The Great North
I don’t have much to update on the writer side as I’ve had two short vacations in the Great North of North America.
Thanks to a last-minute gift, a friend and I traveled to Vancouver, Canada where we boarded the Rocky Mountaineer for a two-day train ride to Banff, Alberta. The scenery was varied and beautiful from highly populated Vancouver to the empty high desert before reaching Kamloops, BC for our first night's hotel stay. The next day we left the beautiful region before reaching the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, and Banff. Here is the picture from inside the railcar as well as some other pictures.
Then I had a writing weekend in Fairbanks, AK. You fly north from Seattle for almost four hours, then you reach the high desert of Fairbanks. It was my first visit to AK and flying over it with nothing below gives you a real sense of the vastness of the state. I didn’t even reach it’s most western or northern point and I was impressed with the “wilderness.” We were graced with warm weather with no snow on the ground and daytime highs in the low fifties.
I had help from a Fairbanks resident in search of the Northern Lights. If you remember, I was worried about encountering a bear or moose in my search. We went out in a car at 10 or 11 pm when it was around 34F (1.1C). On the first night, we saw a spectacular shooting star, the briefest glimmer of the Lights (see the circle in the photo), and the Milky Way. Jupiter looked like a solar light in the sky. I know nothing about astronomy, but the night sky put on a play called, “Your Universe for Dummies”, lol. The next night it rained and then the third night (I left town at 2 am on Delta), we saw nothing. If I had only stayed until Monday night, I would have seen what my fellow writer saw in the picture below. Sigh. When You plan to search for the Northern Lights, Fairbanks is supposed to be the best city on earth to do so, but you'll take your chances on whether they’ll show on any given night.
You’ll be happy to learn that one of the things we did in Alaska was five-minute sprints. I learned a few techniques to increase my writing speed. I hope that means I’ll start writing five books a year rather than four. I’m still aiming to get my fourth book out this year – “How Did She Get There”, the third and likely last Michelle Watson series book.
Another thing I learned was how Amazon’s giant computer algorithms work. Your eyes are probably glazing over at that comment. However, said algorithms reward authors with reviews. It’s better to have 500 book sales with 100 reviews rated at 4.5 than to have 500 sales with 20 reviews rated at 5.0. I admit I avoid writing reviews for many products and services as it seems that you can’t interact with the world without someone asking for a review. If you have time and want to make the Amazon computer in the sky happy on my behalf, please leave a review for any of my books.