Books I’ve Published – 2013

I already have these books listed on My Book Shelf page, but most of you folks don’t visit that (the numbers don’t lie), so I figured I’d do something I rarely do these days, and actually post a link farm. I apologize for those hoping for a new, proper post from me, but I’m a little out of sorts and not feeling too chatty. Included with these links are the brief summaries I wrote for these books a week or two ago:

A series of short stories and novellas about spies, sultans, genies, detectives, bad angels, a man’s best friend, the God of Squirrels, Christmas dinner for two, thieves, sorceresses, lost children, working while you sleep, writer’s block, soul-eating vampires, and a giant squid.

TERMINAL MONDAY: a Dream of New York City
A man meets an old girlfriend who convinces him to return to novel writing, but not before his wife leaves him, he gets his old band back together, and suffers a nervous breakdown.

TERMINAL MONDAY: Under Observation
A man has a mental breakdown and wakes up to find himself under observation in a New York City hospital.

ASHES: Infinite Redress
A scientist becomes infected by a space-borne virus that contains the soul of an alien missionary who bonds with her and draws her into solving the mystery of how the aliens all died.

A knight falls in love with a young woman designated to be sacrificed to a mystical dragon, and undertakes a quest to learn how to defeat the dragon and break the centuries-old pact.

LINKTALES volume one
(excerpts from The Dark Guild) A series of mysterious events lead to the old city of Londonis being invaded by soul-eating vampires.

You know what I’m asking you to do. Please. Thank you.


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You Never Give Me Your Money… You Only Give Me Your Funny Paper


I write fiction. You can find it in the following places:

I do Graphic Design, cartooning and painting. You can see a gallery of some of my work here:

I also also make music. You can hear it here:

and you can buy some of it here:

I can be followed on many social networks. I don’t have a Foursquare account or an Instagram account, but I subscribe to just about everything else. I don’t IM much anymore, so don’t ask.

I post these things for you because I am told people don’t like using mouse buttons. This is alien to me, but I don’t want to alienate any of you aliens, so voilá. Don’t say I never did anything for you. And don’t say I don’t do anything for you now. I already know that.


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Only Your Right Hand Knows You’re Left Handed ~or~ Positivity As Life Hacking Tool

There is only one indisputable, immutable fact: We look out on an unfeeling world, but this world we sense around us is merely part of our frame of reference. Reality may be difficult to comprehend, even with science or religion to explain it all to you, but life as we know it is simply a collaboration of everyone’s concurring or competing frames of reference. We may not be able to bend spoons with our minds (unless there really IS no spoon), but we DO make of the world what we will.

I know, hippy drippery, right? Let me explain.

What this idea means in practical terms is, we see the world a certain way, and react to it in the fashion that seems most appropriate to us, and in so doing, we influence those around us because of our seemingly irrational behaviour in the face of the evidence they see all around them that the situation is not as we (or perhaps even they) perceive it to be.

This behaviour in turn ripples out to everyone in your vicinity, and affects how people react to your expressed needs and wants, and how they will or will not choose to help you achieve them. We are so self-centered, we imagine that all that comes our way is either a product of our sole efforts, or is the product of some conspiracy to deny us what is rightfully ours. In truth, it’s both and neither.

If someone finds someone else difficult to be around, from mild uneasiness to intense dislike, they will be less inclined to help them achieve their goals. This is common sense.

If YOU find someone unpleasant to be around, you will try to remove yourself from their vicinity at the earliest convenience, no matter how badly they need you to be there… unless you are already committed to and invested in their well-being, based on past interactions that were more fruitful. You might not be willing to do it for just anyway, but for a dear friend or loved one, you might walk through fire.

But the point is, most people are strangers to us, and so our default reaction is to gauge their behaviour and decide if they are ‘safe’ to be around, and to help, if needed.

Getting back to the self-centered thing, we mistake our successes as being self-made, when in fact, dozens and even thousands of friends and strangers contributed to each success story. Think about that, and then ask if your behaviour or attitude can in any way affect that exchange, or if everyone is brokering their success on an even, unbiased playing field.

Think of how you feel doing a favour for a pretty person of the appropriate persuasion, as opposed to doing the same onerous task for someone you find physically repellent.

The same principle applies to people with positive or negative attitudes. And much like physical attractiveness, mental attractiveness can also be largely out of our control. We don’t precisely choose to be prickly or bossy or dismissive. We react from the point of view of one who feels they are being ill treated or ill served by circumstances. We all do it, to one degree or another. We feel injustice strongly, and it colours our perceptions and our reactions. But if we know this about ourselves, we can rewrite the script we are reacting to, in order to create better results. Some of us refer to this as ‘putting on our game face’, or just ‘thinking happy thoughts’ and getting better results than we expected. It’s NOT easy, thank you very much, but it DOES work.

We get out of life what we put into it, but more importantly, we receive from life what we are prepared to accept, based on our perceptions of the situations we find ourselves in. It’s a gross exaggeration to suggest that it’s like being in an action or horror film, but it’s fairly apt. When the scary music starts, you don’t want to be in the film any more, unless you happen to be holding the right weapon.

In real life, you can’t hear the theme music, but you react accordingly, just the same. Project fear or distaste for the situation, and any good that could come from the situation will pass you by.

By the same token, if you choose not to regard the situation soberly and clear-headed, you may miss the details that tell you there IS more to it than just what you want from the situation. There may be injustice at work, or tragedy, or a myriad other grey-tinged complications that make it a less than ideal situation for most or all of the people involved. There may actually be something that needs fixing, and it may be your unique insight into the situation that makes the difference and enables you and others to correct it.

So it’s not all about being stupidly cheerful in the face of sadness and dismay. But it IS about your outlook, and trying to finding the good in every situation, no matter how difficult or unlikely it seems.

One last thought: you are never truly alone. Lonely, yes, but never truly alone. There IS someone else out there going through something similar to you, or going through dissimilar situations that nevertheless make them highly sympathetic to, or compatible with you.

The notion that you are alone and suffering because of an unjust, unfeeling, uncaring world, or because you are the victim of capricious deities is not necessarily right or wrong. But it’s not the whole truth, either. You have to choose to see and accept the people around you, before you can truly transcend your situation and reap the benefits of uncommon friendship, and through it, uncommon wealth, measured in the only currency that truly matters: love.

And that’s your sermon for today. Thank you for reading. Comments invited.


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The Porcelain Mannequin With Shattered Skin Fears Attack

I’ve been really quiet lately. It’s been hard to think of anything to say that wasn’t or isn’t expressly some form of promotion. It isn’t all I’ve been thinking or feeling. Far from it. I just haven’t felt like it was safe to speak. Not paranoia. Not that things have actually gotten oppressive, either. just the feeling of oppression, however misguided it may be. Friends, colleagues, loved ones, all of these people who all need em to be more stoic, more resilient, strong and silent. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve needed an outlet for some time, but it just hasn’t been as readily available, lately. My usual modes of expression require time and opportunity. I’ve been so busy with the washing of the dishes, I’ve barely had time to really work out what I’ve been thinking or feeling about much of anything.

What I do know is that I’m unhappy. Not miserable, I guess. Just a low level, constant feeling of unhappiness. I smile, I laugh in the moment, but the happiness isn’t there.

This isn’t a condemnation of anyone or anything. There are a lot of tiny factors and misconceptions (I want to say misperceptions, but the spellchecker assures me there is no such word. Fascist!) at work in my life right now. It’s the ways people think I should be versus the ways I think I should be versus the ways I actually am.

So, what makes me unhappy? Friends telling me not to complain, even if indirectly. Sometimes because it’s indirect, even if I seek to spare feelings by keeping it nameless. Planning things that no one else involved has any faith in, or appetite for. Helping implement other peoples plans, even if I don’t fully comprehend them. Sharing ideas and having them shot down summarily. Starting projects only to be told in no uncertain terms that I can’t do that. Trying to do things I know I can do, only to be told I’m doing them wrong. Doing things the best I can, only to be told that it’s not good enough. Offering to do things and not being told whether my offer is wanted. Being left behind by friends who don’t seem to realize how dearly I need them to stay. Realizing I haven’t been there enough for my friends, and thus having no just cause to complain about them leaving. Trying to uphold certain commitments without the time or energy to do them properly.

I know it’s a laundry list of seemingly irrelevant complaints. When you’re in your mid forties with no sense of forward motion, you get to counting and compiling complaints. My feet ache and pop and grind all of the time. My back aches and stiffens frequently. My head, neck and shoulders are in a constant state of tension. My left hand still isn’t completely healed, aches and feels weak and lets me down a lot when I’m counting on it.

Anyway, I have minutes to type for a meeting I barely remember anymore, from notes I can barely decipher. I have Genesis concerts to keep me company. I have half baked plans to keep me thinking, if nothing else. I have so many things to do, I can’t count them without writing them down. I should do that soon.

Sorry for whining. Please take a complimentary mint as you leave.


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InDifferentSpaces – Art Exhibition – The Final Week

InDIfferentSpaces Final Week Post

I spend a bit of time discussing each of my pieces and why they may not be shown much again after this event is over.


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Goodbye To Once Upon A TIme

I don’t like silos. You know what I mean; those information silos where everyone inside the bubble practically speaks a different language from everyone outside the bubble, and no one inside seems to know what is going on in the world anymore. I think that kind of internet-derived ignorance is a contrivance of Big Media and Corporate interests, even more than governments, and it’s a bad day when you can’t find the information you need on the world wide web, because it’s being withheld from your regular group of friends and associates.

I’m not a celebrity. Not even close. I’m fine with that, although I do still keep pushing the creative career rock up the hill. So really, it’s not beholden of me to respect everyone’s differences and allow them to continue following along in their own way. But I try nevertheless to maintain a Swiss neutrality, whether my friends and neighbours respect it or not.

That said, being confronted by a shitheap of incredibly stupid assertions made by someone I used to know and respect makes it a little hard to justify keeping the door open to some old friends. It never feels good saying goodbye, so I only extend the courtesy to those who remain close in my heart. If you ever find yourself on the outside without an explanation, take it as read that you fucked up royally.

I recently dropped a friend who used to be a close buddy of mine, a long time ago. I can think of a few others that may meet with the same fate in days to come. They might not give a shit. That’s probably for the best. I just can’t keep exposing the majority of my friends to hateful influences. No one wants to swim in poisoned waters. Not even me.

So, I apologize to those friends who took exception to my refusal to banish certain old friends to the outskirts where they belong. I won’t make you tolerate their ravings so I can continue to be the ethical guy. It’s bullshit.


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InDifferentSpaces – Art Exhibition – the Press Release

In different spaces, we see our world through different eyes.
Indifference paces past when we insist on standing still.
In different eyes, we see space through different worlds.
Indifferent eyes see spaces through our world,
but fail to see the worlds around us.

These artists work in different mediums, in different styles, with different sensibilities. What they share (besides a home) is a love of escapism,
and of finding personal meaning through that escape. Both create very personal, and yet broad and expansive works, each artist seeking to communicate universal themes using shape, texture, and a vivid rainbow of colour.

InDifferentSpaces Exhibition

The InDifferentSpaces exhibition is a group showing of The Chimaera Group, an emerging arts collective consisting of Dawn M. ‘DSKI’ McIlmoyle, her husband, Lee Edward McIlmoyle, and their friend and partner, Dawn McKechnie, as well as other emerging associate artists. More shows, featuring collaborations and solo works from all three artists (and their associates) will be featured in the near future, at other venues. This is just the first salvo.

The exhibition runs from October 1st to 31st on the fourth floor of the Hamilton Public Library (Central Branch). Please feel free to leave comments or critiques. And if you catch one of us in the library in October, ask us for a guided tour of the works, and perhaps even a discount on some of the pieces for sale.

Many Thanks to Paul Lisson of the Hamilton Public Library for aiding and co-curating this exhibition, and also to Suzanne Brown of the City of Hamilton, and to David Brace of B Contemporary Gallery and Framing, for their timely and considerable contributions to this show. Also, a nod of thanks to José Loney, and to Tracee Lee Holloway for their inestimable networking skills.


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I Don’t Know How I’m Meant To Act With All of You Lot (Sometimes I Don’t Try; I Just nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah)

Okay, so I haven’t been posting much lately, and you folks have accordingly and appropriately been staying away. I’ve published something on the order of almost 1500 posts. It’s been a long four years or so since I started this site. I’ve asked cajoled, begged, pleaded, in in a moment of weakness, I even stooped to blow jobs for everybody (sorry, if you missed that, I’m not doing that any more; I didn’t get any calls from you bastards the morning after).

So here I am now, wondering what you need to read to revive your love for me. I suspect there is nothing i can say that would excite you that much. And to be honest, I’m tired. Four years, pets. It’s a long time to keep up a blog, whether you’re doing cool stuff or not.

As it so happens, I AM doing some pretty cool stuff. It’s all been kinda hush hush up until recently, but PeeBee (Participatory Budgeting) HamOnt is going to host a Town Hall meeting for Ward 2 residents (in Hamilton, Ontario), in November. I have the details, but they’re not in front of me, so you’ll have to wait. I wanted to have some art done by now, but I’ve been swamped.

Also, starting next Thursday, my wife and I are going to be hanging an original Art Exhibit, called InDifferentSpaces, in the Central branch of the Hamilton Public Library (fourth floor) for the month of October. I hope anyone reading this who is going to be in Hamilton in October can make it over and sign the guest book I’m going to have to look into buying. There may also be an informal gathering in the Farmers Market on Thursday around noon, but I haven’t had the time or energy to make it stick yet. I’m hoping today will be my day.

Anyway, here’s the basic poster image I created months ago:

Guitar lesson for Drake at 4PM. Time to go over his list of chosen songs to learn (his homework) and review his progress on some of those songs, which I am pretty sure he doesn’t practice much at home.

Here’s something I made of the tune I used to teach him about moving chords in his first year:
Drake’s Progress (Deluxe 2015 Remix)

I’m slowly picking away at CUSTOMS and ROAD SONGS of LIMBO. It’s not coming as fast as I’d like, but I may have some time to myself to finish it soon. We’ll see. Still hoping for a Christmas release date, but my hope is fading as each day passes.

I’m thinking about LINK the board game, but I haven’t had ANY time to work on the design in the last few months. What I need is enough money to prevent me from having to run all of these last minute errands, because I could arrange for transportation to get stuff done faster. Currently I bus or travel by foot. My bike needs a new back tire tube. And frankly, I hate cabs, but I would pay to speed up my travel time for a few months while I’m working on all of this stuff. I need money to get a design studio at The Cotton Factory, so I can focus on working on the game there.

And that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. Still got so many irons in the fire, I’m afraid to approach the furnace, but there’s still a lot of cool stuff in there that needs working on.

Any requests?


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Just Then You Smile For No Special Reason, Looks Like Your Smile’s Come Back Into Season

It’s a rough morning so far. Nothing bad is happening, but nothing good is coming to me, and I’m a little manic, so need something to focus on. So I’m playing The Beat and trying to get enough energy going that something comes to me out of desperation. Might be art, might be writing, might be comics, I don’t know. Lots, and I mean LOTS of work to do on various projects, but I have to wait for feedback on most of them. I need meetings, even though I really don’t want meetings. I have three of them scheduled for later today. I’m hoping to do creative stuff until then.

Have I mentioned that I’m kind of stuck in 1980? Not totally stuck, but my head keeps going back there like iron filings to a magnet.

Dawn and I have hatched an artsy project for this coming weekend’s Gallery Alley art market, if we can. It’s ultra super sekrit though, so no sharing it with you yet, I’m afraid.

Today is the seventh anniversary of Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard wright’s passing. I’m still in the ‘No Floyd without Rick’ camp. That said, I really liked the recent album. I wish he could have been around to hear it. I also wish my buddy Simon could have lived to hear it. Don’t know if it would have touched him the way it did me, but it would be nice to see Simon again.

Playing The Division Bell now. Still a high point album for me.

Still got about twenty-odd stories to complete for Customs and Road Songs of Limbo (look it up). If you want an idea of what style the book will be in, it’ll be short stories and novelettes and novellas collected into one bumper volume.

Almost time to get Dawn up. Maybe my inspiration will come to me after she’s been up for a bit. Dawn’s not exactly my muse, but she does have a way of getting me started.

So much to do. What next?


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Good Ol’ Bed… It Never Let’s Me Down

Sorry, no song lyric title this morning.

So today is the day. It’s 9/11. We remember the loss of thousands in NYC 14 years ago. We remember, both because it was unbelievable and horrifying, and because it changed our world for the worse.

Today is also the first day of the now-weekend-long Supercrawl 2015.

My wife, as well as one of my oldest, dearest school mates, and myself, along with several other local artists and craftsmen we call friends, will be showing and selling art pieces at The Spice Factory (121 Hughson Street, near Cannon Street), the nice purple and orange building. Please come see us.

I’ve been listening to and thinking about he old Surreyal demos I did with Kristine Fleckenstein back in 2012 and 2013.

Tomorrow is another big PB Volunteer Committee meeting. We’re expecting guests. Should be lively. I’m not even remotely in the right frame of mind yet.

Last night was a big SCA meeting, which was my first meeting attending as interim co-chair. I was barely able to be useful. I don’t know for sure if I really want to stay long enough to get good, either. Got so much other stuff to do. No time. Just want to hide out and get work done.

So instead, I join two other volunteer community publication teams, which brings the grand total of three, or four if you count the PB comic I’m developing.

Oh yeah, and I’m back to writing Customs and Road Songs of Limbo. Still got a long way to go, and I’m already past 60K. *shrug*

I’m trying to watch 2002’s The Minority Report. I remembered really enjoying it back in the day. Instead it’s stressing me out.

I’m yawning. Think I’ll go lay down for a bit.



Posted in Art For Sale, Books of Limbo, Participatory Budgeting Ward 2, Politics, Sequential Arts, Stinson Community Association, StinZine, Surreyal, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ticking Away The Moments That Make Up A Dull Day

I haven’t been posting much, lately. Stuff is happening. Even pretty cool stuff. But personally, I haven’t felt particularly sparkly, so I haven’t known what to write. As I’m fond of saying in meatspace, ‘That’s not an excuse. It’s merely an explanation.”

I think it comes from the fact that I haven’t been writing much fiction in the last month or so. It’s been a while since I made any serious progress on Customs and Road Songs of Limbo. Late June, actually. I know, because that was roughly the date I started writing ‘Simple Simon’ AND ‘The Field Trip’, both of which are still sitting open, after days of waiting for me to return to them, and after months of sitting in my virtual top drawer waiting for me to take them back out.

I finally mounted two sets of assemblage art that I created back in June or July. I finally varnished the big piece for the October show. It just needs one more stage and it’s done.
They look like this:
Continuum (2015) sml Oblique Strategies (2015) sml Chaos & Order - Emergent (stage 9o5)

I haven’t worked on the Link game in months and months. It’s bothering me that I’ve let that fall by the wayside, because board games are pretty hot right now (still), and this is probably the coolest Link game concept I’ve come up with in years. I hope to get back to it, but I’m not saying when, in case I don’t.

I’ve been serving as interim co-chair for the Stinson Community Association for the past few months. Light duty so far. Probably won’t go in for a full term. There’s a lot of work to do, but I’m hoping someone else will step up. Dawn is mostly burned out on the community activism lark, and I think we need time to work on our own things.

I also organized and ran Songs From The Bishop in Adam Bentley’s stead for this summer. I’m hoping he’ll take it over again for next summer.

I’ve got the latest StinZine finished, but I haven’t sent it to the printers yet. I’ve had my answer for a few days (who signs the cheques), but I just haven’t been able to get into the game.

No new music yet.

No scotch in the whole apartment. This is not a good time for not having scotch.

I’ve also started doing the layout for a new community publication (called ‘The Anvil’) for the north end neighbourhoods (Jamesville/Beasley/North End) of Ward 2. I hope it expands to other areas of the ward, and then the city, but we’ll see. I’m not running it, so it has a chance of succeeding.

I’ve been involved in a volunteer committee to retool and revive PBW2 for 2016. It’s been a pretty good exercise so far, but the committee is starting to lose cohesion. I’m hoping it’s just an end-of-summer thing, and that most of the regulars will return in the next week or two. There’s still a lot of work left to do. I’m even drawing a comic book for it.

THIS COMING FRIDAY NIGHT (Sept 11th), my wife (Dawn McIlmoyle), my dearest school chum (Dawn McKechnie), and myself are going to be occupying space at the ART CRAWL MARKET, taking place at the Spice Factory on Hughson Street near Cannon Street, on the first night of SUPERCRAWL. We’ll be showing and selling art and hopefully having a good time. I should really start gearing up for that this week, when I’m not dealing with the StinZine. If I can, perhaps I’ll have some of the few remaining copies of StinZine at the show with us. Perhaps. We’ll see.

And I think that’s all I have for you today. I’ll tr to have more for tomorrow. Thank you for reading.


Posted in Art, Art For Sale, Books of Limbo, Comics, Etcetera Thesis Music, Friends, Games, Graphic Design, Hamilton, LinkTales, Music, my wife, Participatory Budgeting Ward 2, Stinson Community Association, StinZine, The People's Republic of Limbo, Writing | Leave a comment

I Sit In My Old Car… Same One I’ve Had For Years

Sitting in the dark of an early September morning, resisting the urgent pleas of our cat Stevie, who needs attention. I need to get ready to go clean my sister’s floors, to make sure her apartment is spic and span for her return. So what do I do to start my day instead? I listen to classic music by The Police and try to get my head into the right space for some writing. Didn’t work. I’m out of practice again. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.

Customs and Road Songs of Limbo
The Anvil Community Publication (layout only)
StinZine #007:

Time to get dressed. Thanks for reading.


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Need More Spoons

That reference can be taken a few ways. I DO need more spoons (as in, ‘I’m all out of spoons for dealing with mental anxiety and anguish’), and we could probably use some new silverware around here, to replace the mismatched stuff we’ve been scraping by with in the last ten years (10th anniversary in September, folks). But today, I’m all about catching the live performance of one of my all-time favourite rock bands, Spoons. They were probably at their popular zenith in the mid 80s, and I have been a fan through virtually every album and incarnation. I truly wish I’d been of concert-going age when they were touring in ’82 and ’84, but such is life. One of my desert island albums is Arias & Symphonies, perhaps the finest New Wave album ever recorded anywhere, let alone in Canada.

So, Spoons are set to play for a bit at Gore Park Promenade tonight at 7PM (as part of the Pan Am celebrations), I suspect. Curiously small venue, but you know what, I’ll take it. I missed seeing them at Gage Park a handful of years ago, and I promised myself that I would catch them live the next time they came through Hamilton. I think I also missed them at Hamilton Place a while ago, which vexed me immensely. So this is it, folks. One of these days, I’m going to be in a position to afford concert tickets again and will go catch them live (perhaps even with Rob Preuss and Derrick Ross guest performing, which would be a dream come true for me). Some day…

Anyway, I’m typing up the last of the meeting minutes I took a few days ago, and I’m hoping to get some painting or drawing done today. Maybe some recording instead. Haven’t decided yet. But I’m definitely going out to hear the band (and maybe even meet a couple of my musical heroes) tonight.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Oh, and if you still have no idea who Spoons are, I wrote an album review for their latest recording a few years ago, which you can read HERE. It has a bit of a capsule history of the band, but the best way to learn about them is to order Gord Deppe’s band bio, ‘Spoonfed’.

Thank you for reading.


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All This Machinery Making Modern Music Can Still Be Open-Hearted

So, what have I been up to lately? Mainly, painting, planning a couple of albums of new music, and trying to get my head into writing a few books I’m thinking I’d like to have done for the new year.

Here’s a painting I did a few days ago, and then dickered with a bit today in Photoshop, to create the panel effect I’m going for when I mount it:
Continuum 2015 a sml

Here’s a newish song I wrote with my guitar student, Drake:

And here’s a couple of screencaps of a few of the writing projects ahead of me:
VFMD 2015 07 15a VFMD 2015 07 15b

I have bills to pay, guitar and art students to ‘teach’, PB to help along (still!?), dishes to wash (when the cut on my finger is finished healing), and rent to drop off. Oh yeah, and the next issue of StinZine to plan, with whatever help shows up tonight.

I have other projects I want to work on right now, too, but I think pretending I only have a few makes it more likely I’ll actually work on one or two of them today.

Thank you for reading,


Posted in Art, Art For Sale, Books of Limbo, Canadian Music, LinkTales, Music, One a Day, Participatory Budgeting Ward 2, The People's Republic of Limbo, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Another ArtCrawl Gone (link)

I wrote an article about the perils of buying crap versus buying art at ArtCrawl and other art events. It has a few swear words in it, but it makes its point pretty nicely, I think.

I posted it on the CLEARart Studio Gallery blogsite:

Another ArtCrawl Gone

Please read and share with everyone. Thank you.


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Time Passes, Friends Come, Friends Go, Time Passes

This is the first anniversary of the passing of our beloved Lucky, the feral mini-panther who featured in Terminal Monday (see: Vlad the Impaler), amongst other bits of fiction here and there, mostly starring my proxy, Richard Burley.

Obviously, Dawn and I are in a wistful, memorializing mood. So it’s a bit counterintuitive that we are also going to be going to Art Crawl tonight to sell Dawn’s art at the Lister Block.

I’m listening to very old Gary Numan today. This isn’t about Lucky, but I was listening to my friends, the Royal Seas, last night, and of all the comparisons folks made about their music, I was struck by how much they reminded me of a combination of Joy Division and Gary Numan. More the former than the latter, and so it occurred to me that I’d probably quite like making some 80s music of my own that maybe tipped a hat to some of my own 80s influences, the way friends, Joe, Lee, Jonathan and Stefan have. It might even be cool to put together a band some day to perform some of it a few times. I could drag out some Etc/Thesis tracks that are also very 80s-influenced, like The Dream Falls and You’re Right and I Want Someone Close To Me, and stuff like that. We’ll see.

Back to Lucky and our other deceased cat, Charlie:
I started working on a story/script for a graphic novel ostensibly about two Private Eyes in the afterworld, but essentially a story about my lost cats:
I still haven’t gone very far with it, but I keep thinking about it. I may have to sit down and look at the pile of notes I started making earlier this year, to see if it’s still a mini series. I had thought it would be a trilogy, at most, but it ballooned a bit. Almost time to see if the story can be condensed safely or not. I’d like to at least have the pencils done by the end of the year, if nothing interrupts me.

Also thinking about LinkWorlds: The Board Game again:
LBG Box Cover-01
It’s been awhile since I made any progress on this, but it IS something I’m very interested in.

Time to get stuff done. Thank you for reading. Have a good day.


Posted in 1980, Art, Art For Sale, cats, Etcetera Thesis Music, Games, LinkTales, Music, my wife, The People's Republic of Limbo, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Booyah Trains and Underworld Agricorp Colonies

So I’m thinking once more about the YA trilogy I started last year (or was it the year before? I’ve been kinda busy), called The Passage to Bujah. The problem I got hung up on was that I was writing a story that had transsexuality built into it, and it got very complicated very, very quickly. I like it, and I want to get back to it, but it no longer makes sense as a straight YA story to me. I know YA is still doing fairly well, although it’s not quite as popular as it was in 2013, when every writer was tackling it.

I have this other story idea, which actually came from Dawn, who was talking about underground wheat farming in the arctic circle as a viable alternative to wheat farming on the surface, where pollution and destructive weather patterns are becoming prevalent. I started spinning that off into a few other ideas we had also talked about, and came to the conclusion that I had a major science fiction novel on my hands. I started calling it ‘Cold World’, because there were also supposed to be Chinese espionage agents and police states and stuff, just like back in the Cold War. Problem is, I really didn’t see anyone in the key roles. I had no real people coming to mind for the story, so it’s been sitting dormant, waiting for something to happen.

So there we sit, with two major world building sci-fi dystopian futures in the offing, one with characters and globe trotting and ecological disasters and cyber-nanotech and big damn trains and an entire society of transexuals with multiple genders to become, and on the other hand, I have corporate spies and multinational businesses behaving like police states, cyber-holographic technology and geothermal-powered cities and underground farmland, but no characters coming to mind. And then I started thinking, it’s a pretty big world, you know? What if they cohabitated? Surely we could work in Chinese spies and Corporate mercenaries in my loosely-planned world of super trains carrying the population of the world from one blasted city to the next to do repairs and such.

So yeah… the plan seems to be getting bigger. Might not be a trilogy. Might be something else. Not sure what. It’s part of the larger Link Worlds Continuum anyway. So maybe I start planning it as a YA thing and let the characters age into the rest of the worlds involved.

Just thinking out loud.


Posted in Booyah Train, LinkTales, my wife, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

We Stand On Guard For Thee

Short Version (for the Reading-Challenged):
We’ve enacted Bill C-24, and it’s something we should ALL be ashamed of. Instead, we have local ignoramuses gloating about it, on Canada Day. What the hell happened to my country?

Long Version:
“Where were you born” is, was, and should be a completely unacceptable form of inquiry in the country I was born and bred in.

When I was a boy, we made so much joyful noise about becoming a new country and being open and freedom-loving and accepting and caring about our immigrant citizens. Oh sure, there were rude grumblings from ignorant relatives and such, but the majority of us knew there was a point to opening our borders and letting diverse groups of people share their cultures and lives with ours, and all that comes with it. It was never a perfect peace, but by and large, we BELIEVED in our claims to being a multicultural society.

And yet here we are in the 21st Century, grousing about lost job security and bad trade agreements, both foisted upon us by successive inept, corrupt federal governments, and yet congratulating ourselves on their enacting a piece of draconian legislation that promises to strip away the rights and freedoms of all those people who have made the effort to conform to our increasingly difficult and unsavoury demands for conformity and administrative fees and all the rest of the long, expensive process to becoming a citizen of this country. This country, whose charter of rights and freedoms was written within many of our lifetimes, was meant to be a shining beacon of strength and tolerance. We’ve manufactured a poxy national symbol in our so-called Mother Canada, so we can erect a statue and claim greatness we can’t get anyone else to bestow upon us, the way the Statue of Liberty was bestowed upon our neighbours to the south.

Instead, we have people on Canada Day of all days, people who were born here and who should reasonably know better, tell my American wife to her face that she SHOULD be deported if she does something (anything) wrong. No due process, no inalienable rights as a Canadian citizen; just the government’s say so that she has stepped over the line, and automatic deportation back to the States. If she were from a dangerous country with dictators and death squads, that would be tantamount to a death sentence. As it stands, if she criticizes our government for stripping away her rights, she may very well be sent to the very country whose confused and self-defeating political landscape has informed so many of our recent ‘innovations’. Heck, I might yet become an American citizen through all of this. But not the way I want to do it.

You CANNOT build and maintain a just society with such measures. Perhaps it seems a minor point, but we disregard and marginalize a LOT of our minorities, ethnic and otherwise, in a country that still pays lip service to its stance as one of the greatest freedom-loving countries in the world. I have loved my country passionately, for those very characteristics I was brought up to believe in and to prize as our society’s central institutional pillars. Put simply, Canadians give a damn about one another, and the world at large. We are, or at least we were, proud of that.

Lately, I have been seriously reevaluating that stance. The Canada of my youth is being perverted beyond all recognition by a xenophobic, greedy, ignorant, self-important bureaucrat and his thoroughly corrupt administration, who demonstrate contempt for our safe vouched rights and freedoms, and who show every sign of being determined to ‘win’ another election through any means necessary, so they can further lock us into this nightmare trajectory toward becoming the first democratically-elected dictatorship of the 21st Century.

Again I ask you, what in the name of all that we hold sacred has happened to the country of my youth, and to which I mistakenly invited my love to take part in? How far away am I from looking at her through a galvanized fence line or plastic window? How long before they separate us and force us to live apart until I can gain citizenship elsewhere? And why in the world should it be me who is thinking of leaving, when the country I love, that I grew up in and feel such immense pride in, is what’s being ruined by petty, xenophobic ingrates who should never have been allowed to govern this country, let alone be granted a so-called majority government. The levers of power are in the hands deranged rich people, and yet we still blame and shame the homeless, the unemployed, and the immigrants for everything that is wrong in our society.

I’ve got another group to add to that list of worthy scapegoats: native born citizens… because it’s us who are allowing this great nation to be destroyed and transformed into the newest totalitarian state. We’ll be the envy of all those puppet dictatorships around the world who can only dream of making the sweeping, democratically-supported ‘reforms’ to our own charter of rights and freedoms, without having trade embargoes levelled against it.

We had better hope that we don’t become what we are fast on our way to becoming while the likes of Obama are in power south of the border, or we’ll be the first major democratic country to be invaded and conquered in the 21st Century. They won’t have a choice. There’s only one cure for a rabid animal in your backyard, folks.

Thank you for reading.


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Give It Time – an excerpt from RETURN TRIP

Rita-Mae Burle never takes shit from no one. That’s what Rita-Mae liked best about being Rita-Mae. That was also the biggest reason she became Rita-Mae to begin with.

Rita-Mae used to be a young man named Rich Burle, but she hadn’t really been very good at it. Rita-Mae remembered the first time she’d heard the phrase ‘woman trapped in a man’s body’. It had sounded so weird, she remembered laughing. It took years of soul searching to understand that she hadn’t really been laughing at the idea of being a woman trapped in a man’s body. Even as a young boy, she’s suspected something like that was responsible for her constant state of ill at ease.

Where Rita-Mae came from, in the Far East end of Head-on-the-Lake, the idea of preferring boys over girls was not unheard of; it just wasn’t encouraged. In fact, it was actively discouraged, often with brute force. This message had a way of informing the curious and the confused. The message was: We don’t want no fuckin’ queers around here.

Rita-Mae eventually learned that this went for women as much as men. Women, on the whole, were usually smarter and stronger than men, she had eventually realized, and that may have been what eventually lead to her wanting to become a woman. But it definitely meant that gay women didn’t get beaten up quite as often as gay men. It happened, and some of the things that happened instead of being beaten were at least as bad, if not worse. Rita-Mae learned about some of that after undergoing her change.

Fortunately, Rita-Mae did eventually realize that she was in fact a woman trapped in a man’s body. She didn’t regard herself as a modern transgender with no specific binary sexual identity. She knew she was definitely a woman, and happy to be seen as such.

That she wasn’t often seen as such was dismaying, even though she’d spent a great deal of money to make the change as seamless as possible. She’d been born with particularly effeminate features that hardly changed throughout the first twenty-five or so years of her life. She had, up to that point, been a successful writer of comedy for a number of local acts, and was even beginning to delve into stand-up herself. However, she felt like her life was a lie, and it started coming out—along with herself—in her comedy.

Fortunately, it was the Nineties, and lots of people were coming out and making a good living off of their pro-queer activities. Sure, it eventually back lashed with the continued accusations of a so-called Gay Agenda, but the only agenda any gays she ever knew had was to live and love in peace, without being hit in the face with bottles if they so much as smiled the wrong way at another person of their birth sex.

As she approached her thirties, however, she started finally developing some serious masculine traits that had long eluded her. She immediately began researching her options. Deciding that she wasn’t going to be happy just dressing up in man-sized women’s clothing, and certainly wasn’t content to remain a gay man in a gay man’s body, she opted for the medical procedures it would take to make her truly a woman.

She had now been a woman in fact for about ten years. It hadn’t been easy for her. Of course, there was the traditional ‘being disowned by your family’ event, followed by ‘your lover growing apart from you’ cycle, and finally, the ‘career death by being openly transgender’ press release.

Rita-Mae didn’t write for comedy any more. No one wanted to tell the kinds of jokes she found funny, even though it was now the 21st Century. After the self-interested days of the Eighties made way for the nouveau-hippy enlightenment of the Nineties, Rita-Mae had been lulled into a false sense of security that the world was changing, and becoming more tolerant and understanding of LGBT issues.

Then the new millennium arrived, and a backlash so deep and wide happened that, for every step the queer community took forward, they were forced three or four steps backward, or so it seemed. In 2014, there were African countries, quietly supported by bigoted neo-conservative groups in North America, that were passing legislation making it legal to beat and kill queers in their communities. Russian politicians approved anti-gay laws that lead to the arrest and imprisonment of numerous publicly gay and lesbian peoples, foreign and domestic. And in the good old US of A, progressive thinkers were becoming increasingly alarmed at the surging upswing in unbelievably feverish anti-gay, anti-progressive, bigoted, and downright fascist behaviour, both in state and municipal legislatures. There were billions of dollars being pumped into every neo-con program going, and that was cultural as well as financial conservatism, which surprised a lot of gay conservatives when they woke up to find the shoe on the other foot.

And back home in her beloved Canada, in her hometown, which was almost perpetually in a cultural time warp, they queer community had just begun to peek out from the closet when the door got slammed right in their eye. Eventually, there were movements to make this change, but nothing of lasting value, except perhaps the attitude that Gay was Okay, just as long as it Stayed Away from me and mine.

This had led to numerous black listings from writing jobs, and, on one memorable occasion she never discussed, a gang rape, which had left Rita-Mae in hospital, followed by the women’s shelter, for several weeks, until the women of the shelter got her forcibly evicted for being a Fake Woman.

These days, Rita-Mae kept a low profile, and though she still occasionally did stand-up comedy when the more enlightened impresarios would have her on stage, she mostly stuck to her day job.

While Rita-Mae had been in the hospital, she’d had to have some reconstructive work done on her voice, as there had been a knife involved in her rape. As her voice therapist coached her back to the land of the audible, she picked up a few things about sound engineering, and soon after, began studying music engineering in her spare time.

After she’d felt safely recovered, she made a series of comedy albums, which she recorded in her home studio, and used these to obtain the occasional gig engineering albums for other musicians. This eventually led to her getting a gig as a session engineer, and then a house engineer, working for a couple of indie producers who were making their own music more or less whenever the studio wasn’t in commercial use, and needed someone to take up some of the slack for them.

Now Rita-Mae was in-demand as an engineer, and was even starting to dabble in record producing on her own. It was funny how life worked out. Things weren’t perfect. But sticking to your guns could lead to better things than you might ever have experienced if you stayed hidden in your shell.

It was that crazy little guy who saved her that night who taught her that. It took him beating one of her rapists senseless, followed by them seeing his blood after one of them knifed him, to break up the brutal act.

She hadn’t been able to speak, and almost all she could see was blood, but she still remembered his words, as he held her and stroked her matted hair:

“Just remember… this too shall pass. Just give it time.”

And then he died.

She never learned his name. It was the one thing she’d never forgiven herself for, in a lifetime of things she’d been told she must repent for. The only thing.

Rita-Mae turned off the recorder, locked up the studio, and walked home in the quiet of a late winter evening. There wasn’t a soul around. She used to be terrified at times like these, but these days, she revelled in it. She had a new job, a new life, a new lover, and a new outlook on life.

“Thank you, stranger,” she whispered to no one in particular. She almost imagined she could hear his reply on the cold winter breeze.

© 2015 Lee Edward Mcilmoyle

Posted in Books of Limbo, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Can You Believe It? – an excerpt from RETURN TRIP

Jon Burnley was just leaving the studio when he felt a vibration from his phone. He slipped it out of his pocket and tapped the screen, and then nearly dropped it as he saw that it was a British phone number, and the Caller ID read Howard Steeves.
“Hello,” he answered brightly, trying not to geek out, in case it was a prank call.
“Hullo, is this Robert Jon Burnley?”
“My name is Howard Steeves. I’m the guitarist for the band ‘See’. I’m sure you know us.”
“We’re in the middle of a tour and our current singer, David Bender, has developed laryngitis. We’ve heard your recordings with Distant Echo, and we think you’d be the perfect replacement. Would you be interested?”
“Goodness, Yes!”
“Very good,” Howard answered warmly. “Can you meet us in London by Friday? We have rehearsal space there, and we’d really like to get started working with you. We can send you airfare and set you up in a hotel, if it will help.”
“Yes, that would be fantastic!”
“Excellent. We look forward to seeing you on Friday.”
“Yes,” Jon repeated to the silent smart phone. Can it be true? Does it really happen like this?
He turned around and went back into the studio, looking for Jeff and Steve. He didn’t know what he was going to tell them, but he certainly wasn’t going to miss out on the chance of a lifetime to tour with See.
Jon had been singing along to Andrew Johnson’s lyrics since he was a boy. He had the same high tenor voice Andrew had, and loved writing and performing Progressive Rock numbers in the See vein. He’d even been in a fairly successful See tribute band before he’d joined Distant Echo. He loved being in the band, and he definitely didn’t want to quit, but he’d do it if he had to, if that’s what it took.
He was going to be the lead singer of See. He didn’t doubt for an instant that he could do it. He’d waited his whole life for the chance. Nothing could stop him now.

On the plane over, Jon had worried that the air pressure in the cabin was too high, as he’d started to experience vertigo and a sore throat. The attendant assured him all was well. He asked if anyone else had developed a sore throat. Again, she kindly promised him all was well. Then Jon became frightened that he might actually be coming down with something. This was impossible! He couldn’t be sick on the day of his audition!
He pleaded with anyone who would listen to find him honey, lemon or ginger for a strong cup of tea. Eventually, a group of charming elderly ladies on a return trip from America produced the ingredients he needed, and he took over the flight attendants’ station to make the tea himself, before returning to his seat to drink every drop before it got cold. At some point after that, he dropped off to sleep, probably to everyone’s relief.
When he awoke, the plane was finally landing, and he was only too happy to comply with all landing precautions if it meant he got off the plane sooner, as he was almost certain there were germs going around in the air that had nearly made him sick.
Upon landing at Heathrow, he was one of the first to disembark, and indeed, he was almost certain he heard a few people cheering as he exited the plane. He just smiled to himself, fearing most of them would be suffering from some flu bug or other while he was happily ensconced in the rehearsal studio.
Picking up his bags, he started looking for his ride. He wondered if one of the guys would be along to personally welcome him, or if he’d have to wait to meet the whole band at the rehearsal.
He wandered toward the front street exit, still not having spotted his ride, and was beginning to wonder if he’d been forgotten. That didn’t seem likely. Maybe they had gotten the pickup time wrong, or maybe the plane had gotten held up longer than expected, or maybe it had arrived early.
Jon was starting to spin his wheels a bit. He looked up and down the airport lobby, wondering if he was going to have to check into a hotel on his own for the night until they contacted him, and then spotted the airport lounge, which reminded him that he hadn’t had anything to drink but the tea. He hoped they had properly filtered water.

Entering the lounge, he saw that it was mostly empty, which he found a bit odd. He’d been in a number of airports all over the world, including this one, and he’d never seen one this dead.
The bartender was a short, overweight gent with an almost-convincing full beard and glasses, wearing a blue cardigan unbuttoned over a pale blue polo tee. Really, nothing like he would have expected from a bartender. Jon suspected he was the manager.
“Can I get a glass of filtered water?” he asked hopefully.
“Fresh from the spring,” the man replied, reaching for a stemmed beer glass. He was just about to put ice in the glass when Jon held his hand up:
“No thank you. I only drink purified water. That ice has been sitting for who knows how long…”
“Well, I know how long, because I just put it there two minutes ago. If you’d come in sooner instead of standing outside, you’d have seen me doing it. The ice comes from the same source as the water, which is triple filtered, because though it pains me to admit it, my customers can tell the difference.”
“Oh,” said Jon, a little taken aback. “I guess it’s alright, then.”
“Excellent,” the bartender replied, and opened a glass bottle with a label he didn’t recognize.”
“You are certain that is filtered water, right?”
“You’re a singer, aren’t you?” the man asked him bluntly.
“Is it that obvious?”
“No, my second guess was going to be thespian. I only know of one other profession that is as fussy about water as singers and actors, and that’s lawyers, but happily, they don’t know when they’re being given tap water. They just think they do. But in any case, I don’t serve tap water here. The airport plumbing is atrocious. Are you American?”
“Right again. I probably should have said Canadian, right?” Jon grinned. He didn’t know why he was grinning, but the guy was making him feel better just by talking to him.
“Nope. That trick doesn’t work on me. I am Canadian, and I know too many lousy Canadians to pick on Americans blindly any more. Where you from?”
“Well, I lived in Seattle for years, but I grew up in Laguna Beach. Moved back there not too long ago. Funny how that works, isn’t it?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” the bartender replied. “I think we all go back to our roots when we start raising a family, like salmon spawning where they were born. I mean, there are exceptions, of course, but they usually have been so damaged by toxic home lives that leaving and never returning for any reason seems acceptable, for a while. I knew a woman who hated her family so much, she left Brooklyn to move to Canada to marry a hack writer. She missed home the whole time she was away, because to her, NYC was home, but she didn’t miss the family she had left behind.”
“And where is she now?”
“Last time she called me, she was living in Brooklyn, selling art and making a fortune.”
“And the writer?” Jon asked, knowingly.
“Tends bar in an airport lounge in Ol’ Blighty, last I heard,” he winked.
Jon grinned and held out his hand in greeting, “Hello. My name is Jon.”
“I’m Rich,” the bartender replied, shaking his hand heartily, “though you wouldn’t know it to see me here,” he added with a grin.
“Nice to meet you, Rich. Did you ever remarry?”
“Nah. Work has opened up a whole new avenue of social interaction for me, but my schedule doesn’t allow for much canoodling, these days. Most action I get these days is the occasional insincere flirtation from some of my waitresses, who all have good men to go home to.”
“All? You mean you don’t hire women who have abusive men?”
“I hire them on the spot. Then I set them down pretty much where you’re sitting, and spell out to them that they have to get rid of the bum and take good care of themselves if they want to keep working here. I’ve only had one or two turn me down. The boys and I take care of the moving arrangements.”
I have a couple of guys in security who help me out when I introduce them to my waitresses and tell them the stories the girls tell me. Bad husbands and boyfriends have a tendency of finding themselves homeless when girls come to work for me.”
“Kind of a jolly old Robin Hood figure, eh?”
“Well, more like Mike Callahan,” Rich joked.
“Spider Robinson!” Jon laughed.
“Yup, loved those books. I don’t have a fireplace, but I found a bar, and now I run it the way I see fit.”
“So,” Jon said, “what advice do you have for me, Rich?”
“Hmmn? No advice.”
“I’m sort of disappointed, Rich. Mike wouldn’t hesitate to speak his mind.”
“Sure he would. Mike was an expert at saying nothing until it was absolutely required. Other than a bit of a water fetish, you don’t appear to have too many problems. Singer comes to London, probably auditioning for some big band, and I can only think of one or two big names hiring right now, so odds are, you’re in town for that, which means you’re good, because big London bands don’t waste time. Studio space is at a premium here. You don’t look like you’re a metal fan, so I know you’re not auditioning for Ultraviolet, so it must be See.”
“Wow, that’s incredible,” Jon laughed. “You worked that out just by looking at me?”
“Well, partly that. Also, I think I see Nate Cristensen over there looking for you.”
“What?!” Jon spat, craning his neck so fast he feared whiplash. Sure enough, there was the tall peroxide blonde bassist, clearly looking for someone.
“I should get going,” Jon answered. “Maybe we’ll talk again.”
“Sure thing. I’m here most hours,” Rich replied. “Oh! And I thought of some advice for you, if you’ll have it.”
Jon grinned and nodded.
“Remember to breathe. You only get to do the incredible things in life by being who you really are. That’s not to say it’s always going to go your way, but you can afford to do a little less worrying, now. You’re on the right path. Just don’t stress out over little things. You got here. Enjoy the ride home. Seeya soon.”
“Thanks, Mike,” Jon winked, and Rich nodded appreciatively.
It amused Jon greatly that Rich had sounded so certain of what he was saying, even though he hadn’t really done more than deliver a platitude or two about relaxing. Jon knew about relaxing and breathing from years of yoga. But Rich’s advice had come at the right time, because Jon realized he had been stressing about the audition. Rich knew the band had already pretty much auditioned him before sending for him. The gig was his. He just had to take better care of himself than David had, and enjoy himself more. He was here.
But breathing was more important than most people realized. Jon took a deep breath and walked over to meet Nate, who looked him over sternly before finally cracking a mile wide grin.
“Welcome to the band,” Nate said without further ado. “The guys are already waiting to meet you at the studio. No work tonight. We just want to play a few things for you and get your input, before we call it a night. The real work starts tomorrow. You think you’re ready?”
Jon released a slow breath and replied, “Since the day I was born.”
“Good. Let’s go.”

A few weeks later, before the tour started, Jon returned to Heathrow to visit the lounge and tell Rich about the news. He was disappointed to find the lounge was closed. A security guard approached him as he was peering through the window.
“Can I help you with something, sir?”
“No,” Jon answered, and then thought again. “Actually, yes. Can you tell me if the owner is in today?”
“You mean Rich Bearly? No, he’s in the hospital right now. Seems some git came at him with a knife for hiring his old lady out from under him, and Rich got injured wrestling him to the ground before he could hurt the girl.”
“Is he alright?” Jon asked, alarmed.
“Oh yeah. I got there myself and hauled him off the guy before he could do any permanent damage, but he did his ticker some mischief, so he’s in getting some rest. He should be out in a day or two.”
“Good. So the lounge should be open again soon, right?”
“No. ‘Fraid not. He’s decided to sell the lounge and move back to Canada. Said his work here is done, whatever that means. They’re inside now, hearing pitches from prospective owners. Seems he won’t let go of the place until they find someone who will do right by the girls.”
“That sounds like Rich, alright,” Jon replied.
“Oh, you knew him? Surprised you didn’t hear about the hospital thing,” the security guard commented.
“No, we’d just met a few weeks ago. But it’s funny. It was like talking to someone I’d known my whole life. We just clicked, you know what I mean?”
“Yeah, Rich was like that with lots of people. Never thought I’d see him sell this place. Boys and I have a bet going that the next owner will be some rock star looking for a tax write-off.”
“Hmmn, yeah,” Jon answered absently. He didn’t think it was quite time for him to invest in a bar in a foreign country just yet.
But he did make a point of visiting the lounge pretty regularly, just to keep an eye on the place. For Mike.

© 2015 Lee Edward McIlmoyle

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Splatted Glass

Okay, so I’ve had this idea for an interactive method of abstract expressionism, whereby I do a series of carefully photographed or scanned abstract splatters, one at a time, and then catalogue them and put them into a collection of brushes for an app that would allow other people (who are less inclined to strip down and get paint all over them in the pursuit of artistic expression) to use my individual splatters as a form of digital composition tool. See, even I would like to use such a tool, but I especially want it to be a widespread application technique, so people who like abstract art but can’t let themselves paint in that style enough to develop a piece or pieces that they feel represents their inner landscape effectively. I like live collaboration, but I simply can’t collaborate with everyone, fun as that might be.

So this system would allow me to develop compositions on individual sheets of clear plastic, one after another, until I have a full range of compositions that consist of individual layers that can be separated out and put into other compositions. It devalues what I do personally a little bit, but not enough to make me feel like what I’m proposing is a mistake. There are elements I’ve created over the years that I wished I could pull out of various paintings and apply elsewhere. A little Photoshop might make some of the upper layers available, but the lower elements will probably always be obscured. So this idea would open all of that up for future pieces. I’m not sure I would want to do it for a long time, but I could definitely see developing it as a franchise tool that others could pick up and run with after I’d exhausted myself on it and moved on. The licensing fees alone would probably cover my expenses, even if the app were pirated a fair bit.

The upside of all of this is, people with no experience painting abstracts could use my works as a tool to build their own pieces, which they could have printed on canvas or whatever and installed in their home: a genuine CLEARart Collaboration might never sell for thousands or millions, but it would be a cherished possession that the owner would be proud to show off. And that’s miles better than people buying mediocre art to decorate their walls because it matches their decor.

So I was thinking about artist’s grants and money prizes and such, and thought I should name my concept and try to find people who can help develop it with me, since I lack coding skills and a distribution model for such an enterprise.


© 2015 Lee Edward McIlmoyle

And that’s my possibly blue sky unfulfillable idea for today. Thank you for reading.


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Wake Up

Listening to Circa Zero. Andy Summers comes back to pop music with stunning effect. It’s thirty years since The Police recorded anything new. He’s done a lot of recording since then, but other than the brief Police reunion concert series, very little in the way of true pop music. That’s not a condemnation of his solo work. It’s just, you can miss a sound after a while. And until Sting sees a reason to write new Police music, the chances are, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers will continue exercising their more avant garde sides, merely moonlighting as former pop stars in absentia.

Warren tells us this morning that he takes five minutes a day to just look at the world he’s in, with no regard for the time lost. For him, it’s time gained. Nice. I can’t claim the same. I look occasionally, but not with any regularity. Shame, really. All these things I have seen…

I’m feeling a little disappointed with the way things aren’t quite coming together for PBHamOnt this year. No pressure to perform and a minimal volunteer group have robbed it of much of its fight. I may be doing something to speed things up a bit soon, but I may already be too late.

I have Scrivener open pretty much constantly now, which is a practice I’ve been doing for the last handful of years. I don’t write constantly, but when I am in a writing phase, the book stays open pretty much until it’s done. I’ve closed this one a few times in the last couple of years since I started preparing it. I remain uncertain about its future. I want to believe it will have a better future than The Back Roads of Limbo. I need to believe it will have a better chance than The Approximate Distance to Limbo did. I have an itch to pick up one of my other backburner projects instead. My better demons tell me they will have a better chance at commercial success. It’s hard to know which way is the road out of Limbo, as all roads only seem to go further in, whichever way you turn.

I still have an image of the Kermit Frog on my desktop. Its very existence is proof that this world isn’t as crap as I feel it often is. The world has been crap for such a long time, but it still hasn’t really recovered from the loss of Jim Henson. I think I would have liked to have worked for him, even though I’m too short to be a Muppeteer. It would have been good to design or write for Muppets, I think.

That’s not all I’ve got today, but I should save some of it for the work ahead. Thank you for reading.


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