Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Friday, 30 January 2015

A Satisfying End to the Week

A view of our snowshoe trail down our road. This is from last year but this year's looks exactly the same. I think I walk a fairly straight line through the snow.

Just managed to get the webzine for February published. Jack ran into some technical difficulties but we managed to get it in under the wire. Won't be promoting until February actually begins. Time constraints but it works for me. This'll boost the count for February and not exaggerate January's accomplishments.

I'm tickled to see the webzine top 1000 page views and my combined sites top 2000. This is all new territory for me. I'm just please to see how well received everything is at this point.

Keeping it short. Sabbath for us is almost here. I need the physical rest. Work was crazy busy for parts of the last two days. I am pretty much recovered from the bug that laid us all low early in the week. Things are looking pretty good.

Time to rest. Phew!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Storm is Passed

The big storm that hit the northeastern USA and Canada ran right over us. I've seen far worse. It was bad enough though. Can't hardly wait for spring and warmer weather.

The restaurant I worked in closed once they realized that with the TransCanada closed we weren't going to get much business. Francine had to come and pick me up early. She got so confused in our parking lot. We had a private plough doing the lot while the gas station sharing our lot had their own plough there. There were at least two other ploughs there waiting to get coffee. She wasn't sure where to go to not be in the way.

Andrew's shift got cancelled entirely. On the bright side I got a free meal and hot chocolate for actually showing up so it wasn't a loss. Cleaning the grill isn't my favourite job though and showing up was tantamount to volunteering for the chore.

Yesterday we were open again and I had to go outside and dig up the garbage cans. People can't use them is they can reach or find them. Ended up putting in extra hours filling in for sick bodies. That bug that hit us is really making the rounds. I'm at about 90% now. Still have occasional coughing fits but otherwise have most of my strength.

Our camp is snowed in right now. Only access is by snowmobile or snowshoe. Been easier in that regard than last winter. The half kilometre hike in and out is a good workout.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Miserable Today

The bug that laid so many of kids low is ravaging me right now. It isn't as bad as I feared. My lungs have cleared enough for me to conclude that inhalers won't be necessary. I hate taking medication of any kind. I still have a bad cough, at times a low grade fever and have some trouble keeping myself warm enough. Same thing everyone else suffered through except the upset stomach. Don't feel too sorry for me though. Francine is still here to nurse us all. Maybe you should feel sorry for her.

The above photo was taken last year after a pretty epic snowstorm. Right now we have very little snow but by tomorrow night I'm expecting things to look more like this picture. If I can be back up to strength, I'm hoping to be able to work my scheduled shift. Failing that we go to emergency in town and get doctor's note excusing me. I hate losing time off work for any reason. I rarely do and if I can help it tomorrow won't be any different.

I have done a little bit of writing today. The rest of the time I've been in bed. I am heartened by how well my new Blogs are doing. This one especially is doing well. My cycling magazine in only six page views away from 1000 for January. Our previous best was 708 in a month so I'm doing something right.

I was hoping to create a more intuitive button for the bicycle and book shops powered by Amazon. I get four percent of all sales up to three per month. Four sales and above boosts that number to six percent. It doesn't do me any good if no one notices the advertisement or button.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Bug Has Bitten

Nasty bug hitting the family pretty hard this morning. We had four with fevers: Sheldon, Andrew, Mieke and Wesley. Brandon has just recovered from it. Most inconvenient. Francine went shopping by herself because there was no healthy body to go with her. I had a shift during the day today and Brandon has the overnight. Everyone else stayed in bed.

I seem to be coming down with it now too. Very heavy feeling in the lungs, which for me is very bad. If it doesn't clear up some, I get to go to the doctor and get an inhaler. Haven't had to do that for several years.

For those who don't know, I have minor asthma. Had it since I was a young child but never had it officially diagnosed until I was in my forties. Makes a big difference how they treat me for chest colds now. Only need inhalers when I get sick like this. Probably a good thing, it was not diagnosed before I attended Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA. They might not have accepted me over that.

I'm actually astonished no one figured it out while I was there. In my fitness class I had a strange "heart rate to exercise rate graph". Not strange for an asthmatic.

Hope this passes quickly. I always have far too much to do, to take the time to be sick.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

New Yellow Case

Congratulations to my daughter Mieke for being honoured with a yellow briefcase on WDC ( Becoming a preferred author there is a big deal. I think she's been deserving of the honour for quite some time. I was awarded the yellow case for less several years back.

She is an aspiring fantasy novelist and is hoping to be published some day. I've read through her stuff. There is no doubt in my mind that she has the talent and the work ethic writingwise to achieve that goal.

The link to her portfolio is

Friday, 23 January 2015

Working With My Boys

As most of my close friends already know, I'm no longer unemployed. I won't talk about the company I work for just for privacy reasons. It isn't wise to discuss your employment/employer in a public forum and I'm not stupid enough to do that. This is public. What I write here is not hidden.

There is one perk with my new job that I find very enjoyable. Not only did they hire me but they hired both of my twin boys as well. We rarely get exactly the same shift but we do get to see each other on the job quite a bit. I like that in that I feel I can give them a good example of how to be a good employee. It's also nice to be able to be there to support each other. Later when they need more manpower my daughter may well apply to work there as well.

The big advantage is that we are able to carpool together as well. At this point it is working out well for all of us.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Duty Calls

There is a big stack of cut logs to be chopped with my name on it outside. Because of my work shift today I'm not going to have a lot of time to write.

Firewood is a chore than has to get attended to regularly because otherwise it isn't very warm inside and right now it is very cold outside and colder than I like inside. I'd really like to get the chainsaw out and take down a few more dead trees and have the gang cart back the cut logs. Not enough time today though. Besides that Brandon has been sick and the rest of the gang is feeling a bit under the weather. The last thing I want to do is cut them and leave them out in the bush. They get covered in snow that way and won't benefit us until next winter.

Incidentally chopping wood is easier when the temperature is well below freezing. The maul doesn't get stuck in the wood. If it penetrates the log, the log splits, no halfway about it.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Spotted Owl

One of the great perks of living off the beaten path is the frequent wildlife visits. We're pretty sure this is a picture of a Spotted Owl. They aren't common here but actually seeing one is a rare enough event.

Mieke discovered it sitting in the Silver Maple tree close to our camp, when she got up early to write one morning. She tried to get a picture of it through the window, but between the glass and the plastic storm window, it came out will terrible quality. It did stick around long enough for me to sneak around the house and get close enough to use the zoom for this shot. I tried to get closer yet but scared it off.

I've seen moose, black bear and white-tailed deer back in here but haven't been able to get more than a shot of their prints in the mud on the road. Sooner or later I'll manage other shots of this kind.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Twas a Writing Day

I wasn't scheduled for work today. Normally I would use that to stock firewood but the weather forecast was right for a change and there would be no woodcutting.

We had a big thaw with light rain. Thankfully we didn't end up with any flooding - yet. Our driveway and the road were a very wet, slick sheet of ice. I nearly wiped out on it several times during the day when I had to do something outside. If I could have found some dry wood to use the chainsaw on, I doubt the gang could have safely brought it in for me. Besides that the wood cuts and splits easier when the temperature drops well below freezing. No problems, there are always other things to do.

I made good use of the time writing and did some needed work on my Blogs. They are all ready to go. There are still things to add but everything is functional.

This Blog will end up with little stories, observations, gripes... Basically anything I would have in the past posted on Bubblews. I'm a writer and practising my craft. If you're a writer and you want to understand how I tick, reading this stuff might help. On the other hand it might just confuse you and cause you to debate my sanity. Doesn't matter to me. I won't write anything here I don't want going public but outside of that anything goes.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Under Construction!

I am adding this site to replace what I used to do on Bubblews. I need to make something in the realm of 250 posts there to have any hope of redeeming. Right now it works out to roughly five cents a post. To make another payout I have to write a thousand more. I think I can do better on my own. Once this is set up readers should see five posts per week on average,  nothing heavy, just keeping those creative writing juices flowing.

Things might turn around on Bubblews but I doubt it. Last post from the CEO looked to me like he was blowing soap bubbles and flowers out of his posterior. I do appreciate what I earned there. I'm not mad that the gravy train has been cut off. I'm just looking at what I see as reality.

Hope my readers will follow and this site grow along with my author's Blog.