Friday, 16 February 2018

I'm Not Quite Dead Yet

Isn't it funny how the holidays and real life can keep one secluded from certain social aspects in life? In my case, it turns out it was the upkeep of this blog, once again.

Yes, the Holiday season has come and gone once again, as has Valentine's Day, and my day job has kept me quite busy as of late. Some days, I confess it has been a struggle to actually sit down and write. Mind you, it can be tough to concentrate on such a task after working an 8-hour day when you have two small dogs barking for constant attention. Don't get me wrong, I love them to death, and I know they miss me like crazy when I'm gone, but it does put a crimp in a creative muse's style. But that's not to say that it hasn't been active during my prolonged absence from this page. (What has it been this time? Almost 3 months now? Oy!)

First off, before the holiday, I quickly whipped up my fifth poetry collection. Entitled, A Little Box of Poems, it continues my trait of "reflective poetry" with a hodgepodge of 49 poems detailing my thoughts and feelings over the past few months. Some of them have a message of homesickness, which I do confess I have from time to time, but while I might be miss my former homeland, I've taken a relatively firm root down here in Florida.

Shortly after, purely on a whim, I quickly merged my four Gary Celdom stories together into one handy-dandy digital download. If you haven't had the opportunity to read any of my tales about my hallmark aging Toronto detective, his partner-cum-girlfriend, the ghost of his former fiancee, and his best friend who moonlights as a writer, Gary Celdom Case Journals Anthology: Volume 1-4 is the e-book you should purchase. No worries about downloading all the stories in 3-4 separate tomes. Here, you can get them all at once. Plus, I think the purple cover with the Toronto skyline at night is pretty freakin' sweet. Sorry, paperback lovers, this anthology is for digital download only, but you can still get the stories in paperback by picking up Gary Celdom Case Journals: Volume One, which contains the first two of Gary's stories, Rouge Numbered Week, and Kawartha Christmas Caper.

As for what is currently on tap for yours truly, writing-wise, there's a couple projects I have on the horizon. I'm currently toiling away on a contribution for an anthology being composed in conjunction with the Show Me Your Books author signing event I'll be appearing at this September in Kansas City, Missouri. This event will be my second signing event in 2018, as I will also be making my return to the Tampa Indie Author Book Convention happening this July in Florida.

My other project, which I hope to start writing in May once I finish my anthology contribution, is something I've been toying about for a couple weeks now. I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say I've been following the weather reports lately, and there seems to be a "Dirty Red Cloud" forming off the Pacific Northwest Coast. ;-)

That's all I have for now. Time to get back to my day job. Thank you everyone for understanding of my absence, and I hope to be back again soon.

- DJM

Friday, 24 November 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend 2017 Reflections

I know I haven't updated this blog in a month (qu'elle surprise!), mostly because my day job has been laying more boots to me than a nobody getting beaten up by a big-name pro wrestler in the ring. But I believe I should catch you guys and gals up on what's been going on in my writing world as of late.

For those who recall the last time I posted on here, I was in the midst of participating in OctPoWriMo, a writing challenge where participants attempt to write and post 31 poems within the 31 days of October. As someone who has written 140 poems in 5 weeks, one would think it would've been a piece of cake for me. Alas, work got extremely hectic during the last week and a half of the month (Damn you, midterms!) and I abandoned the challenge after 22 days. A disappointing effort from yours truly, I admit; however, the poems, technically, could be used as fodder for a future 5th poetry collection somewhere down the line, provided time and my muse decide to co-operate once again.

The same excuse could be applied to my attempt at National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, as it's known for short) this year. While I had all good intentions to write 50,000 words in a month, I was skeptical as my attempt last year fell short, coming in at 32,000 words for November 2016. This year's effort is fairing even worse. Over the three projects I've worked on this month, I have yet to crack the 10,000 word mark combined. Again, I blame work for zapping all of my creative energy. Admittedly, working full-time since the end of June has done significant damage to it. I'm praying a reversion back to part-time hours in 2018 will kick-start it back up, but I'm doubtful I will be granted my wishes this upcoming holiday season. However, that being said, my writing efforts haven't gone unproductive.

For fans of the romance genre, the long-awaited release of the second book in my Prairie Fire Trilogy has occurred. Back on November 4th, I unleashed The Prairie Fire Rekindled onto the world.


Ain't it purdy?

The book is available in paperback off of Amazon, and in e-book form on all the major retailers: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and Apple iBooks. It continues on from where The Prairie Fire Within left off, but with a special focus on the new relationship of Amanda's best friend, Ashley Washburn, and her new beau, Chuck MacDonald. There's still some steamy scenes in it (including a delicious foray on the side of a deserted highway, but I won't give too much more away), so those who loved the heat in the first book will hopefully delight in this one.

Speaking of romance, the big thing in romance author social media is the new networking site, Book + Main. It's a website that allows romance authors to share snippets, or "bites", of their works and connect with fellow authors and readers. The site is free to join for readers, and authors once verified are given a free trial to explore the website and post their bites. After the trial, authors who wish to maintain their accounts will be asked to pony up a monthly or yearly membership fee. It seems pricey to some, but compared to other promo tools, I think it's somewhat economical. Mind you, I haven't had any hits on my bites yet, so I'm still in the 'wait and see' mode, so far. If you desire to check myself and any of the authors on there, surf on over to: http://www.bookandmainbites.com to see what the steamy fuss is all about. I'm listed on there under my C. D. Melley persona.

Save for that, my failed NaNo projects have planted the seeds for the fifth book in my 'Gary Celdom Case Journals' series; also, for some twisted reason, the sixth book in that series. Book 6 looks to be another flashback book akin to how Barbadian Backlash (Book 2) was, but both of these are still in the first draft stages, so it'll be interesting to see how they develop over time.

That's all for now on my end. For those who celebrated Thanksgiving in the U.S. yesterday, I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy with with your family and friends, and I also hope you're not going too nuts with the Black Friday sales today. 

Until next time, loyal readers...

Douglas


Sunday, 22 October 2017

Day 22: A Little TLC

Everyone needs a little
TLC in their lives
Whether it's the kind from a pet
Or another human being.

In today's world I have seen
So much hate and anger
Towards their fellow man
And it disheartens me to no end.

I can understand the different causes
There are to promote togetherness
In a bid to provide a voice
For those who have been ignored for too long.

Alas, the hierarchy out there
Continues to beat their own drum
In a feeble bid to silence the roars
From those who have been slighted.

I pray for the day to come
Where we can all unite as one
And TLC will prevail once and for all
Over the hatred that exists today.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

Day 21: Time to Experiment

Earlier this week
There was supposed to be a
Chili Cook-off at work
Unfortunately, it was cancelled.

They claimed it was due to lack of interest
But are replacing it with a slow-cooker challenge
Where people attempt to create their fave recipes
Using the cooking appliance known as a Crock Pot.

I've contemplated entering the contest
Using my chili recipe
However, I'm thinking about conjuring up
A new creation this time around.

Of course, to make sure
It is worthy enough of entry
I will attempt to create it
Here at home for my wife and I.

I have all of the necessary ingredients
In my pantry and refrigerator
The query I must ask myself
Is whether to do it this weekend or next.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Day 20: Assisting a Friend's Cause

This weekend I'm participating
In a charity auction on Facebook
Where proceeds are going to help with expenses
Of a young baby's travel and medical bills.

The little boy suffers from Apert Syndrome
A disorder where the child's skull bone fuses early
It also could cause the fingers and toes to fuse together
A dire circumstance for an infant.

Members of the book and artist community
Have come together to raise funds for the cause
Offering books in print or electronic
Others offering swag of different sorts.

Myself, I'm offering up two e-book bundles
Of my three romance titles
Including a certain title that
Hasn't been released yet.

I hope the event raises a lot of money
To help little Wyatt overcome this disorder
No one his age should have to suffer
From such an abnormality.



Thursday, 19 October 2017

Day 19: Not the Caffeine Addict I Used to Be

With November's writing season upon us
I look back to the love affair I had
Between myself and caffeine
And notice the relationship has changed.

Whenever I used to attempt to write
A 50,000-word novel in 30 days
Coffee was my mistress
A dangerous affair for my health.

At times I would down an entire carafe
Within one daily session
Alas, thanks to high blood pressure issues
I've had to re-evaluate this strategy.

I now limit my caffeine intake
Due to this medical concern.
Opting for caffeine-free beverages
Outside of the morning hours.

I do miss my old caffeinated ways
I think my drive has suffered a tad
However, if I want to live long with my wife
The sacrifice had to be made.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Day 18: Passing of a Legend

Within the past twenty-four hours
Canadians lost a legendary poet
Whose lyrics struck a chord
Within every resident who heard them.

I confess I've only heard his band play twice
Once during a multi-artist benefit concert
The other during halftime of a football game
And due to them, I understood the hype.

Fans flocked to their concerts
Chanting for the band to take the stage
And when the man took to the mic
They all sang along to their favorites.

Alas today, Bobcaygeon has grown silent
The Hundredth Meridian had faded a little
New Orleans has sank a tad lower
And The Century has come a bit closer.

Fare thee well, Gord
Your legacy lives on forever
May your lyrics play with you in heaven
With Grace, Too.