Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON
In September 2005, I was in Port Carling, in northern Ontario. I spent three days there and the place made such a huge impression on me that it figures very prominently in the opening and closing chapters of my next novel, "Muskoka Maharani" which will soon be released by Penguin Books India.
Everything I describe in the novel that is set in Port Carling is accurate statement of fact. The things I put on the pages are many of the things I saw and experienced on that trip. I make no secret of the fact that the place captivated me - fair dinkum, how many novelists do you know who choose a locale based on real-life experiences that span only three days?
One of the places I browsed through in Port Carling was a shop just across the street from the post office. Christmas was still more than three months away, but they had a huge selection of beautiful hand-made ornaments. I asked permission to use my camera in the store and the lady in charge smiled and told me to go right ahead.
I shot about a dozen frames and was about to put my camera away when I saw this sight, tucked away near the back window of the store. I'd never seen a Christmas moose before - and try as I might, I knew I would not be able to fit this display in my suitcase.
But trust me, I'll buy the moose on my next trip. I know I'll go back to Port Carling. One day....
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