Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Paris Tour--Part 2

It was already on my second day in Paris that I'd discovered my "outside office": a café on la Place Saint-Michel, presided over by an impressive fountain of Saint Michael slaying the Devil.

Located on the Rive Gauche off the Pont Saint-Michel to Ile de la Cité, the square has a perfect view of Notre Dame and the spire of Saint-Chapelle behind the Palais de Justice. Place Saint-Michel is a crossroads for several major boulevards and colourful narrow alleys which spill a constant flow of tourists, pilgrims and locals into the open square.

By the third day, I'd already acquired my obligatory scarf (90% of Parisiennes wear them, along with gorgeous shoes, being stylish dressers) and was getting very comfortable in this beautiful city. I had settled in my corner of the café with a pastis (an anise-flavoured liqueur) and café creme and was reading le Monde when a gaggle of tourists from Rhode Island swept into the café. As one bumped up against my chair, she excused herself in broken French. I had a revellation: they thought I was a local! I responded in English, which ended in a wonderful conversation and this picture of me, where I confess I have done some of my best work... (that pastis was very nice!).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Paris Tour—Part 1

Bonjours de Paris, La Ville-lumière. I’ve dropped by momentarily to give you a little report of my research progress on my current book, a historical fantasy about a girl, Vivianne, from medieval Prussia, and a boy, François, from modern-day Paris (see my previous post).

Toulouse and I settled in very nicely in a little apartment on Rue Princesse, just off Boulevard Saint Germain in the 6ieme arrondissement. Once the hangout for bohemians and intellectuals, this neighbourhood underwent gentrification and is now newly chic, with upscale boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Butterfly in Peking by Nina Munteanu

A Butterfly in Peking is about the casualties of war and violence. It first appeared in the Bram Stoker Award-winning webzine Chiaroscuro (Chizine: Issue #17) It was later translated and reprinted in Nowa Fantastyka (Poland) and in The Dramaturges of Yann (Greece). It is scheduled to appear in a collection of short stories entitled "Natural Selection" by Pixl Press (an imprint of Starfire World Syndicate).

A Butterfly in Peking

My brother and I cower behind my older cousin as she strides with long steps toward the foreman at the Techno Corporation Farm. The foreman slouches, legs spread apart, atop an ATV with a radio strapped to his head. He oversees several huge vehicles that worm their way across the vast field, tilling and seeding. I fix on his sun burnt belly, distended under a shirt stained with grease and old food. Indolent eyes flicker like a scorching flame. “What have we here?” he bellows. “Urchins for dinner?”

I shrink back. Greasy black hair coils like knotted rope to his shoulders. He looks like the Techno my cousin just killed and in sudden panic I wonder if he knows. She raises her chest and tilts her head back proudly. Her face is smeared with dirt and her hair is matted and tangled with leaves from spending the night in the forest. Backlit, her chaotic hair seems to give off its own light as though it’s been dipped in heaven. She says in a clear voice, “Techno vigilantes raided our farm and killed our parents.”

The foreman snorts. “Then you must be little Greenies to barbecue on a skewer—”

“We’re just children,” she counters. “We have nowhere else to go. If you turn us away you’ll be sentencing us to sure death. They don’t care who they kill. Please, you must help us.” Her hands reach out in supplication. “We work hard and we don’t eat much.”

The foreman’s gaze softens and his gaze sweeps her body, eyes devouring her. She’s charmed the beast with her precocious tongue and he takes us into his lair.

I gaze at the flat horizon that trembles in the blistering heat. The sun beats down on me and the rain-saturated field. The workmen and women have left the shiny beetles slumber in a neat row as they retire inside. My cousin and I weed the hardpan and my younger brother sweeps the kitchen floor, while they drink in the cool interior of the corporation farm workhouse and complain loudly about the poor conditions. I can hear them from here. Too little food, too much work, they shout. They argue about the revolution. The breeze flings their words in my direction.

“You’re a God-damned Greeny, Birch. They’re destroying our society!"

"They’re saving the fucking planet!”

“Oh, yeah? Not until they fuck all of us first!”

“Look around you. We’re already fucked. Technos are raping this planet—”

Chairs scrape. I brace myself for the inevitable brawl. Other raised voices join in. Soon they will spill out of the barracks, fists flying.

Shielding my eyes from the sun, I watch my cousin dance lightly over the clods of dirt to the cistern outside the kitchen for a drink of water. The flush of heat glows on her face. Ignoring the commotion inside, she waves to me and her smile draws one out from me. A gust of wind blows up from behind, dulling the voices inside. I smell rain. The distant role of thunder murmurs of a coming storm.

It's her thirteenth birthday today. No one will know and I wipe the surging pleasure from my mind. There will be no birthday cake. No presents. At least we are alive and safe. That is her present. The revolution, which sweeps the country like a violent storm, carves cities into rubble. It casts families across the landscape like pebbles in a rough sea. It left our parents dead in its wake, made my cousin a killer and us three orphaned itinerants, fleeing here with the hope of shelter.

She raises a cup of water from the cistern to her mouth, then lets it drop and runs into the kitchen. I’m annoyed that she has abandoned me to tend the field alone. The workhouse has grown quiet. Perhaps the workers have all fallen into a drunken stupor. The gusts rise to an open-mouthed roar and sting my eyes with dust. Coal-black clouds chase each other like predators. After a while I walk slowly to the kitchen, shielding my eyes from the flying grit.
Hearing malicious laughter within, I hesitate at the open door then force myself to creep forward. I peer around the threshold then freeze, stiff with fear.

My brother huddles, naked, on the floor. His dark clothes lie strewn like dried blood at a slaughter.

My cousin writhes against the strong hold of several men. Her face is pale with alarm and her eyes dark with terror. They laugh and rip off her clothes. A large man, naked from the waist down, lurches toward her and growls in a drunken slur, “Here’s the witch who convinced our piss-pot foreman to give away our food! Well, here’s some dessert for you!” He drives into her, rough and insistent, his grunts to her cries a discordant duet of lust and pain.

Someone points to me. “Look! The other kid!” They all turn. For a brief moment -- an eternity -- my eyes lock with hers. They plead for my help.

I bolt. Her screams chase me stumbling across the uneven soil, tripping on the ruts, refusing to glance back. My face hits the ground. I scramble up, taste dirt in my mouth, and fight into a gallop. Gulping in air. Ears ringing. Eyes blurred with tears. Nose bleeding.

Run. Stinking son of a bitch. Run. Run.

I’ve left her there, screaming. And, because I didn’t stay to hear the screams end, they never will. I hide, shivering in the forest, as the earth grows black and rain pelts me. The onslaught is over in minutes. It leaves me limp like rotting vegetation as I watch the shafts of sunlight pierce the dark mantel and touch the landscape with an unearthly glow. I inhale the skunky smell of marsh plants and imagine her ravaged body discarded on the rubbish pile like old meat. As the shadows of the afternoon enfold me in their skeletal embrace, I stumble out of my garden of moss and ferns and scuttle over the vast field, hoping no one will see me. I slide into hardpan pools and the wet clay clings to my boots and weighs me down.

When I creep into the kitchen, I find her curled like a wounded deer on the floor where they’ve left her. My brother lies pressed against her, asleep, and she strokes his whimpering face. I want to embrace her, let her cry in my arms. Instead I turn my head away and stand fixed like a stone, cold and heavy. I cannot gaze into her sunken eyes. They sting my soul.

When she finally raises herself off the floor without my help, she scoops my little brother in her thin arms, takes up her tattered clothes and limps back to the sleeping barracks. She does not look back to see if I’m following.

The days bleed into months and she appears unharmed, looking like she always did, face quietly sanguine and eyes glowing like a warm campfire. But I sense her distance. My little brother clings to her. I avoid them both. When our eyes meet one day, I imagine reproach in hers but know their gaze only reflects my own emptiness. I perceive in that ethereal look that they’ve molested her and probably my brother several times since.

When I’m not working I crawl and hide under the porch floorboards where the dirt smells acrid and I spy on the workers from inside my dark enclave. I feel cursed in my fortune. Am I successfully evading them or do the bastards leave me alone because they sense my worthlessness? I crouch there and recite poetry like she used to at bedtime to us. She is silent now. After kissing my brother on the forehead and wishing me a good night, she slips quietly into her bed. I lie stiff under the moldy covers and listen to her hitched breathing in the bed beside me. I know she’s crying herself to sleep.

Now I crouch under the porch with aching knees and recite her favorite poem like a mantra:

To see a world in a grain of sand, and Heaven in a wild flower.
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.
He who binds himself to a joy does the winged life destroy;
He who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternity’s sunrise.


When the Greens liberate the Techno Corporation Farm, I return to the new city, which enjoys a peace, disrupted only by the occasional sniper — disgruntled Techno reactionaries who lurk and take pot shots at anyone. My brother returns to his schooling and my cousin and I find a livelihood under the new regime.

I embrace the Green science and soon find myself a leading scientist, giving papers at conferences and overseeing an elite cadre of researchers. Feeling secure in my growing prominence, I become daring in my work. I invoke the long abandoned chaos theory and apply it to my models of ecosystem behavior. The signature of chaos appeals to me, how the subtle effect of a single event has the potential to spiral into overwhelming and irrevocable change.

Chaoticists call it the Butterfly Effect: sensitive dependence on initial conditions, based on the strange notion that a butterfly stirring the air in Peking today could set off a tornado in Texas next month. I recognize its hand in everything I see, including the behavior of my cousin. I observe how the imperceptible mark of that initial disturbance has with time cascaded into a turbulent squall. As though a wounded bird thrashes, trapped within her, its wings smashing her insides more violently with every breath she draws in.

Seeking obscurity, she finds a position far beneath her capacity as a plant biologist in the Department of Industrial Ecology --DIE-- and sinks into oblivion. I see little of her, but there is seldom a moment when I do not think of her. While I rarely have time to entertain my many casual friends in my penthouse suite because of my busy lecture tour, she languishes in the poor section of town with the bus driver she married and two wild-haired children. Is she happy?

The day I find the courage to visit her, I feel excited and nervous like a child. I stride toward the DIE building entrance, bubbling with things to share with her. Once inside I see her waiting patiently for me in the main hall. She turns and smiles. It draws one out from me.
A loud report jolts me. She jerks back with an expression of surprise then falls, sprawling unnaturally on the floor as a red flower spreads over her breast. A woman screams and flings her hands to her mouth.

As others chase the sniper, I stand fixed like a cold stone and watch her gasp her last breaths then shiver. Her eyes flicker like a dying flame, then the light in them takes flight and her blank gaze upward is still like a dark pool. My heart beats like a mallet and I ache with a million unfinished sentences.


I scour the chaos for those fragments of memory, taped together by longing, and see her as she once was, as she always was. She was just my cousin, but when we were still children, she killed for us. Using the hunting bow her father gave her, she slew a man who charged at us with a knife, the same one he’d used to kill our parents. When my brother was attacked, she flew to his aid and threw herself into a den of assault. Then, when she pleaded for my help, I ran away.
I was just a boy, only ten years old. Now I know better. The revolution defined what I am. She faced fear head on, bravely pushed it aside and rose to the call. I let fear chase me away.
Now, I wander dark shores, stranded in that moment of agony, still hearing her screams.

Aching to fly.

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Paris: City of Light--Friday Feature

Today’s Friday Feature is Paris, the City of Light. I’m heading there with my friend, Toulouse (napping on my shoulder in the photo below). He isn’t too excited because he’s, well, French. But it’s my first visit to this splendid city and I have to admit to you that I am randy round the bend ecstatic. Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 30 million foreign visitors per year. And for good reason.

Paris has been a beacon of culture and art for centuries, long considered a world capital of art, fashion, food, literature and ideas. Paris is a symbol of all the fine things human civilization can offer. Says Rick Steves, “Come prepared to celebrate, rather than judge, the cultural differences, and you’ll capture the romance and joie de vivre that Paris exudes.” He adds, “Paris offers sweeping boulevards, chatty crepe stands, chic boutiques, and world-class art galleries. Sip decaf with deconstructionists at a sidewalk café, then step into an Impressionist painting in a tree-lined park. Climb Notre-Dame and rub shoulders with gargoyles. Cruise the Seine, zip up the Eiffel Tower, and saunter down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.”
Paris is known as the "The City of Light" (La Ville-lumière), from its fame as a centre of education and ideas and its early adoption of street lighting. "Modern" Paris is the result of a vast mid-19th century urban remodelling. For centuries the city had been a labyrinth of narrow streets and half-timber houses, but beginning in 1852, the Baron Haussmann's vast urbanisation levelled entire quarters to make way for wide avenues lined with neo-classical stone buildings of bourgeoise standing; most of this 'new' Paris is the Paris we see today.

I’m actually going to Paris to research my latest book, a historical fantasy, about a young girl from medieval Prussia who learns that she can alter history (which is partly why she ends up in slightly future alternate Paris). The day is June 14th, 1411. It’s Vivianne’s 14th birthday and she’s been promised to this nasty foreign dude 30 years older than her and who she’s never met; the day is also the eve of one of medieval time’s greatest battles, “The Battle of Grunwald”. (This battle between the arrogant Teutonic warrior monks and the peasant Lithuanian and Polish armies should have been an easy victory for the Teutonic knights, who were far superior in weaponry, tactics and ambition than the peasant rag-tag armies. It wasn’t; they were all but wiped out. But, what if they hadn’t been?…)

It’s still the eve of the battle and, after being hunted as a witch for being “different”, young Vivianne flees through a time-space tear into an alternate future Paris…one in which—you guessed it—the Nazis currently rule (because they had the chance to evolve sooner, thanks to the survival of the Teutonic Order in a world where intervention—involving Vivianne—allowed them to prevail and see-in an early Germanic Nazi regime).

So, here I am… heading to Paris to see what Vivianne sees. Oh, and to drink and eat too! Ah, the wine… the cheese… the bread… You know what the French say: “Du pain, du vin, du Boursin…”
I’m not sure if we’ll have time to post. So I will leave you with a short story. But either Toulouse or I may come on with an update of our rigorous research. Otherwise, see you in two weeks! Come back tomorrow to read my short story.

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Climate Change: Part Four—“Smoke and Mirrors”

In an article in Salon.com, Elizabeth Svoboda endorses an outlandish global warming geotechnical “fix” proposed by UC-Irvine physicist, Gregory Benford: "Global warming demands more than do-gooder actions. It demands "geoengineering" -- like blocking the sun's rays with stratospheric dirt."
“Benford thinks Al Gore's a good guy and all, but he also thinks the star of "An Inconvenient Truth" is a little delusional,” says Svoboda. “Driving a hybrid car, switching your bulbs to compact fluorescents and springing for recycled paper products are all well-meaning strategies in the fight against global warming. But as UC-Irvine physicist Benford sees it, there's a catch. Those do-gooder actions are not going to be effective enough to turn the temperature tide, and even incremental political changes like reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mining alternative fuel sources are not forward-thinking enough.”

"I never believed we were going to be able to thwart global warming through carbon restriction," Benford says. "Carbon restriction requires nations to subvert short- and midterm goals for a long-term goal they've read about online, and that's just not going to work."

Svoboda goes on to describe Benford’s “pie in the sky” (pardon my awful pun) plan: “As an alternative, Benford has cooked up a plan that amounts to a manmade Mount Pinatubo eruption. He has proposed shooting trillions of tiny particles of earth into the stratosphere, where they will remain suspended to help blot out incoming solar rays. Dirt is cheap, chemically unreactive and easily crushable, he argues, making it a simple matter to test this strategy on a small scale over the Arctic before total global deployment. This plan might seem a little too sci-fi to take seriously -- fittingly, Benford moonlights as a Nebula-winning novelist -- but he's far from the only scientist to lobby for a so-called geoengineering fix.”

“Researchers all over the world have begun advocating large-scale climate control strategies that sound like something "The Simpsons'" Mr. Burns might endorse, including erecting sun-blocking mirrors in deep space, spraying tiny droplets of sulfur or ocean water into the atmosphere to deflect sunbeams, and seeding the oceans with iron to spur the growth of CO2-sucking phytoplankton. When a panel of scientists addressed the ethical implications of geoengineering at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in February in Boston, it was a clear sign of how far this seemingly out-there field has advanced toward legitimacy.”

“While no proposed geoengineering fixes have yet been tested on a global scale, all of them have the irresistible lure of immediacy. Once deposited, CO2 can linger in the atmosphere for more than 100 years, meaning it will take decades or centuries for emissions-reduction policies to cool the planet significantly. Geoengineering, on the other hand, could potentially send global temperatures back to preindustrial levels within only a few years, bringing the Arctic melt to a screeching halt and keeping extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels associated with warming in check.”

“Hubristic to the nth degree?” asks Svoboda cheekily. “Riskier than a tightrope ballet? Absolutely. Even geoengineering's proponents concede that,” she adds. The effects of such large scale intervention could be apocalyptic and wind up being far worse than the initial problem. As an ecologist, still learning about the complexities of our environment, I find this sort of hubristic and myopic (I might add) “quick fix” frightening. It smarts of compartmentalization and isolationist thinking. We can’t possibly come up with all the possible consequences to such an intervention. To entertain the hubristic notion that there exists an "easy fix" to a phenomenon that only chaos theory even comes close to describing--and promoting this without being part of a major societal paradigm shift--is not only foolhardy but dangerous. For instance, according to Alan Robock, an environmental scientist at Rutgers University, aerosol clouds blocking out the sun could also produce regional climate change and reduce the Asian monsoon rains. “That would threaten water and food supply for billions of people,” says Robock. Inordinate shade could devastate crops. Spraying too much sulphur into the atmosphere could produce enough acid rain to decimate forests around the world, never mind poisoning lakes and rivers. The list of potential Frankensteinian specters is endless. It’s a harrowing magic show with devastating possibilities.

"The history of intervening in complex systems to correct them is not good," says Ken Caldeira, an ecologist at Stanford University, who has cautiously endorsed future geoengineering research. "You always think you know how the system's going to respond, but we should assume that if we start doing this, there are going to be some ugly surprises."

Let’s not forget the frying pan and the fire. What disquiets me about these sorts of “easy” fixes is that they release us from the hard work and the personal responsibility in the phenomenon that we all have contributed to. Faced with a wall of work, we turn to the technology and the experts who tell us that this new thing will fix it all and we can go on as before. That is the whole point: we can’t and shouldn’t go on as before. We need to change.

We live in a fast-paced world where technology is God and quick fixes are so ingrained in our North American culture that it is stunting our ability to be imaginative in ways that involve the strengths of our very humanity. We are far too ready to give up on ourselves and the hard work necessary to turn everything around for life on the planet.

We lack faith in ourselves. We’d rather sit back and believe in magic.

Pete Geddes, executive vice president of the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, all too readily rights us off: “I know of no realistic person who thinks carbon dioxide emissions are going to do anything but grow.” Geddes, like so many others, is fully prepared to concede that any well-intentioned emissions-control measure or other eco-healthy initiative will ultimately fail. Many of us clearly idolize technology at the expense of humanity.

It’s about time we started to believe in ourselves. In our goodness. In our integrity. In our ability to work hard for something that is important and vital to us: our beloved planet Earth and our children who will make a home on it. It’s all we’ve got. Let’s not screw it up with “Smoke and Mirrors”.

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Climate Change—Part Three: The Dark "Optimism" of James Lovelock

“Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam,” says Decca Aitkenhead in an article in the Guardian. When Aitkenhead asked the 88-year old scientist what he would do, Lovelock replied—rather pithily, I might add: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan."

“Lovelock has been dispensing predictions from his one-man laboratory in an old mill in Cornwall since the mid-1960s, the consistent accuracy of which have earned him a reputation as one of Britain's most respected - if maverick - independent scientists,” says Aitkenhead. “[Lovelock] introduced the Gaia Hypothesis, a revolutionary theory that the Earth is a self-regulating super-organism. Initially ridiculed by many scientists as new age nonsense, today that theory forms the basis of almost all climate science.”

His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, predicts extreme weather will be the norm, causing global devastation by 2020; and that much of Europe will be Saharan by 2040; and parts of London will be underwater. The most recent Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report reflects some of 88-year old Lovelock’s predictions.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Somerset Bob—Friday Feature

His Tag line reads: where the true and the real are often confused.

He calls himself Somerset Bob. "Because throughout my professional life, I’ve often found myself explaining to people that I’m ‘the other’ Bob Kingsley," he says rather apologetically. "It’s about time that changed. I don’t want to be the other any more. I want to be my own man. I need a new ‘handle’.” … Well, I think he’s found it. And, along with it, a worthwhile cause…
On January of this year, Bob Kingsley wrote this mission statement on his blog, ‘Somerset’ Bob’s Place:

”I’m not a scientist, but since June 2007 I’ve been gathering evidence for climate change from various diverse sources and speculating as to the possible future outcomes indicated by that research. As the months have passed I’ve become increasingly concerned that we’re heading for a sudden, catastrophic climatic event. By “sudden”, I mean just that: not a gradual change over centuries or decades — something to which we might, if we’re lucky, be able to adapt — but an event that will overwhelm us over a matter of a few years or even a single year or season. I’m searching for any evidence that underpins that view and narrows the time-frame so we might know when to expect the change. I’m not preaching about what we as individuals should be doing, I’m warning about what I’m increasingly convinced will be the consequences for us all, no matter how much or how little we each do to minimise our individual energy/carbon footprints. This is not to say we needn’t bother doing anything — far from it. By “thinking globally and acting locally”, as the saying goes, we may be able to delay the catastrophe, which will be a good thing — for people of my generation at least, if not for the next — but as I gather and analyse the information that’s out there, I’m becoming persuaded that despite our best individual efforts, it will ultimately overtake us.” Words reflected grimly by the British maverick scientist, James Lovelock (but that’s a later post of mine).
Bob has posted many stellar articles on climate change. Here are some of them:

Defeat Global Warming? Just Think About It (results of a US university’s study)
The UK Floods (summer flood hits the UK)
Climate Change: Sunspots? Or Us? (BBC News item)
UK Floods: The Crisis Deepens (floods invade southern counties in Britain)
Climate Change: Competing Theories (Gulf Stream and the Jet Stream and Superstorm theory)
Gore Gored by British Judge (facts vs. facts…)
North Polar Meltdown (Al Gore and the NOAA report)
More Climate Change Indicators (latest BBC reports)
Superstorm Authors Vindicated (about the Gulf Stream and superstorm theory)
The Maya and the Arctic Meltdown (Mayan calendar and the end of the world in 2012)
Antarctic Ice Loss Confirmed (latest research)
Sudden Climate Shifts Predicted (journal findings)
Polar Meltdowns: More Evidence Emerges (about the Antarctic’s Larsen B ice shelf breakage)
Being Economical with the Truth (is there really human-induced climate change?)
Antarctic’s PIG Threatening Sea Levels (glacial shrinkage and global sea level rise)
There Goes the Sun (China’s coldest winter in 100 years)
When More Means Less (more about the Arctic winter sea ice debate)

You might know Bob as “Bob Kingsley” through his work as a radio presenter and voice-over artist. You might even think he’s the other Bob Kingsley, but here in cyberspace they call him ‘Somerset’ Bob, and these days he likes to be thought of as a voice-over man and writer. You can hear his sexy voice right here and read some of his writing here.
Here’s Bob’s potted history: Bob has been associated with the UK radio business in one way or another all his adult life, including working as a radio show presenter at various commercial stations in his younger days, but best known as a voice-over artist for nearly 30 years. You’ll find some demo MP3s posted under the Work category of his blog.
But, says Bob, “I really set up [his blog] to give myself an outlet for my lifelong wish to be a writer. Now I’m no longer constantly dashing hither and yon pursuing work in a mad, youthful frenzy, I want to spend more time honing my skills in this noble art, flexing my creative muscles. I’m hoping to write a novel–look for posts about that in the Writing category. I’m also creating what will eventually be an online archive of all my earlier attempts at creative writing. Even if they’re only ever read by a handful of others, I’ll be pleased. They’ve been filed away on my computer or hidden away in desk drawers for years–putting them up on the web is just another way of storing them, except now anyone will be able to read them if they wish. I always wanted people to read my stuff. Isn’t that what any writer wants?”
Yup. So true, Bob!

Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.