The flowers of mid-June…

We are well into June and I am at 25K words in the “Alien Wife” novel. It progresses not at the normal rate of 1,500 words per day, but a more measured and careful pace of around 1,000 words per day. I have an embedded novella inside the novel (Can I do anything normal when it comes to writing?!?!?) and I have the endings (the novel itself, and the novella) sketched out. So I know what’s going to happen and I am discovered how it happens. I don’t know all the answers. Not yet. But I know the solutions to a couple of the big questions.

Today, after a couple days of hard rain, there is a foot of snow at Miette Hot Springs. Snow in the mountains in June is nothing new. They carry on. The mountains don’t care. And mountain people don’t care.

The novel that is still on the market (Death will always follow the blonde in red high heels), has not yet met the right editor. Soon, I hope — knock on wood. Hope remains.

There are a couple of gigs coming up for the Elephant book. I’ll post them here in the coming weeks.

Elephant news and other things

It’s the new year (2023) and I have not landed on a new project. There are options. The elephant book is going to be published in China and Serbia, and will soon be released as an amazing audiobook. That’s the news about The Elephant on the Karluv Bridge. I look forward to seeing the covers for China and Serbia — usually a wild throw of the dice, but always amusing.

I have a new book on the market, looking for a good home. The Saudade is about a man named Bruce Flynn, who has an unruly and terrifying fear of death. His wife, Pilar, who wants to help her husband, decides that by telling him complicated and convoluted stories, perhaps they can disappear inside the digressions and Death will be unable to find them. In a cafe in Macon, France, on a vacation, Bruce’s wife tells him one of her complex stories and at the end of the story, he looks across the table at his wife, but she has vanished. She’s gone. In their hotel room, he finds that all her bags are gone – her clothing, her toiletries, everything is gone. He decides that, knowing his wife, he will follow the clues inside the story she was telling at the cafe. And this is the journey he begins the next morning.

The Saudade is sweeping tale that moves from Macon to Lyon, France; to Palm Springs, California; to Seattle; to Lake Louise; and to San Remo, Italy. It is set on cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: Saudade is a Portuguese word that means “a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present – a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.”

new arrivals


Trofimuk is one of the most innovative authors writing today, and The Elephant on Karlův Bridge is a tour-de-force. Richly layered complex characters, whispering bridges, night bees and a pachyderm tracing the scent of the savannah in Prague. What more could you ask from a novel? The real elephant in the room—or on the bridge, I should say—is Trofimuk’s own imagination, let loose across the page. 

—Will Ferguson, author of The Shoe on the Roof and The Finder 

Look what arrived last week! Isn’t it a beautiful thing? I opened up a copy and flipped to a random page, and started to read — loved what I read. Flipped some more and read again. I never do this. I’m two books into the future already…I don’t linger or obsess about the newest published book. I move on. This one, I think I could read again right now. I love it that much. If you buy a copy of the Elephant novel and want it signed, I’ll go anywhere in Edmonton and sign it for you. I’ll be officially launching it October 1 at Audreys books in Edmonton at 3 p.m. More on this later.

The Elephant on Karlův Bridge

There’s about one month to the release of The Elephant on Karlův Bridge. The link to Thistledown Press is here. You can order the book there, or at your local bookshop, or at all the usual online suspects. I will come to a book club in and around Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to talk about this book. I mean, I love the journey of it, and the characters have become friends, but having been on the other side of an interview with an author, I know I don’t have a lot of time to sell it. Why an elephant? Why did you set it in Prague and not your own city, or any other city? Where did the idea come from? A talking bridge? WTF?!?

Perhaps this:

A five tonne elephant escapes from the Prague Zoo around midnight and as it approaches the Vltava river it decides (for a bunch of reasons) to head toward the city instead of away from it. As the elephant wanders through the city and the night, it touches the lives of a group of characters who are all affected by this meeting. The elephant pushes a dancer toward acceptance, a struggling writer toward story openings, and a fallen soldier toward salvation. The elephant winds up on the Karlův Bridge early in the morning and is pushed into a corner, surrounded by people, and then it all goes sideways.

There’s so much to talk about. Even a conversation about what got cut, or about how the voice (character) of the Bridge grew into its final version. I’m so looking forward to the coming release!!!

The Elephant approaches

This novel bends us toward contemplating our own relationships and capabilities.

“Thomas Trofimuk‘s new novel is a poetic page turner that compels us to reflect on our own life narratives. This book is a beautiful bridge itself, full of oscillating tensions of loss and  love, memory and words, revenge and redemption. The ancient Czech Karluv Bridge narrating the novel is the best kind of trickster messenger and meeting place. An historical road across the river, guarded by amazing statutes, it is also a fine territory for clowns and choirs, dancers and lovers, children and assassins. It becomes the substrate for critical moments for all those characters in transition, including a wise, and damaged elephant, Sal, who escapes her confinement at the Prague Zoo.
The elephant is an essential grounding figure throughout this riveting story. Sal attends to perennial longings and imaginings, even as she encounters the characters’ actual behaviours, choices, and consequences. These weave and coalesce toward a startling culmination. We all need a Sal in our lives the way the characters do, to catch us, to protect us, to wake us up, and to re/member us. This novel bends us toward contemplating our own relationships and capabilities.
Forget apps and algorithms: Reading The Elephant on the Karluv Bridge is one of the best trips to Prague I know. As we get to know Sal, Marta and Vasha, Joseph and Mercy, Šárka and Ana, Tomáš, Isabel, our deepest questions about self and other in this difficult world, open and open, to rekindle hope and allow us understanding and belonging.”
— Dr. Leah Fowler, Professor Emerita at the University of Lethbridge

AUGUST 15, 2022 is the release date for the The Elephant on the Karluv Bridge. It’s Thursday morning in Edmonton, and the sky is a wash of grey and I am 16 floors in the air, in an office tower. Because it’s raining and no one is leaving the building, Starbucks is a mess — with 30 people in line at any given moment. Taking a break from the money work right now, and yes, I need more coffee, after last night’s strange hockey game (Oilers/Flames second round Stanley Cup playoffs). I do not know how many people visit this site, and I’m not sure I want to know, but at the very least, there is information here about the latest book, and some ramblings. I hope you are well and fine in the world. That’s all I have today. More soon.

The Elephant on Karlův Bridge – “a complicated story puzzle”

I am so pleased and excited to announce the sale of my novel, The Elephant on Karlův Bridge, to Thistledown Press, for publication in fall 2022. I like to think I write upmarket fiction but for me, this particular sub-genre is a slippery little sicker to grasp. People who know about such things, like my agent, say no, that’s not what I write. So, for now, let’s just call it a “complicated story puzzle” about an elephant that escapes the Prague Zoo around midnight, on July 9, 2018. For the record, an elephant did not actually escape the Prague Zoo on this night, but everything in this novel is true. It was a long journey to here and I am grateful to have arrived and to be in the hands of a brilliant editor. This is the beginning of a long line of self-promotion about this beautiful book that has an elephant named Sal.

The elephant (novel) in the room

Jasper National Park — September 2021

I have news about The Elephant on Karlův Bridge. But it will have to wait until the dust has settled, “t’s” are crossed and “i’s” dotted, and I can properly make announcements. In the meantime, I continue to refine The Saudade novel — adding sections and taking away…asking: Does this move the plot forward? Does this reveal character? And if it doesn’t do either of these things, then, why is it there?

I have the fine Kicking Horse coffee this morning, and the temperature is hovering around 3C. It hesitates. Spent a few days in the mountains, at Miette Hot Springs, celebrating a 16th anniversary by climbing up to Sulphur Ridge and then horseback riding. The climb up to the ridge was not too bad for these old legs, however, the hike down almost killed me. My legs!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!! Muscles back there I was neglecting, apparently. Anyway, a near perfect amount of champagne, and wine, and whisky was consumed. It was a fantastic couple days.

More later…

September is here

September is here and it’s a beautiful morning out there. I have to go back to working in an office next week and I am, honestly, not looking forward to this. I have enjoyed working from home these past months. And of course, going back to work while COVID is raging through my province, does not thrill me. I don’t know who has been vaccinated, or unvaccinated. I know a guy who is unvaccinated and he will not be complying anytime soon. He’s worried it will make him infertile. Or, down the road, all those who are vaccinated will suddenly die. He’s done his research on YouTube and is unwavering. He’d rather find a good counterfeit vaccine passport than get a shot, so he can go to a hockey game. This behaviour is reprehensible. Yes. I am pissed off at him. I find this behaviour to be selfish, egotistical, and beyond stupid. But, it is of course, impossible to argue with stupid. This guy hasn’t gotten sick, yet. And I do not wish that on anyone, but I can see it happening. I did not mean for this to be a rant. This morning, my province’s government is offering $100 to any unvaccinated or single-vaccinated person who gets a first shot, or second shot. Enough. I’m tired of this. I never stopped wearing a mask all summer. And I won’t now.

“Never argue with stupid people they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” –Mark Twain

The Sopranos

The Sopranos – KeyArt Season 1 © Copyright 2000-2005 Home Box Office Inc. All Rights Reserved. Ron Batzdorff

I know I am late to the party, but I will sometimes shun something that is universally popular until I’m ready. I waited ten years to watch the movie Ghandi. I never watched Friends, either; though, I get the gist and have watched a few full episodes. This is the case with The Sopranos. It was so popular I just wasn’t interested. But I recently started watching it, and five minutes into episode 1, season 1, I was hooked. Here’s the thing: the other night at dinner I was talking about how fascinating it was that when Tony, exasperated, mentioned to his therapist that his uncle and mother were like little children, she said it’s a good thing to let children have the illusion of control every now and then – and Tony did just that with his uncle. There was a young man at the dinner table, and he’d watched the entire Sopranos series at least six times. He said he’d never noticed that detail before. “I remember that detail but I never put it together,” he said. The next day, I began to wonder why. 

It’s not because I think I’m some sort of genius. I am not. Not even close. There’s something else going on. Keep in mind this is only a theory, but I think it’s because I read. I read novels, literary novels, written by writers who are interested in a conversation about the human condition — not just a snappy plot, and this young man does not. I like novels that will make these kinds of connections because the writer is a curious bastard (“bastard” in the most flattering, complimentary way) who can make subtle connections between unrelated things. She has that kind of devious, clever mind. She would see that conversation between Tony and his therapist as more than just an expression of Tony’s exasperation with his mom and uncle — she would see the possibility of it reverberating further into the show. So, this is quiet argument for reading literary novels. Not only will you become more empathetic, this activity can develop comprehension skills that will enrich your viewing of movies, television and so on. I fear there’s a generation of young humans out there who are being raised on YouTube, social media, and gaming, many of whom who will go forth into the world dumbed-down and shallow. Like I said, this is just a theory. But for me it would have been impossible for me to not see that connection in The Sopranos. For my young non-reading friend, it was never going to happen, and I think that’s sad. 

The December blues

“Never start a book with the weather.” That’s one of the writing rules from Elmore Leonard. Do you think he meant website posts too? Because it’s December 3 today and it’s going to be PLUS 7C here on the high plains boreal forest. December 3 is more likely to be -25C than anything above zero. So, it’s extraordinary weather, in an extraordinary time. It’s been a while since I’ve written here. My attention has been on a new book, with a working title: “Death will Follow the Blonde in Red High Heels.” I know it’s a little long but I can’t worry about that right now. It has a nice beat to it. That’s important. And it’s got a great hook. Does it do what novels are supposed to do? I think so. It offers up a mystery, and an exploration of the human condition, and it entertains. Ya, I think all great novels are mysteries. And they shine a light on what it is to be human. And they must entertain.

I think novelists will always say their favourite book is the one they’re working on right now — and in this case, I would not disagree. I love the feel of this book. It sits in a sweet spot.

Stefanie’s Poetry Garden

It’s a simple idea. Make a garden along the fence in the back lane and on that fence, mount bits of poetry, so when people walk the neighbourhood, they’ll pause, perhaps read something that moves or inspires them, and then, continueStefa on until next time. It’s a simple idea, but Stefanie Ivan not only had the idea, she followed through. There are perhaps a dozen poem fragments mounted, from Rumi to Margret Atwood, to Alice Major and Charles Bukoski. This year, Stefanie invited me to send her a line or two, so, I’m there too. If you’re ever walking in Griesbach, keep your eyes open. This is one of Edmonton’s hidden gems.