The Frozen Book Tag

Frozen the movie

My friend, Kim (blogger Tranquil Dreams) tagged me for this book list. You can read her answers here. I like the movie Frozen not only because it’s a good story (and I like the song too), but also because the ending is not the typical happily-ever-after that most Disney movies have.

Olaf at ComiconLast year, when I went to Comicon, I saw Olaf and just had to take a picture with him. He’s so huggable!

Anyway, the questions are fun, but weren’t so easy for me to answer. I love too many books to chose just a few, but here we go!  Continue reading

Q&A with Suana Verelst, Illustrator of Razia’s Ray of Hope

Montreal has a terrific writing community and there is no doubt that its members have helped me grow as a writer. I met Suana Verelst, an award winning illustrator, several years ago at a get-together for writers and illustrators of children’s and young adult books.  (She also makes great home-made soup which I tasted at our last Christmas pot luck.) Her latest, Razia’s Ray of Hope, is an award winning book based on the true story of a girl in Afghanistan who desperately wants an education Continue reading

Copyright Advice for Photographers and Illustrators

If you are an artist or a creator, and intent on making a living with your work, then understanding copyright is very important to your career. Simply put, copyright is where the money is.

The basics are discussed in this video by Mr. Media who interviews Edward C. Greenberg and Jack Reznicki, the authors of The Copyright Zone: A Legal Guide for Photographers and Artists in the Digital Age. Greenberg is an intellectual property lawyer and Reznicki is a photographer. They explain, in simple to understand terms, how protecting your work can make a difference to your bottom line. Although they are discussing copyright in the United States, I think the logic can apply to other countries as well.

The video is almost an hour long, but totally worth watching.

Writers Writing and Reading Really, Really Fast

Day's Lee

This is me doing my two minute reading.

Thursday evening, I was invited to participate in a really fun event with the Quebec Writers’ Federation. Twenty-five writers were challenged to do a reading lasting no more than two minutes. Then each writer was to contribute a sentence or two to a short story which would be read out loud at the end of the evening. Welcome to “Rapid-Fire Readings, Ricochet Writing: 25 Montreal Writers Write Before Your Very Eyes”. Continue reading

Celebrating Independent Bookstores

Authors for Indies Day

When I was a teenager and working part-time, there was a Classics bookstore at a nearby shopping mall, and that was where I headed on payday. My meager paycheque wouldn’t have gone far in a travel agency, but in a bookstore, it took me anywhere I wanted to go. I checked out the bestsellers before heading to the mystery section. On the top of my list were books by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot was my favorite) and the Peanuts series by Charles Schultz. I still have those books, now slightly yellowed, packed in a box. Back then, I thought working in a bookstore would be a dream come true. Continue reading

Dear Tomato

Dear Veggie, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Would you write a valentine to a potato? Wax poetic over beans? Write free verse about free range chickens?

Thirty-four writers from seven countries did just that, and you can read their work in the anthology Dear Tomato: an International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems edited by my friend and fellow writer, Carol-Ann Hoyte. Continue reading

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

Happy Birthday to You by Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss on Writing

It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.

 

Celebrate Asian Heritage Month

Asian Heritage Month 2014

 

If you have always wanted to try dim sum but never got around to it, then here’s a good reason to go: May is designated as Asian Heritage Month. The Canadian Government’s web site (where you can download the poster above) says “Asian Heritage Month is an ideal occasion for all to celebrate the beauty and wisdom of various Asian cultures.”  Of course, you can celebrate anytime of the year, but what better excuse to order Chinese take-out and indulge in a marathon of Bruce Lee or Ang Lee films?

Need some more ideas? Here are a few from my shelf of Canadian books and film:

Books

I’m currently reading A Cowherd in Paradise – From China to Canada by May Q. Wong and am loving it. It’s the story of Wong’s parents who were forced to live apart for 25 years because of Canada’s exclusionary immigration laws. It is a well-written account with family photos and it brings to life the price the Chinese paid when Canada enacted the Chinese Immigration Act. I met Wong when she came to Montreal to do a reading of her book. You can read about it here. 

The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son and a Suit by J.J. Lee was a finalist for the Governor General’s literary award for non-fiction in 2012. This book deserved all the accolades it received. This memoir about a son who decides to become an apprentice to one of the last great tailors in Vancouver’s Chinatown in order to alter his father’s suit learns invaluable lessons about life instead.

The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy is, in my opinion, a classic. It’s the story of the children of an immigrant family living and growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown in the 1930s and 1940s. Continue reading