Descendant – a novel of adventure, past lives, and a journey to the truth

This weekend my second novel Descendant is free from the Kindle store.  Take this opportunity to grab an exciting novel that will keep you turning the pages.

Six-year-old Laurel is a little boy who shows up in Manchester, England under the watch of Constable Phil Shiller.
Vincent Carpenter is a former Special Forces operative. He and Laurel meet at Manchester airport as Vincent is attempting to prevent a terrorist attack.  The target is the boy.  Vincent, we discover, has been his protector for a very long time.
As they attempt to outrun their pursuers, Vincent begins to remember his past, and Laurel takes him there with his every touch.

Check out this great novel here!

Final Concert this Weekend!

For the past three weeks I have had the privilege of singing in a combined mass choir filled with folks from Toronto, Kingston, and Cobourg to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

June 2nd was at Christ Church Deer Park in Toronto, June 9th was at St George’s Cathedral in Kingston.  Both venues were beautiful to sing in and completely sold out.

Deer Parkstgeorges

This weekend we finish in Cobourg at Trinity United Church, which I am happy to call home.  It’s also sold out, so that should be pretty cool.

There are some great pieces in the more than 30 pieces that we will perform, and I have never heard the Concert Band of Cobourg sound better.


More later – joel

Fifty Pound Bird – A Christmas Story

Every year since I can remember, my father has written a Christmas Story.  My mom edits it for him and and before word processors came along, he would type it out several times on whatever typewriter he had.  Then he copies it out and sends that instead of a card to family and friends.  I look forward to it immensely.

For the past while, I’ve been doing the same thing, albeit on the internet.  Here is my story for 2012, and yes,  it’s a true story.  Well, most of it, anyway.

Merry Christmas.

Fifty Pound Bird

By Joel Varty

In 1986 I was ten years old.  I remember it as being a very hard year.  I also remember it as one of the very best years, mostly because of the turkeys.
Why was it a hard year?  Mostly because of the rabies.  You see, I grew up on a dairy farm, and along with cows come lots of milk, and some of it gets spilt, one way or another.  Once that happens, a cat will magically appear to lap it up, and then later on several more cats will appear, getting braver and braver.  I have seen a cat balance with its back legs locked onto the top of a five-gallon pail and reach all the way to the bottom, lapping up that little bit of milk in the bottom.  I figure with so many cats around it was only a matter of time before one of them came along with rabies.

Spirit Gum!

Two days until opening night for A Christmas Carol.
I’m playing Dickens and I wear a beard that’s so glorious, only the most excellent of adhesives will keep it attached to me.

Here it is in the official beard test used for a promo shot…

That, my friends, is what Spirit Gum is for.  May the force be with me.

Reading "For the Fallen" this Sunday for Remembrance service

I think we struggle with the imagery in this poem. I have heard the middle stanzas read many times, chanted, but rarely the full piece.

War was a different kind of beast 100 years ago.

For the Fallen

by Robert Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.