Wishing everyone the best of the season in whatever way you celebrate!
Wishing everyone the best of the season in whatever way you celebrate!
I have gone viral a few times now.
Well, that is in terms of tweets. I haven’t done it as much with YouTube yet.
But I do know what others say when they say it just happens because it does. Some things just click into place. I’m reminded of my other successful venue, Cookeilidh. Now I had been in other bands, but right from the first performance people’s reaction to what we did was enthusiastic and positive.
Both are the same. It just happened. There was no research or plan. Dave even said it about when he and Kim started playing outside for fun, people kept trying to give them money. They weren’t busking with a case out. It just worked.
Every time I have a tweet go beserk I think “that one?” The last one I didn’t even think it was done right but off it went. And yes, clearly there is a difference between them but in a way not. You just do something you can do. Then chips fall.
The other thing I’ve noticed recently is my impatience. This might be because my time these days is limited or maybe because I want to get the idea out but it does speak to something I’ve talked about before.
Like with tweets, just return to it daily.
It’s all made up of one bit at a time. Even for me this is something to remind myself of. I’ll know where I want the story to go and I’ll race there. I wont give a song idea time to breathe and race some bit of it to Instagram long before it should get public scrutiny.
Creatively things need to cocoon. If it involves you sipping coffee and just staring at a wall that’s fine. Every moment doesn’t have to be glorious. Every second doesn’t have to be Snapchat ready.
Things have increased in tempo, which is part of the reason for the used image. The Lord of the Rings was written back in the time of the first movies, like the languid pace of Wizard of Oz or even the first Star Wars. I know from research how this has effected books, trust me! From Sol Stein on Writing he goes on for ages about how writers of yesteryear could take a slow narrative summary approach to storytelling that would be “suicide today”.
Today’s audience would find Jeffrey Archer slow.
But anyways it was the thing mentioned by Siskel and Ebert back when Fellowship of the Ring came out, it was too action packed considering the pace of when it was written. Its been twenty years since back then when the closest thing to social media was a messageboard.
I have been deliberately putting the phone aside and forcing it’s none use. I’ll bring a book on a bus ride. I practice drum patterns on my break. I let them charge away from my station as I create and turn my back on them.
Allow yourself the space to work.
Even back in my cowriting days I noticed this. The first near hour at your station is decompression.
Then you flow.
Step back in your water.
Have a great Sunday and last week of November!
Switched over banking information as I was frankly fed up with my old one and, well, I’ll have to make another phone call.
I’ll double check, but definitely a fun way to start November.
If only life was like that, that would be amazing! My apologies to anyone who thought I had landed the perfect financial independence scheme. Imagine that! Your rent would pay for your food!
So, with that not the case, I’m presently focused on two things outside of work…musicianship and The Quiet City. Within musicianship is getting ready for this season of Cookeilidh Christmas, bass study, guitar and keyboard. Songwriting tends to come to me in bursts so I like the idea of just developing the packaging for the next album after The Goldblacks.
Keyboard especially as using one had always been around but trying to “actually play” has only been going since one year before the last cd and I’m proud of how that went, especially with songs like Precipice and Missed Connections that were recorded in one take of vocal and piano.
Quiet City is still going a bit a day after the free sample.
If you haven’t read it yet check the blog just before this one.
On my bus and about to get off for lunch so I’ll catch up in a week or so!
It started the moment she locked the door.
As soon as the gold-colored tumblers of the deadbolt clicked into place she felt something inside of her twist. Her chest felt tight; her neck like it was swarming with spiders.
Then came a tremor in the cartilage of her bones, in her sinews and the fiber that binds a soul to the earth. Amy knew she was in the worst kind of trouble.
Something had felt wrong since she left the employee entrance of the British Columbia Archives building beside the museum. Skirting the long concrete bench she climbed the eight stone steps to the sunlight and traffic of Government Street. Even with the warmth of afternoon sun on her face she could not lose the feeling that something wrong was weighing her down. It was not like those final nights she had with her cousin Amber. This was not sorrow or guilt. It was bigger. There was no shaking this off.
Amy Paul crossed the road, passing the grey stone buildings of the Victoria Legislature, hurrying past the stone memorials and the fountain on her way to her apartment on Croft Street. It was the same thing she usually did with the exception that she did not feel like stopping off anywhere on the way home. Normally something would tempt her in. As she got closer to home it felt like she was hearing the drone of a nearby bee farm.
Now on the other side of her front door, it felt like she was inside of the hive.
Cautiously Amy lowered her backpack to the floor. Strands of her long brown hair rested on her glasses as she moved slowly, no idea what was keeping her so fearful. The bag slumped against the brown wooden closet in her front entrance way as she turned around for the hallway light switch. It was early November, so the little one-bedroom apartment was still illuminated by a soft silver-grey seeping through her drapes.
She could not see anything different as her brown fingers slid up the to the plastic rectangular fixture, setting upon the curved plastic light switch.
Listening to the still air as the lights came on, the soft tungsten glow spilled into the kitchen and the living room. The only sound was her grandma’s old metal fan on the dresser in the bedroom that she never turned off.
Amy stepped forward and turned on the kitchen light beside the rounded green fridge. She looked towards the dining room table where the wide silver smudge bowl that Aunty Kathy gave her rested next to a ceramic bowl of bright red apples. She looked towards to the bedroom, which had become slightly darker, save for the softening light from between the curtains.
It did seem dark for that time of year.
It did seem quiet.
Then the air became heavy. Amy froze. It was like you had a giant racehorse breathing on your cheek, but the kind of horse that wanted to drive you straight through the drywall.
Her head turned.
Black swirling terror froze the blood in her veins. Growing in the still air of the kitchen, the gathering black seemed made up of something between flies and finger-sized daggers. Next came a horrible hissing, tearing noise as the shape formed before her, the figure always in motion, its changing form darting around a widening mouth and red orange eyes. Jagged orifices of eye sockets, nostrils and non-existent lips perpetually altered in shape, the undulating spectral skin continuing to swim and scurry as its throat brought forth sounds from hell’s deepest heart. From there, the demon shrieked with a fury that could have dropped her to the floor.
Instead she ran, bolting around the wood division in the apartment’s center into her living room, the creature passing straight through the fridge and the cupboards to the other side causing her to leap back as it emerged with a horrifying smile.
Her first-floor patio door latch was stuck. She pushed on the latch, the white plastic refusing to budge as the spectre slunk closer. Desperately Amy tried throwing whatever she could find at the horrible face that sneered at her, shoes and books and her large white coffee mug just passing through it. She ran back around through the kitchen to the hallway, the demon following and screaming inches from the hairs on the soft nape of her neck. She tried the deadbolt at the front door, but it would not move. The gold latch was as solid and stiff as if it had never been made to turn.
“You’re mine!” it screamed from every direction in a cacophony of thousands of horrible voices.
She ran through the kitchen again, hoping to this time smash a window but it appeared there as well, blocking the way. Each way she tried to turn it faced her, shrieking almost victoriously, until Amy was cowering, trembling in the corner of the dining room, under the table holding onto the smooth curved ash table leg.
Then it began laughing at her crumpled shape, a horrible grating noise surrounding the young woman as the demon neared her from the kitchen. It grew in size and darkness until it blotted out the light from above. Then another demon just like it appeared and began closing in, this one from the living room where it rose from behind the couch. Then another appeared and another.
A demon rose up behind her, right out of the wall, followed by five more, all of them now laughing viciously, the sound becoming a single scream. All of them wanted her death.
The first one gave a great scream like the roar of a thousand eagles, the room shaking and the table snapping in two above her. Red apples scattered across the floor.
In front of Amy’s near crumpled form fell the sage stick and her mother’s zippo cigarette lighter with the Jack Daniels engraving.
Without thinking or realization she snatched the lighter and the sage, her body smoothly swinging into unconscious motion. She rose.
Into the hellish hurricane she stood defiant, her back arching and her frame becoming taller than she even was. The noise in the room rose to piercing as the stick of sage began to burn, the white plumes of smoke billowing by her side.
Her eyes were not her own. They were ablaze with an ancient light. In a world that even the very stones beneath were in consistent flux, those oak brown eyes faced out like the one single purest element. Walls shook as if the entire city was about to sink.
“By the Great Spirit, you will leave!”
Louder than bombs she screamed, swinging the sage like a sword.
*** bonus teaser, Chapter One first half ! ***
Morning light through glass squares of a patio door flooded the dark wooden stairwell as he hurried up panting. Enoch found every day busier than before, ever since taking ownership of the Inn less than a year back. He didn’t have time for this, even if he knew he had agreed to it. Betty was sick. He needed to hire more staff somehow. Everything was piled up.
In the room at the end of the hall, Daniel was sitting on the soft white linen bed with the copper frame. He felt only slightly lethargically numb since he was not actually sure if he had fallen asleep.
A knock at the door broke the quiet.
“Mr. Whitmore!” came the voice of the older man.
“Well…it’s your wake-up call Mr. Whitmore. Seven thirty!” He said through the five- panel door. “Would you like breakfast brought up to you?”
“Umm…no, no that’s ok Mr. Sage,” he called out, “I’ll be right down!”
The response from the man outside was him knocking on another door further down the hall on the top floor of the Prairie Inn, the sound muffled as Daniel rubbed his eyes and got up to dress. Without even thinking he took out one of his Duke, Sons and Co cigarettes from the pack on the table and lit a match. Taking a drag, he went over to the source of the morning sun.
The room had two windows, both tall and rectangular running from the roof to only a little ways off the floor. The north-facing side with the tall chair in front of it looked towards a small cluster of shops, post office, little homesteads and the hutch-like railway station nestled amongst the woodland. Daniel stood facing the other sunnier window, morning sun streaming in through the light cotton curtains. Wearing only his white linen pajama bottoms with the blue drawstring, he looked outside to see what he could not have made out when he arrived the night before.
From the railway tracks that passed just yards from the steps of the hotel, he saw a single dirt road running east to west between the rolling fields where two farmers were already busy under the cool mid-October sun. A single country road crossed just beyond the first ridge, evident by a single horse drawn carriage that rolled along, it’s black hood like a little sail crossing a sea of sporadic woodlands, farmland and irrigation.
Except for the white capped mountains in the distance there was very little to remind Daniel Whitmore of his last clerical posting in the young town of Cranbrook, deep in the Kootenay Mountains.
Now on the Saanich Peninsula the only sounds was the singing of little chestnut chickadees that had decided to make a nearby poplar their gathering place.
He blew smoke towards the window which curled up over the wood frame towards the sky. In the clear glass ashtray on the dresser he extinguished the single red ember of his cigarette.
His little room it was so peaceful after the steamship journey through the Gulf Islands, and before that, the port of Vancouver.
The train he now needed to Victoria was not for another hour and a half so he decided he would get something to eat first from the pub downstairs and maybe a cup of coffee. He grabbed his felt hat of the low-slung white dresser, clicked the door latch, and went out into the hall.
An hour later he walked out into the warm light of a near cloudless morning, Daniel in a slight hurry toward the village up the tracks.
The little hut with the words “Turgoose” written in black ink over it’s rain cover was empty as he climbed onto the dusty slats of the wooden platform. The wood creaked under his weight, which was still somewhat slight even after being a regiment veteran of the South African war as a younger man. Now at thirty-two, the only clue to this was his colt six shooter that still travelled with him, concealed deep within his case.
*** to be continued…***
Thank you for reading and supporting independent artists! If you enjoyed this please link and follow me! Have a great Halloween!
Really stoked to finally let this cat outta the bag!
🐈 – meow!
Ok so, like I mentioned in the last blog, but now across the other platforms…
…the prologue for the Quiet City is scheduled to drop here Thursday, October 31st at 7:30 am PST.
Make sure you follow this blog so you dont miss it, and wordpress should send out a reminder email as well!
If this is your first time at my site make sure to check out the About, Musician and Writer pages to give you more of an idea of my background such as my band Cookeilidh, my other writing and music projects!
There is lots of older blogs here as well on everything from creativity to Georgian wine so feel free to cruise around!
Thank you for your support!
Fact : The place of Emmett Till’s death is now on its third physical sign, a teflon coated, bulletproof marker that weighs in at over 500 lbs.
Lie : Atticus Fitch and To Kill a Mockingbird really happened exactly like that with those specific names.
Now, by no means am I comparing my story to Harper Lee’s justifiably Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece, or my subject matter as powerful as how one speaks to the injustice and still present anger, but I literally just saw the article about the new sign (Washington Post Article ) and it is the broadest and most blatent example of this.
Such things show the function of fiction. Through a story you can bring people in and let them fully experience truth at a gut level. To Kill a Mockingbird caused a visceral reaction in 1960. So did Philadelphia when that movie came out in 1993.
For me the story of The Quiet City speaks to both the magic and the extremes of my hometown, which is really like many places but packed between a Malahat and a Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal.
In one block in Victoria are the vvery poorest and most extremely wealthy. Working in our service industry for decades in a world class tourist destination I have long compared it to a theater stage. There is a glorious performance up front, but backstage the paint is peeling and the coffee machine needs replacing. Even more so now as working people can’t survive on one job and the need for “low income housing” keeps exploding, as well as animosity to people who have properties here from out of town.
Whitechapel all over again, and here comes my ripper.
There’s also the enjoyment of the books creation. Outside of my own political and editorial sides, to come anywhere near creating this work I had to dig into every story, many of which just unfolded more secrets and stories about our city such as the network of tunnels…
and like this image, Victoria’s story is one of a vibrant mix of cultures as in the early days we were more the destination than Vancouver. As such this new furthest flug city of the commonwealth attracted everyone, from First Nations to across the Pacific, from Europe to every other corner of the
…world to create their own chapters.
What is still interesting is due to the natural barriers of water and mountain rock, our mix of stories is crammed together so within a few miles it is as though every possiblity is played out. And of course there’s poor dear Agnes Bing, who perished on September 29th 1899.
I had the idea for the Ripper coming here only to find out that this lady who co-owned a bakery with her husband John was tragically killed in that same way trying to cross the then Johnson Street bridge late at night. Songhees people were blamed but we never learned the truth. Like with the Ripper crime scene investigation was in its infancy.
So is The Quiet City true? No. The settings are as accurate as I could make them, and certain people such as Rattenbury, Carr and the Vital Statistics agency in the West building are absolutely fact. My story is silly but the rest comes from a love, pride and fascination with #yyj
Ok, speaking of, time for some story to happen.
As a bonus Halloween treat I will be posting the first chapter of The Quiet City so you can finally dig into something.
Stay tuned, like and definitely follow so you can read it as so as it drops!
Thank you for reading!
Happy belated Thanksgiving to other fellow Canadians. Just getting going again after a very busy weekend with not just cooking a turkey but also a wedding and getting ready for the Cookeilidh Celtic band’s next season.
Presently I am doing outlining of the remaining chapters. I had put this off as I wanted to let the book flow naturally from one section to the next but as I got to about Chapter three I realized that it wasn’t going to work.
There are lots of little parts and things that connect one person to another so you really have to map it out, so the train has stopped for a while as the tracks are being laid down. The book is presently sitting at just 34 pages which is still quite early and when I’m in transit I have done some reading and editing of that. My parents, who have always been my executive producers before have also gone over it and know the basic structure. My mom Joan Pogson is also working on a historical work about the “Scuzzy” which was a steamer that use to go up the Fraser River, through the Hell’s Gate Rapids, to deliver supplies to the miners.
Like I said before, this kind of thing runs in the family.
This is my Dad’s (Jim Pogson) book from his and his father’s (Roy Pogson) time in BC Hydro. My grandfather was head of BC Hydro for Vancouver Island and workled for the company back when they were the BC Electric company that also powered the streetcars.
Was studying more about those streetcars powered out of their station on the corner of Store Street and Pembroke and Discovery near the harbour. Eventually these cars did serve incoming passenger ships as well with signs saying “Downtown” prominently displayed on a front window .
You can definitely imagine the car emerging from the back entrance first thing in the morning to pick up commuters.
While some of my photos are admittedly shots from online there has been more and more actually going to locations to try to imagine how it all wouled work. I teased at some things going on around Johnson and Douglas on the book’s Instagram page and while I can’t say what I’m planning…
…I can say that that alley will have a connection and that in absolute honestly the intersection of Douglas and Johnson was the site of Victoria’s first graveyard.
To the best of anyone’s knowledge the bodies were moved to Pioneer Square on Quadra Street beside Christ Church cathedral.
There’s also other great locations worth checking out on foot such as…
the site of the David Spencer arcade before the fire of, you guessed it, 1910 and…
the Brown Jug saloon which almost to make up for it’s exciting, rough and ready history has turned into a very classy Birk’s jeweler’s.
The blogs are going to be more like this with letting you know little bits of where I’m at, with one final exception.
I will be releasing something very special at the end of the month so definitely stay tuned!
Anyways, back to work for me! Brewing more of my favorite tea, Tulsi ginger turmeric as it’s a wet day out there.
Have a great day yourself and thanks for catching up!
Please like and follow!
One day the world’s greatest killer came to town
Things would have to change.
When you’re Jack the Ripper in 1910 Victoria, British Columbia, you can easily stand out.
Such is the book project that I have been working on now solidly since spring of 2019, with the original idea for its historical fiction originating almost ten years back. It will be my first major project since being a writer on the Telus Optik webseries Ollie and Emma.
The Quiet City initially began as just a murder mystery set where my Mom use to work in the Vital Statistics offices of the Victoria Legislative Buildings West Annex. It was also first inspired by living in the heart of town and working as a cleaner in a variety of heritage buildings all over the Capitol Region. Was also a University of Victoria writing student at the time and been also playing with the idea of screenwriting at the time.
It didn’t hurt that my Grandfather, my Dad and now myself have an absolute love of going over what use to be where. My grandfather, Roy Pogson, was pretty much the head of BC Hydro on Vancouver Island and my Dad Jim was a service planner so not only did I get to see lots of new developing subdivisions as kid but I early on about the trains and streetcars that served Greater Victoria.
I don’t know exactly when I started humoring the idea of bringing in the more supernatural elements and Jack but once I did the floodgates just opened.
Not only was the rumor of Jack the Ripper in Victoria an actual theory based on a tragic and horrible murder of a 44 year old baker named Agnes Bing on the night of September 22, 1899, but the more I dug into strange things about Victoria the more it gave back.
It is Victoria’s paradox of being both this “more English than the English” (it’s background is actually Native, Scottish, French Canadian…the only Brit was Richard Blanshard who bailed instantly and died on the way home…anyways…) small town but it is also the second most active Satanic community in the world after Geneva with a thriving Wiccan community. We have secret tunnels, a Forbidden City, Michelle Remembers and above it all its a city that markets itself as quaint when it can be as quietly rough and tough as the worst of them. And it’s beautiful. And if was the other side of the world from the heart of the Commonwealth with Government Street as the oldest street in Western Canada. I love Victoria but it is a fascinating city of various types and contradictions all stuffed into the same community from the Malahat to the Ferries. It’s creative as hell, the center of seven First Nation bands, it’s the capital and a Naval base and a cruise ship destination.
Oh yeah and when it comes to spirits, legends and lore it continues to unfold.
For ghost activity, we are pretty much Woodstock.
This is the key reason why I’ve taken so long at this book of historical fiction which aims to be in both 1910 and present day. Being that I knew I would be taking huge liberties with actual history I have been spending just months on research as well on the more natural writerly challenge of characterization. Both of these have influenced the plot and continue to as I build the tracks in front of my train. Obviously some facts change but my job one is to be able to drop you the reader back into the sight, the sound and the pace of our city just after the turn of the century.
My goal is to have this out by summer of 2020 with some teasers and things before hand.
There is some social media for The Quiet City already which has more details…
I will be updating here regularly as well as on those platforms so please follow and check back! Also check my “Writer” page for more about my other work!
I can’t wait to share more if this adventure with you!
Thank you for taking the time to read and support independent artists!
Get an umbrella, get a coffee and join us for some old songs, some new and some brand new!
Thank you for reading! Please follow me and feel free to surf around my blog! 🌅
I know I’m not alone. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many readers have great reasons of their own.
I can’t physically work more than I do. Presently I have arthritis and certainly cannot take time off for the surgery and weeks of recovery it would cost. And I’m Canadian. I know this flies in the face of our “health care is magic” but I can promise you it’s not roses in every case here.
Here in Victoria we have a lack of doctors run off their feet. They no longer, for instance, to check ups as they are considered “a waste of time”. In order to avoid any problems the only thing you feel you can do is improve your diet and exercise.
Now add that to the aforementioned low income, and inability to work more due to arthritis. If you exercise you push against the arthritis that makes what work you do even more painful and if you work more the same so you have to take what little money you have to actually pay for better food which costs more.
This is why there is the modern phenomenon of poor people being obese. It used to be rich=fat. Not it’s poor=fat. Rich people can do a southbeach diet. We can’t.
When you are poor you are eating to feel full. This is starches and low quality food. Food costs are up across the board as well as gas. Again with the interconnection.
This is the part that actually makes me crazy. That I actually studied Sociology in university that in the first term explains how “income dictates health”.
How can poor people pull their socks up or whatever phrases we use if they their situation is built to fail. It’s 2019. We can do better and we do know how.
It’s the basic income model. I just got paid Friday, paid bills and now on Wednesday I have 2$. A supplement to this would not stop me working. It would have me work more efficiently, more effectively and for longer. I’m typing this into a crap phone on a city bus but I have seen and read cases on how when this program has been tested in not only didn’t make “everything worse” but it actually cleared up problems across the board. Medical centers, for instance, notice a significant drop in visits because people’s lives became healthier.
Reason I say my story is because, even though it is specific to me I know I’m not alone. I’ve heard through the cracks in media’s paint.
Most of us are not doing better than we were ten years ago.
If someone told me they were going to make things “great again” I will admit, my hope would be raised to. This isn’t going “that way” now but it’s connected. It all is. When things are impossibly hard in a way that cancels happiness and threatens your existence you grab for any rung. You can blame me or anyone else that “didn’t make it” but that also is logically flawed. We can’t all be the head of the company. The architects just didn’t make the executive washrooms that big.
Also many of us have a “side hustle”. We worry we’ll miss out. Only stands to reason you would be on your phone so much. It doesn’t stem from anger. It stems from trying to make it “great again” yourself. It’s true no matter how you politically alighn yourself. All of us fish see the same nets being used. And it’s freaking the gills out of us.
Please have a look at the different basic income accounts out there on social media and check out what they’ve been saying.
It may be early days for this still grassroots idea, but we got to start somewhere.
There is other gains as well that can occur from Basic Standard Income as well.
Firstly we can kick off we a general feeling of brother love and togetherness in a way that actually matters, and not as an abstract concept.
Secondly the boom in the arts and humanities cannot be overstated. It is at our peril that we discount these parts of our culture as some would do. They are our culture. They are were we step into our higher selves and think beyond the immediate. Examples range from Beethoven to Beckett, from the Charter of Rights to the inscription on the Statute of Liberty.
Supporting these is our “Why?” much as supporting infrastructure is our “How?”. If you can’t stop to think you can’t do it better than before.
This is about not just raising up some of us, this is about all of us. This creates hope and from this joy. Your need to stop violence across the world to within communities and families could reduce too.
This is about humanity’s purest potential.
To quote Jeff Goldblum in the movie Powder “Maybe one day our humanity will overtake our technology”
Thank you for reading! Please follow me and feel free to surf around my blog! 🌅