Our telephone su-sued. Click, click, the call ended, but the noises did not stop. Be quiet now, and wait a moment more before replacing that heavy black receiver. I could hear it, a soft, sleepy-sounding breathy air that echoed carefully all down the line. A hollow waiting sound. Somebody’s out there. Someone’s listening.

– from The Water Here is Never Blue

One of the greatest joys in having a book out there in the world is hearing from readers. I’ve had people track down my phone number, search out my mailing address, and find me online.

Today another letter arrived in the mail, this one from a reader who worked with my father on Timor and who remembers me from that time. He confirms suspicions that Dad was “keeping an eye” on things in the many countries to which he travelled and reporting back regularly to embassies and to Ottawa – not, as he writes, “in the James Bond type category” but in a way that was considered pretty normal for the times. Call it what you will, a spy is a spy is a spy.

Let me tell you more. Here is chapter 7 of The Water Here is Never Blue.


Oh my, this land is full of things outsized and over big. Creatures grow much larger than they do in other lands, much larger than they should. Continue reading