Friday, 11 April 2014

Feeling a little Bookmarkish?

I'm a PageTurner for Project Bookmark Canada today. Three cheers! PB's mandate is the creation and installation of "bookmarks" at various physical sites across the country -- marks that reference scenes from novels or particular poems that call to a certain place. It's a great charity and a great campaign, and you should consider donating!

I even made you a video starring yours truly (and my cheerful attic basil plant) for purposes of convincing. Head on over here to check it out, and consider becoming a PageTurner and donating to Project Bookmark today!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

On Public Freaking, and other things

Next month, on May 7th, I'll be reading at the Brockton Writers Series in Toronto. It's a great series that happens every other month, curated by the fabulous Farzana Doctor (aka Ms. March!) and hosted by the equally fabulous Daniel Perry. I'm excited to be a part of it. I'll be reading from MIRACLES and will also be giving a wee talk, prior to the start of the readings, about my experiences pulling together a DIY book tour. If you're in Toronto, please come! Details here.

As part of BWS, each reader was asked to write a blog post for the upcoming event. I chose to talk about how it feels to read your work in public (there's anxiety involved). Here's a link to those ramblings.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Blogging, this thing I used to do.

I've been mostly silent on here for the past little while because of several reasons. Some reasons are bookish, or book-related. Some reasons have to do with being tired. Still. (I am so over and done with the cold weather.) Still other reasons have to do with increasingly being worried or afraid of what to say, of wondering (yet again) if I have anything to say at all, of getting frustrated (yet again) with this choking need to say it anyway, to say and tweet stupid things and get miffed by things that turn out to be April Fool's jokes (sorry, Beyoncé) and then paralyzed by weird things like this that sure as heck sound like April Fool's jokes but might, in fact, be real. (Wut?)

There are so many things to be outraged about, these days. So many things to worry over, stupidity included. What does one blog post matter in the face of all of that?

And then I read things like this, and I remember that sometimes it can matter, putting yourself out there into the world so that other people half a country away can read and recognize and say yes, I understand.

And then I read other things, like this, and I wonder if my next book will be an essay collection.

Spoiler alert: it won't. But maybe one day.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

On having things to say...again

Happy International Women's Day, everybody. I wish you all a great day of celebration, reflection, and warmth. Here's to breaking glass ceilings everywhere, continued dialogue, and to thoughtful, engaged discussion on all manner of things...

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Canada Writes Longlist

This past Monday I woke to the happy news that my short story, "Hyena", has been longlisted for the 2014 CBC Canada Writes Short Story Contest. Huzzah!

Even more exciting: Liz Windhorst Harmer and Brent van Staalduinen, two fellow Hamiltonians, are also on the longlist. We're all part of the same writing group, so there you go: strength in numbers! Hamilton, Ontario, represent!

You can see the longlist in its entirety here. The shortlist will be announced on March 10. My good pal Trevor Corkum also has a story on the longlist, and there are a few other names on the list that I recognize from my UVic days. How's that for a strong writing culture?

Pretty darn good, I'd say.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Reading, reading, reading galore

I think I might be a little burned out. Which seems like a weird thing to say, considering that my winter hasn't been all that eventful. Is retroactive burnout a thing? And of course it also has something to do with being sick (two bouts of the flu and one cold in January = less than stellar times), but then, there's the whole chicken-and-egg side to it too, right? Maybe I wouldn't have been hit with two bouts of the flu if I hadn't done that crazy little jaunt last fall. Maybe maybe. And there's no doubt I'd also have a bit more energy if the days were sunny and warm, or at least warmer than they've been!

At any rate, for most of January I found it difficult to do things. Difficult to write, difficult to think about the New Novel, difficult to motivate myself to get out of my cozy little apartment. (Or maybe I'm not burned out at all, but just suffering through the usual winter blues.)

I have, however, been reading.

Monday, 20 January 2014


I've spent the past few days at my sister's lovely house, playing with their dogs and making them dinner and holding my gorgeous niece at every possible opportunity. It's been lovely. I only wish I could do more -- hard not to feel guilty when your sister and brother-in-law are stumbling around, half-asleep after a night spent up (as Rebecca Eckler would put it) with a "pint=sized dictator". And there I was, blissfully getting eight hours of sleep or more in the guest room!

Oh well. I made scones. And dinner. And soup. And did laundry! Played with the dogs! Even as I type right now I'm thinking about what I can bring to them next week. Now I understand where the urge to bake casseroles comes from...