Archives for the month of: January, 2013

The weather relented enough for me to get out to Nik Beat’s Howl show at Q Space Sunday night. I’ve been looking forward to to checking this new space out since it opened last year. A great space for spoken-word & unplugged music. A simple kitchen set up offers various teas, coffee, juices, assorted alcohol libations; snacks – salads, sandwiches, desserts. Lots of outlets to plug in a laptop. Comfortable seating and an excellent sound system.

Come Home Muffy

Come Home Muffy

Nik hosted a typically eclectic line-up that opened with Tim Masterson – who read a chapter for him novel ‘Far From Kind and Pretty,’ as well as an ‘essay’ – both were filled with allusions to 70’s/80’s TV shows, pop music, clowns, bunnies as his character dealt with mother issues; ‘none of the pens work in Mom’s House.’

He was followed by Lizzie Violet, whose mother feared Lizzie would grow up to be a serial killer. Now that’s a mother issue :-) Lizzie’s pieces ranged from  relationship foibles ‘I speak the truth/you whisper innuendos‘ – to chilling zombie narratives. She also took dome great show pics.

guitars bagged

guitars bagged

After a short break we were treated with musical feature Suitcase Sam. I was popped into a time machine and transported back to San Francisco 1969 by this modern Leon Redbone channeler. Sam did a fine set of covers: Big Rock Candy Mountain, Wild Horses and some sweet original pieces. A great guitarist and solid singer who did songs by Fred Neil, Bruce Springsteen and beyond.

cool cat house

cool cat house

Final feature David Clink read comic pieces from his recent book ‘Crouching Yak, Hidden Emu’ (or is it the other way round?). I love Toxic Girl with her pretty ‘button down cholera.’ After David there were a few open stagers, including myself, and the show wrapped. A good time was had by all.

@TorPoet

@TorPoet

snow bound bike

snow bound bike

New Flash: Very cold in Toronto!! Who would expect it to be cold in January? Other news flash: people are getting sick. A flu epidemic – gasp. Another reason, for me, to avoid public transit like the plague carrier it is. I did come down with a bit of a head cold but getting through it.

Winter means less evening activity for me. When it takes me as long to get bundled up to go out as it does for me to get where I’m going I ask myself – do I really want to go anywhere? How much time do I want to spend sitting around at a readings in my coats sweaters long-johns, winter boots. Most venues are designed for people who don’t have coats to hang up – so there is nowhere to actually put winter wear.

So I haven’t been to a reading since the Damned earlier this month. Plasticine got postponed, Toronto Erotica got canceled (flu struck down our fearless leader). I am determined to get to Q Space Sunday night.

snow shoes

snow shoes

I started in on Lazarus Kiss edits by going over the notes & suggestions I got on the first 30 pages that I submitted for critique to Bloody Words. I haven’t looked at the comments till now. Lots of commas to drop in. I’m expecting to cut enough that I can then add more to the mythos part of the story. I also have notes from the parts I workshopped at Loyalist in the summer – so I’m not flying solo on some of it. I hope to keep it at about 90,000 words when I’m done.

crystal iced

crystal iced

Gearing up for my feature at the end of February. It’ll be an encore of the Brown Betty set I did at the Art Bar, with a few changes. So many people raved about the pieces I felt it was time to do it again. This time I’ll be having Myke Mazzei do a sound recoding of it, plus I hope to get a video of the set. Time for some new YouTube clips.

ice crystals

ice crystals

fall of the empire

fall of the empire

When I wasn’t reading, writing, hitting open stages, featuring, hosting show I was home watching movies. You might notice I got though the works of Alejandro Jodorowsky – I picked up Santa Sangre at FanExpo & fell in love with his over-the-top ramblings & stunning visuals. Then hunted down & bought the box set of his first features. Well worth it if you like spiritual lessons with stunning imagary and what-the-fuck scrips.

the patio is very open

the patio is very open

bootless

bootless

snow lion

snow lion

Light edit of City Of Valleys completed. Didn’t take as long as expected mainly because I resisted diving right back into it to do major rewrites. I wrote this in the 2001/02 – so it doesn’t have all the electronics we have now – cell phones get used some but not much else.

I wrote it in two chunks, as I have with my other two novels. There’s a gap of about a year between writing the two halves. It gave time for what was started to really brew and take shape. The first draft of Valleys ran over 250,000 words – I had lots to say about these guys.

the ice shelf

the ice shelf

This slightly revised 4th draft came about as a result of submitting it to an agent – she found the sex too explicit & too frequent – never mind the fact that sex doesn’t happen till about page 50. In that rewrite I made the sex less explicit – but not less frequent. I knew when I first wrote it that the sex was closer to porn than erotica anyway. I know my market. She wasn’t my market nor did she know my market. Such is life.

n/ice rack

n/ice rack

Doing this light edit I saw places for some cuts but am leaving it as it. If I think there’s enough interest to push it to another level I’ll tighten it up. But for now this is it. I want to get back to Lazarus Kiss & do major work on that so I’ll then be free to finish off my coal miners in love project and once that is out of the way I might tackle the Quarwolf Pack.

Lord of the Dolls

Lord of the Dolls

structural.01

structural.01 – Baddeck NS

structural.02

structural.02 – San Francisco

structural.03

structural.03 – Toronto

City Of Valleys

structural.04 – Toronto

structural.04

structural.05 – Alcatraz

orange you glad

orange you glad

BuDa kicked off 2013 with a dynamic January show, hosted by Philip Cairns, with three features who left me wanting more – sadly time restraints at Glad Day force us to wrap the show by 9:40 or all of them would have been called on for encores.

First feature Faye Guenther read Hostage Spaces – a short story told from the ‘You’ point of view. It opens  with an almost clinical description of a building’s white marble lobby: “smooth dove-coloured leather couches that never hold a body, standing in illuminated pools of white on white” The descriptions move into a more personalized sense of the space, of the You addressed, “the soreness begins to explore your face”; of the life You lives, then brings other people into that life – a lover, a coworker: “you lifted your head and recognized someone….Her eyes were the color of trees this time of year, you thought, reaching for sun.” A naked woman appear to You offering, perhaps, a release from the space that hold You hostage as you are “smoking into the soft precision of a spring night.”

don't be shy

don’t be shy

Next up was Regie Cabico – who captivated us with his well-honed slam skills & structures. He sang (nicely), made us laugh – men meeting and exchange cell phone pics of their cocks  and place those cell phones together to rub in the safest sex possible – ‘he smelled like a thousand likes on Facebook’ A raunchy, queer set of the highest order ‘my mouth is perpetually the year of the cock’ – more please – he closed with, what I regard as a slam staple – how deep is my love, in this instance two poets in love: ‘your poetry is so lonely Orpheus wants you to be his lyricist.

Joshua Jlatte Lopez – the music feature was sheer joy. He did an amazing set of blues standards: Spoonful, St. James Infirmary etc and some originals. His guitar playing is tasty without being flashy even when it was needing off sparks in effortless runs and solos. Spirits of Robert Johnson, Canned Heat, Roy Buchanan flowed though his hands and vocals. Spoonful – not enough.

put your hat on

put your hat on

Other news – the clean up of Valleys has been moving along well. I had to ‘translate’ my original file from appleworks to the latest Pages by importing it first into simple text – that process seeded it with a lot of small code inserts that I have to delete. I was hoping to do lots of cuts but so far that hasn’t happened. It flows better than I thought. I’ll have a PDF version ready to sell in a week or so for those you who find the excerpts too slow.

I’ve also been plugging away at my Bradbury story-a-week challenge but failing – I’ve been working on the same story since the first of the year – it grows but characters, as I hope, take over and don’t want to be done with so quickly – so perhaps I’ll aim for a story a month instead – I’m at about 2000 words for this one so far.

@TorPoet

@TorPoet

festive gutter ball

festive gutter ball

nice hat

nice hat

cute toque

cute toque

too cute

too cute

me May 2013

me May 2013

night of the pink guitar

night of the pink guitar

I planned to start the year by working on my Nano 2011 novel – The Lazarus Kiss. Lots of editing to tackle to get in shape for probably smashwords. But I wanted to hone those edit skills a bit – so I pulled out my first, pre-NaNo novel – City Of Valleys to practice on. It runs, at this point, over 130,000 words and has already under gone at least 4 drafts.

fireside chat

fireside chat

It is loosely inspired by Valley Of The Dolls – my take is about 4 gay guys caught up in the arts scene in Toronto. One a boy-band member, another a fashion designer, another a writer and the final character is the actor. The story arc starts in May with the new boy in town and follows their interwoven lives to Pride the following June. Like Dolls there is lots of soap, struggle, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll . There is arson, stalking, blackmail and murder.

silver chair

silver chair

I plan to blog it here – in approx. 1500-1600 word chunks. Comments welcome & please hit the Like button so I’ll know people are reading it.

City of Valleys now removed for prepublication work.

tweety and friend

tweety and friend

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