Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Yep, Captain Jack Sparrow. What's not to love about the dreds and cool beard!
Ahh, the aforementioned Lecter. My son might have the voice down, but not the glassy-eyed look indicative of folks partying too long.
Our friend Pee Wee...OK, so that's a little weird. Don't worry, I won't touch that one...
So what guy that grew up in the '70's didn't want to be the Fonz? Except in Canada, he would be ending his sentences in Eh?
What costumes would you pick? Feel free to throw your picks up on your blogs...
Have a great halloween tomorrow night. Watch out for creepy people.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I have been polishing up a story for 52 Stitches, who will be re-opening for submissions on October 31. I've also been compiling notes for the NaNo this year. Yikes! A mere 4 days away. As a practice for this, I have been getting up at 6:15am each morning to get together my notes that I have scattered all over the place. The early start also gives me extra time to read the fine blogs of others. As a result, I have found a couple of things to bring to your attention.
First, Erin Cole has been hosting some amazing horror stories at her blog Listen to the Voices. The 13 Days of Horror has been a great lead-up to halloween with writers such as Michael J. Solender, Laurita Miller, Barry J. Northern, and Paul D. Brazill. I know what you're thinking...that's a lot of
Most of you are also familiar with Brenton Tomlinson over at Musings of an Aussie Writer. He will be editing the first anthology for Blade Red Press: Blade Red Dark Pages, Volume 1. This sounds like a high quality publication and, with BT at the helm, you know that they will print only the best. You can check out thier submission guidlines here, but keep in mind that submissions close on November 30.
I will now get to my paid work. I realize that I have been pimping a lot this morning but fear not...I will have a hot shower and give myself a good scrubbing!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The most appropriate definition I could find on this was..."a present-day man who has acquired profound knowledge or proficiency in more than one field."
I would like to think that this would also apply to women. Have you ever met somebody that has inspired you in some way? I don't mean the team coach that gives the inspirational pep-talk. It goes far beyond that. Something intangible.
I registered for a night-school class at King's College (London, Ont) back in Oct. 1996. It was called 'The End of the Millennium-Psychological Perspectives.' It was taught by Dr. Jaroslav Havelka, a psychology professor originally from Czechoslovakia via Italy, who came to Canada in 1951. The first lecture opened with "What is the report card for our civilization? The last millennium people were dying with the name of Messiah on their lips...but they were better off than us as we are rotten morally." He attributed this to something he called 'Scientific Materialism' and the fact that we are much more 'ego bound' than our ancestors. And so began the eight lecture series...
As is my custom, I tend to get places early and sit with a cup of coffee. I waited prior to class on a couch in the large entry hall of the building when Dr. Havelka wandered along. He recognized me as one of his students and sat and began chatting with me. How was I enjoying the class, what did I do for my work, etc. I was a bit surprised at first, not accustomed to professors chatting socially with me showing interest in my life. I wish that I had taken more advantage of that to pick his brain a bit.
In the fall of '97 there was a story in the paper about a popular university professor having passed away. He died of cancer only 12 days after being diagnosed. It wasn't until a few years later that I began to learn more about his incedible life journey.
His wife, Jane Vincent-Havelka, was the keynote speaker at the 50th anniversary of the college, who were establishing a permanent collection of his art work. I have the 9 page speech that I printed from the Internet a few years ago, and am now unable to find it online. The best link I could find was to the information poster of it here. I'll list in point form some of the events that occurred in his life.
- born in Moravia, Czechoslovakia in 1922
- area was occupied by the Nazi Reich in 1938
- his was involved, with his father, with the partisan against the Nazis
- he was sent to work in a tank factory in Vienna (where he attended evening classes at the university) and had access to music, museums and theatre
- he returned to Czech after the war, attending classes at the university
- the Soviets cracked down on intellectuals, and he secretly fled to Milan to attend university on a scholarship. He was unable to tell his parents, and he never saw them again
- he obtained a Ph.D. in 1950
- immigrated to Montreal in 1951 and began studying psychology and physiology at McGill. He became a research assistant and studied brain functions under famed neurologist Dr. Wilder Penfield.
- had no formal art training, but was a prolific artist producing woodcarvings, drawings (his self-portrait is above, 1993) and painting
he wrote plays and essays and his novel, Pelynek, won an international prize. His final books, Variations and Musings of an Inquisitive Mind, were psycho-philosophical essays.
- established the department of Psychology at King's College in 1969
- is fluent in six languages
- had a special interest in thanatology, the study of death, and was an active participant in the King's College Centre for Education about Death and Bereavement. For 30 years he studied Eastern Religions, particularly Buddhism, and the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and the Tibetan Book of the Dead were constant companions.
I could continue on with more points, but I would be beating it to death. It's difficult to put into words the aura that a person like this emanates in a crowd. Yes, he was a charismatic and engaging speaker with some truly amazing ideas. But one got a sense of well-being from him and you couldn't help leaving his lectures with a desire to learn more. To push yourself beyond your comfort zone...
Anyway, I've prattled on too long. I realize that this post is probably of little interest to anyone but myself. And I would be surprised if any of you has read on long enough to get to this point.
In October of 2001, an exhibit of 350 pieces of his art work was exhibited in a church in London. About half of these were on sale. I saw a number of pieces that depicted either Christian or Buddhist themes but I couldn't afford to put out the money at the time. I now have two things to regret about that period of time. I should have engaged Dr. Havelka more in conversation and I should have purchased a piece of his art to remember him by. If you happen upon a person who touches your instincts in such a way, act on them and learn more. I may live another 47 years...perhaps I'll get a second chance to learn more.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
That provides a nice little segway into a bit more pimpage I'll throw at you. While attending the night school classes in creative writing in 2007/08 I met a woman called Debbie (who is one of my NaNo buddies this year). Her husband is a talented landscape photographer by the name of Terry Adey. I would recommend you check out his website for some stunning and haunting images of the Newfoundland coastal regions. The attached photo is from his web page.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
- A reminder to everyone that I am still looking for questions to pass on to Kelley Armstrong (see previous post). You've got until the end of the day tomorrow in your time zone to get questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every question is greatly appreciated folks (at the moment, including my own question, I have two....
- I have finally considered myself 'certified'
insaneand signed myself up for the 2009 installment for NaNoWriMo. I am a NaNo virgin and will need a lot of prodding and a friendly shoulder to cry on. Seriously. I mean it. I need all the friends I can get, so if you want to buddy me you can find me here.
- Katey Taylor had a great post last week about Banned Books week, with links to the Most Challenged list for last year and Frequently Challenged or Banned Classics. You can link to her blog here. This is, of course, a debate that has been society for almost as long as there have been books in print. It's by no means just a problem in the US. Please link to an article I read yesterday at Canoe.ca about the Toronto District School Board considering removing "To Kill a Mockingbird" from its system because of a complaint from a single parent. Wow! I wish that I weilded that sort of power *sighs and shakes head*.
Monday, October 5, 2009
- I will send all questions to Kelley but, depending on the number of questions and time constraints, she may not get to them all.
- I will post the questions and answers, but not the names of the people that wrote the question (to protect the 'shy', or in the event that not all are answered or there are duplicates of questions).
- I am confident there will be some creative 'thinking outside the box' sorts of questions. There are some regularly asked Q & A at her website here, so I would advise checking it out to avoid asking her questions she frequently receives. Actually, check out her website anyway as there's a tremendous amount of information to be found there.
- Rather than posting your questions in the comments section, I ask that you please email them to me at email@example.com (I'll give until end of the day Wednesday the 7th).
I think that Kelley Armstrong is affording us a unique opportunity to 'pick her brain' about all things horror and fantasy. She is a creator of otherworlds with vampires and werewolves, with witches and demons. Kelley has had experience with online fiction, short stories in anthologies, E-serials and episodic novels with continuing plot lines. She even noted in her email that she has participated in NaNoWriMo and hosts a group on her site to encourage others. I look forward to reading your submitted questions. Thanks!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I'm surprised that I maintained my sanity during the first year. A 5th paper and subsequent re-write may have prompted me to the clock tower, sniping at bearded, tweed-coated academics that bore a resemblance to Dr. xxxxx. After the final exam, I was presented with my 48.5% grade; good for a chance to enjoy his class another semester. I did, however, discover that I could take the other first year English class. I wrote my papers for Dr. yyyyy and was given a C+ grade. Perhaps this English shtick wasn't so bad after all? I'm hoping that the first semester professor wasn't biased against me because his ex-wife was my English teacher in high school.