It’s my turn to blog and I have nothing interesting to blog about, so in lieu of, please enjoy two old guys racing.


The Next Big Thing Blog Hop 2

Thanks for tagging me, Taffy. Read about Taffy’s work in progress here.

I’ve also taken a few liberties with the questions, by cutting a couple I can’t answer and adding a couple from Lise.

(Is it just me or does “Next Big Thing Blog Hop” sound like a horror movie title badly translated from Chinese to Hinglish?)

What is the working title of your book?

Last Girl Standing, very much a working title. The story evolved into something quite different than I originally envisioned and this title doesn’t work as well now.

What genre does your book come under? 

Bollywood crime comedy. (I hear it’s the next big trend in crime fiction, so watch for us on the NYT bestseller list.)

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea come from for the WIP?

I was robbed in a very strange, nonviolent crime near Mumbai airport, which led to a feud with a criminal gang, with whom I kinda fell in love….

Read more here.  Any questions?  Feel free to ask them in the comments.

Random Thoughts after Watching Barton Fink

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of many great movies about writers. The best films of that genre, funnily enough, involve writers who are blocked: Barton Fink, The Shining, and Shakespeare in Love. Writers who are sometimes utterly, madly frustrated, are infinitely more interesting–or at least more cinematic– than those competent and steady hands who work consistently.

Remembering Mark O’Donnell

On August 6, 2012, an old friend, Mark O’Donnell, collapsed and died suddenly of a heart attack. He was only 58. You can read more about him here, in a tribute written by his twin brother, Steve.

I had a lot of trouble accepting that he was gone, until another friend sent me the following poem, which was read by his sister at his funeral. I needed to hear it from Mark himself, I guess, in his own voice. So kind of Mark to write this, and in the end, console his own mourners.  He was one of the kindest people I have ever met.


The fruit surrenders to the ground.
The wind must spread old news around.
The living shrink into their trees
to genuflect to earth’s disease.

The snow that falls conceals the fruit.
Its reticence is absolute.
What summer ruins or improves
the snow’s amnesia removes.

The globe tilts sheepish in its path
around the sun’s potential wrath,
so snow concedes to hungry things
again. The trees call back their wings.

The earth maintains its lexicon.
The orchards avenues go on –
the boundless code bound in the cell,
the sea heard rushing in the shell.

There is no end of ending days.
Love never dies, love never stays.
New hillsides feel the old surprise.
Love never stays, love never dies.

Mark O’Donnell

Saving Pup

I am an accidental animal rescuer. I don’t go out of my way to rescue animals, like some of my more heroic friends, who devote most of their free time and energy to abused and abandoned animals.  I’m a nomad, and you need to be settled and have ample resources for that kind of mission.  Instead, animals in need find me. A street cat howls under my window until I let her in, feed her, and listen to her tale of woe for a couple of hours (1).  A feral farm cat tames himself by inching closer and closer, meowing softly so as not to frighten me away, until we are fast friends (2). A cat follows me down a road to my door and then demands food.  A wounded dog trots up to me, puts his paw on my knee and looks up beseechingly. Well, what do you do? You help them.

Pup is the most recent example. She was shivering, weak, sick, terrified and hungry when she found me in a Nepali lane.  Once our eyes met she had me.  I picked her up, thinking I could get her into an animal shelter, which is almost impossible here except in the most extreme cases (3). Finding a home for her here hasn’t worked out either and my visa is expiring, so I am taking her on to India where I have a good lead on a home for her.

But taking a dog to India turns out to be an expensive and arduous process and I am not in a position to do it alone. So I started an Indiegogo campaign for her here, where you can read more about her.  Can you spare ten bucks to help a special dog find her love connection?  Thank you.

(1) Irma La Douce found me in Paris in 2004 and went to live with my Dad in Canada in 2005. She was a forest cat and loved Canada so much–big trees, huge yards, mice galore and a family that loved her–she didn’t miss me at all when I left.  When we had to put her down in 2009, the vet found a faded and blurry tattoo in her ear. Only a few letters were visible, but they told the vet the cat was at least 21 years old. She had lived 16 years already when she came to me.

(2) Norton lived in a barn in Wahoo, Alberta for several years. He was wild and aggressive at first, but became a love bug. Unfortunately, the coyotes got him. RIP. Great cat.

(3) Mango.

Read this:  Rescued by a Rescue Dog

Read more.