Speculating Canada interviewed Éric

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

You may remember a few months ago that Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see her interview on their website.

Well I (Éric) was interviewed last week. It was a lot of fun, and Derek is a fantastic interviewer, steering my hectic mind in a semi-coherent direction.

Go watch the interview on their website.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

2023 JenEric Movie Reviews

Hello Movie Lovers,

This year I seem to have watched, and reviewed, 48 films. Not bad considering I was too sick to watch movies for most of December. Below is a list of them in descending star order. Within each catergory, they are in alphabetical order.

5 out of 5 Stars

4.5 out of 5 Stars

4 out of 5 Stars

3.5 out of 5 Stars

3 out of 5 Stars

2.5 out of 5 Stars

2 out of 5 Stars

1.5 out of 5 Stars

2024 Reviews will start next Saturday.

Speculating Canada interviewed Jen

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see the interview on their website.

It’s a great interview and gives you a great insight into how she works and does so many fantastic things.

Jen says:

I was interviewed for Speculating Canada yesterday!! It was so much fun.

We discuss Queer writing, the interrelationship between craft-making and writing, writing with a community, and writing with a partner (specifically my husband).

It’s a long interview, about 50 minutes, so get comfy!

It certainly made me blush from all the compliments.

Go listen to it.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Dear Pegasus – Welcome to level 4 (and 3)

Dear Pegasus,

I’m sorry I forgot to write you a birthday letter last year. It was a hard time for me but that’s not an excuse.

You’ve had quite an exciting few years. You’ve grown so much in every way.

  • You’re starting to know your letters really well. You love sitting on someone’s lap and telling them what the letters on their shirts are.
  • You know your alphabet and can sing it in a very heavy metal style… you do this a lot.
  • You’re excellent at climbing.
  • You have a great ear for music.
  • You still give the best hugs and snuggles.

You’ve made the past few years infinitely better. Your kindness, empathy, and joy are always welcomed.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re still stubborn and have a hard time listening when you don’t want to. Our biggest hurdle right now is potty training. You really don’t want to do that… sigh.

This year you’ll be doing home schooling with mum. I think you’ll love that, but the schedule might be hard on you after so many years of doing whatever you want. I won’t miss you screaming, “I want to say hi!” while I’m in a meeting, but I will miss watching you play.

I love you little Pegasus. I hope this is a great year for you.

Papa

Alas, Fourteen Years is Far too Short a Time…

Dear family, friends, and fans;

Roughly seventeen and a half years ago I met a geeky girl online ,and after chatting for a few weeks we decided to go on a date. It was awkward. I was late and talking about a girl I liked in my classes. She disappeared in the bookstore we started in. I asked her to help me pick a grad photo. She talked about her exes and how she wasn’t sure it was over.

Despite all that, we talked about everything and anything. We shared banana cake and I walked her home. We kissed in the cold outside her house for way longer than was appropriate and a few weeks later we decided to be exclusive.

It wasn’t an easy start and I’m surprised we survived that first year. I’m very insecure (I have RSD) and it felt like we came from two very different worlds. The only thing that really saved us was that we talked about everything.

We’ve been married now fourteen years and we’ve both been through a lot, both good and bad. I really think it’s our quantity of communication that has saved our relationship. We might not have always been talking about the things we should have, but we were still talking. Sometimes until way too late at night

Jen is my wife, my best friend, and the best business/writing partner I could ask for.

To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins, (in words not spirit) “Alas, fourteen years is far too short a time to live among such an excellent and admirable wife.”

I know that if we keep talking, we’ll be able to enjoy each other for a long time to come. Even if we don’t get much sleep.

I love you Jen!

La Princesse and the Wailing Ghost  – Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities

The other day Dragon asked me to tell her a story that I made up. It’s the first time she’s asked in almost 2 years. I made up a quick story and she liked it. When she asked again, I took the opportunity to try and bring back La Princesse.


In a realm of magic, in a time of heroes; there lived Princesse. She lived in a large castle with her mum, the Queen, and her papa, the King.

She loved everything; adventure, myth, and magic. One day, she hoped to become a wizard. She also loved spooky stories and was reading one before bed.

The story was fun and sent shivers of excitement and fear up and down her spine. She turned off her light and closed her eyes.

A horrible wailing noise filled her room. It didn’t last long but she was so scared, she didn’t fall asleep until early the next morning.

The lack of sleep meant she was extra tired the next day, but she convinced herself that it was just the wind.

The second night the wailing happened at the exact same time and she was again too scared to go to sleep. She imagined all sorts of spirits, wraiths, and ghouls that could be hiding in the castle. She didn’t sleep at all that night.

When she fell asleep in her soup at lunch, her papa asked her what was wrong. She could tell he was trying really hard not to laugh.

“I keep hearing a sound like someone crying at night.”

He said maybe it was the wind, her imagination, or maybe she was dreaming. He offered to put a guard at her door or for her to sleep in their room, but she said no.

On the third night, she was struck by sympathy for whatever was crying and with frustration, she decided to find out what was making the noise.

She put on her housecoat and slippers before leaving her room and following the sound. It was coming from behind a large painting of her great-grandfather. She saw that there were curtains on either side of it and when she looked behind it, there was a passageway.

In large castles and some mansions, there are often hidden passages for servants and guards to move unseen and quickly. This was one of them and the sound was coming out of a large pipe that opened behind the painting and went along the wall.

The Princesse was so absorbed in following the pipe that she almost tripped on a younger girl, not much older than herself, who was sitting on some steps and crying. The other end of the pipe was over her head.

“Hello, are you okay?” she asked the crying girl.

“Yes,” she said glumly and then noticed who she was talking to and stood up. “Princesse, what are you doing here?”

“I followed this pipe from near my room. It was causing your crying to sound like a ghost.”

The girl turned bright red and looked directly at the Princesse. The girl’s eyes were purple. “I’m sorry. I’ve just been really sad. It’s been a year since I came here and you and your family have been very kind, giving me a job and a place to stay, but I miss my parents.”

“Where are your parents?” The Princesse tried to sound calming the way her papa did when he was trying to calm a horse.

“My home was in danger and they sent me here. They were supposed to follow me, but they never did.”

“I’m sorry.” it sounded hollow to her own ears, so the Princess gave the girl a hug.

“Thank you and I’m sorry I woke you up. I’m Meagan.”

“Nice to meet you, Meagan. Next time you feel sad you can come see me and I’ll sit with you while you cry. Maybe we can have tea.” The Princesse liked the idea of having a friend inside the castle.

She quickly found that Meagan wasn’t like other people their age. She went to school, but she didn’t know the same books or plays and she didn’t treat the Princesse any differently.

That was nice. She was used to people being guarded because of who she was. They weren’t afraid of her or her parents, just overly formal and distant.

The two started having tea together before bed and telling each other ghost stories, and the Princess was never again woken by the wailing ghost.


Heroes, Legends, Fairies, and other Absurdities are the expanded versions of stories I’ve told my children at night before bed. They’re short, silly, and were completely improvised in the telling.

Dear Pegasus – Eye Love You

Dear Pegasus,

Sunday morning, you and your sister were snuggling. Which apparently is code for wrestling or ultimate fighting, because a few minutes in, you started crying.

Your eye was red and you said it hurt. We couldn’t see anything in it. We tried to flush it out and you said it was okay so we forgot about it.

After breakfast, you burst into tears and said your eye hurt. We flushed it again and put a wet towel on your eye. That seemed to work.

Then every five to ten minutes, you burst into tears and your eye would look red again, so we called the nurse hotline (which is now 811) and the nurse told us to take you to the hospital.

CHEO had an estimated wait time of three and a half hours. Your mum went with you over dinner (about 3 hours) and then we switched. You refused to eat anything but your mum’s mixed nuts. I might have made them sound deliciously forbidden.

When you were called, we were brought to a room and waited less then a minute for the doctor. She was awesome; she put some numbing agent in your eye and then some orange dye that showed her where you were hurt. The dye went into the tear and it glowed orange. Really cool to see. Well… from my angle anyway.

Altogether, it was about 5 hours at CHEO, which is pretty good in my opinion.

Pegasus with the remnants of the orange dye on his eye.

You have a small tear in your cornea (the coloured part of your eye) but it’s not close to your pupil and it should heal quickly. We have some REALLY FUN (no not really) antibiotic cream to put in your eye every night for 5-7 nights.

You were really good. It’s certainly not the first place I wanted to take you after your vaccinations.

I’m really glad it wasn’t worse and I hope you heal quickly. Listening to your pitiful moans as you fell asleep tonight was hearbreaking.

I am so thankful for your Grand-dad; he drove us there and back three times across town. We are very lucky to have your grandparents to help out and that they’re so awesome.

Eye Love you, little Pegasus,

Your Papa

Dear Pegasus – Dresses

Dear Pegasus,

You were assigned male at birth, well actually, at ultrasound.

You’re still discovering what you like and who you are. Somedays peanut butter sandwiches are “disgusting” and other days they’re the best thing in the world.

There are some things that you are firm on for now; you love Doctor Who, blueberries, your sister, Encanto, and dresses.

A few weeks ago, you sat and had a serious conversation with your mum. You asked if you could wear a dress for your birthday. One of the pretty dresses that Grannie made.

I’m embarrassed to say that my first instinct was to say no. Your mum reacted quicker than I did and said yes with only a little hesitation. I was a little worried at first about how people would react, how family might react, but a few days later we got a dress from Grannie (who was overjoyed someone else would get to wear the dresses that she worked so hard on.)

You’ve worn a few dresses now and honestly, it doesn’t feel weird. I’m glad you get the chance to wear pretty things. It’s something I remember wanting to do when I was young, but felt too embarrassed to ask.

I asked you tonight if you thought you were a boy or a girl and you answered, “Neither. I’m Pegasus.” (Okay, you said your name, not Pegasus.) I asked if you wanted me to use he, she, or they and you repeated, “I’m just Pegasus.” So that was fine. We’ll revisit that another time.

I’m not sure if you’ll grow up wanting to wear dresses, realize your trans, or just not care and do what you want. We’ll support you no matter what.

I really hope the world you grow up in gets better. A lot of us are trying, but even the most progressive among us have to step back and think about what we’re doing. It’s also important to listen to those that have come before.

No matter what you decide, you’re our child and we love you,

Your trying Papa. (Yes, yes, in both senses of the word trying.)

Dear Dragon – Easter Bunny

Dear Dragon,

Last night in a desperate plea to not sleep, you asked me if the Easter Bunny hid the easter stuff or if I did. Here’s how that conversation played out:

Papa: What do you think?

Dragon: I think you do it. Am I right?

P: Why do you think that?

D: Because it would be a very long way for him to go all the way here and all the way back.

P (Trying not to laugh): Where do you think the Easter Bunny comes from?

D (With all the confidence of a 5yo): Very far away.

P: So why can Santa do it and not the Easter Bunny?

D (No hesitation at all): Because Santa has a magic sleigh and the Easter Bunny doesn’t. So am I right?

This is the point where I panicked and worried that I might say something that would cause you to stop believing in the Easter Bunny and/or Santa.

I told you that it was really well thought out and we’d talk about it the next day. That’s today as I write this letter. Then I said goodnight and ran away despite you still asking.

It only occured to me later that you seemed to firmly believe the Easter Bunny existed but that he can’t deliver all the stuff. I wonder if you think that he ships it to us?

As I write this, I need to go wake you, your brother, and your mother. I hope a good night’s sleep will make you forget the questions.

You’re very clever and absolutely adorable.

Love you little Dragon,

Papa

Taking care

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

As a follow-up to my post about Long Covid, I want to add a few things.

There are multiple other things that are also affecting me and I realize I might have sounded a little dour. I’m okay and I’m taking steps to make things better for me.

I’m trying to do things that let me rest and don’t hurt me more. It’s hard, because sometimes giving my kids Sunday eggos with strawberries instead of pancakes feels like failure, sometimes writing a post and then reading a little feels like laziness, and sometimes taking a warm shower instead of practising music feels self-indulgent.

I’m going to try and give myself some slack. As I mentioned in my post about burnout, it’s really hard to fight the guilt of doing something for me. I’m going to try and hopefully it’ll get easier.

What am I doing you ask?

All joking aside, I’m working on that. I’ll figure it out. I have a wonderful wife and family to help.

Well, I should go read. I have a book to finish.

Be kind and stay safe,

Éric