A Diversion From Our World?

Our world is currently a stressful place to live, as we hear about global warming, violent uprisings, discrimination, intolerance and of course COVID! I am not a great believer in escapism as a method of dealing with unpleasant/stressful circumstances, but sometimes __________________?

The following is the Introduction from “The Odessa Chronicles” (a collection of fun short stories), and gives you some ideas about the personalities of the various characters. The book is available from all the usual on-line book retailers around our troubled world, so perhaps there is a point where escapism is a healthy approach to life? Christmas is also not too far away, so perhaps you should not only treat yourself … but others as well!

Odessa is a Barn Owl – Jaxon is a Jackalope – Dewey is a cat – Man Servant is a human


There was the familiar whoosh-whoosh sound as Odessa flew down from her roof beam, and landed on the floor very close to Jaxon. “Where are the others?” she asked.

Jaxon rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders. “I told them to be here for an important meeting at seven o’clock this evening.”

Odessa paced around for a few minutes, and then turning sharply to Jaxon, said, “Did you make it clear that I wanted this meeting?”

Jaxon smiled inwardly. “Of course, I did.”

Just then, the barn door squeaked open and the man-servant walked in. “What’s up, guys?” he asked, looking from Odessa to Jaxon, and then back to Odessa.

Odessa just glared at him. “You’re late! Do you have no respect for other folk’s time? By the way, where’s Dewey?”

The man-servant looked around him. “I don’t see him here, Odessa.” Then he turned to Jaxon. “Have you seen, Dewey?” Jaxon shook his head. “Well,” said the man-servant. “I think we can conclude that Dewey is not here!”

Odessa was getting a little agitated. “I know very well where he isn’t. I need to know where he is!”

The man-servant smiled at Jaxon. “Well, Odessa,” he said, “we would have to find him in order to know where he is!”

At that moment, they saw Dewey just coming around the partially open barn door.

Odessa looked straight at him. “You are late for my meeting!”

Dewey just stretched out, flexed his claws, and yawned. “So? What’s so important about this meeting? Anyway, I’m here now, so let’s get this show on the road. I have some nocturnal hunting planned for tonight. By the way, Odessa, why aren’t you out hunting now? Frightened of missing your own meeting?”

Odessa didn’t blink, but just stared at Dewey. “Are all cats as uncooperative as you?”

Dewey stretched and yawned again. “Are all barn owls as demanding as you?”

Odessa turned her back on him with a “Hrummph!”

The man-servant decided to get things under control. “Odessa,” he said, “you called this meeting, and we are all here. What’s up?”

Odessa just looked at all three of them. “Do you know that all our adventures have been documented? Did you know that we have been monitored by Carolyn and Colin?”

All three of them looked at Odessa with puzzled faces. The man-servant spoke first. “I don’t fully understand what you are saying, Odessa. Perhaps you could explain it in more detail?”

Odessa did a few circles on the barn floor, suddenly looking more agitated. “Well, Carolyn and Colin are making arrangements to have our adventures published in a book! How can they do that?”

Jaxon looked at her. “Well,” he said, “given that the two of them create our adventures, I, for one, am not surprised. In fact, I am rather excited!”

Odessa went over to Jaxon. “Don’t you think that our privacy should have been considered? Don’t you think that we should have been asked first?”

The man-servant intervened. “Look, Odessa, not only do they write our adventures, but they are also writing this discussion. Whatever they decide will happen to us … is going to happen to us! We would not exist without them!”

Dewey stretched, flexed his claws, and yawned again. “So, is that it then? Is there any other business?”

Odessa walked over to him. “Do you understand anything that I said?”

Dewey grinned. “I understand perfectly, Odessa. I understand that none of us would have lives at all without those two writers, and that includes the almighty Odessa!”

“Wait a minute,” said Jaxon. “That means that our adventures will make people happy, as they read about us. That means that we might become celebrities. Just think, Odessa, people might want our autographs!”

The man-servant was also smiling now. “Yes, our adventures will be available for everybody to read and enjoy. What a wonderful purpose we will be serving! Are you still unhappy about it, Odessa?”

Odessa ignored him and just flew up and onto her roof beam. “I don’t know whether I want to be a celebrity,” she said. “Look what happens to so many human celebrities! They go really silly and act really stupid, but then … being a celebrity does have its advantages, doesn’t it? I could probably adapt if I had to. I can just imagine… ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to a wonderful barn owl. Welcome … Odessa!’ I will have to give this some serious thought!”

Jaxon then made an announcement. “Look here, guys. While you have all been going around in circles with this thing, I have been using my magic to see what else I could find out.”

“What else did you find out, Jaxon?” asked the man-servant.

“Well,” said Jaxon, “our adventures are being put into a book that should be released soon, and will be available from major bookstores and on-line from Amazon.”

The man-servant looked at Jaxon. “Colin told you to say that, didn’t he?”

“Yes!” said Jaxon.

Odessa was still up on her roof beam, deep in thought.

Dewey looked up at her. “Odessa! Wake up! You do realize that Colin just made you go into a ‘deep in thought’ mode, don’t you? You really have no power to do anything. You’re just going to be an odd character in an odd book. Congratulations!”

The man-servant laughed. “Yes, congratulations to all of us, because we’re going to be in a book!”

“Does anybody know what the book will be called?” asked the man-servant.

“I know!” said Jaxon. “It’s going to be called ‘The Odessa Chronicles’!”

Odessa flew down from her roof beam. “Oh well, I can now understand things much better. A book about us is obviously an excellent idea! This meeting is adjourned.”


For more information about the book, please click The Odessa Chronicles book cover over to the right (may have to scroll to find it!).

Reading during COVID?

One thing we can all do during these peculiar times is to settle down with a book. It passes the time nicely, and can be educational and/or entertaining and/or just plain thought provoking. Best of all though, you don’t have to go outside to get a book. Just order from any number of on-line retailers! In our COVID-times … what could be better?

For dog lovers, and anybody who wants to learn a little more about dogs, plus anybody who loves a “rags to riches” kind of story … “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is a book about the first 18 months of an abandoned and troubled German Shepherd/Rottweiler Cross who moved in with us. He was also my first dog!




For something just plain fun to read … “The Odessa Chronicles”! Imagine an owl (Odessa); a cat, and a jackalope coming together due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, and setting up home together on an old uninhabited farm. Now also imagine a human who had just retired, and whose dream was to live out his days peacefully on a little farm. You can probably guess which farm he purchased! You can probably also guess that his life would never be the same again. “The Odessa Chronicles” is a book of short stories suitable for ages 4 to 104!



Finally “Just Thinking” is a book of poems about various aspects of life.  You may find them enlightening, thought provoking, or perhaps some will mirror your own life. One of the poems was used last year as a discussion piece for senior students at a US school!




All three books have links (click book cover pics over in the right side column), and amazon.com has the broadest selection of reviews. Purchasing direct from Friesen Press Bookstore may be financially beneficial!

Finally, note that all three books are available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

So … given that you are being advised to stay home as much as possible, treat yourself to a book and enjoy this change of routine!


I’m a hoot!

Hello!  Allow me to introduce myself … I am Odessa!

What am I doing here (I can hear you asking)? Well I decided to take over Colin’s blog. Here’s the problem you see …”The Odessa Chronicles” (note my name in the title) has not sold a copy for quite a few weeks now. I could just leave it to chance (aka Colin and Carolyn), but I have little faith in that having any impact, or I could take charge … hence why I am here!

So what”s  the book all about? Glad you asked! It’s about a very clever Barn Owl (me), and a few other characters, one of which (sadly) is a human.  One of the other characters is a Jackalope named Jaxon, and then there is a cat named Dewey …  and of course we cannot forget me (note my name is in the book title).

We three (Jaxon, Dewey and I) came together as a result of unfortunate circumstances and I (the main person in the book, hence the book title) managed to find us an old and abandoned farm to live in. Things quickly went south when a human moved into the farm (the cheek!). He had apparently just retired, and so dreamed about an idyllic life on a rural farm, but we were about to change all that! I was surprised at how easy it was to train him to be relatively acceptable to us, and we soon started having the adventures that are written in the book.

Of course it was always up to me (Odessa … the book title?)_ to get them out of trouble. Dewey was a typical cat. He was either sleeping or eating. Jaxon was a typical Jackalope (is there such a  thing?) with magic at his finger tips. In reality it was probably at his tail, given the mistakes he made. The human soon became known as the man-servant (good training eh!) … and then, of course there is “Moi!”, whose name is featured prominently in the book title.

So what else do I think you should know? Well, from my perspective (being the only one that matters really … the book is named after me after all), the book is a collection of stories suitable for young, middle-age, and senior children (I believe  it is promoted as “suitable for ages 4 to 104”).

We have lots of adventures, and I made sure that there were lots of good messages to get from the various stories. The importance of friendship; how four totally different beings can get along well together;  the frustrations when things go wrong, and the celebrations when they go right!

I think the most important part of the book … is me! That is why I am in the title, in case you had not noticed. My book is available from any on-line book retailer, and also direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore (Sssh…. don’t tell anybody, but the paperback and hard-copy versions are probably cheaper at the FriesenPress Bookstore).

So there you are. If you have never met a really nice, sensitive, compassionate, understanding, well educated, warm and friendly Barn Owl, then get the book and allow me (and those others) into your life. You won’t regret it. You have the word of Odessa. What more could you possibly want?


The “Odessa” Evaluation.

Getting any book ready for publishing is challenging for many reasons, but one key one is simply the thought “Is it good enough for publishing?” I have heard of a number of writers who just blindly go ahead, but I really thought that there were considerable potential benefits with having the manuscript professionally evaluated.

We subsequently submitted “The Odessa Chronicles” to Friesen Press … and waited! Continue reading