Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scenes from Book Fair at Surrey Int'l Writers Conference

 The Surrey International Writers Conference, started twenty years ago with Ed Griffin as a key player, featured its popular Book Fair  last Saturday.

Before the event I spoke to Ursula Maxwell, who has been on the board frome day one, top photo.

The middle photo is of Evaleen Jaager Roy, winner of the Ed Griffin award. With her is Ben Nuttall-Smith, who received the Surrey Board of Trade Special Achievement Award for his contributions to the community of writers.

Bottom photo: Ian Weir chatting with fans after signing books.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Busy week coming up

I am looking forward to attending the Surrey International Writers Conference book fair tonight. It is from 5 pm to 7:30, at the Sheraton Guildford. "Soldier of the Horse" will be there, and I am especially keen to browse other writers' selections: Anne Perry, Sean Cranbury, kc dyer, Michael Slade, and Ian Weir, to name just a few.
Then, on Friday the 28th at 1 pm I am signing books at Nuthatch Books, great little store in 100 Mile House. On the 29th I look forward to visitng Mosaic Books in Kelowna at 1 pm.

Humour in Uniform

This definition of a staff officer is courtesy of a serving Royal Canadian Navy officer. I suppose it could fit the civilian equivalent--certain bureaucrats or middle management in private corporatations might come to mind:

"The typical staff officer is the man past middle life, spare, unwrinkled, intelligent, cold, passive, non-committal; with eyes like a cod-fish, polite in contact but at the same time unresponsive, cool, calm and as damnably composed as a concrete post or a plaster-of-Paris cast; a human petrifaction with a heart of feldspar and without charm or the friendly germ; minus bowels, passion or a sense of humour. Happily they never reproduce and all of them finally go to hell." - Anonymous

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Canadian Cavalry in the Daily Mail

A recent story in London's Daily Mail brings together disparate threads of a shared history. The newspaper story can be found here:
Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War HorseThe article covers a lot of ground, dealing as it does with Steven Spielberg's upcoming movie, "War Horse"; Michael Morpurgo's book of the same name; and the smash London hit now playing in New York and soon in Toronto that grew out of it. The main focus of the story, though, is on the role played by Warrior, Brigadier Jack Seely's charger during his days in command of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade.
Seely told Warrior's story many years ago, but the book has been reprinted, edited by Seely's grandson, Brough Scott.
"Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse".

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Surrey Library Opens in Surrey Centre

The beautiful new library in Surrey opened with a splash on Saturday, September 24th. There was a tremendous crowd on hand to hear speeches from politicians, watch lion dancers, hear a native song, and take part in many other community-related presentations.
The attentive and friendly staff had organized a great day for the public, and a special one for local writers. We were invited to attend, with copies of our most recent books. A table to display and sell the books had been set up on the second floor. Special thanks to Jamie Brown of the Cloverdale branch of the Surrey Public Library for her attention to the authors and the public.
In the photo are three of the authors who took part--Darlene Foster, Duane Duff on the right, and myself. Darlene is a YA writer with a website and blog; she can be found at Duane has recently published a book of personal stories by veterans, The Forces and the Faces; he has a website at
Thanks to Pamela Duff for the photo.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Moonshine Leads to Another "Soldier of the Horse" (Part 2)

 Tom West, the soldier on the right in this photo, seems to be a trooper determined to relax when not being shot at in the trenches.
 Trooper West is again on the right in this photo, although without the mustache. Below, attending to a laundry detail?

Many thanks to Ralph and Irma West for forwarding the copies of these historic images, and for permission to use them here.