Events

506 Writing Contest

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The Ashdale Writers Group, a group I have been a part of for years, is hosting a writing contest in conjunction with Beach Metro, Toronto Public Library, Gerrard India Bazaar and The 506 Streetcar Project.

Myself and my fellow writers in the group will be serving as judges and the theme is related to the 506 streetcar here in Toronto.

The deadline is tight, entries must be submitted by March 21st, but we have a great prize of publication in the Beach Metro News and $100 cash sponsored by the Gerrard India Bazaar BIA.

For more info or to enter check out our group’s website!

Also, the winner will be invited to read at our Ashdale Reading Night on the 31st of March. Members of our group will be reading along with the winner of the contest.

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Story Notes

Story Notes: Tectonic Heart

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My story ‘Tectonic Heart’ was published recently at Zeit-Haus Magazine, a new online spot for minimalist literature. I was excited by Zeit-Haus because of its desire to provide a contrast to the flash and glitz of Las Vegas and I’m happy to report the magazine does not disappoint.

To read the story just head on over to Zeit-Haus and check it out.

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Zeit-Haus before reading the notes.

About ‘Tectonic Heart’

The truth is I have a crush on Iceland.


I’ve never been but everything about it appeals to me. I’ve seen documentaries on the mysticism and the wildness, the volcanic landscape speaks to me, the art inspires me and the people intrigue me. Plus, I kind of want to hold hands with the country just based on this. In one of my books (currently unpublished) my main characters makes an unexpected stop in Iceland and has a strange and fantastic experience there.

One day I’ll get up the nerve and ask Iceland on a date.


In the meantime I will write about it, as I did in Tectonic Heart. The story was originally inspired by a prompt for a contest for a writers conference in Iceland and was meant to feature Harpa Conference Centre. I didn’t win, but I was thrilled to have found a home for the story at the wonderful, and definitely fitting Zeit-Haus.

Tectonic Heart was inspired by my novel that is partially set in Iceland. For some reason the barren, tumultuous landscape always makes me want to write about ghosts.

If you don’t know anything about Iceland I highly recommend looking into it, it’s become sort of a muse for me and for that reason I kind of want everyone to love it (up close or from a distance) as I do.

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Image credit: Stars over Iceland by flickr.com/claudiaregina_cc

Story Notes

Story Notes – The world of her own making

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My story ‘The world of her own making’ was published recently in A cappella Zoo (Issue 14) and I was so excited.

To read the story just head A cappella Zoo and order up Issue 14.

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at A cappella Zoo before reading the notes.

About ‘The world of her own making’

I love origin myths; the expansiveness of the claims and the simplifying of all the complexity of the universe into something completely human centric. Our gods are so often personifications of us, with all of our most basic (and sometimes terrible) traits; jealousy, lust, rage, hunger. Any origin myth we’ve conjured up is such a great indication of our humanity—our desire to connect with something bigger than us, our wish for the simplicity of a god-like figure.

I wanted to write a story of a girl who ate the world and naturally, as I was writing it, it turned into an origin story. A new world from the old, not something from nothing but something born from a normal girl who simply got hungry.

I can’t imagine a universe where something comes from nothing. I think ultimately that makes me a believer in an infinite multi-verse which has its own issues but I like the idea of a new universe coming from something pre-existing because a lone god in an empty void creating all of existence is even more confusing and definitely less science-friendly.

I liked being able to really get into the texture of things in this story, assigning common tastes to objects that aren’t meant to be eaten and I enjoyed the ultimate grandeur of the tale. I guess thoughts of the universe are never far from my mind because they creep into my writing at any given opportunity.

Story Notes

Story Notes: Shine

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I was so pleased when my short story ‘Shine’ was recently published over at Empty Mirror, a wonderful publication for essays, art and prose with a soft spot for Beat Generation writers.

To read the story just head on over to Empty Mirror!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Empty Mirror before reading the notes.

About ‘Shine’

Once I heard a story about Leonard Cohen’s muse for ‘Suzanne’ living in a trailer park. It wasn’t even true (find the true story of Suzanne here) but it made me think about muses and how they are often forgotten and left behind. As someone who loves to inspire I hold a special place in my heart for my sources of inspiration—whether it’s an orange blob on the sidewalk or an eccentric neighbour. I hold my muses as sacred.

I loved the idea of a muse in a trailer park, forgotten but still powerful, going through her endless cycle, filled with words and melodies that are never shared. I love the juxtaposition of gods and the sacred against the mundane and dilapidated.

So this is my ode to the muses who are lost and forgotten, who inspire then move on and never expect anything in return. The artist needs the muse just as the muse needs artists. Both are integral to the process in whatever form it takes.

Story Notes

Story Notes: Insomnia

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My story ‘Insomnia’ was published recently in Gone Lawn Issue 16. I’m so excited to read the work of the other contributors, it is a fabulous publication and I was thrilled to be included.

To read the story just head on over to Gone Lawn and check it out!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers in the story notes below. So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Gone Lawn before reading the notes.

About ‘Insomnia’

Guess what? I wrote this story as a result of insomnia!

I don’t suffer (thankfully) from insomnia very often, but when I do it’s terrible (obviously). I’m a big sleeper, I love dreaming and I sleep for possibly too many hours (at the very least until 10am everyday). So when I can’t sleep I immediately start to lose my mind.

I guess in this case it was a good thing, because this story just started happening to me. As I lay in bed in the dark trying to sleep I just imagined myself splitting in half and it was kind of terrifying and kind of exciting in a large, existential sort of way. As the sleepless nights continued everything became more and more anonymous feeling, empty and dreamy. It felt like I was walking around in a painting, everything was art—completely still and laced with obscure meaning.

I don’t enjoy playing the tortured writer card, but in this case the torment of sleeplessness paid off and actually produced something productive.

And now I’m off to take a nap.

Story Notes

Story Notes – Muriel & Ryan

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My story ‘Muriel & Ryan’ was published this week on Close to the Bone, Near to the Knuckle.  It’s a great site with some down and dirty stories and I was so happy to have my work published there!

To read the story just head on over to Close to the Bone and check it out!

Because I love to know about the origins of a story from the writer’s perspective, I thought I would share some notes about this story with you.

Spoiler Alert:  There are spoilers in the story notes below.  So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes check it out first at Close to the Bone before reading the notes.

About ‘Muriel & Ryan’

I wanted to explore the idea of hunting for a mate from a slightly different perspective.  Sometimes it’s seen as a game to people; just find the person who matches your criteria and dive in.  Sometimes it’s fast, rough and predatory.  For me it was.  I knew exactly what I was looking and in a way, like Muriel, I found myself merging to some degree with the person I ultimately chose.

I like Muriel because she knows what she wants and takes it, she’s in control and she’s world weary and bad ass.  I like Ryan because he’s kind of innocent, kind of stereotypical and kind of a dumb-ass—a lost soul just like all of us.

This is the first story I’ve tried with an internal monologue where the characters are narrating and talking to themselves.  It was a hard one to pull off because sometimes I felt it was a little forced, but I always like to try new things and in this case I’m glad I did!

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Story Notes – Dear Agnes

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My story ‘Dear Agnes’ was published today in Grim Corps.  It’s a wonderful web magazine with some fantastic stories and amazing art.

To read my full story, you can head over to the Grim Corps website and download the magazine in Kindle, E-Pub or .PDF format.

Although a story can certainly stand on it’s own, I’ve included a little ‘about the story’ section below because from a writer’s perspective I personally like to know where a story comes from.

Spoiler Alert:  Although there are no specifics below, there are thematic spoilers.  So if you want to read the story with fresh eyes save the ‘about’ section for after.

About Dear Agnes

Looking back on my life I realize I’ve done a lot.  Now, as a writer I have the opportunity to tell those crazy, sometimes dangerous stories of my life.  I have in the past told told many of my stories as they happened, in a memoir fashion, but I prefer to mix them into fiction because it gives me the opportunity to explore my own stories from a different perspective.

In Dear Agnes I chose to write about my journey to Egypt and some of the experiences I had there.  I wanted to write from the perspective of a woman traveling alone in the 20’s to give it a Lovecraft feel and to allow myself to imagine what it might be like to be myself (in a way) in a different time.  I found it exciting and intriguing to see some of my own experiences through Rosemary’s eyes.

I also wanted to write about the relationship between two sisters, in retrospect perhaps to illustrate the slow degradation of my relationship with my brother when I went through serious and psyche altering changes of my own.

I like writing about the line between magic and madness and specifically leaving the bits in between open to interpretation because life is so often left open to interpretation.  I think that’s the thing I truly love about magic realism.  We are always (and will perhaps always be) searching for answers to the mysteries of life, but the things that matter most are often not the mysteries themselves, but the effects they have on our lives and our relationships.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave critiques in the comments, I’m always open to suggestion and speculation!