Nothing brings me more joy than writing fiction. For this reason, I am excited to tell you about Althingi, Outland Entertainment’s newly announced Icelandic Viking game! More specifically, I am proud to tell you about the Althingi anthology I contributed a story to.
Outland Entertainment is an American publisher of games, comic books, and popular culture anthologies. Their brand is pretty badass, actually. A cowboy riding a dinosaur? I mean, come on! Why didn’t I think of that? Continue reading
Posted in Xtra: News and Reviews
Tagged "Exiles", Althingi, Althingi anthology, board game, card game, fiction, first person narration, Iceland, Joshua Gillingham, Kickstarter, Outland Entertainment, Outland Games, short story, Vancouver Island, Vikings
Here’s a photograph I took of Graham Street tonight. I don’t want to spoil anything and say it isn’t anything supernatural. It’s too cool of a Halloween image for me to do that.
I was looking forward to Halloween this year. Being the end of the month, I only had 7 km left to make up my 100 km-a-month biking goal. Staying active has been good for me, though it is hard to make my goal some months with my nerve damage, and everything that is affected by that. But I knew tonight would be different than other month ends due to Halloween. If I timed it right, I’d probably get to see some Halloween displays, which to me are works of art. My greatest regret is that I didn’t bring my camera. Just my phone.
I haven’t altered any of these photos except to straighten two crooked ones. Two others at the end of this post are somewhat strange. If nothing else, they’re cool to look at. Continue reading
The Vanishing Hitchhiker by Jan Harold Brunvand defines an Urban Legend as a “realistic story concerning recent events (or alleged events) with an ironic or supernatural twist.” The teller of the story believes the legend is true, and that the events actually happened to someone just out of reach–to a friend of a friend, for example, or to somebody’s relative.
An Urban Legend is not believed to be true by academics or investigators. This is often determined because the same events are said to have happened in several different geographical areas to more than one person. The stories will often be similar to one another, but will have contrasting details such as where, when, and to who the events happened to. Continue reading
Posted in Bestiary, Ghosts, Vancouver Island
Tagged Black-eyed Child, Black-eyed Children, Bloody Mary, British Columbia, Chupacabra, Contemporary Legend, Death Car, Ghost Hitchhiker, Goedam, Ishinomaki Tsunami Taxi Ghosts, Jinn, La Llorona, Legends of the Fire Spirits, Mothman, Port Alberni, Rural Legend, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Slenderman, Stolen Grandmother, Taxi Ghost, The Babysitter, The Caller, The Haunting of Vancouver Island, The Hook, The Hookman, The Lady Who Walks on Water, Tsunakwa, UBC Ghost Hitchhiker, Ucluelet, urban legend, Urban Legends, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Vanishing Hitchhiker, Wendigo
From carefully managed safety measures to mainstream COVID deniers, Tofino’s become a chaotic mishmash of policies and behaviours that feels more like a powder keg ready to blow than an anxiety-free tourist destination. This past Saturday, someone tried to pull my mask off in a gas station filled with maskless tourists. A mid-afternoon drunken attempt at humour. When I brought it up with a third person I was threatened with violence.
Some of my favourite people live in Tofino. The town has always been supportive of my writing with many stores still carrying The Haunting of Vancouver Island. I first visited Tofino in the 1990s and returned often to surf and then paddle surf after a knee injury. I eventually purchased an old fishing boat in 2015 that had been converted into a living space. A thinking-outside-the-box way to have an affordable home and office. I then invested in an unsuccessful restaurant business, recently winning the subsequent lawsuit. Continue reading
Posted in Vancouver Island, Xtra: News and Reviews
Tagged Beaches Grocery, car campers, cat haunting, Co-op, Coastal Stewards, Common Loaf, COVID, COVID cases in Tofino, Daylight Cannabis, Esowista, ghost cat, Hotel Zed, illegal campers, Kelp Stout, Long Beach, Long Beach Automotive, Mackenzie Beach, Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Method Marine, Pacific Rim National Park, Slegg, Tacofino, Tal-o-qui-aht, Tofino, Tofino Brewing, Tofino COVID, Tofino COVID measures, Tofitian, Tribal Parks Allies, water taxi, Westerly, Wild Side Grill
On July 21st, I was in the Cowichan Valley for the filming of Harold Joe’s new documentary, Tzouhalem. Produced by Les Bland Productions and by Harold himself, the film will attempt to unpack the oral stories and urban legends surrounding the near-mythic figure of Chief Tzouhalem, who Mount Tzouhalem is named after.
What makes this project unique is that Harold is a Quamichan traditional Gravedigger. The Quamichan Nation acknowledges the existence of human and nonhuman spirit entities, so strict protocol is observed during funerals in order to avoid problems with either. Harold’s role often calls upon him to repatriate human remains and to help disembodied ancestors find peace.
Chief Tzouhalem had a complicated relationship with this same spirit world. So who better to investigate the legends surrounding him than someone familiar with his teachings? Tzouhalem was a member of the nation Harold is, as well, which means Harold has access to oral histories no other investigator would ever be able to acquire. Continue reading
Posted in First Nations, Ghosts, Vancouver Island, Voices & Visionaries, Xtra: News and Reviews
Tagged appropriation, Chief Tzouhalem, Comiaken Hill, Cowichan, Cowichan River, Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Elder stories, First Nations, ghost story, Gravedigger, Harold Joe, Haunting of Vancouver Island, Headless Horseman, indigenous, Less Bland Productions, Mount Tzuohalem, Native American, Quamichan, racism in ghost stories, Stone Butter Church, urban legend, vampire, Vancouver Island
The following Vancouver Island bookstores are selling books online or by phone (free local delivery for some) while Covid-19 social restrictive measures are in place:
Munro’s Books (Victoria)
Bolen Books (Victoria)
Russell Books (Victoria)
Ivy’s Bookshop (Victoria) – now open for phone-in and online ordering
Camas Books (Victoria) – every book is washed with “75% solution of isopropyl alcohol”
Cavity Curiosity Shop (Victoria) – “no contact” pick up service only
Tanner’s Books (Sidney)
Salt Spring Books (Salt Spring Island)
Galiano Island Books (Galiano Island)
Talisman Books (Pender Island)
Volume One Bookstore (Duncan)
Strong Nations Gifts & Books (Nanaimo) – now “open for orders as usual”
Posted in Vancouver Island, Xtra: News and Reviews
Tagged Bolen Books, book seller, bookstore, Campbell River, Chapters, Coho Books, Coles Driftwood, Coles Tillicum, Coles Westshore, Comox, Courtenay, Duncan, Fireside Books, Indigo, James Bay Coffee and Books, Mermaid Tales Bookshop, Munros Books, Nanaimo, new books, Parksville, Qualicum, Russell Books, Sidney, Strong Nations Books, The Book Nook, Tofino, used books, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Well Read Books, Windowseat Books