COMING from Now Or Never publishing in 2024…


Pauline can picture it already, Alex, laughing as he tells her how no one believes his mother invented Pep Talk Paul, the app that saved the world. And she’ll assure him that it’s true, but she won’t tell him it’s also the reason she gets to be his mother, because by then he won’t remember that there was a time when someone else was.

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An elevator driver in a Tokyo department store, Will thinks he’s on the right track, but then Sakura comes along and he realises he’s still just stuck between floors. But which floor should he get off on?


“…Rodriguez’ writing…is different in a neuron-stimulating sort of way. Have you ever tried to read a page or two of a book with the book upside down? It ‘tickles’ the brain, compelling it to work in a way it is not accustomed to. That is the best way I can describe the writing style Mr. Rodriguez uses.”

James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader

Available at Amazon or Quattro.

(Or, (I really don’t mind!!!) Toronto Public Library)

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Shortlisted for Quattro Books’ Ken Klonsky Contest.

Two wrongs may not make a right, but what about three?

cover“…when Rodriguez is in the mood, The Space Between is drop-dead gorgeous and I found myself reading some passages over and over because of their effortless poetry. At other points, I felt trapped with the narrator, inside a kind of solipsistic seizure, a lonely paranoia that threatened to implode it all.”

~ Paul Bachmeier, The Chronicle-Journal

Available at Amazon or Dundurn.

(Or, (Really, I don’t mind!!!) Toronto Public Library)

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The Space Between

“It’s not what you see that is art. Art is the gap.” ~Marcel Duchamp


Left to stare out the window long enough, all human minds inevitably drift toward their own demise. I’ve certainly been staring out the window long enough. My gaze hangs heavy like the pendulum of a stopped clock, but my mind is unsettled as the thoughts in my head flutter and spin like the tumult of blowing snow on the other side of the glass. I sit here warm in the eye of the storm though, and in my head’s tempest there’s also a calm centre now, a sphere of stillness. I sense its influence spreading as each turbulent stream of thought that flows into it is allayed and subsumed. …A blizzard like this is a call to arms for the human psyche, a sanity inspection. I’ve nothing to fear.

But it makes you wonder–what could there be behind these walls around and within us? Forcing my mind beyond all its constraints of words and images I end up in absurd dreams and wishful thinking, but never anywhere I can call home. Though I may ultimately fail in answering this question in a manner acceptable to myself, I have come up with some frightfully disturbing ideas.

Like: Imagine that when we die, our bodies shut down and eventually disintegrate. Our minds, however, released from their bodily anchors, continue to exist, free at last to float through the ether of forever. But don’t get too comfortable, for this is no pleasure float–our minds still retain their impressions of pain. In fact, they’re stuck on a repeat cycle whereby they perpetuate for eternity the last sensation registered before leaving their bodies. Imagine your newly liberated mind, an immutable sounding board for the echoes of pain from the bones that shattered upon impact with the tractor-trailer that crushed your body and your car…or the knife that slashed your jugular just before the rapist discarded you…or the electricity that gorged your organs as the chair attempted to make two wrongs equal a right.

What if our minds continue on in a state of immortal pain? Far fetched, sure, but prove me wrong. It’s a theory that’s ultimately as possible as any other concept of life after death and it’s a sobering thought, one that could keep you awake at night, if the subject of death itself doesn’t already. And yes, I’m aware that I’m simply restating the idea of a Christian hell minus the vengeful God, but like I said, I’ve been staring out the window a while. Forgive me.

The snow’s been whipping around relentlessly for well on eight hours now and I feel like we’re being blended up for flavouring in a colossal metallic milkshake–for whom is anyone’s guess. We’re stuck, stranded, and other than the millions of miles a minute at which we hurtle through space, we’re not moving at all. It feels like we’re going backwards. We might as well be going backwards. I can think of places I’d rather be, but it could be worse: I could be stuck with someone beside me, like many on this bus are. I can just imagine, if Sarah were here one of us would be dead by now, killed by the other in a fit of claustrophobic irritation. The victim would most likely be myself; I never did trust her. But if ever there was a non-issue, that’s it.

At the moment, we’re in the middle of the frozen windswept wasteland that is the Saskatchewan prairie. The winter weather here can make a grown man cry, and on occasion has been known to. At times during the Canadian winter, human will and perseverance must take a back seat while old mother nature drives all over the road, drunk. I for one appreciate and cherish this aspect of my country’s climate. Like a touch of insanity in a person, it spawns intrigue and impetus. And I’m always happy to oblige any circumstance that puts us human beings in our rightful place. I’m as relaxed as a person with all the time in the world should be.

The only problem to speak of really is that we can’t get off the bus for a cigarette. No one is allowed off–for insurance purposes, the driver tells us. Maybe I should have gone with my original plan and taken the train, but there’s no guarantee that it would be able to make it through this storm either. I must give credit where it’s due and state that this is one prize-fighting, top of the charts, no holds barred Canadian winter blizzard–one for the books. Even the proverbial black eyes of the polar bear are shut. It’s pretending to hibernate.

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