I found this picture on my camera when I went to upload photos of a cafe in Vancouver. I don't even want to write about all that we've been doing, because listed it seems impossible. Nevertheless, when in early May I called the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to ask whether it was possible that my letter of grant acceptance or rejection had gotten lost in the mail or sent to the wrong address, because Dylan had already gotten his good news, the man on the other end of the line, the Literary and Film advisor said, Let's see here--Oh, you got it, and I shrieked a bit and Dylan poured me a scotch even though it was 10 in the morning and we toasted while I was still on the phone. So two years after writing it, I have the money to make BUILD GOD this summer, and we will go back to Caronport in August to shoot it.
The day I made that phone call was the day I took the bus to Vancouver. I interviewed a man named Sammy Piccolo, visited his cafes, and wrote an article about it that will come out in a week or so. My second-last night there, I was on my phone on my bunk in the hostel when I got an email saying that my story "Thrift" won the MacEwan University short story prize, named for Gloria Sawai, a writer who also grew up in Saskatchewan and then moved to Alberta. There's something sobering and strange about success. It suddenly becomes all about the work and you realize now that the money is here, the work is just beginning. I bussed back home to Edmonton, 15 hours to Calgary to meet with the man whose memoir I'm editing, then three more hours home.
Yesterday I shot a short film based on a story my friend Kyle wrote. It was a practice-run of sorts, a chance to direct actors and use a camera at least one more time before August. Kyle, Dylan, and my friend Dorothy acted, and we filmed it at my friend Heather's house. I want to put it together this weekend, but I also want to read a couple hundred pages of Infinite Jest and finish the first draft of another Caronport story called "Christian Internet."
I convocate in two weeks.
And I started lifting again, going to the gym with my badass beast of a little brother who's graduating high school this spring. We spot each other and I feel like I have body guard. He's already showed me a ridiculous abdominals exercise that's a cross between yoga and a dumbbell class from hell. My numbers are all pitiful right now, but already going up and I have confetti-coloured lifting shoes and I'm biking everywhere all the time and wearing shorts and getting a tattoo to cover my right leg in bouganvalleia flowers and peonies and it's six months in and I'm still working for myself and it's so hot that I've slept outside one night already and our deck has tomato plants and I go out there and drink my coffee in the morning.