A Writer’s World

A man checks his roommate’s internet browsing history and finds searches for slow-acting, untraceable poisons and how long it takes to suffocate someone with a pillow. He knows his snoring’s gotten worse, but would she kill him for a good night’s sleep?

A woman asks her husband to duct-tape her wrists together and put her into the trunk of their car. Is she getting kinky on him, or maybe just losing her mind?

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The Role of Research

The role of research in my writing depends on the piece.

My travel articles are all written during and after my visit to a particular place. Sometimes it seems like I am an integral part of the story, such as when I write either about people I have met or about the effect a place has had on me. On other occasions, the story can tell itself without my presence. I don’t or can’t add anything to the story and so the description of the place is enough. My research will consist of writing down my thoughts in a notebook and collating these words later when I return home.

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The Bookstore

The door is a weathered dark oak, with a worn cardboard open sign, dangling in the glass. My right hand grasps the well worn brass doorknob, I turn it slightly to the right and the door swings gently inward with the light tinkling of a bell. As I walk though the entrance, I am greeted with the pungent aroma of fir, the pitches long since dried. The planks of the floor of the entrance way are hollowed out from the years of foot traffic. Stepping further into the building, the floorboards yield a wonderful creak with every step that I take.

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‘I Remember One Christmas’ by Tabatha Visutskie

December 10, 2011

I remember one Christmas. I received a gift, a book. As soon as I saw the cover, my eyes became filled with tears, and they began to run down my cheeks. There was something familiar about the author and its context. I didn’t know who he was but the image on the cover and the title made an extreme impact on me and I hadn’t even opened the book yet. I could feel warmth from the words reaching out beyond the cover. I felt strange inside, uneasiness was stirring. It was as if I had known him for many years and that we had shared a life together at one time. The sorrow that I felt was that of loss. I continued to weep.

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‘Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors’ by Julie Ferguson

The third edition of Julie H. Ferguson’s bestselling book, ‘Book Magic: Turning Writers into Published Authors’, is indispensable for every writer who dreams of publication in print or electronic versions. In response to the surge in e-books, this edition presents an enlarged and revised chapter, Electronic Sorcery, to guide you in getting published in this new medium, whether you want to do it yourself or go with a commercial e-publisher.

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Where are you from?

I cannot recount the number of times I have been asked where I am from. Usually, I am asked this question by a person who looks different, who can be described as ‘white’ in contrast to the people who are black or brown, or the ‘people of colour’. I do not like these terms, as they don’t say anything at all about a person, nothing about their language, culture, beliefs or anything that makes them who they are. Anyway, that is how the world categorizes people; and we the people, are stuck in these categories.

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My time in the Big House

A.K.A. the Matsqui Correctional Institution where I spent Sat. and Sun. at a semi-annual event: the Matsqui Writer’s Weekend. I don’t know quite what I expected when I agreed to spend two days with prisoners talking about writing. I thought I would at least learn something about being in prison, and I certainly did, both from talking to the prisoners and from experiencing the check-in and check out procedures…not to mention the lovely prison cuisine. I also thought I might see some interesting work, and I certainly did that too. But I didn’t really expect a full tilt writers’ conference experience…which is what I got. By the end, I more or less forgot I was in a prison and just enjoyed the hell out of interacting with other writers (some prisoners, some volunteers like me, but it wasn’t always easy to tell one from the other) and hearing their works. I’ll do that again if I get the chance, which I’m told I will in April sometime.

My thanks to Ed and Kathy Griffin who organized this and to David Blinkhorn who told me about it.


The word ‘safari’ brings images to mind of the open savannah with vast tracts of blue sky, giraffes eating the top leaves of the tree, lions lying on a low mound observing their potential prey, and herds of zebras cantering across the plain.

However, the word safari conjures up in me a queasy feeling. To me safari means motion sickness, being showered with stream water, and oxygen deprivation.

Here’s why…

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