Thursday, January 29, 2009

One big hole

Last week I discovered a huge hole in the plot of my urban fantasy—no kidding, it was large enough to drive a Mack truck through it. Most people would say, “No big deal, it happens in almost every manuscript.” And they would be right. However, this particular hole annoyed me so much it kept me up at night, and not because it was a complicated one to fix either…no, because it was so obvious. I still don’t understand why I didn’t notice it before. In any case, I am happy to report that it has been rectified, and that I am now sleeping well again. Lord knows I need my beauty sleep. ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What was the best writing advice you ever received, and from whom?

Author Matthew Hughes participated in this blog exercise and shared the link with fellow members of SF Canada. Check it out—there are some interesting answers from well known authors. Here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Encouraging news for Canadian artists

In these difficult economic times hope is what sustains us, and every little bit of good news counts. So when I found out about this motion—M431—I became really excited about it. Alright, it’s only a motion, and there is no guarantee it will go anywhere beyond that. Still, the simple fact that it has been put forward gives me great hope. Here’s a snippet from a recent article:

“OTTAWA — A parliamentary motion to exempt artists from paying taxes on their first $50,000 of income is being applauded by visual artists and institutions across Canada.
The motion—M431—was introduced by Winnipeg MP Pat Martin (NDP) on January 24 and reads as follows: 'That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize and acknowledge that artists contribute greatly to the social, cultural and economic well-being of Canada; (b) take note that, in other countries such as Ireland, income earned by artists, writers, performers and creators of art is exempt from income tax; and © give consideration to exempting up to $50,000 of annual income earned by artists, writers, creators, and performers who work in Canada's cultural industries.'

'How many Oscar-winning actors and award-winning painters are languishing and not realizing their full potential for lack of resources?' says Mr. Martin. 'We need new economic engines and the arts and culture are legitimate means of economic development.'

Tax relief for artists isn't new. In 1995, Quebec introduced an exemption on an artist's first $15,000 in copyright royalties, when their total income is under $30,000. Since then, artist associations have been lobbying to bring this exemption to the federal level.

'The income of many artists is already marginal. Mr. Martin's motion would greatly assist them in improving their livelihood, professional practices and the creative economy as a whole,' says Gerald Beaulieu, National President of the Canadian Artists' Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC).

Artists in Ireland have enjoyed tax exemption for 36 years, resulting in highly successful artists internationally and increased public appreciation for the arts. In 2002 the amount of tax theoretically forgone to the Irish state because of the exemption was €24 million. The projected cost to the Canadian tax base is currently being calculated.

Comprised of eleven national visual arts associations, the Visual Arts Alliance is committed to advancing the status of visual artists and institutions in Canada.”

My fingers are crossed.

Monday, January 12, 2009

SF and Fantasy Creatives

On January 14, at 7:00 p.m., sci-fi writer Lynda Williams, author of the Okal Rel Saga, and I will be hosting another fun-filled evening of readings and discussion at Café Voltaire in Books and Company. Fans of genre fiction, of any sort, are invited to come spend a bit of time with us.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I just began the headache-inducing process of revising my urban fantasy novel. I worked through Chapter One this morning, and, although the result is not yet totally to my taste, I made some progress. I like some of the changes I’ve made…not so sure about a couple of other things though. It usually takes me a few rounds of revisions to get what I want.

Thursday, January 1, 2009