Catfish Ceviche

Summer Dining with Catfish Ceviche When it looks like it’s just going to be too hot to cook, either on the range or the barbecue, a little forethought can provide you with a deliciously savoury and cool dinner. In this case, the main event is ceviche, a quick-pickled fish concoction which is purported to be as old as 2000 years in Peru, but more likely of Moorish origins when Spanish conquistadors colonized the area. However,…

In the aftermath of Ontario’s provincial election

It almost feels like the morning after a binge. Headache. Disbelief. A feeling you’re going to lose your cookies if you’re not very careful. Vague sense of paranoia, and just wishing everyone would duct-tape their mouths. You’re tired of hearing about it. Tired of looking up with the conviction the sky is going to fall. But you know what? You’re not going to lose your cookies. People shouldn’t employ duct-tape on body parts. And we…

A website is no longer just throwing together HTML

I’m no expert. Not by a long-shot. But I can tell you, having to maintain three websites, that the world of creating and maintaining a website is now highly complex, fraught with frustration, imperiled by hackers and spammers and all manner of roguish ruffians. Recently my website was invaded by hackers who planted malicious code, hijacking visitors off to all manner of disreputable sites. It’s taken me weeks of lost hair in finally clean the…

Contemplating Caliban’s Reviews

It’s one thing for me to review a novel or book. It’s quite another to receive a review of one of my own works. I’m always trying to decode them. Sure, it would be easy to default to the assumption I’m tetchy when it comes to reviews of my novels. But what I’m honestly trying to do is figure out if a negative review is the result of my own failing, or of a lazy,…

Review: The Back of the Turtle, by Thomas King

The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King My rating: 5 of 5 stars As always, Thomas King makes no apologies to his readers. I think he must write entirely for himself, because his stories are so full of imagery and metaphor, allusion and metaphor. He is, quite frankly, brilliant, and to read his work is to be immersed not only in the magic of a supremely good storyteller, but to come away with a…

And it’s done!

The Rose Guardian is done. It’s taken me nine years to write this novel. During that time so much has happened, life events which have changed my perspective, given me new insight, which then required another shift in the story because, after all, we bring to our writing our own life experiences. However, The Rose Guardian is not autobiography. It is fiction, fitting into the category of magic realism, and is a story about three females, maiden, mother,…

The process of painting

I write a lot here about the process of writing. However, I don’t often address my process in painting, so I thought I’d take a few moments to offer an inside look into my inside thoughts. I’ve been painting far longer than I’ve been writing. At the age of 14 my art teacher, Roland Model, encouraged my mother to enroll me in extra-curricular art classes. She did that, and for the next three years I…

After the ball is over

It’s an old song, written in 1891 by Charles K. Harris, After the Ball. I couldn’t help but think of that deliciously saccharine song a few days after the launch of my speculative fiction novel, Caliban. Why I thought of that, I have no idea. Perhaps it’s the sentimentality of the ballad, perhaps the voices that once trilled through its notes. It’s a sad song, for all of its sentimentality. Perhaps my remembrance of it had more…

Preparing for a date with my fans

That’s what it feels like with my upcoming book signing and reading at Monigram in Cambridge: a date with my fans. I have to admit I both love and loathe doing these things. I loathe these events because I’m basically an introvert, a recluse by nature, someone who enjoys solitude and my own company. (Thank goodness I married a man who understands that!) But I also really like being part of a gathering of like-minded…

Thoughts on Aging

It’s a glorious day here at the Old Stone House: 10°C, mostly sunny, teasing of spring to come. But not yet. Most definitely not yet; the worst storms of winter often scream through April 1. But for today, I work quietly in the shafts of sunlight from the skylights. While writing blog posts for myself and the publishing house, uploading audiofiles to proof for one of our authors, reading a submission, juggling bookkeeping and the…