Brexit, birds and boxes

The disruption to my writing life from the move has settled down, and the opportunities are emerging. My new city has a vibrant and supportive writers’ community, as I’ve said before; yesterday I went to my first ‘Genre Writers Group’ meeting in a downtown coffee shop. This is a brand new group, so it seems I made my move at a good time!

Six of us met at this first meeting, self-published and traditionally published, experienced and newbies and in-betweeners. We talked about plotting and planning vs free-flow writing; we talked about sales, and mostly we talked about publicity and marketing, exchanging ideas and opportunities. As a result of this, I sent an email yesterday afternoon and have been accepted to read at the next Chi Reading Series here. Put on by Chizine Publications, the Chiaroscuro Reading Series takes place in a number of Canadian cities every few months and focuses on fantasy, science fiction, and horror. I’m not sure what I’m reading yet – it will depend on the time given – but it’s a chance to network with other genre writers and to reach a larger audience. I’ll keep you posted!

I’m back to the Writing Room, the Monday morning quiet-space-and-coffee meeting, after an absence of six months. I made it back just in time to read at our spring open-mic night last week. I chose to read from Empire’s Hostage, which has been on the back burner as well for the last half-year, figuring it would give me the prod to get back into it. Which it did, and perhaps all the better for the hiatus – and perhaps too for the reactions and emotions stemming from the Brexit vote, which in some ways reflect the themes of the book: what is independence? Does a country stand better on its own, or as part of a larger unity? Where do concepts of love of country, love of leaders, duty, stand when allegiances shift?

In a different mode, I’m also writing a monthly birding column for our neighbourhood newsletter, and have been ‘coerced’ (not really) into the production team, which means I am learning desktop publishing software in my spare time. It’s a very different type of writing and editing, but it’s all writing.

I should get a review out in another week or so, and hope then to be back into a rhythm on those. I’ve started investigating paperback production for my books, and I’m looking into some creative writing courses, either at the university or at the local college, in the autumn. For the next two days, I’m giving my niece, who is heading off to university in Halifax in September to study journalism (another writer in the family!) a mini-vacation, exploring this city and environs, riding bikes, eating ice cream, hiking the river trails.

Somehow I think the boxes still languishing in the basement may never be unpacked…when will I have the time?

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