Saturday, April 29, 2006

...So I just realized how fucked I am...

I was relying, you see, on HAVING A JOB and HAVING STOCK OPTIONS to fund the promotion of my novel, The Unearthing, when it is released later this year.

...Now, my major source of funding is gone.

Granted, with 5 years at Bell Canada on my resume I'll be hired very easily. And granted I'll be getting about $10 K from Bell as a payout for dumping my ass. But that $10 K is going towards paying down some very outstanding debts.

And even if I'm re-hired, there's no way I'll be starting at $25.00 an hour, like I was earning at Bell. Likewise, I won't have stock options right off the bat.

I checked out the Canada Council on the Arts, hoping I'd qualify for a grant. Nope. And why not? Because I've dared to go with an American publisher. The thing is, none of the Canadian publishers I queried (many of whom are American-owned, anyway) were interested. So while the book was WRITTEN in Canada, BY a Canadian, the real problem seems to be that I dared betray my country to publish with Publish America. Well, maybe if a Canadian PUBLISHER had taken a fucking interest in my book instead of dismissing it for all the usual reasons maybe I WOULD be able to be published in Canada!

I feel like I'm being denied money by the Canada Council because of some sort of percieved disloyalty. Nevermind that I want to promote and sell the book in Canada; apparently not good enough for these people.

So between Bell and the Canada Council on the arts, I'm being fucked out of my dream. Yeah, I'm published. Big Whoop. Without being able to market the fucking book, how am I supposed to DO anything with that?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

...But other than that I'm having a GOOD day!

TO: Steve Karmazenuk

FROM: Julie Schembri, Bell Canada

SUBJECT: Surplus Situation


Further to today's discussion, this is to advise you that, as a result of changes in the organization effective April 27 2006, your services will no longer be required as of June 22, 2006 (Minimum of 8 weeks from Surplus Notice date). Such decisions are always difficult and I want to assure you that it was not taken lightly.

The following summarizes key information pertaining to your situation. Should you not be redeployed before June 22, 2006, you will be entitled to an advance notice of termination, of 3 months of base salary. This advance notice will start with a period of salary continuance, during which you will be provided with all pertinent documentation regarding your severance allowance.



  • Begins on April 28 2006
  • You continue regular employment (no changes to working conditions or salary treatment) unless you deide to leave the company during notice period
  • 912M prepared with Leader
  • Possible internal redeployment through Bell People First or Transfer Management Group
  • Prior to proceeding on salary continuance you will be provided with personal information on your termination allowance and provisions
  • End of the 8 weeks' minimum Surplus Notice date: June 22, 2006


  • Begins on June 23, 2006
  • You no longer come in to work; however, you are paid as usual for 1 month and you are still covered under the company's healthcare benefits.
  • Entitlement to short-term or long-term disability ceases.
  • Possible internal redeployment t hrough Bell People First or Transfer Management Group.
  • DBM career transition services begin for a period of 3 months


  • Last day in the company: July 22, 2006
  • You will receive the remainder of your severance allowance: 2 months of base salary (first month of severance having been paid in the form of salary continuance)
  • Healthcare benefits coverage, Employee Savings Plan and Group RSP cease
  • Outstanding vacation, if any, is paid out
  • AIP payout will not be made in cases of in-year terminations

In the days to come, you will work closely with your leaderto complete a 912 M which is the first step towards your internal redeployment. The Transfer Management Group will be supporting you as you apply for vacant positions and can be reached at 1-888-391-0005. Should you be interested in seeking redeployment within lines of business other than Bell Canada, please contact a Redeployment Specialist at 1-866-819-0484 to discuss te redeployment process.

While on salary continuance, should you be redeployed in the Bell family, then your salary continuance will be cancelled and you will continue employment with your new group.

If you do not wish to participate in the Bell People First program, please advise your manager. Your salary continuance will then be paid in a lump sum, along with the remainder of your notice period.

Should you have questions or need clarification about your benefits or other issues related to leaving, please feel free to ask me or contact Employee Services at 1-888-391-0005 or by e-mail at

In closing, I want to offer you my best wishes for the future and thank you for the contribution you have made over the years. Rest assured that we remain available to assist you in any way we can.


Julie Schembri

Associate Director - SMB Performance & Strategy

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tomorrow, April 26th, is World Intellectual Property Day!

World Intellectual Property Day celebrates innovative thinking and creativity

April 26th has been designated 'World Intellectual Property Day by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to recognize and promote human creativity and ingenuity in all its forms.

The theme of this year's celebration is "Intellectual Property - It Starts with an Idea". On this day we highlight our ongoing commitment to Innovation.

Launched in 2001, the day highlights the importance of intellectual property as a tool for economic, social and cultural development. Focused on ensuring that the rights of creators and owners of intellectual property worldwide are protected and recognized, WIPO also helps facilitate international trade by providing a level playing field for the marketing of intellectual property products.

You can find more information on intellectual property and the WIPO at their (somewhat uninspired) website, at and also from my links section, in my Resources for Writers area

Monday, April 24, 2006

PHYTE's On...

On behalf of my friends Eon_5 and _te_ and the gang of madmen (and women) at Be - Communications I am proud to announce the official launch of PHYTE Magazine!

PHYTE Magazine is launching with a preview of the adventures of Ante-Rockstar, a weblog, video diary (and possibly podcast) about one woman's journey to try and become a rock star.

(and now, for some shameless self-promotion)

PHYTE will also very shortly be featuring Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind; my own contribution to the online revolution: The complete version of the e-book that you've been previewing from here will be available to read (and for sale) from their site.

But PHYTE is also going to offer news and reviews, lifestyle information as well as offering a host of new, innovative content delivered in revolutionary fashion.

I'm lucky enough to have been named as a partner in PHYTE Magazine's continued growth and development; I'm proud to say that I'm in, if not on the ground floor, at least on the lower mezzanine. The gang at Be - Communications and PHYTE Magazine are on to something. Log in and see for yourselves.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Generally, this has not been one of my better writing periods. The last six weeks have seen several upheavals in my personal life that have contributed to an overal feeling of unease and stress. While many artists find inspiration in such malaise, I have grown accustomed to having a nice, at-least-partially ordered universe around me as I sit down to do some writing.

Granted, I haven't been doing any "actual" writing in quite some time; my last two story ideas fizzled out, dying languishing deaths only a few handwritten pages in. Those pages have, of course, been put aside just in case. After all, the first book of Stephen King's Dark Tower series languished incomplete for years before he picked up the thread again.

The last several months have seen me working on transcribing Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind into the computer, followed by doing the same to The Darkness and the Stars. Well, perhaps I should ammend that statement by saying I began the process of transcribing The Darkness and the Stars into the decided to rewrite large portions of itself while I transcribed it, the result being it has lagged in limbo between the handwritten pages of the Fleshworld and the digital reality of ones and zeroes that make up the hard drive of my computer and various CDRWs.

When this happened I (metaphorically speaking) dusted off Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind and started a rewrite of that story. The result has been the sale of the e-book distribution rights for Nevermind to an e-publication that will be launching within a few days.

However, I've been bouncing back and forth between the two projects, and last week I quit both altogether to focus on playing Grand Theft Auto Vice City instead of doing anything remotely resembling creative work.

Now, as mentioned previously in this journal, I sent in everything I needed to send, to Publish America several weeks ago and haven't yet heard back from them. So I emailed them a while ago and have been waiting to hear back from them.

Well all this pre-production anxiety led to the following brief email exchange between me and Roby Ward, AKA TerishD:

>>>From Me<<<

Hey Roby.

So, I’m getting a little concerned.

It’s been a couple of months since I sent everything along to PA and I haven’t gotten my proofs yet. Likewise I emailed Pre Production last week to follow up and haven’t heard back from them yet.

I’m getting nervous…

>>>From Roby<<<

Patience, friend. They do a number of books. The funny thing is once they get to you it moves rather fast.

You will get options on how to proceed. Yeah, I know:
"I've waited all this time and they are just now asking me about editing options?" Trust me, they read it (at least, a solid scan). They just are not going to waste time with you if not necessary. If it passes their read, and you want to rush ahead, they will let you. I suggest the two week option. Take two weeks and read/edit the manuscript one more time. Don't get cocky, read/edit one more time.

It will take about 4-6 weeks, then you will get actual proofs. This one is supposed to be clean, but read/edit one more time. If you catch anything, let them know. Also, pay attention to the fonts. I had them change the title page font. They will send you new proofs after each change.

Once you approve the proof, then you wait a few weeks before getting the cover. Once you approve a cover, the book is basically ready to be printed. You are basically waiting for the print files to be sent to the printer, for your author copy to be printed, then for the books to be mailed to you. Once you verified that you received the copies, and approved, you are good.


>>>From Me<<<

Makes me feel better…

But this is just one of several issues contributing to my current writer’s block.

Tonight, I actually managed to get a whole page and a half of re-writing done, for Darkness and the Stars. Quite an accomplishment, to be honest. Unfortunately, then I lost the thread. In mid-sentence, no less.

...Which brings us here. Frustrated I turned to my "non-writing" writing outlet, this weblog.

The circle is complete.

And now, I'm off to bed.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

...And now for something completely different...

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the Harry Potter books. But my friend John Bushore recently posted this and I had to share. This is what happens when you substitute the word "wand" for "wang"

Hint: It's funny to read, but when you read it OUT LOUD for someone's fucking hilarious.

"Why aren't you supposed to do magic?" asked Harry.

"Oh, well -- I was at Hogwarts meself but I -- er -- got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wang in half an' everything

A magic wang... this was what Harry had been really looking forward to.

"Yes, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon. Harry Potter." It wasn't a question. "You have your mother's eyes. It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wang. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wang for charm work."
"Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wang. Eleven inches. "

Harry took the wang. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wang above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls

"Oh, move over," Hermione snarled. She grabbed Harry's wang, tapped the lock, and whispered, 'Alohomora!"

The troll couldn't feel Harry hanging there, but even a troll will notice if you stick a long bit of wood up its nose, and Harry's wang had still been in his hand when he'd jumped - it had gone straight up one of the troll's nostrils. He bent down and pulled his wang out of the troll's nose. It was covered in what looked like lumpy gray glue.

"He ran onto the field as you fell, waved his wang, and you sort of slowed down before you hit the ground. Then he whirled his wang at the dementors. Shot silver stuff at them."

"Yes," Harry said, gripping his wang very tightly, and moving into the middle of the deserted classroom. He tried to keep his mind on flying, but something else kept intruding.... Any second now, he might hear his mother again...but he shouldn't think that, or he would hear her again, and he didn't want to...or did he?

Something silver-white, something enormous, erupted from the end of his wang Then, with a sigh, he raised his wang and prodded the silvery substance with its tip.

'Get - off - me!' Harry gasped. For a few seconds they struggled, Harry pulling at his uncles sausage-like fingers with his left hand, his right maintaining a firm grip on his raised wang.