Showing posts from 2010

The Sweetest Words

Apropos of words you overuse , what are those words or phrases you can never hear enough of? Here are a few of my favo(u)rites: * Congratulations! * Accept * Yes * Thank you * Leftover turkey Okay, your list might be slightly different. I adore turkey sandwiches, turkey soup--in fact, most things turkey. Just to be sure, I looked up "talk turkey," which has apparently shifted in meaning from "talk pleasantly" to "talk directly about difficult subjects," but regardless, yes, even that is something I prefer. As for the rest of the words, I would like to hear these words more often--and one way I can do that is to say them more often. Another way to hear more is to ensure that others have the opportunity to say them to me. That's another way of telling myself "take the risk: send writing out." Hey, that's another reason to like leftover turkey: without fail, it never says "no."

Analysis: Really? "Things"?

One thing "they" say, and by "they" I mean "someone else because I didn't make this up but I can't remember who just now," is that one way to improve your writing is to analyze it. What patterns do you fall back on? What words ("just," "okay," "only") do you overuse? But looking with analytical eyes at your own writing is tricky. In fact, revising is hard in general, especially when the hormones of creation are still pumping through your bloodstream. It's easier to revise writing I do for work because I'm less attached to it. Still, it's easier and more productive to revise after sleeping. One night of sleep is often enough for writing I do for work. Some 90 nights of sleep is required before I can see flaws in my own creations. My point is that revising is easier when you have tools. Like sleep, and/or time enough to create "new eyes." So, back to those specific "old standby" words. Fir

Questions, Questions

Recently, I've completed enough creative and work projects (which is to say, I've sent out all those manuscripts that were rejected) that I've cycled back to a story that's stymied me before. Unfortunately, it's the title story of the collection I received funding for, so bailing on it is out of the question. And truthfully, I would cycle back to this story anyway, because I really want to finish it. I like the characters, even the ones I don't like, and I mostly know what needs to happen. I know vaguely the status of things at the end. But I get stuck when I try to go from here to there. I won't even try to explain why because basically I know I just have to do it. Fingers to the keyboard and all that. But while procrastinating, I ran across a list of questions compiled by Julie Bush from many different sources. She calls it her Break In Case of Emergency file . What a great idea. The questions are, as she says, "basic drama stuff" questions--whic

Sorts, Types of

1. Out of. That's what I was last week when I got annoyed about the popularity of two adults engaged in a pointless argument . Fortunately, Wikileaks came along and engaged my snark and imitative skills . 2. Using codes. That's how people have been finding Wikileaks documents that mention Canada. It's a lot like googling yourself, which everybody does (yes, you do. Yeeees, you know you do) but nobody admits to. In terms of the Wikileaks searches, it's a little bit sad: not having much wikileaked about you is confirmation that you're a boring country. Whereas an individual who is not very google-able can be...mysterious. Above that sort of thing. An international man or women--who can even tell?--of mystery. Yeah, maybe. 3. By title. I made a playlist of Christmas songs to help keep me at my desk while I finish some stuff. I don't have a ton of Christmas music, and lots came as compilation CDs anyway, and as for the ones that didn't--well, sometimes I don'

The Better Discussion

So yesterday in Toronto, Mr. Famous Atheist Journalist debated Mr. Famous Former Poltician: "Be it resolved, religion is a force for good in the world." To read the transcript, go here . Get a cup of coffee first, though. It's long. And no, I didn't get through it all. Partly I'm an intellectual lightweight. Partly I am less impressed with Christopher Hitchens than most people are--and far less impressed with him than he is. Ditto Blair. And partly, I think it's the wrong question. This statement is never debated: "Be it resolved, atheism is a force for good in the world." Possibly, atheists would say that they don't claim to be a force for good in the world. Except that they do, increasingly. Hitchens and Dawkins and their ilk make this claim when they describe people of belief as unintelligent and dangerous--when they equate all people of belief with religious extremists. But actually, I don't think a defense of atheism as a force for good

The Long Haul

Today on Facebook someone linked to this article, from the NY Times . Matt Richtel writes, in "Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction," about high school students' work habits, and how their schools are approaching the technology of which the students are so fond. It's worth reading. That said, here's a sample of my internal monologue about the article. 1. Five pages? Wow, this article is really long. It goes on for-EV-er. 2. Another article about how "kids today" are going to be seriously messed up by their fragmented attention spans? Again? Or is this one about how high school kids are undisciplined? Because when high school kids ARE disciplined, like Olympic athletes, everybody writes about how they're robots and don't have a "normal" childhood. Response #1 is what my sister and I call "a thing made of things." I did skim the article, mostly because I was pressed for time but also because I have a low tolerance for bleat

Unexpected Brilliance

Sometimes creativity and satisfaction comes from unforeseen places. As an example, I share this with you, from my friend Peggy , a bookseller and otherwise extraordinary person. How many people on that stage grew up thinking, "I want to be really good at playing pop bottles when I grow up!" ?? I'm guessing the answer is "zero." And yet, given the opportunity, there they are, doing it well, having a great time, and giving the world a smile. Sometimes the creative comes from the unexpected--playing around, meandering, exploring a trail to its end. And sometimes, people smile when you get there. Can't beat that!

Spirited Interpreting

I already shared this on Facebook, but I wanted to post it here, too. This is an American Sign Language interpreter--I assume a professional; she's definitely experienced--performing Michael Franti's "The Sound of Sunshine." I used verb "performing" on purpose. Most of the time, interpreters don't perform; their role is to communicate what the speaker is saying. (At least that's what I learned many moons ago.) However, in this case, I think "perform" is accurate. It's what Michael Franti does when he plays this song. It's also what she does--very well--because she has prepared this interpretation and likely performs it much in this same way every time she does it. Even if you don't know ASL, you can probably guess that a large part of her interpretation has to do with the heartbeat. That's what she's communicating with her hands pulsing open and closed on her chest. She uses this metaphor because, of course, Deaf people

That @$&*!! Buzzing Fly

This is a season when buzzing flies multiply inside our house. During spring and fall, flies come out of nowhere (not literally but I don't want to think about the literal) and hurl themselves at the window, over and over again. They buzz. And thunk. Randomly. Bzzzz-thunk. Bzz-zz-zzzz-thunk. Zzz. Z. BZZZZZ-thunk. Because they move slowly, they're not that hard to kill, except that they can be sneaky. Get out a flyswatter, and suddenly they hide behind the blinds and behind furniture. When you start doing something else, the buzzing starts up again, just loud enough to annoy the hell out of you. Me. One. And some weeks are just full of the damn things. Like this past week, which was full of doing things for others. (Aha! The meta-phor you've been waiting-phor.) Also, to be fair, last week was full of a certain amount of not-doing things, and to be fair to me, that was caused largely by a big two-day storm and a power outage that I wasn't prepared for. It's not that I


Procrastination. We all do it, though we may pretend we don't. Here's an article by James Surowiecki from The New Yorker . The whole thing is well worth reading for its examination of the phenomenon: sometimes procrastination is useful and/or enjoyable, sometimes we do it even when we don't enjoy what we're doing instead, and none of is alone in practicing it. Et cetera. However, of course I'm interested in avoiding procrastination, as I suspect most creative people are. Surowiecki names two concepts behind "fixes" for procrastination that have led me to some interesting insights about my own process. One concept is "willpower." Just do it. Brute force. I am a thinking, rational creature who simply does the right thing to do. One problem with willpower is, of course, that some of us don't have much. Also, it's limited: if I'm busy not eating all the chocolate oatmeal macaroons, I have less willpower to exert in other areas. The other

When Stories Matter

"It Gets Better" videos are all over Facebook these days, and they're collected at YouTube here . They feature a person--a young adult, a middle-aged adult--speaking to the camera, hoping to reach a young person who's hurting. The audience, that young person, is any teen or tween who feels "different," and because what teen doesn't feel different, they speak specifically and directly to kids who are being bullied, at home or school, for being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered. They speak to keep these young people from despair, from harming themselves, from suicide. Many of the videos feature extremely good-looking, successful adults--cast members from various Broadway productions, former Playboy bunny celebrities, award-winning mainstream actors. Many speak from personal experience, and many speak on behalf of friends and family. Because, yes, we all have friends and family who are LGBT. Even if you don't know they are. Even if they're

Now Available

The Ten Stories High anthology is now out and available for purchase! ( ) At $5 Canadian, that's 50 cents a story (a little more if you factor in shipping and handling). A movie costs $9 and lasts two hours. For a little more than half that price, you get ten stories--at least nine more stories than you get in the movie, with lots more variety--and you get them permanently. You can read them again in a year. You can share them with a neighbour. Et cetera. Anthologies published in previous years have sold out. Just sayin'.

While You're At It...

Our house has become Rejection Central in the past ten days or so. I am receiving rejections from places I'd forgotten I submitted work to. I did wonder, because writers have that kind of ego, whether I am the target of pre-emptive rejections. Maybe word got around all of North America that I've been submitting, and the lit mags have taken a proactive approach. You know: " The Journal of Really Good Writing is desperately searching for new, fresh voices. We publish new writers, seasoned writers, breathing writers, dead ones--in fact, anyone writing in any genre. Except you, Marion Agnew. No, not the one who lives in Ottawa. You there, in Thunder Bay. Don't even think about it." However, I keep a spreadsheet. So I have, in fact, submitted to these places who saw fit to reject my work. As they have said somewhere but apparently taken off their submissions page, The Fiddlehead does indeed send really great rejection notes. In fact, their notes are so great that the


I'm going through a combination "busy time" and "dry spell." As the fall starts, groups of which I am a part get back together. Administrative stuff needs to be done. Events scheduled. People hired. Posters thrown together and disseminated. Plans made, and many of them are mighy grand plans, indeed, since we're all rejuvenated from summer. And all of these busy-busy activities seem awfully tempting in the morning--if I just do these things, this X & Z, then I can mark them off my list. The novel, the stories--they'll be there at 11, or just after lunch, or I'll just go for a walk, and hey it's 5 and the day's done! Guess I'll get back to it tomorrow! (Or....) As a complicating factor, some of us are not feeling rejuvenated from summer. Some of us are a little frazzled from all the people. Some of us have come to the point in our creative work where satisfactory work is elusive. Perhaps our characters (more people!!) are surly. They de

The Fundamental Things Apply

In creative pursuits, I do this thing (that likely showcases the size of my ego, but the need for creators to have egregious egos is a post for another day): I know the rules but think they somehow don't apply to me. And not in a productive way, either. I also don't mean the rules of grammar. Them ones, I have a passing familiarity with, and also too, I do believe in having a reason to break them there things. (Hat tip to Stephen King.) I'm talking about "rules" in the sense of "how to solve this problem," or "strategies I have found useful," or "received wisdom that may or may not be true but works for me, the successful writer." Rules as in tools. Which, of course, DO apply to me, regardless of my default position of "sounds great but it probably won't won't work for me." (It's my Eeyore nature with a splash of terminal uniqueness .) Anyway, rules. (Or tools.) Like these. 1. Goals, such as minimum time spent wr

Two of the Best

Recently, I have been trying to say "I was wrong" when it needs to be said. This post is far less maudlin but no less heartfelt, because I really was wrong! A conversation with the excellent writer and blogger Susan at Mama Non Grata turned to blogs about parenting. Through the BlogHer links at Mama Non Grata I had sampled other blogs and found them less interesting than Susan's. Partly that's because Susan's blog is well written and inherently interesting, and partly because the others...weren't so much. It's nothing personal, and that's the problem right there. I mean, I'm not a mother, so I don't need to read blogs about parenting for practical, personal reasons. Being a step-grand-mother is a totally different level of responsibility. If the step-g-kids don't eat while they're here, I shrug and send them home hungry. For example. (Not every time. They eat. Mostly.) So my personal interests lay elsewhere. I have always made an exce

Sleeping Giant Writers Festival

This is where I'm going to be this weekend! •Miriam Toews - Advanced Fiction: What is a Novel? •Jeanette Lynes - Historical Fiction, Energize your Poems •Richard Scrimger - Writing for Children: lies, laughter and standing on chairs •David Carpenter - Personal Essay, Short Story •Douglas Gibson - Learn About Publishing •Terry Fallis - Shameless Self-Promotion Plus readings!! That are free and open to the public!! And the Northern Woman's Bookstore will have a table, from which you can buy nifty stuff! And socializing, which I know is kind of saying "and torture" to many writers, but hey, you might meet someone who'd be a critique buddy. Or at least meet you for coffee. Sleeping Giant Writers Festival : the largest literary festival in northern Ontario. With award-winning Canadian writers, interactive sessions, and tons of learning at your fingertips. Don't miss it.

What's That You Say? Oh Wait, You Can't

People have wondered why I don't allow comments here or on my border-and-boundary-themed blog, Half-Canadian . Maybe they haven't wondered so much as perhaps mentioned , forcefully or pointedly . While I could say, "Yes, that's right! I don't!" I could also just explain. I grew up with two intelligent, busy parents and four older and quite intelligent siblings. I spent a lot of time being cajoled, corrected, and humo(u)red. I was often told I was wrong, which is not suprising, because often, I was wrong. But sometimes I was just younger and had a different perspective. This corner of cyberspace (does anyone call it that anymore? anyone?) is my place. Here, I get to make all the pronouncements I want. But I do try to use my powers only for good. International chocolate ice cream day, anyone? I view this website, with its posts about creativity and writing, and my blog (about borders and boundaries and other observations about living out of one's culture) a

Brussels Sprouts vs. Lima Beans

Although I am fast friends with most foods, two have always been at the bottom of my list: brussels sprouts and lima beans. (We're talking common foods here, not chocolate-covered ants.) (I make an exception for brussels sprouts sauteed with bacon in a cream sauce, which my sister-in-law and sister have made for me, because I was actually eating the bacon and cream sauce. The wee cabbages were incidental. I might even eat bacon-and-cream-sauce-covered ants.) (Probably not, though.) However. I married a man who is enthusiastic about brussels sprouts. (One of the charming things you learn after the fact.) He is a man of odd enthusiasms, and I indulge him in them when I can. Nowadays, I don't love brussels sprouts but I have learned to like them. Sincerely. I still don't like lima beans. Sorry, lima beans. It's not you, it's me. (It's really you.) If given a choice between lima beans and brussels sprouts, I'd go with the wee cabbagey things. And I'd be pret


It's an ordinary summer day. The lawnmower and washing machine are humming away. It's Saturday, and thus a "free" day, so I baked scones for breakfast, to my husband's delight. Both kinds of work--the "business of living" and writing--await my attention. Just plain old ordinary. Sixty-five years ago yesterday and Monday, other ordinary people were going about their ordinary lives. Until suddenly...they weren't. People in Hiroshima and Nagasaki died, their ordinary stories abruptly ended. But the rest of us, those who weren't killed or had not yet been born, were also affected: nuclear weapons changed the lives of everyone, everywhere. In the early 1940s, my mother, Jeanne LeCaine Agnew, worked for the National Research Council in Montreal, in the Canadian branch of the atomic research effort. About those days, she wrote Like everyone else who was involved in this project, I think often of the way our work has been used, and ask myself whether I w


As a general rule, I have access to 2.5 TV channels. And as a general rule, I don't mind my relative "cultural" "isolation." However, on vacation, flipping mindlessly among 50-something channels is a fun novelty. And recently I saw an episode of " Hoarders ." That makes three or four total I've seen so far. Frightening. Not because it's foreign; because it's NOT foreign. I recognize a couple of aspects of hoarding behaviour. First, I know today's routine objects are tomorrow's marvelous artifacts. My father was a historian who had done archival research. He knew the thrill of holding a piece of paper signed by someone famous. Professionally, he also understood that much of history is accidental. It's not the sheaf of Confederate money that's valuable; it's the stamp on the envelope the money was stored in. That kind of thing. Needless to say, we had a lot of junk to go through and dispose of when my parents died , some o

Yes to This Man

John Scalzi, a writer of many things (including movie reviews, science fiction, and books), has also blogged about becoming a professional writer . Here are two excellent things he says, culled from about, oh, a million: Writing professionally is actual work, for better and worse. If you can accept this fact, you’ll be better off mentally to do well as a professional writer. Yes!! Writing is work, like a job. Also, he says this: EVERY WRITER GETS REJECTED. You will be no different. ... If you can’t handle the idea of rejection, you’re really in the wrong line of work. It’s just part of the business. Ah, rejection, which I have written about here before . The fact that rejection is ubiquitous doesn't make it fun. However, work isn't always fun (see above) but it can be rewarding in a character-building way. I personally drip character. Plus I don't think it matters whether you're doing "professional" or "creative" writing, aka "writing for money&

Creativity on Vacation

Not that kind of vacation, the kind of which myths such as writer's block arise. The kind where you're sitting at a desk on deadline and can't think of words of more than one syllable. The other kind. When you have visitors, or are in a different physical location supposedly "relaxing," or are doing something else that other people think constitutes "time off." When do people who do creative things ever have time off? You might have time off from "the man," if you work for someone else, or from your own paid work, if you're able to create a hole in your schedule. Of course, in today's economy, many self-employed find more holes than work in their schedules, but that's a different "problem." And I use the quotes on purpose. Not really knowing what it means to take "vacation" from your creative self is a luxury born of privilege. It is something those of us who aren't in active earthquake zones, those of us who

In Ten, I Have One

The Niagara Branch of the Canadian Authors Association runs an annual short story contest . This year, the 11th anniversary of their contest, my story "Thirty-Two Faces" was honourably mentioned. Ten stories total, including mine, will appear in an anthology that will come out in October. It's worth clicking through the link above just to see the cheerful woman in the photo. That's how I feel, though rarely (if ever) how I look. Thanks to Canadian Authors Association for holding the contest! It takes hard work to provide an ongoing opportunity for writers. We appreciate it very much.

Language Casts a Shadow

Felt & Wire, a website brought to us by the people who create Mohawk papers, has a bunch of interesting features . Interesting to people who are interested in creativity, that is. This one in particular , an interview with Stephen Doyle of New York design firm Doyle Partners, looks into the interplay of content and form. A sampling of quotable quotes: "Books are where ideas come from." "I started taking out the binding and the pages and setting the words free." "Remember, metaphor means to carry something from one place to another." "I'm just building my own little world out of language, to see what happens." Go thou and do likewise, and by thou I mean I .

Potato, You Know, Potato

Canadian comedian Irwin Barker, the Professor of Comedy , died Monday, too early. Honestly, how many comedians do you hear ssaying, "I was thinking about Pythagorus the other day..."? From Pythagorus to Pavlov, potatoes to pink entertaining man who obviously loved language. Comedians also talk about his mentorship and generosity. More about Irwin is here . Thanks, Irwin, for setting a good example while making us laugh (and think).

Talent in the Bay

Shy-Anne Hovorka performed at the opening of the G8 World Religions Summit in Winnipeg . Here's her video, produced locally. Lots of creativity in this region! Click here for all things Shy-Anne.

Score!! Subtract One!

Edited to add material in blue. I'm not a soccer fan, but I am apparently susceptible to images of people running on a grassy field with their arms in the air, shouting in glee. Who doesn't like to feel that sense of "Score!!" from time to time? And since the New Yorker hasn't called to demand that I send over some of my short stories for immediate publication, I have to find those moments of "Score!!" other places. Bookstores are dangerou$ place$ for me. I have to be really careful about buying books.* and ** I'm also very susceptible to the non-book merchandise in bookstores. So it's easier if I just stay away from them. However, about a month ago, I got a hurry-up job for which I needed material. I scoped out a few things online but needed to browse the actual books in several different classifications and I didn't even know what to call those groups--self-help? leadership? management? business? inspirational? So I had to visit the local C


Watch this. It's really nifty. I suppose you could say that optical illusions "trick" the brain. But instead, what if they simply tap into the brain's natural tendency to do someting it really wants to do? Same with writing. We carefully craft arrangements of ink splotches for someone else to see (or feel, or hear), and from that, the other person creates an entire world. Because the brain wants to. The pertinent question: How can I improve my writing so that others' brains find it easier to suspend their disbelief and co-create a world with me? I first saw this video on Gimundo , where I was directed from The Happiness Project .

Writing First, Then Community

For all that I am someone who doesn't allow comments on her website and blog, I am a big believer in writing communities and I spend time participating in them. And--I am pleased to be able to say--I also spend a lot of time writing, if in "writing" you count revising and submitting. I do define this carefully. Freewriting and mind-mapping to figure out what the hell I really am trying to say in this essay: counts. Mowing the lawn while stewing over why the essay doesn't work: doesn't count. Writing a cover letter and formatting a short story for a particular market: counts. Surfing around online, occasionally hitting websites I could conceivably submit to: doesn't count. Not that the stewing while lawn-mowing or vacuuming or scone-baking (or even the surfing around) isn't useful. Sometimes it is. Sometimes I think "why don't I just say what I want to say?" But it doesn't really count as writing until I sit down and try it. And finding on

Creative Non-Fiction Second Place

The winners of the CBC Literary Awards go up at enRoute , Air Canada's magazine, every month. Here's a tour de force that won second place this year: "Quick-quick. Slow. Slow." Enjoy!

More than 1000

You have heard that whole "picture is worth a thousand words" thing. I love words, so sometimes I choose to disagree. But sometimes, the contest is not even close. "Celebrating the Creators - Aboriginal Artists of Northwestern Ontario" is an exhibit currently open at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery (April 3 to May 23). This video is in the exhibit. Yes, it has words. Carefully chosen ones, though. And it's the images and music that take centre stage. The blog about the video is here . Nick Sherman, one of the video subjects, wrote and performs the song. What an ambitious, beautiful project. Kudos to The Art Gallery for the exhibit, too.

Saying "No"

Nobody likes to hear "no." Yes, it's part of life. And yes, weathering rejection is part of being a writer, and yes, enduring the "no" is not unique to writers. And actually, there is something worse than hearing "no": hearing...[cue cricket noises] nothing . We all know the "reasons" why we hear nothing. The cost of doing business climbs. So publications, contests, and potential employers or customers view saying "no" as something they can cut out. It saves postage (although hello? email is free) and time (um, responses can be automated). Plus, saying "yes" is fun. Saying "no" is difficult. Yes. Life is difficult. In my writing world, "don't call us; we'll call you" is tolerable only when the publication (contest, employer, client) is upfront about it. And I still don't like it. In any other circumstance, grow up. Behave like a professional person and say, "No." Or even, "No,

A Way In (Starting Somewhere)

Poetry is not my specialty. I love poetic language, but I don't understand the concept of using only a few words when you can use a whole lot of 'em. So I'm learning about poetry by reading it--at least one collection a year. (I don't call it "aiming low." I call it "starting somewhere.") Last year I read Jeremiah, Ohio , by Adam Sol . Canadian content, a Canamerican/Ameri-nadian/ whatever writer: lots of connections there. To say nothing of the subject of the collection, which is a retelling of Jeremiah, a narrative (!!) that is itself challenging and disturbing. I found the whole experience stimulating, rewarding, and interesting. So I didn't wait till poetry month to read another poetry collection (yep, "starting somewhere"). Last summer, Betsy Struthers was at the Sleeping Giant Writers Festival , and I heard her read from her book In Her Fifties . It's divided into two parts: some prose poems set in the 1950s, and poetry about

True Poetry

April is Poetry Month. I'm reading a book of poetry but it takes me a long time to know what I think about poetry. So, until I can get my act together, contemplate this. And now, go to Mr. Mali's website and buy pens. Watch more poetry . Book a workshop. Surf around until you stumble on the 13 tips for performing poetry.

Creative Non-Fiction Winner

The winners of the 2009 CBC Literary Awards will be published in EnRoute magazine and online in the coming months. Here's a link to the winning entry from the Creative Non-Fiction category. Many congratulations to all the winners. I'm pleased to have been included in their company.

Supporting Short Stories

I'm working on a short story collection, with emphasis on the ongoing (one might say "neverending") nature of the present participle verb form "am working." Today I heard from the Ontario Arts Council that I received a Writer's Works in Progress grant to help support moving this project into the past tense. I am profoundly grateful and more than a little daunted. I've heard many many months (years) of "no" from many directions, so receiving this support is meaningful emotionally as well as financially. (As was getting on the CBC shortlist.) So, here we go: Writing. Ripening. (AKA "Composing" and "Composting.") Revising. Ripening. Revising. Revising. Dithering. Revising. Proofing. Dithering. Revising. Proofing. Etc. Eventually, submitting. And submitting. Then backing up to some dithering, revising, and proofing. But moving again. Thank you!

CBC Literary Award Winners

The CBC today announced the winners of its literary award competition here . Winning entries will start appearing online soon! Although my essay wasn't chosen to receive an award, I'm still VERY happy that it was recognized on the shortlist. I appreciate all the feedback I got from writing colleagues along the way. And when it does appear somewhere, you'll see that info here!

A Local Interview

A local radio station phoned for a quick interview this afternoon. Their post about the CBC Literary Awards is here .

CBC Literary Awards: the Shortlist

CBC recently announced the shortlists for its annual Literary Awards. I'm pleased that my essay, "All I Can Say," is shortlisted in the creative non-fiction category. To see the list with my name on it, click here . The winners will be announced March 18. I'm extremely honoured and excited to see this essay recognized in this way. It's about exceptional people and I'm pleased that readers were moved by it. Someday it will be published, and I'll be sure to share that news!


You've found the website of Marion Agnew, a former Oklahoman/Arkansawyer/New Mexican/Coloradoan who has discovered that her home was really in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, all along. Check out the links to the right and visit my blog, Half Canadian, where I regularly contemplate borders, boundaries, and other invisible (though not imaginary) lines. Oh, and the pictures above? They're where I live and work and play. Sometimes all at the same time.