Busy Busy and Paragenesis

Hello Imaginary Friends,

I’m juggling multiple things at the moment. This weekend is Comiccon Holiday edition, we have another event the week after, I’m doing a bunch of other creative work and finally I have NaNoWriMo, which is kicking my butt.

So in the spirit of not wasting time here’s the first 1000 words of Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish.

Old Cover from when I thought the book wouldn’t be part of the Aetherverse.

Enjoy and Later Days,

Éric

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I can do this again… I hope

Hello Imaginary Friends,

Some days staring at the unwritten parts of a novel I freeze and wonder if I can actually do this. In those times I need to remind myself I can and have.

Here’s he list of things I’ve written, excluding short stories and serial stories, for the past 10 years.

  • 2018: Elizabeth Investigates: Mystery of the Dancing Lights, Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish, and The Café between ‘Verses (All Unfinished)
  • 2017: Dinosaur Road Trip (Finished beta read and awaiting editing)
  • 2016: Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish (hoping to finish this for nano this year)
  • 2015: Everdome (Accepted by Renaissance and hopefully being released in 2019)
  • 2014: Everdome
  • 2013: Parasomnia (Published 2017)
  • 2012: Elizabeth Investigates: A Case of Synchronicity (Submitted to Renaissance)
  • 2011: Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust (Published 2018)
  • 2010: Elizabeth Investigates: A Study in Aether (Published 2016)
  • 2009: Veridian Skies (Never going to see the light of day. It’s that bad.)
  • 2008: Veridian Skies

So that means in the past 10 years I have completed 7 novels, had 3 published, and I’m working on another 3. A rough total of 640,000 words.

This is the first and early part of my career and I hope to keep writing and publishing for another fifty years.

It’s important to remind myself that I can do it. I’ve done it 7 times before and I’ll do it again. It’s hard and lots of work but totally worth it.

Ok, peptalk over. Back to writing.

Later Days,

Éric

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The Definitive Guide to the Western Generations

Hello Inquisitive Minds,

Here is the absolutely 100% genuinely definitive guide to Western generations.

The Lost Generation

Dates

1880’s to 1900

What they’re known for

They fought in WW1 and mostly felt lost in the horror of it.

Definitive attribute

Sad and disillusioned.

The Greatest or GI Generation

Dates

1900 to 1924

What they’re known for

They fought in WW2 and survived the depression. They were just happy to survive.

Definitive attribute

Doing the right thing or putting their families in front of themselves.

The Silent Generation

Dates

1925 to 1942

What they’re known for

Not fighting in WW2 and being quiet. They mostly wanted to avoid getting called communists. They spent a lot of time working on their careers.

Definitive attribute

Working too much, unionizing, saying “Honey, I’m Home.”

The Baby Boomers

Dates

1943-1964

What they’re known for

Complaining about their grand-kids. Creating unsustainable business practices that later generations can kill. Thinking the post war boom in the economy was normal.

Definitive attribute

Not understanding the crap they left for their grand- and great-grand kids.

Generation X or MTV Generation

Dates

1965-1975

What they’re known for

Killing the radio star with video.

Definitive attribute

First generation to be accused of playing too many video games. Creating monolithic tech companies.

Generation Xillennial or I’m not a Millennial

Dates

1976-1989

What they’re known for

90’s nostalgia. Insisting that they aren’t Millennials. Complaining about Millennials. Something about participation trophies.

Definitive attribute

Not being Millennials or X and really not wanting to be.

Generation Y or Millennial

Dates

1990-1995 or anyone younger and deserving more scorn than the current speaker

What they’re known for

MASS MURDER, Not voting, being entitled, lazy, loud, GET OFF MY LAWN

Definitive attribute

Being really poor and shit on.

Generation Z or IGen or Post-Millennial or Plurals or Digital Natives

Dates

1996-2010

What they’re known for

Being mistaken for Millennials. Not having a buzz worthy name. Cell phone addiction (despite being on it less than their parents and grandparents.) Not being hated as much as Millennials. 90’s Nostalgia.

Definitive attribute

Being sick of this shit… all this shit.

Generation Wikipedia doesn’t have an article and people haven’t named us

Dates

2011-????

Definitive attribute

Asking WTF were you thinking every 3 minutes.

Being hated by Gen X and Millennials in the same way that the Silent Generation and Boomers hated Millennials

Definitive attribute

Being the generation that will have to come up with solutions to the serious fuck up that our government, education, society, and most of all environment is headed towards.

 

There you have it. Any names for the generation born post 2011?

Éric

P.S. This was a work of satire. It is effectively cruel, simplistic, and idiotic to judge an entire generation of people on such narrow lines. But maybe I’m being a little too sensitive. I am a Cancer after all.

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Where I stand (Warning I swear a lot in this)

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

This was written in advance as I’m most likely scrambling to make my NaNoWriMo word count.

My good friend, wonderful human being, fantastic author, godmother to my child, and all around badass S. M. Carrière wrote the following on her facebook:

“Did your candidate win?” is a really sneaky way to try and discern my politics, sir. Let me help you out a bit. I’m so far left, you might mistake me for Scandinavia. Does that help you?

She followed up with this wonderful post: Where I Stand

Now if you’ve read my rants or posts you’ll know where I stand on most subjects…

Comic from Scandanavia and the World: https://satwcomic.com/every-time

But for those of you who don’t want to go looking let’s make this clear:

ALL HUMANS DESERVE RESPECT, HEALTH, SAFETY, AND FREEDOM!

That means that trans men are men, trans women are women. Trans, non-binary, two-spirited, gender queer, and every other form of gender identity is valid and they all deserve the rights and freedoms given to the rest of the world.

There is no weaker sex, there is no valid reason to think one is better than the other, the whole thing is a cultural construct and fuck you if you think I’m any less of a man for wanting to stay home with my child.

Healthcare is a fundamental human right. I don’t mean just emergency care, I mean all health care from teeth, to glasses, to mental health. If you’re thinking there are people who should be excluded, I disagree. Everyone!

No one should live in fear of losing everything because they get sick or can’t work. That’s total bullshit.

We have voice recognition tech, self driving cars, and other fantastical technology. There’s no reason for any community not to have safe, clean drinking water and access to food.

The First Nations of Canada (and many other countries) have been treated like crap for hundreds of years. We as a nation need to do better. I’m not well versed enough to make a detailed plan but we could start by making sure every reserve is livable and has access to water, good houses, etc. If we can declare Quebec a nation within a nation, why can’t we do the same for the First Nations? Give them their land back, induct them into the constitution, make them equal provinces and lets start fixing this shit. (Okay I have no idea if this would work or if it’s a good idea. The best thing would be to ask them what they need and negotiate fairly and actually follow through with our promises.)

Respect shouldn’t be earned, it should be the default.

The environment is essential to our survival and we can do a lot to fix the damage we’ve done.

Medical science literacy is an essential skill. If you believe GMO’s or Vaccines are inherently bad, you’re wrong and need to get a better education then Goop and other celebrity bullshit.

If your identity is defined by what you hate or by wishing the death of another, you should rethink your life choices. Humanity is humanity, there is no better combination of arbitrary genes than any others. So fuck off with this Nationalist, White Power, Proud Boys, Nazi, Autism Speaks, I’m an Attack Helicopter, etc. fuckery and learn to love something other than yourself.

I am tolerant of all people up and until they are intolerant or wish death on others. I see no issue with this.

EDUCATION is the only path to a better society. It doesn’t have to be college or university but it does have to be flexible, adaptable, and open. Libraries, colleges, universities, and other education forms should cater to the people, they should not be businesses. They should be free and they should be available to all. That random 42 year old who suddenly wants to learn about physics or art history should be free to do it.

Sexual Education is important!

Capitalism and Democracy are fundamentally flawed despite being the best choice we currently have.

Billionaires shouldn’t exist.

We should be moving to a post-scarcity society instead of a feudal one.

Art and artists are valid and should be respected not derided.

People are people, they’re scared, easily manipulated in large groups, and capable of horrific injustices. BUT they are capable of great beauty, love, kindness, and creation.

ALL HUMANS DESERVE RESPECT, HEALTH, SAFETY, AND FREEDOM!

One last thing. If I discover that what I’ve said (above or in general) is hateful, hurtful, or just wrong; I will change my mind. (I might grumble and argue but I’ll get there.)

If you have a problem with me because of these things, leave a comment and we can discuss it. If you just want to change my mind because I’m obviously an optimistic dreamer with no sense of reality, feel free to just leave.

 

Later days,

Éric

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Devices of Desire (Serial Story) Chapter 10

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9


Chapter 10: A Monk, a Physician, and the Demon Hordes of Aldroy

The royal Physician was formidable in combat. Artemis couldn’t help but be impressed by this short, rotund, dark skinned man, with a greying beard. He looked like he should be serving his grandkids soup for lunch, not battling a hoard of angry demons.

With one hand he healed the soldiers and civilians and with the other he wielded a blade made of magic and fire.

Artemis had picked up two of the smaller swords that the demons were using and she was getting the hang of slicing off heads.

“I thought monks didn’t like to use weapons?” the Physician asked.

“I thought healers didn’t like using attack magic,” she replied, ducking a broad sword swing from a very naked demon and lunging at his head with her swords crossed like scissors.

“We all need our hobbies.” He smirked as the head fell to the ground. He neutralized the poison with a wave of his hand and the body dissolved.

“Some people pick up crotchet or cooking.” She liked verbally sparing with him. It had a soothing quality. The fact that he knew that she was a woman helped. She felt more at ease with him than she had with anyone since she arrived on the island.

“Do you cook or crotchet not-yet-a-master-monk?” He swung his sword up and it turned into a umbrella, shielding the civilians under him from flaming arrows. A demon at the end of the street had a cannon that shot arrows at an alarming speed. Their tech was very similar to Cillian tech. Artemis didn’t like the implications of that.

Throwing her sword at the demon and catching him in the neck she said, “No. I fight with weapons.” She heard the guffaw from the Physician as she launched herself at the demon with her sword in its throat. Once again she was glad the demons treated their blades against their own acid blood.

As she finished off the demon, his neck exploded in green acidic blood. Artemis felt the acid fly into her face and chest. She lost grip on one of her swords and felt the pain that came with it the acidic blood followed by a stabbing pain in her chest.

Instinct took over and she spun into a round house kick. She connected with something big and broke a few of what felt like ribs. She’d been trained to fight blind by the masters and her other previous teachers. The fact that her kick hit the thing’s chest and not its head meant it was well above seven feet high.

Not wasting any time, she went low and kicked at the things legs as a distraction as she launched into a complicated set of thrusts and slashes. She wasn’t trying to kill the, hopefully, demon, but get it off balance enough to stun it until Fred, the Physician, could heal her wounds.

She sliced and kicked the demon and prepared for a massive blow to its head but never made it. The demon grunted and hit the weapon in her chest and she fell back. The pain was almost more than her training could handle and she couldn’t get up.

“I leave you alone for ten seconds.” Fred’s voice and magic warmed her when she didn’t even know she was cold.

The magic was fast and powerful. She felt the sword pushed from her chest and she grabbed it as it came out. Standing, she assumed a defensive posture and opened her eyes.

She had two swords again and looked fierce but next to the behemoth in front of her she looked puny. He was stark naked and obviously aroused, he had multiple slashes and bruises, and his for hands held three weapons. Behind him, glowing ominously, was a swirling portal.

“Four arms? And eight feet tall? What magic made you?” Her quips were a little weak. She was still a little disoriented. She felt Fred’s hand on her neck and suddenly she felt like she’d drank eight coffees.

“I am the lLor Commander of the Demon Hordes of Aldroy. I command ten thousand and will squash you like the tiny human boy you are.”

Rolling her eyes, Artemis said, “I’ve wanted to say this for months. I am no boy.”

The fight lasted longer than it should have. Despite his size and strength, he was clumsy. Fighting with two short swords and a six foot two handed sword meant he was limited in his movements.

She took her time learning his movements and then pushed him hard and fast. Every hit she blocked felt like a hammer on her arms but every third hit of hers landed. At first his cuts didn’t seem to slow him down but eventually he showed the effects of his wounds.

Just as she was getting confident in her movements and ready to go for the death blow he laughed and tripled his speed. He’d been toying with her the whole time. His hits that were hard and slow suddenly became powerful, quick, and calculated.

To become a master, a Monk of Dumas needed to pass a test and a ceremony but most importantly they needed to do an act of heroism. Artemis had expected that to mean a great feat or strength or something impressive. In that moment, Artemis realized that it was more than that, the monks needed to reach a state of complete control and inner peace.

As she parried the blows all her training disappeared from her mind and was replaced with calm thoughts. She fell into a trained rhythm and concentrated on her breathing and her body. As she did, she called on everything she’d ever learnt and it all fell into place like a giant puzzle.

The world slowed and she moved at an inhuman speed. In the amount of time it took the demon to swing his two handed sword, she cut his head off and kicked it across the street.

Every demon stopped, fell to their knees, and let out a hideous howl of rage and pain.

Portals appeared all around them and the Demon Hordes of Aldroy stepped out into the city.

“I think we pissed them off,” Fred said, eyes wide.

“Maybe, or it could be a coincidence.”

Read Next (November 2018)


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

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I’m fairly certain I’m still alive

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I really need to learn that I have to take time off after a convention. They drain me like crazy. After can*con I was exhausted. So what did I decide to do? Do a full week of work and then spend the weekend hosting. I cooked a full turkey dinner on Saturday and brunch for 10 on Sunday.

Monday was rough, Tuesday was worse, and Wednesday I crashed. I was dizzy and nauseated and slept until 11.

I’m feeling better today, mostly, but still a little dizzy, and I’m back at work.

So here’s an update for things and stuff:

Coffee

Things are going well. I’ll be doing some roasting this weekend and/or next weekend to make enough for Ottawa Comic-Con Holiday Edition. We have one more holiday fair after that and we get into holiday quiet time.

It’s been a great year for coffee and I appreciate everyone’s support.

NaNoWriMo

No… Nope… I really shouldn’t… Well fine.

I’ll be doing a modified NaNoWriMo this year to finish Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish; I have another 20-30 thousand words to write and it’ll be ready for submission.

Everdome

If you’re not excited about it… I am. I have a contract with Renaissance and I’m hoping to get the first edits early next year.

I’m hoping to send this one out to my favourite Urban and Fantasy writers to get a blurb.

This is by far my best book and the easiest to make into an epic movie or TV show… hint hint… Netflix, Amazon, HBO, CBC? Anyone?

FADDS

Most of my projects I write, edit, pass on; but not FADDS. I’ve been editing and fixing this thing for the better part of 8 years. It’s only gotten better.

The first 10 levels are completely balanced and well done. The higher levels I’ll be playtesting this January.

If you’re interested in joining a regular group in 2019, let me know.

Dragon

She’s still fantastically cute and occasionally infuriating.

Well that’s most of the news.

 

Later Days,

Éric

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Marijuana and Racism

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

In last week’s post on smoking I used the word Marijuana to refer to Cannabis. I thought that they were synonyms and had no idea of the history of them.

A reader sent me this article from the Ottawa Citizen: Here’s why you shouldn’t use the word marijuana anymore

I did some quick research and found this interesting article from CBC: Weed, cannabis, pot or marijuana: what’s the difference?

In brief, Cannabis is the genus of the plant, or its scientific name. It’s the name that the government is using for the product.

Image from this article on the Stranger Magasine.

The word Marijuana however has a much different history. There are a lot of different theories as to where the name comes from but the word was popularized in English in the early 30’s America. The opponents to the drug used the “foreign” sounding word to scare people and eventually pass the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 which was the first step to making the drug illegal.

Apparently smoking cannabis wasn’t popular in the early 1900’s until refugees from the Mexican revolution brought it into the states. Because of this and the ever present racism, the word was associated with immigrants and used to fuel fear based politics. (so much has changed huh?)

The exact etymology is unknown. Here’s a list of theories:

  • A mash-up of the Spanish names Mary Jane (Marie Juane)
  • Bastardization of the herb Marjoram
  • From the Nahualt word, mallihuan, for Prisoner
  • From the Chinese, ma ren hua, or ‘hemp seed flower’

No matter where the word comes from, it’s a leftover racist term meant to encourage fear and we should stick to cannabis as the proper term.

Did you know any of this? Do you have any theories about the word?

Later Days,

Éric

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Dear Ottawa Smokers…

Dear Ottawa Smokers,

Marijuana is legal in Canada as of yesterday. That means there’s about to be a new thing that is legal to smoke.

As someone who has health issues with cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, vape, and marijuana smoke, I thought I’d take this time to remind Ottawa smokers of the laws, since some cigarette and vape smokers don’t seem to remember them.

Laws

  1. You can’t smoke in public places including parks, play structures, bars, restaurants, and patios. This includes Concert halls and festival grounds.
  2. You can’t smoke within 9 metres of province or city owned building entrance.
  3. You can’t smoke on public transit, transit property, or transit stops.
  4. You can’t smoke near or in schools. This includes post-secondary.
  5. You can’t smoke in hospitals and on hospital grounds.

Okay now that we’ve gone over the laws, I hope everyone will follow them and of course medical marijuana will have different rules and regulations.

Rules and laws are great, but as a person with severe allergies and scent sensitivities can I also ask that you do some of the following?

Courtesy

  1. Please smoke so the wind doesn’t blow it back on you. The smell is worse than body odour and shit combined, and will make me start coughing. No one wants to smell old Tobacco, pot, etc in the workplace or bus.
  2. Don’t smoke outside of restaurants or businesses. I want to get some groceries not cough up a lung.
  3. Go to a smoking area and smoke there. Don’t walk and smoke.
  4. If you HAVE to smoke and walk, please pay attention to the people around you. If there’s a parent and child around, or someone coughing, or on oxygen… make sure you’re not sending your smoke towards them.

 

Thank you to all the smokers that follow the laws and are courteous. I realize it’s a small minority that gives you all a bad name.

Éric

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Can-Con Post con review 2018

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’m still recovering from the awesomness that was Can-Con. I really need to plan taking time off after.

Most of my weekend was spent at the table selling stuff and giving away coffee samples. It’s great to hear and see the joy coffee brings some people. For those that didn’t like coffee I sent them 3 tables down to the fantastic Heart Tea Heart.

I was on one panel about heroism in Star Wars and it was a great discussion. The panelists were inteligent, well spoken, and made great points. (I rambled and agreed a lot.)

Other than that I loved the opportunity to talk coffee and books with all the fantastic attendees. The organizers and venue are always fantastic. Thank you and I look forward to next year!

I’m drained… enjoy these pictures of the Child Dragon.

Later Days,

Éric

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Can-Con 2018 – October 12-14

The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, or just Can-Con, is one of my favourite conventions. It has the best people and panels.

October 12-14, 2018
Sheraton Hotel,  Downtown Ottawa
150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2

Eric Desmarais Author, JenEric Coffee, JenEric Designs, and toddler Dragon will be there for the entire weekend.

The dealer’s room is free to the public so come say hi, get some books, and coffee.

I, Eric, will be one panel this year: Star Wars, Heroism and Society Friday at 4pm in Salon C. Come by and laugh at a Trekkie trying to talk Star Wars.

Hope to see you there!

Éric

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