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

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Spring is in the air

It feels like spring will never come.  Lately it seems every time I check the 14 day trend at The Weather Network there's this amazing diagonal temperature line that heads ever upwards into the future.  The problem is that's where the beginning of that line has been staying - in the future, usually just one day out.  This morning, however, we seem to have finally caught hold of the start of that line.

A little friend near the back door of my office invited me to sample the warm weather with her gentle coo.

I think she and her gentleman friend are nesting in the cedar hedge that runs right along the wall of the office.  I hope so.  She looks like she would be a good neighbour.

It's been a busy time and not without a few disappointments.

First - I was not accepted to Clarion West this year.  It would have been a spectacular experience but it would also have been six weeks away from my family in the summertime...  Besides, I think I might like this six-week workshop experience more.

The other disappointment was this.  The Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize shortlist was announced and my name wasn't on it.  I never really expected lightning to strike twice but when I entered Herne into the contest back in December I knew I was submitting a much better manuscript than The Platinum Ticket, my novel that was shortlisted last time around.  All that means is I need to get busy finishing an edit of Herne then introducing that novel to the world of publishing.

A couple of years ago we built a new park in Centre Wellington and I played a small part in getting it done.  Now, except for a handful of engraved donor stones that will be etched on the first suitable day this spring, the park is finished with the addition of this plaque.  The plaque thanks everyone involved with the creation of this heritage green space in my community.

And then there's this:

One of my favourite places is Roxanne's Reflections Bookstore in the heart of downtown Fergus.  That's Roxanne in the photo presenting the Elora Writers' Festival's line-up of authors for 2013.  I sit on the committee for the Elora Writers' Festival and I encourage anyone who has the chance to join us on May 26th for an intimate afternoon of author readings in beautiful Elora, Ontario.

While we're talking about entertainment I make an annual pilgrimage each April to Sault Ste Marie to attend the Northland Chorus' Barbershop Show.   This really isn't my sort of thing but I've grown to love the show and look forward to it each year all because of my association with the Chorus' director, Bob Shami.  I got to know Bob years ago in a different life for both of us.  He was the brewmaster (best job title in the world, by the way) at Northern Breweries and I was selling lovely retail packages.  That relationship turned to friendship very quickly as two creative people in not so creative jobs found a lot of common ground.  If you are around the Soo this weekend, you might just be able to get a ticket for Saturday's performance.  I've never been disappointed.

So...what am I working on right now?

I have a number of short story ideas brewing at the moment and I'll be tackling them in turn soon enough, but each day I'm working on something that requires this sort of reference material:

What could all of those have in common?

Wait and see - I have a really good feeling about this project.