Archive for June, 2009

Heading to Nova Scotia for two weeks

Thursday, June 25th, 2009


Tomorrow afternoon, we’re starting our family driving trip out to beautiful Nova Scotia to visit my wife’s family.  We make this trek every few years or so and it is always a great and restful time.  My older son may even lend a hand with the driving if the traffic is quiet.

I hope to make some more progress on the sequel to TBLP while I’m down east.  It will bring back some memories.  I wrote at least a couple of chapters of TBLP while in the stunning Irving Centre at Acadia University (photo below) while vacationing in Nova Scotia back in 2005.  I’ll try to give you all a more formal update on the status of The High Road (working title only) while I’m down in NS.  Time to pack…

IrvingGardenRoom Acadia

A great place to write.

Thanks McNally Robinson for a great event

Thursday, June 25th, 2009


Last night I gave a talk and reading at the wonderful new McNally Robinson Toronto bookstore in Don Mills.  Carla and her team at MR know how to put on an event.  There were amazing posters hanging throughout the store and public address announcements before the reading started.  They have an events area on the second floor and there were so many people that they kept having to add more rows of chairs.  There were some familiar faces in the crowd from my childhood neighbourhood who had seen ads in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star for the event.  There were a couple of other writers in the audience including Tom Armstrong whose manuscript recently won second prize in the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Awards along with the $7,500 payday.  Better yet, Tom just inked a publishing deal with DC Books with publication of his novel slated for April 2010.

The talk and reading seemed to go well and the line-up for the signing was both humbling and gratifying.  Afterwards, Tom and I went for a drink and had a great talk about writing.

Thanks again to Carla and the good folks at McNally Robinson for a memorable evening.

Booked for the 2010 Ontario Writers’ Conference

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Ont writers conference logo

This should be an interesting event.  I’ve just been booked to run a session on self-promotion at the 2010 OWC next May organized annually by the very active Writers’ Circle of Durham Region.  I’ve heard wonderful reports about this conference and I look forward to the event, even though it seems like a long way off.  Time flies when you’re writing…

Mark Leiren-Young picks up his Leacock

Sunday, June 14th, 2009


Last night I was back in Orillia, Ontario, for the annual Leacock Dinner at which the 2009 Leacock Medal was presented and I guess you could say I officially surrendered my sash as the 2008 winner.  Mark Leiren-Young was as wide-eyed as I was a year ago as he signed his winning book, Never Shoot A Stampede Queen, and humbly received the good wishes of the few hundred guests at the gala dinner.

Mark is an accomplished artist.  He’s a filmmaker, screenwriter, comic, and writer.  His acceptance speech at the dinner last night was wonderful.  Funny, thoughtful, self-deprecating, and warm.  I hope he sells a ton of books.

We’re going to meet when he’s next in Toronto and I’ve promised to show him the secret Leacock handshake.  Mark, enjoy every moment of this ride…

CFUW Author Night a blast in Bracebridge

Sunday, June 14th, 2009


Last Friday night I was in beautiful Bracebridge, Ontario in the heart of Muskoka for the Canadian Federation of University Women’s 11th annual  Author’s Night.  I didn’t really know what to expect although the organizers heavily promoted the event in the weeks leading up to it.  There were posters hanging around town and a great article in the local paper.  As it turned out, they sold nearly 190 tickets for the event.  And what a great audience.  They were very supportive and graciously laughed at all the right lines.  In fact, it seemed that many of them had already read TBLP.  After my talk and reading, I answered a few questions and then got down to signing.  I think in the end, over 40 copies were sold so the local bookseller was pleased, and I was certainly grateful.

There may be a few photos of the event coming my way and if they do arrive, I’ll post here.  My thanks to the organizers for a wonderful evening.

Thinking of Paul Quarrington today…

Monday, June 1st, 2009


As I wrote recently in one of my little “Writers I revere” posts, I’ve been a fan of Paul Quarrington for over 20 years.  I’ve read all of his novels and have first editions of each one.  I’ve always admired him and his writing.  So it was wonderful to share the stage with him in April at the Grimsby Author Series.

I started my day this morning as I often do, reading the Toronto Star.  To my great shock and concern, there was a story about Paul and his lung cancer diagnosis made two weeks ago.  What a bastard this disease is.  It’s fitting that today is dreary, overcast, and melancholy.  That just about sums up how I feel. Paul, your many fans are sending you positive vibes…