Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sooo Close...

Busy these days juggling a half-dozen part-time jobs so not a lot of new writing getting laid down. Mark me down as a Canadian edition of the US's 47% currently underemployed or struggling to make ends meet with  multiple part-time jobs. Recession? It's Here - and it's probably going to get worse.

Just learned though, that I have received an "Honorable Mention" in Polar Expressions' annual Short Story Contest for "The Middle Way". No money in the bank, but some vindication on the writing front. This story is a semiautobiographical snapshot from my distant past, back when my only dream was to escape the farm and see the world...

An early draft was one of the "Dreamories" in my first novel (Mai Shangri-La), but this version has been revised, expanded, reworked and wordsmithed until every word is almost right. (I guess if every word had been exactly right, we might have made it those last two steps to the money;0)

Another short story in the CBC "Canada Writes" contest upcoming. This one also semiautobiographical, and based on a very, very intense personal experience. It's called "Sheep Shot", and I think the title is spot on. More as the contest unfolds.

Polar Expressions Short Story Contest Results

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It Ain't Over...

...Till it's over (Yogi Berra)

A quick peek at this blog would suggest it's dormant or dead, with the last posting almost a year ago now at the conclusion of my unsuccessful run for municipal election. Only the first would apply. It's been a busy year.

Since last summer, I've continued to try to at find a "niche" in this small town, but It's been a tough sell. As a former teacher with dated dated classroom experience, and with my specialty in school libraries now in little demand, it seems that that door is pretty much closed. I've applied for every likely local job that's come along in town, thinking that my experience in managing a library with 10+ staff and very healthy budgets would make me a viable candidate. So far, these efforts have been in vain. My small business in town (Princeton SmallHauls) is stuttering along, but in a classic Catch-22, is not bringing in enough cash to warrant continued advertising in the local newspapers.

Finally in the fall last year, I turned to driving, which crops up regularly in a town dependent on logging, mining, and goods delivery to town. I trained up during the fall, got my Class 1 licence in October, and began driving for the local hockey team in December. Since then, I've driven for the local hockey team (game trips and charters), for the local Community Services organization, for a South Okanagan bus line, and most recently, for a First Nations group running a tour bus to an old Gold Mine.

It's keeping me busy, but it's not paying the bills, and it's not feeding my need to express myself on topics I'm passionate about. I wrote a few letters to the editor of the local paper, but that didn't do it on either front. And that brings me back to serious writing, and the environment, which, for me, are intricately interconnected.

And so, I'm coming back to this blog. For now. It ain't over..