An Office Of One’s Own: Saying Goodbye to 2017

In my early twenties, I was a Music and Drama counsellor for a day camp.  I had worked there every summer since I was fifteen and loved my summers there–preferring to be a counsellor than a camper. That particular summer, though, the camp director had decided to move the Music and Drama department to a new building. I cannot remember if we had been in a barn and then moved to a two-room building, or it was reverse, but I do recall my big complaint that summer was the lack of an office. In fact, Read More

Writing in Motion

Monday I sent the proofs of MAUD to my editor. Today I cut many inches off my hair. For over two years I’ve kept it long because it helped me get into the body of Maud’s character. As I explained it to my hairdresser (who nodded like she understood, but I  suspect she was a little concerned for me), I needed to be able to put it up in a bun or some other concoction. The same thing happened when I was writing Oy! and  I cut my hair short, (by my last hairdresser. I’m loyal to my new Read More

Only Six Weeks Late: Mel’s List of 9 2016 Goals

How is it the end of February? I had such plans to write some kind of philosophical forward-looking blog post about my goals for 2016 and now it is practically the end of winter so it seems quite silly to write them now. But I’ve always been one to thwart convention in some way, so why not. Besides there’s too much pressure on January 1st to get it all done. February 24th is certainly much better date, don’t you think? And, besides,  Spring is less than a month away and it’s near the  Full Moon, so an Read More

Celebrating L.M. Montgomery’s 141st Birthday

Today is L.M. Montgomery’s 141st Birthday and it is time to party like its 1874 because it feels like everyone is pulling out their best table linens and china to commemorate the event. After years of hard work from fans and academics of trying to prove and validate Montgomery’s connection and influence to literature and culture, one could certainly argue that she is part of a zeitgeist. Yes, I’m using my fifty cent words today. Zeitgeist. There’s the new Anne of Green Gables movie releasing hopefully (if the posters are to be believed) this holiday. (I got to Read More

A Q&A with Trina St. Jean, Author of Blank

I am pretty pleased to introduce you to Trina St. Jean, a new Canadian YA writer . Interestingly story, I met Trina when I lived in Montreal through a mutual friend in the early part of the 2000s and she was talking about attending this mythical school where one could study children’s literature and work with writers like, Tim Wynne-Jones. It was only a few years later that I made the connection that it was the Vermont College of Fine Arts. When I discovered that Trina’s new YA novel, Blank —about a teen who wakes Read More

An Interview with Karen Krossing, Punch Like a Girl

Over the past year I have had the pleasure of getting to know Karen Krossing. A compassionate writer, she is committed to understanding and helping other writers — including me. I have read a few of her books this year, including Bog, which won the 2015 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award in the Canada division, and is a 2014 OLA Best Bets selection. Karen isn’t afraid to use story as a way to delve into difficult subjects and her latest novel, Punch Like a Girl, certainly demonstrates this. (Warning this might trigger some readers.) There has been Read More

An Interview with Amy Rose Capetta, Author of Entangled

I’m so excited to welcome critically acclaimed YA science fiction author, Amy Rose Capetta. Amy Rose is a fellow VCFAer who inspires me with her commitment to writing, her talent for photography, and her openness to trying new things, such as co-producing the NerdBait Guide You Tube channel with YA author of Breaking Sky and The Color of Rain, Cori McCarthy. Entangled and Unmade  are part of a (I love that she calls it this) “YA space duet,” about seventeen-year-old Cade, a human essentially alone in the universe who discovers that she was created in a lab in Read More

Special Event at the Toronto Public Library: Tuesday January, 27 2015

I was thrilled when Laura Robinson asked me to take part in this special event at the North York Central Library as part of their Book Club’s reading of my favourite L.M. Montgomery novel, Rilla of Ingleside.  Laura has curated a thought provoking exhibit on L.M. Montgomery’s reflections on World War I, combining artifacts from the period, excerpts from Rilla and Montgomery’s journals. The exhibit has been shown around Ontario, in Charlottetown, P.E.I., and France. The event will also feature Benjamin Lefebvre, who I believe will be reading out some of his findings of perspectives on Read More

An Interview with YA Author, Heather Demetrios

Heather Demetrios inspires. While she was a few semesters behind me when we were at VCFA together, I was always impressed by her exuberance, positivity, and talent. I am still thinking about Something Real–a satire about Bonnie™ Baker a reality TV star trying to lead a normal life–and her love interest, Patrick Sheldon. (One of the things I am very exciting about is discussing this perfect boyfriend with her.)  It is no surprise that the novel released to critical acclaim and won the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discover Award. This past fall, Heather also released the first of Read More

Renewal and Opportunities and the Latest on Mel’s Journey with Maud

A friend and I always talk about how things feel fresh in September. Perhaps it is the “Back to School” vibe in the air, perhaps it is the changing  seasons, perhaps it was because the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, always landed in September bringing in an opportunity for renewal. This Fall marks a couple of interesting shifts in my life, because I’m learning how to balance certain opportunities–opportunities that I’m so excited and grateful for–with my daily writing practice.  Much of the summer I worked within my own schedule,  allowing time to relax while also making Read More