— THE END — Oh the pleasure of pounding those words onto the end of a story. Whether it took four, eight or twelve drafts, three months or six years, the story is over, ended, and the rest is up to the reader. When I finished final edits on my first novel, Running Toward Home, I … Continue reading What’s in an Ending?
I haven’t picked up the pen except for doodling for quite some time. Not writers’ block — which I think is simply a misnomer for many of the reasons the ink stops flowing — but a succession of events that finally wore me down. I’ve been resting, and healing with the help of my beautiful … Continue reading Here’s a Story
In 2008, I graduated from UBC’s Optional Residency Creative Writing program in the company of wickedly talented writers, several of whom were published very soon after that walk across the convocation stage. In quick succession, Sarah Selecky, Amy Jones and Matthew Trafford’s collections of short fiction hit the ground running. As a group, they declared … Continue reading Oh, for the love of …. short story!
“you give a dog a bad name, and that dog is bad for life.”——Eleanor Catton The Luminaries Dogs are dogs but names do matter. I won’t take time, though, to speculate on how the naming of a child can influence his life, because I know for sure that the names we gave our children were … Continue reading What Shall I Call Thee
I haven’t written anything with publication in mind for almost three years, but I have done a lot of writing, just because it remains one of the best ways for me to muddle through life. Every now and again, I discover, in the writing, something I want to share because it isn’t just about me, … Continue reading Carpe Diem
Two quotes from Alice Munro in Robert Thacker’s book, Alice Munro Writing Her Lives have lodged in my mind during the time I’ve been reading this wonderful book:“There is always a starting point in reality.”“How can you get your finger on it, feel your life beating.” Oh, to feel the heartbeat in a short story when it … Continue reading Short Fiction: Be Still and Listen to the Heart Beat
The anthology Dark Times was published in 2005 by Ronsdale Press: http://ronsdalepress.com/books/dark-times/ I was working on Running Toward Home, and struggling mightily with sustaining the perspective of a teenaged boy throughout a book length story. When I saw the call for submissions for an anthology for young people dealing with loss and grief, one of my … Continue reading Hanging out in an anthology with some of Canada’s finest authors of books for young people
All right then. Here begins the lamenting author’s unabashed praise for her own work. With a whole lot of reasons why you need these books, because whether they’re your type of reading or not, you know someone in whom they’ll touch a nerve or spark a memory, or just stay a while in the heart. … Continue reading From Author’s Lament to Unabashed Promotion
Someone on the Writers’ Union forum posted a link to this interesting piece into a journalist’s journey into self-publishing yesterday. http://nyti.ms/1w2v6Gg — from “I Was a Digital Bestseller! by Tony Horwitz from the NY Times, June 19 2014. Not a lot of resonance for me in the piece because journalism, actually making a living from writing is … Continue reading An Author’s Lament; With Promise of an Upbeat Sequel
Forgiveness seems to have become a recurring theme in my posts here, and I’m beginning to accept that it’s part of the journey. I’m getting better at forgiving those who’ve wounded me, whether by intent or simply because of my perception of their acts or words. It’s hard work, but I don’t want to schlepp … Continue reading Forgiveness yet again. And another story.
Book Launch a family by any other name: EXPLORING QUEER RELATIONSHIPS Saturday April 26th 2:00 PM Lutheran Church of the Cross 10620 Elbow Dr. S.W. Calgary I think, in fact I know, from several comments I’ve received, that the venue for this book launch is a bit of a puzzle to many who’ve seen the promotion or received … Continue reading Why Launch This Book in a Church?
I have avoided writing all but the occasional book review for most of my writing life, and writing a theatre review has truly never crossed my mind. But after seeing “Oblivion” workshopped at the U of C yesterday, I’m going to set aside my reluctance to do a review for which I have no credentials … Continue reading Oblivion
When I was in the throes of writing The Boy, I told my sister that this was a challenging book to write, not just because of the subject but because I’d been convinced that in order to tie the fiction and non-fiction together, I needed a third thread — memoir. And I was terribly uncomfortable writing about … Continue reading Head vs. Heart
The flotsam and jetsom of life wash ashore and sometimes compel us to act upon them, even 30 years later. Last week I ordered a stone for the foot of my mother’s grave — something my sister and I have talked about doing for years. I had a strong aversion, an avoidance of cemeteries, for … Continue reading Poste Restante
I’ve had a hard time reading fiction for some time now, because I’m finding violence, anger, tragedy are not the prescriptions I need. Perhaps it was ever so, but it does seem to me that there is a trend in literature – both books and literary magazines – toward the edgy, toward stories that disturb … Continue reading Remembering the Gentle Men in My Life