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The Greater Gifts

I’ve never denied being a sentimentalist. I suppose readers know this by now –– Defense Command was secretly a love story, Smith and Waller shared a name, and if you think the Earthers don’t have heart, or that Alex and Stephanie are not truly the closest of friends, you’re mistaken. Last year, the Iceberg team […]

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A Story Tree

This is the first Christmas in a long time that I haven’t heard people debating the merits of ‘real’ versus ‘artificial’ trees or vice versa. Why that is, I’m not entirely sure. I have listened to people –– mostly cat owners –– wondering aloud whether to have a tree at all. I’ve also been told […]

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Christmas Movies

With Christmas coming next week, holiday movies rule quite a few TV channels. There are great classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, romantic newcomers like The Holiday and Love Actually, and comedic diversions ranging from the wholesome (the Muppets’ Christmas Carol) to the not-at-all-wholesome (Bad Santa). Naturally, there’s also that Grinch […]

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My Mother’s Hands

This past Saturday morning Peter and I were at the grocery choosing a package of bacon when, at the other end of the cooler, I saw my mother’s hands reach in. They weren’t my mother’s of course, but the shape of the fingers and knuckles were so similar to the image etched in my memory […]

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Mandela

I was at a Christmas party yesterday when the news reached my phone: Nelson Mandela had died. Such news is invariably memorable –– perhaps not since Ghandi has someone passed away who was so widely celebrated, not for celebrity, power, or religion, but for wisdom and selfless deeds. I am not any sort of expert […]

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Friday Favorite –– Three Pink Roses

Anniversaries seem to have been a recurring theme in our Author Notes this past year –– weddings, first meetings, last breaths, and book launches have all made an appearance at one time or another. Today is another anniversary, a particularly defining one I’ve always believed. Because it was on November 29, 1974 that three pink […]

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The Historical Line

When you plant a story in historical times, you must recognize that your audience might find the setting to be something of a barrier. This is not a criticism of either the setting or the readers, it’s just a fact: when so many good stories are already based in the present day, asking people to […]

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Back By Popular Demand

The Author Note section of Iceberg’s website launched almost one year ago on December 1, 2012. In the 12 months since, Kenneth and I have posted what has to be well over 100,000 words between us. I’d give you the exact number, but the number-obsessed person who has been known to share his writing-blitz word […]

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Welcome 1941

Last week I had the chance to catch up with an old friend and Jacqui’s former colleague, Kendall Mallory. It was a celebratory occasion –– after years of work, Mallory released her first ebook, Keigan’s Story: Hylana back in September. Following a young magus called Erana Flynn through some gripping sword-and-sorcery-espionage, it’s a very fine read… […]

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Blank Page

It’s late on a Sunday evening when I finally have time to sit down and pull up a blank page on my laptop screen, ready to begin today’s Author Note. I’m feeling a certain irony as I do this. My last post was about the importance of stillness, but the only stillness in my weekend […]

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Inventing A Time Lord

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 is the Day of the Doctor. Fifty years ago, the first episode of Doctor Who aired, and to mark this milestone an anniversary special will be airing simultaneously in Britain and around the world. As a longtime fan of both the classic and current series, I’ve set aside my Saturday afternoon […]

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From the Journals – Stillness

I was reminded by a regular reader yesterday that I haven’t done a traditional From the Journals post in quite a while. I don’t think I was being chastised exactly, but I did get the sense one would be appreciated. That in mind, I removed just one journal from the leather box I keep them […]

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Free Rewrites

I spent last weekend rewriting the first Champions novella for 1942, Snapdragon. As I’ve mentioned before, doing rewrites can be frustrating, especially when you went into a first draft with a reasonably clear idea of what you wanted, and then the story either didn’t work out as planned, or you failed to stay on beat. […]

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The Right Material

Last week in my post about knitting (or more precisely, about not knitting), I mentioned that I was trying to decide between red or gray fabric for a new winter coat. I ultimately settled on both –– red for one style, gray for another. The red was on a ‘buy one-meter-get-two-free’ sale; the gray was half […]

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See The Sun Rise

Frequent readers of these notes might be aware that my favorite place in the world is Gros Morne National Park, in western Newfoundland. I’ve seen plenty of spectacular sights over the years, but none compare to this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is as beautiful as it is magical, and while that might sound […]

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Mac and Cheese

Earlier this week I toured one of the long-term care homes in Kitchener. My time there included a visit to the day program for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We didn’t interrupt the activities that were underway, but stood off to the side watching and listening for a little while. I also saw the […]

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The Next Einstein

It’s been a cynical November for followers of Canadian politics, but fortunately, a few of us in this country are recognizing an important milestone currently taking place across the Atlantic. The African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is marking its tenth anniversary this year, and if you’re a citizen of Canada, you can pat yourself […]

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What Not To Do

One of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes is about choices. “Deciding what not to do,” he said, “is as important as deciding what to do.” I thought of these words this morning because this is the time of year when I inevitably have the urge to start knitting. Knitting is something I tried for many […]

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War Footing launch date

It’s been a fine year for Alex, Stephanie and Strong. They’ve been to America, Scotland, Hong Kong and the new world, and somewhere in between young Lady Smith went for a sporting swim. Some of the questions raised in Whitecoat were answered, many more questions were raised, and too many people died. For Champions readers who […]

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We Remember

My father was a veteran of both WWII and Korea. He did not speak often about those wars, but when he did, he told stories that became part of the fabric of my life. Those stories, and the way he told them… his life, and the way he lived it… showed me that every life […]

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