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!