Real World Event: I stumbled onto the Ottawa Writer’s Circle the other day and joined out of curiosity. Turns out they had planned a social at a pub in town today (which gave them karma IMHO). I didn’t know what to expect exactly and brought my lovely wife so that we could escape should the social turn strange and uncomfortable. We braved the cold and rain and drove downtown. As it turned out it was time well spent.
Some very pleasant people were gathered. More people had been expected, but the weather turned them away, I suppose. Happily, I met a couple of writers and had an interesting conversation about Blogging and the upcoming CAN-COM event in Ottawa (which I had not heard of). I was given some honest pointers and suggestions on activities I should be considering and soon realised with a smile that what she was suggesting interested me greatly.
So here is the blog idea: I take the world I built in Duilleog and write short stories in that world that will reveal some more of the backgrounds of the characters and world.
So, would you like to hear more about Reeve Comlin and what happens as Reeve in Jaipers? How about the days when Will was alone in the wild? How did Dawkins end up in Jaipers?
I would like to know, too. So maybe I’ll write it and post it here. For your enjoyment.
Now I just need to find the time. My new position in Ottawa is consuming me. That and my online course have taken all the spare time I normally enjoyed for writing. Craobh is suffering and so am I.
So DHL Express (Canada) Ltd. just delivered my latest order of Duilleog from CreateSpace. I had ordered from them many times whilst in the US and never blinked. Today I was met at the door by the DHL dude demanding $18.35 CAD for me to take possession of my books. I said, “Wuh?”and then paid while complaining the entire time.
Then I examined the invoice. I paid $44.98 for six books from Amazon. The GST/PST/HST they charged me was $2.25. That seems reasonable and is perfectly in line with duty rates of 5% for books being imported into Canada.
The remainder of the amount was $11.30 for a “Processing Fee” and $4.80 for a “Transaction Fee” (those amounts include GST). That means that on top of the $2.25 duty I also paid $16.10 in fees. That, my friends, is BLACKMAIL, pure and unadulterated. You see, I cannot take possession of the books unless I pay on the spot for their fees. They hold the box firmly unless I succeed to their demands and pay their ransom. Once paid the goods are handed to me with a smile.
This is criminal. I have no doubt of that in my mind. In essence I paid over 6 times the duty just so this company can deliver the goods. This is on top of what I already paid to Amazon to ship and handle my order. I feel dirty and angry and I have no recourse, or method to dispute the charges. No power at all.
I called their 1-800 number for an explanation. “Someone will call me tomorrow,” they said. I now suspect some thug will pistol whip me as I walk down the street to work, toss me in the back of a panel van, and I will wake up under a glaring light, tied to a chair.