I love everything about this song, especially the trip down memory lane. I learned all of my French from those skeletons.

Angie Abdou on Research for Fiction Writers

Angie Abdou is the author of four books of fiction, including 2011 Canada Reads finalist The Bone Cage (NeWest, 2007). Her most recent novel, Between (Arsenal Pulp, 2014) is about working mothers, Filipina nannies, and swinger resorts. She lives in the Crowsnest Pass and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University.

Photo Credit: Mark Raynes Robert

Angie Abdou is the author of four books of fiction, including 2011 Canada Reads finalist The Bone Cage (NeWest, 2007). Her most recent novel, Between (Arsenal Pulp, 2014) is about working mothers, Filipina nannies, and swinger resorts. She lives in the Crowsnest Pass and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University.

Writing is nothing if not carrying the hopeless, backbreaking burden of decisions devoid of consequences.

Aleksandar Hemon
The Making of Zombie Wars (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), 5

How LEGO Bricks Have Sex

derek beaulieu edited a chapbook anthology years ago (Lego 50-15, Calgary: No Press, 2008), in which a number of writers celebrated LEGO.

For my contribution, I snuck back to the source: the original LEGO patent application. Stealing a image schematic from the forms, I reworked it as a page pulled from a fictional encyclopedia, as if some sort of biology textbook from an alien world.

This approach was inspired by the Codex Seraphinianus, my favourite book of all time.

20130719-212908.jpg

In a Jar

A Poem by Natalee Caple

for Tony Burgess (again)

jellyfish 2007
In a

jar

  and

the latrine

intended to the Terror through the

   lack

      must be in

   a jar

and kept

       by ready force

    the Terror she placed in

a jar

be

       listening be more be lated be behind

     major fields

         of those

       hacked to pieces of

the carefully placed

one

    more

      time

      the circulating night

elated in

a jar

      kept

         ready for force

the place

where nature

   breaks virtue  

    marijuana animal

        swimming

       through the over-whelming

pubic beard returning to virtues

of force

slapping in the

   slop buckets

sparks

are

      fire

She intends it this time, or

    drank

turpentine

in all cases

         returning in time, their

money

          in

a jar

   listening to

replace nature its so-called

progress

Natalee Caple is the author of seven books of poetry and fiction and the co-author of several incarnations of a full-length play titled i-Robot Theatre (based on Jason Christie’s i-Robot Poetry) with the Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre Collective. Her most recent novel, In Calamity’s Wake was published to international acclaim in Canada and the US in 2013. Her collection of poetry, A More Tender Ocean, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her book of short stories, The Heart is its Own Reason, was called “moving … arresting” by The New York Times. Her novel, Mackerel Sky was called “ breathlessly good” by the Washington Post. Natalee’s work has been optioned for film, and nominated for a National Magazine Award, the Journey Prize, the Bronwen Wallace Award, and the Eden Mills Fiction Award.

I’ve turned off the comments on this site.

People don’t seem to comment that much anymore — even when I get over 3,000 readers on an article, I often don’t get a single comment. Everyone wants to connect on social media now.

At the same time, spam is worse than ever. I get over 5,000 spam comments each week. Much of that is caught with various plugins, but more and more is slipping through. I have to deal with probably 20-30 spam comments personally each week. It just seems like a lot of work to maintain something nobody seems to care about.

I will tag all the posts now with an invitation to connect on social media — please do! Like this:

Do you miss the comments? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook, or send me an e-mail — and if you haven’t already, join my mailing list and keep in touch.

Lovecraftian Comedy at The Rusty Toque

The Rusty Toque
30 June 2015

The wonderful Kathryn Mockler over at The Rusty Toque has republished my Lovecraftian comedic short story, originally published in Matrix back in 2006. Everyone thinks the “Guy” in the story is Guy Maddin for some reason — but it’s not, sadly, just “some Guy.”