Monday, December 24, 2012

Back to the true north

Beginning to settle into minus 28C temperatures as Calgary is having a "cold spell". There isn't much wind but lots of minor accidents, I usually pass 5 or 6 every day and see trucks hauling wrecked cars away.

I sometimes get Americans who tell me that Canada doesn't have the freedoms that America has. This, of course, is so totally wrong it rarely gets a reaction from me anymore. In fact it's in our national song, O' Canada. Some of the first words include "the true north strong and free" and we do have a bill of rights which include all freedoms that America has, except assault rifles.

Regardless we survived 12/21/12 and the planet is still here. 

But beyond that I met an old friend who grew up in the same little town as I did, and which was the inspiration for Emperor of Mars. We both fell in love with our Grade 5 & 6 teacher, Miss Mazure, who was around 18 years old or so. She is vividly portrayed in Emperor and some of you probably remember the booksigning last May.

My friend Peter and I recounted stories of the past and it was a pleasure to see that he had many of the same feelings for small-town Canada, very similar to small-town America, held great memories that formed who we are now.

I couldn't say the same for the 90 mile drive from Calgary toha halfway point for both of us, the roads were really bad, as you can see above. And of course, a handful of cars in the ditches. I don't miss the Arctic-like conditions at all. But it is a test of strength to drive anywhere during winter.

And back too the movies, I will be meeting with Joe Thornton, the producer for Ghostkeeper 2, the sequel. We hope to finance the movie to shoot this winter in Calgary but if you've read my past blogs, you'll know how damn hard it is to raise the money.

I'll be at the Deer Lodge for a visit, the hotel we shot the original Ghostkeeper and I am also doing a final edit on my screenwriting book which should be out in late January 2013. I also have a new screenplay to write, but that won't start until I get back in a week or so.

This morning I drove a mile or so to the nearest Tim Horton's coffee joint, well-known in Canada and slowly spreading into the US. It's a legendary chain that every true Canadian knows well. Sort of a MacDonalds of donut shops but nothing like the ones in the U.S. 

As I paid for my coffee and yogurt and scone, the young girl smiled and said "Merry Christmas", which took me aback for a moment... I wondered, can she really say that? Won't someone sue her? But apparently not. I paused, looked around and then spoke:

"Merry Christmas to you too". She smiled. 

I glanced around, nobody saw me say that. Phew... as the cartoons say.

While some countries don't have the freedom to say that without law suits, apparently it's okay at the McLeod Trail Tim Horton's coffee place.

The true north.  Eh?