All posts by Miki Dare

writer and artist

Tesseracts 20 Book Launch in Vancouver

I had a fabulous time at the “double the fun” book launch for Issue 16 of Pulp Literature and Tesseracts 20 in Vancouver. My short story “Grounded” is in the latter anthology, and it was my first time to read my published work in public. I was nervous to say the least, but had a blast once I got reading.

Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty

The book launch was on September 18, 2017 at the Cottage Bistro, Vancouver. It was a terrific venue, and I enjoyed meeting fellow writers and readers.  As per Pulp Literature’s website, “attending litterati from Pulp Literature include feature author kc dyer, cover artist Akem, Patrick Bollivar, Erin Kirsh, Magpie Poetry Award judges Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Daniel Cowper along with Magpie runner-up Glenn Pape, JM Landels, and Susan Pieters (who has a story in both books).”  The Tesseracts 20 list included Susan Pieters, paulo da costa, Linda DeMeulemeester, Steve Fahnestalk, Catherine Girczyc, Roxanne Gregory, Matthew Hughes, Guy Immega, and Rhea Rose.

Thanks to the folks at Pulp Literature for organizing such a wonderful event.

Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty

Compostela: Tesseracts TwentyI’m on cloud nine that my story “Grounded”  is in the new anthology Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty which is now available exclusively on Amazon.

Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing puts out a Tesseracts anthology each year, and it features work by Canadian science fiction, fantasy and horror authors. According to Edge’s website, “Some of Canada’s best known fiction writers have been published within the pages of these volumes – including Margaret Atwood, Susan Swan, and Hugo and Nebula award winning authors William Gibson, Spider Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer.” I am happy to say that in this 20th edition, I share the pages with Robert J. Sawyer. How fabulous!

It’s also wonderful to be in an anthology edited by Spider Robinson because he was my first direct connection to the world of science fiction writers. He was a writer in residence in Vancouver awhile back, and I went in to see him about what he thought about my writing. I basically wrote science fiction as a social hermit, as most of my friends don’t read it. I was ever so nervous, and he was ever so kind.  He said to go on and start sending out stories; and that’s what I did. Here I am now!

Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology Official Release

The official release of Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy is set for October 8, 2017. I am excited to say that my story, A Star is Born is one of the 23 stories selected for this anthology. Within these pages, readers will find imaginative science fiction and fantasy tales with an Asian focus that work towards crushing stereotypes and broadening people’s minds.

To find out more, check out the following links:

Where the Stars Rise page:

Author page:

Below is the official Table of Contents:

Stars Rise table of contents


Feature First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People on Canadian Banknotes

Being an artist, I value and see how powerful images are in society. As a writer, I see how important stories are to how we view ourselves and others. For so long and in so many ways, Indigenous people have been and continue to be marginalized in Canada. Sharing positive images and stories in a meaningful and respectful way, is a small, but symbolic step, to work towards addressing the damage of so many generations of systemic racism. Our view of Canadian history has been sadly skewed and Indigenous perspectives and contributions largely ignored. Having First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people featured prominently on our money would be a way to recognize the importance of Indigenous people in our society. It’s a way to change our media and mental landscapes that are generally bereft of positive Indigenous images. It would be a touchstone to share stories about the important impact Aboriginal people have and continue to have in Canada.

I imagine parents having an instant teachable moment when kids ask who is on their dollar bills.  I imagine visitors from other countries asking the same question, and Canadians proudly sharing stories about Indigenous historial figures and role models. I imagine a future where more Canadians talk about and see our country as starting with Indigenous people versus only when Europeans came here. I would hope this could help spark change in how our government, related agencies and every Canadian thinks about and relates to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

I started a petition asking the Bank of Canada and the Canadian government to feature First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people on Canadian banknotes. Below is a link to the petition. I am trying to collect as many signatures as possible to make this happen, so please sign and pass it on.

As well, here is the letter I wrote to the government and Bank of Canada:

I am overjoyed that the Canadian government has made the important and progressive move to feature Viola Desmond on our $10 bill. I am now petitioning the federal government to make a sincere and long-lasting commitment to feature Aboriginal men and women on our future bills. The Bank of Canada has said that its goal is to “promote Canada and Canadians – our values, culture, history, traditions, achievements and/or natural heritage.” There is absolutely nothing more Canadian than the Indigenous people of this land.

It’s shocking and shameful that Aboriginal people are not included on every single bill we have.  They are the heart and soul of this country, and their exclusion on our banknotes sadly reflects how our society has long viewed and treated First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. When we think of “founding fathers,” we automatically think of white male government figures – and that is who we see on our bills. But this is not who “founded” this nation.

Canada has always been home for Aboriginal people, for thousands of years and countless generations. Their culture, knowledge and connection to the land, and their willingness to share this, are what made it possible for Europeans to survive and thrive here. Aboriginal people shared a cure for scurvy with sickly newcomers, helped them travel this great land, and even taught them the sport of lacrosse which is enjoyed across the country today. From the very beginning to this very day, Aboriginal people have made and continue to make important contributions to Canada – that sadly have been and continue to be left largely unrecognized.

The federal government can take action to help right this wrong; it has the power to make an impactful change. Ottawa can send a powerful message that touches all our lives every day, by meaningfully including First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people on our banknotes.  Money passes through hands every day and across the nation, and who we see on our bills reflects how we see ourselves and how we see not only our past, but how we shape the present day and envision the future. By making Aboriginal people visible on our currency, this is a step in the right direction to illustrate how our government values and validates their importance in Canadian society.

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people should all be represented, with the goal of having historical heroes and/or present day role models featured prominently on Canadian banknotes. Some examples would be historical figures like Louis Riel and Molly Brant to present day trailblazers like Buffy Sainte-Marie, Rosemarie Kuptana and Senator Murray Sinclair.

This petition calls on the Bank of Canada to commit to featuring First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people on banknotes, to do so as soon as possible, and to remain steadfast to this commitment as future bill series are created. Please add your name to help make this important change happen.

Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

There is a twinkle in my eye!  I am excited to say that my short story “A Star is Born” will be featured in Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories. The Laksa Media Groups Inc. is responsible for this anthology, and I am feeling thrilled to be part of an organization that forward focused.  For example, their mission statement is “to create opportunities to ‘pay forward’ and ‘give back’ through our publishing program. Our tag line is Read for a Cause, Write for a Cause, Help a Cause.” Who doesn’t want to be part of something as awesome as that!

To top it off their website states that a “portion of Laksa Media’s net revenue from this anthology will go directly to support Kids Help Phone.” And Laksa Media says it will donate $500 to Kids Help Phone once this anthology is published.

Browsing around their site, I checked out Laksa Media’s current anthology which is Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts where “nineteen science fiction and fantasy authors tackle the division between mental health and mental illness; how the interplay between our minds’ quirks and the diverse societies and cultures we live in can set us apart, or must be concealed, or become unlikely strengths.”

Realizing that not everyone can afford to buy a book, they have a Library Challenge section on their website. They ask that folks suggest their local library request the anthology so that everyone can have access to entertaining yet socially relevant, important stories. If you are interested in getting this anthology at your library, here is the information you need below, and you can do it online in mere minutes.

Title: Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts
Author: Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law
ISBN: 9780993969607
Publisher: Laksa Media Groups Inc.
Notes/Comments: The anthology (dealing with mental health/mental illness) has been reviewed by Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Quill & Quire, and Foreword Reviews.

Powell Street Festival

psf2016_11x17poster-copyThe Powell Street Festival is celebrating its fortieth year this year in Vancouver, and I am so happy to be taking part in the event.  Come stop by my table for a visit and a chat. I will be selling my paintings, prints and cards. I have always loved the Powell Street Festival and it`s so awesome to be able to participate this time.

It`s Canada’s biggest festival of Japanese arts and culture, and it is great family fun for the last weekend of July. It offers entertainment  from taiko drumming to sumo wrestling. There are crafts and activities for the kids and all sorts of great Japanese arts and crafts to purchase. One of my favourite things to do is to pig out on all the delicious Japanese fair food. This year they are also having an interactive section in the park and a street party on Alexander Street. Hope to see you there!


Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual Bloom Art Auction

Come check out the Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual BLOOM Art Auction on Saturday, May 28, 2016. My art titled Exotic Flavour Existence will be part of the silent auction.

Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual Bloom Art Auction
Nikkei National Museum 8th Annual Bloom Art Auction

You can get a sneak peak by going to the gallery exhibit and/or the online preview  featuring the art of more than 60 artists. The theme of this year’s event is ink, and it’s inspired by the sumie works of artist Takao Tanabe. The night will include calligraphy and sumie stations, as well as a calligraphy performance by Kisyuu.  There will be music by DJ Rennie Foster and taiko drumming by Sansho Taiko. Hope you can make it. 🙂

Creative Ink Festival

I had a fabulous time at the Creative Ink Festival and am sending a big thank you to author Sandra Wickham for bringing this event into existence. It was my first time going and it was so energizing! I ventured out of my midnight writing cave and into the daylight hours to learn new ideas, check out fantastic books, and meet other writers and artists.

I recently had my story “Grounded” accepted into the science fiction anthology Tesseracts Twenty: Compostela. And who did I get to meet at Creative Ink…but Brian Hades, the head of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing which puts out this Canadian anthology. Writing is a very solitary event for me where sending out stories via the Internet is the closest I come to connecting with others, so it is wonderful to meet the people who are making a “home sweet home” for my stories. “Grounded” will get to be mere pages away from work written by Robert J. Sawyer. In case you don’t know who he is, check out his biography below from EDGE’s website:

“Robert J. Sawyer is one of the most successful Science Fiction authors in Canada and the world. He has written numerous novels which have been translated into several languages, and has contributed to a number of anthologies and publications. He was part of the group that founded Vision TV, the world’s only multi-faith television service, and hosts the Vision series Supernatural Investigator. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Aurora, Seiun, Galaxy, Audie, Skylark, Homer, Hal Clement, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Arthur Ellis Awards, as well as a number of other prestigious Science Fiction accolades.”

At the conference, I was not only able meet Robert J. Sawyer, I was able to get a blue pencil session (this is where a professional in the field will tell you the good, bad, and ugly truth about your writing) with him. He had a selection of pens neatly lined up like a brain surgeon ready to dissect my short story. I was so nervous to have such an established writer look at my work that I felt like my own personal rain storm. I had prepared myself for a horror flick amount of red slash marks to criss-cross my pages.

I was completely astonished when he had only positive things to say about my writing. He circled things he really liked in my story. He told me I should be writing books and I felt so overwhelmed. It’s like being a Muggle and being told by a Grand Wizard that I do have magic (Can you tell I’ve been reading Harry Potter with my kids?). It was so amazing to meet him, and I feel so inspired and excited to get back into writing more.

If anyone ever wonders if it is worth it to go to conferences, I would definitely say yes. I am already looking forward to the next Creative Ink Festival.

Food for the Brain

food for the brainWhat are you feeding your brain?

Try a good book. It`s food for the brain.

Curling up with an old-fashioned paper-bound book is like having a healthy home-cooked meal surrounded by old friends, dear family and interesting new guests. You are nourishing your mind with knee-slapping humour, deep conversations and a feast of new ideas. It’s quality time for your mind that opens you up to being a kinder and wiser person. And it’s not just the writer in me saying this.

Canadian researchers have found that people who regularly read fiction demonstrated an ability to better understand and empathize with others. Now you might think that more empathetic people just happen to be more voracious readers, but researchers from York University and the University of Toronto factored this into their study and the link between reading fiction and empathy remained.

So if reading literary fiction is a gourmet meal to feed the brain, what does that make all the time we spend “reading” on our devices? We are gorging ourselves on mental junk food. But it is so hard to resists because the packaging is brilliant. It’s got movement, bright flashy colors, pictures and videos of movie stars caught doing mundane activities. It’s got eye-catching teasers and headlines that make you want to click. But everything is in snippets, a half a page of reading or less, and all sorts of other flashing bits and bobs winking at you on the side – ready to take you down the path of ingesting more mental garbage.

In our fast-paced world, some could argue that this shallow reading is at least still reading. But I would hope for less shallowness in our society and more depth of character in all of us. So let’s dig deep and stretch the depths of our humanity. It’s as simple as picking up a book.

Oxygen for the Soul

It’s 2016 and March already! Time has been just flying by, and I’m still here. I’ve been busy painting. I’ve branched out into some more abstract larger pieces, but continue to collect fast food wrappers and instant noodle packaging for my geisha series paintings.

If you have some time, please go check out the Oxygen for the Soul exhibit going on right now. It’s at the Kariton Art Gallery and the Reach. My work called Time Travel is at the Reach.


To get tickets and more information, you can go to