95 results for 'Shane Joseph'
I read with interest recently about the rise of the black market, a phenomenon taking place even in some of the more progressive economies like Canada and the USA. Some lesser developed nations have over half their GDP siphoning through the unregulated channel. Whole careers are sustained in the underground economy and entire industries function in this netherworld. And I am not talking about drugs trafficking, arms smuggling, software piracy and prostitution, “industries” that are not necessarily beneficial to society. I am talking about small businesses that prefer cash to credit cards for... (more)
Amidst the hustle and bustle of deadlines, day jobs, family commitments, social networking, and the mere act of living from day to day, some of us try to carve out oases of quiet to rest the mind and the spirit in order to write. These are precious moments, diminishing as we age, for our fingers on the keyboard eventually slow down and our tiring minds needs longer periods of pause before they kick into – what I call – the inspiration zone.
What is this zone? It’s a storehouse of memories and impressions created from any and all of the following occurrences: a moment of stress or loss,... (more)
Shakespeare had seven stages of life, but I have settled for six acts on one stage...
The First Act – Innocence: You are running free, a child, with images from past lives and guardian angels vivid in your mind; the imagination free, the strong spirit of enquiry to take those earlier experiences to their next stages of evolution, the constant asking of “why not?” and the fear of being sanctioned by elders who keep admonishing you to “behave.”
The Second Act – Rebellion: Past lives forgotten, with this life becoming more important: the pleasures of adulthood, awakened sexuality,... (more)
I have been at this gig now well into my fourth year and I need to pause and take stock of what I have learned from blogging. There are a lot of pros to this endeavour, I have discovered, as much as there are pitfalls. Here is a list of both for those of you out there considering taking this leap, or for those veterans of the blog post who will either agree or disagree with me:
1) There is no publishing delay or hierarchy to navigate. You simply think, write, then you publish, and the world reads you (or not)
2) This is an outlet to communicate the authentic YOU,... (more)
The year is almost over and it’s that time again of frantic shopping and binge merriment, of meeting people you haven’t seen since, well, last Christmas; a time of false camaraderie, of debt accumulation, of non-ending festive music, of crowds in malls and elevated blood pressure levels drowned out by copious quantities of eggnog and other spirits. Amidst this madness, I try to take stock each year of where we have come as a species and where we seem to be headed.
In 2011, the world rocked for a second time on the consequences of fiscal irresponsibility, with Western Europe descending... (more)
A writer once went out into the fields of imagination and created an animal with a lion’s roar, a giraffe’s neck, a cheetah’s speed, and a horse’s gait; he gave it the vegan diet of an elephant, the conceit of a cat and the faithfulness of a dog. The animal, which the writer decided to call “Novel” due to its uniqueness, took on the colours of the rainbow as it danced in the light of a fading sun. Both writer and his creation played and frolicked until it was time to go home.
At home, he met his friends, fellow writers, who did not like the lion’s roar (too frightening) and the cheetah’s... (more)
As publishers drown in oceans of manuscripts, and a declining readership prepares to bite the bullet and simply buy the Oprah or Heather recommended bestsellers for Christmas and not get stressed out over myriad choices in bookstores, and as writers pray “pick me, pick me” while they fill out their next grant form or Welfare stub, I wondered why we are in such dire straits. Once upon a time, writers were trades people (some still are) and managed to eke out a living from their words; even Dickens was paid a shilling per chapter (a formulaic 32 pages) for his serialized work. But now, “free... (more)
Having lived at various times of my life in different places, I’ve often wondered where home really is. Is it where I live right now as a suburban transplant in a small town by a large lake? Is it back in Toronto or in some large city where everything is more or less the same: same stores, same entertainment, same shopping malls, same pace same anonymity? Or stretching back into the past, is it the Spartan home of an expatriate in an oil-drenched oasis, the home of a hired gun who could be sent back at any time when services are no longer required? Or even further back where it all began, in... (more)
The recent announcement by these players to advance up the book industry value chain from retailing to publishing comes as no surprise. In an industry which has many handoffs in its delivery process, and many players, each player muzzles for maximum turf over time. The ones upstream (i.e. the creators) try to advance down the chain like oil companies muzzling into retail gas stations. Those at the tail, retailers like Amazon and Kobo, try to move into the middle currently occupied by publishers, and those in the middle try to go both ways like departments stores that create loyalty programs... (more)
Having had many careers, all of which eventually ended, I contemplated the evolution of careers and our helpless gravitation towards them.
From the days of Ancient Egypt to the middle of the last century it was fashionable for men to take up careers as soldiers. Some of my ancestors were soldiers. Some career soldiers even did it without loyalty to king and country but with their eyes on money and spoils instead; they were called mercenaries, or in today’s parlance, contract killers. Their not-so-bloodthirsty compatriots joined the clergy and found food, shelter, and power in exchange... (more)