Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WGA Xmas Party; Annual Holiday Wind-Down

Thanks to Samantha Warwick and Carol Holmes of The Writers Guild of Alberta for organizing last night's really enjoyable Guild Xmas party, and many thanks to the Rose and Crown for hosting. There were fine readings by Barb Howard and Jeramy Dodds, door prizes, food and lots and lots of chat. A good time was had by all, I think!

Tomorrow night is my last creative writing class for the fall term at Mount Royal. However, I'm back in the Winter Term to do it all again. Have really been enjoying my classes and my students.

So, getting close to the holidays. Looking forward to taking a break with family and friends and getting back to some real writing in the New Year. Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Impatient to be Free"

My story "Impatient to be Free" is today's featured story on Fiction365.  Check it out!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Freshwater Pearls Encore Reading Wed. Nov. 23; Coming to Canada

This Wednesday, November 23rd at 7 PM is the  Freshwater Pearls encore reading, featuring  Lee Kvern, Susan Carpenter, Frances Hern, Kari Strutt, Julie Lockhart, Robin van Eck, Richard Gorecki and me. Excellent Christmas shopping op, folks! That's at Owl's Nest Books, in the Brittania Shopping Centre at 815A - 49 Ave. SW. What better way to Occupy Calgary than by supporting your local indie bookstore (and indie writers and publisher)? Plus awesome readings and amusing banter! 

But before that,  tomorrow afternoon I'm braving Calgary's first real blast of winter for Coming to Canada, readings and panel discussion about immigration with Frances Hern and Brian Brennan. That's at Shelf Life Books, 1302 - 4 St. SW at 1:00. I understand there will be coffee and cookies. Sounds good!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Owl's Nest Reading; Rubbing Stone; FreeFall

Open mic night at Owl's Nest was a blast -- wide variety of work and readers. Thanks to Rea of the Alexandra Writers for organizing. Next open mic night is November 30th, so bring out your three double-spaced pages of work and put your name in the hat. Well, Ziploc bag.

Speaking of Owl's Nest Books, looking forward to the Freshwater Pearls encore reading there at 7 PM on November 23rd. That's Lee Kvern, Susan Carpenter, Frances Hern, Kari Strutt, Julie Lockhart and me. Owl's Nest is in the Brittania Shopping Centre at 815A - 49 Ave. SW. Come on out and support your local indie bookstore (and indie writers and publisher)!

I'm happy to announce a couple of forthcoming publications, in different genres, yet! It seems I will have a poem (!) in Rubbing Stone: A Nose Hill Anthology, which will be published in 2012 and is being edited by Vivian Hansen. I had a couple of poems published in a tiny long-dead journal many years ago and kind of thought that was it for me and poetry. But it's something I've been revisiting lately. Very nice.

Also, FreeFall Magazine is running a creative nonfiction piece I submitted to them for the Winter 2012 issue. Very pleased to once again be appearing in their pages!

All the news for now. This fall has been going by even faster than usual because of the classes I'm teaching at Mount Royal (and enjoying very much!). Looking forward to a Xmas trip this year -- first time in my life I've ever travelled at Xmas. And we're going to Hollywood! Oh, my. Pretty exciting for an old movie freak like yours truly! Yay!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fiction365; Nothing Sacred Review; Open mic night

Got word that a story of mine is set to appear in the online journal Fiction365. They feature a different story every day -- hence the title, as my kids would say. My story will be up in about a month's time. I'll post here once I get the details.

Also just discovered that in July a review of Nothing Sacred by Andrea Ledding ran in The R-Town News Online, out of Wolseley, SK. Scroll down to page 4 to read it if you're interested. Thanks very much, R-Town News and Andrea Ledding!

Looking forward to Open Mic night hosted by The Alexandra Writers Centre Society and Owl's Nest Books, at 815A 49 Avenue SW, in the Brittania Shopping Centre. That's Wednesday, October 26, at 7 PM. I understand there's the possibility of enjoying a beverage later, too. Sounds like too much fun!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Freshwater Pearls news; Open Mic nights!

Nice to see the Freshwater Pearls anthology at number two on this week's Calgary Herald Calgary Bestseller list! I've had a chance to read several of the pieces so far -- very fine work! Congratulations again to the Alexandra Writers and all the contributors, both in the book and the online supplement.

Speaking of Freshwater Pearls, I'm going to be part of an encore reading from the book along with Lee Kvern, Susan Carpenter, Frances Hern, Kari Strutt and Julie Lockhart. That's taking place 7 PM, Wednesday, November 23 at Owl's Nest Books, in the Brittania Shopping Centre at 815A - 49 Ave. SW. Looking forward to it!

And speaking of the Alexandra Writers and Owl's Nest Books, AWCS has started holding open mic nights the last Wednesday of each month at Owl's Nest. I was sorry to miss the first one, which I understand was insanely fun, but I will be at the October 26th edition for sure. Come on down and read your work and buy a book from our friends at Owl's Nest.

Well, back to work...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Love Minus Zero Review

I'm grateful to Carrie Mumford, who reviewed Love Minus Zero at her blog. Getting press is one of the biggest challenges for most authors, and most of us really love it when you talk about our books.

Thanks again, Carrie!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Freshwater Pearls; Banff; Writing in the Works 5

Thanks again to the Writers Guild of Alberta and Shelf Life Books for hosting my talk on The Writing Life last Wednesday night. And thanks to everyone who came out for the event! I had fun talking about my journey so far as a writer and fielding some pretty challenging questions. It was also fun to decamp to the Rose and Crown later for a beverage.

Last night's launch of Freshwater Pearls was a fantastic time. The anthology is being published to honour the Alexandra Writers Centre Society's 30th anniversary, and it was quite a party. Enjoyed readings by some of the contributors, live music, food, wine and a tribute to AWCS' beloved Shirley Black, who took it all in stride. Thanks to everyone who organized the eveniing!

Speaking of anniversaries, it was our 20th wedding anniversary this week. Can you believe it? We got married when I was eight. And here's where we went to celebrate:

Yes, the Banff Springs. We have had a drink (one drink) there the odd time, but never stayed before. Well, it was magnificent. Hope to go back someday.

Coming up: Karen Willsey Bass launches her new YA novel Drummer Girl at Monkeyshines Books this Saturday, Sept. 24, at 2 PM.

Looking quite far ahead, we're in the planning stages of next year's installment of Writing in the Works. Can't believe this is our fifth year! The show is planned for Saturday, March 10, 2012 at Memorial Park Library, 1:30 - 3:30 and features readings by Rita Bozi, Jane Cawthorne, myself, Rea Tarvydas and Robin van Eck. Already looking forward!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Writing Life, etc.

Had a great time at Brian Brennan's launch last week -- it was a very warm and musical evening. Also had a great time at Naomi Lewis' launch of her residency at Calgary Public Library. She'll be doing programs and manuscript consultations at Memorial Park Library for the next three months -- check the information on CPL's Writer-in-Residence page if you're interested in consulting with her.

Just putting the finishing touches on the presentation I'm doing tomorrow night. That's The Writing Life at Shelf Life Books, 1302 - 4 St. SW. We're starting at 7, there'll be a Q & A session after my talk and then we're retiring to the Rose & Crown for a beverage later. Looking forward to it!

Also looking forward to the Freshwater Pearls anthology launch, 7 PM, Wed., Sept.21 at the Alexandra Centre. It'll also be a 30th anniversary bash for the Alexandra Writers Centre Society, so it should be quite a party.

Finally, tonight's my first creative writing class for continuing ed at Mount Royal University. I'm very much looking forward to teaching at MRU. And I'm sure it will be fun.

Over and out for now.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall season begins

Back from a couple of weeks on Vancouver Island, which always refreshes me. It takes me a while to drop out of Calgary mode and get into Island mode, but by the time we come back I always feel different. And as they say, different is good.

So as usual, the fall literary season is shaping up to be a busy one:
  • I'm going to the launch of Brian Brennan's new book, Leaving Dublin: Writing My Way From Ireland to Canada, at 7 PM this Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Christ Church Calgary, 3602 8 St. SW
  • On Saturday, Sept. 10 I'm going to my friend and colleague Naomi K. Lewis' launch of her term as writer-in residence at Calgary Public Library. That's at 2 PM at Memorial Park Library, 1221 - 2 St. SW
  • Then on Wed. Sept. 14 at 7 PM there's my talk on The Writing Life, hosted by the Writers Guild of Alberta, at Shelf Life Books, 1302 - 4 St. SW.
  • The Alexandra Writers Centre Society is hosting the launch of the Freshwater Pearls Anthology on Wed. Sept. 21 at 7 PM at the Alexandra Centre, 922 - 9 Ave. SE
  • And on Sat. Sept. 24th Karen Willsey Bass launches her new YA novel Drummer Girl at Monkeyshines Books, 113, 2215 - 33rd Ave SW
And that's just the stuff I'm definitely attending. Lots of other readings and launches going on. Looks like a good fall!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Speaking of the Calgarian Hotel...

... FFWD ran an excerpt this week from Sam Sutherland's forthcoming book on Canadian punk. The excerpt focuses on the late, great Calgarian Hotel, home for some time of Calgary's punk scene. Sam talked to old school punks across Canada, including me, and I'm really looking forward to his book, Perfect Youth, which is coming out from ECW next year.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New! Chunk of w-i-p

Here's something new. A piece of work-in-progress. Haven't posted a w-i-p before, and this is brief, but I haven't Written anything in a while so I thought I'd throw it out there. Hope it intrigues:

If I knew anything about ballet I’d be able to tell you the name of the position she was in in her profile picture on She was on one foot and had her other leg pretty close to straight up in the air, flashing a big grin for the camera. Only she’s not a ballerina, she’s a stockbroker, and she wasn’t wearing tights or a tutu, she was wearing a t-shirt and Daisy Duke shorts, and the picture was taken in a bar. So it’s none of my business, right? I’m not her employer, God knows. I don’t even know her, really, though I feel like I do because I’ve heard so much about her. And like I say, I don’t know anything about ballet. Or stockbroking. Or Brazilian waxes. But I know if I was her employer I’d be having a little chat with her about professionalism, about ethics.

            Just like the one I figure her husband’s about to have with his employer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Freshwater Pearls; The Writing Life; MRU

There's the cover of Freshwater Pearls, the anthology being put together by the Alexandra Writers Centre Society in celebration of their 30th anniversary and being published this September by Recliner Books. It looks like a great selection of work is going to be included. And if all goes well, I'll be at the launch which takes place Wed. September 21, 7 PM at the Alexandra Centre, 922 - 9 Ave. SE. 

 I'm hoping that we'll be successful in moving the engagement I already had for that night to the previous week, Wed. Sept. 14th. Which is a talk I'm giving for the Writers Guild of Alberta on The Writing Life at Shelf Life Books, 1302 - 4 St. SW. Once the dates are confirmed I'll post more details.

And continuing to prepare the Mount Royal courses so I can take some time off later in the summer. Looking forward to the fall! It looks like it'll be a busy one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Robert Kroetsch events next week

Canada lost a literary giant on June 21 when Robert Kroetsch was killed in a car accident. I never met the man myself, but I clearly recall reading The Studhorse Man in university and being amazed -- this is what a Canadian novel can be. He was a friend and mentor to many writers I know and I'm sorry I never had the chance to meet him.

So I am going to a couple of Robert Kroetsch celebrations next week. First up is Tuesday, July 12th, 7 PM, at Shelf Life Books, where there'll be readings and refreshments. And at 7 PM on Thursday, July 14th, Pages on Kensington is hosting a special July edition of their Flywheel reading series, dedicated to Kroetsch. He was a huge figure in the Alberta literary landscape and I'm looking forward to these tributes. Hope to see you all there.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Betty's Run

Tomorrow, Sunday, June 12th is the date of Betty's Walk and Run for ALS here in Calgary, and I'm all registered for it. Should have gone to pick up my shirt and all that stuff today. And I meant to solicit donations and promote the event. But I haven't done any of that because my mom, Marilyn, passed away last Tuesday at age 68, after living with this damned disease the last 18 months. And let me say right now that the recent passing of Dr. Kervorkian didn't go unnoticed in my household. I read Licia Corbella's ridiculous editorial about him in The Calgary Herald today and it made my blood boil.

Ms. Corbella, you should thank the God you seem to be so fervent about that neither you or nor any of your loved ones have ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  Because if you did, you would pray for the same mercy that decent people extend toward their pets. Would you watch your dog or cat slowly become paralyzed and finally die of CO2 poisoning because they were not able, in the end, to exhale? No, I didn't think so. But because euthanasia is illegal in Canada, that's exactly what my mother had to go through. You call Dr. Kervorkian a murderer because he spared people from this kind of suffering?  Um. So who pronounced you Judge of All Things because you write editorials?

I just can't face participating in Betty's Walk and Run for ALS tomorrow, although I did last year and I intend to do it  next. But I would encourage anyone who's interested to donate to the fight against ALS here:

My mom and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Writing in the Works 4

Here's the whole Writing in the Works gang after our fourth fabulous annual show. From left to right, this year's readers Susan Calder, Inge Trueman, Naomi K. Lewis, myself and Leslie Gavel; our MC and chief helmsperson Rona Altrows; and, down in front, this year's provider of refreshments and general support, Elaine Morin. We had an excellent afternoon of readings, book sales and hanging out, and had more fun later at the Rose and Crown. Many thanks to Leanna McLennan and Elaine's hubby Scott for their help with the refreshments, to Shelf Life Books for book sales and to Calgary Public Library for once again providing us with a home. Thanks to Jan Markley for again acting as official event photographer. And thanks to everyone who came out to hear us!

We're already talking about Writing in the Works 5...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Guest Post: Betty Jane Hegerat on The Boy

It's my great pleasure to announce a guest posting here at TFBCH by my friend and colleague, Betty Jane Hegerat. I asked her a couple of questions about her amazing new book, The Boy (Oolichan Books), which she has graciously responded to below. Enjoy!

BJH:  Lori, thanks for inviting me to your blog. I know you’ve been hard at work on a novel for many years, so I’ve been looking forward to talking with you about that experience of living with a book-in-progress.  I believe your novel has involved research as well, but I suspect that you enjoy that part of the process more than I did in exploring this murder story.

LH:  It seems to me that this would be a difficult book to write. What was most difficult about writing it?

BJH: The real story is a horrible one, and finding the shape of the book was more of a challenge than I was looking for, but I think the most difficult part was the wrestling with my right to tell the story.  Yes, I am a writer, a storyteller, and this is what we do, but I have never drawn so obviously from the lives of real people. When I write fiction, I borrow and steal, disclose secrets and tell lies—all without apology. If I do the job well, the art that comes out of the chicanery is unrecognizable as real life.  But I knew as soon as I began to sift through the information about the Cook family that I would never be comfortable playing fast and loose with the details of their story. And yet, I was drawn to the family and their fate more than I was to the legal details and Robert Cook’s fate. I wanted to make sense of how something so dreadful could befall an ordinary working class family in small town Alberta.  And of course, to suggest that there was even a fragment of sense to the events in that small white house on June 25, 1959, seemed an affront to the memory of these seven people.  If I’d been able to walk away from the story I would have done so, but whatever it was that alternately compelled me and repulsed me, was the strongest obsession I’ve ever experienced in my writing life.

LH: How did writing The Boy differ from writing a novel?

BJH: In some ways writing The Boy was quite similar to writing my previous two novels. I have a tendency to call every new idea a “story” and pray that it will be short, because short fiction really is my first love.  Even before I was blindsided by the Cook story, I had begun to fear that Louise’s problem was not going to be resolved in anything close to 3000 words.  Then the fiction began to get entangled with the 50 year old murder story and I had a mess on my hands that was unlike anything I’d dealt with before. I’m used to having messy first drafts, and doing major revision through many more drafts, but normally there is some cohesion, and some order to the experimenting.  Whose story is it?  Who’s narrating?  From what vantage point?  Is the voice consistent? Where is the energy coming from to drive the story?  I didn’t even attempt to ask those questions of the reams of material I ended up gathering around the Cook story.  When I finally accepted that the work was going to have to include both the fiction and the non-fiction, the challenge was to find a way to fit it together.  I was definitely not a quick study on this project, and it took me a couple of years to realize that I had the structure all along. Louise’s story had turned into a novella, and if I could stitch the non-fiction to it like Peter Pan’s shadow, I might just be able to pull it off.  The Boy is being marketed as fiction for a number of reasons, even though it doesn’t fit any definition of the novel that I’ve ever seen.  But neither does it fit into non-fiction because of the embedded fiction. It’s a strange book, but it is what it is.

LH: Thank you, Betty, for the insights into the writing of this interesting, amazing, and yes, kind of strange book. I'm almost done reading it, and my sense is more that The Boy is unique than strange. I have never read a book quite like this. The approach reminds me a little of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. I think you may have written the first book in a new genre! Whatever pigeonhole it does or doesn't fit into, though, I can say that it is mesmerizing. Congratulations again on its publication! And thanks for dropping by and talking about it.

And another special treat, folks: an audio clip of Betty reading from The Boy over at her blog. Click on "other people's lives" And enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Suite 101 Review; Writing in the Works 4; Happy Mother's Day

Thanks to Robin van Eck for this great review of Nothing Sacred at Suite 101. It's so nice to get exposure and it's always interesting to me that different reviwers focus on different aspects of a book. Very nice.

Less than a week to go until this year's edition of Writing in the Works. That's Susan Calder, Leslie Gavel, Naomi K. Lewis, Inge Trueman and me doing readings, and hosted by MC Rona Altrows. That's next Saturday, May 14, at 1:30 at Memorial Park Library, 1221 - 2 St. SW. Readings, refreshments and book sales by Shelf Life Books -- sounds great!

And happy Mother's Day to my Mom and all my mom friends out there! I'm enjoying my Mother's Day and I hope you are, too!

Friday, April 29, 2011

New novel out the door; The Boy; Writing in the Works 4; MRU

So last week I finally finished my second novel. I started writing it in 2003 and have done a series of rewrites over the years. There was a while between 2007 and 2009 where I didn't touch it at all because of the other two books being published and all the nuttiness that entails, but it's finally done. Well, done, you know, until someone publishes it and it goes through the editorial process, or until I stack up enough rejections that I figure I need to fix it. Yeah, that kind of done. Anyway, I sent my first batch of queries out this week and am hopeful that I'll get some interest soon.

Can't wait for the launch of Betty Jane Hegerat's new book The Boy, at Memorial Park Library, 7 PM, next Thursday, May 5th. And I'm certain the weather will be lovely on that day, unlike today.

Gearing up for Saturday, May 14th and Writing in the Works 4, also at Memorial Park Library, at 1:30 PM. Readings by myself, Susan Calder, Leslie Gavel, Naomi K. Lewis and Inge Trueman, hosted by our own Rona Altrows. Refreshments! Book sales by our friends at Shelf Life Books! Drinks afterward! Yay!

Finally, I've started work on the syllabi for the creative writing courses (Levels 1 & 2) that I'm teaching through Continuing Education at Mount Royal University this fall. The timing on this was all really good; just as I was wrapping up this novel at last, this opportunity came up. I'm very pleased to have the chance to teach at MRU. 

Over and out for now. Hope to see you on May 14th!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Salon; The Boy; Writing in the Works 4

Had a fantastic time reading yesterday afternoon as part of a salon at Barb Howard's lovely home in Bragg Creek. Also reading were poet and novelist Anne Sorbie and poet T.B. Perry. We also had jazz piano by Andy Tong. Really fun afternoon. Thanks again to everyone who participated and everyone who came out for the event.

Next up is the launch of Betty Jane Hegerat's new book The Boy, at Memorial Park Library, 7 PM, Thursday, May 5th. Looking forward to the launch and to reading the book.

And shortly after that is Writing in the Works 4, also at Memorial Park Library, Saturday, May 14th at 1:30 PM. Readings by myself, Susan Calder, Leslie Gavel, Naomi K. Lewis and Inge Trueman, and hosted by our own Rona Altrows. Looking forward to it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nothing Sacred Trailer

I had so much fun doing the trailer for Love Minus Zero, I thought I might as well do one for Nothing Sacred, too. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Love Minus Zero trailer

So I've finally made up a trailer for Love Minus Zero. It was quite a bit of fun, though a bit of a learning curve for me. Now that I've done it, I think I'll try one for Nothing Sacred, although I think doing a trailer for a novel might be easier than doing one for a book of short stories. On the other hand, until a few years ago, who ever heard of a book trailer?

O brave new world that has such people in it. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Pass; Book Club Buddy

Just got back from a relaxing three night spring break trip to the Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta. I always enjoy the Pass. It isn't a glamorous type of vacation spot, to be sure. The scenery is breathtaking, though, and the history of that string of former coal-mining towns is fascinating. We visited museums, something we all love to do, hung around second-hand shops. Wanted to snowshoe, but the snow was slushy and the wind was insane. We saw a trailer at the side of the highway that had blown over onto its side. Yeah. Windy spot.

Thanks to Pearl Luke at Book Club Buddy for posting these interviews with me about Nothing Sacred and Love Minus Zero. Book Club Buddy does a great job hooking up readers and writers. I encourage you to check the site out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deadly Fall launch Thursday March 24th!

That's the eye-catching cover of my friend and colleague Susan Calder's debut mystery novel, Deadly Fall, which she's launching tomorrow evening at 7 PM at Owl's Nest Books. They're in Brittania Shopping Plaza, 815A 49th Avenue SW. Looking forward to Susan's reading, schmoozing, and of course, wine and refreshments. Come on down and bring a couple of friends! Deadly Fall was already number three on The Calgary Herald's bestseller list this week. I predict number one this week. Congratulations again, Susan!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tales From Behind the Calgarian Hotel

What the heck, Lori, you're wondering. Why the title change? Well, I'll tell you. I had a blog for six years called Tales From Behind the Calgarian Hotel which I began mainly as a way to vent my frustrations in the days when I was struggling to get my first book published. Did it relieve my frustration, which was becoming pretty enormous by the end? I don't know. Maybe. But when it did eventually come to pass that I had a book deal, and in short order, another, I realized that all the nasty, whiny things I'd said on my blog about the publishing industry may not have been stuff I wanted floating around cyberspace in perpetuity. Although I hasten to add that I said nothing that wasn't true. Oh, yes, all those things about lost manuscripts, two year rejection waits, bitchy rejection letters -- all true.  But in the interests of uh, starting anew, I decided to delete the original TFBTCH -- sounds like some kind of texting term, don't it? -- and go with a happier, more sticking to the facts approach.

Turns out that was kind of a bore. So we're back to the old title. And we'll see some new kinds of posts here in the coming weeks. Exciting, eh?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Freshwater Pearls; Deadly Fall; Salon; Writing in the Works 4

The Naomi K. Lewis presentation and workshop at Memorial Park Library last week were a lot of fun and very interesting. Thanks to Naomi for doing a great job, and to the folks who braved the weather to come out to them.

I was very pleased to find out, earlier this week, that a short story of mine has been selected for inclusion in Freshwater Pearls: The Alexandra Writers' Centre Society 30th Anniversary Anthology, being published this September by Calgary's own Recliner Books. It looks like I'm going to be in excellent company! And I'm sure the launch party will be epic. Very exciting.

In other news, looking forward to the launch of my friend and colleague Susan Calder's first novel, Deadly Fall, a mystery being published by Touchwood Editions. The launch is 7 PM on March 24th at Owl's Nest Books in Brittania Shopping Plaza.

A couple of weeks later, I'm reading at a salon on the afternoon of April 10th, graciously being hosted by Barb Howard. More details as they become available.

And finally, a reminder of our annual readapalooza, Writing in the Works 4, which is coming up at 1:30 PM, Saturday, May 14th at dear old Memorial Park Library. This year's lineup is: Naomi Lewis, Susan Calder, Inge Trueman, Elaine Morin and yours truly, and emceed by our own Rona Altrows. Join us for an afternoon of readings, refreshments and book sales by Shelf Life Books.

Over and out for now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Naomi K. Lewis events, March 2 and 5 at Memorial Park Library

Below are the details for two events Naomi K. Lewis is doing for Canadian Authors Association in the first week of March. Spots are filling up, so if you're interested, register now.

The Canadian Authors Association and its Calgary Writer-in-Residence, Lori Hahnel, are proud to announce two upcoming events to be presented by multi-talented writer and editor Naomi K. Lewis.

Becoming a Ghost: A Free Presentation   Wednesday, March 2 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Ghostwriting can be satisfying and relatively lucrative work for experienced writers. But how can you know if ghostwriting is for you? How do you find clients, and how do you decide which to work with? This one-hour lecture and question-and-answer period will cover the pros and cons of ghostwriting, a standard ghostwriting contract, and some essential tips for getting started.

Shaping the Story: A Workshop    Saturday, March 5 10:30 am to 4:30 pm
CAA Members: $40; Non-Members:$70 (Lunch included)

Do you excel at developing characters in compelling settings, and write scene after glorious scene, but lament that you stories don’t seem to go anywhere? In other words, do you struggle with narrative structure, or plot? In this workshop, participants will experiment with a variety of plotting techniques, looking at the different shapes a story can take. While much of the content will apply to novels, memoirs, plays, screenplays, and creative nonfiction essays alike, we will concentrate on the particularities of the short story. Participants should bring a story in progress, whether a full draft or an outline, or something in between. Both events will be held at Memorial Park Library, 1221-2nd Street S.W., Calgary.

To register, email:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Auburn reading; W-i-R

Last night's reading at the Auburn Saloon was a great time. We had a good crowd and some fanastic open mic readings before my portion of the evening. Thanks to Kirk and Alyson for hosting and to Rea, Rita, Catherine and Doreen for stepping up to the mic and doing such fine readings.

In other news, due to unforseen circumstances, I am temporarily returning to the post I held last year as Canadian Authors' Association Calgary writer-in-residence. Since I agreed to do this on short notice, I am not able to set up writer meetings. But if you or someone you know wants to send me an electronic submission before April 1, I will read and respond to it. You can send up to 20 double spaced pages of prose, or up to three poems, to me at:

Further information about the program can be found at the CAA Alberta branch website.

Over and out for now. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thanks again, CPL!; Auburn Reading This Sunday Night

Writers' Weekend 2011 at Calgary Public Library was "an outstanding success", in the words of one of the organizers, and I couldn't agree more. It was great to see so many people come out on kind of a miserable February morning and share their passion for the written word with us. I think Rona and I had about 200 in our session, and I hear there were more than 600 total registrations for the day's events. That's not even including the folks who just showed up. A lot of fun! So thanks again to Calgary Public Library and our wonderful bookseller for the event, Pages on Kensington. For me, this event was the perfect antidote to all the doom and gloom stories lately about publishers declaring bankruptcy and the death of the printed book. 

There's the poster for the reading I'm doing this Sunday night at the Auburn Saloon. We have me, the music of Morley Challenged and an open mic. I know a couple of talented authors are planning to read at the open mic portion of the evening. So come on down and read, if you're so inclined. And if not just come and listen. I'm sure we're going to enjoy ourselves.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Writers Weekend; Auburn reading Feb. 13th; Edits

Just finished another rehearsal of my portion of the Writing Fiction program I'm presenting with my good friend and esteemed colleague Rona Altrows as part of Calgary Public Library's 2011 Writers' Weekend event, coming up on Saturday, February 5th. It's a whole day of programs on writing and publishing, presented by some fine Calgary writers and other members of the city's literary community. Rona and I are on from 11 AM - 12 PM, but the presentations start at 10 and go until late afternoon. That all takes place in the Dutton Theatre, located on the second floor of the Central Library, 616 Macleod Tr. SE. If you're interested, have your library card ready and  register here .

Another public event: I've been invited to read at the Auburn Saloon on the evening of Sunday, February 13th, as part of Storytellers, a fiction-based reading program. Though I've been to many events at the Auburn before, I've never read there myself, so I am looking forward to it. Things get started around 6:30 that night, and I'll post more details as they become available.

Finally, edits. Instead of that ol' novel I am slowly finishing, right now it's my pleasure to be working on edits to a short story that I've had accepted for a forthcoming anthology. Again, more details to follow, hopefully.

All for now. Over and out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Already?; Writers' Weekend

Wow! 2011 is already well underway, and I've been back at work for the last week. Xmas is already seeming long ago and far away, which is fine by me. I like to get rolling in the New Year and leave the old behind.

So what I'm rolling with at the moment is the session on writing fiction that Rona Altrows and I are doing as part of Calgary Public Library's 2011 Writers' Weekend, Saturday, February 5th. We're on from 11 - 12, but there are sessions all day in the Dutton Theatre on the second floor of the Central Library, 616 Macleod Tr. SE. Again, spaces are filling up, so register now if you're interested.

And once I have my part of our presentation wrapped up, it's back at that novel, which I hope to start marketing in the spring. Spring seems pretty far away at the moment, in snowy and windy Calgary, but I know it actually isn't that far away. So I better get to work here.