Getting the ‘L’ Out Of Loyalist

Recovering from the Aubert Workshop at Loyalist. A productive & relaxing 5 days almost away from distractions – no TV – though I did watch an episode of the Almighty Jonsons on line. The morning sessions were thought provoking: to prologue or not; to self-publish or not; pros & cons of ePub & eBooks. For some reason I was asked to give a presentation on ePub – most of my knowledge is based on a Bloody Words workshop & various podcasts.

The afternoon workshops were good – lots of strong material was presented – often problems were with clarity & continuity as opposed to story telling. Pieces ranged from thrill-a-minute car chases, to amusing police encounters, to Hemingway in Toronto, to life with an mentally challenged child. I think the only piece that garnered much negative comment was mine, the excerpt from The Lazarus Kiss (my Nano novel): too much swearing, violence that made some of readers want to look away (I count that as a success, mind you).

Got off campus on Thursday night with some of my classmates for a dinner at the Waring House. Drove through a wild rain storm to get there. Arrived at 6 – didn’t get served till 7 – the food was fine but the service left a lot to be desired. Leaks in the roof over our table and the window beside it were distracting. Good conversation made the wait bearable (but not acceptable). Joining us was Vicki Delany – a well established a mystery writer whom I pumped for her eBook experiences – getting her back list in e format has increased sales considerably.

Speaking of backlists, Amazon has recently bought the Avalon line to reissue as eBooks resulting in unexpected royalty checks for authors in that back catalogue including or inspired leader Rosemary Aubert.

getting the L out of Loyalist

The drive back to Toronto Friday was trouble free – enough cloud cover so there was no setting sun to deal with. Unpacked & sorted laundry – the domestic backbone of creativity. I’ll go over the notes on my piece in a couple of weeks, maybe. I have my Plasticine set to prepare, and one for the Damned in October, then NaNo in November – so maybe by the new year I’ll have time. Plus I’m keen to get at my coal mine romance after three years of research.

writing sample
writing sample

here’s an oldish piece:

My Drug Of Choice

scotch grass cocaine

sex video games

been there done that

through it all

self-pity was my drug of choice

first time    every time


before I picked up a substance

I indulged in self-pity

wallowed in it

justified everything with it

‘woe is me

why was I born

what am I living for

no one loves me

that guy didn’t want to see me again

I’m not paid what I worth

you didn’t return my call


being told to get to get off the pity pot

get off the cross we need the wood

proved not that you care

but that you didn’t really care

no one understands

and when they understood

they didn’t show enough sympathy

enough compassion

they were stuck on their own pity pots

reaching for substances

to make the pity less stifling


all the substances I tried

never satisfied

the way my drug of choice self-pity did

they numbed me to it for a moment or two

made me not care about myself

woe is me I don’t even love me

what’s the point of it all

why go on living

when even the escape

made me long for the cage

feeling nothing locked me back into

my drug of choice self-pity


I can’t do that

my writing is crappy

no one buys my chap books

no one wants to sleep with me

not even myself

who’d want to have sex

with a self-pity junkie

unless it was to divert themselves

from their own self-pity

for a few pathetic moments

of orgasmic relief

that has to be cleaned up


I hope I don’t get some disease

I hope they call me tomorrow

or next week

or soon

I’ll have no choice but

to pick up my drug of choice.

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