“An erudite dog’s perspective on life in and around Montréal and the Laurentians during the 1970s unearths a meticulously crafted tale about the human condition. As we follow Daisy, a flaxen-haired cocker spaniel, on her life’s journey, we join others in theirs: Monique and Harry and their three children; feisty Aunt Irène; Monique’s cougar friend Marina and her dalliance with Monique’s son; Brunhilde the singing teacher; a pair of sociopathic cockatoos … and, through their languages and music, they share their stories with Daisy, the all-seeing, all-hearing witness.
With her lyrical and poetic writing, Montréal author and musician/conductor Bernadette Griffin shares her love of classical and 60s music alongside the great poets Rilke, Whitman and Frost. Like Racing in the Rain, Canine Confessions gives us a mind- and heart-expanding view of the world as experienced by man’s best friend.
As Gazette literary critic Ian McGillis wrote, “Bernadette Griffin renders a dog’s-eye view more vividly than most writers render a human’s. I will never forget Daisy, and you will never forget Canine Confessions.”
For further information or a review copy, please contact:
I’m very excited to be giving a one-day workshop on writer promotion at this year’s Women’s Words in Edmonton. It’s the program’s 20th anniversary this year, and the line-up is looking stellar!
Here are just a few of the instructors/sessions:
- Caterina Edwards and Jean Crozier invite you to “Dive the family treasure trunk!”
- Shirley Serviss will be wearing her walking shoes while students “Write Downtown”
- Judy Schultz tells you to “Write what you know” as she shares her creative nonfiction techniques
And here’s the blurb for mine:
Gone are the days a writer can afford to work in isolation. Now, each author—whether with a traditional publisher or going “Indie”—faces pressure to be their own promoter, online and in real life. Learn to make the best use of precious time and money. Come away knowing: the difference between marketing and promotion; how to identify your promotional personality strengths (and challenges); the most important online tools, and one “sin” to avoid for each. You’ll select an online and “analog” tool to immediately integrate into your promotional strategies.
Hope to see you there!
This past Saturday night was the first annual #Yeggies awards in Edmonton for New Media. I got to go with pal Dana DiTomaso (@danaditomaso), who gave out the first prize of the evening (her company, Kick Point, was one of the sponsors). What a great event and lovely group of people! Host Trent Wilkie (@thetrentwilkie) was hilarious (even for a semi-geek like me who doesn’t always get the Star Wars references). Oh, and I don’t know who the caterer was, but the tiramisu-in-shot-glasses was amazing!
It was particularly great to chat with the following folks:
@bingo fuel (aka Adam Rozenhart)
@ekymson (aka Eldon Kymson)
@Paulatics (aka Paula Simons)
@KikkiPlanet (never did figure out her real name!)
And Tanis Miller, creator of Attack of the Redneck Mommy blog (and Best in Family or Parenting category winner!).
I just gave a workshop “Writing History into Your Work” at this year’s Creative Nonfiction Collective conference at the beautiful Banff Centre for the Arts!
The conference lineup this year also included:
- Keynote speaker Karen Connelly
- Sessions with Tyler Trafford, Kate Braid, Cathy Ostlere, and Lynne Bowen
- A plenary called “What the heck is going on?” featuring Don Sedgwick (Transatlantic Literary Agency), Steven Ross Smith (Banff Centre), and Allison McNeely about the current status of digital publishing
- the ever-popular CNF cabaret and Reader’s Choice Awards
Anne Gafiuk, a colleague and participant in the workshop had this to say:
“Approximately fifty delegates came together to participate in workshops, readings, a plenary session, to hear a guest speaker, do some networking, learning, experience camaraderie and enjoy good food! Some people came all the way from Halifax and Nanaimo, plus many places in-between, including numerous writers from Alberta. At Danielle’s session, we shared what areas we were interested in and what tools we would need to accomplish our goals. I came away with more ideas and was also able to contribute a few, too. Before we knew it, our ninety minutes was over! We were so engaged; we all agreed we could have continued until noon. “
As I promised to Anne and the other participants, here’s some info to help you on your historic journey – and answers to those burning questions they brainstormed! Thanks to all who came out, participated, and contributed so much energy at 9am!
- portable scanner
- digital camera
- digital voice recorder
- notebook and pens/pencils
- memory stick/external hard drive
- Drop Box/Cloud
- transcription services
- empathy and a sense of humour
- Google and GoogleEarth
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- Twitter and Facebook
- Subject-specific sites (like aviation, for example)
- Local archives or museum
- Historical and genealogical societies
- Historian laureates (kind of like writers in residence)
- Universities or colleges
- Knowledgeable individuals
Historical Q&A’s (for the whole list about research, ethical issues, etc, please click here):
How do you work in history when you are not a historian?
I’m biased toward professional historians, because I’ve seen major differences between how historians and non-historians go about research and documentation, and between how journalists interview and historians conduct oral interviews.
A great example of a non-historian “doing history” is someone like Pierre Berton, who has been credited with popularizing Canadian History. He started out as a journalist and had a set of skills and experience in that field, and then moved into historical territory. There can be a lot of overlap, but I’ve spoken with professional historians who were his friends and gave him grief for his sometimes flippant attitude toward historical accuracy. It does sound like he got more and more careful as he went on (and employed many researchers, transcriptionists, and fact-checkers on his projects). I’m all for the democratization of history but I also believe in maintaining professional standards. It’s a tension I struggle with daily.
If you’re going to be a self-taught historian, I would recommend the following texts:
- Keith Jenkins: Re-thinking History
- The Craft of Research
- Oxford’s Writing History
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide
- Colleen Fitzpatrick’s Forensic Genealogy
- Pierre Berton’s The Joy of Writing
And take courses, workshops or attend historical conferences whenever you can to learn new skills and hear different perspectives.
In 1950 a war broke out on the Korean peninsula that claimed millions of lives and left the region in ruins. More than 500 of the 26,000 Canadians deployed were killed and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in Canadian history.
And yet it has been called Canada’s forgotten war despite its status as a major military action. One that included significant triumphs, such as the Battle of Kapyong.
The Military Museums Foundation is proud to host Korea: The Other War on Thursday, 4 April. Calgary historian and author Norman Leach will examine the buildup to the Korean War, and the impact of the delicate ceasefire that followed.
He will explore Canada’s role in the conflict, which was the country’s first military action of the Cold War. As a best-selling author of Canadian history, Norman will bring an historical perspective to the recent flare-up of tensions in the region, and what the situation means for Canada.
Though often overshadowed by the First and Second World Wars, The Korean War continues to shape international politics. We are reminded of its significance by the frequent threats of renewed conflict that come out of the region, and the plausibility of this scenario is subject to much speculation.
Norman Leach is an award-winning author specializing in Canadian Military history. He has written several books, including Passchendaele: Canada’s Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders, and Canadian Peacekeepers: Ten Stories of Valour in War-Torn Countries.
Nominees announced for Edmonton Mayor’s Arts Awards
Edmonton Journal article by Elizabeth Withey
EDMONTON — Roots musician Corb Lund, circus performer Annie Dugan and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra are three of eight artistic “ambassadors” nominated for a new Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts award.
Their names were among dozens announced Friday morning by the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton for the annual mayor’s arts awards, to be handed out April 29.
The new ATB Financial Ambassador of the Arts Award recognizes an individual or organization that has succeeded, on a national or international level, in enlightening audiences and promoting the Edmonton, cultural, performance or visual art scene in an extraordinary way. The winner gets $2,500.
Also on the shortlist for the new award are musicians Ben Sures and Tommy Banks, Rapid Fire Theatre, Wishbone Theatre’s Michael Peng and Chris Bullough, and Jonathan Christenson of Catalyst Theatre.
For the 2013 Edmonton Book Prize, which will be given out at the same event, fiction, poetry and a history of denim will duke it out for the $10,000 prize.
Up for the city’s book prize are Tim Bowling for his novel The Tinsmith (Brindle & Glass), Nora Gould for her debut collection of Prairie poems, I see my love more clearly from a distance (Brick Books), and Catherine Cole for Piece by Piece: The GWG Story (Goose Lane Editions), a history of the Great Western Garment Company, which started in Edmonton.
Edmonton Journal arts reporter Fish Griwkowsky is one of five nominees for the John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts. Also on that shortlist are Edmonton philanthropist Sir Francis Price, Citadel marketing director Joyce Labriola, CBC RadioActive’s The In Crowd columnists and Ania Sleczkowska.
There are 14 nominees in the emerging artist category, including Harcourt House artist-in-residence Alexis Marie Chute, non-fiction writer Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, Edmonton Public Library writer-in-residence and rapper Omar Mouallem, and Jason Lee Norman, writer and creator of the 40 Below Project, an anthology on winter.
Citie Ballet’s Francois Chevennement, Northern Light Theatre’s Trevor Schmidt, Opera Nuova’s Kim Mattice Wanat and Theatre Yes’s Heather Inglis are all up for the Dialog Award for Excellence in Artistic Direction.
And the Edmonton International Film Festival producer Kerrie Long is in the running for the Syncrude Award for Excellence in the Arts, along with Miki Andrejevic (Festival of Ideas), Linda Huffman (ArtsHab), Tom McFall (Alberta Craft Council) and Ritchie Velthuis (sculptor).
John Mahon, the Edmonton Arts Council’s executive director, has been nominated for the Atco Gas Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement, alongside Douglas D. Barry, a visual artist, teacher and arts visionary with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension.
The Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts happens Monday, April 29 at the Winspear Centre. Mayor’s award categories are worth $1,000 and sponsored awards are worth $2,500. Tickets to the event range from $15 to $80 and can be purchased at winspearcentre.com.
Update: I didn’t win, but had a fabulous time with nominator Natasha Deen and my hubby! Congrats to Omar Mouallem, who took the prize in our category.
Women and girls get in FREE to the Alberta Aviation Museum on Sunday, March 10th as part of Women in Aviation week. Doors open at 10 a.m.
11 a.m. Women in Aviation (Polaris chapter) member will speak about getting her private pilot’s licence and her experiences in the sky
- Katherine Stinson: aerobatic demonstrations in 1916
- Eileen Vollick: First Canadian woman pilot
- Vi Milstead: First woman bush pilot
- Rosella Bjornson: First female jet captain in Canada and first female pilot hired by a Canadian airline
- Beyond the cockpit, women have been maintenance engineers, aircraft builders and servicers and held key high technology positions since the Second World War.
Jean Lauzon (780-451-1175)
Assistant Executive Director
When we read personal stories, it’s because we want to inhabit that writer’s life for awhile in all its complexity – all its messy humanity. This includes wrestling with the big ideas and “isms” like racism, sexism, and colonialism that unfortunately often come with being human. With memoirs, biographies, and other forms of creative nonfiction, we get the opportunity to artfully explore these things through dialogue and details. We can give life to theories and philosophical questions by attaching a name, face and story. We can express the universal through the personal.
The Mill Woods Artists Collective would like to invite you to our Glass Door Coffee House Series. The next Glass Door event will be Thursday, February 28, 2013 at the Koffee Cafe located at 6120 – 28 Avenue NW in Mill Woods at 7PM.
This month I get to host and, and I’m excited to introduce another fabulous line up of headliners: Edmonton Public Library writer-in-residence Natasha Deen; Edmonton Journal columnist and memoirist Elizabeth Withey; spoken word poet and slam artist Mary Pinkoski; and the executive director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival (and poet herself) Rayanne Doucet.
There will also be an open mic, so please bring your rhymes and lines to share with a supportive and enthusiastic audience!
If you are a creative person and live or work in Mill Woods please consider joining our collective by calling 780-293-8496 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Me hosting the February event (it was a blast)!
I’m so excited to be reading at this along with Ardith Trudzik and Audrey Seehagen! Please come and share your words during open mic or enjoy others’ works while you relax with a coffee, glass of wine, or snacks. It’s FREE to attend, casual and very welcoming!