April's Real Blog

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mike has another book

U mighta noticed Mike's recent mention of his 2nd book in his comments here. Now he's got more 2 say:

Formerly little sis. Do you remember Carleen Stein, Josef Weeder’s assistant? I certainly thought I did until I went by Josef Weeder’s studio to show him my second book Blood Cargo. Josef was there setting up a screen for his studio and there was a sort of mannish woman there in a short skirt motioning for me to sit by her on the chesterfield. I said to Josef, “Who’s this?” and he said, “Mike, man. Don’t be an idiot. That’s Carleen.” It was very confusing to me; but I sat down on the chesterfield anyway.

Carleen(?) said to me, “Book two, Mike! I’m so impressed!” Then Jo said, “Great read, man. A real thriller.” This told me that Josef had read my book and this so-called Carleen was just trying to make conversation. She continued, “How do you think of this stuff? I mean, you look like a normal guy—but you come up with all these ideas!” I did not like what she was saying. It was almost as if she were saying that a normal guy would not come up with an idea to write a thriller about life on a windjammer. Or perhaps she was saying that normal guys don’t have any ideas. I am not sure which one, but either way it was a little insulting. It’s hard to answer a question that’s also an insult, so I said, “I dunno, Carleen.”

Then she prattled on, “You must go nuts with all this material, all these images, all this dialogue pounding around inside your mind!” Again, this Carleen was yammering about my mental instability. I think it was around then that I thought about all the other times I had heard Carleen talk, and I realized she had never said so much to me ever before as she said right there on the chesterfield.

It was then I knew it wasn’t really Carleen. The only things that were the same were her two dimples which move around her face, her hair colour, and her gender. Now that I think about it, I am not so sure on the gender part. It was disturbing. All I could do was to say, “Yeah…” and tried to think of a way to answer her question; but all I could think was “and sometimes it’s totally empty” as I imagined myself sitting in front of my computer with sweat running down my face. Everyone knows that when a writer can’t come up with ideas, he sweats profusely. OK. Writers don’t really sweat like that, except for the really fat ones, and they are sweaty all the time, regardless of writer’s block. I like to imagine myself sitting in front of a black computer, even though mine is white, with a big white empty thought balloon beside me for colour contrast. It is a very satisfying experience, and oftentimes can help me forget very stressful things like why Carleen Stein doesn’t look even remotely the same as she used to.

That’s all for now on my novel and this bizarre person trying to pass for Carleen Stein. Maybe more tomorrow.

Michael Patterson
Hey, Mike, sum ppl just radically change in appearance 4 no known reason. Like my friend Eva Abuya. She used to have darker skin and a wider, more prominent nose. But then one day she showed up pale and petite-nosed, and swears she didn't have surgery or have her skin bleached. And Liz sez that Warren looks different each time she sees him. And as U know, Connie has taken 2 resembling Gramps. I'm guessing Carleen's changes Rn't as drastic as sum of the examples I listed, eh?


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  • At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Friend from the Mountains said…

    You know, often, when a woman gets pregnant, she puts on weight in other areas of the body before she starts showing in her tummy. Perhaps Carleen is pregnant and putting on weight, thus making her look more manly? Maybe that is why you didn't recognise her?

    ~Mountain Buddy

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. You suppose Carleens’ changes are not as drastic as your examples. Let me see. I remember meeting your friend Eva Abuya once on your 16th birthday. My children called her “poodle girl” after that. Does she still look like a poodle? If she does, then probably a change would be necessary.

    As for Warren Blackwood, I met him once at Liz’s university graduation. He wore a purple suit with a bright yellow shirt, I remember because Deanna thought I should start dressing like him. I can see a change being necessary for him too, if just for his clothes.

    Connie Poirier is our next door neighbour, so we see her regularly. She is pretty ugly, but she has been ugly for awhile. I am not sure I would insult Grandpa Jim with that kind of comparison. He’s a lot better-looking than Connie.

    I guess my answer is no, then, for lack of a better one. When hair colour and dimples are the only common characteristics from one appearance to the next, I would say that is a more drastic change.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    Friend from the Mountains or Mountain Buddy,

    Perhaps Carleen is pregnant and putting on weight, thus making her look more manly? Maybe that is why you didn't recognise her?

    Carleen pregnant? No! No! No! Josef would never do that without consulting me first, because he promised that…um…Unless it wasn’t Josef, but someone else. That could be it. No! I can’t see that being the case. Jo would have told me.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger duncan anderson said…

    Hey, Apes,

    Im going 2 the fireworks @ Ashbridges Bay w/ the Larsons 2nite. BBQ @ the Larsons b4 the fireworks. B on the 4:45 GO if ur interested. Bring Jer if u must. I dont care, Charles invited himself cos he thinks Zed is hawt.

    BTW, I had a dream last nite, I was w/ a 41 yo woman in the States. I was screaming 2 the woman, "Give me yr body, give me yr body," & she screamed back, "Get away from me, u perv." I guess peeps dont understand me, even in my dreams. I just wanna b ne1 whos not me & didnt have their life ruined by a silhouette, even if I hafta b sum random old American lady instead.


    Yr best bud,
    The Real Duncan Anderson

  • At 12:56 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, u know i dunno if i have evah seen a girl get so xxcited ‘bout getting a sound system set up like u were yestahday (& i guess a good part of this mornin’). u were v.v. complimentary wen u were sayin’, “jeremy, i’m so mpressed. how do u think of the ways 2 put up this stuff? i mean u look like a normal guy, but u come up with all these ideas 4 ways 2 hang speakers. all these nuts & bolts w/all this material, all these electronic devices, all this technical dialogue, & the poundin’ around inside my…” …ooops…almost went a little 2 far there 4 ur blog. neway, i luv the way u give compliments. peeps have asked me y i am little 2 happ 2day & i just tell them it’s cuz my gf haz a new sound system in her house. i am feelin’ so good that i evn sed yes, when u asked me if i wunted 2c the fireworks @ ashbridges bay w/duncan anderson & sum othah peeps. u cud prolly ask me nethin' now, & wud say yes.

    i didn’t get wut duncan sed in hiz post ‘bout that 41 yo woman in the st8s. he’z chased aftah a lotta diff girls ovah the years, but i kinda figgered he wuzn’t n2 oldah women. he should prolly stick w/eva. is she comin’ 2? i cudn’t tell frum wut duncan rote. he sed the larsons, which i guess means zandra larson, her bro charles wallace & zandra’s ‘rents; but then he sed sumthin’ ‘bout a charles invitin’ himself cuz he thinks zed (zandra) is hawt. thass gotta b a diffrent charles than zandra’s bro. @least i hope it is, cuz i sure don’t wanna c sum pervy younger bro aftah his sis. that wud b2 weird, eh?

  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger howard said…


    Over at Portrait Magazine, where I am the editor after your brother left, we have already started work on covering your brother’s new book Blood Cargo. I think that just from the pre-sales, it’s already a best-seller without actually being on the market yet. I know that I simply adore this brief description of the book:

    It's 1874, and Leonard Driscoll is 23. Having fought with his father for the last time, he signed on to a windjammer - one of the large cargo sailing vessels that carried goods between South America and the Southern United States. Having no skills other than short order cooks (learned in his parents' dockside restaurant in Galveston), he was put to work in the kitchen of the S.M.S. Princess Aleksandra Janiak, a worn, iron-hulled "maiden" that ferried everything from sugarcane to guano across the Caribbean Seas.

    Leonard is only just beginning to realize the seriousness of his situation as he discovers hidden cargo and a captain whose past transgressions include piracy, kidnapping and murder. There is also a stowaway, a man whose ancestry connects him to Mayan royalty and a fortune in Spanish gold.

    Little does Leonard know but his life is about to change forever as he embarks on a journey where he sails in a storm, is shipwrecked and left for dead on the coast of Belize, or that fateful night when there were fourteen crew members down with the trots and the seas were blowing high. It looks like a night of bad weather and even worse bodily fluids, and Leonard Driscoll has his work cut out for him. He's 23 and this is his first job. He's peeling potatoes, heading out into unknown territory, and hoping he'll survive his journey on a ship carrying Blood Cargo.

    That sounds so promising. Can your brother’s new book be worse than his first book? I can hardly wait to find out.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 1:37 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike, u r so silly. y don't u just say u haven't seen enuf of eva or warren 2 know whether they've changed as much as, more than, or less than carleen has?

    when i 1st met eva, she looked like this. Then around five months later, she looked like this.

    when liz 1st met warren, he looked like this. he still looked pretty much the same about nine months later. But when Liz saw him about a year and a half later, December of 2005, this is what he looked like. January 2007 he was looking like this. and if u had been less self-absorbed, u mite have noticed warren @ yr "i'm an author" party @ weed's place march of last yr, looking like this.

    next time u need more info b4 u can answer a question, y not just say so?


  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    oh, and jeremy, i've been xxtra happy 2day, 2. it's so cube that we're off from school 2day & i can hardly w8 4 the fireworks!


  • At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Eva Abuya said…

    Of course I'm going to the fireworks with Duncan. What have you heard?

    Eva Abuya

  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    Can your brother’s new book be worse than his first book? I can hardly wait to find out.

    howard, i have a feeling u will be sorry u asked!

    oh, and jeremy, i 4got 2 answer u abt charles, i think dunc means charles anderson, the brother he 4got he had.


  • At 3:23 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, 2 charles? that’ll b confusin’. if zandra sez, “charles don’t touch that!” i dunno if i will know which charles she’z talkin’ ‘bout. if thingz get 2 whacky w/the 2 charles & duncan & zandra & eva, can we just get a distance away & watch the fireworks in safety?

    btw, gerald asked me y i wuz smilin' so much 2day. i just smiled @him & told him it wuz cuz ur bro haz a new book.

  • At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Thank you so much for the links to the pictures. Looking at the pictures of Eva and Warren as they have changed over the years, I can tell that you and Elizabeth have been associating with some freaks. I had completely forgotten that Warren Blackwood attended my party at Josef Weeder’s studio last year. I think this was because Elizabeth, in her usual anti-social way, did not introduce us. I seem to remember Gordon and Tracey had to pin her down to get an introduction.

    So, if I were to compare the Eva Abuya and Warren Blackwood changes to the Carleen Stein change, let me see…

    Carleen appears to have changed gender, so I will give her points there. Eva and Warren appear to be the same gender in all their appearance.
    Eva appears to win as far as changing skin colour goes. That is a pretty extreme change.
    Warren seems to have turned into a vampire for one of his changes. That would be more impressive, if you hadn’t had your moment of turning into a werewolf.

    So, I would say…hum…maybe it could be…OK…These choices are too tough for me. Let me call Deanna at work. Just a minute.

    OK. Deanna says for me to stop writing to you, to get off my lazy bottom and to get ready for my newspaper interview about Blood Cargo. She’s right. That’s in a few minutes. Maybe I will talk more about Carleen’s appearance later today.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    lol, jeremy, ger sed he was gonna run out and buy the book. ::snerk::

    sure, we can watch the fireworks from a safe distance. that sounds nice!


  • At 8:33 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, the fireworks r supposed 2 start at 9:45pm, but i dunno if they r gonna match the fireworks we have already seen w/these whacked-out peeps. i’ve gotten 2 the point where i jump ne time i hear sum1 say, “charles”.

    i think it’s safe b-ing outa throwin’ distance, just in case thingz get outa hand again. u know if u keep doin’ that thing ur doin’, i think ur gonna distract me frum c-ing the fireworks. on the othah hand, i think just hearin’ fireworks mite b enuff 4 me this year.

  • At 9:42 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    and so the fireworks r abt 2 start and.... oh, w8, jeremy and were doing sumthing more.... uh, never mind....


  • At 11:49 PM, Blogger Harvey said…

    In Canada, we have long awaited the kind of literary talent that would subdue the world with its inimitable genius . . . someone with the prize fighter credentials of Hemingway . . . the encyclopedic imagination of Borges . . . the cookie in the over pathos of Plath . . . and the thrills and frills of Stephenie Meyer. Who amongst us could deliver the kind of precise style, fabulous craft, and raw power of the masters? Who is that poet, looking both within and without, who can reveal the earnest human virtues being lost to digital decay? Who can tell a thumping good story to get you through a bout of bronchitis.

    Ladies and gentleman, that muse and magician combined has a name: Michael Patterson.

    His first novel (_Stone Season_) received the kind of critical acclaim that would shut down must newbie authors. But Patterson proves he's got more tricks up is sleeves than abused in the bush narratives of the Canadian anti-pastoral. _Blood Cargo_ is a poignant satire of the colonial mandate, its slavish trade and debasement of the human subject, young and old. What's more, it's an effective parody of _Pirates of the Caribbean_ and our Disneyland derived fetishisation of the musket and locked chest lifestyle. Patterson, in a past life, must have been both Blackbeard and Rimbaud, for he knows the high seas as only a poetic gunrunner could know.

    "Blood Cargo" may be a ghoulish shipment, but underneath lies many brilliant gold dubloons. Michael Patterson: Stockholm just called. Mr Nobel would like to speak with you.

    And I'm not just saying all this cos I went to university with him . . . or because he was my editor at 'Portrait' magazine.

  • At 2:30 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. What a superb and unbiased review of my book Blood Cargo by the esteemed reviewer known only as Harvey. If only more reviewers were as forthright and honest about the books they read, as Harvey is, the world would be a better place.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I don’t think I mentioned yesterday why I was at Josef Weeder’s photography studio. You may have thought it was so I could show him my new book, but actually I was there posing for publicity shots. For some reason I am not quite sure about, my publisher Reiner and Browne did not have me do publicity shots for my first novel Stone Season; but they said that the quality of my second novel Blood Cargo was of such a level that they wanted people to be able to recognize my face and associate it with my writing. Naturally, I recommended my old friend Josef Weeder for the job, since he is the best photographer in all of Toronto, and also because he would be willing to do the job for what Reiner and Browne was willing to pay.

    When I approached Josef about it he said, “Mike. For this kind of money, all you’re going to get is a handheld camera, no backgrounds, one light and you seated in front of a posing table with Carleen handling only one reflector.” That sounded like a lot to me so I naturally reacted with a “Wow!” As we started, I sat at the table with my arms crossed and I said, “I never thought I’d be posing for publicity shots, Weed!” Weed was ever the professional and said, “Head up a bit?” and he pointed his finger up to show me which direction that was. Unfortunately, he shot the picture with his hand still in that position, so he got a nice picture of me with his hand in front of my face. I told him that picture probably wouldn’t work. He said, “I know, Mike. Now stop talking.”

    But I couldn’t help myself, I was so excited. I said, “I don’t want to change, you know? I don’t want to become someone I’d normally dislike!” I sensed Carleen was behind me adjusting the reflective screen. She was muttering something like, “As if it that were possible.” I said it was such a kind thing to mutter, how I couldn’t possible become someone icky. Josef said, “There’s a shadow, Carleen. Shut up, Mike. All we are getting are pictures of your jaw moving.”

    I held a copy of my book in front of me so the picture could take in the title Blood Cargo. Josef said, “Mike, man. I know you are working hard to set up some kind of bad pun; but can’t you stop talking and wait until after we finish taking your picture? All these pictures are going to be blurry.” I said I would; but then I realized I wanted to point out something and I said, “I want to stay grounded and true to myself and to everyone around me. I don’t want this bit of success to go to my head.” I saw a “Poof” go off in front of me.

    I said, “Was that the camera going off, or did someone cut the cheese? Carleen was that you?” Carleen said, “No, Mike. ‘Poof’ symbolizes the longevity of your career as an author.” I thanked Carleen again for yet another compliment and I noticed that Josef had all the photographs he had taken up on his computer screen. I said, “That’s an awful lot of pictures for one ‘Poof’.” For some reason, Carleen started laughing when I said that.

    I rushed over to Josef and gave him as much affection as I could with Carleen there. I touched him gingerly and lovingly on the shoulder and said, “…are you leaving enough space for my autograph?” Josef grimaced and said, “Sure Mike. You can sign right over the blur that is your mouth in every single one of these pictures.” He was in a bad mood for some reason. Artists, even photographic artists, can be quite moody sometimes.

    That’s it for today, April. More tomorrow. I know your readers can’t wait.

    Michael Patterson


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