Wednesday, September 30, 2009

EDF's October Calendar

Every Day Fiction's October Calendar is up at FFC. Here's what's coming up.

Oct 1 K.C. Ball /Canticles
Oct 2 Alexander Salas /The Hungry Squirrel
Oct 3 Donna Gagnon /Ilker Drennan
Oct 4 Scotch Rutherford /Harvest Moon
Oct 5 Matthias R. Gollackner /Real World Heroism
Oct 6 Harry Steven Lazerus /We Had No Right
Oct 7 Megan Arkenberg /Grown from Man to Dragon
Oct 8 Jim Steel /Enemy of the Party
Oct 9 Mickey Mills /Trajectory
Oct 10 John A. Mackie /Destination: Beach
Oct 11 Rachel Lim /Water Bottle Musings
Oct 12 Fred Meyer /Blind Spots
Oct 13 G.T. MacMillan /Evidence
Oct 14 Sarah Hilary /Invisible Mend
Oct 15 Essie Gilbey /The Love Stone
Oct 16 Erin Ryan /Fark Those Takkloving Aliens
Oct 17 Wayne Scheer /Stripped of Innocence
Oct 18 Martin Turton /A Song for Cara
Oct 19 Krystyna Smallman /Miss Flossy and the Ferals
Oct 20 Karl El-Koura /Beat-Down
Oct 21 C.L. Holland /Beauty Sleeping
Oct 22 Eric V. Neagu /The Vegetarian
Oct 23 Shelley Dayton /Identity Crisis
Oct 24 Kendra C. Highley When Mom’s Sick
Oct 26 Karel Smolders /Brains
Oct 27 Stef Hall /Fingers
Oct 28 B. J. Adams /A Hearty Breakfast
Oct 29 Patrick Perkins /Feeding Time
Oct 30 Barbara A. Barnett /Dumping the Dead
Oct 31 Stefan Bachmann /The Pale Lean Ones

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Buds Up

Sarah Hilary's After a Long Illness, Quietly At Home at Right Hand Pointing.

Robert Swartwood's Phantom Energy at Wigleaf.

Jonathan Pinnock's Mid-Life Crisis at Boston Literary Review.

Alexander Burn's Twit-Tales at Twitter.

Erin Kinch's The Wall at Hypersonic Tales. (Podcast!)

K. C. Ball's Tin Man at Big Pulp.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

About a Banff...

One whole week with writing on the menu? No dry cleaning to pick up, no salads to toss, no television to distract, what else could a writer ask for?

Nothing really, but I got more. MORE in caps and bold. A terrific writer in Joan Clark, as available, knowledgeable, and wise a mentor as anyone could ever want. A workshop setting between gorgeous peaks to stir the imagination. And peers with skills, ideas, and a desire to help. I cannot begin to explain how important these few days in the Canadian Rockies have been in putting me on the course to finishing my long unrevised novel. I finally feel capable of and joyous about the task.

The site itself, of course, is amazing. The Banff Centre sits on a mountain maybe a half mile or so above the little village of Banff. It's a large complex with lodgings for artists of all kinds, several places to eat, comfortable classrooms, and access to many trails, activities, and resources.

My room was a nice-sized hotel kind of thing (blond, modern, clean lines) with so much storage I could have stayed a few months before I filled up every cubby hole. King-sized bed, long sleek desk, a breakfast table, A COFFEE POT, and in my case, a very short walk over a pedway into the dining hall.

Buffet set up with food for every imaginable picky appetite, veg, vegan, non-dairy, bland, spicy. Made to order omelettes every morning. Banquet every night. Fabulous views courtesy of floor to ceiling windows all around. Easy to eat there. No money needed. Just slide your "artist's card." My meal plan made it through the whole week, with only breakfast the last morning having to charge to my room.

The program.

In our building, the writers in the Writing with Style Program have their own lounge. This is Workshop Central with mail slots for each writer. Two computers and a printer available 24-7. This is where readings are held (8 slots each night, unbelievable quality of material) Tue-Fri nights at eight. Welcome party and so-long party also fit nicely into the space.

The classrooms are located across the street--well, a new building is being built in the middle of that street, but somewhere beyond the backhoe are the classrooms. And as is perfect for writers, "The Kiln" coffee house is right there in the building, lattes and sandwiches available until 7:00 every night with the swipe of that card.

The people.

Robert Kroetsch. Writer in Residence. Making sure you felt as if he'd been waiting for YOU to walk through the door.

Edna Alford, retiring director (and founder too I think) of Writing with Style program. What a wonderful, supportive, passionate woman. She made certain that every writer felt comfortable and respected.

And of course, Joan Clark, an extraordinary mentor. Funny, casual, down-to-earth, with-it-attitude, in addition to being a pioneer for Canadian literature and an inspiration to all writers. I sound a little star-struck because I am.

My fellow writers in the historical fiction group: Helen, Jane, Alanda, Voula, Chandra, and Doug. Amazing talent, intelligence, and sincerity. Love you all.

It was a terrific experience for me. I feel now that I can actually get my novel What Came Before into the kind of shape it needs to be to begin sending it out. This is my goal and now I feel one step closer to achieving it because of my time at Writing in Style.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Leaving Banff today...

No time to write about this extraordinary adventure right now because I do have to pack which I am avoiding by uploading pictures, cropping them, auto correcting, and well, just staring at them.

BUT....I'll just get them up here, a couple, and move on with my morning. More later on the "week that was" and all the amazing people I've met.

I do miss Tim and I will be happy to be home for a week until my next adventure. Next week: Vermont.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amazing! Banff and Joan Clark

When I signed up to come to Banff to write for a week and get some guidance on my novel, I did it somewhat blindly. There wasn't much information on line about the offered Program, Writing in Style, and even less about the specific workshops offered. My choices were poetry, memoir, short fiction, and historical fiction.

Poetry, uh, no. And memoir? Impossible! I can't remember any thing from before I was 45. That left short fiction and historical fiction. I know I have a lot to learn about writing short, and I would certainly benefit from such a session, but that wasn't my goal in seeking out a residency. My goal was and is to finish my novel, so that left me with historical.

Not really a bad choice for me since I've written a couple shorts that fall into that category, but since there is an historical element in my novel, the fit seemed perfect. So I signed up and here I am. I didn't know what to expect.

I knew very little about the Banff Center--er, CENTRE, I'm in Canada don't you know--but the program offers a room, wi-fi, printer service, and food available that I don't have to cook, so I was good to go, up for anything.

I feel very lucky. Who I got was Joan Clark. She's written several books, including The Victory of Geraldine Gull,The Dream Carvers, Latitudes of Melt, and An Audience of Chairs plus a new one just coming out. I don't know the title, but I'll find out.

Wow, does she know her stuff...and I'm not talking about just the history part, research, authenticity, accuracy, but listening to her talk about process has made me sit up and listen. I guess it's been a long, long time since I was in a writing workshop and I'd forgotten the juice that comes from sitting around a table with seven writers.

And though I haven't seen a bear yet nor had a beer, I'm pretty happy with the whole set up. Now I get to go and write! More pictures on my Facebook Page!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Chalk Dust up at Night Train Magazine

So thrilled to see Chalk Dust up at Night Train today. If you get a chance to stop over and read it, that would be terrific. Here's the link: Chalk Dust.