Stairs

You go up, you go down.

I saw this stair­way on Twit­ter, and thought it looked, well, amaz­ing. It made me nos­tal­gic for the stairs in my child­hood home, to wit:

Dad made the ris­ers. They’re var­nished wood, crazy slip­pery in sock feet, shaped like the end of a canoe pad­dle. The cen­tral col­umn, if I recall cor­rect­ly, was weld­ed by a close fam­i­ly friend, Gilles.

Man, I loved those stairs. They were the best.

Unfinished Stories

The Grove cartoon by Steve Groves

A friend of mine, Steve Groves, was a tal­ent­ed writer and an amaz­ing car­toon­ist. I think he had a hard time believ­ing it, though.

For a while he drew a week­ly strip for a local news­pa­per, called The Grove, that fea­tured humans and ani­mals in a small town. The main char­ac­ter had moved home from the big city and would often ques­tion just why. The humour veered between gen­tle and bit­ing, as all the best satire does.

A sam­ple car­toon is at the top of this post. I often told Steve that The Grove remind­ed me, in tone and in exe­cu­tion, of Bloom Coun­ty. He’d always mum­ble some­thing in an embar­rassed voice about how it “can’t be that good”, but it was.

(He would some­times tell me that he found my suc­cess in writ­ing inspir­ing, and I’d mum­ble some­thing in an embar­rassed voice, because I know how much rejec­tion I’ve col­lect­ed, how much fur­ther I feel I have to go. So I guess that par­tic­u­lar knife cuts both ways.)

Steve died last year after a bat­tle with can­cer. A mutu­al friend, one T. Kei­th Edmunds, set about on a project to gath­er some of Steve’s work into a memo­r­i­al col­lec­tion. Mine arrived on Thurs­day, and it’s gor­geous. 96 pages of car­toons, draw­ings, sketch­es, and notes for projects that run the gamut from “kid’s book” to “night­mar­ish mon­ster hunter”.

Thanks, Kei­th. And of course, thanks, Steve.

Unfin­ished Sto­ries: The Art of Stephen Groves is avail­able for pur­chase, as are select prints of Steve’s work.

The 2018 Halloween Tally

The Hal­loween tal­ly:

  • Mad sci­en­tist
  • 2 mem­bers of a motor­cy­cle gang
  • Nin­ja
  • Gyp­sy
  • Day of the Dead
  • Pirate
  • Ghost
  • 2 jail­birds

…for a total of 10 Hal­loween­ers. (Plus two par­ents, dressed as Mary Pop­pins and Ben, who didn’t come close enough to get any can­dy.)

At judo: 0 kids. 5 adults. A nice qui­et evening of flash­cards and kata.

Le tournesol

A song, from my French immer­sion school­ing, about sun­flow­ers. (Every time I see a field of sun­flow­ers, this song comes to me.)

Le tour­nesol, le tour­nesol
n’a pas besoin d’une bous­sole
ni d’arc-en-ciel, ni d’arc-en-ciel
pour se tourn­er vers le soleil

In Eng­lish:

The sun­flower, the sun­flower
has no need of a com­pass
nor of a rain­bow, nor of a rain­bow,
to turn its face to the sun

One thing I didn’t remem­ber from ele­men­tary school music ses­sions in the library at École Lau­ri­er: that bassline.

McNally Robinson Photo Submission

McNal­ly Robin­son, my favourite book­store, is curat­ing a pho­to­book of the province, to be titled Man­i­to­ba by Man­i­to­ba. To that end, they’re seek­ing pho­tos tak­en out­side the Perime­ter (for the non-Man­i­to­bans, that means, essen­tial­ly, “not tak­en in Win­nipeg”). You can sub­mit up to 5 pho­tos.

It wasn’t easy, trim­ming my sub­mis­sion down to five. Here are the ones I sent in.

Wish me luck!