Friday, June 04, 2010

Are You A Writer...

...looking for a place to hone your craft?

Check this out:

[and hey -- sign up for the RSS feed over there, will ya?]


Thursday, June 03, 2010

She's Ba-a-a-a-ack!

Find out more HERE.


Friday, May 21, 2010

New post on!

Have you re-set your reader to my new blog address yet? It's easy --
And here's a link right to the new post:

See you over there!


Monday, May 10, 2010

New Website -- new blog!


The new site is close enough to ready that I'm jumping headlong in and launching it today.

You'll find it at ... same site as my old website, but a brand new [spooky] look.

It's taken WAY longer than I thought it would to get the thing up and going, mostly because we changed servers along with content and style, but I'm pretty happy with the result.

Now -- I'll also be blogging through that location. Yep, we're retiring the old blogspot, after all these years. I started blogging here in 2005, and it's been a fantastic location for me. But if I move my blog over, I own the content if push comes to shove, rather than it being in the more nebulous possession of, and that makes me feel a little safer in this age of who-knows-what's-coming-next-in-digital-rights-management.

For the next month or so, I'll put up a wee notice here when I have a blog post to share, directing you to the right place. But if you have a reader, feel free to to change my blog address right now to .

If you go straight to the site, just knock on the door of the spooky house to find the blog. [There's a teaser on the front page at the bottom...and a teaser of my twitter feed on the right-hand side, too]

And today on the blog? I can promise you DOLPHINS! [Okay, so it's not unicorns, but I think this post is even better...!]

Next week, once I have the latest opus in the can, I'll be having a new website celebration contest. Details soon!

Now, how about a peek at those dolphins? HERE!


Monday, May 03, 2010

Website Woes...

...will not last for long. We've got the template complete and ready to go, but have switched servers and the conversion is taking longer than I thought. I have high hopes for this week!

In the meantime, a couple of things that made me go hmmmmmmm.....

First, [from Americablog via boingboing] several astonishing photographs of the deepwater oil rig Horizon, as it crashes and burns, creating what is now being called the worst oil spill disaster ever off the coast of Louisiana.

And one of the many black humour-based responses, this one apparently from Twitter via HuffingtonPost:

BREAKING: Large Air Spill at Wind Farm. No threats reported. Some claim to enjoy the breeze.

[hat tip to Interesting Finds for the pic] .

And, to finish, in more literary news...a happy ending to the Dr. Peter Watts story. Via
Fist in the air for Peter!

More soon...


Monday, April 26, 2010

She's got a million things to do, but all she wants to do is blog, blog...

Hello fair friends, and welcome to the deluge. It is pouring precipitation outside and work inside, so this post will be brief. The pic is in honour of sunny days long ago.

This particular shot is of the Philidelphia skyline from my visit there last November. I have to decide in the next week whether to make the trek to New York for Book Expo America at the end of May. [Accepting votes either for or against in the comment section!] Looking at a jam-packed schedule over the next 6 months or so, so a few days in the beautiful city of New York holds a LOT of appeal right now.

But on to other business...let's begin with things of interest on the literary scene, shall we?

I'm writing mysteries with my CWC creative writing class, and I stumbled on this good advice from Ursula K. LeGuin today on the subject of plausibility in fantasy. Has this woman been given goddess status, yet? Because if she and PD James ruled the world, you KNOW it would be a better place.

Once again, Ev Bishop knocks one out of the park with HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL? , her latest blog post. If you don't have this writer on your reader -- well, you're really missing out.

And in geek news, it seems Stephen Hawking has taken a page out of the BSG handbook and declared that any alien life in the universe might best be avoided by humans.

It's been a mere five years since the first YouTube video was uploaded. How things have changed, eh? Life before YouTube seems almost as long ago as life before cell phones.

That last link was via the amazing Gizmodo, a site I have been following since around about the time Joel Johnson left boingboing and moved over, and it's a happening place these days. I'd definitely recommend it for the interesting links, though the content occasionally arrives like the rain on my roof is right now.  But I just surf through it happily, picking out the good stuff. The past week has been chock full of good stuff, with the so-weird-it-seemed-fake lightning strike of an Apple employee losing the latest prototype iPhone at a bar, and its subsequent arrival into Gizmodo hands. Last night the editor of the site's home was raided and all his computers confiscated, on suspicion of his participating in a felony, which appears to be related to the exposure of the guts of said iPhone. A summary of events prior to the computer raid is HERE. It's fascinating stuff.

I've loved Macs for years, and would never give mine up, but watching this thing unfold is certainly giving some insight into the company cult and culture.

And finally, for my dear friend A Novel Woman, [and her beautiful, knitting-enabling daughter] I leave you with someone whose hair looks startlingly like my own RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, but whose knitting skills ...well, you'll just have to see what happens, won't you?

More soon...


PS... Clearly less brief than I thought when I set out. Hope you enjoy, though!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day in Lions Bay via iPhone

I didn't have my good camera with me, but wanted to document the beautiful Earth Day in Lions Bay yesterday. So to and fro to yoga class, here is some visual evidence of the beauty of this planet that we all share.... Above, cherry blossoms still fresh.

One of the many streams that run down the mountain.

Japanese maples unfurling.

Dogwood just going into flower...[blooms are still bright green].

Periwinkle in the shade.

I'm so glad I got these shots -- today the rain is back!

More soon.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Volcanos and Pythons and Eagles oh MY!

Still no new site, but my open tabs are threatening to take over my computer, so here's a catch up on all that's interesting in kc's world at the moment.

And the new website? Soon my pretties, soon....

Let's begin with a few bookish things, shall we?

I loved this article on what success means to Canadian author Joseph Boyden. Note:[for those who may not be aware of the financial realities of Canuck authors] big money is not involved.

Nonetheless, if you are among the clinically insane enough to pursue this line of work, here's a word of advice for you. I tweeted this earlier this week, and it's been picked up by the clever and sparkly Kathy Chung [that's her on the left up there, with the equally gorgeous writer Pamela Patchet at a SiWC past...]on the SiWC blog...but here is a link to an old [but valuable] article by Jenny Cruisie that has resurfaced recently; some salient advice to writers about valuing your time.

My buddy, author James McCann is offering a kids & parent writing class -- SUCH a great idea! You can find more on his blog HERE.

Speaking of James, he and his partner in crime, Lee Edward Fodi have a new episode of their Authors Like Us podcast up. This is part two of a dinner interview with amazing authors Don Calame and Meg Tilly. I have to admit to crashing the party, so you'll hear me in the background, too. The food was great, the company stellar and the insanity ratcheted high.

In volcanic news, while the planes are now returning to European airspace, here's one Python who got out of town in the world's most expensive taxi ride.

And now, a few interesting things floating about the internet...

HERE , via boingboing, you will find Adam Savage's noble address to Harvard heathen, a brief but very enjoyable read.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this show before, but in celebration of the new third series episodes that are now up, I suggest you check out Lisa Kudrow's Web Therapy, if you haven't already. Mostly improvised, wholly high-larious.

Let's finish with Australia's Axis of Awesome, shall we? Three less photogenic rockers you will have to search to find, but...are they funny? Judge for yourself:

More soon...


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stalling...and Facing Fire

I've been stalling, hoping that my next blog post will be in the newly migrated section at my freshly upgraded and spookified website...

but it's not to be. Too much going on, and we've reached a little glitch. AND, speaking of migration, my web-guy has had to make a little side trip to Hawaii, so it may well be a bit before all systems are go.

In the meantime, a few things that interested me this week:

Iceland making itself heard on the international aviation stage: AMAZING photos of the eruptions HERE. And HERE is a flickr collection of more.

Breathtaking. But the ash in the air is also having an influence on the book world. The London Book Fair scheduled for this week has been disrupted by cancelled flights. I have hugely fond memories of attending this event a few years ago, and I'm sorry to see it so disrupted.

And, finally,  if the volcano pix are not enough Facing Fire for you -- check out this incredible sun surge, called an eruptive prominence, as recorded by NASA over 19 hours on April 12 and 13th. This one is estimated at 500,000 miles long.



Monday, April 12, 2010

Another teaser...

So much going on these days...

Tomorrow I have the usual Tuesday CWC creative writing class, with a bonus visit to Van Tech Secondary in the morning. This is becoming an annual event -- I think it's the third year in a row I've visited -- and I'm looking forward to a ton of fun.

In the meantime, we are working very hard behind the scenes to get the new website design up and going. This blog will migrate over there as soon as it is ready to's another sneak peak of the front page...

Make sure you check out the Surrey International Writers' Conference site blog, too, as this year's presenters are slowly making their way into the public eye. You'll love them all!

More soon...


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Copyedits Done In...and almost printed

Have spent far too long tonight trying to get my 'just-in-case' hard copy manuscript to print back to back. All it takes is for the printer to pick up two pages in the middle to ...

...well, to make for a long evening.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I bring you a little advice on novel-writing:
Apparently designed by a genius by the name of Anna Hurley, the original is HERE.


Friday, April 09, 2010

Copyedits Finished, Cha-cha-cha...

...tho' I do have a glossary to write. But who cares, tra-la! Tomorrow is another day! Ooo-da-lolly, and fa-la-la!

[Previous giddiness brought to you by Post-Copyedit-Euphoria, a condition in which writer sees light at the end of the publication tunnel, and harbours secret hopes that new book might one day be enjoyed by others...]

What else?

Well, there hasn't been much else in my life, lately. I am once again appallingly behind in email, all other projects and obligations have come to a grinding halt and so on, so I must pick up the pieces again next week. But in the meantime, something that made me laugh today:

McSweeney's take on MacBeth and MacDuff knicker-twisting over Semantics

Oh, and not funny, but interesting -- a response to the Wikileaks video travesty I referenced last week: Soldiers as Psychopaths.

More soon.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010


...rule my life at the moment. FACING FIRE approaches. That is all.


Monday, April 05, 2010

Insanity... a word I often use to describe my life. I am a chronic-over-committer, and when one doesn't leave time for things to go wrong -- well, of course they usually do. I am facing a particularly insane few months right now -- a time when work and real life have to connect in concert or all will be lost.

Will report back with the results here, of course.

But for tonight, a bit of catch-up on things that have caught my attention lately.

To begin with writerly news, the Hugo Award Nominees were announced yesterday. You can find them listed HERE on the AussieCon site. Last year the big SF convention was in Montreal, right at the height of swine flu season. Here's hoping all the Aussies stay healthy!
Moving on to the geological, I found it fascinating yesterday to watch the spread of information about the Baja earthquake on Twitter long before there was mention of it on any of the conventional news channels. Not much effect in California, but my thoughts are going out to those in Mexico who were shaken out of their normal lives by the event. I found THIS SITE to be most informative about the latest, particularly when the severity was re-calibrated from 6.9 to 7.2 -- a substantial jump in size.

And in a final reference to the title of this post, I was saddened and further disheartened by the leaked military video released today on the WikiLeaks site. Again, this story broke on-line long before it emerged anywhere in conventional media. A horrifying incident.  I marched [fruitlessly] with millions of others around the globe against this war before it started, and footage like this stands as evidence of well-founded fears. [I first read about the info on Darren Barefoot's blog -- click HERE for his thoughts.] Further analysis is all over the web now, and I'm hoping that by the time I type this, it might actually have usurped all the Tiger drivel on CNN's front page. [Or not...I just checked, and there is a single line link to it, but apparently a big basketball game trumps all]. Priorities? Insane.

Back to writing about books tomorrow...


Friday, April 02, 2010

Happy Cotton-tails....

Tryng again here, as blogger wouldn't let me on earlier. It might have something to do with the monsoon blowing outside, but I doubt it. The rest of the country basks in unseasonable sunshine and warm temperatures, and we are undersea and wind-whipped.

And so, to lighten my own day, and hopefully put a smile in yours, here's a little bloodthirsty take on the Easter Monster. [tip o' the Easter bonnet to @dbarefoot for the link].


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

McCann on Writing!

Hey -- check this out!

If you live in the Vancouver area,

and you're interested in writing for kids & teens,

author James McCann is offering a course for adults on Sunday, April 18th. Details HERE on his blog. This is a don't-miss opportunity -- James doesn't get a chance to share his secrets very often, and when it does, it's worth it!

There's a limited enrollment, so sign up fast!

I'm off to an SiWC 2010 meeting now, and then a ballistics class at the Vancouver Police Museum after that. Busy day...will report on both when I can!


Monday, March 29, 2010

This and That...Punkin' with Steam and SiWC

Spent some time this weekend working through details of the new website -- it's looking grim [ha! on purpose, of course] and I'm hoping to have it up very shortly. Really excited about it on a number of fronts -- I am going to be moving to an new ISP that supports relatively easy updates, AND we should be able to snag the blog ...[snog???] so that everything appears in one spot. Beauty!

More on that soon. [Here's a sneak peek of part of the home page--->]

What else....?

SiWC 2010 Board meeting tomorrow...loads of fun things in the works for this year. New conference coordinator Kathy Chung is doing an incredible job with the line-up of presenters -- lots of fangirl moments in my future, I can tell you!

If you haven't yet done so, hie on over to and pick up the RSS feed for the blog posts. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter, too.

My new steampunk-timeslip novel is hurtling towards being finished -- I'll be thrilled to get this one in the can, as it's been five years in the making. AND, with luck, it'll be the first of a new series.

Lots going on! For daily updates, you can follow me on twitter @kcdyer. 

More soon...


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour Today!

For the fourth year running, nations all around the world are celebrating Earth Hour by turning off the lights at 8:30 pm local time. What started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 has now reached around the globe.

For me, this is an incredible symbol of what happens when people each take a moment of personal responsibility, acting in concert with others around the earth.

What will YOU be doing at 8:30 this evening? [I've got a night ghost stories with friends lined up.]

Join in.

And tomorrow, when it's over, give a thought to what else you can do to take a stand. Let's work together to fix this mess our species has made, shall we?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


...of a few sundry items.

I've attended the Vancouver Police Museum's forensics for adults series twice now, and really enjoyed myself both times. The last event of this series is ballistics -- next Tuesday. Hoping to make it through unscathed. Weird little museums have always held a thrall for me,  and this place is something special for Vancouver. Heartily recommend you check it out. [Pictured, a heady collection of autopsy dismembering tools. Unbloodied, of course, because blood spatter was not covered until the following week....].

In other news, I spotted this post on the Author's Booking Service blog yesterday -- some great ideas here for teachers and parents who want to raise money for an author visit in these financially trying times. Have a peek!

It was a week ago today that I set up my treadmill desk. For those who follow me on twitter, [@kcdyer], you'll note that it's been a busy week. It interests me intensely that I have, this week, racked up 19 hours of walking on the thing while typing, which has translated into 55 kms walked, without really noticing. I can't do everything that I can do at my writing desk [handwriting is out], but I can work on my computer and do phone work. This has left me with slightly sorer feet than usual, and a daily reminder to get myself into some new runners, but...holy crow. I'm really pleased.

And finally, today is Ada Lovelace Day, where computer geeks such as myself pay homage to women in the sciences and technology. Ada herself was one of the first computer programmers -- you can read more about her AND donate to her cause HERE. One of my women-in-computing inspirations is blogger and writer Xeni Jardin, who is most often seen on the pixellated pages of boingboing. Do you have a woman in your life who inspired you in the sciences or in technology? Add her name to the comments in honour of Ada!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Saturday Night...

...and with it, a couple of Items Of Interest.

Canadian SF writer Peter Watts, [whom I tweeted about when it first went down] in a bizarre take on actual justice, has just been convicted of assault when crossing the Canada/US border last year, even though everyone  -- judge, jury and legal teams -- agrees that no actual assault took place. Like just about everyone I know, I've had my share of bad border-crossings, but this one takes the cake. Freakish and frightening. Sending out the power of the collective Canadian writer vibe to Peter. And a strong hope he appeals the verdict.

Author Cory Doctorow's view HERE. Tor Editor Teresa Nielson-Hayden's thoughts HERE [under the title Empathy Failed]. And words from the man himself HERE. [photo by Dan Brooks]

In more cheerful artsy news, my friend writer Jacqueline Pearce has a show on right now combining her Haiku with her friend Jean-Pierre Antonio's photography. It's at the Sawa Tea Lounge & Gallery in Vancouver. Find out more HERE on Jacquie's blog.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

This is my knee...

[Warning: The post contains a bare naked knee.]

This is it:

Pretty great knee, eh? I have another one that is much less fetching, having had 27 stitches sunk into it once when I  took an unfortunate plunge through a broken dock. With a rusty nail.


Back to the good knee. Here it is at some point last year, dressed up for a day on the town in Toronto:

Sorry about the blurry foot. [Pic was actually taken to demo Very Cool New Skull Scarf].

Regardless, this knee has a secret. It just LOOKS like a good knee. In truth, inside this perfectly functional-looking joint is a torn meniscus. The medial meniscus, if you want to get technical. I tore it last summer, August 20th, to be exact, taking a gazelle-like sideways leap across an embarrassingly low pylon in my boot-camp exercise class.

[I am going somewhere with this story....]

So, after the requisite time to allow the thing to heal, followed by the requisite denial phase, and the requisite 'I don't actually have a doctor, because the one I had moved to Vernon' phase, plus a number of pain-induced sleepless nights, I actually broke down and showed up at my friend Linda's office and asked her to have a look at it. [She is a doctor, needless to say, though not my doctor, as that would not be fair.] She told me she thought I had a torn meniscus, and sent me off to a series of experts, who all agreed with her. So did the MRI.

My friend Linda the doctor is very smart. She's also lived through a number of body-rending events with me so has learned to Expect The Worst.

As a result, there hasn't been much running done lately, by the knee you see pictured above. I'm scheduled for surgery sometime fairly soon to have the torn stuff scraped out.

But I digress.

Because this is my meniscus and not an ACL or other more important ligament, I can still do the elliptical trainer at the gym and swim and so on.

And yet, I fear. I fear the encroaching portliness. The avoirdupois. I fear becoming my other friend Norma's new favourite word, which happens to be zaftig. Also, you may not have noticed, but my particular profession requires a certain amount of sitting and typing, which when combined with the lack of running in my life, may lead to same.

No more.

[At last -- she gets to the point!]

All this to say, I have just set up a treadmill desk in my office. Not only that, but I've put a file on my desktop titled LIVE WRITER WALKING so I can record my progress [if any]. I tried it today for the first time with pretty decent success. Walked for an hour and a half at 2 km an hour [which is slightly over the recommended speed, but I couldn't get my rhythm at 1.6 km/ 2 it was.] I actually forgot to record the distance, but according to the machine I managed to burn [and my guess is this is very approximate] 254 calories, which is likely a few more than I would have burned with my posterior in my desk chair.

Will keep you appraised of progress. Am thinking of walking across Canada for fun. Why not?

In other [more writerly] news, my friend Marsha Skrypuch has just opened registration for her summer Brantford Writing Workshop. You can find the details on her blog HERE. I can't recommend this camp enough -- if you are in the Brantford/Toronto region and have some time this summer -- THIS is the place to be.

And to finish, make sure you check THIS out - some amazing pictures of the paralympic Games, just about to wrap up here in Vancouver. The inspiration I get from watching these athletes is hard to measure. They are incredible!

Enjoy. I've got some walking to do...


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

And a Steampunk St. Paddy's to ye...

Last night I spent the evening in the old Vancouver morgue, now the Vancouver Police Museum, listening to a talk about forensics and crime. Bliss. Next week is blood spatter. But tonight, I celebrate the wearin' of the green with a trip to see The Commitments, the film from the book by Roddy Doyle.

Éirinn go brách!

And in the spirit of the day, I offer this wee clip, which I came upon with great pleasure earlier this week via my beloved boingboing, of course. Pots o' gold, evil leprechauns and steampunk weaponry. Even a little blood spatter...of the green variety. Enjoy the League of Steam!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Speedy Sunday

Especially when an hour of sleep is gone, due to daylight savings! Ah, well...we can always drown our sorrows through eating pie...*

Just a couple of quick notes for tonight. HERE is where you'll find a link to Belva's List...a collection of things to do in and around Seattle. It's compiled by my friend Wally Lane's wife Belva, and is a must-read for those visiting the Emerald City.

This week I ventured out to eat German pancakes and visit the Museum of Vancouver  with friends Annett Stuze and Britta Vorbach. [This is Annett, looking fetching in period gear from the 'Old Vancouver' part of the exhibit.]

We really went to see the Art of Craft exhibit at the MoV which has been curated by Kirsti Wakelin and her partner Darren Carcary of Resolve Design. It was a beautiful and amazing exhibit, and is on until mid-April. I can heartily recommend it. You can read more about the experience of curating such a diverse collection on Kirsti's blog HERE.

Also loved the nightmare-dreamscape peopled by these evil fairies.

More soon...!


*geek pun based on the fact that today is Pi Celebration Day. Now go out and find 3.14 [etc] ways to celebrate it!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

BC Book Prizes List Announced

Always a fun time of year -- the shortlists for the BC Book Prizes have emerged.

The full list of nominations can be found HERE.

Congratulations to all nominees, many of them CWILL BC members, and special congrats to my friends Kari Lynn Winters and Christina Leist for their picture book ON MY WALK.

READ as many of these nominated books as you can. They are wonderful taste of left-coast Canada!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Just finished watching...

...coverage of the 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. I think I enjoyed them even more than the last set. Not sure why CTV only broadcasted in BC, but they are rebroadcasting tomorrow, and I would highly recommend. The segments on Rick Hanson and Terry Fox had me in tears. The whole ceremony was really fun -- very light-hearted, lots of kids performing [including some kids from Lions Bay in the choir!] and, apart from the once-again horrific French of John Furlong [poor man -- he's worked so hard, but obviously NOT at the public speaking element....], a real joy to watch.

Rebroadcast is set for tomorrow [Saturday, March 13th], 2 pm local time.


Flag Waving...

Lot of flag waving around these parts lately -- more than is characteristic - more than I've ever seen, actually. But while the Olympics were on, a bunch of musicians crept into town to wave Canada's flag for a different country: Haiti. The video premiered today -- K'naan's Waving Flag.

I knew it would be good, but I'm still gobsmacked by it. Lovely song. Lovely treatment.

Give generously -- the aftershocks are still rumbling through that devastated country.

I can't find a code to embed this video yet, so click through to the Much Music version. I'll embed as soon as I can.


Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day...

There's still almost an hour left of International Women's Day here in the pacific time zone, and I have seen a number of earnest reminders today for women to go out and get a mammogram.

This one isn't really earnest, but it's hysterical. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger...right?



You know...I work at home. And yet, I still hate Mondays. I think it's the enforced 7 am wake up time. It's just not civilized.

So -- to brighten our collective day, lets gaze at the cherry blossoms and plan some fun ways to spend our summer holidays, shall we?

SFU is running its summer publishing workshop again this year. Find out more HERE on Sean Cranbury's blog. I know quite a few of the presenters this year, [Sean, Monique Trottier and others] and can vouch highly for the program. If you've got the time, why not give it a shot?

If you are a BC teen and interested in writing, be sure to check out the YouthWrite camp in Penticton. Was there last year, going back this year -- FUN on all fronts. Not sure if the info for this year is up yet, but you can read all about last year's shenanigans HERE

To finish... more of an all-year-round thing than a summer one, but how about offering your support to the CNIB 'Right to Read' campaign? Details HERE on how to ensure the CNIB's programs continue to receive adequate funding.

And just like that -- we've survived another Monday. Yay!


Saturday, March 06, 2010


...from post-Olympic hangover? Or perhaps you need a Canadian refresher before the Paralympics begin?

Let's hear Dwight's take on it:


Pee Ess

For the only Novel Woman in my life, a few pictures to bring back the memories of one of our favourite cities in the world HERE.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Dropped Balls... [A bit of a biggish post]

...and files and ideas and things I should've blogged by now.

But first... [as I have been rabidly tweeting all day],


The new boots.

As seen, moments ago, attached to the old legs, and propped up on my kitchen counter.

Pink? Why, yes they are.

I spotted them on Queen Street in Toronto, while I was trolling goth shops for suitable legwear. [Suitable for me, you understand, as one who might be a trifle fond of unlikely legwear. A personal quirk, nothing more.]

Anyway, I spotted these boots through a window, leapt in, and had my heart's desire fulfilled.

They are, indeed Doc Martens. Veggie Docs, in the not-so-common parlance of those who care about such things. I have been trying to find a pair of veggie Docs [non-leather Doc Martens] for something like ten years. They stopped making them years ago, and I don't buy leather. I do have a pair of imitation Doc's in shiny black patent -- until now, my favourite footwear.

But I think the black ones may have been usurped. Or coup-ed. Or something.

Okay, back to what's what. Had an amazing dinner tonight with writers Meg Tilly, Don Calame, James McCann and Lee Edward Fodi.

[This pic taken by James, in an effort to show footwear solidarity, but he somehow managed to cut off the boots!]

I suspect you may be able to hear the result in an upcoming Authors Like Us podcast. HUGE fun to see my friends Meg and Don again, since our paths cross less frequently these days and I really miss them. It was supposed to be an 'Authors Like Us' podcast taping of Meg and Don, but I crashed, and all were terribly sweet about it. We've all got new projects just complete or just about ready to go. Great fun.

And now, to some important items recently overlooked...

My last day in Toronto on the weekend, I had a ton of fun trolling bookshops like Mabel's Fables and the Flying Dragon with authors Kari Lynn Winters and Gwen Smid. Gwen is a Winnipeg girl, who has published a couple of very sweet picture books in the Mary's Atlas series with Peanut Butter press.They are lovely books -- you must check them out!

After I left Toronto, I flew home to the massive celebrations of Canada winning hockey gold. Crosby scored the final goal just before my plane touched down, and as I drove home down Granville Street, this was the view:

Taken on the Granville Street bridge, looking into downtown. The sound was unbelievable.

A bit hard to see in this pic, but...

My blog may not post this whole thing. Fingers crossed! This is just a tiny taste of the tens of thousands who poured into the city on that Sunday afternoon, just to share the joy of a story-book ending to the Olympic Games proper.

As mentioned, my plane was on its final approach into YVR when the winning goal happened, but for those on the ground in my city -- this is the sound of raw jubilation, across False Creek from the stadium.

A joyful noise.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

On Writing Links...and Facing Fire.

Behind as usual, I'd still like to leave you with a few tid-bits for today.

John Scalzi helps to build a little author confidence, by talking about how a manuscript hires people. Read this a few days ago, but has more resonance for me today...since I've just sent in my edits for my fall novel. [Yippee!]

In some cases, however, a manuscript can get you yarded off a plane and hauled down the to the police station.  Sending good thoughts and a fist in the air to fellow author Liao Yiwu.

And finally, CanWrite 2010 is in Victoria this year, and I'll be one of the speakers. I think their registration is just about ready to open... Check it out HERE.


Pee Ess...

The sequel to A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW will be here this October, and at last it has a fer shure title. Can you guess?


Hope you like it.

Monday, March 01, 2010

VPL Publishing Panel

A Week From Tonight...

...check out this great panel of CWILL BC authors, discussing the ins and outs of getting published. I've done this panel a couple of times, and I know it'll be full of information for those looking to get published in the field of kids and teens writing and illustration.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

W2 Real Vancouver Writers' and Culture Finale

What a night it was!

Sean Cranbury wrapped up his month-long hat-tip to Vancouver writers on Wednesday night, and from the opening remarks of artist and writer Michael Nichol Yahgulanaas to the last lyrical words of Vancouver Poet Laureate Brad Cran's it was a huge success.

The place was on fire with amazing talent. Michael Nichol Yahgulanaas opened the evening with a look at the deforestation of Haida Gwaii and then treated the audience to a taste of his art combined with the magic of a cello.

A Most Excellent selection of writers and poets followed including Rhonda Waterfall, Weldon Hunter, Leilah Nadir, Alex Leslie and McKinley Hellenes [right, in red].

Once my own reading was over [I did a short, hopefully humorous bit from my satirical mystery novel SEVEN DAYS], I was really able to sit back and enjoy.

A couple of CanLit guys [and also SiWC alums!] graced the stage.

Steven Galloway [right] read the very end of his story THE CELLIST OF SARAJEVO, and Timothy Taylor read a lovely little selection from an upcoming novel. 

CWILL BC sister Caroline Adderson read a selection from one of her adult stories, and strove to set herself apart in the eyes of the audience by offering the shortest selection of the night. [I wanted more -- she was wonderful!]

YARN BOMBING authors Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain shared a few of their quirky and wonderful ideas for making the world better one skein of yarn at a time. And the evening was most ably and wonderfully co-hosted by Vancouver Reader & Writers Festival head Hal Wake. I'm hoping he found his lost pen...!

A highlight of the night for me was meeting young Toby -- [you can see him sitting on his mum's lap in the shot here of Hal Wake]. He was a delightful addition to the audience, listening carefully to all the writers and clearly enjoying himself. He high-fived me after my presentation and offered his theories as to the location of a mysteriously disappearing cell phone in the excerpt I read.

Writer, SiWC conference coordinator and all-round cool chick Kathy Chung came with me and we had a riot listening to all the readings and then enjoying a city celebrating the hockey win of Team Canada over Russia.

It was quite a night.

Next up -- a peek at the CANSCAIP element of the Ontario Library Association Superconference. I've spent the last couple of days storming Vancouver with author Kari-Lynn Winters. Wild times!


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Made it!

It's been a busy day, but as you can see, I've ended up in a very zen hotel. I also got to spend time tonight with my dear friend [and whirlwind] Kari-Lynn Winters.

Tomorrow, along with Kari and a group of other fantastic authors, I present A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW at the Ontario Library Association Superconference. I'm hoping to connect with as many writers, librarians, readers and friends as I can here over the course of my brief stay in this snowy province. [What are you thinking, Ontario? SNOW in FEBRUARY? Haven't you heard of cherry blossoms?]

If you're at the conference, come up and say hi!

And to finish, if you really feel like a taste of true zen, have a look HERE....and then HERE...

to see some of the world's most beautiful libraries, via The Huffington Post.

Tomorrow I'll do a proper post about the brilliance that was the W2 Real Writers of Vancouver finale last night on the downtown east side.

Short version: It rocked.

Long version: Tomorrow. [with pictures!]

See you then.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Next up: W2 Real Vancouver Writers Gig Grand Finale

This Wednesday.
7 pm

You can see a couple of pix I took at the event two weeks ago HERE.
As you can see, it's been standing room only every week. This Wednesday, with writers like Tim Taylor, Steven Galloway, Carolyn Adderson and [controversial!] Poet Laureate Brad Cran...well, I suggest you get there early.

Details, via Sean Cranbury:

Date: Wednesday February 24th
Location: W2 Culture + Media House 112 West Hastings Street across from the refurbed Woodwards Building.

Doors open at 630
First Reader 710ish
Hosted by Sean Cranbury & Hal Wake


Opening Remarks: Sean Cranbury

Introducing Honoured Special Guest Michael Nichol Yahgulanaas who will showcase a video/interactive discussion abt his work.

From there we will go to a streamlined line-up of 5-7 minute readings from our writers including two breaks.  Like this:

Rhonda Waterfall
Weldon Hunter
kc dyer


Steven Galloway
Leilah Nadir
Alex Leslie
Caroline Adderson


Leanne Prain & Mandy Moore aka The Yarn Bombers
McKinley M Hellenes
Timothy Taylor
Brad Cran

Here's a great video from week 2 about the series:

We will be giving away some amazing prizes during the evening.  There's a cash bar, too and great art and photography on the walls. 

Me again. Gonna be tons of fun! Hope to see you there!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hockey Night in Vancouver

Got a chance to watch the only ticketed event I'll make it to for these games...but what an event! The Canada-US hockey game.

High excitement in the air, unbelievable crowds,

[this was on the street, walking to the stadium]

 [this was taken in line to get in...]

terrible officiating over the first period and a half and a less than fairy-tale ending...but still a breath-taking experience.

So much fun! So much noise!

The press corps is in the bank of blue seats you can see in this shot. Essentially 3 full bunks of seats -- a huge chunk of the stadium.

I'm kind of curious just exactly what percentage of the blood volume of the average hockey fan at the game tonight was beer...? Guesses?

Back to the edits in the morning.

And, as an early birthday present for my friend Pamela, HERE and HERE are some words of wisdom for writers, from writers, via...what else? The Guardian. Pam-- I expect you to adhere especially closely to Anne Enright's Rule #8.

Hoping to be able to tell you fer sure fer sure what the actual title of Darby, Too will be later in the week!