Monday, October 17, 2011

Can you make a banjo out of a silver birch?

I was happy and proud to hear that Banjo of Destinyis a nominee for the Silver Birch Express Award. That means kids all over Ontario will read it, along with other nominees, to vote on their favourite book. In May the winners are announced at a big hooh-hah of an event down at Toronto's Harbourfront.

I look forward to meeting the other nominees but I'm particularly tickled to know that my buddy Monica Kulling will be up there too for her book All Aboard!

Just one thing, Monica. What's with the exclamation mark at the end of your title? You think it's going to help you to win? I mean I could have called mine Banjo of Destiny!

Maybe I should have.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What I Learned in Florida

Today I was taking a look at the website of paperplates, the handsome and highly readable online journal edited by Bernard Kelly. (Bernard and I co-edit paperplates books but my relation to the journal is only as a reader.) I noticed the online chapbooks that Bernard has published and remembered that he electronically published a little memoir/essay of mine called "What I Learned in Florida." Sure enough, it's still up there, and although the subject is grim the design is rather pretty.

It can be found (in pdf) at:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My very own book review blog

After mulling the idea over for some time I suddenly and without warning found myself signing up for a new blog. On it I plan to review books that interest me for one reason another--adult, kids, fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. They might be spanking new, they might be from last year or ten years ago. I might want to give a conventional sort of review, or talk about a single scene, or do something I can't yet imagine.

I suppose the idea came from finding reviews of my own books on other book review blogs. (Yes, I confess to finding them by googling myself.) While review space in newspapers has sadly shrunk, this new online conversation about books seems to be thriving. So why not be a part of it?

There's a first review up and I'll soon do another. So take a look once in a while and maybe even become a "follower". (What a term--does that mean I'm the leader?)

Authors or publishers who would like me to consider a book for review should email me at

You can find the blog at: