Thursday, 20 July 2017

Does anyone understand Amazon bestseller rankings? 
Out of the Mist, our (Evergreen Writers Group) anthology of ghost stories had spikes in its e-book bestseller ranking on on May 5, May 31 when it reached #4 in the short story grouping, and June 8. We also had a spike in our paperback sales on May 22, but I think I understand that one.
During that period we had no e-book sales, nor any free book promotions or anything else that might have generated 'sales' and improved rankings without bringing in any revenue.
So how did we get to number four on the rankings for short stories ahead of Carol Shields, Madeleine Thein, Margaret Atwood and Alice Monroe? I know it was only a few days, but it felt good to be momentarily ahead of those well-known authors.
I just wish I knew how the rankings worked.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Golden Age of Dystopias
So Brexit has happened. Now if the Donald can win the Presidential election in the US, he and Boris Johnson, two tow-headed examples of humanity's future, can unite to form the core of Oceania. Then if Vladimir Putin (another tow-head?) can use his military might to force the Europeans to replace Britain with Russia in the European Union, we will be two-thirds of the way to Nineteen Eighty-Four.
A glorious example, it will be, not of history repeating itself, but of the world striving to live up to the imaginings of authors of dystopian fiction. The golden age of dystopias could be upon us.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Short story I was actually paid for!

Yesterday, I received a huge double digit payment for short story I submitted to teen suspense/horror anthology to be published by a nanoscopic publisher (nanoscopic is a thousand times smaller than microscopic, but, hey, everyone knows smaller is better). It's the first time I've been paid for a story. I've received free copies of the books before, but never cold hard cash.
The story is titled Bearing Witness and will be appear in Out of the Cave in a month or two. The publisher is MacKenzie Publishing, a local NS publishing venture. Their website is for anyone who is interested.
I'll post another message when the book is finished and shows up for sale on Amazon, etc.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Evergreen Writers Group renewed webpage

As I mentioned in a post I made last summer, the writing group I belong to, the Evergreen Writers Group in Halifax Nova Scotia, joined the modern world and produced a web page. We are a bunch of volunteers with too much too do and too litttle money to devote to this writing group. As a result of time constaints and other considerations responsibility for the website has moved from one member to another. It has now been resurected at a new location. The link for it is now  One benefit of our revised site is we now have a blog page for posting short short stories and poems by our members.  The link for the writings blog is  and I posted a flash fiction story on it yesterday.  It's a story prepared for a flash fiction contest I did not win. For those too busy to visit our website I will repost it here.

The Saddest Day of the Year

Christmas was the saddest day of the year, the only time he regretted not having a family.
The orphanage taught him about frugality and hard work, but not about love.  Through university, an interesting career as a computer specialist, and three years volunteering for charities, Kevin Anderson worked hard and saved his pennies.  He didn’t lack friends, but after a drink or two, always went home alone.  It had been his choice, what he was comfortable with.  He’d never been on a date or visited the home of a colleague.
Staying alone and aloof from social interaction hadn’t been difficult.  He didn’t have a psychological need to be with others, and the structure of his workplace made it easy to maintain his distance.
After retirement, everything except his work with Meals on Wheels continued as before.  Spending three hours a day, two days a week, delivering meals with fellow volunteer Pamela Barlow led to a closer friendship.
He’d maintained his distance until she invited him to Christmas dinner with her family.  He accepted Pamela’s invitation and ventured forth to buy wine for dinner, and presents for her family.  He discovered that he enjoyed buying things for others.
On Christmas Day, a terrified Kevin Anderson climbed the steps to her modest house, a sixty-four-year-old man on his first date with no idea what to expect.  The door opened and Pamela’s welcoming smile bewitched him.  The joyous noises and warmth from within quelled his fears.  A warm fire, mistletoe and the traditional turkey dinner beckoned.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Never Another Winter

A short story, Never Another Winter, that I wrote some time ago has just been published in Quarter Castle Chronicles Volume One by Quarter Castle Publishing, a small Nova Scotia publisher. Link to their website is
The volume is available in paperback form on;
My story chronicles the last moments of an old  man's life, but with a happy ending.  
This little volume of thirteen stories contains three written by the Evergreen Writers Group of Dartmouth NS. Website for the group is Interesting that all three of our stories, written without each others knowledge, are ghost stories.  We appear to be getting typecast; we previously published our own anthology of ghost stories titled Out of the Mist.  There is more about it in earlier posts on this blog.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Evergreen Writers Group webpage

The Evergreen Writers Group, the writers I associate with in Halifax/Dartmouth Nova Scotia, has just made a giant leap into the modern age.  We have developed a website! 
We hope it will accomplish four things.  First, we wish to establish a greater presence so other writers in the Halifax/Dartmouth area who might be looking for a group can find us.  Second, we hope it will give a little extra visibility to the anthology of short stories we have written (Out of the Mist, see blog posts I made last summer for details of book and where it can be found).  Third, we wish to highlight novels, short stories and poems group members have published.  Finally, it will give everyone out there in cyberspace an opportunity to communicate with us.
We may find other interesting uses for the site but for the moment, those are our goals.  If you are interested in visiting the site here is the link:

Friday, 17 April 2015

Never Another Winter

"Never Another Winter" follows the last minutes of an old man's life as he remembers the good times and prepares to join his long departed wife in the hereafter.
I entered this short story in a contest sponsored by Quarter Castle Publishing, a small Nova Scotia publisher.  My story didn't win any prizes but was selected along with nine others as stories that 'captured the interest' of the judges.  The three prize winners plus the ten honourable mentions will appear in September in the first Quarter Castle Chronicles.
The thirteen stories in this anthology will include three written by members of the Evergreen Writers Group of Halifax.  The contest attracted entries from all across Canada (and perhaps beyond), so not bad going for our little writing group.