Category Archives: Books

The Dry Valley

I’ll have to start a new page, one entitled, The Dry Valley, because I have recently signed a contract with Radiant Press, a new Regina-based publisher, for the publication of a poetry collection by that name! It will be released in the fall of 2019 and I’ll be touring it as soon as it’s available.

This is the work I produced while serving as the inaugural Writer-in-Residence at the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre in Regina Beach and with the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. I’m looking forward to sharing it with the world!



Leave a comment

Filed under Books, CanLit, Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Poetry

#CNFC2016 #WritingTrue12: The Roots of Story

CNFC CREATIVE NONFICTION COLLECTIVE SOCIETY logoIn the midst of the business of living and writing came an invitation to serve on the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society‘s Writing True 12 Conference Committee.  I’d attended three or four previous conferences, loved them, and was happy to help out.  Smart decision; it’s been great!

Writing True 12: The Roots of Story, taking place April 21-24, 2016, will be fantastic! Deni Béchard, Elly Danica, Hal Wake, Camilla Gibb, Heather Conn, Wade Davis, James Fell, Lori A. May, Trevor Herriot, Beth Kaplan, and John Barton will all be carte-blanche-logothere.  As well, the ever-popular Literary Cabaret (this year with a twist), a Members’ Dinner, and the presentation of the carte blanche/CNFC Award all take place at the Saturday night gala.

The Banff Centre inspiring creativityTake a look at the conference schedule then go here to register today, February 14, 2016, and take advantage of the earlybird rate which ends at midnight.  It is going to be a fantastic extra-long weekend at the Banff Centre in Canada’s glorious Rockies this April.  You don’t wanna miss it!

1 Comment

Filed under Awards, Books, Uncategorized

What I’m up to

I haven’t given much time to blogging over the past several months.  Seems I’m more caught up in getting my life back to normal.  The writer-in-residence gig was fantastic!  I’m grateful for the joint initiative of the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture Inc. and the funding provided by the Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation to make it possible.  The residency was an opportunity to do a lot of things I have always wanted to do, including giving back to a rural community and to solicit and edit work for an anthology.  A GIFT OF THE PRAIRIE: Writings from the Southern Shores of Last Mountain Lake gave several writers in the area their first publication credit as well as their first opportunity to give a reading of their work.  How wonderful that would have been when I was growing up in rural Saskatchewan!  And, SaskBooks gave the book a lovely review, too!  If you’d like to purchase a copy, contact them or the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre (LMLCC).


Though I worked with other writers during the course of the residency I also had time to do my own writing. My new work continues from this hot place, in a way.  The “love-whisper of the creek” in the last poem of thp refers to my love of Wolverine Creek which is one of several smaller streams that flow into Last Mountain Lake. The LMLCC sits on the southern end of the lake, as does my inlaws’ cottage where we’ve spent a portion of each summer for the past 25 years.  And, as a child, I spent a lot of time on that lake; our farm was just 20 miles east of it.  Suffice it to say that the lake and the Qu’Appelle Valley feature in some of the new poems.


However, I’m nowhere near finished the manuscript!  But I am on retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, SK to consider the feedback I’ve recently received on the manuscript and to write some new poems.  Im also hoping to get some revisions to a children’s manuscript I’ve been working on with the Regina Public Library’s writer-in-residence, Art Slade, while I’m here.  And yes, retreating here in the cold of February is part of returning to normal.  I think this is my 15th year of doing so, give or take a year.  It’s a gift of the prairie, too. 🙂

an image of trees and sky framed by a window

The view out my window at St. Peter’s


Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Last Mountain Lake, Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Literary Arts, Saskatchewan Writers Guild, St. Peter's Abbey, Writer-in-residence

Good Books on Writing

I thought it would be useful to develop a list of recommended books about writing for my writing students.  And so, I posted the question on Facebook.  I am pleased to report that the list spans more than two pages.  Even more surprising was how many of them I’ve already read!  Best surprise is that some of them are available in the ABE Books current sale and I’ve ordered them!  I have also sent the list to the local librarians in Regina Beach, Lumsden and Bethune with a request that they make them available in their library during September and October.

And now, with thanks to Brenda Schmidt, John Oughton, Andréa Ledding, Maureen Bush, Betty Jane Hegerat, Nora Gould, Marian Shatto, Nairn McKay, Jonny Pigeau, Amanda Davies, Aydon Charlton, Beth Gobeil, Carla Braidek, Kathleen Whelan, Catherine Owen, David Bolduc, Don Wren, Dave Margoshes and Lisa Kuzma for the help, here is the list of good books on writing:

Addonizio, Kim. Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within. W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. ISBN: 0393334163 (ISBN13: 9780393334166).

Atwood Margaret. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. Cambridge University Press, 2002) ISBN: 1844080277 (ISBN13: 9781844080274).

Bender, Sheila and Killien, Christi. Writing in a Convertible with the Top Down: A Unique Guide for Writers. Blue Heron Publishing, 1997.ISBN: 093608538X (ISBN13: 9780936085388).

Cameron, Julia. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Tarcher, 2002 (first published 1992). ISBN: 1585421464 (ISBN13: 9781585421466).

Chandler, Raymond. Selected Letters of Raymond Chandler. Delta, 1987 (first published 1981). ISBN: 0385295316 (ISBN13: 9780385295314).

Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. HarperCollins, 2009 (first published 1989). ISBN: 0060919884 (ISBN13: 9780060919887).

Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. Mariner Books, 1956 (first published 1927). ISBN: 0156091801 (ISBN13: 9780156091800).

Friedman, Bonnie. Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writer’s Life. Harper Perennial, 1994 (first published 1993). ISBN: 0060922001 (ISBN13: 9780060922009).

Glover, Douglas. Attack of the Copula Spiders: Essays on Writing. Biblioasis, 2012.ISBN: 1926845463 (ISBN13: 9781926845463).

Goldberg, Natalie. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Shambhala, 2006 (first published 1986). ISBN: 1590303164 (ISBN13: 9781590303160).

Goldberg, Natalie. Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life. Bantam, 1990. ISBN: 0553347756 (ISBN13: 9780553347753).

Heighton, Steven. Workbook: Memos & Dispatches On Writing. ECW Press, 2011. ISBN: 1550229370 (ISBN13: 9781550229370)

Hirshfield, Jane. Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. Harper Perennial, 1998 (first published 1997). ISBN: 0060929480 (ISBN13: 9780060929480)

Hodgins, Jack. A Passion for Narrative: A Guide to Writing Fiction. McClelland & Stuart, 1993 (Revised 2001). ISBN: 0771041888 / 0-7710-4188-8.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Pocket Books, 2002 (first published 2000). ISBN: 0743455967 (ISBN13: 9780743455961).

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor, 1995 (first published 1994). ISBN: 0385480016 (ISBN13: 9780385480017).

Le Guin, Ursula K. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew. The Eighth Mountain Press, 1998. ISBN: 0933377460 (ISBN13: 9780933377462).

Leonard, Elmore. Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules Of Writing. HarperCollins, William Morrow, 2007. ISBN: 0061451460 (ISBN13: 9780061451461).

Lopate, Phillip. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Anchor, 1997 (first published 1994). ISBN: 038542339X (ISBN13: 9780385423397).

Lopate, Phillip. To Show and to Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction. Free Press, 2013. ISBN: 1451696329 (ISBN13: 9781451696325).

Oliver, Mary. A Poetry Handbook. Mariner Books, 1994. ISBN: 0156724006 (ISBN13: 9780156724005).

Oliver, Mary. Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse. Mariner Books, 1998. ISBN: 039585086X (ISBN13: 9780395850862).

Owen, Catherine. Catalysts: Confrontations with the muse. Wolsak & Wynn, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-894987-59-2.

Pressfield, Steven. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Grand Central Publishing, 2003 (first published 2002). ISBN 0446691437 (ISBN13: 9780446691437).

Pressfield, Steven. Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work. Black Irish Books, 2012. ISBN: 9781936891030.

Rilke, Rainer Maria and Kappus, Franz Xaver and Norton, M.D. Herter (Translator). Letters to a Young Poet. Norton, 1993 (first published 1929). ISBN: 0393310396 (ISBN13: 9780393310399).

Sarah, Robyn. Little Eurekas. Biblioasis, 2007. ISBN-10: 1-89723-129-6 ISBN-13: 978-1-89723-129-6.

Smyth, Ethel. Female Pipings in Eden. P. Davies, 1934. LCCN: 34017982.

Stenson, Fred. Thing Feigned for Imagined: A Self-Directed Course in the Craft of Fiction. Banff Centre Press, 2002 ISBN: 0920159931 (ISBN13: 9780920159934).

Strunk, William Jr. and White, E. B. The Elements of Style. Longman Publishing Group, 1999 (first published 1918). ISBN-10: 0205313426 (ISBN13: 9780205313426).

 Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Penguin, 2006. Group (first published 2003). ISBN: 1592402038 (ISBN13: 9781592402038).

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. Penguin, 2012 (First published Hogarth Press, 1929). ISBN: 0241961904 (ISBN13: 9780241961902).


Here’s the PDF version.


Filed under Books, Last Mountain Lake, Literary Arts, On Writing, Regina Beach, Writer-in-residence