Canada Reads with Madeleine Ashby

Had the opportunity today to see Madeleine Ashby speak about her book, “Company Town,” a Canada Reads top-five book–and speculative fiction! She was very interesting, and the host, CBC’s Russell Bowers, was very relaxed and asked interesting questions. There was also a Q&A session for the audience, so I asked a question as well. Cool to see spec fic getting national attention–at last!

Show vs Tell at the Alexandra Centre

Got to teach for the first time at the new digs for the Alexandra Centre, today. Ten students, everyone from beginners all the way to some really amazing writers. Wonderful participants in discussion, also willing to share their writing, which makes the class always run so much more smoothly. Great day.

Also, the photographers in the new Art Centre were having phenomenal displays and there is to be a gala tonight. Can’t go, but isn’t it awesome to be working in an arts centre with photographers, painters, other visual artists, theatre people, musicians, dancers…? Yeah!!

Writers’ Retreat: 4 days of awesome

Nothing like getting away for the “weekend.” Okay, Friday to Tuesday. The 6 hour drive on either end was an opportunity to set writing goals and be accountable, and have writerly friends ask questions to deepen my thinking. The days spent were 8 AM – 10:00 PM devoted to writing except for meal breaks (and writerly conversations). Drafted my WWII novel from an idea rattling around in my head for a few years, to 76 scenes structured with crises, climaxes, internal and external conflicts, motifs, and all the trimmings. Ready to jump in. Oh, except for all the research questions I wrote down.

Encouraging news

Having finished the novel revision, I have been catching up on my short fiction. Submitted three stories, have a fourth ready to go, and followed up on a fifth submission from a year ago to see if it could be withdrawn (neither accepted nor rejected) so I could resubmit elsewhere. The publisher told me he sent me notes for a rewrite 8 months ago but it never got to me (his submission system was wonky)–but he’s still interested in the rewrite!! And, I can submit directly to his email, not through the regular submission system. Believe me, it is going to be the next thing on my agenda (once the AFA grant application is in on Wednesday).