It’s been a while I know since I gave you a personal blog rather than one for general consumption. I truly have been pretty busy editing my new book coming out this fall.
The book is called I Remember Horse Buns and below you’ll see a facsimile of what it will look like. It’s the story of growing up in and around Vancouver, the best place in the world. I can talk a lot about Howe Sound and the North Arm of Burrard Inlet (Indian Arm), Stanley Park, streams to fish, chestnut trees to climb, places to skinny dip and mountains to climb.
I deal a lot with what it was like to be a kid back during World War II, the standards we were expected to meet and what happened to us when we didn’t meet them. The comic books we read, the slogans we heard, the radio shows, are all part of it.
I also talk about some of the things that occurred on the national and international scene when I was a kid such as the now conveniently forgotten Gouzenko case in Ottawa which actually started the Cold War.
It was a lot of fun to write but as with all books, hard work particularly when it comes down to the editing. I was just saying to Wendy that Promontory Press has some marvelous editors and, believe it or not, I am a pretty cooperative writer in that regard since I believe that editors like most professionals know what they are doing. All I ask is that they don’t try to substitute their opinions for mine and that simply has not happened here. I’ve also been able to find some marvelous pictures of the old days and all in all I think it will be a fun read. It is due out in October or November.
I am now working on yet another book but will wait a while before I tell you anymore about that.
There have been some professional changes in my life namely that I no longer write for thetyee.ca after 10 wonderful years with editor David Beers. David is no longer the editor so the fun would be gone in any event. I am so used to being fired that the whole process was pretty seamless and I’m delighted to say that I’m now writing for Linda Solomon Wood, the publisher and editor of the National Observer and the Vancouver Observer. They are both cutting edge Internet free Journals and have become very popular coast to coast with some truly fantastic and gutsy writers. I write for the National once a week and my subjects, as you would imagine, vary all over the place.
Of course Damien Gillis and I maintain our close friendship and relationship out of the Common Sense Canadian and I continue to write for that wonderful online paper we founded a few years ago. I might say that we have done some groundbreaking work on the proposed LNG plant at Woodfibre and have in fact exposed the company as, putting it nicely, prevaricators which, I suppose, comes from being run by a tax evader and destroyer of the environment. We will be doing much more on this in a few days.
On that that particular issue I don’t pretend to be an independent but I am very much involved in the community battle against that project, a battle we are going to win.
I have also been doing a little spade work for the Green Party which probably will be seen by some as bad journalism. I’m prepared to plead guilty to that but can only say that for a great many years I have never tried to hide my political opinions but I hope at the same time I can say I have given others the chance to respond.
I suspect that I will be working a bit in the future on reform of our method of governance in this country. While I’ve never been in doubt about “party discipline” I must say that I had not realized how it prostitutes people like our own MP, John Weston, who has not said or done a single solitary thing to raise constituency issues if they don’t conform 100% with Conservative party policy and the views of the Prime Minister. I’ve been particularly hard on John, for which I am sorry, because I considered him a friend, but must say that he asked my advice before he ran for office and I told him clearly that he would be made into a cypher that did what he was told, that he would have his questions for Question Period written out for him, that his speeches would be written for him, that his press releases would be written for him, that he would not be permitted to speak in anyway contrary to orders received by the Whip from the Prime Minister’s office.
I was particularly forceful in my advice because I know John and that he is extremely bright and would find it very difficult to live this kind of life. In that regard I was wrong since he seems to have adapted very nicely and has become a party marionette as I feared he might.
Regrettably, the same thing happens to all MPs, save the Greens, and if you are hoping that the NDP will change this, I am told that the worst of all taskmasters in this regard is Thomas Mulcair.
Finally, I want to take this opportunity to offer my loving thanks to Wendy. I am not as well physically as I would hope and that requires a great deal of love patience from the love of my life which she gives me in great abundance.