The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Day in the Life of the Canadian Writers Collective

by Andrew Tibbetts

A little about us: The Canadian Writers Collective live in a communal home called Moodiehaus. Moodiehaus was graciously donated by our patron, Alice Munro, and is located in her backyard. It used to be her gardening shed! You can see her fixing it up for us on an episode of debbietravis' facelift. Look closely- in the background you can spot Margaret Atwood with a jackhammer, Guy Vanderhaege and Irving Layton sewing curtains, and-YES!-that's Leonard Cohen dropping by with some take-out Thai and a case of beer. Man, they were drunk by the end and I've got the wonky handmade trundle bed to prove it! I have to stick my copy of From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories Selected by Michael Ondaatje under the bottom left corner to stop myself sliding off into the lower trundle. Sorry about that foot in your face, Antonios!

We have exercises every morning- first calisthenics (The Royal Canadian 5BX Plan ) and then creative writing (re-write The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz from the point of view of the foreskin) and finally a rousing bit of Seiko Jutsu, Canada's Martial Art! Sorry about that foot in your face, Antonios!

Alice usually brings us breakfast whenever she rolls out of bed, or sends her maid (a down-on-her-luck Barbara Amiel, just hired!) down the yard. We're on our own for lunch but we grow our own organic food- um, braised kale, anyone? Also, we make our own clothes (from back issues of The Walrus and remaindered copies of Douglas Coupland’s last four novels.)

Afternoons- we have to earn our keep! We share the royalties from our published writing ($427.39) and subsidize our living expenses by making Canadian Mementos and teaching lacrosse.

We have a chore wheel to divide the labour- for example, it's Monday so it's my turn to go up to the big house and make crank phone calls for Alice Munro (John Updike? Is your fridge running? Better go and catch it before it overtakes your literary reputation!) and then wipe the spittle off her mouth after she's done giggling. It's Melissa's turn to hit the publishing houses (and raid their fridges for the little creamers and their cupboards for condiment packages. Don't forget to scoop up some toilet paper, too, MelBel!) and Craig's turn to scrape wannabe members off the roof (You can't live here, Alanis Morrisette, you’re not a real writer! Go away, Michael Chabon, you’re not a real Canadian! Stop bothering us, Canadian-novelist-and-film-reviewer David Gilmour, you smell a bit!) The others panhandle.

Supper- we are usually wined and dined by American movie producers (Of course Johnny Knoxville will make a GREAT Louis Riel- pass that kumquat risotto! Okay, Reese Witherspoon as Laura Secord, sure, but we’ll have to have someone Canadian to play the cow- more Clos du Mesnil!- Kiefer, you're kidding right? Oh! The back end, sure, sure! Don’t eat all those truffles, Spielberg, I’m not kidding. I’ll kick your ass. I just got my beaver belt in Seiko Jutsu!)

Back at the house, midnight snacking is strictly forbidden. If you don't watch your figure, nobody else will gaze at your book jacket photo! We usually chill with a quiet chat about the role of Canadian Literature in developing the national consciousness. Sorry about that foot in your face, Antonios.

Then it's off to bed. None of your business.

I hope you've enjoyed your day with The Canadian Writers Collective! Stop by any time! Bring money.


Blogger craig said...

OHhhhh - I love this, Andrew, you have me laughing, no, guffawing... you're responsible for three coffee spit takes and Captain Crunch through the nose (snort).
Douglas Copeland remaindered novels - that kills me. And, yes, I would scrape David Gilmour off the roof.

Thanks for the morning cathartic laugh session, Andrew.

Mon Jun 12, 09:33:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Easy for you to say, Craig. You don't have Andrew's foot in your face... three times!

Mon Jun 12, 09:47:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

You crack me up!!! I love this
Andrew, you have the greatest sense of humor!! I burst out laughing at work and couldn't stop, I can see us now...great post andrew...xoxox

Mon Jun 12, 07:52:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

A truly Canadian piece for the collective. Damn funny.

Wed Jun 14, 03:22:00 am GMT-4  

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