In June, 2014, I was Writer-in-Residence over at Open Book Toronto. The residency called for me to write about writing-life subjects of my own choosing, including these little baubles:

Shall We Launch or Keep on Moping: 8 Truths About Book Launches

Kim’s Writing Tips, or How to Write Like a Pro

The Art of the TV Show Recap

Got Any Good Lit Jokes?

Social Media Bare Minimums for Authors



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I’m very pleased that my YA story Marcus the Great has just been published in an anthology for the educational market  by McGraw-Hill Ryerson. The anthology has the rather clunky title of iLit: Reality Imagined: Stories of Identity and Change and also includes stories by Jean Little, Richard Scrimger, Sheree Fitch, and several other established and up-and-coming Canadian writers.

Marcus the Great is a coming of age story of sorts, about a mellow biracial basketball player from downtown Toronto who attends the city’s Northern Secondary School, likes history class, and starts dating an uptown girl. It was totally inspired by the exposure I got to the fascinating Toronto high school basketball scene when my two sons played ball for Northern. Go Red Knights!

The story will also be available soon as a download for teachers who want to pick and choose from  a selection of stories on offer to put together their own classroom anthologies at To that end, the ilit site is currently offering up Marcus the Great as a sample work – you can read (but not print) the whole thing, with illustrations! – here.

How much do I love the idea of high school students studying my story?  A lot.

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What I’m Liking Right Now

1) Sweet bell pepper and egg sandwiches, a traditional Italian-American Easter food that I discovered at Torrisi Italian Specialties in New York, and created my own non-Easter version of at home [The Hungry Novelist]

2) The Writers Reading Recipes podcasts on Julie Wilson’s BookMadam blog, including one of me reading a recipe for Butterscotch Brownies from The Joy of Cooking, which can be found here. Figuring out how to record myself without using an iphone or mic was a real technical adventure, alright. [BookMadam]

3) That I’m soon to begin prep work for the Humber summer workshop in creative writing, a highlight of my summer which takes place from July 9-15, 2011. [Humber School for Writers]

3) A Tony Awards afterglow: I loved the telecast, loved seeing How To Succeed, Catch Me If You Can and Sister Act – shows I’d enjoyed seeing on Broadway – bringing it to their musical numbers, and I now can’t get out of my head the beautiful chorus in the song Commencing in Chattanooga from The Scottsboro Boys, a show I hadn’t loved when I saw it last fall. Check it (earworm alert):

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This Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. I’ll be co-leading a free Heritage Toronto and Jane’s Walk walking tour of Toronto’s North Rosedale neighbourhood with the catchy title of “Hidden Treasures in North Rosedale.” I originally designed and wrote this walking tour partly as a way to promote my novel The Glenwood Treasure, which is set in a fictionalized version of North Rosedale, and also so that I could repurpose some of the research that I did while writing that novel.

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Food in fiction

I had an interesting phone conversation this morning (land line to land line, even – how retro are we?), with my writer friend and colleague Antanas Sileika, about publicity, social media, blogs, author websites and how not to fall by the antiquated what-is-this-internet-thing-anyway? wayside.

Hence, I’m posting a link to my latest food blog post on the subject of food in (my) fiction, specifically, this time around, the butterscotch brownies pictured above, that I made with my own hands! Read it and eat. [The Hungry Novelist]

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Last night I went to see a preview performance of the Broadway-bound production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.

The show is part circus, part surreal, very gay, madly colourful, inventively staged, so far over-the-top it flies around dementedly somewhere in the sky. It’s high-energy, exuberant, features an infectiously performed disco music score, and is filled with ridiculous jokes that are either raunchy, corny or both. Including, I regret to say, a too-long, offensively written scene, taken from the original movie, that features a gibberish-talking female Asian ‘dancer’ who has a way with ping pong balls.

That misstep and some of the more vulgar/tasteless jokes aside, strong performances anchor the show – particularly from Tony Sheldon, who is graceful, sympathetic and poignant as Bernadette, and from Nick Adams, a true dancer and able singer who tempers his Felicia/Adam’s character’s obnoxiousness with a goofy grin, and has a jaw-droppingly awesome physique that is constantly on display. I also admired the versatile chorus members, who play drag queens in one scene as convincingly as they portray hetero tough guys in the next. And Luke Mannikus, the eight-year-old actor who appeared as Benjamin at the performance I saw, was adorable.

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