Thursday, May 31, 2012

CBC RADIO INTERVIEW

Hi all,

Perhaps you sometimes read this blog and say to yourself, you say: "I wonder what the dweeb who writes this sounds like?" If that was a question you were dying to have answered, I encourage you to listen to me dither and dilly-ditz my way through this interview with the CBC's Terry Seguin. Thanks to Terry (and his producer Shaun) for letting me ramble on like an escaped mental patient (no disrepect to mental patients intended).

INTERVIEW

All best, Craig.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Interview in Mediapart

Hello All,

Here are some links to an interview I did with Christine Marcandier, a terrific French journalist. Part of it is in French, the interview in English. A big tip of the hat to Christine for taking the time.

French Story (you can run it through Google Translate for a sense of it in English ...)

English Interview

All best, Craig.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It came out early ...

Hello all,

My editor in chief just sent this to me now. He has a google alert that pings whenever "MuscleMag" shows up anywhere online. So hot off the presses, as they say:

My movie experience

Thanks to Mark Medley at the Post for approaching me to write this. I enjoyed doing so.

(... and now, having quickly read the piece, I've seen a few minor edits—as always happen—and I simply want to assure my father here, publicly, and later I will reassure him privately, that in the initial edit, when I claimed he had "the grace of a tree sloth" I'd also included "A Davidson trait—male side only." Which is to say if dad has any lack of grace, so do I. In fact, dad's more graceful than me. If he's a tree sloth, then my grace mimics that of a deeply intoxicated tree sloth. Just wanted to clear that up).

All best, Craig.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So ...

Hello all,

The movie premiered today. I was surprised how intensely I felt today; it was almost as if, in some ways, the book was published again and I was going through all those emotions one goes through when a book comes out.

Difference being, as a writer you can generally expect to see, say, 2-3 reviews a week—max. I woke up this morning to nearly 30 emails of film reviews. They just kept rolling in all day

I'd say the response has been pretty positive. I'm deeply happy for Jacques Audiard and the actors, Matthias and Marion, who have received well-earned plaudits for their performances.

It's crazy, though: if you see 10 reviews and 9 are positive and one is negative, or even middling-positive, THAT is the one you dwell on.

And I say so with the full understanding that my contribution to it all is distant at this point: I provided the seed, really. But it still hurts to see a review that's not a rave—not for me, honestly, but for Mr. Audiard. Not that he needs my overwrought emotional outbursts, but anyway, all I'm saying is it's honestly not a concern for me as a writer or a person at this point—right now it's an empathetic response for a great artist, and a fear that, in every less-than-raving review, I might've had some weird part in it.

Isn't that bizarre? I don't even know if I've explained it very well at all. I need pills.

I will have a piece in the National Post this Saturday where I talk a little more deeply about the experience leading up to the film insofar as my involvement was concerned—and beyond that, what a simple joy it's been to see this process develop. I recognize it's been a remarkable turn of events and I can only be grateful that, weirdly, it happened to me.

Here's a little article that came out today, too. Chris Knight from The Post called me at work. I like Chris. Good writer. Nice talking to him.

More to come on this topic, I'm sure.

Newspaper article

All best, Craig.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prenatal classes and an answer to, "Hey, do you have anything new coming out?"

Hello All,

BLOG POST, PART 1:

So my lovely girlfriend and I have been going to prenatal classes for the past six weeks, in anticipation of the baby's imminent arrival (next month). I've enjoyed the classes and I think they're really valuable for first-time parents. There are so many little, and big, things you sort of need at least a little grounding in before the grand event itself.

Last night it was breastfeeding. Which, truth told, is something that concerns a lot of first-time mothers. Will I produce enough milk? Will the baby "latch" properly? These and other issues are causes of concern for mothers. And fathers, too, if only because it's hard to watch mothers struggle with those things.

But the classes are funny, too. Our instructor was a real earthy woman—a nurse, a lactation consultant, just a straightforward get-'er-done kind of person—and last night we talked a lot about what to expect with our baby's ... er, output.

Our instructor called these "poops." Or "stools." We talked a lot about poops and stools last night.

Evidently those maiden stools should be sticky-black, like tar ...

Oh, wait—are you eating right now? If you've got a sensitive belly this might not be the best reading material. Just so you know.

And then, after those tarlike loads—which should happen within the first few days of the baby's life—the "poops" should turn green, then greeny-yellow, then yellow, then establish a more normal coloration. They should be, as our instructor put it, variously "pasty, mushy, or seedy." Once every seven days it is apparently common for a baby to produce a staggeringly voluminous, diaper-bulging stool. A truly heroic poop. So we shouldn't be worried about that.

What father would be worried? Nice poop, junior! That's a blue-ribbon winner!

But we parents must be ever-watchful of our newborn's stools, evidently. If they're not suitably pasty or seedy (what does that even mean? Do these stools, like, grow scraggly mustaches and buy switchblades and start hanging out at grungy bars down in the Bowery?) then there could be issues. And our baby's pees shouldn't be too dark yellow or crystalized orange, either—this may mean baby's not getting enough colostrum, or enough mature milk.

A good, healthy baby should be producing two "wet, heavy diapers" in their first few days, along with 1-10 poops, a few of which should be "large stools"—bigger than a quarter.

So, am I going to be counting stools? You bet! That's part of being a parent, so far as I can tell. I will buy a pair of jeweller's calipers and measure the stools, too, to make sure they are suitably "large." It's like measuring fish caught in the wild—if they don't measure up, back in the lake they go!

Not to make too light of things ... you really do have to be on the lookout for this stuff. It's going to be a lot of changes coming, real quick. Our entire lives will change in a lovely way.

BLOG POST, PART 2:

Realizing how much things are going to change, how much of my life will be taken up with the new baby, I've been pretty busy writing of late. I had a stretch of nearly 8 months where I didn't have a day job; in addition to the freelance work I was able to complete, I had a big fiction output. Novels, stories, and so on. I guess I realized it would be the last chance I'd have for awhile to really get some work under my belt.

I say so because lately—likely because of the movie hubbub—people (random wellwishers as well as editors and producers so on) have been asking, "Hey, are you writing anything else? What else do you have?"

Anyone who is really, professionally interested in that is urged to contact my agent, Kirby Kim, directly; you can find the contact details on my website, in the "ABOUT" section:

Contact Kirby

But just as a matter of interest, I can re-iterate what I've stated on this blog before, albeit some months ago now.

My next book is called CATARACT CITY. Some people like this title. So do I! It's actually the nickname for Niagara Falls—the latin for waterfall is cataracta, I believe, so the English version is Cataract, another name for waterfall. It's the story of two boys growing up in Niagara Falls, and it focuses on some of those things that have, and will continue to fascinate me: wrestling, dog racing, fighting (duh!), cigarette smuggling, friendships between boys as they become men, the beautiful mystery of women, and a strong sense of place. I realize now that my place, fictionally-speaking, is southern Ontario. I get the vibes of that place better than anyplace else.



So that will be coming out ... well, a date's not been set yet. It'll come out with Doubleday in Canada, Graywolf Press in the US, Atlantic Books in the UK, and Albin Michel in France. There's some editing yet to be done on it.

Beyond that, I've written two other books (one very far afield of my usual, and another that may be YA), plus some stories, some of which have been accepted for upcoming publication. I'm about 30k into a sort-of thriller right now. Plus my day job. Plus the baby. So things are pretty busy, but I've got a good backlog of work to carry me through what may be an extended fallow patch where I won't have the luxury of writing time.

Thus ends the update.

All best, Craig.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rust and Bone—the soundtrack!

Hi all,

So this very talented fellow, Alexander Desplat, has "scored"—ie: written and selected the music—for Rust and Bone, along with Jacques Audiard. The soundtrack list is out, and I'm glad to see there's some Bon Iver on it. I really dig Bon Iver. I used to borrow my girlfriend's ipod to go jogging, and it was jammed with Bon Iver tunes. Now truthfully, they aren't always great jogging tunes—or they are provided your ambition is to slip into a narcoleptic coma, fall off the jogging trail and get eaten by coyotes.

But they're very haunting, melodic, I guess you could say "soaring" pieces of music. Bon Iver probably isn't to everyone's tastes, but who is? I mean, other than the Mini Pops; those high-toned munchkins are straight-up AWESOME for any ears, young or old or in-between. And the Bangles, too.

Anyway, the soundtrack is:


1. Musique d'Alexandre Desplat - 40mn
2. Bon Iver - Wash
3. John Cooper Clarke - Evidently Chickentown
4. The B-52's - Love Shack
5. Lykke Li - I follow Rivers (The Magician Remix)
6. Carte Blanche feat. Alexis Taylor - With you
7. Django Django - Firewater
8. Colin Stetson - The days I've missed you (Ilaij I)
9. Bon Iver - The Wolves (Act I and II)

I admit, I haven't listened to a lot of these tunes. I'll admit further that I don't know who a lot of these musicians are—had they been covered by the Mini Pops, maybe, but as it stands no. But thank the good lord above (or whoever) for YouTube!
Below I've assembled some links to some of these songs. Give them a listen. If you like them, call up K-Tel records and say: "Get me the manager of the Mini Pops! I've got a song they need to cover in their syrupy-sweet mincy-weird baby voices!"




Colin Stetson — The Days I've Missed You

Bon Iver — The Wolves

... also, my favorite Bon Iver: Holocene


Here is the full list of songs:

FULL SOUNDTRACK

And also, a few new clips from the film (with subtitles):

FILM CLIPS

All best, Craig.