Flannery O’Connor described fiction as both canny and uncanny. And I think that is my favorite adage for this most exacting, frustrating and satisfying art. It is a craft, but it is also a mystery — and the interweaving of these two aspects creates the fascination that keeps me going.
In this website you’ll find information on my books, reviews and interviews, and occasional thoughts on writing. Please feel free to join the discussion. Whether you’re a reader or a writer – or both – I look forward to hearing from you.
Writing by the dock of the bay…
I will be teaching a 5-day course at the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA) at beautiful, water-front Pearson College of the Pacific, on Vancouver Island, near Victoria, from June 30 to July 4. It’s called “Going Deeper” and will focus on ‘getting under the words.’ Here is some of what we’ll cover, while workshopping fiction and leaving plenty of time to walk the grounds, and to write:
· How to get work down in our own, authentic, voices, bypassing the internal critic.
· How to let the revision process work for you (90 percent of writing is revision!).
· How to shuck the outer skins of a piece, to get at its more fascinating heart.
· How to use the surface clues to find symbols, and bring them to the surface.
· How to build a piece that has conflict, action, and power in its DNA.
· How to know when to stop.
· We will also spend time talking about building a literary community, a writing life, and the business side of writing (agents/publishers).
The price is $495, plus accomodation. To learn more, follow this link. Here’s a photo of the campus dock:
Thrilled to have won a CBC Bookie Award, for best short story collection in 2013. Thanks to the CBC for putting on this competition. It was a real honour to have Oh, My Darling chosen — first by the CBC producers, and then by the public, who voted for the winner in each category. Lovely to be nominated with Nancy Jo Cullen, Douglas Glover, Lynn Coady and Austin Clarke, such an amazing group of short story writers. I’m holding my breath for my ‘golden beaver certificate,’ which should be winging its way in the mail.
Oh, My Darling has been selected as a Globe and Mail Top Book of the Year, and The National Post (Best of 2013). I am thrilled to have my book on these lists. For reviews from the Globe, National Post, Winnipeg Free Press, Quill and Quire (starred review ) and the book website Pickle Me This — see the Oh, My Darling page of this website.