Friday, 25 April 2014

4Q Interview with Dominique Dupuis,one of New Brunswick's finest musicians.

Dominique Dupuis has been entertaining music fans since she was nine years old. With four great albums to her credit, , numerous nomination and awards from the industry, her music career continues to shine. We are very fortunate to have Dominique answer some questions her at 4Q. Her website is listed below. 

4Q: Your web pages give us a good history of how your music and passion for the violin developed over the years. When you were younger, what was the defining moment when you decided that the violin would be such a big part of your life?

DD: Although there was no defining moment per se, I really fell in love with playing violin when I started performing. My first teacher, Ernest Despres, took me under his wing. When I stepped on stage for the first time, when I saw the effect of music, how much joy it could bring, THAT’S when I knew music would occupy a very important part of my life. I started out playing for family members, including my siblings who were not thrilled to wake up every day to the oh-so-painful sound of a fiddler-in-training, in nursing homes and at special events. I felt an immense sense of accomplishment and of joy seeing people’s faces light up when I played. And it’s that feeling that I knew I couldn’t live without. 

4Q: You toured France in the fall of 2013 and if I’m not mistaken, you have just returned from playing in Europe. Please share what that must be like and do the audiences there differ from your fans in the Maritimes?

DD:  I just got back from New York City where I was performing for a private event. In 2013, I spent a total of 5 weeks in France. I started playing in Europe in 2002 and since, I’ve been to Switzerland, France, Belgium and Italy. Evidently, audiences differ from the ones we have here in the Maritimes. When we perform overseas, we are considered by many as an “exotic” act. Audience members are attentive and extremely respectful. On a few occasions, I remember hitting the last notes of a tune while wondering if the public enjoyed the performance, and just at that moment, hearing the crowd’s applause erupt. Once you get used to the cultural differences, you get to just truly enjoy the moment. I’ve performed in amazing venues, from the Stade de France, in Paris, in front of more than 55,000 people, and at the foot the Alps, in the forests of Northern Italy, to the site of the Normandy landings, on D-Day. I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel the world, fiddle in hand, because you get to see a different aspect of the world. Throughout the years, I’ve met many wonderful people and musicians, as well as developed a loyal fan base. I just love what I do and am blessed to have so many people show their appreciation. 

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote.

DD: I have so many! It’s hard choosing just one! In 1999, I did my first-ever international tour, in Louisiana, at the age of twelve. I was a shy girl who just loved playing. I didn’t have any musicians accompanying me, so the Festival international de Louisiane organizer, Lisa Stafford, set me up with some of her friends, Henri-Paul Bénard and Kenneth Saulnier, members of the Acadian group Suroît. I was a huge fan of the group and was thrilled to perform with them. I was also very shy, especially sharing the stage with such veterans. I refused to talk during my shows, so the boys had to do the talking for me. So embarrassing! I can’t believe they let get away with it, but I guess I was cute… J But when it came to fiddling, I certainly made up for it! Experiences like that are the ones that helped form the woman and artist I am today. Just knowing that so many people believed in me!

4Q: Not only are you busy with your music but your family is a large part of your life. You are married to Danny Bourgeois, a very talented drummer and you have two boys, Emerik and Isaac. How do you fit everything into what must be a very busy schedule?

DD: Danny and I met through music. We have a shared passion for it and I think that keeps us grounded in all things! Of course, as a mom, kids and family come first, but I have that this whole new chapter in my life is also very inspiring! I’m at a point in my career where I finally know who I am as an artist, and that feels great! Also, I would not be able to do what I do without the love and support of our families. Whenever we leave, we have Mémère and Pépère on duty to take care of the children and the dog, and that takes a huge load off our shoulders and gives us the time we need to perform. When our boys are a little older, we’ll hopefully be able to take them on the road with us and let them discover the world, like we did.  Who knows, maybe some day they’ll be part of the band, too! Ha! Ha!


Thank you so much Dominique. We wish you continued success and look forward to hearing more of your music. Please visit Dominique’s web site at and Facebook page at 

Here's a YouTube video of Dominique for you to enjoy:
Next week I'm going to talk about my five favorite novels. Five books - five different authors. Stories that I've read several times. Books are piled up everywhere around my house and I love it!


Friday, 18 April 2014

Guest writer Jason Lawson. The Candidate.

Hello Visitors
My intentions for this week was to have a review completed of my five favorite books. Instead I am posting a short story from Guest writer Jason Lawson. The review is forthcoming.

Jason Lawson has published two novels, The Vision and The Rum Runners, both available at A new novel, Frozen Blood is in the works and will soon be available. A terrific storyteller. His blog address is listed below. This short story first appeared in Copyright is held by author, Used by permission

The Candidate

“THANKS AGAIN for letting us talk to you Mrs… um, what was your name again?” provincial candidate Dan Clark asked as he and his assistant exited a house and stood on the steps.

“Mrs. Thompson. And don’t forget what I’ve told you.” the little old lady reminded him.

“Mrs. Thompson. That’s it. Thanks again, and remember. Vote for Dan cause he’s the man. A car in every driveway, two chickens in every pot.”

“She was a nice lady.” Dan’s assistant Martin remarked as the door closed.

“Uh huh.” Dan answered as he fixed his hair, already heading towards the next house.

“And she had some pretty good ideas about what should be done around here.”

“Did she?” Dan wondered as he looked into a compact mirror and checked out his features. “I think I’ve got a few new grey hairs. Damn it.”

“Sir. Didn’t you listen to her views and complaints?”

“What’s the point Martin? Everybody has their own ideas about what should take place in government. What their candidate should do. If I tried to accomplish what everyone wanted, I’d never get anything done for myself.” He paused and looked down at his slacks and blazer. “And I think I’d like to get myself a new wardrobe once I’m re-elected.”

“So you don’t really care what anyone thinks?” Martin wondered as they continued along the sidewalk.

“Of course I do. As long as they’re thinking about voting for me. So I hypnotize ’em with great slogans and sayings. Promises and more promises. You know, the two chickens in every pot drivel. Once I’m back in office for another term, I could really care less.”

“That’s pretty awful sir.”

“So’s this next house.” Dan said as he looked at the seedy looking two story building. The white siding was missing in places. Some of the windows were boarded up and the shades were drawn in others. The lawn was overgrown and trash was strewn about everywhere. “I’ll really have to give them a pep talk in here.”

“Sir, weren’t you listening to anyone? Every single person on this street has complained about this house. People coming and going at all hours. There has to be something illegal going on here.”

“People coming and going eh? Potential for a lot of votes. You there!” Dan hollered at a young, scruffy looking man with many facial piercings who’d just exited the house. “Is your mother or father home?”

The youth looked at their briefcases and political buttons. “You with the church or something?”

“No, but if you’re over 18 and elegible to vote, we can have a church built on this street if you’re the religious type. Maybe even get you a job there as a janitor or an alter boy and get you a scholarship to go to theology college so you can become a minister.” Dan answered.

“What?” the kid rolled his eyes. “Uh well I’m only 16.”

“That’s okay young man. Is your mother or father at home?”

“Dad’s in prison and mom’s well, uh mom is…” he struggled to find the right words. “Mom’s kinda like a hoe.”

“You’re mom likes to hoe? That’s good son. And if she’s handy with a spade and a rake too I can get her a good job at a greenhouse. Maybe even get her a grant to start her own gardening business. Nothing sells like fresh vegetables in the city you know. She’ll make a fortune and have a great company for you to inherit.”

“Okay…” The young man started backing away like he was afraid of Dan. “You’re crazy man. I’m getting outta here.”

“That’s fine son. Have a good day. But is you mother at home?”
“I’m not sure! I don’t live here!” he hollered as he started sprinting down the sidewalk.

“Stupid kid.” Dan muttered. “I wish he would’ve said that in the first place. I just wasted precious time talking to him.”

“You’re not going in that house are you sir?” Martin asked nervously.

“Of course I am. Why, by the time I’m done here they’ll be voting for me and cleaning up this dump at the same time.” Dan said as he strode amongst the empty beer boxes and plastic bags. “Come on Martin. Time is money. And so are votes.” As quick as a cat the wiley politican climbed the front steps and knocked on the well-worn wooden door. “Anybody home?” he asked loudly.

“What’s the password?” a raspy voice asked from behind the door.

Dan thought for a moment. “Re-elect Dan Clark!” he said loudly.

“Wrong jackass!” the voice answered. “get lost!”

“How can I know the password if I’ve never been here before?” Dan wondered aloud. “Any ideas Martin?”

“Sir we should do as he says and get out of here.” Martin said as he started to tremble. “I don’t like this.”

“Nonsense.” Dan rapped hard on the door then turned the knob. “Just a few minutes of your time sir.”

Suddenly the door flew open and a large set of hands grabbed the two and yanked them inside. In an instant they were against a wall staring down the barrell of a very large, shiny handgun.

“You looking to get shot?” the man with the raspy voice asked as he pulled back the hammer of the firearm.

“Oh my god, we’re going to die!” Martin wailed as he slumped against the cracked gyprock.

Dan blinked a few times. “This isn’t so bad. Remember when I got caught taking bribes from the animal rights activists and the slaughterhouse at the same time? The butcher’s rifle was a lot bigger than this.”

“Shut up mouthpiece!” The man with the gun barked. “Are you two feds?”

“No sir. We’re provincial. We can offer you a lot more up close and personal hands on care than the feds ever could. For instance, you seem to have an issue with home security.” Dan stated as he pointed at the pistol. “What if I told you I could get you an interest free government loan to install a state of the art security system?”

The man’s eyes rolled in his head. “Are you some kinda nut job?” Suddenly, a knock came to the door.”What’s the password?”

“Freaky fried chicken.” a voice outside said.

“Come on in.” the man with the gun opened the door, then faced Dan and Martin again. “Don’t try nothing funny you two. Don’t move!”

A dirty, dishevelled, man with glazed eyes stepped inside. “Hey Commander.” he said to the man with the gun. “I need a $20 rock.”

“You got the cash Billy?” Commander asked.

“Right here.” Billy’s hands shook as he held out a $20 bill.

“Donations. That’s great!” Dan said as he reached for the money. “Donate to my campaign and I can get you a job at a rock quarry, an affordable house with asphalt shingles and a crushed stone driveway, all the rocks you’ll ever need.”

“Get your hands off that!” Commander hollered as he snatched the twenty and opened up a desk drawer. “He wants a crack rock you idiot!”

“Sir!” Martin hissed. “This is a crack house!”

“You’re not kidding.” Dan agreed as he looked around the room. “The walls are cracked and so is the ceiling. We got to promise this guy some government sponsored renovations if we’re ever going to get his vote.”

“Vote?” Billy half-mumbled. “Are you some kinda politician?”

“Yes sir. Dan Clark at your service. And I’d like your vote.”

“I do dope. All the time. Want my vote? Legalize drugs.”

“We’re way ahead of you Billy. I’m going to make drugs as available as drive through coffee. Haven’t you heard any of my campaign slogans? A kilo in every garage with two crackheads smoking rocks. Ask not what your crackhead can do for you, but what you can do for your crackhead!”

“Wh..what?” Billy stammered. “That’s too fast man.”

“Here’s your rock Billy.” Commander passed him a baggie. “Now get the hell out of here.” He slammed the door and faced the duo. “And as for you two lunatics, I want $500 and your sworn silence about my business or I’m going to blow the two of you away.”

“Hold on just a second there.” Dan said as his face fell. “I take bribes. I’m not in the habit of giving them. How bout you donate $500 towards my campaign and I’ll get you one of those get-out-of-jail-free cards? I got a judge in my corner.”

“Are you insane?” Commander blurted. “Okay, you two asked for it! Get ready to eat some lead!”

“Wait! Hold on!” Dan begged. “I’ll give you the 500 bucks.”

“No good. I can see the only way you’ll shut up is if I whack you.”

“How bout 1000 dollars? And my secretary. She’d love pimping herself out. I’ll even throw in a drug sniffing dog that’s retired from the force!”

“What the hell do I need a drug sniffing dog for?”

“Let’s say you do a little too much smoking. You might lose your stash. The dog could find it for you and bite anybody who doesn’t pay up. Course, he doesn’t see that well anymore. That’s why he’s retired. But I hear there’s a new government optical program coming out that the dog may qualify for as he used to be a provincial employee. Can dogs wear glasses Martin?”

“Everybody down on the ground!” A voice roared as the door was smashed in. The room was instantly filled with a dozen policemen. Commander, Dan and Martin were all cuffed and dragged out into the street.

“Unhand me!” Dan hollered as two burly officers dragged him towards the back of a patrol car. “Don’t you know who I am?”

“I don’t know and I don’t care.” One of the cops grunted. “We’ll figure that out down at the station.”

They threw him into the back of the car next to Martin who was sobbing uncontrollably. “What’s wrong with you?” Dan asked.

“My life is ruined! I’ve been arrested in the company of a known felon. I could go to jail!”

“Oh relax. You didn’t have any drugs on you. We were just campaigning. This will all blow over.” He smiled as he tapped on the plexi-glass window that separated the front of the car from the back. “Excuse me officer.”

“What do you want?” the cop snorted as he put the car in gear.

“I want your vote. You look like a hard working police officer. How would you like to be promoted to seargant with a desk job and all the perks? No, better yet, a job with the justice department. Something cushy and high paying. Your own company car with all the perks.”

Martin shook his head and moaned.
Thanks Jason for sharing your story. Jason's blog is

Next week 4Q Interview is back. Musician Dominique Dupuis will answer four questions. A exceptionally talented violinist, when you listen to her music, your feet will start taping and your hands will be clapping. You won't want to miss it.

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Friday, 11 April 2014

Guest writer, Lee Thompson. Diary of a Fluky Kid.

Lee Thompson is an author, editor, musician and bunny master. He is the former Executive Director of the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick. All in all, a very busy man. He is leaving for Banff, Alberta shortly for a writing residency. His novel, The Diary of a Fluky Kid, is a coming of age story told in nine innings. An enjoyable read. Here's a teaser. Copyright is held by author. Used by permission
Diary of a Fluky Kid 


Fluky kid is up,” says the catcher as I take my place in the batter's box. He pounds his mitt, shuffles his feet and chuckles. In my first at-bat I had swung blindly at a fastball down the middle. It flew into right centre field and I flew into second base. Fluky? Was I expecting praise? The pitcher won't give in this time, I'm thinking; he'll only make perfect pitches. He and his brother, the catcher, they know what to do. So I really don't have a chance.

A fastball darts to the outside corner.

Yeah. He can't hit that,” says the catcher to the pitcher.

The next pitch is a curveball that bounces in front of the plate. I swing at it anyway. I don't know why; it's not anywhere near the plate.

I step out of the batter's box, tell myself to watch the ball, to be ready, but to wait. I tell myself not to swing at that curveball again, that ‘drop ball’ as my teammates call it. I tell myself this pitcher is fourteen, that's all. He's not Nolan Ryan. He's not in the big leagues. This is a night game at a small ballpark in Moncton. Ten people are watching. None of them are family. I readjust my batting gloves, step back in the batter's box and know it'll be a curveball, in the dirt, even nastier than the one before.

But it's a fastball right down the middle and I don't swing. 

* * *

I bike to games on my orange ten-speed CCM. I have been biking to games since I started playing little league four years ago. Back then I had friends on the team, friends I had started with. I couldn't catch, and I could barely throw. I was much better at getting hit by the ball than actually hitting the ball. But at least I didn't run the bases the wrong way, like Lori did. She was pretty, though, with her long black ponytail and sunshine smile, so we never made fun of her. Well, not for long.

I bike in my uniform, which is powder blue this year and doesn't really match my black-and-white cleats. My glove, an outfielder's glove, is stuck in the handlebars. While biking I go over my best games, or my worst games, or I don't think of baseball at all, which is hard to believe, but my head is often in outer space; even in school it's often in outer space. Especially in school. My notebooks are full of drawings or doodles. I get to the end of classes realizing everything the teacher said simply bounced off me, maybe smacked a few other kids in the head, then bounded out the window.

Thompson? Earth to Thompson? The largest continent on the planet is...?”

Fortunately, I read a lot at home.

Asia,” I say, like a satellite beaming down a weather report.

But if the teacher had started talking about baseball, if he had asked who knows the best grip for a slider or who can mimic Andre Dawson's batting stance, this useless information wouldn't have been able to hold itself in. I'd have leaped up, shouted me and then of course sat back down, embarrassed.

By the time I arrive at the ballpark, I've either convinced myself that I'll have a great game or that I should just stay on the bench.
 You can also find out what Lee is up to on FaceBook.

Next week, please join me as I review and recommend five of my favorite novels.

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