Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dreaming Of Ice Sculptures And Ice Hogs

Some business to see to before I get to things today. Last month, you might recall that I reviewed Secondhand Shoes by Shelly Arkon. You can find the review right here. Shelly is doing a blog party and giveaway tied into the ebook release starting tomorrow through to the 21st. You can find her at the blogs The Life Of A Novice Writer and  Secondhand Shoes.  The ebook version is up at Amazon, as is the paperback version. And here is the teaser for the book: 

The shoes didn’t fit. It was an omen.

Eighteen year old psychic-medium-germ-a-phobe Lila should have listened to her ghostly Gram’s advice the morning of her wedding, “Take off that dress and those shoes. And run.”

En route to the honeymoon, she decides to listen after too many disagreements with her groom. It doesn’t pay to go along to make everyone happy.

Still in her wedding dress and shoes, she escapes out a diner’s bathroom window into the Florida woods despite her fear of snakes and germs with her dead Gram’s direction.

So she begins a journey of finding her inner strength, putting her on a deadly run from her psychotic groom and his deranged friends.

Will she ever get past her fear of germs and snakes? Will she survive her honeymoon?

To get in on the giveaway, it'll be fantabulous (to borrow a term from the book) if you'll tweet this to your followers:

Free books and prizes @ Feb.19 to 21st #FReeBooks#KindleAmazon Please Retweet

 Free books and prizes @ Feb.19 to 21st #FReeBooks#KindleAmazon Please Retweet

As well as posting this at Facebook:

Feb. 19th, 20th, and 21st join us to Spread the News and Cheer on the Run Away Bride Give Away and Blog Party. You could win a 15 dollar Amazon card or an autographed copy of Secondhand Shoes. Visit

Feb. 19th, 20th, and 21st join us to Spread the News and Cheer on the Run Away Bride Give Away and Blog Party. You could win a 15 dollar Amazon card or an autographed copy of Secondhand Shoes. Visit

Check out Shelly's pages, and let her know you're in on the giveaway!


Winterlude is at an end as of today, here in Ottawa and Gatineau. Over three weekends in February, the two cities host festivities celebrating the very best season of the year (no, not summer). The Rideau Canal is at its skating season height, with over seven kilometres of skating to offer. Beavertail pastries can be found all over the place (and are quite delicious). Ice hog mascots make their way around the various sites. Ice sculptures, snow sculptures, ice slides, and more are erected in various spots on both sides of the river. And both the locals and the tourists come in by the legions to take in the celebration of winter.

I've been busy taking pictures over these three weekends. I'd like to claim these as mine... but I'm still  using film cameras. So I've gleaned a whole pack of pics for you to enjoy.

The opening night festivities this year were at Ottawa City Hall, which served its purpose well. Our Governor General opened up Winterlude on a cold night, with performers on stage and above stage, and pyrotechnics for good measure.

The Canal itself is the centrepiece of the entire event, and thousands upon thousands skate on the weekends and through the week. For those of us who don't skate, or never learned how to (such as yours truly), the ice is still very easy to walk on.

Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa is ground zero for the ice sculptures, most of which are housed beneath shelters to keep them preserved well from wind and sun (they look as good this weekend as they did when they were first erected). In recent years, some other parts of the park have been turned into art displays during Winterlude. There are several of these sculptures and artworks about, and one is in collaboration with a South Korean festival this year. 2013 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War, and several of the displays have that Korean theme, particularly this thirty five metre long tunnel of over a thousand Korean paper lamps, which has an otherworldly sort of effect, day and night.

Watching the carvers at work is a special treat, on the first weekend, which marks a competition between them. They come from all over the world, and they are masters at the craft, using a multitude of tools: chainsaws, handsaws, chisels, hammers, and sandpaper to get down to the finest details of the ice.

Over in Gatineau, along the shores of the Ottawa River, Jacques Cartier Park is made over into a children's playground with ice slides and other fun things to do (including a zip line this year). There are several snow sculptures scattered about there, and some of the tools the carvers use are quite similar to their ice carver counterparts.

Back in Confederation Park, the ice sculptures are a huge draw, both day and night. At night, they're lit in changing colours, and this year, the carvers were splendid workers, carving otherworldly scenes, mighty animals, well endowed mermaids (always a running theme), and even an Alien.

It's at an end now; time for the Ice Hogs to pack it in for a year. Winterlude has been a success again, the weather behaving itself throughout, and the crowds have been out and about. For those of us who love winter, it's a celebration. For those here who don't love winter (are they crazy????), it's one pleasant way to get through the season.


  1. One, thank you, Sir Wills for sharing. And two, your pics make me want to go.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Those are some pretty impressive ice sculptures.

  3. As you well know, I'm no fan of winter (I hate having to wear shoes), but this sure does look like fun!

    Love the snow and ice sculptures!

  4. All very pretty...but when is spring????????
    Jane x

  5. @Shelly: you're welcome!

    @Kelly: they really are.

    @Norma: it's so much fun!

    @Jane: Spring is in July.

  6. That looked like so much fun! The ice sculptures were amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Beautiful pictures and truly amazing ice sculptures. To me, however, this is the only way to see them. I never want to be in a cold clime again. Thanks for posting.

  8. The Ice Sculptors are truly amazing. We have Bobbi Switzer here in Bruce County who is a very talented chainsaw artist. At least the weather was cold enough for the Winter festivities.

  9. The ice sculptures are amazing but so is Shelly. I tweeted but I was shivering while I tweeted so I hope I did it right.

  10. Wow, that's so awesome! Thank you for sharing this with us. I kept thinking over and over: "That zip line must have been cool!" then: "And really, really cold. Brr!"

  11. Beautiful images from Winterlude William. I was interested to hear that you still use a film camera, how fantastic, its a real challenge especially when digital is so easy. Good on you.

  12. Wow. Love the snow and ice sculptures. Thanks William!

  13. I have still yet to make it to this festival, but your annual post on it continues to remind me that I must!

  14. Wow. You make snow and ice look like real fun. Very inspiring selection of photos

  15. @Auden: thanks!

    @Mari: I'm outnumbered by summer afficiandos, aren't I?

    @Cindy: it's magic to watch them at work.

    @Eve: Shelly and the ice are both outstanding!

    @Kimberly: very cold indeed!

    @Grace: I really should get hold of a digital camera. I could have a lot of fun doing the Daily Photo Blog.

    @Lynn: you're welcome!

    @Carla: at least once!

    @Angelika: Thank you!

  16. Those are beautiful sculptures, but the photographs are beautiful too. Awesome.

  17. These look fantabulous for sure! My first and only time skating over naturally frozen, unsmoothed water was on the Rideau Canal. What a wonderful festival to make the best of winter, these photos are lovely!

  18. That sounds like heaven. I'm so jealous!! I'm sure I'd spend the entire time with my camera glued to my face!

  19. What is it with ice carvers and well endowed mermaids?

  20. @Diane: thanks!

    @LondonLulu: it's a great surface for skating. Draws people from all over the world.

    @Krisztina: many do!

    @Scarlett and James: force of habit!


Comments and opinions always welcome. If you're a spammer, your messages aren't going to last long here, even if they do make it past the spam filters. Keep it up with the spam, and I'll send Dick Cheney after you.