Got a Light, Love?



In June 1982, just after my nineteenth birthday, The Clash played Max Bell Arena in Calgary, along with Vancouver rockabilly wizard Herald Nix. It was a fantastic show, and afterwards a friend who worked for Brimstone Productions got myself and my pals backstage passes. So we got to hang out with The Clash for a while after the show. They were really nice guys, shared their fruit trays and Perrier water with us.

Needless to say that, while it was exciting, I was completely nervous and rattled. The Clash! Huge heroes! And Joe Stummer kept asking me something, but with his London accent, I had no idea what he was saying. Finally, he slowed down and I was able to make his request out: “Got a light, love?” Feeling like an idiot, I whipped out my Bic. Sheesh.

Above is a scan of the only paper I had with me at the time, an empty cigarette pack which I got the band to sign. It a was pretty cool evening. And now here I am, the same age Joe Strummer was when he died on December 22, 2002. A sobering thought, indeed. And I am one fan who will never forget him.

“Ask Your Mom”

My story “Ask Your Mom” is now up at The Danforth Review. A word to the sensitive: although the p-o-v character here is a five year-old, there are a couple of potentially offensive words in this story. Thanks again to Michael Bryson for running the story, and I hope you enjoy it.

Antigonish Review; Tumbling through June

Here we are, June 4th, and I still think it’s about March. March 1995. Well, no, that’s not really true, but let’s just say things are blurring along. I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through the year.

I was most pleased to get an acceptance last week from The Antigonish Review. Yay! No details on when my story will appear yet; I’ll post when I find out. This will be my second appearance in TAR’s pages. My first was my story “Blue Lake”, which they ran in 2009. Very happy to have work in TAR again.

My residency with AWCS is now also halfway over. Short-Short Bootcamp was a success (drop and give me 500 words!). Now we have more consults and judging in the All in the Words story contest. If you entered, I’d say this would be a good time to bribe the judges. Wine and chocolate are always welcome. And then we have my closing reading at dear old Owl’s Nest Books on June 27th, at which the finalists are also invited to read. That should be a lot of fun.

And then, after that, I am taking a break!

Writing in the Works April 11; Chapbook excerpt

Writing in the Works is now less than three weeks away! That’s at 7 PM, Thursday, April 11, at Memorial Park Library, 1221 – 2 St. SW. Readings from new work by Inge Trueman, Steve Passey, myself, Ken Cameron and Roberta Rees – and refreshments, and book sales. We always have a great time!

One of the many hats worn by my friend and colleague Anne Sorbie is that of chapbook publisher, and she has put excerpts of some of her chapbooks up on her site. If you click on the Johnson House Literary Salon Series, Folio One (the first one on the page), my story “Impatient to Be Free” appears after Rosemary Griebel’s poem “Places to Look for a Mother”. Thanks, Anne! Great website.

I see there’s no longer snow in the forecast! This is improving my mood a lot. It might as well be spring, indeed.