Brothers at War by Don Cummer, published by Scholastic. It is 1811 in Fort George, Upper Canada. Two twelve-year-old boys decide to be blood brothers for ever. The trouble is that one has been brought up to believe in God, … Continue reading
“Your Majesty. There’s an elopus in the palace fishpond, eating goldfish!”
“Goodness me,” said the Queen. “A chimera with the head of an elephant and the body of an octopus? Well, you know what to do.” Continue reading
I wrote this piece at the request of Jess Wells, who published it first on Jun 19 2014 on her page at Red Room, http://redroom.com/member/jess-wells Elmore Leonard’s 9th rule of writing is, “Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.” … Continue reading
In the 1970s, when I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I sailed as mate on a traditional 50-foot wooden schooner, leaving early one summer day from the Bras d’Or lakes, near where Alexander Graham Bell tested his airplane, the Silver Dart. By evening, the ragged northern end of Cape Breton had disappeared over my starboard shoulder. Alone at the wheel, listening to the creaking, splashing, sighing sounds of sailing, I heard dolphins whistle, and when dawn came, I saw the sun rise on southern Newfoundland’s wall of cliffs that fall hundreds of feet into the sea. My skipper’s navigation was excellent: dead ahead was the flashing light of the navigation buoy we needed to guide us to a gap in the cliffs, less than a quarter mile wide. Continue reading
Today a questionnaire arrived in my email offering services to writers. Here’s how I replied:
Today is my 73rd birthday. The present that arrived from my publisher this morning was a quarterly royalty cheque — for $1.98. Economically speaking, my writing is more than a bust, it’s a major liability. However, in terms of personal satisfaction, writing has done me no end of good. Continue reading
Globe and Mail Dec. 03 2013. “Results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) reveal that almost all provinces have seen large increases over the last decade in the percentage of 15-year-old students failing the math test.” Recently, Canadians … Continue reading
I asked Seymour Hamilton, author of The Laughing Princess, how it came about that he met Shirley MacKenzie, who did the lovely new cover and many other drawings for that book. This is how he explains it:
I met Shirley MacKenzie at a reading soiree at a now defunct indie bookseller which had our books on consignment. Shirley had written and illustrated a moving account of her search for her birth mother and father. The emotional impact of Shirley’s story was in her drawings, which are at the intersection between personal and universal. She does not tell her reader what to think or feel: she presents evocative images of loss, longing and fulfillment that haunt me still. Continue reading
Publication of your first book is a euphoric event. All those hours alone with a keyboard, or walking the dog, or sitting in the bathtub, or whatever helps you achieve a state of contemplation that works for you, have all been worth while, and you have never been even close to as happy with anything you have ever done. (I speak as a man, and allow that giving birth is even more rewarding.) Continue reading
Alaric Bond is author of the Fighting Sails Series. He talks about his work, writing process, research, inspirations, what he’s reading, and we discuss what we both owe to the late Tom Grundner, founder of our publisher Fireship Press.
Alaric Bond was born in Surrey, England, and now lives in Herstmonceux, East Sussex. Bond has been writing professionally for over twenty years with work covering broadcast comedy (commissioned to BBC Light Entertainment for 3 years), periodicals, children’s stories, television and the stage. Continue reading
An exchange on Facebook in 2013 with Shirley Mackenzie, artist and illustrator.
Seymour, may I present you with a challenge? What scene from Treasure Island goes unrecognized as significant to the theme and SHOULD be illustrated? Continue reading