Here’s a recap of the last week, in these parts:
What I’m Reading
I finished JACK ABSOLUTE and dived headfirst into THE OUTER HARBOUR, a collection of short stories by the director of The Writers’ Studio, the creative writing program I’ve been part of since January. So far it’s an excellent collection!
What I’m Writing
Still working on the index-card outline for my contemporary mystery novel. Have been writing a truckload of posts for the Dictionary Project, including the posts for the rest of this week, because of reasons explained below.
What Works for Me
The Dictionary Project maps have been revelatory in ways that other atlases never have been. Or perhaps it’s just that my worldview is a little wider these days. Nearly every entry I write, and definitely ever map I look at, sets me at the top of a research roller coaster that goes on a bit longer than is strictly necessary for the blog post format. When I am not scrambling to keep up with daily posts on this subject, I will definitely mine the whole twelve volumes for material for stories to come!
What Else is Going On
The launch for TWS’s student anthology emerge 14, was a huge success last Thursday. We all read from our pieces in the book, and with a maximum of three minutes per reading, it was easy not to feel nervous. (For me, anyway; plenty of other people were plenty nervous about it.) I even won a door prize — a bottle of wine and two books from my fiction mentor, Hiromi Goto. I never win door prizes. I should buy a lottery ticket.
Is this not a beautiful volume? People have been asking how they can get it, so here’s how! Click on that book cover for a list of bricks-and-mortar bookstores (all in the Vancouver area) that carry it. Or, if you’re from outta town, you can buy the ebook at Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, or the Kobo store (which I think will also work if you have a Nook, but if you have a Nook, you will know better than I whether it will work).
Tomorrow is the first night of the 2014 Surrey International Writers’ Conference, and I will be there from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. (This is why I have spent the last two days writing Dictionary Project blog posts, because I don’t want to have to think about them until the conference is over.) Looking forward to seeing some old friends and some new friends there. If you’ll be there, stop by the SFU The Writers’ Studio table in the vendor foyer. They’ll be selling print copies of emerge 14 and talking to interested parties about the program (applications still open for the 2015 cohort, until October 31, 2014.) I’ll be there from time to time, so say hi, too!
My heart goes out to everyone affected by the gun violence in Ottawa today, especially the family of the reservist killed while guarding the National Memorial, and the families of the two soldiers who were run down in Quebec on Monday. The apparent specificity of targeting soldiers, in both attacks, is both saddening and worrisome. My social media feeds are alive with updates, and thus far the only good news to come out of the day’s events is the heroic actions of Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at-arms on Parliament Hill, who is credited with saving many lives by shooting the gunman who shot the soldier who died.
That’s a bummer note to end on, so to be a little cheerier, it’s October and the red maple leaves are making the whole world look like a Canadian flag! I saw a perfect, scarlet leaf on the sidewalk on Monday evening, but someone stepped on it before I could pick it up and treasure it for a while. Still, there will be more of them. 🙂
Oh, and I have ello invitations! If you’d like one, send me an email with your email addy and I’ll send you a code.