Frustration, Sadness, and Anger

MAY3886-770x581

Dear Imaginary Friends,

I was going to make this a Dear Dragon but what I have to say is for you.

As I’m typing, I’m vibrating with anger. I’m going to structure this into three parts to avoid it devolving into a curse filled rant.

Background (This isn’t new)

South of the border, or in Canada’s Pants, we’ve been seeing increasing acts of violence and hate. The Google Manifesto and the atrocious events in Virginia are only the newest in a long line of hateful, vile, putrescent evil. However they’re not new. Nor are they worse than what we’ve seen.

Two years ago just as many horrifying things were happening, but the political climate, news, and public were less informed. It was still happening, it was just as horrific, and it was just as open.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely happy that these things are being noticed and people are speaking out about them, but they are not new. It might have gotten worse, but it’s not new.

Canadians: wipe that smug smile off your faces. We have all the same issues here as they do in the states. Just look into some of our CPC candidates and you’ll get the idea that maybe we aren’t as progressive as we think. We have as much hatred and racism here. Expect the white nationalists, nazis, white supremacists, anti-minority, and canadian values crowds to start protesting more and more openly.

Don’t believe me? Ask a minority or look up the debate on Bill C-16 that extended basic human rights to Transgender people.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or shut the hell up about Free Speech

Calling for the mass killing of an entire demographic of people is not Free Speech. It is Hate Speech. NO ONE has the right to spew hate.

Unfortunately, yelling and saying that one kind of person is better than another isn’t hate speech.

Free Speech means you can’t be prosecuted for your opinion. It controls what the government can and will do in response to what you say. It doesn’t protect you from your employer, friends, family, or media’s judgement. Eg; You can say nasty things about a subset of people in the comments of this post and the government won’t arrest you. I, however, can delete the comment or send it to your mother.

Your Rights and Freedoms should only extend to the point where they infringe on someone else’s health and safety.

MAY3886-770x581

You’re human beings, start acting like it!

This is for all those who agree with Trump, Kellie Leitch, and Pauline Marois; that some people are better than others.

Ignorance is not an excuse for hatred! Get the fuck over yourselves and start trying to understand how your problems are of your own making and all people are the same.

It is our responsibility to help our fellow humans and to stop hate when we see it.

Be better, act better, and stop others when they aren’t.

Éric

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 8

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Part 8: An Emu is Smitten and Completely Useless

“How did you get here?” Sophia asked Dove while eying Hagrid suspiciously.

“Oh my! Philly, her accent is so cute.” She moved towards Phil and ran her hand through his hair. He, unlike the traitorous Emu, had the decency to look embarrassed. “I was in the ship with Princess Samantha when it crashed.”

“That was SpaceForce One?” Phil blanched as he said it.

“Yeah, but don’t worry sweetie.” She emphasised the last word with a soft slap on his cheek. Every move she made looked sexual and Sophia hated it; it made her feel clumsy and ugly. “Most of the crew got off before we crashed. We were on separate ships to escape. With royals dropping like flies, your sister didn’t want to risk both of us in the same shuttle. I’m now sixth in line you know.”

“Sixth?” Phil asked incredulously and Sophia saw his eyes darting from side to side calculating how many people must have died. “Oh wow.”

Grabbing him and pulling him into a hug, Dove cooed, “Oh. Poor you. It’s ok.” He was still sitting and she was standing next to him, but in this position she was only half a head taller than him. She started petting him and he seemed to get calmer every time she touched him.

Sophia didn’t like Dove. “You’ve been trapped on the planet this whole time?”

“Isn’t terrible? At least I had a lot of food and was able to film the whole thing.” Dove ran her nails gently over Phil’s back and moved away. She pouted and then gave a big smile before throwing her arms around Sophia. The moment the other woman touched her skin, Sophia felt tingles of pleasure. “Thank you so much for taking care of my little Philly.” Her breathy voice in Sophia’s ear made legs weak.

With great effort, Sophia stepped out of the hug and asked, “Great. So where can we drop you off?

“Actually…” Dove scrunched her face adorably and said, “I found the black box from the ship and watched it. It shows who tried to kill us and I need to bring it to Queen Samantha.”

“Who was it?” Sophia expected Phil to ask the same thing, but he seemed to enraptured by Dove.

“I don’t know. I didn’t recognize the ship but it had a serial number and if I can get the black box to Samantha, she’ll know what to do.”

“It’s on your ship. Isn’t it?”

Looking embarrassed Dove said, “Yes.”

“We’ll get it for you,” volunteered Phil.

For the first time during the conversation, Dove looked flustered, “Oh. Does it take two of you?”

Bouncing up, Phil said, “We’ll get it. You just wait here.”

Once again, they were outside in suits heading towards a crashed ship. Sophia was pretty sure this was a bad idea and she said so.

“Dove is a little flirty and likes to act incompetent but she’s an accomplished pilot and soldier.”

“Then why are we out here instead of her?” Sophia was tired of walking and just wanted to this over with and set up the gravity generator.

He opened his mouth to speak a few times, making a popping noise through the coms. Eventually he said, “It seemed like what she wanted.”

He looked confused and Sophia suddenly had a bad feeling. “Did you tell her about the Database?”

“Maybe,” he said sheepily.

She cursed, turned around, and ran back towards the ship. They didn’t go far before they saw the ship taking off.

Out of breath and confused, Phil asked, “She took our ship… Why did she take the ship?”

“Oh. I really don’t like her.”

“But… Why?”

“I don’t know, but we need to hurry if we’re going to get the ship, and my emu, back.”

Remembering the fighter ships that were left in the Imperial Battleship, Sophia started to run. She hoped and trusted that Phil would follow. If he didn’t, she’d have to waste time picking him up.

At the Imperial Battleship, it took her longer to find the fighter bay then she’d hoped. There were shuttles that were designed for longer travel but they weren’t as fast and they needed to get to their ship before Dove went to hyperspace.

The bay was in surprisingly good condition. She picked a ship that looked in good condition and activated it. The entrance flashed a message that said, “Access Denied.”

“Overwrite lockout, Prince Phillip access code Delta Pie Donut.” The ship took a second to think and then opened to let them in.

The ship was designed for a pilot and a gunner and was not spacious. Once inside they took off their suits and Sophia asked, “Can you fly this thing?”

Phil snorted and replied, “Hells no.”

Sighing, Sophia sat in the fighter’s cockpit and hoped it wasn’t a big difference from Phil’s ship. The main ship still had enough power to open the bay doors and they were gone. Sophia had a little trouble driving to start with and almost hit a mountain but she got the hang of it eventually.

Their sensors found Phil’s ship and they flew towards it. “Why hasn’t she gone to hyperspace yet?” Wondered Phil aloud.

“Maybe we’re just lucky?” suggested Sophia and she hailed the ship, “Hey jerkface! Give us back our ship and emu.” It was the only thing she could think of in the moment.

A few seconds passed and they were starting to catch up with the ship when they received a reply to their hail. There was no visual and no words, only a loud scream of pain and terror.


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

Network Television Draft 2017-2018

television

Dear Imaginary Friends,

For the past five years I’ve run a Television Draft / Pool. It’s like a football or hockey pool but with new television shows.

television

How It Works

  1. Get a bunch of friends over to your house and watch all the trailers for this year’s new network television shows. (List below)
  2. Everyone pays $5. (You can use pretend money or no money at all)
  3. Divide the amount of shows by the amount of people. (There are 53 this year)
  4. Put everyone’s name in a hat, chip bowl, or other receptor.
  5. Pick a name from the receptor and that person gets first pick. Record what that person chooses and have them pick the next name.
  6. Reverse the order of people who picked. (First goes last, last goes first)
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until everyone has an equal number of shows picked.
  8. Give updates monthly for how well the shows are doing. I recommend TV LineTV By The Numbers, Is My Show Cancelled, and TV Eh? for checking what is and what isn’t cancelled.
  9. At next year’s Draft give this year’s First place 50% of the money collected, Second place 30%, and Third place 20%.

The Points

Points are awarded by how many episodes air and if it’s renewed. All points are tied to the category of the show.

Categories Points Per Episode Aired Renewal Bonus
Traditional American (18-24 Episodes) 1 10
Mini-Series (6-14 Episodes) 2 10
Mid-Season Traditional (6-12 Episodes) 2 15
Unknown /Summer (4+ Episodes) 2 20

The Shows

There are enough shows this season that you could easily play 3-15 people. More if you let 2 people choose the same shows.

Name Network Anticipated Premiere Genre Category Trailer
9-1-1 Fox Midseason Procedural Midseason Description
9JKL CBS 2017-10-02 Sitcom Traditional Trailer
A.P. Bio NBC Unknown School Comedy Unknown Description
Alex, Inc. ABC Unknown Office Sitcom Unknown Trailer
Alias Grace CBC 2017-09-25 Historical Murder Miniseries (6) Trailer
Black Lightning CW Midseason Superhero Midseason Trailer
Burden of Proof  CBC 2018-Winter Legal Drama Miniseries (10) Description
By the Book CBS Midseason Spiritual Drama Midseason Description
Caught  CBC 2018-Winter Legal Drama Miniseries (5) Description
Champions NBC Unknown Sitcom Unknown Description
Crawford  CBC 2018-Winter Family Sitcom Miniseries (15) Description
Deception ABC Unknown Procedural Unknown Trailer
Dynasty CW 2017-10-11 Soap Opera Traditional Trailer
For the People ABC Unknown Legal Drama Unknown Trailer
Frankie Drake Mysteries  CBC Unknown Period Detective Miniseries (11) Description
Ghosted Fox 2017-10-01 Supernatural Traditional Trailer
Good Girls NBC Midseason Crime Drama Midseason Description
Inhumans ABC 2017-09-29 Superhero Traditional Trailer
Instinct CBS Midseason Crime Drama Midseason Description
Kevin (Probably) Saves the World ABC 2017-10-03 Fantasy Drama/Comedy Traditional Trailer
L.A. to Vegas Fox Midseason Flight Sitcom Midseason Trailer
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders NBC 2017-09-26 True Crime Drama Miniseries Trailer
Life Sentence CW Unknown Comedy Drama Unknown Trailer
Little Dog  CBC 2018-Winter Boxing Comedy Miniseries (7) Description
Me, Myself & I CBS 2017-09-25 Comedy Traditional Trailer
Reverie NBC Unknown SciFi Procedural Miniseries (10) Description
Rise NBC Unknown School Drama Miniseries (10) Description
S.W.A.T. CBS 2017-11-02 Police Drama Traditional Trailer
SEAL Team CBS 2017-09-27 Military Drama Traditional Trailer
Splitting Up Together ABC Unknown Family Sitcom Unknown Trailer
Star Trek: Discovery CBS 2017-09-24 Science Fiction Miniseries Trailer
Ten Days in the Valley ABC 2017-10-01 Thriller Traditional Trailer
The Brave NBC 2017-09-25 Military Drama Traditional Trailer
The Crossing ABC Unknown SciFi Thriller Unknown Trailer
The Details CTV Unknown Detective Series Miniseries (10) Description
The Disappearancef CTV Unknown Detective Series Unknown Description
The Gifted Fox 2017-10-02 Superhero Miniseries (10) Trailer
The Good Doctor ABC 2017-09-25 Medical Drama Traditional Trailer
The Indian Detective CTV Unknown Procedural Unknown Trailer
The Mayor ABC 2017-10-03 Political Sitcom Traditional Trailer
The Orville Fox 2017-09-10 SciFi Comedy Traditional Trailer
The Resident Fox Unknown Medical Drama Unknown Trailer
Unspeakable CBC 2018-Winter Historical Drama Miniseries (8) Description
Untitled Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff ABC Unknown Firefighter Drama Unknown Description
Valor CW 2017-10-09 Military Drama Traditional Trailer
Wisdom of the Crowd CBS 2017-10-01 Procedural Drama Traditional Trailer
Young Sheldon CBS 2017-09-25 Family Sitcom Traditional Trailer

Good Luck!
Éric

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 7

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Part 7: An Emu Falls in Love

The trip to the crashed ship took them ten hours. It was the perfect time to get some sleep, so obviously Sophia spent most of the time reading the fanfiction of the Prince and watching his videos. Most were him talking to the camera and making witty or insightful comments. He was extremely charismatic and she found herself fantasising about him.

“Isn’t it ridiculous Hagrid? I’m sitting here watching him and obsessing about him and he’s sleeping on the other side of this wall.”

Hagrid made a snuffling sound and hid his head under his wing.

“You think love is ridiculous?” she said, but Hagrid didn’t reply. “I can’t be in love… I barely know him… Other than the hours of his show and thousands of stories about him.”

The computer interrupted her muttering to let them know that they were approaching planet Dowsett, where the crashed Imperial Battleship was supposed to be.

The planet was once a hub and destination place for writers of all sorts. Unfortunately, a civil war between a group that believed fiction wasn’t real literature and a group that believed non-fiction was boring caused the planet to become unlivable. Little Sister hadn’t explained why there was a crashed warship on the planet.

Prince Phil was already in a protective suit when she reached the airlock. It was the same airlock she’d hidden from a winter storm, so many years ago. Phil helped her suit up as the ship landed itself not far from the crash site on the back side of the ship.

She had already packed any tools she thought she might need, including a hover pallet that would carry the gravity generator from the crash.

Giving each other the thumbs up they activated the door and walked out onto a planet that could have been pulled from the original Star Trek; a bright, colourful desert. She half expected to see a Gorn hiding behind a large foam boulder.

She’d only seen an Imperial Battleship once, and it had been from a view screen. The full size of the ship impressed her. It was taller than most buildings she’d seen and so long that she couldn’t see one end.

The schematics of the ship told her she needed to get to the aft portion near the engines. It was a good thirty minute walk before she saw the entrance to the ship. At this point it filled her entire view.

The sun must have been hot but their suits were air-conditioned. The sun, however, was extremely bright and she was constantly trying to adjust the polarization of the helmet. It was almost like something was reflecting the sun back into her eyes.

Looking around, she saw that was exactly what was happening. There was a small point of light being reflected at them from not far away.

Activating her com, she said, “Someone else is down here,” and pointed towards the light.

“I’ll go check. You get the thing we need.”

“Gravity Generator.”

“Yeah, that.”

They split up there and she headed into the crashed ship. It was in surprisingly good condition considering it had crashed. The same couldn’t be said for what was left of the crew; mostly bones and pieces of material. She was thankful for the suit. It gave her a comfortable barrier between herself and the dead.

Getting the gravity generator wasn’t easy and took her over three hours to take out of the ship carefully. As she was working, she wondered if Phil had found the person flashing them and who it could be. The coms in the suits were short range and she couldn’t contact him.

The battleship wasn’t salvageable without a lot more equipment and work but she was able to get part of the computer working. The ship’s internal diagnostics told her that some of the shuttles and fighters were still in the ship. She was tempted to go check them out, but decided to head back to their ship.

The walk back took a lot longer than the original thirty minutes. Even with the hover pallet, she had to go slowly and push the minivan sized gravity generator.

At the ship, she stowed the gravity generator in a hold, took off her helmet and pressed the internal com button. “Phil, are you back?”

“Sophia. We’re back and in the kitchen. Come join us.” He sounded relaxed and happy; more so than any other point since she’d met him.

When she walked into the kitchen, Phil was sitting at the table. On the table, with her legs dangling next to Phil, was a petite blonde. The woman was strikingly beautiful in a Hollywood type of way. The woman saw Sophia enter and smiled coyly before brushing one of Phil’s stray hairs behind his ear.

Blushing, Phil stood up, almost falling over the chair and said, “Sophia, this is Dove.” Of course it was. She should have realized right away that this was his ex-girlfriend. She’d read a lot about the woman, but she knew she couldn’t trust anything because the fan community had hated Dove and always made her the villain.

Jumping off the table and managing to make it look like a long fall, Dove walked over to Sophia and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you. Philly hasn’t stopped talking about you.”

“Um. Thanks. Nice to meet you.” Sophia wanted to ask all kinds of questions, but that’s when she noticed that Hagrid was quietly standing right next to Dove. When Sophia gave him a funny look, he bent his head down and nuzzled Dove.

“Ah, what a sweetie. I think he likes me.”


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

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Book Review

ready-player-one-book-cover

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a while since I did a formal structured review and I’d like to work though my thoughts on this book. (For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.)

I devoured Ready Player One in record speed (for me) and despite being addictive, I’ve got mixed feelings.

**Warning Spoilers**

ready-player-one-book-cover

Characters

I liked

I greatly enjoyed the characters of Halliday and Ogden. They were obviously based off of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, with more than a little Gandalf thrown in for fun.

I liked the over the top villain Sorrento. True mustache twirling baddy, who pulled no punches and didn’t do anything particularly stupid.

I didn’t like

Any of the main characters. The main character was a whiny undereducated obsessive with an extremely unhealthy crush. The love interest was a fantasy geek girl who had similar interests to the main character. She was a wilting flower embarrassed by her appearance and in the end enamoured with the protagonist’s ability to look past it. There was also the token 80’s obsession with the honorable Japanese characters.

The only character that could have been interesting was Aech. Unfortunately what could have been a source of tension and actual character growth was tacked on at the end to show that the main character is an okay guy.

Each character is a stereotype of 80’s movies, tv, and books. I’m not sure if this was intentional but it certainly wasn’t effective at creating well developed or relatable characters. Add in the odd transphobic, sexist, or homophobic comments and I really didn’t like these characters.

For characters, I give it 1 out of 5

Writing Style

I liked

The book suffered from the biggest strength and weakness of the first person narrative. It’s biggest strength is urgency and quick pacing.

The author was great at referencing nostalgia without needing to explain it. The world building was well executed.

The word and sentence construction was perfectly balanced in the exciting bits.

I didn’t like

The biggest weakness of a first person narrative is the narrator. If a reader doesn’t like the main character, it hurts the book, which leads authors to give their characters super-powers that either make no sense or are too convenient. In this case the character had perfect luck and the ability to play any classic video game at an expert level.

For writing style, I give it 4 out of 5.

Story

I liked

I absolutely loved the puzzles and the quest. It was a perfect combination of trivia and classic MacGuffin hunt. The nostalgia was pretty well done and it actually informed the story instead of controlling it.

I didn’t like

It was predictable. It was a classic MacGuffin quest. I could tell you all the notes it would hit and how it would end by the end of the first act.

The nostalgia was awesome but at some parts I wanted to move on with the story not hear more about John Hugh.

I give the story 3 out of 5

Fun

I liked

The world and puzzles were fantastic. Both of them drove the plot and the interest. The author did a great job of capturing and referencing the feel and excitement of 80’s nostalgia. The excitement of the hunt was expressed in such a way to make me feel the same need to continue. It’s the mark of an author who really knows how to excite their audience.

I didn’t like

The characters and plot were predictable. The love story was painfully bad and partially toxic. I hate the “demure woman who is obsessed with her appearance” trope. As in all 80’s media where they tried to have a love interest that was the equal to the character, she was better qualified then he was in every way to win the contest.

I give it 4 out of 5 for fun

Overall

This is a fun and quick book with quite a few problems. Its thick slathering of nostalgia, exciting puzzle game, and interesting world are the only things that saves it from a weak 80’s quest with weaker 80’s character tropes.

Final score is 60%

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 6

2017-serial-story

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5

Part 6: An Emu Gets Bored as People Talk

Sophia was tired, she’d been up most of this whole crazy adventure and that just added to the surreal feel of what was going on.

They were all sitting in a child sized purple house, drinking tea from a floral china tea set, discussing something that couldn’t exist. Sitting next to her, his long legs uncomfortably folded on the tiny chair, was the Prince, one of the Galactic Heirs. On her other side was a tiny robot girl who controlled the black market trading moon they were on. The only normal thing was Hagrid the Emu sitting in the corner of the room looking utterly bored. Somehow knowing an Emu’s emotional state was now normal…

“Stop!” both Sophia and Phil said at the same time as Little Sister was describing the power of the Database of Ageless Kings.

Smiling awkwardly at each other, Phil gestured at Sophia to continue. “What you’re describing is impossible. It goes against physics, common sense, and isn’t possible with the level of technology you or he have.”

“Oh you’re silly. Of course it’s possible. “Any sufficiently advanced’—”

“I know Clark’s three laws. But it’s still no possible.”

Little Sister smiled and said, “I’m happy Arthur made it to your earth. I was worried about him. The Galaxy was once much more advanced then it is. I was built near the end of the decline and even my designs are far beyond what we can accomplish now. The Database exists, whether you believe in it or not.”

Sighing Philip asked, “And why would we want to know where it is?”

The small robot that looked like a child turned her pigtailed head sideways and squinted her eyes. After staring at him for a few seconds she spoke slowly as if she were talking to an idiot. “Someone is trying to kill you. They’ve killed your entire family and several solar systems. Whoever is responsible pretends to be your older sister but rules for afar. Don’t you want to find out what happened?”

“If the Database does record everything that has happened, ignoring the magical reality altering aspects you mentioned, it would be incredibly powerful. Why wouldn’t you go to it yourself?”

“This,” Little Sister pointed at her body, “Isn’t me. This is just my avatar. My database, programing, and essence are all built deep inside the moon. I can’t leave because I am built into this place.”

Getting annoyed with the circuity of Little Sister’s conversation, Sophia snapped, “So what’s your price. We find this magical artifact and turn you into a real girl?”

It was rude and she knew it. She doubly knew it when Hagrid jumped up, made a huffing noise and head-butted her in the shoulder.

“Yuck. Why would I want to be a fleshbag that goes bad after less than a hundred years?” Little Sister seemed genuinely disgusted.

Hagrid started walking around them in the small room.

“You want the tech. Don’t you?” Phil asked.

“Yes. My systems are deteriorating and no one was kind enough to program me with my own design specs. I’m dying for no reason other than the fact that we don’t know how I was made. If I could get the information from the Database, I could repair and improve myself.”

Phil looked at Sophia and his full lips were turned down. Her heart thumped a little faster. He was feeling sad for a moon sized computer being called Little Sister. Even with everything that had happened to him in the past few days, he still took time to feel for her. Sophia knew in that moment that no matter what he chose to do, she’d follow him.

“Ok. How do we get to the Database?” he asked.

“It’s really quite simple. You need to go to the galaxy’s core. You’ll find it on the planet in the exact centre of the galaxy protected from the gravity of hundreds of black holes by a powerful shield.”

“But… how?” Phil sputtered her hands flailed up and down. “The gravity would destroy any ship that goes close to the core, not to mention the time distortions, or the radiation from all the suns.”

Thinking about it Sophia said, “I’m pretty sure I can modify an artificial gravity generators to counteract the gravity of the core. But I don’t think the one on your ship would be strong enough.”

Looking at her, impressed, Little Sister said, “Very clever. I’m impressed. There’s only one kind of ship that has a powerful enough gravity generator for your purposes.”

“An imperial battleship.” Phil’s voice was monotone and defeated.

“Do not despair young Prince. I know where you can find one that was partially destroyed.”

Crinkling his face he asked, “This sounds both much too easy to get too and much too troublesome to use effectively. If it was designed as a surveillance device, shouldn’t there be an easier way to interface with it? And if it’s that powerful, shouldn’t it be harder to get to?”

“Yes to all your questions. The Database can only be used by one of the royal line. They must go to the core, prove their worth, and then the Database will connect with them. Once connected, the royal can use it simply by concentrating.”

“Whoa!” both Sophia and Phil exclaimed. Hagrid gave a similar chirp.

From there on, it was all an exchange of coordinates and signing contracts. As they were leaving, Little Sister pulled Sophia aside and said, “He’s been hurt. He’s lost everything. Be patient with him and make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.”

Read Next


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

Parasomnia Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

parasomnia ebook cover

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

A lot of work goes into a book cover, especially if the author has input and is picky. This cover took a lot of work from the wonderful Caro at Renaissance Press and I think it looks great.

parasomnia ebook cover

At the Aux-Anges Institute, nestled in the woods outside of North Bay, they study and treat parasomnias, or sleep disorders. Ashley suffers from night terrors, Terrance sleepwalks, Kiri sleep-eats, and Paul sets fires; they are there for treatment. Adelaide took the job as a counselor to discover why she still has an imaginary friend.

When they discover the secret hideout of an old club called the Dreamers, they are shocked to find that the five of them are connected through more than just the Institute.

You can Pre-Order the book from Renaissance Press’s Website. 

The book will hopefully have a few early copies ready for Montreal’s Queer Between the Covers.

What do you think of the cover?

Later days,

Éric

Éric’s 5 Rules of Customer Service

Meet-the-Headhunter-Brandon-Young1

I had a particularly bad experience this past week with a company that obviously didn’t care about their customers.

I’ve worked in customer service in one way or another since I was sixteen and nothing pisses me off more than bad customer service. My current jobs are all about customer service. A repeat customer is essential to building a small business or even, as an author, a readership.

Meet-the-Headhunter-Brandon-Young1

5. Don’t complain about customers to other customers

If you can’t be trusted to not badmouth your customers, than there’s no reason for your customers to trust you. It has nothing to do with the person your badmouthing and everything to do with the trust you will lose from the customer you’re complaining to.

4. It’s okay to make mistakes / Never blame the customer

If you made a mistake, people will understand that you’re not a machine. Just apologize and if warranted make amends. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice and above all else, NEVER blame the customer.

3. Treat everyone equally

This shouldn’t be an issue anymore but for some reason racism, sexism, ageism, and classism all seem to still influence our perspective on clients. Don’t judge someone based on what they look like, it’s stupid. Keep an open mind and treat all clients like they are important.

2. A customer wants to feel important

When I walk into a store or go online etc. I want to feel like someone cares if I buy something. That could be a small thing like someone asking if I need help. When you’re dealing with a customer make them feel like they’re important and they’ll want to buy something.

1. Fulfill your promise

When you work in customer service you are making a promise to do what you say you do. If you work retail, you should know what you’re selling. If you are offering a service, you complete that service.

This is more than just the product and the pitch, you have to do all the fiddly bits right too. If you make an appointment, be there on time. If you say you’ll do something, do it.

You could have the greatest product in the world, but if you act incompetently it will reflect poorly on you and your product.


If you liked this list, you should read Éric’s 5 Rules for Being Professional

Stranger Things – A Review

20161201_stranger_things_node

Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Since July of last year people have been recommending to me a TV show called Stranger Things.

If I were to describe the show, I’d say it was an homage to 1980’s YA movies with more than a little supernatural horror thrown in. It has D&D, Monsters, Psychic/Magic abilities, Conspiracies, Eighties Rock, and lots of kids on bikes.

It’s eight episodes on Netflix and although the first episode is a little slow, it builds quickly. The special effects are amazing, the locations are great, the music is wonderful, but most of all the acting is fantastic. The actors in this each play stereotypes from eighties movies, but managed to pull those characters out of cliché and make them believable.20161201_stranger_things_node

The one thing that I found lacking in the show was complexity and surprise. After two episodes I could have given you an outline of the entire season. I wasn’t surprised and was actually a little underwhelmed by the story.

It was a fun watch and the acting alone made it worth it, but this show was too close to my own influences, likes, and writing style for comfort. Seriously, after the last episode, I went to IMDB to make sure I hadn’t written it. I’ll let you decide if that’s a compliment or a condemnation.

In short, if you like Horror, YA, Eighties movies, and/or my writing; you’ll enjoy Stranger Things.

I give it 85% or 4.25/5

Later Days,

Éric

Trolls, Broflakes, and Troglodytes… Oh My!

the-comments-section

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The internet is a vile cesspool of intolerance, sexism, racism, hate, and many other horrible things. I’ve come to accept that in an almost Zen like fashion. (Except flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers; they still incite red hot rage.)

Once you accept that there are hateful people everywhere and that they seem to flock to the internet’s comment section, or Nazi Alt-Right politics; you can start feeling joy in their pseudo-righteous anger.

the-comments-section

**IMPORTANT** Some people are not beyond reason. There are some that are genuinely ignorant of the issue or misinformed.

This Sunday, the BBC announced Jodie Whittaker as The 13th Doctor. My first reaction was excitement that my daughter would be able to grow up with a Doctor that looked like her. My second was pure joy at the anger and frustration the internet’s comment sections would have. I may have cackled…

When the same feces-maelstrom erupted over John Boyega being a storm trooper, I was angry and frustrated and lost hope in humanity. Now I’ve seen the Ghostbusters hate, the Gunslinger hate, the Rey can’t be a Jedi hate, the Wrinkle in Time hate, the Wonder Woman hate… Etc Etc etc.

Humanity has some shining examples and some terrible troglodytes; I’ve accepted that.

Now down to business:

Dear Troglodytes,

Since Doctor Who has been utterly ruined a woman Doctor, violated beyond measure and so on… I in my infinite generosity will gladly help you dispose of your Doctor Who memorabilia. I won’t even charge you for the time and mental anguish of association with that horribly defiled pile of stuff.

Sincerely,
A Real Fan.

P.S. If you need help with your Star Trek items, I’ll make the same sacrifice.

Later Days,

Éric