Cancer is like a black hole. It devours friends and family and leaves broken survivors in its wake. Survivors who bear the scars of surgery, Chemo burns, and the invisible scars that no one sees. Loved ones who carry the scars of watching their friends, family, spouses, children, suffer.
It has been an exciting year! SO many writing projects on the go. Let me start with the most obvious.
As you may know, I am one-quarter of the creative force behind ID Press Publishing. Last year we published our first anthology, Purgatorium: The Element of Horror.
So what? You say? Everybody is pumping out anthologies? Well, yes, I guess that may be true to a certain extent but ours is different. Let us go back to the beginning…
Yes, I know I have been quiet for a while. But, in actuality, I haven’t been quiet at all. Behind the curtain, I have been doing my best headless chicken impersonation. Okay, maybe not that gruesome, but you get the picture.
I have been wearing many hats lately. Not only am I still writing, but my writing branches out to include a number of different genres, Dark Fantasy, Horror, Middle Grade and Christmas themed. I have also added one more hat to the rack, publisher/editor at ID Press. But more on that later.
Today is a bit of an emotional day for me. My first published book, The Good King, is now in Newfoundland at the Avalon Expo thanks to my friend and co-publisher at ID Press, Pat Flewwelling and her travelling bookstore, Myth Hawker.
Why is this emotional? My roots on my mum’s side are from the east coast. It seemed like I spent my whole childhood travelling to Newfoundland with stops to visit relatives in New Brunswick. Great aunts and uncle in great old houses. There were always stories, and home cooking, and laughter, lots of loud, laughter and music.
It is this that flavours my writing. I may not write specifically about the east coast, but the essence of it finds its way into my writing.
My mum was suffering from COPD (Cardiopulmonary Disease), brought on by years of heavy smoking and working as a hairdresser in the 60’s, when I was writing The Good King. To that point she’d only read my early horror stuff, a story based on Mary Shelley’s life but fictionalized and brought into the 60’s.
“Are you on drugs?” She’d ask me regularly.
My mum was a voracious reader but COPD has a way of changing people. Kind of like high altitude. The oxygen getting to the brain is diminished and as such, the capacity for reason as well.
At this point she was well along the path that COPD drags its victims. She had lucid moments but they were becoming far less frequent. In one of those moments, she asked about the book. My Cousin Meg Simmons was just finishing up the illustrations. I wanted it to be a surprise and present her with the finished version.
She never saw the finished book. She never got to see me published, something she always told me I could do.
“You have the gift for telling stories, like your grandfather.”
So, today, The Good King is finally ‘home’ in Newfoundland. Her home.
“She’s got seagulls in her eyes.”
Thank you, Pat.
In light of the current political shenanigans, pipelines, shootings, women and gender inequality, and immigrant hate, I got to thinking. Why can’t we all just get along?
The old saying goes, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” And whether it was Sun Tzu, or Niccolò Machiavelli that the saying originated from, I wonder why do we have to have enemies?
Well, I think I found the answer.
A Letter from “The Enemy”