[Addendum at bottom]
The language in a play is like language nowhere else in life. You get eloquent soliloquys out of nowhere; tight dialogue batted back and forth without the ums, ahs and hesitations; you get ordinary, bumbling real life boiled down to killing intensity and presented in three acts that build like ladder rungs, elevating you to a view you don’t ordinarily get.
It was good to hear this language, and three brave local actors delivering it, on stage at Clayoquot Community Theatre last night, in the opener of The Dreamer Examines His Pillow. Continue reading
I’m pleased to announce that my chapbook other men’s wives : love poems to a village of creative women is fresh off the press, as of a couple of weeks ago. Only 55 copies were printed — we’ll see how long they last.
We held a triple launch party on Nov. 22, as the kickoff event of the Clayoquot Oyster Fest. In addition to OMW, the packed-house evening featured a (very) dramatic reading from Tofino Timeless, a collaborative story by 10 members of the Clayoquot Writers Group, and David Floody’s wry Kittenstein and Frankenfur, the Gambling Cats (ebook here).
I must admit to some trepidation about publishing two dozen mostly bona fide love poems, most quite personal and many about women who still live here on the Wet Coast. I did my best to disguise all references to individuals (there were many), but i fear there may be a backlash of some sort.
UPDATE THREE MONTHS LATER — There are just four copies left. No significant backlash, though i did have a couple of “corrections.” Not surprisingly, about 80% of the copies were bought by women. As i say in the foreword, Women, wonderfully, are still susceptible to poetry. They get it; they understand it; it touches them.
Looking for the September Non-Disclosure Form (as mentioned in my piece in September 2013’s Tofino Time magazine)? Click the thumbnail to download it.
Wondering what the heck this is about? Read the piece (below) and all will become clear.
The DOLT Revolt
by greg blanchette 2013
I kicked up my skateboard, glanced up and down Campbell Street, and casually pulled open the door to the district office, like I was going in to sign up for a macrame class, maybe, or ask about the noise bylaw.
Laura was expecting me—all smiles as usual, but you don’t mess with a gal who knows a dozen ways to take you down with her bare hands. I nodded politely and gave the password. “You’re late,” she said. Continue reading
Well, that was interesting fun! After a crazy-making few days cutting up cereal boxes with an Xacto knife, and piecing together a screen (bedsheet over a wooden frame) and backstage framework, i gave my first shadow puppet show ever at last Sunday’s Lantern Festival at the Tofino Botanical Gardens.
It had turned into an entirely last-minute exercise. The previous days of damp overcast and/or pouring rain were not a motivating factor and, wondering whether the whole Lantern Fest might be a washout, i procrastinated right up till the last minute. Continue reading
If there is one factor that defines the West Coast — its flora, its people, its atmosphere, its zeitgeist — it has arguably got to be rain.
Here in Tofino (actually at the airport, 20 km south, where the official rain gauge is) we get an average 3.3 metres (11 feet) of rain every year (source). Clayoquot Lake, among the mountains about 24 km east of town, gets a whopping 6.5m (21 feet) a year (source).
All this precip is cause for depression, commiseration, exultation and deep civic pride, for those of us who live here. Grey, dripping sky is the torture from which we long to escape (half the town decamps to Mexico come winter) and our badge of honour, certifying our superior mental toughness.
Rain is our Rorschach test and our social glue, our waterboarding and our baptism. The Wet Coast IS rain, and everybody knows it.