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!

Fort Nelson Says Goodbye to Daylight Savings Time

Fort Nelson Says Goodbye to Daylight Savings Time

I hope Fort Nelson could start a trend. This year is the last time anyone in this BC town has to set their clocks back or forward an hour…ever. They voted to do away with the Daylight Saving tradition that so many of us still follow. Part of Fort Nelson’s decision was made because it’s near the Albertan border. By making this change, for half the year they are on BC time and for the other half the year they are on Alberta time. Still, I’m game for following in their forward-thinking footsteps.

Fall Back, Spring Forward

I know it’s only an hour. But it’s an hour that throws me. I feel zombiesque and just that bit off – more so than usual. And it’s not only me. I had to scrape my kids out of bed and sludge their little bodies out the door. There was whining, irritation and clumsiness, yes, myself included.

Others were feeling the early morning pain. At my kid’s school, there were two full pages filled with names of everyone who was late. Later at the supermarket, a woman in the line up was talking about how she was making mistakes and feeling out of it today and the cashier said he was having an off day too. We all nodded our head and agreed it was that lost hour messing with us.

Studies Find Daylight Saving Time Switch Isn’t Good for People

Every year when we fall back or spring forward news stations report on the negative impact of the time change. The latest study this year is from the University of British Columbia.  Researchers found that there are more fatal accidents on the roads after the time switch. An American and a Swedish study both found the risk for heart attacks increases during this time as well. The Swedish study linked it to a lack of sleep.

Change the Time on Everything

Perhaps I’m just whining because I don’t want to have to fiddle with the stove clock, amongst a bunch of other appliances in the house, to figure out how to set the hour forward. Or maybe I will rebel this year and just leave my clocks wrong by an hour. I’ll tell my kids it’s a learning opportunity to do a little addition every time they want to know what time it is. Ah, these are the kinds of decisions you make when you are sleep-deprived by an hour. I should be back to normal in a week or so. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Spitting Up Frogs Blog – My First Story Published!

HAPPY SPITTING  UP FROGS BLOG

 

MY FIRST Sfrog do hair darkerHORT STORY PUBLISHED
I am floppy-Muppet-hands-waving-in-the-air excited!
Inscription magazine picked up my urban fairytale Spitting Up Frogs. It’s a terrific online magazine that specializes in fantasy and science fiction for young adults. Check out the site and read Spitting Up Frogs. If you are a teacher and want free worksheets and lesson plan ideas for using Spitting Up Frogs for your short story unit, check out  Teacher Worksheets & Resources.

 

WHERE DID I GET THE IDEA FOR SPITTING UP FROGS?
That’s a good question. I was inspired by a story I read when I was a young girl. It’s called The Fairies and was written by Charles Perrault (1628-1703). It’s about two sisters who meet a fairy in disguise. One sister is kind and polite. The fairy rewards her so that every time she opens her mouth precious jewels fall out. The other sister is mean and rude to the fairy. This sister is cursed with frogs and snakes coming out of her mouth every time she talks.

 

CHARLES PERRAULT’S MESSAGE
I like the message of Perrault’s fairy tale, both then and now. If you speak kindly, it’s as if diamonds and pearls fall from your mouth. If you speak disrespectfully to others, then it’s as if ugly, slimy things fall from your mouth. Choose your words wisely.

 

stained-glass-love-hands (2)URBAN FAIRYTALE
I wrote Spitting Up Frogs thinking about what it would be like to be the cursed sister or the descendant of the cursed sister. What would life be like living with such a curse today? How could she turn something that’s seen as negative into something positive?

 

RACISM IN THE MODERN WORLD
Another tradition in fairytales, is the angry fairy godmother who curses a child because she wasn’t invited by the parents to a special family event. I used this in my story, and looked at the fairy’s ‘magic’ as her power and privilege through race. Fuyumi, the main character, is biracial and her start in life is disadvantaged because of racism in her extended family.

 

TOURETTE’S SYNDROME TO SELECTIVE MUTISM
I also wrote this story thinking about people who have difficulty speaking. I thought about kids who are new to a country and don’t know the local language. Children can have speech-related conditions like stuttering, Tourette’s syndrome, extreme anxiety and selective mutism. They face challenges constantly, and they are brave and persistent in their daily life.

 

page-border-kidsCHILDREN AND CHALLENGES
Life can be tough, and my wish for kids is that they can have faith in themselves. Just because society has labeled something as negative, doesn’t mean it has to be. Yes, it’s unfair and some days will be really hard. Some kids do have extra challenges they have to face, but they have the strength to face them (even though there will be days they feel they don’t). My hope in writing this story is that kids can have a positive story to reflect on and feel inspired by the main character Fuyumi.

 

EMPATHY MAKES A BETTER WORLD
My other hope is that kids can see how they can make a difference by helping others. In this story, Harvinder shows genuine interest and kindness towards Fuyumi and her frogs. He walked towards her when everyone walked away. He is an everyday hero through his constant support of a friend. If instead of running from differences, we embraced them, what a lovelier world we could live in.