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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

If you could meet one of your characters...


I'm starting this post for a twofold reason.

First, I'm reading Song of Suzannah, the sixth book in Stephen King's most excellent The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower series. In my humble opinion, King's recent books have not been anywhere near his best work. The exception to this rule seems to be his Gunslinger novels.

The last one, Wolves of the Calla is the best of the series to date as well as some of Stephen King's best writing ever. The only other comparable King novels (for quality of storytelling) are Christine, Pet Sematary, The Stand, Misery and It.

(Spoiler Warning; Hilight to read)
In Song of Suzannah, the characters of Roland Deschain and Eddie Dean travel through the Unfound Door and meet Stephen King. While at first the concept of Stephen King writing himself into one of his stories seems the height of avarice, the supreme act of an unbound ego. But the thing is, in the context of the story and in the manner that it was written, this plot twist actually works!

Secondly (and oddly enough), before reading Song of suzannah I had been contemplating writing a scene in a future novel of the greater story arc to which The Unearthing belongs in which the story arc's ultimate central character confronts a fictional version of me. I don't believe I could pull it off as gracefully and tastefully as Stephen King did with his characters meeting him in Song of Suzannah. For that reason I'm not entirely sure I'd want to do it, after all.

However I am STILL very much intrigued by the concept. So I'd like to ask all of you, well those of you who are writers at least: which of your characters would you like most to meet, or alternately, like the least to meet? Likewise, how would such a meeting go?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Check THIS out...



Google Mars.

I thought it was cool to find Area 51 on Google Maps...the sci-fi buff (and writer) in me is going apeshit over being able to take a tour of Mars...

The map of mars featured on Google is composed of images taken from the Nasa JPL lab.

Check it out, but be forewarned: you might end up killing an awful lot of time just browsing the surface of an alien world.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Great Big Post About A Lot Of Different Stuff


Where to begin, where TO begin?


Since Friday so much has been going on here at Casa Del Karmazenuk that it's been well nigh impossible for me to get ten minutes to sit in front of the computer to post about it. However I'm on vacation this week, so I've got the time now.

I guess the best place to start is with an update on The Unearthing, so here goes: I got my corrected copyright certificate for said same in the mail on Wednesday, so Friday I finally got around to mailing off the certificate along with three 5x7 pics of myself to Publish America. Wanna see?

Scary how unphotogenic I am, isn't it? Anyway, that's the news about The Unearthing. On to other news!

News Part Two is an article from The BBC Online Service which is the best place to get all your news online, IMHO.

The article is by writer Dan Gillmor, and is the first part of a series that I will be following here. The link to the article is here and the full article appears below:

'Technology feeds grassroots media'

By Dan Gillmor

It is not an impact on the epic scale of an asteroid smashing into the Earth and killing off the dinosaurs, but the collision of technology and media is having profound effects on a more modern ecosystem.

Media are becoming democratised, and a global conversation is emerging.

The tools of production - used to create digital content such as blogs, podcasts, wikis, discussions, multiplayer games, mashups (I'll describe each of those in more detail below) - are increasingly powerful and easy to use, yet decreasingly expensive.

Distribution is also becoming less expensive and easily arranged. The internet is a global platform, and the most important one for the future. But mobile-phone networks are part of the overall communications ecosystem, too, and for many on this planet a primary means of contact.

The democratisation of media is also, fundamentally, about the people we once called mere consumers. Their role is evolving from a passive one to something much more interactive, but they are blessed (or cursed, depending on one's viewpoint) with an unprecedented variety of voices and services.

The democratisation of media creation, distribution and access does not necessarily foretell that traditional media are dinosaurs of a new variety. If we are fortunate, we'll end up with a more diverse media ecosystem in which many forms - including the traditional organisations - can thrive. It's fair to say, though, that the challenges to existing businesses will be enormous.

For my part, the most exciting aspect of this change is in the emerging conversation. Bottom-up media tools are conversational in nature, even though they can be used in a top-down mode. (It is more accurate, actually, to think of these tools as "edge-in", deployed and used from the edges of networks.)

Let's look at several of the most important tools in today's evolving media sphere.

Blogs
Blogs, short for weblogs, are getting the most attention, and for good reason. They are all about a web that is "read-write" as opposed to the mostly "read-only" medium of the 1990s.

What is a blog? Nothing more than an online journal in reverse chronological order on the page, that is, where the most recent updates are at the top. They typically have hyperlinks, or web pointers, to other sites.

Many blogs also solicit comments from readers. The most important aspect of a good blog is its humanity: It has a distinctly human voice, even if the postings are being done by a group instead of an individual.

Remember: The conversation is an essential part of the process.

Wikis
A wiki is a website on which anyone can edit any page. This sounds like an anarchy, but it doesn't have to be: the
Wikipedia project - an online encyclopedia with more than a million articles in a number of languages - is far from perfect, but it's a remarkably valuable addition to the reference universe.

Wikis may turn out to be most useful inside networks, such as at corporations, where people can work together on project planning and other common interests.

At the University of Hong Kong, where I've taught part-time for the last few years, my co-lecturer and I have gotten excellent results in planning class projects with wikis.

Podcasting
The word "podcast" is a combination of two concepts - broadcasting and the Apple iPod music player.

That's a mistaken word pairing, given that podcasting is about the ability of almost anyone to create audio content that typically has a small audience for any individual program, and then sending it to any digital device, portable or not.

The actual human voice has its own power over the written word. We get different nuances from audible speech, and they can often tell us things the printed page cannot.

Video podcasts will be the next generation of this genre.

But given the difficulty of creating and editing a video that anyone (other, perhaps, than our families) might want to watch, it will probably be some time before this medium takes off. (I may well prove to be wrong about this.)

Web mashups
In Silicon Valley, the current rage is called "web 2.0" - a reference to the web as a computing platform in its own right.

As more and more companies give third parties a way to combine their web-based data and services with other companies' data and services, clever folks are mashing things together in remarkable ways. For example, check out ChicagoCrime.org, which puts government-provided crime data on Google maps and lets people drill down into detail.

Now add to this the idea that everyday folks can start annotating maps and other kinds of information on their own. The possibilities seem endless.

Those are just a few of the concepts in the new world of media.

In coming months, we'll talk about how people inside and outside of the media business are putting these tools to work. We'll also look at some of the difficult policy questions, such as copyright and privacy, that will need resolution. For anyone who cares about the future of media, these are complicated times - and great fun as well.

Dan Gillmor is author of We the Media, a book about technology and the development of grassroots journalism. He is also director of the Center for Citizen Media.

And finally, I'll close off with my review of the Sisters of Mercy show, from Saturday night:

HOLY SHIT WAS IT A-FREAKING-MAZING!!!

Okay, I guess I should go into more detail than that...

My wife Angel and I have lists of things we HAVE to do before we die. One of hers was swimming with dolphins, which we did in November 2004 on our trip to Cuba.

One of mine was most definitely to see the Sisters of Mercy live.

Following Angel's wisdom I showed up to the Metropolis early--almost four hours early. There were already five people in line ahead of me.

I did a lot of people-watching, both of the forming line and the people going by on the street. I was and still am surprised by the sheer number of young people coming to the show. Okay, granted 35's not as old as I thought it was when I was twenty, but there were kids in their late teens and adults in their late 40s there in line. And Punks, Goths, both old school and new, everywhere. And a lotta punk chicks in short skirts and pantyhose. MMM...punk chicks...

...Anyway...

By the time the doors into the venue opened at six thirty, the line was almost two blocks long, and judging from the conversations I overheard while in line, about one third of those people were Followers; hard-core Sisters of Mercy fans who will follow the band on tour. I heard one cluster of Followers talking; they were from Europe, and were heading back the next day in order to be at work on Monday.

Now, Angel is herself a Backstreet Boys fangirl, and yeah, she'll go out of her way to see the shows, but she won't go to another freaking CONTINENT to do it!

I gotta say, though, having seen the Sisters of Mercy live, if I had the money I'd be a Follower, too.

We got in at 6:30. I bought a T-shirt and took my place in the balcony. An hour later (the show started at 8:00) I said to myself "Fuck it; I paid to see the Sisters of Mercy, I'm gonna SEE the Sisters of Mercy!" and went down to stake my place in the pit in front of the stage.

I'm SOO glad I did!

The opening act was an Emo band from Los Angeles, The Warlocks. They were also FUCKING AMAZING. My friend Tammie recently introduced me to a band called INTERPOL; I found that the Warlocks, though heavier, edgier, were very similar stylistically, and DAMN did they do a good live act. Needless to say they're on my "Must Get" music list. And they have a hot chick who plays guitar, so that's also always COOL.

...mmm...Punk Chicks...

But as great as the Warlocks are, I was there to see the Sisters of Mercy. So I was rather impatient. But finally their set ended, the roadies took down their equipment and started setting up for the Sisters' show.

And then it happened.

The Sisters of Mercy took to the stage, opening with First and Last and Always, the title track from their first "label" release. They were ROCKING OUT! I was less than twenty feet from the stage and HOLY FUCKING SHIT was it amazing!

How to describe the Sisters of Mercy in concert? Well, first off, they don't do a lot of bullshit theatrics. In the words of Andrew Eldrich, the driving force behind the Sisters of Mercy, "...We used a lot of smoke, very few lights, stepped right back and just made a space where you could lose yourself (but more probably find yourself) in a tide of colour and noise..."Yeah.

But this show was fast-paced, hard-edged and all-out euphoric. The band played to the audience, not to each other. There was no pointless banter or rabble-rousing. No stupid costumes. No melodramatic stage-antics. Just them and the music and the smoke and the lights.

...and I swear that at one point Andrew was looking right at me behind those black mirror rectagle glasses he wore (Another must-have for my sunglasses collection).

They are a phenomenon. And they were fucked over by their record label ten years ago or more, otherwise they would be fucking GODS today. But they're recording a new album, soon. Hopefully. And if they do, with all the young people they have following them, there's hope.

The Sisters did a two-hour non-stop set, and then did two encores. Shit, was it a great show. Shit was it too short. Shit, did it seem like an eternity of musical ecstacy.

All I know is, come hell or high water that i'm not going to wait another fifteen years before I see these guys live again.

I am a Follower-in-training.

Andrew Eldrich, 20 feet from me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

More on Ruth Taylor



Below I've copied the words of one of my mentors and friends from my glory daze at John Abbott College, Endre Farkas. It's a raw, touching post; one that speaks for itself:


Poet Ruth Taylor died By Endre Farkas
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Ruth first entered my life in the mid seventies, in my creative writing class, with a mischievous smile and challenging eyes. She claimed that we met before that, when I was invited to read at Vaudreuil Catholic High to a group of grade 11 students and she introduced herself. She always had a better memory than me. Sometimes, she would quote me lines and when I asked whose it was, she would tell me that they were mine. She would also, when we would be walking, or driving somewhere or sitting on a back porch, in a park or a bar quote at the drop of a whim The Wasteland, Jaberwocky, Little Bateese, No Parking, In Guildernstern’s County and so much more. Maybe part of Ruth’s problem was that she remembered too much.

She occasionally reminded me that when she was my student, I had handed back a poem of hers with the comment “I asked for an avocado and you gave me an onion”. I don’t remember doing that nor do I know what I meant by it. We were so much younger then, but she said that for her it meant that I was treating her as a fellow poet. Ruth was always reading into the world what most never saw.

I remember Ruth in my Laird Hall office, where I conducted my creative writing classes, sitting under my desk and when a dilettante student would read one his or her poems that she didn’t approve of, watch her arm extend out and her palm move as if she were squishing something. It was her way of saying it was shit. The others in the class were afraid of that arm extending from under the desk, like a dragon emerging from a cave. But she was also generous and a champion to those who really cared.

Ruth had an enormous capacity for caring and loving. She was a mensch and quite a few of us benefited, sought and got comfort from this wild, passionate and lonely woman-child.

Very soon, I knew Ruth as a fellow poet who was touched by the madness of poetry, poems of infinite skill, richly woven and textured and of mystical depth appearing as The Drafting Board and The Dragon Papers. And I remember late nights on her back porch in Ste Anne, one minute cursing me for introducing her to the scene and in the next, with a smoke and drink, saluting the gods and goddesses of the word and declaring herself their mouthpiece.

We also worked together in the poetic community. We spent countless hours, editing, typesetting, cutting and pasting, proof reading, midnight running to the obscure corners of Montreal to pick up boxes of books for launches, and then sitting in La Cabane toasting our adventures.

Ruth lived life at an intensity that was always on the brink of combustion. She was driven by a childlike innocence that found wonder in everything around her and a mystical calling that left her profoundly alone. Most of us had a very complex relationship with Ruth. She wouldn’t have it any other way. She couldn’t have it any other way. We weren’t here to be ordinary. She couldn’t let herself be and she couldn’t let us be.

And because of this, Ruth didn’t have an easy life. She was hard on herself and could be on others. She could be one moment intensely loving and profound and the next frustratingly petulant and pushy and self centered. And everything in-between, like all of us, but unlike most of us, she wasn’t good at "politesse" and therefore was not able to navigate the world that is too much with us.

But whichever Ruth I encountered, I knew at the core was an overwhelming love and life. And sadly, the person who would move mountains for others could not
shake off weights that settled on her and could not accept helping hands that reached out to her.

Ruth, I am angry at you for that. I love you Ruth but I’m pissed at you for thinking that no one knew as much or could give you a helping hand. If you were so smart, how come you have come to this? And Ruth I am really pissed at you for taking off so soon.

And I am sad that I will not have any more late nights with you, staring up at dragons and dreams. But I will look up on starry nights and look for you among the constellations riding the cosmic comet, bugle to lips, leading the charge across the heavens.

I think Endre speaks for me better than I can speak for myself. Like I said in an earlier post, I barely knew Ruth, and I hadn't seen her in a decade, maybe more. And yet, I feel her absence, and I feel as though maybe I knew her better than I thought, because I see so much of myself in how Endre described her; I'm prone to the kind of combustible intensity Endre described; I have very complex relationships with everyone I know; "Petulant, lonely man-child" can often be used to describe me; I'm hard on myself AND on others, and I'm more than a little sure that my friends and family would describe me as someone who can be "...one moment intensely loving and profound and the next frustratingly petulant and pushy and self centered. And everything in-between, like all of us, but unlike most of us, not good at "politesse"..."

I realize now that I mourn Ruth Taylor because she and I were at least on some level kindred, the same soul, the same fire. Whether it had been ten years or ten thousand since I'd last seen her, when Ruth died, a part of my own flame was forever extinguished.

Ruth, I wish we'd have been friends, though I suspect if we had been, we would have died sooner, and with our hands locked around each other's throats. As much as Endre curses you for failing to live, I curse myself for failing to make you into a friend.

I'll miss you Ruth, just for what I'll never know.

Adding A New Ebook Preview





For a while now, I've been thinking a lot of my college days. When I got news yesterday that Ruth Taylor had passed, I decided that it was time to move forward with another of my projects.

From my links section on the right, you can now link to a twelve-chapter (they're relatively short chapters) preview of Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind; a novel that I wrote about life in the early 1990s, at John Abbott College. Somehow, now seems to be an appropriate time to release the novel. Here's a brief description:

Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind is the story of six friends from different backgrounds studying at—or coasting through—John Abbott College at the height of the Grunge Era in Montreal, from the years 1991 to 1994. What brings them together is their love of cigarettes, music, coffee, dope, sex and hanging out. The story revolves around events in each of the character’s lives as narrated from their individual points of view.

SOPHIE ROSAIRE is a raven-haired, voluptuous twenty-year-old with a severe allergy to committed relationships and a powerful thirst for adventurous sex. She loves her friends and will do anything for them - or with them, depending on her urges.

WILL EDWARDS is the nineteen year old lead singer/songwriter for the Psychic Circus, a college-bar band based out of Sainte Anne’s, John Abbott College’s home town. A heartbreaking betrayal briefly drives Will into Sophie’s arms - and bed - and this decision will change Will’s life forever.

PASCAL LEBRUN is twenty, the guitarist for Psychic Circus and Sophie’s oldest friend. He has been secretly in love with her for years, though he wouldn’t dare tell her. He suffers in silence through Sophie’s sexual escapades and likewise through his own painful, unsatisfying relationships with his family and his unfaithful and deceptively cruel girlfriend. Music is perhaps the only thing Pascal loves as much as he does Sophie, and he forms the Lennon half of a Lennon/McCartneyesque songwriting partnership with Will.

JULIE KENNEDY is a seventeen year old suburban punk and drug addict, battling her habits and her boyfriend to regain her sobriety. The onetime drummer for the Psychic Circus, Julie is also so severely depressed that she embarks on a quest for new meaning in her life, a new thrill and a way to erase the dark times that still overshadow her.

BRIAN KLEIN is a preppy nineteen year old West Island boy, basing his image almost entirely on Luke Perry from Beverly Hills 90210, from his bleach-blonde pompadour to his extra-long sideburns. Brian is struggling with his burgeoning bisexuality and conflicting attractions for Alec Sorvino and Tanya Heihachi, two very opposite people, both in gender and attitudes.

JEFF MCBRIDE is Julie’s ex-boyfriend-to-be and the bassist and for Psychic Circus. Jeff is an opportunistic, amoral self-centered schemer who thinks nothing of using his friends and family, manipulating his girlfriend, or neglecting the band that he formed and helped lead to near-success if it means he can get high. His love of heroin and his penchant for petty crime will shape his destiny and the destiny of his friends in ways no one can hope to understand.

Together these six friends weave their way through interconnected adventures at times comic, tragic, erotic, deranged and incredible. Even as their lives diverge along different paths their love for one another keeps them in convergence through a period of time that culminates in Kurt Cobain’s suicide and with it the end of the Grunge Era in April of 1994.
I hope you'll have a look, and I hope you'll enjoy. Either way, feedback is always appreciated. For those of you who ARE interested in reading more from the world of Nevermind, it will soon be featured in a new E-zine publication.

I also have plans to offer the entire e-book for sale from this site, if enough people would like to read it.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Legend Passes Into History...


Ruth Taylor
1961 - 2006
My friend Kevin just told me that Ruth Taylor, a legend among Montreal's poets, died on February 18th.
I don't think I have any words worthy of eulogizing someone like her.
I never actually had her as a teacher during my time at John Abbott, but Kevin did. I had the opportunity to read her poetry many times, while in Endre Farkas' classes, though.
Once, I audited one of her classes, because Kevin told me how amazing a teacher she was. What was also cool is that this ex hippie radical and Montreal poet was also a graduate from our old high school, Vaudreuil Catholic (which itself passed into history a few years ago).
I remember that when I sat in on her class there was a huge protest going on, involving students from the nearby high schools. I can't remember what the strike was about, but I remember thinking how fucking stupid it was.
Ruth, of course, thought it was a great idea, and wonderful to see "your generation" getting radical about something (Because of course we Generation Xers were and probably still are a fairly apathetic bunch. Meh; who cares?). While her observation of the student strike was supposed to be a passing comment, my own opinionated-bastard personality wouldn't let it pass. I took issue with the strike, saying that it was just a fun, cool way for the kids to skip class, and that it wouldn't amount to shit.
Ruth and I spent the next 90 minutes arguing our positions; when the arguments gave way to rhetoric, the rest of the class sat mesmerized that some crazy, fat long-haired kid was going toe-to-toe with Ruth. Kevin sat traumatized that I, his guest in the class, was doing this to him. Rhetoric gave way to insults and intellectual jousting. I think at one point I said something about how useless the whole neo-hippie thing was; about as useless as the original hippie movement and all the more pathetic for the lack of originality. I think Ruth called me "Fucking Joe Fucking McCarthy" at that, but the verbal barrage between us continued nonstop the rest of the class.
Afterwards and for the rest of the time I was at Abbott, Ruth and I would occasionally meet up in the Oval Coffee House for a smoke, or run into one another outside of the Casgrain building, at the end of the day. She was cool.
Below are re-posts from other people's blogs. These people knew Ruth far better than I did, and I daresay they probably appreciated her far more than me.
Ruth Taylor has died, February 18, 2006.She was a friend of mine, and one of the best poets of her generation. I fondly recall reading and talking with her on The Main, at Concordia, and elswehere in Montreal, in the late 80s and early 90s, before I moved to Europe.Below please find a brief biographical sketch:Ruth Taylor was born in 1961, in Lachine, Quebec. She received a BA from McGill University and an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. She published two major poetry collections, The Drawing Board and The Dragon Papers. She was the editor of the anthology Muse On! which selected work from authors published by the small, but influential press The Muses Company. She taught for many years at John Abbot College, on The West Island. She was a significant part of the Anglo poetry scene in Montreal since 1979, when she burst on to it as a prodigy.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Ruth Taylor, 1961-2006
I got a sad email from Ken Norris late last week, to let me know that Montreal poet and teacher Ruth Taylor had died on February 18th. Even though she hadn't published a collection in some time (her second collection, The Dragon Papers, appeared with The Muses' Company in 1993), she was an important part of Montreal poetry throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and taught at John Abbott College in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, the school she had earlier attended as a student. According to her obituary posted in the online version of the Montreal Gazette:
"TAYLOR, Ruth Ellen. Crossed over February 18, 2006, Devoted mother of Emmett Keyserlingk, loving daughter of Shirley and the late Sarsfield, sibling rival of Ken. Poet and teacher extraordinaire. Funeral at St. George's Anglican Church, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Thursday, February 23 at 2 p.m. Visitation Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the J.J. Cardinal Funeral Home, 560 Lakeshore Drive, Dorval. Please omit flowers. If desired a donation to the John Abbott College Foundation would be appreciated. Published in the Montreal Gazette from 2/21/2006 - 2/22/2006."
Another note appeared on Canadian expatriate Todd Swift's blog on February 21st here.
Another more recent piece by Endre Farkas appears here.
Here is the single previously unpublished poem of hers from her selection in the
anthology Muse On! The Muses' Company Anthology 1980-1995, edited by Ruth Taylor herself (and the last book edited/published by
Endre Farkas before the press was sold to Gordon Shillingford, who moved the press west to Winnipeg…):
My introduction to Ruth Taylor was through that second collection, but a few years after her first poetry collection, The Drawing Board (1988, The Muses' Company). As she wrote about her second collection in Sounds New (1990):
"I'm working on a new book. It's called (for now) The Dragon Papers. Apollo's feminists don’t know poetical estrus from political estrogen. The male muse, as The Drawing Board demonstrated, is not yet old enough or separate enough from the godhead to properly inspire (à la Hopkins) the woman/poet. "Dragon" is the muse of this new work, guardian of the word-hoard, sharp-eyed dweller from parts within. I could call the work Notes from the Abyssopelagic Zone. Let those curse it that curse the day who are skilled to rouse up Leviathan. Rising organ music please." (p 125-6)
It was one of the first poetry collections I reviewed, back when I was one of two coordinating editors for The Carleton Arts Review at Carleton University, and I even went so far as host a reading of hers in Ottawa. Later on, she was nice enough to host a classroom reading at John Abbot College for a group of us, when I toured in spring 1999 with Montreal (since moved to Vancouver) writer Anne Stone, and Edmonton poet kath macLean.
Ruth Taylor was originally one of the five Lakeshore Poets, who came out of John Abbott College classes in the early 1980s, including Neil Henden, Ben Soo, Stephen Brockwell and Greg Lamontagne, who ended up being part of the Montreal scene as a kind of second generation offshoot of the 1970s Vehicule Poets; as well as editing the publication Locus at John Abbot College in 1979, Taylor went on to be co-organizer of the Vehicule Poetry Reading Series a year later. They Lakeshore Poets even went on to publish their own collection as Lakeshore Poets (St-Anne-de-Bellevue QC: The Muses' Company, 1982), edited by their teacher, friend and mentor Peter Van Toorn.
Taylor's publications included the chapbook A taste of Comet Wine (self-published, no date) as well as her two full collections, and inclusion in the anthologies Sounds New (ed. Peter Van Toorn, Dorion QC: The Muses' Company, 1990) and Cross/cut, Contemporary English Quebec Poetry (eds. Van Toorn and Ken Norris, Montreal QC: Vehicule Press, 1982), among others.
According to Ken Norris, they will be having a celebration for her on Saturday, March 25 at O'Hara's Pub on University St., one block south of Ste. Catherine Street in Montreal.
Thanks to Stephen Brockwell for helping locate important bibliographical detail...

Friday, March 03, 2006

CIPO'd


Hi gang.

Yesterday morning I phoned the CIPO about my copyright issue related to The Unearthing. Seems I was given the wrong info the last time I called.

What ARE the odds? A government employee who was misinformed?

I can't CHANGE an existing copyright without a court order; instead I have to file for a NEW copyright with the NEW name of the work!

Well, as I already filed and paid I asked them to sort it out and finally, after explaining the same thing to two different people and having them tell me (twice, each) that what I did was wrong, I finally got someone to agree to ammend the NEW copyright so that it reflects the correct title, "The Unearthing".

THEN she tells me she doesn't understand why I'm doing this, because proof of copyright ownership is ASSUMED to belong to the author and that it isn't necessary to prove that ownership to the publisher; the only necessity of a copyright is to "protect the work".

Well, the publisher I'm dealing with requires PROOF of ownership, and frankly I don't think tha's a bad thing.

But they're not supposed to in Canada.

But I'm publishing with an American firm.

Why aren't I publishing with a Canadian firm?

Because none of the Canuck bastards who deal in sci-fi wanted to touch my work, that's why.

Oh. I see.

So, now on top of everything else, I assume I'm being put down in some CanLit secret file as a "Disloyal Canadian".

And, just what fucking business is it of the CIPO who I publish with, anyway? It's my book, and while no Canadian publishers have ever expressed an interest in my work, and given that one unnamed publisher was quite condescending in his rejection of my work, do I have any reason at all to be loyal to the Canadian publishing industry, which, for the most part is a sattelite of the American publishing industry? I think not.

Getting this book published is turning out to be so much of a pain in the ass I half expect to hear the snap of a rubber glove and a raspy voice telling me to relax and take it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Just A Quick Update...

Welcome back to K Space. Our regular readers already know all about the book project for The Unearthing (Formerly known as The Artifact), so let's move on to some new developments.

Originally, I wrote and copyrighted The Unearthing under a completely different name: it was originally called The Macrocosm. If things go well, I will perhaps one day explain why.

In any case, the story - when I'd originally finished writing it - was copyrighted with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office as The Macrocosm. However, as it was picked up by Publish America and I need to provide them with proof of copyright, I had to file an ammendment to my original copyright, to have the name changed (retroactively) to The Artifact.

All did not go according to plan.

Bless their hearts, the bureaucrats at the CIPO try, they surely do. They just don't try hard enough.

In order to ammend a copyright, you have to send in a NEW copyright application. Only in the dialogue box where you put the title you have to put all your registry info about your book, in a brief note explaining that you want to ammend the title, and why.

Then you pay $50 (if filing online - $65 otherwise) and they send you a new certificate.

In theory.

I did all the above. I am now the proud owner of a copyright on Please ammend the title of "The Macrocosm" (reg no. ########) to "The Unearthing", for purposes of publication.

Yep...my tax dollars (and registration fees) at work.

I'll be calling the CIPO in the morning.

In other news related to The Unearthing, I recieved my token advance on royalties from Publish America: A crisp, new $1.00 bill. Ah, America; how I envy you not having the dollar coin like we Canucks do... Looks so much nicer when framed.

Anyway, that's all that's been going on in ){ - Space today. Talk to you real soon!