WOO WOO – the posthumous love story of Miss Emily Carr is a work of paranormal fiction. The road from spinsterhood to a ‘happy-ever-afterlife’ is fraught with restless memories, new lovers, and old heartbreaks when the ghost of eccentric artist, Emily Carr, makes contact with a visitor to her grave and appeals for help with her quest to rekindle the love of a slighted suitor, sixty-seven years after her death.
And now, an excerpt from WOO WOO – the posthumous love story of Miss Emily Carr...
In retrospect, it probably wasn’t wise to give a monkey the wedding rings. But, it was a surreal sight watching Woo hop towards the bride and groom balancing a silk pillow in one hand, and not much of a surprise when the ceremony disintegrated into farce. Trained animals rarely fail to disappoint at the optimum moment.
It was barely three weeks ago, on the last day of September, that I had the first inkling that I may have lost my mind mere days after I lost my heart. I was three kilometers outside the celebrated James Bay ‘Carr Triangle’ of Victoria on Vancouver Island – the old homestead of Miss Emily Carr, renowned international artist and iconic curmudgeon. It was my last stop on an interrupted tour – a small square footage of forever. Emily’s final resting place. That was the week after I became a princess.
“I was seventeen when I had my first heart attack. It took three more to actually kill me.”
These were the disembodied words I heard that changed my life and my capacity for rational thought. I checked the date on my rolled up Times-Colonist. It was still 2012. The female voice declared itself to be a woman named Emily. It was no stretch to add the surname Carr, considering I was standing over her grave at the time.
I am twenty-seven-years-old, still an artist in search of everything and I declare so with pride. I am a freelance historian. Research is a rich field of dreams, and I paint as often as I can between the assignments that keep me sequestered in the rich archives of British Columbia.
A year ago, I was newly arrived in Victoria: fresh from graduation with a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Alberta, where an instructor had told me that one of my paintings reminded him of the work of Emily Carr. I checked and he was wrong, but I was flattered.
I didn’t fully appreciate Van Gogh until after Emily softened the path to the French Impressionists. Emily’s work was my Rosetta Stone for reading the earlier iconographic provenance of the debauched club of absinthe-soaked Old Boys, who had painted from the downtown brothels of feral Paris. I have long been grateful to her for that.
I resumed my painting techniques with a more vigorous palette. Sure enough, Emily gave me the insight to experience emotional light. She slapped me black and blue with her colours. I felt indebted.
Subsequently, my affinity for Emily’s style, led me to daydream that I may be Emily Carr reincarnated. I mean, I am a painter and writer, I was bitten by a monkey, and I’ve had two Old-English sheepdogs. What more evidence could there be?
Of course, a great deal more.
Reincarnation is a ridiculous leftover notion from my mother’s New-Age books of the sixties. I am the next generation, and I have grown-up to realize metaphysics is all rot. Besides, hiking in the wilderness is not even on my list of things I like to do, and I hate any form of camping.