July 30, 2018
The Part of It You Don't See
If you’ve been reading my dispatches over the last month, you might have inferred that making a go of it as a writer is hard. Bending reality, memory, knowledge and experience into believable fiction, ...
July 30, 2018
On Staying Hungry
One night after a reading years ago, before any of us had published a book, I and another writer I know gave a third writer friend a pretty hard time about not wanting to submit stories to magazines. ...
July 26, 2018
What I Talk About When I Talk About Talking Points
When a publisher agrees to publish your book—or at least, when both of my publishers agreed to publish my two books—the author is presented with a questionnaire. If you don’t overthink it, the questions ...
July 21, 2018
You Just Need to Write a Bestseller
If you’re a writer and you’re not rich and famous—so what I mean is, if you’re a writer—you’ve heard this one, often enough from someone who doesn’t write fiction or maybe even read it.Have ...
July 16, 2018
Make It New (Again)!
I was shocked a few years ago when, in a workshop I attended, a thirty-something writer who had already published a book (and has since gone on to publish two much more successful ones) dismissed the ...
July 13, 2018
Writing What You "Know"
I’m one of countless writers who found his way thanks to this old standby, and having just published a book of stories set in small Southwestern Ontario towns a lot like the ones where I grew up, it’s ...
July 10, 2018
Did You Really Go Through All That?
I stole the title of this post from a scene late in the film Sideways, but I could’ve taken a similar line from nearly anywhere—for instance, the second of Orhan Pamuk’s Norton Lectures (collected ...
July 04, 2018
Stepping Twice into the Same City
On a recent trip to read from my new book in Vancouver—my second trip there, the last being more than 12 years ago—I found myself in conversation with Heraclitus.Best known, according to Plato, for ...