Monday, May 28, 2012

Why Ryan Gosling should play Finnick

Dear Ryan Gosling,

So I know you're busy policing the sidewalks of my new city to defend my rights as a pedestrian, and I really appreciate it. But I watched The Ides of March for you. Furthermore, other women watched Crazy Stupid Love, and you owe them an apology for wasting their time like that.

Sure you've been breaking up fights and saving us from getting run over by taxis in an attempt to prove you are better than the films you make to pay for hot water heaters for orphanages.

But there is a greater cause, Ryan. Have you heard of a little something called The Hunger Games? I'm not going to lie, the trilogy mostly underwhelmed me—except for Mockingjay, which left me a quivering mass of PTSD and incapable of feeling love for about a week. That totally just got your attention, didn't it?

Stick with me here. The best part of the trilogy was Finnick Odair, whom we meet in Catching Fire. Finnick is one of those characters who has more to him that what we see on the surface. He requires an actor who can emote—who can express that deep-rooted trauma in a simple glance. And y'know, kick someone's head in if required in the Arena.

I have watched Drive, Ryan. I know you are very capable of emoting entire life stories in a single glance—and acting like you're kicking a dude's head in.

You might think this is just a cheap ploy to get you into that fishing net and Speedo outfit Finnick wears, but I assure you that is part of the complexity of his character. He was forced into male prostitution, and—SPOILER—he dies terribly, which I suspect is something you look for in a part.

Did I mention how Finnick is completely devoted to his love, Annie? Devoted like your meme, Ryan. It's an obvious casting choice. So call your agent or Suzanne Collins—I bet she would totally take a call from you—and tell them that you want the part.

The movie's going to be huge, Ryan. Think of how happy you'll make readers of Catching Fire around the world. (And of all the hot water heaters you can get for orphanages.)


PS I was in Parkdale and some dude was totally doing stunts on his bike on the sidewalk. He didn't even have a helmet on. You should come and talk to him about cyclist safety.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Writing again or at least making the effort. April was a rough month, left a bad taste in my mouth, and its echoes reached into May. It's the not-writing, I know, that causes most of the ennui or angst or general spite and envy of those unconsumed by ennui. Revising for two months straight (different projects) and the waiting and no no no not us we weren't right for this were also big factors.

But I breathe deep and again say thank you to every editor who offered feedback or a response, because it's all worth seeing and considering and sorting through to decide what is of value and what is simply a difference of opinion.

Today is a day for being grateful for what I have and again, again, always again, seeking the patience to wait for what will be mine.

I'd tell you what I'm writing, but the moment I do it runs off and doesn't want to play anymore. My drafts are terribly shy things. So I'll tell you what I'm not writing. I am not writing a story of a seismologist who falls in love with a humanoid Midgard serpent—although that's just awful enough to be awesome, and if I keep joking about it then I might end up writing it. The problem being that I know far less about Norse mythology than I thought I did. I may only really know just enough to point out No, Marvel, You're Doing it Wrong.

Marvel, seriously, can we talk for a moment? The movie you need to make is junior science bro Peter Parker joining science bros Tony Stark and Bruce Banner to form the trio of adventuring science bros. There can be explosions and aliens and heroes... but also, they could just eat various ethnic foods while digging through people's sheds to look for abandoned Asgard/Hydra/Stark technology. They'd call Loki to confer over whether or not what they'd found was a significant threat to the Earth. You can package it like it's American Pickers with Marvel Science.

I am also not writing a near-future dystopian tale where people scavenge the ruins of publishing houses in Toronto for ARCs, as ARCs are the only currency that society can function on. Isn't that fantastic? The notion of books that maybe never saw actual production because of a terrible apocalyptic event (which then caused the destruction of all industry and not just publishing) being the only thing of real value. Most of these scavengers can't even read, but the faint remembrance of literacy is still imbued with importance. They know these funny square objects with the lines and lines of symbols mean something because the people holed up in the former U of T buildings will exchange the ARCs for various items like food, clothing, and supplies.

Oh, one of the scavengers who can read longs to be a seismologist. She falls in love with a humanoid Midgard serpent ruling Toronto because the gods took over post-rapture. He speaks exclusively in the Ryan Gosling meme and judges a costume contest at a fancy dress ball that determines all the political decisions made in the city while bemoaning that his dad, Loki, really is kind of a jerk for causing this whole Ragnarok thing because Middy had been quite content to squeeze his coils around the earth and stuff.

Also, there are terrifying raccoon people who stalk the streets and bite not-raccoon people's faces off or do other things that are generally made of spite and malice.

Wow, that's more plot than I have for the thing I am writing.

PS Science Bros, Marvel. Consider it. It's the movie I want instead of Thor 2.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Your question, mortal, ANSWERED.


I bet you thought I was dead.

I am not.

I was banished.

Well, grounded. Which is like being banished. Except your parents or parental figures do it. If your parental figures happen to be royalty then it's basically the same thing as being banished. So I was banished.

I bet you also did not know if you ask a question in three separate comments from two different names but using the same IP address in between 3:15 and 3:25 pm EDT on this blog on Thursdays and if you put French in your second comment for no apparent reason, you will get something better than answer.

What you will get is a personal response from an Old One. If it's convenient and I'm not busy doing other important Eldritch things.

And you won't get my expressed gratitude. That's asking for too much. Especially when I see you have not brought me Skittles.

Behold... the invocation of the muse (that's me) to validate my presence here.

Thursday, May 17 @ 3:15 pm
Anonymous wrote on I wish Totoro was my neighbour -- Debs and Errol:
Hiiii, ummm random question.... i saw ur article nd i was wondering..... so will there be a 2012 Teen Book Awards??

Thursday, May 17 @ 3:22 pm
Unknown wrote on I wish Totoro was my neighbour -- Debs and Errol:
Hi! I was just wondering - I recently read your article: And I'm being to know, will there be Teen Book Awards this yearr!?!?! Merci, for taking thev time to read and reply (that is if you do)

Thursday, May 17 @ 3:24 pm
Unknown wrote on I wish Totoro was my neighbour -- Debs and Errol:
Hi, I saw your article: And i was just wondering are they having a Teen Book Award this year!? thnks for answering


Salutations, Anonymous Unknown.

Thought my name was awful. Yours? Dire.

I go by Ethan sometimes. Do people ever call you Anony? I'm going to start right now, and then you can say people do. I'm not people, but you shouldn't say that an Old One who lives on the other side of your mirror calls you Anony. Won't go over well.

I feel a kinship with you beyond our mutually awful names, Anony. A kinship in how our random is not really random. A question about BOOKS on a post about TOTORO. I see what you did there. Books are made of paper. Paper comes from trees. Totoro is a tree spirit.

That's so not-random but made to look like it's random. And then you call it random so that people will think it is when it's an obvious logical subject linkage that makes absolute sense to anyone who isn't human.

Most of the readers of this blog are human. Half of us who check the comments are human, but she does enough impossible things to make her being human forgivable. You had a good chance of appearing to be successfully random.

Where you failed, dear Anony, is thanking me for answering. It betrays you know that I'll answer, which reveals that you're not random at all. You're a TIME TRAVELER. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that. Watson could've figured it out. Because he also has a blog and I bet it has analytical bloggy things that tell him stuff. He must, Anony, because I do. And I'm not a well known blogging detective.

Pause. Because you're a time traveler who already knows the answer to the question you've asked, you are obligated to answer me a far more important one: Is HP Lovecraft forming his own Rockband with Nikola Tesla to rival mine? I almost hear it's so in the possibilities, but it's hard to get a consistent read on anything related to Tesla because he's shrouded in echoes of being bat shit insane.

My Rockband is important. I've worked really hard training the marmots, Anony. You know that, as you know all things, because you are a time traveler. It's the only explanation for your knowing how to invoke my personal reply before I had publicly revealed the invocation.

Why are we playing this game, Anony? Are you my Moriarty? Because I already declared that to be James Frey. WAIT. ARE YOU JAMES FREY?

If you are James Frey: Dude. This is not the way to do things. Show some decorum. Respect the craft. Come to Parkdale and have a Clarinet-off like a true literary hipster. We still love you, James. We know the Phantom Five thing was just surrealist performance art.

If you are not James Frey, I trust you will disregard that message meant only for him.

Right. The answer. You did invoke me, Anony, and I am obligated by the made up laws of this made up invocation to give you an answer. Here it comes, random but not random time traveling kindred spirit who might be James Frey. I'll even put it in our mutual language of RyanGoslingMeme:

Hey Girl, if there were awards for people being books, I'd totally award you one for the Best 3 Random Comments Asking the Same Question Within 10 Minutes on a Thursday Afternoon. Rhinoceros.

Happy? Great. I have to finish teaching the marmots the chords to that song about Totoro.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I wish Totoro was my neighbour-- Debs and Errol

This is a good good thing and more people should know about it.

Debs and Errol are a comedy music duo of awesomeness here in Toronto. I've been to two of their performances and have left both feeling immensely better about the world in general.

You should get their album because it'll make you happy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Strolling Bloor on Friday night, late, but the streets still full of people trying to hold on to the first good day of sunshine the way bricks hold on to heat.

Outside an Italian restaurant, a group of eight dudes sit in the entry or stand. One has a guitar and sings along as he plays a Keane song. When he reaches the chorus, everyone around him joins in: And if you have a moment why don't we go, talk about it somewhere only we know?

We always sing loudest the parts we're certain of, as if it compensates for not knowing all of the verses. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn't matter if it does. We take the music where we can find it, the moments that make you stop and be—pulled right out of your head into the present where impromptu live sidewalk karaoke happens as if it ain't no thing. Because the people singing are happy, all lost in the song and the moment, and they don't care that the song itself isn't necessarily happy.

I had just fought for what felt like hours to eke out words that I probably won't keep on a book that I may not finish. And I wondered about this need to stick to something, to just finish what I started, and how it serves me if what I started is no longer what I want to finish. I thought about happiness being like a candle flame, my hands cupped around it for warmth and to keep the constant wind from blowing it out.

Those dudes on Bloor weren't working at being happy. They weren't struggling to keep it. They just were happy—you could hear it in their harmonies.

And I thought: City, I love you right now. Thank you for this.