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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Interesting...


...Publish America just announced that the Chapters/Indigo book stores will begin stocking Publish America titles.

...The largest book store chain in Canada will now be a potential new point of sale for The Unearthing.

Now of course the question is how to turn this to my advantage...seems my "break" from marketing The Unearthing is coming to an end...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The insane day which is in the midst of extremeness using

Amazingly, after midnight and as tired as I am, I can't fall asleep. Funny, I can remember as far back as six or seven years old, oftentimes not being able to sleep at night, until 2 or 3 in the morning.

It's not that I don't want to sleep...I just need to unwind.

The day started in its usual way for a Friday: me going up to go to work at the newspaper, Fridays being my super-busy crazy day (or, as translated into Japanese and then back into English by the Babelfish translation engine, my The insane day which is in the midst of extremeness using) followed by two interviews I'd had scheduled for CONFRONT Magazine, at Le National.

Let me just pause here to plug the Babelfish translator. It is hilarious. You take a block of text, any text, and then translate it from English into Japanese. Then, copy the Japanese text back into the translator, and translated it back into English. The results are hilarious.

For example, you probably recognize the opening lines of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

Well, this is what English-to-Japanese-to-English makes it read as:

As for that before us the best of the time, as for that at the time of age of intelligence it was worst before us, the light/write which is the infidelity and that new era which are conviction and that new era which are foolishness and that age which that are, the darkness which is that season, the winter of the despair which is desire and that spring which are that season, us what which us it did not have everything which it had, entirely was we who go to the heaven which is we directly, it was the other method of going and indicating entirely


You can have a lot of fun with this software. I imagine that fans of Battlestar Galactica could use this to actually make sense of the jabberings of the Hybrids.

Anyway, back to my insane day which is in the midst of extremeness using. I can't complain about my job, because I enjoy it so much. Oh yes, the coffee is shit, but at least it's free, and although it's high pressure because of newspaper deadlines and such, the end result is still a feeling of having accomplished something worthwhile.

Plus, I get an hour for lunch, which I usually spend sitting in the Quad at the nearby McGill University, writing and looking at all the girls go by dressed in their summer clothes...short skirts and pantyhose, windy days and games of hacki sack...I love this city.

Oh, and the fresh air is nice and the writing I get done at lunch is usually good.

But because of the day job, I had to have my interviews--with the bands As I Lay Dying and Evergreen Terrace--scheduled for after work. They were supposed to be at 7:00 and 7:30, but in the music world things like scheduled interview times tend to change.

Also, I had a Hunter S. Thompson moment (No, not one of THOSE Hunter S. Thompson moments, the other kind) in which, as I was going into the venue, a burly security guy stopped me and wanted to go through my backpack.

Now, although it has been a number of years of (relative) sobriety for me, I have nevertheless an absolute hatred for People of Authority searching my things, especially my backpack. And with the last name I have, that means when I go on a trip, I'm usually pretty annoyed by the time I get through at customs. I'm on a Department of Homeland Security "He Has a Funny Last Name" watch list.

But anyway, the guy was sort of being a dick about it, so I just looked at him flatly and said "I'm Press!" Which of course I am. But as these two magic words (and verification of my press pass) did their trick, he let me through...and in my head I heard Johnny Depp shouting that line from the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: "I'm a doctor of Journalism, dammit!" and it was just...unreal.

So, I did my first interview about half an hour before showtime at eight, with the second originally to be right after the second. Usually these interviews are short affairs, ten, fifteen minutes, though sometimes you get into a zone with the person you're interviewing and lose track of time.

The first interview I did was over and done with in less than twelve minutes, according to my digital recorder. It looked like I was going to complete a tactical surgical strike: get in, get the interviews, get out.

Of course, you know what they say about plans only working until they're actually attempted...

After my interview with Tim from As I Lay Dying ended, the label rep then told me that the next interview was rescheduled and now would be after Evergreen Terrace did their set.

This was a tad annoying, as I was tired from a month's worth of not sleeping properly (Case in point it's a quarter of one and I'm still writing this post) and a long day's night, the fact that I walked from University Street to Ste Catherine's and Montcalm, where Le National is. That's over 16 city blocks, and several kilometers. Also, I'm perhaps not old, but old enough to want to go home and rest after being out and about since 7:30 in the morning.

However, I had to stay for Evergreen Terrace's set, so I did. They put on one hell of a live show, and they did a cover of Mad World, which most of you know from the film Donnie Darko, as performed by Gary Jules, although it is in fact an old Tears for Fears song.

Then, instead of being right after their set, some other unforeseen circumstances delayed things further, but finally, about two hours after I got to the venue (nearly four hours after I finished work--and no, it didn't take me that long to walk to the venue from work; I stopped to have supper and a coffee before the show) I was going into my second interview.

Anyway, the interview with Craig of Evergreen Terrace (which, along with my interview with Tim you'll just have to wait for the relaunch of CONFRONT Magazine on May 29th to read about) ran long...coming in at 45 minutes. It was a great interview, don't get me wrong, but this crotchety, set-in-his ways geezer was wanting to get home early enough for a shower, a cup of tea, some quiet time with my wife and to watch Battlestar Galactica.

Didn't happen that way. Sometimes in an interview, reporter and subject just end up having a conversation. Conversations are long things, so it was nine thirty by the time we'd finished talking (and he went off to help the band finish loading the gear and I went off to call my wife and let her know I was still alive) .

I live 25, 30 minutes from downtown, when the public transit is on peak hours. 9:30 at night is not peak time. It took me an hour to get home. At this point, I've been up since 6:00, worked all day, walked 20 blocks and spent two and a half hours doing music journalist stuff, then making the sojourn home.

If I'd have dropped a gold ring into a molten pit, well then the Tolkienian undertones of my day would have been complete.

I did get the tea, quiet time with my wife and the shower, but I'm going through some serious BSG withdrawal. Thank God the show repeats tomorrow at eight PM...I'd be inconsolable if I missed it.

I love working as a journalist, talking to the bands, listening to new music all the time, seeing shows for free (usually) and just the whole atmosphere of the lifestyle. It does take a lot out of you, though, especially when you have a day job. I wouldn't change a thing. Except of course to be a full-time journalist, of course. Or, to be a full-time novelist. Full-time anything involving writing, other than technical writing, of course...Hell, I have a couple of ideas for graphic novels that I'm kicking around, now...on top of my rewrite of The Darkness and the Stars, coming up with the next phase of promoting The Unearthing, and the work I'm doing on Lengths of Love (The TENTATIVE title for the story I'm working on now) and rewriting Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind, I'm very busy creatively speaking.

Which may explain why, at 1:30 I'm still nowhere near ready to shut the laptop down and pull the covers up over my head and get some fucking sleep.

Fortunately, it's a long weekend here in Canada, so I have three days instead of two to recuperate. God bless the long weekend!

On that note, Happy Victoria Day, Canada!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Israel marks its 60th anniversary


60 years ago, the nation of Israel was founded, to create a homeland for the Jewish people.

They did this to have a place to live, free of persecution, oppression and the threat of genocide, to never again face a Shoah.

It is high time, then, that the Israeli government stopped its Shoah against the Palestinian people, whose land they invaded and expropriated for their own.