Negative numbers


You will note the blog looks different.  Jeff and I had a quick confab yesterday to refresh the look.  His take on it is that now that I’m shifting to more commercial writing, the microblog portion of me going on at short length about my petty health problems should probably go behind a wall, with the long form pieces, the rants of varying sizes and selected humor, going to the front.

As long as we can keep a link happening so mOm can see my daily production of weltercruft, it’s all good.

No words (actually I went backwards yesterday as I am editing the GASP 17665 words I have written already.) I sent out a number of query letters yesterday and ONE OF MY FILKING BUDDIES has a sister who’s a literary agent so I am being extra specially careful about crafting a letter to her so I don’t blow it.

No CPAP.  I’ll be back on it tonight after I clean it.

Jerome and Shannon are having a barbecue!! me happy.  Jeff may come too if we keep it a short visit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, a cup of coffee must be made before I can perform morning normativity. Perform morning normativity.  MMMM.

My CT scan is scheduled for May 8 can you believe it? it’s at night, but o well.

a word

1034 of them to be exact, plus 1.5 hours on cpap.

Paul came over after supper with beer and he, Jeff and I watched a documentary about the sun.  That man sure knows how to cheer me up. I baked a cake as soon as I heard he was coming…. just one of those things.

I have an appalling craving for Indian noms.


Well, we were going to go to the Quay and pick up Katie and Alex along the way but Alex was getting vaccinated so we had a chance to go to Oakalla, aka Deer Lake Park instead. Keith and Paul and I walked and had a brief picnic lunch there.

The birdsong is so much louder than the cars.  When we sat on a bench we could see the cars cascading down Royal Oak, but we couldn’t hear them, unless they were emergency vehicles.  People were friendly and said hello.

I came home full of birdsong and sunshine, although my pelvis was temporarily crabby.

1.8 hours last night and 270 words or thereabouts.  I’ve backed up my words so far.

Good day

I probably should have walked around or biked but I had a lazy day of life maintenance and writing and watching tv. Castle is blah and NCIS Body Count is likewise.  Monday night now that Better Call Saul is done for this year is turning gooey.  Perhaps I can be braced with some PoI and Daredevil, which is proving to be loads of fun.

.5 hours and 1000 words.  Already at 250 words this morning, but this chunk is super fun to write.

Applied to one job yesterday morning.  I will do the same this morning.

I have yet another dentist appointment this week.  All part of the human panoply.

I can hear Jeff emptying the dishwasher.  I’m thinking time to make some coffee!

When the weather is good…. it’s amazing how good I feel.  There is a buttload of pollen out there though.


Attending, Alex and Alex and Katie and Paul and Keith and Mike and Cindy and Tom and Peggy and we sang and played and laughed and ate and it was most excellent.

Thank you Paul for hosting.

Happy sigh.

No hours, 440 words.

Today I’m cooking up something for the circle dinner tonight and maybe going to Mike Beach this afternoon.

Fell asleep

No, I wasn’t reading the Silmarillion.  (In joke).  No hours on cpap, 970 words yesterday.  Kima’s pregnancy is a non stop fun house of weirdnews.

Chipper came up with a GREAT character name and outcome story.  Honestly, the hair stood out on my arms when she told me. I’ve already added it to my notes.  I LOVE SCRIVENER in case I didn’t mention that earlier.

Ooh, two people favourited my tweet “Colonialism’s conclusion is that you are separate from the land – once you’ve swallowed that lie principles will not help you.”

When I was on the back deck drinking beer and soaking up rays yesterday afternoon I remember thinking how when Paul and I originally rented this house back in 1996 I felt like the spirits of my grandfathers helped us find and settle here. I know that’s superstitious nonsense, but every time the dogwood blooms – as it is now, the creamy blossoms shining from the very crown of the tree – I think of them and have reason to thank them for their many kindnesses and teachings, even if they didn’t actually have anything to do with us locating this house.  Even atheists are superstitious, but some of us hide it less well than others.


Beautiful day

It’s not even 8 am and I’ve made word count already.  I think I’ll go make some breakfast and coffee.

1.8 hours last night.  I cleaned the tube on the machine so I’m feeling much better about it.

Someone I used to work with got the job I really wanted.  I am very happy for him, and even happier for me, because I am writing, and I don’t want to stop.  And I would probably stop or slow down if I was working full time.

Yesterday Paul and Mike and Keith took me out to dinner at the Indian Bistro on 6th.  It was absolutely lovely, and the okra dish WAS PHENOMENAL.  So glad Paul ordered it.

Tomorrow night, Musical Evening at Paul’s, and the night after that, Circle Dinner at Heather and Ian’s for church.  Then church on Sunday.  The weekend looks busy.  If the weather is good there is always the possibility I’ll go to Wreck on Saturday.  If I feel like being too exhausted to go to the Circle Dinner that is, so, no.

The last episode of Justified was amazing.  The last scene between Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins is breathtaking.  They did it right.

Back to writing… Kima just squeezed Pharos out and has returned to the surface to check unheard messages.


Toothy grin

The fake tooth is now a real fake tooth.  It was a horrible experience.

1.  The new tooth was bulbous.  I cried when he tapped it in for fit, it felt so ghastly.

2. It took about an hour to take the piece of junk that came back from the lab ground down so it  would actually let me close my jaw.  It was into and out of my mouth sixteen times before he glued it.

3. Everything is settling down now but my bite is different and so many teeth in my mouth will be crabby until it’s over.  The root itself is calm on that tooth. The tooth immediately below is making little Shakespearean threatening speeches.

4. Walked to and from.  Pelvic bones feel like a GoT character has been drinking out of them before and dicing with them after.  I am ****ing sore today.  I did everything to try to alleviate overnight, but I can’t deal.  My month long experiment with no pain killers is over, I suspect.  Walking around Costco yesterday really didn’t help.

Ayesha cat care coverage is done.

This morning before I leaned over to find out how many hours I thought, “2.1, I feel like I had the mask on for 2.1 hours!” and it was so.

No words yesterday.  My day card is the Empress, the guardian of fecundity and increase, so I think I will work some more on Kima’s pregnancy today.




Half an hour and 114 words

Yeah, seems like I hit the brakes. Fortunately I have all of the chapters blocked out and I know what I want to say.  The characters sometimes step in front of me and take me places I did not intend to go, but I like that part. The livelier the story is the better.

I suspect if I get my poop in a group and clean my Cpap I’ll sleep better tonight.

Today a Costco run (mmmm SOURDOUGH) and FINALLY get my crown this afternoon.  The tooth has settled down nicely after disassembling itself during that last massively uncomfortable appointment, so I’m not anticipating any troubles this time.  Although of course we shall see.  This is the first time I’ve had a temporary crown that I didn’t break before the appointment.

Tonight, the last episode of Justified (I thought it was last week, but no).  The Game of Thrones season opener was quite good – Varys and Tyrion I particularly enjoyed; when Varys chides Tyrion about his drinking, with “There are faster ways to kill yourself”, Tyrion’s blunt response, “Not for a coward” was wonderfully played.

Ciaran Hinds as Mance saying, “The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted,” on the way to his burning was pretty good too.



A homily about Islam

One of the hilarious things about Unitarianism is that we occasionally have people up to do homilies whom we have not, er, vetted.  Thus it was that about 8 years ago some relatively inexperienced people on the worship services committee decided to have a representative of one of the Abrahamic religions, being a local imam, come and talk to us about Islam.

Islam is much closer to 19th century Protestantism in how long it allows a preacher to go on – hour, two hour long sermons are nothing (I get testy with myself if I go over 18 minutes, but I have the shades of Bareld and Ralph at either ear to assist in preventing me from being the truly windy whelp that I am) and they can be rather emotional and exhortative.

Anyhoo, I wasn’t there – I looked at the service description and thought the brilliant and humane Muslims I know IN REAL LIFE have been sufficient testimony to me of the appeal and strength of Islam as a religion (although, being a wicked atheist, its message cannot penetrate my sinful ears (note shades of atheists past standing guard at such orifices).

The imam lectured everyone in the room for what seemed like days and told them they were all wicked sinners headed straight to hell if they didn’t this minute convert to Islam.

Apart from a little confab with the worship services this had zero effect on our church. There was no outburst, it was just a sad error, and a tiny hiccup in the ecumenical fabric of our lives.

So, this time, we got a woman.  She’s a media savvy Canadian Muslim.  She had a simple and heartfelt and useful message for us (drop the word moderate in front of the word Muslim, please quit seeing a headscarf as a sign of oppression, remember that Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan have all elected woman leaders, be careful of the language you use and don’t put up with dog whistle language use from people who like to call Muslims THOSE PEOPLE). And she let her kids visit with our RE program.  Not because she wants to join our church – because she is not frightened of any message we might teach her children, because she’s already spoken to Unitarians, and really, we don’t bite.

I’ll gloss over the children’s story, except that I mimed having a tummy ache and krept off to the john to avoid it, while the folks at the back smiled behind their hands.

Sandwich lunch after.  Audrey’s devilled eggs were sublime.  She and I and Marilyn had a lovely chat before church; I in my usual witless way can’t even remember the name of the charming newcomer I ate with afterwards.  How to win friends and influence people.

Speaking of which, one of our long term members has dementia.  She smiles whenever she sees me, which is encouraging, and then stiffly walks over to me and says things like “I know you but I cannot recollect your name.” or, and it’s her that’s making me remember…. “Allegra! Thank you for wearing your name tag!” and then, mischievously and shyly, “It’s a good thing I get a lift to church, I can’t remember where I live.”  She looks like a precious five year old girl trapped in a still beautiful and friendly elderly woman.

If I get dementia, I sure as hell hope I’m like her.

Sue drove me home.

THRILLED out of my mind to hear that Rob W’s lawsuit (arising from the plane crash, wrote about it seven years ago on this blog) has been resolved.  Hope to hear more details from him this week.

Katie and Alex are about to head up here, and I for one am looking forward to some time with linoleum lizard lad myself.  I should get the coffee on.

3.1 hours and no words whatever yesterday.  “We begin again in love”.

At some point today and tomorrow I’ll be off to feed Ayesha.

I am feeling a strong current of affection toward the world right now, but if I ever find the jackass who put fentanyl in marijuana in the Interior, I’m going to scold and withhold that cookie.


1300 words and 5.6 hours.  I feel awesome.

I had a Writing Moment yesterday evening. The explanation I dreamed up for my hero’s superpowers is so beguiling and sounds so plausible that I am most gloriously happy.  I can also use it to explain his impairments – the way he locks up when he’s upset or surprised for example – and how his consciousness doesn’t operate the way we’re used to (the whole awake/asleep/drowsy progression is not the same).


I look forward to church.  Sue’s coming to get me.

 Here’s a wonderful Dave Carter song.

Here are the lyrics.  Thanks to Lem for pointing this at me.

Query letter

2.2 hours.

2780 words.  That’s amazing.


Also, editing.


Also, cinnamon buns.

MR2 is back but we don’t feel like shopping.


Dear Agent,

I have recently completed an SF novel entitled Upsun, which is about a previously unknown species of aliens of varying body shapes who descended from cuttlefish-like creatures and have been living on earth for millennia.

George Illingworth chooses to out himself as an alien while living in Vancouver, Canada, in hopes that he will be granted citizenship and then become eligible to train to become an astronaut, leave Earth, and spend the rest of his life helping guard the planet against asteroids and space junk.

He is assisted by his mate, Kima, and an eclectic and low-key group of humans, who help him in the years of planning and coordination prior to the big announcement: everyone from the Medical Officer of Health to the local First Nations bands, from the police who are forced to accept his presence to the mayor who dreams of a tourist bonanza.  Meanwhile, a scientist (Dr. Giesbrecht) at UBC works to unravel the mystery of the aliens’ composition and arrival on earth and politicians and pundits struggle to make sense of the news.

Good bad ugly

brO and I are waiting for MR2 to come back from the krankenhaus so we can do a proper shop.  We went for a walk this morning and I picked up some milk and cream so that if the car doesn’t come back today I don’t have to leave the house again,

which is fine,

cause I’ve already written 500 words today and I think today will be furtherly productive.  Kima’s first pregnancy chapter “Someday it’ll keep you” is maybe a couple of pages from done, and I’ve got a good start on Brendan’s first chapter “Check unheard messages” which is all about what happens when you let the Sixer version of nepotism determine who your collaborators are.

And the great thing about writing English goodest is bragging rights.

Ayuh.  All I know is that when I think of the ideas I want to introduce and the hearts I want to break  MUAH HAH HAHHHH! choke gargle.

Fuel oil spill at English Bay.  I’m sickened by it.  The province says “It’s a federal matter” and the feds have killed all the funds for boats for oil spills.  Harper won’t be visiting I’m sure and the boat responsible can’t even be pinned down and fined f’chrissakes.

The grown child of a friend of mine (and a facebook friend) was metres away (indoors thanks be) from the police incident at 5 last afternoon.  Perp got all stabby with two dudes rendered more topologically complex and one woman clinging to life as of this morning; and when bean bag shot didn’t slow him down they gave him summary justice, lead punctuation edition. Vancouver seems to be abloom with police shootings. IA is all over it.

1.3 hours.