dewline: (Default)
As I type this, I'm listening to some rumbling from outdoors, and also to Writers and Company on CBC Radio One. It's an interesting combination.
dewline: (celebration)
Just before leaving the current day job for the weekend, I heard from Alan Neal on CBC Radio's All in a Day the following good news: Amal el-Mohtar, a local SF&F author, is a Hugo Award nominee!

Confirmation from the author...

https://amalelmohtar.com/2017/04/04/hugo-if-true/

Wishing her the best of luck!
dewline: (Sketching)

I'm listening to a guy complain about a squirrel stealing broccoli from his garden at the ByMUG meeting right now, speaking of what he's done to avenge the theft. "Avenge" is strictly my choice of verb for it, mind you. It entertains me to listen to such things, as well as family misadventures in an Israeli desert, discussions of various software compatible with more recent iterations of Mac OS X and on and on it goes.

I'm on [livejournal.com profile] warrenellis' "Orbital Operations" mailing list, and from there, I read this interview on tor.com about life on the Internet of today. Disturbing, yet hopeful. Maybe we - as a species - manage to salvage enough of whatever else is trying to survive us living on this planet, maybe not.

Last night, I rummaged through YouTube and found that The Agenda's people salvaged a 1976 interview from The Education of Mike McManus with the late Mel Hurtig. It's a bit of video history archeology in action there, dating back to when a kid in grade school in Saskatchewan wouldn't have a hope in Heaven or Hell of seeing a TVOntario show without some expensive intervention from either CBC or the local school board or public library. VHS and Beta were just starting their fight at the time, I think, right?

More as it occurs to me.

dewline: (irony)
Such is the case, now that I've read Rebecca Eckler's essay for the National Post, "What happened when my publisher ceased to exist".

Had I thought sooner than I did that the procedures Eckler outlines therein might be an option for me to pursue, there might be far more copies of The Daily Planet Guide to Gotham City still "in the wild".

My apologies to everyone for that mistake.
dewline: (canadian media)

If you want to see where I was last night, there's some pix I took of the event under discussion, taken at Library and Archives Canada's main building on Wellington. Some old friends of mine were there in different roles, and some new friends stood to be acquired. Also, the book in question is worth the money.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwight_ew/albums/72157671244417606

dewline: (celebration)
...[livejournal.com profile] ed_rex!!!

Many happy returns of the day to you!
dewline: (Grief)
As Mark Dawidziak quotes Arthur Miller: Attention must be paid. Due credit should be given.

Chris Carter paid attention and gave due credit. So did Joss Whedon. And others as well in more recent times.

And so we all shall. For Jeff Rice, creator of Carl Kolchak, author of The Kolchak Papers that begat The Night Stalker, is no more.
dewline: (Sketching)
It seems important to preserve and pass this along...for a number of reasons, not all of which I dare openly name. The reasons for not naming them range from personal fears to promises made that I still try to keep. Whether or not I name any of the reasons, though, you might guess at a few, correctly, anyway.

So from Mr. Gaiman's keyboard to your screens:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] officialgaiman at New Year's Wishes and gifts
posted by Neil Gaiman


An old year ends, and takes with it people and sorrows and joys and memories, and a new one is on it way.

A New Year's Gift, for anyone who missed it:

The BBC Radio 4 GOOD OMENS Website, with all six episodes of the Radio Series available to listened to over the next 2-3 weeks.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04knt4h

And a reminder, over at http://acalendaroftales.com/ you can read and listen to all the stories I wrote for the  A Calendar of Tales. January's Tale takes place in the moments between the first and the last chime of twelve midnight, when the Old Year is over and the New Year not yet begun.


May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.


...I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.


And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.

And it's this.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.


And here, from 2012 the last wish I posted, terrified but trying to be brave, from backstage at a concert:

It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world. 

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them. 

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. 

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.

...

I meant, and mean them all. I wasn't going to write a new one this year. But...

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead. 

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It's too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them. 

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.





Labels:  Happy New Year


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dewline: (canadian media)
From the Uptown Rideau Community Development Plan Workshop:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwight_ew/sets/72157644893311446/

From the Spur Authors' Festival discussion of "The Language of Politics" as moderated by CBC's Evan Solomon:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwight_ew/sets/72157644533411207/
dewline: (canadian media)
I'm convinced: as a scriptwriter, Allan Hawco is a sadist in the classic tradition of the best superhero comics writers. After watching tonight's _Republic of Doyle_ installments, it should be clear that comics publishers ought to have a plan for his future once _Doyle_ is over and done.

And as actors, Paul Gross and Gordon Pinsent haven't lost their chops.

Frustrated by the cliff-hanger ending, of course.

AAAAARRGH!!!
dewline: (SHIELD)
Okay...we're seeing more than a little bit about SHIELD on the web of late.

Wired and Gizmodo have reported that the US Defence Department's PR people backed away from technical advising on the Avengers movie specifically because of SHIELD, and their uncertainty over SHIELD's place in the scheme of things.

[livejournal.com profile] lawmultiverse provided a little commentary of their own on the subject, and it wasn't their first attempt to understand how SHIELD could fit into legal pictures either.

Today, [livejournal.com profile] rfmcdpei made his own mention of a blog entry from Andrew Barton where the issue of creators needing to understand exactly what their fictional creations are supposed to be and be capable of, even if that understanding doesn't get all the way to the paying audience in full detail.

Here's what Andrew said exactly:

You know what, though? The military is right. According to the Defense Department, their main problem is that they couldn't figure out where the US military stood in relation to S.H.I.E.L.D., which Wikipedia describes as an "espionage and secret military law-enforcement agency," which really narrows it down - and, hell, I imagine it's easy as hell to maintain secrecy over something like a giant flying aircraft carrier. S.H.I.E.L.D. has, from what I understand, been the subject of fan debates over just what it is for a good chunk of the last fifty years.

Answering questions like this is important. They define what you can and cannot do in a story, and as such reduce the unmanageability of everything being possible into more restricted channels that can guide the flow of a narrative. Something that is shadowy, nebulous, and ill-defined even to the people writing it does not lend itself well to the best writing. Creators need to know how their creations work, even if that information never filters down to the audience.


I've had my own understanding of what SHIELD is supposed to be - mainly informed by the stories of Bob Harras and Dan G. Chichester published in the Nick Fury vs. SHIELD mini-series and the later relaunch of Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD in the 1990's when SHIELD was reinvented for the first time, and somewhat further filled out by Jonathan Hickman's work on Secret Warriors and SHIELD in recent years. Among other sources.

It's my hope as a fan that we can get back to that framework: SHIELD as a planetary defence/intelligence service. The ultimate Blue Berets and as flexible as need be to handle the work in the back alleys as on the battlefield.

Your distance-travelled will vary, of course...
dewline: (Default)
I know that this isn't going to endear me to people who believe that the CBC Must "DIE DIE DIE for Darkseid!"

Ahem.

Sorry about that. Slight meme-attack by the Anti-Life Equation there. (As first explained by Jack Kirby and built upon by Grant Morrison, that is.)

Anyway.

Denis McGrath briefly "unretired" his weblog to transplant something he said on Facebook the other day.

I'm one of those "people who want to complain about the CBC cancelling Intelligence" - hey, Chris Haddock did some damn fine TV with that show, and it ended too bloody soon! - but as a supporter of CBC's existence, I have to acknowledge that Denis gets the point and shared it with the world at large because he recognized the need to share it.

CBC's getting it right here more often than not.

I just wish my earlier favourite shows hadn't gotten the axe to make room for these. There should've been room in the budget for everything I liked and this stuff too.

The CBC's worth the money we shell out for it as Canadians. And it's worth more than we're being trained to be willing to shell out for it, too.

Not apologizing for saying it, nor for believing it too.

Thanks, Denis. We needed the reminder.
dewline: (Default)
If memory serves, this will be his second visit to town for WritersFest:

http://www.jmdematteis.com/2011/04/blame-canada.html
dewline: (Default)
So...fiddling with Manga Studio at the moment, and trying for a one-off sketch of the Tenth Doctor. And my mind's not really "on" that right now. Seems as if the week was trying for a bookend-type meditation on mortality, between first and then James Travers.

I met Mr. Travers all of one time, by way of a CBC-hosted "town hall" session that sprang up after Russell Mills was dropped from the Ottawa Citizen. If memory serves, the topic that day was concentration of media service ownership. That's a problem that has long bedevilled Canadian society, and looks to keep on going in that way for the next few decades. I thanked him for showing up, and that was pretty much it.

The guy had some serious "on the ball" brains and I would find myself in agreement with his positions on more topics than not. And even where I disagreed, I had to admit that he had his logic researched and well-marshalled to the best extent any newspaper columnist could.

I'm going to miss reading his work.
dewline: (Default)
Someone whose work I'd read regularly back in the late 1980's and early 1990's was Peter B. Gillis. Some of you may remember Strikeforce: Morituri. That was one of his when it started out, published through Marvel once upon a time.

He's still alive, it seems, and a while back, I stumbled across one of his short stories on his weblog.

It seemed to fit the Season, in a Twilight Zone way, and I still like it now.

So...for your reading pleasure now:

A Visit from Old Nick

Enjoy or don't, as the moment requires.
dewline: (Default)
A long time ago in the pages of The Question, as written by Dennis O'Neil and illustrated by Denys Cowan and others, it was said that Hub City, the titular character's home town, was modelled somewhat loosely upon East St. Louis, Illinois.

After seeing this item on the neighbouring town of Cairo, I wonder if that town was the only inspiration that Mr. O'Neil had in mind.

Or was Cairo in better shape back in the late 1980's?

Might it still be so, and this page isn't telling the whole story?

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