Making Peace With Canadian Winter

Author Mar Preston in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

It’s no use sitting inside grumbling, looking at the birds frolicking outside in the snow. So far, and it’s only early January, it hasn’t been that cold, hovering up and down around freezing most days. I sprang for a good pair of snow pants and thick jacket, two hats, scarves, and warm mitts. We’re all wearing masks, balaclavas, and hoods down to the eyebrows. 

When I’m not cold, I find myself even ready to romp a little with my dog out in the snow. 

Except for those days when the windchill sweeping down from the Arctic (which is not that far away here) makes emptying the dog a misery for both of us. I’m yet to make peace with the beep beep beep of the snow plow.

California winters, where I lived for many decades, are very appealing, but the gravitational pull back home finally won a year or so ago. I resettled myself in Ottawa, Ontario, the nation’s capital, and became one of those who “hunker down” during winter and begrudge every day that passes until spring, glorious spring. No more.

Long days lay ahead with 3 minutes more sunshine each day. (Please don’t correct me if my 3 minutes is wrong.) Long days when I return to my current novel, rejected by publisher after publisher, a bitter disappointment in an already grim year. No appetite, I’m told, for a straight, white, good guy cop in a glitzy city like Santa Monica, California. 

I still like this novel which is a decided twist on a celebrity couple in OJ’s old neighborhood who kill the Guatemalan nanny by accident and bury her next door in a construction site. Stay tuned for By Accident, which I am determined to self-publish. It’s a good story with lots of snarks about celebrity and its entitlements. My Santa Monica Police Department detective and his community activist girlfriend entertain me, but never get too far from social justice issues that embroil cops and their families these days. 

Writing mysteries, or fiction of any kind I suppose, is a wonderful way to soar out of the world to entertain yourself and others and give yourself hope. Hope that one day, if you’re a beginner, that you are becoming a better writer; hope that one day you’ll have a piece of writing that engages readers and makes you feel good about yourself.  Hope, if you’re an old pro, publishers will take your next novel.

Cheers and warm wishes from Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, Mar Preston

Thank you, Mar, for a fascinating look at your journey back to your roots, and the challenges you face during this very difficult time. As well as some very inspiring words for us writers out here. I know I, for one, am eagerly awaiting By Accident. Thank heaven for indie publishing; some of the best reads are being issued that way these days.

Now, here’s a peek at what the real “unbundled-up” Mar Preston looks like, a bit about her, her contact info, and a peek at the cover of one of her wonderful mysteries (I could not resist the cat on the cover!).

Bio: Mar Preston is the author of seven crime fiction novels, some set in Santa Monica, others in a tranquil California mountain town where offbeat murders set a hotshot Bakersfield detective and the village patrol officer at odds with each other. She is also the author of a series of EBooks titled “Writing Your First Mystery.”  She would like to tell you that she blogs regularly, follows a fixed writing schedule, and uses her time productively, but this is not true.

The “Real” Mar Preston


About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.