Top ten references when writing The Quiet City

Here, in no particular order, are ten that stood out for me straight away!Lots of honorable mentions as you can see from the racks behind me, including Henderson’s phone directory that told you what was where street by street in 1910 to 1911. Research was always a big deal in this, partly to make sure I got it right, but also to transport you back with all the color, sounds and sights of being in downtown victoria just before the great war.
Part of the book is set in present day which is how the room gets included as of course Victoria’s first library was the one on Yates and Blanshard donated by Andrew Carnegie.Click on the writer section of my page to read now! Thank you for checking out my work!Cheers,Tom


The Goldblacks recording begins…

Going to be doing most of these kinds of updates in the evenings as the recording heat is from early in the day (like 7 am…sometimes earlier) until well past when I really should have eaten something.

Been not just recording songs but still learning about the entire process, like for instance how to relax and record.

I had been working on the material for months before this week but it’s still easy to be full aware of the recording button that’s just been hit.

Musicians are they’re worst critics but also the more worked up you get the more you can get so allowing for multiple takes and going for walks helps.

Two tracks are mostly done and just need tweaking and two more need more alterations but are essentially done.

You never quite know where it’s going until you start.

I already have unpolished versions of each song that I have been picking apart for a week. And now they are getting updated to pick more.

For bands or soloists I image the social media side of things is kind of the same. Behind the scenes is pretty much me in my corner of the living room fenced in by my music stuff with just enough room to escape if you avoid the Manhasset stand I got…oh, ages ago.

That and an array of drinks. Not booze but, water, coffee and Tulsi Tea which, by way, are King.

I have some CD mock-ups started as well which include this awesome cover art shot by Crystal Freeman…

After all this goes for printing I’ve got some ideas for maybe doing a few shows before the final cd release. I hope to include some other folks on stage too later as well, but I’ll update you on that as things confirm.

For those wondering, I’m still in Cookeilidh and still writing. Not sure about the full involvement of pitch writing at the moment, but I’m still creating and so is Cece.

On the band front, we had a great season just before the new year and lots of shows on for both Robbie Burns and St Patrick’s so I’m already getting that ready too.

The Goldblacks, based on early memories as a kid in the seventies, is more about self expression and doing those songs that wouldn’t fit in a Celtic environment. I’m as proud of it’s scope as I am of my work with the band and how far my stories have made it so far.

The Goldblacks track listing so far is…

She Lives There
The Approach
Secret Star
Thank you, Blixa
Take Me Higher
Missed Connections

More to come!

Check me out on Instagram for more clips of early renditions and more at


Thank you for supporting indie music! ❤️



5 key tips to blogging after my 100th

Bridge the Gap

Been really busy this weekend but I had to stop in and talk about this because I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and now after just passing my 100th post it seemed the perfect time.

Let’s get straight to it. Maybe I’ll look at this at 500 and go what was I thinkin, but here we go…

1) Use an image.

Everything I’m about describe is used right above this by the way. Yes, you need some images and it’s pretty easy even on a phone where I work each morning. On your bottom left is a little plus sign. Make sure you leave some space so you can type under and then look for a photo connected to your idea. If you’re really crazy you can do photos the day before so that you’re not going ahhh.

2) Hook.

This is a Sol Stein’s trick. By the way, get Sol Stein’s on writing and devour it. That book rules. But in that first two sentences create a question or something that would make someone go “well, now I have to know what happens”

Ie. A character going “do not tell anyone what I am about to tell you.”

3) Hashtag

Before publishing go in post settings and scoll down to where you can put in relevant tags. Between 5 and 8 are best and range from specific (your town) to broad (like “writing”)

4) Prompt lists.

Lots of these to Google out there if you look. Not all are great but sometimes they will jog another idea you had.

5) Post lots.

Sorry if that’s obvious but yeah, it’s like anything. My girlfriend’s way more successful at than I am and that’s because she works that puppy daily and makes connections all over the shop. Same here. If it’s your first post ever these tricks will help but it’s probably not going to start in triple digits just yet

6) **bonus** ColorNote App!

Thought of this one just now. Get a note app like ColorNote. Mine is filled with just pages of random ideas and you can just load on the go through your day and then have a boo just before you work. McCartney mentioned songwriting like this and uh… he’s pretty good at it..😉

Have an awesome Sunday!



Making Spirits Bright 

Trying to find a family event on the island this Christmas?

Get your tickets now for Cookeilidh – Making Spirits Bright 

Saturday December 17th at 7:30 pm.

We will be playing a variety of celtic and festive songs of the season in this beautiful theater.  We will also be joined on stage by the world class O’Brien Irish Dancers so get your tickets today and mark your calendar!

Tickets are available now at…