Sunday, 22 July 2012

Back in the saddle...

Hello everyone!  Been absent for a little while as I was getting settled into my new home.  I'm now living in the Highwood country on a ranch nestled beside the beautiful Highwood River.  Has taken me a bit to get this whole thing battened down and make the move but waking up every morning to sound of the river flowing by is truly heaven on earth!  This week though, I am doing a little diving on the west coast on the warship HMCS McKenzie.  She was sunk as an artificial reef back in '95.

Going forward, and once I get home next weekend, I will be back tweeting, texting, writing and reading as my new life here takes hold.  So thanks for hanging in there with me as I made this transition and I hope you find my little quips enjoyable. :)

This week I am An Avid Readers Haven, doing an interview so stop by and enter to win a chance for both Fools Gold and Silent Waters.  They'll go fast so don't waist any time!

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you all and thanks again for hanging in there with me as I start a new journey in my life.  Be well and be happy...


Thursday, 24 May 2012


I remembered a special piece that was done by Tom Brokaw back during the 2010 Olympics.  It brings me back to my last post that I find so inspiring. This video clip sums up everything that I feel binds our two nations. The United States and Canada do have a synergy that is unique and cannot be ignored or diminished by anyone.  We are unique our two nations in cultures, beliefs and attitudes.  But... that is what makes us so unique unto ourselves.

I posted awhile back a story that I shared about the Iranian hostage situation where the Americans were taken hostage. That was when I was aboard my ship and we were oh so close to war.  Tom speaks about that and how we played a vital role in freeing the American hostages.  And yes... the rest is history.

I hope that you all can share in the pride I fell for our two countries and the bond between us.  But I don't hold that to just our two borders for I feel this same bond for everyone everywhere.  We all unique and we all have our special place in this world. United, we can do amazing things. Like tell suspense thriller stories!  Lol.  Well hell... that's at least what I'm gong to be doing! ;-)

Hope you all enjoy this video clip. Be safe and be free,  But most of all, enjoy life - so get off that couch and go out and find your own adventures in this amazing world we live in.

Take care we'll chat with you all soon. :)


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Inspired by others..

There are few things that can grip you - take hold of your very soul, and make you bow down in humble admiration as the way a song that inspires can.  Such are the two videos for tourism that have been recently released by my home province of Alberta and that of the USA.  I am posting these links for all of you to share and hopefully, feel the synergy I feel with all of our neighbours and humanity the way it is captured in these songs and themes. The USA tourism video and song by Rosanne Cash is beyond words. it makes you feel something by just the act of listening.   The other video for my home town of Alberta moves me in other ways that also makes me so very proud to live in such an amazing place.

I hope that you all find a little peace with these clips and enjoy them as I do.  Please feel free to comment and let me know, just how these videos either moved you or brought other feelings to light.

Thanks again for sharing your world with mine..

Take care.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Birth of Mkeri - Part One

There are many times I have sat back and pondered on the beginnings of this journey called Mkeri.  It was led me down paths that I never expected. Opened doors and shown me worlds that if I hadn't of lived them... I wouldn't have believed them.

But for me, Mkeri was born the day we stepped off that KLM aircraft, and walked down the steps to the searing Tarmac in the Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The whine of the turbines reverberated through the fuselage as the KLM stewardesses announce the preparation for landing. Dropping into a banking turn, the servo motors resonated and vibrated through the floor boards as the landing gear was dropped.  Levelling off, an announcement crackled over the PA system.

Due to a lone giraffe walking across the runway, we had to circle until it was clear. Sure enough, ten minutes later we were once more ascending, and levelled off for a touch down. As the scenery flashed past, the main gear squawked on the runway and the nose began to drop... I saw her.  Standing on the far side of the airfield, she had her neck stretched up into the green tops of an Acacia tree.  Unmoved by the reverse thrusters that shrieked as we were pushed forward against our seat-belts; her world was calm and at piece.  Far from what we were about to be thrown into. My first wild giraffe.

The heat that assailed us sucked the breath from our lungs as we descending the steps to the hot, black pavement.  We had just arrived at the start of the dry season.  This, was their summer.  This, was just the beginning and only at a cool 38 degrees C.

No one spoke as we were ushered into the terminal.  Surrounded by military and police carrying AK-47 machine guns slung loose at their side, we were one by one escorted to a table and interrogated.  The first questions was - Do you have any American money?  Already pre-warned to this part of their world, we did what everyone in our situation would do.  We lied.  Giving him just a few hundred dollars, it was transferred into Tanzanian Shillings.  Mind you... at a very poor rate of exchange!

Next question... do you have any weapons.  Again I lied.  I was carrying my prized Buck folding lock-blade knife which had been my best and most trusted friend when in the Navy.

I passed the customs.

The drive on the bus back to our staff house on the north shore of Oyster Bay, was a solemn ride.  We had never seen such poverty.  A country that had just opened it's borders two years prior, after throwing out all whites in their attempt to regain control of their own destiny, was one that left us with no words. The degradation of the country that had once been during the British empirical rule, was everywhere.  Whitewashed buildings with bare  concrete and only patches of white remaining.  Broken and crumpling balustrades and benches along the seawall was disheartening to say the least.

As we turned down the street from the ocean drive and rumbled along the rough and broken paved road; we seriously were asking; "What have gotten ourselves into?"  But as we pulled up to the fortified home with guards and a welcoming field supervisor and staff administrator., you could say that we were home.  Yeah right!  I don't think so!!!

The following weeks were filled with preparations to enter camp.  We had a lot of work to do as we were assembling vehicles and quads shipped over on a cargo ship. Drills and swamp buggies were also assembled.  With shipping containers filled with gear and my recording equipment, we all had to account for every item and loaded onto their respective trucks.

Two weeks after arriving, the convoy left the safety and bustle of the city and headed north.  Following the coastline as we bumped and rocked along the dirt roads, we caught glimpses of the Indian Ocean . The occasional breeze lifted the dust and dirt from the caravan and for a moment - just a mere moment, offered us a respite from a world we come to know and admire.  We were headed for Bagamoyo.  We were headed for Mkeri.  Destiny was awaiting me in a world that  would soon, turn the world I thought I knew, upside down.  We were here... we, were in Africa!


Monday, 23 April 2012

A little Late - But I'm still here!

I've been doing a little soul searching these past few weeks while I have been absent.  Oh yeah, I do apologise for that. Sincerely.  Some of it has been my eye surgery as I adjust to the new lenses and all; but some of it has been reflecting on my blog and the direction it should be going.  I like the writing muses I have been doing but  I think it's time to delve into more of what makes me, me.

What I mean by that I guess, is what drives me to write - where did it all start and where is the inspiration coining form?

 I have been writing all my life, going back as far as my junior high school days - but, I was lazy.  Lacked the drive the commitment and motivation.  Hell, I was a hormonal kid with a set focus. Girls, flying, camping and anything else involving hanging with my friends! You know what I mean.

My serious side of writing I guess started before I headed off to Africa. I wrote a 300 page manuscript that was shear and utter crap! The base story was terrific but I lacked some serious skills!  Lol. I would show you some of that, but I do want you to hang around for a bit.  Besides... I may resurrect that old batch of weeds and rediscover Jake's beginnings.  Hmmm... actually, that is kind of funny. I haven't thought about that in years but THAT manuscript was the true birth of Jake McCord. Jake after all, is my alter ego!  How could I have forgotten!!!  There are a few things in life that I have not yet managed to quite get to and good 'ol Jake does the job nicely. Good on him! Lol. I'm glad he's leading the way.

Okay, seriously, where it began? In the jungles of Africa.  That is where The Bridge at Mkeri was born [pronounced - Ma-Kier-ee]. I have since revised that title a bit as this book isn't about one single title. It's a series of four. I can guarantee you though that  Jake will not go quietly into the night. He has other plans...

Africa.  Conjures up all sorts of images and adventures in ones mind.  I can tell you first hand that everything you can think of?  It's there!  And more!

The dark jungles that are cut by coursing rivers and streams; filled with crocodiles, snakes and man eating animals.  They are alive and doing quite well as they wait for you.  If you do manage to find yourself over there, alone and walking peacefully along - remember just that. Remember, those that have gone before you, and take heed of this warning.  For you my friends, are not alone.

I was working that year doing seismic exploration. For some of you, that don't know, it's the search for black gold - oil. Okay... actually in this case, lol, we were looking for gas really.  But the end result is the same.  I was one of two operators running a crew. Operators do just that - operate the recording equipment.  If you want a great story that explains what and how it works - check out the Bandit Creek Books "Fools Gold". They are a collection of short stories and mine is one of them.  "Where Rabbits Run Wild" has a very good description of how it all works.

It was a very hot day during what is known as the Hot Season, and I was beating a path through the jungles outside of  Mkeri.  Carrying my Panga for protection and for cutting bush, I stopped as a commercial went through my head.  Weird huh? Lol. Before I left, the Armed Forces were running a recruiting commercial and it went something like this:

"It's 7:00 am and 30 degrees. The sweat is running off you like a wild river . Beating  flies and mosquitoes that wold rather carry you off quietly into the jungle - you have been slashing bush for the past 2 hours.  You are about to give in. Then... you remember. It's not a job, it's an adventure!"  

Well okay... it didn't really go like that! Lol. But, it did go like that after I was done with it! Lol. Yeah, I don't really know what that commercial was anymore except the last part. But it was that very moment, I broke into an opening in the jungle and on the far side was a stone fortress overgrown by trees and vines.  In the 1700's the Germans had occupied this region and they had built these small fortifications to protect their interests.  Then, wouldn't you know it, out popped the romantic in me.  As I climbed the walls, I could see the aqua-green waters of the Indian Ocean. Sitting down, I studied the ruins and the surrounding beauty and it all started to flow.  Like music across a symphony, it built in complexity and volume as the story began to unfold in my mind.  Jake was always a part of me - always has been. But Janine... she was new.  That short haired brunette with calculating eyes and skills unmatched by most men, stepped out of jungles before me. She had a wry grin and an ease about her that I fell for that very instance. What man wouldn't?  She followed me for the rest of that journey. Always close by, she would remind me of what was to come. Of when I could be with her. She stole my heart in those jungles as I gazed across the rolling swells, and she's held it ever since.

Sometimes a story can grip the writer in the most profound way.  To guide you and steer you through the pages as their world unfolds before you.  In a minds eye, you become one with them.  You live and love and sometimes, you even die with them.  Not to worry though, Janine is safe and resting this very moment aboard  a small river class ship as she cruises off the coast of Malta.  Jake however, he is still up to his 'ol tricks as he walks the Africa plains in search of his one true love.  The Sultans Sisters.

Hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into the world of Jake and Janine.  Next time I will begin my adventures in the dark continent as I tell you the whole story.  The birth of Mkeri.

Till next time - keep loving and living as if there were no tomorrow,


Sunday, 1 April 2012

"Fools Gold". A Bandit Creek Anthology

Hello Friends. Well today is the official release of the Bandit Creek Anthology, Fools Gold.  This collection of short stories is a compilation of April Fools jokes; told through the eyes of the writers. Heartwarming and uplifting stories, it is sure to bring a smile to your faces.  I hope you all pick up a copy and enjoy it.  This is a great collection of stories from some of the very talented writers and friends.

My story where Rabbits Run Wild is about a very unique creature that is known to the people of the northern states and into the parries of Canada.  I won't give it away to let you know what it is, but you have to ask yourself - is it fiction, or folklore?  I'll leave that part up to you. As you travel through the pages discovering the elusive little critter, stop and ask yourself - have I have ever seen one? Maybe you have.

This little animal has lived in my heart all my life and I thoroughly enjoyed searching for them as a child in the southern prairies of Saskatchewan. Growing up, we would spend many a night under a full moon, snow shoeing across the snow covered hills around my Grandfathers farm searching for these elusive creatures.  As I got older, I would travel with my Cooey .22 rifle in hopes of bagging one these prized animals. But alas, it was not to be. They are smarter than you think.

Here is my excerpt for my story:

"Not all Rabbits in the mountains of Bandit Creek are cute and cuddly in Bandit Creek. Some come with a warning label."

In addition to my story are the following by some great writers;

Fool For Love by: Louise Behiel.
A woman is dragged from a contented, happy marriage to a life on the run.

Never Count Your Chickens by: Victoria Chatham.
- Two boys play an April Fools joke on their employer.

Wishful Thinking by: Alyssa Palmer.
Cee-Cee tells Ruth about her past, but how truthful is is?

Airport Security by: Julie Rowe.
On her way home from her tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dr. Abigail Westward discovers it's not easy to leave her fellow soldiers or the memories of combat behind.

Baby Fever by: Sheila Seabrook.
Baby cribs and baby swings and a winking, blinking doll. Oh My!

Lucy's April Fools by: Brenda Sinclair.
Will this be George Jack's year to catch Lucy in an April Fools joke, or will his wife outsmart him again?

Hope you enjoy these light hearted tales. Have a great April Fools Day!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

99 Red Balloons... By: Trip Williams

  Legends are born unto themselves. Created by man - myth or fact, these iconic symbols of our lives can become something that transcends time.

Facts are often distorted. Blown out of proportion, they usually are embellished to the perception of the teller.

This story is about just that. A band of young airmen destined to become  Legends. It was truly a time of glory.

99 Red Balloons Go By....

It was a Sunday morning at the end of a hot July in 1976. Fog covered the fields of wheat around Canadian Forces Base Penhold, as the sun cast out across the Alberta prairies.  The Air Cadet League of Canada was winding down their first intake of cadets at the base during the summer training program and the proud band of flying scholarship candidates were getting ready for their wings parade.

Traditions are born from the actions of those few who have a vision. On this base, it had become such a tradition. The cadet band marched each and every Sunday morning between the twin barracks that housed the cadets at 6:00 am.  Awakening everyone to the bugles, trumpets, saxophones and drums as they proudly paraded off to base commanders home to play a morning revelry in his honor.  After six long weeks, this event was growing thin. 

That was me in the front row, 2nd from the left.  I was one of the proud few.

The band, you must understand, had become our enemy!  Flying Scholarship was the elite - we were gods among the cadets.  The chosen few who had passed all the exams, and review boards had earned our place at the top of all scholarships.  We were being trained to be pilots.  With this very expensive program came a few elitist privileges. This was, but far from being limited too, being at the front of the line at lunch in the mess hall, wearing civilian clothing on the base when not at flying school, taking the weekends to leave base and escort fair young maidens into Red Deer or Sylvan Lake for a day pass and our most treasured of them all; sleeping in on Sundays!

This is where the war began. You can imagine the irritation that one would be subjected to? listening to the cadets first learning to play those bloody instruments, and then listening to the continued cacophonous noise blaring each and every Sunday as they marched between the barracks! While we were trying to sleep!

The band by all means had their well earned dues forthcoming and I was surely not one to object. At first, the band complained that we should not be allowed to push our way into the mess line at lunch. After all, they didn't see the importance of us returning back to the flight line. Then, we lost our privilege to be wearing street clothes on base. The push was also on for us to loose our weekend forays into town as well.  They had gone too far! It had to stop!

By our last week, our obligations had been met to the flying school and we were now in fact full fledged pilots.  Our wings parade was on the Friday before and we were officially  graduated from flying scholarship. That meant that the last Sunday before we left, was free game. We had only a few more classes to attend that upcoming week to complete a few hours of ground school and then it was then homeward bound.  What a delightful thought.

A plan was proposed - bold and never attempted.  One of daring and total disregard for any of the base authorities and regulations.  Or was it?  Seemed to us that such an endearing had never been attempted and most certainly executed. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold. We couldn't think of anything colder!

Our barracks for flying scholarship was on the north end of the west building; third and top floor.  We had two rooms that bracketed the north end washrooms giving us a perfect killing zone. The Sunday prior had been the trial run.  Timing was everything as we laid out our plans.  180 water balloons were to be launched from our windows raining down a cold and wet tribute to our beloved band cadets!

The morning sun glinted on the horizon as we set up our ambush. It was time.  Beds were pulled into position as the band formed up on the north road. Balloons filled and placed on the lower bunks adjacent to the windows. Twirps and tweets began emitting from the pigeons below as they warmed up - the windows were opened. Loading crews stood by to pass the balloons to the firing teams.

It was show time.

The Sergeant Major hollered out. "Band! By the left - quick march!" The noise exploded as instruments rang out to the Royal Air Force March. Now practiced and accomplished the music was uplifting and emboldened us as they proceeded along the road; turning to march between the two rows of buildings and between the windows of the killing zone.

"Stand By!" was hollered down the hall.  Cadets from their rooms further down the hall emerged; unsure of what was unfolding.


The band noise was too great - we couldn't hear the order.  There was hesitation. The balloons remained locked and loaded.

"FIRE!!!" was hollered again.  No one heard.

The first balloon sailed free and through the crisp morning air as it soared high overhead of the band.  As if on cue, the sky became dark as what seemed like a thousand balloons soared from the windows. The first balloon hit a flute player in the front row.  Crap!  It was my girlfriend! The second barrage rained down exploding all through the band as the music subsided under the wave after wave of balloons exploding and showering them with ice cold water. Screams erupted form the band cadets as the popping sounds of balloons exploding covered them in the deluge. 

The assault was a success! 180 water balloons were launched in 37 seconds!

Cheers erupted from the cadets watching from their windows and cheers echoed the halls as the flying scholarship had once and for all, wreaked havoc on the band!

Needless to say, there was a fast and furious reprisal from the band squadron commander as he petitioned to the base commander to have us all stripped of our scholarships and sent home in shame.  I somehow think that the base commander must have seen the humor in it.  Our own squadron officer after the meeting and assumed berating, appeared to us laughing, when he finally got hold of us and although he tried desperately to be serious - it didn't work. The message from the base commander - don't do that again!

As the years have gone by, I think about this battle from time to time, and each and every time I do - I smile. A big broad smile, that etches its way across my face. I ran into a cadet about a year ago and I asked him about how he liked summer camp and we got to talking. As I began to tell him the tale of the water balloons, I was taken aback as he finished telling the tale of our exploits. He too relished in the pride of such an adventure and told the tale as if he was right there firing off those balloons himself! That happened before he was even born.

As I said my goodbyes, I was left alone once more to my thoughts and the extreme pride I felt, for the what we had all done that fateful Sunday back in 1976.  A legend had been born that day. And with it, heroes. Those magnificent bastards who dared to defy the strict protocol of military discipline and deliver a well deserved blow to an annoying enemy.

I had heard years later that the band never did march again through those barracks on Sunday mornings, and that some of the instruments had to be even be sent off for major repairs. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how saddened I was to hear of such news.  

At least..., that's the way I see it.


The Eye's Have It... A Trip Williams adventure.

Hello everyone.  I have been absent for the past while from my blog and for that I truly apologize to you all.  Life has been a bit interesting for me and I think I should explain this absence. I have been off having some surgery! Eye surgery...

As we get older, our bodies seem to not keep up with the demands we still place on it [sheesh - isn't that, an understatement!].  The first thing I noticed with myself was actually a double whamy! My knees from years of abuse were starting to act up and fail me in particular instances.  Nothing more serious than torn meniscus sacks between the caps and joints.  Okay..., serious enough that you start to loose strength in your knees and Stair-Masters are out! Gone were the days where I believed that I could actually continue to do the stunts you see in movies [well maybe I am a little touched upstairs! Lol]. One thing I use to love to do - my one parlor trick; was to stand at the edge of my deck, which sits at exactly 40", and without the use of another step or my hands, spring jump onto the top of my deck and land on my feet.  Yeah..., I now carry scars along my shins from my last heroic efforts! Lol. That was my final attempt at my youth. It was definitely encouraged by a few brews but what the hey..., it was a little less painful at the time! My knees were definitely a factor in this little stunt.

So - my knees are now scheduled for surgery to repair the years of abuse.  That will be June 18th. [Don't tell anyone, but I'll probably start that nonsense up again!  lol!].

The next aspect of my failing youth, comes in the form of my eyes. Yup, happens to most of us but regardless; in saying that, it doesn't make it any less of a nuisance or contain any less regret.  Growing old is not a great thing!  So let's cut the bullshit! Even with working out at the gym and staying fit - it sneaks up on you and slaps you upside the head, Hard!

The year I turned 40 was the first time I could no longer see anything close up. Now that was alarming!  This revelation first came to me on Christmas eave while I was trying to repair a roof top unit for one of my suppliers.  The heat was off and they needed it fixed before anyone could go home for the holidays.  There was a beautiful heavy snowfall that year and as I had my head stuffed inside the pitch black blower compartment of this heating unit, I wrestled with my flashlight in hand and finding a motor rating plate.  It was then, that I discovered I could no longer read the bloody plate to assess what I needed for the new motor! After trying my best to push the rear steel panel out of the way with the back of my head, I gave up and used a mirror to read the plate allowing the distance I needed to see it.  Yup - it was backwards to boot!  Lol.  Day one of becoming blind. My life was changed that day.

That is where my journey began on the road to new eyes.

My correction, is that I can see [rather could at least] at a distance but couldn't read.  That washed out the prospect of laser surgery. Leaving only two choices.  Live with a life of glasses or have new lens installed in my eyes.  For me - there was only one option.

Knowing that Dr. Robert Mitchell was the pioneer in Canada for all procedures, left no other choices for who the surgeon would be.  Now it just came down to me.  So with my stomach in my throat and nerves of spaghetti noodles, off I went for my first consultation.  Still it was a no brainer but I have to tell you, the idea of someone digging inside my eyeball was pretty hard to take! I actually took another nine months before I went back and booked the actual surgery. Yeah, okay..., I'm not ALL that brave!  Seriously... someone routing around in your eye!?! I don't think so.  Not without some major hesitation and soil searching. What if...

The surgery itself, finally took place, and was very successful; also, rather painless.  They only freeze the eye and then you get to watch while an incredibly bright light blinds you. This is the one time, they want you to "Go to the light"! Lol. In a manner of speaking. You do however see the cornea being removed and lifted away and the eye.  Now THAT, is a freaky experience!  Although you are told to continue staring in one direction - at the light - you're eye all of a sudden, starts to going crazy as it's looking everywhere!!!  Lol.  [okay..., only laughing now!]  That is when the lens is being removed.  It is rather alarming but it stops very soon and then, as with the cornea, you see it float away into a blurry oblivion.  At this point, you get to relax as the new lens is inserted and the cornea returned to it's proper place.  All total - only about 40 minutes in the surgical ward. Not too shabby. The whole procedure from start to finish is only an hour and a half, and that includes the pre-op dilation and prep.

Now that the second eye has been done three weeks later, I can finally focus properly and see rather well.  My surgery was elective so I purchased the top of the line lens.  Yup, they are not all the same.  Cataract surgeries only get the basic lens which is covered by health care here in Canada. That lens is for distance only and not designed to allow for much lens flexibility or adjustment in the future.  You basically have to have reading glasses after the surgery.  The middle lens is not used as it's an intermediate lens and not much more value for the cost.  The last lens, and the one I selected, allows for re-training the eye to work just like your baby blues were when you were a kid.  Full adjustment from reading to distance and..., this part is cool, the night is not so dark anymore! That is something I was really blown away by!

So if any of you folks are thinking about this type of surgery, don't hesitate.  It is expensive when it is elective so be prepared!  10K to be exact!  My personal thoughts however, it's your life and your eyes lead the way in your journey. Make the most of it.  If you are getting cataract surgery and if you can afford it, do the upgrade; it's well worth the money spent. The government here covers [I believe, if I remember correct] $1,500 per eye. That's the basic lens.

Now I have been asked this questions a bunch of times - does it hurt?  Not much during the surgery. More of a mild pain twice during the actual surgery.  After all, they can't really freeze the inside of your eyeball. [I won't go into details at this point].  After the surgery - not much either. More an irritation from being itchy and you want to rub it; which you can't. Other than that, that's about it! With each passing day, my eyes are getting stronger and clearer. In another two weeks I can begin the training process and life will begin anew.

Hope you found this little segment interesting. It's not something that we cross in our lives until we are very much older and with eye problems. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to have this surgery done now, at this stage in my life so I can now explore a whole new world without the cumbersomeness of glasses. Many thanks to each of you who have taken the time and read this little story and I hope you have found it interesting and educational. It sure was for me,

Take care and God speed on your journey through this life.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

Life is Fun - Roll With It! By: Trip Williams.

So often I come across situations that make you stand back and ask the question - "Really?" You can be sure that when you have to ask that question, you have a smile on your face.  When this moment happens, I find I can't help myself; I have to take advantage of the situation! That's right, the bullshit starts flying when there is hay to be made!

Back a number of years ago, I was working the summer down in Leamington Ontario.  This was back in my seismic days. Yeah okay, I can see some of those raised eyebrows again.  Well, let's step out of this story for a sec. Seismic refers to seismic exploration. The underground seismic survey of the earths geological subterranean formations. Yeah okay... how about oil hunters? That should work.  We were the guys that find the oil! In this case, we were actually looking for gas deposits but it's the same thing.

Leamington is the capital of Canada for tomatoes.  I have never seen so many bloody tomato fields  in my life!  When harvest time comes - you can't stomach a bottle of tomato sauce or ketchup for months! During the time we were working there, we would be constantly asked the same thing.  "What are you folks doing here?" We in turn would politely reply; "We are looking for oil and gas." That's when they would all start to laugh and ask us... "What are you really doing here?"

Now understand that what I'm about to say does not in anyway diminish the good folks of Leamington or imply that they are a little slow.  The fact is, what we were doing there was unheard of at that time and therefore - not believable.

As a devote follower of my own church of life in which life can and should be fun [this goes way back to my earliest memories!] I felt it was prudent to help these good folks along with understanding just EXACTLY what we were doing there in their fair community.

One night while coming back from dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant, I was stopped at a set of lights. Hot summers night - of course the truck windows were down. A fellow pulls up beside me.

"What's on your truck?  Did you find a sale somewhere?"  Laughter ensued.

Now a seismic line truck - which I was driving, has racks of geophones hanging from the sides of a big bin mounted in the middle of the truck bed. Think of a giant Bobby-pin with black wires strung through it with orange small round pods with a steel spike on one end of each.  That's a string of "jugs" as we call them - the geophone sensor array.  They are placed on the ground and they pick up the underground vibrations for mapping of the earth.  The truck was holding about 120 of them!

I told him the truth - he laughed and asked what they were really for? So I told him. "Well... they actually, are used for measuring the content of maple trees.  We hammer the spikes into the trunks of the trees and by hooking these up to our instruments, we can tell how rich a harvest we will get from each tree! We are working for the Ontario forestry services. No one is suppose to know."  He believed me.

Later on that week, I was asked what I won my buckle for? Back then I was a very western kind of lad. Cowboy boots, western style shirts and of course a well worn silver and brass buckle of a calf roper. So I explained... "This 'ol thing? I was the 1988 Alberta BSA Gopher Roping Champion!"  Now he was impressed! "How do you manage that?" he asked. I replied... "With a very small rope!" Apparently that warranted a pat on the back. For those of you that don't know what a gopher is, its a small furry animal also know as a Richardson Ground Squirrel [Actual name].  Some - call them prairie dogs.

The Coup D'etat was when a man stopped by my recording truck [I suspected a local farmer] and asked what we were up to?"  Seen us working along the roads and had never seen this type of thing before." I told him the truth.  You guessed it, he laughed and asked what we were really doing?

Well... [I'm really smiling here for this one!] I asked him if he could keep a secret? He nodded yes. I asked him if he had ever heard of seismic surveys? He had a basic understanding - but didn't believe we were looking for oil or gas down there. Already heard that tale!

"Well you see," I said seriously, " we are actually looking for underground caverns."


"Nuclear waist disposal site."

Okay I admit it... I went a little to far that time!  He went straight to the county. They held an emergency meeting and two days later there was a knock at my recording truck door. It was the RCMP!

Although he was laughing about it, he politely asked me to try and refrain from getting too carried away in my tales.  He had heard all of them thus far and was enjoying them all and yes, he understood that the good folks simply did not want to believe the truth; but..., A NUCLEAR WAIST DISPOSAL SITE!  He felt that was getting a little too carried away.

We did have a good laugh and visited for another 20 minutes before he left.  I of course had a much clearer understanding of what Leamington was all about! Lol.

So you see guys and gals..., life can be an extremely good time if you have the right outlook on things.  Never get too serious!  Avoid getting road rage and bent out of shape trying to control others and their actions. Let the water run off your back... Life is too short for being too serious all the time.  I have just commissioned having a silver buckle made to my specifications as I had led the poor guy in Leamington to believe. BTW... BSA stands for 'Bull Shitter's Association'.

So next time you see a cowboy out here in the Alberta wild west, take a closer look at the buckle.  It may just be a cowboy roping a gopher!

Take care folks and have a great weak and remember - smile!


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Real Men; One Man's Opinion - Trip Williams

          When Dara asked me to write this for the newsletter, I had to admit to myself, that I wasn’t sure I really heard her correctly, or knew what that was?   All the way home from the meeting I was lost in thought and contemplating what exactly should I say!  Now reclining in my wicker-backed office chair and listening to the melodious tunes of Nora Jones, I was hit by an epiphany; or rather slapped up-side the head was more like it!  What was I doing?  Unceremoniously ejecting Nora, I tore off my shirt exposing my tanned and ripped upper torso [at least in my mind it’s that way], slammed-in the sound track for Top Gun and turned up the base.  Now…, I can sit back in my chair with the heart defibrillating wine of jet engines starting to real men’s music.
            Looking down at the epitome of mans stoic visage of power and masculinity I realized something; Gravity had taken over!  I couldn’t see my belt buckle.  Oh well!  I guess this take, on reality won’t work for my introspective.  So…, I guess I might as well begin with the meat and potatoes of it all.  Men… are not like woman!  Take apart the fabric, the essence, the chemical, physiological and biological make-up and you still have a very different person.    As writers, you women need to know this.  We are not like you.  You may have already guessed this one but, I had to make sure.
            So, what is a real man?  If you look back in time, you will find the outer shell of what a man is, as we have taken on the various rolls dictated by the social and moral compass.  But this is not who we are either.  Now don’t look to me as a norm or this will get you into trouble.  I’m wired very different.  Let’s face it – I write romance!  So let us look deeper into the male psyche shall we?  Fundamentally, we think differently.  There are a few different types of men and I think that we need to explore this for a moment.
We can be categorized into about three areas.  Pro-magna man, average Joe and…, well the ones with the feminine side kicking in.  Let us begin with understanding a man’s reaction to something he doesn’t like.  We’ll get to the other stuff in a moment.  With Pro-magna, say the wrong thing and he goes to fists; no discussion.  He’s about beer, boobs and sports.  The average Joe will have words or a discussion with temperance of hostility but will work it out with a beer and the last man will - I don’t know - go off in the corner and sulk?  But he will let it go and have a glass of wine with you!  Now a woman – wow - bad news!  Just watch the e-mails fly!  They will practically hold discussion groups about it!  Sorry, I was distracted there a bit.  Reflection on my daughter and family I guess.
Men have basic needs.  Attract women, have sex and let the women provide for them.  Okay, that’s the lion family.  Really, we do want to do that part.  You know, provide.  It’s a pride thing I guess.  In saying that, the sex part, we think about it all the time.  It drives us as a species.  No kidding!  I believe it was documented that we think about it once every three minutes.  I must be getting old because I’m up to seven minutes.  How often do women think about it?  Once every three days, if that? 
Now comes the other stuff.  As a man, we do care about the little things when it comes to who we are and what makes us who we are.  We want to be masculine.  We groom ourselves and take care to make sure that we look good for you women.  We do preen ourselves for you and try to smell good.  How we do this is based on our perception of ourselves and this is formed over time as we grow up.  This is important.  All men have a formed idea of who they are based upon roll models from when we were kids.  A police-man, fire-man, cowboy, soldier, a dad, etc.  From this, we base our lives and our standards that guide us as men and how we conduct ourselves with women and events in our lives.
That said, how does this apply to writing?  We all need characters whether they are the sideline fillers, the next novels main star or this stories hero.  What makes up a hero?  Let’s face it; Mr. pro-magna doesn’t cut the mustard does he?  After all, he’s a bit too brutish for what we all need.  Now take average Joe.  A man of the 90’s who is form fitted into the new millennia and sensitive to women’s needs and… he has some sense of style.  He cares about how he looks for his girl.  When called upon, he will let her dress him, after all, we seldom have true taste and surely can’t do that properly, but -  he will in turn, be attentive to her needs as well as being mindful of his roll by her side.   He is courageous in the eye of adversity and will gallantly defend her to the death.  Make no mistake; a man will die for a woman.  A man who truly believes, as I do, that a woman is someone to worship, admire and protect, will do just that.  No man should dare speak ill of his gal if he doesn’t want to fire up that boiler.  It will blow! 
Now the man on the opposite side of Mr. “P”, he will not always stand up for the same values but we are not talking about the norm here.  That doesn’t make him less of a man or at times not a hero; he is far more diplomatic and eloquent is all but, will look to other avenues to find a resolve.   Over time, and through history, we have always been the same.  We couldn’t express ourselves in the same way as we can now but we have thought and believed in the same values.  Expression was different, that’s all.  Social constraints – we all have them and most live by them.
So, where does this little blithering lead you?  Hopefully to a better understanding of what a real man is.  We can’t be everything in one package and I guess, that is the short line of it all.  So building a man in your novel has to be formed on a basis that supports who real men are.  Unless men don’t read this stuff and therefore you can build whatever you like!  How does your man fit into these categories?  Does he pay attention to the little things that you do, like the way you whisk your hair out of your eye when you find yourself engaged in a stimulating conversation?  Or the way that you pull at your ear when you’re nervous?  Is he even house broke?  Little things that help bring in a grounded reality.
In retrospect I guess, I find that I now have to ask myself that very same simple question.  Am I a real man?  Hell no!  I’m Bond, James Bond!


Monday, 27 February 2012

General for a Weekend - A Trip Williams Adventure.

Well, I have deviated from my original plan by a tad bit but what the hell... that's life! Lol. I'll be starting my Mkeri tales very soon and with it a series of photos from Africa. But first, I think I'm going to have to date myself here in this blog.

Now some of you, may have figured out by now that I am a little long in the tooth. Okay..., not THAT long! Lol. But long enough.  This little snippet of my life is one that I will always cherish and is truly a highlight of my glory days.

Back in 1977 we were still in the middle of the cold war. I was an Officer Cadet with the Air Cadet League of Canada awaiting my training to become a 2nd Lieutenant in the Reserves. This was a time in our lives when air raid sirens were mounted high around our city's and tested regularly. Today, they lay in fields as scrape metal. A sad testament to a time when we were afraid. Afraid of nuclear war!

Our squadron was heading to the US. to visit Malstrom Air Force Base in Montana. This base was a Minute-Man missile base! Cool shit for those who were in the military and into those things.  Our first line of defense when the Russians send their missiles across the Canadian skies heading towards targets unknown. Here's the rub..., they didn't know where the missiles would be going until 5 minutes before impact. Seriously - let's see you evacuate a city of 500,000 in 5 minutes! Yeah... it ain't happening!

So here we are with our squadron of cadets on this really cool Air Force base. I'm a strapping young officer [actually barely one! Lol - no Officer and a Gentleman for this kid!] and we have arrived!!! Marching our squadron towards the mess hall, I get saluted by non-other than - a Colonel!

Okay... let's step out of this story for a moment. First off you have got to know, that an Officer Cadet is so far below the rank of a full bird, that I barely make his boot heels!

Okay..., let's step back in again. Now back then, I was as an ambitious young lad who really wanted to impress - I'm fast on the draw and nobody can snap a salute faster than me! Well sort of. Hmmm..., I did notice however the dirty look I got? Okay - I was a little too slow but he really shouldn't have been so impatient! Seriously!!!  I'm suppose to salute first - didn't he get the memo?

Actually... this behavior by the american officers continued not only that day but the whole weekend! Odd thing about it was, that the american officers wouldn't salute my commanding officer - just me...  Okay, so I was in my glory! I admit it! Didn't know what the hell was going on - but who cares! I was living large!!!

Over the weekend we were treated to tours, movies and lectures - man were we blown away! We even were in the practice silo and underground command center for a Minute-Man Missile! Seeing first hand the actual silo with a missile in it, the two command chairs and control panels of the mightiest military hardware of the day! A nuclear ICBM [inter-continental-ballistic] missile! We even got to take turns practicing to turn the twin keys at the exact time to arm the missile after the presidents codes had been entered - which, we got to do! ...and, we even did a launch! Yeah baby! That's what I'm talking about! [patting my shoulder here with a proud puffed up chest]. That's right folks... we were well trained youth WAR MONGERS!!!!  LMAO... :)  I did mention that this was the training silo, right?? Yeah - not the real MaCoy.

Okay - seriously, it was very cool!  On the final afternoon on that Sunday, we were treated to a dance in our honor hosted by the Civil Air Patrol - our american counter-part. As I was informed later, when I walked into the room, the jaws dropped on everyone one of the Air Patrols cadets. One who was engaged with my Warrant-Officer asked him if I was a little too young for holding the rank I did? He responded with "No..., he's about the normal age." he came back with "To be a General??"

I almost died when I found this out! You can't image how all the little pieces fell so fast into place. You talk about a puffy chest now? I was milking it!

You see, an officer cadet has a single thin gold strip on his sleeve and I had two brass maple leafs on my lapels. Not getting any clearer yet? Okay..., let me help you along. An american Brigadier General, has a thin gold strip on his sleeves and a single silver star on each lapel.  Get the connection? So now I understood how for that weekend, I commanded salutes from all the officers on that base  - even if they did do so with clenched teeth. They took the maple leafs as our version of a star.

...and THAT, is how I was a General for a weekend! Life can throw you some awful funny curves at times but some of those - you really need to get on it and ride it hard while you can!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Bubble Gum Effect - Trip Williams on Relationships

It's not very often I will speak on such matters of the heart.  Especially when I'm trying to explain my views on how life works. There are thousands of experts out there and the websites and blogs are filled with them.  Nope - I'm just simply trying to explain MY view on relationships.  Oh yeah..., this is the male version.

I first spoke of this Bubble Gum Effect at my sons wedding.  Not very often a grooms father will stand and try to explain what happened in his sons' life, that created the unlikely event allowing himself to become ensnared by a woman.  Yeah - that's right; you heard me!  Ensnared!

Don't get me wrong, I think marriage is a beautiful thing when you have just that right partner and I sure don't want to be predisposed to the idea that this young lass is not the right one for my son. However..., like most men,; he did not understand the Bubble Gum Effect and that can lead to a moments indecisiveness and there you have it.  Yup - wedding bells!

Before I explain the Bubble Gum Effect, I must first state that as a man, we really want to just enjoy life and continue to have the finer things that is associated with a good living.  Yes, women are a part of it but really... to settle down with one? I'm not sold.  After all, I was first introduced this phenomenon at a very young young age and I too succumbed to the wiles of a girl and I..., was ensnared.  That was fortunately short lived and I have gone on in my life to enjoy  a happier and simpler existence. Yup... I'm chewing my bubble-gum!

The Bubble Gum Effect.

When us young men are first venturing out into the world and experiencing life from this new perspective as a hormone charged male supper propagator, we find the candy bowl.  That's right... a bowl full of delicious and sweetly wrapped candy know as women.  Think of it as Double-Bubble Bubble Gum.

You select this sweet morsel from hundreds of prospective bubble-gums; and, you smell it. Hmmm...... it smells so sweet and delicious!  Then you unwrap her.  As the fabrics of the wrapper unfold to reveal the mouth watering tasty treat inside, you start to drool.  Then comes the first taste - you are overwhelmed!  As you chew this incredibly delectable explosion of adventure and delight that cascades across your senses; one may forget that this is only a treat and that one can only savor this for a short time.

That's right - the flavor starts to fade.

Now some men, or rather boys, experience  a less than favorable shift in their mood.  The flavor is loosing its' hold.  You are coming back into that world of reality and realize that YOU as a young proud member of the male species; want more!!!  That's right!  We want another treat!

Some boys do not recognize the fact that there is a whole bowel full of tasty treats out there waiting for us.  No..., some of us are not wise in the world and we become fearful! We must have that pleasure again!  So we marry the girl.  Fairly easy catch on her part wouldn't you say?  Kind of like a black widow.  In some respects - very similar.  The joys and pleasures experienced are slowly held back - taunting us and guiding us to do your bidding. Then, over time, we loose our man-hood and become lost.  Lost to the wiles of that woman and in so become lost to ourselves! Some men are even... when, do I need to say more?? Ewhhh... nasty thought - it makes me shiver just thinking about it.

Now some men, they see that bowl of candy and they know that as the taste fades, there is only one thing left to do.  Spit her out!  That's right - toss her to the curb and get another one!  Yeah baby... that's what I'm talking about!  Life is once more good and pure and just the way it's suppose to be! Your Zen has returned!

But as time goes on, you encounter that one woman who has had her bubble-gum spat the ground a time or two or fifty...! She now is wise in your moods and the ways of the gum.  Just when you're ready to spit her out - she, DISTRACTS YOU!

As her gum is tossed whimsically to the ground..., she lures you back in and guess what happens?  That's right!  You step on her gum!  Have you ever stepped on gum?  Seriously... it's GUM!  It sticks to your foot and you can't get it off! So once again, we as men get ensnared; and then the wedding bells chime....

So there you have it ladies.  At least one of us males are on to you females and we recognize the fact that life is a bowel of bubble-gum and we, the proud dominant species of this world; become reduced to a little trinket carrying, gum-stuck fool. I may not be popular for spreading this little secret to all the men out there but I feel I owe it to them.  You know, as the 'One who has gone before', sort of thing.  Yeah, it's a guy thing; but that's the way I see it.  Welcome to the world of the Bubble Gum Effect!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Reflections - By: Trip Williams

Over the years I find myself quite often reflecting on my past.  Some may think this as a whimsical cerebral interlude or even trying to recapture one's glory days; but I think not.  It closely resembles what I was eluding to in my previous post on  Inspirations.  I find inspiration in the reflections on my life!  If you look in a shimmering pool of water, the reflection looking back is that of you.  This is your immediate life.  As you look to the edges, it becomes blurry.  This is closely akin to your past.  As time goes by, we forget things about where we came from, what we have done and in some cases - who we are. Those are the blurry edges of our lives.  But, beneath the water is our memories.  Suspended in time, it lingers - waiting.  Waiting for you to retrieve them and reflect upon them; and that, is what I do.

At times these memories seem to find their own way home as the thoughts appear in my mind.  Some random but most very deep memories filled with emotion.  Good and bad.  From these, I draw upon for my writing.  From these, I find a new world.

Back in 1979, Iran took the american embassy hostage.  While people watched from their living rooms, a different world was unfolding around them.  A world that no one knew and would have been terrified to have really know. I was in the navy and when this crisis broke, the Canadian fleets pulled into harbor alongside the ammo storage facilities.  There we offloaded our practice rounds and with our holds teeming with high explosion warheads, we set sail.  We were now on second degree war time standby.

With the entire fleet at sea, American ships hailed us not by radio, but by signal lamp.  Everyone was running silent. It was reminiscent of WWII.  Demanding to know our identity, lamps flashed through the night as we passed by - patrolling the waters along our borders.  Waiting.  Waiting for orders.

One late night early into this tense patrol, I was standing watch on the starboard wing as lookout.  Flying high above the rolling waves, I scanned the horizons watching for ships and debris in the water that may bring harm to my ship. As we cut through the oceans swells, the moon was full and the air warm. Cascading phosphorus sent shimmering displays of greens and blues splaying across the waves and behind the wake from of our destroyer.

Something caught my eye.  Below the horizon something was wrong.  Phosphorus trails were lighting up.  Raising my binoculars, I focused on twin trails streaming through the waters on an intercept course with my ship. About twelve feet apart and with the left hand one leading the other, I watched intensely.  These trails of  color were traveling at high speed and unforgiving from their course.

Stepping back from the steel enclosure of the lookout wing I leaned against the open window to the bridge and called for the office of the watch.  Pointing at the fast approaching wakes he raised his binoculars to see what had me backed up against the bridge.  My mind was racing with only one thought - torpedoes!

Disappearing back in the dim lit bridge, the officer of the watch left me alone - alone to die.  To suffer in silence the fiery ball of death I was certain would come.  Knowing that my death was immanent and with no place to go, I walked to edge of the wing and watched as the two trails hit their mark.  The phosphorus disappeared and as I held my breath, two explosions of water appeared near the bow.  They were dolphins!  I almost pissed myself!  Christ, that scared the shit out of me!  I know I laughed when I saw them but with that was a rush of emotions I find hard to explain even to this day.  Death did truly come to great me that night and with his arm firmly around my shoulder, he lead me down that path into darkness.  I know that bugger was laughing as he left my side.  Trust me when I say that I have never watched porpoises or dolphins without thinking of that night.

So what is the point of my tale?  Just that from that night, I have built countless tales.  Ones of battle, of survival and ones even of romance.  Think of the endless opportunities presented to me that night.  Stories even yet to be told!  Countless stories!  These are the things in life that I reflect on.  Whether it be from fear or from exhilaration - we can use these events to our advantage.  I know I do.  I will have to admit though, I have a sweet spot for romance and even out of the depths of terror, a little love can always be shinning through.  Ahhww... but alas, that is a tale for yet another day. A tale of the young girl waiting for me back at home port.  The one my mind flashed to moments before my death.  The one who was not my fiance'e.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012 Trip Williams Author

Inspirations. Where do they come from? Have you set ever sat back and wondered, just where your inspiration comes from? Sometimes it can come from the oddest thing!  Above is a self portrait of myself and a very dear old friend - Victor.  We were on a bike trip out to the coast last year and we stopped beside the road just outside of Hope, British Columbia.  That one image has given me countless thoughts about things to write.

In the movie 'Always' with Richard Dreyfus, Holly Hunter and John Goodman, the inspiration for pilots is depicted as the dead fliers who have gone on before you. They become your conscious - your spirit guide.  That little nagging voice that tells you when you're doing something right and something wrong!  Is it too far from the truth?  Who knows? I could beguile you with my own philosophies but that should be left for another time and... maybe another place.   By the way, if you have not yet seen that movie, it's a must see!  

For me, inspirations come in the smallest of things.  A certain look someone has while they quietly muse on some deep thought. A look.  The worn sandstone blocks on the corner of an old building.  A tear in the eye of a woman as she sits in the car next to you as she glances up and makes eye contact while her man berates her.  It's the things in life that catch your eye and sometimes your heart.

I have two favorite memories that I will carry and hold the closest to my very soul until my last breath.  Both coincidentally happened in the rain.  The first - It was late fall and close to around 10:00pm.  A Friday night, and the rain was a steady down-pour. I was called out on an emergency to meet with new clients who were sitting at home freezing - they had no heat.  This couple lived in a condominium complex; one of the nicest in town with a Italian styling to the buildings and beautifully manicured grounds.  As I rounded the corner, a young woman stood in a trench coat and high heels with an umbrella pulled low.  The light streaming down from the Tudor style street lamp cut a swath through the rain casting a shadow over her face. She was waiting for me.  As I stepped from my truck, she held the umbrella out for me so I would not get wet.  As the umbrella moved away from her face, a beautiful platinum blonde with red lipstick smiled and thanked me for coming.  Now I know what your thinking but seriously, that is exactly what and how it happened!  In this I have taken no liberties.  These folks were from Sweden and their hospitality was second to none.  Once inside I could not even begin to do anything for these wonderful people, until they fed me a hot meal.  I was seriously blown away! But that scene of her standing in the rain with her umbrella is forever burned into my mind and that image - by far one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

The second scene has a little less impact but was every bit as romantic and breathtaking.  It was about the same time of year and late at night when I was traveling home from sisters house.  As I came upon my corner, I saw a woman walking her dog.  She was also in a trench coat and heels with her umbrella pulled low.  Her Shiatsu strolled causally beside her as she continued walking away from me.  I remember stopping and shutting down my engine as I rolled down my window and watched her.  It was a light rain that night, mixed with a slight bit of fog. The click of her heels on the sidewalk carried in the cool night air and I had to just sit and drink it in. It was breath taking in its simplicity, beauty and surrealism.

It's moments like these that can be the most inspiring for a writer.  Weather you're a romance writer or a mystery writer and even a paranormal author; it all adds to the moment.  That fracture in time that you can hold and carry with you as you click away at your keyboard and tell your story.

So next time you get that lingering scent of perfume in the air or that glance with a smile from someone passing by, or even spot that small piece of history on the corner of a coffee shop building; take a moment for pause and reflection.  After all, it is a gift for you.  Take in the moment, breath it in, run your hand along the worn rock or a weathered wooden rail.  Be a part of it and it will stay with you forever.  Life is to be tasted, breathed in and experienced. Let life inspire you.  But then again... this is just one man's opinion.


Monday, 6 February 2012

Silent Waters...

I am still amazed at how fortunate I feel, to be able to be able to be a part of this amazing stable of talented authors who make up the Bandit Creek Books series.  This unique series has become an adventure; only akin to something closer to one of those things in life that is a true turning point.  At least in my life!  Sounds kind of over the top, but you would have to meet these girls I think, to see the magic that happens when we all get together.  Okay... I admit, they are my harem and I do closely protect these beauties but after all, I am their token male!  Lol.

So what really is this Bandit Creek thing? Well, to put it bluntly, Bandit Creek Books is a  collection of novellas that span the genre horizon with tales from Romance, to mysteries, to paranormal, to gay and lesbian love and of course - thrillers. I don't think there isn't anything that we don't cover in our humble little group.  Embedded into the mystical town of Bandit Creek; located in the heart of Missoula Montana, Carla Roma has created - well, the perfect town!  If you haven't already stopped by, make sure you do and see what is offered for your enjoyment. So join the crew at and find out why you may not want to miss out.

Right now we are featuring the 30 Days of Secrets.  This is an unprecedented look into the secret lives of authors as they tell some of their most intimate and closely guarded secrets. Seriously!  I'm not exaggerating!  Take a look and you'll see.  If you subscribe to the Bandit Creek Gazette, you'll also be able to keep up to date with all the BC events.

So... what is Silent Waters??  Actually, I don't believe I can tell you!  Hmmm... Nasty I know, but I think it's because I signed some kind of contract about secrecy.  You know, can't spill the beans. Okay... here is something for you to nibble on but don't tell Carla!  Silent Waters is a suspense thriller about a man Named Jake McCord who happens to keep finding women - dead ones that is!  Wouldn't be so bad if people knew who they were; they might even pay a bit more attention! But of course - as the bodies stack up, so do the stakes.

I have to forewarn you that this July 1st release will be having a 5 Bandit Rating!  When you check out our site, you will see that this is for the serious readers who aren't faint of heart. I'm sorry, it's not meant to be a feel good and cuddle by the fire with your lover type of story.   I can't wait to share this story with you but alas - we ALL have to wait!  Arghhhh.... I'll be posting my cover this Wednesday for you all to see.  Oh yeah!  Here is something that I can share with you!

Some of you might not know this, but my cover model is a very dear friend of mine.  She is my hair stylist and Colleen is in fact the same girl featured in my story and she does work at Bombshell's!  Okay... there I go again!  Yeah, Bombshells Beauty Bar is a real place and is in this book.  This salon is located in Calgary Alberta and it is loaded with a fine collection of real beauties!  Then, there is Colleen... Hmmm, she does make a man take pause. I absolutely adore this young lass but, true to her nature, she is a girl that seems to find herself in well, let's say unusual circumstances?

For now, I'll have to leave you only this little snippet for my Silent Waters release.  That is of course, unless I can convince Carla Roma to let me tantalize you all just a bit more.  Here's hoping!  Be safe friends and most of all, be well and happy.  This is not our only kick at the can but why not take the time to enjoy this ride? After all... you picked it!


Thursday, 2 February 2012

Trip Williams - The man behind the gun...

So where does one begin with a story about a life?  My life!  My intro kind of tells a story in the 'readers digest' form about who I am. But maybe it's time to delve into this world and see what we can find?  The man behind the gun.  Interesting title.  I think it will make more sense as we go on.  After all, we do put a lot of ourselves into our characters.  At least, the one we like the most...

I think that before I begin, I'm going to give you a quick overview of just who I am.  So we'll actually start on the next blog session in more detail. But know this going in, I am not a contract killer!  Just had to get that one out there!  :)

I do believe that when you are writing, you should be writing from the heart and from a place of knowledge.  Who hasn't heard that one before!  But seriously, I did hear a tale passed along by Mary Balogh at a CaRWA seminar, regarding an author who wrote a story based in London.  This writer had no knowledge of the area and had all her facts about streets and buildings completely inaccurate.  If you know the area it kind of ruins the story for you - wouldn't you say?  Or how about if you get excited about that place and want to see it first hand and then find out it doesn't exist!!  Wow... that would be something! Especially if you flew there to see it!  Oh, by the way, Mary doesn't approve of me killing off the hero in a romance.  Go figure!  Lol.  I thought that would be a pretty cool twist!  Guess not!!  What do you think?

So my point is, Being accurate is sooo important.  Not only in locations but actual things being done.  Example:  In that great movie with Vin Deisel, 'The Fast and The Furious', Vin has a scene where he is berating Brian O'Connor [Paul Walker] about his driving and he says that Brian is 'Granny shifting' instead of double clutching while he is racing. Okay - not exact verbatim but you get my drift [oh that is funny - if you watch the series that is :-)], anyhow, double clutching in a race is sooooo slowwww!  Never done. Granny shifting is a single push of the clutch and a shift.  For me, that simple comment was distracting and took something from the show - credibility!  Okay, I got over it really fast.  After all, it's a flipp'n incredible movie!  Just saying...  No different than the countless times I hear in a movie someone say 'hard to port' and then they turn right to starboard.  Say what!?!?  Don't they know that port is left??  As an ex-navy man, that gets under your skin like a bad case of the... yeah okay, never mind!  Accuracy folks. it's a beautiful thing. That little dozy was in the movie Titanic.  If you watch close [I may even have the command backwards - same effect] but I'm pretty sure you'll see them drive right into that big 'ol iceberg!

Okay, enough about that.  Hell, you might have thought I was on a rant for a sec!  Didn't figure on that one did ya?

So, where does Trip get all his experience from?  Life folks - simply life.  I have always tried my best to truthfully seek out every adventure and every form of education that I could.  Not school stuff but life skills.  As a youngster, I was always incredibly active.  To the point that even as a teenager, I had no time for girls.  If I wasn't involved in track, I was playing football.  On weeknights I was playing my guitar, building models, attending Air Cadets  and reading.  Weekends was for camping, fishing, hiking and so on.  I would rebuild small engines and airguns for friends, go skiing and snow shoeing in the winter months as well as teach friends and very cute girls how to ski.  But... being busy was not always that great. Teaching cute girls to ski was amazing but I lacked the social skills to launch any assaults on that unknown gender.  Yup.. I was pathetic in that category!!

At age 12, I had my first job.  I mean a real one!  I don't count the paper route [had one] as a real job - that's just me. My father owned a seismic company so during the spring break and summer months, I carried a survey rod up and down cut-lines and roads of Alberta.  In my late teenage life, I became an Air Force reserve officer  before entering the Navy as a weapons technician on a destroyer.  Among all of this, I learned how to fly gliders and small planes, took up scuba diving, rock climbing, was an expert marksman, kayaked and  canoed, took wilderness survival training and well..., the list goes on.  I was very active.  But alas... no girls.... :(   But yet... I had mad skills!!!!

Alright, I need to make a point here... That thing with girls?  THAT was then!  If you know what I mean? LMAO.  One thing you will find out about me - I know how to laugh at myself.  Nothing better in life.  I think it keeps you from taking yourself too seriously.

So on that note my friends... I bid you all a goodnight and look forward to chatting with you soon. Hope you liked it.  Have a great night and remember - Play safe... accidents cause people!  Sorry... I had to do that!

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome everyone to the brand new blog of Trip Williams!  I guess that would be me. :-)  I have been doing a lot of thinking about what I should, or may want to, blog about.   After all, this is really a conversation between you and me.  That said, I think that I will be starting off with letting you folks learn a little about me!

So often, I hear people saying that you need to keep your life quiet - don't say anything about who you are.  For me, I would rather that we get to know each other just a little bit.  Even though this is a little one sided, I sure don't mind sharing some of my life with you.  I figure it this way; if you get to know me better, you will understand my writing just a titch bit more and maybe, just maybe..., relate a bit to what I'm saying.  Sound fair enough?

I plan to be blogging about twice a week and yeah, I won't always be boring you with the minuscule things that I find hilarious, but you may not.  I'll be doing guest blogs, posts from things that I feel are interesting and so forth. I will try my best to NOT bore you or get engaged in any religion or politics.  Even though I can be very politically motivated and yes... quite opinionated at times. But THAT is just me being me!

So, welcome aboard and I hope you drop by, leave comments and have a good time!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Trip Williams Author

For Trip Williams, life began on the west coast of British Columbia.  Born to beachcombing parents, this new life started out as a full blown adventure.  A dresser drawer for a crib aboard a thirty-eight foot tug named the Betty-Louise; the salt water filled his blood and became his first home as they ploughed through the channels and straights of the sunshine coast.  Visiting harbors and inlets as they made a living, the ocean was his home – his world.  Life offers a strange fate to those who are hardy and soon, the western waters were left behind as the prairies beckoned a young mother and her son back to Alberta. With the ocean left behind, life began anew amidst the golden stalks of wheat and barley.

Trip can always be heard saying; “Life cannot be explored from the comfort of a couch.”  It is his belief that life calls to you and it is your kismet that steers you beneath the stars; searching out and exploring the world we travel through.  Following the words of G. Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been,” Trip is forever in pursuit of fulfilling his desire to live a life with every breath, chasing down every perceivable adventure.

Serving in the Canadian military, as an Air Force reserve officer and a naval weapons technician, Trip has traveled from the eastern coasts of Africa, to Alaska and the southern blue waters of the Pacific.  Whether carving his path through the Rockies on his motorcycle, wreck diving or soaring high above the wheat fields in wings of steel, he is always on the move. With a treasure chest full of life’s experiences flowing like ink from his finger tips to his keyboard; long winter nights are spent unfolding untold tales - shared with his faithful Shepard, Sergeant lying by his side.