Alberta Views review

I was very pleased to see Candace Fertile’s review of Love Minus Zero in the new (June 2009) issue of Alberta Views. Mostly a very good review, too — even better. I don’t think they usually put their reviews online and they’ve not yet got the June issue up on their site, but what the hell, here’s a link to them, anyway:

Even if they hadn’t reviewed my book, I’d have to say I love them. I’ve been a subscriber for close to ten years. They are one of the few voices on the other side of the political spectrum in Alberta — as publisher Jackie Flanagan put it at a conference a few years ago, they are “Alberta Retort”. You gotta like that.

Revisions, Edmonton

Wrapped up revisions to Nothing Sacred and handed them in today. That do feel good. I guess the next step in the process will be proofs and getting the promo wheels turning, but those things are a little ways off yet. The next thing I want to do is write a short story — a new one. Perhaps all new. I have a couple of embryonic ones that were abandoned at early stages for various reasons, so I’ll have a look at those, but I may just write something new. After working the last couple of years on things that I wrote as long as nine years ago, I’m looking forward to doing something new. It’s a little scary, actually, but scary in a good way.

In the meantime, getting ready to go up to Edmonton Friday to read at the Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award presentation. I have no idea who else is reading, but looking forward to hanging out with my Alberta CAA friends again. After a visit to WEM the next day, we dash back to the town of cows so that Bruce can fly to Colorado Sunday for a conference.

Listening to a new CD I got — The Verdix Live at The Black Bull Lounge, March 31 / 79. Thirty years on, I’m amazed at how good it sounds. I’d forgotten how tight and high-energy they were. Apparently there’s going to be a launch party for the disc here in August sometime. It might be good to go to that. Or it might be distressing to see how old all those people have grown.

In the meantime, out to take the dog to the vet for a shot. Don’t let anybody tell you the writing life is not glamorous.

Rebel with an orthotic

Yep, that’s me. My long and varied career in retail / public service has provided me with all kinds of things: an aversion to crowds, fodder for my fiction and the biggest heel spur my podiatrist has seen in thirty years of practise. Yeah! We’re number one! So I had my feet casted today (not as bad as it sounds, as I am kind of foot fascinated. A little bit of artistic license and it was kind of fun. Ahem). And then I pick up my orthotics in a week or two. What next? Bifocals? Support hose? Christ.

In other news, I am nearing the end of revisions for Nothing Sacred. I’m beginning to fantasize about doing some freefall writing when I’m done. Which is my default mode of creation and something I felt I was doing wrong until I went to a freefall workshop and realized that’s what I’ve always done. Is there another way?

Okay, next project: freefalling on foot casting. I’ll tell you, that next book is going to be a doozy.

"Blue Lake"

I was very pleased today to get my contributor copies of the new issue of The Antigonish Review (Number 157, Spring 2009). My piece, “Blue Lake”, is one I read at this year’s Writing in the Works event and as I told the audience that night, has had kind of a crazy history. First sent it out into the big world in July of 2004. After seven rejections it shortlisted in PRISM’s 2005 fiction contest. Four more rejections and then it was at long last accepted by The Antigonish Review last summer. And they’re a market I’ve been trying to crack for a good eight years or so. So I have to say, it’s quite satisfying to me that the little sucker is finally seeing the light of day.

I’m also in the excellent company of Dave Margoshes, Rosemary Griebel, Robyn Sarah, Travis Lane and many others. Looking forward to digging in later.