Monthly Archives: August 2008

Chapters Indigo: Perfect Cut

Book Review from Chapters/Indigo

Fantastic 5

2 months ago

The detail and depth Julie Burtinshaw went into to describe this young mans life was unbelievably well done. I started this book, and neglect life until I was finished. From the very beginning I was drawn in to the story, as I have an interest in adolescent psychology, and I was not disappointed. For anyone looking for a great book that is about more than just first kisses or friend problems, I recommend this to you. Words cannot describe how much I LOVED this book. Thank you.

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Zoom Airlines and Langara Uni College

On September 9th, my son and thirty or so members of his first-year Art History class at Langara University College are due to fly off to London on the first leg of their six-week study abroad program. The group has attended class every day for the last week and will continue to do so until their departure date.

Except that, thanks to the demise of yet another airline in Canada, their tickets on Zoom Airlines are as useless as the electronic ticket they are printed on. It brings back memories of when now defunct airline, Canada 3000 filed for bankruptcy, leaving passengers stranded all over the world.

I’m sure the Langara instructor who heads up the study abroad program is scrambling to find another carrier for his students, while on the home front, parents try to recover their costs by contacting Visa and Mastercard.

I wonder if some of the same people who oversaw C3’s demise, are now involved in Zoom? Might be worth looking into…

Man, this is turning into an expensive day…see: Thanks, Mr. Harper

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Grant Application Result: Unsuccesful — Thanks Mr. Harper

Well, the Tories claim that their recent funding cuts to the artistic community in Canada will have little impact on Canadian artists. Not true. I did not get my travel grant to attend a six week residency in Iceland (probably one of the most expensive places in the world to fly to), even though I would be fulfilling the obligation to promote Canadian Arts internationally.

Oh well. I guess I’ll find the money from the meager income that I make — and be thankful that, at least, I no longer have to work for minimum wage to support my writing “hobby.”

See the Grant Application Details:

Discipline Writing and Publishing
Genre Children’s (Text)
Specialization Writer
Medium Book

Purpose To attend a six-week residency at Skriduklaustur, Iceland from November 14 to December 10, 2008.

Amount Requested $2,500.00

Travel Details
Event Writer in Residence
Destination Skriduklaustur (Iceland)
Date(s) of travel November 14/08-December 10/08

Grant Application Result
Decision Unsuccessful

The assessment committee for the program, has recently completed its deliberations. We regret to inform you that your application was not successful. Committee members were asked to review and evaluate each application and to make grant recommendations based on the assessment criteria published in the program application guidelines. Because of the limited funds available, the assessment committee’s decisions had to be made in an extremely competitive context. All committee decisions are final.

So, I close my eyes and wish for:

    A philanthropist
    A lottery win
    A lucrative option on a book
    A new government
    A miracle

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The Perils of Bookstores

Okay, more money spent this week at my local bookstore:

A Perfectly Good Family, by Lionel Shriver (If you haven’t read, We Need to Talk About Kevin, you should)

Men and Cartoons, by Jonathan Lethem (How could I possibly resist this title)

Total: $40.00 approx. which is why I usually only allow myself into second hand bookstores.

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Teen Suicide Awarness and Prevention

One of the reasons that I haven’t been posting much lately is that I am working with an amazing local Vancouver women named Jude Platzer. Nine years ago, her beautiful son died by suicide, leaving behind a devastated mom, dad and little sister.

Somehow, Josh’s mom clawed through her grief and created the Josh Platzer Society for Teen Suicide Prevention and Awareness. And somehow, Jude found me and so we are working together to make sure that kids, parents, teachers and everyone around teens has the tools to prevent another family going through the unbearable pain of losing a child this way.

So, if you want Jude to speak at your school about this, contact me and I’ll set it up. Also, look for our poster campaign, Silence Kills, in the buses around the Lower Mainland, Victoria and other towns in British Columbia.

And if you have an extra $5, visit and send it our way — I promise, it will be the best money you ever spent.
Visit our blog!

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Laser Eye Surgery — I’m going in!

Those of you who know me will know that:

    I constantly loose my glasses at the most inopportune moments
    I have a huge fear of needles
    I really like sunglasses and have always dreamed of being able to buy non-prescription ones — especially the shades sold on airplanes and in duty free

So, I have bravely booked myself into Pacific Laser Eye Centre for a consult and surgery, which will happen on September 29th.

The doctor I will entrusting my eyesight to is David Lin. I will report back on the whole process, including costs, but if anyone has advice for me, post it here.

Read Laser Eye Surgery Update Here
Read Laser Eye Surgery One Week Later Here


Filed under Stuff to do

Enter the Code Blue Contest!

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Starting August 10, enter the Code Blue contest to win a chance for hit producer Mikal Blue to help produce your music!

Immergent Records in association with Webceleb present Code Blue, kicking off August 10! The contest will spread out over an eight week period. Submit your song or lyrics online and the song with the most votes at the end of each week will move onto the finals! Mikal Blue and Immergent Records will decide the winner out of the eight finalists.

After the winner is chosen they will be flown to Mikal’s studio to have their winning song produced. When the song is finished Immergent Records will have first look at the song and have the option of signing the winner.

Mikal Blue has had a niche for music ever since he first heard the Beatles as a child. He grew up in the UK and developed his love for music while attending London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and playing music in North London clubs. After deciding to pursue his dreams elsewhere he traveled for a short time before he settled in the US.

Building his own studio in Southern California Blue began his production career by establishing Revolver Recordings. He created a name for himself by producing for great artists such as Augustana, Five For Fighting, Colbie Callait and One Republic. He continues to strive in the music industry with his own album entitled “Gold.”

For more information on how to enter Code Blue go to Tell your friends and family to visit the website to vote for your song!

Learn more about Mikal Blue and his music and check out


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Perfect Cut in Vancouver Sun

I was thrilled to see that my last book, The Perfect Cut, (Raincoast, 308 pages) was included in the Weekend Edition of The Vancouver Sun, (Saturday August 16/08) Editor’s Choice: 8 Recommended Titles From Recent Releases, with the following description:

The protagonist of Sadie Jone’s brilliant novel, The Outcast, slices into his own flesh with a blade when seeking release from his troubles. So does Bryan, the teenage protagonist of this tautly written novel for young adults by seasoned Vancouver YA writer Julie Burtinshaw. It’s a tricky subject, which she handles skillfully.”


Filed under My Books Reviewed

The Forever Story — World’s Longest Collective Story

Forevever Story Logo

Forevever Story Logo

On the 30th of June, 2008 Nick Hornby wrote:

“For the first nineteen years of his life, Johnny Razor wasn’t Johnny Razor at all. He was Malcolm Weatherly, and he was born in Mile End Underground station on the night of 17th September 1940.”

These are the opening 35 words of The Forever Story.

A story that will be written, not by one author, but many. It’s an innovative online concept that will be launched 11th August and will encourage people to contribute to the world’s longest collectively-written story. The more people who join in, the longer the story will be, and the more money will be raised for children who find it hard to join in; children with Autism.

There are around 100,000 children with Autism in the UK, with around half a million family members directly affected by the condition. We want to raise awareness of the work Treehouse does to alleviate the often huge financial and emotional pressures associated with looking after a child with Autism and raise the much needed money so their work can continue.

For every single contribution to the story via our website: The Forever Story, TalkTalk will donate £1 to Treehouse. We want to reach TalkTalk’s donation target of £50,000 and to do that we’d like people to have the opportunity to write alongside some of the world’s most well-known and respected writers.

What we need from you? Just 35 or so words to continue our community-driven epic. The result of which will be more donations to Treehouse.

We already have the support of Nick Hornby who opens our story and more writers are poised to contribute. We’d love you to be amongst them.

We’re gearing up now in preparation for the start of a story that everyone should be compelled to participate in.

How to contribute to The Forever Story:

Click here if you would like to join The Forever Story and help write the longest story ever.

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The Best Thunderstorms in Canada

As I write this post, I am in Ontario, a few hours outside of Toronto, alone in the house, because my friends are out doing errands. I’ve got my ipod on at a volume which will surely cause some damage to my eardrums, because outside the plate glass windows surrounding the room I am sitting in, I see lightening flashing across the black sky accompanied by exploding bursts of thunder.

I come from the rainforest, but we don’t get storms like this in the lower mainland in BC. It’s quite terrifying. Someone told me (I think), not to turn on a TV during a thunderstorm because that puts one at risk of ??? spontaneous combustion??? (I think). I hope the same doesn’t apply for ipods and computers, or this will be my last post.

I am listening to JC Superstar — we saw it in Van at Theatre Under the Stars last week and it is a wonderul distraction from the angry heavens.

Hosana…at the top of my lungs…

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