Keeping up with the blog

I haven’t been very faithful to you, have I? I have to admit that at the start of the year when I began writing this blog, and collecting some of my old archival items for the Solid Gold Box, I was worried about what would happen with it once summer rolled along.

Summer can be crazy. I am (happily) deluged with visiting writers and photographers, film and television producers. In winter I am starved for these kindred spirits. And I tend to take on projects. This summer I decided to build myself a new library. We redid everything from top to bottom, trying to stay true to the 1908 original. We built sturdy wooden shelves, comfy reading corners, and a heated slate floor that will make everything snug and cozy during the winter gales. I even gave it a little table that I made from the base of a treadle sewing machine. The library was a lot of work, but it was worth it.

We had many other visitors, too. Mrs. Mitchell, whose family owned this house for many years, came to take a look around when she was on a visit to Prince Rupert. I learned quite a lot from her. Most folks say that this house was built in 1913. I knew it was earlier than that—it was already standing during the first fire insurance mapping after the City of Prince Rupert was incorporated in 1910. The way the house sat back on the lot struck me as odd. Especially once I saw the balloon-framing in the back “addition” I suspected that the addition was actually the original, and the house had blossomed out of a squatter’s shack from before the survey. Mrs. Mitchell told me that when they renovated, years ago, they found that the original wallpaper had been laid on top of a layer of 1908 newspapers. For Prince Rupert, that makes this house special. The first surveyors didn’t land here until 1906. This was one of the first houses built.

I’ve dated other things about the house the same way. When I ripped out the carpet in Lonnie’s study upstairs I found the hardwood beneath it lovingly protected by a layer of 1954 newspapers. I think that it helps a house become a home when you really understand it, and know its past.

But with all this, and keeping up with my regular work, and keeping up with friends through social media, I’ve neglected the blog. I feel badly about that. I enjoy this blog—it’s like the release valve on an old steam engine. I’m always working on some big writing project, and this takes care of all of the thoughts and obsessions and little discoveries that invariably accompany that.

I wanted this blog to be a forum about books and writing, about the sea and coastal living. Those are broad subject areas. Writing for a living leads me on a meandering path through all of that.

I’d really encourage you to comment, or email me through the contacts page, or get it touch through Twitter or Facebook. Let me know what you find interesting or useful. Because that’s the best part of a blog, isn’t it? For all of the years I’ve published stories, it’s been one-sided. This old hermit is rather enjoying the conversation!

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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.