Sunday, September 28, 2014

“Failure’s Challenge” by Charlene Jones


I’m writing the book. I have been writing the book for thirty years or longer, perhaps since the seismic shift in my teen years. But I really am writing the book, and in fact have the latest attempt fully complete.

It’s just that it’s not enough. The structure isn’t right. The words flow, the chronology rights itself, the chapters although fuzzy begin to emerge but the structure is not right.

I am told structure in memoir is tricky. I have been told this since last year but I assumed, in that pocket that doesn’t really listen to anyone, that the advice was for others.

Now I get it. It’s true. I have to start again.

I can’t start again. Is this a whine? Ouch. I’d rather it were a rant. But it isn’t. It’s a whine.
Another part of me I do not like, to which I rarely cop. See what happens when you blend jargon with grammar?

Margaret Mitchell
Failure. It’s already a failure. No fear needed. It isn’t what it needs to be.  I might describe it metaphorically as polio-crippled limbs or as horrific birth defects, but that feels cheap. It already feels cheap. It doesn’t have the right structure and I have to return to it but can’t.

Can’t because there is no fear of failure, it has already collapsed in the middle, the cake that did not rise. Going back in, tearing it up seems about as useful as slicing that heavy cake, scooping out the tougher stuff and gluing the layers back together.

Won’t work. Need a new recipe. Need a new structure. Don’t have one.

Search the internet and I’m sure, I’m confident I’ll be able to learn about the structure of memoir. I’m just not sure I’ll be able to apply it to the failure which sits inside my computer now, lurching toward me with its open arms needing a hug.

Don’t hug me. Go away. You are a failure. I am a failure. You remind me of the failure I am.

Change. I like change. I like change when it’s on my terms. Fairly healthy, to want change on one’s own terms, but change seldom arrives in a package with the bow on top.

According to the media, others have that experience – the bow and the package all delivered. But the struggle’s left out – what it took to leave your family, friends, security, and go to Hollywood then sit in that damp and ugly run-down hotel for the call that finally came.

How it felt being rejected.

Gone with the Wind rejected for ten years. I assume Ms. Mitchell simply shrugged, clutched her multiple pages to her chest, straightened those Southern shoulders and breathed deeply before folding new brown paper around her manuscript, new brown paper and a new address, smeared with tears perhaps. Hugged toward her heaving chest likely. It takes that.

I’ll take it up, again, tomorrow.

Charlene Jones’ poetry has most recently appeared on Commuterlit. She also writes for her radio program Off the Top with Whistle Radio, 102.7 fm, aired every second Tuesday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. (Note: Whistle Radio and CommuterLit have recently teamed up to run a monthly contest. Details here.) You can see Charlene perform her poetry and prose at Linda Stitt's inimitable monthly salon at Portobello Restaurant and Bar the first Saturday every month in Toronto.

Chalene’s first novel, The Stain was released in September.  You can attend a book launch for The Stain on Wednesday, December 3, 7:00 pm at Snow Lion Meditation, 708 Pape Ave, Toronto (map here) or Sunday, December 7, 1:00 to 4:00 pm at Blue Heron Books, 62 Brock St W, Uxbridge  (map here).  Order your copy here or by emailing Charlene at: charlenej@rogers.com.  

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Leaf’s Wish in Fall by Cecilia-Anca Popescu


I wish I could be
a red golden leaf
that falls from the tree
looking for relief.

To let go in air
on my lifeless float,
every single fare
in life that I wrote.

I wish I could be
a red rusty leaf,
that falls from the tree
to forget the grief.

If you find me soon
kiss me, to uncover
spells of full moon
and I’ll be your lover.

Cecilia-Anca Popescu left Romania in 1993, shortly after the Revolution. Today she is managing a chemical lab in her country of adoption. Burdened with the nostalgia of every Romanian immigrant, Cecilia-Anca Popescu writes about the drama of the expat, about her life experiences, and sometimes about her cats.


See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fields of Exile by Nora Gold, reviewed by Brian Henry

Dundurn Press (2014), 424 pages, E-book $9.99, Trade Paperback $24.99, available here.

Fields of Exile is a portrait of love and hate. The heroine, Judith, loves Israel. And the book’s finest writing details that love in beautiful, sensual prose. But after ten sweet years in the arms of her beloved land, Judith returns to Canada and enrolls in a Master’s of Social Work program. And there she encounters hatred.

It’s a hatred that Jews with leftist friends or who have had the misfortune to be on campus since the launch of the Palestinian terror war against Israel in September 2000 will recognize: it’s the 21st Century manifestation of Jew-hatred.

Personally, I’ve been called a Nazi while wearing a kippa when I was at a party with leftist friends. To be precise, because I was visibly Jewish that day, I was asked if I was a Zionist.

I thought it a weird question, like asking someone if they’re a suffragette, if they believe women should have the vote. Doesn’t everybody? Wasn’t that question already decided?

Am I a Zionist? Do I think Jews should have their own country? Again, wasn’t that question already decided? Israel exists, right? So, yeah, I said, of course I’m a Zionist. Well then, I was told, you’re a Nazi.

According to a remarkable number of self-described “progressives,” Israel is the epitome of earthly evil and should cease to exist. Such progressive aren’t particular about what should happen to the Jews who live there, either – or to Jews who have the nerve to call themselves Zionists.

This is the re-born hatred that Judith walks into when she enrolls in a Master’s program at a fictional university near Toronto. As a reader, I found her achingly naive. Judith finds it normal for an academic department to have a declared political agenda. Her university was already like that ten years earlier when she took her BSW.

She does feel uneasy when one student dares to dissent from the ruling ideology of “anti-oppression.” The pack turns on this hapless student who declares an opposition to abortion. She’s ridiculed, humiliated, torn to shreds by her enlightened comrades.

Not that Judith agrees with this anti-abortion student. Judith is herself a child of the left. In Israel, she did good work building bridges between Israeli and Palestinian youths, and she is among a handful of Israelis who still believes in the peace movement. This, after Israel’s supposed peace partner responded to two comprehensive peace proposals with a campaign of suicide bombings.

Pro-Palestinian thug assaults pro-Israel supporter
at protest in Calgary, July 18, 2014
While Palestinian terrorists blow up seniors at a Passover seder and murder teenagers at an all-ages disco, Judith and her friends stand in front of the Israeli prime minister’s office to protest against their own government.

But they are not so deluded as to admire the terrorists – unlike the students Judith finds in Canada, who do idolize terrorists and figure Israelis are getting what they deserve.

For me, the great strength of this novel is Nora Gold’s spot on portrayal of the shock of encountering antisemitism, the dizzying dismay of finding that howling hateful horde even here in Canada.

On the other side of the ledger, though, I think the novel wastes too many words on Judith’s ruminations about Jews in exile versus Jews in Israel. I don’t see this as much of an issue in the Jewish community and it’s of even less interest to the wider public.

Also, Gold invents a new Palestinian terror group, which massacres a group of children in a bombing attack. I have a queasy feeling that Gold isn't sure she can trust readers to be outraged by Hamas or the other terrorist groups operating in Israel and so felt she had to invent a group that’s even worse.

In a similar vein, Gold’s anti-Israel activists tend to slide into outright antisemitism in obvious ways. But this is a substantial novel. With close to 130,000 words to work with, Gold could have exposed more subtle varieties of hatred.

Still, her book couldn’t be more timely. During the recent Hamas–Israel war, we saw the president of York University’s student federation idolizing one of the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists, posting photos and quotes on his Facebook page. Meanwhile, on its Facebook page, York’s anti-Israel apartheid group posted an interview with a Gaza-based terrorist. This, unfortunately, was no surprise as the apartheid group regularly features terrorists and their supporters at its anti-Israel events.

Even worse, we’ve seen Jews physically assaulted, with Jews punched and kicked and one Calgary man dragged across the street by an Israeli flag tied around his neck.

To be sure, the haters are few in number, but they can’t be ignored. Nora Gold is affiliated with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), which like the fictional university in her novel, is committed to an "anti-oppression" ideology and is one of the centres of the new antisemitism. So her novel is something of an insider’s view of the hatred that infects our campuses. For anyone interested in what's happening on our campuses and in what the leaders and teachers of tomorrow are being taught, it's a must read.
*
Note: For information on submitting to Dundurn Press, see here.
Quick Brown Fox wants your book reviews. Details here. Read how to write a book review here.

Brian Henry is a Toronto writer, editor and creative writing instructor. He teaches at Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Studies and at other venues throughout Ontario, contributes to H-Antisemitism, a scholarly forum for the discussion of the history of antisemitism, and publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers. A slightly shorter version of this review was published in the Jewish Tribune.

See Brian's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blue Nights by Joan Didion, reviewed by Charlene Jones

Alfred A. Knopf, 188 pages, available in paperback or kindle from Amazon
In Tibetan Buddhism understanding, our world contains six realms. One of these they call “the God Realm.” Here the Gods live in total contentment, all needs satisfied, with little required of them. At their death they suddenly grow aware of all they are losing, of what they may have accomplished had they understood more clearly the impermanent nature of this dimension.

Didion lived a life of great ease, graduating Berkley, winning an essay contest that landed her upon graduation a job with Vogue magazine, married into an artistic and wealthy family, traveled  and enjoyed friendship with the gods of Hollywood, fulfilled her career as a world renowned writer, partnered on several movie projects including The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean starring Paul Newman, and was the recipient of many awards including  Doctor of Letters from both Harvard and Yale, and the National Medal of Arts and Humanities presented by President Barack Obama.

Joan Didion and her daughter
In Blue Nights, she writes of her talent in the past “...how comfortable I used to be when I wrote, how easily I did it, how little thought I gave to what I was saying until I had already said it.” She then compares this place of ease and comfort, an activity spilling from her like breath, reaping rewards and awards in every direction, with her present status “...what it was I was doing...no longer comes easily to me.”

This insight about what had been the most intimate activity of her life, writing, and how time pulled this from her, winds around other insights resulting in questions raked through a heart that has been plundered of persona, leaving only the raw human behind.

 About being a mother she recalls with characteristic bluntness that a friend of hers had to suggest she get a bassinette. She states, “I had not considered the need for a layette.” What woman, contemplating motherhood, remains unconscious to such a basic need? What kind of mother rises from such oblivion?

Didion takes it further, digging more into the possibility every parent hates to have to, but does consider, “Was I the problem? Was I always the problem?”

The book, studded with such remorseless questions, manages a profound tenderness if only in the echo of such honesty.

Conscious of the unravelling of her life force, as she writes from the middle of her seventies Didion carefully unwraps tragedy, the sudden death of her husband John at their dinner table, as a subtext, and focuses on sorrow, her own ongoing and present grief over the early death of her only child, Quintana Roo, of pancreatitis, arguably attributable to alcoholism.

Nowhere does Didion completely explain Quintana’s early death, although this is the motivation behind and central theme of Blue Nights. Instead, Didion exposes her own process, her profoundly honest questions about herself as a mother, and in this shares her path of grief.

Tibetan Buddhists suggest that some of us live as Gods, and certainly, up to a certain point, Didion lived in that realm. However, as her touching observation of toasts at Quintana’s wedding, “We still counted happiness and health and love and luck and beautiful children as “...ordinary blessings,” shows, she grew to understand loss, and learned to regret perhaps more powerfully than most of us. Certainly her description of these life companions – regret, remorse and loss – rings more powerfully than what most may muster.

Blue Nights is a masterpiece, acclaimed by many. More importantly it offers glimpses into the humanity we all share and reminds us both that memories are illusions and that everything becomes memory. But as the great Tibetan Buddhist teacher of Illusion, Marpa, exclaimed upon hearing the news of the death of his son: “Some illusions are greater than others.”

Didion provides this insight, even as she approaches the end of the illusion of Joan Didion.
*
Quick Brown Fox wants your book reviews. Details here. Read how to write a book review here.

Charlene Jones’ poetry has most recently appeared on Commuterlit. She also writes for her radio program Off the Top with Whistle Radio, 102.7 fm, aired every second Tuesday from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. (Note: Whistle Radio and CommuterLit have recently teamed up to run a monthly contest. Details here.) You can see Charlene perform her poetry and prose at Linda Stitt's inimitable monthly salon at Portobello Restaurant and Bar the first Saturday every month in Toronto.Charlene blogs at www.Charlenediane.com. Her first novel, The Stain, will be released this fall.  

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 


Saturday, September 6, 2014

How to write a book review by Brian Henry

Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis
from Pajama Press (2014),
reviewed by Susan Thomas here
Most journals prefer relatively short book reviews. For Quick Brown Fox, I like reviews under 700 words. But I'm flexible, so shorter is fine and if you've written a great review that happens to be 1,000 words, that's wonderful – as long as you really need all those words.

A standard review – and the kind of review I want for Quick Brown Fox – is meant to be interesting to read for its own sake, whether or not the reader is interested in the book itself.

A good review does the following:

First, a review includes publishing information. For Quick Brown Fox, I also like to include information on where to buy the book on-line. For example: 
Pajama Press (2014), 223 pages, paperback $12.24 from Amazon

Second, a review briefly tells what a book is about, without giving a whole synopsis or listing the content and without revealing spoilers.

Third, a review judges a book’s overall quality and where it's strongest and weakest and may suggest which readers will like the work (and which won't).

Third, a review gives the book some context. For Quick Brown Fox, writers often place a book a personal context; for example:
As a child I remember being stunned into silence by even the simplest sleight of hand or familiar illusion.  It wasn’t the trick per se, or even the enticing exuberance of the trickster, as much as it was my desperate hope that magic was real and that one day I too might master the mystical ways of the enchanter.  I had forgotten that delicious sense of wonder until I recently came across the novel Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. 
- From Sandra Ziemniak’s review of Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (see here).

To give another example:
Approximately three percent of all live births are twins. My own fascination with twins began in grade one when I encountered Tyler and Kyle, identical boys who spoke their own language which neither the teacher nor any of us were able to comprehend. In order to communicate with them, we resorted to body language. It was somewhat effective, but we knew that we singles were really outsiders, and frequently the butt of Tyler and Kyle’s private jokes. We called them by one name: the twins. Though individuals, they functioned as two halves of one person; simply put, they were, intriguing.     I was reminded of Tyler and Kyle while reading Cutting for Stone...

 - From Bonnie Bouwman’s review of Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (see here)

I like that factoid about 3% of births being twins. In general, literature is meant to instruct and delight, so feel free to instruct.

Alternatively, the context may compare the book to others. For example:
The story of a young woman’s coming to maturity through trials of love, kinship, economic deprivation and a struggle with faith rings through classics such as George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Like those other great writers, Buchanan includes the natural world, Niagara Falls, as a background and symbol for her protagonist’s personal crisis. 

- From Charlene Jones’ review of The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan (see here)

Or you may put the book in the context of current events. For an example, see my review of Fields of Exile by Nora Gold. I place Nora’s book in the context of current events and do so partly with a personal anecdote. See here.

Or you can put a book in any sort of context at all. Often this aspect of the review is where the reviewer makes his review a work that's worth reading for itself, regardless of whether the reader is interested in the book being reviewed.

A review may leave out context, but still be a good review if the author can engage the reader with her distinctive voice and entertaining phrasing. For example:
If you were to cross Marie Curie with Nancy Drew, the result would be Flavia de Luce; a precocious child in the post-WWII English countryside with a passion for poison and a propensity for mischief.

- From Michelle Greenwood’s review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Fifth, a review ends with a brief About the Author (i.e., the author of the review), which you use to promote yourself.

If you want to submit to a particular publication, read a few of their reviews to get a feel for what they want. I’m always looking for book reviews for Quick Brown Fox and the brand new Ottawa Review of Books is looking for reviews, too. For information about submitting, see here.

See my schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Excerpt from The Forgotten, a YA novel in progress by Kym Mulder


Prologue

In a town where secrets are impossible to keep, I’ve managed well.  I have a secret and from that secret more and more grow.  Secrets and lies are like ivy.  At first, they seem benign, even fanciful as they stretch out, wrapping themselves around you, a protection from what you don’t want others to see. 

But eventually, both grow out of control.  It’s amazing what you’ll do to keep a secret when all things may be lost.  I know one thing for sure, ivy and secrets are weeds. 

At some point they’ll tear you apart.  I can read minds.  That’s my secret and I might just happen to know yours. 


Chapter One

“If you like, you can take the biology test tomorrow, Miss Burwood,” Mr. Chambers says.  He only calls me Avery if I’m in trouble.  “I would understand if you wanted to go back home.  You can always take it another time.”

“No thanks, Mr. C.  I’d rather get it over with,” I say. As I slide into my seat, everyone’s staring at me. 

I hate that.  That’s the problem with living in a small town like Lopart.  You can’t hide and everyone knows your business.  Heck, my entire class, all whopping 15 of us were absent this morning, just for me.  They were staring then too.  All dressed in black.  Could I have felt any more like a freak? 

Maybe it would have been better if I’d stayed at home, but I thought school would be alright.  If I build a cocoon around myself, I won’t escape as a butterfly, I’ll smother.  That’s the problem with being human, change can suck.   

And why can’t everyone look at old Mr. Chambers?  I feel the heat on my back from the stares.   They’re expecting me to fall apart.  I’m the spectacle of the month, maybe even the year if nothing else happens in our lazy town.  I’m sure Gabe and the boys are even putting money on it.  Poor Avery, they’re saying, she’s about to crumble like last week’s donut

Luckily Dean sits next to me in class.  He’s one of my best friends.  We bonded back in fourth grade when our class went to a working farm and Dean and I helped birth a calf.  We both smelled so bad for the rest of the day that no one would play with us.  So we were linked by the stink. 

Plus, the calf was really cool.  Of course, our class was more into the two roosters who were having a cock fight.  The farmer went nuts at the thought of one of them dying, but death is a fascination to us.  No one ever dies in Lopart – well, hardly ever.

Dean tosses me a note and it’s a small scribble of a happy face.  His way of cheering me up, I guess. 

Dean’s really great.  He’s as tall as me, but he looks Grecian, with olive skin and dark hair.  And he’s insanely smart.  I think he tries to dumb things down for me sometimes.  I can’t say anything bad about the guy, especially since he’s been so great to me lately.

Mr. Chambers finally lets us flip our papers over to begin.  I give a quick head nod to Dean as he dives into his test.  Of course, he would know all the answers.  But his thoughts move too fast.  I won’t be able to catch them.  Not today, when I’m off my game. 

That’s when I feel someone watching me.  Most everyone has their heads down invested in their papers.  Everyone except River.  He’s the town’s only mystery.  He lives out in the forest with his grandfather and they keep to themselves.  I’ve known him my whole life, but still can’t say I know anything about him.  The girls are always trying to grab his attention because of his large biceps, strong jaw line, and shoulder-length, dirty blond hair.  His eyes are a crystalline blue.

I’ve never trusted him. 

I can feel River’s eyes search me from across the room.  His stare invades my space.  His eyes are like a touch of heat which lingers on my hair, shoulders, and comes to rest on my mouth.  I feel an invisible pull toward him and for some reason I can’t seem to break the hold with his distrustful, radiant eyes.

Something inside of my deadened heart stirs and releases pent up energy.  An excitable need takes over and I can feel myself begin to respond to him, but it’s fully against my will.  I don’t want to notice him, but I do, and I involuntarily lick my lips.  They’re wet and moist, and I can’t understand why this simple movement feels so seductively right. 

My body shudders when I hear him shift in his seat and for some reason I like that too.  He breaks our eye contact, but I’m still hyper aware of his movements.  It’s as if we’re touching, but we’re not.  No one catches River’s attention like this. 

I sweep my hair back behind my ears, slowly drawing my fingers down the sensitive spot on my neck.  It tickles a bit.  Turning my head fully toward him, I continue to caress my neck. Then my finger gently crosses my jaw and traces an invisible line up to my mouth.  When I finally look up into his eyes, River’s still taking me in.  I bite on my nail and he’s hooked.  I hold his eye and he holds mine.  Heat rushes my cheeks.  It feels like we’re the only two who exist on this side of the Milky Way.

“Heads forward, River and Avery,” Mr. Chambers chokes out, his face red with embarrassment.  

His words dissolves the spell and regret floods my every nerve ending.  Where did that come from?  It didn’t make any sense at all.  I’m not interested in River or any of the guys in our school.  I’ve known them all too long to find them remotely sexy.  I have to chalk it up to misdirected energy from exhaustion. 

My heart is still fluttering as I turn back to my work.  I tell myself not to look at River.  Whatever just happened, needs to never happen again.

Thank goodness for the test to distract me, but it’s all about chemical synaptic responses or something.  Science is not my thing, but Jenny, my other best friend, is usually pretty reliable as an expert.  I know I probably shouldn’t cheat, but Jenny is my best friend, and if she knew about my power, she’d understand why today of all days, I need to do this. 

I steady my breath, practicing deep breathing and open my mind.  I send all thoughts of the day out and begin pulling.  I don’t know how else to explain it.  It’s like I’m grabbing pictures or impressions from different minds.  When I concentrate hard and think of someone close by, thoughts and images come flooding at me.  Sometimes it’s memories, other times, it’s current thoughts.  In this case, I’m searching through Jenny’s mind.  She’s really worried about me, but that’s not going to help with the test.

I pull some more and I can see that her crush on Gabe is still strong, but I doubt there is anything much to be done about that.  I’ll just have to give her another lecture about the big jock later.  I push that thought aside and I slide into what she’s thinking about right now.  I can see her figuring out the answers.  The first one is neurons, then neurotransmitter, and axon.  I hold her mind, jotting down the answers, until she’s done with the test. 

Releasing a mind once I’m done is a strange affair.  It’s like I’m tossing out a perfectly good, tasty slice of pizza.  It shouldn’t be done.  But searching around someone’s head space is gratifying and exciting.  I just love it.  I think it’s the energy surge I crave.  But, I never stay too long in anyone’s thoughts – that can cause problems all around. 

Kym Mulder is the mother of two crazy and wonderful kids, but she also seeks out and relishes the few quiet moments in her day when she can write.  After four years as a secondary school English teacher reading all her student’s favorite YA novels, she now aims to publish one of her own works.  She is grateful to Brian Henry and all of her classmates for their help and support.


See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Oakville, Orillia, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.