“Eye” in Stand Magazine

It’s always delicious to arrive home and find a new issue of a literary journal has arrived. Especially delicious when your own story is in it!

I’m delighted to have my story “Eye” appear in Stand Magazine (UK).

Stand Magazine 13(2)

The magazine is irresistible – it fits just right in your hand with its great shape and size! And it has a gorgeous cover. I can’t wait to read all the stories and poems.


2014 Quebec Writing Competition Shortlist

I’m thrilled to have my story “Taking Them There” on the shortlist for the 2014 Quebec Writing Competition.

I started this short story in Nancy Zafris’ workshop at the Kenyon Writer’s Summer School in 2012. Just as well I don’t write novels – imagine how long that would take!

You can read all ten shortlisted stories online Continue reading

Six Weeks: Slicing Time To Finish A Creative Project

coltsfoot seedsI have so many stories waiting to be finished. Every time one pops into my mind, I drop the story I’m working on and veer off and go search among my folders, then find yet another one that I’d forgotten about but which really should be completed. It’s so easy to be distracted.

I was about to meet with my planning buddy to set out a work plan for next year when I broke my wrist.

Rather than design a work plan for the whole of next year prioritizing Continue reading

Be Inspired: October Grab Bag of Exercises, Links, Ideas

Mother Earth, sculpture, Canadian entry at Mosaicultures Internationales, Montreal 2013

Mother Earth

I’m always excited and immensely grateful to come across links and ideas that inspire me to write and think and dream. Here are some I’ve been enjoying recently that I’d like to share with you.

Writing Warm-Up: a right-left brain exercise

  1. Touch your right thumb to your left little finger, let go, then touch left thumb to right little finger. Let go.
  2. Touch right second finger to left fourth finger, release, then left second finger to right fourth finger. Let go.
  3. Right middle finger to left middle finger. Turn hands over Continue reading

Odd Connections and the Creative Process: Writing “Arrivals”

Arrivals notice boardI am so pleased to have my story “Arrivals”  in the new issue of carte blanche.

I started this story in response to an assignment given by Nancy Zafris in her workshop at Kenyon Review Writers’ Summer Workshop in June 2012. Nancy gave the group a list of sentences. We were to choose one as the closing line for a story.

We were given one or two assignments every day for the whole week of the Kenyon Summer Workshop. This assignment Continue reading

Writing Political Fiction – ‘The Brothers Wolffe’ in “Everything Is So Political”

Everything Is So Political, ed. Sandra McIntyre, Fernwood PublishingI am very proud and excited to have my story “The Brothers Wolffe” included in the recently released anthology “Everything Is So Political” edited by Sandra McIntyre and published by Roseway/Fernwood Publishing.

I didn’t set out to write a political short story. Somehow, that never works for me.

With “The Brothers Wolffe” I was simply writing in reaction to an image on a postcard that I noticed in a café in the UK when I was visiting on holiday.

The postcard showed two men sitting side by side, knees agape, hands on thighs, looking Continue reading

Lost in Multiple Drafts of a Short Story

When I saw a TED video called “Try Something New For 30 Days” by Matt Cutts a few days ago, I knew  immediately it was the cue I needed to get back to re-writing and editing a story I’d really wanted to write but which I couldn’t finish.

I’m going to commit July to getting to getting to grips with that story (while not forgetting all those other July summery things like floating on water!).

which to choose?

which to choose?

I’ve written a mass of material – far too much for a short story. It has got too spread out and I have quite simply lost my way with it.

So the question is, how should I re-start? So many choices! But I need to find a new way to go about it. Continue reading

Back-Story and Writing Forward

I treasure the stories I fall in love with, not only as a reader, enjoying them for the terrific stories they are, but also as a writer, trying to learn from them by working out the secret of their magic.

My most recent love is “Reception” by Nona Caspers that appears in the Spring 2013 issue of The Kenyon Review.

There are a whole slew of reasons why I fell for this story: the striking image at the beginning, the way every detail echoes and reverberates with other details, the oddness of the details and images, the beautiful, clever ending that both illuminates the narrator’s experience and goes beyond it. But I especially love it for the pointers it gives me about back-story and writing forward. Continue reading

Published? You Deserve It!

I received a lovely email from a friend congratulating me on a publication. Great news, he wrote, you deserve it.

I deserved being published? Why? What had I done to deserve it? Continue reading