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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


Fall in One Day

leaves2.jpg I've been working on a new piece for my class. A long one.
Here is an excerpt from "Fall in One Day".

The first week of September is just an extension of summer. School starts and there is an excitement to that, even those who dread the day have to admit it. When the last bell rings, I jump on my bike and the seat burns my ass, which reminds me that last week it was August. Peeling across the soccer field, past the wire cage that surrounds the school, and riding past the pool, it's almost like I could fool myself into thinking that it's still summer, except the pool has been drained and a couple of poplar leaves are stuck on the yellowed bottom.

The wind that pushes me home has the smallest hint of cold, barely there โ€“ I sort of think I am imagining it because the calendar tells me its coming. Fall. When we are lucky it last a few weeks, but some years it's a day. It's an amazing windy day where every leaf is torn off every tree and launched into this aerial parade โ€“ like soft fireworks echoing the fair that started the summer. I remember watching them with Brian on the bank of the river. How good it felt to lay back on the grass, our shirts dusty and sweaty from a day of riding the Zipper, knocking over bottles with baseballs and breaking our teeth on candied apples. Just like the breeze tells me that fall is coming, and as much as I loved watching those Roman Candles, the fireworks told me that the summer would be over before I knew it.


Radio CBZY Plays all the insecurities all the time.

yellow.jpg Another update from class-land. It does feel a bit like being away from other things, in a foreign country even. I have been looking both closely at my work and from a distance, trying to get that objective distance, which can be difficult when you go deeper into your work.

Reading and still loving Bird by Bird, which it turns out is a good compliment to the things I am learning in the fiction class. Lamott nails the writer's mind so well, or mine at least. She writes about the radio station that blares away in your head, filling you full of self-doubt and insecurity (this blasts away in the left speaker) and self-aggrandizement blasts out the right, the recitation of one's specialness. The goal is to shut that station off and become quiet so you can listen your characters speak in a still small voice.

Her station she calls KFKD, or K-Fucked. This is an example of the great cranky stream of humour that runs throughout the book. For me the insecurity channel blares a bit louder than the other, though I am sure it is there. I am thinking of a name for my own channel, and all the anxieties and mental demands of life that encroach when I sit down to write. Probably CBZY - C because it's a Canadian station and the rest because I can have a hard time settling my busy mind. There's always things to think about, taxes to do, phone calls to make and meetings to arrange. But I am working at flipping the switch on that station, or putting it on time-delay. I can always listen to it later.


All work and no play.

message.jpg Just to let you faithful readers of woofreakinhoo know, I have not dropped the verbal ball here. I have been heavy duty into my fiction class, unable to come up for air and post.

So this is my message in a bottle note that more is coming, so stay tuned and please do come back.

Now back to class - k-raccckk goes the teacher's whip (or maybe my own).


Class in session

master.jpg It has begun... cue the music. Dun-dun-dunnnnnnn. I had my first conversation with my instructor in the master fiction class. I hate to be always saying that word master, because I am anything but. Although, it is the name of the class and as I thought (and hoped) it will mean going deep into my fiction - including what I write and why I write.

I really respect the instructor in this course, and I was not disappointed. She read four of my stories and basically nailed it - I agreed with everything she said and there was more than a few light bulb moments.

So day one, I am already totally re-thinking the way I write. Yikes. It's like I want to gather up every story I have out there and shout, "Don't look at these! I need to fix them all!" Surprisingly, this is not daunting but rather, very exciting.

I won't be sharing a lot of the particulars of the process that I go through in re-working these pieces, well not for a while anyway. I think I am going to be very busy, but in the best sort of way.

"Snatch the pebble from my hand young student or tell me why you have such issues with conflict in your fiction."

Hmmmm, I think I'll go for the pebble.


Drop and give me 20

496px-Drill_sergeant_screams.jpg This week has flown by and I see that I have not been shouting much lately. Queries are out for The Plate Spinner and I await news. I have been hesitant to jump into a new writing project, or even a new story, as next week I began a master class in fiction.

I don't put the "master" in there as some sort of ego stroke, that is the actual name of the class and I am hoping that if I don't "master" fiction (or it becomes my master), then the discipline of a class will produce a crop of new work.

I have felt this is the time to look deeper into the fiction that I am creating. I have mentioned before how I enjoy studying and trying to advance my craft. Sometimes, I can do that with good craft books (like Bird by Bird or Gardner's Art of Fiction) but other times I need an outside opinion on where I need to develop.

Luckily the instructor for this course is very good at what she does (along with having some amazing credentials to back her up). As I said, I need the discipline of a class and deadlines to push myself. I am hoping that in the next month I go through a boot camp experience.

"You call that a sentence boy? Just where in the hell is your character arc? You drop and give me 20 lines โ€“ make that a full chapter!"

Yes sir, uh, ma'am... uh, master.

Have a great Easter weekend.