Saturday, December 24, 2011

We all know where the rainbow goes ...

Hello all,

Enjoy your holidays, eat and frolic, but stay away from the discount bin Pot-O-Golds:


And, if you ever had any interest in the stage adaptation of Rust and Bone (and happened to live in Australia, where it ran, and happened to have a time machine to go back a few months to when it was playing) then this could be of interest. I believe it will be running again in the new year.


All best, Craig.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And a baby makes three

Hello All,

There is some very big news in my life that I haven't commented about in this space. There's a few reasons for that. One of them is that I find it rather easy to talk candidly about plenty of aspects of my personal life here, or in newspaper pieces, or in books (by ascribing scenes from my past to characters). They're confessional, sure, but for whatever reason they don't strike me as the truly, vitally important aspects of my life. Those things, by in large, I don't talk about. Partially that's because everyone---everyone outside the Kardashians, at least---has some parts of themselves and their lives that they don't necessarily talk about to the world at large, or at least as many as may be reading this little blog of mine. And the other part is that to talk on certain events or people is to risk miscommunicating how important they are to you, how deeply you need them, and the joy you feel that they are part of your life. The words and phrases don't exist, or anyway, I don't have the skill to conjure them. Either way, some things stay private.

And so here I go trying to comment on one of those un-expressible joys that sometimes occur in one's life. Forgive me if I make a hash of it.

Two months ago my girlfriend and I discovered we were pregnant. Well, she is---I'm just riding her coattails. This is the most awesome news we could have gotten, although it took a few days to adjust to it. It was, as they say, one of life's lovely little surprises. We'd both been thinking about it, of course, but nature had its way of pushing our hand, as slyboots Mother Nature often does. But my feeling is: you take right person-wrong time versus the opposite 100% of the time. And with me in my mid-30s, I mean, it was like, "Get it in gear, Davidson!" Certainly my folks are overjoyed. I believe they expected me to live out my life on a houseboat, grizzled and weird, childless and alone. I'm not sure that wasn't the way I'd envisioned my own life playing out not so long ago, truth be told.

So now things have changed quite radically. We're looking for a home here in Toronto, a place to settle down for a few years. It's life-changing news and you have to adjust your life to suit. Which is fantastic. I believe I was always waiting and wanting this change to arrive.

I've known my girlfriend for years. We went to school together back in New Brunswick, both students in a Master's of English program. We were good friends, then roommates. Then I finished school and moved to Calgary. My now-girlfriend finished school and decided to hell with English (best choice she'd ever made!) and went to Romania to work in an orphanage. Then she got back, got her Social Work degree in Manitoba, and returned to Halifax to work as a Children's Services Worker. Rough gig. Me, I could never hack it.

We kept in touch. Her sister lived in Calgary and she came out from time to time. We always hung out. Then I moved to Toronto, couldn't find work for love nor money, and took a gig as a newspaper editor in Fredericton, 4 hours from Halifax. I let her know I was back in the area. Things went from there, as things tend to. It was long-distance, as it had to be---me driving to Halifax, her coming to Fredericton. And then after a year I got offered a job in Toronto. It was a crossroads moment. I had to take it. We decided that she would come to Toronto. This was not an easy choice for her. Her friends and job stability lay in Halifax. But I said it wouldn't be a forever thing---5 years, max (which I still honor to this day).

It was the greatest stroke of luck in my life that she agreed to come with me. She found work immediately, which was no surprise to me considering how damned good she is at her job. The magazine I worked for, however, folded. Whoopee! Now there's the thorny issue of finding work. In this economy---double whoopee! In a dying industry---a thousand hosannas!

Well, anyway, such is life. I'll muddle through. But certainly there is a keener note of desperation. I'm fine living on Top Ramen and boiled oats but there's no way I'd wish that on the woman I love or the child who will soon be part of our lives. I'm glad to have that incentive, though. Not that I've ever been a lazy person, I've got a pretty strong blue-collar streak running through me, but I'll be redoubling my efforts to make sure things are okay for us. Certainly it's great having a hugely talented and hardworking partner, too (although right now she's got a new nickname: Hormone-asaurus. Whoo, those hormones! They really do tend to make life interesting, don't they?)

So that's the news. Biggest and best news of my life, you can safely say. I'm really, really lucky. Maybe I won't think so during those sleepless radish-eyed nights nine months hence, when the baby's crying at 3am and my girlfriend and I look like a couple haggard cast-offs from The Night of the Living Dead, but overall and in sum total, I couldn't possibly be happier.

I don't know how much this part of my life will figure in this blog. I don't really want to be a daddy blogger---although one never knows. But if the updates are scarce it's because there are some things in life that really are too precious to risk tarnishing by trying to explain them.

All best, Craig.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Top Bets and some news

Hello all,

Please see below for another episode of Top Bets. I do hope you enjoy it.

In other news: Doubleday Canada has agreed to publish my new novel, Cataract City. I'm very fortunate and very pleased at once. No release date as yet. Still some editing and so on to be done. No synopsis yet, either. That will come in due time as well.

But yes. Awesome. It's been awhile.

All best, Craig.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hello All,

So, this is an experiment. As anyone who knows me can attest, I really don't know much about technology. It's amazing I keep this blog running, I'm such a technophobe luddite. But I try. I struggle. I try.

So we'll see if this works. I have a bunch of old TOP BETS, which was a column I wrote for an alt-urban newspaper in the Maritimes in 2010. That bygone era! Call of Duty 3---remember that game? Before that: Pacman!

Anyway, the basic idea of the column was ... well, I was hired as deputy editor and my EIC, bless him, realized he had to give me something to write on a weekly basis to keep me sane and make use of whatever weird talents I happened to have. So he came up with this idea of listing some events that were going on in the cities where the paper was distributed (Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John). Sort of like: "Hey, this is going on this week! Check it out!"

Now we ended up getting some hate mail over this. I managed to offend Newfoundlanders, Europeans, um, pita bakers (long story) and others. My EIC, Charles, stuck with me through all of this. God love that man. It was fun. I got a whole page to use as my sandbox and created a cast of characters: the nameless hard-luck narrator of many of the items, his good-for-nothing friend Shifty Tubman, his rattlesnake-mean lover Handsome Maggie ... that's a pretty rare opportunity for any ink-stained wretch.

And, true to form, I squandered it.

Longtime readers of this blog will know I've posted some of these before as pure text. But now that I figured out how to convert .pdfs to .jpgs, I think I can post them in their fullness, with the wacky illustrations and photos. You may have to scroll around to read them, yeah, and they come with a big watermark in the corner because I'm too cheap to pay for the actual convertor, but you get the idea.

I'll post a couple right now to give a taste, and the odd one every so often afterwards. So read, gaze, and marvel that these freaking things actually made it into print at some point. It still kind of beggars imagination!

All best, Craig.