Friday, January 29, 2016

I love that girl...

Katrina Buckhold, my protagonist, my mentor, my hero...

Oh, my goodness, I love that girl. Katrina Buckhold, my very first female protagonist to make it onto the printed page, the star of my debut novel THE TRAZ and the lifeblood of the  BackTracker series. I fell in love with her when she first appeared in my dreams as frightened young girl on an autumn ridge. Waiting...for what I did not know. Terrified, and I did not know why.
Katrina Buckhold

"Tell me. Tell me. Tell me," I said and she did.

Not everyone loves Katrina, and most of us don't at least some of time. She's abrasive and annoying. Self-centered and manipulative. Immature. Sometimes shallow.  But always, somehow, compelling.

She survives tremendous odds, faces unfathomable traumas, is perpetually in danger. Saves lives and touches souls.

I want to be her and I don't know why. Her life is so very tough, full of heart-ache. Murder, death, lonliness. Betrayal. Her social circle so small. Her fans, far away and silent.

But she stays with it. She's determined. She has a self-confidence I can only dream of. She is committed to seeing things through. She wants so much--for herself and her world--and she never stops reaching for it.

At the end of each book, each chapter of her life she is better, stronger, kinder, wiser than she was in on page one. Through each novel she changes and, as she changes, she changes me.

Perhaps that's why I love her, am obsessed with her, spend so much time spinning her tales. Perhaps that's why there are eight books drafted in the series. Perhaps I want to be her so...I can change lives.

Brought to you by The BACKTRACKER Series

Eileen Schuh, Author

Schrödinger's Cat

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chill with a Book!: Top 3 Favourite BackTracker Characters

Chill with a Book!: My Top 3 Favourite BackTracker Characters: I’ve spent a lot of time over the years with my beloved BackTracker characters. Lately, I’ve been editing the heck out of them as I prepare...

Eileen Schuh,Canadian

Monday, January 25, 2016

Criminal Minds at Work: Tight-lipped investigators

Criminal Minds at Work: Tight-lipped investigators: A common complaint of those touched by crime is the lack of information they receive from the police during the investigation. ( Family...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What's your problem?

What's  your problem?

An idea from a non-fiction book I read a long time ago, has stayed with me. I don't remember the title or even enough of the book to search it out online. What I do remember is the author's assertion that what separates man from beast is the human ability to create problems.

I had to read that pronouncement several times, because I'd been under the impression that it was the human ability to solve problems, not create problems, that sets us apart from the apes.

However, the author went on to explain that if an ape were out traveling and came to a rushing river, his journey would simply end. Humans, on the other hand, would see the river as a problem and set about to build a boat or a bridge or devise some way to cross that river and continue their journey.

So, yes--mankind does solve problems, but not before perceiving them.  We do not just trust to Mother Nature, or chance, or whatever-gods-there-may-be as we travel through life. We do not just accept things as we find them. We do not fall back on instinctual, ingrained behaviours to make it through life.

We change things, move mountains, build bridges, explore Mars, and land on the moon. We invent false teeth and kidney dialysis, discover how to use penicillin and insulin, and learn to perform heart transplants. We create smart phones and tablets and eBooks.

Our ability to identify problems and then solve them has indeed enabled human beings to achieve wondrous things. And I thank the author for pointing that out to me.

But that isn't the reason this concept has stuck with me all these decades. The importance to me is that although I am able to perceive problems, I don't have to. Not every river needs to be crossed, not every obstacle needs to be overcome. I don't have to 'create' problems in order to survive.

To us worriers especially, it is empowering to realize problem-creating and problem-solving are optional tasks, We'd do well to be selective about what things we identify as problems and save our energy to tackle things that will be of benefit to ourselves and mankind.

We should be willing to release our worries when they become overwhelming and trust, as the monkeys do, that the universe is a safe place and we can survive quite fine on this side of the river.

Eileen Schuh, Author


Tuesday, January 12, 2016


"I found the tree!" my friend shouted. She was behind me as we skiied the trails on my acreage. These are not groomed trails and definitely not engineered and safety-approved ones. They are rough and ragged, 'as-the-coyote-meanders'-type trails, up and down hills and through the forest.

I knew exactly which 'tree' my friend had found. I'd 'found' it myself many times--kissed it hello with a ski on each side and my arms around its middle.

Then I learned a vital lesson and never hit it again. When cross country skiing you must, above all else, focus on where you want to go. For if you lift your eyes from the trail for so much as a quick glance at that tree, you'll ski right into it.

It's strange, but true, how expertly the eye leads the body. I learned I did not have to concentrate on leaning or braking or putting my pole down, in order to navigate that winding downhill slope. I simply have to keep my eyes on the trail.

This blog of course, is not a cross-country ski lesson. It's a driving lesson.

I remember when teaching my kids to drive, their difficulty mastering a series of highway curves on the way to our lake lot. They wobbled across the centre line, the shoulder line, hit the brakes...totally panicked if a vehicle came the other way.

"Just keep your eyes on where you want to go," I told them. "Look at your lane as far ahead as you can see. Don't look at the lines, or the ditch, or the pond. And for heaven's sake don't look at that car coming towards us!" Sure enough, not only can one's eyes direct one's body through ski trails in a forest, they can also direct a car around curves.

This is an important fact to remember if you're ever faced with a sudden obstacle while driving. Don't look at the obstacle, you'll hit it--whether it be a box, a deer or a child. Look at the path you need to take to avoid it.

Of course, this blog isn't a ski lesson or a driving lesson.

This blog is a life lesson.

What are you focused on?

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