Mrs Thomson and I returned from our annual springtime scuba diving pilgrimage to an undisclosed tropical location a few days ago. Once again, it was a fantastic week spent with good friends diving on some of the best coral reefs in the western hemisphere. The food and drink weren’t bad either – except for the waistline, that is!
But since coming home, I’ve been diligently working on the project to publish all of my novels in hardcover. I’m pleased to announced that as of today, the entire Decker’s War series is now available in that format on Amazon, with further retailers to follow. The first Siobhan Dunmoore adventure is also available in hardcover as of today, with the rest to come later this week. Once that’s done, I will return to writing Imperial Sunset. I’ve also come up with the working title for the next Chief Superintendent Morrow mystery, which is planned for later this year – it will be called Mayhem on Mission.
And now, back to work.
The return from our trip to warmer climes has dumped us into one of the more notable cold snaps in recent memory. It’s a small mercy that our part of the Great White North escaped the snow “bomb” that left North America’s east coast with more white stuff than anyone wants. Fortunately, warmer days are in the forecast (relatively warmer, but still well below the freezing point), perhaps even warm enough to risk the odd cross-country ski run without courting frostbite. At least I still have a few warm memories to fall back on as I venture out into our sub-arctic world to take care of the odd errand. Though I confined myself to video during our trip, my lifelong dive buddy took pictures, including a few of me, such as this one:
Trust me, the fish and sea critters were a lot better looking!
I’ve made reasonably decent progress on No Remorse (Decker’s War Book 6) since our return last Monday – the first draft is now 25% done, but it’s been a wee struggle to get my mind back into full-time author mode. Being self-employed does not insulate one from the usual post-holiday impulse to procrastinate. But with no other outings or events on the horizon for the remainder of this winter, I’ll have nothing to distract my focus, except watch heavily bundled people walk by outside. Mind you, as much as I’m not a fan of winter, or cold weather in general, I would likely find life in an environment where the seasons are stuck on summer to be just as enervating. Sort of how spending a few weeks on a tropical island sounds nice but living on one full-time could quickly become stale. The grass may be greener on the other side, but a life where one sees only green grass would likely seem too stifling, at least for an easily bored soul such as mine. And that’s why I always heed the ancient bit wisdom that cautions you to be careful what you wish for, since you might get it!
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.
I thought I’d share with you the pictures of a few of the many wonderful creatures we encountered under the sea last week. This seahorse was barely ten centimetres tall.
This banded jawfish had a head no wider than a five cent coin.
While these tritoniid nudibranchs living on a gorgonian sea fan were the size of rice grains. The white strands are their eggs.