have started a few more projects when I should be finishing those
that are nearing completion. This list exists partially to motivate
me, but is also meant to explain how far I have to go.
three volumes in the series using Tom Waits songs as an inspiration
are done. The project is meant to loosely capture something about
Tom Waits' songs as they were produced. I do not intend Wasted
and Wounded, Innocent
When you Dream and A
Junkman's Choir to retell the songs, but rather I
use them to riff on a larger story I see as struggling to free
itself from the shorter and possibly more limited form. I am now
drafting the last volume of the set.
I've been working on the most consistently, other than an academic
explication of textual interpretation, is Against Our Better
Nature: Why Good People Do Bad Things. This is collection
of stories about people facing difficult moral choices. The characters
in the stories make decisions based on their ethical reasoning
even while they are confounded by their own selfish desires. The
stories cover the big questions as well as those daily dilemmas
that everyone encounters, such as should we cheat, steal money
or goods, lie to a friend, think only about ourselves or give
others the benefit of the doubt. This examination of what our
choices say about us and the complications of morality when addressing
a person's life is nearly done in draft form.
I am half
finished the first draft of a text meant to be used by students
to interpret various literary strategies authors choose when writing
fiction. I expect that draft to be done by spring, and then I
can begin some serious work on the project.
I am working
on a first draft of The Founding of Planeville a
magic realist novel which follows the settlers in a small village
in New Brunswick after the Miramichi fire of 1825. Work on this
has slowed, although I know how to write about the village's demise
As well, I
have began piecing together two texts I have worked on for a few
years now that I have realized how the projects were already leaning
toward one another. Evidence as Communication is
an attempt to examine the essential and perhaps antithetical differences
between religious and scientific thinking. I expect to have it
done by spring.
One of my
latest projects is Beringia: The Discovery of Two Continents.
In this novel I tell the story of a father who runs out of bedtime
stories to placate his daughter. Night time is the worst since
her mother left, so he distracts her by telling a history of their
ancestors and how they crossed the land bridge and found North
and South America. I plan for the novel to cover the entire settlement
of the Americas as well as give a précis of the archaeological
marvels that are found there. As well, since the story is meant
to encourage a girl to sleep, the tale of indigenous people's
arrival and settlement is told in the broad strokes of grand adventure
and awe-inspiring journeying.
I have started
another novel, I think it will be. For now The View from
Vancouver tells the story of a homeless man who has been
experimented upon and the steps he takes to get revenge, and incidentally
ensure the same is not done to another.
I have been
working on a collection of stories about Canada, in which I hope
to build a narrative about specific cities and regions in the
country. I expect Rain in the Cultural Desert will
be a year or two in the writing.
I have begun
another project which is quite different than either a novel or
an academic critical work. I have begun a book which allows me
to describe the pedagogical insight I have learned working with
foreign students. I have tentatively titled it The Challenges
and Delights of Teaching English Literature to Foreign Students.
I have taken a break from that project as I finish my other works.
and the Corrupted Archive: The Postmodern Text, Fact and Confabulation
is more of an academic work based on a talk that I gave, and undertakes
to investigate and metaphorically figure how history, or a story,
can be told when the archive has been deliberately corrupted or
neglected for political purpose. This will likely be a longer
project, and I am barely fifty pages into it. You can expect to
hear more about it in a year.
I am still
working on my book length explication of Jacques Lacan's enigmatic
and evocative theory about the writteness of the self in my Jacques
Lacan and Subjectivity, although the progress has slowed
to a molasses flood in January.
I have stalled
since the summer on Marred, my novel set on Mars
that details the exploits of colonists who have been abandoned
by Earth, but I hope to return to that when I have a moment. Like
my work on The Coffin Ships, I plan to get back
to the project as soon as some of these other books are finished.
I have also
started a guide to designing an off-grid solar power system. That
book is research and graphic heavy and will no doubt take longer
to put together.
I am hoping
to have a decent draft of the final book in the Blind
Fish Series soon, but I will have to keep you posted about