I’m fed up.

I’ve had a good run on Twitter.  Nay, a great run.  I’ve made people laugh, I’ve made them share their works, all over the place.  I’ve opened up and I’ve received other confidences from others.  I will take these confidences with me, to the tomb I’ll inhabit, in many years from now.  It’s been my place to shine, away from the hubbub of real life.  My cabaret.

Yet, it’s time for me to go.  The spark is gone, the clown is a fucking sad person, now. Tweets are sent but are not read.  Messages are sent, but are avoided, as if they were the plague.  Laughs aren’t the guffaws and groans I used to get.  It’s the last call, folks.  The bar is closed.  The thrill is gone.  I’m willing to bet all the money I have (and I don’t have much) that this post will be read by a few people and avoided by others.  I respect their call and apologize if I’ve caused something that called for this.

It could be said that the algorithms are to blame, with regards to the lack of reception of my not-so-great jokes, but I’m sure that there are deeper causes, potentially much more negative, than mere 0s and 1s.  That is why I’m pulling the plug on my account, at an undetermined date, in the near future.  I will still be reachable, via other means, such as this blog or my beloved email.

It has been quite a ride and I cannot thank you enough, for all these moments you’ve given me and that boost knowing that I make you laugh has given to my self-esteem.  It’s not an easy post to write and I hope to see you again, either in a bar or a book signing.  Write on, folks!

 

What I learned about Twitter.

I’ve opened an account on Twitter, way back when I was younger.  At first, I was mainly a retweeter, knowing full well that I had nothing to share.  Then, a few months later, I decided to jump in the sharing bandwagon.  Now, Twitter is like high school and a Middle Eastern bazaar.  You got your cliques, your divas and your drama (just like high school) and people trying to sell their work, hoping that they’d be the next Dostoevsky or something.  And this is where I’ve used the same technique as in high school:  steer away from it all.

You may ask yourself why I decided to write this post.  Simple.  I decided, last night, to lower my joke production, which represents a large chunk of my tweets.  People need to laugh and I’ve tried to provide that to others.  Sometimes, they were met with laughter and sometimes, they were not.  Now, I’m not complaining about that.  I mean, people have lives of their own and they’re not glued to their Twitter account, like yours truly.  Yet, it takes a second to reply, at any given time of the day.  I mean, it takes two to tango.

Earlier, I compared this social media behemoth to high school or a bazaar.  In retrospect, I’ve realized that it was more akin to Hotel California.  “You can check out (or log out) anytime you like, but you can never leave”.  That is why I decided that I’ll return to the reading aspect of Twitter and focus on that, rather than focusing on creating my own tweets.

Questions and answers

What word do you think should be deleted from the dictionary? Why?
Writing pet peeve? (Pick the worst one, the one that makes you growl every time you see it.)
The strangest thing you’ve ever researched in the name of writing?
If you could name a constellation of stars, what would it be? Describe it or draw it?
Greek or Roman? Aphrodite or Venus?
What colour is your aura? (Airy-fairy answers please.)
What is your definition of roughing it?
Jeep or LandRover?
Bush or city?
If the coffee bean suddenly became extinct (I know, run now screaming), what would be our caffeine replacement?
Windows, Mac or Android? (Or any combination there of?)

The internet is so great that I got to meet someone down under (I’ve always wondered about that expression, to be honest….) named Judy, without leaving home.  Talk about two birds and one stone.  Anyway, it seems I’ve been nominated for something.  As a goodie bag, I received questions from said person.  So, without further a dew, here are my answers.  Pull a chair, if you may.

  1. I’d delete no words from the dictionary.  In fact, I’d glue it to people’s hands, so that conversations become clear, and filled with the right words, again!
  2. My worst pet peeves when writing are life and people.  I am somewhat antisocial.
  3. A cheap motel.  Not for the sake of the story but for my own.  Still looking.
  4. For years, I have been a frodite. I still am one, by the way.
  5. I’d name it “passing memories”, for some reason I may not be able to explain.
  6. It may seem odd but my aura is metallic grey.  No fairy tail, here.
  7. Roughing it is something I’ve never defined
  8. I enjoy neither cars, to be honest.  Can’t (and won’t) drive
  9. Ah, the old “bush or city” question.  I’d say “bush” but then, I may need coffee, tea or booze. So, both?
  10. Tea!
  11. I’m a PC person, so

The days I met Leonard Cohen.

I don’t recall the exact date and moment that this happened.  In fact, the only memory I can recall was listening to a man sing in a language I did not master, at the time.  If memory serves, it was during the Various Positions and I’m Your Man era of Cohen’s discography.  I was a kid, at the time, and it was my father (a fan of the bard) who introduced me to his lyrics, his music, his deadpan humor and his symbols.  Every time I listened to his songs, a new interpretation arose in my mind.  The man was a writer. You could easily sense that in his words and you could sense the minutiae with which he crafted his songs.  “If I knew where good songs came from, I’d go there more often”, the master said. (source: https://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/zollo.html)

Years later, I found out that he had written a lot more than the songs I grew up with and loved.  So, I dove into his earlier work and felt the same listening pleasure, once again.  Around that time, I began an accidental dive in poetry, that is still ongoing.  Alas, my poems were (are and will continue to be) basking in the perfumes of utter mediocrity.  And like any burgeoning artist, I tried to emulate the style of the masters that came before me.  For my poems, I listened to Cohen’s words for days, months, and years, trying to find the right words to describe my own images.  It is an ongoing process and I will die before finding the perfect poem.

A few years ago, I was walking in downtown Montreal, leaving nowhere and headed nowhere, as it is my usual.  Cohen’s voice was in my ears, as I was walking.  Then, all of a sudden, a suit-wearing man was walking in the opposite direction as I was.  If it was a workday, that man would have been a pebble in a sea of suits.  And so, that man glanced at me, for a second.  I glanced back.  Seconds later, a thought came to my mind: “holy fuck! That person is Leonard Cohen.”  I thought about walking towards him but I felt that I’d be wasting his time and crushing what I’d imagine was a song-creating moment.

When I heard the news of his death, I cried and was shaking.  Humanity has lost a spiritual guide in the days before another tragedy occurred.  I watched as thankful tweets came pouring and wrote a few, myself.  I even yelled at God, for its imbecility.  It could have taken someone else, but with its stubborness, it decided not to listen. We will always have the songs, the memories and the symbols to cherish.

So long, Leonard.

Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

Sunshine blogger questions

So, I was nominated by Lexi Lefevre (waves to Lexi) for the Sunshine blogger thingamajig.  She asked a few questions and we had to answer. Here are mine.  Before you read, I would like to apologize. I may make fun of many people but it is done with respect.

Happy reading!

1. Have you ever felt joy over a ‘good’ character’s death in a book or TV show? If yes, who and why?

I cried when I saw they shot Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. Come on! That was a good character. The epitome of evil, in my humble opinion. Plus, a great way to move out of the beaten path one may expect from a cartoon. I also cried when I saw the death of the show, as a whole. That’s another story.

2. Which one of these Gossip Girl characters would you marry, kill, or bump uglies with? (Guys: Chuck, Dan, Nate) and/or (Girls: Blair, Serena, Georgina)
None. They were too superficial. I imagine. If I revealed that I’ve never watched the show, should I duck?

3. Friends or How I Met Your Mother? Reason for your choice?

Friends! HIMYM lacked Gunther. That is all. Also, does it really take a shitload of years to tell a simple story of how a guy met his wife? What is this? Russian literature? Oy vey. I could go on and on with that caricature of a Yiddish character I have in mind but I will stop, for all our sakes.

4. If you could gather a bunch of tweeps/any other group of internet friends to meet in person, who would you choose?

The people I’ve gathered in my “interactions” list. They’ve known me in highs, lows and inbetweens. They are friends I love, respect and cherish, from now until the end of times. Or maybe next week. Who knows?

5. If someone were to trigger the apocalypse, how do think it would happen? (No Supernatural references.)

A teenage girl would order a large cup of coffee at an undetermined coffee shop filled with a stellar cubicle. Then, she’d receive a medium cup of coffee. Periods and adrenaline mix and create a monster. Chain reaction. Destruction of humanity.  Coffee shop employees, the future of humanity hovers above you.  Don’t fuck this up.

6. Are you the type of person who uses a blanket whether it’s cold or not?

Is it ever not cold? What is this meteorological madness?  This is Canada.

7. Which literary character’s death caused you the most sadness?
The Salesman’s death was like a dagger in my heart. And it was the shortest story I’ve never read. “What’s the story about?” “The death of a salesman” “Huh.”

8. 5 day weekends with no holidays, or have things stay the way they are?

Why change a winning formula? (plus weekends mean family gatherings. Family gatherings create boredom. Boredom create despair, and so on)

9. If you had to marry a villain you created, who would it be? Why?

None. I’ve created killers. I’d be nuts to spend my life with them.

10. If you could only live with ONE writer snack/beverage for the rest of your life, would it be chocolate, tea, or coffee? *maniacal laughter*

I plead the fifth. Oh, yeah. Can’t do that. Ah, the joy of Canadian citizenry. How could you ask that?!

Apparently, I have to ask questions. Here they are.

  1. Beach or mountains?
  2. Party animal or isolation devotee?
  3. Why did you choose this path?
  4. Thoughts on the state of humanity?
  5. Favo(u)rite drink?
  6. What do you look for, in a novel?
  7. Same as previous (in a person of the opposite sex)?
  8. Music or silence? (favorite bands and/or solo acts)
  9. Hotel or Motel?
  10. Am I funny?

I nominate no one in particular, to avoid the mistake of forgetting someone.

#DarkLitChat

#DarkLitChat is a monthly Twitter chat for writers, authors, or readers who appreciate dark fiction. Writers and authors at all stages are welcome, and encouraged to join in. Whether you’re plotting, procrastinating, or published, you’re welcome to join us!

When is #DarkLitChat?

Tuesday, June 21st at 8pm EST, on Twitter. (You can find us for subsequent chats every 3rd Tuesday of the month, at 8pm EST)

Why #DarkLitChat?

Writing dark fiction can be hard — and it can be lonely. Many times it’s difficult to find other writers who appreciate a good blood bath in a world filled with happily ever after. Network with other writers of Dark Fiction while we discuss the ups and downs of writing dark fiction.

Who’s hosting #DarkLitChat?

D.H. Poirier, (@PoirierPages) Young Adult Author of dark historical fantasy, and horror. And Elesha Teskey, (@e_teskey) Urban Fantasy Author, and Publicist for Pen And Kink Publishing.

What is Dark Lit?

Any genre or market covering darker topics. Thrillers, horror, suspense, urban fantasy, mysteries, etc. Dark Lit would include murder, crime, abuse, drugs — things of that nature. Dark Lit is subjective, if you think you write Dark Lit, chances are — you do.

How can I help?

Help us get the word out on your blog, and on twitter.

DarkLitChat Future Chats

We’re looking for published authors open to doing Q&As for future chats. If you’re interested, tweet at @PoirierPages on Twitter, or DM.

Need a reminder for #DarkLitChat? You can sign up for an email reminder for the chat here.

20 facts (of varying veracity) about me

I have recently been tagged by Mollie Wallace (thanks, Mollie!), whom I’ve had the chance to meet on Twitter, to reveal 20 facts about me.  I got to admit that this was an issue that took most, if not all, of my time, in the last days.  So, without further adieu, here are 20 facts, of varying veracity, about moi.

  1. I was the reason why my sister studied psychology.
  2. I wrote a play in high school. It has since been destroyed (lost) in my mind.
  3. I’ve learned that solitude is a good (nay, a great!) friend.
  4. Yet, I am looking for that proverbial person called “the one”.
  5. I do not believe in extra-terrestrial deities or religious manifestations
  6. I once made a bank teller laugh, early in the morning.
  7. I have taken it upon myself to make people laugh and be there for them, on social media. I’m sure they would have done the same.
  8. As shown by my tweets, I speak a few languages. At least, 2. (French und English)
  9. I have a quasi-fanatical love for humor, of any kind
  10. Halfway point! (you made it that far?  I love you, reader.)
  11. My family is the reason why I became a writer.  That and the fact that I think 2+2 = 6. (Don’t snap. I know it’s not true.  It’s 7.)
  12. I was the self-proclaimed clown during a trip I’ve made to Ireland. To quote one of my fellow travel companions, I should always “keep that spark”.
  13. I once made a scene (I call it “prove my point, vigorously”) when my mother told me that she had found the rarest of jewels, for me to meet.  Yeah…..
  14. I am actually a deep-layered introvert.
  15. I once asked a girl to a dance.
  16. I often dream of writing in a motel room, away from people.
  17. I’ve had 9 surgeries, before the age of 22.
  18. I have been seen as a sociopath. A lean, mean thinking machine.
  19. I am a thinker.
  20. To paraphrase Olivia Newton-John, “let’s get cynical!” (I’m a cynic)

So, this is moi,  in all my decaying glory.

Before I forget, two of these statements were not true.  Can you tell which ones?

(I’ll pay a pint to the one who comes up with the right answer. Good luck!)

What is knowledge, anyways?

Right off the bat, let me say that I am atypical. Not a typical person. Yet, that doesn’t mean I’m a green monster. It means, on the other hand, that I prefer the company of silence to the imposing one of decaying divas who have a quasi-orgasmic relationship with their voice and the crap their pea-shaped brains produce, on an hourly basis. I’ve amassed a pretty decent level of knowledge, over the years, not by talking with people but by reading all the documents on which I could lay my hands or by listening to state radio (not meant in the dictatorial sense of state propagandist). Yet, my “selective” unsociability (I can easily have conversations with people on social media but not in real life) has made it almost impossible for me to share these elements with people I’ve sadly known my whole life . Am I sad? Well, yes and no. Yes, because it might be my only way to “stand out from the crowd” and no, because of this post’s title.

What is knowledge, anyways?

Who actually cares that a series of events led to a bigger event (everything is connected, after all) or that a French queen born in Austria was rumored to have said that her starved population laid its hands on pieces of cake? I have no idea. On the other hand, talking with people of my family proved to be fruitful for my pop-culture and banality quotas.  I now know that so-and-so is humping another so and so or that this person did something utterly boring like move to another office or something. That might (or might not) represent a colossal sigh of relief, in my poor brain. Did I say I’m not only an introvert and that I’m also slightly cynical?

I might have to dig these questions and come up with a report that dust will read and cherish, for eternity. That’s what I will do. Next time I’ll have to endure a family gathering (the basis of this blog post, by the way) or a social outing, I will spend most of my time doing two things : looking for a way out – either a physical one or a psychological one – and thinking about this question. I might also drink and see my tears fill the emptying glass, cup or pint.

In conclusion, I believe that this post will not create a debate or even a conversation. I am well aware of that fact. After all, I am neither a star, nor a politician. I am merely a part-time writing person and a full-time, self-proclaimed thinker. In other words, a pebble in the ocean. And I tend to stay that way.

Another nomination

 

 

It seems each passing day brings something to this mere blogger that I am.  This is me saying that I was, once again, nominated for the Liebster.  This time, it was all thanks to a great follower (whom I also consider as a long-distance friend), Charlotte.  Before I start, I have one question: when’s the ceremony and it is equally distributed? I don’t want to be part of something that might have to live through the Oscar debacle. End of rant.

So, here are Charlotte’s questions

  1. What is your favourite thing about yourself? (No dodging this question, I want some serious self appreciation!)
  2. What is your favourite book and why?
  3. Who is your biggest inspiration? How do they inspire you?
  4. Can you tell us all about a moment that made you really proud, or when you took a huge leap of faith?
  5. What is the biggest adventure you have ever been on and why?
  6. If you could have written any book that has already been written, which one and why?
  7. If you could have any dream job that is not your own, what would it be?
  8. Would you rather live in a world with unlimited money, or a world where Pokemon are real?
  9. If you lived in Middle Earth, would you choose to be an elf, wizard, hobbit, human or dwarf?
  10. What house would you be if you attended Hogwarts and why? Take an online test if you’re not sure!
  11. Who is your favourite character from any book, film or TV show and why?

And here are my answers.

  1. Having a low self-esteem (and an even lower cholesterol level…), I’m not my number one fan, in general.  But, I sometimes enjoy the fact that I’m a bookworm (I could read anything I lay my hands on, from a book to a panel on the side of a road, and everything in-between) and that I make people laugh.
  2. Hmm. That question is like asking a parent who their favourite child is.  But I enjoyed reading “The Stranger”, for the relationship between a son and a mother, dead or alive.
  3. Poets and my father. They inspire me by being there when I need to have a boost of any kind (emotionally or creatively) and by making me want more out of my mere self and out of anyone.
  4. My proudest moment so far was when I decided to take a month off and fully focus on my writing.  That was the spark I needed to finish my first novel, currently in editing.
  5. Same as last question.  It was an adventure because I am not a world-class organizer and I decided to play it by ear. Not an easy thing when you are tone-deaf. (Laughter? No? Oh, well…)
  6. War and Peace. I would have made it shorter.
  7. Writer (It is not my job, at the moment). For the thrill of spending time with “real” people.
  8. Unlimited money! Even if that might bring forth undesired relations and sudden additions to the family, like a really distant relative from a place I never visited.
  9. I’d say wizard, simply for the thrill of saying “Thou shall not cry!”
  10. If I were to attend Hogwarts, I would be riffing doors. (rim shot?)
  11. My favourite character is Don Vito Corleone.  That.Is.All.

I must now nominate people and come up with a series of questions.  Can this be any easier? I don’t think so. But it has to be done, nonetheless.

So here are my questions

  1. If you received a transport ticket (plane, train, car, bus) for any destination in the world. where would you go?
  2. Who would you spend time with, if you were given the chance?
  3. How important is social media in your writing adventure?
  4. Music or silence, when writing or reading?
  5. Why did you become a writer?

And here are my nominations

  1. Brianna da Silva
  2. Tarquin Carlin
  3. Nicole L’autore
  4. Rebecca Frohling
  5. H.K Morrison.

 

The Liebster Award: a challenge

https://lundetrae.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/liebsteraward.gif?w=440

Thanks to AJ Lundetrae, whose blog can be found here (http://lundetrae.com), I was nominated for the Liebster Award.  As a prize, I received a few questions.  Here are my answers. (cue Law & Order “thunk-thunk)

  1. The most awesome moment of my writer life came on the day I wrote the two loveliest words in the English language: “The End” on the first draft of my first novel.
  2. I would love to travel to many places, mainly in the northern part of the globe (Scotland, Iceland, Scandinavia). You’ll never find me under a tree in Cuba.  Maybe a copy of one of my books, but not me.
  3. I have one genre that makes me happy: classical music and opera.  Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” a happy Alex make. (especially the Summer concerto)
  4. “Never operate heavy machinery before your first cup of coffee.” (Which might seem ironic if heavy machinery creates said cup)
  5. The most important items in my work space are my computer (duh!), my printer and the door.  I need to have some sort of a distance with the outside world, when I write.
  6. Writing at home! (I’m an introvert and cheap, so a coffee shop would not be a good solution)
  7. I’m reading a few books, including John Le Carre’s “Our kind of traitor” (in French) and a few non-fiction books, both in English and French.
  8. I would be grey or black.  I never liked to have the spotlight, for many reasons I will not disclose here.
  9. The power to find a good answer to that question.
  10. I love all words.  I love how I can create wordplay (others do, too, if I may say so)
  11. I have none. My life is boring.

Here are 11 random facts about me.

  1. I am an ESL person. Actually, my first language is French and English is my second language.  I also blabber in Spanish and Arabic.
  2. I became a writer by accident (in high school) and a poet to fill my friend’s need
  3. I once took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Ireland.  Thankfully, it was an organized trip so I didn’t have to manage anything.
  4. I once took a nap on the National Mall, in DC. Who said you had to run during your vacations?
  5. I’ve spoken with walls, for many years.  It was mostly a monologue.  Either that, or the poor bastards did not speak my language.  Or I did not speak theirs.
  6. I almost decided that my curtain call was at 17 years old.
  7. I have my own hashtag on Twitter #alexspun.  (It’s a pill against boredom)
  8. I have written more than 12,000 tweets, so far.  Not bad for an introvert!
  9. I follow many blogs but I must confess I don’t read them all. (Shocking!)
  10. When I’m bored, I’m as funny as a dead pan. I have never seen a live pan, though

(This is turning into therapy.  I apologize if I had some sort of a downer effect on you, reader.  I love you.)

I now have to nominate people, it seems.  *shakes hands, like a sane maniac*

Here they are. (Sorry guys)

  1. Annie Hawthorne
  2. Charlotte Parris
  3. Shannon Noel Brady
  4. Rae Oestreich
  5. Rebecca Frohling

Thanks for reading!