December 5th 2020

My Island, My Muse

My Paean to My Gulf Island...My Island, My Muse: A Brief Memoir

Published in the collection, Love of the Salish Sea Islands, Mother Tongue Press

As I compose these notes, the bells have rung in the new year of 2019, which may or may not be worth celebrating, given the perilous state of our planet. I find more comfort in raising a glass to the past, because this year marks my fortieth anniversary living on a little sylvan island—six miles long and three wide—called North Pender.

The reward for my staying power is that I have finally attained the lofty rank of old-timer. There is a higher class, to which it is hopeless to aspire, of seniors born or raised here. And there are several levels of lesser nobility: full-time residents, weekend cottagers, visitors, vacation renters and, of lowest rank, the yahoos who think it’s okay to bomb around on country roads tossing beer cans and plastic wrappers.

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November 22nd 2020

Five-Minute Story for the CBC

Some years ago, the CBC invited to me to create a five-minute story to be read on air. I dumped the first effort, but here it is anyway, followed by an almost entirely different take, hopefully more successful.

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November 18th 2020

“Riveting. The courtroom scenes are brilliant." –– Beverley McLachlin, 17th Chief Justice of Canada

Arthur Beauchamp takes on the most explosive trial of his career: the defence of seven boisterous environmentalists accused of sabotaging a plant in Ontario that pumps out a pesticide that has led to the mass deaths of honeybees. The story zigzags between Toronto, where the trial takes place, and Arthur's West Coast island home where he finds himself arrested for fighting his own environmental cause: the threatened destruction of a popular park. The Toronto trial concludes with a tense, hang-by-the-fingernails jury verdict. The story is told from points of view of Arthur and a vibrant young woman activist and a tough, cynical OPP Inspector. Throughout, Arthur struggles to save his marriage.

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November 17th 2020

Re-issued this year, my satirical take on two genres: thriller and whodunit

"A bitingly funny whodunit." Maclean's

"Kill All the Lawyers is clever, amusing, laced with black humour and viciously accurate depictions of lawyers and judges." Toronto Star.

And a thoughtful review by the late, great Robin Skelton, one of Canada's foremost poets, and teachers of literature:

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October 31st 2020

The Art of the Memoir

As I reorganize my Blog, this seems an opportune time to revise and post a short short story published a while ago by Maclean's Magazine in a tongue-in-cheek series titled Trump’s Last Chapter. Several Canadian authors were asked to envision Donald Trump's downfall. Here's my version:

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