Archive for January, 2012

New Author Photo for Tim Reynolds

Posted in Books, Books Books Books, Cynical Poetry, My Opinion, love it or leave it, Podthology, Short Fiction, Stand-Up Comedy & Life, The Novel Process with tags , , , , on January 24, 2012 by tgmreynolds

ImageCovers included here are Podthology: The Pod Complex, Stand Up &  Succeed, the Cynglish Beat, Canadian Rockies (a photo book), and 20001: A Steampunk Odyssey.

The background image was taken at FUK Comedy in Calgary during my days of stand-up comedy.

Writers and Editors

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it with tags , , , , , , , on January 21, 2012 by tgmreynolds

The hardest part about being a writer isn’t the writing (or it shouldn’t be), but rather the waiting for an editor to say “I LOVE IT!” or “Thank you sir/madam for your submission but your story/novel/haiku is not the right fit for us.”
To hell with instant gratification, I prefer instant REJECTION. Waiting to be rejected?! That’s nuts!

Yes, editors are busy, and yes, all submissions must be received before decisions are made so that the best COLLECTION can be created. I understand all that. I was an editor, too. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. 🙂

***

What I hope all the submission editors I contact understand is that a story may be my baby, but I’m not adverse to editor-suggested surgery to make my baby a better fit.

Literary Liposuction for the drawn-out ending? DONE!

Bookish Botox to fill in the historical flavouring? DONE and DONE!

Adjective Implants to lift the prose above average? Hell yah!

A Motivation Manicure to give the tale a more refined touch? Just tell me where and when!

Point of View Nip & Tuck? What are we waiting for?!

Writers not willing to make refinements might just have an overinflated view of the value of their work. Of course editors wanting to take a Flowers For Algernon-type tale and make it a space opera with Einstein-the-ape and a world-eating turtle who gains and loses intelligence need to be… well… use your imagination.

Just my collected and typed thoughts for the day before I actually pretend to get down to the task of writing.

That’s it, that’s all.

Ciao for now,

Tim.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise taken from Fairview Lookout.

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it, Photography How to... with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by tgmreynolds

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise taken from Fairview Lookout.

This is my photo of Chateau Lake Louise at the shore of glacial Lake Louise in Banff National Park.I sold the original to the hotel back in the 90s and this link is from their website where they are still using the image.

Yes, the Lake really is that colour. This was taken in the fall after the first snowfall (late Sept or early Oct) but before the lake freezes. The lake doesn’t thaw again until June so to get clear skies, fresh snow and no ice is a real treat for a photographer up there, even one who lives in the buildings behind the hotel.

Damn, I miss the place. But cold? It hit -60C with windchill there once and -40 isn’t uncommon. And winter is outrageously long. No wonder we drank a lot.

Once the lake freezes nearby Brewster Stables runs horse-drawn sleigh rides down one shore of the lake. Cuddle with your sweetie under the blankets and see one of the most stunning winter views in North America.

Time to go make some tea, because just thinking about winter up there makes me cold. I used to work ON the frozen lake in winter, standing next to an ice castle, offering people hot chocolate. Hey, someone had to do it.

 

Ciao for now.

Tim.

Photo by Timothy G.M. Reynolds. Image is the property of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.

Cross-Pollination in Writing…

Posted in My Opinion, love it or leave it with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2012 by tgmreynolds

In the last six months I’ve sold three short stories, written three more and have two more and two novels on various spinning plates and have taken a break this evening to watch I AM COMIC on Netflix.

I spent six years playing in the open mic night amateur scene in Calgary and with one or two exceptions I wrote all my own material. I’m watching this documentary about the writing of jokes and the business of comedy and the pain the comics go through when they put themselves out there for the audience to love or hate, and I’m having flashbacks of the best and worse kind.

As a comic I would watch the entire world just beyond my finger tips, looking for weird shit and finding a way to comment on it and make people laugh. I’d hear a conversation between two teens that his mother is spreading rumors that her father got the mother pregnant. The boy said “I know, sorry about that.” It would have been simply interesting eavesdropping except that the two teens were boyfriend/girlfriend. The kids were dating and their parents were screwing!

I saw a sign on a subway car advertising the benefits of seeing the local philharmonic live. The poster was a bunch of middle-aged philharmonic fans posing like rock concert fans with ‘Rock-on’ hand signs (looks like the sign for ‘bullshit’ with the thumb sticking out) and screaming faces. The word on the top was “LIVE”. It was a cool ad until I shifted my position and saw it reflected behind a woman sitting on the train. Because it was backward in the reflection, the word “LIVE” became the word “EVIL” and the rock-on hand sign became finger-shaped horns behind this woman’s head. Was the universe telling me she was evil? Maybe. Will I use it in a story? Read on.

My point is, the joke that came out of it didn’t get a lot of laughs (most of my audiences preferred jokes about dicks) but the incident became integral to the concept behind my short story “Shut Up and Drive“, about a man driving a bus full of relief aid workers who turn out to be demons when he sees them in the rear-view mirror.

My novel, The Broken Shield, in part came from a moment I shared with a complete stranger while I was driving a bus (the day job). She was waiting to cross the street and she looked up at me the moment I looked down at her. Then we both smiled, not because we were flirting, but because we somehow knew each other and had known each other for centuries. It was a “Oh hi. There you are” moment.  And then she was gone, never to be seen by me again. I can’t explain the reality behind it, but because I was so used to grabbing at moments for my comedy, I remembered the feeling and the moment and gave it to my characters to play with. I asked “What if”.

I was at a meeting of the Imaginative Fiction Writers’ Association (IFWA) last week and the guest speaker for the first hour was poet Bob Stallworthy. He was fun and entertaining and talented and then my epiphany moment occurred. Even though my book of poetry, The Cynglish Beat sold only two copies, the work that went into the writing of an entire tome of cynical, beat poetry has coloured my fiction writing as I break the prose rules and write for the emotions and not for the brain.

I have writing friends who have been working on the same short story for two years or more. Yes, I have stories that sit unfinished or unpolished, including a fantasy novel I started in 1981, but I have written novels and screenplays and short stories and self-help guides and poems by the pound since that first novel. At any given time I can find three things in the world around me and at least find a premise for a short story in there. Sometimes an entire novel springs forth, or a twist to a project already under way. I can’t wrap myself up in my own little world and expect to produce anything without lifting my head up from the keyboard and actually seeing what’s out there and then thinking about it like a comic, a poet or even as a photographer, which I am.

Great writing does not happen in isolation. Writers of every ilk must be sponges, absorbing whatever the universe throws in our path at that moment. Like all writers I get asked “Where do you get your ideas?” The simple answer? They find me. And I’m waiting with open arms.

That’s it for this evening. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

 

Ciao for now,

Tim.