May 19, 2008

I was recently contacted by the overseer of the Special Collections department of the library at the University of Saskatchewan, which is currently acquiring the works of Canadian LGBT authors and playwrights.

I worked mainly in theatre in the ’80s and ’90s, and completed a number of stage plays between 1984 and 1998, some of which were produced by my company (Best Boys Productions) as well as other companies, including a workshop of my last play (The Visitations of Captain John, about a dyspeptic Newfoundland fishing captain) by the Canadian Stage Company with Gordon Pinsent in the title role.

To my great pleasure (and surprise), I discovered these works to be not only well written but also highly enjoyable all these years later. I also learned, again to my surprise, that I had completed a total of 11 stage plays, 8 of which are full-length.

Some of the plays were written in the PC era (pre-computer) and don’t exist as full files, but to my delight I found an early screenplay along with my stage adaptation of Jean Genet’s Funeral Rights, entitled Orders of the Day, a very dark work about the Nazi occupation of Paris, which I had long forgotten. Some day I hope to see it produced.

As for novels, I thought I’d completed 7, but if I add an early novel written when I was 18 and an unfinished work written in the mid-90s, it turns out I’m currently working on my 10th novel, of which two have been published and three more are scheduled for publication over the next two-and-a-half years.

It’s nice to be recognized by a leading institution as having done work that’s worthy of being collected, but it’s even nicer to look back and see how much I’ve accomplished.

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