Please Email Vancouver’s Mayor

November 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm (Arts, Culture, Life, Literature, Personal essays) (, , , , , , , )

Please Email Vancouver’s Mayor

This is a personal message to the readers of my blog.

I don’t usually like to talk about myself or engage in personal requests but as Churchill said, “Desperate times require desperate measures.”

Many of my readers have told me how much they enjoyed my writing and how my writing has impacted their lives.

If that’s true, I ask those readers to step up to the plate for me now.

The long and short of it is the past 5 years of my life have been a living Hell.

The last time I worked an actual job of any sort was 6 years ago.

I gave up work as my dad was dying of cancer.

He died of cancer 5 years ago.

I was then involved in a legal battle with my sister for a year over his Estate as his newest will wasn’t found (the gist of the battle was I wanted to continue to live in my dad’s house that I had lived in most of my life as I had looked after him since my mother died and my sister wanted the house to be sold and the proceeds from the sale split between me and her).

The end result was that an old will was found but in it he had left everything to my mother who had died 25 years ago.

So the Estate was split down the middle between his offspring- my sister and myself.

Under terms of the old will, my dad had also named my mother the Executor but of course since she was dead, the substitute Executor named in the will was brought in.

Sadly for me, the new Executor named was an incompetent and the lawyer he hired was likewise an incompetent.

It apparently took them 2 years before they had notified Revenue Canada that my father was dead and of course Revenue Canada must approve before Estate assets can be dispersed.

So these bozos had waited 2 years before telling Revenue Canada that my dad was dead.

Then Revenue Canada being the typical slowpoke bureaucrats that they are- it took them another 2 years to finally approve the dispersal of assets.

It was only in 2014 that my dad’s Estate funds were finally dispersed between my sister and me.

So in that time, my assets from past employment had been eaten away after paying for rent and food and I was struggling with both acute depression and most likely PTSD from the combination of grief over my dad’s death and then the shock of being forced to leave the only home I had ever known.

And thanks to the incompetent lawyer dragging out the matter of settling my dad’s Estate, that didn’t stop him from charging exorbitant legal fees as he did so.

So consequently the large sum of money I was expecting from the sale of my dad’s house didn’t materialize when the Estate was finally settled in 2014.

In the middle of this period of legal limbo I had moved to Vancouver in 2012 hoping to eventually take a course in Film Directing and Screenplay Writing at the Vancouver Film School which is considered one of the top film schools in North America.

But of course since the sum I received from my dad’s Estate wasn’t what I had expected, I couldn’t afford to take the course.

So in the meantime, I concentrated on my writing – my vampire novel, my poems and my short stories as I had promised my dad on his deathbed that I would not neglect my writing as he thought my writing was important to the world.

Six months ago, I realized that my dad’s funds were going to run out in six months’ time so I started diligently looking for a job sending out resumes all over the place.

I only received two inquiries back but they didn’t amount to anything.

I suppose the fact that I hadn’t worked in 6 years looked bad in the eyes of most potential employers.

They just looked at the paper in front of them.

They didn’t know the reason why I hadn’t worked in 6 years.

It wasn’t due to alcohol or drugs.

I don’t drink.

And I don’t take drugs.

I found myself in the situation I was in due to greedy siblings and incompetent Estate Executors and incompetent lawyers and the severe extreme depression that decapacitated me as a result of all this.

And now I won’t have enough money in my bank account to pay next month’s rent (I actually thought I was going to run out this month but it turns out I did have enough for this month but definitely not for next month).

So where does emailing Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson come in like I suggest in my title?

Because of Mayor Robertson’s support of the arts.

I first found out about Gregor Robertson when my dad and I visited Vancouver back in the summer of 2009 to attend an exhibit of Vermeer and The Dutch Masters at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

During that time, my dad and I took a bus tour of the city where it turned out that the tour guide was a personal friend of Mayor Robertson and had in fact urged him to run for his first term.

The guide mentioned that one of the things Mayor Robertson had done was to establish a program whereby the city paid the rent of certain artists (painters and sculptors) so they could dedicate themselves to working on their art and craft instead of worrying about picking up an odd job here and there to pay their rent.

Anyways last year before the last Vancouver municipal election, I was walking down Robson Street when I was stopped by a canvasser for Vision Vancouver (the municipal political party to which Mayor Gregor Robertson belongs).

He was asking for support so I happened to mention to him how I approved of Mayor Robertson’s idea about paying the rent for certain artists in his effort to build up the arts in Vancouver.

I asked the canvasser had Mayor Robertson ever considered establishing a program paying for the rent of writers as well.

The canvasser said that was an excellent idea and I saw him write it down on his survey sheet.

The canvasser also said he’d bring up the idea at a future Vision Vancouver meeting.

I don’t know whether he did or not.

Anyways Mayor Gregor Robertson did win re-election last year.

And six months ago when I realized I had only roughly six months until my dad’s Estate funds in my bank account started to run out and I started searching for a job, I also wrote an email to Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office mentioning my idea about the city paying the rent of certain aspiring writers in the city until such time as they landed on their feet.

A few weeks later I received an email back from them saying my proposal was under consideration and they’d get back to me.

I haven’t heard back from them since.

Anyways it’s now getting down to the crunch for me.

It appears that job prospects here in Vancouver are bleak as six months of looking for me and nary a call back.

I don’t have money to move back to the province of Alberta where I’m originally from although job prospects there probably aren’t so good now either due to the collapse of the oil industry.

So unless I land a job in the next couple of weeks or by some miracle some Hollywood producer wants to turn a written work of mine into a Hollywood blockbuster and pays me a big fee for getting the film rights to my work, I’ll probably be homeless sometime after the 1st of December after I’m evicted for failure to pay rent.

So to my loyal friends and readers who tell me how much they enjoy my writing and how it’s inspired them, I have a very simple request:

Please email Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at his city hall email address:

gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

If he’s bombarded with enough emails telling him to pay the rent of a promising, aspiring and talented writer, it may finally get beyond the level of low level staff and actually reach his desk.

In your email, pass on the link to my blog

https://draculvanhelsing.wordpress.com/

And tell him to read some samples of my writing.

Maybe he’ll act quickly and have the City of Vancouver pay my rent for awhile until such time as I become a successful writer who’s actually able to earn money off writing.

If I was just a second or third rate writer, I wouldn’t bother asking for this as there’s already enough bad writing in the world.

But so many people over the years have told me that I’m an excellent even a superior writer including a British literary agent by the name of Christopher Little.

Mr. Little was the only literary agent I heard back from when I submitted a private eye novel manuscript I had written a number of years ago to various literary agents in New York City and the United Kingdom.

He returned my first three chapters and my sypnosis from that novel but included a 5 page personally handwritten letter also personally signed by him.

In it, he said that he was very very very impressed with my writing.

He said that if he didn’t have so much on his plate at the moment, he would represent me in a heartbeat but he said alas! he did have too much on his plate.

He urged me to keep writing and was sure that my work would someday be published by one of the world’s big publishers.

Years later I read a newspaper article about J.K. Rowling and in the article, it quoted her literary agent.

I got the shock of my life when I read her literary agent’s name… Christopher Little.

He wasn’t kidding when he said he had too much on his plate.

I wish I had known where I kept that letter as soon as I read that article.

I wasn’t able to locate it prior to my sister’s lawyer throwing me out of my dad’s house.

So to my readers, I’d appreciate it if you’d email Mayor Gregor Robertson at gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

and make the request about the City paying my rent until I get back on my feet.

I’d also appreciate it if some of my readers could reblog and repost this post to their own blog to let their own readers know.

Many many thanks,

Christopher

Post-Script:  I finally heard back from his office in February of this current year (2016).

Writers are included in the program but a vacancy won’t become available in it until September of 2017.

More than a year away.

So for the past few months, I’ve been using cash advances off my credit card to pay my rent.

Now I’ve maxed out my credit card and I have no money left to pay my rent or to pay for food.

I’ve set up a GoFund Me page here:

https://www.gofundme.com/2s99rkmc

I’d appreciate any money any of you could give no matter how large or small.

-Christopher

 

 

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57 Comments

  1. anaatcalin said,

    Dear Chris, I’ll write to the mayor this evening too, if that’s what you wish, but I see the solution to your problem different. I understand how you’ve come in this situation, it’s common for uncommon talents and geniuses, so it’s fine. But you need to go turbo now. First: Write to LITTLE! Tell him or his assistant you are a recurrent author, that he knows you. Bend it and say he ASKED you to come back with your work, because in this perion he’d have time. Make sure that this fact shines through from the beginning, possibly from the very first line. Then make some tiny colorful booklets with parts of your novel and sell them as cards at bookshops and souvenir shops, etc. Anything you can find. It’s close to Christmas time and Christmas is good for business. Find anything that you can sell. Publish a part of your novel on Amazon as e-book and do a blog tour – you know many bloggers, for example I’m in – on the release date – give it at least a month from now if you are ready to publish in a few days. It will drive some sales but it won’t make a miracle, don’t expect that. You need to go turbo now, because normally in order for action to have an effect it takes at least 3 months (take it from someone who runs a business). Apply for further jobs – mind telling me what you applied for? Never say you didn’t work for years. Say WHAT you’ve been working on. I’ll think of something more, but the time is short.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Unfortunately, Ana, I don’t really have time.

      I’d write to Little but I no longer have his mailing address.

      I might be able to find his email address but that would still take time for him to submit my work to publishers.

      I have no money in my bank account to pay rent December 1st.

      The landlord is some big property management company based in Toronto, Ontario.

      I don’t think they’d show much sympathy to some resident in far away British Columbia.

      If someone would lend me the money to pay next month’s rent, that would buy me time for another month.

      I did put in a request on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago if there was anyone out there who could lend me the money.

      I was met with a resounding silence to that status.

      I think for now, an email to Mayor Robertson would help.

      • anaatcalin said,

        Money is a sensitive issue for everybody these days. Everybody lives off credit and takes hard jobs to make very little. That’s why the silence. My clients, for example, pay every 6 weeks, and we’re writing red numbers a lot. This is a common situation. That’s why this happens.

  2. anaatcalin said,

    Crads with snippets of your novel are great, because they are so funny. They can be sold as Laugh-Package, so people can give away as cards with their gifts or something. Contact all friends who might help. I’m driven to do it, but I live in freaking Germany, they don’t speak English here, I’d probably sell 5, and I don’t thing 5-25 euros will help you.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      All those are excellent ideas but time is short.

      I’ll email you my résumé like I did to Daniel.

      I never said I didn’t work for 6 years.

      I just said I tried to make my living off blogging which is true.

      Of course I wasn’t successful at making my living off blogging.

      • anaatcalin said,

        I know the situation when it’s so late that only a miracle can save us. We get ourselves in such situations, and no one can possibly react so fast as to save the situation. I have a similar one now too, but in young business it’s normal, and I’ve learnt how to deal with it. Believe it or not, praying always helps.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I’ve actually been praying very intently the past 6 months.

        I’ve sent my résumé to your gmail address.

      • anaatcalin said,

        Don t be upset, it s not that people have money and don t want to lend. They truly don t have money, they re waiting to.get paid themselves to pay their normally huge debts. I know the situation is paralyzing, and we feel we can t do anything more for ourselves, and need somebody else to step in. But that can t happen unless you pray really hard. Something will happen. But you ll have to do something about it yourself, nobody can react so faston your behalf. In your place i d take the day to relax and think what i can do about this tomorrow. The freeze will melt. Anf ideas will come. Then, tomorrow, i d get out of the house trying to sell whatever i can sell or whatever i have to offer. I m talking to you now as i would to myself.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        The resident manager here was shocked when she did her yearly inspection as I have virtually no furniture.

        I was allowed to take very little when I lost my legal battle with my sister and her lawyer and her thugs dropped by to get me out of my dad’s house.

        I have a desktop computer that was hit by a major virus that makes it virtually inoperable.

        I have a TV- now 6 years old.

        I have a few books and a few dishes and that’s it.

        The stove and refrigerator belong to the building.

        I have only one contact lens- my left one as I ripped my right one 8 months ago and can’t afford to get it replaced.

        Only one pair of glasses.

        I have virtually nothing.

        My worldly wealth really ended with my dad’s death 6 years ago.

      • anaatcalin said,

        What about social help? The State must be taking care of citizens like you, or don’t they?

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Unfortunately health, education and social services are the jurisdiction of the provincial government and not the federal in Canada.

        If you’ve got a provincial government that are a bunch of heartless right-wing ogres, you’re up the creek.

        The provincial government here in British Columbia are the Liberals led by Kristy Clark.

        But don’t let the name Liberal fool you.

        The Kristy Clark Liberals are actually to the right of U.S. Tea Party Republicans politically and economically.

        They have very little funding for health, education and social services in the province in order to have money for more important things- like giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy and big business.

      • anaatcalin said,

        I understand, but you must at least try, Chris. Given you are over a certain age, your chances to a job are proportionally lower – at least in theory – and that should give you mighty advantage. You might just have a win lottery win here, but you have to at least buy a ticket. Please try all of the solutions people given as a result of this post, it’s always better to have as many irons as possible in the fire. The rule says 10% of everything you do will finally have a result.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Yes, I’ll certainly keep in mind the suggestions here.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        That should read my dad’s death 5 years ago not 6 years ago.

  3. Nicholas C. Rossis said,

    I started working on that email, when I realised I don’t actually know your name. Just your first name. Can you give us some more personal details? Or even – ideally – a copy of the email you’d like us to send?

    As soon as I have that info, I’ll share on my blog.

    How much is this month’s rent? Perhaps I can chip in.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Christopher Milner is my name.

      Just tell Mayor Robertson about my writing and the impact it’s made on your life.

      Mention his support for the arts and paying the rent for artists.

      Say it would be nice if the City could do something for writers as well.

      Rent is $1,500 Canadian a month.

      • Nicholas C. Rossis said,

        Mail sent. I will now copy to my blog. Sadly, I can only cover about 1/3 of that – with a new baby on the way, it’s not easy 🙂

        Just send me an email and I’ll paypal you what I can.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Thanks, Nicholas. 🙂

        I’ve emailed you my résumé and curriculum vitae as well like I did Ana.

        It’s got my name, current address and phone number on it.

        Actually if you know of any Greek or European newspapers or news magazines who might be interested in articles written from a Canadian geopolitical analyst’s viewpoint, please feel free to forward my résumé on to them.

      • Nicholas C. Rossis said,

        Looking forward to the email. As you know, Greece is not exactly an ideal place to find employment right now, but I’ll let you know if I hear of anything 🙂

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        No, I guess that’s very true, Nicholas.

        Greece is definitely not the place to look for employment these days.

  4. anaatcalin said,

    I’ll look for English publications in Berlin. Please write me an e-mail with your permission to present snippets of your work to publications, otherwise they won’t talk to me. I’m not promising anything for today or tomorrow, because I work and raise a baby, but I’ll contact these publications for sure next week. I’ll contact as many as possible. Let’s pray something will work out until the beginning of December, but it may take longer, because German entities are really, really slow. I’ll play on Christmas sales to rush them.

  5. Hyperion said,

    Chris, I want you to know how much I feel your pain and understand your situation. I will have to wait until this evening to contact you. In the mean time, I’ll reblog your letter and ask my readers to do it as well. But, you must promise yourself that in your greatest challenge, your faith will be at it’s strongest. It’s time to cut hay Chris and that will require you to show up with your sickle sharpened and ready to suffer a hard days work. You can do it. I believe in you. Look for an email this evening.

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Thanks, Daniel.

      I look forward to your email.

      • Hyperion said,

        Hang in there!

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        I’ll certainly do my best.

      • Hyperion said,

        writing you now. Will send soon!

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Thanks, Daniel.

        I’m currently going to see if I can do something at Amazon.ca the Canadian Amazon branch.

        I did try to set up something at Amazon.com years ago about self-publishing but they wanted my U. S. social insurance no. and my IRS tax number before setting up an account.

        Not being an American citizen I don’t have those.

        Then the thought just occurred to me an hour ago that if I set it up through Canadian Amazon.ca , I could give them the relevant Canadian government info.

        That’s the major reason why I never tried self-publishing before – a lot of these bozo companies ask for U.S. social insurance and tax numbers- neither which I have as a Canadian citizen.

      • Hyperion said,

        If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be laughable. I sent the email. Hope it is well received and my obnoxious personality isn’t too over bearing. 😀

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Hopefully it will be well received, Daniel.

        And thanks for writing that email. 🙂

  6. ֆɦɛʀʀɨɛ ɖɛ ʋǟʟɛʀɨǟ said,

    Email me your address, Chris. I got your phone number but not your address.
    I’ll check on my agents if they have an idea how to help. Nicholas knows of writer’s business better than many. And Ana is right about German entities – they are very, very slow, indeed.

    I hope all things are well for you. Life is not easy on me too on this side and that Christmas is coming nearer in a few weeks, loads of work to do and settle. I’ll write to you soon when work is finish today. *HUGS*

  7. Hyperion said,

    Reblogged this on Hyperion Sturm and commented:
    Please read my good friend and fellow blogger’s letter. Chris is an exceptional writer and superb man. We all need to reach out sometimes. The world is not saved by grand messianic gestures, but by everyday small acts of kindness. I encourage you to go to Chris’ website and enjoy his talent at http://www.draculvanhelsing.wordpress.com. If you can, you can also help by reblogging or using your twitter or other social media to help spread the word. Thank you Dear Reader, for your act of kindness.

  8. doesitevenmatter3 said,

    I hope from this post that someone can help you get your writing published, Chris! I believe if you had a book of poems, or haikus, or stories, etc., they would sell! I believe in you and your work! But, I know how life can beat a person down. 😦
    Oh…I’ve helped people self-publish, but I don’t know anything about traditional publishing. Especially in Canada.
    I will e-mail your mayor!
    Please hang in there!
    (((HUGS)))

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Thanks, Carolyn.

      I appreciate your support over all these years.

      Talking to me while the incompetent lawyer was dragging out my dad’s Estate.

      Offering support when I had that fight with that brainless dickless balless apartment manager who ran that bedbug infested building I had the misfortune of moving into after being kicked out of my dad’s house.

      Thanks for offering your support all those times.

  9. doesitevenmatter3 said,

    PS…I REALLY wish I could help with some $$ for your rent, etc…but with my cancer tests and surgery and meds, etc., this past year I have bills to pay. 😦

  10. Help Support an Author Friend | Nicholas C. Rossis said,

    […] have been following his blog and reading his excellent, thought-provoking stories for a while now. In a recent post, he mentioned his dire financial situation, which is threatening to see him living on the streets […]

  11. sharmishtha basu said,

    Reblogged this on Indie Adda and commented:
    help Chris if you can!

  12. janetweightreed10 said,

    Good morning, Chris…..Oh boy. Having overseen my now 94 year old Mother’s care for the past eight years I fully understand what it means to have one’s life completely disrupted by such events. As for the legal elements, I don’t really trust lawyers etc. and as an only child, the more stories I hear about families quarrels over money, estates, etc. – although it’s been tough, I am probably better off on my own – although like you, all my Mother’s estate has been eaten up by incredibly high nursing home fees for the past five years, and prior to that private nurses in her home…..
    OK onto your plight now….For what it’s worth I will send an e mail to the Mayor. I wish I had extra money to send you, but alas that’s not the case right now……..hang in there, and expect the unexpected….life is funny that way. Janet. x

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Thank you very much for your comment and your email to Mayor Robertson, Janet. 🙂

      I certainly appreciate that.

      No, it’s not easy when your loved ones are ill and watching them fade away.

      My dad was only in hospital for a month before he died and so I guess I’m grateful I didn’t have to watch his suffering go on for years and years and years.

      • janetweightreed10 said,

        I am sending the email today…along with some magical hummingbirds…..they might help:) Keep strong, and know that ultimately all will be well. Janet.

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Thank you very much. 🙂

  13. ֆɦɛʀʀɨɛ ɖɛ ʋǟʟɛʀɨǟ said,

    Reblogged this on MY.THOUGHTS.MY.LIFE.MY.WORLD. and commented:
    My dearest best friend Chistopher Millner is my good author friend for years when I did blogging at Xanga in the year 2012. He is a very talented writer and known for this satrical jokes, and dark political humor.

    In times like this, everyone of us has trouble in their life and there is no shame in reaching out for help when one is in one great trouble and when there is no way out.

    The thing is, for as long as I’ve known Christopher, he never ask for anything and even in times of desperation like now, he never even ask for money. Instead, he asked all of us friend writers, authors and artist, to write letters of plead to Mayor Gregor Robertson.

    For those who write petition for my dear friend Christopher Milner, you people can go straight to another author friend whom most of you know as Nicholas C. Rossis, the author of Rise of the Prince, at http://nicholasrossis.me/blog/

    Thank you for all your help dear writers, authors and artist friends from all around the world. You people are Awesome!

    • Dracul Van Helsing said,

      Thank you, Sherrie. 🙂

      And as my dear friend since 2012, you’ve been totally awesome. ❤

      And I have an awesome group of friends here in my fellow writers and artists.

      • ֆɦɛʀʀɨɛ ɖɛ ʋǟʟɛʀɨǟ said,

        Awwww … You are AWESOME too, Chris.
        A special friend has always THAT special place in one’s Heart.
        You have mine! hehe …

        I wish you a good and lovely Thursday as well.
        Take care!

      • Dracul Van Helsing said,

        Thank you, Sherrie. 🙂

        And as my special friend, you’ll always have a special place in my heart as well. ❤

        You too have a beautiful lovely Thursday. 🙂

  14. Dracul Van Helsing said,

    Post-Script to the above:

    I finally heard back from the Mayor’s office in February of this current year (2016).

    Writers are included in the program but a vacancy won’t become available in it until September of 2017.

    More than a year away.

    So for the past few months, I’ve been using cash advances off my credit card to pay my rent.

    Now I’ve maxed out my credit card and I have no money left to pay my rent or to pay for food.

    I’ve set up a GoFund Me page here:

    https://www.gofundme.com/2s99rkmc

    I’d appreciate any money any of you could give no matter how large or small.

    -Christopher

  15. Orwell’s 1984 Has Arrived In 2017 | Dracul Van Helsing said,

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