It was our first port of call on an amazing Caribbean adventure that Heidi, I, and the kids took in early February. We flew into San Juan, Puerto Rico a day early, visiting Old San Juan before embarking on our 7-day cruise through Saint Thomas, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, and Saint Martin. It was the kids’ first cruise and also their first time out of the country, passports required, and everyone had a blast. Highlights included zip-lining in the rain forest near the St. Lucia Pitons, swimming with dolphins in St. Kitts, and a snorkeling trip to a fairly deserted beach on one of the smaller islands of St. Martin, after an exciting (though my son might call it harrowing) 20-minute boat ride across a warm but very active ocean. We caught air off some of those massive waves.
(By the way, I don’t usually swim with a shirt, but being the pasty pale fellow I am, I bowed to my wife’s wisdom and wore a “swim coverall” to protect said pasty pale skin. The one day I didn’t, the last day we were there, proved her point, because I got a bad sunburn on my back, the only negative to an otherwise fantastic trip. So the lesson there is: always listen to your wife.)
In publishing news, the first two books in the Myron Vale series, Ghost Detective and The Ghost Who Said Goodbye, are now available in audio. You can buy them at Amazon, Audible, or iTunes. The excellent Steve Roy Grimsley did such a fine job with the Garrison Gage books that I enlisted him to narrate the Ghost Detective series, and I was pleased with the results. The last book, The Ghost, the Girl, and the Gold, is also in the can and should show up on the various vendor sites within a few weeks.
One other little bit of publishing news: “The Elevator in the Cornfield,” a short story that originally appeared in Time Streams, has been reprinted in the Fiction River’s Racing the Clock. Really great series, Fiction River, and well worth buying any of the individual volumes or even subscribing to the series from the publisher. Reminds me that I really do need to get back to writing short stories now and then. I made the choice to focus on novels for a few years to try to build an audience (a choice that’s worked out well for me, so I certainly don’t regret it), but I do miss the short story form. The dilemma, of course, is finding the time. Speaking of where I’ve been spending my early morning writing hours, work on the fifth Garrison Gage novel is nearly completed. It will still have to go through the editing process, but I hope to have it out this spring. I’ll be doing a cover reveal before too long.
I’m also teaching WR 464: Writing for Publication again, here at Western Oregon University this Spring term (starting in April). It went well two years ago, with strong reviews from students. It meets Wednesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm, with another hour of work online, and it’s filled with the kind of nuts and bolts information I learned in the trenches that I wished I’d had as an undergraduate. Although I’ll be updating it a bit, the description I posted a couple years ago is still accurate. Feel free to pass it along to anyone in the vicinity of Monmouth, Oregon who might be interested.
That’s all for now. Back before too long.