Stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you

Let’s write a story. Together.

Let’s start with the idea of an environment and a technology.

Something unimaginably old that people use every day, but aren’t too concerned about it when they do.


What else is tied to our perception of reality?

Politics, perhaps – but could our fascination with bureaucratization be enough to facilitate a lapse in our technology? Or at least enough to sustain our plot?

Perhaps a decline is not what we’re looking for. Instead: stagnation.



What would make our culture reach a point where it would say: “Enough. This is good enough.”

(I’m sometimes afraid we’ve already reached this point.)

It would have to be a world where making technology no longer was a priority because it no longer made money. In order for it to no longer be fiscally feasible, it would have to be ubiquitous – or nearly so.

So it would have to be homemade, as well as an incentive for people to make it themselves, rather than just having someone else make it for them.

And maybe we personalize it.

SO. What are we thinking here? We’re thinking of an extremely easy level of technology, right up there with, say, cooking.

This suggests something that is organic – because too many people are unskilled to create something mechanical.

Organic is easy.

Okay. So where does that leave us? Recap: An organic technology that has been spread throughout all cultures, has superseded all other forms of technology that garner the most money, and has brought an unprecedented equality (or perceived equality) across the boundaries of human experience, reducing social stratification and nationalistic feeling.

Holy crap. Let’s do this thing!


This organic technology would have to be something that allowed people to connect to other people. It would also have to be capable of communicating pain and pleasure equally – because pain is the incentive for people to like things, right?

Or is that the absence of pain?

Depends on the person I suppose.

Now what else?

Does it have to be one thing, or can it be a number of things? And what about conflict? Are we looking at the need to encounter another species?

Hold the phone. ARE WE TALKING GALACTIC WAR? Because that idea is old, and already perfected in Ender’s Game.


So how to make it new again?

Could this technology take people somewhere else? Because if the only place they can go is into their own minds, that was done in The Matrix. If it takes us into another plane, which abandons earth, that might make it less relevant again – for both our readers and our characters.

And then people would be clamouring for galactic war.

And this is not Starship Troopers. (And Starship Troopers is already the best there is.)

This has to be a story about us, not somewhere else.

That is what will make it relevant.

That is what will make it ours.

So let us melt, and make no noise


Hey kids.

Since yesterday’s post was pretty grim, I figure I should bring some levity to the situation, lest you all conclude that I’m two steps from plunging into the Fraser River and succumbing to a similar fate to that of British Columbia’s ever-depleting salmon stocks.

(A victim of over-fishing and sea-lice infestations? WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT HERE.)

Anyways, it’s not as though we can ignore the fact that the worldy goings on of late have been bleak as hell, what with all of the war, killing, and partisan hackery that dominate our political, social, (and unfortunately sometimes even personal) discourse.

It’s hard to ignore these omnipresent and always disheartening realties.

Try, of course, as one might.

It rained for the first time in Vancouver in what feels like years.

We’ve been blessed with such unbelievably warm and sunny weather that I had almost forgotten what it means to live in a coastal, temperate rainforest.

An excellent reminder of the reality? My extensive collection of cheap flats and my ever-strengthening propensity to forget my umbrellas every which place I travel.

What a talent!

Anyways, what I really want to write about is my unwavering belief in the incredible beauty of human connection (particularly in light of (or perhaps despite of?) all the depressing and violent garbage being levelled at all hours of the day, in all four corners of the globe.

Humans are the worst, and yet we are the absolute best.

We are capable of so much terror, greed, and fear, but we also have the capacity to do so much good, spread so much love, and create so much magic.

We have the capacity to meet someone and immediately know them. Immediately know you were meant to know them.

I sometimes feel corny talking about soul mates (but then I question whether I actually do feel corny, or whether or not I’ve been conditioned to think that such topics are corny, what with so many young lads and lasses crying “gauche!” when confronted with raw and real displays of love and emotion.)

Perhaps it’s a mix of both (I certainly lend credence to the belief that there is a time and place to best trumpet your affections for an individual/individuals with whom you are besotted) but mostly I am just one giant love warrior with a massive ax to grind.

(Love ax, mind you.)

I so firmly believe in soul mates that sometimes I feel like my heart is so full that it just might break into hundreds and hundreds of pieces in the hopes that each fragment might be gifted to all the amazing individuals who have impacted my life in ways both uproarious and profound.

Sometimes I meet someone and I feel this connection, and I just want to stand there in front of them and proclaim, “THIS IS MAGIC. TELL ME THAT YOU FEEL IT TOO.”

(And while confident as I am that they would too feel this link, I do sometimes think of the sensation I get after having woke from a mind-jarringly real dream featuring a good friend or even acquaintance when I am left wondering again and again whether or not “they could have dreamed the exact same dream?”)

Can I really be the only one who just experienced/is experiencing this?

Human beings, I tell ya.

What a bunch of strangers in an even stranger land.

So as always, I turn to my life coach and imagined grandfather – Mr. Ray Bradbury.

“You have to live in a cloud of emotions. You rev yourself up. Give yourself time in the middle of the afternoon, or when you’re waking up early in the morning, when you’re in that kind of wonderful, euphoric state in-between, on the verge of dreams when you get a kind of nuclear bombardment of all kinds of fragments of ideas jumping around inside your head and hitting each other. They begin to fuse and detonate each other. It’s a very hard thing to describe. You don’t have any control over your mind at a time like that, and you don’t want it, see? Let it run wild!”

Hell yes, Mr. B.

I’m all about running wild.

Just try and stop me.

Putting in a little elbow grease



Please play this song as you read this post because I am utterly obsessed and listen to it constantly and I like to pretend that as I walk about town that it’s the soundtrack to my life and we’re just at the mid-way point montage and everyone is like – WILL SHE MAKE IT?

And the answer is YES! YES SHE WILL!

Dear readers.

What adventures have you encountered of late and which hearts have grown five sizes from the lips of new kisses and which faces have been warmed from this bright sun’s wide strong rays and which eyes seem ever the brighter from a clear sky that looks to float just out of arms reach, and yet touches everything with the softest of fingertips so that we might all blush the lightest blue?


Regale us with your stories.

Because of late everything is so beautiful.

On Saturday morning I woke up at six, pulled my legs out of bed and ran seventeen kilometers. The early morning air was cool enough to keep me going, but I cannot say that the heat did not creep.

Because the heat always creeps.

Afterwards, I arrived home, showered and then hopped on my bike.

It’s been over a year since I last rode atop my noble steed. My “champagne green” beauty of a cheapskates find that I love because once I get into that saddle I forget all pretense of “taking it easy” and just GO GO GO.

Biking is funny to me because I never think of it as exercise because I am utterly committed to “looking cute” any time I do it.

I will never, ever ride a bike in running shoes.

I would rather be strung up from my (non-running shoed) toes.

And yet I will never go slow.

I am a study in contrasts.

And sillyness.

I biked to the Big Sisters BBQ and then back, a journey which totaled another twenty kilometers in the searing mid-day heat of a long and magnificent Vancouver summer day.

Once home I took a few minutes to sit.

The next day I biked from News Westminster to Kits Beach.

And then from Kits Beach back home.

This too is pretty far – about 56 kilometers.

Coming back, the sun was slowly sinking back from whence it came (Godzilla’s guest bedroom?) and the breeze kicked up and everything felt aglow with the possibility of a summer, and Sunday nights and family dinners, and young romances, and new friendships, and everything was heightened by the butterflies that fluttered about my stomach because I truly believed that anything and everything is possible and so very likely to happen.

Arriving home at nine, sweaty and salty and sand-touched and sun-kissed, I ate all of the Greek yogurt and blueberries that one famished and helmet-haired gal could manage.

I am also a master of disguise.

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On Friday night we ate a lot of nachos.


On Saturday I watched Old Boy.


I need to start investing in some iron clad undies because goodness knows I really don’t sufficiently gird my loins when taking a chance on more, shall we say, non-traditional cinema.

As perfectly summed up in a text message between myself and the friend with whom I watched the film:

ME: You had sex with your daughter and then you cut your tongue out?!>! O________________o

HIM: I hope no one reads my phone now.

ME: HAHAHAHAHA. Good point.

I am learning to see.

See so many things.

“Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action?” – Ray Bradbury

Enjoy these long, eternity-tinged days.

For you and they are filled with magic.

We are all travelers here

I daydream a lot.

I think about the worlds and places that we have yet to visit. How we might fly far and away, up past the moon, beyond our stars; a one-way trip to distant isles, and unexplored realms; unsolved probabilities, and untamed possibilities.

I dream.

I close my eyes and breathe.

This past month I haven’t been reading much.

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Old loves.

I’ve been too busy with different things – comedy, writing, work, running, volunteering. Things that I love, but things that take time.

On the metro in the mornings I wake my brain with crosswords.

The repetition.

Of synonyms.

Of puns.

I miss the feel of bound paper between my fingers.

At daybreak, my quiet commute, punctuated by the flipflipflip of pages, chapters, worlds.

At nightfall, crisp, cool sheets, and the sweet scent of sleep. My heavy eyelids and my frantic panic to read just one more (just one more) paragraph, before giving in to rest.

I miss this.

So tonight I will not daydream,

I will sit swaddled in blankets, surrounded by text, exploring a distant, but (not-so) long ago land.

And I will feel my fingers burn with envy. With passion. With zeal.

To create.



To write. Read. Believe.

I think Ray Bradbury said it right:

And so to all of you, goodnight.

Safe flight.

Reading the empty spaces


There is some majorly wacked-out stuff going down all over the globe these days.

From the most horrific, to the most mundane, it’s bizarro world out there.

I’m not really sure what to think of it all.

However, of one thing I am sure.

This morning I learned that Ray Bradbury has died. He was 91.

And I am devastated.

In terms of books, I am not one to mince words.

If I like an author, I will make it known. If I don’t like an author, well, I won’t waste my time.

And I love Bradbury.

(I refuse to use this verb in past tense. Just because he died doesn’t mean I am magically going to stop celebrating his works.)

I love him.

His writings are of such majesty that they brings tears to my eyes, and gooseflesh to my arms, and warmth to my cheeks.

They bring me pain and strength and desire and need – to my head, to my hands, to my heart, to my feet.

I’ll never forget the first time I read Fahrenheit 451.

I was in grade eleven and I had just finished reading Catcher in the Rye. Reading these two books back-to-back exploded my brain so hard it’s amazing that I managed to speak in complete sentences for the remainder of the year.

I wanted to know more.

I wanted to know everything.

I re-read 451 for the first time in the summer of 2007. This time around I took it slowly, reading each chapter and then pausing – taking time to digest the words, the ideas, dissect my growing feeling of unease, of understanding how this fictional world was so alike the one I inhabited – flesh, bones, blood, mind, and heart.

It unnerved me.

And I wanted to know more.

I wanted to know everything.

After this, I read The Martian Chronicles. Sandwiched in between Asimov’s I Robot series and Heinlein’s The Moon is a Dark Mistress, I learned about the Earthmen, and Those Summer Nights; The Settlers and The Green Morning.

“Ylla” (like so many of the book’s other stories) moved me in such a way that I have a hard time communicating them through my typed words.

Everything seems too silly, too trite.

He made a world that I wanted to visit. Wanted to dream about.

All of his worlds – I wanted to know them.

Know everything.

My favourite Bradbury work is Something Wicked This Way Comes.

This book is probably the most terrifying, most beautiful book I have ever read.

Will ever read.

Often times, when I am feeling overwhelmed, or lost, I will pick up Mr. M’s and my dog eared copy and re-read the following passage:

“Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes in the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience.”

I will think about good and evil.

About youth.

About age.

I will think about the American Dream, and its evolution. I construct a world that I imagine Bradbury inhabited as he created his work. I deconstruct the world I inhabit when I read his work.

His books make me nostalgic for a time and place I have never known.

For a time and place I will never know.

I have nothing in common with Charles Holloway, and yet I feel for him. I yearn for him.

I am him.

If you have never had the chance, please, take the time and read this book. It is magic.

Bradbury was a literary giant, unmatched by most, in a league of few.

I sincerely hope that individuals, young and old alike will continue to read his works.

Lest we all become firemen.

Lest we all become consumed by fire.