. It makes me hope our front yard will once more be reasonably ready for winter. I took a picture of this concrete curb laying machine. Fascinating.
Watching roadway rehabilitation hasn’t kept me from working. I’m more than 15,000 words into the fifth Dunmoore adventure, Without Mercy.
After blessing us with the coldest, wettest summer in living memory, Mother Nature finally realized she had some catching up to do and is giving us an overly warm, and dry start to the fall season. We’re finally enjoying actual July-style weather, which is passing strange when the leaves are already turning. I can but hope that this late warmth also heralds a later start to winter. The water main replacement on our street is finally done, and we’ve been reconnected to the underground drinking water supply, but there is still a lot of rehabilitation work to come – new curbs, repaving the street, and fixing our front yards and driveways to return them to their original state, etc. I hope the city’s contractors will complete the task before the first snows. I’ll be glad when it’s over. The constant dust, which reminds me so much of life in an Army training area (the Lawfield Road corridor in Gagetown, for example!), won’t be missed, least of all by my sinuses. That’s the one disadvantage of working from home. I get to experience everything in real time.
Last week, Mrs Thomson and I took a few days off from our respective travails and indulged in an impromptu visit to one of our favorite places so we could leave the surface behind and blow bubbles over pristine coral reefs. It was our first time there during the off-season (we usually go in the spring), and we experienced the eerie quiet of a place less than one quarter full. But the lack of visitors meant the staff could pamper us all the more, and we were glad once more to see faces that have become very familiar over the years. The water was almost bathtub warm and I dove without a wetsuit all week. And, of course, we over-ate, over-slept and generally indulged in the gentle art of farniente.
In a departure from my usual underwater pastime, I shot video exclusively and took not a single picture. It was just as well that I did, since we encountered so many nurse sharks that I lost count. This fine specimen bade us a fond farewell on our last dive, almost precisely beneath the boat.
The image is an extract from the video I shot of the encounter. You can watch said video on You Tube at the following link Nurse Shark. And yes, in case you’re wondering after seeing the video, it passed within a few inches of me, close enough to touch.
I even managed to write a whole chapter of Without Mercy (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 5) on the airplane while flying to our destination, but couldn’t muster the energy to do more. I’ll be getting back to it shortly.
And now to enjoy the weirdly late summer’s warmth we’re experiencing in my portion of the Great White North.
The third Siobhan Dunmoore adventure Like Stars in Heaven has been published in audiobook format. You can get it here:
Will further adventures come out in audiobook? I don’t know. When I signed the audiobook publication contract with Tantor Media, only the first three Dunmoore novels had been published in ebook & paperback formats. I’d like to see the latest installment, Victory’s Bright Dawn and the next books in that series eventually turn into audiobooks, as well as the entire Decker’s War compendium, but we shall have to wait and see.
In the meantime, our rainy summer that wasn’t quite a summer is delivering another deluge from the skies this morning, turning our construction zone street into a muddy quagmire. There’s no longer any drainage and there won’t be until they put in the new storm drains and repave. I’m glad I managed to walk the dog before the heavens opened up — again! Here’s the view from my office window.
If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5), here’s a bit from a kind reviewer:
Absolutely excellent!! […] An adventure that will keep you up all night to find out what happens.
It’s said, not without some truth, that you can judge someone by the company they keep. If that applies to authors as well, I invite you to contemplate what the screen capture from the Kobo ebook retailer website, taken today, says about yours truly and the company his novel No Honor in Death keeps!
My second audiobook, The Path of Duty (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 2) will be released tomorrow, joining the audiobook of Dunmoore’s inaugural adventure on the shelves of Amazon, Audible, iTunes and more. And that means the audiobook of Like Stars in Heaven (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 3) will soon be available for pre-order, as I expect an August 20th release for it.
In the meantime, my editor has indicated I might get her comments on Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) by early next week. Figure on a mid-August release for it. All in all, 2017 is turning out to be a good year for this author. And yes, I’m also working on the plot for the fifth Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, tentatively titled Without Mercy, though it might not be published before 2018.
Summer in the northern hemisphere will officially arrive twenty-four minutes past midnight on June 21st, but my first sounds of summer have officially been released. I’m talking about No Honor in Death (Siobhan Dunmoore Book 1) in audiobook format. It’s available as of today on
The next two installments of Dunmoore’s adventures, The Path of Duty and Like Stars in Heaven will come out in audiobook format later this summer. Stay tuned – I’ll let you know when that happens.
In other good news, Black Sword (Decker’s War Book 5) is 80% done, so that’s another summer release coming at you. So far, I’m liking my 2017!
The first Siobhan Dunmoore adventure, No Honor in Death will be released in audiobook format on June 20th, 2017, in ten short days! What a nice way to celebrate the start of summer.
So far, only the link to Audible is up, but it’s as real as you can get.
Today was a holiday in Canada, the kind where nothing is open and because it rained around here, it reminded me of the dreary Sundays of my childhood. After two days of reno work, I couldn’t motivate myself to do more, nor could I plunge back into the fifth Decker’s War adventure, so I decided to noodle around with Photoshop. After learning a great deal about graphic design from my friend A. Lee Ripley (but still nowhere near as talented as she is, I hasten to add), I decided to spread my wings and try some more difficult compositions. I downloaded a few templates from Covervault and played away for most of the afternoon and evening. The ones I liked best are now on my author website and my Facebook feed. Take a look!
Tomorrow it’s back to Decker’s War #5, which now sits at 30% completed. Give it another month or two, and its cover will join the others in the graphic above!
One of the things I’ve noticed, growing older, is that the passage of time seems to accelerate. In March, we celebrated our twentieth year living in the same house – a record for two people who grew up shifting from place to place as the military moved their fathers to new duty stations, not to mention our moves while I was in the regular army. And this morning, I was reminded by our kind veterinary clinic that our youngest, and sole surviving dog, turns ten today. Funny. I still vividly remember him as a tiny puppy, barely larger than my hand. Where did all that time go? Mind you, at five pounds, he’s still small, smaller than the cat we encountered during our morning walk, but he has the spirit of big dog even if his growls and barks are more endearing than menacing. I get a lot of smiles from passersby as we walk through the neighbourhood ever day, and I know what they see – a big, bearded, fifty-something guy enjoying a stroll with his wee little dog. Now that he’s healed from his knee operation, my guy can put on some speed when he wants to.
Victory’s Bright Dawn has been out for nine days now, and seems to be doing well with Siobhan Dunmoore fans. It’s the sort of encouragement that’ll have me write her next adventure, although inspiration for a storyline hasn’t struck just yet. But I’m steaming ahead with the fifth Decker’s War installment, and as you might have noticed, the cover and synopsis for Black Sword are up both here and on my author website. I’m aiming to have the manuscript in my editor’s hands late June or early July, perhaps even earlier if I can overcome my habitual tendency to procrastinate, which might be a struggle now that the weather is finally showing signs of improvement.