Farley Mowat: A Glimpse

Back in the early 70s, I worked at McClelland & Stewart Limited. It was a glorious time at M & S. Jack McClelland was at the helm. He could boast a list of iconic authors: Alice Munro. Margaret Laurence. Robertson Davies. W. O. Mitchell. Pierre Berton. Mordecai Richler. Margaret Atwood. And many, many other great… Continue reading Farley Mowat: A Glimpse


More than Money: The value of conferences, workshops and networking

When I ask colleague writers if they plan to attend an upcoming writers’ workshop or conference, I’m sometimes surprised by the answers. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the money.” “I don’t read the kind of stuff those guys write.” Disclaimer here: I teach writing workshops and organize writing retreats through Writescape. I will… Continue reading More than Money: The value of conferences, workshops and networking


On Visiting Book Clubs

I recently read a Facebook post by an author I quite like about being told at a book club that her main character was “stupid.” She also noted that it is probably a good reason for not writing autobiographical fiction. There were a lot of supportive comments posted in response and some general good cheer… Continue reading On Visiting Book Clubs


Film Festivals and the Heidi Effect

I have seen the paparazzi and heard the screams of fans. It was my annual TIFF treat with my friend Heidi. Years ago, she introduced me to the delights of the Toronto International Film Festival and while I can ever only manage to join her for one movie each year, it has always been a… Continue reading Film Festivals and the Heidi Effect

Weblog · Writings

On Duck Patrol

Background: The worst flooding in over a century hit the Haliburton Highlands where our cottage is located on the Drag River. In late April and early May, the Drag was a raging torrent and up 5 feet above normal height. Fortunately, all we lost was an old dock which, compared to people whose basements became… Continue reading On Duck Patrol


Lights, Camera, Action…The Making of a Book Trailer

When my novel was heading for a second printing, I was excited and nervous. Excited to know that sales had been good enough to warrant another run 3 months after the book’s debut, yet nervous: what if the first run was the limit of sales?  Just before Living Underground was published, my editor George Down… Continue reading Lights, Camera, Action…The Making of a Book Trailer


Seeing The World — and Socks — with Fresh Eyes

I am at my keyboard but something is missing. My eyeglasses. I’ve worn them ever since my Grade 3 teacher noticed me squinting and my mom took me to get my eyes tested. All through the years — at least 50 of them — I’ve continued to wear glasses. Vanity rarely kept them from my… Continue reading Seeing The World — and Socks — with Fresh Eyes


The Next Big Thing

Thanks Michael Bryson for tagging me on this chain. To be honest, I have been tagged by other wonderful writerly types but wasn’t in the right space to participate. I am now, so apologies Phil Dwyer, Deepam Wadds and others who might have asked me to do this before. I recommend it as a wonderful opportunity… Continue reading The Next Big Thing


The Art and Craft of Listening

Late September and the campfire was crackling at the cabin. Our wee haven in Haliburton is glorious: nestled between two little rivers, surrounded by fir, spruce and pine, it is two hours from home and a million miles from what keeps me from listening otherwise. Our world is noisy and often noisome in the disagreeable… Continue reading The Art and Craft of Listening