Gord The Polar Bear

Readability

Gord The Polar Bear

Indulge me as I take a brief trip down mem­ory lane.

I started blog­ging in 2003, at the time focus­ing on NASCAR although often chas­ing down rab­bit holes and/​or digress­ing. In May of 2005, for rea­sons I don’t recall I cre­ated a char­ac­ter to occa­sion­ally show up in the blog. Specif­i­cally, a polar bear named Gord.

Gord was named after Gord Downie, lead singer of iconic Cana­dian rock band The Trag­i­cally Hip. His man­ner of speak­ing (yes, Gord could talk), fea­tur­ing fre­quently begin­ning his sen­tences with “why …” was pat­terned after Mike Myers’ char­ac­ter in Wayne’s World. Gord him­self was a kind and gen­tle sort, liv­ing in a zoo and fre­quently chat­ting with his friend Cherie, a thrasher who spent most of her time at the zoo although not an offi­cial resident.

Over the next few years I fleshed out Gord’s char­ac­ter, intro­duc­ing assorted ele­ments such as his occa­sion­ally lis­ten­ing to “the night whis­pers,” i.e. spir­its of the deceased. He was a handy bear to have around, quite use­ful for illus­trat­ing sto­ries via his sto­ry­telling gift.

It occurred to me back in 2009 or there­abouts that Gord would make a nice sub­ject for a sort-​of children’s book. I say sort-​of because, as I sketched out a plot cen­tered around Gord, there were cer­tain cru­cial ele­ments a bit darker than usu­ally con­sid­ered kid­die fare. But, given how one of my ear­li­est movie mem­o­ries was watch­ing Bambi’s mother get shot, I knew it could work. Another ele­ment keep­ing it from being your nor­mal children’s book is my being any­thing but skilled in keep­ing my writ­ing at a child’s read­ing level. Far too fond of the florid. Not nearly fond enough of stay­ing within the bound­aries of accept­able gram­mar and syn­tax, but that’s a whole ‘nut­ter story.

Any­way, in 2009 I started on the book. Plot was sketched out; and I got sev­eral chap­ters into the first draft before los­ing focus along with most all of my writ­ing mojo dur­ing the ‘10s. Things get thrown out of proper pri­or­ity when you’re bat­tling the depres­sion mon­ster pretty much 247. Ah well.

Although Gord the polar bear has fre­quently crossed my mind since I set the book aside, Gord Downie’s pass­ing a cou­ple of weeks ago has suf­fi­ciently brought him back to the fore to where I’ve actu­ally dusted off the book and slowly started work­ing on it again. As men­tioned above I lost most all of my writ­ing juice this decade as I’ve been too busy try­ing to get through things. Not that I’m through them, but suf­fi­cient bal­ance and joy have rekin­dled to where the cre­ative spark is again express­ing itself through both greatly increased musi­cal activ­ity and again being able to write. I’ll take it.

When or if I’ll fin­ish the Gord book I do not know, nor what I will do with it should I com­plete it although I sus­pect I’ll go the self-​publishing route as I have before (coughgod​snot​dead​book​.comcough). This I do know: I’ve quite missed my silly polar bear. Hope­fully he’ll stick around long enough for me to fin­ish telling the story so far.

Indulge me as I take a brief trip down memory lane.

I started blogging in 2003, at the time focusing on NASCAR although often chasing down rabbit holes and/or digressing. In May of 2005, for reasons I don’t recall I created a character to occasionally show up in the blog. Specifically, a polar bear named Gord.

Gord was named after Gord Downie, lead singer of iconic Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. His manner of speaking (yes, Gord could talk), featuring frequently beginning his sentences with “why …” was patterned after Mike Myers’ character in Wayne’s World. Gord himself was a kind and gentle sort, living in a zoo and frequently chatting with his friend Cherie, a thrasher who spent most of her time at the zoo although not an official resident.

Over the next few years I fleshed out Gord’s character, introducing assorted elements such as his occasionally listening to “the night whispers,” i.e. spirits of the deceased. He was a handy bear to have around, quite useful for illustrating stories via his storytelling gift.

It occurred to me back in 2009 or thereabouts that Gord would make a nice subject for a sort-of children’s book. I say sort-of because, as I sketched out a plot centered around Gord, there were certain crucial elements a bit darker than usually considered kiddie fare. But, given how one of my earliest movie memories was watching Bambi’s mother get shot, I knew it could work. Another element keeping it from being your normal children’s book is my being anything but skilled in keeping my writing at a child’s reading level. Far too fond of the florid. Not nearly fond enough of staying within the boundaries of acceptable grammar and syntax, but that’s a whole ‘nutter story.

Anyway, in 2009 I started on the book. Plot was sketched out; and I got several chapters into the first draft before losing focus along with most all of my writing mojo during the ’10s. Things get thrown out of proper priority when you’re battling the depression monster pretty much 24/7. Ah well.

Although Gord the polar bear has frequently crossed my mind since I set the book aside, Gord Downie’s passing a couple of weeks ago has sufficiently brought him back to the fore to where I’ve actually dusted off the book and slowly started working on it again. As mentioned above I lost most all of my writing juice this decade as I’ve been too busy trying to get through things. Not that I’m through them, but sufficient balance and joy have rekindled to where the creative spark is again expressing itself through both greatly increased musical activity and again being able to write. I’ll take it.

When or if I’ll finish the Gord book I do not know, nor what I will do with it should I complete it although I suspect I’ll go the self-publishing route as I have before (coughgodsnotdeadbook.comcough). This I do know: I’ve quite missed my silly polar bear. Hopefully he’ll stick around long enough for me to finish telling the story so far.