Thursday, July 16, 2015

#TBT #WW Blog the 36th: The First Mystery of the Cocoverse

  Blog the 36th: The First Mystery of the Cocoverse

Today I’m thinking about love. Alright, fine, I guess I’ve been thinking about love for a few days and keeping to the writing-from-a-place-of-truth law of the Cocoverse, I guess I’d better talk about it.  
Do note however, that I am writing this blog very late on the day that it is due, using a 25 minute Pomodoro session during my lunch hour and planning on polishing and primping it immediately upon conclusion of day job obligations with at least another 3 Pomodoros.
My delay in writing is, as ever, directly related to my reluctance to write it. I don’t want to write about love, because not only will I then have to think about it (which I am doing anyway), but in the writing process, I have to face my thoughts about love. Don’t want to. Want to brush them into the corner under the pile of dirty laundry, which I don’t have to look at until next Wednesday (which is the next designated laundry day in the Cocoverse).
Sometimes being a writer sucks that way. Experience has taught me that, now that I am writing about it, that I have absolutely no idea and no control over where this self-conversation is going. It could take me to wonderful and delightful heights, or painful and uncomfortable depths.
Yah, I know, likely both, but I’m not up for a roller coaster ride today, if you don’t mind. I’ve had enough drama in my personal life this month, thank you very much. Do I really have to look at this today? Can’t I just tell you an amusing story about my co-workers new-found obsession with the TV show Glee? Or the child-like delight of another colleague at his name appearing right after that of an A-list star on a film credit list? Or my super insider sneak peek at a fine cut of the short film “Rusted Pyre” (it was awesome by-the-way; hooray to the CSSC and Year of the Skunk for making it happen!) I could even just make something up about the Cat Lady who made her first appearance in last week’s blog entry. Anything not to talk about me. Sigh. Squirmy though I am and likely will continue to be, it is time to pull off the band-aid and tell you some of the love thoughts. But first, I’m getting a nice cup of tea.
Back with the tea. Earl Grey, straight up. And a glass of water. Procrastinating? What? Who? Me? By the way, if this was a script, this is the point at which I would delete the entire preceding paragraph and start this story at the real beginning, which is right around here somewhere. Though I leave it in for your edification (your word of the week, for which you should thank me cause I was going to make the word for the week “epigenetics” but I decided to take pity on those of you for whom science is not a religion), as I thought you might want a look at how I really write these delightful missives, so carefree and conversational that, apparently, they look effortless. After a tiny and completely non-scientific poll of several readers of this blog, it appears that the prevailing thought is that I whip these confections off within a period of between 30-60 minutes. Hmmm. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, or have horrifically slow keyboarding skills, but no. Sorry to show you the little man behind the curtain, but typically a post of 1,000-1,500 words takes between 2-5 hours. You see how much I love you that I do this for you gratis every week? Well, while it is true that I do love you, we all know I love me more and that writing the blog is in its essence, a gift to myself as it is a private master class in writing taught by me for the edification (now that I made you look it up I may as well use it twice ;)), of self. See, I even tried to take a deliberate turn into writing about writing and still ended back at the L word.
Love. I have lots and lots in my life, that’s for sure. Friends and family and colleagues and even a few folks that really don’t know me well, but seem to have developed an inexplicable warmth nonetheless. I started thinking about love in new ways this week out of a conversation about character and motivation. My friend was telling me that he was hanging-out at a restaurant with a woman who I had known him to be dating not long ago. But he made a point of clarifying that it wasn’t a date, rather they were hanging-out. Totally not getting the difference from where I was sitting. Apparently it had something to do with him not having the expectation of a romantic type conclusion to the evening. I’m still not sure I get it, but my actual understanding of his POV isn’t the point. The point is, that the conversation strongly reminded me that characters in a scene, as in life, have differing expectations. I wonder if his date thought there was a difference? It started thinking that I spend a huge amount of time thinking about my feelings of love, who I have them for and who I don’t, who I wish I had them for, or should have them for, and who engenders feelings the like of which I would delight to chuck in the recycling bin as a total waste of time, and quite frankly a bit embarrassing to boot. I have spent very little time in life contemplating the love directed my way. Romantically or otherwise.
I am always shocked to find out that someone even likes me.
Anyone actually saying the words out loud to me can expect a bemused “Why?” to pop out of my mouth, particularly if a glass or two of wine have already gone in. Little time also thinking about what being loved does to people. How has the fact that this person loved me and that person didn’t, changed me? And why do some people seem to fall in and out of love faster than the seasons change, while some of us, once begun never truly stop come hell, high-water or heart-break.
I can think of only one time in my life that I truly fell completely and forever out of love with someone. It was the strangest thing. It happened in an instant, in the time it takes to snap your fingers. One moment I loved him. The next moment I discovered the latest betrayal, the latest link I was supposed to over look in a long, long, long chain of things that had to be over looked. And snap. Something broke. Not my heart, but the chain around it.
I realized that my love for him was killing every single thing inside me that was good and bright. So I stopped loving him.
I’m still surprised at how easy it was, and from time to time, I’ll look inside at the place where the love once lived and marvel at the empty room with the clean fresh breeze still blowing through. Sometimes I wonder if it makes me a bad person, that after carrying a torch for the guy for nearly fifteen years it was such a simple and painless act to snuff it out. I know that it hurt him very deeply when I withdrew so absolutely from his life, and I think that some part of me should be sorry for inflicting that pain, but I have no idea where that part of me is.
And…there it is, the truth that all this disconnected rattling around about love was meant to reveal. I’m not sure that I know a thing about it. Love. Hmmm. Earlier today a colleague gave me a couple pieces of writing with the hope that I could “add my special touch”.
She knew they weren’t good, but couldn’t tell me why.  No problem. I read them. I could see exactly what was wrong and how to fix it. I could have taught a class on it then and there. About writing I know. About love… I just don’t know. Love is a mystery to me.
I can hear the TV in the background now shouting out “Boxes from Krypton are not toys!” A rather delightful statement, don’t you think? Maybe romantic love is my Kryptonite? Maybe the reason I can’t seem to work up the Mojo to finish the long labour of my feature Rom Com script is that the closer I get to the subject, the faster my super powers get sucked away. Or, I could just be looking for excuses. I do find that is another weird side effect of writing this blog, I’m rapidly losing my ability to find a good excuse and really sell it.

I feel now like I should sum up and tie this all together for you by pointing out what I hope this post is meant to teach you and I about writing for the screen. But I don’t think I will. This week instead of going out with my usual bang and cymbal crash and statement of the bleeding obvious, I will just lay it down. Gently lay it down. I love my family. I love my job. I love my friends. I love potato chips. I love baseball and martinis. I love the colour purple and the smell of vanilla. I love my guitar teacher and my book club peeps. I love the Canadian Tenors and Oban whiskey. I love books and I love stories. I love films old and new. I love when people laugh at something I’ve written. I love the feel of cool rain on my face. I love the long deep blue of twilight. I love the warm strong arms of my love reaching round me to pull me close and the soft happy sigh of his breath on my neck.
In the Cocoverse, while there are any number of Laws, there are also a few Mysteries, the first of which is Love.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sinjin Chronicles 2

At night I can hear the wind talking to the hills. At least that is the sound that looms largest in my mind’s eye. I don’t know why the howl and the hiss and the faint undulation that sounds so very much like someone speaking should swell with darkfall, the wind gauges and tech installations report no significant change in wind speed and direction after dark, and yet I’d swear to you that the sound increases. It thickens, intensifies, forming a great dark mass that churns and undulates somewhere deep in my limbic brain. Layers and layers of sounds and shifting rhythms that fool the brain into thinking that it hears voices imbedded within the maelstrom. But it doesn’t, not really. As much as your brain tries to pull some sense of language it can’t so you are left with the aching and pervasive and unsettling feeling that something of cosmic importance is being said just outside your ability to comprehend.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sinjin Chronicles - Day 1

It is only natural that they should have forgotten me by now. I mean come on, it has been nearly ten years earth solar time that I’ve been out-bound, and seven years, five months and twelve e-solar days since I landed in this hell-hole. The time passage alone  is enough to forget, and on top of that, why would you want to remember the daughter/sister/aunt that besmirched the fine old family name by landing herself on the United Systems most notorious prison planet? That the charges are treason and murder must make it all that more excruciating. One wonders how they can possibly carry on. And yet by all reports they do, and well if the latest gossip of the Sur-ply Ships carries any shred of truth.

Now, all that being said, the name is the thing and I still have one, Sinjin is still me and I am still she. Not that I much resemble myself these days with hair bleached white as bone and skin burnt the deep red-brown of a Nicoben nut. Gone is the fresh-faced, by the numbers, star recruit, plucked from the ranks and onto the Republican Star Guard by virtue of a fine family name and a pretty face - though I like to think being top of my class in hand to hand combat and adaptive intelligence had something to do with it. But that’s probably just pride speaking. Ever my downfall.

Hey, I still have all my teeth and most of my fingers, which is more than most of my fellow prisoners can say. And believe you me, the end of my right pinkie finger chewed off by the Red Beast in a quad fight three months into my 15 to 20 stint was a very small price to pay for the rep that came from pounding his well-larded ass into the salt pan of the yard.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm finding pieces of...

I’m finding pieces of my broken heart strewn all over the place this week, sometimes in the most unlikely of places. Today I found one amongst some random gravel under the postbox when I mailed a sympathy card to a friend who has just lost her Dad. Even though it was dirty and mostly covered with a rime of frost, it threw a glint of light up to my eye and I stooped down to pry it from the bit of frozen dirt and dead dandelion in which it was lodged. The deep ruby red of it even shimmered a bit in the gloom of the January day. Likely a trick of the light. A chance capturing of the beam of a headlight of a passing car, maybe. But I like to think it’s more than that. That maybe, just maybe there is still some fiery spark deep within. Someday, when I’ve gathered together all the shards I’m ever likely to find maybe this one will spark its fellows into a conflagration and my heart will throb with love and purpose once again. 

6-minute writing prompt from Deb Norton at 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Before we were here...

Before we were here we must have been somewhere else. No one knows for sure, or I should say, some think they know for sure- - but they have belief not data. Unless you wish to quantify the preponderance of myth and religious belief that describes such a place and call that “data”. In some traditions it is called purgatory, in some a piece of heaven known as “the guff” where souls wait to be born, or, in yet other traditions, re-born. Many insist the data shows that we are simply evolved primates, but though part of our bodies certainly does seem to indicate we are first cousin to the chimpanzee, so many other things are vastly different. Personally I think there is some truth hidden within religious tradition and myth. I like to think we are human alien hybrids of some sort, set here to supplant the great lizards of eons gone by. Sometimes I even wonder if the disappearance of the dinosaurs was, as science currently hypothesizes, the result of a cosmic catastrophe or a planned and well executed genocide clearing our ideally terraformed plant for new experimentation in lifeform genetic engineering.

6-minute writing prompt courtesy of Deb Norton at 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Tenors TFFs CBC Radio Play Challenge: Part One: Put Your Mouth Where Your Heart Is!

The Tenors TFFs CBC Radio Play Challenge: Part One: Put Your Mouth Where Your Heart Is!

Okay my fellow crazy-for-the-tenors-fans here is my challenge to you all to show our guys how much we really love them by getting their new album, Lead With Your Heart some serious time on the radio. This is totally a volunteer deal, sharing the Tenor love and leading with our hearts. We’ll start with Canada, then the US, then, break it wide open internationally!

·       To get us started what follows is some national contact info for CBC Radio shows and hosts. I’ll follow-up with a list of commercial Canadian FM contact info by regions in a few days!
·       TFFs in US border markets like Detroit can join in this first push if you get CBC on your FM dial!
·       All you US fans should also be able to get CBC radio via the internet CBC Radio 2 is what you are looking for please check it out and let me know if I’m right,
·       US fans feel free to help me compile regional US info by messaging me or commenting and we’ll time a push for the US launch
·       Do we have a Francophone TFF who can tackle that market? My French is way too crummy!

Remember, the bigger market penetration in your local area the more often the guys will be able to come to town in person!

·       The Tenors prefer their genre described as “pop meets classical” or “contemporary classical” over the term “popera”
·       Keep the request simple and polite
·       Focus on the suggested songs for now, we’ll talk Juno/Grammy nomination for the whole disc later ;)
·       “Like” or “follow” the radio station accounts, they’ll take our requests more seriously
·       Find other Facebook page and/or Twitter account of your local area FM adult contemporary, classical and Christian radio stations, message me the info and I’ll compile it
·       Post/tweet requests to the station(s) to play either “Forever Young” “World Stand Still” , “Lead With Your Heart” or “Nessun Dorma”(classical) or “Amazing Grace” (Christian stations) or “Journee d’innocence” (francophone stations)
·       If you are suggesting “Forever Young” include a link to the You Tube studio video
·       View Tenors videos on YouTube as often as you can get away with it! Media outlets pay attention to # of views
·       Repeat your requests once a week until we achieve radio wave domination!

This and upcoming info will also be posted on my personal blog

Songs to suggest
 “Lead With Your Heart” (album title track), “Forever Young” (cover of a Neil Young song) “World Stand Still” (original Tenors composition) or “Nessun Dorma” (new arrangement of an iconic tenor aria) or “Amazing Grace” (Christian stations)

CBC Radio One
       Twitter @cbcradio
CBC Radio Two The Signal – Host Laurie Brown
       Twitter @CBCthesignal
CBC Radio Two
CBC Radio Two Morning – Host Tom Power (contemporary)
       Twitter @CBCR2Morning
“Lead With Your Heart” “Forever Young” or “World Stand Still”
CBC Radio Two Tempo – Host Julie Nesrallah (classical)
       Twitter @CBCtempo
“Nessun Dorma”
CBC Radio Two Shift – Host Tom Allen
       Twitter @cbcr2shift
All songs – Tom’s show is very genre defying so any suggestion is good!
“Lead With Your Heart” (album title track), “Forever Young” (cover of a Neil Young song) “World Stand Still” (original Tenors composition) or “Nessun Dorma” (new arrangement of an iconic tenor aria)

CBC Radio Two The Signal – Host Laurie Brown
       Twitter @CBCthesignal
All songs – another cross  genre show!

“Lead With Your Heart” (album title track), “Forever Young” (cover of a Neil Young song) “World Stand Still” (original Tenors composition) or “Nessun Dorma” (new arrangement of an iconic tenor aria)

CBC Radio Two In Tune – Host Katherine Duncan (classical)
Twitter @CBCInTune
No FB page
All songs – here I suggest using the “contemporary classical” or “neo-classical” terms!
“Lead With Your Heart” (album title track), “Forever Young” (cover of a Neil Young song) “World Stand Still” (original Tenors composition) or “Nessun Dorma” (new arrangement of an iconic tenor aria)

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Point.

"What's the point…?" It is really too easy just to finish that question with "...of it all? The cowards way out perhaps to choose something so cliche. I always read that phrase with a Gallic shrug in mind. One of those full body shrugs that involves shoulders and eyebrows and lips and cheeks and a bend of the head and a finishing flick of the hands, palms skyward with a soft gruntingmeh to finish it all off. A complete 3-course meal of a shrug if you will. 

When I was younger I used to the think the point of things was the finishing of things for the sale of them or the showing off of them or the pay cheque of them. Now I'm not so sure.

More and more I think of the point of the thing as being the process behind achieving the thing or making the thing or acquiring the thing. Maybe that is the wisdom of age or the long and lonely journeyman years of being a writer or the new and unpredictable apprenticeship of the guitar, or even the quite reflection of spending time with an aging parent, listening to their stories one more time, fixing the TV one more time, sharing yet another of thousands upon thousands of good meals and good bye hugs.  

Yes, there is my answer anyway. The point of the thing is the doing of the thing.