Classic Rain Prize

Classic rain, classically falling. Classic wet streets. Umbrellas. Classic. Classic rainy traffic. Classic incessant rain, coming down incessantly. It’s incessant. Classic sound of rain hitting things, plopping onto things. People. Buildings. Classic puddles. Classic wet clothes, jackets and coats and raincoats. Simply classic.


Glad we got that settled. I’m trying to be brilliant all the time but I’m just living my life too, you know? You have to do something. You have to drive over to Main Street for a meat market roast and hit the bookstore right next door for that volume of poetry you’re now apparently looking for.

The shop didn’t have it. Wait. Right now let’s just check “Chapters” over here at Broadway and Granville. Back. Looks like not. What the ****. They had Kevin Spenst’s “Jabbering With Bing Bong” when I needed it, or thought I needed it. “The News” was published five weeks ago. Where is it? Rob Taylor.


“I write for free for myself but I don’t write for free for money earning entities. I won’t donate my work to the corporation but I will work for the corporation.”
“We can offer you nothing down and no prospects of anything, but plenty of nothing.”
“I’ll take it, and thanks for the opportunity.”

October 25, 1916. I mean 2016. You know what I mean. 12:32 am.
Dithering with sending a story to a local contest. Deadline is tomorrow at 5 pm. I mean today. Later today.

I wish I’d known years ago what the pursuit of literature really entails. Even if you publish your book, aside from the succès d’estime and a couple of reviews here and there, if you’re lucky, the game is over very quickly. A few libraries buy your book, and a few are sold in stores and online and then the whole thing is over.


I now fully understand why the vast majority of creative writers are hooked to some sort of school. Because for the vast majority there’s absolutely no money in literature. So people become teachers, some of them creative writing teachers, inviting new generations of hopefuls to the worst game in the world. Doesn’t matter. Nobody asks you to waste your time in literature. You do it for the luv.

Later that afternoon. I see that Madeleine Thien has won the Governor General’s Award for fiction for “Do Not Say We Have Nothing”. She deserves it. I’ve said she’ll win the Giller and the Booker too.

Did I mention the October 15 edition, Saturday, of the Globe&Mail’s “Books” section carries a half page ad for the book? The ad quotes a mere four reviews. One from the Globe & Mail, one from the New York Times, one from The Guardian over there in England, and one from the Vancouver Sun. Mine. So I must write damn good copy, but the last little while, possibly longer, I don’t feel like much of a writer. I wanted to publish novels too, darnit.  Shucks.  Thus far it’s zilch.


I’m in Zilch City here and the rain is really coming down. Zilch is known for sparse accommodations, execrable food and nothing to do day or night. You can’t get anything in Zilch. There’s no gas stations and not even a convenience store. Zilch is a little piece of dirt with a puddle in the middle of it. A lot of people really hate this town.

Cheer up, Steve. You’ll never be Madeleine. Remember? She was born the year you dropped out of creative writing.  Years later she didn’t drop out of the same program at the same school.

Later. Like 3:57 pm later. Well, Madeleine didn’t win the Booker. Paul Beatty did. Who? Paul Beatty. The winner was announced within the last hour or so. The prize was handed out by the Duchess of Cornwall. The who? You know, Prince Charles’ bride. Camilla, mate. Camilla.  Madeleine’s still a shoo-in for the Giller November 7.  You read it here.


Just finished reading all four or five articles on Paul Beatty in “Guardian Books”, the Booker winner from America who I’d never heard of before about an hour ago. Looks like his “The Sellout” is pretty fair stuff. I’ll put it on my list with last year’s Booker winner “A Brief History of Seven Killings”. Marlon James.

Sins gid.

Author: Steven Brown


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