In the Shadow of the Mountain

In the Shadow of the Mountain

After the publication of my last novel, Shafted: A Mystery, I talked to the good folks at the Smithers Community Radio Station (CICK at 93.9 FM) about doing a show during which I read the story and played some tunes that seemed to fit. It was nerve-wracking to say the least because even while I was reading, I had to run the board, check sound levels, play the songs, and slide the sliders. I found myself having quite a bit of fun and managed to fit in a slightly abridged version of the novel over ten shows. (Novels contain an awful lot of words, in case you haven’t noticed. Plus reading out loud is a killer test for clunky sentences – but we won’t talk about that now.)

After that I went to Portugal2014-10-05 port glasses, but that’s another story.

Come 2015, I decided to re-start In the Shadow of the Mountain, this time featuring other writers. It’s been a blast.

Local and regional writers I’ve featured include Jane Stevenson, Valerie Laub, Grace Hols, Melissa Sawatsky, Susan Juby, Eden Robinson, John Harris, Vivien Lougheed, Emily McGiffen, Fabienne Calvert Filteau, Donna Kane, Jennifer  Skin Wickham, Janet Rogers from Victoria and Kevin Spenst from the Lower Mainland. Link to the show to listen to the podcasts.

Greenhouse pleasures

We live in a canyon with significant gardening challenges – about a Zone 2 if you are interested in such things. We have figured out what grows well here and pretty much stick with that (I am always making writerly analogies when the work isn’t growing well, but the place really suits me just fine).

Right now the wind is tossing the willows outside my window, some already turning colour. But just a few miles away, writer Jane Stevenson (The Railroader’s Wife) grows amazing things in her huge greenhouse. A writers’ group exercise resulted in this ode  (with a nod to Kate & Anna Mcgarrigle’s Southern Boys).

Ode to a Telkwa watermelon

At first
such a surprise
that these pale yellow flowers
wan and thin-petalled
amidst their intricate leaves
could become this green-striped globe
fat on the greenhouse ground.

But then
you notice
the unobtrusive tip of the vine
threading it way across the ground
to the scarlet runners
and you remember…

…oh, those southern boys!
so wily
so plump
so firm.