Monday, 30 April 2012

Mindware Issues on Smashwords.

Mindware Issues is a short story I wrote near the end of last year. After a little adjustment and putting together a simple cover image...

... I sent it off. Now it's up there on Smashwords, selling for $1. And Trafficked! has already sold... wait for it... TWO copies! That means I've broken even on my expenses. Whoopee! I bought the lizard picture for the front cover for $2.30.

You can find Mindware Issues  here . The site allows you to sample the first 30%. See the last post on this blog for advice about reading ebooks on your PC.

If anyone would like to try for a free copy of Mindware Issues or Trafficked! then you could, ummm, let's see, maybe offer to write an honest review of one. I can send you a coupon code so you can download the free copy. Probably Phil you shouldn't be the reviewer... family and all that. But I can send you the coupon code anyway, if you'd like!

Saturday, 28 April 2012


After a few days of preparation, I got the story published on Smashwords as an ebook. Here's the link..TRAFFICKED!.

There's the obvious theme of human trafficking, which is just one of those many evils that should never be. But it was fun to write, anyway! And it's cheap!

It's not released into Smashwords' Premium Catalog yet, so it's only available on the Smashwords site at the above link.

To read ebooks without a seperate ebook reader device, you can:

1) download the ebook as a pdf file and read it on your computer
2) download the free Kindle viewer software from Amazon here:

- and then you can read ebooks on your PC (must be one somewhere for Macs too...) I have the Kindle viewer and it works very well on my laptop.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Updated Cover ART

Here you go... the finished product. The story should be on Smashwords shortly. Their process for accepting new ebooks takes a week or more, so don't hold your breath.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Meanwhile, I've been working hard on another way to get published: ebooks. There's an amazingly useful resource called Smashwords- a site that allows you to publish ebooks basically for free - they take a reasonable slice of the sales, a much smaller % than traditional publishers.

To take a look, go to HERE.
I hope to have a few short stories up there soon. Today I'm trying to finish off my first front-cover-art, patched together from some free images I found on the web! Not exactly Class-A work, but I'm learning to use Paint.Net, much more complex than the little Paint program that comes with Windows. Here's a quick preview of it. Don't laugh! You don't know how amazingly well it fits the story!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


 This is an article I wrote for our local newspaper. Their paper that day was full up with other great things, so this never made it to the light of day. Here it is, just a few months old but still very much up-to-date.

It was a chilly Friday night at the Italian Centre in Thunder Bay, so the meatballs and spaghetti on the menu were very comforting. However, the guest speaker, Andy Matheson of Oasis, spoke on a very disturbing subject.

The dinner was presented by Nu-Vision Ministry of Canada and First Baptist Church, as part of a weekend entitled 'Til We All Have Voices: Poverty, Complicity and Advocacy in An Unjust World'.

Andy told me with a grin that he and his wife Joan had travelled from the UK to tell stories. Although he described human suffering, he did so cheerfully, focussing on the people helped by Oasis, the charitable trust of which he is International Director. His aim in coming was to get us to try on the shoes of the poor.

He described living in Mumbai, India, years ago and trying to help street kids. He and his wife were gripped by the wrongness of it all, and opened a business where street kids learned a trade while spending time with people who cared for them. The first step kids had to take was learning to trust an adult.

Andy stresses that poverty is not primarily an economic situation, but a breakdown of relationships and a lack of life choices. Most of us can obtain healthcare, job training and access to a law court. Among the poorest people are those traffiked into modern forms of slavery, who have none of these freedoms.

In a video he showed Indian staff of Oasis in Bangalore, rescuing girls in their early teens who had been sold, often by their own relatives, into the huge prostitution industry in Mumbai.

Bringing it much closer to home, he then exposed the ugly underbelly of the chocolate industry. A little under half of our chocolate comes from plantations in Ivory Coast, often tended by traffiked people. They are not free to leave, not paid, but are physically abused if they resist. Many are in their early teens and have been forced away from their family with false promises. Oasis has engaged with the management of the largest chocolate producers, and carried out awareness campaigns and lobbying. As a result, Mars and Cadbury have agreed to market Fairtrade chocolate brands. Nestlé is still discussing the idea. Hersheys has apparently not shown interest.

Andy showed how anyone can help to build a world where everyone is treated fairly. It includes advocating for the poor, and what we choose to buy, but it's much more about building relationships with those nearby who have fewer choices than us. As a Christian, Andy believes that every person is created in God's likeness and therefore has great worth. Find Andy's book, 'In His Image: Understanding and Embracing the Poor', at in paperback and Kindle formats. Oasis contributes to the 'Stop The Traffik' campaign, and both have their own websites.