Friday, 17 October 2014

All the Fun!

Show in Ottawa today and then I'm in Mississauga tomorrow!

University of Ottawa Open House - Italian/Medieval Faculty
October 17, 2014
12pm - 1pm
Simard Building, Room 129
It's a free event AND there will also be a chef. OMG don't miss this!!

Mississauga Science Fiction Saturday
October 18, 2014
Mississauga, ON
Robert J. Sawyer, Tanya Hull, Robert Charles Wilson and myself, in honour of Rob's Lifetime Achievement Aurora Award! 

Gotta run - have stories to tell!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Scary Stories Coming Up!

I love October. The leaves turn, fireplaces are lit and scary stories are told.  This year, I'm the featured teller at the Tales and Tunes show, which will take place on three different nights in three different churches (atmosphere!)  I'll be telling an original story in two parts, with a brass ensemble.  It's gonna be creepy.  Not creppy.  Creepy. 

Don't miss it!  

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Paper Airplane Contest Rules

WARNING: the powers that be at CAN-CON are trying to fool you all by DISGUISING THE AWESOME THAT IS THE PAPER AIRPLANE CONTEST!  I WILL NOT DISCUSS plumbing Saturday night. All that I know is that plumbing is GOOD. It is the airplane context and YOUR DOOM that we shall discuss Saturday night. 


Back by popular demand, the paper airplane contest shall once more wreak havoc upon CAN-CON. I've been asked mutliple questions by citizens: what shall I bring?  Do we need our own band aids?  A change of clothes?  To sign a waiver?

Well, here are your answers: BRING ONLY YOURSELVES!

I've also received questions on the rules.  Some of you poor souls didn't make it previous years. So, here are the rules:


That's it.  Bring yourselves only, and be prepared to earn your way to even just folding the paper airplaine.


It is for the strong.


I've been asked that, especially considering all of the fine prizes I make available.  Fine, fine prizes. 


That's how you win.  And I define best based on my daily whim. 

... If this contest doesn't sound like a good time, I don't know what is! 

SEE YOU THERE.  8pm. Saturday evening.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My CAN-CON Schedule

CAN-CON, one of my favourite cons, is happening this weekend at the Sheraton smack in downtown Ottawa. This con is always a lot of fun, informative and full of great networking opportunities, so you won't want to miss it!

Here's where I'll be:

Saturday, October 4

12:00 pm
Romance: Learnings that can be Imported into any Genre
Marie Bilodeau (m), Linda Poitevin, Coreene Callahan, Leslie Brown, Lynne MacLean
These ladies are fun. I offered to moderate.  I'm a big fan of how other genres can inform any writing.

1:00 pm
Taking the Next Step in a Creative Career
Jay Odjick, Gabrielle Harbowy, Linda Poitevin, Marie Bilodeau (m), Robin Riopelle
This one is near and dear to my heart.  Finding resources and advice when trying to become published was easy. Now, trying to take the next step... it's all a bit blurry.  A bunch of cool people will talk about their thoughts on taking the next step!

2:00 pm
The Engaging Author Reading – Techniques of the Stage for Writers 
Hayden Trenholm, Marie Bilodeau, Erik Buchanan
I don't even know what I can add considering who else is on this panel, but I'm certainly looking forward to it!

3:00 pm
Marie Bilodeau and Nicole Lavigne host the Can-Con Chocolate Fountain for All!
Need we say more?  In the con suite. Don't miss it!

5:00 pm
Fantastic Weather Slapdown  
Mark Robinson, Erik Buchanan, Julie Czerneda, David Nickle, Marie Bilodeau (m)
This is new.  It's going to be fun.  Come on out!

8:00 pm
A Comparison on the Building Codes of the Northern US States, Chapters on Plumbing and Wiring 
Marie Bilodeau
So, Derek K√ľnsken, who's organizing the programming, is anti-fun and anti-airplane competition. He told me he'd make it sound like the most unappealing panel ever. I laughed, saying there was nothing he could call this that wouldn't appeal to a sub-section of geek culture.  I stand corrected. But don't be fooled - come one out for some paper airplane fun!

Sunday, October 5

10:00 am
GOH Interviews: Marie Bilodeau interviews Gabrielle Harbowy, and Gabrielle interviews 
Gabrielle was the editor of the Destiny series.  She's funny, ambitious and the right kind of twisted.  She's come all the way from California for this, so let's show her that 10 am isn't scary in Ottawa!

11:00 am
Reading: Erik Buchanan, True Magics and Marie Bilodeau, Destiny's War
Erik is a good reader.  I may tell a story instead - not yet decided. Only way to find out is to come on out!  

12:00 pm
What does a publicist do 
and what can a publicist 
do for you? 
Bilodeau (author)
I worked with Beverly on the release of Destiny's War.  She's great and has lots of good ideas.

1:00 pm
Talking about your Sonic Wrench and Other Tricks for Flushing Out the Nerds Who Are Hiding As Muggles: 
M. Bilodeau (m), S.M. Carriere, Erik Buchanan, Timothy Carter, Mark Shainblum
I requested fun. I believe my request has been met.

This is packed, but packed with awesome.  See you there!!!  

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

How a Story Comes to Own an Orgy

Last night I told stories of Dangers of the Sea, with Nicole Lavigne, at the Tea Party. The fun thing about storytelling, unlike stories in print, is that stories can continue to evolve, fed by your mood and the audience's mood.

For example, here's how my story The Last Siren evolved:

First showing, 5 years ago, at a fundraiser in Montreal:  "It's gonna be sexy. It's gonna be super dark. And there's gonna be singing. Awesome.  Oooh, there are a lot of kids here for a late night show.  Oooh.  Maybe less dark.  And definitely less sexy. But totally still singing. Maybe without the swearing. Maybe."

When selecting stories for this show: "I'm gonna tell that dark, sexy siren story. Totally."

Rehearsing for the show: "It's dark. Too dark?  Am I in the mood for dark? ... am I ever not in the mood for dark?"

Still rehearsing: "My second story has man-eating rats in it. Do I need to be that dark in both stories?  Really? I mean, yes for the rats. That's just freaky. But the last siren?  Two really dark stories? Maybe I'll lighten it up."

Day of show: "Good. Lighter.  Funnier.  More charming. That'll balance out man-eating rats nicely."

During show itself: "Let's get everyone in this story nekked! Ha ha ha!!"

After the show: "...I just totally told an orgy story.  With my mom in the audience."

Don't miss the second telling of this fun show on Friday, October 10, at The West End Well (969 Wellington Street West, Ottawa), at 7 pm.  Let's see how this sucker evolves this time! 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Upcoming Show: Dangers of the Sea!

The lovely and talented Nicole Lavigne and I are teaming up once again for a show on Dangers of the Sea. There's going to be myths, legends, ghosts, pirates, maybe some ghost pirates (yar)...  you won't want to miss it! We've been invited by the Ottawa Storytellers to hold the show twice, at two very different venues:

Tuesday, September 9, 7 pm
Tea Party (119 York Street in the Market)
You can grab some treats and nummy tea while you listen to stories!  This is a "pass the hat" event ($5 suggestion).

Friday, October 10, 7 pm
"Tellers at the Well"
The West End Well (969 Wellington Street West)
This is a brand new series for the Ottawa Storytellers.  It's a licensed establishment, so you can grab a beer, cocktail or glass of wine (preferably not all three) as you listen.  Recommended price of $5.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Where I've Been

Sure, there was Nashville. And New Brunswick. I drove through three time zones in three days, which was fun.  And then, of course, there was the Great S'mores Experiment of 2014.  I had to recover from that.

That all sounds nice and all but, in reality, what I've been doing is trying to solve a mystery. A very important mystery.  First off, I'm writing/storytelling full time now (yay! Support me by leaving book reviews and e-mailing sanity checks!)  So, that meant a change of routine.  Every morning, I now write in my kitchen. We have a beautiful bay window, and it's perfect to get a good three hours in before my stomach wakes up. Not bad, eh?

Except a new mystery popped up. Well, it's an older mystery, renewed. Kind of like Home Cold Case (couldn't get HGTV to pick up that show. Bastards.) 

We have two beautiful, mature, will-be-cut-down-in-the-next-couple-of-years-damn-you-Emerald-Ash-Borer ash trees on our front lawn.  They make a leafy canopy over our doorway.  Shortly after moving in, during the first throes of spring of 2013, we spotted something rather strange in the encroaching branches. 

There was a saltine cracker in one of them.  Just sitting there.  

Fast forward two weeks ago. I'm still full of s'mores and am merilly sitting in my kitchen bay window to write. A squirrel passes by.  He's carrying a saltine cracker.

Hu, thought I.

Hu indeed.  

The next day, around the same time, a squirrel ran by carrying a saltine cracker.  I tried to snap a picture of it with my iPhone, but it all went wrong.
I don't know why National Geographic hasn't yet contracted me for real urban photography.
So, okay, taking a picture where there's a screen on the window, with a digital camera that only boasts cheap automatic focusing ability, was probably not a wise move. (I'd have actually been okay with this shot had the saltine cracker been visible.)

It then took about a week to get the shot. Not because the squirrel didn't show up. I'm just kinda slow and generally too busy giggling about the squirrel to put much in action as it's passing by.

BUT REJOICE!  I  have indeed captured the squirrel in action!

Not a great first shot, but I figured at least the screen wasn't in my way this time.  That was accidental, btw, not planned.  Hey, I hadn't had coffee yet!
See? This was shot 2, when the squirrel paused below one of the ash trees.  Screen. Totally not awake.
Victory! Squirrel holding saltine cracker.  Well, you can't really tell because, again, I'm just using my iPhone camera.  BUT I still feel the thunder of victory in my blood.

Now, of course, the next logical step is to figure out where the saltine crackers come from. The problem with this next actionable step is that, in order to effectively discover this, I'd have to go undercover (dressed as a bush, I imagine), which would impact writing productivity.  

Once again, I need an army of the night.  

I'll add it to my to-do list.