Take Off, Eh?

I’ve read some interesting debates online recently pertaining to the differences between UK and US English. Just last week, our own Hise highlighted the differences between the two Englishes when it involves the punctuation surrounding dialogue. Boy (George), do people take this stuff seriously. As well they should, though—our wondrous English language is as essential to us writers as pickled sheep’s eyes dipped in fruit bat guano are to pregnant women. Utterly indispensable. But I ain’t going there. Neither pregnant women nor the Limey/Yank debate, nosiree. Not even fruit bats. No, I want to talk today about a different type of English, and one that oftentimes gets completely overlooked in these discussions: Canadian English.

Let me begin with a story. When I first arrived in this vast, slightly bewildered country from England in the late ’80s, I quickly found work in a group home for abused/neglected teens. Back then, I’m mildly ashamed to say, I smoked. A lot. Cigarettes, mostly (but I didn’t inhale, I swear). So, one evening I was involved in a stressful situation dealing with a kid who was flipping out about something or other, and once calm had returned, I said (ostensibly to myself, but for some reason the words emerged as out-loud speech instead of innermost thoughts… no doubt my first mistake), “Boy could I use a fag right about now.” All of a sudden, I had the rapt and wary attention of every teenager in that home. You could have cut the silence with a great big silence cutter (I was far lazier with my metaphors back then). They stared. I stared back. Someone laughed nervously and said “duuuude” under his breath. In that shaky skateboarder voice—you know the one. Now, don’t get me wrong, it ought to go without saying that the humour of this moment isn’t at the expense of gay people, it’s at the expense of a stupid, bigoted word alongside my own naivety and the propensity of adolescents to tend toward the homophobic. A perfect storm of awkwardness, really. Continue reading “Take Off, Eh?”

Bridget Straub Announces Her New Release

Author Bridget Straub is pleased to announce the release of her new contemporary fiction/chicklit novel, On a Hot August Afternoon.

On a Hot August Afternoon

Stacey is an artist whose rock star husband, Pete, has been on tour for several weeks. She and their two young children, are about to join her in-laws at the family compound in South Lake Tahoe for her sister in-law’s wedding. There, she’ll be reunited with Pete. However, she is blindsided when she goes to her mailbox and discovers an envelope of explicit photographs of her husband and another woman. Suddenly, she’s left questioning everything she thought she knew about the man she never meant to fall in love with.

On a Hot August Afternoon was self-published  on May 3, 2012. It is available as an e-book and in print from Amazon.

Congrats to Dick Waters – This Week’s Winner in The Flash Fiction Challenge

Today we’re pleased to announce Dick Waters as the winner of the Indies Unlimited weekly Flash Fiction competition.

The winning entry is rewarded with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.

Congratulations to Dick, and thanks to everyone who participated – excellent entries! Now, without further ado, here’s the winning entry: Continue reading “Congrats to Dick Waters – This Week’s Winner in The Flash Fiction Challenge”

One-Star Reviews of the Hundred Greatest Novels, #25 to #1

And so, it ends. Maybe with a whimper, maybe with a bang, maybe with a whoopy cushion. This week concludes our perusal of Daniel S. Burt’s list from The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time, with one-star accompaniment by 100 helpful readers, who really, really hated all of these books. Continue reading “One-Star Reviews of the Hundred Greatest Novels, #25 to #1”