Mon, Aug
22
2016

Do... Not... Blink!!

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Ah, Steven, you have ruined statuary for me forever…

(Photo taken in uptown Waterloo…)

Sat, Aug
20
2016

Icarus Down Arrives!

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Words Worth Books received copies of Icarus Down early. There’s no embargo on early sales, so they are now available for pick-up. The same may be true with other bookstores near you; it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Pick up your copy today! Also note that it makes an excellent Christmas present to your teen reader…

Welcome novel number four (the first novel to be published in eight years), and book #38!

(And it’s extra sweet to see the Scholastic logo on the spine!)

Sat, Aug
20
2016

Michigan Beach

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I should mention that, during the week-long hiatus of this blog, earlier this month, we had the pleasure of having my father-in-law Wendell and his wife Judy come up from California for a visit. I guess we could have joked about saying “hot enough for you?” to them when they came up, as temperatures throughout the visit consistently went into the 30s (Celsius), however, they’d left a Fresno where temperatures had been in the triple digits (Fahrenheit), so this was a bit of a cool respite for them.

We took the opportunity to rent a van and head west into Michigan to visit Wendell’s brother Stan, and also to spend a couple of days in Benton Harbor, enjoying the beach. The first day was excruciatingly hot (bare feet burned on the sand), but at least the water was cool, if placid as a sheet of glass. The kids weren’t enthused about going back a second time, however, but this time the skies were cloudy, the sand cooler and, most importantly, there were waves. The kids love to body-surf.

Although we’ve made the long run west before, heading to Des Moines instead of Benton Harbor, it was a bit of a long trip in the rented van this time around. Fortunately, we had a day to recover back home once we’d returned, and another day for the kids to spend more quality time with their California grandparents.

More photos of our beach run can be found here

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marvels-and-mysteries.jpgWith the release date of Icarus Down now just twelve days away, Scholastic Canada has just released their official page for the book. Included is the first chapter, which you can download and read absolutely free. Go ahead and read it; I'm really quite proud of it.

There may be more extras in the days to come, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I'm pleased to announce my publicity schedule for the next month.

I will be presenting at Toronto's Word on the Street on Sunday, September 25 at the Harbourfront Centre. At 11:30 a.m., I'll be sharing the Teen Spirit Stage with Kevin Sylvester and Meaghan McIssac, for "Take Me To Your Reader", a discussion on "Outer space. Other worlds. Time travel" led by Angela Misri. I'm looking forward to this, and meeting my fellow authors, and generally soaking in the tremendous literary vibe that accompanies this festival. I hope I can see some of you there.

We follow this up with two launch events. On Tuesday, September 27 at 7 p.m., Erin and I will be joined by R.J. Anderson and Casey Lyall for Marvels & Mysteries, promoting our recently launched novels at Words Worth Books in uptown Waterloo. On Saturday, October 1 at 3 p.m., Erin and I will head down to Toronto for our joint Toronto launch party at the renown Bakka-Phoenix Books. A good time will be had by all, and I hope to see you there as well.

Other events may be coming. Erin has a lot to do promoting the launch of The Swan Riders, and she will be visiting Lethbridge, Calgary and Vancouver in late September and October. It promises to be a full autumn, and I'm looking forward to it.

Tue, Aug
16
2016

Home Improvement

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Now that we have a house that we intend to live in for the next few decades, we’ve been gathering up home improvement projects. While, in theory, we have plenty of time to do these, we still want to move on some of these improvements sooner rather than later. After all, we have to live in this house for the next few decades, so we should like it.

This picture is one such home improvement project. The lower bathroom needed sprucing up, as it had furniture and wallpaper that wasn’t to our taste. And while this is probably not to everybody’s taste (hey, we’re not here to sell this place, we’re here to live in it!), this is what we came up with.

My mother-in-law Rosemarie invested in some high-quality blank white wallpaper. We then laid them out on the lawn and she, Erin and the kids performed a Jackson Pollock performance. Leaving these to dry overnight, we then (with a lot of help from grandpa Michael) applied the highly colourful sheets to the bathroom walls. The effect is striking, to say the least, and the kids love the fact that they got to decorate an important room in our house.

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