Red Planet Blues / Green Planet Glory

On Tuesday, April 3rd I went to Audrey’s Book Store in downtown Edmonton to see SF Writer – Robert J. Sawyer do a reading from his new book – Red Planet Blues – a mystery noir set on Mars.  I haven’t been able to attend on of Rob’s readings since we moved out west so it was a real treat to see and hear him again.
We chatted for a few moments – he actually remembered who I was! – and compared notes as to what we had been up to lately.  His reading was excellent.  Quite funny in fact.  Rob joked around that he had learned that the best way to entice readers was to make sure his reading selection included nudity and action.  I thought he was just kibitzing with the audience but Rob was telling the truth. His reading contained both and a lot of humor too.
There was a question period afterwards which was interesting. His nex project is based on, ‘The Psychomatic Zombie.’  Sounds like Rob is trying to tap into the serial killer/zombie craze.  Fascinating stuff.
I have his latest book on my To Be Read pile.
RJS entertains with his reading.

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So we went west for Easter Weekend and stayed at an inn in Lake Louise.  The trip was gorgeous and the roads were practically deserted.  The first shot below is typical of the both scenery and traffic.

If you scroll back to my previous post you can see what Lake Louise looks like in the summer.  This is what it looks like in the winter.  Truly gorgeous.
We ate very well – too well for me, I felt like the 10 pounds I have lost since the start of the year all came back that weekend.
A splendid time was had by all and we plan to visit Jasper in the summer.
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Off to my first writer’s group meeting with the Edmonton Writing Group tonight.  They meet twice a month and do group reviews of each other’s writing.  Looking forward to hanging out with some other writers and sharing thoughts and feedback.

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Easter Getaway

So having moved out west to Alberta in 2012, one of the allures was being able to head to the hills for quick vacations.  Big hills ie The Rockies.

Last year we made it to Banff and this weekend we are heading to Lake Louise.  Pictures of it look gorgeous such as:

Seeing it in person should be a stunning experience.

Another trip we plan to do this year is to go to Jasper and see the glacier field.

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In the near two years we have moved from Ontario to Alberta things have been going very well.  Our son’s school marks have improved drastically as has his attitude about school.  We are ecstatic on that front.  On the home front, we are mortgage free and very happy with our living space.  Finally, on the job front since moving out here, my wages have increased by almost a quarter. Very nice. Even better, the work is interesting and my work team is composed of a great bunch of guys to work.  The clients are also an excellent bunch.
It’s been win, win, all around.
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Things are on the writing front are pretty well stalled.  The mantra is to write everyday but without a mapped out story, I find such advice impractical.  It’s not for a lack of ideas but for me the stumbling block is creating interesting characters to dramatize those ideas.  And that process always takes time for me.

Dresden Debts

Finished the 7th book in the Dresden series – Dead Beat.  Seeds laid in the previous book come to the forefront right away in this book.


The mystery of the sigil burned into the palm of Dresden’s burned hand is craftily revealed and with it comes the promise of greater power in a time when Harry needs it the most badly.  Halloween Eve is coming and with it the bad guys – this time necromancers – are up to evil on such a scale that war on the Wizard Council is but part of a feint for a more devious plan.


Balanced against all of this and the lure of greater power is the certainty that if Harry goes down that path he will lose himself to fallen angel Lasciel.  She is also known as the Seducer, the Webweaver and the Temptress.


Harry’s little dog is not so little anymore and guards his master well.  A new character, Butters – a timid one man polka playing band – is a techie that ends up becoming much more of a fighter than even Harry thought he could be.  


Handled far more slowly and carefully is the relationship between Harry and Murphy.  She takes off with the mercenary Kincaid from the last book; reading between the lines in an attempt to get some form of reaction out of Harry.  Even though she is absent from most of the book, all of Harry’s actions are predicated on protecting Murphy.  During the course of the story Harry is forced by his half-brother to confront his feelings about Murphy even though nothing is resolved when the two of them meet at the end of the book.


But I can’t wait to see Murphy’s reaction when she finds out she was the reason Dresden took all the risks he did in this story.  If she does find out that is.  My money is on her finding out.


Really enjoying the character arc and growth for Harry.  His power has grown substantially from the first book and so too have the choices Harry has to make.  And the price he has to pay.


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This Friday we are heading to Lake Louise out in the Rockies for the weekend.  It’s a four hour drive from home and I was hoping by the end of March that the worst of winter was behind us.  But it’s been the second coming of winter with snow falling on consecutive days and more in the forecast.  


This could be an interesting trip.