Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Dark and Stormy Night

This is one of my attempts at the well worn, "It was a dark and stormy night".

It was a dark and stormy night. I imagined all the things that could go wrong as I strolled through the posh neighbourhood with my two small dogs. These were not guard dogs. They were ankle biters who even in their most frenzied state would not frighten too many strangers.

I continued slowly along the rocky shore. “Million dollars homes and no street lights,” I mumbled to the dogs who were oblivious to my increasing anxiety as we made our way further and further from our home. I imagined evil doers lurking among the full leafy shrubbery surrounding each home.

I decided to curtail these silly thoughts as the road curved to the right and I saw a marina to my left. Waves crashed to the shore and the wind picked up as we entered the open space. The “ting, ting, ting” of boats, moored to docks and rocking in the water increased my apprehension but I continued determined to complete our walk before the worst of the storm hit.

Rain began to spit down on us. Still, I paused.This was a good night for a murder. As that thought crossed my mind, I heard a scream coming from the waves. It made me jump slightly and my focus sharpened. I glanced at the dogs. Their little ears were pricked up and one of them growled lowly. Their response confirmed what I hoped was only a part of my overactive imagination.

I heard the scream again. Both dogs responded with full out barking. There on one of the boats I saw two people facing each other. One seemed to be speaking rapidly but the wind carried the words away from my ears. The other one was more animated, gesturing wildly and then she screamed again.

To be continued…

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Five Words

Our last meeting ended with a writing exercise to be done at home. We each picked a word and are to write a short piece. The words are: Malaysia, diocese, trees, piano and Batman.

Here's my effort.

Malaysia slowly raised the high powered binoculars to her eyes and peered out the third story hotel window. The dropoff was arranged by Bishop Jonas at the Diocese of the First, and Only, Most Holy Virgin of Mount Gotham Emmanuel. For the purpose of this matter, Bishop Jonas requested that Malaysia use the alias 'Catwoman'. Bishop Jonas was to be called 'Batman' and the carrier 'Robin'.

The clock beemed 1:05. Robin was five minutes late. Malaysia wasn't worried. Operations arranged by Batman often hit snags. She turned from the window and dropped the binoculars on the bed. At the same moment, Robin appeared from behind a patch of maple trees across the street. A leather bag hung at his side. He stopped on the sidewalk and raised his sunglasses above his head to examine the hotel. No sign of Catwoman. He glanced at his watch. Should he wait?

The leather bag contained sensitive information, if Catwoman didn't show, he would have to return it to Batman before midnight. Robin sauntered across the street and noticed a coffee cart on the corner. He decided to buy a coffee and if Catwoman didn't show he would return by the same route he came.

Malaysia decided to go downstairs. She put on the red baseball cap with a kitty logo. This was how Robin was supposed to identify her. She trotted down three flights of stairs to the lobby and stopped at the front door to gaze across the street. Still no one. There was time for a latte. If Robin didn't show in the next ten minutes, she would alert Batman via the Joker.

From a fifth story window in an office building beside Catwoman's hotel, Batman watched the pair bumble around. They both fell into his trap perfectly. Workers hoisted a piano up to the room beside his.

As Robin sipped his coffee, he noticed Malaysia's red kitty cap. He moved beside her, "Who's your favourite superhero?"

"Batman, of course," she replied.

"Would you like to walk?"

Malaysia did not reply but took her latte and stepped away from the coffee cart facing back toward the hotel. She began to walk. Robin strolled beside her.

Still watching from the office window, Batman grinned. They moved in the right direction. It was too easy. He pressed a button on his walkie talkie alerting the piano movers. "Count to 5 and let go."

Friday, 23 April 2010

A poll for artists and writers....

Understanding the Creative Workforce -- A Study of Artists and Arts Practice   

Artists and the creative workforce have been hit hard by the recent government budgets [in BC]. The global economic downturn have effected the revenue streams of many artists, creative workers, and creative industry professionals and personnel.

Despite the downturn, preliminary statistics suggest that the downturn is leaving the cultural sector relatively unscathed, precisely because of the reputed flexibility of cultural/creative workers in finding other jobs. 

In order to better understand the impact of these recent trends on artists and the creative workforce we at the Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities at SFU [Simon Fraser University] are launching a survey of those working in the creative sector.  

This survey--in partnership with Curtin University, Australia-- is part of larger international project that seeks to increase understanding of artists' careers. 

Follow the link below to the survey website for more information on how you can participate in this survey and share your story with us:  
As a way of saying thank-you, we will enter all participants into a draw to win an Apple iPod.  As well, we will make available to you a report highlighting the survey findings, upon request. 

We would like to thank you in advance for your interest in this survey -- The Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities