You know that moment where you are at the cusp of something real, where you are wonderfully comfortable and still, where everything seems almost as it should be? You know that clear sense of purpose where you know what you need to do, where you know exactly who you are, where you think there could be nothing more to life? And then you know that shift, where it slips, where the edge is not as it was, that was just there and then not? And you know how you are suddenly out of it, where you are just as you were, as before, not sure about anything at all, least of all who you are?
“The thing is we live in an upside world where the only law is our eventual demise.” Stuebing was trying to look wise in a stupid way and it almost worked. “We pretend like we’re trying, but we just can’t handle that basic thing.”
“We think we matter. And we don’t. We never have.” He toed the corpse and watched the foreleg flop back. “It looks like it’s asleep, but it ain’t. It’s just dead.”
McPhedran: We have not received our tickets.
StubHub: Oh no! I’m really sorry to hear that. Quick question. Did you make the purchase with Stubhub or Ticketbis?
McPhedran: Stubhub redirected us to Ticketbis.
StubHub: Ticketbis is in the process of transiting in the Stubhub platform. Until that is completed, you need to contact them directly.
McPhedran: Give us the number we should call.
StubHub: They do not have a direct line.
McPhedran: How do we contact them?
StubHub: I will mark my message as urgent.
McPhedran: Do you understand that we need to leave for this event in 75 minutes?
StubHub: Thanks for that. But this is a Ticketbis order
McPhedran: Stubhub redirected us to this site.
StubHub: The only other option is to send an email.
McPhedran: Do you understand that we need to go in an hour?
StubHub: Can I have your best contact number?
McPhedran: I already sent it to you.
StubHub: Is there anything else I can help you with?
McPhedran: This is a help center, correct? You need to help us with this problem.
StubHub: Seeing that I have done all I can and there is not anything else I can help you with today, have a great day.
McPhedran: “Have a great day”? Is that a joke?
StubHub.: The thing is, McPhedran, I am not able to get the tickets from my end.
McPhedran: The thing is, StubHub, we already paid you for the tickets.
StubHub: I do wish I could do more and get these tickets over to you.
McPhedran: After all that is your business.
I have written in a variety of formats – non-fiction, short story, novel, screenplay, poetry – and learned gradually that my form is the narrative trilogy.
An early novel, Faster, written in 1994, is an autobiographical piece centered on Buzz biking from London to Morocco. And while there was an arc, it was incomplete.The character was left hanging, adrift. And there had to be something next.
And so I wrote Through – Buzz now traveling across Canada with his young family. I knew almost immediately that the work was a bridge to something else.And Out was clear from the outset, Buzz systematically losing everything he could – money, family, health – until there was nothing left, just Buzz, and that was the end. All of it together was Buzz, which became a template over the years, leading to my present work, the science fiction trilogy Anori.
There are the lines for check-in, lines for security, lines for identification, even lines at the duty free. But if that’s where you’re going to dilly dally, buying booze and chocolates, don’t try to cut the line for passport control because now you’re late for your plane. You’re not as important as you think. Especially if you’re looking for deals at duty free.
The first draft of The Sacred Whorewas written in Paris (Spring, 1987) & Saturna Island (Fall, 1987). I walked down the road almost every afternoon to the lighthouse to see the passing Orcas and only ever saw the local seal. I wrote the second draft in the basement of my mother’s house in Toronto, printed it, after a mother month-long edit at my family cottage in Ahmic Harbour during the 1988 Canadian Election debate (John Turner, Ed Broadbent and Brian Mulroney) on a dot matrix that took over seven hours to complete. I wrote the screenplay in San Francisco after watching David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, as a housemate, Lisa, muttered, “That was just fucking weird”. The novel was my first and last piece accepted for a full read by an agent, only to have no response in the end.
I realize now, after over a thousand blogs, that you should know more about me. I have been trying to write for as long as I can remember and, except for winning story-writing contest in elementary school, always failed.
As I wrote a couple of years ago, I began series of stories in Grade 5 on the Super Secret Spitball Society (SSSS), chronicling an underground gang who spat spitballs at random people. My English teacher, Mr. Bacon, wrote only one remark: “I hope not if it’s more of this, C-.”
Mr. Bacon had Andrew McIntyre read his exemplar aloud, the story of his family visiting Niagara Falls. It was good. I got that, and I realized my work was stupid and childish.
I attempted my first serious work, Vile Illuminations, in high school, and got six pages in before giving up that ghost.