Grand Trunk and Shearer – Coming Soon enough.

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My 2014 retrospective

My 2014 retrospective

We are weeks away from 2015 and I feel like writing my recap right now instead of waiting on Jan 1st.

2014’s been extremely good with only one brief period of economic uncertainty that quickly resolved itself so well, I almost forgot it happened at all.

First of all, I joined the Chinatown YMCA to get my health back on track. Love it. I fucking love it. It’s not your regular jock/hipster/douchebag (whatever they’re called these days) gym. It’s the perfect mix of all things urban from the poor to the rich, from the bike courier to the office worker, artist, and Chinese old ladies that live in the buildings around. (Love them!!!)

I received a prize for “A Teenage Suicide” at the Expozine Independent Book Awards (awarded in 2014 for the 2013 edition.) So that felt good.

I completed my next novel, Grand Trunk and Shearer, that is currently in the talented hands of my editor (and generally good guy, Benoit Lelievre). It’s probably my best work so far and it’s just been fun to write.

In personal news, my second daughter was born on Nov. 14th, 2014 to the lovely name of D’Arcy Ann. She almost sleeps all her nights, and I mean we get to sleep 2 out of 3 nights and it’s improving. It’s going so fucking well.

In non-writing related endeavours, I started painting last Christmas and had my first solo show in August. It sold pretty well, in fact, I made more money from my art (in my lifetime) than from writing, go figure?!?

I also wrote and recorded my own solo songs for an upcoming project that may or may not work out. I don’t care, I’m just glad to have recorded them, even if I’d be the only one to listen to them.

In 2015, I’d like the housing market to dive just enough so I can get buy a home for my (growing) family. My wife already has her contracts set for the year, so it’s all coming down to me to A)get represented/published for Grand Trunk and Shearer or get out there and promote the fuck out of it myself while self-publishing. At this point, I’m working both plans in parallel and looking to see which one comes on top.

I’d also like to finish my first full length, shootable movie script. I’ve been putting it aside for long enough now. (Titled “Poly.”)

Keep working on “Kilo”, a graphic novel with my spouse, and “Crass” my next novel.

As for the rest : keep painting, get some riffs here and there. Translate on my down time. Keep making good food. Keep the ball rolling.

In cultural highlights for the year : Discovered Lana Del Rey…half the album is good, the other is filler, but the half that’s good is REALLY good. Discovered SUPERMACHINER, loved it, BOSSK too. Read some Lehane, Murakami and Bukowski, bought Becky Cloonan’s anthology. Tried to read some more Nietzsche, but can’t do it anymore. I read too much of the stuff in College, I just want to have fun these days.As for TV/movies, I’ve been BLOWN away by “Newsroom”. Fucking loved it.

That’s pretty much it for now

Take care,

Ian

Some News

Hey,

 

I haven’t posted anything lately… so here are a few news items.

 

We are expecting the birth of our second daughter any day now… so things will slow down a fuckload for me in the coming months (in a good way), still…

 

I’m working on the first album of my solo project “MAR” titled, “After the Sun.” It’s a mix between rock, grunge, blues, doom and sludge metal and punk… nothing is ready enough for you to listen too yet but all the drums are done, 3/4 of the bass, guitars and piano… still no vocals, a few solos to do and then the daunting task of mixing it…

 

Also, my next novel, a mystery/noir, titled “Grand Trunk and Shearer” is in the capable hands of my editor, Benoit Lelievre from Dead End follies. I expect to launch it in Feb, March 2015.

 

I’ll be at Expozine again this year, probably the only event I’ll be doing in the coming months, so if you’re in Montréal, show up on 15 – 16 Nov @ 5035 Saint-Dominique, Montréal.

 

I’ll start working on “Crass : A Tale of Ordinary Havoc” here and there when I’m done with the recording and editing for GTAS.

 

Untill then, wish me some sleep.

 

take care,

 

Ian

Bits and Pieces from CRASS : on Gentrification and Writing

(Again, some snipits from my next (next) writing project, Crass : A Tale of Ordinary havoc)

It only took five years and I can’t recognize anything . Now everything’s clean; everyone’s sedated. I think I felt safer when people were still trying to escape, when people were still barking and clawing their way out of mediocrity.

Sometimes I feel I should move elsewhere. I can’t figure it out yet but definitely out of this joke. I’m bailing out, forget about me.

I’ll go where people still get pissed, where people are still passionate about life and death, anger and fear and love; where people still have guts and that fuck you attitude. I want to move somewhere where mundane things like harsh language and mild unemployment don’t cause a nervous fucking breakdown.

***

“Hey Truman? How the hell do you manage to write so much if you work all the time?”

“I steal copious amounts of company time.”

I’m a Water Dog.

I’m a Water Dog in Chinese Zodiac….

I know, I know… it’s not exactly scientific, but I’ve read the description and I was surprised at how accurate this all was.

From http://www.chinese-astrology.co.uk/dog.html

“Dog people are honest, faithful and sincere. They respect tradition and value honor, and enjoy helping people. The Dog is very righteous, and always is the first to speak out against injustice.

Dog people are not good at socialising with friends, and they rarely shine in company, but they are intelligent, caring and a good listener. Loyal, faithful and honest, they have the most profound sense of duty. You can count on them and they’ll never let you down. And as a good listener, the Dog is also very reliable in keeping secrets for others. They simply don’t like to gossip.

They can be judgmental, defensive and picky if you rub them up the wrong way.

They lead themselves by their emotional instability and their eternal anxiety. They are a worrier.”

And from wikipedia :

“In Chinese Taoist thought, water is representative of intelligence and wisdom, flexibility, softness, and pliancy; however, an over-abundance of the element is said to cause difficulty in choosing something and sticking to it. In the same way, Water can be fluid and weak, but can also wield great power when it floods and overwhelms the land. Water governs the Kidney and Urinary bladder and is associated with the ears and bones. The negative emotion associated with water is fear/anxiety, while the positive emotion is calmness.”

So there you have it : high Anxiety, calm, loyal but judgmental…

I think we’re in the ball park here.

Take care,

Ian

Five of Bukowski’s Life Lessons I’ve Grown Old Enough to Confirm.

  1. If you got a job where you can write on the job, keep the job.
  2. If you got a woman who don’t drink the rent money, keep that woman.
  3. Most people will do nothing but chew up your time. Only keep around those who are worth it.
  4. Someone, somewhere, will be jealous of your “success” even if you only made ten bucks so far with a book.
  5. Pure, unaltered creativity is a rare thing, but there are legions of posers out there who are very talented at making people believe otherwise.

Bits and Pieces : Crass, A Tale of Ordinary Havoc

Next I was shipped to help unload a van of fabric with this kid called Yussef, one of the younger muslims working the agency. Every other minute, the lift would come around and we’d stick the big rolls onto its pin. Then we’d take the smaller ones out on some carts that other temps carried over to the other side. The small ones weighed around 150 pounds. The big ones could go up to 300. Luckily there weren’t that many of them. We were supposed to lift them up so the outer layer of fabric wouldn’t get dirty but we just rolled and dragged them on the ground when the foreman wasn’t around.

Me and the kid started talking. Unlike most of the other arabs in the place, Yussef was from Egypt rather than Algeria so he spoke english instead of French. He still prayed with the rest of them, they prayed in arabic anyways, but if you ask me, he really was just in Canada looking to make some money and get fucked.

He was into Hip-Hop, graffiti, loud music, tattoos and low riders. He was looking for a hot chick, big car, fancy clothes, and expensive drinks in exclusive clubs, same as most young men throughout history. So far it didn’t seem to be working out too well. He was wearing old Adidas overalls, the kind they sold at Winners, but he had the gold chain, big glasses. He really believed he was gonna ‘make it’ whatever that meant.

I was old enough to know better. He wasn’t going anywhere. No one who worked these jobs ever went anywhere. People who were headed places went to college and shit. Maybe I was just a grumpy old fuck, but still, I’d trust time would tell me right.  For a while we talked about Hockey, then we talked about politics and how much the PQ was fucked and the “charter” was all bullshit. And then the discussion inevitably went where it was supposed to go.

“I don’t get it, man,” he said. “You Quebeckers don’t believe in God.”

“Nope.”

“What do you believe in then?”

“Nothing.”

“No one believes in ‘nothing.’ You got to believe in something.”

“We don’t believe in nothing,” I repeated simply. “I don’t believe in nothing. I don’t believe in God or Satan. I don’t believe in Yaweh or Allah or Mohamed or whoever. I don’t give a fuck. There’s no one guy out there looking out for me. There’s nothing out there looking out for us. No heaven, no hell, no reason for us to be here, no great design to our lives. We’re a statistical anomaly in the grand scheme of some universal dance that’s gonna crash in a ball of fire or a blizzard for the ages.”

“So what then? You believe in chicks, in getting rich?”

“Nope.”

“Getting famous?”

“Hopefully not.”

“Come on. Who wouldn’t want to be famous?”

“I don’t.”

“Nah? Getting paper, walking in a bar with all the hot girls looking at you.”

“Nope.”

“You gay or something?”

“I don’t believe in that either.”

“You’re weird, man.”

“Tell me something I don’t already know.”

“So you’re gonna tell me you believe in nothing? Like, nothing at all. Why are you here then? Why do you work? Why do you get up in the morning?”

“I’m still asking myself the same question.”

“And you don’t want an answer.”

“You can’t answer everything.”

“Yeah! But ‘nothing’, that’s heavy, man.”

“Nothing means anything,” I replied simply.

“Nothing means anything?”

“Yup. Suicide doesn’t mean anything, life, work, family, posterity, fame, the American dream. It means nothing and it means anything. None of it’s important. You got work, that’s all you got. You get up, you work. It keeps you fed, it keeps you sheltered. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it an that’s enough. If you’re lucky, you’ll get ahead from the rest of us. If you’re smart too. No idiot ever makes it out of here. Sometimes one guy does and it keeps everybody hoping. It keeps everybody in line. I just don’t care anymore. Maybe the kid’s gonna go to college, maybe that’ll giver her a job, maybe not. You can get out if you go to school, but ‘hard work’ Nah! Man. I don’t believe in that either. The Self Made Man is a myth”

“But you got everything here. Food, jobs, water, there’s no war. Why do you complain then?”

“I don’t complain. I just “nothing” everything. I don’t have it, I don’t like it. that’s all.”

“I mean. Back home, man, it’s war all the time. When it’s not the Jews, it’s the Palestinians, when it’s not the Palestinians, it’s the muslim brotherhood.”

“That’s because you still believe in something. We don’t believe in nothing here. No god, no religion, no honour, not even a country. The country would ask us to die for it, most of us would say “fuck it.” We did it in the past, we’ll do it again if we have to. We don’t take up arms because we don’t care. We’re fed and we’re just borderline-bored, that seems to keep the economy going and that seems to be enough”

“So nothing means anything?”

“Afraid so.”

“And you can live with that?”

“It’s worked so far.”

He shoved a roll of red fabric on a cart. Shook his head twice.

“You’re really fucking weird man.”

“Hey! You’re the one who asked.”

Bits and Pieces : CRASS : A Tale of Ordinary Havoc

(I’ve decided to update this blog every once in a while with pieces from my next writing project)

 

Bits and pieces from CRASS : A Tale of Ordinary Havoc.

 

 

Every other day I walk out of my apartment at night, maybe around ten. It’s too hot. I can’t sleep.

I walk over to the nearby park, walk in the grass and try to get the tension out of my legs.

Every now and then one of the homeless man, a schizo, sits alone on a bend and curses away the night.

“Fucking asshole, fucking loser,” he shouts. He’s not talking at me, he’s not really talking to anyone except himself. His arms are swinging violently and I can only imagine the images inside his head, horrible images.

“You’ll never be anything…GET! Fucking loser.”

The city is quiet around here at night. His voice carries in the distance. I pick a line between two large trees and start walking back and forth. The grass is damp and my shoes are soon wet from it but I keep walking, slowly breathing in and out.

“Look at me, yeah! You’d like that motherfucker, look, right. Well FUCK YOU! Fuck you. You heard me right, Fuck you, FUCK YOU!”

Sometimes he goes into a stare, does a pretty decent beat box too. But every few minutes you see him winding up like a spring and it starts all over again.

“Fucking asshole, LOSER! Fucking loser!”

The neighbour is up and coming again. The signs are there to remind me that the rich and the soon-to-be-in-debt are willing to pay to live where I wouldn’t normally take a piss. Maybe they’re idiots or maybe that just mean’s I’m really just a snob in the end, who knows?

A hundred yards ahead there’s this gigantic yellow crane with its floodlight open all the time. It keeps me awake at night, sifting through a narrow strip between two buildings in the alley and a tree. It hits me right in the face when I try to sleep, even with the curtains are closed. It drives me insane sometimes, like I want it to crash. I want it to crash right through my wall and straight to my face. 50 tons of steel right in my left fucking eye, splut!

The schizo is quiet now. I breathe in the city’s stillness while I can.

I have come to like the concrete, the streets and the density of it all. I can’t stand the people for the life of me. I stop walking and stare at the crane. I stare at this behemoth. I stand amazed at what humans have managed to invent. This machine there capable of building the finest of architectures, the greatest museums to remind us that no one is equal and some of us have managed to vanquish time and create things so amazing that centuries down the line most of us still feel inadequate compared to them.

Yet we do so very little with it. We shovel snow forward as the path disappears behind us. We corner ourselves in living units, living quarters, work cubicles, toilet stalls, stand-up showers. 50 billion square miles of free wilderness in Canada and we are now willing to pay half a million dollars for 500 square foot.

“Fucking asshole, you’re nothing. Fucking NOTHING,” the schizo starts again. “Get the fuck out of here.”

I don’t know who’s really insane. Him for cursing his pain into the night or me for still trying, me for still pretending I care. Me for still trying to find a job and pay the bills the way you expect an honourable men to pay his bills.

He’ll be done around midnight, when the cops come and bring him back to Louis-H hospital. Maybe I should take a stroll down Hochelaga and get myself checked in one of these days. Maybe I am insane in the end, who knows? It’s 10h30 now and I started thinking “time to go to bed, I got work tomorrow.”

That ought to be a sign if you ask me.

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