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  • Clarke Wallace

She has been a wonderful family companion these past 22 years. Faithful, peppy and all you could ask for in a small sports car. Mind, we packed her up on blocks next to the house in late autumn and settled her down comfortably for the winter under a canvas blanket.


I’m talking about our bright red, soft-topped Mazda Miata two door which we brought brand new back in ‘99. Having first made sure she could climb the hill to our house. She did it with flying colors.


The longest trips we took in the Miata were some 700 km. to Timmins, Ontario over the years to visit Rosanne’s family. There were other jaunts to Niagara Falls, Collingwood and throw in Montreal.


The only real damage came when a large tree bounced off the house during a storm, slammed headlong, butt-first into the hood. It took out the windshield, the roof and rear window. She came back from the repair shop looking better than her old self, with a substantial paint job thrown in.


I loved driving the Red Rocket, with its ease of steering and all four wheels planted mostly firm on the ground. But…


There comes a time to give up things that mean the most to us. The Miata still had lots of life, having only gone some 46,000 km. It was me who let her down when a cranky knee meant bending ‘way down to slip both legs inside and later getting them out again. She needed someone else to take over. (see photo)


Author’s comment: We turned to our affable nephew, Matthew Storey. You might have heard of him, if you live in the greater Toronto area. He’s the lively radio host on BOOM 97.3, weeknights from 7 PM to midnight. He’s as likable on air as he is in person. His reply to taking charge of the Miata? He grinned from ear to ear.


  • Clarke Wallace

If there is something that stands out in my writing over the years, it’s editing what I’ve written. That should come after a bundle of rewrites.


Before all that, is deciding what to write about. Ideas come and go. It's the one that sticks with you day and night. Something you believe in. Best dealing with what you know.


Stick to the facts, much needed in fiction. I published a book called HARVEST. The main character has a deadline looming, with distractions driving him up the wall. His publisher sends him off to a tiny, third floor flat - with few amenities - in Paris’s Left Bank.


Finding too many distractions, he ends up in the Dordogne, a region east of Bordeaux.


I’ve lived in France numerous times. To research what I needed to give this book a sense of reality, I went back with the plot buried in my head.


I have no idea how many rewrites I made on HARVEST. The book would end up around 360 pages, after the publisher’s editors had taken a whack at it.


Author’s comment: I’ve been asked from time to time what keeps me on track. Funnily enough I start a book eager to know how it's going to end. When fiction books or screenplays, I’m in two different worlds. A storyline that draws me into it, and my life away from it.