I need a lot of mental space and silence to write. I’d like to get over this, but unfortunately, I’m not over it yet. I don’t write at home. I prefer to write in a space with no windows, no other people visible, no noise, and no internet. I turn off my phone. I actually don’t like to talk to anyone at all before I start writing because that energy interferes with my thought process. I write in the morning; I’m dumber after 11 am.
I remember the precise moment when I decided that I would be a writer when I grew up. I was still in high school, and I was standing outside my bedroom door in my family’s crowded house, waiting in line for the bathroom (in addition to having five children, my parents frequently hosted international students, […]
With this essay, I longed to move beyond the page. I wanted to map the stories against the buried rivers, to make it web-based and interactive. To create a kind of palimpsest of image and text and walk the reader through the sites, elaborating on some of the political and environmental issues that I could only touch on here.
Rejections were barely whispered in our writing group. A few of us shared details at times in a text, an email, but never to the whole group and rarely face to face. Then in 2017 TNQ editors Pamela Mulloy and Susan Scott asked us to write about rejection collectively. At the time, we—Jagtar, Tamara, and […]
“When it comes to fighting against white supremacy, it’s not just what you stand for, it’s who you sit with.” –Jamaya Khan, Maclean’s, August 16, 2017 “Now, mind, I recognize no dichotomy between art and protest.” –Ralph Ellison, Paris Review Spring, 1957 Editing the work of friends and family is a common goodwill […]
Talk given April 28th, 2017, at the MagNet Conference, in Toronto 1974. Darkness. Fonts. The sheen of glossy grey Xerox paper. I, clad in white samite and sports socks. The arcane allure of a long-armed stapler, the numinous and tactile attraction of cover stock. I was ten years old and my school was having a […]
In the final instalment of the #TNQ144 edition of Writing Spaces, we’re taking a peek into the working space of Matthew Harris, author of “David Sweeney invited you to his event My 33rd Birthday!”! I’m lucky enough to have my own separate room for my writing space – very important when your husband is watching […]
Today in Writing Spaces, we take a peek into the working space of Cornelia Hoogland, author of “River Rhône” in Issue 144! The windows: a glass door, a stained-glass border around a window, and a skylight give me daylight and at night, the stars. The stained glass in particular changes as the sun moves across […]
From my current vantage point, flogging my manuscript, I wonder how flying the maple leaf in my query letters comes across to British literary agents. Does “currently living in…” mark me as transient? Disconnected? Uncommitted? I could write “originally from” or “Canadian-born”, but my Canadian identity goes deeper than the address of the hospital where my mother pushed me out.
Today in Writing Spaces, we take a peek into the working space of Joanne Epp, author of “Festival” in Issue 144! Normally I write at home, at an enormous wooden desk that I’ve had for many years. For now, though, I’m working in a rented space in an effort to get into a more concentrated […]