Thursday, 23 March 2017

To be Canadian, a definition.


The snow recedes at Thorsby in step with the increased hours of sunshine much enjoyed by those earlier bound in seasonal darkness as I write this.

            A man notes the caterwaul of his fellows grow with the passing cold of winter's silent judgement, arisen on the promise of a warmer tomorrow.  This in spite of centuries spent in prideful carriage through atmospheric travails beyond the pale of mortals living by terms of geography less challenging.

            This country, lately known as Canada to the neighbors, seems undeniably to have lost sight of the character necessary to its origins.

            In written form, either published or broadcast to the nation from coast-to-coast-to-coast, an identity crisis of epic proportion does unfold.  The population struggles either as result or in its place, unsure it seems of either whom they claim to be or why they came here in the first place.

            From the windswept beauty of the Alberta foothills meanwhile, this son of the pioneers looks on with an uneven mix of bitter disappointment and stunned surprise.

            Were my father alive today, I fear his response might more closely resemble the resolute commitment that once formed this nation.  While most times either swift or brutal in its application, neither from whence they came nor what they intended at any time was left to question.

For only brute strength or absolute commitment would prove sufficient to wrest survival from a wilderness now traversed from coast-to-coast in ignorant comfort by their offspring.

Memory of a struggle, epic in proportion whose tragedy yet echoes loudly through the ages following, it seems was lost by their children.  The iron grit necessary to their conception, that fearless optimism without which they would not be here today, now is either willfully ignored or ignorantly resisted.

In its place is offered the cowardice of fear or the recalcitrance of bigotry by applicants to public positions of political power.

I state for the record here, those who traffic in such divisive filth are cowards all, with nary the intestinal fortitude to defend or stand for such despicable ignorance between the lot of them if individually confronted.  For only false-courage granted by the faceless mob emboldens such tiny people as these to promote the mean-spirited hatred of deplorable right-wing or populist rhetoric.

Like the feckless trash they most closely resemble, opportunistic political sociopaths lacking the true courage of conviction instead offer racist fear-mongering or religious division in place of strategies or progress.

I speak here as an authentic son of the pioneers responsible for the existence of this nation, a direct descendent of those who made Canada.  Being of Metis descent, my people are that of which Canada is most elementally composed, and for the record I offer a short review of my heritage.

My mother was a middle daughter of the Cree clan named Mason living on what is known currently as the Fisher River First Nation, not only a survivor of the residential schools but the mother of eight children.  A woman raised in wilderness, circumstances would later necessitate her living as one of the country's early single mother's.

While the color of her skin was used as a weapon against her each day of her life, with stubborn dignity she would celebrate the arrival of great-grandchildren.

My father was a WWII veteran, the elder son of a distant branch of the Pruden clan long ago founded by a one-time indentured pauper who rose to the position of HBC Factor in this new world.  A man born to colonize the new country, his life would shape a world view founded in respect for the right to freedom of all men.

Known among men of his time for conservative values most strongly influenced by respect for king or country, he volunteered to fight or die if necessary to ensure the world would be free of the evil spread by Nazi's or the tragedy of the Holocaust.

To my parents I owe all I have, will or ever know.

I thank them for making me, as I thank them for the country in which I live, each day.

To be Canadian is to respect heritage.

Once upon a time ago, the first peoples welcomed the first visitors to these shores with the means to survive the harshest of circumstance found in their home.  Some not extended time later, when pursuit of fame or fortune had divided the surrounding geography into stolen domains claimed by these white visitors, a country eventually named Canada came to be.

While time has since cast doubt on the wisdom of that initial welcome, the nation existing it its place is best served remembering the source of its founding.

To be Canadian after all, is also to be an immigrant.

As much as it means being fearless.

To survive in this place, to build this country, not only took, but takes, the courage of conviction.

That's also a value necessary to immigrants.

In the course of my life, I've listened to more people than I can count try to define what it means to 'be Canadian'.  So far, I've heard none that have done my parents the justice they so deservedly earned.

To be a Canadian, first, last and always, means to be a pioneer.

To be a pioneer requires being open-minded to unknown possibilities.

This country of Canada, neither now nor then, has ever provided comfort to cowards.

We share what we have with others here; that is our tradition.  As we fight to the death whenever or wherever our values might be assaulted.

We do these things because, in the words of my parents, that's what it means to be Canadian.

In the wilderness of early Canada ~ a place I was fortunate enough to experience in my long ago youth ~ a door was never left locked when a homesteader should be away.  This was because at any time, a lost traveler, a neighbor, or any other fellow pioneer might need food or shelter to survive it.

In those times, a Canadian left his door unlocked for the safety of an unknown fellow pioneer.

That as much as anything else is what it means to be Canadian.

To be Canadian means holding the values of a pioneer as sacrosanct to survival.

For we are the children of pioneers.

Above all else, it's that we must not forget if honor is what we would reflect upon our shared heritage.

To be Canadian is to be fearless.

Just as being Canadian makes sharing what we have a natural urge.

However, I would advise not taking anything from a Canadian without first asking permission to do so.

For being a pioneer also means defending oneself or one's home against any or all threats, to the death if necessary, with cheerful but resolute conviction.

If you doubt those words, you're welcome to try it for yourself somewhere within the nation's borders.

I wish you much luck, but you will certainly need more of it.

Thus a man finds himself with many good reasons to feel particularly disgusted by the political climate now being fomented in Canada.  In surprising numbers political cowards currently promote fear-mongering or outright hatred ~ a common practice among the right-wing in Canada since the rise of a popular fascist in our southern neighbor ~ towards either immigrant populations or refugees seeking respite from this war-torn planet.

These bigoted fools with their ignorant supporters now wave the nation's flag while engaging in the most absurdly UN-Canadian behavior for all to see.  While receiving neither the shame nor the condemnation they so richly deserve from either the media or the apparently somnambulant Canadian population.

As children of the pioneers we must stop this despicable activity before it becomes further ensconced in the trappings of respectability.  These bigoted racists must be stopped, with their agendas identified as dangerous, if Canada is to avoid a similar fate as has befallen earlier populist or fascist political movements elsewhere around the world.

Like it or not, Canada is under assault by a group of penny ante fascists in league with a loose conglomeration of self-identified bigots or avowed racists.

Fortunately, being Canadian means facing any battle with the resolute conviction required to achieve either victory or death in pursuit of it.

The scourge of bigotry has doubtless secured a beachhead upon the shores of our political landscape, supported by the racism undermining the institutions of our society.  As children of Canada, a nation founded upon the principals of shared freedom with justice for all, we must now stand together to defeat it.

The reasons we must are plain, but I will again state them for the sake of either those Canadian's who have forgotten or the historical record.

To be Canadian is to be an immigrant.

To be Canadian is to be a refugee.

To be Canadian is to be fearless.

To be Canadian is to stand up for what we believe in when others sit.

To be Canadian is to keep a light on in a dark place that others may find their way.

To be Canadian is to do the right thing.

To be Canadian is to be a pioneer.

            Thanks for sharing the blog.

  • TFP
    March 23, 2017

           

Friday, 17 February 2017

A populous acheivement.


More than a calendar month, marked most by lingering chill, passed at sylvan Thorsby since last I posted here.

The writer's work with ample progress continued in near lock-step with the transposing season's lingering passage.  In the distance meanwhile, a man by now smells the unripened bulbs of new life, threatening to burst forth with daylight hours rapid lengthening.

            In recollection of what lies ahead, nature's headlong rush for spring soon nears.

            At this little town on the rolling Alberta prairie meanwhile, the life more than less fantastic continues.

            Once a village, the namesake home of Thor grows with the new century, recently passing over one thousand residents.  After extended consideration by higher levels of provincial governance ~ combined with tireless efforts from local champions ~ a lofty new title is bestowed.

            All of us here, the writer included, now live at the town of Thorsby.

            While doubtless a cause for local celebration, a man admits to limited enthusiasm for the populous achievement.

            Also worth remembering is that but sixteen years ago, this writer chose the village as home, not vice versa.  With growth thus enabled by arrival, complaint when it continued would deserve no more respect than received by any other (proverbial) cat in a manger.

            Those of us fortunate to live here have it good.

            A man hates to spread it around, but we who do might well have discovered the best of all possible worlds.

            The unfortunate fact remains news of the find spreads, making population expansion near inevitable.  Now at steady pace, the bucolic peace of a picturesque home mostly undisturbed by progress is threatened by increasing popularity.

            For living in peace has ever made itself more difficult when greater numbers of us are involved in its pursuit.

            The means by which our kind searches to disagree when doing so is almost beyond the imaginations ability to comprehend.  In all cases, the extremes of behavior must follow closely assigned limitations proscribed by law to manage it.

            Court rooms overfilled around the planet demonstrate the efficacy of the approach.

            For the common sense, by now long ago, has indeed grown rare.

            Here on the seeming endless plains of central Alberta, where open space in remarkable abundance yet remains, managing the task imposes escalating difficulty in face of the expanding numbers.  In no time, the dictates of the municipalities act, a sense-numbing tome of seeming inconsequential detail most shocking by its prodigious length, provides the only means for survival of the local peace.

            From a dispassionate seat of objective review, the writer in recent times bore witness to the necessity of legal governance in matters either great or small.

            We the people, at all times, without variance, require the strict control of a short leash in the firm grip of a powerful hand.  For when left to individual devices or opinions, it seems even now the habit of living in peace together yet remains beyond our collective capacity.

            Despite thousands of years of practice, the homo sapiens ability to live amongst his fellows remains the greatest of all challenges.

            The legal constraints required to enforce the reasonable expectations of harmless behavior when living amongst one another continue to amaze by their necessary complexity.  For the races of man in near endless variety search, daily it would seem, for new methods by which to endanger, disturb, or discomfort his neighbor.

            From backyard deck building to sidewalk snow removal, a population greater than one in no time produces exponential numbers of extraordinary disagreements.  Ever a gambling man, this writer wagers a trip to your next local municipal government meeting reveals a similar situation even now unfolding.

            If you doubt it, I invite you to spend an evening out as a practical experiment sometime in the next thirty days.  Take along a copy of a recent publication showing the date of your attendance at a local council or community board meeting, with a record of what took place there to back your claim of peaceful coexistence.  Send a photo to me here documenting your experiment as evidence.

Should your experience describe a lack of the expected conflict, I'll happily reward your claim by sending you an e-book copy of my novel Grand Opening.

This writer expects to send few ~ if any ~ e-books as result of the challenge, despite its public issue.

Though in truth, a man would delight in little more than doing so.

            Thanks for sharing the blog.

  • TFP
    February 19, 2017

Friday, 13 January 2017

A writer's reminders.


Long ago, in the place of this old writer, an angry young man once lived.

Time as ever paired with experience, would have its way with him.  Through passing years, the younger fellow would learn those lessons taught by ineffable circumstance or created by result of actions taken.  A capable if recalcitrant student, the old writer eventually evolved from within the heart of a younger man who would, at last, embrace the cooler voice of studied reason.

Those lessons most difficult however, are also best not forgotten.

I consider them worth restating both for posterity's sake, and a now aging writer's reminder.

The writer must write.

This he must do, above all else, and before any other thing.  The writer must, first, last, and always write.  As the painter of either pictures or houses must paint, so too the carpenter with his hammer and nails must build.  Likewise, the musician must play; the singer must sing, and so on as their individual skills or talent should describe, thus testifying to the infinite variety of our kind.  Viewed in such light, all vocational claims must first show with action before receiving acceptance as authentic.

At least, that's how I see it.

Talking about it meanwhile, is left to others.

Play your own ball.

Upon arrival, we are each assigned, metaphorically, only one.  The intention being we should focus on playing with it.  This requires leaving those belonging to others alone.  No matter where or when found, they ever stay the intellectual property of someone else.  In the literary sense, this means we must create our own stories.

Here, the practice is thus viewed.

Copyright is the sole legal protection available to artists.

Those who deny it do so only to steal the artist's work.

Only those without a creative ability of their own would stoop to such a level in search of explanation for ethical and moral abasement.  Copyright infringement is approximately defined as simple theft in the common law, and in any other case this would render further discussion unnecessary.  In matters of art, and this writer includes literature or music in such a category, there remains persistent desire for an alternate definition.

What is worth noting is that the sentiment rises not from artists responsible for creating original works.

Near invariably, those seeking suspension of copyright prove unable to create work of their own. 

For a writer cannot write if having nothing to say.

Those claiming to suffer that nefarious lie known as 'writer's block' would do well to remember the above noted fact.  Based on the constant promotion of the poisonous stuff, promoters of the so-called 'fan fiction' also need reminding of their intellectual property theft.  In those cases, both the world and the individual are better off without further concern invested in such nonsense.  For if a writer has something to say it will, in little time and despite all cost, appear next on the page.  Those deciding for whatever reason they cannot do so meanwhile, should not make the attempt.

If for whatever reason an individual can't write, stop instead of complaining about it.

The rest of us are better off without either.

            To do is to be.

            All else is nonsense.  Or lies, but pointless as a matter of practical consideration.  Those hoping to arrive at a destination by means other than working with patience and commitment remain ever certain to fail.  For much like any, to accomplish a literary journey one must but place one iambic foot resolutely in front of the other.

In most cases, a traveller is also wise to recall many shortcuts lead nowhere.

            To be a writer, the individual must write.

As far as I know as yet there is discovered no other way.

            If seeking to live authentically with honor meanwhile, the individual must conduct their affairs with ethical consideration as first concern.  To the best of one's ability, at all times, in all places, this must be the path adhered to if meritorious achievement of a desired result is the individual's goal.  For dishonorable actions like all forms of cheating lead not to victory, but to the bitter deceit of the cynical or foolish.

            As the now popular saying goes, it is what it is.

To achieve the real joy of victory, in battle as in life, it must be fairly earned.

Those choosing to cheat must ever live with the knowledge.

            This writer can suppose no greater punishment, to those with character either admirable or just, than living with such awareness.  By now having tasted often either victory or defeat in both life and battle, this writer also admits to sleeping most easily due to accepting only those results by fair play achieved.  For such a flame, be advised, yet burns within these aging bones.

            To the cheaters meanwhile, is left the misery of unearned reward, and real failure with bitter misery ever hidden.

For the sake of posterity and with accuracy, the above statements provide summation to what I believed, and practiced, in such affairs.

With the reminder delivered, I next offer news of more significant concern.

After lengthy weeks of daily effort, lately here completed is the first draft of a new manuscript.  Now prepared, it will in time be novel number four.  Its writer, exhausted but most pleased, must rest.  Soon enough the writer dons the editor's hat, though not in service to work just finished.  Instead, a man next returns to novel number three, which awaits publication.

A final review before its scheduled fall release is soon under way.

As this writer, with great satisfaction, must write. 

Thanks for sharing the blog.

  • TFP
    January 13, 2017

Friday, 9 December 2016

A seasoned greeting.


I started this post with intention of keeping it short, despite a road paved with earlier attempts snickering at my back.

A hard-earned reputation by now has likely eliminated those readers expecting strict adherence to such instruction, rendering further attempt at exculpation unnecessary.  Should aversion to the practice of literary craft bordering the pedantic best describe a reader's taste however, what follows is unlikely a flavor of choice.

This writer suffering a peculiar addiction to it, despite offering less than noteworthy skills in manipulation makes no apology for the demonstration.

Due to the claim of writer made as vocation I have returned to work.

Once again with masochist pleasure the scribe must endure the rigor of literary creation to live up to now published pronouncements.  Far from a drama described, the real effect is to limit energy earlier devoted to care of the blog or similar marketing efforts maintained on behalf of it.

The writer must as result relay news of the published novels from a certain distance, with this post warning the reader of what is sure to be routine delay.

While offering no estimate of length aside from assurance it should not be extended.

The reader may trust continued appreciation of reviews published or ratings posted on behalf of the novels earn the writer's fond attention.  As is the accepted usual in these parts, personal details considered providing less value than necessary for entertainment will continue left to a reader's imagination.

This writer has after all, long considered doing as first necessity to being.

In these parts, the demand to practice that which a man claims for vocation is viewed as professional duty.

Another thing necessary before most everything else around here: accepting work as equal in value no matter the occupation.  Whether you swing a hammer or drive a truck, manage a network or fly a plane, play a musical instrument or write stories, either talent or craft earns the respect it deserves hereabouts.

As return of it meanwhile, is necessary to either reasoned or meaningful discourse.

Thus much like my fellows living here in the now frozen north, this writer exists not in a vacuum.

Sharing concerns expressed by many of them, I too might think myself forced to acknowledge the ascension of a self-described misogynist, publicly avowed racist, or a known bigot to the largely anecdotal position of 'leader of the free world'.  That abundant published evidence revealed that fellow an idiot while a separate concern would also no doubt require mention were such a circumstance to arise.

As many times earlier stated about such matters, the writer continues to withhold comment on affairs political.

Save to record serious concern for the unfettered rise of dangerous sentiment within the population or leadership of a neighbor held in high regard.

The writer is also fortunate to live in a sovereign nation suffering near countless problems of its own requiring devoted attention.  My effort like those of my fellow citizens is best focussed on the many challenges contained within its borders.

Much as our southern neighbors with great misfortune in recent time's demonstrate, when the job of living together in peace is left untended in a so-called free market or capitalist society, elemental discord on a grand scale soon festers.

The long denied yet always plain gulf between those that have or have not in our western democracies not only increases, but is far more divisive than earlier considered.

Despite no sign of sky falling locally, the rise of a de facto neo-fascist movement led by a populist madman in our geographical neighbor recalls with eerie similarity its pre-war rise a continent away only a century ago.  While appreciating the societal pendulum now but swings in response to natural if much less than rational perceptions of economic circumstance, this writer finds little comfort in the reactionary vicissitude.

The writer instead most hopes the inmates now in control of the asylum might be prevented from returning the planet to earlier levels of hatred well-documented by the historical record.

As accurate review of recent political discourse though unfortunate leaves little reason to doubt those refusing to learn from history will likely repeat it.

That a man would seek to ease such legitimate concern by reporting great satisfaction with early response to my latest novel release Grand Opening should thus be understood.  The second of these works to see publication, much like its predecessor the western Canadian novel so far earns praise for being unique in style if not substance.

The writer admits to being most pleased to discover his work rating notice of any kind in times such as these.

Thanks to everyone for supporting my ongoing literary efforts.

I'm also pleased to invite you to enter the Goodreads Giveaway of 5 autographed paperback copies of Grand Opening.  Click the link displayed atop the column on the side of the page to enter.

My advice: enter early, enter often!

To all who do the writer wishes the best of luck.

This is the last post I have planned for the calendar year.  Thanks again to those who support my work with the purchase of paperbacks or eBooks, it would not be possible without you.

I also send to the reader warm regards for the holiday season with salutations for a happy new year.

Thanks for sharing the blog.

 

  • TFP
    December 10, 2016