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  • Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    Ethical Aspects of Animal Husbandry
    by Craig Terlson

    A collection of short stories where the humour runs dark and the slipstream bubbles up.

     

    ...imagine if Raymond Carver called up George Saunders and Joe Lansdale, and they all went drinking with Neil Gaiman.

  • Correction Line
    Correction Line
    by Craig Terlson

    “… it's clear that Terlson is way ahead of the curve in terms of crafting an engaging premise that reaches for elevated territory and reinvents enduring archetypes of action and suspense.”  J. Schoenfelder


    "Sometimes brutal, often demanding and always complex, this novel will repay the reader who likes their assumptions challenged and is happy to walk away from a book with minor questions unanswered but the big ones definitely dealt with! It’s likely to satisfy those who enjoy Hammet and/or Philip K Dick and who like their fiction very noir indeed."   Kay Sexton

     

    "I love a novel that you can't put down, and this is one of them."  L. Cihlar

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Tuesday
Jun192007

Fan Boy!

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Just found out that Wilco is coming to town in August. Aieeeeeeeeeeeee.
I am such a fan boy of this band it is embarrassing. Well not really, but, I mean Jeff Tweedy is a genius.
And, well.
Aieeeeeeeeeee.

Okay, I need to focus. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Saturday
Jun162007

Carve

carveLogo1.jpg A big woofreakinhoo to get a story into this mag named after one of my literary heroes, Raymond Carver.

Here is the beginning to "Samurai Bluegrass"

Their harmonies teeter on the edge of sweetness and mournful whine. It's that high lonesome sound. The bluegrass band enraptures the pierced patrons, their ghost-white faces tilt toward the stage. I'm sitting in the basement of the Apocalypse Club thinking of dogs carrying severed hands. It's a scene from the Kurosawa movie I watched with my nephew Zack last weekend. I came here because Carol used to say bluegrass gets into your soul.

Read the rest at: Carve

Friday
Jun152007

Home roads

I've been on the road this week - back in the motherland (Saskatchewan). Every time I drive these roads I am struck by the landscape. I've waxed eloquent about prairie roads before, so I won't go on and on about it. But I understand why so many of my stories take place in these sort of settings. The huge skies and miles of flatness have a John Ford-ian feel to them and they cry out to have characters placed into them. I know I am dancing close to some pretentious purple prose when I think like this. And I guess that those who grew up in the mountains or by the ocean have similar feelings; home gets inside you. That is the place I go to first when I think of where my characters live. When they look out there windows they see what I saw growing up.

But there are times where I want to break out of that setting and write some urban tales. I did that with my story, "Samurai Bluegrass". It takes place in Toronto, in and around Chinatown. I learned this week that it has been accepted into the magazine, "Carve", which takes its name from the brilliant writer, and literary hero of mine, Raymond Carver.

I believe the summer issue goes live today, so I'll post a link when it's up.

Cheers from the flatlands.

Wednesday
Jun062007

Cormac and Oprah

mccarthy.jpg I watched my first complete episode of Oprah yesterday. The reason: Cormac McCarthy first ever interview on television. I wasn't sure what to expect. I have been amazed and moved by his books, by their bleakness and beauty - what would he be like? What would he sound like?

In the end, it was a decent interview. Oprah might get slagged for some of her inane, cliched questions, but she seemed somewhat respectful. I was left wondering why McCarthy said yes. He is known to never talk about his work, and that did come across as he dodged a few questions, or at least alluded that there was no reason to explore them (ie: the role of women in his fiction).

So I'll leave the media type to sift through the event, or non-event, and make their judgements. What grabbed me was his talking about not wanting to have the sort of job that you just fill in time - it was voiced oddly as "avoiding work". Anyone who writes seriously knows the amount of work it demands. But CM said that we only get one shot at this (life) and he wanted to spend it doing something he enjoyed.
I wholeheartedly agree.

And he has been willing to forgo the materialistic needs of money and stuff, to walk this path. I admire that. Now of course, he did get the Macarthur Fellowship, and with Oprah's help, The Road probably sold a few million copies. Somehow, though, I don't think he is out there buying a big screen TV and a SUV.

Great writer. And he seems like a pretty fine human being.

Another take on the interview

Monday
Jun042007

Southpaw

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Okay.... I am BACK. And I am thinking about baseball again. A few months back I talked about DeLillo's Underworld and the prologue known as Pafko at the Wall. For me, it is the most stunning prologue I have ever read - but I am bias, I love anything DeLillo writes and I love reading about baseball.

The odd thing, I rarely watch baseball anymore. I'll catch a live game once in a while with the local AAA club, but almost never on TV. Reading about baseball in novels is somehow even more riveting than watching a game. A friend remarked recently that it is a tedious game, and I guess it can be. But that's because so much of the tension is buried. To enter into a game you need to know all the back stories, what the pitchers record is versus the batter's percentages; where the team is placed in the standings, and other such stats. But more than that its good to know who's coming out of rehab or who beat up who in a bar fight.

I am thinking about this as I read another great baseball book: The Brothers K by David James Duncan. I used to pitch hardball. I wasn't that good, but I am left handed, so at least that seemed cool. And it's true, most left handed pitchers do have a natural curve ball. I used to watch my curve balls sail over me on their way out of the park. But the cool thing was I was a southpaw, just like Sandy Koufax and Vida Blue - an aside, how cool of a name is that? Now pitching for the Oakland Athletics...VIDA BLUE! (You can hear the echo...blue, blue,blue).

The father in The Brothers K is a southpaw who ends up pitching for the White Sox before his career goes south. I delight in reading the mechanics of fastball pitches, forkballs, sliders, inside brush backs, and throwing junk.

Next time, I'll post an excerpt from some of my baseball fiction.