Salt Mine

I’m in the salt mine these days. Not that I’m complaining. How lucky am I to have the luxury to spend hours toiling in the underground caves of my own mind. But this stage is an odd one. Both exciting and irritating. It’s like having a compulsion: the novel simply will not let me go. […]

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Dark Beauty

Last year, I worked for awhile with a guy who grew up in The Pas. We talked often about the danger of the place (not because of the people, but because of the sheer power of the surrounding wilderness). It was taking me awhile, I confessed, to get accustomed to the understanding that all around […]

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Incendiary Ink

This morning, I finished rewriting the climax of my novel. I knew it was coming, so over the last few days I’ve felt myself s-l-o-w w-a-y down. The reason? Yeah, you know it: FEAR. A lot, of course, depends on a well-executed climax and mine tend to be, well, busy. (Not that this is a […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Micheline Maylor

I met Calgary poet Micheline Maylor in a monastery overlooking the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan. Sage Hill, of course. Every morning, early, I’d wander out to the lounge to get a cup of coffee and she’d be there, awake and writing. Then, when I went to Calgary she took me on a day-trip to Banff and […]

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Learning the Language

Last night I had a dream that I was holding the advance reading copy of my next novel. It had a gorgeous cover in reds and browns, and it was a big fat book. The only problem: part of it was in Italian. I don’t quite know it yet, is what I think this means. […]

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Shaking Out the Knots

Rain smears my office window as I write this, as I wait for a pot of tea to steep. It’s cold outside, and the smell of heat is coming off the radiator, and my dog is asleep on his bed behind me (having had two breakfasts, since J. and I seemed to be over-organized this […]

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Gift Getting

As I write this, sitting at my office desk, my mother and sister are painting my kitchen. Free labour, we joked with the guy who came to deliver J.’s and my new fridge this morning but, in truth, they offered. I meant to get the kitchen painted, I told them over coffee, but the fall’s […]

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Firelight Interview Series: Donna Besel

I first encountered Donna Besel in Flin Flon, Manitoba. She was up north with a couple other writers giving readings, and I remember how she spoke of her growing understanding of her work being rooted in the boreal forest landscape. Since I’d started writing my way back into the Canadian Shield – my own formative […]

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Plant a Seed

You have to hear this song. I mean, really. Really.  Take a minute out of your busy life, click play, and listen. Because it’s so good. I had tears in my eyes the first time I heard it, last Saturday night, under glistening strings of white lights at the Oddfellows Hall in Thessalon, Ontario, during […]

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Announcing The Pas Writer-in-Residence 2016

I am so excited to announce that Halifax-based writer Lorri Neilsen Glenn will be coming north to The Pas next spring (May 3-June 15) to be our second Writer-in-Residence at The Pas Regional Library, thanks to funding from the Manitoba Arts Council! With roots in Manitoba, including The Pas, Lorri has a wealth of teaching […]

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