The Notley-Trudeau Dystopia – it makes for real fiction

On the plus-side, as a writer interested in dystopian fiction, I don’t have to make it up anymore. We as a species are repeating the pattern that has been part of the evolutionary cycle from the very beginnings of life on earth. We are overtaxing and despoiling our environment to the point where there will be a catastrophic collapse. Millions might die and the nasty, brutish, short realities of survival will reassert themselves in parts of the world where they have not been experienced by the majority of people in living memory.

On the downside, if you are among those who care about such things, it will be our children and grandchildren that pay the price of our profligacy, of our inability to rise to the occasion and break the grim reaper’s hold, of our greed and collective stupidity. Anyone in my age-bracket is likely to escape the awful fate we’re concocting; what we get to suffer instead is a cancerous tumor of guilt growing in our hearts.

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The Experiment

A friend recently shared her thoughts about the deeper meanings of life, which provoked a round of ontological speculation on my own part. Here’s what I discovered, and an adaptation of my reply, which was really a status report on my resolute adherence to the spiritual-existentialist way…

All my life, even during childhood, questions like this have fascinated, amazed and disturbed me. Religion, I think, is in part a response to our yearning for an answer to one resounding question: Why? The intolerance of organized religions is humanity’s desperate attempt to solidify and impose a resolution, which inevitably gets coopted by oppressors in their eternal quest to rule the world – i.e. usurp the role of the very god they profess.

I call myself a spiritual-existentialist. Spiritual because I cannot conceive of consciousness as anything but a universal, life-force manifesting in the material world. We are, in my view, an aspect of the universe becoming aware of itself, and that awareness is as much a part of nature as the laws of physics and biology. When we isolate that phantom energy, and vest it in an external being we call ‘god’, we distance ourselves from our own magical realm. I suppose, for me, the wonder of life is in the search for meaning, not so much in any kind of final answer.

As for the existentialist part of my philosophy, I believe each and every one of us has to create a world form the materials given. My world-view is mine alone, and I have to decide, as a responsible human being, what the rules of my world are: the unalterable rules of nature, and the adopted rules of morality and ethics. In modern societies the biggest influence on my emerging reality is other humans, and the ‘artificial’ environments we build and inhabit. To sum up another way, part of the work of existence is harmonizing my world-view with the beliefs and actions of others whose motives I can only guess at. The only way I can overcome the uncertainty and fear of this uncomfortable isolation is through trust, faith, love and courage. Inevitably, there will be betrayals in my search for commonalities; and triumphs.

Thanks for sharing. I never tire, thinking thoughts like these, because they are our reason for being.

Welcome Inside the Box

Reports are rife about the waning interest in literary fiction, its last generation of snoozing readers cruising over the horizon, their novels left opened, face-down on their laps. There’s no disputing the evidence, which leaves writers like myself two choices: accept the dreary plot-line, or introduce a shift.

I’m opting for the latter. It’s time for me to recalibrate both the scope and intent of what it means to be an author, and more precisely, an author whose chosen mode is LitFic. I have to renew and expand my creative cycle.

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Literary Fiction: Why does it matter?

Literary Fiction: Post 2 of 3

I recently came across a Facebook post in one of the writers’ groups I have joined in which a fellow member lamented the frustrations of a ‘wannabe’ writer.

I responded, “Writing is not about writing. That’s the paradox of our vocation – a quirk of soul that keeps writers at it for decades, whole lifetimes, sometimes without ever being published or making money at it.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘wannabe writer’, only a ‘hafftabe’. Yes, the craft is important; true, we must pay attention to promoting and selling books if we want society to provide an income that allows us to write more; of course we want our stories to resonate beyond the closet shelf, into the greater consciousness, to be reimagined in the minds of readers.

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The morning of I Am

It dawned on me this morning that I could never imagine out of context the infinite subtlety of a typical sunrise. I am. It is. We are the light. And yet, there is no god.

Welcome 2018! Time to open a new chapter on books

(This post is echoed from my Boy From Under blog. If you want to see what my version of a Direct-to-web book looks like visit

Back in November, when I relaunched this web-book, I posted a blog explaining why I believe ‘books’ as we know them have to morph into new forms. expanding the boundaries of what we consider to be literature. Two months isn’t a lot of time to forge ahead with an experiment to that end, certainly not enough to prove so ambitious – perhaps audacious – a point. And if the financial fortunes of writers were the only, or even the most important measure of success, I would certainly not be posting about my progress so far!

But I can say without hesitation, I am excited at the prospect of continuing the project into 2018.

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Boy From Under – Chapter 3, Episodes 21-25 Readings

Cathy and Maria girl talk into a dark corner. Victor joins his Mum and Dad for dinner in East Van, and together they watch the evening news, one of the images that flashes onto the screen of the Daly’s TV triggers a flashback Victor can’t explain or identify. All he knows is it’s somehow real, and connected to his ‘before times’ buried deep in the ‘thinking flesh’. Cathy visits Laurence Selkirk to share some memorable photos. Episodes: 21 A Place to Run | 22 Dinner with Mom and Dad | 23 Cathy’s Album | 24 The Evening News | 25 Distracted Driving. Get into the story at

‘Eh?-I?’ Audio Journal 20171228-0720

Robi’s first entry into his Audio Journal suggests he might not be who he thought he was the day before. Look up posts in the Eh? I? category to find out more about who or what Robi is becoming, and the increasingly dysfunctional, dystopian world he’s spiralling into. If you want to follow Robi’s unravelling, visit my contact page and choose your mode.

The Boy From Under – Episodes 16-20 Trailer

Maria and Victor talk ‘legal business’ over wine and fine dining at the Fish House Restaurant in Stanley Park. But their postprandial moonlit walk comes to an abrupt, disturbing end they are forced to take refuge in Victor’s West End apartment, where his photos are on the wall. Episodes: 16 Backstories | 17 A Walk in the Park | 18 Shots in the Dark | 19 On the Wall | 20 Cold Showers and Exercise. Get into the story at