Win a Date with raincoaster this Friday

I’m cross-posting this from raincoaster, but be warned that the jokes you enter to win have to be put in the comments on the post at, not here. But you’re smart and figured that out already, didn’t you?

Shakespeare Got to Get Paid, Son

Only your taste (or is that “tastes”?) can say whether a date with raincoaster is a prize or booby prize. As you know, we’re all about the boobies lately around these parts. These specific parts, that is.

My parts are superfine, if somewhat bruised lately, just ask anyone who’s seen them, which includes you if you clicked on the link (you just went back and did that, didn’t you?). And they and the rest of me will be going (thanks to an invite from the generous and omnipotent Rebecca Coleman, publicist to…productions successful at getting pimped out on and Twitter) to the West Coast premiere of Eugene Stickland‘s play Queen Lear at Presentation House Theatre. Want to come as my date? It’s easy (unlike me).

All it takes to win is to post the comment that I think contains the funniest literary joke. Tasteless is extra points, Shakespeare is extra points, King Lear is extra extra points, tasteless King Lear jokes posted by Kenneth Branagh are an automatic win. Sorry, boys, I have a weakness for blustery Irishmen.

Queen Lear Poster

Life Lessons and Sh8kspeare: Queen Lear

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC: Presentation House Theatre, in association with Western Gold, are pleased to present the West Coast premiere of Eugene Stickland’s Queen Lear. The older generation has much to teach the younger generation about theatre… and life. Or is it the other way around? Queen Lear runs March 25-April 10 at Presentation House Theatre.

An accomplished aging actress, suffering a dearth of decent roles for older women, is cast in the title role in an all-female production of King Lear and, terrified that her memory will fail her, employs a young girl to help her memorize her lines. Text messaging meets iambic pentameter in this amusing and touching story about courage and the strength of spirit. Both women struggle with fear, loss and challenge, illustrating how time and experience both separate and unite them. This new play, featuring celebrated actor Shirley Broderick, newcomer Jennifer McPhee, and acclaimed cellist Peggy Lee, is not to be missed.

Western Gold Theatre produces outstanding professional theatre that expands horizons and enriches the lives of mature artists and their audiences. The company offers powerful role-modeling, creative opportunity and active engagement to a rapidly growing senior population and provides inspiration to diverse generations of theatre lovers. Artistic Director Colleen Winton is particularly interested in creating mentorships between senior artists and emerging artists and sees this play as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what the generations have to teach each other.

Queen Lear is part of The Third Street Theatre series. Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Brenda Leadlay, The Third Street Series is the banner under which Presentation House Theatre (PHT) presents and produces a professional season of plays. The vision for the series entails a fusion of accessibility and artistic risk, in order to achieve a season that is appealing and marketable but challenges and educates our audiences about new artistic practices.

Queen Lear previews Thursday, March 25, and opens Friday, March 26 at 8 pm. It then runs nightly (Sunday evenings and Mondays dark) through until April 10. There will be weekend matinees on Saturdays at 4, and Sundays at 2. All performances are at Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield, North Vancouver (3 blocks from the Seabus). Tickets are $24 for Adults, $22 for Students/Seniors. All tickets are $2 more at the door, and $2 more on Friday and Saturday evenings. All seats for the preview are $12.

For tickets or more information, please call 604.990.3474 or email boxoffice AT

We’ve done this sort of thing before, so you know how it works: no complaining that it’s arbitrary because…well…this is a dictatorship, and when in the history of the known universe have I ever hesitated to be arbitrary? Deadline is noon Friday, and don’t expect me to phone you: mah Jeebusphone has gone AWOL. I’ll hit you up on email or Twitter.

You know what to do, so do it in the comments. And for god’s sake, clean up after yourselves when you’re finished!

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Gary Murning’s If I Never contest!

There’s only one way to enter, and that’s to get your butt (and your rt-ing fingers) on Twitter and retweet this, from the author:

The prize is a treasure trove of books from Legend Press. Gary is, by the way, right here at WordPress: and on his site you can download and read a PDF sample chapter of If I Never, which you can buy (and thus qualify for the contest) by following this link.

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Eustace Tilley gets a makeover

Johnny Depp is mad as a hatter if he thinks that lipstick works for him

It’s the 21st Century, folks. That “Edwardian Dandy” look may be okay for Johnny Depp, but if you’re not as gifted in the “devastating physical beauty” category, it’s critical to keep your look modern and fresh. To that effort, the esteemed (if hardly ever, you know, read) New Yorker magazine sponsored a makeover of its beloved, if fusty, mascot, Eustace Tilley.

You can click through all the selected winners (in the finest tradition of literary magazines, I believe not one of them got paid) or you can scroll below to see some of my personal favorites. Yes, I’m a little bit Goth. What can I say: everything old is new again.

Big Daddy Tilley

Big Daddy Tilley

Tilley Makeover Horror

Tilley Makeover Horror

Mr Burns is a Tilley for the new century

Mr Burns is a Tilley for the new century

Zombie Tilley. So hot right now.

Zombie Tilley. So hot right now.

Eustace Tilley goes sci-fi

Eustace Tilley goes sci-fi

and my favorite, and not just because that stupid Facebook quiz told me I was Dorian Gray:

The Picture of Eustace Tilley

The Picture of Eustace Tilley

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This is a post for Blogathon, by the way.

3 Day Novel Contest Writer’s Retreat

3 Day Novel Contest Writer's Retreat on Beautiful Bowen Island

From a bright-eyed Friday, September 4th through to a groggy, shaken Tuesday the 8th morning, we’ll be closeting ourselves away in a secluded resort doing nothing but writing. The goal: to create a novel from start to finish in three straight days.

Every year the 3 Day Novel Contest comes around, and every year, something gets in the way. The purpose of this retreat is to ensure that over those three caffeine and stress-packed days, you have nothing else to do but write. And maybe slam some energy drinks.

You can also join this event on Facebook and you can join the Shebeen Club itself there as well.

Start Time:
Friday, 04 September 2009 at 17:00
End Time:
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 at 11:00
a resort within an easy ferry ride/drive of Vancouver
Beautiful BC
Phone: 778-235-0592 but email instead, PLEASE
lorraine.murphy at

Reflections on Bowen Island, by Kris Krug

Reflections on Bowen Island, by Kris Krug

Meals, shelter, companionship and isolation as you choose: all are included in the price. We’re still in negotiations, but at this point it looks like the four days (checkout 11am Tuesday) will run us about $800, including your 3 Day Novel Contest registration fee of $50.

There is an absolute maximum of 20 attendees, so express your interest sooner rather than later.

Obviously, we’ve yet to lock all the deets down, so consider this a preliminary announcement and we’ll consider your ATTENDING/MAYBE/NOPE RSVP to be equally tentative until everything is ready for launch. We’ll contact everyone then with the official registration link, where you’ll be able to make your reservation via debit, paypal, or credit card. For now, just drop a comment or email to let us know you’re interested and we’ll keep you informed.

Oh, and by the way, we’re not officially affiliated with the 3 Day Novel Contest, although they have given us their blessing; we’re just big fans who’ve been thinking about doing this for years.

Bowen Bay by KK

Bowen Bay by KK

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Geist Fortune Cookie Contest Deadline Extended

That’s basically it. Geist Magazine’s Fortune Cookie Contest had a few technical glitches, so they’ve extended the deadline to the 30th of June. Here are the deets:

First Prize: $250 | Second Prize: $150 | Third Prize: $100
(more than one prize per category may be awarded)
Honourable Mentions: Swell Geist gifts

Welcome to the Geist Fortune Cookie Contest, the writing contest based on faux wisdom and vague predictions.

Send us a piece of writing inspired by a fortune cookie message. The relationship can be as tangential as you like, as long as there is a connection to the initial fortune cookie prophecy or aphorism.

Don’t eat Chinese food? Find a fortune online or make one up.

Riff on the fortune—story, essay, poem, rant, whatever—in 500 words or less.

Winning entries will be published in Geist and at

Submit your entry on this Geist page, double spaced, in at least 11-point type with one-inch margins. Judging is blind, so do not write your name on the entry, but please include the text of the fortune that inspired your piece above the title of your entry. When you click “submit” you will be taken to our secure server for payment.

Name your file with your own name as follows: last name – first name – story title. For example:

Doe-Jane-StoryName.doc or Doe-John-StoryName.pdf

File formats: use any of the following: doc, rtf, pdf or odf.

We also accept snail mail entries. Click here for more info.

Entry Fee: $20 CAD for the first entry (includes a one-year subscription or a subscription extension), $5 CAD for each additional entry. If you are already a Geist subscriber, you can donate your complimentary subscription to a Canadian public library or give it as a gift to a friend.

June 30, 2009.

Maximum length: 500 words, fiction or non-fiction.

Questions? Call 1-888-434-7834 or email

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