Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Somehow starting this post my computer went weird and somehow only the title got published. Oh boy, I wonder if that has to do with the story I want to tell. This story is directed to M@. Most dovetalers have read it, although I know for sure not Matthew nor Larry.

Matthew, in conversation about the Walper you reaction to the elevator was, malfunctioning. Malfunctioning? How prozaic, how scientifically correct, how down to Earth practical. But Matthew are you sure you know everything? Listen to this story wrote about the event.

The Invasion of the Tan Neutrino.

tan neutrino are invisable,
ghost-like sub-atomic particles.
Each second trillions of them
are blown from the sun. They
pass through humans, barely
leaving traces...

( the above is scientific fact )

There had been a contest for writers. I attended the award ceremony. It was at the Walper Hotel in Kitchener.

There were speakers, readings from award winning works, giving out of prizes, shaking of hands, proud faces, festive mood...

All present were somehow involved with the Arts. Poets, fiction, non-fiction writers, reporters, dramatists, artists, those that get often stung by the creative bug. You know them by posture, by expression, by the way they dress. Outward signs of inner funkiness.

It was silent. The eyes of the audience riveted on the speaker, who divined why the Arts are so under-appreciated in Western society.

I sat somewhat back and off to the side, facing a wall. I studied that wall, listening. Suddenly, could it be, suddenly that wall I was staring at, opened. I saw the ghostly interior of an elevator. As mysteriously as it had opened, the wall closed again. I shivered. Tried to focus my attention on the speaker. But then the wall opened again. No visable presence in that cavity that resembled an open elevator.

Spontanious applaus. The speaker invited questions. The was just a wall again, patterns of rectangular panelling. What had happened? Had the Tan Neutrino invaded us?

I looked at my hand. Underneath the skin something moved. Tan Neutrino?

A man with a pony tail suddenly scratched his head. Tan Neutrino?

A woman, bare feet in sandals, irratibly veered away from where she stood. Tan Neutrino?

Seriously, a girl was formulating a question. She stopped in mid-sentence. A fractured moment. Tan Neutrino?

Adressing questions, the speaker spoke words in contradiction to what he had uttered before. Tan Neutrino?

Who knows?

My advise is, never trust an empty elevator. Do not believe you are safe from what you cannot see. This particular elevator being where you didn't know there was one, may well have landed the Tan Neutrino among us. How do we know if anyone of us, are still the same today?


Does this even allow you the slightest doubt, Matthew? You still believe that this was just an ordinary, malfunctioning elevator?

Wild thing

Pattern Recognition

Larry’s been reading (for the second time) William Gibson’s 2003 novel Pattern Recognition. He read it when it was first published in paperback, not having read anything by Gibson for quite a few years (in fact, not since The Difference Engine). But Gibson is one of Larry’s favourite writers, or at least one that intrigues him.

Back when he was writing books like Mona Lisa Overdrive and Neuromancer, it could be said that Gibson was ahead of the technological curve. With Pattern Recognition he’s right on the curve. Slipping, perhaps, off the curve? Larry doesn’t know, but Gibson still manages to offer an interesting take on the (early) 21st century. DT probably likes Gibson, or would if she read him. He uses sentence fragments frequently and effectively.

Larry can’t tell you the plot, exactly. That’s why he’s reading it again. He’s already forgotten how it went. But he can tell you this: Pattern Recognition is a catalogue of cultural references. Part of the reason for this is the plot itself, and its main character, Cayce Pollard. Cayce is in “advertising”. She’s a “cool-hunter”, a term which Larry thinks is still in use. She also does design consulting…a product of a peculiarity in her psyche. She is allergic to certain well-known logos and trademarks, such that she can become physically ill if exposed to them. The most prominent one (and the one that alerted her to this at the age of nine or something) is the Michelin Man, Bibendum. So, somehow, Cayce has learned to distinguish between logos that work as marketing symbols and those that don’t. In fact, Cayce has a general aversion to any kind of trademarking, and it’s an interesting twist that the very thing which makes her ill is how she makes her living.

The actual story is about what appears to be some sort of marketing on the Internet…disconnected pieces of haunting film footage that appear periodically. No one knows who’s producing them or why or where…or even what the footage is supposed to represent…a movie? a product? a philosophy? Basically the story is about how Cayce goes about discovering the source of this footage.

Larry is not going to tell you how it ends. (He doesn’t know yet.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Speaking of Nothing to Say?

For shame, for shame...Mr. Bacon has not posted on his own blog, World's Worst Buddhist since last September!

It's Like Magic!

Thanx M@. Larry is now a single-click blogger.

Unfortunately, he has nothing to say...

He did, however add m@'s blog to the links section. Hope that's OK.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Helpful Info

At a recent Dove Tale meeting, we were astounded and, I suspect, discomfited to learn that, for the very first time ever, the male participants outnumbered the female! Of course, we resorted to arm-wrestling to determine whose manuscript was best, drank a keg of cough syrup, force-fed ourselves nachos until we were dizzy, and slept out in the back yard. The police were called but placated. A good time was had by all.

But possibly more shocking was that I actually had some interesting resources to share with the group! To allow the shock to wear off I've waited a while to post it. You're welcome.

First, here are two blogs that, if you're considering querying agents at all, you must read. Often. They are:
  • Miss Snark, Literary Agent (there's an indexed list of her topics here) - She's an honest-to-god New York literary agent who answers readers' e-mails and talks about her views of the business and her clients. Twice a year she directly critiques queries online. This gal tells it like it is.

  • Publishing Rants - Not all literary agents are in New York. This one is in Colorado and has extremely interesting opinions on the business. She's really nice, too.
Here are a couple of other interesting people in the business, too:
  • J.A. Konrath - A successful novelist who sheds a lot of light on many aspects of the writing life.

  • Simon Haynes - An Australian SF author who is in the middle of publishing his series of books. He also develops software for writers: his free novel planning and query tracking software are also available somewhere from his blog.
Anyone else have some interesting links to share? Put 'em in the comments!

So that's the fun stuff. I also had a request to explain how I inserted a hyperlink in the comments on this blog. I'll give a short lesson in HTML here -- not wanting to insult anyone, of course; if you already know this stuff, ignore me!

The comments recognize a lot of standard HTML. That means that if you put tags around text, it'll look different. A tag is stuff surrounded by angle brackets (that is, the <> sign). On this blog, I'm going to use "[" and "]" instead of "<" and ">" because otherwise they won't show up!

For example, if you put [b] and [/b] around text, it looks bold. Put [i] and [/i] around it, it's in italics.

Links are created with the [a] tag. (Trivia: "a" is for anchor!) To create a link, do this:

[a href="http://www.theURLyouwanttolinkto.com"]The text of the link[/a]

Don't forget!
  • The URL you want to link to is in quotation marks.
  • You have to close the link with the [/a] tag.
  • There's a space between "a" and "href" in the first tag.
Here endeth the lesson. Any further help, let me know in the comments. And I'll try to remember to check 'em more often...


P.S. Would anyone mind if I added myself to this blog so that I can post from my own blogger account? It would save me a lot of headaches every time I want to post something...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sacagawey the bird woman

Sacagawey is the only woman and native among the white american explores to new land. She talks to he baby:

It is wise to fear Grizzly Bear, little pomp,
But you must also give him thanks.
For when time comes for you to leave this world,
Grizzly Bear will show you the way.

See up there? Those seven stars?
The white men call them the Dipper.
But really those stars are Grizzly waiting patiently.
I will tell you the story as it was told to me
when I was very small.
The story of how the Great Bear came to be in the sky.

One day Black Bear with her cubs,
was eating berries from a bush.
Grizzly Bear walked up to Black Bear
and he said to her, "I want those berries for myself."
And selfishly , he pushed away Black Bear.
And he pushed away Black Bear's children.

Black Bear was much smaller than Grizzly
but she had courage and fought him.
She avoided Grizzly's powerful blows
and each time Grizzly missed, Black Bear would strike him
with her own sharp claws
until Grizzly Bear fell to the ground-defeated.
Black Bear then banished the greedy Grizzly Bear.
She told him, "Leave this place and never return.

Grizzly Bear left in disgrace.
He felt ashamed becaus all his life
he had placed his own needs before the needs of his brothers.
He wished now to make up for his selfisch ways.
He wished to do something good for his brothers.
Alone, he walked into the Shining Mountains.
For miles and miles he walked up the steep slopes.
Day turned to night, but he kept climbing higher.
He reached the deep snow on the mountaintops,
and the snow turned his brown fur white.
Yet he kept on walking higher and higher.

And when he reached the highest mountain peak,
Grizzly Bear stepped into the air
and he continuerd walking upward into the sky,
And as he climbed, a dust of snow fell of his fur,
leaving a milky white trail as he went.

Finally Grizzly Bear found his place
and he became a cluster of stars.
To this day, the Great Bear lives in the night sky,
guiding the souls of the people
to their proper place in heaven.

Wild thing like this a lot. So share it. Wild thing cry with stuffy cold, eyes watering. Wild thing sleeps, reads, drinks, walks dogs, blogs, and sleeps , and sleeps.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

L.M.F. Novel by Matthew Binn

Any Ideas for Matt's Book Launching? (Please Post)

A fellow Dove Taler has written a novel that will be published this spring. L.M.R. is a novel about Del Aucoin, a bomber pilot in World War II who, after almost finishing a tour of duty, is forced to make a choice between his loyalty to his job and country and his loyalty to his friends and crewmates.

Matthew is in the process of planning some book launchings. Tentatively he is thinking of the Walper Hotel as a possibility due to the historical nature of his book.

Are there ideas, which you can suggest that can help Matt in the planning of his book launching. Thinking back to Stones Turned and Many Women, two men what would you suggest.

Some possible Questions:

Besides the Walper Hotel – What other possible locations may be suitable?

What day would work best for attendance? We launched one a Thursday night and one on a Sunday afternoon. What day and time of the week do you think would you suggest?

How can Dove Tale support Matthew?

When should invites and postings for the launching go out?

So post your ideas.

Congrats! Matthew

AKA Bobby Bacon

Saturday, February 18, 2006

in my head a planetree
a planetree
a planetree
in my head a planetree and
seven silver moons

all planets on the planetree
holding me by gravity
and i swallow moon –
light and light
i am

and moonlight i am and
see a silver tree a
silver planetree holding me
by gravity all in my
head you see…

in my head a planetree
a planetree
a planetree
in my head a planetree and
seven silver moons

netty meyer

Most editing circle people know this poem/song. I always wanted it to be a song. There was a suggestion to do something about the fact that in first reading one is inclined to read plane tree. Plannettree just doesn't work nor does planet tree. It needs to sound like one word, rhythm wise. I sent this poem/song to Nigel in England. He told me as soon as he saw the text that the melody from "Do you know the mussle man" was in his head and he sang it. Refrain wise that works. But the middle needs to be played with. Anyone who read the poem and read plane tree first, also said that the pronoucation became clear after reading more. Nigel is of the opinion that it should stay as is.

A picture goes with this poem. It is as such in my documents. But frustratingly, that won't copy in e-mail nor blog. I hoped that would work. Oh well! Partly I set this up because I wanted to find out.

But some people have pictures with their blogs. Does that need to come from digital cameras? Would artwork work at all?

And BB you think you are weird.

Beyond her wildest dreams, aka Wild thing.

p.s. I wonder what the transferring of above poem will do blogwise. Will it keep my linebreaks?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stories in my Head

There is a place in my head where stories are stored. Stories to reveal themselves to me.
They are supposed to come down from that place in my head, travel down my veins into my arms, into my fingers, and use those to type out the magic onto this computer key board. Put the magic of the stories in the Word program, show them to me on the screen.
So I sit here, in front of my computer. So I sit here with my fingers over the keys. And yes, the fingers type. But where are the stories?

Is there a door in my brain that closes shut sometimes? Is there a rock in my brain that weighs too heavy to let anything through, or out? Is there a sensor in my brain that won’t let out certain stories? Is my brain overworked with blogging?

Blogging, the new sensation. Better than e-mailing. Stories from many people in our group and possibly from outside weave in and out. Conversations and cross conversations. Serious conversations, wild conversations, tickle the funny bone conversations. Memories, truths, fictions, everything goes. Not porno. No, we don’t do that. That’s not funny. Poems, prose, poetic prose, a swear word or two, all within reason.

Is blogging democratic Xena wondered. What is democratic? Democratic is when everyone has equal rights, equal say, equal input, equal value. That way I would say blogging passes. There is no dictatorship in blogging. No one tells you what to think, what to write, how to do it. There is no capital gain. No one gets rich money wise. We all get richer, wiser, learning from each other. Our imaginations thrive. We are communicating as free spirits. Blogging is mind expanding, blogging works.

Well, that was a blogger brain storm. But where are the stories ? Do I start like Snoopy? “It’s a dark and stormy night…” Snoopy never got any further. He suffered from writers block. On top of his dog house. Supper time ! Another excuse. Banging on Charlie Brown’s door, holding his dish. Maybe food for the stomach helps the creative process. Maybe. But not likely. More inspiration comes from hunger and poverty. Not too much hunger and poverty. Not so much that it degenerates you. Enough like in coming of age stories. Going into the woods without company or food and learn to survive, use hallucinations to learn from, find your spirit guide.

Your Spirit Guide can help you write. Can inspire poetry. Can inspire dreams. Can lead you to your best self.

Maybe I am not hungry enough. I’ve been eating more than I should. Sort of robs you of that hungry feeling that makes each meal a celebration. Sort of makes you feel a bit puffy, not very energetic. It’s a rather vicious circle. Don’t know what to write. Trying to think. Ah, have a sandwich. Don’t know what to write. I am thinking… ah have a hot chocolate. Some crackers and cheese to go with it. Don’t know what to write. What am I thinking? Is it lunch time yet? Don’t know what to write. Thinking that the dog needs a walk. First a cup of tea and some cookies. Don’t know what to write. What are others thinking? I should check my e-mail, and blog posts & commends, maybe…

Maybe I am tired. Maybe I should let myself get sleepy. Maybe between sleep and waking a story will be caught unawares. Or maybe in a hot bath stories will release themselves and come wafting at me on hot steam, break through the veil curtain, and make my fingers move to write down a hot adventure, a magic experience, a very funny story, a Valentine romance, the best cat story ever written, a doggone tale of man’s best friend, a story full of sweet flower fragrance…

But unless that happens, or until that happens, there is no story coming through these fingers, typing on this keyboard. No story. The dog is asleep. The cat is asleep. I am yawning. The computer tower is humming. Dishes in the sink are waiting. It is nearly midnight. Sandman come and get me. Send me inspiring dreams, exciting dreams, sweet dreams. Sand in my eyes, closing my eyes, good night. Will there be a story to write? With Scarlet of “Gone With the Wind,” I say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”


Book Review

Has anyone read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini? Bob got it for Christmas from my sister. He read it, then I read it. I am inspired to write a blog review of this book.

It's the first book by Hosseini. Hmm, I thought when Bob first got it, probably one of those first books where the writer comes through as self-conscious and awkward. I'm not interested.

Theme of book: father/son issues. Hmm, not exactly pertinent to a woman. Not interested.

Location of book: Afghanistan. Hmmm, not exactly a country which appeals to me. Not interested.

Bob read it first. Said very little. Just read and read. Couldn't put it down. Wouldn't come to dinner on time or answer me when I talked to him. It was a case of show don't tell, par excellence. I could tell the book was something. But what? I had to find out.

So I began to read. Chapter 1 starts with:

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

Despite the theme, location etc., I was hooked. The book is riveting. It is powerful, relentless, moving, haunting, and shattering. The author is far from self-conscious about his writing. It flows effortlessly and carries the reader through a historical look at Afghanistan at the end of the monarchy, and through the struggle of a son for his father's approval, never achieved amidst the lies that kept them apart.

It is about friendship, betrayal, regret, cowardice, bravery and love. Hard to beat that combination.

One more excerpt:

The rest of that ride is scattered bits and pieces of memory that come and go, most of it sounds and smells: MIGs roaring past overhead; staccatos of gunfire; a donkey braying nearby; the jingling of bells and mewling of sheep; gravel crushed under the truck's tires; a baby wailing in the dark; the stench of gasoline, vomit and shit.

What I remember next is the blinding light of the early morning as I climbed out of the fuel tank. I remember turning my face up to the sky, squinting, breathing like the world was running out of air. I lay on the side of the dirt road next to a rocky trench, looked up to the gray morning sky, thankful for air, thankful for light, thankful to be alive.

"We're in Pakistan, Amir," Baba said.

I rolled onto my chest, still lying on the cool dirt, and saw our suitcases on either side of Baba's feet... They made me sad for Baba. Everything he'd built, planned, fought for, fretted over, dreamed of, this was the summation of his life: one disappointing son and two suitcases.

I invite anyone who has read this book to comment, and I recommend it to those who have not. A superb novel, so says the Globe and Mail, and so says


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Alpha Male

I am a alpha male and in my work, I am surrounded by alpha males and females. The fact is the construction people that surround the table on a big project have been shaped by bitter struggles.

Projects can last three or more years in a highly charged atmosphere. There can be six fantastic ideas about a project around the table. The debate can be aggressive with each alpha willing to defend their point of view as if it was a struggle between life and death.

Each project becomes my baby. Once when I said I built the School of Architecture, Larry correctly and playfully asked how many bricks did I lay? This question made me laugh out loud. The truth is often funny. A large project involves hundreds of people and each contribution is critical to the whole.

I have been known to be brutal and ruthless in pushing a project forward on budget and on time. I have never subscribed to the notion that the end justifies the means. So I will never try to justify my actions. At the same time budget and time is my turf and hopefully I can attempt in being more creative in my approach in moving a project forward without bullying.

I like reasons, facts, and research as a basis of making good decisions. A civilized discussion resulting in consensus is my strong preference. Unfortunately, a rationale discussion among the alphas is often not the case. We have seen the results of alpha male dominated politics in the United States the last few years. It isn’t pretty and the results have done a lot of damage.

The transition from the construction meeting to the editing circle or to home life and friends is a tricky one at times. I don’t need a sword, armour or my shield when I enter my home. I have no urge to impose my will on friends or family. If I wish to learn anything I must listen carefully to people who tell me I am wrong.

Language is a hologram for the mind. If I say the name “Daniel”, what image will a person receive? My image is that I am four years old in Sunday school listening to the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Sometimes I have to be Daniel in the construction project. I must never suffer from fear among alphas.

It is interesting to me how fear may shape our lives and our abilities. How we struggle to balance fear with courage. This process takes us on this incredible life journey. My greatest fear is losing control within myself.

Travelling alone has taught me courage. I sometimes find a strength and freedom to go places I can't reach in company. The arrogant, easily intimidated, ignorantly bold, and overly afraid are bad travelling partners. But when you are alone you carry the weight of your fears and there is no other voice to act as a sounding board to help evolve decisions on which the fate of your life depend.

Having the final responsibility of budget and time is like travelling alone. Being an alpha among alphas I attempt to temper my growls with aspects of compassion.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Loretto - New and Old

I've been going to the same Writer's Retreat for seven years now - that's fifteen retreats since we go twice a year (we, being a group of six women writers). The setting was Niagara Falls at the Loretto centre, run by the Loretto Sisters. The centre was recently put up for sale, and our treks to the Falls were suddenly over. There are so many things I miss about Loretto - but I'm only going to mention a few, and ask my fellow retreaters that visit this blog to do the same (and others, too, who would like to comment!). I miss pulling the car off Stanley Ave and following the long road to that circular driveway, climbing up those steps leading to the big front door, and ringing the bell for the door to be opened to us - for us to say "we're here again!". And someone from inside to say with a smile of homecoming - "ah, the writers have arrived!" Such a sweet ritual, and when we stepped through the door, we entered into another life. The writer's life - contemplative, a gentle communion with my fellow writers and friends, but also a feverish time - the writing that got done and shared!

The second part of this blog posting is to comment upon our new retreat home - Maryholme - MaryHOME. Several times I heard during our first retreat there just a week ago, "It's not Loretto," and I felt myself saying the same. It's true, there will never be another "Loretto," but in some ways it WAS very much Loretto. The sisters' influence was felt in the simplicity of the furnishings and the vibe (this new site is also owned by the Loretto order). So, my friends, here's one thing that I loved about our new home in Keswick - being right on Lake Simcoe - lakeside property! Looking out the windows of that huge wraparound porch and seeing all those fishing huts and people out there on the frozen lake. Walking upon the lake myself!Writers need new experiences to stoke the creative fires. We need new adventures. My writer's fires have been stoked by MaryHolme...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ducks Unlimited

Ha, those words just popped in my mind, walking by the creek. It seems to me that there are more ducks than ever. They congegrate by and in open water. Late at night I still hear them talking to each other in the dark. Sleep seems far from their minds. This morning on my way to Food Basics, I watched a large community of ducks, swimming, chattering, playing, splashing, in the creek behind Highland road, near the overpass of Westmount. They look absolutely healthy and gorgeous. Their featherpacks smooth, colourful and shiny. They must think it is spring. Here at the house, doors and windows open, I listen to birds being very busy. They fly off and on, and I hear clear bird calls. And no, Maryholme friends, it is not my cassette playing, it is the real thing. Canada Geese fly over a lot. Are they still here, or coming back allready? And musk rats. They are very active in the creeks, swimming, swimming, crossing from bank to bank. Musk rats are supposed to build homes like beavers, theirs floating in the water. I never see those. I can only conclude that the ones around here make burrows in the soft creek sides, under water. Simon is very interested in them. (For those who don't know about Simon, he's my golden retriever. ) I used to have a dog named Timber. He killed musk rats, even though
they bite back. Bleeding cheeks and paws did not deter her. Simon doesn't attack or kill. I am thinking of nominating him for the Nobel Peace Price. Well, there are
many signs of spring. But I haven't heard or seen the real messengers yet, the red
winged black birds. I don't put any trust in a caged groundhog. Unless the male
redwinged blackbirds come and prepare the nesting ground for their females, winter ain't over yet.