March 20, 2016

A sad little cheque

Every year I get a sad little cheque for being a writer. The cheque would be much larger if I had more books in circulation, but for now it’s just a sad little cheque. For some writers, I’m sure the program is a significant source of income. The Public Lending Right Commission distributes cheques based on the number of times a book has appeared in a search of selected lending libraries. According to their 2014-2015 Annual Report, 20,504 authors have registered 95,610 eligible works in the program. The minimum payment floor was $50, the maximum was $3,563, and the average payment was $577. The minimum payment floor meant that 2,335 authors did not receive any payment. The cut-off ensures that “the value of a PLR payment continues to have impact and provide meaningful value to recipients.” Despite a 1.4% increase in registered authors, there was a 9.66% drop in the number of authors receiving payment. Generally, I support the minimum floor initiative. No one really wants to take the time to deposit a cheque for $2.37. It’s interesting that they decided $50 was the needle-moving amount. Being a generally impoverished group, I wonder how many writers would agree with that […]
March 6, 2016

John Aitken didn’t say a word till he was 17

John Aitken is a physical actor, carver, filmmaker, photographer and educator. John’s mixed ancestry includes Coast Salish and Scottish. He self identifies as First Nations. OM: On February 20, 2016, I saw your latest performance, The Gift, at the Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver. It was a smaller matinee crowd, but you had everyone’s attention. Everyone except an old lady in the front row who spoke loudly as if she were sitting in front of her television at home. She only spoke a few words, but it had a jarring effect. How ironic that a piece about not speaking would be interrupted by someone speaking. I was a few rows behind her, and I wasn’t sure if you could hear her on stage. I assumed you could not because you carried on as if nothing had happened. Later, it become clear that both you and Shelley heard the woman and it knocked you both off balance. It’s a testament to your professionalism that you both carried on without any indication that you were affected. How did you keep the show from going off the rails? JA: After this performance I found out I was projecting this onto my fellow […]