Thursday, June 02, 2011

Politics in the sticks.. a roman. à clef, by Ivan



Roman à clef. Roman à clef or roman à clé. French for novel with a key, is the term used for a
novel describing real life, behind a façade of fiction...



Author's forward:

Impatience. Old problem. My prof, years and years ago, saying to callow me, "You're trying too hard to show how good you are."
Trying now, I supppose to show how sloppy and perfunctory after too many kicks, some badly aimed, at the local old political process. Impatience. There isn't much time now as a formerly bright boy becomes a shaky, irritating garrulous old man.



Text:

On a wet steamy morning of November 12, Buddy Walford died. Figuratively. Died without a trace of remorse or self-pity, died politically like the member of the Fine Old Ontario Family( acronymmed FOOF) that he was. There were not too many FOOF's around nowadays. Birthrights were sold as fast as the expansive corn fields topping the rich natural aquafers and fountains just past the Oak Ridge Moraine north of Toronto... The hills and drumlins had been left alone, the old FOOF farms stopping just short of the rise of the Great Canadian Shield. All the FOOF cornfieds sold. But it was all so tempting to try and build now among the lovely
lakes, hills and moraines, the natural wells and streams. What budding yuppie could not resist a home in all this paradise where the deer and the racoons played?
A piece of the action. A bungalow in paradise. Better still, an entire subdivision in paradise. Build, baby, build!

The Mob was now laundering all its money into real estate, all the farms had been bought out. But oh those heretofore protected Moraines and aquafers. Eden just north of Toronto! Louigi gotta get. Put the money there. Yuppies will want those new beautiful homes on the moraines...But there was always the high-seated, omniscient police, who were following the money trail. I was becoming a joke around the not-yet smoke-free and politically correct taverns of Newmarket, Ontario that the new game in town was "cops and wops"....

(To be continued)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Folks,

What follows is a letter to one Amanda Persico, of the Newmarket ERA newspaper.

My printer has broken down, and old mechanic Ivan is trying to find a way to duplicate this letter for hard copy. Yeah, we try, we luddites, we really try. :)

Dear Amanda Persico,

Some months ago, you emailed me to inform me that you would do a piece on me as local author of a then just-published book, The Fire in Bradford.

There is now a new wrinkle to my current goings-on, and in fact, recent events might trump the issue of my somewhat down "The Fire in Bradford."

My very first novel, The Black Icon has always been a steady seller over the past forty years, usually through small Toronto bookstores and private requests from some academics and friends....It was, in fact, published in serial form in the old TOPIC, l975, when ole Gerry Barker had the paper.
It seems that the ICON has kept shining.
Recently someone from a cultural committee out of Edmonton, AB has requested ten copies of The Black Icon ASAP, so he can distribute it among his friends, who are probably academics. I know that this Peter Melnycky is himself a reviewer of books with Ukrainian content, though
I maintain that The Black Icon is a general interest novel.

Seems that opportunity strikes only once.

I immediately ordered a reprint of The Black Icon and sent the books to Peter Melnycky, who, I think is a PhD...I know he does book reviews and I could not let this new opportunity pass.

So ten ICONs have gone to Edmonton. From there on, where she goes, nobody knows.

I am forwarding a photo of the second-last reprint of The Black Icon. The Newmarket Public Library has already re-purchased the 2011 reprint and they have paid me...Fact is, I am already out of stock so the book cover photo I am sending you is of a l991 edition.

Perhaps centering my story on this new interest from Edmonton would be a little more "up" than a review or account of my somewhat passionate The Fire in Bradford.

What do you think?

Sincerely

Ivan Prokopchuk

Anonymous said...

To IVAN> ivan, somehoe I cannot post comment in your comment section, but I read your beautiful beginning of the new novel! Kudos !

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mona?

There is something wrong with the frames of my blog.

I am technologically too challenged to fix.

But I notice that Charles Gramlich has been viewing this blog today....And no comment.

It's got to be technical, technical, I keep telling myself. :)

ivan@creativewriting.cfa said...

Egad.

I will try again here to enter into my own comment space.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Woo-hoo! It worked--I think.

Go gorilla, try mozilla? Hoo-Hah.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Damn.

I've lost contact with my comment space again. Mozilla will not get me in.

Sez here:

What you can try:
Open this content in a new window

Click onto the highlighting.

Aaghh.

Where is the highlighing.

I think I'm going to kill myself.

Anonymous said...

Now that my blog is temporarily out of order due to my blog posts appearing in the courtroom, it's nice to see a familiar pic elsewhere. So Ivan, when will you use it on a book jacket? Just a thought. --JR

ivan@creativewriting.ca: said...

JR of old JR's Thumbprints:

Can I help it if you looked exactly-- oh, say it on!-- better than me twenty years ago.

Right now I'm Dorian Grey, like really grey up here in the attic.
I look like hell!

So I had to use a better picture.
Okay, okay, I stole one of your photos from your old blog.

What is that old adage "Mere talent borrows, genius steals?" Ha.

ivan@creativeriting.ca said...

Computer tells me "my cookies are disabled."
What else is new?

I seem to have "lost my cookies" a long time ago!

Anyway, here is another try to get into my own comment space...Others tell me this isn't working.

ivan said...

Hi folks,

1) June 18 is Atlantic Author Day. If you're in Nova Scotia I hope you'll check out some of the readings. The schedule is at http://www.atlanticpublishers.ca/images/uploads/NS%20Schedule%281%29.pdf. I'm doing 6 consecutive readings at bookstores around the Halifax area. Yikes. C'mon out and see me if you can.

2) My new column, "Schizo-virtual Storytelling" (In an age of internet information overload, stories are still everything) is up at http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/schizo-virtual-storytelling/Content?oid=2579614. It features an interview with legendary writer Silver Donald Cameron and looks at how new tech can be used to tell environmental stories, with today's Nova Scotia Ted talks as an example.

Happy reading.

Chris
--

Chris Benjamin is a freelance journalist and fiction writer. His critically acclaimed first novel, Drive-by Saviours, was listed as a Canada Reads Top 40 essential read of the decade. His first book of nonfiction, Atlantic Canada's Sustainability Innovators, will be published by Nimbus in Fall 2011. He is the Sustainable City Columnist for The Coast (www.thecoast.ca). In 2006/2007 he worked as a journalist in Ghana. He was a finalist for the 2010 Fusion Go Sustainability Award and shared an honourable mention in the 2009 National Magazine Awards. Chris has written opinion, fiction and features for The Globe and Mail, Chronicle Herald, VoicePrint Canada, This Magazine, Now Magazine, Canadian Dimension, Descant, Third Person Press, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Press, Rattling Books, The Society, University of Waterloo Press, Z Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, Coastlands, Progress Magazine, Rural Delivery and many others.

www.chrisbenjaminwriting.com

ivan@Creativewriting.ca said...

...Whoops...That was from Chris Benjamin, or Benjibopper.

Anonymous said...

Your browser's cookie functionality is disabled. Please enable JavaScript and cookies in order to use Blogger.

ivan said...

Damn.

And I can't afford a techie right now.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I often long for a full day just to read. This, my Drive-by Saviours public reading schedule for tomorrow (Atlantic Author Day, June 18), is not exactly what I had in mind. I must be crazy, but for those of you in the Halifax area, I hope you'll come out to at least one of these:

10-11 Coles, Halifax Shopping Centre
11-12 Coles, Scotia Square
12-1 Chapters Mic Mac Mall
1-2 Chapters Bayers Lake
2-3 Coles, Bedford Place Mall
3-4 IndigoSpirit, Sunnyside Mall
In other news, have you heard of guest blogging? OK, it's pure self-promotion all around. My friend Michael Kimber, a journalist, creative writer and spoken word artist, has a ridiculously popular blog called Colony of Losers about being a recent university grad with mental health issues and making his way in the world. He's asking his writer friends, including me, to write about the crazy 20s. I'm pretty happy with the result: http://colony-of-losers.com/wordpress/2011/06/14/seeds-of-doubt-by-chris-benjamin/.

Lastly, for the first time I've written a book review for The Coast, about PEI writer Jeff Bursey's unusual debut novel, Verbatim. See the very short review (as is their format) at http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/verbatim-a-novel/Content?oid=2602453.

Happy reading and hope to see the locals out for Atlantic Author Day.

Chris



--

Chris Benjamin is a freelance journalist and fiction writer
Hi all,

I often long for a full day just to read. This, my Drive-by Saviours public reading schedule for tomorrow (Atlantic Author Day, June 18), is not exactly what I had in mind. I must be crazy, but for those of you in the Halifax area, I hope you'll come out to at least one of these:

10-11 Coles, Halifax Shopping Centre
11-12 Coles, Scotia Square
12-1 Chapters Mic Mac Mall
1-2 Chapters Bayers Lake
2-3 Coles, Bedford Place Mall
3-4 IndigoSpirit, Sunnyside Mall
In other news, have you heard of guest blogging? OK, it's pure self-promotion all around. My friend Michael Kimber, a journalist, creative writer and spoken word artist, has a ridiculously popular blog called Colony of Losers about being a recent university grad with mental health issues and making his way in the world. He's asking his writer friends, including me, to write about the crazy 20s. I'm pretty happy with the result: http://colony-of-losers.com/wordpress/2011/06/14/seeds-of-doubt-by-chris-benjamin/.

Lastly, for the first time I've written a book review for The Coast, about PEI writer Jeff Bursey's unusual debut novel, Verbatim. See the very short review (as is their format) at http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/verbatim-a-novel/Content?oid=2602453.

Happy reading and hope to see the locals out for Atlantic Author Day.

Chris



--

Chris Benjamin is a freelance journalist and fiction writer

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