Beep Boop Boop Beep – The sound a Redux makes when no one is listening

Hey everyone!

So this is the (almost) yearly reboot of The Hurley Edition. I can only say that I will do my best to not let this go dormant. I’ve got the usual excuses….health, health, and procrastination. However, I do have some interesting news to tell you about. I have made a visual change to the site, which is kickin the black a bit. Put in a new graphic at the header, and a few other things under the hood.

Other news I have, is that I have finally decided to take the plunge and participate in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an annual event that takes place online and it is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days during the month of November. There is a website (www.nanowrimo.org) and it is a charitable organization. I donate to them because they contribute to reading and writing programs all over the world. I can’t use as a tax deduction, because it only applies if you live in the USA. However, it doesn’t matter to me, it’s the actions behind the organization that count in my book. Get it? My book! Anyhoo – I am entering this year’s challenge with a Novel that I have tentatively titled “Ned Webster”. Of course, that is only a working title as everything is totally first draft in this competition. If you keep checking back here at the site, you will be able to follow my progress as I struggle through this huge undertaking. There is a little widget to the right in the sidebar that will be tracking how many words I write per day, every day during the whole month. So watch as it shows my glaring low word count as I peck away at the keyboard. I hope I can count on you for some encouragement as the month goes on. It’s actually a pretty big deal to write 50,000 word in just 30 days so anything at all will be hugely helpful, especially in the middle part of the month. So help a buddy out…..that would be me. As I already consider myself a writer, I am trying very hard to legitimize myself to the world to say “I am a writer!” Somehow, us writers don’t feel like we’re really writers until we get published, which is a load of crap when you think about it. I mean, the definition of a writer is someone who writes, so that should make me a writer already. But any and all steps that I can take to get me that one step further, I’ll take if it means some sort of recognition as a writer.

But believe me when I say it isn’t the recognition that will be the most satisfying or the most legitimizing, no. It will be the knowledge that I managed to overcome a huge challenge on my own in the glaring light of public scrutiny. That will mean more to me than anything else. As most of you know, I am disabled. I’m not able to run marathons or climb mountains, but this is something that i CAN do. This is MY marathon! So I mean it when I say every little comment of support counts. For anyone who has run a marathon, I’m sure you can agree, some cheering no matter how small can be the biggest boost to getting through the marathon. For it’s won in your head as much as it is in your feet, or your fingers in my case.

So cheer me ¬†on and visit the site. They are a great organization! Here’s to my first attempt and hopefully win at writing 50,000 words in a month! GO NANOWRIMO!

Lynn Coady wins the 2013 Giller Prize!!

Congratulations to Lynn Coady for winning this year’s Giller Prize for her collection of short stories titled “Hellgoing”. Some of you may remember Ms. Coady’s name from her nomination a few years ago for her novel “The Antagonist”, which was a great book as well.

So for those of you who will now be running to your nearest book store to grab copies of Hellgoing, I can only encourage you to do it sooner rather than later. In the past, the Giller winners tend to sell out extremely fast, and then it’s a wait until the publisher can get more printed and shipped to the stores. Of course, there is always the e-book option, but as much as I love e-books, I tend to like my award winners in good old paper and ink.

Lynn Coady

Lynn Coady

Oh, and if you aren’t sure what the winning book cover looks like, I’ve included a copy below the lovely photo of Ms. Coady. Please don’t confuse the two, and if you do…well…then you’ve got issues.

Congratulations again Lynn Coady on a wonderful achievement and on reminding Canadians just how much literary talent we have in this great country of ours. Let us not forget that the incredible Alice Munro was only recently awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

There’s a lot to look forward to in literature in Canada. Let’s just make sure that we do all that we can to support the folks who are trying to make it happen. Support your local arts community, and hey, why not tell the fun-loving, art-loving Conservatives how well we are being recognized on the world stage, even without their support. Imagine what could happen if there was a genuine push from the various levels of government in supporting the literary industry, as well as the Arts in general.

There was a time….really there was.

~todd

P.S. – Oh yeah, here’s the cover of the winning title in this year’s Giller Prize!!

Hellgoing by Lynn Coady

Hellgoing by Lynn Coady

 

T.H.E. Book Report Vol 2 – Hikikomori And The Rental Sister

Hikikommori And The Rental SisterI would have to say that this book shattered any expectations I had for it. It is an excellent read, as well as being beautifully written. The story concerns Thomas, an American man living in New York city, is devastated by the death of his very young son and has barricaded himself in his room for three years. His wife, Silke, is desperate and seeks out the only help she can find to get Thomas out of his room. The help comes in the form of a small, young Japanese woman called Megumi. She has the talent for working with Hikikomori, the Japanese word for what Thomas has done – shut himself away from society altogether. Megumi, who is tasked with getting him out of this situation is known as a “rental sister”.

As she works her way toward getting Thomas to come out of his room, she first must find her way into his room to really come to know him and why he has remained locked away. The story is excellently set up and executed as the three characters form a sort of triangulation with their most precious, unspoken feelings, schemes, and inevitable resolutions.

Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys great contemporary fiction from a new and upcoming voice. I look forward to reading Jeff Backhaus novels for a long time to come.

~ todd