Archives for the month of: November, 2011

Breaking the 50000 word barrier this week is a great feeling though it seems, much like last year, the intensity of diversions increased after the 40000 word point. Dentist, household duties like laundry, annoying people who want to treat you to lunch when you want to stay glued to the keyboard -

I always find the closer I get to 40000 the harder I have to push to keep things going. After 40000 it seemed to me that I had run out of story, everything had been dealt with leaving no where to go. I went back into the body of the work and made additions, fixed names, became more descriptive – what did she smell like, what exactly where they eating: “the waiter brought their food and they ate.” becomes “The waiter pushed their half-drank coffee cups aside to put their food on the table. X started in on her crispy fried chicken with fries. Z was faintly nauseated by the smell of the fried food as she picked the croutons out of her salad. She had specifically asked for no croutons.”

The first draft is often notes to where I want to take things. Filling in, pushes word count & makes for a better story at the same time. I now have a meal that tells the reader not only what my characters eat but also something about their personalities and even a hint at their relationship – what else does X do that Z disapproves of? Why doesn’t Z just send her salad back?

There’s always a feeling of ‘what now’ when I cross the finish line – there is more story to be told but I won’t be posting further word counts. I now have time to start decking the halls here for the festive season and watch TV without thinking that I should be NaNoing.

Also getting ready for hosting both The Crawford Christmas at Zelda’s, then the following week Plasticine Poetry.

I will be getting to the Erotic Writers meet up at the end of this month where I’ll read from one of the hot sections from my work-in-progress – a section too hot to be posted here on line.

Took a breather from the NaNoWriMo pressure to get out to this month’s Plasticine. Usual host Cathy Petch was unavailable so Mike Lummis (aka Mr. Lisa Young) stepped up to the mike to sub for her. Hence a little less vulgar … I mean raunchy that we’re accustomed to. A great set of open stagers got the night off to  good start – I read a sliver of my NaNo work-in-progress – I’m so used to reading poetry that finding breaths and pauses in prose is a challenge.


First up was Adam Abbas – This was his first feature and he delivered a confident set of prose poems, haiku, sestinas and even a short real prose section. He enjoys a lot of word play, highly structured forms and strong rhymes. Some of us were disappointed that the chap book wasn’t ready for sale. “Rococo Cocoa” is one of his many inventive turns of phrase.

prospects of publishing

prospects of publishing

Next feature was Anya Douglas – her soft Russian accent give every piece she read a political and cultural context – she presented a fine set of strong political, romantic and even amusing pieces “’if i still loved you, maybe i would be a better poet”

Rod Weatherbie – his pieces were as east coast as a pack of cigarettes and a cup of tea falling off a card table during a bridge game – his pieces were strong on place – Montreal, PEI but universal in emotion.

clean enough to drink from?

clean enough to drink from?

End the night was Lisa Young reading from her just released book “When The Earth” – well-crafted almost domestic pieces that were both gentle and pointed looks at childhood, longing and being married to Mike Lummis (just joking).

I did a bit more table hopping than usual to talk to some of the features and open stagers. Then got my picture taken for ‘Snap’ mainly because I’ll be hosting Plasticine in December -  to allow Cathy the chance to feature & not have to introduce herself.


Here’s the NaNo sliver I read:

Dezum, Hassler, Alex: Bartenders at Story – a bar where this scene takes place:

At the end of the night Alex was taking a leak in the second floor men’s room. It was usually the tidier of the two after a busy night. The urinal was plugged so he used the toilet. As he zipped his table rag fell to the floor. Picking it up he noticed a graffiti. It said “To read this you have to be on your knees sucking a dick – he who sucks is the real queer.”

He’d seen it when he started working and thought it was funny then. Made sense though. He muttered ‘he who sucks’ under his breath as he left he washroom. Dezum was entering as he exited.

“What’s that.” Dezum said.

“Just laughing to myself about that graffiti in there. ‘He who sucks is the real queer.’”

“Mighty true.” Dezum grimaced at the plugged up urinal.

“You ever, you know …”

“Let a guy suck me off. Yeah.”

“What!” Dezum towered above Alex, at 6’4” with a footballer’s hard compact body to back up his height.

“Oh yeah.” Dezum said from the toilet stall. “Sometimes you gotta sell what you got to get by in this world, you know.”

“You were a hustler?”

“No no my friend.”

They started to wipe down and stack the tables on the second floor’s back patio.

“Must been about eighteen at the time. Folks far away. Me here in this city. Didn’t know anyone except Hassler. Some guy offered me a couple of hundred and some blow to make a movie. Ha Ha. Blow for me for blow me. Rich.”

“You did gay porn?”

“It was whack alright. Some dingy apartment.  The guy who was doing me was in the same boat as I was. But he was the one gettin’ on his knees not me. Wouldn’t let them shoot my face either. I couldn’t get it up. The other kid sucked on my long shlong to no effect. The producer …” He made air quotes as he said producer. “ … gave me something. Viagra or one of them hard on drugs, put some straight porn on the TV for me to watch and boing I was hard. Everyone happy.  Got my cash, my two blows and that was that.”

“So you were pretty stoned to let it happen.”

“Not that time. The next yes. Rent had to be paid. Praise Jesus I got a real job when I did.”

“You enjoyed it? I mean having a guy ….”

“Enjoyed? No, not really. It was only them two times. Second time was even worse when I couldn’t get it up. He said he liked his dicks big and hard, not just big. Rich dude too I could have been set for life, or until he wanted a new eighteen year old.”

Riding his bike home Alex tried to figure out where queer really began. Was it really queer when neither wanted to but did. Like Dezum doing that movie with another guy, both just trying to make a buck.


Reluctantly pushed myself away from my NaNo cage match to get out to The Beautiful and The Damned Thursday (Nov10) night at Zelda’s.

Trasharella hosted a great line-up – herself fresh from a police line-up in connection with a recent occupation at Holts. Channeling Odetta and Judy Garland she sang a couple of songs. I didn’t realize that the Don Jail was so good for the vocal cords.

nice hat

nice hat

First feature Heather Woods read from her two books – she captures the frenetic action  of roller derby so well I wanted to dig out my old skates (yeah sure, as if I’ve ever been on roller skates). Sonia Di Placido treated us not only to real cake but some fine samples of her work in ‘Vulva Magic’ and her up coming ‘Cadmium Red.’ She recently unearthed a Remembrance Day piece she wrote at the age of 13.

Music feature Myke Mazzei closed the show with a lively set of originals & covers. I’ve heard Myke a few times now & always enjoy his stage presence, talent & sideburns. On stage he has Jim Croce (sans porn’stach) vibe – open, warm and sense that he enjoys what he’s doing.

I picked up his cd “Fields’ recorded with ‘The Mod Villains’ – which has more of a Neil Yonge feel to it. Good sound quality. Strong material & who knows a Juno might be in his future. Good to have ‘Been Thinkin’ to replay at my leisure. Catch him if you have chance.

the red guitar

the red guitar

I have to confess that I made notes about my NaNo project while waiting for the show & even while performers were on stage. I did hit the open stage and read a short passage from my NaNo project this year.



Pushing hard everyday has paid off. At 12800 words I’m actually ahead of where I was by day 7 of NaNo last year. some of the things I had realized by the end of NaNo last have helped me push along this year.

I do an initial two page blast first thing in the morning, after checking my email of course. I take a break, go for a walk, sometime grab a coffee then jump back in. Typing as fast as I can to music that I stop hearing when the flow gets going I push things to at least five pages and stop regardless of where I am in a scene. I don’t worry about spelling, grammar or even names of characters.

Another break and I go into what I have – clean up the abundant typos, put in names, make a few notes (check on etc). As I’m doing this I also keep a few things in mind – what are they wearing, where are they – in my initial blast I want to get the scene down and hit the plot points now I can fit in some detail – not every detail adds to plot but will flesh out character -

As movies aren’t filmed in sequence I decided that novels don’t have to be written in sequence either. That let’s me write scenes that I feel the need to get at now. Sitting down and thinking well x has to come next is a stumbling block for me but if I think ‘what else do want to see happen’ opens doors -

The same way asking ‘what are they wearing’ can open doors – once I start the actual writing things can flow – writers write, not wait, for inspiration -

I expect to be reading a page or so of this year’s NaNo on the open stage at the Beautiful and the Damned, this Thursday, 7:30-10:00, second floor of Zelda’s on Yonge Street -


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