LATEST Feature Articles
by Sunday, September 13, 2015-
The CBC is one of Canada's best cross-country resources for promoting Canadian talent. In 1979 they began to offer literary prizes in the categories of short fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction for, get this, as yet unpublished works. Past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields, Michael Winters and Camilla Gibb. Here is the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize longlist of authors (30 of them) competing for the 2015 as announced on August 31. The shortlist of 5 will be unveiled on September 14, (same link as above) and the winner will be announced on September 21, 2015.
The winning author will receive $6,000, have their story published in enRoute magazine and they will attend a 10-day writing residency at The Banff Centre for the Arts. The 4 runners-up will receive $1,000 each from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Out of the 30 on the longlist, here is our pick for the shortlist, and also who we predict will win:
A Girl, Waiting, by Marusya Bociurkiw is an author, filmmaker and professor based in Toronto. She has written five books, including the novel The Children of Mary, and the award-winning Comfort Food for Breakups: The Memoir of a Hungry Girl, which was also shortlisted for the prestigious Lambda and Kobzar awards. She is associate professor of media theory at Ryerson University, and director of The Studio for Media Activism and Critical Thought. She has made ten films; the latest, This Is Gay Propaganda, is a documentary about LGBT people and the war in Ukraine. (Winner) ...More >>
LATEST Author Interviews
by Sunday, July 12, 2015-
Each spring my husband and I relocate to our farm in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. While we've owned the property for two decades, we've not had the luxury of circumstance to be there until the last few years. Taking control has put us on a steep learning curve on multiple fronts. The best teacher of course is experience, and we have tried to pick off projects within the scope of our budget and energy, which of course necessitates learning by our mistakes. I don't feel we began to really take things seriously until we acquired chickens. A garden can be tilled, seeded and left for a few days or even a week with a timed water system. Ditto for a ploughed field depending on the planting and time of year. But animals require that you be there. And being present on a daily basis you learn their rhythms, their needs, their idiosyncrasies and personalities.
Chickens were the catalyst to understanding the responsibility of our farm. My book shelves are lined with titles on topics of interest. The Guide to Self Sufficiency, Back to Basics, The Organic Grain Grower, Bee Keeping & Honey, The Oxford Companion To Beer. And of course many many cook books to deal with all the bounty from the vegetable garden. There is a series on Netflix right now that connects the dots from farmer and field to consumers and their tables. It is called Chef's Table. This is where you become inspired by cooking movements around the world started by chefs who embody a philosophy of eating that is most often traced back to their roots. If you watch this series I challenge you NOT to think about food and its connection to the health of the landscape from which it derived, combined with the skill, technique, history and cultural identity of every hand that touches product from field to table. ...More >>
Feature Articles >>
Monday, July 27, 2015
Who can resist a quiz? Bibliophiles will be keen to see how well you do answering this geographical literary quiz posted on Matador, a fantastic travel website. Book titles and author names are provided and the question is not what country the author derives from, rather it asks which country the book title's narrative is set. We've replicated the list with links to purchase each book in case you missed an answer and want to fill in your reading void:
1. One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Book Reviews >>
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Anyone who has ventured out of the city to spend time in the wilderness knows that it takes planning, talent and ingenuity to create an appealing meal and that some of our most vivid and satisfying food experiences are heightened during such travel. Now imagine that your voyage has taken you to the polar region of the planet and your makeshift kitchen must somehow sustain the palates of a consortium of hungry volunteer workers who have joined you from seven nations and four continents for the exclusive purpose of an environmental clean-up project. That is exactly the challenge and the feat accomplished as told in The Antarctic Book Of Cooking And Cleaning: A Polar Journey, the story of Carol Divine and Wendy Trusler's "journey through an austral summer" to a small island 120 miles off the Antarctic Peninsula.
Part travel/work log, part cook book, and part homage to historic expeditions of the past, this volume will capture your heart and your stomach as you follow the team from concept to completion (and from strangers to an esprit de corps) in this collaborative effort to return the pristine environment of one of the world's last remaining wilderness destinations. The fact that it occurred 1995-96 marks this as a formative example of the positive trend toward eco-conscious travel.
In the process we see the region's unique appeal through the principal photography of Sandy Nicholson whose images comprise: ice formations, polar landscapes, rich marine wildlife and members of the team engaged in various activities, along of course with Chef Wendy, centre stage, prepping satisfying ethnically diverse food, served in appealing rustic presentations that reflect the culinary tastes of the volunteer brigade from Russia, Canada, Chile, the Ukraine, People's Republic of China, Brazil and Uruguay. To paraphrase Carol and Wendy, "Food might not be the first thing you think of when embarking upon Polar travel - but it should be the second." Check out recipes... ....More >>
Publisher News >>
Monday, October 05, 2015
I've just discovered the most amazing publisher of books entirely devoted to diverse topics on sustainability. I want to order a dozen books immediately! Meet Chelsea Green Publishing. Founded in 1984 in Vermont, it has emerged as the go-to source for people with a serious interest in organic farming and gardening, permaculture, ecology, the environment, simple living, food, sustainable business and economics, green building, and more. They have over 350 titles in print and digital download. A scan of their new releases brings up an intriguing list of titles: The Biointegrated Farm, The Art of Leading Collectively, Make Mead like a Viking, The Book of Pears, The New Livestock Farmer, Beyond the War on Invasive Species, Trees for Gardens, Orchards and Permaculture, Start Your Own Wood, The Local Economy Solution, Will Bonsai's Essential Guide to Radical Self-Reliant Gardening, Thinking for Social Change, The Lean Farm, Two Percent Solutions for Understanding Roots, The PawPaw, The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America, and so on...
I came upon Chelsea Greens's website when looking to book a local cheesemaker, David Asher for a cheese making workshop. His book The Art of Natural Cheesemaking/a> is published by this Vermont-based business despite David Asher being located on a small island in the gulf on the west coast of British Columbia. Saltspring, home of the delicious producer of Saltspring goat cheese, is just a short ferry ride from Vancouver. People say the salt sprayed forage browsed by local sheep populations make the meat particularly tastey - we love the soft mild cheese they produce at the creamery with varieties topped in wildflower petals, peppercorns or roasted garlic! What I like about his book and the Chelsea Green style of publishing is that they are totally in sync with today's modern thinking farmers, ecologists, hobbyists and policy makers.
In 2012 Chelsea Green became employee owned with 78% of the staff owning the company's private stock. They also rely upon customers for marketing of products through social media and offer new subscribers discounts on books for posting reviews and links on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus networks. A great way to instantly reward customers and spread their philosophy of reaping benefits from our own educations on topics of sustainability.
In 2012 Chelsea Green became employee owned with 78% of the staff owning the company's private stock. They also rely upon customers for marketing of products through social media and offer new subscribers discounts on books for posting reviews and links on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google Plus networks. A great way to instantly reward customers and spread their philosophy of reaping benefits from our own educations on topics of sustainability. ....More >>
Whistler Reads >>
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Our next Whistler Reads event is Thursday April 30th at the Nita Lake Lodge (Library) 7pm-9pm. (Tickets $15 Message Paula if you are a non-profit) Come meet Vancouver's new literary prodigy, fresh out of UBC's MFA program with her debut novel. Chelsea Rooney is the author of Pedal(published Caitlin Press)and named Book of the Year by the Canadian Publishing community. Now a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award co-presented by Canada's premiere literary magazine, The Walrus!
Since its inception in 1974, The First Novel Award has launched the careers of some of Canada’s most beloved novelists, including: Michael Ondaatje, Joy Kogawa, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels and Joseph Boyden." That means Whistlerites will have the opportunity to preview this talent before the announcement on May 21st. Come judge for yourselves.
I met Chelsea at a book event in Vancouver and was immediately taken by her candour and poise. Of the three authors on offer that evening, she was the most compelling speaker. Her novel deals with a difficult subject matter; sexual attraction between adults and minors, but she manages to take out the demons offering her own first person experience, effectively transformed into fiction. Her book intelligently asks questions that challenge the status quo on victimization.
We are reaching out to a few local Whistler non profit organizations with an offer to obtain copies of the book for your staff and network, and a few spaces for interested persons. Message me on our LIKE.
WGBH Boston >>
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Mark your calendars! It's all things Wolf Hall (and Hilary Mantel) it seems, since the just-aired BBC series has received outstanding critical reviews saying "it's close to perfect television". That same series premieres in North America on PBS MASTERPIECE April 5th. For those of you lucky enough to be in New York, you can catch the Broadway play of "Wolf Hall", which launches a week later.
MASTERPIECE on PBS will air a six-hour miniseries adapted from Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. MASTERPIECE brings both works to life in Wolf Hall, airing on Sundays, April 5 to May 10, 2015 at the special time of 10 pm ET on PBS.
Wolf Hall stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Damian Lewis (Homeland) and Tony Award-winner Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night) and shines a spotlight on Thomas Cromwell's involvement in King Henry VIII's marriage to and divorce from Anne Boleyn. See www.pbs.org/wolfhall Viewers in USA can watch streaming online. Viewers in Canada will have to catch the series on TV at the scheduled times in their zone.
Praise for Hilary Mantel's writing is not quiet or discreet. It shouts and drools.
Sir Peter Stothard, Chairman of the Man Booker Prize '"Bring Up the Bodies" is simply exceptional...I envy anyone who hasn't yet read it'
Philip Hensher, Independent on Sunday 'In another league. This ongoing story of Henry VIII's right-hand man is the finest piece of historical fiction I have ever read. A staggering achievement' Sarah Crompton, Sunday Telegraph
Wine & Book Club >>
Monday, September 01, 2014
Ken Follet's new novel, the third volume in his Century trilogy is titled, Edge of Eternity, which is a bit of a cheesy sounding title but with his reputation and success as a writer and screenwriter, who are we to complain?
Though I have only read this last book in the series, it is a compelling stand-alone volume that does not require, but perhaps inspire, you to read the first two books in the series. Here is how KF's website describes the trilogy:
Throughout the "Century" trilogy, Ken has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now in Edge of Eternity they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all, the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll.
Growing up in the atomic era I can say that ETERNITY brought back vivid memories of my childhood and the fear we all lived under - which is something I have tried to explain to my children. The "duck and cover" bomb drills in school, the television interruptions posting the Indian head test pattern with a loud alarm tone and the announcer's words, "This is a test." etc. Every city and town block had a siren alarm box attached to the telephone poll. Living in the era of nuclear fear kept you awake at night, even as a child you had a pit of anxiety in your stomach and a sense of impending doom. The Kubric film "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057012/">Dr. Strangelove was an apt cautionary parody of geo-politics of the day. Now I can point my children who are each in varying degrees students of history, to this book as it captures the era pungently.
That is the benefit of historical fiction, and why KF made the ....More >>
Author Interviews >>
Saturday, November 29, 2014
When Cheryl Strayed's mother contracts what initially seems like a cold, her condition rapidly devolves into a diagnose of cancer. In a soul-wrenchingly short seven weeks, her 45-year-young life is taken leaving Cheryl and her two siblings behind. Compelled by profound loss, Cheryl, just 22, sets out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail - all 1100 miles - solo. She has never hiked. She has never backpacked. From her home in Portland, OR she catches a plane to Los Angeles, hitches a ride to the desert town of Mohave and sets off on a journey that will transform her life, compel her to write a bestselling book titled Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail., which Reese Witherspoon options before before the book can make it to print, and hires English novelist, essayist, lyricist and screenwriter Nick Hornby to adapt into a feature film that stars Reese Witherspoon and is now murmured for Oscar nominations. [That is one sentence for a purpose: take a breath, you are only just reading it. Cheryl had to live it.] Suddenly Cheryl's life is vertiginous with success and purpose. Her emotional journey is set to become the public touchstone for transformation over grief.
But wait, there is more. ....More >>
Technology Corner >>
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Coincidentally, I was just giving (4 of these) bits of advice to colleagues who I've asked to film a webcast for an event when this timely post came from web guru Guy Kawasaki. It's the most comprehensive, easty-to-follow guide as seen on his AllTop website. But I see the original infograph credit goes to Kate Rinsema of Mixology. In summary:
- Don't have any distracting light source behind you.
DO have natural sunlight (as from a window) or other flattering light source in front of you bathing your face.
Keep in mind what is in the background - is it working FOR you or AGAINST the vibe?
- Use ethernet cable, not WiFi - if connection fails, you've just lost your audience and possibly future opportunities Pick a quiet/comfortable place to record so your mind is not distracted
- Re-start your computer (even if it is a MAC) and close all extra windows & programs Take yourself off "network share" while recording, if you are using this (go to system preferences-network-share "off") Position yourself in the centre of the webcam screen. I always think you should also have laptop or camera at eye level or above shooting down instead of lower shooting unflatteringly UP.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NEXT WEBCAM SESSION!! ....More >>
Friday, July 03, 2015
Each year much of the book world convenes in London for the annual London Book Fair. LBF is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content. This year was the largest in its 42 year history with over 25,000 people in attendance from 114 countries. Who are they and what do they do? Visitors include anyone involved with the creation, distribution, sale or treatment of content: book sellers and book buyers, small to large publishers, acquisition editors, book designers, translators, authors, agents, talent scouts, editors and digital authorities.
This year held no clear single news-maker, but two debut novels were rumoured to sell for seven-figure deals: Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing and DeSales Harrison's The Waters & the Wild. The first is an epic set in 18th century Ghana and the second is a literary thriller. It seems the most photographed personality was Austrian singer and drag-queen artist Conchita-Wurst, who gained celebrity after winning a Eurovision song contest and recently launched her book in Berlin. (Holding a copy)
Independent and self-published topical sessions were extremely popular, seeing a rise from previous years. People are also interested in e-book distribution systems and traditional publishers are looking at ways out of the "no" culture they've created with prospects who are flogging to independent methods of pub and distribution. There's talk on how to adapt to market needs with services that aid prospective writers with better experiences on the road to some form of published product.
Amazon remains the behemoth in the room with their self-publishing arm and subscription service. And last, library lending of e-books remains prickly with many authors complaining that the system lacks standardization and is difficult to find. ....More >>