Friday, 27 September 2013

Guest writer - Lockie Young - Not Waxing Poetic

Lockie lives in rural New Brunswick. In 1995 he started writing and hasn't stopped. His story Ryan's Legend has just been accepted for publication by Morning Rain Publishing and will soon be available as an ebook. Find the links to his website below. He has been kind enough to share one of his short stories with us, it's very amusing.
Not Waxing Poetic
All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - the Epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax.  
My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, and play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours:
Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet. So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom.
It was one of those 'cold wax' kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off.
No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!)
So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees.
Cold Wax, yeah, right! I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. IT WORKS!
Ok, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.
With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the wax strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my hoo-ha and stretching down the inside of my butt cheek (it was a long strip).
I inhale deeply and brace myself. RRRRRRIIIIIIPPPPPP!
I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!!.....OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!!
Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP! Another deep breath and RIPP! Everything is spinning and spotted. I think I may pass out. I repeated to myself ‘I must stay conscious… I must stay conscious.’
Do I hear crashing drums???? I breathe deep then breathe deep again. OK, back to normal. I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip. There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX????
Shyly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip is not on the strip!! I touch and I am touching wax.
I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake... remember my foot is still propped upon the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down.
Sealed shut! My butt is sealed shut. As I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do next and think to myself 'Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!' What can I do to melt the wax?
Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right?? WRONG!!

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture
prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit.
Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together, is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub, in scalding hot water. I soon discover the hot water doesn't melt the Cold Wax. So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cemented myself to the porcelain!!! God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!!
I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and, maybe, just maybe she has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter 'So, my butt and hoo-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!'
There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, 'are we talking cheeks or hole or hoo-ha?'
She's laughing out loud by now... I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box.
YEAH!!!! RIGHT!!!! I should be the joke of someone else's night?
While we go through the various solutions, I drain the tub.  I resort to trying to scrape the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better than having your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!!!
By now my brain is not working. Dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling after this event.
My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace. The lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!
The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. Its sooo painful, but I really don't care. 'IT WORKS!!!! It works!!!!'
I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair. THE HAIR IS STILL THERE. ALL OF IT!
So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color!

 I'm still laughing. Thanks Lockie. Please visit Lockie's website Or you can find out more about his new book - Ryans Legend - at

Friday, 6 September 2013

4Q Interview with Yves Chiasson, Songwriter Extraordinaire

Yves Chiasson - musician extraordinaire, songwriter, kick ass guitar player has freshly returned to Montreal after a Zero Degrees Celsius reunion concert on August 15th – Acadian Day, when the band played many of our favourite tunes, agreeing to answer some questions here at 4Q. He presently performs as Luther Chase. Links provided below, please check them out. 

4Q: The band played an awesome show on the 15th Yves. Brought back great memories of when we watched you and the gang rock over fifteen years ago. What was the reunion like for you and the band members?

YC: It was extremely cool to hang out and make noise with my old friends again! My wife Renelle (keys, vocals, violin) and my brother Dan (drums) are both in the group so it was extra special to reunite with Poirier (front man) and Matt (bass) to perform our old songs together as a band. The original 5 members had not played together in 15 years, so we were pretty rusty at our first practice session. But once we got going the songs started to flow and that old magical feeling started to seep through. We had some pretty intensive practicing to do, but the group has a great sense of humor, so we laughed and joked around for most of our practice sessions. When we finally hit the stage and there were around ten thousand people cheering us on, it was surreal! And they were singing along and knew most of the words! That was by far the most beautiful part of the entire experience. The folks from our home town of Moncton singing the words from songs we had written as far back as 20 years ago! What a feeling!


4Q: You’re a great songwriter Yves, are you still writing. What inspires your songs?

YC: Well thank you for saying that! Since I was a kid I aspired to be a composer or songwriter. I studied classical music and still very much enjoy it. I especially love listening to Glen Gould play Bach. But then I figured out in my twenties that what I really loved were songs. And so instead of trying to compose classically inspired music for ensembles and orchestras, I went completely the other way and started writing songs for our band; songs that were rather simple and could be played by one person on a guitar. So I felt extremely liberated from the constraints that I had imposed on myself when I was trying to become a composer.
Nowadays I tend to write Blues/Country/Folk inspired songs that I still try to keep simple, and that have melodies that are groovy to sing. I record in my home studio and my partner/wife Renelle plays and sings on a lot of my material. Luther Chase is releasing a 7 song EP on vinyl this fall entitled Past the Empty Town. The album contains music written in 2013, and is independently funded.

4Q: Please share an interesting or fond childhood memory with us!

YC: I started playing guitar when I was fourteen. I had seen these guys a few years older than me at Parlee Beach playing Heart of Gold by Neil Young. So I was like, I want to do that too! My father had an acoustic guitar and he taught me three chords: G, C and D. I also discovered Jimi Hendrix during that period, so naturally I wanted an electric guitar. So for a while, every day after school I would go down to Moncton Music Centre and look at the electric guitars hoping to one day own one of these shiny beauties. So one day Big Bill, who was the nicest guy, saw me eyeballing the guitars AGAIN and said “do you want to try one plugged into an amplifier?”  I picked up a cheap Stratocaster knockoff (the same type as Jimi used), plugged it in and struck an awful sounding G chord, then looked up at Bill and said “It sounds just like Jimi Hendrix”. Bill just smiled and said “yeah it does!” 
4Q: What can we expect in the future from you Yves, musically speaking of course. Is it still your desire to perform live and if so, what kind of venues do you prefer?

YC: In the last few years I have not played live very often and therefore miss the energy that is shared between musicians and the crowd. Playing to 10 000 fans on August 15th 2013 (Festival Acadie Rock) renewed that need in me to share music with a live audience.
 My preferred venue is a “soft seater” or auditorium that has great acoustics because people are there to listen and the sound is pure and pleasing. A bar is fun too because there is generally a relaxed and casual atmosphere, but people are often distracted and are not really listening, which becomes a distraction for the performer. As I get older (I’m 43 yrs young) I prefer playing for people that are listening to the music. It makes the effort that mush more gratifying.

You can certainly expect more songs from Luther Chase in the future, as I am constantly coming up with new song ideas. And I really enjoy the work of putting music to tape and documenting ideas that might be forever lost were it not for the act of recording. 

I fondly remember listening to you singing Sister Morphine by The Rolling Stones many years ago at the UdeM campus, smoky little place called The Kacho. I had a good idea then that music would always be an important part of your life. Best of luck to you and Renelle with the new album.



Saturday, 31 August 2013

Visit beautiful Bangladesh with me..........

In my novel, The Dark Side of a Promise, much of the action takes place in one of the youngest countries in the world, Bangladesh, particularly in its capital of Dhaka and the District of Bhola.

Why, you might ask?

As you will discover in my story, the man that Drake Alexander seeks, the man that has senselessly taken the life of his best friend’s sister has eluded them and the law for three years. He surfaces in Asia. Bartolommeo Rizzato is a ruthless criminal that does other men’s dirty deeds, a gangster for hire. His employer is blinded by revenge. Bangladesh is home to the second largest population of people that practise Islam, it is perfect for his plans.

In my opinion, Bangladesh is one of the most intriguing countries in the world. I’ll tell you why I feel that way.

We Canadians are far removed from this country halfway around the world knowing little of its people, its geography, its history and its past struggle for independence. We’ve been shocked by the recent deaths in the thriving garment industry which provides three quarters of its export industry. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building claimed 1100 lives. The Tarzeen Factory fire took another 117 souls. There are over 14,000 garment factories, not all are regulated by the government which has neither the money nor the staff to impose stricter laws. While these unfortunate events have claimed the news and our imagination, the country is much more than that.

In 1947 when the British Empire withdrew from India, the state of Bengal was divided. The west was claimed by the newly partitioned India, the east by the new country of Pakistan.

A nine month war in 1971 created an independent country call the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. In the Bengali language the name means “Country of Bengal”. Estimates of those massacred during the short war range from 30,000 to 3 million, we will never know the real number. It has endured many military coups, famine, poverty and political unrest until democracy was restored in 1991.  Although the political parties to this day remain bitterly opposed, the country has experienced relative calm and economic progress.


Bangladesh is in the low lying Ganges Delta, bordered to the south by the Bay of Bengal. It straddles the Tropic of Cancer. Unfortunately it is vulnerable to climate change which contributes many natural calamities like tropical cyclones, floods, tornadoes and tidal bores happen almost every year. Most of its land is less than twelve meters above sea level. If the waters would rise by as little as one meter it is estimated that 10% of the country would be flooded. There are claims that the water laced country has over 700 rivers. Boats are not only a necessity but a way of live for many of its inhabitants.

The most extreme flooding the world has ever seen occurred in 1998. Three of their mightiest rivers, the Brahmaputra, the Ganges and the Meghna overflowed destroying 300,000 homes, 2700 kms of embankment, 11000 kms of roads, thousands of cattle were killed. Over 1000 people died and 30 million were made homeless.

In addition the country is prone to cyclones. In 1970, a major storm claimed a half a million lives. In 1919 another took 140,000 more. Hardships we can only imagine.


However, not all is doom and gloom.

Bangladesh is a developing country. The poverty rate has declined by 25% since 1991.

The largest deep sea port in Southeast Asia is being established at a cost of 500 billion taka.

It is home to one of the largest river ports in the world, Sadarghat Port on the Buriganga River in the city of Dhaka. According to officials, over 50,000 people on average come and go every day.

It is the fourth largest producer of rice in the world, second largest producer of jute.

The largest shopping mall in Southeast Asia, the thirteenth in the world, is located in Dhaka.

The country hosts the world’s second largest gathering of Muslims during the Bishwa Ijtema, where millions gather to pray for peace and supplication.

Weavers from a guild in Dhaka are renowned for saris produced from exquisite Jamdani muslin.

It has a rich literary culture with many famous writers such as Tahmima Anam,  Shamsur Rahman, Haripada Datta, and Shahed Ali  to name only a few.

The national cricket team won gold at the first cricket tournament ever held at the 2010 Asian Games, defeating Afghanistan.

It is home to the largest mangrove forest in the world as well as a diverse selection of flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger.

The national bird is the Magpie Robin known as Doyal and it appears on currency notes. The national flower is the Shapla, a white-flowering water lily. The national tree is the Mango. The national fruit is the Jackfruit.

There is much hope in this small country, people dream of better things, foreign investment brings better lives. The land is one of a rare beauty. I am indebted to an incredible photographer, Ihtisham Kabir for exposing me to the splendour of the countryside, to the vibrant colors and the people. You can find his photos at

I have recently discovered an exceptional writer from Bangladesh who now resides in Sweden, Dilruba Z. Ara, whose works have been acclaimed universally and are studied at different universities across the world. Here is her website:

Please visit their sites for a journey of discovery, you won`t be disappointed.
Next week, 4Q will be interviewing Yves Chiasson,
musician, songwriter, founding member of the popular Acadian rock group, Zero Celsius.

Monday, 12 August 2013

4Q Interview with Mark Andrew Young- Visual Artist

4Q Interview with Mark Andrew Young, visual artist, owner of Manchu Mark Young Designs, father of Damien and partner with Nathalie Brun. Mark has created works of art in creative CD covers and promotional material for a varied group of artists such as Roland Gauvin, Dominique Dupuis, John Jerome, 1755, to name a few. He has created distinctive posters for numerous cultural events. His work can be seen at

4Q: It’s always interesting how we choose our careers. Your grandfather Ernest was an artist and professional sign painter, perhaps his creative genes have been passed on to you. What made you want to be a graphic artist?

MAY: There are things in life that just happen. When I was a boy, I would watch my grandfather paint, and I was too young to realise I would follow in his footsteps.
Even though I started drawing on the floor as a baby, who would have guessed I would be doing this for a living.
I can proudly say his love for drawing was passed down to me, and lives on, just in a different time.
He would use lead-based ’’one-shot paint’’ on mostly vehicles and board. I regret not learning that lost art. Now the vinyl decals and modern printing technics have become mainstream.
It’s kind of like discovering the electric guitar after years of acoustic play; you rock with it, but have to remember the roots. There was a lot more honour then. Everything was made by hand with no room for error. Nowadays, graphic design is simply a technique that facilitates communication in various mediums. But it’s still very much, and more than ever a cool way to get your point across whether it is by means of an art exhibit, a poster, a comic strip, anything you want really.
I had travelled a bit, did various jobs here and there, but when I came to peace with myself, it just happened naturally.

4Q: Some of my favourite posters you have done is both the 2012 Franco fete and the same for 2013. Another favourite is the new one for 2013 AcadieRock which is a huge event coming to Moncton in August. The poster was featured in a Times Transcript article. How does a design like this begin? Where do your ideas come from?

MAY: It is a designer’s responsibility to visually deliver the message or feeling of the subject, that being an event, identity branding or album artwork etc….Like any industry, it is very complex and detailed, but research is always an integral part of the process. You want to make sure your ideas are current and have not been portrayed in a similar way. Not to say that styles and eras are not a big influence in my work, but the key is to make it your own.

Inspiration often comes from Music, daydreaming, and ultimately vision. It comes down to letting your imagination explode into the moment. And like anything, working it, re-thinking it, polishing to your’s and client’s satisfaction. But like a fine painting, your canvas is never finished. One could work on an image for years….but at a point and time you have to say; Yes, love it, next! Stay fresh and keep creating. 

4Q: Tell us a pleasant memory or anecdote from your childhood.
MAY: I personally made my childhood complicated when in fact it was the simplest and easiest thing ever!
I am blessed as you know of being very spoiled and constantly surrounded by love.
I remember a lot of camping, street hockey, hanging out in trees, cousins in full camo (with war-paint) in the marshes of what is now Wheeler Boulevard.
There are many great memories. I can say that my Guardian Angels worked over-time watching over me as I rebelled against a dead era, and survived thanks to family and friends.
And some stories are better set around a campfire.

4Q: One of the major projects you’ve undertaken is the huge mural in the new Arts & Cultural Centre for the City of Dieppe. You did a fantastic job with this and must be quite proud to have your work displayed publicly for everyone to see. How did this contract come about and how did you ever get your ideas on the wall in such a large scale?

MAY:I was asked to do it. To be given an opportunity like that was overwhelming as first, but I approached it the same way I would a blank piece of paper; with full concentration and ultimate honesty. The creative process is like an all-inclusive adventure; with sleepless nights, constant daydreaming and finally discovering your confidence.
The project was a collaboration of 8 or 9 members; Professional artists & technicians, architects, projectionists, painters, general contractors. My design couldn’t have taken on this expanse without their combined skills. I’m not the best at driving a scissor-lift. :)
You really have to think WAY out of the box,  get as far as possible out of the that so-called ’box’’. Keep it fresh and stay true to yourself.


Thank you Mark for taking the time to share your insight with us. Please visit Mark’s web site.

Stay in touch for the upcoming 4Q Interview when we will feature Yves Chiasson, former founder and lead guitarist of the dynamic Acadian rock group Zero Degrees Celsius. He records and performs as Luther Chase with a cache of catchy tunes. His website is