Ringo in The Griff’

A non-fiction piece that I just submitted to Canada Writes: The Song That Changed Your Life.

Ringo in The Griff’

My father’s family was not big on music. There is a picture in my house of my father, age twelve, wearing a tie around his head, wildly strumming a guitar, that my grandfather has lovingly labeled on the back as “Michael – Ringo!” My father doesn’t own records, doesn’t sing in the shower. He only listens to talk radio, and, for him, concerts are those things that you go to when your kids are playing in them.

Since before I was born, my mother has sung in the St. Gabriel’s Church choir in Pointe St. Charles, Montreal. St. Gabe’s is a focal point of Irishness in Montreal, maybe because The Pointe is right next to Griffintown and the stone that the Irish immigrants brought with them and set down near Victoria Bridge. Because of my mother, I knew all the best songs: When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, Come Back to Erin, Toora Loora Loora, Who Put The Overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder? My mother and I would sometimes sing Toora Loora Loora together at the local retirement homes, in volunteer shows.

St. Gabriel’s inherited the predominantly Irish population of St. Ann’s Church in Griffintown when it closed. At St. Ann’s, the children were sorted into one of two groups: the choir members and the altar servers. When, at age seven, my dad opened his mouth to sing, the choir mistress told him to go see about being an altar server.

My dad likes two songs. One of them is Maggie May by Rod Stewart, the song for which my sister is named. The other is You Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones. My father lovingly butchered it after every childhood tantrum that I can remember, complete with custom lyrics. My father would slap his knee to provide his own rhythm section, and sing to me: “You can’t always get what you wa-ant, you can’t always get what you wa-ant. Though you try so haaard, so very hard, you get what you need!”

His are the lyrics that I hear whenever the original comes on the radio. At times, they are a mantra when things don’t go my way – a way to remind myself that I have what I need. Other times, I just think of my father, and what a terrible singer he is. Ringo, indeed.


That Shark Game WIP

In the second person, with elements of creative non-fiction.

That Shark Game

There’s this game. You’re a shark and your job is to evolve. You think that’s your job. There’s this economy where some of the fish that you eat give you gold and diamonds, and you use the gold to pimp out your shark (???) and the diamonds to revive yourself if you die. Your other job is to not starve to death. Oh, and if you collect these seashells, they give you secret missions. And the secret missions help you upgrade the shark.

With each shark that you upgrade, things seem to get a little harder. There are a lot of things that can hurt you if you don’t eat them first: puffer fish, swordfish, rays, other sharks. You end up eating a lot of other sharks. And then there are a few things that you can’t eat: noxious gases escaping from busted open canisters, jellyfish, mines, and lionfish. Maybe with the later sharks all the humans that you end up eating learn to defend themselves. In some playthroughs, you eat more humans than any other species – except maybe butterfly fish. Apparently the ocean is lousy with them.

The level is big, but your shark is fast, so it doesn’t take long to get from side to side. If you go too deep, the pressure makes your life bar decrease faster. It’s a fun game. For the iPhone.

Except you wonder what it’s like to be a real shark, and you realize it’s probably much more difficult. For one, the distances are longer, and you know that there is some realism to the game’s obstacles – except they left out some because it would have made it, well, maybe too hard. Sharks are tough as hell, and all. You know that they, like alligators, have existed in large numbers since the time of the dinosaurs. Except now they don’t exist in large numbers anymore.

If a real shark ate a person, that shark would be dead. Deader than dead. And probably the people whose beach it is would want to kill all the other sharks around. Some beaches have these things called Shark Hooks. They bait hooks and leave them a certain distance away from the shore. If any sharks get close enough to shore to smell the bait, they are supposed to hook themselves. For the safety of beach goers, sharks aren’t allowed to come near the coast. They should stick to their normal hunting grounds. After all, that’s where the finning ships can get them and sell their fins for somebody’s wedding. It isn’t as if they kill them or anything: they just take their fins, and then release the shark back into the water. That isn’t the same as killing them outright.

So, maybe the sharks shouldn’t stay near their usual hunting and breeding grounds. Maybe they should go not-too-close-to-shore and not-too-close-to-where-instinct-tells-them-to-go. After all, there’s plenty of food in the big blue, right? Plenty of fish in the sea.
You think, actually, that sharks should try hanging out near that garbage spiral – the one that’s the size of Texas or whatever – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Wikipedia calls it a “gyre of marine trash.” Very Yeats. Surely they could find something to eat there.

Oh and then don’t sharks have natural predators? Like, squids and killer whales and such? Not to mention that dolphins like to chase them off by shoving their noses at them and pushing tourists up so that they can get a photo-op.

Yeah, it is a pretty good game. But it lacks realism, or whatever.

Tabletop RPGs

Hey there,

Today I’m doing something nerdy and planning a session of a tabletop RPG for my friends. I don’t know what other people’s notes for a session look like, and if you’d even be interested in seeing what mine look like, but I figured I’d share some old notes anyway. An important thing to know about me is that I make up a lot of things on the fly – especially additional characters, situations (my players tend to look for ways to jump off cliffs instead of going on the beaten path), and anything else that comes up and is needed during the session.

The campaign is called Star Wars: Jet Plane Overdrive Mach Seven, and it’s quite silly. It isn’t combat-heavy and tends to involve a lot of diplomacy. These notes are from parts 1 and 3 of my campaign. They’re unedited, and what might have happened during the session could be quite different from the notes I have written down here.

EDIT: Another note – When I write my notes, I usually figure out the mechanics later, especially since one of my players has encyclopedic knowledge about the rules, sometimes down to the page to find things on.



Soliloquies 16 in print

Just dropping a quick note to let you know that Soliloquies 16 is now in print, and it is a gorgeous artefact designed by Candice Maddy. It was a very limited print run, but if you can get your hands on one, you should. If not, you can always read Soliloquies 16 online. Since I’m in 16.2, I’ll be selfish and link you to it.

Also, look out in the new year for news about a new pilot project that I’m becoming involved in that has to do with video games!

(And I promise that I’ll write over the holidays, as soon as I’m done making presents.)

Po’try: Drift

A draft called

Drift from the horror of recognition
To Hawaiian folk sleep
The horror! the horror!
Of getting to know someone
Better than you would have liked
When they were yesterday’s pleasant stranger
The baggage from someone you
Actually, truly, really care about.
And you were getting so good
At liking them
But the honeymoon phase is over
And they were never your honey.

Drift from idiosyncrasies
To driftwood guitar
Forget that you can’t avoid
The habits of the close ones
Of your closest ones
You may smile if you find it in you.
In the chords, maybe.
Realizations are sad and
Maybe you’ll remember that
We’re all human so
Even if the little things add up real quick,
There are the pleasant things, too.

Forget that their foibles force you
To modify your behaviour,
That which comes natural
And listen to the chords.

My Top Eleven Favourite Google Searches Leading To A Repository of Immature Fiction

Because this list just stands alone so well. 

My Top Eleven Favourite Google Searches Leading To A Repository of Immature Fiction (in no particular order):

1. ”jungle book” “erection” mowgli bagheera

2. ”granny rancor”

3. the brurble of a wedding in december

4. porn s boobs uncouered

5. www porno granny germany

6. how long does it take to suffercate a mouse

7. my writing is immature

8. cowboy hat advice

9. ”in the balls” “in the nuts” feminism

10. how to prime a mind

11. purternity eggs

Searches That Led Here

I just thought I’d share this with you guys. It’s an unedited list of the google searches that have led people to the repository. I’ve also gathered my top ten favourites at the end of this post (okay, make that a top eleven.)

chito ryu manual 18
jekawrites wordpress com 11
writer’s statement example 9
writer’s statement 8
don lorenzetti karate 7
brancusi’s golden bird 5
jekawrites 4
jekawrites.wordpress.com 4
brancusi golden bird 4
chito-ryu manual 3
fiction writer’s statement 2
the gold bird story prime 2
microfiction games 2
“writer’s statement” 2
evelyn morrison wakefield quebec 2
“jungle book” “erection” mowgli bagheera 2
jeka womin translation 2
repository bicycles for wheelhouse 2
immature fiction 2
writer’s statement examples 2
http://incongruousquarterly.com/issue-3-contents/ 2
rose marcotte 2
tim diuer 1
gawain and the green knight milton 1
“alice laplante” 1
sideweis 1
least favourite child 1
granny fantastic 1
mice cheeping 1
crow’s nest pub tobermory reopens 1
fiction indexical 1
“granny rancor” 1
the brurble of a wedding in december 1
negation immature 1
meaning of diuers 1
brancusies golden bird 1
porn s boobs uncouered 1
my stories are immature 1
issuance kroshi models, sewing 1
emilio they 1
profundimeter 1
“method and madness” -amazon -flipkart laplante 1
negation for immature 1
writer’s statement “writer’s statement” 1
examples of a writer’s statement 1
www porno granny germany 1
writing game instructions 1
illicit desire 1
“tyrant rancor” 1
alice laplante method and madness 1
make a mousetrap using stiff paper 1
writers statement 1
what is meant by jeka 1
“jon paul fiorentino” 1
hobby aspect v3-1 1
how long does it take to suffercate a mouse 1
the statement misery loves company 1
the interrogative mood 1
misery knows company 1
incongruous quarterly 1
describing by negation 1
blood test repository 1
brancusi gold 1
lake huron boat graveyard 1
blog writers statement 1
my writing is immature 1
brancusi little girl 1
“brancusi’s golden bird” 1
writer’s statement of intent 1
boatsunkat morrison’s quarrywakefieldquebec 1
remember interrogative 1
stories of illicit desire 1
jeka examination problem solve & answare 1
jeka time 1
don lorenzetti chito ryu 1
chito ryu verdun 1
“i am a camera” method and madness 1
jeka floor pack 1
team diuer 1
chito ryu instructions illustration 1
list of experimental fiction 1
jeka new york 2012 blue/red belt 1
repository/anecdote 1
experimental fiction list 1
incongruous quarterly: issue 3 1
interrogative mood exercises 1
iremember repository 1
cowboy hat advice 1
chito ryu handbook 1
vanier scholarship 1
bathroom insurance accidents 1
beurling academy 2011 graduation list of awards 1
jeka cabin 1
tobermory in fiction 1
jeka cake pictures 1
“in the balls” “in the nuts” feminism 1
diuer middle english 1
“erection” mowgli bagheera 1
chito-ryu manuel 1
brancusi`s golden bird 1
+matrix litpop 1
kyus speed painting 1
jekawrites wordpress 1
https://jekawrites.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/260/?like=1 1
“richard cumyn” 1
lise marcotte chito-ryu 1
indexical exercise 1
how to prime a mind 1
repository of immature fiction 1
young school girl nude with flat chest and very small tits on any tube 1
manual of chito-ryu 1
chito ryu vibration 1
incidents morrison quarry 1
kanazaru means 1
purternity eggs 1
kafein jeka 1
you are leaving the american sector bbl bbie3 1
method and madness “i am a camera” exercise 1
chito ryu rotation vibration 1
chito-ryu curriculum 1
list of writers of experimental fiction 1
kyus in karate 1
example of a writer’s statement 1

My Top Eleven Favourite Google Searches Leading To A Repository of Immature Fiction (in no particular order):

1. “jungle book” “erection” mowgli bagheera

2. “granny rancor”

3. the brurble of a wedding in december

4. porn s boobs uncouered

5. www porno granny germany

6. how long does it take to suffercate a mouse

7. my writing is immature

8. cowboy hat advice

9. “in the balls” “in the nuts” feminism

10. how to prime a mind

11. purternity eggs