PLEASE WAIT…UPGRADING TO EVAN3.0….

A friend of mine asked why I haven’t been posting to those anti-wolf pages lately. Apparently my doing battle with those ‘people’ provides some comic relief to Lindsey’s day. I no longer get into it with them for various reasons…not the least of which is that they won’t let me.

Those that haven’t figured out how to permanently prevent me from posting anything will quickly delete any comment I do manage to upload but that’s okay. To me every ‘delete’ is a victory. I appreciate I’ve made fools of some of them (actually they did it themselves, they just needed a little nudge from me), especially with my Berton Hernie gag (see previous blog). This resulted in my not being allowed to post on pretty well any of their pages. It seems the word got around fast.

On one page I even offered to help them create better photo-shop images as the one they presented was really poorly done. My offer was deleted, as was the photograph.

The capper was the photo post of a chubby li’l grey-haired dude with oversized gloves and badly stitched wolf that shows up every six months or so. Depending on which page you choose to blindly believe this poor wolf weighs anywhere from 135 to 210 pounds and has been shot in Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, Alberta, and two undisclosed locations (‘cos the hunter is scared the pro-wolf folks are going to burn down his house or come after his kids). That wolf gets around more than George Clooney yet each time this same old picture shows up we get the same old outlandish comments from the same old people that either have a really short memory or haven’t got the smarts to realize they’ve been had (which, based on Berton Hernie, is the more likely explanation).

Those tired stories, phony photos, and cries of conspiracy have echoed through the canyons of their minds for two years. It’s all become so boring, insulting, and abundantly clear to anyone who has a modicum of intelligence that these folks have their wheels stuck in the ruts of some long forgotten wagon trail and missed the turn-off to the twenty-first century.

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What has this got to do with my book? Growth…in particular with my characters. Like the stagnant content of the above mentioned pages, re-occurring fictional characters need to be updated…refreshed, if you will. 85,000 additional words without bringing new life to the people you rely on to keep the story moving won’t cut it with readers.

The fictional time span between events in the first book and this one is only two weeks so really how much can a character grow in fourteen days? Surprisingly…a lot.

Introducing unexpected emotions, actions or previously undisclosed facts can bring a fresh interpretation to a character. Those that thought they knew Evan in White Wolf Moon will discover that there’s more to him than he revealed the first time around. He finds himself in a less-than-legal activity and involved in situations where he can’t simply play the “peace” card and walk away. Although it’s only been two weeks he has grown immeasurably as have the other characters around him, including Ginn the wolf-dog.

I’m more than familiar with Evan (in essence I’ve lived with him most of my life) but this is Evan3.0…an upgraded form of the one I’ve grown to love. It was uncomfortable at first, especially as there is no “help” file accompanying this version, but I’m getting the hang of it. Placing him in activities I’m unfamiliar with has required me to research various and sundry locations and laws but that’s my part of the growth process.

I have a lot of flexibility (this is fiction after all) but unlike those pages I mentioned at the beginning I prefer my fiction to be at least credible.

“SOCIAL” MEDIA??

I’m working on a satirical interview that features real questions from me and actual responses to the same questions taken from some of the comments on those anti-wolf pages. Over the past year or so I have visited these pages and copied some of the more inane contributions and kept them in a file simply called “Stupid Comments”.

Yesterday I decided to use some of these in what I hope will be an insightful blog post that explores the mindset of this segment of the population. I have been side-tracked however…

I didn’t realize how many I had saved. I started reading through them and it just kept on going, to the point I had to warm my coffee. I also discovered that reading them as a grouping has made me rethink my usual “get a giggle out of it” perspective. What was once a singular uneducated comment suddenly becomes part of an essay exploring a side of the human condition that is, at best, unbelievable. It’s frightening that this many people who have no knowledge of the subject matter blindly use a social media outlet to publicly embarrass themselves through their lack of communication and English skills. It’s also a study into group paranoia. One page posted a story that any fifth-grader with a basic knowledge of wildlife could pick apart but this piece of fiction rallied the troops without any question as to the authenticity of the piece. It was shared everywhere and garnered countless cries from obviously easily manipulated minds that felt the world needed to hear their oft times undecipherable opinions.

I like facebook although I don’t understand “standards” where it’s okay to show videos of wildlife being gutted alive and human torture but a woman breast-feeding is a no-no. There is however value if you choose to seek it out. Old school friends find each other or adopted kids reuniting with birth parents are a couple of examples. I chose these two because they both, in a way, apply to me. I’m now in communication with a junior high school buddy across the country and I was also re-introduced to my son from a previous marriage after forty years. With just one click I ended up with three more grandchildren.

Search almost any topic on facebook and there are pages that will inform or entertain you written by knowledgeable folks in a mature and friendly manner but like everything else in this world there is the other side. These are the people that inhabit the shadowed alleys in the ghettos of the online community. I have the choice to avoid those alleys in real life and I realize that I have the same choice online so suddenly I’m rethinking the interview I mentioned at the outset.

I no longer comment on their pages but when I did I prided myself on being calm, emotionally detached, and providing backup links to everything I said while avoiding the name-calling and useless rhetoric. By writing this ‘interview’ am I not doing what I find childish and deplorable in what they do? Would my posting an overabundance of what boils down to mere gibberish accomplish anything? To some it might provide a laugh but I suspect to most it would be an unnecessary assault of their senses and sensibilities.

Yes…I shall place that pot on the back burner.

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COLLECTIBLES & STUFF…

hobbsI like stuff. It doesn’t matter what kind of stuff, just stuff.

I collect stuff. I used to collect stamps when I was a kid. Only ‘squares’ collected stamps so I didn’t tell anyone about my hobby. I found out later that pretty well all my friends collected them but didn’t want to be ‘squares’ so…
People collect all kinds of stuff these days. ‘Investing in Collectibles’ they call it.
Problem is that most people don’t start collecting collectibles until somebody produces a television show or puts up a website telling them that the stuff is collectible.
By then it’s too late. Prices have already gone up.
So the best bet is to speculate. Find something that isn’t a collectible and corner the market.
Here’s the rub. What isn’t classified as collectible these days?
I remember looking in a store window display in Saskatoon years ago. There on a brightly lit green shelf sat dozens of pretty little woven baskets of deodorized and dried cow…er…residue.
I suppose when you really consider it, these are definitely one of a kind items. No two alike.
Kinda like snowflakes only heavier.
Each basket had it’s own name and certificate of authenticity. I wonder how the guy who signed the certificate verified that this was the real thing and not some cheap imported copy? Is this the handiwork of one of those ordinary black and white bovines or is it perhaps the product of the much prettier Jersey? Questions, questions.
Is there a quality control inspector at, or even near, the manufacturing plant? Who owns the copyright? Do collectors try to find some of Bossies earlier work…perhaps even that highly desired Rookie residue?
And of course the biggest question of all…who would plunk down good money plus tax for a bucket of cow residue?
Probably big city folks in apartment buildings. Maybe it’s an attempt to get back to the land without leaving the hot tub.
I think there’s a dairy farmer somewhere between Saskatoon and Prince Albert who’s still doubled over as he wobbles his way to the bank. Some city guy probably ran out of gas out there by the mailbox and in the middle of siphoning some of that farm fuel into the Mercedes the farmer made up this story about the next big art collectible. Driven by either visions of wealth or the gasoline vapors this city guy heads home with a trunk filled with only the finest examples of this new post-modern art phenomenon.
After cooking and cleaning his treasures, and detailing the Benz, he introduced the product to the marketplace.
I’m told they sold like hotcakes.
Dried and deodorized hotcakes mind you, but hotcakes nonetheless.
And what of the folks that put down good money for a mantelpiece centerpiece?
I figure it just proves the theory that if you package it nicely and call it ‘cool’ some folks will buy all kinds of residue.