Writing craft

Ukrainian woman in front of crowd with Ukrainian flags, holding yellow sign reading "Stop Putin."

As winter teases us here in Ottawa, snowing and freezing and then treating us to warm sunshine, followed by freezing rain, I think of the looming winter in Ukraine. People there facing sub-zero temperatures without electricity, gas, or even running water. Yet the Ukrainian people continue to defy the Russian invasion. They’re committed to resisting, […]

Why Hallowe’en? Because we love to see fear in the mirror

COVID. War. Totalitarianism. Pandemic. Climate change. Terrorism. Nuclear war. Judging from hyperbole in social media, we are out-and-out terrified of these things. Just consider the rhetoric around the use of “tactical” nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Will he? Won’t he? Should we? The job of writers of fantasy and speculative fiction is to reflect our audience’s fears back […]

Word watch: “Freedom”

Protesters against vaccines in Ottawa are walking on Parliament Hill, screaming “freedom” in a pathetic imitation of Mel Gibson’s overdone portrayal of William Wallace. What does “freedom” mean? It means responsibility. You can do the things you want to do, go where you want, say what you want. It also means you have to take […]

New year, new resolve

It’s hard to sum up my feelings about this new year. Normally, I feel energized by the start of a new calendar, and a little daunted by all the ideas for new projects, or finishing older ones. It’s silly on one level. Any day can be the start of a new year. I feel similarly […]

The joys of the greyest month

By Scott Bury We’ve entered what my neighbour called “the ugliest month.” It’s easy to see what she means: grey skies, naked trees, the bite of the wind. Hallowe’en is over, the full-on insanity of the holiday shopping season and its excessive decoration and celebration have not started yet. The upcoming observance of Remembrance, Armistice […]

Get to know an author: Patricia Logan

How well do you know writers? Even if you’re close to several, the next one will surprise you. Every one is so different. This week, get to know Patricia Logan, author of erotic romances and mysteries. How would you describe your books? I have written almost 70 books, so I’ll concentrate on the last five […]

Meet an author: Lucy Appadoo

I’m starting a new occasional series on the blog today: interviews with other authors about their journey as artists. And these will be authors with styles very different from my own. We will start with an author of contemporary literature, stories about women, from Australia: Lucy Appadoo. Full disclosure: I recently edited her soon-to-be released […]

Telling stories vs. writing them

Today’s blog is a guest post from a good, if virtual friend. Harry Widdifield is described as “too dangerous for Facebook.” Probably because he doesn’t think the way most people do. By Harry Widdifield Humans are sponges for stories. “What’s up?” “How’s it going?” “What have you been up to?” “What’s new?” These are all […]