What I’m up to in 2019

A busy Year

2019 is going to be a busy year for me, lots of positive changes. The major one is I’m having partial knee replacement surgery done on both my knees.

This is a Big Scary Thing for me, but also a Big Hopeful Potty Deal. I think facing uterine cancer surgery was easier than knee surgery, because with the cancer surgery it was either going to be all or nothing, live or die, although I was pretty convinced it was going to be live. Things were very clear. And there was little concern for hope, because things were so defined.

But with the knee surgery what’s happening is hope. And hope is a tenuous thing. You see, for the past decade or so I’ve hoped I would one day be without chronic pain. That I’d be able to walk unimpeded around this wee patch of paradise, our quirky village, go shopping, rummage about in antique shops, immerse myself in gardening without having to drag canes and a bench everywhere I went. To cook over the barbecue or fire-pit without it being an endurance performance.

And now that hope has been extended to me. I’m aware my recovery, and the success of the surgery, lies mostly in my court, that I must continue to be diligent about exercises, and mindful not to push things too far, as I’m wont to do. So, that’s kind of scary. If that makes any sense at all to anyone but me.

So, January 16 I go in for my left knee. Then April 2 for the right knee. I’m told it will take eight to 12 weeks for me to recover and have full function of each new knee, which means it will likely be July or August before I’m mucking about like a fully functioning maniac.

But hey, I’ve got this! I can do this. Best way to deal with the boorattlies is to yell at them, be fearless.

am I still Writing?

You bet I am. So, around being the publisher at Five Rivers Publishing, the administrator for Five Rivers Glass, and dealing with two new knees, I have a new novel coming out September 1: The Rose Guardian. 

Here’s the official promotional blurb:

There is a conversation that should have happened between Vi Cotter and her mother. Now it’s too late.

But sometimes the dead speak through the legacy they leave, and in this case Vi’s mother bequeaths her daughter, among other things, her journals. Do we sometimes seek absolution from the grave? Do we seek reconciliation between the child, the woman, the crone?

In a story of unspoken truths and hidden fears, The Rose Guardian explores the cages we make when we fail to unlock our secrets.

This is a magic realism story, set in Paris, Ontario and Manitoulin. It’s told from three perspectives: Vi Cotter who is an artist, through Una Cotter’s journals, and that of a little girl known as Lettie. It was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever written, which is astonishing because it took very little research. But what it did require of me was honesty, and crafting a story and characters that rang true. I think I’ve done that. I think this may be the best novel I’ve ever written.

Jeff Minkevics is working on a wonderful cover, one which I think captures the timbre of the novel. As soon as he’s finished it I’ll post it here, and of course put up a page so you, faithful readers, can purchase here or through your favourite online bookseller in trade paperback or ebook.

And Yet More Writing

I know, I know, as if I didn’t have enough to occupy me this year!

I have long wanted to write a novel about the Norse settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, so I’ve started. It’s very embryonic at the moment. When I’ll have it finished I have no idea. It seems to take me years to finish a novel. But that’s fine.

The working title is Hekja’s Lament. Hekja is a slave who was taken captive with her husband, Haki, by Thorfinn Karlsefni who was an Icelandic trader, around 995AD. She purportedly travelled to what we now suspect was L’Anse aux Meadows with the original Norse settlers.

So, there you have it. Two new knees. Two new novels. 2019.


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