Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Just J' Chapter One

Hi, I’m J from the book Just J. Colin’s letting me use his blog to let you know that my book (yes my, not his, he just took dictation, but being a guy, he let the woman do the work, then took the credit for himself—typical) is available wherever good books are sold. If your local store doesn’t have it, that doesn’t necessarily mean they suck, it might just mean you have to enlighten them so that they can order some. If they say they can’t get it in then, yes, I’m sorry, but that does mean they suck and you should enlighten them to that too. And then order it online and bring the copy to the store to show them what they’re missing. Together we can make the world more helpful and more intelligent: you can’t have one without the other.

Now, here’s the first chapter from my book.


My past is misery; my present, agony; my future, bleak. And it is not just because I’m a thirteen-year-old girl, or because I’m too thin or too tall or because my hair is red (it’s orange actually—but they call it red).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confucius says . . .

This is not mine, obviously, but I like it so much that I wanted to share.

One night Confucius dreamt that he was taken to visit the damned in hell. He was very surprised to see that hell was a beautiful banqueting room with the damned sitting around the table groaning under the weight of the most delicious food he had ever seen. They were allowed to eat anything they liked, but they had to use chopsticks, and the chopsticks were five foot long.
The damned were starving, staring in agony at the uneaten food before them, knowing that even with all eternity in which to solve the problem, it could not be done. And then Confucius is taken to heaven. And heaven is an identical banqueting hall…full of delicious food. The people around the tables were happy and well-fed, but they, too, must obey the same rule. The food can only be eaten with chopsticks that are five foot long.
Only in heaven, they’re feeding each other.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Discombobulated and Thank You

Writing, as a profession, is two or three jobs all on its own, so there's an extra layer of difficultly added when you’re working two or three other jobs on top of that, which, I believe, is the case with most authors, published or not—in this country anyway. I find it especially difficult when the other jobs involve dealing with the public, though it's probably healthy since, I'm told, it's good to have contact with people who exist somewhere outside of your head. It can, however, be discombobulating. Isn’t that a great word? Say it with me, discombobulating: to throw into a state of confusion. Even the definition is great.
I have to give the Self Employment Benefits Program a great deal of thanks for both Chill and Just J. They put me through an intense business course and then I got six months to just write. It was a dream come true. Your psychology is completely different when you can just write and still have money coming in, not to mention knowing that someone believes in you and your writing enough to pay you. If a true desire is there, sometimes simply by telling someone they can, you give them the ability. Unfortunately the reverse can also be true. And, as I discovered through my teaching, and life,some hear much more of the reverse. In situations like that, it's hard not to let the bastards grind you down.
I was lucky enough to be blessed with friends who stayed steady regardless of how rough the seas became—I don’t know what I would have done without them. Like Abraham Lincoln said, "I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down." He must have had a awefully big heart to carry him that far. And I had parents who gave me what is considered to be the two most important things you can give a child: roots and wings.
I had worked for years to get to the point where I could be eligible for funding so, when I actually got it, I was going to make the most. In those six months I completed Just J (The first half of Just J was written with the help of a Toronto Arts Council grant), wrote Chill, and got publishing contracts for them both. I also got an agent that I have since parted ways with. But that’s a whole other story.
Thank you Self Employment Benefits Program, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto YMCA. I’m doing my best not to let you down.
And to all those who so generously give their encouragement, love, and support along the way . . . well, you know; you're more valuable than gold, brighter than diamonds, shining more brilliantly than the sun while giving a deeper warmth.
Never under-estimate how much power the words, "I believe in you", and "You can do it" can hold. Accompanied, of course, by the occasional kick-in-the-backside.

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stop and smell the roses

As you go through life, remember to stop and smell the roses; realise, one day, your rotting corpse will help them bloom brighter for future generations; then lay down in their midst and take solace in your undeniable immortality.

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2000. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tom Waits and The Fox Pup

I was coming home late, after visiting with an old friend; a fox pup ran out in front of my beige, 2000, Chevy Malibu; I slowed down, it didn’t know to get out of the way; I watched the fluffy tale bounce in the headlights as it tried to out run the car, its head twisting around to do the occasional shoulder check; all the while Tom Waits sang Diamonds on the Windshield on the car stereo—I had just picked the CD up at the Hospital Auxiliary: second-hand store (3 for a dollar—July special), hours before.
The fox made a quick right-hand turn and disappeared down a driveway—dissolving into the country dark.
There has to be meaning in that, I thought, I’m just too tired to figure out what it is.
So I'm putting it in a cyber bottle and sending it out to you—I just keep thinking about you.

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am often accused of contradicting myself. I hope that’s true. I’d have to be terribly conceited to agree with everything I said.

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I like popcorn.
With extra butter and salt.
Ummm. Popcorn.
Had it once in the UK with sugar on it.
That was just wrong.
It was while watching Batman & Robin at a matinee: the one with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it.
All around it was a pretty traumatic afternoon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Angels and Lavender

The manuscript I’m currently searching for a home for is, (The Angel) Jude: a teen novel about seventeen year-old Jude who, after losing his girlfriend, Martha, decides to commit suicide. But each time he tries to take his own life, he ends up saving someone else's. Jude is guided on his journey by a divine Golden Retriever, helped by angels and tempted by demons while the powers of good and evil fight for his immortal soul. It’s Teen Angst on a supernatural level.
Aside from the (The Angel) Jude, I’ve also done a rewrite of my screenplay, Lavender; for which I signed a short-term option agreement with 3 Legged Dog Films and Ed Gass-Donnelly. His previous film This Beautiful City was nominated for 4 Genie Awards. I am looking forward to working with, and learning from, Ed.
It’s early going and while I feeling very positive, I’m not a chicken counter. I do believe that faith can move mountains, but have learned that it’s best done under cover of night while the sceptics are sleeping; there’s a lot of them about and they don’t sleep soundly.
So all I’ll say is that Ed had some really good ideas for the rewrite and I hope he likes what I’ve done, and after ten years of trying, I would really like to see this puppy made. And, since it’s a supernatural/psychological thriller, I hope it scares the bejesus out people. Perhaps leaving them permanently scared—like all my favourites did to me. :)

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Six years ago today

I went to the Canada Day fireworks display, in Delhi Park, last night.
I lay out on the lawn on what turned out to be a beautiful summer evening despite the earlier threat of rain. I was near the top of the hill, midst the crowds on their blankets, looking across at the empty hills in the cemetery; no one was taking advantage of its open spaces, which offered a perfect view of the display.
Delhi is the largest park in Picton. It’s built on an old landfill, next to a cemetery and beside a sewage treatment plant. I would’ve loved to have been at that town-planning meeting.
New friends surrounded me, one who I met in the cafĂ© a while back; the rest I had just met that night. We oooo’ed and ahhhh’ed at the colours as we watched them explode in the sky and cascade down like angels wings while sparkling like cherubs eyes.
As I watched I couldn’t stop my mind from drifting back to the last time I saw the fireworks in Delhi—but I wasn’t in Delhi then.
My dad has been gone six years today. Which makes it six years ago last night that I watched the fireworks from his hospital room window.
My sister, Trish, had arrived from England just hours before, with my brother, Mike, his wife, Charlette, my nephews, Ryan and Mitchell, and my niece, Allison, who had come in from British Columbia. Their planes had landed at the same time in Toronto and they drove down together.
Jordann, who was my wife at the time, and I had been in the hospital for about 36 hours by then, my mom for longer than that.
Charlette and Jordann had taken the kids down to Delhi to see the fireworks. Maybe they had sat on that same piece of lawn, near the top of the hill across from the cemetery.
Watching my father die, feeling the rock beneath my feet crumble away while I was still standing on it, and having fireworks explode in celebration of my country's birthday right outside the window; reality too intense becomes a surreal experience, like you’re floating above watching it unfold, powerless to intervene no matter how desperately you want to.
I remember wishing that I was in the in the park with Jordy, Char and the kids, while at the same time wishing that Jordy was back in the hospital room with me. I didn’t want to leave Dad’s side but I didn't want to be there. I didn't want him to be there.
I think Dad would have liked the fireworks, he was too drugged to be able to see them, but he always liked a celebration of any sort and he would have wanted something to remind us that not only will life go on, but that it was for others, at that very moment—even as his was coming to an end. He also would have appreciated the distraction; he never liked being the centre of attention; though his stories and personality would often put him there. But he took the role only to be hospitable and for the sake of the story. He loved a good story, or a good joke, and boy could he tell them. Stories and jokes are among the few things in life worth collecting. Like any friendship, the good ones never rust through or wear out. And like a good piece of music, stories can be eternal; something to be shared and handed down from generation to generation.
At the end of the display I felt tired. But, I got up, brushed myself off, said my good-byes and pleased to met you’s and headed to the pub to meet up with another group of friends, old and new, to exchanged some jokes and stories and maybe, if I was lucky, get a few new ones.
I think Dad would have approved.

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.