The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Just around the corner...

I've been assured that Spring is coming. If you believe the Press it came last week. There are even signs that the season of renewal is desperately trying to make its presence known. Over the Easter weekend my son and I played basketball in the driveway - twice. The family went for a great long walk the day before yesterday along the still snow choked-path along the Grand River but it was mild and pleasant and the water was actually flowing - moving - not frozen!! And yesterday, to top it all off - a big fat robin in the back yard! Actually a pair of big fat robins hopping merrily around the bird-feeders. Joy of joys - winter must be over if my sweet friends the robins have come back.

Today those same sweet, sweet harbingers of Spring are probably taking shelter in the cedar hedge that runs along the western edge of my property cowering and wondering what the hell they were doing showing themselves yesterday. Today, as I look out the window, my eyes are greeted by a wall of white. Yes, the day after the universally agreed upon sign of Spring shows up we're find ourselves in the grip of a March blizzard.

That's life.

Speaking of "That's life" my wife directed me to a little something on YouTube. It's actually the last lecture made by a fella called Randy Pausch - a professor dying of cancer. He was featured on Oprah but don't let that dissuade you. If you follow the link, I promise you it's worth a look.

I also found out today that a geeky kind of teenage hero of mine passed away earlier this month. That's right, folks, the father of Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax is dead. Back in 1974 along with his buddy, Dave Arneson, he created a world of escape where every shy awkward kid could, armed only with a pencil, some graph paper, a fist full of multi-sided dice and an imagination become a hero of epic proportions. For those of us who were a little awkward and ...well, a little was very empowering. It was in large part the game of D&D that help inspire my interest in writing fantasy. Farewell, Gary, you'll be missed.

Writing is going slowly. I have set aside most of this week to clean up Loremaster for the eventually submission to DAW. The writing workshop gears up again this Thursday and I'm sure there's something I should have put together for that that will need to be addressed either tomorrow or Thursday morning.

The other bit of news is that although Windows Vista, in my opinion, really, really sucks, there is one part of it that I have discovered leaves XP in the dust. That feature is the built-in Speech Recognition software. My daughter is very musical and asked if there was a way we could record her voice on the computer. I knew that there was a dusty old microphone plugged into the basement office computer from my previous flirtation with Speech Recognition with XP. Well, eventually the microphone found itself plugged into the Vista-driven laptop. Low and behold, a new interface and a computer begging me to talk to it. After a little training I was running applications and surfing the web without placing a finger on the keyboard. I am, thus far, impressed.

Better get back to the other writing now...