Up here, in Canada

Thank you for visiting Life and Random Thinking

– only a few hours left for Canada Day 2020 but that is enough time for me to share what I think was a cute video for this special day. – David 

I’m keeping with the Canada Day theme – it’s an easy theme and it’s all about, you know, CANADA eh?

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I’m hoping it makes you smile, and tap your toes!

It a fun song from the country that brought you Nanaimo Bars!

Posted in humor, music related, travel | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Canada Day July 1, 2020

canada day 2I remember Canada’s Centennial year – 1967. I remember it because I was in grade 3 and we were all taught “The Centennial Song“, I can still remember most of it!

CA-NA-DA
(One little two little three Canadians)
We love thee
(Now we are twenty million)
CA-NA-DA
(Four little five little six little Provinces)
Proud and free
(Now we are ten and the Territories sea to sea)
(Chorus):
North south east west
There’ll be happy times,
Church Bells will ring, ring, ring
It’s the hundredth anniversary of
Confederation
Ev’rybody sing together!

It was also a year when we could earn badges for fitness. At school we did jumping, running, sit-ups and we could earn one of four badges up to Gold!  I was Gold in all my competitions except jumping so I received Bronze.  (sad face)

centennial-train1

Centennial Train – a travelling proud museum of Canadian History

1967 – That was also the year

I stood in line with my Dad for hours to walk through the Centennial Train. Want a little more information about the train?  Click here

It was raining nearly the whole time I think, and I stood with my parents and brother at the terminal station in Vancouver, BC located at Main Street for hours in line. It was dark when I finally walked through all the displays, and don’t ask me what did I see but it made an impression.  I love history, and I love trains.

In 1967 Canada invited the world to Expo 1967 in Montreal, Quebec. –  You can hear in the next video children singing the Canada song, sweetly I might add. Click here to hear the song and see some Expo 1967 – 53 years ago! 

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Canada Day – 2020 will stand out in our memories

because of the lack of crowd festivities.  Normally there are parades, cakes, fireworks, and all the other events including the televised all day event from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada’s National Capital.

The video below shows the normal crowds on Parliament Hill for this huge event.  The group sings O Canada in my favourite version of our national anthem.

– 1 minute 22 seconds long

This year events are still happening but they are virtual – still celebrating our home, and next year we will back with fireworks.

In my front yard, back yard and in front yards, back yards, porches and balconies across Canada – we as Canadians celebrate our home and show our pride in our country CANADA,  NOT VIRTUALLY but TODAY and EVERY DAY.

Thanks for visiting Life and Random Thinking today, I appreciate it. – David

It was interesting for me to look back Just Three years to Canada Day July 2017 – Here

 

Click here to see fireworks last year in Vancouver, BC – July 1, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in family, Just being creative, Thinking Out loud, travel | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Guest Blog-Debra Purdy Kong-Part 2

One of the bonuses you don’t expect when you begin blogging is the friends you make. That has certainly been my experience leading to my guest blog today. 

Today one of my blog friends, Debra Purdy Kong, is my special guest for a second time. In her first guest post Debra shared about the importance of relationships when writing a book and today she is sharing the importance of continuing to build relationships after a book is published.

I love to read, and now I know more about what it takes to write and publish your own book. 

Enjoy the insights from Debra. Have a wonderful day!  – David

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It’s All About Relationships, Part 2 –

By Debra Purdy Kong

After publishing a book, Photo of Debra Pudy Kongan author is faced with numerous promoting and marketing tasks.

Long gone are the days when an author signed a contract, held a launch arranged by the publisher, did a couple of book signings, sold a bunch of books, then started writing the next one.

Most publishers now expect authors to have a strong social media presence and marketing plan before they’ll offer a contract. Occasionally, the publisher will contribute money towards a book launch or other event. In my experience, though, it’s usually up to the author to arrange their own events on their own dime.

It’s therefore important to build relationships with those who can help promote and sell your books.

One of the best ways is to introduce yourself to your local bookstore staff and offer to leave signed copies. Note that a bookstore’s share is generally 40% of the retail price (Chapters asks for 55%) and most stores will only sell a self-published book on consignment. Still, it’s worth the effort. It’s a good idea to start visiting booksellers before the publication date and to seek their permission and assistance in arranging a book signing.

The same is true with librarians. I’ve gotten to know librarians and have taken part in workshops, readings, and panel discussions at different locations. All of them allowed me to sell my books at those events. Librarians are also a great resource for book club information.

As you’ve probably gathered, building relationships through social networking is vital for marketing and promoting. It’s not as much about selling your book, though, but allowing readers to get to know you and taking the time to get to know them. Sure, it can be tricky with strangers who can easily hide their identities, so a certain amount of caution is in order, but I’ve found many more positive than negative experiences.

I’ve also developed relationships with craft fair and farmers market organizers and vendors. It’s been great fun to set up a table and sell signed copies of print books, especially at Christmas time when customers are looking for unique gift ideas. I’ve developed repeat customers who look for my table every year, buy a book, then return the following year to buy the next one in the series. I love that!♥

Writing is a lonely occupation at times, but it doesn’t need to be all the time. Building
relationships is a trial-and-error experience, but one that’s worth the effort and quite possibly the start of some remarkable friendships. David is a classic example, and I’m so grateful to have gotten to know him through our blogs. Thank you for hosting me, David!

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Debra’s Bio:

Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for her Casey Holland transit security novels.
Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. She is a facilitator for the Creative Writing Program through Port Moody Recreation, and a long-time member of Crime Writers of Canada. More information about Debra and her books, can be found at www.debrapurdykong.com or contact her at debra_kong@telus.net

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Book Blurb for The Blade Man:

The Blade Man, front coverWho is the Blade Man and why has this mysterious loner been attacking Mainland Public Transport bus drivers? And who is trying to burn MPT down? The company’s president suspects an inside job and orders security officer Casey Holland to launch an internal investigation or face termination.
Convinced that she’s being set up to fail, Casey feels the pressure. With her and Lou’s wedding only weeks away, Casey desperately needs answers, but anger at work and on the streets thwart her efforts. Nor do the police welcome her help.
More employees are attacked, and the president forces Casey to take deeper risks. But how much is too much? How far must she go before facing off with him and MPT’s enemies?

Find out in this explosive sixth installment of Casey Holland transit mysteries.

PRAISE FOR THE CASEY HOLLAND SERIES:
The National Post – “Kong’s writing is no-nonsense at best . . . the end result is a mystery that fits the bill.”
The Hamilton Spectator – “A good read with urban grit and a spicy climax.”
Quill & Quire –The novel’s short, punchy chapters whisk the story along to a thrilling climax, while the characters’ relationships and rivalries provided a strong emotional anchor.”

ON SALE FOR $.99 UNTIL JUNE 25TH ! THE OPPOSITE OF DARK, Casey Holland Mystery #1

When the cops tell Casey that her father was murdered the previous night, Casey doesn’t believe them. After all, she buried her dad three years earlier…or did she?

The Opposite of Dark, front cover

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Amazon: myBook.to/TheOppositeofDark
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-opposite-of-dark-2
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1151714413

Links to The Blade Man:
Amazon: mybook.to/TheBladeMan
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-blade-man
Apple books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1495092401

Find Debra at:
Website www.debrapurdykong.com
WordPress blog: https://debrapurdykong.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraPurdyKong
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/pages/Casey-Holland-Transit-Security-Mysteries/139005706175139

Posted in guest blog posts | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

The Skies Will Be Blue

Today’s post is the 11th instalment of CB and PB’s story.

Welcome to Life and Random Things. My posts are not all stories, but this short story experiment has a life of it’s own and new story ideas do pop up occasionally. 

The first post was Spread Your Wings . – If you are new to my blog, I hope you will enjoy all of the short episodes and you can use the link above to start at the beginning and you don’t spoil the story progress for yourself. –

Thank you for your interest. Sincerely – David ♥

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Ravi and Marie drove five minutes

from town to a path that trailed along Trout Creek.  The path was light gravel and wound up and down and around but always within earshot of the bubbling sounds of water.

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Hand in hand, minutes passed without either saying a word as their shoes crunched along the path. Ravi and Marie loved these moments of peace and calm, each so comfortable in the silence.  The warm touch from holding each other’s hand was all the conversation Ravi and Marie needed.  So much unspoken, yet nothing was unsaid.

The skies above them were blue, and their hearts were light.

Behind them they heard the low rumble of thunder.  Marie checked over her shoulder, looking back the clouds were coming from the west which looked dark, and promised rain.

Just cloudy today CB, I checked the weather before we left” Ravi said with confidence.

Marie stopped and they both stood listening together.

More rumbling, long grumbling thunder and the clouds were closer and darker.

I just felt a raindrop, back to the car quick!” -laughed Marie, “Run!

A wild and cheerful “wahoo!” and they began jogging together along the path, the rain was already gathering in intensity, each one revelling in the adventure.

The weather could not abscond with their enjoyment of the day, never !

When the raindrops bounced and were more like a waterfall than a shower, they hid together under evergreens. The tree boughs above them were like tall impenetrable umbrellas.

Hair, eyelashes and shirts all wet,

they clung together huddling below the tree, Ravi’s back to the tree’s rough trunk.   Ravi loved his arms around Mari and her wet hair was below his chin, her hair smelled fresh like mint. They were grinning and smiling like lottery winners, water drops on her eyelashes.

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it’s only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together

Finally after spurts of running, and hiding under trees, they arrived at Ravi’s car.

blur car droplets drops

Photo by Kourosh Qaffari on Pexels.com

A feast inside his car awaited them, a thermos of coffee, cinnamon buns and trail mix (which had chocolate covered almonds!).

Steam rising from their cups, their faces beamed.

 

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

The radio soon came on and the windows fogged up with their body heat as they watched the rain roll down the windshield.

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
For all my life

It was a beautiful day, to Ravi and Marie – The Skies Were Blue 

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together * Happy Together – released March 1967 by The Turtles

 

Posted in Just being creative, short stories | 3 Comments

Not All Heroes Have Capes !

Superman-is-a-Hero

Thank you for visiting “Life and Random Thinking“.

Today fits into my category “Thinking Out Loud” and I am thinking about heroes! – David

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Hero

It’s a word that conjures up in my mind various pictures and experiences.  In the comics and now in the movies we see heroes in capes with amazing abilities.

In my life though I have had heroes without capes.

  • My heroes are the amazing people who helped me through hard times in hospitals, and through recoveries, and kept me hopeful.
  • My heroes are my parents have been heroes my entire life also, through their generosity, support and examples.
  • My heroes especially are my family, who always lift me up and encourage me
  • My heroes certainly include the empathic skilled doctors, the kind and gentle nurses, male and female, during all the hospital stays and visits.
  • My heroes include my amazing friend ♥ who went above and beyond to donate his own kidney so I could find a match and my transplant in April 2019.
  • My heroes also include friends who inspire me by their lives. They inspire me to embrace challenges, and be a better person.

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Heroes – I have them in my life, and I’m immeasurably grateful. 

hero

Definition of Hero:  A hero is someone who does something we couldn’t do, don’t want to do, or don’t think we could possibly do.

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I am thinking today that I ….. BE MY OWN HERO

It’s my duty to be the person I can be, 

It’s my duty to make the right decisions for every occasion,

It’s my duty to take on challenges, and I receive the benefit from lessons learned, 

Who has more influence on me than me? 

I will be MY OWN HERO,  but I am so grateful that have all the other heroes in my life who make that possible! 

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Getting to the top is hard but it’s the challenges that make life the most rewarding!

 

Quote for Today – We do not have to become heroes overnight.
Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up … discovering we have the strength to stare it down.  — Eleanor Roosevelt
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This ‘hero” post is different from my other post about Heroes and Capes – Click here – thank YOU  for your interest in my blog. 

Looking forward to your comments! – David

Posted in Just being creative, Thinking Out loud | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Special Guest Blog- Debra Purdy Kong

One of the bonuses you don’t expect when you begin blogging is the friends you make. That has certainly been my experience. Today one of my blog friends, Debra Purdy Kong, is my special guest.

She is a fellow Canadian and a published author and I have offered to have her as my guest for two posts, first post today. –

Thank you for taking the time to meet my special guest today.  – David

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It’s All About Relationships, Part I

By Debra Purdy Kong

Debra’s Bio:  Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for her Casey Holland transit security novels.

Photo of Debra Pudy KongAs a self-published mystery author of ten books, it’s become clear to me that the success I’ve enjoyed over the years is largely because of the relationships that have developed along the way.

In fact, relationships might be as important to a writer’s career as talent, tenacity, timing, and luck. The problem is that many of us are introverts who are reluctant to seek help from others.

Any writer who has stared helplessly at a blank computer screen knows that writing is a daunting, solitary blend of doubt, negative self-talk, ideas, inspiration, and plain hard work. To help me through my early writing attempts many years ago, I mustered up the courage to seek out a critique group and when I finally did, my writing improved and lasting friendships formed.

But this was just the beginning of the relationships I needed to forge in my writing life.

In 1994, while my sister battled breast cancer, it became painfully clear just how short life is, and that if you have dreams and goals, do what you can to make them happen.

This is the main reason why I self-published my first mystery novel Taxed to Death in 1995, (now out of print).

It’s also where I discovered that a relationship with an editor is an important step in a writer’s progress. I was very fortunate to have been assigned a wonderful editor for the first four Casey Holland mysteries originally released by TouchWood Editions.

These days, I work with an editor I met several years ago through the critique group, and she’s now edited four more of my books, including my latest release, The Blade Man.

Book Blurb for The Blade Man:

Who is the Blade Man and why has this mysterious loner been attacking Mainland Public Transport bus drivers? And who is trying to burn MPT down? The company’s president suspects an inside job and orders security officer Casey Holland to launch an internal investigation or face termination.

Convinced that she’s being set up to fail, Casey feels the pressure. With her and Lou’s wedding only weeks away, Casey desperately needs answers, but anger at work and on the streets thwart her efforts. Nor do the police welcome her help.

More employees are attacked, and the president forces Casey to take deeper risks. But how much is too much? How far must she go before facing off with him and MPT’s enemies? Find out in this explosive sixth installment of Casey Holland transit mysteries.

The Blade Man, front cover

A large part of a writer’s success is about mutual respect and keeping the communication open. This is equally true for those who are working with an agent and, for self-publishers, a jacket designer. It’s important, therefore, for writers to do some research and take a look at an agent’s or jacket designer’s website. It will certainly help in the decision-making process. 

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In Part II, I’ll discuss the importance of continuing to build relationships after a book is published.

Oh, and if you were wondering, my sister fully recovered from her cancer and is still doing well today! – Debra

Click HERE to visit her writing website and learn even more. (David)

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On Sale for $.99 till June 25th!  Casey Holland mystery #1,

THE OPPOSITE OF DARK ♥♥  – see information below! 

Ebook Available at:  Amazon.com,    Amazon.ca,   Kobo,  and itunes 

When police inform transit security officer Casey Holland of her father’s murder the previous night, Casey doesn’t believe them. After all, she buried her dad three years earlier.

Complicating the situation is the stranger now following Casey, the irritating new tenant living below her, and her estranged mother, Lillian. The search for answers about her father’s past takes Casey to Europe, where she discovers how little she knew about her parents. But revelations only lead to more trouble.

A killer wants the missing three million dollars he’s convinced Casey has, and he won’t stop killing until he gets it.

Amazon: myBook.to/TheOppositeofDark

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-opposite-of-dark-2

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1151714413

The Opposite of Dark, front cover

Posted in guest blog posts | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments