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Writer's Tears Irish Whiskey

I’m work­ing away on my library-full-of-self-eras­ing books, and I have a nov­el to fin­ish writ­ing, but I’ve had an idea and I want to pur­sue it soon. (Actu­al­ly, it’s not a new idea; it’s a re-use of a con­cept from one of my nanow­rimo projects.)

The Slow-Motion Apoc­a­lypse” is a “day in the life” por­trait of an aging wiz­ard who hap­pens to be all that’s stand­ing in the way of a nuclear blast oblit­er­at­ing part of Man­hat­tan.

Inter­est­ed?

Steven Page in Concert

[photo of the concert ticket]

A cou­ple nights ago we went to see Steven Page in con­cert at the West­man Cen­ten­ni­al Audi­to­ri­um. It’s been a while; he has­n’t been to Bran­don in twen­ty-five years. He was on tour with Craig Northey of The Odds and Kevin Fox, a cel­list.

The show was amaz­ing. I con­fess, I did­n’t know much of Page’s new­er stuff, but what I heard I liked. We end­ed up buy­ing a cou­ple CDs dur­ing the inter­mis­sion, so I look for­ward to hear­ing more of his recent work.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Steven Page in Con­cert”

A friendly face

At the cof­fee shop this grey Mon­day morn­ing, the young woman behind me asked if I used to work at the research sta­tion. I said no, I’ve worked at the uni­ver­si­ty for 25 years.

You look famil­iar, though,” she said. “Maybe it’s just that you’ve got a friend­ly face.”

It’s good to know that my Mon­day face was­n’t a scowl.

Happy solstice

The sun at sunset

It’s Decem­ber 21st, so that means that, here in the north­ern hemi­sphere, every day from here on out will be a lit­tle longer than the one before. I for one am hap­py to get more and more day­light.

Subvert all the expectations

Maman, the spider, with Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica behind

I came across this well-worn but still valid piece of writ­ing advice on Twit­ter yes­ter­day:

If you plan on sub­vert­ing [expec­ta­tions], you need to sub­vert with the goal of some­thing BETTER.

And now today, on CBC’s Sun­day Edi­tion, they’re talk­ing about Robert Mun­sch’s game-chang­ing book The Paper Bag Princess, which came out in that long-ago era of 1980 and sub­vert­ed all the expec­ta­tions about what a fairy tale should be.

I remem­ber dis­cov­er­ing (or per­haps re-dis­cov­er­ing) The Paper Bag Princess in my twen­ties. As a young man who had heard a mil­lion fairy tales with the “and then they got mar­ried” hap­pi­ly-ever-after end­ing, it was a very dif­fer­ent end­ing than I was expect­ing: the princess does­n’t mar­ry the prince, not even after res­cu­ing him from the drag­on.

It was a dif­fer­ent kind of end­ing, but still a hap­py end­ing. Maybe not so hap­py for the prince, but then he did noth­ing to earn a hap­py end­ing. It sub­vert­ed the trope and made a new, bet­ter thing from it.

So go: sub­vert the expec­ta­tions. Sub­vert all the expec­ta­tions. Make it bet­ter.

Head­er image: Maman, across the street from Notre-Dame Cathe­dral Basil­i­ca, in Ottawa.