I’ve recently signed up for a writing course from the University of Iowa. If your interested it’s free, or at the most $50 USD if you want a certificate at the end of the course. Students come from all over the world. The course is not onerous, but it’s challenging and a great way to practice writing. I’m loving it. The course I am taking is called How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women. I’m going to post all of my assignments right here on my blog to track what I hope to be my progress.
One of the greatest gifts a writer can have is being invited to spend time in a Residency. Last year, I applied and was accepted to an International Writers’ Residency in Wales. The process of applying seems so long ago, but suddenly it’s only a month away. My heritage on my mother’s side is Welsh so in a strange way, it feels like I will be travelling to a country that feels familiar, even though that familiarity is a product of stories I heard as a child and my imagination.
I’ll have the precious gift of time to write and I hope to keep up a blog while I am there, so check back for news and stories of my time in Wales.
I’ll be at stiwdiomaelor, and no, I can’t pronounce it yet, but that will change when I arrive mid-May. Thank you to Australian artist Veronica Calarco for giving me this wonderful opportunity to Write in Peace.
Check this out: Federal Election Polls Live! I am determined to vote ABC, this time around, again. That means “Anything But Conservative.” As a writer, a humanitarian and someone who is passionate about the environment and believes in a Sustainable Economy, I have little choice but to ensure Canada does not remain in the hands of Stephen Harper and his henchmen. They are out to destroy everything Canada is built on.
I came across this poll at Place Speak, that asks the simple question: “Which Party will you support in the upcoming Federal Election? Of course, as election day approaches, pollsters across Canada want to know how the answer to this. The amazing thing about this poll is that it shows REAL TIME polling results that are neighbourhood specific in six cities across Canada! This means that I can make an instant judgment based on their polling results about which candidate is the most likely to take down Stephen Harper in my hood! This I love.
Of course, it will only be effective if all of you go there and vote and then spread the word around to your friends, family and workmates. I know I have not come across a Real Time Poll like this one. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the Place Speak Live Map!
Although I realize that most of us would rather chew off our own arm before we’d mark a vote for Harper on our ballots, this sentiment is useless unless we get out and vote for Arts, Culture and the Environment. It’s so important to spread the word to friends, colloquies and family. Usually my mantra is “Show up at the page,” but today it’s “Show up at the Polling Station on October 19th, 2015.
Remember to vote with ABC in mind: Anything but Conservatives (Harper). Both the NDP and the Liberals have some amazing candidates and they need your support.
Even writing Harper’s name makes me feel nauseous…
Why Meet Bob Kasting at a Pub in Van, When You Could Just Stay Home and Watch TV?
Because you don’t like what Vancouver is becoming,
Because you don’t want the big developer-funded parties to control City Hall.
Because you want to do something about it.
Because Billy Bishop’s on Kit’s Point is a friendly place with good beer and interesting people,
Thursday, October 23 7:30pm
Billy Bishop Royal Canadian Legion Branch 176, 1407 Laburnum Street (at Cornwall) 604 738-4142
Bob Kasting has practiced Administrative Law & Estate Litigation for over 30 years in Vancouver’s Broadway corridor. Bob was the legal counsel who stopped the City in its attempt to put a 12’ asphalt paved bike path through Hadden & Kits Beach Parks. Previously, Bob was the Director of Legal Services for the Department of Justice of the Government of the Northwest Territories, and has served as Chair of the University Endowment Lands Community Advisory Council.
Passionate about Vancouver, Bob is dedicated to how our city will be for the coming generations. Running as an Independent for Mayor, he has no attachments to Big Developer-driven initiatives or other interest groups. Bob will bring civic government back to the unique communities which comprise our beautiful city. He vehemently believes in believes in transparency, community engagement and developing a future for Vancouver that includes all citizens. He is particularly concerned about how our children – and their children – will be able to afford to live in our neighbourhoods.
After taking his undergraduate degree at Yale, Bob went on to the University of Stockholm, where he received a Diploma in Social Sciences, and then to McGill University where he earned his Law degree.
As a child, Bob started breaking national swimming records at the age of 10; at 15 joined the Canadian National Swim team – earning numerous medals and awards. He went on to Yale University, where he captained the Yale University swim team. He won an Olympic Bronze medal for Canada in the ’72 Olympics in Munich, and carried the flag for Canada in the Closing Ceremonies of those memorable Games.
Bob is devoted to his five children, all of whom were educated in the Vancouver, and all of whom have graduated from or are attending university.
My friend, Bob Kasting is running for Mayor of Vancouver. That’s pretty exciting for me! Maybe I will be on a first name basis with the next mayor. Better yet, I know what kind of a person he is, so the city would be in the hands of someone with integrity who cares about the stuff I care about; recycling, daycare, transit, affordable housing. Maybe we could get rid of those plastic bags and that is even more exciting!
Anyway, Vancouverites seem to be concerned about ‘vote splitting,’ so I asked Bob if he’d guest blog his thoughts for me, right here. And he agreed so read on. Oh and PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 15th!
As an “independent” mayoralty candidate, I have been asked a few times if I intend to “split the vote”. I think what is meant by this is whether I intend to have people vote for me as mayor who, if I didn’t run, would vote for someone else. That is actually completely true. In that sense, I do intend to “split the vote”.
But if I didn’t run for mayor, who do you think those people would vote for, assuming they are part of the 34% of the population who will actually vote.
It might be that the teaparty sorts think I will peel off some of their votes; or maybe the Maoists and Trotskyites think I will peel off some of theirs. I don’t know, but I will make a few confessions and you can decide for yourself.
I once worked at a country club in St. Louis, where the rough political division was between Republicans and real Republicans. But I also protested the War in Vietnam and rallied to free the Black Panthers. I confess that I live in Point Grey and belong to a tennis club, but I also recycle my bottles, compost my food for my flower boxes, and built a cottage deck this summer out of recycled wood.
I went to Yale where I studied political science where I was the member of a secret society, but I also went to the University of Stockholm where I got an “A” in a graduate course in European Marxism and where I walked, rode my bicycle and took the subway.
I also once touched John Diefenbaker’s hat and ate pizza with Rene Leveque (admittedly not at the same time) But that doesn’t make me either a prairie populist or a fellow traveller with quebec separatists.
So, I am not sure which other candidates I will be taking votes away from. But I do think that having an independent mayor, who is not beholden to the financial support of large real estate developers is a good thing. And I do think that Vancouverites should be given the choice of voting for an independent mayoralty candidate, of which I am one.
I’ve been working with Amos Ojwang on an anthology of short stories written by students who participated in the University of Iowa’s online course, Writing Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction. After months of reading then choosing stories … Continue reading →
CALL FOR POETRY SUBMISSIONS FOR THE ANTHOLOGY Anthology of Poems out of America and Beyond Boarders Edited by Amos O. Ojwang’ and Julie Burtinshaw SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES Submissions should be done through Email as an attachment. Submissions, editing and … Continue reading →
I am really pleased with this review from Booklist for my latest book Saying Goodbye to London (Second Story Press) Shy Francis is so stunned when Sawyer asks him to dance that he can’t not accept. “I think we’re going … Continue reading →
I’m thrilled to share the first review on the Advance Copy of my new book Saying Goodbye to London. (Second Story Press) My fellow writers will know the work involved in seeing a new book coming to life! I’m beaming all over … Continue reading →
I enjoyed Assignment 5 – basically I took assignment number 1 and fragmented it. Lots of fun experimentation. Between the offer of a cup of tea and her departure there exists a lifetime of untold stories. You don’t want to … Continue reading →
Assignment 1: University of Iowa Free Online Course How Writers Write I offer her a cup of tea, because this is what her type expects. Of course, she refuses in the way that people do when they want something. There … Continue reading →
I’ve recently signed up for a writing course from the University of Iowa. If your interested it’s free, or at the most $50 USD if you want a certificate at the end of the course. Students come from all over … Continue reading →
It’s hard to believe but my residency at Stiwido Maelor, in Corris, Wales is coming to a close. It’s been a very successful, inspiring and wonderful three weeks. During that time, I’ve managed to edit and submit the almost final … Continue reading →
One of the greatest gifts a writer can have is being invited to spend time in a Residency. Last year, I applied and was accepted to an International Writers’ Residency in Wales. The process of applying seems so long ago, … Continue reading →
Originally posted on Jane Eaton Hamilton: Feel free to share. #gomeshi #ghomeshi #ibelievelucy #IStandWithLucy #BillCosby #hairextensions #truthmatters #rapeculture #cndjustice Jian Ghomeshi, you [redacted]. I don’t know you very well, but I know this: one night in early 2004, after I’d…