Tzouhalem Movie

The Tzouhalem movie I was interviewed for in 2020 has been playing at festivals and theatres in BC. This Friday, it will be showing at Cinecenta at The University of Victoria at 3:00 and 7:00 pm.

This is an important film by Harold C. Joe and Leslie Bland. From what I have seen, they have been supported by a team of amazing people for the filming, editing, and promotional phases of the project.

Continue reading “Tzouhalem Movie”

The Missing and Unexplained Podcast with Tyler Hooper

The Haunting of Vancouver Island is four years old! It’s hard to believe. Interest in the book–as well as my perspective on local ghost lore–hasn’t waned as much as I thought it would. This Halloween, I was interviewed for two podcasts and will be doing a large Zoom presentation for kids for Vancouver Island Regional Library on October 26th.

The Missing and Unexplained interview with Tyler Hooper was a lot of fun. It was the first time I’ve spoken about the Valencia story almost exclusively. The Valenica is a legendary West Coast phantom ship. There’s a chapter about her in The Haunting of Vancouver Island. In the interview, I explain the difference between a ghost ship and phantom ship and talk about the haunted vessel the Melanope–as a teaser for the sequel I’m working on, The Haunting of British Columbia (working title). Continue reading “The Missing and Unexplained Podcast with Tyler Hooper”

Huldowget by B. A. McKelvie

Huldowget is a 1926 novel by Bruce Alistair McKelvie. It’s an entertaining read–in a historical sort of way–but it is also offensive.

McKelvie was an editor for Victoria’s Daily┬áColonist. He is remembered for his involvement in the Native Sons (a colonist heritage fraternal order) and for promoting lost civilization theories (over Indigenous rights) through books, newspapers, and speeches.

I recently published an article on Ancient Pages about the Hepburn Stone, which is on display at the Nanaimo Museum. McKelvie was the main person who promoted the stone as a 15,000-year-old lost civilization artifact. I read some of his nonfiction during my research and was surprised to discover he had authored fiction, as well. Continue reading “Huldowget by B. A. McKelvie”

Exiles

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 “Exiles”

Tofino in the Age of COVID

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.

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 “Tofino in the Age of COVID”

Ghosts of Mount Tzouhalem and Stone Butter Church

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 “Ghosts of Mount Tzouhalem and Stone Butter Church”

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