Tag Archives: Joe Dickerson

Ebb and Flow of the Olympics

We’re nearing the end of the Olympics and this is partly what it’s been like on the streets: traffic has been far better than normal. There are fewer cars, even if going away from the downtown core, so either everyone is at the Olympics or they left town. Which means I’m not looking forward to Monday morning traffic, which will be heavy and chaotic.

This lack of car traffic has all translated into a feast of famine aspect for many merchandisers and restaurants in the city. There are so many people in the downtown core that even the street food vendors are making thousands to tens of thousands a day, and the restaurants have constant lines. Olympic related merchandise is selling but little else. Yet if you’re in the food and drink business you are truly making a killing.

On Commercial Drive near where I live, it’s a different story. On Tuesday night I walked up the street to have a drink at one of my regular spots, The Libra Room. I passed the Latin Quarter and thought it was closed. Not a soul inside except one person at the bar watching a TV screen, and he was most likely staff. A couple of the Italian restaurants were equally void of life. Only the Charlatan, a sports bar with several large screens, was busy because of the Olympic sports. The Libra Room had a few people but they were way down on patrons and I’ve never seen the owner looking so unhappy.

What this means in the long run is that there are a few places and people making a true killing downtown and business has gone down everywhere else. In total revenue for the city, it is probably higher than normal but not as high as one might think. And yet, everyone who has been going downtown says that it’s crazy but it’s fun and the energy is so positive. Some people have just gone to people-watch.

Although I hate crowds I was planning on going down tomorrow night but I’ve now injured myself at the gym so it might not be possible. And should I manage it, one friend lives downtown so we can take refuge when it gets too cold or wet or crowded.

This is also the end of February. Two years ago, come March, I started this blog and have tried to write five days a week except for when I was on holidays. I think it might be possible to run out of opinion on things but I’m not there yet. However, even though some of these pieces have less research than they would if I was employed to write them, they still take time. I will be cutting back to writing three times a week as of March, hopefully giving me more time to write on other things, such as my novel or short stories.

With that note, Aberrant Dreams is relaunching with hopefully fewer of the time snags that caught them last go round. I will be back editing as senior fantasy editor. If you want to check out the site (still developing but submissions can be sent in) then go here http://aberrantdreams.com/content/ and read the guidelines. It’s hard to run any kind of magazine these days and Joe Dickerson and Lonny Harper have been trying it without any sponsors so it’s out of pocket for them to pay people. Some day I’d like to run my magazine as well but that will take some $$ first.

So in the meantime, go enjoy the last of the Olympics any way you want, whether that’s staying far away, just checking stats on the computer or going into the throng. And here’s to all the amazing athletes who have competed, whether they won or not. They’re still the best in the world and have dedicated time and energy to their achievements and sports. Go World!

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Writing: Grist for the Mill

It’s Friday and I’m feeling lazy. My brain is half empty from drinking at a BBQ last night. I could write about the opening of the Olympics but I’ve already done one rant, and I just don’t care. I could write about the really bad drivers I had to deal with this morning but I can’t work up my vim. I could write about life but I’m kinda tired.

So… I’ll just do a wee catchup on writing. For Aberrant Dreams http://www.hd-image.com/fiction.htm I have accepted two new stories: “Exposure at Dejima” by K. Bird Lincoln, which takes place in medieval Japan and is a touching tale of love, kamis and presenting a particular face to society. The other is “Rhindor’s Remission” by William Argyle, a wonderful, humanist tale about an old wizard who just doesn’t care anymore. Unfortunately I’m not sure when they’ll go up on the site. We’re a bit behind but catching up on the backlog and should be caught up by the end of September. That’s for fantasy. Joe Dickerson has finished with the anthologies so he’ll be devoting more time to the site.

I’ll soon be helping out at Chizine http://www.chizine.com/ as one of the two assistant poetry editors to Sandra Kasturi. That should start in the next month. I finally sent my bio in to Sandra.

And I finally, finallyfinished a story I started fifteen years ago. My gods. It’s a novelette called “Awaking Pandora,” and it is the grist for the mill. I’m going to be tossing it to the wolves, or two (hopefully) writerly friends who can give me feedback. I’ve been looking at bits and pieces for so long that I need other perspectives on the story.

I have a fair number of stories that I start and then they languish. Usually, it’s because I have a germ of an idea, a setting, a world, even a what-if. But often I have no solution to the conflict, no way to resolve the story. My bane; getting my conflicts down. It’s for this reason that I don’t think I could ever write a mystery and I quite admire the minds that do. To resolve all those puzzle pieces is like a finely woven tapestry.

My Kama Sutra story will finally be out at the end of the month in The Mammoth Book of the Kama Sutra. I’m looking forward to seeing it and barely remember the story right now.

I’ve also still been managing to write 200 words of fiction a day, though yesterday was more bits of rewrite so I may have to write extra today. And this weekend I’ll be starting on the antagonist for my novel, writing his first chapter and seeing how that goes. I’ve been ruminating for weeks and I’m still trying to come up with a good name for him. But that can change anywhere along the way.

Oh yeah, and I wrote a new poem this week, titled “A Good Catch.” Rhea Rose and I sometimes work on a poem by picking a word/object/phrase and then we put both of them into a poem. So I gave “fish scales” and Rhea gave “spoons.” We have each written a poem that has those images in some way. The poem in Chizine, “The Trials of Lemons” was conceived this way with the images of lemons and of dragonflies. It’s fun to mesh them and think along new paths. Now, I’m going to work on another half-finished story.

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