The Journey of SILVER BROWN

I Served A Werelizard

A former colleague of mine contacted me by phone a few months ago. He offered me a job. Decided not to take it, though. For two reasons. The first reason being that he was very insistent I move back to Toronto to take the job. Something I have precisely zero interest in doing. I lived and worked in Toronto for a number of years, and those were arguably the darkest years of my life.

My old program coordinator at Sheridan College once advised a more naïve and innocent version of yours truly against seeking work in the Big Smoke upon graduation. Her exact pearl of wisdom was: “You’re just not a Toronto kind of guy.” I probably should’ve taken her advice in retrospect. But I didn’t, and learned the hard way what she was getting at. I ended up working for a psychopath who eventually got arrested for stabbing a dude, but that wasn’t the half of it. Toronto is only exciting and glamourous if you’ve never had the experience of living or working there. Otherwise, it’s the most miserable little hellhole on the face of the earth. Douchebaggery and shameless materialism are epidemics in that town. If you dare to base your whole sense of self-worth on something other than the number of zeros on your paycheque, people actually think there’s something horribly wrong with you.


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I hate myself and want to die. That’s darling! #WhatIWore

The second reason why I turned down the job is because I’ve already made definitive plans as to what I’m going to do with the post-Ellis Galea Kirkland phase of my professional life. Plans which I may or may not elaborate on in a future blog post. I’ve done the corporate stooge thing, and have experienced firsthand that there is no contentment to be found in a corporate stooge existence. Deriving some kind of satisfaction from my work would be a good and welcome thing, methinks. So now I’d like to devote my time and talents towards a more noble endeavour. All the paperwork with regards to said endeavour has been completed and submitted to the relevant personnel; I should be hearing back from them in a few months’ time.

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It was the first time I had spoken to the aforementioned former colleague in four years, and the conversation did not revolve entirely around this job he was offering me. Among other things, he enlightened me to the fact that our one-time boss did not actually commit suicide, as was initially reported in the Globe. That was the “official” explanation given to the media, but the truth is even stranger (and hence far more interesting) than that. She died accidentally. Hypothermic shock.


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As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site, Ellis Galea Kirkland was a cancer survivor. She successfully bought her way back to relative health, but not before her years of illness rendered numerous biological functions defective. One of those functions being the human body’s natural thermoregulatory ability. Over a period of years, her body temperature would gradually lose its propensity to remain consistent regardless of external atmospheric conditions, and would instead fluctuate in response to her body’s immediate surroundings. In short, she ceased to be a normal warm-blooded mammal and became cold-blooded. Like a reptile.

Years ago when Ellis first discussed this particular quirk of her physiology with me, I made some wisecrack to her in response about how she was a human lizard. Despite her hair-trigger temper and her tendency to take herself way too seriously, she laughed that one off. The joke likely reminded her of the pet iguana she used to have back in the Eighties.

Yeah, you read that right – being the near-Michael Jackson level of eccentric she was, Ellis once had a pet iguana. I never met the iguana, unfortunately. This little guy had been dead for years by the time I first met her, but I’ve personally seen old photographs of her posing with it. She would tell me that this critter expired prematurely as a result of an unintended moment’s exposure to a particularly harsh Canadian winter. In a weird way, one could say the iguana eerily presaged its owner’s death some thirty years later. There’s at least a one in ten million possibility that the iguana’s manitou cursed Ellis in retaliation for forcing it to spend the majority of its mortal existence in her abominable presence somewhere in a wretched urban swamp right next door to the ninth circle of hell, but don’t quote me on that.


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“And it shall come to pass…”

With her reptilianism in some unbeknownst waxing phase (she was medically a werelizard, I’m pretty sure of it), it would be a mere five minutes outside on a bitter New Year’s Eve in the financial capital of a certain country far in the Northern Hemisphere known the world over for its harsh winters (if nothing else) that would ultimately do her in. A demise that recalls the Wicked Witch of the West, in the sense that she was killed by something that has been naturally present on Earth for millions of years which the comfortable majority can easily withstand exposure to without suffering any life-threatening medical complications.

I may or may not use this as a plot device in SILVER BROWN. Some variant of it might show up, but right now it’s really too early to tell. It’s certainly fucked-up enough to make excellent fodder for fiction. The stuff of a good biological horror story worthy of Cronenberg. There are quite a few characters in SILVER BROWN that cannot be accurately described as human, so if I find myself having to kill one of them off, it would be only fitting to give them a very inhuman sendoff.

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The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Behind The Wall Of Sleep

Due to its potency, and the bevy of perils that could possibly be wrought from its misuse, methinks written prose should ideally be allowed time to breathe prior to consumption. Like a bottle of wine. Or this guy’s brain. Take your pick.


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If you can’t watch a movie like this and sleep like a baby on the same night, you’ll probably find the rest of this blog post completely useless.

Specifically, it is foolhardy to publicize a written work on the same day it was composed. You have to sleep on it at least once before entertaining any vague notion of letting somebody else read it. At the (very unfortunate) risk of sounding like your mama, a good night’s rest assists both the body and the mind to purge themselves of waste. Which is kind of important. After a good mindshitting, you’re a new (wo)man. You can approach your work with a clearer conscience. This is something my crazy boss never understood. The one with the magna cum laude degree from Harvard who went insane and stabbed a dude. Sleep was taboo to her. She could never be bothered to excrete her own mindshit because she was too busy running the world, and eventually found herself with a massive pulsating backlog of that ectoplasmic goop which ruptured all over the news.

The work itself likewise needs time to sit and rest periodically. Sometimes the best thing to do with a project is put it off to the side and not fuck with it for a while. Just let it age, like Kentucky bourbon. A quote that’s stuck with me for many years is that enlightenment is like a cat. If you chase after it, it will run from you. But if you remain still and free your mind of expectations, the cat will jump right into your lap. It’s good that I can just allow the cats to come to me now, after many years of working for somebody who was always insistent on chasing them (and extremely hostile towards any suggestion that chasing them might not be the best way to go). One of those cats just told me to leak more information about the nature of the Environment in the chapter I’m editing now. But not too much.

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Acid Rain Black

My former boss went insane and stabbed a dude. It made headlines throughout Canada during the annus horribilis that was 2016. I’ve elaborated on her insanity in excruciating detail elsewhere on this site, although at this point I can’t be arsed to dig up the link. [EDIT 4/23/2019 17:20 UTC-5 I guess I can be arsed now. Here it is.] In retrospect, it’s a good thing I abruptly quit my job and got the hell out of Toronto five months before the boss completely snapped. If I hadn’t, she probably would have stabbed me instead of the doorman. I had to get treatment from a shrink for a period of three years after quitting, but at least I made it out of there in one piece. More or less.

I couldn’t have done it alone, though. To all the people who lent me a helping hand along the way, I sincerely thank you. From the bottom of my heart. You know who you are. Even if said helping hand was not lent out of any particular concern for me, you still have my eternal gratitude for getting me out of a terrible jam.

Silver Brown is first and foremost an exercise in self-therapy. Like the writingcraft tends to be for a sizable portion of its practitioners. It’s just an added bonus that some people actually find this crazy yarn entertaining. There’s something exhilarating about taking a life experience that was beyond painful for me personally and turning it into something that makes people happy. Speaking of which, it’s only natural that my former boss (who has since become worm chow) would become the basis for at least one of the characters. There are actually bits and pieces of Ellis Kirkland splattered across several characters, but this blog post will focus on one in particular.


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This could possibly be a visual representation of Ruby Lapp while she’s in the process of transubstantiating into her war-animal. However, I mostly decided to post it here because it’s psychedelic as fuck.

The chapter I’m editing now sees Florys being interrogated by a Sister who she considers to be her archnemesis. Ruby Lapp. Head page of the Executive Cabinet, and the obvious darling of the Lodge. Ruthless. Powerful. Ambitious. Destined to take over the Vizier-Queen’s job someday, with absolutely nothing standing in her way. Just ask her loyal and ever-honest toadies, The Lads…


Two squirrels in Hyde Park London.

“You will be our Vizier-Queen, My Precious Buttercup, if Your Dagdaic Majesty you ne’er will be.”

Snow White was always being followed around wherever she went by a retinue of woodland critters. I’m not really sure why. Because she was all pure and innocent? Some horseshit like that. A few drafts into the writing of this tome, I gave Ruby Lapp a woodland critter retinue of her own. Partly to be sarcastic. But The Lads don’t follow her around and kiss her ass because she’s pure and innocent. Hell, no. They do it because kissing her ass is their job and they’ll be permanently deleted if they refuse, for they are but worms and peons who only exist to serve their master.

It can be said Ruby Lapp is the opposite of a Snow White – an Acid Rain Black. Any musicians reading this are welcome to steal that for the name of their band.

Ruby Lapp can also be considered Draco Malfoyish. She considers herself a true Sister, because she comes from eleven generations of cybermagickal practitioners. Florys’ pedigree is nowhere near as impressive; her father (whose current whereabouts are unknown) was an Orycteropian pitchman who pimped the Aardvark’s wares to the masses every Lisasday morning. In the world according to Ruby Lapp, this makes Florys and her kind a lower form of life than the tardigrades who inhabit pond scum. Scum that most certainly will be wiped from the face of the Lodge when Ruby Lapp is enthroned as Vizier-Queen. That glorious day shall come to pass. Maybe not tomorrow or the day after, but someday.