Thanks to the floodwater from a frigid, mid-February water-main break that came up in the garden next to our house and filled our basement with silt—and thus advancing the eventual plan to move me downstairs—I have a genuine, personalized writing space of my own. Plus bookshelves, a nice big desk, and a door I can close (moving through numerous revisions of my novel “Saints, Unexpected” —out in April 2015—has reinforced how necessary it is for me to escape into my own space to work). Additionally, as a constant reminder of why I do what I do, photographs of my wife and daughter have to surround me while I write. Finally, I’ve discovered that I need clutter. I always start projects with a clean surface and the best of intentions, but within days the stacks and piles and miscellaneous things come back, like cranky old friends you love to pieces but don’t necessarily tell anyone about.
Brent lives, works, and finds his voice in Hamilton. His novel Saints, Unexpected will be released in April from Invisible Publishing. Winner of the Bristol Short Story Prize and the Short Works Prize, his work is forthcoming in Prairie Fire and appears in The Prairie Journal, EVENT Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, The New Guard Literary Review, andAgnes and True. He holds an MFA in creative writing from UBC and teaches writing at Redeemer University College.