February 2010

The Wilde Room: Chapter 3

The Signature Dish
In the preceding chapters:
Just before service in Chef Jeremy’s Dublin restaurant The Wilde Room, he gets a phone call. It’s Dante, a former business partner, calling from Jeremy’s long-ago hometown of Vancouver. Sad news about Jeremy’s father. The man everyone knew as “the Professor”, with whom Jeremy had difficulties over the years, has died. Cardiac arrest apparently, althogh Jeremy wonders. During service, Jeremy drifts on memories of his father, old friends, and the life left behind. And as if sensing Jeremy doing so, that old life then breathes again, from very close.
Dante signed off with kind words. He said: “We need you here. Your family needs you here.”
Jeremy said: “What family?”
And Dante didn’t come back with anything maudlin or inappropriate. He didn’t proclaim himself to be a surrogate father, or any of the stupid things Jeremy remembered him being very good at saying in difficult moments. He didn’t mention their brief joint effort, the upscale Gerriamos, which Dante had sponsored and which Jeremy had nearly destroyed. Dante didn’t say: Jeremy we became like family that night you cooked for me and a few hundred of my closest friends and produced a meal made with wildlife harvested from Stanley Park just to make your point about whatever the fuck it is you were making your point about.
Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 12:57pm

Candahar Photo Show: 22 Feb 2010

I'll be reading at the Candahar, 22 Feb. I'm presenting photographs of "wall art" by the local street artists who inspired me during the writing of my upcoming novel The Blue Light Project.

The show starts at 7 with a reading by poet Gregory Betts. I'm on around 8:30. Stay after my presentation for a screening of Murray Siple's film "Carts of Darkness", about the shopping cart races that happen on Mountain Highway in North Vancouver.

A creation of Theo Sims, the Candahar is a working Belfast pub that unfolds out of a shipping container, complete with two Belfast barkeeps who may or may not travel in the container.

Playwrights Theatre Centre at 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island.

Posted: Monday, Feb. 8, 2010 8:04am

W2 Real Vancouver Writers & Culture Series: 24 Feb 2010




Pleased to be reading 24 Feb 2010 at 7PM as part of the W2 Real Vancouver Writers & Culture Series (112 West Hastings Street). I'll be reading from "Sunshine City" a new short story that appears in the Zsuzsi Gartner edited anthology Darwins Bastards, coming soon from the ever-brilliant Douglas & McIntyre.

In an evening hosted by Hal Wake, other writers reading will be Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Steven Galloway, Rhonda Waterfall, The Yarnbombers Leann Prain and Mandy Moore, Weldon Hunter, McKinley M Hellenes, Alex Leslie, kc dyer, Leilah Nadir, Caroline Adderson and Brad Cran.

Estimated likelihood the event will rock: 100%

All deets: W2 Real Vancouver Writers & Culture Series

Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 9:32am

Olympics at street level, Diyah Pera photographs

I went out with Diyah Pera, a photographer friend of mine, on Friday to watch the protests. She took some great pictures.

I like the one above in particular. There's hope and determination in the face. There's another quality I'll inadequately describe as "realness". Experience, life lived. I don't know about you, but I want to hear what this person has to say.

But then you have the Che icon, and suddenly the air starts to come out of the tires. Che Guevara, whose Stalinist convictions lead him to sign a letter to his mother "Stalin II" at one point. (Please note the link is to the Workers Liberty website, not the National Review.)

I'm not trying to trash anyone's favorite t-shirt hero here. Only pointing out the irony. Stalin was known for many things, but tolerating protest marches certainly wasn't one of them.

More pix after the jump.

Posted: Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 12:04pm

Notebooks: The Blue Light Project - Take5

Take5 was one of the first street artists I became aware of, during the writing and researching of The Blue Light Project. He was doing a serie of these beautiful chief's head posters and stencils in the neighborhood around my office.








There were many more than the map shows, but this reflects my dawning awareness that right in the streets around my building, there was this artistic project going on.

Posted: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 8:36am

Video: W2 Real Writers & Culture Series reading

The W2 Real Writers & Culture Series was a great success. And the people who run it, besides being literary and enthusiastic, are also very tech-savvy. As a result, just hours after the event, they've already posted video of the final reading on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

Please watch the whole thing if you can. My short reading from The Blue Light Project appears at about the 24:00 minute mark.

Thanks to Sean Cranbury for hosting this event, and to all the people at CreativeTechnology and W2.

Posted: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 9:48am

The Wilde Room: Chapter 4

Shrewsbury Road
Ollie called Monday of the following week. Jeremy’s oldest friend in the world had turned his own life upside down since those long ago Vancouver days. Sold his company and started the fund. Let his marriage dissolve. Relapsed hard into booze as best Jeremy could make out. Now, among all those many other things, Ollie seemed unable to phone at anything other than a bad time. Ollie thought of Jeremy whenever there was no deal left to be done, or no guests left awake. He called whenever the action had temporarily subsided wherever he happened to be, and these were always straining, in-between times.
Posted: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 11:05am