January 17, 2015

"Between the Pines" in Paragon


My short story "Between the Pines" appears in the current issue of Paragon, published at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland.

This story takes place in Ottawa and was inspired in part by neighbourhoods Glen Cairn and the Byward Market, as well as my experience working in childcare. "Between the Pines" is included in my first collection, Men and the Drink.

Excerpt:

"Pinky is relieved, along with her students, when the bell rings at lunch. She walks five blocks to her retreat, a long narrow park that edges the Ottawa River. It's quiet contrast to classroom chaos is soothing. She strolls along the stretch of green until she comes upon the two large Australian pines. She sits between them on a blanket of brown needles.

The pines are similar to those that dominated her front lawn when she was a child. Although the two trees started off as saplings, one had trouble keeping up with the other. Every Christmas, Pinky would hang heavy loops of blue and green lights on her wrists and unwind them slowly for her dad. Eventually he needed a ladder to reach the tops. Her cat Tommy would often climb them and meow. She wanted her dad to rescue him, but he always said that the cat was fine, that Tommy liked to be in the trees because he felt safe."


Thank you to the editors at Paragon Press for accepting my story.

A reminder of the importance of perseverance... "Between the Pines" was rejected thirteen times before finding a home on the East Coast.

August 5, 2014

"Derry Daring Rides" in The Loose Canon


My short story "Derry Daring Rides" can be read in The Loose Canon, an online journal from Montreal. Zsolt Alapi, co-editor of Siren Song Publishing, knew my writing through Black Bile Press in Ottawa and asked if I could send a couple stories his way. I thought "Derry" would be a good fit for The Loose Canon, and so did he!

Evel Kneivel vs. Derry Daring 

"Derry Daring Rides" excerpt:

My glorious minions. Fred says. I know you’ve been waiting to hear me unveil my sentimental favourite. I loved Steve Austin too, Dougie, and Lee Majors did a bang-up job on TV, but for me, nothing beat the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle Stadium.

I sit and turn up the volume.

That’s right, folks. Evel—that long-forgotten genius of daredevil. A man who wasn’t afraid to face his fears. A man driving a legacy. A man who lingers in the minds of men everywhere. Evel and his awesome stars and stripes motorcycle came with a ramp, launch pad, and fold-out stadium stands. That sucker went a mile! Okay, maybe not a mile but at least ten feet. And the sky-hook, don’t get me started on the sky-hook! That was his coup de grĂ¢ce...

...It’s Angie on the line, Fred says. Okay Angie, let it ride. What was your ultimate toy?
 
“Derry Daring,” I say. “She was to Evel Knievel who Pinky Tuscadero was to The Fonz.”­­­ 

I like the cut of your jib, young lady. Tell us more.


"Derry Daring Rides" went through many incarnations and is part of my first collection, Men and the Drink. This story was inspired by Evel Kneivel, the 1970s toy Derry Daring and my favourite Toronto dive bar from days gone by, The Duke of Connaught.


Dive Bars: 10 Quintessential Quirks

Other stories you can read online...

"Thank You for Disappearing" in PANK
"Little Hawk" in Little Fiction
"Rivals" in Joyland
"The Promise of Puppies" in Dragnet Magazine
"Hybrid Love" in Lies With Occasional Truth