September 27, 2018
Coming to Voice
I worked on this piece while at a residency for BIPOC writers in the fall of 2017. I did not pick it up again when I returned. While workshopping it there, I was not convinced it captured what I was trying ...
September 21, 2018
For years my partner and I lived in a condo, one of the four sides of which was flanked by windows, only one. The world was out there and we were in here, boxed, safe, separate, tucked away in the proscenium. ...
July 16, 2018
Why It’s Okay If You Haven’t Finished Your First Book Yet
I thought I would finish my first novel by the time I turned 25.I laugh at the absurdity of that now. But in my early 20s, I believed it when people told me that anything was possible with hard work and ...
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 ...
June 21, 2018
On the business of writing
In 2002, when I formed my writing group (still going strong!) with June Hutton and Mary Novik, we made a promise that we would always, always share our experiences with the business of writing—the shadowy ...
January 30, 2018
Behind Every Story, A Less Interesting Story
Lillian is trying to write a good play. When progress alludes her, she tears the false starts out of her typewriter, scrunches them up into balls, and kicks over the wastebasket that brims with bad drafts. ...
December 14, 2017
Dear UBC Accountable
Dear UBC Accountable,It’s been one year since you released your open letter to UBC, and Canada, and the world. I don’t want to wish you a happy birthday, because it’s not happy. Not for me, and ...
November 29, 2017
So You Want to Write About Race
Somehow I have become on expert on writing race.This was not something I planned for. When I started publishing, I was writing fiction about Chinese Canadian characters, about families who had been invisible ...
November 13, 2017
On Being an Ill Writer
Every day for a few years now, I’ve had to navigate my fatigue. Sometimes it’s only subtle, tugging at my consciousness as a toddler might. Sometimes it’s pervasive and insistent: clouding my thoughts, ...
October 31, 2017
The Writer in the World: Coda
When I became that book all those years ago, the effects of art in my life were not definable. I only knew that I enjoyed storytelling and later I would appreciate that my relationship to story has everything ...