Sunday, March 23, 2014


"Coasting" didn't win an EPIC award, but that's all right. It made it to the finals and perhaps "The Sapphire Sea" will do better next year.
We've survived the first open inspection of our home and looked at possible replacements without success. Building standards have changed over the fifty years since our home was built, the rooms are impossibly small and the whole thing is built with an eye to cost rather than quality.
I sound like an old man, but that's all right too, because I am.
It's about time I claimed the privilege's of age. I've become far too aware of the downsides this past year of illness.
All that aside, I'm deep in research for the beginnings of the Caribbean Odyssey begun with "Home is the Sailor". My immediate source is a book I bought in a second hand book store in my early teens. First published in 1927, it is a biography of Sir Francis Drake. Written in a very scholarly fashion by an E.F.Benson, it was an immediate favourite of mine because of its dry humour. The fact that it was undoubtedly cheap helped at the time.
Benson quotes many contemporary sources and suggests compromises where they conflict, always based on his assessment of the characters involved. I can remember laughing out loud at some of his conclusions when I was young and they are just as amusing now. This is not to challenge their probable rightness but to appreciate the wit with which they were expressed. I would have enjoyed sitting in a pub with Benson and talking about Drake, adding my seaman's insights to his scholastic knowledge.
A brief experimentation with the Cornish dialect and I've fallen back on hinting at it while writing the dialogue in modern English like the rest of the book. This is the part of writing I enjoy most, the broad outline of the story is clear in my mind and I'm just building the details into it.
Bon voyage!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A very good year!

The downsizing is in full swing, photographs, brochures, for sale board and open inspection of our home (we have to go for a walk for half an hour while strangers walk through our home opening cupboards etc.)
All that aside, the announcement of the winners in the EPIC Awards is less than twenty-four hours away and Coasting is in with a chance. The recognition of your writing by writing peers is very sweet.
The Sapphire Sea is a Rone Award nominee! Another plaudit from my writing peers. It still has a long way to go, with public voting in the Contemporary group open from March 17th - 23rd. If you'd like to look at the field and perhaps vote, the link is:
Here are the two books and you can read their reviews at

David Andrews
Ancient Mariner - Teller of Tall Tales

Sunday, March 02, 2014


A made up word for a process connected to aging.
We've lived in our present home for thirty-five years. It's comfortable, familiar and we've adapted to it completely, but a year of illness (first one, then the other) has shown us that the garden we love is beyond our physical abilities to maintain and do all the other things we do for ourselves and our children. It made the decision for us.
The first step was de-cluttering our home and its environment and that took a four cubic metre dumpster, a two cubic metre hard rubbish collection and a multitude of visits to the Salvation Army Thrift shop.
Then came the interviews with Real Estate Agents, assisted by a son-in-law with more experience in Real Estate than either of us. Private Sale or Auction? Which Real Estate Agent? How much commission? How to market the property? Open Inspections?
 Yesterday we signed an exclusive sale authority with the agent we chose and last night my mind would not shut down, re-examining the process over and over. Eventually exhaustion took charge and I slept.
This morning I woke, bleary-eyed and grumpy and She, who must be obeyed reminded me of something I've said so often to others, "What's done is done. Get on with it!"
A laudable sentiment that is a little harder to act upon at seventy-six.
I shall try.