Italy fun stuff.

My daughter’s wedding in Gargonza Castle in Tuscany was the ultimate 3 day celebration.  Then a tour of Venice, Florence, Pisa, Carrara marble quarry, and a swim in the warm Ligurian Sea topped it off.  Along the way were a few interesting images of Italy fun stuff.  As a writer I dig these goofy things.  I mean we have gluten-free-sugar-free, peanut-free and now Mafia-free in Venice.   This city appears to be afloat as there are almost no motorized vehicles and every street is a canal.  It’s a bizarre sight.  There are also hardly any benches to sit so enjoy the few spots below statues full of pigeon shit

Mafia free dining...with some vino

Mafia free dining…with some vino

Now, can someone tell me what kind of creature is in this gas station logo?

A dog-dragon fire breather gas co. logo

A dog-dragon fire breather gas co. logo

A few more benches in Venice would be nice

A few more benches in Venice would be nice


My Daughter’s Italian Castle Wedding and more

My Daughter’s Italian Castle Wedding and more took place a week ago or so at Gargonza Castle in TusGargonza Castle, Tuscanycany.  What a wedding!  Plenty of fun and my beautiful daughter finally married Steve.  Along the way I visited Pisa, Florence, Carrara, and Venice.  The food and vino are absolutely great in Italy.  Trains run on time and the water in the Ligurian Sea was warm


Grand daughter B having fun

Grand daughter B having fun

Finnley prepping for the wedding

Grandson Finnley prepping for the wedding


Me and Gloria @ Cinque Terre

Me and Gloria @ Cinque Terre


Firefighter Novel – OLD FLAMES

My second firefighter novel OLD FLAMES is now available in paperback at Amazon   It was first an eBook a few years ago which made it the 1st firefighter novel in Canada, and then Bookkus Publishing took it on.  It has firefighting, hot romance, obsession, investigation, and arson. It also has some pretty tough women who are aiming to cause plenty of trouble for the captain. I did not write in a car chase–my apologies. It’s quite different than FINAL RESPONSE and its more of a mystery.   I hope you enjoy it and will post a short review of it wherever you bought it.

Fresh Firefighter books

Fresh Firefighter books


Friesen Press – thumbs down for editing

Okay, so you want to find a publisher for your book and Friesen Press looks good.  They do it all for you–for a price.   The books look good on the outside but the inside…

Their ‘professional’ editing fees are $1.50 for 100 words so depending on your word count you are looking at quite an expense just to begin your publishing quest. In my writer’s group I’ve seen this ‘professional’ editing and it’s been barely tolerable most times, but never as bad as the latest one I’ve read.  Is Friesen Press trying to blaze a brave new world with some kind of new age editing standards?  They must be, because there’s plenty of stuff in here that defies standard practice.  Friesen Press – thumbs down for editing.  Maybe the manuscript for this book was handed to an amateur as it appears Friesen Press dialed this one in.   Editing can vary as to style–somewhat, but if an author/publisher wants to be taken seriously they had better do their diligence and use accepted practices.

What are the problems?

Double spacing between paragraphs like some children’s books.

Breaking up (with a double space) dialogue by the same speaker.  Why do this?

Leading off dialogue with a colon.

Internal thoughts are sometimes italicized and sometimes not.  Sometimes italicized with, he thought.

Rife with paragraph splits for no apparent reason.    Contextual spelling mistakes.   Punctuation missing, wrong, or  misplaced.

Asterisks denoting time transition randomly placed.

Paragraphs sometimes contain dialogue by one person mixed in with narration from  different topic.

The entire story comes off as weirdly edited.  The moral of this story.  Do not use this company for editing. You’re better off with almost any other editor.  Friesen Press of Victoria, B.C. gets a thumbs down for editing. If you want to know the name of the book email me or leave a comment.

Canada Day weekend

Canada Day weekend was full: Lacombe Farmer’s Market book sale/signing – Aspen Beach swimming and camping – Ponoka Stampede with imminent tornado, chuckwagon races, and Dallas Smith concert.  Came home to the Whyte Ave. Blues Block Party.Ponoka stampede (2) Ponoka stampede (7) Canada Day-Gull Lake (1) Canada Day-Gull Lake (14) Lacombe

Leduc Book Club

I was invited to the Leduc Book Club nite and discussed FINAL RESPONSE.  They all liked it but a few wanted more from the ending, telling me a sequel was needed. I talked about the characters and that a few were taken from my career. The big man, Ben, was actually blended of two men I used to work with.  The members of the club gave me a generous Chapters gift card. Thanks, Pat!   I met with the publisher on the weekend and we discussed the release of OLD FLAMES.  Editing is done and the cover will require a tweak. The pic is from the Seba Beach farmer’s Market

Seba Beach in June (2)

Book marketing @ Farmer’s Markets

My book marketing is poor.  My new story WOLVES OF CANCUN is on up to the 5th chapter.  I’m not sure if I’ll continue with it as only 12 people have read it and no one has commented.   Could it get plagiarized?  Sure.  So last summer Bookkus publishing set me up for book sales at Chapters Indigo stores in Western Canada, actually about 5 stores.  It was a waste of time although the one day I was second in sales to Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ the sequel to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.   But the store takes 40% of the retail sale and the publisher took another chunk leaving me with peanuts.  So now, I’ve signed up for a few farmer’s Markets around Edmonton.  The table rental is cheap.   Of the initial two, one was good and the other a flop, as few people went to it.  I was next to a jewelery craft woman and a perfume lady.   So this weekend I am in Alberta Beach and Seba Beach, west of Edmonton.  They are lovely lake towns and their markets are supposed to generate a lot of traffic.  The weather is going to be great.  Maybe I should give an ice cream cone with each book.  This time I’m buying a helium balloon from the dollar store and tie it to my table.   That’s my book marketing @ farmer’s market’s strategy.

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