Sunday, June 14, 2015

Memory lane

Things have been quiet on the blog recently for a couple of reasons.

First, I'm letting life settle back to normality after a week-long trip to my old home in Guernsey, UK. This is only the second time I've been back since moving to Canada, and the last trip was six years ago. This will probably tell you that this is not a journey I choose to make for my own pleasure. Both times were to celebrate significant family anniversaries.

I was not looking forward to the traveling. It's long, tiring, and we are regularly regaled with stories of how airlines treat their paying passengers as nothing more than cattle to be herded into the smallest possible space, so I had visions of traveling conditions deteriorating even further over the last six years.

In the end, things weren't nearly as bad as I'd feared, and the trip as a whole was a good experience. The downsides were the inevitable fatigue of so much traveling for such a short spell - barely over jet lag one way before it's time to turn around and head home - and endless waits in airport lounges, shuffling in line at check-ins, security, passport control, baggage reclaim...

On the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised by the Air Transat flight. Although airline seats are not designed to fall asleep in, at least I didn't feel like my knees were pressed into my chest the whole way. And we were served relatively decent food, with a complimentary glass of wine - something I really didn't expect in cattle class!

It was good to reconnect with family and some old friends, and to revisit a few places. Things haven't changed much over the years, apart from a bit more development squeezing out the last few open spaces. The big change has been in my own perceptions. Having grown used to open spaces, few crowds, and courteous drivers, getting around the island was intimidating to say the least.

As an added bonus, I was able to meet sci-fi artist Chris Foss, who has a home and a studio in Guernsey. Chris's cover art for Azimov and E.E. "Doc" Smith books, amongst others, has had a big influence on my own work.

The second reason for staying offline (I did say there were a couple) - I'm busy finalizing Tiamat's Nest for publication. After a few back-and-forths with the book designer I think we're very close on the cover design, and I'm working through a final round of edits on the text. I'm hoping to release the e-book next month, with the paperback to follow shortly after. More information to follow in due course...


  1. Congratulations on the upcoming release.
    Complimentary wine? Now that's a plus. Glad the trip was a good experience.

  2. It sounds like you had better flights on your vacation than I did on mine, with Swiss Air. Never again will I suffer through cramped seating, bad food, and thew inability to regulate temperature. Swiss Air gets very low marks from me. Glad to hear your latest book is humming along.

  3. Alex, I was pleased enough to be offered complimentary food these days. A small glass of wine was a real bonus!

    Stephen, sorry you had such a bad flying experience, but it sounds like the trip itself made up for it. I love Austria and Bavaria, I'm deeply envious.

  4. Hi Botanist! Glad your book is nearly done. Welcome back home! I'd love to fly first class one day just so I could see what it's like, lol! Hmm. Meanwhile, back in cattle class...

    Denise :-)

  5. Yay for the next book! Can't wait. I hear you about traveling home and all the joys/crazy that go with it. I just did that for a wedding and a funeral...with a 2 month old baby. Yup. Life, eh?

  6. Denise, I did business class once, which was a very comfortable experience. Aah, well, we can dream, can't we? :)

    Crystal, with a baby in tow? That was brave. Mind you, both directions on my journey there were parents with babies on board so I guess it's not so unusual.

  7. Hi Ian ... so pleased you had a happy, but very short, trip back to Guernsey - one day I will get to those islands ...

    What an opportunity meeting up with Chris Foss .. that must have been so interesting ... and a great contact.

    Good luck with Tiamat's Nest ... your art work for that has been amazing to see ... cheers Hilary

  8. Hilary, it was fantastic meeting Chris. I've been in awe of his book covers for well over forty years!


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