Guest Blogger: Jamieson Wolf

A wee introduction to a man who inspires me. He’s been a friend for *cough* twenty years, though we lost track of each other when I moved out of the city to a small farm.  Yay for FaceBook!

Jamieson Wolf is an award winning author of short stories, novellas and poetry.  He writes in several genres, and has held the #1 best-selling genre spot on Amazon!  Pretty fly for a sweet natured guy from Canada.

Jamieson inspires me to call myself on my procrastination, own my shit, stop using chronic pain as an excuse to not do *anything*, and write.  Gloriously, bravely, endlessly write.

So, without any more stalling… *drumroll*… an exclusive guest post from Jamieson.

(look for Jamieson on other writing blogs, he’s on a virtual book tour!)

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Memoires on the Wire

 I was out at dinner this evening and a woman saw me taking a picture of my dinner with my smart phone.

 “Oh, are you a food blogger?”

 “No, I’m a writer. I’m just putting the picture on Facebook.”

 A woman across the table leaned forward. “Why are you putting a picture of your dinner on Facebook?”

 “So I don’t forget anything.”

 That’s usually the answer I give to why I use social media so much. Social media serves a purpose: it helps you connect, helps writers and artist promote ourselves (yay us!) and it helps us stay in touch with our loved ones.

 I use it for one other important purpose: I use it to remember.  

 I use Facebook a ridiculous amount; I’m also hooked up to Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress and others. I post poems, articles, novels, short stories. I post pictures of my life from that random moment, something I’m able to capture.

 All of it is lived in the moment.

 I have trouble remembering things. My thoughts sometimes get hard to hold on to, as if they are made from smoke. I’ve forgotten a lot of what I used to know or what I’ve just taken in.

 It used to be I could recall whole plots of books I’ve read and loved. Now I can’t remember what the last book I read was. When I want to write a book review, I usually have to read the book a second or third time.

 What I put out on social media are like pebbles, left along the roadside. Sometimes the pebbles go amiss: they get moved by the wind, scuffed by someone’s boots, carried in the beak of a bird. Some of the pebbles go missing.

 Social media is a way for me to gather all of those stones somewhere, so I can find them again.  I think of each post, poem or word like a memory, preserved in electricity. They are like snapshots of a moment.

 I was broken into earlier this year. One of the things that was taken was my laptop…and the memory key I left in it that day that contained all of my writing from my whole literary career. All my novels, my manuscripts, everything I’ve ever written.

 I’ve since started backing up everything I write. That was a lesson I learned the hard way. When I went to the internet to gather the poems for Talking to the Sky, I was very thankful that I had put every poem I wrote last year up on the internet. They were all there, waiting for me.

 The problem was that I didn’t remember writing a lot of them. When I put Talking to the Sky together, I was reading the majority of the poems for the first time; and I was the one that wrote them. I had forgotten them completely.

 Never have I been so thankful to social media and the lives we live within the wires. It held on to piece of my voice and gave it back to me when I needed it.  For that, I will always be grateful. I was able to gather these snapshots and now I give them to you.

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 Talking to the Sky; Poems                                  Jamieson Wolf

Available in paperback or ebook.

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Jamieson Wolf and documentaries about Attawapiskat.

So, in 2010, I co-produced a documentary about the terrible living conditions in Attawapiskat, One called “Canada: Apartheid Nation”.  The Cree people living there had a 50% homeless crisis, a school built on the largest oil spill in Ontario, a twelve year water ban, and crushing poverty.  We released the film at he Toronto Independent Film Festival, and it has since shown in select schools and theatres.  (Available for sale for $10, contact me)

We received a lot of flak for the name, but it really fits. Those who have never seen a remote, isolated reserve have no idea how well the title fit.  Believe me.

We tried the CBC and NFB for support, then for sales or broadcast, and were told no thanks.  Not interested.  Well, the NFB has now released two films about Attawapiskat by Native filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.  Both were filmed after the RELEASE of my doc, which the NFB said didn’t interest them.  They didn’t even want a screening copy, so it wasn’t anything to do with technical quality.

Now, I’m not mad, exactly.  The situation up there, and on all remote reserves, definitely needs the exposure.  BUT… To date we haven’t even recouped the cost of making the doc. And now, with a world renowned filmmaker releasing a doc on the school, and another on the housing crisis, our doc has only it’s section on water that is still unique to us.

Anyone taking bets that the NFB has another doc in the pipeline?

In much happier news:  my dear friend Jamieson Wolf has written a guest post promoting his new (BEST SELLING!) book of poems called Talking to the Sky.  Jamieson writes with real heart, his images and insight often move me in ways more traditional poetry just fails to.

Read his essay about the Tarot here.  Now, I’ve read the tarot for about 20 years.  I know the stuff he’s talking about.  I’ve got several decks that I use depending on the reason or the reading, or just the personal preference of the person being read for,  I don’t have the Thoth deck, but most Tarot decks have the same meanings and uses.

But as usual Jamieson made me think about the cards in a way that I hadn’t.  At least not for a long while.  I had become used to them, taking them for granted.  Now I want to go and actually talk to them again.

So, all of this to say that Monday or Tuesday, Jamieson has a special blog post for me, and thus, for you.  (I’m always tempted to say “dear readers” like Agatha Christie, but I will resist)  It’s not going to be posted to his blog, it’s mine, mine I tell you!

And I’ve already seen it.  Keep a hanky close by while you read.  Trust me.

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So many creative things going on!

The biggest, for me, is that after several years away from novel writing, I an returning to finish my magnum opus.  I have heard the cries of my beta readers, who received only 2/3s of the high fantasy novel and am determined to finish the first draft this year.  Hopefully, this winter.

It is the fantastical tale of a woman of our world and time swept away to an alternate Earth after her death.  A world where magic and the Fey are real, but people are still people, and power brings out the worst in us.  Kind of Gail Z Martin meets a really weird dream I had about elves….

Next is that I will be directing Reliving Marilyn, a retrospective drama by Morgan Blackbyrne, and starring Nadine Banville.

I am hoping to redirect my energies to my writing and painting this year, after 2 years of almost nothing.  So I have pulled out the old scripts and first drafts, reopened the inspirational books, like On Writing by Stephen King, and Techniques of the Selling Writer.

And I am finding an extension cord so I can plug in a heater by my attic desk, digging out a low cal nibble to chew on ruminatively, I find that I have over a dozen scripts, novels and short stories to finish.  This could take a while.  But with the inspiration of music by Heather Dale, and my friend Jamieson Wolf getting the #1 bestselling poetry book spot (pause for cheering), I am ready to tackle the pile of paper.

And just to keep you all tuned in, I have a surprise coming up soon that involves one of these lovely people.