Thursday 26 January 2012

Angry Robot Opens Door Again

Yesterday I received an email from Angry Robot Books informing me about an opportunity for debut novelists (that would be me!!!!) to have another Open Door Month like they had last year. The submissions for 2011 garnered publication for three authors - Cassandra Rose Clarke, Lee Collins and Lee Battersby, and at least six brand new novels for publication with Angry Robot Books in 2012 and 2013.

Angry Robot Books are having another Open Door running from April 16th - April 30th, 2012. This time they require only two types of genre: EPIC FANTASY - with a bit of an edge or the sort of left-field twist the Angry Robot audience has come to expect, and YA -any subject welcome, but must be science fiction or fantasy, and inteded for a Young Adult audience, for potential publication via Angry Robot's new Strange Chemistry imprint.

Further details can be found at

Alas, my novel(s)-in-progress are not epic fantasy: no shwash buckling heroes brandishing broad swords fighting to uphold justice in whatever kingdom is prevalent. No lovely heroines to be rescued from some dastardly villan who seeks power and voluptuous maidens imprisoned in a tower or dungeon.

But, surely there's someone out there who has something that needs a quick review and rewrite or edit to polish it off and send it. It's worth a try.

On anorther note, this photo was taken near Sparwood, B.C.

The snow disappeared a few days ago in a heat wave of 7C and rain, and has now reappeared with a light dusting. Its a wonder the trees aren't in a state of shock with the rapid changes in temperature. The forecast called for partial sun and cloud yesterday and it was overcast the whole day. Today I expect much of the same. I love it when the sun comes out as it refreshes my optimism.

I've posted a photo to remind myself that I must get back to my hiking posts. I had one partially done for last year that never made it to the blog. It seems as if the hours in my day have shortened to where nothing I work on gets completed or progresses properly.

Photo Credit: Gord McKenna CC=nc-nd-flickr.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Winter Means Snow

The winter weather has so far astounded me, at least as far as Toronto is concerned. I'm quite familiar with snow, frigid temperatures combined with blustery winds during the northern hemisphere's winters. This year has been a huge exception: almost balmy some days with rain followed by an odd day of colder temperatures with little snow only to change in an day or so to above freezing temperatures combined with rain showers. I wonder how the trees and bushes cope with such modified weather. Even the squirrels are out foraging.

The Mallards that inhabit the nearby creek don't seem to mind as long as they can paddle happily in free moving water. Though they do quite well with walking on ice. It's quite the sight to see them bobbing their heads in the water to cleanse themselves. A little too frigid for me.

The photo is taken near the Flathead Range in the Crowsnest Pass in winter. The Flathead Range makes up part of the Continental Divide between Alberta and British Columbia.

For history buffs courtesy of "The Flathead Range was named in 1924 after a tribe of Indians that lived in northwestern Montana. Some members of the tribe wrapped the soft-boned heads of their infants against a board so as to shape their skulls in a preferred manner."

Photo Credit: tipkodi CC=nc-flickr. Click to enlarge.

Sunday 1 January 2012

This photo is taken in Kananaskis Provincial Park, Alberta.

With the New Year of 2012 upon us, I wish everyone a blessed and glorious time. Personally, I'm looking forward to the change of ages from Pisces to Aquarius in December: a new age which is said to bring peace, harmony and joyous love between people in a new "Golden Age". We will be leaving the Age of Pisces where people were forced to be under the control of others. Now is the time for every person to take control of their lives and see what measures they can assist in implementing to help others less fortunate or to see that proper safety measures are taken in environmental issues.

There are always a variety of avenues to be considered: safe health products, better standards for drinking water...i.e. is chlorine really safe to use? Chlorine is used in a variety of ways: to safeguard tap water, in disposable diapers, in bleach, in swimming pools, etc. The dangers of chlorine and its by-products is that it is linked to various forms of cancer. Are the chemicals used in household products, medical prescriptions, personal care items such as deodorant, soap, perfume, cosmetics, safe? Most are not. It's time for people to take an interest in what products they use and how they affect their lives and the lives of their families. Corporate companies are interested in the financial bottom line, not consumers' safety.

On a less serious note, winter did not really arrive in Toronto. It came for a couple of days after Christmas with a scattering of snow followed by mild temperatures and today it's raining with a temperature of 4C. The weather folks say it'll be a mild winter. Global change or is the planet wobbling lower these days? Ever noticed how the sun is located in a different position than when you were younger. Pay attention to where it sits above the horizon and where it sets. In 2010 in April a friend and I noticed that the sun was at an odd height at 4pm: quite high in the western sky when it should have been lower. Who out there has noticed the ground tremble just a little in the late afternoon or evening? A tremble almost imperceptible, but there. Any tremble more than this and my birds act up. Do you pay attention to what is going on around you, or are you more concerned about what's for dinner, or what movie you're going to, or how many emails you have to slog through at work? Take a few minutes and take a good look around you, feel the quiet in the park or is there something else there you didn't quite see before.

Some food for thought for the coming year. Be alert to new things and just maybe you'll experience something profound and new.

Photo Credit: D'arcy Norman CC=flickr.