2017 Canwrite! conference
It's not too late to sign up for the 2017 CanWrite! Conference of the Canadian Authors Association. This year's conference will be held in Toronto at the Humber College Lakeshore Campus. See the following website for more details and the lineup: https://canadianauthors.org/national/canwrite-conference/
We want your stories! The Canadian Authors Association Toronto Branch is having a meeting on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:15pm and we want you to come prepared to read, or come to listen to what others are writing. Event details are below.
Bring your best work, or a work in progress!
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a reading. Readings are generally 3-5 minutes long, but that can be extended depending upon the number of readers.
Beverley Burgess Bell, who hosts an Oakville Writers Group, will be moderating.
Come out, bring a friend, and help us make this meeting a success. We look forward to seeing you there!
Check out our new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
And our soon-to-be-updated website
What: Member Reading. Non-Members are also welcome to attend, but all members and non-members should RSVP. Non-members are encouraged to consider membership!
When: Tuesday, April 4 from 6:15 - 8:15
Where: Toronto Public Library - 145 Annette St.
I will be on a panel at the International Festival of Authors, at Harbourfront in Toronto, in October 2016. I will also be reading at the Rowers Pub Reading Series in Toronto on November 1, 2016. Details to follow. See http://ifoa.org/ and https://rowerspubreadingseries.wordpress.com/
I am saddened by the passing of Austin Clarke, the Toronto-based writer and Giller Prize winning author. I met him at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen Street West in Toronto, several years ago, for his appearance at This Is Not A Reading Series. He will be missed, but his writings of the immigrant experience in Canada will live on.
The 2016 Canadian Writers' Summit is coming up this week! It will take place at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. See all the details and the great lineup at: http://www.ccwwp.ca/conference/
I had an uncomfortable conversation with Dr. Laura Schlessinger today, discussing my writing. She is reputed to be one of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history.
After the devastating news of the magnitude - 7.8 earthquake this past weekend, with the epicenter around the coastal Manabi Province, there are many people affected and are in need of assistance and help.
If you would like to join the relief efforts, please follow the link below. Many options are included.
The book launches for Poor Man's Galapagos on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Paintbox Bistro at 555 Dundas St East in Toronto, and the launch on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 at Meet at 66 King East at 66 King St East in Cobourg were well attended. The crowd in Toronto enjoyed the Flamenco dancing and the readings, and took time to peruse the book table after the launch. I was interviewed, along with Shane Joseph for his new novel "In the Shadow of the Conquistador" by two radio stations, CFRC 101.9FM’s ‘finding a voice’ and Northumberland 89.7. Afterward, I was interviewed in a televised interview by thatchannel.com. CFRC 101.9FM's interview aired December 11, 2015 (archived, see under "interviews" for more information). The other interviews are forthcoming and will be posted on my website when available. Look for the upcoming virtual book tour and upcoming tour dates. And most of all, buy the book and support Canadian small presses!
Hi! Well, here it is, the final day of my WorldTeach Twitter Feed Blog. It has been great blogging and tweeting this week, and I wish to express my sincere appreciation to WorldTeach, and to Erika, for giving me the opportunity!
Blue Denim Press will be launching my novel Poor Man's Galapagos on November 21, 2015 in Toronto, as well as another novel by Shane Joseph entitled In the Shadow of the Conquistador, where two backpackers are forced to confront their pasts together as they hike along the trail to Machu Picchu. Please continue to check my website for updates on the launch, and if you are in Toronto on November 21, 2015, please drop by. And if not, please look for information on my website about where to buy the book. I have included a synopsis below. Thank you my WorldTeach friends!!!
Poor Man’s Galapagos is a story about an irrigation engineering student living on a small, impoverished island in Ecuador, South America. Tomas, the main character, is conscripted into military service in a border war where he is certain he will die a senseless death. His father, a renowned British travel writer, is accused of embezzling government funds and quickly leaves the island. Tomas searches for answers amidst the backdrop of a fight for conscientious objection; the construction of a luxury hotel designed to attract tourists and infrastructure; a priest promoting the philosophy that it is against the precepts of religion to focus on spiritual needs while ignoring the worldly ones; and a nurse who longs for escape from serving as a doctor in a remote rural community. Tomas embarks on a journey of discovery that may lead him closer to his father, his biological mother who abandoned him at birth, and away from his home country for the first time in his life. The novel explores the enduring themes of duty, honour, obligation, sacrifice, and how the struggle to improve the condition of our lives sometimes comes with an inestimable expense...
Hi! Well, here it is, Day 6 of 7 of my WorldTeach Twitter Feed Blog. In this posting I will talk about the country of Ecuador, and travelling as a WorldTeach Volunteer. In April 1992, WorldTeach sent its first group of seven volunteers to teach English in Ecuador; and the numbers have increased ever since. There are four regions in the country: the coast (Costa), the mountains (Sierra), the rainforest (Oriente) and the Galapagos. I have travelled to all of these regions, with the exception of the Galapagos Islands. The capital city of Quito, sitting in the Andes Mountains that separate the coast from the rainforest, is surrounded by volcanoes. The city serves as a gateway to other destinations, and as such there is a Gringoland area which is inhabited by foreigners. Ecuador has 11 million people, military rule ended in the late 1970s, and democracy is now in place in the form of presidents elected for a four-year term with no option for re-election. There is a monument to the equator, the Mitad del Mundo, which is one of the only such monuments in the world.
In addition to teaching for WorldTeach in Ecuador, I also worked with Plan International, a group dedicated to improving the faltering rural education system. For example, schools affected by the mudslides of El Nino had been simply abandoned. While in Quito, talking with a woman at Cafe Cultura, I saw that there were opportunities to become involved with other organizations dedicated to improving copper mining (abandoned mines leeched chemicals into groundwater) and the oil industry (a pipeline traversing Ecuador leaked in places and was not repaired). All noble, worthwhile causes.
I had time to travel within the year I served as a WorldTeach volunteer. I went with friends, and alone, to various places throughout Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. In Ecuador, I spent time in Quito with its wild iguana parks; Cuenca with its narrow European cobblestone streets; Ambato, Latacunga and Tena on the way to the rainforest; Papallacta with natural hot springs not smelling of sulphur; Jatun Sacha, a biological nature preserve in the rainforest with ancient trees; hiking, whitewater rafting and kayaking along the Amazon; Amazoonica, an island rainforest animal hospital with a capabara (world’s largest rodent), a parrot, a small black jungle cat separated from the rest of the animals, an assortment of monkeys, and a boa constrictor which tightened its grip as I did; the port city of Quayaquil; Machala where a banana queen was chosen yearly; and around my home in Portoviejo, I often went to the coastal town of Manta, as well as beaches near Montecristi, San Jacinto and Bahia de Caraquez.
I travelled with a friend from Canada, a Peace Corps volunteer, and an Ecuadorian friend to the scenic beach city of Cartagena, Colombia. The new part of the city has signs everywhere asking the question “how great is this place?” to which I reply that, with statues of winged horses and a semi-circular array of buildings overlooking white sand beaches, it is great. The old walled city has flowered courtyards and a rustic, picturesque and very intriguing feel.
I travelled to Cusco in Peru, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. We hiked along the spectacular vistas and stone steps of the Incan trail, looking down upon the clouds, arriving after four days to the city of Machu Picchu. The ancient holy city was abandoned by the Incans as they did not want to lose the place to the Conquistadors. Part of my forthcoming novel Poor Man’s Galapagos is set in Peru, and Blue Denim Press will also be concurrently launching another novel by Shane Joseph entitled In the Shadow of the Conquistador, where two backpackers are forced to confront their pasts together as they hike along the trail to Machu Picchu.
I think that as WorldTeach volunteers we have a unique perspective on the places in which we have lived and taught. We all have stories to tell about our experiences. And I encourage others to put their stories in print, or to otherwise share them as I have chosen to do through fiction.
To be concluded...