Posts Tagged ‘Foreword Magazine finalist’

The Life She Wanted

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I wrote this short story quite a few years ago in between edits of Conduct in Question. Sometimes I think that for a novelist, writing short stories can be similar to a painter making sketches for a large canvas. Have a look around the site. Enjoy.

The Life She Wanted

Martha Myles dusted the flour from her hands and wiped them on her apron. She found the beaters at the back of the kitchen drawer and pressed them into the electric mixer. Her new cookbook was propped open on the counter. With reading glasses perched on her nose, she stared at the recipe. Endless fine print ran across the page, obscuring what ought to be a simple task. (more…)

THE SECOND DRAFT AND MORE

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

I sometimes say the first draft of a novel is the most satisfying to write. When the creative spirit gallops free as a mare in the fields, kicking up its heels, you know the work is going splendidly! But when it’s not, your spirit [creative or otherwise] drags along like a lame donkey hauling a cart of manure. Life can be unmitigated hell. (more…)

THE FIRST DRAFT: One trick to get there.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

It’s a marvellous “high” seeing those three hundred pages stacked up on your desk-the first draft! How long did it take? Three months, a year, a decade? I remember when the last page chugged out of my, by then, wheezing printer that I gazed at that first draft in awe for at least ten minutes. It was the first glimpse of my new-born.

But how did it get there? It’s important to give that some thought, especially now that the real work of revising lies ahead. What did I learn from completing it? (more…)

THE WRITER’S VOICE

Friday, December 26th, 2008

As I said the other day, I thought I’d post a few articles about my musings about writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sometimes critics speak of a writer’s voice. But what do yousuppose they mean?  I think of it as a goal to be achieved on a very long road. It’s that uniquely personal “way” you have of expressing yourself to the world in word and thought-the sum total of yourself as a human being. You might say it’s the Holy Grail of writing. (more…)

Wishing every one a very Merry Christmas and a great holiday

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Right now, where I am, it’s about 2:30 in the afternoon on Christmas eve day. What I really like is the quiet which sometimes descends at this time after all the running around for food and gifts. Just a moment for quiet reflection before celebrations get going.

I’m going to start posting [today]some articles on writing and assorted topics and so, I hope you drop back in soon.

An An Act of Kindness

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

This short story is the debut of Harry Jenkins, Toronto lawyer, hero of The Osgoode Trilogy. If you like Harry, try Conduct in Question, Final Paradox and A Trial of One. Harry came into being after my practising law for thirty years in Toronto.

In his law practice, Harry Jenkins frequently visited the elderly and infirm in their homes. Occasionally, he attended upon the wealthy in their mansions. Today, he was visiting Miss Alicia Markley and her friend of many years, Sarah Carmichael. Affluence and infirmity were married in one appointment.

The Rosedale Valley road was an isolated stretch winding through a deep ravine in the centre of Toronto. Dirty slush spattered his windshield, forcing him to slow down until the wipers had cleared his view. Opening his window to clear the mist, he heard the hollow boom of traffic on the span of concrete bridge above. Forests of branches, waving against the bleak winter sky, reminded him of wild spirits fleeing the night. He checked his watch. He was already late.

The two women shared a stone house wedged between the mansions of Binscarth Road in Rosedale. Alicia had called to say they wanted to some sort of open a business. Harry thought the inquiry unusual, since both of them were well in their sixties and financially well off. Known for their charm and devotion to charity, the ladies were paragons of social propriety. Harry smiled as he tried to visualize them, sleeves rolled up and embroiled in the daily mess of business affairs. But he knew torrents, raging beneath a calm exterior, could silently foment major upheavals. Solicitors usually touched only the surface of life and remained unaware of dark currents which often guided events.

He frowned in recollection. Last year, Sarah had suddenly taken to her bed after a funeral to remain there ever since. Perhaps she had miraculously recovered. Otherwise, a business venture did seem strange. Such enquiries were often idle notions created by bored minds. Harry sighed and struggled to maintain his optimism.

He slowed down to catch the turn into Rosedale. His bleak thoughts were mirrored by the dismal February afternoon. He had seen the ladies last year at the funeral of Ronald Hobbs, city councillor. His funeral was a side-show, partially paid from the public purse. (more…)

What I learned from Ernest Hemingway.

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

A quick Google of the title The Sun also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, brings me pages upon pages of articles. With scads of information and opinion out there, what can I possibly add?

But before I answer that question, here is a photograph of the River Seine in Paris which I took in 2004–just to set the mood for the book set in Paris in the 1920’s

Most critics discuss at great length themes and characters of this novel. But my question is this:  how does a writer create such a palpable, all pervasive mood in a novel.

What is that mood? (more…)

ON THE MAGIC OF TRAVEL AND WRITING

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Magic in travel? You must be kidding! All we hope is to get there and back safely. When we consider the long lines, the cancelled flights, the rude security staff and the cramped seats on planes, don’t we all feel a lot like cattle being pushed and prodded from A to B? Now you’re asking for magic? Isn’t that a bit much?

Perhaps it is a tall order, but I’m thinking of those moments-and they may be few and far between-when suddenly, on your travels, you see or experience something that makes you view the world in a new way, from a different perspective. The world opens up and that, in itself, may be magical. Isn’t that the real purpose of travel-unless we’re talking about business trips? (more…)

Does Your Hometown affect your writing?

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I’m planning to write a series of articles about writing and the love of travel–which I do love. The first couple of articles start at home. All of us are affected by where we grew up and where we presently live. If we try, we can use that sense of place in our writing. Here’s the first article. Please come back soon for more.

DOES YOUR HOME TOWN AFFECT YOUR WRITING

Starting Out At Home

Before I launch on travels to “foreign” parts of the world, I want to think about what I am leaving behind-Toronto, Canada-and how it, my hometown has affected me as an individual and a writer.

I’m one of those people who, for the most part, has lived in one city, Toronto, all my life. Definitely, Toronto, of today, is not the city of my early days in the 1950’s where most of the population was descended from immigrants from the British Isles. In the intervening years, Toronto has benefitted hugely from the influx of immigrants from every country on earth so that now it is full of life enhancing, vibrant contrasts. And still, it remains a pretty peaceful place. In my lifetime, the city has changed dramatically. (more…)

Award winning novel, A Trial of One, Chapter One

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

I’m going to post a number of Chapters from A Trial of One, the third in The Osgoode Trilogy, just to give you a taste. If you like it, and I think you will, you can purchase it at just about any online bookstore.

You are about to meet Norma Dinnick one of Harry Jenkins elderly clients. Is she a vulnerable old lady in need of his protection or the mastermind of a criminal fraud? As you may already know, Harry is the protagonist lawyer of The Osgoode Trilogy. I’ll see how many chapters I can post without giving too much away! So, come back soon for more.

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