"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Thursday, October 9, 2014

France's Patrick Modiano wins Nobel Prize for Literature

"His novels tend to be short, often 130 to 150 pages in length, and written in simple language...but they are refined and elegant in nature."

Click here for the link to the CNN article...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First draft of DOGS IN HEAT complete!

I'm very pleased to announce that I've just completed the first draft of my wild ride novel Dogs in Heat. Now the rewriting begins. The way I roll, it'll be another two years before it's ready to go. But man, I've got a good feeling about it. As it stands, it reads very quickly. But for me, that's what a first draft is; a skeleton. I'll let it sit, let it percolate, then will start to put some meat on the bones.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Charlie Tallulah by Gerard Beirne

Gerard Beirne's new novel Charlie Tallulah (Oberon Press, 2013) is about a man and a woman on the run. They are in love. Or are they? They're sure of themselves, of what they're doing and where going. Or are they? There's an honesty to the prose, a just-at-your-fingertips anxiety (if that's the right word for it)  that keeps you turning the page. Charlie and Cindy are constantly on the move, doing everything they can to create more distance between themselves and Krotz, a cold and twisted crime boss looking for his money. But they have more on their minds than just Trotz, and therein lies the real story, that of two people trying to find themselves in this screwed-up world. A detour to a reservation ends up feeling like a vision quest. With backstory stitched seamlessly into the mix, Beirne does a nice job of painting the vastness of the land, the isolation of the prairies and that of its characters. The dialogue is polished bare; you've got to pay attention, but there are some beautiful passages, like this one:
--I don't think so. Maggie filled the kettle with water. She tells me she wants to be buried in a tree. Yes. She wants her body to be taken out into the bush and placed high in a tree to be left there for the birds to pick her clean. It is what they did in the old days, she says.
--Is that true?
--I have heard it said. But I don't think she means it. I think it is her way of making atonement.
--For what?
--For being ordinary.
That's my kind of writing.
Beirne is lovely in some places, almost dreamlike; not quite Ondaatje, but then again, who is? The bottom line: Here is a writer you should read. I'm glad I did, and you will be too.   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Work, work, work...

I've not been blogging much at all over the past few months, which means that I'm writing well. I've just finished another edit of The Moon is Real, with the whole summer ahead. I'm also slugging through a first draft of Dogs in Heat and should hopefully have it ready to shop around by summer/fall 2016. With The Goon, published four years ago, it would be nice to bring out two books in two years. But given the time I take to rewrite, that might be a bit too optimistic. Either way, I'm working well and am happy with my growth these past few years. Hemingway once said something about writing; that it gets difficult when you really learn how to do it. I think what he meant is the rewriting process. I find myself more picky with my work, and that's a good thing. I'm constantly tinkering, reworking, then tinkering again. The end product is the goal, and once it's published there's no changing things. To that end, I try to polish everything down to the last details, shedding as much fat as I can from the story.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Charles Bukowski collides with Ernest Hemingway

Charles Bukowski is one of my favorite writers. He is crude and simple and fun. He was also a Hemingway fan. This story is clearly his take on one of Hemingway's most famous short stories, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber. (Be warned, it's quite crude. But fun.)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Puritan

A great article by Thomas Hodd in The Puritan about NB writers and our influences south of the border. Tom was kind enough to mention me near the end.