I have a new post up at my Medium blog on life in Canada after a few months:
On Trying Hard: Four Months in Canada
Is it May already? I’m asking, when May is already almost gone. Maybe it’s the persistent fog and rain of a Toronto spring that has me confused; it feels like I’m only just waking up from the long bearish sleep of winter, with occasional peeps of summer sunshine emerging one day a week. I don’t know yet if this rainy, overcast few months is typical, but Toronto, you haven’t won me over weather-wise.
There are compensations, though. Delicious baked goods in too many patisseries to count that I’ve been sampling all over the city. Good independent bookstores with great readings. Margaret Atwood, resplendent at a book-signing, warning and reassuring all at once…
Got a lot of good #writing done yesterday and got a lovely chai latte at Early Bird Cafe in #Toronto.
Very exciting news: my story published in West Branch last year, “The Home for Buddhist Widows”, has won a Pushcart Prize! It will appear in the Pushcart Prize Anthology next year. Thank you, West Branch, for taking a chance on this story! I’ll keep readers posted on when the anthology becomes available.
I’m so pleased to report that my story “The Replacement Wife” has won The Pinch’s fiction contest for 2017! This is a strange story about a woman who plays the role of the missing wife in the lives of widowers, but I’m really proud of it and so glad to receive this news from a supercool journal. You can read the official announcement here:
The Pinch literary awards
I’m so excited to report that my novel, THE DEVOTED, has been acquired by WW Norton. It will be a book! I’ve worked on this story for quite a while and there’s still more work to do in the months ahead. I’ll keep you posted on when to look for it.
I’m so happy to see a rather morbid little piece of flash fiction I wrote is now available at Cosmonauts Avenue. I’d love to have you read:
Old notebook filled, new notebook begun. #writing
Just got THE VEGETARIAN from the library and can’t wait to read next. #amreading #writing
Hello, readers. It’s official: I’ve moved to Canada for a writing teaching position, and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the culture and literary scene here. The timing is downright odd, I know, and I’ll be writing about my experiences here as well as my thoughts on what it means to be leaving the States at this particular time. You can see some of my first posts on my Medium blog here:
My Medium stories
And here’s an excerpt of my first post:
Hello, Canada! I’m new to you! The timing might seem suspect, an American arriving in Canada just now, after a crazy 2016 and a maddening election season. It’s so suspect, in fact, that I’ve gotten used to shrugging and smiling when people joke about my fleeing the country. But I’m here because my fiancé and I got teaching jobs at a university. This was in the works for nearly a year. So while I watched the election results with the same obsessiveness as all my friends, and bit my nails and watched too much MSNBC, there was always this knowledge in the back of my mind…that I’d be leaving soon. Either I’d be looking proudly on from afar as our first female president set up shop, or, well…I’d be high-tailing it out of there.
I knew I wanted to observe everything that was new to me in Canada as soon as I got here. My job as a newcomer, I think, is to look with big eyes and listen with big ears. To notice the differences and the similarities. And as a writer, my job is to observe and form theories about the national character. To see the contradictions and learn the jokes. To put my foot in it a few times and learn how to step gracefully out again. So this post will be the first of many scattered thoughts and observations about what might become my new home.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on the writing life from North of the Border, and also come back for some exciting new progress on the novel. More soon.
Here for a week, time to get into the library system. #newtocanada #mississauga #writing