April's Real Blog

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Writing, Deadlines, and Dimensions

Mike remembers sumthing from the nite of his book signing:

Formerly little sis. I told you yesterday how when I went to bed after my book-signing at Lilliput’s, I felt as though I were in a different dimension. Then when I woke I was back in my normal dimension. I forgot to mention one of the key ingredients, which helped me to realize that everything was back to normal with my normal dimensional Deanna, was her snoring. Well, her drooling helped too, but it didn’t wake me up.

However I do remember my last few waking moments with my otherly dimensional Deanna. As I lay in bed, I was feeling concerned about where I was. I had just seen the metal piping on the headboard of our bed and not only did it not look like I remembered it , but it looked like Dr. Seuss had made the headboard with the pipes multiplying and the headboard going in odd angles. Yes, April. In other dimensions, the headboards look different. That’s something to remember, if you ever find yourself in another dimension.

The other dimensional Deanna seemed to realize I was distressed. She rubbed my back and said, “Listen. I want you to forget about books and deadlines and writing, OK?” It was an insidious plot to make me forget my purpose in life, but it was working. She put her arm around me and whispered in my ear, “Relax…rest….let it go.” I tried to resist, but her power was too great. The next thing I knew I could see in my mind, the other dimensional Deanna turning away from me with a look of triumph on her face as I had settled into a sleep where the only thing I could express was “Hmmmffzztt”. I have to admit that even though I was in a deep sleep, I still had excellent articulation. Do you know how difficult it is to make “f” and “t” sounds while you are sleeping?

Then the next day, I awoke to the sound of my own Deanna. She was snoring, drooling, and was in that odd sleeping position where her shoulder looks like it has been dislocated. I looked at her balefully thinking, “I am back with my old Deanna, the one who wanted me to quit my job at Portrait Magazine so I could spend my time worrying about books and deadlines and writing. I am with my old Deanna who always had the special way about her of making my beard grow overnight when I appeared clean shaven just before bed. How could I disappoint such a special woman, even if she was a little disgusting to look at when she was sleeping?

So, formerly little sis, after a week of book promotion vacation, I went back to my life now: Books and deadlines and writing. I sat at my computer, typing at a speed so amazing it looked like I had 12 fingers and 5 hands. Mathematically I know that doesn’t work, but I am just trying to give you the physical impression of my speed. OK. If that’s not good enough, this is how it sounded, “Tickata-tap-tap-ticka tick tak tap tapp tappata tick tap tap tick tickata tap”. After all that onomatopoeia, I am sure you will admit that’s fast.

With my coffee cup at my side, I blazed away on my second book Breaking the Windjammer. After all, when the good people of Canada have read Stone Season for the 20th or 30th time, they may say to themselves, “I wonder if Michael Patterson has something else to offer us.” Well, I am going to be ready for them. I have something to prove to my kids; I have a duty to the public who will be clamoring for more of the greatest Canadian fiction ever written; and above all, I can’t let the other dimensional Deanna win.

Michael Patterson
Mike, if U find yrself typing "All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy" over and over and over? That will be yr sign that U need 2 take a break from the writing AND get psychotherapy, K?

Jeremy, thanx 4 helping out w/the babysitting. I was a bit disturbing when Merrie an' Robin were all done w/painting their papier-maché figures and then the Daddy/Attic Guy figure kept telling the Mommy figure 2 keep the little boy figure and the little girl figure away from him so he cd write the greatest Canadian fiction ever.


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  • At 8:25 AM, Anonymous DreadedCandiru2 said…

    And, of course, you're a Patterson and have to live up to the proud tradition of thinking that rest is for the weak.

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    dee sez that mike thinx she doesn't know he's been w8ing until the middle of the nite ea nite this wk and sneaking off 2 guzzle coffee an' tikkity tap @ his 'puter.


  • At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Sheilagh Shaughnessy said…

    April, I am quite upset! For so long, your brother was just a vessel for me to pour my story into. I dictated my life and Michael took it down.

    But now he keeps letting this Leonard Driscoll guy horn in! Who cares about Windjammers!

    Now, if only I had taken that train to Alberta, as I was supposed to. I think I ended up with the wrong Harvey Rood.

    Sheilagh Shaughnessy (or Shaunessy, or Shaughnessay, or Seannissy, or Mellencamp)

  • At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Leonard Driscoll said…

    Step off, Sheilalala, Patterson is MY vessel now! I am in control of his body, mind, and tikkity-tappa fingers.

    Write, vessel, write! Take down my dictation!

    Leonard Driscoll

  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, dee came running over, w/the kids, all, "elly! mike is having an argument w/himself! he keeps switching back an' 4th between a male and female voice, and he even smacked himself across the face!"

    mom told her that she simply duz not understand creative ppl and needs 2 try harder!


  • At 3:36 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. As I understand it, my muses of Sheilagh Shaunessy and Leonard Driscoll got into a little battle over my brain yesterday, despite your comment that you didn’t think my brain was anything to fight over. Somehow or other, my mother got involved with the situation and ended up braining me with a bathroom scale. That snapped me out of it, but then I became aware of my mother looking forlorn holding the scale and saying, “I wish I weighed now, what I weighed then!” Then thought bubbles starting coming out of her head and everyone rushed out of the house screaming, “Run away! Run away! She’s reminiscing!” I say everyone, but dad walked in at that moment, took a look at the thought balloons and said, “Michael. Do you remember that time we found your mother in the kitchen late at night almost choked to death on a chicken bone while also eating pie? I remember saying to her, ‘Next time, eat the pie and not the chicken. No bones about it.’” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

    I said to him, “Dad. Is that the story these thought balloons are trying to tell?” Then dad looked at them, “I suppose so; but it is from your mother’s perspective and whenever she tells these old stories, she has a tendency to make it seem like I am a perfect ass. Let’s check them out together, shall we?”

    So we looked at the first picture and it was of two legs standing on a green, furry bathroom scale. I said, “I remember that scale. I loved it. You were never cold when you wanted to use it. What ever happened to it?” Dad said, “Destroyed in a fit of peak by your mother when she went over 140.” I said, “Kilograms?” Dad said, “No. pounds. Never did go for kilograms. I don’t know why.” Dad said, “Notice those legs, son. See the adhesive bandage. Obviously this story is set during a time when your mother shaved her legs and cared about her appearance, but not so much she painted her toenails. She was terrible at the shaving though. She usually had a few adhesive bandages on her legs somewhere. Maybe she thought she could shave off a few kilograms, I mean pounds.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

    So we looked at the second picture and there was dad, mom and me eating the heart out of some animal. Dad was holding a giant piece of pie, so I suppose it was really pie we were eating. Dad said, “Mmmm. Pie. Now, if you look carefully, son, you can see your mother’s method of cutting pie was to cut out noncontiguous pieces.” I said, “Noncontiguous?” Dad said, “Pieces that don’t go together. Kind of like an old story and a modern commentary on it.” Sure enough, the pie had two empty spaces in it, and they weren’t together. I said, “No, dad. Really, why did mom do that?” Dad said, “Well, my speech balloon gives you the clue. It says, ‘Are you sure you’re not going to have some of this great pie?’ So, the uncut piece between the two cut pieces was a symbolic indication of her will power not to eat any pie. It was her piece of the pie, untaken. It was as if she were making piece (peace) with the pie.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

    So we looked at the third picture and there was dad and mom, and mom sipped coffee while dad was eating the pie and letting a drop of his mouth saliva drip out of his mouth. Dad said, “You notice how you left your plate on the table, Michael? I think you were 25 or 26 when you finally started putting your dirty dishes in the sink or in the dishwasher. Your mom and I were so proud when you finally put a dish up all by yourself.” I said, “The same way you are proud of me for getting my book published?” My dad said, “Let’s look at the caption. I was saying, ‘I gotta admire your (chomp, drool) stamina, El…but you’re missing some fantastic stuff here!’” I said, “What is with the way you are holding the pie on your fork? It looks like you speared an amoeba.” Dad said, “Your mom’s pies did have a lot in common with unicellular organisms. Of course these days, a unicellular organism is a girl with only one cell phone.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit.

    So we looked at the fourth picture and there was mom, lying in bed with a come hither look. Dad was partially naked too, but he was talking to a clothes hangar he was carrying. I said, “Dad, do you have a lot of conversations with clothes hangars?” Dad said, “Don’t be silly son. They are just a bunch of hangers-on.” Then dad laughed and giggled to himself for a bit. I said, “Well your caption says you told the hangar, ‘After two weeks of weighing everything I ate and doing without my desserts – I’d go mad.’” I said, “Was mom mad?” Dad said, “Let’s look at the next thought balloon.”

    So we looked at the fifth picture and there was mom, lying in bed, and looking shockingly like Elizabeth. Dad said, “*#@! Michael. I want you know right now, I have never slept with your sister, or anyone who looked like your sister. I have not cheated on your mother.” I said, “No one’s accusing you of cheating, dad.” Dad said, “People ask me all the time, ever since September, if I am cheating on Elly.” I said, “I don’t know where they could have gotten that impression, dad.” Dad said, “Me either, but if I ever catch the guy who is spreading those rumours, I am going to show him exactly what a Patterson does when he is angry.” I said, “Write a scathing newspaper column using fake names?” Dad said, “What? No! Only an idiot would get revenge that way.” I said, “Let’s look at the next thought balloon.”

    So we looked at the sixth picture and there was mom checking dad’s pulse, while “ZZZ” was coming out of his mouth. Dad said, “A woman who checks a man’s pulse when he is asleep is a marvel.” I said, “Well, that’s one word for it.”

    Then we came to the final picture of mom, red-faced, with cross-eyed green eyes, and sweat or tears streaming off her body in all directions, all while grasping a piece of pie in one hand and in the other a piece of chicken. Dad said, “There she is, choking on the chicken bone.” I said, “Dad this is a horrible picture. It scares me just looking at it.” Dad said, “Well, Michael, you have to put things in perspective. Choking on the chicken bone didn’t stop your mother from finishing up that pie.”

    I guess dad is right. Mom is one of those persons with a clearly-defined set of priorities, even from her earliest days.

    Michael Patterson


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