Recent Journal Entries

"New Book" is finished -- let the revisions and editing begin!!!

I finished the new book. I have a really great first draft. I have a fairly good working title but we shall see. Two people on the planet, other than me, have read the description of the book – my agent, and an editor in New York. I have been purposely tight-lipped. I didn’t want a forced description as I was only halfway through the writing to colour the rest of the writing. I needed the book to meander its own course. It’s a crazy thing to write a book, a novel, a really long story – okay, I don’t know that this is a novel. It’s a story, with a wide cast of characters and its set all over the world. It reverberates against itself. It folds back on itself. It’s dark, but not without humour and hope. So, without any more details – (for now) – I just wanted to let the world know that I am pleased. As stuff happens, I will post here. And I will eventually have to change the look of this site to match up with the new book. The book is called “New Book” right now. That’s its file name. See??? I’m not even sharing the working title. Soon, “New Book” will go out to a small group of readers. Okay, enough of this vague blathering.


white slip

I started to watch “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” the other day and this whole set of images and scenarios came flying into my head — and they do not fit into the new book. I mean are there women out there like Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”??? I don’t know. And if there was a woman like that, how would she fare in 2014? So, here is a journal of sorts…an imagined reconstitution of what that would look like. Who knows if anything will come of this writing…All writing is seduction.

The man on the bed watches as she drops her dress on the floor and it puddles at her feet. She’s wearing a white slip, like she’s just stepped out of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. As if she is Elizabeth Taylor, desperate and hot and in heat. She’s wearing heels. Her feet hurt but she knows the heels push her legs into something beautiful. She leans forward and adjusts the stocking on her left leg – affixes it to her garter belt. Her breasts are barely contained in the slip. She walks across the room and makes herself a drink. She uses the tongs to recklessly drop ice into a squat glass and then pours whatever is in the decanter into her glass. She tastes it, then places the glass down and pours more. As she is making her drink, the man is thinking that she would not be so beautiful if she were naked. She would be something else. This woman in heels and a white slip is a step beyond beautiful. When she turns around, he loves her. He wants to do everything in his life with this woman in a white slip. He wants to sit beside her on a piano bench and play sad songs about love. He wants to smell her at 1 p.m. on a very hot day – to fill his nostrils with the scent of her. And at 1 a.m. when everything that is meant to protect is worn thin. He wants her then too. And he wants to sit at the opera with this woman in her slip. And at a hockey game. And the man wants her in the corner of the room, smoking and drinking and muttering about Big Daddy as he writes. He wants her to go out into the back yard in her white slip and have a catch with him. He wants her halfway up a mountain, in her slip and hiking boots — impractical and lovely.

The woman makes a stance in front of the window. She stands with her feet apart, and the slip is pulled tight around her thighs and hips. It is as if she is saying – “well?” The slip rides up a little, invites the gaze. He wonders if she knows what she just did.

“You like that,” she says. “Don’t you.”

It was not a question.

“Where did you find that? It’s got an old-school feel to it.” The slip had little points at the tips of her breasts. Lace at the top and lace along the bottom hem. He’d never been with a woman who wore slips on a regular basis.

“I have a blue one too,” she says. “Steel blue.” She sips her drink.

The man has reading to do but he cannot read with her standing across the room.

“Come over here,” he says. He slips another pillow between himself and the headboard. The ice in her glass tinkles as she moves across the room. She stands in front of him, as if she’s daring him to touch her, to smooth his hand along the silky line of her hip.

When he does not touch her, she sits on the edge of the bed. He can smell her perfume. Her scent breaks his heart a little. He knows that for the rest of his life, this particular scent will break his heart a little. And because perfume is never exactly the same on any two women, it will never be quite right.

“How can I save you?” she says. “How can I not hurt you?”

Too late, he thinks. Way too fucking late. If any other woman had delivered these lines, he might have laughed. He would have considered these words to be disingenuousness. But she is not fooling around. Saving him. Not hurting him. These are things she has been obsessing over for days, if not weeks.

Tomorrow, he knows she will stop taking his calls. She will stop calling him in the middle of the night when she is drunk and lonely and sad. She will stop being there. She will deny her own love. She will break her own heart. They will become a beautiful sad picture of unconsummated desire.

He will think of his own intense feelings as pathetic. He will choke on the depth of his feelings. He will regret. He will drink bootles of wine and sit on the balcony of his apartment and write sad poems. Poems about ruined love. Poems about love that is unattached to anything real — except sadness. It’s always attached to sadness.

you will whisper

This is always unsustainable.

It is only a wooden match scratched –
sparked into being. Suddenly light,
and heat, and the twisting smell of sulphur.
The sizzle and jerk of combustion.
A bursting leap into jumpy tangerine and
liquid sun.

You will love in that instant, with every fibre
of yourself. You will find no comfort in your days.
No solace in sleep. No escape into dream.
And you will not seek these things. Eyes wide open,
you look around and feel everything. You are
perplexed, amused, frightened.
You will love like an idiot. Place reality aside.
Bathe in the bizarre mystery of it.

And a single moment before flame touches skin
one of you will whisper – whhhhh.
Whhhhh, and the light becomes an aching memory.
The heat, a dissipating phantom. The thin grey smoke
dissolves into nothing. The lingering scent
of sulphur becomes the one true thing.

One of you will whisper – whhhhh.
And it’s done.


Hello. I’ve been away from this site for a while. I’ve been working on a new book. Once I’ve got a good first draft, I’ll up-date here more often. Right now, I’m in Luzern, Switzerland, amongst the German Swiss. A large chunk of the book is set here, and in a little village called Weggis, down the lake. It’s going good!!!


The 40 Below project -- Winter is Coming!!!

What a great list of writers! The 40 Below project (the brain child of Jason Lee Norman) contributing team has been revealed. I am honoured to be one of the writers featured in this anthology. I like to think of this book as a love letter to Edmonton’s winter.

Go here for the full scoop on 40 Below.

The 40 Below team is composed of diverse group of Edmonton writers, who have penned a story, a poem, visual art, a riff, a love letter…something, about Edmonton’s winter. This book will be published this fall. There were 300 submissions of poetry, prose, non-fiction, and visual art. Fifty of these submissions were received on December 31st — the day of the deadline. It did reach the blistering temperature of 43 degrees Celsius below zero (with the windchill) in Edmonton on January 29th, 2013. The age of the oldest contributor to be featured in 40 Below is 84. The age of the youngest contributor to be featured in 40 Below is 9. There were 270 references to “Old Man Winter” in all submissions.



I know. I know. I need to post here more often…but really, there’s nothing to say. It’s all going into the new book, which is titled “New Book” right now. Went to Elk Island National Park yesterday, with friends and family. It was wonderful to be out there in the woods. K. That’s my post. I’m going back to the writing. Talk soon. Bring scotch!!! If you come, bring scotch.


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Thomas Trofimuk is a Canadian novelist, poet, and musician based in Edmonton, Alberta. He's the author of Doubting Yourself to the Bone, and his most recent novel, Waiting for Columbus. More.

Below, are the paperback covers for the UK, the Canadian, and US editions.

Waiting for Columbus

Columbus Cover (UK) Columbus Cover (Canada)

Waiting for Columbus (McClelland & Stewart / Knopf-Doubleday / Picador / and Blackstone Audiobooks) was released in Canada and the US in 2009 and in the UK in 2010. Read reviews and more about the book here.

Columbus Cover (United States)


"Waiting for Columbus" is featured as part of the WILDLY popular RICHARD AND JUDY book club in the UK!!!
Waiting for Columbus is featured on the WH Smith website here. And here is the awesome video!



DISCUSSION QUESTIONS for "Waiting for Columbus"
A few suggested discussion questions for "Waiting for Columbus are here. An interview with Trofimuk that might also spark some discussion is here. Enjoy....

Key Dates for Waiting for Columbus

The paperbacks are here! The paperbacks are here!!! Canadian, US and UK paperbacks of Waiting for Columbus are on the shelves!!

Release date Brazil:

Release date Poland:

“…And therein lies the best career advice I could possibly dispense: just DO things. Chase after the things that interest you and make you happy. Stop acting like you have a set path, because you don’t. No one does. You shouldn’t be trying to check off the boxes of life; they aren’t real and they were created by other people, not you. There is no explicit path I’m following, and I’m not walking in anyone else’s footsteps. I’m making it up as I go.
It’s harder, for sure, and kind of scary sometimes. But it will allow you to look at yourself in the mirror and know you’re playing by your own rules…”

-- Charlie Hoehn

“coffee should be black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love...”
~ Turkish proverb


All material © 2007 Thomas Trofimuk
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