Y for York

My 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge revisits my best posts from the 2014 to 2019 Challenges.

Y for York (2015)

If one side sacks a capital is that a victory? Or not if the enemy takes revenge? The capture and sacking of York did result in retaliation – the burning of the White House – but neither proved decisive.

However, since Gregory Wendell, the author of the diary in ‘Seeking A Knife’in my Snowdon Shadows series, was an RN officer stationed there, it impacted on him.

How much do you know about the War of 1812? Were you aware of where York was? No, not York as in Jorvik. The York in Upper Canada. Does burning the White House even seem feasible?

Links to my other 2020 A to Z posts can be found here: https://rolandclarke.com/blogging-from-a-to-z/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-2020/

To visit other participants see The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/

U for United States Navy

My 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge revisits my best posts from the 2014 to 2019 Challenges.

U for United States Navy (2015)

Although there were few victors, the War of 1812 saw a power-shift at sea, from the Royal Navy to the burgeoning US Navy. Although today, the Royal Navy remains a force not to ignore.

Gregory Wendell, the author of the diary in ‘Seeking A Knife’ in my Snowdon Shadows series, is an RN officer who encounters the USN on the Great Lakes.

How much do you know about the War of 1812? Do you envisage the US Navy as always as powerful as today? Have you seen any of the early ships?

Links to my other 2020 A to Z posts can be found here: https://rolandclarke.com/blogging-from-a-to-z/blogging-from-a-to-z-challenge-2020/

To visit other participants see The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YphbP47JyH_FuGPIIrFuJfAQiBBzacEkM7iBnq6DGDA/

#AuthorInterview: Idaho Welcome

In a few weeks, I will have been resident in Boise, Idaho for fifteen months. It seems that classes me as an Idaho author and I may follow Ernest Hemingway‘s example and spend the rest of my life here, exploring this beautiful area.

Anyway, the reason for this post is to highlight another Idaho author’s website – Jeri Walker’s Word Bank – where I was honoured to be the final author in her series of interviews with Idaho authors.

Jeri opens by saying, “Turns out Roland Clarke and I have being lackluster riders who love horses dearly in common…”

[Now read on for more on writing and Idaho.]

Erratic Schedule

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This post is an apology for my failings in the weeks and months ahead.

You’ve been warned.

I’ve even got some sneaky excuses that might even be genuine.

First, I have to warn you that my posts will appear erratically. I will attempt some kind of weekly post, but no wild promises lile, “I will post something every Tuesday”. Attempt can mean that nothing will appear.

There will be a few guest posts, like this Friday’s post from Kristina Stanley, whose novel “Blaze” I reviewed recently. Her latest book, “Avalanche”, is released on Saturday.

And there will be the intermittent book reviews, like the one that I should write for my current read, the “Dying for a Living” Box set, by Kory M. Shrum. It feels like a slower read than normal as the set has three books, and I know that there are two more out there. Will I get that far?

Finally, I will try to write my monthly IWSG posts, although that may be a fail come October. That’s because of September 20th.

QM2For those that don’t know, that is the date when we embark on the QM2 and head for the USA, and the next stage in our life-adventure. Yes, we are selling our home in Harlech, North Wales, and by the end of September should be in our new home in Boise, Idaho. There we will have my wife’s family to support us. Bliss.

Although the IWSG post for October is on Wednesday 5th, our computers will still be in a container between Wales and Idaho. In fact, our possessions may not arrive until sometime in November. Okay, we have a small HP Stream notebook for travel, but I’m still adapting to it.

The HP Stream will get its second outing next week, when we head to London for my interview with US Immigration on Wednesday June 29th. Checking emails is probably the most that I will achieve, but don’t expect any comments on your blogs or here.

In fact, with all the preparations prior to the move, I’m already commenting less, visiting fewer blogs, even writing less. That is likely to become the norm as time sails on. Cruising on the QM2 will be a kind of luxury, but connecting with the cyber-world will be off the menu. Just seven days pampering ourselves perhaps. As for the dogs, they travel first class, with their own cabin/kennel, steward, bedtime biscuits, poop deck, designer jackets, and more.

queenmaryNot looking forward to the road trip though. Getting from New York to Boise will be a challenge for all of us. At least, Juanita’s son Jason will be driving across to collect us.

Anyway, by October – maybe November – there will be a large backlog to catch up. Or should that be a Backblog?

I’ve deliberately evaded any reference to aggravating health issues, but they seem to be growing. The niggling bladder, the stabbing spasms, rebellious limbs, the depression, the exhaustion, and the frustration never go away. Sometimes I can escape into another world, either one of my own creation, or a book I’m reading, or a game that takes me to a ‘a galaxy far, far away’. But never for long. Too soon I get interrupted by the MaelStrom or MonSter.

I’m praying that a change of climate, from the dampness of Wales to the dry warmth of Idaho, will be the healing touch; along with the loving support of family.

Hopefully, by December and the holiday season normal service will be resumed.

 

 

A Day Late and Dollars Short

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This should have been posted yesterday, but I forgot what day it was. In fact, on Sunday I still thought it was Saturday. So, I lost a day somewhere.

If you find that missing day, please let me have it back. I’m missing it terribly. 😉

As for the mislaid dollars, well my brother did give me some money. However, his version of money is limited – by some camel with a needle aversion. I can’t really complain as I got enough to cover Christmas, or whatever holiday we choose to celebrate in wet and windy Wales.

As I warned my not-so-wise sibling, the price of everything is going up, and January will probably bring bigger price-hikes. Meridian, the place we are trying to move to, just got voted the Best Place to Live in America,  by 24/7 Wall St., an online financial news corporation. Already, suitable wheelchair-accessible houses are selling within 48 hours of going on the market. And the price will have a knock-on effect in the Treasure Valley area.

His excuses for not advancing the money to buy, are getting lamer every time we talk. The property to finance this has sold, for a considerable amount – millions – and my share covers my requests, and more. But he can always justify dragging his knuckles.

Maybe, after Christmas, there might be real news – or NOT.

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There are also things missing on the writing front. Not exactly days – although the timeline of the story is a challenge – nor dollars, or pounds; could do with the Royalties though. Instead, having been a 2015 NaNoWriMo winner, the wheels are spinning.

I was working to an outline, but then I killed off a second character. Now, my detectives are all over the place, searching for evidence and scenes. Which means that the outline has to be re-thought before the Chief Constable closes down the investigation, and I’m left with a cold case. Or should that be a cold novel?

So great is my stressed-out confusion, that I’ve even re-installed Scrivener, believing that I missed a trick or two by abandoning it. Well, it did lose another novel – but I had an RTF backup for that.

Rant over. Off to plot another brutal murder – MUAHAHAHAHA.

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http://epicpix.com/brutus-is-at-it-again/

 

 

 

Passage to America

The USS Macon sails over lower Manhattan, on October 9, 1933. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

The USS Macon sails over lower Manhattan, on October 9, 1933. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)

A short while ago we were attempting to get my US visa, buy a house, sell this one, and then fly ourselves and four pets to the US by Christmas.

That’s now a non-starter.

No prizes for guessing why we’ve had to postpone. Just accept that there was the lack of fraternal support over here, regardless of the excitement across the Atlantic.

So we have postponed my medical – the next stage in the visa process. We’ve also put a hold on the whole housing issue. Now we have to face months more of living in a difficult situation.

However, we have made a momentous decision, not least because flying the four fur babies was not only daunting, but also stressful for them – and expensive. It was going to cost us £4,000 to fly them, and then £16,000 to get us there, since it’s better to fly business with my disability problems.

Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor

Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor

So our passage to the United States will now be on September 20th 2016. And if you haven’t worked out the method, then you missed the visual clues.

Yes we are flying by airship.

Of course not. We are sailing for seven days on Cunard‘s Queen Mary 2, from Southampton, England to New York. Luxury yes, but cheaper than flying. Great accommodation, wonderful facilities and places to explore, delicious food,

Cunard, Queen Mary 2 - Stateroom

Cunard, Queen Mary 2 – Stateroom

The jaw dropping Grand Lobby on the Cunard Queen Mary 2

The jaw dropping Grand Lobby on the Cunard Queen Mary 2

Britannia restaurant by Carlo Mirante

Britannia restaurant by Carlo Mirante

AND most important of all: the liner has special kennels for dogs and cats.

They get to have their own area to move around and play in, with their own Kennel Master. It even has an outdoor ‘poop’ deck for the dogs. They may not want to leave the ship.

Queen Mary 2's Kennel program

Queen Mary 2’s Kennel program 

Gypsy by Catherine at Ancora Crafts

Scully by Catherine at Ancora Crafts

All very exciting, and it gives us something to aim for, even though it’s tinged with disappointment at not being with the family for Christmas. More time to learn Welsh, perhaps.

And leaving England behind this way means that one of my last views will be of the Isle of Wight, where I spent many happy summers as a child. Summers when we saw the great ocean liners arriving and leaving, like the Queen Mary.

The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary at Southampton in 1960s - copyright Chris Howel at shipspotting.com.

The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary at Southampton in 1960s – copyright Chris Howel at shipspotting.com.