Interview with ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ Author A. Merlyn

The Edmonton Writers’ Group’s new anthology, ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, contains fourteen stories by twelve local authors, unified only by the common theme of their current hometown, Edmonton, AB.

Ranging from simple domestic interactions, to futuristic sci-fi adventures, to deep psychological introspections, these stories take a look at Edmonton from viewpoints as different as the writers themselves. This anthology is a love letter to our hometown, and demonstrates our incredibly varied approaches to literature, and to life.

As a gesture of our gratitude, all proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to the Edmonton Public Library, which has been gracious enough to host our humble group at the Capilano branch for over a decade and a half.

Click the Image to buy ‘Edmonton: Unbound’

To celebrate this release, we have an interview with one of the ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ authors, A. Merlyn.

1. Your story features Edmonton’s ‘Talus Dome’. Why did you decide to write about the Talus Dome?

Merlyn: It is one of the most well known and indeed most controversial pieces of public art in Edmonton. It also had some very unique properties that I felt a story was just waiting to exploit, namely a large number of reflective surfaces as well as a hefty reputation.

2. Why do you think your protagonist Ant has lost his way in life?

Merlyn: Ant is a young man, and I think a lot of young people (older ones too) have a difficult time figuring out the path they should take in life. I don’t think he is so much lost as changing and temporarily waylaid. Following through on a dream is difficult, and we all get discouraged. I have three mostly adult children and all of them have gone through and continue to go through periods of change, and time when they don’t know what their future will hold or how to get there.

3. How different is the story in its current form from its first draft?

Merlyn: This is one story that stayed very close to the same from the first draft to finish. It was always about choices and changes. The biggest change was that in my original idea the dome has something to do with Fairies. In fact Ant’s last name is Teg, short for Tylwyth Teg, the Welsh name for Fairies.

4. Your story uses fantasy elements in a story that is mostly realist. Why do you like to use fantasy elements in your fiction?

Merlyn: I tend to believe that the world is not quite as realistic and concrete as we seem to think it is. I find that there are a lot of things in life that are just a little bit on the fantastic side. I don’t believe that things like what happens in this story really happens, but it might, might it not?

5. What is your favourite piece of public art in Edmonton? Why?

Merlyn: Probably my favourite piece of public art in city is the Talus Dome. I like the look of it and It always seems to me to be a very personal piece of art, one that is neither easily defined nor easily, forgotten.

Merlyn’s story, “Myriad”, is featured in ‘Edmonton: Unbound’, which you can purchase now on Amazon.

The authors of ‘Edmonton: Unbound’ will be selling copies and doing signings in person at the Enterprise Square Branch of the EPL on January 7th, starting at 1:00pm. Come on down to meet the authors, and get your copy!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

-Brad OH Inc.

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The Bushido of Bogney, Part II

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Bushido: (武士道) literally meaning “the way of the warrior”, is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry in Europe. (Source)

 Bogney: A tiny dog, wise for his years.

Today, we once again combine the old and the new for a fresh new perspective on life through the eyes of our classy canine friend. This is the daily living of a small dog. This is the extrapolated wisdom of the ages…This is the Bushido of Bogney.

-Click Here for the Original Article-

Lesson #1:

At the start of each morning, Bogney is given his portion of food for the day. When I am out of the house, he will rarely touch it. When I return, he eats it ravenously. This is a clever concept lost on even most people. When earthly pleasures are limited, we must be prudent and careful. When the source of these pleasures is close and there is bounty for all, we must remember to occasionally indulge ourselves.

Lesson #2:

Bogney is a creature of habit, and learns quickly what are the expectations on him, and the proper etiquette for any situation. When at home, he knows his walk times, when to go to the bathroom, and the expected rewards of each. When he is at another residence, this is thrown off. At times such as this, Bogney will divide up his washroom breaks, hoping to be rewarded for each tiny movement. It is a clever trick, but rarely successful.

Nevertheless, he will continue with the ruse whenever the possibility arises. To pursue with creative vigour any potentiality we desire is the mark of an ambitious soul.

Lesson #3:

In the company of his master, Bogney is a model of restraint and composure—entirely content with life, and his place within it. However, on the occasion of company arriving at his home, he becomes cloying—clinging to his master’s leg in a desperate bid for constant attention. We most value the things we have when we can see that they are also valued by others.

At this point in our lessons, I’m afraid Bogney became quite distracted in an effort to catch a piece of dust from the air, and is well beyond any further insights. Perhaps there is some gem of wisdom to draw from this as well, but this writer, for now, will remain content in watching the show.

Fear not though, as soon as the air is cleansed of foreign particles, there is no doubt Bogney will be back with further enlightening anecdotes for us all.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Evocation Series- ‘Space Oddity’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

The following post is part of ‘The Evocation Series’. Click Here for more information about the project, and to learn how to get involved yourself!

David Bowie- ‘Space Oddity’

Song Link

The mind can be a sanctuary at times, especially when the world outside seems a dark and unwelcoming void. But like many sanctuaries, its isolation can also be suffocation, and its secrets are strange and surprising even to its own inhabitant.

It’s a terrifying balance to strike—between the darkness without and the cold serenity within. We all feel like that sometimes, and though it is an experience shared by most everyone, this makes it no less horrifying.

Check ignition,
and may God’s love be with you.

 It’s no easy task—to turn away from the chaos of the world without and face instead the calamity within. To surrender to our own uncertainty has been described as both a depressing submission and an inspiring act of faith or self-realization. Of course, neither perspective makes the deed any easier.

But to tread this line with grace is a most worthy endeavour. Despite the tribulations of the waking world, it is a thing we all must brave. But to do so with vigour and agency, we must also master our inner selves. It’s a fine line to be sure, but the potential payoff is well worth the venture.

 I’m floating in a most peculiar way,
And the stars look very different today.

 It’s a rare and wonderful thing when it’s pulled off just right. To equally know ourselves and our reality is a path tread most often by the shamans and philosophers of the world. For the rest of us, we can hope, at the least, to understand some small part of it before we go.

Darkness is as unavoidable as light, its counterpart—and it is just such a truth which might illuminate the greater realities of the world…the connections which exist within, but which can be understood only in moments of rapture, or surrender.

 Planet Earth is blue,
And there’s nothing I can do.

We all die alone, and to face this is the truest challenge and most necessary condition of being alive. Feeling hopeless, but finding contentment in that? Sometimes, there is nothing more liberating than to acknowledge our own powerlessness.

-Brad OH Inc.

Introducing ‘The Evocation Series’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampToday on Brad OH Inc., we’re happy to announce the start of a brand new project—‘The Evocation Series’.

‘The Evocation Series’ is a fresh endeavour for us, and will be posted within the ‘Under the Green Desk Lamp’ (Link) category. This series focusses on our congruent love of music and metaphor. For each of these posts, we’ll be sharing a much-loved song of ours, providing a link to it for your listening pleasure, and then creating a brief literary piece inspired by the lyrics of said song.

This will be a keen opportunity for us to explore some of the themes and moods presented by many of our favourite pieces of music, but we don’t want it to be an entirely selfish endeavor! We want your involvement as well!

To that end, you’ll find a ‘Contact’ link here, and at the bottom of today’s post. That’s is where you, the reader, come in! Reach out and let us know if you have a song you’d like us to cover in the ‘Evocation Series’—whether it’s a song by your favourite artist, a song that’s previously inspired something in you, or even a song you’ve made yourself!

So drop us a message, and let us know what you’d like to see us cover in this exciting new project. Finally, stay tuned for our first official entry in ‘The Evocation Series’, coming next week!

‘Contact us Here with your Requests.’

-Brad OH Inc.

The Greatest Hits of Brad OH Inc.

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpgHere at Brad OH Inc., we’ve been sharing regular content since late 2012, and over the years we’ve covered countless invaluable topics in great depth. In fact, there are now four distinct categories (Link) on offer for our readers—each with a unique voice and subject matter.

Today, we want to take the opportunity to review and revisit some of the very best articles we’ve put out over the years. Below, you’ll find our own personal Top 10 List, conveniently broken down by category. You can click the banner of each to go directly to that category, or you can click the title of each article to navigate there and read it in full.

 Under the Green Desk Lamp:

Green Desklamp

Bourbons by the Fire: A brief, stream of consciousness piece about vision and purpose. In this article, we explore the state of the world, and our individual power to change it.

Bullying in the Supermarket: This piece is an exploration of the culture of bullying, exploring the mixed messages of a world which tells children to be kind, while holding no such expectations for its adults, business leaders, or media.

Profits and Prophets: Over the past decade, many of the greatest disasters, losses, and threats we’ve faced have centered around two specific homonyms: Profits, and Prophets. We explore this notion here.

The Metaphorical Imperative- Part 1, and The Metaphorical Imperative- Part 2: The ‘Metaphorical Imperative’ is one of the most fundamental ideas behind Brad OH Inc., and will soon prove to be among the defining themes in one of our biggest upcoming projects. These two articles take an in-depth look at this essential philosophy.

 Purely Speculation:

purelyspeculation

On The Concept of Society: In this article, we establish and explore a basic understanding of society based on human history and contemporary needs. If we are to endeavour to consider changes to society, it is imperative that we first define our terms and understand exactly what we mean by the word.

Saving the World 101: How can we harbour hope for the future when the current situation often seems so dire? In this post, we discuss exactly what hope we may find for the future, and exactly what it would take to get us there.

The Global Scale: In ‘The Global Scale’, we pull our perspective back a bit to educate the reader about how interconnected the world truly is. If the decisions of one nation inevitably effect the rest, then we must take this global perspective into account any time we seek to make changes. Here, we reveal exactly what’s going on behind the scenes on the Global Scale, and exactly what sort of opposition the forces of progress are up against.

Requisite Things:

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpg

 A Call for Corporate Suffrage: ‘Corporate Suffrage’—what two words could be more heinous and detestable to any sober mind? Unless of course that mind happens to be focussed on the profits of its own Corporation—in that case, Corporate Suffrage seems pretty damn agreeable.

The New Corporate Religion of Brad OH Inc.: Here, we use our trademark Corporate perspective to push the notion of ‘Freedom of Religion’ as currently defined to its most vile extreme—specifically, Corporate Religion.

Gentleman Juggalo:

The Gentleman Juggalo Logo

The Juggalo Gang Designation Essay: Juggalos—the fanatical fans of the Insane Clown Posse—have been labelled an organized, hybrid gang by the FBI. In this article, we take those tools to task—elucidating not only what a miscarriage of justice this action is—but also establishing it as an unforgivable misdirection from federal accountability.

Collectively, these articles cover a fine spread of what we’ve put on offer over the years here at Brad OH Inc., and while it is certainly important to celebrate the past, it must not be taken to mean we don’t look to the future. Therefore, we invite all of you to let us know in the Comments below what your favourite articles have been, which categories you prefer, or if you have any specific topics you’d like to see us cover. After all, here at Brad OH Inc., we live to please!*

*This statement does not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of anyone at Brad OH Inc., and is not to be taken as legally, morally, or even tangentially binding.

-Brad OH Inc.

‘Never Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’

Recently, the myriad authors of the ‘Edmonton Writer’s Group’ (Link) published our second anthology, ‘Between the Shelves’ (Link) . This book was sold in support of the Edmonton Public Library System (Link), and to that end has gone on to raise over $700 in donations!

We here at Brad OH Inc. want to thank everyone for their support. Today, we add our contribution, ‘Neve Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’ (Link), to our list of ‘Single Serving Stories’ (Link), meaning you can download it now for free over at Smashwords (Link).

Neve Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things- Cover‘Never Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’- Smashwords

We certainly hope you enjoy this new format for ‘Neve Uncovers the Ultimate Truth of All Things’! But don’t forget, if you haven’t already bought your copy of ‘Between the Shelves’ (Link), you can do so now right here (Link)!

BetweenTheShelvesCover‘Between the Shelves’- Amazon

Remember, there are 10 other stories by local Edmonton authors in the anthology, so click here (Link) to grab your copy now. After all, every dollar earned goes towards the worthy cause of supporting the Edmonton Public Library System (Link)!

-Brad OH Inc.

‘My Brother Cain’

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

Today we have another song/ poem from the intellectual property vaults of Brad OH Inc. For your enjoyment, we present the lost ‘Basic Human Indecency’ song: ‘My Brother Cain’.

The disillusioned knight

You find the world has changed

But if anything’s unnatural

You know everything is

But about that boat

I just know it sailed

I can’t tell you when

Still caught up in that tale

And I could never consider

How I’d turn that table

What I would have changed

If I’d known I was able

He had a magic wand

That slowly seared his voice

And it just kept showing up

Like any other choice

So now some smile back

You know it’s not the rule

But I never rolled my eyes

That was me looking up to you

My Brother Cain

Remember me?

You’re shadows and history

But do you remember me?

Still I could never consider

How I’d turn that table

What I would have changed

If I’d known I was Abel…

-Brad OH Inc.