April's Real Blog

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This feels redundant

I am having Blogger probs so am sending this thru e-mail. Sorry abt NE formatting issues!

Mike wrote in sum more abt his literati life:


Formerly little sis. It seems like just yesterday I was getting my publicity photos from Josef Weeder. By the way, I decided to pick the picture where I had my hand on my chin and my other other hand holding my new novel Blood Cargo. Josef said the dual hand positions would show that the idea for the book came out of my head, or maybe my chin. Of course I thought my hair looked swept back like a wind was blowing on it from the big "Poof" I mentioned yesterday in the photo shoot and there was a huge shadow under my arm and the book, which just shows that this new male Carleen Stein is not as good with the reflective screens as the old female Carleen was. Nevertheless, it all turned out well, when my picture was put on the placard outside of Lilliput's for my book-signing.

Naturally, my children came. My daughter was practising her reading skill by reading the placard to me. It said, "Meet Local Author Michael Patterson Tonight 7:00 – 9:00 Latest Book" and then some other words below that she couldn't read. I sat at a table, which was not particularly well-lit, signed books and took compliments. One person I couldn't see said, "It's going to be your next best-seller, Mike!" This was not a particularly astute statement, since I would hate to think Blood Cargo was not going to be a best-seller and my next novel or some other novel even later would be. Another person I could not see said, "Anyone called about movie rights?" Initially I thought they were talking about those people who did the "War Bride" movie who have been harassing me about how they had the rights to the story I told in my novel Stone Season; but it turns out they were talking about getting the movie rights to Blood Cargo. I told them no one called, but if they did, I would let them know. You have to pretend the little people buying your book are important. Then yet another person I could not see said, "Could you sign here, please?" That was actually a helpful statement, because I discovered I was signing the man's hand and not his book. At this point, I had to insist Moira Kinney get more light.

Then mom came over to the table with my kids and she said, "This is wonderful, honey! Some very important people are here!" I thought she meant my kids or this guy on the other side of the table with a microphone pointed at me who said, "Excuse me, could we have a few words with you?" As it turned mom was talking about these people she has coffee with.

Well, I met the "coffee talk" people mom wanted me to meet. Then I did the interview with the guy with the microphone, until I realized he was just a weird guy who liked to carry around a microphone. We had a few words about how to go about pretending to be a journalist, a subject with which I am very familiar with my work over at Portrait Magazine. He walked off in a huff and I heard my son say, "Why is ever'body so incited, Merrie?" At first I thought to correct him and say, "excited" and then I remembered the guy with the microphone, and realized my son got the word right. I thought it was a word beyond him, until I looked at my son and realized he had grown quite a bit since I got him his own room and out of the crib. The doctor said something about how the crib was keeping him from growing properly, and I guess he was right. My son looked about 2 years older than he did 3 months ago.

My daughter was the recipient of his question, and she said, "I dunno…It's just another book!!!" I was a little surprised she would say that, but then I could tell that in a book store full of books, my daughter had pointed out that my book was one among many. Then I realized my daughter was wearing one of your old school uniform skirts. I think there is something about losing yourself in the writing and book-selling process that makes your kids seem like they have grown up overnight. I would have thought about it more, but there was a giant man, a fat lady, and a guy with facial hair all waiting for my autograph. Distractions, distractions, formerly little sis.

By the way, are you still living with mom and dad, or are you at university now? I just want to make sure I am keeping up.

Michael Patterson

It seems we just went thru all this, doesn't it? W8 & C if Mike got thru this book-signing w/out spoiling NE of his books w/messed-up autographs.

Mike, I have another yr of high school left after the current one, U foob. So of course I still live w/Mom and Dad.


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  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger Zandra Larson said…

    Hi April,
    I guess this is a record, but I've dumped Charles. He's worse than Ed. I should have figured out that he had no sense of humour after the fireworks on Monday night. Or maybe he just shouldn't have announced that he's the most eligible man in Milborough. Whatever.
    Charles is such a bore, I had Charles Wallace come along on our last date. Charles Wallace is doing something with light decay rates and background radiation, and wanted to test Charles. It seemed like a good idea, and kept Charles away from me. Right now Charles Wallace is working on a set of equations that have to do with retrospective memory creation and existence spectra.


  • At 10:54 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    hey, zandra, i can't say i blame u. charles is like a walking encyclopedia of world football stats. boring!


  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sgt. Royalson here.
    As I am the gentlemen who asked your older brother if I could see him for a moment, perhaps I should explain that to supplement my meager income as a peace officer I serve civil court pleadings in my spare time. In this case, I was retained by a local firm of solicitors to serve your brother with a summons and complaint seeking seventeen million dollars (Canadian) in damages for shamefully ripping off a 43 year old adolescent romance novel entitled "Bold Cargo" and attempting to clumsily pass it off as his own work. Changing the title slightly fooled no one. Not an attorney myself, I can nevertheless recognize an open and shut case when I see one. I advise your family to start saving to help pay off the judgment which will be entered. Perhaps Michael can approach the Kelpfroths for a loan? Ha ha.
    Sgt. Royalson

  • At 11:30 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…

    Sgt. Royalson,

    Your “Bold Cargo” will simply have to stand in line with all the other plagiarism civil court cases. I have received similar civil court pleadings for the novels:

    Bud Cargo – A windjammer carries flower buds and Budweiser Beer to the New World
    Spud Cargo – Set in the days of the Irish potato famine, a windjammer carries the potatoes crucial to the Irish’s survival.
    Flood Cargo – A retelling of the Noah’s Ark story except using a Windjammer and a talking hippopotamus named Curly for comic relief.
    Stud Cargo – A windjammer carrying male order grooms to an island of fertile women.

    You see, Sgt. Royalson, once you have written one best-seller which was declared by many critics to be the great Canadian novel, it brings out the plagiarism accusations. My publishers Reiner and Browne told me that people like you would come around and I should not worry about it. As they put it, “Michael. Because you are a Patterson, no matter how much money you make, you will always be barely able to make ends meet. There’s not a lawyer in the world who can get a loonie off you.”

    However, on the plus side for you, I am sure I will be seeing a lot of you in the future.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:19 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i guess this xxplainz y duncan haz been sayin’ “in yo face, charles” 2day.

    & actually ur bro’s story kinda xxplainz that weird thing that happed the last tyme u & i baby-sat ur future niece françoise, niece meredith and nephew robin.

    merrie wuz xxplainin’ 2 françoise ‘bout childhood sweethearts. she sed, “francie. wen ur daddy marries auntie elizabeth, then u’ll hafta have a childhood sweetheart 2 marry.” then francie sed, “y is that?” then merrie sed, “pattersons marry childhood sweethearts. that’s wut grandma elly sez. i’m gonna marry kevin narayan.” then robin sed, “cerys 4 me.” then françoise said, “my mommy & daddy weren’t childhood sweethearts. they met at university & because my mommy works 4 grandpa caine.” then merrie sed, “i know. that’s y ur daddy iz gonna marry my auntie elizabeth.” then françoise said, “because they were childhood sweethearts? i don’t think so.” robin said, “cerys. cerys. cerys. ooh. i gotta stick. wanna play sticks?” merrie sed, “no. robin. do not eat the stick. help me francie.” then that got my attention & i got up & took the stick outa robin’s hand. he reached 4 grass & started eatin’ that instead, which izn’t gonna hurt him, so i didn’t stop him.

    then françoise said, “how old is robin. is he 1 or 2 years old?” merrie sed, “oh. robin’s 3. his birthday is in november. then he’ll b 4. my birthday iz first. mine iz october.” then she made a face @robin. then françoise said, “3?!! but i’m 3 & my birthday is not until march. y is robin shorter than i & so stupid?” merrie sed, “i dunno.” robin sed, “ur 3? ur big!”

    then there outa nowhere, robin started getting bigger & bigger until he wuz bigger than françoise. i jumped up & sed, “robin. ru all right?” he sed, “y is ever’body so incited?” then françoise said, “because u just grew. & the word is ‘excited’ not ‘incited’.”

    then robin sed, “hey! i don’t wanna play with my increment any more.” then françoise said, “you did increment, but the word is actually ‘excrement’.” then robin sed, “y do u keep inplaining words to me?” then françoise said, “cuz u keep sayin’ them wrong. & the word is ‘explaining’.” then robin smiled @ françoise sed 2 merrie, “i have a new childhood sweetheart, merrie.” merrie sed, “no, robin. francie is not ur childhood sweetheart. it’s cerys, kevin narayan’s youngah sister, remembah? we’re gonna have a dubble weddin’.” robin sed, “no merrie. ardith & her kids r just so peeps think we have indo-canadian friends, when we really don’t. don’t intrapolate that kevin iz ur childhood sweetheart.”

    françoise said, “ooh. that’s really ‘extrapolate’. & i luv the way u dress now. the pullover sweater & collared shirt is so manly.” robin sed, “u wanna play arctic inplorer, francie?” françoise said, “that’s really ‘explorer’ & i wud luv 2. ru comin’ merrie?” then merrie sed, “no. my childhood sweetheart is kevin.” robin sed, “u haven’t seen kevin since 2006. u need 2 inpect a new sweetheart.” françoise said, “that’s really ‘expect’ & robin is right.” merrie sed, “no. no. daddy sed he & mommy were separated 4 ovah 10 years & they still fell in luv az soon az they met again. my sweetheart is kevin. it’s kevin. kevin.”

    then u came back frum gettin’ sum goodies frum the refrigerator & u sed, “wtf happed 2 robin & y is merrie so upset?” & i told u wut happed & everythin’ the kids were sayin’ & thass wen u gave them that long lecture ‘bout how u don’t hafta marry a childhood sweetheart & u don’t hafta live in mboro & that stuff. it wuz a good speech, but I don’t think they believed u.

  • At 12:29 PM, Blogger howard said…


    For some strange reason, Canadian Blood Services is giving an award to your brother for his book Blood Cargo. It’s the “Johnston Award for Writing Something Remotely Related to Our Business, Even if it Isn’t Very Good” award. I just thought I would let you know.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Oh, thanks for reminding me about that award. It is very prestigious. It will go along very well with the awards I got for my novel Stone Season:

    Honorary Member of the Stoners Society. I got that one thanks to a recommendation from Josef Weeder. They were pretty “high” on Stone Season.
    The Society of Daughters of the Sod Farmer War Brides “Soddie” award.
    The Canadian Culinary Book award, for including a recipe for stone soup in the novel

    Michael Patterson

  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger Anonymous book launch atendee said…

    What a soiree that was! When all my big city relatives mock the cul-de-sac life of Milborough, I tell them -- "Hey, we're growing. Not just at the waist line, mind you. But growing culturally, intellectually, and artistically."

    "You don't say!" they say.

    Oh, if only they had been at Lilliput's bookstore (I mean bookshop -- it's very Euro in there) then they would KNOW.

    Actually, I normally *hate* Lilliput's. Maybe it's the tedious allusion to Jonathan Swift (the Lilliput section being the only section of the _Travels_ that they bothered to read. Maybe it's because, being a children's bookshop, the stacks are usually swarming with ill behaved brats braying for some creative toy or another. Saturday afternoons, and that shop is plagued with neighbourhood crybabies from the Montessori and Waldorf elementary schools. Both boys and girls have hair down to their bums and possess weird names like 'Elora' or 'Elegwen' -- more suitable for hobbits.

    Once I was in there and a charming young lass in a rainbow shawl and Renaissance curls was knitting in the corner. I said nicely, "You knit very well, young lady!"

    And she replied, "I'm a guy, you pervert!" and he slammed me in the shin with one of those Lilliputian Creato-Bricks that they sell.

    Most of all, I despise the co-owner . . . Elly, or Elenore, depending on who's around. Although lately she hasn't been around as much. . . probably returning to her other job, haunting a bog. Anyway, conversations with Elenore usually involve references to her B.A. in English, her son's brilliance, or some useless nugget of information about Ojibwa grammar. It seems that Elenore spent a weekend up in them thar north country, and returned an expert on First Nation's political culture. Well, bravo!

    But I confess, after the twelfth time Elenore referred to her son, "the budding Alice Munro", I confessed that I had to give _Stone Season_ a try. Wow. Maybe it's because I am 1/64th Scottish on my great uncle's side, but I really identified with Sheilagh! Her hard scrabble life, from one barren potato field to another, really tugged at my Celtic heart strings! I gave the book to everyone in my Wiccan coven to enjoy and they all said that it ROCKED.

    So, when I saw that Mr Patterson had a new book out, I had to check it out. No reruns of 'Friends' for me! How often do I see the word 'author' and the word 'local' in one sentence together? And the word AUTHOR was written extra big, like über sized font, so I knew the new book must be extra special.

    I thought it was weird to hold the launch in a children's bookshop, but Lilliput's is definitely where the artistes of our district like to hang out. Elenore was there, fluttering about in a scarf (to hide her jowls). She had this anxious look on her face, as if there was someone there whom she had not yet hugged, or some unfamiliar face who needed to be informed of her son's genius.

    When she saw me, she grinned heartily: "Did you know that in the Ojibwa language, past progressive verbs are indicated by prefixes?"

    I tried to politely deflect the discussion, as the lineup (I mean 'queue') to see Mr Patterson was long! An annoying child, half in school uniform (probably the only formal clothes she owns) kept pushing into people. Her little brother, who has a speech impediment, kept mispronouncing words. "Are you incited?" he asked me? I tried to correct him, but then Elenore flashed me a dark look, so I returned to stroking my beard and looking properly awestruck. But then the event ended abruptly. Lilliput's is strange that way, as if some brick wall suddenly appears, stopping time -- a dome of silence descends, on cue, usually when someone makes a clever pun that summarises the preceding ten minutes with a pithy observation.

  • At 8:45 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    anonymous book launch atendee, i think i can clear up sum confusion u seem 2 have abt my mom and lilliput's. 1st, my mom's name. elly patterson. "elly" is not short 4 nething. 2nd, mom doesn't own lilliput's nemore. she sold the store 2 moira kinney, tho she still likes 2 "help" there from time 2 time.

    lilliput's is not a children's bookstore. i think ppl get confused since it's called "lilliput's books and toys." but it's a regular, all-ages bookstore that has a toy section.

    oh, and i think my mom mite have sum confusion abt u, 2. she sed sumthing abt a guy who gave her grandson a funny look and then acted like he had "beard lice."


  • At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Lilliput's is all crappy toy rockets, coloured triangles, and spinning racks of origami for dummies. Books are shelved according to difficulty: elementary, high school, and Shannon Lake (which is also a golf course in B.C.)

  • At 1:22 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I remember back to February 14, 2007, Valentine’s Day, a day when one spends time with your beloved. I remember it in particularly because I had gone to Toronto to get Josef Weeder to check out the contract for my book deal, when he revealed that he and Carleen were buying Lovey Saltzman’s apartments using a loan from Jo’s dad. Josef and I drove over to see the burnt out apartments where we used to live and Lovey was there. Then Jo described his plans for the apartments which looked like nothing but silhouettes back in 2007. It was a magical time and made especially magical getting to share it with Jo…and Lovey, and listening to him as he described his plans for the future.

    Well, my lovely wife Deanna and I went to visit Carleen and Josef in those apartments after all their renovations. Let me tell you April, what a difference a year and 3 months make. They look like apartments again and not like silhouettes of apartments. Also, Josef and Carleen have moved into the downstairs landlord spot previously occupied by Lovey and her husband, the never-seen and practically invisible Morrie. I think someone was taking care of our kids while we went there. Hum! Was that you? I forget.

    In any case, since this was shortly after my book had been published, most of the conversation naturally revolved around that, as it was the social event of the Milborough season. Carleen was there, and she looked more like the Carleen I remembered from years gone by, except for that bulge in her pants. At least her face was almost back to normal. She said to me, “You’re gonna be famous, Mike!” This was, of course, another tip-off it was not really Carleen, who almost never says things like “gonna”. However, I did not want this fake Carleen to know I was on to her / it; so I responded the only way a Patterson could respond, which was, “I don’t want to be famous, Carleen…I just want to make a decent living.” I am sure you know the kind about which I am talking, formerly little sis, i.e. just like mom and dad make a decent living.

    Josef Weeder pointed out that “If this book sells like the last one, you’ll be sailing!” This is what I love about the man. He can come up with a pun, and it isn’t even the end of the conversation. “sailing” is a reference to the storyline of Blood Cargo, about a young sailor on a sailing boat in 1874. Josef was handing out champagne flutes as he said this and when I realized it was Josef handing out refreshments instead of Carleen, who usually does it, I had another confirmation for my suspicions. I reached for the champage to have one, while saying, “You’re not doing so badly!” It was subtle….probably too subtle… to let him know I was onto this fake Carleen.

    By the time Josef handed out champagne flutes to all 4 of us, he responded with “Yeah, we’re paying down 2 mortgages and putting some in the bank!” Deanna said, “Life is good!” because she loves getting to drink alcohol. I think she missed the part of Josef paying down 2 mortgages, which is not exactly a model of life being good. The 2 mortgages are the one on his photography studio and the one on those apartments he bought from Lovey.

    Suddenly it went dark. Josef said, “Damn it. I have to go get a ladder and climb up to the attic to fix that.” And he said in yet another spectacular pun / toast, “To climbing the ladder!” Which we repeated back to him. You see, April, Josef had to get a ladder and climb it, but the phrase also means becoming more successful, so it works as a pun with the conversational topic.

    Then I raised up my champagne flute and said, “And, here’s to those who helped us onto the first rung!!” Those champagne flutes were awfully skinny and I noticed my hand practically had to mangle itself to hold it. Deanna said, “Mike. Hold it normally, or you are going to spill it all over…Sheesh, Mike. What is it with your family and deformed hands?” Josef said, “What do you mean? Are you saying I should raise a toast to my father, who loaned us money for this property? I pay him interest, man, and he makes a big stink about how flaky photographers are when we are even the least, little bit late.” Carleen said, “Now, Josef. Don’t exaggerate. You and your father are getting along better than you ever have. Now that he’s seen you’re with a nice Jewish girl and not chasing after Shiksa models and you are willing to make investments, I am sure he will put you back in his will.” Deanna said, “I am sure Mike is just talking about me. After I got the job as the pharmacy manager, I started making enough money so that Mike could quit his job at Portrait Magazine and work full-time on his writing.” And of course I pointed out that although those were excellent guesses, I was really making a toast to our mom. Without her help and those fabulous editing skills, I would have never done as well as I have done. Deanna was in a foul mood the rest of the night. It was a mistake to let her drink. She cannot handle her alcohol.

    Someday, April, when you are a famous veterinarian, you can look back on that moment when you realized that if it weren’t for mom, you wouldn’t be climbing the ladder of veterinary success.

    Michael Patterson


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