SEXUAL MERCY – a new novel launched

LAUNCHED!!! Thanks to all our Toronto friends and family – and new friends who were just curious about the book – who joined us as Victory Cafe last night to launch this crazy novel. It was so good seeing you all!
Photo: LAUNCHED!!! Thanks to all our Toronto friends and family - and new friends who were just curious about the book - who joined us as Victory Cafe last night to launch this crazy novel. It was so good seeing you all!

Sexual Mercy available NOW

Sexual Mercy is out, the novel I wrote with award-winning Canadian Writer, Paul Savoie.  Available at Amazon.com

Sexual Mercy by Roberta Morris and Paul Savoie
Heidi, a phone sex operator, with her housekeeper housemate Dom, struggle to make ends meet in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, recently designated by Forbes as “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhood” The two women discover a winning formula when they combine their talents to create a dominatrix housekeeping service. As their client list grows a young suspicious housewife, Katy, phones the service expecting to confront her husband’s lover. Instead she sees opportunity for herself, as way out or possibly a way to save her marriage. Sexual Mercy is a story about transgressing boundaries in order to make sense of our lives.
The authors’ photo is by Tim Bourgette who just welcomed his second son, Arlo Joseph, into the world this week.  The cover is designed with beautiful art,  “Arched Through Blue Sky” by Susan N Stewart.

 www.SNStewart@me.com

 

To start a new one or complete an unfinished novel? That is the question

Here’s a snapshot of this writer’s process.  I can’t decide.

The pleasure of a blank page seems enticing, though it’s not completely the case that the page is blank.  There are several hundred pages of materials I’ve been collecting to incorporate into this story:  Let’s Keep in Touch.  It’s a correspondence between two women over thirty years when correspondence comes to mean emails, then texts and tweets, then a surprising face-to-face encounter.  I’m revisiting some of the themes here I played with in No Words for Love and Famine, and with all those notes and snippets of text I’ve already written it seems more a matter of cutting and pasting than writing.  And…

Hollywood Fables is so close to being complete.  It is a novel I set aside because of a fluke accident in real life.  While the novel is completely fictional, something occurred in real life that I’d already written, something that is pivotal to the plot.  I hate it when that happens.  It was so creepy I put the manuscript aside.  It’s time I complete this novel.  But…

Maybe I can write the new one in the morning and work on revisions of the other in the afternoon.  But…

Maybe I should run away from home, climb onto a fishing boat and head for the artic.

I love the actual process of writing; it’s just that getting started is sometimes difficult.  Similar to meditation, there’s a weight to the solitude one has to lift in order to begin.  Weight training.  That’s what is required here.

PAUL SAVOIE WON THE TRILLIUM AWARD FOR BEST FRENCH TITLE – ALICE MUNRO FOR ENGLISH TITLE

     
Bleu-bémol     

 

 

Paul Savoie, Toronto, Bleu bémol (Éditions David)

Inspired by music, Bleu Bémol is composed of assonances, rhythms, musical phrases, and improvisations that outline the beginning and the end of everything that matters. Paul Savoie delves into the different dimensions of “blue”: the colour, a mood, that zone of being that enables him to pierce the gray or to go through crystal, two of the pathways that give shape to his imaginary world.

     
Paul-Savoie   Paul Savoie is one of Canada’s most prolific authors, writing in both French and English. Originally from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, he has lived in Ontario since the early 1970s. He has written more than 20 works, including several collections of poetry, stories and translations. His book of poems, Crac,won the Trillium Book Award. Involved in the arts community for more than 25 years, Savoie also composes music for piano.Publisher’s link: http://editionsdavid.com/products-page/livres/bleu-bmol 

Co-author Paul Savoie is finalist for Trillium Award

Friend and co-author Paul Savoie (Sexual Mercy, the novel) has been nominated for this years’ Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium for Bleu bémol (Éditions David).   This is a prestigious award, and Bleu bémol is inspired, both as a literary piece and inspired by music.

Congratulations, Paul.  I’m looking forward to the awards ceremony; your work is always a pleasure, and writing with you makes writing a double pleasure.  Our effort, Sexual Mercy, will be released this October.  Here’s the synopsis of the book and you will find all the titles nominated at the Trillium Book  if you click here.  And see what his publisher has to say about this book:

Bleu-bémol  

 

 

Paul Savoie, Toronto, Bleu bémol (Éditions David)

Inspired by music, Bleu Bémol is composed of assonances, rhythms, musical phrases, and improvisations that outline the beginning and the end of everything that matters. Paul Savoie delves into the different dimensions of “blue”: the colour, a mood, that zone of being that enables him to pierce the gray or to go through crystal, two of the pathways that give shape to his imaginary world.

Paul-Savoie Paul Savoie is one of Canada’s most prolific authors, writing in both French and English. Originally from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, he has lived in Ontario since the early 1970s. He has written more than 20 works, including several collections of poetry, stories and translations. His book of poems, Crac,won the Trillium Book Award. Involved in the arts community for more than 25 years, Savoie also composes music for piano.Publisher’s link: http://editionsdavid.com/products-page/livres/bleu-bmol
Bleu bémol
Éditions David Paul SavoieCollection : Voix intérieures – poésie Public cible : Tout public Pages : 96 Date de parution : Nov 2012 Format : 12 x 22 cm Code : DAV262 ISBN : 978-2-89597-279-2 Prix : 17,95 $

Inspiré de la musique, Bleu Bémol est constitué d’assonances, de rythmes, de phrases musicales, de mouvements libres qui tracent le début et la fin de tout ce qui est essentiel. Paul Savoie y approfondit les différentes dimensions du bleu, la couleur, l’état d’âme, cette zone d’être qui lui permet de percer le gris ou de traverser le cristal, deux voies qui façonnent son imaginaire.

Par-delà la symbolique du bleu, véritable porte d’entrée pour redécouvrir le monde et son intimité, l’auteur de CRAC (Prix Trillium 2006) explore ici le cheminement passionné de deux êtres l’un vers l’autre.

Écrire l’amour comme on compose un blues, en choisissant une série d’accords, en multipliant renversements et progressions, en déstructurant le rythme, en atteignant autrement une musicalité. Ici, le blues n’est pas le spleen, tout au plus nostalgie. Déposés comme autant d’improvisations s’appuyant sur des cadres thématiques définis, les poèmes de Paul Savoie évoquent la femme aimée aujourd’hui, hier, mais aussi autrefois (une grand-mère qui a sans doute instillé chez l’auteur amour des sons comme des mots), n’hésitent pas à mâtiner les harmonies en y insérant quelques notes étrangères, qui démontrent leur pertinence et leur beauté en se résolvant. Si le recueil prend quelques pages avant de révéler sa pulsation, il finit par nous rejoindre de façon subtile, presque organique. Une délicieuse petite musique, de nuit ou d’après-midi.

Lucie Renaud, Clavier bien tempéré : http://lucierenaud.blogspot.ca/, 21 février 2013

Ce recueil tout en douceur s’inspire de la musique et du bleu pour redécouvrir le monde : « au murmure plus doux que l’eau/ alimente en une cascade tortueuse de lueurs/ le cœur asséché/ au moment de la ruade/ tu subis/ le déploiement de l’aile ».

« Les choix de la rédaction », Le libraire, février-mars 2013, n° 75, p. 14

Le langage de Savoie est concis, les images concentrées, toutes en nuances et en évocations qui suggèrent beaucoup sans en dire long, dans une lente maturation qui, dans Bleu bémol, se marie, croit-on, à un vieillissement, assumé et empli de ravissement, du moins jusqu’à ce que le tissu du temps s’épande sur les amoureux. La phrase est musicale, arrondie d’assonances et de répétitions, ainsi que de pauses régulières, comme si on se prêtait à une promenade nocturne – la nuit que Savoie appelle d’ailleurs la « brunante », avec « l’ocre et les glaises » de ses revenants (p. 60).

Armand Falq, Voix plurielles, vol. 9, n°2, 2012, p. 184-185

 

LA Book Fair gets easier to handle with tickets

It’s this weekend, all of you living in Los Angeles – the Book Festival.

The first time I went to the LA Book Fair I was shocked to learn that there were that many readers in LA, never mind that many people excited enough about books to attend a book fair.  It’s a crazy-crowded event every year, but much easier to get to now that it has moved to USC and now that USC has metro transit right to it’s many gates.

To make it even easier, you can check out all the talks and panel discussions being held, and order tickets for just one-dollar each.  Meet some of your favorite authors or consider some of your favorite topics.  I’ve signed up for something about portraying American Identity (as a Canadian writing in the US this is something I should at least consider!), a panel on journalistic ethics, another on legalizing marijuana, and more.  These tickets give me a chance to find a place to sit down as a rest stop, having strolled through acres of books.

http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/general-information/ticket-info/

 

You’re Beautiful

YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL video interview with the actors

You’re Beautiful! trailer

You’re Beautiful (directed by Lolade Leigh-Thompson, 2012)

Canadian producer/director Lolade Leigh-Thompson and her amazing cast appeared before an enthusiastic audience at the Pan-African film festival in Los Angeles (Feb, 2012) and wowed everyone with their poise and pleasure in this work.

The message is simple – self-esteem for kids is sometimes hard-won.  Overcoming some disfigurement, standing up to bullying, and being loyal to friends might trump what else might be on the middle-school curriculum.  You simply can’t learn much if you feel badly about yourself, or what you did or didn’t do for a friend, until you learn to love yourself and others.  It can’t be said too often, kids:  “You’re beautiful.”

The director, Lolade Leigh-Thompson, sets a fine example for the cast and young audience, bringing out this work.

Enjoy the film, and an interview of the cast on YouTube:

Authenticity

 

Meet William-Henry Ireland, “the original slacker” says the Independent Shakespeare Company.

Last night I saw the last (for now) performance of this amazing one-person play, the one-person actor being David Melville.  He can pull anything off with comic aplomb, perfect timing… And Melville is in his element with this turn around on authenticity.  His character, Ireland, isn’t stealing other people’s work; he’s selling his own under Shakespeare’s name.  Now, he’s no great talent so he’s busted right away, and the more authentic aspect of the story is the father-son relationship, a son trying anything to please a father (if that man really is the father…)

This screams out for us to consider what is authentic, and who cares.  All language is shared, passed on, and held in common.  The Christian scriptures are texts attributed to a particular tradition related to a particular person, not necessarily composed by that individual.  So Ireland is writing in the School of Shakespeare, authentic insofar as he is trying his best to get it right.

Okay, I’m obsessed with this question (see No Words for Love and Famine) but even if you aren’t, and if there’s another opportunity to see this play, GO SEE THIS PLAY!  It really is wonderful.

 

Lent Continues

I’m reading Osho’s And the Flowers Showered.  Here is Osho on information, a prophet to the information age:

When we accumulate knowledge, what do we do?  Nothing changes inside; the being remains absolutely unaffected.  Just like dust, information gathers around you — just like dust gathering around a mirror.  The mirror remains the same, only it loses its mirroring quality…

Mind is a parrot.  I have heard – it happened in the days of Joseph Stalin – a man, a very prominent communist, came to the Moscow police station and reported that his parrot was missing.  Because this man was a very prominent communist, the chief at the police station inquired about the parrot, for it was significant and had to be searched for.  In his inquiries he asked, “Does the parrot talk?”  The communist, the comrade, felt a slight fear, and then he said, “Yes, he talks.  But not it down:  whatever political opinions he has, they are completely his own.”…

But how can a parrot have opinions of its own?  A parrot cannot have opinions of its own – and neither can the mind, because the mind is a mechanism.  … You become original only when you transcend mind.  When the mind is dropped, and the consciousness faces existence directly, immediately…

This is true of my writing practices, more disciplined I’m afraid than my prayer practice.  When I’m stuck I meditate, clear my mind of everything, empty myself, and then the truth of my characters comes to me.  She has brown eyes; he wouldn’t say that.  He wouldn’t say anything but instead would turn away.  It seems absolutely true, what comes to me as fiction when I shut up and empty my mind of what I think – when I let the characters simply be.  This is not me being original, but rather my characters being original.

Religious people are used to thinking of ourselves as God’s creatures; maybe we can experience our freedom more authentically as God’s characters, original, playing in this fictional space that we call creation.

Weed Country

Nathaniel Morris is a character on Discovery Channel’s new series Weed Country.  A reality television series, it premiered on Wednesday night, and Nathaniel is involved because of his research into CBD, a non-psychoactive component in cannabis that has proven effective in treating life-threatening seizures in treatment resistant epilepsy.

The research is now being taken up by Stanford University, and we’re writing a grow guide specifically for people trying to produce this medicine. You can learn more about it at his website www.Nathaniel-Morris.com and watch the show.  Serious science meets reality television?  Why yes, this is California after all and yeah, life really is stranger than fiction.  More on that subject (life and fiction, rather than medical marijuana) tomorrow.