Thursday, 30 July 2015

Riverfest at Pinhey's Point!

Join some fun and sun on Sunday, August 9, and come out and hear some stories!  I'll tell some pioneering, seafaring and generally Canadian-ing stories, all with flair and fun and twists, of course! I had the chance to tell ghost stories at Pinhey's Point last year with Ruthanne Edward and Kathryn Hunt, and the site itself is just so beautiful.  Make sure to check it out, for Riverfest or just to wander!

I'll be telling on the hour, every hour, from 10 until 3 (3pm being the final set of the day).  Each set will be about 20 minutes, so plan accordingly. And yes, my stories will be completely appropriate for families. Woo!

Find out more about Riverfest and Pinhey's Point Historic Site

I told a story of rats taking over a lighthouse in the ruins of the old summer kitchen, by a bonfire, while sipping hot apple cider. Until we were rained out, which really worked for this story and so I pretended it was totally planned. BWA HA HA ! Picture courtesy of Pinheys' Point. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Kingston and Orillia!

This coming Saturday (July 25), I'll have the pleasure of being *everywhere!*  Well, in two places, anyway.

I'll start the day at the inaugural Limestone Genre Expo, in Kingston, Ontario. This looks like a fantastic event, and I highly recommend it.  I'll be at the following:

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Moderator: Derek Newman-Stille
Panelists: Violet Malan, Kit Daven, Marie Bilodeau, Jen Frankel, Alyssa Cooper

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Stories from Beyond the Veil: The End is Nigh
This is your chance to catch the show that accompanies the books.  Don't miss it!  

I'm leaving Kingston by 3:00 at the latest, so make sure to see me in the Atrium if you want to pick up any books before I screech my tires out of the parking lot and head to the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia, Ontario!

8:00 pm
Leacock Museum
SF Readings with Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Charles Wilson and Marie Bilodeau!

Come out and party!  This event will be great, too!

See you on the road!  

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Real Reasons Behind Unpoppable Bubble Wrap (Be Warned. And Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.)

It was with great concern that I read this seemingly innocuous article:  Great concern.  So much concern, in fact, that I wrote a letter about it.  Hopefully it will not be a letter without reply  In this case, no reply may just be the most frightening reply of all.

Dear Leaders of the World:

It was with fear and dismay that I read that new bubble wrap is unpoppable. This concerns me so deeply that I felt compelled to write to you. All of you.

First of all, have you considered the implications of this?  Bubble wrap is well known to be a healthy and drug-free stress relief technique. By removing the Joy of the Pop (TM*), you are in fact making this nation, all nations, more dependent on drugs.  If we dig deeper, would it be revealed that this endeavor holds ties to the pharmaceutical industry?  Would it, Leaders of the World? 

Secondly, have you ever considered the true purpose of bubble wrap? Yes, it’s good to protect things. And those things are important.  Let me assure you, however, that no customer in the whole world (I did a survey) ever received a package with all of the tiny bubbles popped. Never.  Nowhere.  The bubbles don’t pop by themselves, because it takes willpower to pop them.  That’s right.  Popping all of the bubbles from a sheet requires willpower Human willpower, a force that can be cultivated and encouraged from childhood. Why would you want to create a drugged up world with no willpower? 

THIRDLY, and perhaps most importantly, the pop of the bubble wrap has united siblings since time immemorial (or at least a few decades, anyway). Children laughed as they all jumped on a giant sheet, or shared a sheet as chubby hands worked industriously (and willfully) to pop those tiny air bubbles.  Heck, I still share bubble wrap with my friends, and they with me, and the tiny deflating screams of bubbles keeps us united at a much more primal level than ice cream and corn puffs.  Is this an attempt to perhaps ensure that the citizens of our mighty nations no longer form strong bonds of loyalty to one another?  That their sole loyalty, perhaps, be to you? 

I write this to you with great distress. If you are in fact not trying to create a drugged up, friendless herd of sheep, you will stop this madness.  If you do not, then we have our answer. We’ll know that you’ve betrayed us, Leaders of the World. 

My friends, begin hoarding the real bubble wrap now. Dark days await us.

In solidarity,


I didn't even fear sending my brother's coveted working antique (and complete!) Adam computer on the airline's conveyor of doom to go up in the tumble plane, because: bubblewrap.

* unless already TMed by the porn industry

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Once Upon a Time, There Were... Endings

The final installment of what Black Gate Magazine called "the first great serialized novel of 2015" is now available! Nigh 5 concludes the story of Alva Viola Taverner, Hector Henry Featherson and everyone else who joined them on their journey of survival through the faerie-apocalypse.

If you've been waiting for the series to end before picking it up, now is the time! Book 1 is available as a free ebook at most online retailers, so check it out if you haven't yet.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Nigh was a labour of love and I'm very happy to share the final part with all of you I'm also a little heartbroken to see it end, as I loved spending time in this horrific yet heartwarming world.

Is this the end of Nigh?  I somehow doubt it.  Stay tuned for more updates and, if you enjoyed this journey, please review and recommend the books. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm!  

Until next time! 

The world didn’t end. 

It shifted. Adapted. Changed. 

Everything Alva Viola Taverner has ever understood or known is gone. She’s a mechanic in a world of magic and faeries, where gears long ago turned to rust and dust. Only one thing now matters: surviving long enough to save those she considers her family. 

But when the world itself is destroyed by the fairy tale, can there be a happily ever after?  *  *  Kobo  *  Nook  *  iBooks

Monday, 22 June 2015

Introducing Planet X Podcast!

When someone awesome like Jay Odjick approaches you to propose a new project, you say yes without even asking for details. Well, I did, anyway, and I certainly have no regrets!

Jay wanted to chat pop culture and geek news on a new weekly podcast, including comic book picks, movie reviews, TV and video game news... all coated in bad jokes and cool music.
He also brought on board Ken Bonnie, a past reviewer for Rue Morgue.  I didn't know Ken before this, and I'm glad Jay introduced us. Much like Jay, Ken is just the right combo of smart and funny, and the three of us hit our stride right away!

Episodes 1 and 2 are widely available, including on iTunes.  Our cyber-home is here, but follow us wherever you get your podcasts from!  We'll endeavour to post every Sunday evening/Monday morning to start your week off right (that's totally a thing)!

Hope you'll give us a listen!  See you on Planet X!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Storytelling at Glowfair

Back for its second year, Glowfair is a huge festival that takes over Bank Street in Ottawa over the course of two days. This year, I'm extremely happy to announce that I'll be telling some stories on both days!

Kids Storytelling, Friday, June 19
7 pm - 7:30 pm
Lisgar and Cooper, Kids Zone
I'll be telling stories for children, so fun stuff with singing and rhymes and probably a fluffy animal or two. And definiely space spiders, because space spiders.

Family Storytelling in the Enchanted Forest, Saturday, June 20
11:00 am- 11:45 am 
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm 
5:00 pm- 5:45 pm
MacLaren to Gilmour
I'm telling stories in an Enchanted Forest!  That's definitely a first, and I'm very excited.  These will be family appropriate, so I won't be killing anyone off.  We're definitely going to have fairy stories and maybe more space spiders, because space spiders.

Come on out and enjoy this wonderful festival! They have lots of great acts, activities and shows. Check out their full schedule!

Oh, did I mention that it was all free to attend?  Pretty sweet deal.

See you there!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Thank you, Ottawa!

For the second year in a row, ChiSeries Ottawa is nominated for the Aurora Awards*!  As one of the co-chairs, my name appears on the ballot, along with Matt Moore and Nicole Lavigne (two of my favourite people).

Some quirks have developed over time at ChiSeries Ottawa, possibly because its three chairs are rather quirky (which I believe is a prerequisite to becoming a ChiSeries chair).  Our fundraiser consists of a hat story (which is some of my favourite storytelling), and two fundraising goals. When Goal 1 is reached, Matt wears the hat for the night. When goal 2 is reached, he uses the hat picture as his Facebook profile picture for the month.  (Public humiliation is always great for raising funds. Thanks, Matt!)

Hunting for non-wool hats that fit both my head and Matt's is an art form that has led me across Canada and the United States. But seeing how great Matt looks in those hats makes it all worthwhile.

Last night, to celebrate our second nomination, we had a great lineup of readers.  OKAY THEY WERE BOOKED BEFORE WE WERE NOMINATED. But damn they're good writers, so we'll pretend it was all planned. Check out Kate Story, James K. Moran and Melissa Yuan-Innes - you won't be disappointed!

Roomy and I also got excited and decided we'd make little cupcakes to celebrate the nomination. Then we decided cupcakes would be a lot of work.  Then we thought: everyone loves brownies! And people expect a hat story at ChiSeries.

We combined those concepts to make little Matt Heads.

Nothing says yummy cuteness like chocolatey heads of your friends!
At first, I thought it was hilarious.  I giggled as we made Matt Heads wearing little fez hats (I tried to find a fez btw. Really tough thing to do last minute).  Then I started feeling guilty as I made little dead Matt Heads with bleeding hat wounds.

X marks the spot of dead Matt Heads.
But Matt likes zombies, so I figured that'd be okay. We made angry Matts, happy Matts, lovey Matts and Dead Matts.

Then, as a thank you to all our dedicated audience for the nomination, we fed them Matt Heads.

... In retrospect, that might have been a bit wrong.

It's a  Matt eat Matt kind of world.

Thank you all for your support! As Matt mentioned last night, it's Nicole's first time on the ballot. She's excited.  Make Nicole's Aurora dreams come true by voting for *her*.  Don't let her become old multiple Aurora-nominated foggies like Matt and I, having being in the presence of multiple Aurora Awards (mostly Hayden Trenholm's**) and yet having never won one.  

Don't let the Nicoles of this world suffer.

Look at that happy face! Why would you want to destroy that smile?  WHAT KIND OF A MONSTER ARE YOU???
* Vote for us! CAN-CON is also on the ballot. They are also awesome. Vote for them if not for us! :P Go, Ottawa!  

** I'm pretty sure Hayden invites us over some days just so he can sit in front of his shiny Aurora Awards, slowly sipping red wine as he gauges our expressions of disappointment. I don't mind because he gives us red wine, too. If I had a bunch of shiny Aurora Awards, I imagine I'd do the same thing. Except I'd add a disco ball for lighting effect.