Harry’s Book

harryIn case you are wondering why this picture is out of season, I’m thinking it might very well go on the cover of Harry’s Book.  I took it the first time we hiked above the tree line: you can see he is still quite puppyish there.

I’m blogging about it now as he has just finished the first very (very!) rough draft.  One advantage of the dreary weather throughout January is that he has been less tempted to be outside all day and has buckled down to work.

About 25,000 words were put together last winter.  Your average 200-page book needs about 80,000 words unless there are illustrations, in which case less is OK.  So far he has 65,000, but a lot of sections will need extra sentences to make the finished work less stilted and flow better.  (And there will be a lot of illustrations.)  For the first draft, Harry started at the beginning and simply kept writing until the end.  There was no attempt to sort things out very much as the frame of the book was not very apparent until the manuscript was finished.

Now the manuscript is being reworked.  It is now much more obvious where things go.  Once this draft is finished, it will be printed off and Harry will go through it very carefully.  It will be easier with a hard copy to see which details should go where and to delete any repeats.  It is very helpful to go back and forth between a hard copy and a computer screen.  Things look differently on the different substrates.  Because I started my writing career by sending letters to Peter Gzowski’s Morningside on CBC Radio, I used always to read the material out loud as I wrote it.  I find that this practice also helps a book manuscript to flow better, and I have encouraged Harry to do this.

Just thought you’d like to know how he is getting on!

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Tatla Lake Winter Fun Party

1 bit of sunThis is where we have the gymkhana in summer.  A keen cross-country ski group groom the trails for winter enthusiasts.  Every weekend, people gather to ski and have a soup, but once a year ski competitions and games are organized.

This year’s Tatla Lake Winter Fun Party even had a bit of sun to start with.  It soon clouded over, but the weather could not have been better.  A few degrees below freezing; no wind, and perfect snow.  There was a big fire to keep everyone toasty.2 firepitI’m not much of a skier – I have bad knees and prefer to snowshoe at home.  For this event, I just come to visit and enjoy the fun.  The first competition, tossing the chain saw, is always fun!3 tossing saw 24 tossing saw 1Even the little kids had a go!5 tossing saw 3That is what is so great in this community.  Every event is for all ages.

The next competition was  Board Feet.  Three sets of straps on 2 x 4s hold the boots of 3 people.  The key to moving forward is, of course, coordination.  This group was the easy winner.  It was the only one who kept together and didn’t fall over.11 boardfeet 2The next group look like they are motoring along, but in fact they are in the process of crashing!

12 boardfeet 1

13 boardfeet 3Kids don’t need organized games to have fun, though.9 kids 2

10 kidsThe last competition was tea boiling.  Contestants were given four pieces of split wood, a bag of shavings, a hatchet, and a can of water.  The first to get bubbles was the winner.6 teaboiling 37 teaboiling 28 tea boiling 1

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Into February Already

1 pink lightInto February already!  It’s still mostly dull, but we’ve been having a few bits of sunshine.  Often it clears during the night, as it did on this day (above), but as soon as the light arrives, the clouds take over.  Still, it has been a lot better.  And I and the solar panels do not need a lot, just enough to keep going.  The full moon was hidden by cloud – this was the first time I saw it clearly during this lunar month.2a moonThen we had a day that was nearly all sun.  The temperature crept above freezing during the afternoon.4 sunThe next day, it rained.5 rainThen back to the same old drab.6 drab bestAnother day with a bit of sun.  It was filtered by a high haze.7 from south bluffThe trees lost their frost and snow in the rain.9 no-snow willows

8 tree shadowsI like to watch the sunset point creep along the western quarter of the horizon.  On the shortest day, it sets in the dip to the left of Finger Peak.  I have not enjoyed this pleasure this year, though, as it has been hidden for the last four weeks; three days ago I was able to see the sunt hovering far above Finger Peak.11 sailing over FPThe next day I actually saw it set – right at the top of Middle Mountain already.13 sun hits MMIt was followed by a flush of red.12 red sunsetBack to grey again the next day, but this morning we got quite a show.  This is looking southeast, over the frozen pond.14 sunrise 1And southwest, towards the mountains.15 sunrise 2

16 sunrise 3In half an hour it had turned grey again.

The clearer nights have meant colder temperatures: -23C the other night and -18C last night, but it is supposed to jump up to -3C.  And tomorrow it is supposed to thaw….



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Gloomiest Winter on Record

1 gloomMany people have commented favourably on the winter sun pictures ( – thank you – ) and several have told me to keep them coming.  I wish!  Apart from our two spells of glorious sunshine late November and over the New Year, it has been the gloomiest winter on record.  This was one of the clearer days. 2 clearer than mostI find it very difficult to deal with.  A combination of gloom and short days means a major lack of energy for me.  My solar panels are suffering, too.  To conserve power, I am limited to a single LED 2-volt light on at a time.  Fine to read by, but when I lift my eyes to the rest of the room I am struck by how dark it is – this of course adds to the general gloom.  People often ask me why I don’t get a wind generator.  But in this kind of weather, there is not a breath of wind.  When I went to Tatla Lake to use the church washing machine  on 13th Jan, the ladies of the knitting club were discussing Christmas.  One woman had always wanted candles on her tree.  She managed to acquire the special holders from Germany but was a bit nervous about putting the tree inside.  So she set it up outside and lit the candles.  The air was so still that not a single flame wavered.

It is hard to find beauty in this dreariness.  One day we had a few more large snowflakes.3 smowflakes

4 more ice crystalsAfter I posted the last lot, a correspondent directed me to Snowflake Bentley, whom I’d never heard of.  What an intriguing man!  And take a look at his camera!

Here is a rare less-cloudy morning.  The sky is clear in the north, cloudy in the south.  As the sun rises, it meets the war of the weather.  Will we get any sun?5 fog warA lot of the gloom is ice fog so when we get a bit of hazy sun, the rime is evident on the vegetation.5a almost sunny frost
5b aspen twigs frostThe annoying thing is that the sky sometimes partially clears at sundown.  This is one of the rare times that I have seen the mountains this month.10 sunset 1The next day was back to gloom.  The temperature has warmed although it has not gone above freezing yet.  It ranges between -5C and -18C.  Often it has been -9C both day and night.

A view of Highway 20.11 hwy 20I have a new visitor to the feeder.12 redpollHe (she) is a redpoll, smaller than a chickadee.  He has been around for over a week now but is still the only one.  Some years I have flocks of 30 – 40.  A friend from the Bella Coola Valley told me they had 115 in their yard yesterday.  I have seen a couple of others feeding on the dwarf birch seeds in the bog.13 birch seedsOnce we got a bit of sun in the morning for about 30 minutes.  30  min sunriseI normally enjoy watching the progress of the sunrise and sunset points, but have not had much opportunity so far this year. On the shortest day the sun rises just to the right of these trees. So by rights the days should be getting noticeably longer, but it is so dark all the time, they seem to be getting shorter.
14 colourless barn

15 messy forestA week after the first colourful sunset, there was quite suddenly another.  It didn’t clear until after the sun had gone down.  That is the second time I have glimpsed the mountains this year.17 sunset 2The fog was back in the morning.  However, there was a streak of blue sky in the north.18 blue sky in northEven overhead there was a tinge of blue so I wondered if, by going higher, I might get away from the fog.

Higher up, the fog had been more persistent and the hoar frost was thicker.19 frost painting20 on dunes needle treeThe tiny sliver of blue still showed right on the north horizon.21 on dunes zA small gleam of sun touched the end of the lake across the road.  (There are mountains behind it.)22 on dunes lakeBut it never came to me.23 on dunes yYesterday it snowed 5″ (2 – 4 cm was forecast ie. 1″).  Today a fine-grained something is falling.  It is close to freezing – I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t have the dreaded T-word later today.  Thaw.

It is a good job I have the pine grosbeaks to put some colour into my world.24 grosbeaks

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Nuk Tessli Flower Book is On-Line

p. 4 paintbrush 1The Nuk Tessli Flower Book is On-Line!  Here is the paintbrush page.  For a few more sample pages, go to this link.

At the bottom of the sample page is another link to enable you to purchase and download the full manuscript.  Or you can go directly here.

Don’t be put off by the paypal button.  It is set up so that you can use a credit card.  If anyone has trouble purchasing it, let me know.  (Don’t be put off if it thanks you for the donation. It is the only way we can set it up. )

If anyone does purchase it, can you let me know anyway?  Paypal is supposed to inform me when purchases are made but that part doesn’t seem to be working properly.  I cannot test it myself as I have only one credit card, and Paypal won’t let me buy something with the same card I have registered with them for this item.



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