Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 2020 update

Hard to believe the summer is almost over, although the trees have been reminding us of the in-creep of fall by dropping the odd leaf on the ground here and there for the past couple of weeks.

Recent Publications
A review of Lois Legge’s Wounded Hearts: Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home appeared on the Miramichi Reader site, link below:


Toward the end of August, I also received my print copy of Star*Line Summer 2020, which contains abridged versions of my reviews of War, The Truth About Snails, and The Gates of Never. These reviews are available in their full format on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association web site, listed under the year of publication of each collection.

My limerick [working out’s said to make you feel...] was listed as a runner-up for Saturday Evening Post May/June 2020 Limerick Laughs contest. You can find the winner’s limerick along with all the runners-up at:


What I’m Working On
Having managed to send out a few short stories for consideration in August, I’m continuing to work away at other stories for upcoming submission dates.

I also have a number of book reviews on the go, in various stages of progress. Among them is Nina Munteanu’s cli-fi novel A Diary in the Age of Water—a must-read for Canadians who enjoy speculative fiction and care about the future of the planet, if for no other reason than to heighten awareness of some of the water-related issues that might be looming for future generations. I’ve also got access to an electronic copy of Julie Czerneda’s Mirage. It’s been a while since I read one of Czerneda’s novels, so I’m looking forward to getting into this one.

As longer-term projects for my own writing, I’m putting together a collection of non-speculative haibun around nature/camping/canoeing. I also have a short story collection that I’m putting the finishing touches on, for submission in the fall.

So many ideas, so little time . . .

Coming Soon
I’ve received an acceptance for the forthcoming Third Flatiron anthology, Brain Games. I’ve had one short story and two humor pieces published in previous iterations of Third Flatiron, so I’m excited to add Brain Games to the list.  

Until next time . . .









Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 2020 update

Recent Publications
My poem “Paws for Reflection” appeared in Thema, Vol 32, No. 2, Summer 2020, The Clumsy Gardener.

“From Cat, To Fiddle” (poem) was included in New Myths reader’s choice poll. 

What I’m Working On
Short stories have been the main focus for the past month. I am also working on a couple of collections, one poetry, one short stories, to send away for consideration.

I’m continuing to work on book reviews; putting the finishing touches on a review of Lois Legge’s Wounded Hearts: Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home for the Miramichi Reader site. I also have reviews of a couple of speculative poetry books on the go.

I’ve requested a review copy of David Gerrold’s recently-published novel Hella. Fans of Star Trek (Original Series) may be familiar with Gerrold as the writer of the classic “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode. While I read some of Gerrold’s fiction and non-fiction works in the distant past, it’s been a long time. Looking forward to checking this latest one out.



Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July 2020 Update

Recent Publications
A limerick titled [with the lockdown] was selected as one of the ten winning entries for On the Premises mini-contest #45. This contest called for limericks about “how you feel about life today” in the midst of the pandemic. You can find my entry along with the other selected poems at: https://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_45/

A poem titled “Do Androids Dream, Indeed” appeared in Polar Borealis, Issue 15, June 2020:


My review of Edward M. Langille's The Story of Lillian Burke was published in the Miramichi Reader online June 13, 2020. This story details the life and times of an American woman whose connection with Alexander Graham Bell's family brought her to Cape Breton on visits. It was here that she helped to establish a rug hooking home industry for the women of Ch├ęticamp, Nova Scotia, providing a much-appreciated way of bringing cash income into their homes. A link to the review is below:


My review of Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Brightness Long Ago was included in Speculative North.

Reviews of The Truth About Snails by J.D. DeHart (Red Dashboard LLC, 2014) and The Gates of Never by Deborah L. Davitt (Finishing Line Press, October 2019) were posted on the Star*Line reviews site, and excerpts will be included in Star*Line Issue 43.3. A review of War written by Alessandro Manzetti and Marge Simon and illustrated by Stefano Cardoselli (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2018) will also appear in Star*Line 43.3, as well as ultimately appearing in full form on the online reviews site. To see the reviews online, click on the year of publication and search or scroll to the appropriate review. Link to the reviews site is below:


What I’m Working On
I still have several short stories in process; trying to make progress as time permits. Also working through commitments for two additional poetry book reviews, and just received a copy of Wounded Hearts: Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home by Lois Legge for review.










Monday, June 1, 2020

June 2020 Update

After complaining about the cold weather for most of May, the heat came with a vengeance in the third week of the month. Most of the trees are out in leaf now, even the late-starting oaks, and the modest vegetable garden we opted for this year is on its way—spring garlic, sweet onions, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers among the offerings.

Recent Publications
Two poems, “Cardinal” and [online grocery order], were published online at quatrain.fish.

I also posted a review of Jack Campbell’s military thriller Ascendant on Goodreads around mid-month. Enjoyable book with characters I could root for in a worthy cause.

What I’m Working On
Still working on speculative fiction pieces, the odd poem, and book reviews—some speculative, some non-spec; some prose, some poetry. I am also working my way through the advice and the exercises in James Scott Bell’s book Plot and Structure. The more I delve into these topics, the more it feels like one step forward, two back with my writing, though I have faith that it will all work out in the long run. Oh, and just for fun, since the local library was offering on-line courses for free (not sure if they do this all the time, or just for the pandemic) I signed up for a drawing course, since I have some ideas for cartoons and want to improve my skills. So far, I've learned a lot!

Coming Soon
Though I’ve sent out a few poems during the past month, I've been mainly focussed on working on in-process speculative fiction pieces. Hoping to continue that progress in June.

My review of Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Brightness Long Ago will also be appearing in Speculative North in the near future.




Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2020 update

Since mid-March, we've been laying low due to the coronavirus. I have the good fortune of living on a spacious property where I can exercise my Border Collie without worrying about social distancing issues. She for one isn't complaining about the extra outdoor time.

Recent Publications

A poem entitled "Lorelei" was published in Polar Borealis: Magazine of Canadian Speculative Fiction, Issue 14, April 2020:

My review of Zooscape, Issue 6, March 2020, appeared on The Future Fire's site, at the link below:

This online zine features anthropomorphic stories with a speculative flair; the issue I reviewed included both fantasy and science fiction entries. Worth taking a look if you enjoy this type of story. My personal favorite was "The Adventures of WaterBear and Moss Piglet."

My poem "No Fairy Tale World" was included in the 2020 Rhysling Anthology, which is issued by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. Work must be nominated to land in this volume, and it's the first time one of my poems has had the distinction of appearing in it, so I'm grateful for that.

What I’m Working On
Though I've been sending out poems through April, I've been mainly focussed on working on in-process speculative fiction pieces, and managed to send out several stories for consideration. Hoping to continue that progress in May.

Also in the draft stages of writing a review of How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, by K. Eason.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

April 2020 update

Recent Publications

"Hand-Stitched Love" was included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Moms, which was released in March. This story originally appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada.

A short humour piece entitled “Tipping Point” was printed in Our Canada, April/May 2020.

A poem titled “A Dish Best Served” appeared in Liminality, Issue 23, Spring 2020. Link: http://www.liminalitypoetry.com/issue-23-spring-2020/a-dish-best-served/

What I’m Working On
Plotting and writing short stories has been a focus for the past month.

I have two reviews in process, and two recently completed. In process are reviews of Deborah L. Davitt’s poetry collection The Gates of Never, and K. Eason’s novel How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse.

I finished reviews of A. J. Hackwith’s original and entertaining fantasy novel The Library of the Unwritten and the March 2020 issue of Zooscape, and sent them to possible markets.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March 2020 update

Recent Publications

My review of John Marrs’ near-future thriller The Passengers appeared on The Future Fire’s site on February 5th. Marrs’ novel provides a thought-provoking and well-researched look at the possible perils and impacts of autonomous vehicles. Here’s a link for those interested:

A space opera short story entitled “Duplicity” appeared in Outposts of Beyond, January 2020, while a poem, “In a Minor Key,” was included in Spaceports and Spidersilk, February 2020.

A short poem [talent show] was included in Frozen Wavelets issue 2. Link below:

Two short poems, [the enemy wakens] and [surrounded by frogs], were included in Scifaikuest February 2020 print edition.

A poem entitled “Altered,” inspired by a news story, appeared in Trouble Among the Stars, Issue 5, February 2019, https://troubleamongthestars.com/issue5/

Three poems, [zombie night], [hang time], and [scorched earth], were included in Star*Line 43.1, Winter 2020.

What I’m Working On
As noted last month, my main focus lately has been short fiction. Sent out a few pieces in February (including my first venture into Steampunk) and continuing to refine others for March sendout.

I’m also working on reviews of a couple of enjoyable and original novels I recently finished reading, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason and The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith. Deborah Davitt was also kind enough to send a copy of her poetry collection The Gates of Never for review.