Review: Of Echoes Born by ‘Nathan Burgoine

I am not gonna lie. When a reader gets exactly what you were trying to do, it’s a magical moment.

Elliott Dunstan

Oh man. Oh MAN. So – I love short stories. They’re wonderful to rea to master, and the best ones leave you just wanting more.

Interconnected short stories are even better. Stories that share a few characters here and there, similar themes, trickling with the slow realization that this is really all the same story, told bit by bit, piece by piece. Lives don’t go from beginning to end – they unfold, and bump into each other, leaving little blooms of colour along the way.

I’m waxing poetic. But the point is, Of Echoes Born is really, really fucking good. I think what’s really astonishing me about it is that it’s an unusual kind of good – it’s the type of book I don’t think I’ve encountered before, and I don’t imagine I’ll see again. (Unless I can tempted Monsieur Burgoine into another. I shall prepare the cupcakes.) Nathan Burgoine…

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Professional envy. Or, Damn all the words.

I feel this. So very much. (And I like the notion of taking it to a motivational place, frankly.)

Brey Willows

I’m pretty sure most writers have been, or will go, there.

You read a book by another author friend of yours. It’s fucking fantastic. You read the beautifully constructed sentences, the tightly woven plot, the unexpected twist. It’s all so clever and lovely and fucking excellent.

And you think, why can’t I write like that? Why didn’t I think of constructing that sentence that way? I’d give my best toenail to have come up with that idea first…

And so on.

And then you see the reviews. That’s fun.

Seven page articles extolling the originality, the excellence, the depth. Star ratings that catapult the author to (niche) demigod status. Fans clamouring for their next book, for their attention, who can’t say enough about this most amazing author, whose back catalogue you simply must read…

And you’re happy for them. Genuinely. You know how that kind of thing can feed an…

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Circling the important stuff

This speaks so readily to me. The stories never quite flow right if I haven’t really gotten theme locked in. And it absolutely was an evolution in my writing life (alongside a brilliant course I got to take on theme with Jess Wells.)

Brey Willows

psychology-1957264_640.jpgA writer and teacher I greatly admire once said during a lecture that many writers find themselves revolving around themes. At first it’s a subconscious thing, and then with each book (or story), if you can step back and look at your work, you’ll find you dance around particular issues that mean something to you. Knowing this can deepen your work and make it more meaningful.

I’ve just finished editing a printed draft of my book Spinning Tales, which is out around February. It’s already with my editor, but I always go over it again myself, with old fashioned pen and paper, to see if I can spot areas I’d change/make better. Toward the end of this process, I started thinking about my next book, which I’ll be starting on shortly.

A quick side-step:

Robyn and I are both dealing with family matters right now, and we’re both worried about…

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Musings on what a forced return to an old curriculum means for teachers

Because it matters.

Creating Consent Culture

If you live in Ontario, you have probably heard by now that the provincial government announced a litany of education-related edicts yesterday. Among them was a warning to teachers: “We will not tolerate anybody using our children as pawns for grandstanding and political games. And, make no mistake, if we find somebody failing to do their job, we will act.”

Yesterday, I went on a Twitter spree, live-tweeting an analysis of the re-issued 2010 curriculum document for grades 1 to 8 (Notably, they haven’t replaced the document for grades 9-12). My tweet thread is here, if you want to wade through it, but I warn you, it’s pretty excessive. I’m going to try to break it down to a much more manageable piece of writing as a way to support teachers on the ground, afraid of what all this means.

PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A LEGAL SCHOLAR. I…

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You must write every day—my favourite BS notion.

Cait is right.

Spoonie Authors Network

I have been trying so hard to stay out of social media arguments these days, stopping myself from reading or writing comments. Mostly because I find it comes to nothing in the end and drains my spoons.

But then a thing happened this week I couldn’t ignore.

A quote appeared on my Twitter timeline from an account that purports to give writer advice:

Compel yourself to write several hours every day no matter how bad you feel.

WILLIAM H. GASS

Seriously. Several hours. Every day. No matter how bad you feel.

If you follow me, you know that I’m disabled because of fibromyalgia. Many days the pain in my hands is too acute for me to type. Sometimes the pain in the rest of my body becomes so intense, I can barely concentrate. Not to mention the debilitating fatigue that comes with sustaining all that constant pain. Sounds like the…

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