Words yesterday, words today

I’ve already made wordcount (over 1000) today, so now I’m thinking about working on churchy business and making something for the Circle Dinner tonight.  Sue’s going to give me a lift.

And that’s about all.  I had a lovely time with Katie and Alex and Jessica and Ellie at the Quay yesterday, but she hasn’t sent me the pics yet…. sadface.

Also, VERY SORE from yesterday’s walk. Five more days until I see the specialist.

I have a job interview on Monday.

Non compliance

This is a new device for people like me, non compliant CPAP users.  No thanks, even if I didn’t actually use it last night I’ll stick with the CPAP that hydrates the air.

I believe I wrote 1007 words yesterday, but my counter went a little bloopy, so maybe it was only half that.  Bhwa.

Skytrain tracks caught fire this morning, so things are going to be dripping with slow for the commute. Line’s shut between Joyce and Waterfront, what a cluster.

Back to the saltmines.  I am trying to get started on a chapter that needs way more research than I have the energy for right now.

More non-compliance, this time from the Mayor of Burnaby. Go Derek.

WHO launches a program to catch the next big outbreak.

This is the kind of news item that really fires up the mystery writer hiding under my sf writer.

DADBODS ARE A THING.  Full disclosure.  Long about a million years ago, I was walking through the CNE grounds with Lois and Ruth (erstwhile Sisses-in-Common-law) we saw a lovely young man of about 20 rocking chiselled everything.  I turned to the ladies and said, “I dunno ’bout you, but I just can’t find a man super attractive these days unless he’s got a tiny bit of a gut.”  They both turned to me and burst out laughing.


the casting game

Of course, having designed the books to be turned into a tv series (well, I did, right from the outset and if not a tv series then some other form of episodic televised joy), I get to play the casting game.

George.  I have not run across the actor who could play George. Andrew Scott is fairly close to him in body type, shape and sizewise, but he’s not quite eastern European looking enough. Think a more hooked nose and higher cheekbones.

Kima.  Kima would mostly be a voiced character.  Some skinny young thing who’s a dancer could play her on the rare occasions (mostly in the first book) that she’s bipedal.

Michel.  Ditto, alas.  If he ever settles on an appearance he could be played by a Big Scary Bald Black Dude, since that’s the human form he likes best, kinda.

Raven.  Unknown Canadian actor. She’s fat, so it would be a plum role for a qualified lassie.  (No older than 25).

Jesse.  Unknown actor from anywhere, since his physical qualifications are going to be tough. (Jesse is big, tall, dirty blond, pumps iron and does not take steroids). Jesse’s the same age as Raven, give or take three months.

Grandmother.  Sue Sparlin. After seeing my friend in Lost in Yonkers, playing the evil old grandmother, I went, yup, that’s her (both for the performance and for her grip on the accent).  I know for a fact that she would be deliciously narcissistic and crunchily fun, and she would be able to portray confusion and dismay with more than enough style. Photo credit her daughter Aura McKay.

Avtar, Winnie and the Tornado: All unknown actors. Avtar is subcontinent extraction (and furry), Winnie is Chinese and Caucasian, and the Tornado is (obvs) a loud and interesting blend.  Vancouver is a town full of marriages and liaisons between every ethnicity on earth, so I thought it would be good to show one.

Brendan: Just about any competent actor in his 30’s could manage Brendan, but a 9/10ths scale model of Chris Pratt with the gut back on and some acne pitting would do the job.

Ruby, either Michelle Thrush or Columpa Bobb.

Gwen the publicist.  Maggie Gyllenhall. Hands down.

Farah Jalali.  Well of COURSE I WANT ARCHIE PANJABI but I think Rekha Sharma (who played the assistant in BSG and is a local) would do better than well. Actually now I think of it she’d be awesome.


892 words yesterday .4 hours. 319 words today so far.

I went downstairs, Jeff’s watching F1, and I say “Monaco?” because I like guessing which track it is before I sit down, and I was right.  First, you look for the palm trees…. then you look at the architecture.


It is Suddenly Summer after a long spring.  It wasn’t forecast, but Vancouver got the May 2-4 weekend we’ve been longing for.  Normally, we have overcast in May.  This weekend was rilly glorious.

No cpap, no writing.  I did get the disgusting hell hole that was the front hall where the litter pan was mucked out, ran some laundry (and used the line to dry, yay!) and hacked away at The King Will Never Die (the BB King memorial song, which is, as frikking usual, morphing away from me into something else.)

Jeff took me to brekkie.

The agent for the landpeer comes over this morning and we re-up on our lease.  And why not, they aren’t raising our rent, which in Vancouver is better than winning a lottery because then all your friends and relatives aren’t bugging you for cash, but you still have more in your pocket.

Time to go make three days of wordcount.

What a meal

I thought Mike was going to feed me in a restaurant, but he made pot roast, with veg, mashed potatoes and gravy, and afterwards (since we started late and I had eaten myself in a ‘pleasant state of repletion’) I faceplanted. Awoke at quarter to six and walked home.  What a glorious morning!  The sky is a pearly pale blue and it was just the right amount of walk.  Mike gave me about 20 minutes of very pressure conscious massage on my lower back last night and something let go with an almighty crack, and I remember waking up and thinking “no pain!”.  Course, no cpap either, but o well. I got Mike with about 20 minutes of calf massage – he tried the Wreck Beach stairs for the first time this season this last weekend and he was a hurting unit (should have heard him moaning as we went down the basement stairs).

I am still in prodrome, but I’m doing my best to ignore it.  The hardest part is knowing that whatever mood I’m in, super agitated and cheerful, or super sludgy and meepish, is all, if not false, then certainly questionable,  and that the dishes must still be done and phone calls returned.

I am working on a song for BB King.

Buster, after giving me such a scare with his absence yesterday, was on hand to greet me and thank me for filling his dish, and all in all the world is a very pleasant place this morning, and it will even yet more amazing after coffee, toast and eggs.

Jeff should be back today.

The wor(l)d as it is

Jumpin’ Jimmy Christmas, I just entered “How do you say fucked in the ass in Hindi” and in .67 seconds (!>?) I have the Hindi text, the gloss pronunciation (not in the international spelled alphabet which I hate so bad.  SO VERY DeRANGeDLY. I could be persuaded that it would be a bad idea to kill the fuckers who invented it, them and all their waste-canister friends, but in marked up but recognizable English plus a rather convulsing rendition of it in a woman’s mechanical voice.)

Given a choice between editing that sentence, which could wring pity from an abandoned kitten, and deleting it, I’m going to just leave it there. If there are flies on the internet, they will soon gather.

I suppose there will be an unanswered question.  Research.  It’s for the novel.  I hope to god I won’t need it.

Not everything is a confused mess

Yesterday 0 writing and 2.0 hours.

Church in the morning, took the bus to get there and it all worked out perfectly, except drinking that Timmy Ho’s coffee I bought coming up the hill from Sapperton Station made me so uncomfortably warm I spent the service in a state resembling that of a dish of colloid.  It was a good service, and would have been even better if the person living next to the Hall hadn’t been running a fucking weed whacker at irregular and annoyingly loud intervals during the exact time the service was running.

After the service I went to New West Station and waited in front of the Landmark for Mike and he was frantic about being late and I told him to relax.  When we bought the tickets, we went to the theatre, sat down, and the movie started, so nobody had to sit through the trailers.

Age of Ultron is a colourful, noisy, spirited MESS.  There are a couple of funny lines, and that’s it; it achieves spectacle without providing more than a tiny nod to anything resembling emotional connection, or pulling more than cursory nods at performance out of the principals.  I have no intention of watching it again.  I was an idiot… we really should have gone to Mad Max, but there’s no point wailing over spilled digital.

After the movie we had a late lunch at the Hub.  Great food and a wonderful view from the deck, but I’ve now lowered my expectations of their service to the point where I’m tempted to give my food orders to the manager rather than the assortment of Sand Snakes (think stunning, raven haired and sorta hostile) they seem to have hired as servers. But it was a yummy lunch, srsly.

After that, we saw Katie and Alex.  Happy sigh.

Then we went on an errand for Mike.  While I was sitting in the car looking through the hole in the roof at the brilliant green of the tree and the glorious blue and white of our unforecasted sky, I completely missed the accident; two bicyclists got into a rear ender with each other cause, hey, no brake lights, and all I could hear through the roof was two dudebros saying, “Sorry, man, jeez I’m sorry.” No injuries except to pride.

Mike was laughing when he came back the car, “Can’t get more Vancouver than that.”

Then we went to the Astoria and I had a grapefruit flavoured beer and no word of a lie I used to think I’d drink any beer, but this stuff was, in the memorable phrase of Dr. Filk, AUTHENTICALLY VILE.  We have reached peak craft beer, son.

Then we went to the Hastings Sauna.  My spidey sense (I’ve had something resembling prodrome for a week now) told me to stay the hell out of the sauna for more than a few minutes at a time. I did that and I believe I was wise. Even so the heat and eucalyptus made me feel very relaxed, and they play spa music in the front room, so I just lay there like a dead thing listening to desultory harp music with the oscillating fan blowing over my sweating and corpulent form while Mike roasted himself.  Ah, English.  It can make anything sound beautiful.

Then Mike gave me a lift home and I collapsed, while I realized I’d left my phone at Mike’s place when we stopped off there to get Mike’s bag.  He’ll drop it off sometime after he achieves consciousness today.

And then I couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t sleep.  It was one before I slept and seven when I woke up.  I feel okay though.

Today writing, laundry and cleaning, and ignoring the stuff on the PVR until Jeff gets home.

Lots and lots

Yesterday I wrote 1700 words, only 1200 of which will end up in the novel unless I tweak them hard.

Keith came over and blitzed through GoT after taking me for a walk (we went to the Twist and got beer, which Keith kindly carried home, which is good, because I am very sore), and I made bread rolls, which was pretty much all I had to do to get Keith to come over.  (I think in some ways Keith considers my cooking to be pretty good.) The rolls are incredibly dense and chewy.  I will have to do that again, this time when Jeff’s here and before they vanish.

1.2 hours.

Margot and Buster are irritated that Jeff’s door is closed. Margot mewed as loudly as she could to wake me up this morning, which is not very loud but reasonably effective when she’s jamming her face under my door (the gap is very big.) Margot’s in the living room right now and Buster is on the top bunk sleeping in my suitcase.

Back to writing.  Pharos and George are working their way through a long to-do list.  mOm is enjoying it and so I wonder what I’ll dream up today.

The land and the people are one

EDIT.  This was brought on by thoughts of geobonding – the way a language spoken on a land for a long time in some ways becomes a land. I am envious of those who speak a language which has been on the land for a long time, because it has depths of richness and resonates in ways that English, the language that records its colonial history, cannot.  There are about 35 at-risk languages in BC alone, and the death of a language is part of the extinction that is genocide.


It is your land – or you belong to it, after a while the distinction blurs –  because every syllable of your language matches in magic the staccato calls of birds, the falls of rock, the crashing ocean, the dear familiar taste of this corm or that other, your particular delicacy. Only those friendly voices, who speak as you speak, and understand as you do, can share those nuances with you. This is what your language is. Each time you kill a language, my dear human, you are killing a small but measurable way to look at the world.  Do not be an idiot!  If a people live on a land for 50 years they forget the poor children (in capitalist terms, and even then it’s charitable) they stole it from.  If they live on it ten thousand, twenty thousand, thirty thousand years, ah, then strange things start to happen.

They have sung there for 30,000 years.  Their land has felt the resonance of their ir/reverant voices for 30,000 years,. You say it isn’t theirs.  Of course it is.  They’ve been putting their people in the ground, or elsewhere, for that long, birthed and suffered great wounds and triumphed and been wrong to the point of extinction on that land, and then been kicked off of most of it or transposed entire. 

Then they experienced that moment, which you are not allowed to co-opt, you with your fucking lawyers, god damn them all and I say that as an atheist so you hell-coupled miscreants will attend me, when you, with all of your people, have been ground up in the Malthusian sequelae of geopolitics, and weather, and religion, and war, and disease, and alcohol or opium or speed, and all of you are thrown into history like pretty stones into a rock polisher. When you come out, you are bright and shiny and new, for the house organs of capitalism likewise wear you down, and tell you that if you do not look like the rest of the world (however defined, but since humans are racially all one big playground, it’s really the same everywhere – the local rich) you will be Othered until you have the sense to kill yourself or otherwise die young from generations of trauma.

But. Life’s not fair.  Your enemies (demonstrably trying to kill you = enemies, pull on your beard as you may) co-opt everything about your people that they think is cool (an ever shrinking target as your blessed elders die), conflate it with sex and race and linguistic ability in a new language, and with skill and speed and a keen eye for the main chance, mock and countersue and vilify and beat and rape and jail and drug and abuse the living shit out of you if you even dare to whimper in the courts, or in any way upend the folkways of racism, Jim Crow and apartheid and the hell-coupled residential schools, so you have to get creative about how to keep fighting, but in the meantime everything you love about your culture you must keep alive (and even some shit you hate, but hey, tradition.) There is no one else.

So please be poor and mount court challenges to systemic discrimination against white people, while being among the last three hundred people who speak English, on Earth, while living in Nigeria with no clean water, before you pour verbal abuse on people who are in exactly the same situation, now, with just.the.names.changed. Your inability to understand with any human feeling or compassion the responsibility placed on the holders of a language in jeopardy transforms you into an enemy, always, until you free your mind.  For even if I grant that you have the right to the land, shelter on this challenging planet (which no uncoerced indigenous person ever shall), by killing a language you have committed a crime against humanity, and in spreading the blame and shame of it across an entire country, every colonial government must stand accused.

Breathing easy

Alex can crawl at what I consider a goodly pace. He smiled politely at my attempts at baby talk, and then got into a disagreement with one of my Crocs. (Katie will verify that he indeed made noises of displeasure at my shoe. Not the left one, the right one, since one of you is sure to ask.) And he slept like an angel during our meal. I am a topped-up grandma.

2.1 on the cpap.  It only being 4 am and me being shy on sleep I should probably put it back on…. but I prob’ly won’t.

Malcolm Gladwell quote

People are so insecure and neurotic about their ‘material.’ It’s not your material. You got it from a thousand places, the person who uses it is going to take it in a thousand directions. Everyone should just chill out. I thought that Jonah Lehrer was sloppy and made mistakes and all that, but the real question is: Did you read his books and learn something from it? If you did, who cares whether the Dylan quote had that precise wording or had a slightly different wording? I don’t know, I just don’t have the strength and patience for these kinds of intramural arguments that writers have about whether this precise use of words matched this precise use of words. I’d just much rather answer the question of whether something is being learned, or something interesting is happening.



Saw Alex today

and wrote 1222 words, and had pho for dinner and really life is okay even if not a single person responds to any of the resumes I’ve sent out in the last two weeks.

Alex is sitting up, crawling, grinning and in general running his mama ragged. By which I mean: Alex can crawl at what I consider a goodly pace. He smiled politely at my attempts at baby talk, and then got into a disagreement with one of my Crocs. (Katie will verify that he indeed made noises of displeasure at my shoe. Not the left one, the right one, since one of you is sure to ask.) And he slept like an angel during our meal. I am a topped-up grandma.


I am in a super strange mood, as I often be when the migraine (atypical) is pending (which it can do for weeks and then go back into its hole).  I shall make no decisions heavier than what to order for dinner (Mike’s treat) for the next 24 hours, and somebody please shoot me if I start making meeping noises about how nobody loves me, cause it just ain’t true.  Also, I’m doing laundry, because no matter what I do I get food on mah clothes.

Bwa ha ha, mistook Mike’s voice for Keith’s on the phone today.  I blame my brain chemistry.

I made word count yesterday (500 words a day is the recommended minimum) but continue, even after cleaning it with serious thoroughness to rassle with the cpap.

Wrigley!!!! omg Chipper you are the best.  I wish you could have heard me scream when I read that, you would have laughed your ass off.

Sometimes the cops have to use deadly force.

But sometimes it really seems like they don’t.

Back to naming babies.  Michel is NOT THE PERSON FOR THIS JOB.  Which is why he volunteered for it.  And of course he has ulterior motives, which add up to “The sooner the babies are born the sooner I can go back to making time with Kima hurrr durrr.”

Paul is supposed to collect me mid-afternoon to go walkies.  I am having trouble even making 2 k, but I suspect if I stick to someplace flat I’ll be fine.