RIP October


October was such a strange month for me. Many changes and much stress.

I was “promoted” at my job (and promotion is very much up to interpretation)… more work, more responsibilities, more co-ordination between departments. More pay? We’ll see). It required me to be in LaGrange, Georgia for three days for training, and there’s nothing more depressing than being stuck in hotel, alone, two States away from home.

And the weather has abruptly changed, from lackluster October to what-the-hell-is-this-stuff cold November. Half an inch of snow on the ground Saturday morning. The older I get, the less prepared I am to handle it. But of course I will. I’m a born and raised Canadian, so it’s not like it’s a foreign substance. Just the circle of freaking life, eh?

And then yesterday I finally launched my first ebook on Amazon… the culmination of a lot of hard work, sweat, cursing and anxiety. I swear the writing was the easiest part of the whole process. Editing, sculpting, tossing, re-writing, editing, polishing, editing. And then formatting for a decent presentation. And now promoting. Promotion is not my strong suit, but I push onward because I don’t want “Ordinary Handsome” to die on the vine. It’s been a large part of my life and, regardless of its success, I’m proud of it. It’s good. I hope. I think. Or am I one of those “American Idol” wannabes who steps on stage who think they sound like Sinatra and… well, the grinding screech of a braking train carries a better melody? It’s all subjective. God bless ’em, some people were meant to be shower-singers, and some people were meant to be “maybe my grandma might like this” kind of writers. I hope I’m not the latter, but I don’t know. Because writing is so subjective (as is all art) that I just don’t know. Self-doubt, I think, is part of the genetics of a writer.

But now it’s there. It’s done. It’s waiting to be read.

And now it’s November. A few small creative ideas are flickering around my imagination, but nothing hard and shiny yet. Dust mites. And I don’t want to rest. I’m waiting for that big kaboom idea. I know it’s there, and I’m looking for it. And then I’ll start the whole process over again. And man, I can’t wait!



I’ve been in a quiet, contemplative mood all day… not much zip. I’m going on a training course in Georgia for a couple of days next week and I’m apprehensive about it. I don’t like spending that much time away from home (yes, I’ve become quite the homebody these past few years), and leaving my wife by herself… with the chickens, the horse, the cat and the dog. She’s more than capable, of course, but it brings back memories of when we were separated for five weeks… she setting up house here and me still in Canada waiting for all the immigration paperwork to come through.

I know it’s only a couple of days… well, almost three. But still. I’d rather be home.brown

Blog the first

My first blog, my first Twitter account, my second or third Facebook account. It’s work. I admit it. I’m a man from an earlier era, a pre-facetwit time when telephones had dials and digital meant you just got a cool new wristwatch for your birthday and it glowed in the dark!

I just turned 55 yesterday and I don’t feel as old as, say, my grandparents were when they were 55. Or my parents. It’s a number. I get it. But still….

So I’m learning all this new social media stuff in earnest. Trying to figure out what goes where, what I need to cut-and-paste from one site to the other. Accidentally closing tabs I needed open.  I’m reasonably intelligent, but it gets overwhelming for a man of a certain stubbornness. It’s not that I’m resistant to change… it’s just that I wish it wouldn’t, at least not so fast.

I had the simple idea of writing a book. It took me a long time, many drafts, many distractions, but I wrote it. And edited it. And rewrote and re-edited. I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words through the years, probably a dozen earlier novels packed in cardboard boxes, but Ordinary Handsome was different for me. The idea came to me when I was in my thirties, half-written, and then set aside. I picked it up again about three years ago, scrapped most of it, but left the core. And it grew. And it haunted me. It’s not the same novel I began when I was in my early thirties. And I hope like hell people like it. And even if they don’t, that’s fine. I like it. And that’s a big deal to me, because I’ve waited this long to publish something that I liked well enough to send out to an unsuspecting public.

So I had to learn (and am still learning) self-promotion. It’s a bitch for a shy man to promote himself and his work to the world, but here we are. My first blog. Enjoy! And let me know what you think.