Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
...in this busy and stressful season.
We had a white Christmas and today I took my Very Happy Dog for a walk in the snowy woods. The real world with all its anxiety and joy will return soon enough, but for me, the sound of an eagle's chuckle through the trees made everything stop this afternoon.
Monday, December 17, 2007
James McCann and I had a couple of GREAT signing events over the weekend -- a busy time and lots of fun.
But right now I have my head bent low over a manuscript that I want to have polished by Wednesday night. I'll post an event update with pictures and description as soon as I get this baby to bed.
Am also answering only emergency emails at the moment -- will resume radio contact later in the week.
Happy last week of school before Winter Break!
Posted by kc dyer at 7:02 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Finished Ian Rankin's latest this weekend, in which DI Rebus faces the spectre of retirement from the force. I can't quite make myself believe he's really going, but --
the final scene...is nothing less than perfectly fitting.
A great read.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
My office is a lovely room.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Storm watch seems to have settled down a bit here, thankfully. The folks in Strachan Point are back in their homes after a helicopter survey of the creek above them proved things to be less dangerous than first thought.
This is an aerial shot of the debris torrent dam above my own little village. We have two creeks -- Harvey & Alberta -- in the village proper (and another -- Magnesia Creek -- in the Brunswick Beach section of the village).
In 1983, after a debris torrent tore down the creek bed, destroying five houses and and killing two boys, dams like the one pictured here were built above the village on the mountainside to prevent this from happening again. Charles Creek, above Strachan Point, has one of these too, but a debris torrent in 2006 left the emergency authorities just a little nervous about the potential for disaster this time. Thankfully, all appears to be well for the moment.
Just as happily, the fundraising event for Rockridge School at 32 Books last night seemed a big success, judging from the number of bodies crammed into the bookstore. Congratulations to Deb McVittie and her staff for putting on a great event. Special props to the student volunteers who worked so hard to make sure everything went smoothly.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
This shot is of the moon shining down on the beautiful main street of Lindsay, Ontario, after the first snowfall of the year.
Thanks for a great day, Pamela!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Posted by kc dyer at 2:50 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Okay...I can only note the link here, but check out this amazing new YouTube video, (a PSA against littering) filmed and directed by the most talented crew I know...
(As soon as I have an actual copy of the video, I'll upload it here -- with permission of the auteur, of course.)
It was, in fact, a great deal snowier than this stock publicity shot would imply.
I did manage to take a few more seasonally accurate pictures that I will post on my return.
I glided back into Toronto, courtesy Via Rail, to the sight of a heroically green CN Tower, leading our Engineer to leap onto the crackly pa system (circa 1930, I am sure) to announce Saskatchewan's triumph in the Grey Cup. I walked off my train in Union Station as each and every member of the Grey Cup audience descended into the subway. A sea of people...
Sadly, at this hotel, they close the gym unconscionably early for people still keeping BC hours who have been sitting on a train much of the day and need a workout. Looks like tomorrow morning will have to do.
Instead, I am drinking lovely hot chocolate WITH whipped cream, just to console myself.
Friday, November 23, 2007
They were a GREAT audience, very engaged in the stories. It looks like at least one of the classes will be using one of my books for a novel study this year.
This is a very cool little town -- I am typing these words on a computer that sits under a map of Lindsay... dated 1875. It looks like a thriving metropolis, even then. I got a picture of the moon rising over snowy downtown Lindsay that I will try to post as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for inviting me!
Much writing and paperwork over the next few days, and after a side trip to Montreal, the wending homewards will commence.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
This is a beautiful book and a long labour of love for Marsha -- congratulations go out to her for this marvellous success!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It seems a vivid, multicultural environment in an old neighbourhood of this city. The school itself is the second-oldest in the city, built in 1888. The library I was in, however, was a mere five years old (and apparently cost $1M).
- Sasina says her school is friendly.
- Nilaj thinks it's a cool school.
- Javeria and Vivian agreed.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Ten to twelve PST, but already ten to three in Toronto, if I were there yet, which I am not. Instead, I’m sitting in the aisle seat of the second row of the plane. I’m lusting after the bulkhead seat, which is sitting sinfully unoccupied in front of me.
My primary entertainment of the flight thus far has been the tiny lady sitting alone by the window in the coveted row in front of me. I recognize her as being the person who was driven to the gate in a cart and then wheeled down into her seat. Her English isn’t great – her second language, but she knows what’s what. Initially the flight attendant felt compelled to explain several times the need for the seatbelt on take-off. Subsequently, every time the attendant moved away from the front of the plane little front-row lady was out of her seat, stealing drinks from the cart. Mind you, these drinks were from the ‘free cart’, but nonetheless – she knew what she wanted and no seatbelt sign unjustly lit was going to keep her from her goal.
The flight attendant, off hawking the despicable ‘snack-paks’ for sale on the flight, had to dash to the front twice to pry the large water bottle from her hand and return front-row lady to her seat. The second time, front-row lady clutched the cap of the water bottle, refusing to relinquish it until her glass was safely filled.
I am reading THE NAMING OF THE DEAD. Haven’t actually been able to read any Rankin since I last left Edinburgh – some weird kind of homesickness thing. But it’s good to meet up with Rebus again, and I find that I have missed him.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Just as a little amuse-bouche before the tour, I found the following in my Google Alert box yesterday...
Brampton - In celebration of Canadian Children's Book Week, being held across Canada November 17 to 24, Brampton Library is proud to host award-winning Canadian author, kc dyer.
Ms. dyer will entertain and educate when she presents her new book Ms. Zephyr's Notebook. This free presentation focuses on teens and parents and how to cope with eating disorders, Crohn's and kidney disease, issues of self, wellness and health – and more!
When I called the library for clarification, it turns out they did, in fact, believe I was coming to speak on the subject of Wellness in Teens. Putting aside the question of whether the words 'teens' and 'wellness' can be legitimately placed in the same sentence, I hastened to reassure the librarian that I do not pretend to be a Knowledgable Health Educator, but in actuality am a novelist. A writer of fiction. A prevaricator by trade.
(My symbol du jour.....-->)
Just for the record, while Ms. Zephyr's Notebook is the story of three kids who are coping with a whole lot of Not Fun, it's not a disease-of-the-week book. Crohn's disease, eating disorders, kidney disease -- kids all over the world have to cope with these things every day.
When I wrote this book, I was interested to find out what would happen when two strong-willed individuals found themselves in a confined space; one of whom could not eat and the other who would not.
And sure enough -- sparks flew and a story was born. I'm looking forward to talking about it -- and maybe reading a little of it -- in Brampton and elsewhere on this tour. (Many thanks to Jan and Sherri at the Brampton Public library for their clear heads and generosity of spirit!)
That straightened out -- it's time to proceed with this journey.
See you on the road...
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Just back from Whistler. I have to say -- deepest sympathies to anyone who has to make that drive with any regularity. It is truly brutal to do the full Sea to Sky Highway. The trip to Lions Bay is fraught with many stops and trecherous sections these days, but the Whistler and Pemberton North gang certainly have the worst of it right now. Let's send all our collective good karma out to Peter Keiwit Sons so they can get the job done expediently and safely.
Whistler Secondary was a blast. They had their first big snow last night, and I brought Seamus along for the ride, so we spent the lunch hour on a quick walk with him alternately frolicking merrily or rolling ecstatically. A born snow dog.
In the school, I worked with the Comparative Civilizations class (grade 11s and 12s), a grade 8 CAPP class, a grade 10 English class and the Creative Writing club after school. Fantastic kids plus great teachers added up to a fun day. Thanks for having me!
Book tour starts Saturday. Received my itinerary today and will be blogging where I can. I think I have thirteen presentations over five days. Will bring my running gear to help keep my brains in my head...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I am sitting in a small hotel room on the Saanich Penninsula -- near Victoria. Hence the Queen. The true Queen is asleep behind me in her bed, replenishing and readying herself for excellence at a swim meet tomorrow. She is here to swim (and socialize, of course) and I am here to write in my usual, hermit-like fashion.
I am the world's worst swim parent. I emerge from my cocoon only long enough to cheer on my own child and she races the clock, and then it's back to head buried in current wip. No team spirit at all, actually. Horrifying.
I have just been weeping, a little, reading Meg Tilly's blog. I first met Meg in the flesh at Book Expo earlier this year in Toronto, and we run into each other rather more often these days. I am about one chapter away from finishing her latest book, PORCUPINE, which I will review here shortly. But tonight was my first experience with her blogging persona. And I can tell you -- what you see is what you get with this writer. I LOVED reading her blog. Meg is a most interesting person, with a quite remarkable (and somewhat public) history, but what she is best at, hands down -- is writing. The Meg she writes is the Meg she is -- or as close to it as the one I've met, anyway.
All this by way of saying, if you'd like to add a beautiful read to your blog list, google yourself The Official Meg Tilly.com and it will take you to her website. Add her blog to your RSS feed or your Reader or whatever. Really a joy to read.
Oh, and not at all weepy...it's just that Meg's youngest son is the same age as my daughter, and we are both facing the weird reality of the Impending Launch of of one's offspring into the great unknown of the real world. A truly startling phenomena, in much the way a knife neatly slicing out a piece of one's heart must be. An astonishingly sudden event, considering 18 full years have passed in what feels like a heart beat, or a hair's breadth, or wahtever space of time is faster than an instant. This is, of course, complicated by the standard social nicety one faces encompassing the general unacceptibility of bursting into tears in public places for no apparent reason, particularly in front of said offspring, now fully grown but not beyond the humiliation of parental embarrassment.
Perhaps that is what I will cling to -- she may be all grown up, but no one can embarrass her the way her mother can.
Anyway -- you must read Meg's blog. She clearly rocks not only as a writer but as a parent. And is more eloquant, to boot. (She, for example, would never use the expression -- to boot. I am quite sure of that.)
Posted by kc dyer at 10:28 PM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I`m hoping you`re worth it, Bob.
Looks like there might be another mini-tour in the works. More when I have further details to share.
*kc (this is NOT a typo --my tilde just died...)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Meet a diverse panel of writers and engage in a lively discussion about stories and narrative in games, comic books, new media, books (fiction and non fiction), and song.
· Kaare Andrews is a writer and artist who has worked on comic books such as the Incredible Hulk, Ultimate X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Gen13 and the Matrix. He won "Outstanding Comic Book Artist" at the Joe Shuster Awards in 2005. And, as a filmmaker, he's directed a number of award-winning short films.
· Mira Sundara Rajan, is a musician, author of "Copyright and Creative Freedom," and the Canada Research Chair in Intellectual Property Law at the University of British Columbia. She has consulted on copyright matters in the United States, United Kingdom, India, European Union, and Russia.
· Sue Thomas, a UK expert in new media, is the author of the book "Hello World travels in virtuality" and others. She is the program leader for the Online MA in Creative Writing and New Media (at De Montfort University). Her students collaborated with Penguin Books on 'A Million Penguins'. She'll explain how that blockbusting experimental wikinovel produced some surprising results.
· Shari Ulrich recently released her latest solo album. A member of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, a Juno award winner, and a fixture on the Vancouver music scene, Ulrich has performed with Pied Pumkin, Ulrich Henderson Forbes, and Valdy & the Hometown Band. When she's in town, Ulrich teaches songwriting locally.
· Ian Verchere is known as the developer of over 30 game titles including two million-selling titles for Electronic Arts, SSX Tricky and NBA Street V2. He's also a founder of Radical Entertainment; an author, "V0N 1B0; General Delivery, Whistler, BC; a creative consultant for Roald Dahl's literary estate, and a scriptwriter (with Douglas Coupland) who's sold his work to Disney.
· kc dyer is the author of four contemporary and historical young adult novels which have been published in Canada, the US, the UK, and Thailand. The conference and the writing contest coordinator for the Surrey International Writers' Conference, dyer is a skilled, capable moderator with experience in and opinions on all aspects of the writing scene.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Radha Yoga and Eatery (728 Main St., yoga on the edge and above the Brickhouse Bar)…
Door opens at 6:30 pm, and the event starts at 7 pm.
Tickets are $15/$20 and available through http://www.stcwestcoast.ca/
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The notebook show the best and worst of everyone, and make it fascinating reading. What I found really unusual is that the title character (Ms. Zephyr) is not in the story, she is only seen through the eyes of the 3 teens/tweens.
A brief clip from the latest internet-based review of Ms. Z. It can be found in its entirety by clicking: http://www.ourgaggleofgirls.com/books/
This is the press release for a series of gigs, one of which I am hieing over to participate in this afternoon:
The Cornerstone Cafe and the Canadian Authors Association are pleased to present:
Readings on the Corner
Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 2pm.
Bernice Lever, reading from her new book of poetry, Never a Straight Line
Margaret Anne Hume, reading from her recent biography, Just Mary: The Life of Mary Evelyn Grannan
Saturday, Oct. 13, at 3pm
Sandra Harper, reading from her new young adult novel, Breaking Out
Patrick Taylor, reading from his popular novel, An Irish Country Doctor
Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 3:30pm
Lois Peterson, reading from her new novel for young readers, Tansy Here and Now
kc dyer, reading from her new young adult novel, Ms. Zephyr's Notebook
Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3pm
Anthony Dalton, reading from his new adventure book, Alone Against the Arctic
Ben Nuttall-Smith, reading from his memoir, The Chameleon Sings -- Surviving and Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse
All events will be held at the Cornerstone Cafe, 3003 Burlington Drive, Coquitlam (at the corner of Pinetree & Burlington). Free admission. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-806-0471.
See you this afternoon in Coquitlam!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
This shot shows an apparently delerious conference coordinator with her astounding group of co-chairs: Bonnie D., Tara H. and Carmen M.
It is the volunteers who make this thing happen.
The three ladies pictured make the big decisions.
Ursula M. (treasurer), Carrie H. (bookstore liaison), Sue G. (transportation), Estelle S. (Trade Show), Camille N.(Volunteers), Mary R. (Bookfair and so much more) and Dale McGladdery (of Digital Doodles, Webmaster extraordinaire) all lend an expert hand to make the event a success. And with 60+ volunteers this year, things generally went pretty well.
More than 70 workshops and panels. More than 1000 Blue Pencil and Editor/Agent/Publisher/Producer interviews. Six keynote speeches. Five Master Classes. Four Writing Awards. Three Day Trade Show. Two merit awards -- the SiWC Surrey Board of Trade Award and the Griffin Award. Book Fair/Author Signing. A Silent AND Deadly Auction.
Countless cups of coffee and more than a few martinis swilled.
We'll be putting up some of this year's conference info on the website shortly. It's at www.siwc.ca , in case you haven't been there before. If you do go -- make sure to add your name to our mailing list.
The next conference is a mere 367 days away.
Surrey International Writers' Conference -- October 24 - 26, 2008.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Not the picture -- the season. Between book launches (4 more coming up September 30th and October 1st), Word on the Street, the Surrey International Writers' Conference, a book tour through Ontario, a McKee seminar -- well, let's just say that there is a whole lot to blog about.
Right now I am working with Kathleen at Carlson-Wagonlit to book travel arrangements for the folks coming to SiWC. With more than 60 presenters this year, scheduling the group is quite an interesting challenge!
Letters, schedules and e-tickets are flying through the ether as the last-minute details of the conference take shape.
Jack Whyte has made his selections for his Master Class -- and now he's busy (with Diana Gabaldon) judging entries for the writing contest. His decisions and those of the other judges will become evident on Friday, October 19th, as they are announced on the first evening of the conference.
The Adventurer is one Anthony Dalton, current president of the Vancouver branch of the Canadian Authors Association and the best man to have behind you in a tiger hunt. (Note: As a vegetarian, I do not regularly hunt tigers, however, since they might consider me a tasty, corn-fed morsel if I was in their neighbourhood, I wouldn't mind having Anthony watching my back...)
I've known Anthony for many years, but only in civilization. Before he settled to his life of bliss in White Rock, he's been around the planet a time or two. Here's just a _smidgen_ of his bio:
A British-born Canadian adventurer and author he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Explorers Club. His expeditions have taken him across the Sahara many times, through the deserts of the Middle East, into the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, on dangerous Arctic waters, and canoeing wilderness rivers in northern Canada. He was the organizer and leader of a CBC-TV filming expedition to the Saharan salt mines of Taoudenit in northern Mali, and participated in a television documentary on great Canadian rivers for the Discovery Channel. Magazine assignments have taken him to the Australian Outback, the Falkland Islands, Namibia, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, among others.
And I didn't even get to the tigers...
You can come and listen to Anthony Dalton tell his stories and talk about writing at SiWC this year.
Anthony might be a great raconteur, but even if you are into the bearded male look, he is no showgirl. You want a showgirl? I've got one for you.This showgirl comes with brains, beauty and a best seller or two. Vicki Pettersson has had a whirlwind of a year. Her first two novels launched within mere weeks of each other, only to find their way, almost immediately, onto best seller lists across the US and Canada.
Her books THE SCENT OF SHADOWS and THE TASTE OF NIGHT are rockets in the Urban Fantasy genre, and Vicki will be talking about them and the processes that led to this self-described 'ten-year overnight sensation' at the conference this fall.
Less than a month away -- check out more details at http://www.siwc.ca/
And now -- at a minute to midnight -- adieu.
Friday, September 14, 2007
...by the minute, it seems, with regard to the upcoming Surrey conference. I'll be sending out a new email note to the mailing list in the next day or two, detailing all the exciting new developments for the conference. We are anticipating selling out again this year -- if you're still on the fence, better make the leap soon. I'm just saying...
Interested in great crime fiction? Author Patricia Smiley will be one of our guests this year at the conference. The latest book in her Tucker Sinclair series (the third, as a matter of fact) was just released in July. Patty loves a good ride-along with the LAPD -- in fact, she is a special reserve officer with the police force in Los Angeles. That's taking your research seriously!
When Patty is not working on her latest Sinclair novel, you can find her participating in the crime writing blog: http://www.nakedauthors.com/
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Was interviewed for Co-op Radio (102.7 FM) today by a friendly and fiesty group of seniors for the Senior's 411 Radio Show. We talked about books and about the conference and it was great fun. It will air Thursday at 2 pm, I think.
Okay -- a quick look at a couple more authors coming to Surrey. Two of my favourite Canadian writers for kids are on the agenda, so let's take a closer look...
Eric Walters is one of the most prolific writers of books for kids and teens that I know. He started off as a teacher, began writing books in his spare time, and his career as a writer took off. At last count he'd written 38 books for kids and teens, but there's probably been a couple more out since I last checked. In the interests of full disclosure, I have to add that no -- he did not write Ms. Zephyr's Notebook -- even though his name is on the cover. He did, however, scribble on the cover in a grafitti-style blurb that made me very happy.
Lee Edward Fodi is an illustrator and a writer and a guy who is not afraid to walk around in a wizard's hat. I've worked a lot with Lee in CWILL this year, and taught with him at the CWC summer camp. Lee's Kendra Kandlestar books are beautifully illustrated, wonderful stories, and this past year he collaborated with Victoria Miles to produce 'The Chocolatier's Apprentice', a run-away best-seller to celebrate Purdy's Chocolate 100 year anniversary.