Search Me! How Did You Get Here?

OR…a look back at ways people have come to land upon this blog/website. Google Searches that brought you to me…

I am always a little bit fascinated, a little bit intrigued, and, truth be told, a little bit terrified, by the search terms that have been used to land people onto this site. It’s entertaining to see the search terms, and it’s eerie.

‘love photo i don’t like u’ – Try as I may, I cannot imagine why anyone would make this incomprehensible search in the first place. Don’t even get me started on how it could possibly relate to material on my site. I am perplexed. I wonder what page of the Google search brought the searcher to a link to my blog?

‘is it true that what ever will be will be’ – The short answer is YES. It, in fact, has to be that way. Whatever will be will definitely be. This search clearly brought someone here because I am a lover of song, and I have quoted that particular song in a post. But still? Really…my one mention of the song warranted a Google placement high enough that someone would come to ME in search of this wisdom? Wow. I’m flattered. Turns out I actually have the answer to their question. YES. It’s true.

‘fuck you, mrs musa’ – Dear Google Searcher. No, fuck you! Mrs. Musa doesn’t live here, anyway!

‘kevin craig little island’ – Unto myself, yes. Against all odds. John Donne did not know me when he said, “No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me…”

‘where did george put zuzu’s petals’ – In his fucking pocket. Watch the movie, already. And end a question with a question mark. Just because you’re asking it in Google doesn’t mean you have to get lazy.

‘can i write a 10 minute play in one night?’ – Absolutely, you can. My most popular post here talk about this very topic. This Google search actually makes complete sense to me!

‘picture of what a mom would typically look like in early 1970’ – Dear Google searcher: I don’t even know your mother. How in the name of H E double hockey sticks would I know what she looked like almost 50 years ago?

‘maybe they will know your worth when you leave’ – Don’t judge me! You hardly know me.

‘don’t kick a gift horse in the mouth’ – My advice would be not to kick any type of horse in the mouth. Or any other sentient being, for that matter.

‘robin williams smile’ – This one makes me sad and happy and reminiscent all at once. It’s kind of like Mona Lisa Smile, only better. Much, much better. Think of it right this second. Doesn’t it make a smile explode onto your own face. By God, that man could smile!

‘i am. the one who dont know his problem’ – Really, Google? You suggested MY site in answer to this search. Go home, Google! You’re drunk.

‘selling balloons for a living’ – My goal in life, sweetie. I figure if Jesus can do it, so can I! Wait…no. He just sits there watching them fly. Never mind.

‘wah wah wah & charlie brown’s teacher’ – The correct nomenclature is actually, “Wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah.”

‘i’m here to kill u’ – Cue the creepy music, and my suggestion at the beginning of this post that the searches often terrify me.

why do we only hear the teacher in charlie brown say wah wah?’ – We actually DON’T. We hear them say, “Wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah.”

‘prose for dreams zone ahead, no honking please’ – Every once in a while I award a Golden Ticket to my favourites. The tickets get you passage to nowhere, but they’re shiny and pretty. Honk, Honk!

‘how do we know we are alive’ – Being able to perform a Google Search is a very good sign that you have not yet left this mortal coil.

‘why did joni mitchell miss woodstock’ – Because she had too much integrity to cancel on Dick Cavett and she wouldn’t make it to his show on time if she attended Woodstock. I actually wrote about this. Good job, Google!

‘kicking kevin thomas’ – I don’t even want to know!

‘words to announce a baby sale – I hope to God they didn’t mean they were having a sale on BABIES. Babies are not–or shouldn’t be–on (for) sale!

‘how need to burn baby stuff’ – AGAIN, TERRIFIED!

‘i am confused darling image’ – Darling, I’m actually too confused to even provide an image.

‘it’s my 19th birthday with balloons wallpaper’ – Very random, Google. Were you just spinning the ole wheel on this one?

‘happy birthday mr.police cake’ – There’s a Mr. Police? Well, colour me surprised. Happy Birthday, Mr. Man!

‘i dont know how long i will be there’ – My God! How the heck do you think Google would know how long you’re going to be there. And I certainly have no idea what your itinerary involves. Don’t ask me!

‘the one i love understands me most’ – Okay.

‘she’s a problem’ – That’s very judge-y.

‘nick gilder is a faggot’ – This search may have made me cry a little.

‘how does the queen walk’ – With her feet. Google knows me…Google knew I would know the answer to that question!

‘what is the value of circus clown by leonard’ – Never try to estimate the value of a circus clown, especially when it is by Leonard.

‘picture yourself fulfilling your dreams’ – I’d rather picture myself in a boat on a river.

‘a morass of ennui’ – Heavy!

‘deadlines as a way of life’ – Google, do you know of my OCD tendencies?

‘kevin craig stood up’ – Many, many times, dear Google searcher…many, many times. If truth be told, too many times to count.

‘i’m dog sitting and the dog is despondent anxiety’ – Another one of those ones that made me instantly sad.

‘kevin craig canada obit’ – As Mark Twain once said–and was almost always ‘greatly’ and ‘grossly’ misquoted–upon being asked by the New York Journal to comment on rumours of his illness/death: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

‘sing along ooh ooh ooh’ – Believe me, Google Searcher, when I say that I am, am, am.

‘jeff buckley kind of day’ – Those are some of the best kinds of days.

‘dead superhero on the ground’ – Sometimes, Google just takes the joy out of everything. Sometimes, Google is a killer of love. Dear Searcher? Why?

‘i’m freaking out’ – We all have those days. Don’t Google it. Take a walk.

I could go on and on. There are thousands and thousands of search terms in my traffic history. Funny, sad, terrifying, on-point, accurate, bizarre, etc. Some days, it’s quite entertaining to read the terms people used to find their way to my site.

The most often searched terms for this blog? The phrasing is often different, but here’s the top 5:

  1. Childhood Sexual Abuse Toronto (almost every day this search brings people to my blog–written in a thousand different phrases that mean the same thing.) It’s very disheartening to see that so many people search for this one. I’m glad that they are finding my posts on the subject and clicking the links.
  2. How To Write A Ten Minute Play?
  3. How Many Of You People Know You’re Alive?
  4. Why Do Peanuts Adults Mumble?
  5. Music Is A World Within Itself

WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE?

What brings people to YOUR blog/website?

Missed the Launch? And 100 Days!

If you happened to miss ID PRESS PUBLISHING’S book launch this past Sunday for the horror anthology PURGATORIUM, you can still pick up a copy at AMAZON and KOBO!

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I still can’t tell if my friends like or dislike (okay, hate) my inevitable group-selfies at our gatherings. These are the Purgatorium contributors who were at the launch on Sunday at Copper Branch. Missing from the shot is Kate Arms, who was away on a retreat.

It was standing room only at Copper Branch in Brooklin, Ontario on Sunday, January 21st, for the launch of Purgatorium. Several of the contributors, myself included, read excerpts from our anthologized Purgatorium stories. I think it’s safe to say that fun was had by all. Many books were sold and signed, many lively conversations took place, announcements were made…things are coming up roses for ID PRESS. I’m thrilled to have been included in their inaugural anthology and look forward to their future projects!

As far as the venue goes, I eagerly anticipated Copper Branch for quite a while now…after seeing several of my friends Instagram and Facebook their Copper Branch meals. I was NOT disappointed. What a fabulous place. I LOVED their General Copper Power Bowl so much, I’d make the trip back to Brooklin just to have it again. Whether or not you’re vegetarian, you will LOVE this dish. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t chicken…I don’t know how they did it. Such a great meal! And try the shakes…also delicious.

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GENERAL COPPER: Shiitake mushroom General Tao, broccoli, fresh avocado, organic brown rice, sesame seeds, sriracha coleslaw, Copper Branch General Copper sauce.

You can check out the full COPPER BRANCH MENU HERE.

They were lovely hosts for the book launch. You’d be surprised how unruly a handful of horror writers and their entourage can get! The restaurant staff took it all in stride. They were most gracious hosts for the wonderful event. I would recommend them to anyone.

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My good friend and fellow PURGATORIUM contributing author, Mel Cober.

Here’s where you can pick up your own copy of PURGATORIUM, should you wish to do so:

AMAZON USA AVAILABLE IN PRINT AND KINDLE EDITIONS

AMAZON CANADA AVAILABLE IN PRINT AND KINDLE EDITIONS

KOBO

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The staff and interns of ID PRESS PUBLISHING (L-R): Mel Cober, Pat Flewwelling, Tobin Elliott, Connie Di Pietro, Dale Long, and, Amanda Tompkins.

And if you choose to do so, I’m sure the folks at ID PRESS would appreciate a review of their anthology on GOODREADS. The very best way to thank an author is to post a review of their work.

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The proud and fearless leader – Connie Di Pietro, reading from her baby, PURGATORIUM

NOW, WHAT’S THIS ABOUT 100 DAYS?

That is the amount of days left to the countdown to my SELF-GUIDED NOVEL WRITING MARATHON in BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. I’m trying something different this year. Instead of participating in the 72-hour Muskoka Novel Marathon in Huntsville, Ontario in July, I’m attempting a one-week novel marathon in Brussels ALL BY MYSELF in May. Yes, I will check out some of the attractions the city has to offer. And, yes, I will be taking a one-day walking tour of BRUGES. But I am determined to marathon at least one full novel, and hopefully complete one or two of the ones I currently have as works in progress. We shall see how diligent I can be in a foreign country. BIC (Bum In Chair) is the goal, as it always is at novel writing marathons. I will try to find a balance between touring the city and locking myself away for hours at a time to write. When I set my mind to something, I usually find a way to reach my goal. I am determined to make this work. I can’t wait for May to come, now! Only 100 more days to go…tick, tick, tick…

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The countdown is on! BRUSSELS OR BUST!

I will definitely miss the MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON come July, but I felt I needed a bit of out-of-the-box thinking this year, and maybe some soul-searching where my writing life is concerned. I feel like this is an important investment to make in my writing career at this juncture—TIME—with the added creative spark of being in a new place. I wish the 2017 MNM marathoners luck in their writing and luck in their fundraising. In 2016, we raised $36,000.00…which is quite an amazing feat! All funds go to the literacy programs of YMCA Simcoe County/Muskoka. Such a noble cause. Everybody deserves to be able to read. Please consider sponsoring one of the marathoners this coming year…I know I will!

Hometown – A Novel by Luke Walker – Coming Feb 1st!

Today, I wanted to shine a spotlight on a fellow author. On the eve of the eve of the book launch for the horror anthology PURGATORIUM, in which my short story DUBIOUS PICKLES AND THE CURIOSITY OF ARBOUR LEVESQUE appears, I bring you British horror author LUKE WALKER. His novel HOMETOWN is celebrating its North American debut.

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Luke Walker – Author of Die Laughing, Mirror (of the) Nameless, Hometown…

In the coming days, I will have an interview with Luke…based on the recent ones I carried out with the contributors of Purgatorium. The Proustian Questionnaire seemed to be a success, and I would like to implement it as a semi-regular feature here. So look forward to reading Walker’s responses shortly.

In the mean time, here’s the cover of HOMETOWN, and the blurb for the story…

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SYNOPSIS for HOMETOWN:

Stu Brennan and his friends are trapped in surroundings horribly familiar and completely alien. Their hometown has become a city of human and inhuman monsters since the suicide of their friend Geri turned her nightmares into flesh. Now Stu and the others must fight their way past cannibals and faceless torturers if they are to have any chance of uncovering the truth behind Geri’s death and escaping her private hell.

But while they battle to survive in the endless night, Stu’s wife is desperately searching for him, all the while unaware of the unspeakable horror drawing closer with every moment—a horror eager to turn her last moments into agony. If it finds her, there’ll be no way back for Geri’s old friends and nobody to stop the same depraved evil that destroyed Geri from moving on to its next target.

Stu’s baby daughter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Luke Walker was born in England in 1977. He grew up reading his brother’s collection of James Herbert paperbacks, his dad’s Stephen King collection and various editions of the Pan Book of Horror, which some might say shaped him into the man he is today. Now 39, he has been writing horror novels and short stories for as long as he can remember. After leaving school with a tiny handful of qualifications and a deep love of books, Luke works full time in a library. He has also had a job as a hospital orderly and can say with some confidence that a severed leg in a biowaste bag is surprisingly heavy. Luke lives with his wife, two cats and more horror films than he knows what to do with.

There is one thing that comes through when reading that bio. Having never hefted a bag containing a severed leg, I have not yet truly lived! Mayhaps his tenure in that field has served him well in his writing life.

How about the first chapter of HOMETOWN to whet your appetite?

Inside Stu Brennan’s head, a dead woman screamed his name.

Stu’s hand jerked, his cup flew and smashed against the sink. Coffee splashed the floor. The crash of the breaking cup rang around the little staffroom and the scream filled his head again.

He slammed his hands against his ears, closed his eyes and held his breath. For a beat of a few silent seconds, there was nothing but his own interior voice, desperate to reassure him with simple noises of comfort. Then he heard his name a third time, a horrific bellow behind his eyes.

Stu collapsed; his hand struck the splashes of coffee and a piece of his broken cup.

He knew who was calling his name.

This isn’t happening.

The thought was so solid, so comforting it was easy to think it was true.

This isn’t happening. This is not happening.

Right. He was at work; this was a Tuesday morning; the other shops and the rest of Dalry were all right outside and everything was where it should be so there was no way this was happening.

His legs refused to work properly and he had to move somewhere between a crawl and a shuffle for the short distance towards the toilet. Pulling himself up and using the edge of the sink as leverage, Stu staggered a couple of steps to the toilet door. Breathing much too quickly, he pushed it shut, locked it and dropped onto the lavatory.

The thud of music from below on the shop floor pounded in steady beats. Stu held on to the sound with as much focus as he could. Through his panic and confusion, he tried to picture Rich downstairs, Rich sorting the tills, Rich probably tapping on the counter to the rhythm of the music as he readied the shop for opening.

Stu took a few deep breaths. Doing so helped to bring some small degree of focus and rational thought.

Stand up. Wash hands. Sort out the mess he’d made with his coffee. Make another drink. Sit in front of his computer before anyone else arrived at work. Talk to people. Be normal.

Rational thought spoke again while he remained perfectly still. Sandra was in the cash office and the only reason she wouldn’t have heard the breaking cup was down to her door being shut. There was nothing to stop her from needing the loo or coming out to make her own drink. What would she think if she saw the mess and nobody cleaning it up? How could he explain it?

Sorry, boss. I just heard my name shouted inside my head by someone who can’t be speaking to me and I needed a sit down.

Stu shook and swallowed the ugly taste of vomit. He closed his eyes again. Images swam in front of him and his eyes flew open. The images remained.

He saw a house and his first thought was this was his house. The thought was wrong.

He stood in front of his parents’ house, close to the wide front garden, the low wall bordering his mother’s flowers and the healthy green of the grass. Their car sat on the long drive and that was normal. What wasn’t normal were the broken windows, the black stain of fire damage on the bricks and the spray paint covering the smashed in door.

Stu heard his shout of horrified negation despite being aware of his lips clamped together and his tongue immobile with shock. His feet moved, forcing him to back away, and he tripped on the uneven pavement. He dropped, landed heavily and his hands slapped down on dark stains. Wet stains.

Cold blood covered his fingers and palms. And still the horror arguing against this filled his head, still he couldn’t do a thing but see it all here, all right in front of him: his parents’ house, his childhood home like something out of a horror film, while the moon shone and his breath rose and the rapid thud of running feet drew closer.

Running to him. Dozens of people by the sound of it, their shoes and boots thundering on the ground as they sprinted towards him. Stu lunged upright, panic swallowing him.

The runners were coming from both ends of the road. The only way to go was forward, into the house.

Into the black of the house.

They were coming closer. They were coming and they were coming for him.

‘Stu?’

His eyes jerked open and strained to focus on the white of the toilet wall. The toilet, the little sink, the window behind him, open to let in the cool air of a normal October day. Everything was as it should be.

Apart from the faraway echo of the final scream in his head and the crash of all the running feet from somewhere else.

‘Stu?’

Stu did his best to control his panicked thoughts. It was Rich outside. He was at work in his record shop, in the toilet at work, and Rich was outside the door.

‘Stu? You in there?’

Rich’s voice edged close to panic, a ridiculous idea but a fact with which Stu couldn’t argue.

‘Yeah. Out in a sec,’ Stu said, aware of the tremor in his voice. ‘Miles away. Sorry.’

The double meaning of his last few words hit him and he swallowed a mad laugh. He gripped the sink as hard as he could and pulled himself up. His face in the mirror was much too white, much too strained.

What the hell is this?

‘Want me to clear up your mess?’ Rich asked.

‘No. I’ll do it.’

‘All right. Just make sure you open the window if you’ve done a stinker.’

Stu listened to Rich walk from the staffroom to the stockroom and he glanced at his watch. Quarter to nine. Less than two minutes had elapsed since he’d picked up his coffee and heard the first scream.

No scream. There was no fucking scream.

He had to phone Kirsty. Had to tell her.

Tell her what?

He tried to formulate an answer, tried to force one to make sense. The effort was too much and the attempt collapsed into nothing.

Call Kirsty. Of course. And tell her he’d either gone nuts or he was being haunted.

A scent breathed, faint but unmistakeable. Against his will, he inhaled.

The aroma of perfume filled his nostrils before fading. Memory came to life and Stu’s shocked whisper followed it in one breath.

‘Oh my God.’

The perfume shop. Three days before her twentieth birthday. Going into the shop with Will; Will talking to the woman behind the counter, telling her what he wanted and it was a birthday present so he needed a big bottle, needed it in a nice bag.

Stu placed a gentle finger on the bridge of his nose, remembering the smell of the perfume, remembering catching the scent of it three days later when they’d all been in the pub for her birthday. A warm night in September, the lights from traffic outside striking the window they sat opposite and …

‘Poison. She liked Poison. It was her favourite.’

Staring at his reflection, Stu struggled not to weep.

Here’s Luke’s AMAZON page, along with a direct buy link to HOMETOWN, should you wish to check out his works:

LUKE WALKER AMAZON PAGE

HOMETOWN ON AMAZON USA

HOMETOWN ON AMAZON CANADA

Look for the Luke Walker Proustian Questionnaire in the coming days! Enjoy his work today…

As a Writer You Owe Your Words No Less Than Your Vulnerability…

What makes you vulnerable?

Make a list.

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I’ll wait. Are you making a list, or are you just reading ahead? Seriously…make a list. I wasn’t kidding. You’ll need to refer to the list to continue on…

Now that you have your list, LOOK AT IT.

Are you writing about these things?

If you are avoiding the things that make you uncomfortable and vulnerable, are you really being the most authentic writer you COULD be? Are you delivering the goods by hiding behind a facade of false emotions and safe-ness? Or are you stymieing yourself by avoiding things and then transferring these avoidances into your narrative.

Go to that place that makes you uncomfortable. Go to the wall you built for yourself but never climb, or to the line in the sand you marked out for yourself but never put your foot over. Go there now. Climb the wall. Put your foot over that line. Make yourself squirm with discomfort. Tackle the issues you avoid.

Only by breaking through these vulnerabilities will you drop yourself down to a deeper level. It will make your writing better. It will make you better.

Writing isn’t easy. Writing isn’t about comfort. It’s about making yourself uncomfortable. It’s about stretching the envelope for yourself, and perhaps stretching the envelope for others…if you’re lucky enough to have readers. Writing is about ideas, exploration, frontiers, change. How are you going to write with authenticity, if you’re avoiding your authentic feelings.

Look at your list. Now go to your writing…and move your foot forward when all of your instincts tell you to stop. Keep writing when you write yourself into a corner that you can’t get out of because you don’t want to breach your own sense of safety and security. Explore those emotions that you’re afraid of confronting. KEEP WRITING. The more you write about your fears, the more you free yourself from their hold on you. Write through your discomfort. Write while vulnerable…

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Just a random photo from my collection. The night we took a ferry out on the water to capture the night-time skyline of Shanghai. So much beauty. Imagine if I had a fear of flying!

 

 

Everyday Camino, Everyday MNM…

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“Once, there was a way to get back home…” ~ The Beatles  ETA: The rock pictured above is the handy-work of poet/writer Paula Boon. It was a little offering to a fellow MNM writer at the 2016 Muskoka Novel Marathon. I fell instantly in love with the ROCKPOEM. It encapsulated the theme of my 2016 MNM novel, I WILL TELL THE NIGHT. Thanks, Paula!

 

Sometimes, in the life of an author, the echo of silence is so severe it scorches. The armor one must wear to be a writer is, at times, debilitating. Even with 5 novels published and readily available for consumption, I’m, for the most part, an unread author. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to squish a mountain of sour grapes into the universe. It is what it is. My books are largely unread. It is merely a fact.

This, in and of itself, is not as debilitating as it sounds. Honestly. Just a little disheartening. But the preciousness of the ego is protected in such a way that one can hold on to one good word for a very long time as motivation to carry on and continue on with the journey despite the obvious reasons one has for folding up shop and moving on. Between the excruciatingly long awkward silences that come of being an unread author, there are little tidbits of rewards when one discovers someone has not only read one of your books…but loved it. These nuggets are what I hold onto when I struggle with the ever-present question that dogs the unread author: WHAT’S THE POINT?

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On the Camino de Santiago, the graffiti is almost always inspiring or thought-provoking…

But the point is more about self-fulfillment than it is about being read, isn’t it? When it comes right down to it, the creative heart is creative out of necessity rather than out of any desire for recognition and being petted for being creative. Creativity happens even in a void of witnesses. If I were the last human being on the planet–the lucky/unlucky survivor of a nuclear holocaust, say–I’d still have the need in my heart to be creative. I would still write.

I’ve been thinking a LOT lately about the Camino de Santiago and how my experience there reflects my creative life. I haven’t quite made the connection, but it’s there. I just can’t put my finger on it. I have thought a lot about the concept of EVERYDAY CAMINO since returning from Spain in May of 2014. I have thought a lot about the fact that the journey not only ended at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela…but it also BEGAN there. I honestly can’t stop thinking about how the journey of the Camino de Santiago mirrors Dorothy’s journey on the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz. I was mesmerized by the analogy all throughout my Camino journey and even more so at the end of the journey when I stood in the piazza in front of the great cathedral and saw a million familiar faces staring back at me and up into the face of the cathedral itself. Every man, woman and child I had walked beside, around, with, past—every one of them seemed to be there in that piazza. I walked around in a daze, thinking, ‘And you were there, and you were there, and you were there, and you were there!’ And when I walked into the cathedral, I felt the weight of a thousand dreams, wishes and hopes. I looked about for the wizard and he was there and he was me and he was all the other peregrinos (pilgrims) present at the time. We were all the wizard. We were all the makers of our own journeys. We were all there for proof of intelligence, and for a heart, and for courage, and for a home. We were there to belong.

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My first moment in front of the Wizard’s castle. The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

I want to be on that journey, still. I want that wide-eyed wonder every day. I AM on that journey. I carry it with me. It is only after you walk the Camino de Santiago that you realize the journey has just begun. You can bottle that mesmerizing feeling and take it with you. The Camino allows you do to that.

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In the city of Santiago de Compostela, right outside the passport office where you receive your Compostela certificate for walking the Camino, there is a corner…and in that corner, the discarded walking sticks of those who made the sacred journey… THESE sticks were a PROFOUND MOMENT for me. I will never forget these sticks.

The tie-in for me, when it comes to trying to piece together my writing life with my Camino, is the Muskoka Novel Marathon. This 72hr novel writing marathon is to the Camino as The Wizard of Oz is to the Camino. At the end of the writing marathon, I look around at all the tired, sleepy, traumatized, disheveled, elated, emotional writers (40+ of them) I took the marathon journey with and I think, ‘And you were there, and you were there, and you were there, and you were there!’ We land at the end of the marathon weekend with a splash and a plunk and we say, “WE MADE IT!” The marathon is the Camino is the marathon is the Camino. They are the same thing…both are journeys. One uses your feet and your heart and your desire and your dreams. The other uses all those things and a laptop and a chair.

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My view at the 2016 Muskoka Novel Marathon.

I may have just put my finger on it.

I need to live the Everyday Camino I theorize and I need to use the Everyday MNM I theorize. I need these journeys to continue. I have books to write. I have books to complete. I can’t sit around hoping for others to read the words I leave behind me. I need to continue to leave them there for myself.

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Just a handful of the 40+ writers who took part at the 2016 Muskoka Novel Marathon. We raised over $36,000 for literacy in 2016.

These two paths are so connected–interconnected–when I squint, the line between them disappears. Camino = Writing = Camino. I will, in the coming months, be looking for ways to shore up my writing practice with my Camino journey…which I very much consider to be ongoing.

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Another one of my views at the 2016 Muskoka Novel Marathon – Writing by the dock of the bay…

I already know I will NOT be attending the 2017 Muskoka Novel Marathon. I won the Best Novel Award last year at the marathon, for the 5th time. I’m thrilled at that accomplishment. But I also felt like most of my time there was mired in failure last year. My unfinished manuscripts are piling up and I discovered at the marathon that I am unable to work on finishing projects there in that space of new projects. And that is what I want to do…finish projects. That is my goal for 2017.

In keeping with that goal, I am going to be exploring ways to work on my WIPs while at the same time exploring my life journey, my Camino. I know I can continue to incorporate the two. I don’t always write about the journeys I take, but I always feel more invigorated and ready to write when I take journeys. Perhaps I should make my own Camino this year, make my own novel writing marathon.

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The Camino de Santiago – Close friends and strangers…all fellow peregrinos for life. Magic happens on the Camino—a magic that the Camino allows you to carry away from its journey.

Purgatorium Takes Over Brooklin at Copper Branch! Book Launch…

The Horror Anthology Purgatorium will officially launch on Sunday January 22nd, 2017! And ALL are invited to attend. The launch will take place at COPPER BRANCH in Brooklin, Ontario…just northeast of Toronto.

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Mel Cober (a fellow contributor) and I at Connie’s Halloween party– our first look at the anthology PURGATORIUM!

A few of the contributors to the horror collection, myself included, will be on hand at the launch to read from our short stories. You can pick up signed copies of the book and meet the authors. And while you’re there, you can pick up something to eat! I’ve heard some pretty amazing things about Copper Branch and I’m excited to try their menu.

Come out to Copper Branch on Sunday January 22nd from 2:00pm to 4:00pm to listen to some chilling words, pick up a collection of chilling words and treat yourself to a healthy meal in the process. Sounds like a great afternoon to me!

Check in to the event on Facebook!

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I recently sponsored a giveaway for a print copy of Purgatorium. That copy went to Lori Twining of Owen Sound, Ontario. Thank you all for entering the contest!
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My baby, DUBIOUS PICKLES AND THE CURIOSITY OF ARBOUR LEVESQUE, can be found in the first section of Purgatorium…aptly called PLAYTHINGS.

If and when you read Purgatorium, please consider reviewing it on Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, etc.

Visit GOODREADS to add PURGATORIUM to your BOOKSHELF!

EVENT: Purgatorium Book Launch

TIME: SUNDAY JANUARY 22, 2017 – 2:00pm-4:00pm

PLACE: Copper Branch Restaurant, 66 Baldwin Street, Brooklin, Ontario. L1M 1A3

Purgatorium was published by ID Press. You can find them on FACEBOOK HERE. Or on their WEBSITE HERE.