10 Things I Can See From Here

1) Carol Berg

2) Brenda Carr

3) a TV — not on

4) a fire­place — not on

5) a massive Garry Oak tree

5) Saanich inlet

6) some ducks

7) a rug

8) Four wooden let­ters: H O M E

9) a glass of water with ice

10) Two small statues of angels, each hold­ing a post-thing with a flat top per­fect for hold­ing a candle.

In terms of.…

Listen to any dis­cus­sion or inter­view, par­tic­u­larly on the radio or TV. Count how many times you hear the phrase, “In terms of…” Then, count how many times that is actu­ally the best way to express an idea.

Chances are the answer will be zero. Zero times.

Miscon Panels

The Mis­con pan­els have been announced! Things might still shift so I won’t post full details here, but I’m excited to get to tell a Story on the Fly, again, as well as read­ing for First Page Idol and a Memorial read­ing of Sue Bolich’s work.

Norwescon 40 is over!

I didn’t make it to Nor­wescon last year, so it was a treat to attend for its 40th anniversary. I really enjoyed the panel on Rhythm in Fic­tion, which was really inform­at­ive, des­pite Carol Berg’s uncer­tainty of what would be dis­cussed. It turned out well. Another favour­ite was Writ­ing to Mar­ket, where we learned a log from lib­rar­ian Marta Mur­vosh, as well as the other panellists.

My favour­ite event, though, was the Broad Uni­verse Rapid Fire Read­ings on Sat­urday night. I got to share a few pages of my WiP, Griffin and the Spuri­ous Cor­rel­a­tions (and was sad to have to tell people it isn’t pub­lished yet!), but most import­antly, I was hon­oured to have been asked to read from the work of the late Sue Bolich, who was a ter­rific writer, sup­porter and friend to many of us. I read the open­ing seg­ment of “A Call to Reason,” a chapter in her col­lec­tion of stor­ies that take place in the Museum of the Arcane. This col­lec­tion is called Out of the Vaults, and I really hope it comes avail­able for purchase.

Spe­cial thanks to Andrea Howe, Sue’s editor, who said a few words about Sue and how much she meant to us.

I  hope to be back to Nor­wescon next year, or the year fol­low­ing. It was a great pleas­ure to meet so many new folks, and of course to hang with my peeps.

Norwescon 2017

Here I sit in one of my favour­ite Writ­ing Retreat loc­a­tions.… Chez Brenda Carr, with the glor­i­ous view of a massive Garry Oak tree and Saanich Inlet. Brenda is right…there, and Carol Berg is right in front of me, and we’ve all been work­ing  away for sev­eral hours. Carol has been here for a week already; I only joined them today. For tomor­row… We are off!

Down to Seattle for Nor­wescon. These two have fin­ished their cri­tiques for the Fair­wood Writers’ Work­shop. Me, I’m not up to any­thing this week­end but attend­ing some cool pan­els and hanging with friends. I’m sure I will learn many many things.

Creative Ink Fest 2017

What a fab­ulous week­end! I atten­ded so many ter­rific pan­els (Writ­ing Fight Scenes, Real Life Super­wo­men), and was on a few that also went really well (Research, Beta Read­ers, Storytelling on the Fly).

I was also the reader for the Live Action Slush Pile (writers sub­mit the first page of their WiP and as I read it aloud the pan­el­list raise their hands at the point they would stop read­ing), and boy, were there some ter­rific sub­mis­sions! Usu­ally the panellist’s hands fly up in nano­seconds, and this time there were very few times I was asked to stop read­ing. Very cool. The most com­mon cri­ti­cism was to get to the action more quickly: good set-up but then stop with the set-up and start the action.

Great to see good friends, and meet new ones. And I’m so glad Sandra Wick­ham has already pos­ted the dates for next year: May 18–20, the Vic­toria Day long week­end. I’ll def­in­itely be there.

10 Things I Can See From Here

1. A set of dominoes

2. The green waste bin

3. a bou­quet of flowers

4. my Van Gogh cof­fee mug (and I real­ise it has fea­tured in more than one of these lists).

5. my cell phone

6. a notebook/pen

7. an empty toi­let roll wait­ing to be taken out to the recyc­ling bin.

8. Some used cof­fee fil­ters wait­ing to be added to the green waste bin men­tioned earlier.

9. An orange tarp, hanging out to dry, although it is raining.

10. Christ­mas lights, still up because they bring me joy.

Creative Ink Festival is Looming!

This com­ing week­end, March 31 to April 2, is the Cre­at­ive Ink Fest­ival for Read­ers and Writers, at the Burn­aby Delta Hotel. I will be at the regis­tra­tion desk for a while on Fri­day, and then I have the fol­low­ing sched­ule for the weekend:


6pm — Live Action Slush Pile — This is where folks can sub­mit a page or two of their writ­ing, it will be read aloud, and the pan­el­lists will dis­cuss whether they would like to keep read­ing, and why or why not. A most-excellent source of imme­di­ate feed­back and impres­sions of your writ­ing! I have bene­fit­ted from this myself more than once. For this time, I am the Reader.


3pm — Beta Read­ers: This panel will dis­cuss how to find good Beta read­ers, and what to expect from them. Some Do’s and Don’ts about being a good reader.

6pm — Storytelling on the Fly (Mod­er­ator) If the suc­cess of this panel at last year’s Mis­con is any­thing to go by, this will be a ton of fun. A few prompt­ing ques­tions and away we go! One sen­tence at a time, we will cre­ate a story with a begin­ning, middle and end, and it will likely make very little sense.


11am — Research (Mod­er­ator) How do writers research? How much? When do we stop and how do we apply our research to our writing?

5pm — Live Action Slush Pile: same as Fri­day, I will be the Reader for this panel. Very educational!


Went to Turntable Records in Fantan Alley in Vic­toria today. We found some ter­rific music!

Van­gelis — entends-tu les chi­ens aboyer?


Styx — Man of Miracles

Billy Joel — 52nd Street

Jon Ander­son — Song of Seven, AND Anim­a­tion. Now I have his first three solo albums on vinyl (I found Olias of Sun­hil­low years ago).

Good day! Can’t wait to go home and listen to them.