Dundee by Way of Paris

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I am on my way again today and tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be back in Dundee. Hurrah! Apologies to all the folks I didn’t see this visit, but being without a car means being in the village. At least there was a lot of painting to do. Big thanks to Debi, Peg and Mary for visiting me out in the countryside. The house has a long way to go yet, but we are making progress. Hoping to talk Bertie into a ‘Work in Progress’ party in September or October. Maybe we’ll have the 1810 room done and ready to show off.

Spring has come and just in time we have a newly re-screened porch. It’s amazing how much of a difference a coat of paint and modern screening makes. Connor and Kipper love it, too. They have a better view over the back yard to keep an eye on the birds, deer, woodchuck, fox, squirrels and chipmunks. Never a dull moment.

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Playing in the Mud

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Spring may have slipped in while we were all looking at the snow that fell east of us (sorry, Connecticut). Our little spring is flowing great guns but we’re going to be digging it out a little to form a grotto. I visualise something like a Brigit well. I have new wellies and everything.

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We have a new weeping willow. It’s wee yet but I’m sure it will grow well down in the swampy area. We’re trying to make paths around through the dry bits, down to the area where Bertie says we should have a Japanese tea house (but I think we should have the pirate ship that I saw at the shed place on route 9).

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It’s funny: when we were kids the spring floods would make an impromptu stream flow from the huge maple out back all the way down to the giant willow tree in the field beside the house. Nothing would entertain us more than building dams and sailing little boats while it lasted. So were we unconsciously drawn to this place by that sense memory? Doubtless so.

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April finds its way through the undergrowth from the skunk cabbage down in the wetlands and the daffodils and tulips up the hill. Time to be planting and clearing away what fell over the winter. New growth, renewed life and hope — we all need it.

Building Interest

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I really do like the blue walls and ceiling and bookshelves in my office. Suddenly it’s a whole new world. More places for books and media, but also a whole different feel to the place as well. Even once I took the blue paint masking tape off the windows and it no longer looked like TARDIS cathedral.

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My god, you say — it’s been almost a week. Don’t you have any new publications coming out? Hey, I’m doing my best to make the most of this sabbatical year. Who knows when I’ll next have this much time to write? Oh sure, a lot of it lately has gone toward painting and spackling lately, but soon the DIY madness will be done for a while and I will be back in full time writer mode.

And I do have a couple of publications coming soon.

One of them is the charity anthology Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. In order to start building interest in the release, I helped out by making a little trailer video with all the Blackwitch Press books, which include the popular Roman Dalton series begun by Paul D. Brazill and carried on by a motley crew that includes me. I set it all to a cool tune by Peter Ord — check out his Soundcloud page for more music. He’s got a great sense of style that manages to sound swingingly retro and yet completely modern. Good stuff.

And watch the trailer! Help spread the word by sharing it. It’s a big world out there; it’s easy to get lost.

DIY

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Kipper is not amused.

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Kipper and Connor get on well for the most part. The occasional toy dispute ruffles a few feathers.

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My first NY breakfast with local syrup for local people.

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Removing one layer of wallpaper to find another: a southern motif.

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What the finished version of the sitting room will look like. Cheery! In less cheery news, have to replace the struts on my car. In the meantime, no strutting (I think that’s what it means).