Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

John Moss's blog

Scenes of the Crime

Scenes of the Crime

It’s been a week now since the annual Wolfe Island Mystery Lover’s Festival, Scene of the Crime. This was my second go at it, the first as a speaker, panelist, and honoured guest. And the guests were honoured, no question of that. In a setting that is somehow outside the normal sweep of time, where tourists and mystery buffs wander the main streets of the idyllic island village in search of ice cream cones and tales of murder, we were befriended, celebrated, and applauded by people who love books. For the writers and readers alike, it was sheer delight.


I do not often sign petitions and I am not a member of the Liberal Party but I just signed the Liberal call for the resignation of Bev Oda, for her dispicable behavior which demeans the position of cabinet minister and demeans us collectively in the process. Politics, it seems, is the last refuge of scoundrels. If a person is to be designated the Honourable or the Right Honourable, it should be because they deserve it. Ms. Oda has behaved disgracefully, and the Prime Minister has behaved disgracefully. They do not deserve any title other than “Politician,” which is a shameful honourific in today’s federal politics.

Blog, A Verb

I wonder how many blogs are about blogging. The winter is rolling along and I haven’t blooged in months. It isn’t that I haven’t thought about it. To blog or not to blog! I’ve been busy but the whole point of blogging is to share what you’re busy doing and thinking, so that’s no excuse. I did have a quadruple bypass, but that’s no excuse, either. The surgery is well behind me and I have more energy now than I’ve had in the last few years. So. I’ve been writing a new mystery, re-writing, polishing, re-polishing, and I’m at last pleased with it, but will go back and re-re-write, re-re-polish, and see what we have. A good novel, I hope. A mystery called “Lindstrom Alone.” It’s the first in a series! And I’m back to tearing our house apart and re-building.

Hey Randy

A good friend of mine just reminded me how long it’s been since I last blogged (sounds like something you’d take a laxative for). I’ve been distracted, but I’ll get back on track. I have to go in for a bit of surgery this Friday and, in a week of two, I plan on catching up on my blogs (sounds vaguely offensive, but at least I’m not going to tweet). In the last few months I’ve been forced to take things easy, but I’ve been writing with a vengeance.
The third in the Quin and Morgan series is coming out early next winter. We’re still wrestling with the title. I’d prefer The Reluctant Assassin. My publisher wants the zombiesque title, Reluctant Dead. We’ll see who holds the power here … As if!

Vive the Difference

One advantage to writing a blog read by only a few is that anything I say can have a large impact and little consequence. So, here goes.

Recently, there has been an uproar about Supreme Court judges having to be bilingual. This precludes 80% of Anglophone Canadian lawyers from consideration; but it also demands that Francophone judges be professionally adept in English, which is not so limiting only because they have had to learn English to survive in a North American world.

Where's Barbara Budd!

Without Barbara Budd, As It Happens is just another radio program. How on earth could CBC brass possibly have made such an egregious error. When a radio program achieves the status of cultural tradition, leave the bloody thing alone! The banter is gone, the wit and the warmth are gone. I did an informal survey of listeners: every single one was irritated to outraged by the arbitrary removal of Barbara from the show. Shame on CBC for its insensitivity to listeners' preferences. She was part of our collective Canadian lifestyle. CBC has turned many fans into mere listeners. Lingering over dinner to hear AIH appears to be a thing of the past. If the brass don't answer to listeners, just who the Hell do they answer to?

Sex, Violence, and Other Mysteries

This was something I posted on a DorothyL listserve discussion (April 26) which I thought might be of interest:

Stranded at Hazlitt's in Soho

There are worse ways to be stranded abroad than in Hazlitt’s Hotel in Soho. I’d rather be home about now, since in a couple of days there’s a mystery gala in Picton, being held in association with Books & Co, where I was to be one of the writers to read a bit and talk about murder. I’m assuming Rick Blechta, Mary Jane Mafini, Michael Blair, John David Carpenter, Vicki Delany, Violette Malan, and Janet Kellough will still be there for the April 22nd event. I’ll still be at Hazlitt’s.

Yann Martel and What’s Her Name

As a writer, you have a better chance of falling into a pot hole on main street and ending up among talking rabbits and erasable cats than snaring a publisher’s advance in the millions. Yet it happens. Yann Martel is apparently getting somewhere around three million for his new novel. More incredibly, a woman in Nanaimo is pulling in over a million for her first, repeat, first novel. Yes, it does happen.

Anthem Grammar Appalling

“True patriot love in all thy sons command.” By all means, let’s change the words to “in all of us,” but maybe we could fix the grammar in the process. No-one seems concerned but, dammit, the line, even now, should read “commands.” It is patriot love that is commanded, not the sons who command or the sons’ command. It may not sound quite so mellifluous to say, “in all thy sons commands,” but changed to “in all of us commands,” it sounds even better than the present syntactically-challenged doggerel.

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