Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tales From the Sock Drawer: Little Ralphie Ning

I used to like Little Ralphie.  He's one of those genuinely nice guys: someone who'll always say 'hi', even if it means crossing the road.  When he discovered I was writing a book, he took a real interest in how it was progressing, asking to read the various drafts and posing all sorts of questions about the back story.  It made me feel good.

So when Ralphie asked me whether I thought he should try writing a novel too, I told him, 'absolutely'.  Every second Tuesday he would e-mail me what he'd written, and I would respond with 'awesome!', along with a quick note on how he could make something better.  Never once did I think it would actually go anywhere. After all, I was the writer with the quirky imagination.  He was just a kid with a stupid story about vampire mermaids.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered he'd snagged himself an agent.  Now he was the one offering me encouragement while I sat at home wondering if this whole writing thing was a waste of time.  And if that wasn't bad enough I just discovered his book is due to be published this Spring.

Outside I pretend to be happy for Little Ralphie's success, but inside I hate him.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Novel, Escaping Entry, is Free Today!

If you like four-armed demons, omnivorous bulls and thousand foot giants, you'll love Escaping Entry.

You can download it free in the US and Canada here.

You can download it free in the UK here.

Have a lovely day, and careful walking the stairs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tales From the Sock Drawer: Philip Tumba

Philip Tumba is a member of the Bulgoni Tribe.

Bulgonis are famous for starting life as senior citizens, aging backwards until approximately the age of forty-one, and then spending the rest of their lives aging like everyone else.

Meaning Philip Tumba is either three years old or eighty-five.

(I'm too embarrassed to ask.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tales From the Sock Drawer: Vince O'Malley

Vince O'Malley always had a knack for the scientifical, yet for whatever reason never pursued it.  Then one day he decided to enter my Sock Drawer's Annual Science Fair.  He did surprisingly well, placing third with a display showing what happens if you leave a nail in a container of cola. (it dissolves, apparently)  For someone who had never competed in anything before in his life, this was a huge achievement.

Unfortunately he didn't have long to enjoy his time in the sun: he'd only just received his commemorative plaque when his future-self jumped out of a time machine and viciously attacked him with a 2x4, nearly beating himself to death before escaping back to wherever it was he came from.

Vince vowed revenge, and once he was released from hospital he immediately began teaching himself everything he needed to know to build a working time machine.  His plan, you see, was to inflict the same damage to his attacker as he'd received that fateful afternoon, right down to blindsiding him while he was accepting his very first science award.

Perhaps if he'd been less angry he would have understood how pointless the whole thing was; he was only hurting himself, after all.  But he felt it was his destiny, and the moment he finished his time machine he was gone, setting in motion a vicious circle that even to this day I'm not certain I understand.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tales From the Sock Drawer: Katie the Book Blogger

It is my experience that to be a book blogger you must a) be named Katie b) profess a love for chocolate and c) have a deep and abiding hatred for people who mix up 'they're' and 'their'.

Katie the Book Blogger is all of these.

In fact, her hatred for the grammatically challenged has turned her into a serial killer, stabbing them to death and stacking their severed heads in a pile as a grim warning to those who would continue butchering the English language.

I assumed her fellow book bloggers would be horrified by her actions.  Instead they're quite supportive, even sending her the names and addresses of grammar offenders in the hope she'll sort them out. 

So the next time you're on Facebook and you're commenting on a friend's photo of their darling dog, remember: too has two 'o's in it.  It just might save your life.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tales From the Sock Drawer: Kenny Chu, Tea Painter

Meet Kenny Chu, world famous artist and genius.  I say that sarcastically because while he is world famous, he most certainly is not a genius.  The guy literally wipes a used teabag across a canvas and then has the gall to show it in a gallery.  The only people dumber than  him are the morons who buy his crap.  Can you believe an original Kenny Chu Tea Painting sells for over $250,000?  In this economy?!?  If that's not bad enough, get a load of this quote of his I found on his web site:

"Painting with tea is a wonderful pursuit.  It’s expressive, relaxing and inexpensive. All you need is a teabag, a stick and a desire to communicate with something other than words and hand gestures." 

What a bunch of pompous garbage.  It makes me mad just reading it.  Seriously, if I ever snap and start flushing cherry bombs down public toilets, this guy's the reason why.

Tales From the Sock Drawer: Cheep

Back when my oldest daughter was 4 years old, I made the mistake of getting her a subscription to Cheep magazine.  The magazine itself was fairly benign.  Every month it featured stories and cartoons about the eponymous bird interacting with his many neighbors and friends.  But my daughter found it boring, and once the year was over, we were happy to let the subscription run out.

Except the magazines kept coming.

I didn't give it a second thought until one day I got a phone call from someone threatening to break my kneecaps if I didn't bring my account up to date.  I assumed someone was playing a joke on me, only to wake one morning to a large yellow bird smashing the windows on my wife's Toyota.

Turns out Cheep is also in charge of his magazine's collections department, and let me tell you, he's nothing like the adorable little fuzzball portrayed on the cover.  He's a thug, and that's why I've given very clear instructions to my children that if they ever see a big, bat wielding bird in a trench coat approach the house, they are to turn off all the lights and hide downstairs.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tales From the Sock Drawer: The Shampoo O' Plenty

Not all the things in my sock drawer are creatures.  Some are inanimate objects.  Take for example my magic shampoo.  I've been washing my hair with the same bottle since the summer of 2009.  That's three whole years!  And it's not like I skimp on the stuff, yet whenever I pick it up it always manages to remain about one third full.

I've asked my pharmacist for his take and he has no explanation.  Me, I'm beginning to wonder if it has a wormhole inside it connected to a giant shampoo vat.  Either that, or I happened to pick up some kind of magical shampoo o' plenty.  I suppose its possible somebody is playing a trick on me, and pouring some back in when I'm not watching, but that would just be weird.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tales from the Sock Drawer: Sasha the Skidmark Seer

I am, by nature, rather mystical, so when I discovered a psychic had moved into my sock drawer, I decided to seek her out.  I was in for a bit of a shock, though.  Turns out Sasha is a skidmark seer, meaning for $40 she will read the pooey marks on your underwear.

Fortunately, I am what is known as a pooey person, and after handing her a suitably decorated pair, I sat back and waited for her to weave her magic. What she told me left me disappointed.  Not only did she get my occupation wrong, (she said I was unemployed when in fact I am a writer) and get the names of my parents mixed up (my dad's the one named Jim) but she told me I eat too much cereal as well.

I don't want to say she turned me into a skeptic, but that morning at least, we both walked away thinking the other was full of shit.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tales from the Sock Drawer: Gary the Crow

Standing five feet eleven inches tall and weighing 120 pounds, Gary the Crow is one massive bird.  And don't let the weight fool you: the reason he's so light is because of his hollow bones.  Seriously, if Gary was a mammal he'd easily top 250 pounds.

Not surprisingly, flying has become difficult for this over-sized corvid, so to make things easier, Gary purchased for himself a big black pickup truck.   He uses it like a bus, transporting crows to various parking lots around the city, quietly reading the paper while his normal sized brothers and sisters go in search of garbage.  Crows, though, are notoriously messy, and to keep his truck clean and shiny, Gary has introduced a strict no pooping policy: you're caught once and you're banned for life.  I don't know how he enforces it though; even Gary will admit they all look the same.

Oh, and what ever you do, don't call him Gary the Raven.  He hates that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Fiends from My Sock Drawer

For whatever reason, my sock drawer has become a repository for ghosts and other similar spirits.   One of the creepiest is Trevor.  He's this seven year old who broke his neck falling out of his bed one night and now he hangs around my bedroom with his big box of black crayons, drawing pictures of weeping children and dead trees.  It's so depressing the other ghosts have taken to avoiding him, even referring to him as Cheerful Charlie in the sort of sneery way only the undead can pull off.   And if that's not bad enough, he doesn't know he's dead, so I have to constantly tip-toe around his condition (or lack thereof) asking him stupid things like how his day at school went when I know perfectly well it’s the weekend.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Meet The Fiends in My Sock Drawer

Did you know there's a condition where a person's organs are on the opposite side of the body?  It's true, it's called Situs Invertus, and it comes in very handy if you're in a gunfight.  Or at least that's what Willem McGee told me.  He's a gunslinger, you see, and thanks to his wrongly placed organs, he's survived over a dozen duels, suffering only shattered ribs and punctured lungs when anyone else would have had their hearts exploded.   I didn't believe him at first, but then he showed me his chest, and let me tell you, there's nothing quite as odd as seeing a man's right nipple where his left nipple should be.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ghost Under my Bed

There’s a ghost under my bed
Of a boy
He’s twelve, I think
Or at least he used to be
I thought it was a rat at first
Until I heard him giggle
He was just lying there
Wide eyed and pale
“You shouldn’t be here,” I said
“Go away.”
That’s the thing with ghosts
They never listen
It’s been six weeks now
In two days it will be seven
Most of the time he’s quiet
But if take out my earplugs I can hear him
Breathing, mostly
In a pattern eerily similar to my own
The truth is: he scares me
Not because he’s bad
But because he’s a ghost
“Leave,” I say, “Or I’ll have you exorcised”
I’m only bluffing, though
The poor fella’s already died once
He doesn’t need to experience it again
So in the meantime
Until I figure out what to do
I’ve bought some comics and a flashlight
And slid them under the bed
Wrapped in a map to my sister’s house

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Total Replacement Therapy

(---Here's a little short story I wrote---)

It's funny, fluorescent lights never used to bother me, but I can see them now, flickering against the hospital walls. 

I look at the nurse talking on the phone behind the counter and wonder, does she see it too?

I find myself doing that a lot lately.  Questioning things.  I know in the past I wouldn't have given it a second thought.  But my body has changed.  I've changed.

I had cancer, you see: an aggressive form of leukemia that, left untreated, would have killed me inside of a year.

But treatment is expensive, and my family is of limited means, and just when I was beginning to wonder if I would see another Christmas my parents were contacted by the Shunty foundation.  What they offered was an opportunity to take part in an experimental process, wherein the healthy cells in my body were replicated, but the mutated ones were not.  In essence: creating a brand new, cancer-free me.

In return they offered money.

It was not an easy decision, but in the end, the promise of a new car was too much, so my parents agreed.

The procedure itself was surprisingly easy.  All I had to do was sit my naked self on a table underneath a trio of lights inside an otherwise empty room and close my eyes.  When a voice instructed me to put on my hospital gown and return to the waiting room, I assumed something had gone awry.

But in truth the machine had worked perfectly, scanning my body in one room, and reproducing it in an identical room down the hall.  It all went so smoothly the only hint anything had happened at all was that I had to turn left to return to the waiting room instead of right like I remembered.

The doctors say I'm healthy now, which is kind of odd because I never felt sick in the first place.  I mean, I felt tired, but I assumed that was because I'd just finished my exams.

The only reason they discovered something was wrong in the first place was thanks to some random blood work my doctor had requested after a scheduled check-up.

It's all been so surreal: one moment they're telling me I'm on death's door, the next that I'm a copy of an original.  Meanwhile I just continue on feeling

That's not to say there haven't been changes.  I'm more introspective now, more prone to waking up at night.  And then there's the thing with the fluorescent lights.  But the biggest change is how people relate to me.  They're more guarded.  Even my own family, there's an uneasiness hovering over us whenever we are together.  It disappears sometimes, like when we're in the middle of a game of cribbage, but it isn't long before my parents are staring at me again, a stranger in their son's clothing.

I don't blame them.  I am just a copy after all.

As for the original, I have no idea what happened to it.  One of the things my parents had to agree to before we could go forward with the procedure was that they would never inquire about him.  Ever.   And whether it's for that reason, or a desire not to hurt my feelings, the fate of my former self is something the Farmer household just doesn't talk about.

I do wonder about it, though.  The original's cancer should be advancing by now.  That is, if he's still alive.  For who is to say they didn't kill him once I was beamed into the other room?

It's a horrible thought, and one I often find myself returning to if I'm not careful.  This is not one of those times, however, as my focus is on the nurse approaching me, carrying a clipboard.

"Trevor Farmer?" she asks.

I follow her down the flickering hallway into a little room containing a table and a pair of old wooden chairs.

"The doctor will see you soon," she says, placing the clipboard into a plastic receptacle on the outside of the door.

And with that, she's gone, leaving me to sit with my hands between my knees while I worry about what is to come.

Total Replacement Therapy is a very new procedure, and as such, there are still many questions surrounding just what happens when a person is reproduced down to an atomic level, and there is a concern that when they rid me of my cancer, they might have rid me of my soul as well.

To tell the truth, I don't really know what that means.  My family is not a religious one; I've been inside a church exactly once in my entire life, and the idea that I should or shouldn't have a ghost inside me is not something I've ever thought about.

The hospital, though, thinks it's important enough that they're having me tested.  That's why I'm here: to see if I do indeed still have a soul.

I hate waiting.  Fortunately it isn't long before the door opens and a rather tall, rather overweight man wearing a doctor's coat walks in, followed by a nurse pushing what looks like a large polygraph machine on wheels.

"Just leave it there," he says, pointing to the end of the table.

The nurse does just that and leaves the room.

"So you're the young fellow," he says smiling.  He's Indian, with a hint of an English accent.  He's also pale, almost grey, with a very sweaty forehead.

"I'm Doctor Gill," he says, extending a clammy hand.  He motions for me to sit in a chair and then plugs the machine into the wall.

It takes only a few minutes to set everything up, and once he's finished he sits in the chair opposite me, and the whole time I'm struck by how terrible he looks.

"So has anyone briefed you on what we'll be doing today?"

"No," I answer.

"Well, I'll just be taking some readings."

"Will it hurt?" I ask.

He chuckles and hands me a tiny sock, the tip of which is connected to the machine via a blue wire.

"Not at all," he says.  "Just place this over your index finger, please."

I do as I'm told and watch as the doctor fiddles with a dial on the machine.  Meanwhile sweat drips from his nose onto the table.

"So this machine is what will tell you if I have a soul?" I ask.

"That is the plan."

He removes a handkerchief from his trouser pocket and wipes his forehead, exhaling loudly.

"Are you feeling alright?" I ask.

"Just some indigestion," he answers.  "Now, I'm going to ask you some questions, and I would like you to answer them.

"You're in a desert, walking along the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise crawling towards you.  You reach down and flip the tortoise on its back.  It lies there, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs, trying to turn itself over, but it can't.  Not without your help.  But you're not helping.  Why is that?"

I look at Dr. Gill, feeling rather lost.  "I don't understand."

"Just having some fun," he explains.  "It's from a movie called Blade Runner.  Have you seen it?"

I shake my head.

"You should.  It's a wonderful film.  I'd be particularly interested to know what a person in your situation would think of the movie's subject matter."

He smiles and again wipes his forehead with his handkerchief.

"So Trevor, tell me: how have you been feeling?"

"Fine," I say.

I watch as a little needle scribbles furiously on the machine.

"Are there any changes from how you felt before the procedure?"

"There are some.  I worry about things more than I used to.  I seem to daydream as well."

Dr. Gill looks at the machine and marks something down on an official looking piece of paper.

"Any physical changes?"

I lean back in the chair, trying to think of something meaningful.  "I like bacon now.  That's different.  Oh, and the lights."


"The fluorescent lights.  I can see them.  Flickering." I quickly wiggle the index finger of my free hand to show him exactly what I mean.

"You can see it now?" he asks.

"I can," I answer.

Dr. Gill glances at the machine and again writes something on the piece of paper.

"And your family, how have they been through all of this?"

"Okay, I guess.  I mean, it's been a difficult few months, what with me getting sick.  And now with this whole replacement therapy, things can sometimes feel odd.  My own brother calls me Vincent now."

Dr. Gill looks at me quizzically.

"Because I'm not Trevor anymore," I explain.

"I see.  I see," he says.  He smiles weakly and returns his attention to the machine.

Somehow the doctor looks worse than he did just a few minutes earlier, and I check the clock on the wall, wondering if I should call one of the nurses.

"So how much longer?" I ask.

"Only a few more minutes," he answers.

"And then what?  Will it tell me right away if I have a soul?"

"Oh, it isn't the machine that makes the determination.  It's me.  I look at the readouts, and from there I make my conclusion."

"And once you make your conclusion, then what?"

"I mark one of these boxes," he says, pointing at the bottom of the sheet of paper.

I lean forward and see two boxes, one labeled, 'With Soul' and one labeled, 'Without'.  For some reason I was certain it was the machine that would be making the determination.  Discovering it is to be the doctor leaves me feeling...concerned.

"But what if you make a mistake?  Can your finding be overturned?"

This leads the good doctor to shake his head.  "I don't make mistakes," he says.  "And in answer to your other question, no, my ruling cannot be overturned."

"But what if you did?"

"I am a trained medical professional.  One of only three in the entire world qualified to be administering this exam, so when I say there will be no mistakes, I mean there will be no mistakes."

He would probably be more convincing if he didn't look so green.  Wiping the sweat on his forehead, Dr. Gill switches his gaze back onto the machine.

"Are you sure you're alright?" I ask.  "Because I can always come back tomorrow."

The doctor smiles, and is about to speak when suddenly he lets out a noise like Grover from Sesame Street, clutching his chest before collapsing face first onto the table in front of him.

I've never seen anyone die before.

Flinging the sensor from my finger, I look to the door and then to the doctor, the machine whirring mindlessly beside him.

I am definitely different than I used to be.  Before, the only thing on my mind would be to get help.  And don't get me wrong, I will do just that, but first I take the pen from the doctor's still warm hand, and quickly check the box marked, 'With Soul'.

The End

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ottawa: How I Don't Really Know Ye

So I've been in Ottawa for nearly two weeks now, and so far, it's ok.  I mean, it's nice enough, but I haven't really seen or done enough yet to give it much of a review either way.  It didn't help we arrived ten days before any of our furniture did.  Sleeping on the floor has a way of taking the magic out of things, especially if you're prone to a bad back.

But that's not to say I've been blind to what's around me.  There's plenty that's caught my attention.  For example, the milk.  Can you believe it comes in bags here?  It's the strangest thing.  Where I come from milk is sold the natural way: in plastic jugs.  Milk in bags seems, well, wrong.  Like Ontario as a province suffers from a subconscious longing for breastfeeding.

Something else I've discovered: shawarma.  It's a Lebanese food where chicken or beef is cooked on a spit, and it is one of the tastiest things I've ever had.  I could seriously eat this every day.  Unfortunately, shawarma leads to smelly burps, and my wife has recently decreed I am only allowed to eat it on Tuesdays, preferably when she is out of the house.

And I can't forget about the francophones.  I knew before moving here that there is a lot of french in Ottawa, but I didn't know to what extent.  Enter any store and half the conversations are in french.  It's bizarre.  Almost like I've walked in on the set of one of those CBC shows I used to watch when I was a kid.  My wife is a francophone, so for her, it's great.  For me and the kids, though, it will take some getting used to.

There's more of course.  I hate the local hockey team's logo.  And there's more deciduous trees than you can shake a stick at.  And there's actually a man a few doors down whose name is Luscious.  But before I write about that I need to take some time and absorb my surroundings, so that the next time someone asks me if I know where such-and-such street is, I can do more than dumbly shake my head.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Here!

Just a short post to announce I'm finally in Ottawa.  I'm still in the process of unpacking, but at least the computer is put together.

I will put a longer post tomorrow, with loads of witty observations about this new city of mine. (have to love the shawarma)

Unfortunately, at the moment I'm wrestling with a nasty headache, so until sometime tomorrow afternoon: I love you all. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Meet the Fiends Living in my Sock Drawer

 Poor Olivia. She's dressed to go somewhere fancy, but before she can actually leave there's an important phone-call that needs finishing, and wouldn't you know it, the person on the other end keeps putting her on hold. It's been going on like this since March of 2002. (That's like ten years of being forced to listen to crappy instrumental versions of popular radio tunes) If I was Olivia I'd simply hang up.

Monday, March 19, 2012

They Have Toilet Paper in Ontario, Don't They?

Well, it's go time.  After I publish this post I will be unplugging the computer and placing it in a box, and it will not be removed until we've reached Ottawa.

It's bizarre thinking this time next week I will be in Ontario.  I think for the first year I will continue living by Pacific Standard Time.  That will mean sleeping until 1 p.m everyday, but I think people will be understanding.  And if they aren't, well, they're Ontarians, and I can't really do anything about that.

Speaking of sleep, I was actually hoping to get some before the movers come in the morning, but that doesn't look like that's going to be happening.  So until the next time I see you: good night!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meet the Fiends Living in my Sock Drawer

Duane Gro Bub is a relatively new inhabitant of my sock drawer, emigrating from one of the lower circles of Hell sometime in mid-October.  I didn't even know he was there until I found him napping in the corner using one of my good socks rolled up into ball as a pillow.  Never one to waste an opportunity, he gave me one of his business cards before shooing me away to go back to sleep.

Turns out Duane is a realtor, and with a move to Ontario on the horizon, I decided to give him a call.  He wasn't much help, though; all he was concerned with was ensuring our house sold as soon as possible, which meant listing it somewhere south of thirty dollars.  Not only that, his breath reeked of sulfur.  He tried to hide it by gargling from a bottle of Lysol, but that just made him smell like a public toilet.  Even worse, he refused to wear trousers.

In the end I decided not to go with old Duane. He was nice enough, but I just wasn't comfortable dealing with someone who, every time he reached over to write something on his notepad, I could see his balls.

Monday, March 12, 2012

9 Days and Counting

The 'For Sale' sign is up.  In nine days we are leaving Mission, BC for Ottawa, Ontario.

Just typing that gave me the dry heaves.  What are we doing moving across country like this?

I know my younger self would be very disappointed in me; at one point I disliked Canada's most populous province so much that if a fortune teller told me I would move there one day, I probably would have rented a time machine for the sole purpose of telling me not to do it.  (which would actually explain the whispers of 'you'll regret it' I hear every night while falling asleep.)

But we are doing it, and to be completely honest, I'm kind of excited.  We'll have a whole new city to explore, with lots of old buildings and gargoyles.  And I'll be able to eat poutine!  In Quebec!  Made by real Quebecers!

The only thing that worries me is the cold.  Here in Mission, it rarely falls below 0 degrees. (Celsius, for all those wondering)  Ottawa on the other hand, well, lets just say people are running around in t-shirts and shorts when the temperature hits -7...

Oh, it's probably not fair busting out the ellipsis like that.  There's nearly two million people living in the Greater Ottawa region, and they survive the winter just fine. (albeit with horribly chapped lips and staticky hair) And the cold there is a drier kind of cold, whatever that means. 

And however low the temperature drops, it has to be better than the weather in BC.  Did you know we haven't had a sunny day since September 28th, 2011?  And I don't expect there will be one until mid May.

No, it's a good thing we're getting out of here.  Being the sensitive artist type, the rain is slowly killing me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Gots a New Cover

Behold, the new cover to my debut novel by the preternaturally talented William Kenney.  Pretty spiffy, eh?  Gothic, but not too Gothic.  I especially love the one crow cawing in the background.  It's like he's saying: "Come look at what this kid is drawing!"  Either that or there's an unfinished sandwich on the ground and he's warning all his crow friends to keep their distance.

I adore crows.  They're beautiful in their simplicity.  No unneeded colors, just a deep shiny black, just like the garbage bags they're so fond of ripping apart on the side of the road.  I know I'm in the minority when it comes to my fondness for the little assholes; most people find them annoying, but they give the city some badly needed personality.  Without crows all we'd be left with are seagulls and pigeons, and my god, how depressing would that be?

Getting back to the cover, I can't thank  Mr. Kenney enough for putting it together.  The old one just wasn't doing a very good job drawing people in.  I feel much more positive about this one.  Now hopefully it will lead to a few more sales on Amazon.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Escaping Entry is Free Today!

Guess what?  My fantasy novel, Escaping Entry, is free today.  I bet you haven't been this excited since they announced cheese sauce might actually be good for you. (in small amounts, of course)  If you're at all curious to see just how heavy a novel containing a thousand foot giant feels, mosey on over to amazon and give it a download.  It's lighter than you think.  Or is it heavier?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ten Years of Stuff

It seems we are moving.

Make that: we are moving.  From Vancouver to Ottawa.  For those not familiar with Canada, that's a bloody long way.

It's exciting, as long as I don't allow myself to think about it too much.  Then it's simply frightening.  To distract myself, I've taken to throwing most of our belongings into a massive garbage bin.

It's eye opening seeing just how much stuff we have.  Books, clothes, dishes, empty dvd cases.  I never thought of myself as a consumer, but after looking at everything we have, it's obvious I am.  On an off day I might even call myself a hoarder.  I've seriously got boxes full of newspapers for reasons I can no longer remember.

Most amazing of all, though, is the amount of toys we've accumulated over the past ten years.  Children's toys.  Dollies mostly, and stuffed animals.  Holy cow do we have a load of stuffies!

As part of the moving process, we've told the girls they are to choose a box full of stuffed animals, and the rest will be given to goodwill thrown in the dumpster.

We must have a thousand of those fuzzy buggers, and my daughters know the history of each one, right down to the store where we bought it from.  It's an amazing talent, really, but somehow they are going to have to decide which ones they are going to keep.  Out of everything that has to happen between now and the end of March, this just might be the most difficult of all..

Friday, February 10, 2012

Julie the Carnivorous Rabbit

I'm thinking of writing a children's book.  It's about a little boy named Sam who adopts a rabbit, but because of global warming, the rabbit turns out to be a carnivore.  At first, Sam feeds the rabbit ground beef from the local butcher.  Meat, though, is expensive, and to save money, he feeds his family to the rabbit, beginning with his little brother, Louie.

Having two little girls of my own, I know stories should not only be fun, they should contain lessons as well.  So, Sam is environmentally conscious, burying his rabbit's leftovers in biodegradable garbage bags, and walking to school instead of taking the bus.  Also, because both his parents are eaten, he is forced to become more self-reliant.

I've never written a children's book before.  It's kind of exciting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Harold Fendeneez, Esquire

William Kenney sent me this.  It's a drawing of one of the main characters in my novel, Escaping Entry.  Isn't it great?  I always pictured Harold as foreign.  North African, or Asian.  Or maybe Indian.  (With a fondness for swords and porcelain teacups.)

I have to say, it's very neat seeing someone else's rendition of a character I created.  Odd as well.  For this Harold is no longer 'mine'.

Makes me wonder what it's like for an author when he sees his story on the big screen.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

He Used to be Someone

Happened across this photo of American actor, Edwin Booth.  Can you believe it's 140 years old?


I wonder, while posing, if he ever thought people would be still looking at him so far into the future? (him posing, not me posing. I'm slouching)

It's things like this that start me thinking.  I mean, everyone alive in the world at the moment that photograph was taken is dead now.  Even the babies.  Makes me ask, 140 years from now, when everyone I know is long buried, will people be looking at images of me?

(btw, his brother's the man what shot Abraham Lincoln)