*MY stage MONIKERS are :
"GRAMPA FRANK!" or FRANK!_______
**2019** saw my poemperformed at 'THE KING'S FEET -Underground Sound and Literary Festival' put on by Arts Society of King, too! Fun! Read some literary bits & sang a few ditties. Mine of course !!! They even laughed in the right places!
*... Or you can call me "CJ!"
*Some other performance venues in 2019 were Word-Up in Barrie, Ontario; Bailey's in Keswick, Ontario, The Ranch, Barrie, Ontario; The Georgina Art Gallery, Sutton, Ontario & more. Even did a song, my
'Somewhere Sweet' at the grand piano at ICKABOD'S
*At 'IKABOD'S LOUNGE', yes...Las Vegas, December 18, 2019, after playing my song * 'SOMEWHERE SWEET * (click to listen) on their white grand piano on the stage & to the left of me where you can't see, but... click song title to listen. Ah... the listening more important with music, than the seeing!
* Photo taken of a window in Las Vegas.
Carter V Cooper (CVC) Short Fiction Competition.
In 2014 my 2,000 word poem AND SHE LAY HERSELF DOWN was a finalist CANADA's Gwendolyn MacEwan Poetry Competition. AND SHE LAY HERSELF DOWN was later published in the 2016 issue of ELQ: Exile, the Literary Quarterly, Volume 39 No.
In 2014, my short story LAST MAN STANDING was published twice, once in Exile, the Literary Quarterly, ELQ Volume 38, No. 2. Then in the anthology FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN POST-APOCALYPSE, Exile Editions.
2016 & 2017:
In May 2016, my 2014 Gwendolyn McEwen Competition's finalist poem AND SHE LAY HERSELF DOWN was published in ELQ 39:4 [Exile the Literary Quarterly] .
Then in July 2016, a story I wrote in Las Vegas was a finalist for 2016's Carter V Cooper (CVC) Short Fiction Competition. Gloria Vanderbilt final judge. This story was called IT WAS A DARK DAY~NOT A STORMY NIGHT~ IN TUCK-TEA-TEE-UCK-TUCK and was published in the CVC Anthology #6, in October, 2016.
In July 2016, my story ONE SHOWER TOO MANY came second in the Writers'
**GENERAL WRITING ~ HISTORICALLY **
*As I mentioned, I won the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Award in 2011 for The Poet . And, AND SHE LAY HERSELF DOWN was a finalist for 2014's Gwendolyn McEwen Poetry Competition.
MY EARLY LITERARY LIFE:
*In 1979, I established Blue Heron Press in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. Blue Heron Press published one book of my poetry and two books of what Canada's Master Gatherer, John Robert Colombo, called aphorisms.
*My BLUE HERON PRESS books were: SMALL THINGS (aphorisms), 1979; BEING, (aphorisms), 1981; HER LIGHT WAS LIKE UNTO A STONE, (poetry), 1981 .
*For part of 1979 & 1980 I wrote a weekly, general interest column for The Herald, Alliston. Ontario.
*1980 - 1983 Vesta Publications published several of my non-fiction books: BASIC LESSONS IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR (education), 1980; THE OLD MAN & THE HIDDEN FOREST (children’s chapbook), 1981; CAPTAIN DREAMER (poetry), 1982; SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER (how to), 1983.
*1989 Hounslow Press published my non-fiction book THE BEAVER NATURE’S MASTER BUIDER. At the time, this was considered the most comprehensive book on the animal ever published... & more life & lit followed after that in its own way & time... mine...
* * *FOR LONG BIO SEEKERS... BUT STILL IN THE RECENT FIRST:
*Summer 2019, saw my poem LISTENING TO THE WIND published in MOSAIC, SUMMER ISSUE, The Arts Society of King’s quarterly magazine.
I was a co-winner of the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Award for 2011 in the emerging writer category. My winning story was called The Poet. My previous literary life went a bit like this. It seems, I always wanted to be a writer.
In 1979, I established Blue Heron Press, Alliston, Ontario to get it all started. I self-published one book of my poetry and two books of what John Robert Colombo called my aphorisms. At that time too, I began writing a general interest column for the weekly paper, The Herald, Alliston. I did the column for about nine months. With Blue Heron Press my aphorisms came out in the books SMALL THINGS, 1979 and BEING, 1981. My Blue Heron Press poetry book was called HER LIGHT WAS LIKE UNTO A STONE and came out in 1981. This was one long, long poem. With two traditional publishers, Vesta Publication in Cornwall, Ontario and Hounslow Press in Toronto, I published several non-fiction books, a chapbook for children and a book of poetry. From Vesta Publications, I had these titles published: BASIC LESSONS IN ENGLISH GRAMMER (education), 1980; THE OLD MAN & THE HIDDEN FOREST (children’s chapbook), 1981; CAPTAIN DREAMER (poetry), 1982; SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER (how to), 1983. From Hounslow Press came my book THE BEAVER NATURE’S MASTER BUIDER (non-fiction), 1989. This was the most comprehensive book on the animal published at that time. It took three years of research and writing to complete.
In those early years 1979-1989, I did a variety of workshops on writing of all kinds, many readings of my work and simply celebrated the literary in me, as best I could. I also had two articles appear in Canadian Author & Bookman, spoke at a Canadian Authors’ Association conference in Toronto, and wrote a series on writing for Writers’ Lifeline, a writers’ journal out of Cobalt, Ontario. I called this series SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER. This later became my book by the same title. I had a humorous short story published as runner up in The Barrie Examiner’s writing contest in 1988. The story was called ARTHUR & ME . The Barrie Examiner was a Barrie, Ontario newspaper. In those early years, two of my Christmas short stories were published in The Herald’s (Alliston) Christmas short story contest’s honourable mention category. These stories were TOMORROW WILL BE CHRISTMAS, 1982 and A BOY& A GUITAR, 1985. In the later 1980’s, I had five short stories published in the weekly newspaper The Cookstown Advocate, 1986-87. These were a humorous series: Hilda & Hemingway in: “HEY HILDA”; “WHO THE HELL’S HEMINGWAY?”; “HAVE YOU SLEPT WITH A MAN LATELY?”; “WHAT’S IT TO YA, ANYWAY?” and “OH-OH HENRY!”
In 1987, John Robert Colombo included several of my aphorisms from SMALL THINGS and BEING in his book COLOMBO’s NEW CANADIAN QUOTATIONS published by Mel Hurtig.
Then in the early 1990’s, I self-published five short stories as Frank Westcott’s Apocrypha Stories. These were five short stories published as individual entities in 8 ½ x 11 format, each with their own specially designed mailing envelope. Sold very few. These stories were: THE WRITER & THE WHORE, 1993; THE FISHERMAN, 1993; LUCKY, 1993; SOTU, 1994 ; WINTER, 1995 ;
Although I continued writing privately, I ostensibly retired from writing for the public arena from that point until 2003 when I had a wee play PIGEONS published in Exile the Literary Quarterly, ELQ: Volume 27, NO. 1.
Then after another long hiatus, in 2011 my short story The Poet won the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Short Fiction Award, as mentioned, the co-winner in the emerging writer category. That same year, The Poet was published in Exile the Literary Quarterly: ELQ Volume 35, No. 1 and in the CVC, Carter V. Cooper Anthology Series, Book One, Exile Editions.
In 2014, my short story LAST MAN STANDING was published in Exile, the Literary Quarterly, ELQ Volume 38, No. 2 and in the anthology FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN POST-APOCALYPSE, Exile Editions. 2014 also brought my 2,000 word poem AND SHE LAY HERSELF DOWN to light. It was a finalist for that year’s Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize. This poem was published in 2016’s Exile, the Literary Quarterly, ELQ Volume 39 No. 4. In summer 2016, my short story IT WAS A DARK DAY~NOT A STORMY NIGHT~ IN TUCK-TEA-TEE-UCK-TUCK was a finalist for that year’s Carter V. Cooper/ Exile $15,000 Short Fiction Competition, and later included in CVC Anthology Series, Book Six. Also in 2016, my short story One Shower to Many came second in the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County’s nationwide contest.
In the summer of 2016, my short story THE HEAT WAS UNBEARABLE was selected for Exile’s new anthology CLI-FI (Climate Change) published in the Spring of 2017. Also in Spring 2017, ELQ: Volume 40 No.4, will have one of my new short stories IT WAS A DARK DAY~NOT A STORMY NIGHT~ IN TUCK-TEA-TEE-UCK-TUCK.
In the very recent, I finished writing a full length musical called MOMENTS OF LOVE… a romanticized romantic comedy. This was over three years of work, off and on, and includes 17 songs. All lyrics by me, except one, which was a co-write., and half the songs have music composed by me. The other half the songs have music composed by Natalija Konjevic, except the one co-write by Kate Swan and me. Nice. Fun. And happy… About that! All of it. Exciting!
A nice corollary to all this… in the early 1980’s McMaster University put me in their Alumni Gallery to acknowledge my writing, publishing and music endeavours up to that time. I suppose, still and so many years later, I continue to try to earn that acknowledgement in both my music and writing careers. In many ways, I feel like an egg continually hatching. Maybe that is what the being creative or creative process is like… is all about.
THANKS FOR READING
THANKS FOR LISTENING,
EDUCATOR: I taught school grades 4,5,6,7 & worked in a variety of special education roles in Ontario, having my Ontario Education's Specialist Certification in Special Education.