Thursday, February 26, 2009

Based on a True Story

This would be a neat project. Historical figures and the actors who played them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I've spent some time in Wasaga Beach writing a book. A teen detective story. An excerpt:

“You're being a baby. I don't believe you.”

“It's not practical.” Noa looks at herself in the mirror. She feels as if she's wearing a costume. It's the first time she's put on a two-piece bathing suit. Rachel insists that she needs to wear one if she's going to look older. Jack's friends are all eighteen and nineteen. Noa looks at herself, noticing her body, a pencil-marked moment, a memory of brushing her teeth, noticing her head was well above the faucet.

“I don't get you. You never wanted to? It was a big deal when my parents caved in.”

“I still think it's going to come off on the slide.” Noa turns sideways and notices a three-year old watching her. The child is wearing massive water wings and her hair is tied in a haphazard bundle near the top of her head. Noa strikes a pose to ask for an opinion. The child looks at her blankly.

“That yellow one would have, it's not really for swimming. But this was has this.” Rachel says, snapping the strap on her cousin's bathing suit. “You still might want to hold it when you go.”

Noa nods instead of drawing attention to the absurdity of a swimsuit not made for swimming. “I'll take them,” she concludes, shaking her head, “this one and the blue one.” Rachel raises her hands in victory, picking it off the rack, filled with the satisfaction of taking her older cousin shopping for bathing suits. “On one condition. If I ever make that face while wearing it,” Noa points to an advertisement where a bikini model curls her lips back in a mock growl, “you have to shoot me.”


Noa tries not to think about how she paid so much money for so little fabric. She tries not to think how often young girls looked in the same mirror and sucked in their stomachs, feeling inadequate. She tries to focus on Rachel's excitement, the sense of ritual, wondering if a passing thought might have been an important lesson. It wasn't a test that she could write, or an answer that she could figure out. It had nothing to do with responsibility, capability, or awareness. In the end, it is simply the size and shape of her body that makes her an adult.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Malcolm X vs. Ratatat

I'm back from hibernation.

Malcolm X vs. Ratatat (download mp3)

At one point during my visit to Wasaga I was designing assignments for high school students. I hope they're tech savvy -I plan on forcing them to make mash ups of famous speeches.

The perfect soundtrack if you feel like his Wikipedia biography.

I tested my assignment and found it fun and educational. I'm pleased with this Malcolm X 'Ballet or the Bullet' speech mashed over Ratatat's Seventeen Years. I'm happy to capture his intense rhetoric but, if I were to recut the speech, I would include:

a) his statement that America could have the first non-violent revolution by the ballot.
b) that he admired Asian nationalism for defeating the white man -while referring to the Korean war as whites getting beat by rice eaters.

This assignment is also a good introduction to talking about copyright and fair use. Have I violated your terms of use?