Thursday, March 20, 2014

Darkly Funny Snowman Tales

So spring arrives in a few hours.

Joy for many.

Not such a happy moment for some others.

I am looking forward to spring; this winter has certainly been long enough. But am I the only one who can detect the subtle and quiet unnerving screams of our snowy friends as their season of joy ends, and their version of the apocalypse begins?

One of my most popular stories (for reader response, customer reviews and public readings) is "That Old Silk Hat They Found" - a re-imagined look at what might really happy if a snowman came to life. The other is "Ides of March" a look at an odd pair of strangers driving around in a truck and kidnapping snowmen.

I did recently sell a recently written snowman story to a YA anthology that will be coming out in 2015 (although that story is one that addresses teen bullying and suicide - a completely different perspective than these playful tales, and I'm quite proud of my latest return in fiction to the use of snowmen), but right now my two snowman stories wonderfully demonstrate the essence of the dark humour in my fiction.

Both stories appear in my book One Hand Screaming, but are available to read for FREE in ePub format (Kobo, Nook, iBooks), Kindle (Amazon) and online/app via Wattpad.

If you check them out and read them, I would love it if you could post a review on your favourite review site. It does make a huge difference.

"I'll never look at snowmen the same again. Shiver, yes! Highly recommend them!" - Amazon customer review
"In a word - chilling. Or better yet - cool. Really cool." - Goodreads reader review

"Brilliantly written snowman stories!" - Nook customer review
"I'll never build another snowman!" - Amazon customer review
"Delightfully weird and creepy!" - Wattpad reader review

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Beer In Your Honour, Dad!

Another St. Patrick's Day and another year that I will be tipping a beer back tonight in honour of my Dad, who died on this day 11 years ago.

My Dad and I BBQing in Levack, ON - mid 1990's

At bedtime tonight, I'll also take the time to tell my son another story about the grandfather he never had the chance to meet, but who is very much present in so many of the things that we do together.

My Son and I, at my Dad's BBQ in Levack, ON - mid 2000's

It doesn't get any easier each year this anniversary hits. The pain and loss never really goes away. It just grows a little different as time passes. Love never dies. It grows stronger and memories, precious memories are clung to and new memories are made. I'm so glad that I matured enough to appreciate my father for the man that he was before I lost him; that I had begun to pay attention to all of the things that he could teach me.

And most of my thoughts about my Dad now turn and result in reflecting on my relationship with my own son, and the special moments and fun memories that we are building.

Last week, we took a family trip down to Myrtle Beach; it was great to be able to spend so much time with my family after so much work related travel recently. Zander and I had a wonderful time playing in the pool, solving magical quests together, exploring hands-on science, climbing through 3-story obstacles, zip-lining and racing go-karts. We even shared a few of those special and strange moments of looking into the night sky and speculated together about the possibility of aliens life and UFO's. All new memories of fathers and sons. All special moments that I will continue to cherish in future years.

Here are a few of the annual posts about my Dad's loss from 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005.