Revealed: Kit Sora – The Artobiography

Honoured to be part of this amazing project.

It should be available this fall, just in time for the holidays and would make a great gift.

Engen Books

Kit-CoverFor months we’ve kept it a secret, slowly amassing the best short fiction from the best authors working in the field, via industry contacts and the Kit Sora Flash Fiction Contest. Now it’s all coming together in Kit Sora: The Artobiography, a 100-page hardcover anthology celebrating one of the greatest photographic artists of our time and the authors she inspired.

This stunning collection will be available from Engen Books in Fall 2018, and features over eighty high-concept images photographed and selected by Sora herself for this collection.

Along with Kit Sora’s tremendous artwork, the collection features accompanying short fiction from some of Canada’s bestselling, award-winning authors. Some include Kate Robbins (Bound to the Highlander), Carolyn R. Parsons (Charley Through Canada), Chelsea Bee (London Calling), Jon Dobbin (The Starving), Candace Osmond (Love & Magic), Michelle Churchill (The Last…

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Book Review #4 “Dark Beneath the Moon” by: Sherry D. Ramsey

In an effort to support regional authors, I’m reviewing books written by Atlantic Canadians. These reviews are from a layman’s point of view, I don’t have any special insight, just like what I like.

One of my summer reads was book 2 in the wonderful “Nearspace Series” written by Canadian author Sherry D. Ramsey.

The first book in the series was a wonderful tale of Luta and her family (both by blood and by choice) and their adventures on board their space ship as she tries to search for her long lost mother and learn the nature of the nano-bot “gift” she was given as a child.

This book (#2) continues the adventures of Luta as we are introduced to Jahelia Sord, a woman not unlike Luta, but someone who never had the support structure that she did. Jahelia is a brilliant opposite to Luta and really plays to the expression “It takes a village to raise a child”, their similar though conflicting natures made for a gripping read.

While Luta and Jahelia are the driving force of this novel, the supporting cast and the nature of the alien menace to Nearspace are given equal attention to propel the plot forward.

Fans of Mary Gentle, Julie E. Czerneda, and Octavia E. Butler should check this series out.

“Burning Bridges” a flash fiction story

I’m been in a bit of a writing slump the past couple of months, but decided to share one of my recent attempts at flash fiction writing.

I hope you enjoy.

Burning Bridges

“I must destroy this prison if I’m ever to be free of its grip.” Whispers Missy as she leaps from the dollhouse to the table.

Missy listens for any change in the giants snoring before sneaking through the maze of empty beer bottles to the open box of matches. She struggles to remove one of the massive wooden sticks, her arms trembling.

With a thrust against the side of the box, the match flares to life, startling Missy and making her bump into a bottle causing it to “clinks” with its neighbour.

“What’s happening?” the giant asks, his voice thick with sleep.

Missy leaps back into the dollhouse dragging the lit match behind her lighting curtains and tablecloths in her wake. The dollhouse shakes as the giant grips it, Missy stumbles across the living room, the match threatening to light her gown or singe her hair.

Picking herself up, she sees the giant peering into the dollhouse. The flames consuming the dollhouse highlight the broken nose and beady eyes of the creature.

“This cursed dwelling will never again trap one of my kind!” Missy yells into the face of the giant. The face retreats and a gigantic hand reaches through the flames, hunting for her.

With a surge of speed, Missy dashes through the flames and charges out the front door of the dollhouse and back into her own realm. The flaming portal between worlds slammed shut behind her, Missy collapses in the snow, home at last.

I won the “Awkward Author Contest”!

The brilliant talent that is Chuck Wendig recently held an Awkward Author Contest, in which authors submit a picture of themselves to be voted upon and I won the fan choice award.

More details here: Awkward Author Contest

The picture is of me in my Tuxedo in the Boiler Plant in which I work waiting to hurry off to a meeting. I found the situation silly, so I sent the above photo to my fiance as a joke.

As often happens, silly photo’s make it onto the interwebs and my friend Jenn Shelby convince me to submit it to the contest. With the support of the learned public, my photo garnered the most votes.

Thanks all for confirming my belief in my awkwardness. 😉

Recharging your writing

I struggle during the summer to write, do you?
Forget about the family outings, BBQ’s, and evening walks, those all provide a need chance to recharge and reconnect with friends and family before the cold weather keeps us trapped inside.
It’s the lawn mowing, house repairs, and soul-sucking humidity that drains me to my core leaving little energy to be creative.
At first I was beating myself up for not sitting my butt in my chair and cranking out “something” as so many of my writer friends are able too. These are people who are also raising young families, if they can do it, why can’t I?
Rule #1 Don’t compare yourself to other authors.
Inspired by others is great, comparing your output to theirs isn’t.
Rule #2 Switching projects can be as good as a break.
So instead of rebuking myself up over not writing so many new words, I’ve been working on plotting future stories and editing some W.I.P.s.
Rule #3 Breaks and recharging is healthy.
I’ve also been making personal time to relax and read with a focus on local authors.
I guess what I’m telling myself and you good reader, is that it’s ok to take a break from your normal routine. Writing is a passion and a passion can wilt and die if not cared for. So take that afternoon nap, enjoy that walk in the woods, and open a cold beverage from time to time, your writing will thank you.

Judging a story contest isn’t easy…

Judging Post

I had the honour of being a judge for the Engen Books/Kit Sora “Flash Photography/Flash Fiction story contest.  It’s a wonderful paying contest open to Canadian residents who can write a piece of flash fiction (250 words or fewer) inspired by the amazing works of Newfoundland photographer Kit Sora.

I won the very first contest (March 2018) and bribed my way into being a judge this time around, because I love the “behind the curtains” stuff when it comes to publishing.

The rules were simple, read each of the stories and pick my top 10 and submit that list to Engen who would compare it to the other judges lists. Since none of the stories had the authors listed, and it was a double-blind judging system, it would be a fair contest.

Since it was paying market and the winner would be have bragging rights from being a contest winner, I knew I had to treat this contest with the seriousness it deserved. So, cracking open favourite fermented beverage I set to work.

Sounds easy right? Wrong…

I was “lucky”, since it now warmer weather, there was “only” 24 entries for the contest, and I had to pick the best ten from them. Since the same photograph, a wonderful picture of Kit on the shoreline in a gleaming green mermaid tail was to be the writers inspiration, I figured I would see a lot of the stories with a similar theme...wrong again.

I read light-spirited tales of adventure, tales of loss that broke my heart, and tales that reflected our current political climate. How was I to rank my favourite ten out of all these?

After a read through of them all, and a second malted beverage, I made three piles  “Yes, No, Maybe” and left them for a day to stew around in my mind. The next day I read them all again and shifted some from one pile to another as I felt best. They were all great stories in their own right but the “No” pile were stories I felt needed more than the 250 word limit to shine, or tales I didn’t associate with Kit’s photograph.

Next was sorting out the “Yes/Maybe” group, and this consumed the rest of my afternoon as I reread the stories, asked myself if they touched me, and if they paid homage to the supplied photograph.

Once I had my top 10, I sent it to the good people at Engen Books before I could second guess myself. This exercise has given me a newfound respect for the labours that publishers go through when selecting a story, and I hope it will make be a better writer for doing it.