In prep for a chat on “Write Now! The Art & Action of Letter Writing w/ DJ Snail Mail” on Free Radio Santa Cruz’s about my Letters from Russia project, i jotted down some a bit of backstory which i’m posting here lest i misplace and to share with others with interest. So, … here ya go :
I started writing LfR while at an Evergreen College week long course “Poets and Philosophers Discuss Love and War” at Lake Crescent, WA. I had prepared with much reading about the historical context so i could make the story accurate. I then charted out the philosophical topics to address during Herni’s political transformation and personal journey.
I wrote each letter separately, handwritten on different papers and different writing instruments and only taking a piece or two to keep the letters brief and intense. Each letter was written while out on a walk/hike (so i could be in character a bit i suppose) and i didn’t edit from the original letters at all.
I lived overseas (Japan, Micronesia) quite a bit pre-Internet so am an enthusiast of printed letters and papercraft (I collect paper ephemera from trips).
I’d very much like to find someone with some deeper historical knowledge to give a read to see if there are glaring historical
inaccuracies – though i am sure on the dates and locations – before distributing the piece more broadly.
Thanks to some new found energy resultant from some very agressive acupuncture (fortified with electrical stimulation), I rallied out another (part 6) of the White Poppies peace and war series on Postcards from Gravelly Beach (my spoken word literature podcast – Feed – iTunes). Really enjoying crafting these and still have at least 3 maybe 5 more to go in this series – then maybe move onto the trees and logging conundrums in Calyoquot sound series (featuring lots of Gary Snyder and other essays). Anyhow, in case you are a non-violence advocate and literature enthusiast, check out my wee programme.
This one continues with me at the mostly empty Victory Park on the 3 day Remembrance Day weekend last November discussing human value and potential and perception with a poem by Gord Downie (hear Gord’s day job in “Hip Night in Vancouver – Choogle on #31“) from “Coke Machine Glow” and two stirring excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s classic “Walden” plus a “Declaration” from my original Letters from Russia project (read in a hospital room in Logan, Utah). Salty and missing sea captian Chris Jacobsen sings “Providence” and Rock Plaza Central sing “Children be Joyful” and me and Miss Sena lay down some percussion-scape from Steamboat Island to jam along with the city bus brakes and heavy thoughts.
Regular readers know that i write stories and articles, sometimes ending up in magazines and usually having something to do with hemp cannabis and related lifestyle.
Most recently, i’ve fostered a relationship with Heads magazine (based in Quebec) who produce comfortably polished and enjoyable tome which i am pleased to be a wee part of (recent articles are “Zen Rambling in Japan” and “Rebagliati Positive for 2010.”
Continuing on my recent post about Longboard Hockey, i’ve hoisted a few article outtakes and some teaser samples of KK‘s tasty pics up to my shiny new Head’s blog “Uncle Weed’s Toke on the Porch.” Bread the Producer made a sweet header from a snapshot from Palau on one of the finest days i’ve ever lived. Fat doobs and palm trees in one of the remotest corners of the world (really, try to find Pelilui on a map).
Anyhow, here’s a snippet to get ya excited …
On the stuffed elevator ride to the 6th floor, before I can pull the fattie of Chocolate Jack Herer from behind my ear, a smiling chick in blond pigtails and a Team Canada jersey sparks a beauty doobie.
Turns out she’s The Bloods’ goalie Natasha getting in another run before playing her former team, the North Shore Slashers after they finish off the Shitmix. She doesn’t seem insane yet she eagerly faces wildmen firing beer cans at her head, “It’s nuts out there, there are no rules, everyone should try it.”
BTW, The story of my Micronesian trips is underway (advance from a publisher is welcome) and i’ll likely fire up a podcast on those exploits soon too. In the meantime, subscribe to Heads for the glossy nuggy pics and engaging reading for your head.
Heads – the marijuana lifestyle magazine (think High Times without the sensationalized cheese), published out of Quebec (don’t worry franco-phobes, Heads is an english language magazine), relaunched their web site working in a few groovy features, trial downloads and yup, a blog… – they’ve tacked on a typepad blog onto their site to get some two-way communication rolling.
It’s finally here! Our new website is packed with awesome stuff for you to check out. Stop by the HEADShop to pick up some awesome HEADS gear, or take a peek at our Gallery for some stoney pics. We’ll be updating this site continually, so make sure to bookmark it as your homepage!
As a enthusiast of Heads magazine, publishing two HeadFirst articles this year (“Zen Rambling in Japan” & “Rebagliati Positive for 2010”) was a high point of 2006 to be sure.
Looking back, over 10+ years, I’ve published in High Times, Cannabis Culture (Hempen Culture in Japan issue #13 and Best of … #2), Journal of Internationl Hemp Association and was an article subject in the (now-defunct) Hemp World plus the infamous Evergreen College top counter culture college issue of High Times.
Besides the magazines and journals, my research and writingsappear in books including Hemp Horizons, Hanp, What the World Needs Now, Hemp for Victory (no, not the film) plus the booklet Practical Guide to Cannabis made for HempLobby.
Then there is the HempenRoad film, my bit in Go With the Flow, numerous radio & TV appearences and all non-weed projects (both creative and expository writing) on tech culture, hockey, winter Olympics, workplace drug testing, rehabilitative and restorative justice in the drug court model …
All of this is groovy, but i would be stoked to have a regular “home” for my writing projects – though i don’t always fit into editorial schedules and topics – i’m no Hunter Thompson (I don’t care for Quaaludes and rarely trash hotel rooms anymore), but i’d really like a homebase like Rolling Stone was for him … complete with instructions like, “submit something compelling about political world affairs by this date and send us your expenses …”
Alright, alright, … but i can dream can’t i? What i wanna do is go places and write, paint, record, film or otherwise documents the research and hi-jinks along the trips and not have to sweat the filthy money part too much.
These days, I am keen to write more about military service evaders seeking refugee status in Canada (which i wrote about in 2004 and the situation is waaaay bigger now) and document the community that has aided them in the transitional phase (many Quakers and Vietnam era dodgers).
Also, Vancouver skater and artist Lee Matasi who was shot and killed last year when trying to bring some peace to a sidewalk argument in Gastown. The skater community has rallied to complete a skatepark and speak out against violence as so may easy going folk collectively said “that could’ve been me.”
Or travelouges about Palau … heading to the secret island of sweet pakalolo, diving with sharks and turtles, or Yap with loincloths and bare-chested women and stone money where i dove with manta rays and toked with locals in an ancient hut while drinking coconut wine, … or Belize scoring grass from rastas, drinking panty-rippers (coconut rum and pineapple juice) and eating crockpot chicken, beans and rice served from a fold up table roadside where the only traffic is golf carts.
Sigh… but the day job does get in the way of many of the big projects i’d like to do including releasing HempenRoad film as DVD for 10th(!) anniversary with the massive stash of bonus features i have despite no longer having the original footage (eiji where are you?).
Plus I’ve long wanted to go back to Japan to explore the Jomon-era cave-art near Shimonoseki more before JIHA’s Rob Clarke finds everything else out ;-). This could turn in to a book, a film a podcast or all three (think of Ewan Macgregor and Charley Boorman’s multi-media trip-o-louge “Long Way Round”). Ahhh, i forgot i gotta find a way to finance all of these hi-jinks.
Anyhow, Heads encouraged me write the articles the way i wanted – without much fuss and just enough feedback to keep it on track for their audience and word count (which i exceeded greatly each time). Rockin’ good stuff.
Heads also maintain a myspace page but this new site, while not ideal, is much more in tune with the high quality of the magazine. Consider subscribing to Heads magazine eh, you’ll get it in a plain envelope.