Hey all! It's #CanCon2019 starting, like, right now, and so, a quick post on where I'll be and when. The con is sold out (which is freaking incredible) but if you're in the area the Dealer Room is open to the public. (Oh, and sidenote: whilst not in these places, when the dealer's room is … Continue reading #CanCon2019 — Where I’ll Be!
Another Volume I have so many authors I love who revisit characters on the regular, or settings on the regular, that I'm spoiled for riches, really. And though I always want more, I decided to take today's prompt from the point of view of a story that—to my knowledge at least—is singular. So! "The Library … Continue reading #ShortStoryMonth Day Twenty — “The Library of Lost Things,” by Matthew Bright
I am not gonna lie. When a reader gets exactly what you were trying to do, it’s a magical moment.
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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I feel this. So very much. (And I like the notion of taking it to a motivational place, frankly.)
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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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.)
A 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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Because it matters.
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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