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Cliff Burns's Blog

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They congregate outside room 423, uncertain how to proceed. Camilla, the one with the most seniority and assumed to be in charge, raps again, smartly. "Mister? Missus?"  There's a Do Not Disturb sign but it's nearly one in the afternoon. Past checkout time. They need to clean the room. The...
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I maintain a number of blogs, including this one and my main blog over at Wordpress, "Beautiful Desolation". Both these blogs have drawn more than 100,000 visits (or "hits") each, a number that delights me to no end. However, lately I've been seriously pondering the actual meaning of those numbers...
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A big "Tbbbbspppppp!" to PayPal/eBay. The Privacy Commission of Canada has just ruled in my favor, after I registered a formal complaint against those PayPal twits for putting my on-line financial security at risk. Which means that PayPal has to change its practices to comply with the P.C.'s...
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A recent article on the BBC web site highlighted the phenomenon of "urban explorers". I came across this term about seven or eight years ago and incorporated some of what I learned into an important subplot in my thriller Of the Night. Read about today's urban explorers here.
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Recently I was contacted by someone who wanted to option one of my novellas for adaptation into a film. Chap was very enthusiastic, praising my work to the skies. He was represented by a Toronto entertainment lawyer, they put together a contract and sent it my way with every anticipation that I...
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Did you know I have a film blog? I admit, I don't post as often as I should, but I do try to highlight films that I feel deserve special attention. Yesterday, I went to see a double feature at the Roxy Theater in Saskatoon and loved both movies: Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" and Matthew McConaughey'...
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A free giveaway, in honor of the Christmas season, just announced on my main blog. I'm handing out copies of my latest book, a short story collection titled Exceptions & Deceptions, along with some buttons I designed, to the three best questions/comments left by readers in the next thirty days...
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As we all enjoy the holiday season, I hope we can occasionally cast a backward glance to the source of the Santa Claus legend and learn from the lessons it teaches. I've written about this previously but, just in case you missed it, here's a link to my article on the origins of St. Nicholas. Merry...
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It's been a long time coming but indie spirits like myself are starting to see signs of hope that our books are finally being taken seriously. To be honest, the decline of quality books from "traditional" presses has helped. The crap currently polluting the "New Release" shelves of your local...
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One of my recent books, New & Selected Poems (1984-2011), has been shortlisted for a 2013 ReLit Award. The ReLits celebrate the best releases from independent Canadian presses and I'm tickled pink that my slim, modest volume made the final roster. You can read the full slate of nominees...
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I...just...can't...bring...myself...to...do...it. Write in the margins of books. Underline key passages.  I'd rather pull out my own thumbnail than "dog-ear" the top of a page to mark my spot. I get cranky with my family when I see a book lying open, its spine creased, when a slip of paper...
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A tip of the hat to my Canuck colleague, Alice Munro, for getting tapped for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Of all our Canadian writers, she deserves it most. I'm not a big fan of awards (baubles and trinkets to dazzle the proles) but the good thing about this one is that Ms. Munro worked almost...
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Listen: I've been a professioanl writer for close to thirty years. In that time, I've seen lots of writers come and go. The one-hit wonders, the flashes in the pan. They sell a ton of books, garner hoopla and media attention, even scoop up a few awards...and are never heard from again. Why is that...
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Are you a writer...or a wannabe? Do you have the fortitude to sit down, day after day, and do battle with your inner demons and insecurities, the voices that taunt you and sneer at your pitiful efforts? Do you have the courage to be an author who works "in defiance of all the world's muteness" (...
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Popped into Saskatoon to pick up my wife at the airport. Before coming home, we decided to stop by the Broadway Theater and catch "Berberian Sound Studio". My son Sam and I had read an article about the film in Sight & Sound magazine almost a year ago and were intrigued at the time.  A...
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