Hello from chilly North Dakota. Thankfully, the current cold streak isn’t near as severe as the last. A few weeks back I was delivering newspapers at 5:00 in the morning when it was -30 degrees and the wind was whipping to 40 mph or worse. Both sides of the streets were drifted in so I had to walk to every tube. Some streets were almost impassable. The one upside to the cold … it seems to increase the savor of coffee and hot chocolate.
My apologies for the long delay between updates. No excuse, really, except that I have been busy … writing, trips, research. Somehow my intended 80,000 words has turned into 114, 700 words, though I suspect that the total will be closer to 100,000 by the time we move into beta reading. I am on the home stretch … working on the last chapter that isn’t rough drafted. If anyone is interested in beta-reading, contact me at email@example.com.
Podium Publishing contacted me in September and wanted to do the entire Planets Shaken series in audio version. We signed an agreement a couple weeks later. The first volume, The Rogue, was released in audio on January 2 and is available through Audible.com.
The next two months are going to be a whirlwind … winding up the rough draft for volume two (tentatively titled Rendezvous) … sending the book to my beta readers … getting started on the cover design … preaching at a preachers conference … attending a youth conference in Fargo, ND … a week-long trip to Colorado … along with my normal preaching, Bible study, and Saturday morning Greek-reading obligations.
My wife and I visited our son Josiah and his family in early January in the panhandle of Florida. He is going through EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base. We had hoped to enjoy some balmy weather on our vacation, but while we were there much of the state enjoyed record-breaking cold. My son and I decided to go on a canoe trip despite the cold. It was so cold that we donned our sweatshirts from our bags of emergency dry clothes before we even got on the water. The river was supposed to be a canoe trail, but it hadn’t seen a trail team in a long time. In the first two miles we hit over thirty log jams which required us to exit the canoe, stand on the jam, slide the canoe over, and climb back in. Not too long thereafter, we rolled the canoe while climbing back in after a log jam. We found ourselves standing in chest deep water, soaking wet. We scrambled for the bank, quickly stripped our wet clothes off— it was below freezing and the wind was over twenty miles per hour—and put dry clothes and dry shoes on. But neither of us had a dry sweatshirt. We canoed in the cold in t-shirts and shirts, shivering the rest of the trip. We ended up crossing about ten more jams after that and we both got our feet wet to the calves. We were pretty miserable when we finally arrived at the end of the trail and called for a ride. Somehow, it seems that even when I am not intentionally going on an adventure, I seem to find adventure.
I have a new favorite dish — pork and beans made with black beans and lots of pieces of country style ribs, but with a vinegar base like bean salad, along with onion, molasses, and sugar. Great hot or cold!
Well, I should get back to my writing. Take care and have a great late winter and early spring.
Lee W. Brainard