Echo: The Retirement Years (Steeds … Chapter IX)

In 1990, I embarked on a grand adventure, one that would take me away from Echo and all things horse, a nine-month journey of the South Pacific—Fiji, the Cook Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. I couldn’t afford to travel and keep a horse so Echo was leased while I was away.

The young woman who’d leased him had enjoyed every moment and was keen to have me come to watch her in what would be their final competition together before he was returned to my care. He looked fabulous—fit, shiny, and ready for the show ring. I couldn’t resist taking him for a short ride before she tacked him up and below is one of my favourite photos of the two of us, a black & white taken by my Australian friend Matthew who was visiting Canada.

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Exploring Place – Part V

In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Below is the fifth and final segment of the what I learned list:


Take time to smell the flowers! And any other aromatic items in your setting.P1040739


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Exploring Place – Part IV

In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Here’s part four of what I learned:


Keep a little space in your luggage for that thing you just have to take home. Is a hat, a mug, a stone or some other item key to your story or your inspiration? In my case, it was a small piece of heart-shaped coral, just a little keepsake of the Baja beach, until it turned into part of my cover art.20141113_074305 Continue reading

Exploring Place – Part III

In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Here’s part three of what I learned:


Check out the local architecture. You don’t have to travel very far to find people living and working in structures much different from what you’re familiar with. Take note of what buildings are constructed of, their size, shape, colours and style.20141108_160741 Continue reading

Exploring Place – Part II

In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the setting for my novel House of the Blue Sea.

Here’s part two of what I learned:


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Department store display in San Jose del Cabo.

Whether you’re travelling to another city, another country or another continent, pay attention to what’s different from where you live. And it doesn’t hurt to take note of things that are the same, like Yoda and reindeer.

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Exploring Place – Part I


House of the Blue Sea CoverIt’s been an exciting journey from a story idea formed in a snowy field in February of 2010 to a novel release scheduled for February of 2016. Six years … of writing, learning about writing, attending conferences on writing, talking to other writers about writing, revising writing … so yes, a lot of writing.

And, in addition to all of the above, a bit of research. Merriam-Webster defines research as “the collecting of information about a particular subject”. That about covers it and, luckily for me, in some cases this means walking beaches, watching sunrises, and drinking margaritas. Continue reading