Housekeeping

You may have noticed a few changes on the website, here’s a few new things you can peruse that I’ve completed over the last few weeks.

Bookstore

In the navigating link there’s a new bookstore that currently links to my external Blurb storefront. I’ll be posting any new novels or photography books up there, so please take a look and feel free to buy one if the inclination strikes you. Currently, my fantasy book Faceless and a book of photography from my Mont Blanc trip. I’ll likely be putting together additional books for New Zealand and Australia in the next year and I’ll be sure to out any updates on this blog.

Hiking Mont Blanc Video, Gallery & Book

In addition to the Mont Blanc compilation book that I’ve been slowly giving out to friends and family over christmas time. There’s also a new gallery in the Photography section if you want a bit of a preview of my favourite photos.

In addition, I put together a small video of my time on the mountain features some demo music Iain and I put together many years ago. This is my first foray into video and I’m tentatively thinking I may step it up and start branching out of my comfort zone.

New ‘About Me’ Photo

This is pretty much what it says on the tin. I updated the layout a little and updated the photo to one of my favourite portraits from Mont Blanc. I won’t post a link, but I love the photo and I feel it marks a new chapter in my life.

A Mont Blanc Style Reboot

I am back and (relatively) recovered! I recently returned from a trip to Mont Blanc with a bit of extra time in Switzerland and France and this means that the photo blog posts will soon return. I’m going to attempt to restrict the photos to a single day like before. The problem I foresee is I took over 3000 photos and choosing between them may be more difficult than I thought.

So this post isn’t story time, it’s more of a dissection on where my brain goes when I travel.

For this trip, I wanted to do something that’s out of comfort zone. So I decided to do the Tour Du Mont Blanc with G-Adventures and hike about 130kms around the mastiff. This would require me to carry roughly 9 days of clothing and gear on my back as we stayed in mountain refuges set up along the trail.

I was dirty, sweaty, and unshaven. Uncommon descriptors for me at most times in my life.

While I would like to boldly proclaim I’m a changed man, it’s unlikely. I'm 32 years old and stuck in my ways. However, I found it relaxing to focus on the task of surviving a hike rather than what I smelled or looked like. A vacation from my anxieties was liberating.

Vacations for me tend to be a time where I can escape my day to day brain functions and focus my powers of over analyzing from work to myself. In this instance it was twofold: personal choices I made late last year, and my next novel.

These two things have been on the back burner of my thoughts lately while life rushes by in a chorus of changes. The process my brain has settled on is constant until I’m satisfied I have a decent grasp of my decisions. I’ll work through them and they’ll continue to run in the background until I’ve come to a conclusion. Sometimes I’ll get stuck and can’t find an answer and a good vacation or a long drive will help give my brain the stimulation it needs to break the cycle.

Mont Blanc was the perfect break I needed to work through the stumbling blocks that have prevented me from moving forward. It became clear about 4 days into the hike on a rest day that the emotional reset I was hoping for was imminent. I was entirely ready to move onto the next chapter of my life.

An aspect of this filters into my creative process because I don’t like to write until I feel emotionally ready. For instance, I’ve had the outline to my second novel completed for a little over a year but never felt like the time was right to begin expanding on it. Usually I don’t really know what “when I’m ready” means. I just know that one day I’ll sit down at my laptop and start writing.

In this case, “ready” meant forcing myself to dig deep and work towards something I’ve never done before. The hike around Mont Blanc kicked my butt in a way that I couldn’t have previously imaged. It was a feeling and experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It gave me a new understanding of what I’m capable of  as well as an appreciation for the beautiful world that exists outside of my work cubicle.

I feel like I’ve learned enough and have processed enough of the emotions that my main character is feeling to properly tell the story I wanted to tell. I finally feel like I understand him and the situations that I’m going to put him through.

What does this mean? I feel like I got the emotional jump start I needed. I’m ready to tell stories again. I’ll start small with sharing some stories from Mont Blanc via blogs and pictures. After that I’m hoping to continue that momentum into completing a new “Thomas Fin” series novel.

In the meantime, here’s a smattering of pictures from the trip that aren't currently posted on my home page. Please visit the home page for 4 more that I think are worth checking out. If you're for a preview of the blog posts, feel free to peruse my Instagram photos starting at this gallery.

Australia Part 21 - Melbourne & Sydney

These photos represent my last few days in Australia. It was part exploring and part relaxing. I really had no plans for the last days and was pleasantly suprised at the pictures and adventures that came up naturally.



Australia Part 20 - Grampians National Park

This was a great and long day of hiking. I took (way too much) time to fine tune these photos and am finally pleased with the results.

As an aside, I went with a day hiking tour group out of Melbourne. Highly recommended, go check them out at their website: Hike and Seek