Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


Time for a break

Ok, you’ve been writing for hours. Your carpal is flaming, your fingers are numb, and you can’t stare at the screen without screaming. Time for a break. Time for a movie.

A movie about writing, of course. Can’t stray too far off topic here.

Authors get inked

For those of you who have considered the possibility of intense, irreversible body modification, the Victoria-based online book retailer has a fascinating article on authors who've gotten tattoos.

Turns out such noted authors as John Irving (a maple leaf), George Orwell (blue spots on his knuckles), and Canada's own Alissa York (gecko) have willingly gone under the needle.

Luck be a lady tonight

I’d like to speak from my soapbox, if I may, on one of the most important tools in the first-time writer’s arsenal: luck.

Yes, talent, ambition, and perseverance still play a major part, don’t get me wrong. Yet – and let’s be honest here – how many of us have read a successful published novel by a name author and said afterward, “Someone published this?”

Waste time and help others

So you’re sitting there, staring at the screen, and nothing comes out. Writer's block. What do you do?

Like most of us, I waste time. HUGE amounts of time. So, if we’re all going to waste time, we might as well do something constructive at the same time.

Enter FreeRice. A sister site to, FreeRice is a game wherein the player guesses at the correct definition of a given word. For every correct answer, 20 grains of rice is donated to the United Nations World Food Program.

So, when you’re stuck for a word, surf on over to FreeRice, and
a) waste a little time,
b) improve your vocabulary, and
c) help those who need it most.

I'm not afraid of you, 2008!

Ah, a new year is finally upon us. A whole new year, a whole new set of resolutions, a whole new set of outright lies intended to delude ourselves into believing we have the will to change.

Yes, I’m bitter about my 2007 performance, couldn’t you tell? I finally read Moby Dick, but all the other resolutions, the running more, eating less, etcetera? Bupkis.

Accept No Substitutes

As I take off the WiR tiara, stash the sash and leave the supermarkets openings and reality show appearances to Miss January, I want to use this final post for some parting thoughts about writing, reading and life. Because these and everything we do are all about one thing, I think. One thing only.

The Buddhists say that all human beings want and need the same thing, we are just going about it in different ways. The more I write and read and live the more I am convinced that there is one reason alone that we exist, one common goal and challenge that all people share. The reason we exist is to learn how to love. We are learning how to love ourselves.

Starts and Stops ( In which popping the cork leads me to reflect on kicking the can)

We’re counting down the days until New Year’s Eve. Soon the whole world will be celebrating, making merry and dancing in the streets. It’s a scene that naturally leads one to think about death.

Not everyone thinks about death on New Year’s Eve. Many think about it the next morning. I myself am past the age of staying out too late and drinking more than is good for me. In fact when the big moment comes at midnight, my kids think it’s a celebration of seeing Mom awake past 10 p.m.

My partner and I haven’t decided how we’ll welcome in the new year. Many people like to celebrate with family. Often it helps if the family is not your own. I know families who fight constantly about when they’re going to get together to share how much they love each other.

Talking About least I think we were...

So, I did not have a head cold. I have Norwalk flu. Norwalk flu is far worse than a head cold. You can tell this because it is important enough to have an actual name

For a head cold to be in any kind of contention for Horrible Things That Can Get Into Your Body (and then which try to get out through every possible orifice- more on that later- you’ve been warned) it would have to be called Vile North Toronto Snuffly Syndrome or something like that.

A key to the name is that it identifies the place where the horrible thing originated, so we know who to blame. Norwalk flu obviously comes from Norwalk. I have no idea where that is but they have something to answer for let me tell you.

Notes on Truth, Life and Headcolds

I ab vry vry sig. I ab a tuffy nose nd runny eyes nd a vry vry sr trout. Nobdy id de whole wrld has eber bin as sig as me. Nut eber.

Habing said thad, I continue to fuffill my duty as Miss December WIR because I ab jus thad kind of trouper ad also when I lie down I feel I ab going to die so I might as well sit up. Kind ub sit up. I ab tilting a bid to one side at present.

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