Another perspective on minimum wage cost

Yes, yes, I know this blog is supposed to be about my books and writing life. However, part of my writing life also revolves around what keeps this family of mine solvent, and that very much has to do with my husband who is a skilled tradesman in a rather specialized area of the glass industry. There has been an announcement by the Ontario government a hike in minimum wage is forthcoming. This is an…

The artist in a society of entitlement

Consider this: If you were to work for seven years only to discover not only was your income so far below the poverty line as to be non-existent, but worse, people had been seeking out, using, and enjoying your work without paying you for it — would you be disgruntled, perhaps peeved, perhaps even angry? Would their love and praise of your work diminish in its importance under the weight of knowing those secret customers…

The would-be jurors

Recently a colleague from SFCanada posted a link to a review site which published an article, entitled Is genre fiction creating a market for lemons, about the rise of self-publishing and the proliferation of reader reviews. Despite being intelligently written, I’m afraid it hit the Taz button for me. You know, the Taz — Tasmanian Devil, the misunderstood growly beastie. Why? Well, here’s why: I am heartily weary of this discussion, that somehow self-publishers, or small…

What were the jurors of the GG thinking?

I do have to wonder sometimes about the artistic and literary pundits of this country we call Canada and home. While I completely recognize the subjectivity of art and its appreciation, the jurors of this year’s Governor General’s Award I cannot help but feel have collectively been dropped on their heads, or have slick palms, or fail to recognize citizenship, or just plain didn’t read all the books on the short-list, or the biographies of…

Open complaint to College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

I have filed the following complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and am making that complaint a matter of public record by posting it here on my blog. NB: This post has been edited from the original letter, omitting names of the physicians. re: ————————————————————————————– Overview I first saw Dr. ——- October 7, 2013 as a new patient. Although very pleasant, from the outset it was clear Dr. ——- was determined to recommend…

Response to Liz Bourke at Strange Horizons

Normally when a negative review (which thankfully are few) for one of my books appears I just shrug. We all have different aesthetics, points of view, something the Internet has allowed us to share through social media. So it was when I raised the very public hackles of Liz Bourke, reviewer for Strange Horizons, I merely allowed Ms. Bourke her opinion about my novel From Mountains of Ice and carried on. It would seem, however, her…

Aiming the pistol at the foot

Despite all my bluster chivvying authors into brave faces, preaching that the un-achievable is attainable, when it comes to my own career as an author I tend to shrink back into the shadows. I have no idea why I do that. But I do. Always have. Call it a character flaw. However, every now and again I emerge from my cave, or shell, or whatever, and decide, HEY! I can DO THIS! And I summon…

Story genesis and writing environmental detail

Recently a dear friend and colleague (Robert Runte) and I were discussing the craft of writing, which happened concurrently with a similar discussion I was having with my husband, Gary. In particular we discussed story genesis, and how to create meaningful environment detail and description in literature. For example, I mentioned to Robert a story on which I’m presently working, that all I had so far was mood (eeriness) and one element (an owl). He…

The dangers of silence

I was advised very early when I first established my own blog to keep it focused, to keep it out of controversial subjects. Always thought that was a bit ridiculous, being the passionate, idealistic sort of person I am. I’ve always thought people had an intrinsic right to express opinions in an intelligent, non-violent fashion. This is, after all, how we learn about one another, reach broader perspectives, perhaps even greater understanding. This morning this…

A response to Jeff Vitous

I came across a review at LibraryThing last week which, beyond it’s disappointing rating, quite startled me with its inaccuracies, to the point I wondered which novel Jeff Vitous read, because it didn’t seem to be From Mountains of Ice.   Although I make it a policy never to respond to a review, I’m going to fly in the face of conventional wisdom to comment. Jeff Vitous’ review is set off as a quote, my…