killer quote

“writing is defiance,” says John Vigna, short story genius. defiance is defined as “the act or instance of defying:  challenge” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.  i’ve been thinking on this one and trying to figure out who or what a writer defies and i think i’ve figured it out.  it’s your self.  it’s a challenge to not … Read more

too tight

there’s a door that opens with a whoosh and big cushy library chairs to sink your brain into.  a cadaver’s leg, puckered yellow, astringent.  i’m fascinated by his toenails.  a difficult woman is my guide, her breasts removed, one by one, until she’s standing beside an IV pole, demanding attention.  my slip is showing and … Read more

zadie smith’s rules for writers

When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books.  Spend more time doing this than anything else. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would. Don’t “romanticize your vocation”.  You can either write good sentences or you can’t. … Read more


spammed by louis vuitton knock-offs. there is irony in this.  i’ve written a series of stories set in Hong Kong, the mecca of knock-offs, and in one particular story an authentic Louis Vuitton handbag stands out.  here’s an excerpt: I admit that when I first saw her, I wondered why she was wearing a Shanghai … Read more

a giant eyeball

a giant eyeball washes ashore in Florida and i’m printing out the story and adding it to my file marked “stranger than fiction”. here’s the link: you’re welcome.

dear alice #4

dear alice dear imaginary readers of this blog, i have won a writing prize called The Brenda Strathern “Late Bloomers” Award.   it’s for people over the age of 40 who are looking to publish their first book. that’s me. with the monies i will go forth into the creative vortex known as The Banff … Read more

dear alice #3

dear alice, in a previous letter i’ve referred to you as a female jesus.  i want you to know that i can’t help it. it’s strange to me that i do this.  i mean, i’m not religious.  and yet jesus routinely shows up in my writing.  it’s a form of rebellion.  i was raised in … Read more

dear alice #2

dear alice, seeing as i already know you, i have a favour to ask. could you please appeal to The New Yorker on my friend Lee Kvern’s behalf? she’d very much like a story placed in that magazine and you must know somebody there who could help.  i’ve enclosed a copy of her story “White” … Read more

a letter to alice munro #1

dear alice, we’ve never met but i sometimes think that i know you through your stories. not all the time, of course, because some of your stories are distant. take, for instance, “Friend of my Youth”. i know it’s complete and the wall is symbolic but i can’t connect. is it because it’s set in … Read more


one day, i doubt and the next day, i believe. it’s been an unusual week.