News | 2013

2013 Reading List

Thirty-eight published books in 2013. Disappointingly way less than a book a week. For one reason or another, I found it hard to get into novels this year. Whether what I chose wasn't a quick read (some were), or else the Neverwinter Nights coding was going well (it was), or real life got in the way (it did), I just wasn't exposed to as many stories as I would have liked. However, I did get into several magazines and literary journals (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Geek, Grain, and Intelligent Life) and comic series (Battlestar Gallactica by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Damsels by Leah Moore and John Reppion, Damsels Mermaids by Matt Sturges, Dominique Laveau Voodoo Child by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, and The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman) which I haven't recorded. Thankfully, these all gave me something to new to experience.

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New Capilano Workshops

The Fall 2013 Capilano University Continuing Education Course Calendar is now out, and it says I'll be offering two new workshops this semester--How to Submit a Manuscript and a Scene Writing Workshop--in addition to my usual offerings of Beyond the First Draft: Revising Your Work and Story Structure. Both of these new workshops are one-day sessions, and if you're interested in this sort of thing, I'd love to see you.

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Deposition, Muchas Gracias

Grain, the journal of eclectic writing

I got an ow-my-cheeks-hurt-from-smiling-so-much package in the mail today: my contributor's copies of the latest issue of Grain. My story, "Deposition," begins on page 26, and I'm very thankful Rilla Friesen, Grain's editor, gave it a home. I'm also grateful (and very much indebted to) Sonia Zagwyn and Pablo Vignon Pina for all their help.

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Southbank Application Deadline Extended

Simon Fraser University's part-time Southbank Writer's Program has extended their application deadline to Friday, May 17th. For more information, check out

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Going to the Best Place on Earth

The Best Place on Earth by Ayelet Tsabari

Last night, in Toronto, I was introduced to The Best Place on Earth. I saw some people I haven't seen in a very long while and got to meet some wonderful new ones. I also got to hear part of a pretty cool story (although the sexy bits got cut out), hear some great live music, and sample some comforting Irish whiskey (which is my go-to drink when I want to nurse, not chug).

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Unintended Sabotage

First drafts are a dangerous, delicate time for me. I hate them. Without discipline, a schedule, and a set quota, I'm creative enough to think of myriad procrastinations that keep my pencils sharp, my bed made, the dishes washed, and my butt anywhere but firmly planted in my writing chair. I'm also loathe to talk about a project at this stage--I believe strongly in the separation of creation and evaluation. During a first draft, if that little editor in the red suit, horns, pitchfork, cloven hooves, and tail sits on my shoulder and starts with the tsk-tsks, I flick him off unmercifully. As I'm so fond of repeating, the first draft of anything is supposed to be shit, so I don't question, I just write. I know I'll fix the problems later during my revision phases. The purpose of a first draft (for me) is to get the story down on paper so I don't lose it.

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Back at Southbank

Simon Fraser University is preparing their summer Continuing Education schedule, and they've just asked me to come back for their Southbank Writer's Program in Surrey. I was very happy to say yes because I enjoyed meeting the writers in the program last year and I had a lot of fun with them. So, coming up in June, I'll be reprising Dialogue is Not Conversation: Using the Spoken Word Effectively in Fiction as one of the program's core courses, complete with exercises, discussions, homework, and even a snowball fight.