Thursday, 6 August 2015

My last week in Anapa, Russia.

    I have been doing a bunch of thinking lately. Yes, I know how dangerous that can be. But hey, you’re sitting at home safe and sound so have a sip of coffee or vodka and come along with me on this little ride. I am not going to include a bunch of pictures in this blog as I want you to form your own.

     I am always amazed when life tosses things in front of you when you either least expect it or need it the most. Like catching the perfect iPod mix on random while doing an equally random drive or walk. This has happened to me this week past the point of coincidence. Those of you that know me well understand my love of this sacred geometry of chance. Either you’ve played poker with me or sat next to me at a blackjack table. Winning or losing I love watching the odds. Not that I can understand odds correctly, my math skills are too underdeveloped for that. I just get caught up in the awe of impossible and relish the unlikely. This week has brought this to my door. Inga is running about in a packing frenzy as we prepare for the move to Georgia. Inga hates packing, but she is getting used to it with all our bounces over the past year. She also has her very own system for doing it and my system is to stay out of her way while she does. So I have been getting a great deal of writing done. I try to help as I can, but mostly I just try to be supportive. We have already rented a beautiful three bedroom two bath eighth-floor apartment in Tbilisi. We don’t need all the extra room, but our cousins helped to find and organize it all and got us a great deal so a little extra is better than a little tight. I will be telling you all about Georgia when we actually get there, but I discovered an odd fact just renting the place from here in Anapa. In Georgia, you pay to use the elevator in your own building. Just going up! I am sure North Americans will find this very strange like I did. It isn’t much and it gets added as a monthly charge to your utility fees. It makes sense in that odd way something so different makes you kinda think Hmmm?

     So this couple of weeks have brought a few finished chapters, a stack of boxes, and serendipity. Messages out of the random ether of the internet, Facebook posts, and introspection have been plotting to make me think a little. For example, a random like by a new friend of our wedding photo reminded me what a wonderful wife and life partner I have. Another random comment reminded me of what the two of us find value in; living life. Finishing the last chapter of my latest MSS had me tempted to write ‘the end’. A message from another source reminded me that as satisfying writing ‘the end’ is;  a story is rarely ever finished. So like the look of the packing. But I also know it will be done in time and correctly, I hope just like the latest story. What allows me to see these random strings is time, I am blessed with the time to slow down and smell the roses as they say and see the interconnectedness of these random items in an overall contextual framework. Inga and I pair well in this regard as she continues to put things we need in a pile to take and things we probably won’t need in a box to pack away. Dripping with sweat as if in a Stalinesque exercise video as it is very VERY hot here in Anapa right now. Me counting on her and she counting on me to see the overall picture so something important doesn’t get missed. It isn’t really fair as she is doing much more work. But it doesn’t have to be for each of us appreciates the different gifts and styles each bring to the relationship. We have a common goal and an uncommon bond. It is after all my idea and desire to stay in Russia. The common objective is happiness and it is very uncommon that both people share the definition of that nebulas word.

To that end, I managed to pass my Russian immigration test. The test is very hard. I’ve been told so is the one to pass Canadian Citizenship exam. I am not sure if this is true, but I know in Canada you get three years to do it while I only had three months. My teachers at the here in Anapa were awesome. So was, once again, Inga. Friends also chipped in to help the lone Anapa Canadian and together we were successful. I passed! I found out after I had passed I needed to achieve seventy percent on the exam to do so! I had been shooting for fifty-one!! So it is official and certified by the Russian Government I can speak, read, and write Russian and understand its history and laws. In truth, I know more than I can say correctly but I can make myself understood and understand written forms and the like. I still mess up masculine and feminine plurals and stuff bringing a smile usually when they know I am Canadian. They understand as most have tried to learn our obscure and confusing language as well.

    So I have already mentioned the latest MSS is complete as far as the creative end goes. It was a joy to write using Scrivener. I don’t usually endorse platforms or products here, but this is the easiest method for writing a novel. If you’re using WORD stop! This is the product to use and while the learning curve is as hard as Photoshop it is just as powerful. I still write in Pages and post into Scrivener as I am used to doing it that way but the ability to export it as a perfectly formatted PDF and search back through all the scenes with a click make continuity edits and editing, in general, a dream. I bought the program after Jack Whyte had said he used it.

So now I have the two-part process of editing this latest MSS and making it a book and finding an agent.  Remember it is only a book after it gets an ISBN! To this end, I have been doing a ton of research for agents that specialize in Military Fiction and don’t mind a non-USA centered point of view. I am not really sure which will prove harder. But the sequel is done. It is tight, sharp and focused. Finds Rhys up against impossible odds still loving his quirky cat!

1 comment:

  1. Hello, first of all congradulations on passing your immigration test! I'm also canadian and I'm wanting to move to Russia to live permanently! I have been looking into to process for getting accepted for a TRP (Temporary residency permet) I was reading what Just Landed has on the process. They say you need to, now prove knowledge of russian language, history and laws!Reading that you are already there trying to stay and having to pass a test, I'm woundering if just landed is talking about prooving knowledge of language, history and laws before getting accepted for the TRP or having to pass some test test once we already have been there on a 3 year TRP?