Category Archives: Writer Stuff

The Great Canadian Clothes Race

Every few years I decide that it’s time to update my wardrobe and shake things up. We go through stages in life, and once in awhile you need to reinvent your appearance to reflect the inner changes. I mean sure, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover … but let’s face it. We all judge books by their cover and choose whether or not it’s a book we want to read.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have no fashion sense. I never have, and I’ve accepted that I never will. Deciding what colours look right together, or what styles are cool is kind of my kryptonite. And like all good superheroes, when I find a weakness in myself I look for sidekicks who can make up for my shortcomings.

In choosing a sidekick for this particular task, I usually find a female friend (or in this case two) who I think have a good fashion sense and will be fun to spend the day with. This time around I drafted my friends Bonnie and Sandra, whom I had met while working at Kidsbooks. We all found a rainy Sunday to dedicate to this task, and spent nearly 8 hours picking out clothes. (Actually, they picked out clothes. I trusted their advice and paid the bills.)

When the day was over Bonnie and Sandra took snapshots so I could remember how to put together these outfits. Here’s a sampling of the photos, and I’ll let you decide for yourselves if they did a good job or not.


This is the “before” shot as we arrived at Bonnie’s with our findings.
(I picked out the orange shirt myself. Now do you understand why I need help?)


This is what we found!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Spring Book Hatching 2007!

The Spring Book Hatching was a resounding success! With anywhere from 300-500 people (depending on who you ask), we kept a packed house of revolving (meaning not the same all day) people who came out to meet their local authors.

A big thanks goes out to the Spring Book Hatching planning committee, namely kc dyer, Diane Haynes, Melonie Jackson, Jaquie Pearce and Lee Edward Fodi. I also feel the need to thank Pam Withers for suggesting this idea to me during her 2005/2006 Presidential term over CWILL.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are some photos.

A Great Review

What one student had to say…

In school, we are told to suppress our creativity. We have to write generic essays, follow one formula for math and learn certain words in French class. Last spring, I got the wonderful opportunity to go to a writers conference. Each student at the conference got to go to two workshops, one of them being James McCann’s. The workshop was filled with excitement, because all of that suppressed creativity was being released. His workshop helped thirty potential writers find another way to write.

After the workshop I sent him my story that I had been working on for quite some time, Alone in the Dark. The next day, he sent me a list of suggestions that I could use to make my story better, as well as a list of places to get my story published. Long story short, my story got published in Wet Ink and Potluck Magazine. Without James’ help my story would have not been published, let alone I would not have known where to go to get it published.

-Sarah, a student from

the Surrey Young Author’s

Conference 2006

Nearly Forgot About Book Expo & SBH

For those of you attending Book Expo in Toronto this weekend, or the Spring Book Hatching here in Vancouver, this is a poster that you can pick up.
The poster was designed by Andrea Armstrong, a very talented graphic designer. The character was drawn by Jen Moore, who has done artwork for TV (such as the Masters of Horror TV show where the book RANCOUR appeared as a prop!).


The key to happiness is accepting yourself for all your limitations, and doing so in the face of what the world tells you is happiness.

I realize that family, friends, and spending time with those you love is exactly what life should be about, and yet I can’t help but find myself yearning for that quiet time when the world turns completely still. There’s this thing that happens to me when I hear the sound of pen scratching on paper that fills me with complete and utter joy – and this is a joy that can only come about by me shutting my doors, turning off my phones, and abandoning my computer.

Quite recently I found myself going through an identity-crisis, wondering who I’ve turned into and whether or not this is who I really want to be. I did the only logical thing (for me) to do, and that’s pray for the strength to see the time through so that I can know where my path is heading.

Sometimes I pray for the wrong things. The truth is, I’m not the kind of person who’s interested in knowing “where” the path is leading me. Joy is found in the journey, in simply knowing that the path is going somewhere, wherever that place may be. This is contradictory to all the messages I get from people around me. I’m at an age where I should be settled down, raising kids, supporting a family … and yet all I have is me, my dog, and the scribbles of words I write on recycled paper.

The world needs people who are settled. I mean, let’s face it. If it wasn’t for those people who settle down and start families we’d all be living the very real-life version of “Children of Men.” But I think the world needs people like me, too – those who live their lives fearlessly seeking to make our mark.

Every once in awhile I disappear from everyone, and then emerge months later expecting everyone to welcome me back from the abyss. When I emerge, I always do so with whatever I’ve been working on finished; the last time I disappeared I wrote Pyre. I feel that over the next few months I’m going to disappear again. This isn’t a choice of mine, but a reality that is as much a part of me as is some people’s need to host huge social gatherings. It’s this part of me, the recluse, that I’ve been conditioned to think is in err. The truth is, it’s this part of me that is what sets me apart and gives me something that I can offer back to the world – my writing.

I never know when this will happen, or how long it’ll go on for, or what it will look like. Maybe the work I do will be from home, or perhaps (most likely) I’ll venture out to find a cafe somewhere remote to which I return daily to write. This time I may even choose to leave the city altogether, and find that hidden spot that inspires my next novel.

This is the part of me that I’ve struggled with over the last little while. Right now as I type this I can tell you that my struggle is over, and that I’ve accepted this part of me completely. The friends I have who stay with me through my disappearances (the phone calls where I am constantly busy and unable to get together), those are my true friends. They are the ones that accept this side of me as a strength and not as a flaw.

I’d like to ask anyone reading this blog to dig deep within yourself and find that “thing” in your personality that makes you different. Have you accepted it? Is it something that allows you to offer the world something very special? Take a moment after reading this and find a way to be thankful for being made in a way that separates you from everyone else. Be thankful for having the gift of making this world a more colourful place.