"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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cover for The Moon is Real

Here it is, the cover for my fifth novel, The Moon is Real, by Urban Farmhouse Press. The background pic is of Saint John and the harbour, taken by friend and fellow NB writer Lee Thompson (whose short story I reviewed on this blog a few months ago). The book design was by UFP Editor-in-Chief Daniel Lockhart and he did a fantastic job. I'm very pleased with it and am looking forward to getting the book in my hands and getting it out there. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My secret crush, and one of the best writers of the 20th Century, Jean Rhys.

Curious Connections by Karen Sylvia Rockwell

I’m one of those readers who has several books on the go at once. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m reading all the time, but as busy as life is for me these days, it’s nice to have variety. Fortunately for me, variety is exactly what Karen Rockwell serves up in her new flash fiction chapbook, Curious Connections (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016). Part of UFP’s Cities of the Straits Chapbook Series, this one doesn’t disappoint.
Right from the first page, Rockwell seamlessly zaps you into her world with “Remembering Corporal Yeryk”; the story of an Afghanistan War vet who has lost his legs and is visiting his daughter’s school to talk to the kids. Rockwell paints a vivid picture of the limbless man struggling to find himself, and all in two-and-a-half pages.
Moving forward to another lovely vignette, the epitaph-like “Knowing Nora” introduces us to a woman whose strength lies in her ability to either mask her worries or shove them down others' throats in typical Scottish bravado. Either way, you’ll find her to be the most interesting character in the book.    
From the curiously connected pseudo-love story, “That’s Amore?”, to the dark humoured “Frankel”, Rockwell does a great job of revealing to readers the (as the back covers says) “disconnect in our modern world”, all the while reminding us that life, with its many curious connections, is such an interesting place to be.
If you’re curious to connect, you can find this title at Urban Farmhouse Press by clicking HERE

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This could be the most honest pic of me ever.

Taken by my sister-in-law. This will never be used on a book as my author photo but for those who know me, it's spot on!

Friday, July 1, 2016


Urban Farmhouse Press’s Cities of the Straits Series is producing some of the best chapbooks out there, both in terms of aesthetics and quality of work. Before I talk about this work, let me take a minute to comment on the hold-in-your-hands book itself. It’s beautiful. Tight binding, along with an attractive simplicity makes this series compete with anyone for quality and design. When asked about this, UFP Founder and Editor-in-Chief D.A. Lockhart says: “I wanted to up our game on them. Looking at City Lights’ series and trying to create a good literary line like that.” Mission accomplished.

And now to the words…

SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF SPOTLIT OBVIOUS by Laurie Smith (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016)

Along with the likes of Ken Pobo’s Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt (part of UFP's Crossroads Poetry Series, and reviewed already on this blog), Laurie Smith adds to a growing reputation for quality poetry in UFP’s lineup. From the dust jacket, this collection “brings us through the wonder and the questionable in our everyday lives” and connects “on a profoundly personal level”.  Case in point, my favourite of the lot, Breakfast with Dad, wherein Smith’s subtle humour and needle-sharp style reveal the profound in something as everyday as having breakfast with her father. With the clarity and simplicity of a written recipe, Smith cleverly separates the parts from the whole into five pieces: 1) how to butter toast, 2) cereal, 3) poached eggs, 4) Quaker, 5) coffee

 5) coffee
he told me I made better coffee than my sister
that was to me a great source of pride
but how could you screw up a teaspoon of instant hills bros or
maxwell house, pour in boiling water from the kettle

no sugar, enough milk to make it the colour of an acorn
in a mug that says World's Best Dad?

Indeed, this is what this collection is: parts that make a whole; the breaking down of the complicatedness of life and simplifying it for us to understand and enjoy. Smith’s work is perfect for summers on the lake, on a couch, a lawnchair, in sun or shade, wherever and whenever you need to cut away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and figure out why, despite it, it’s just so good to be smack in the middle of it all.

To order your copy, check out Urban Farmouse Press online HERE