Last week I found out that I'm a finalist for The Malahat Review's 2010 Novella Prize, for my illustrated story Broken Hill. The list of finalists are:
Darryl Berger, "Broken Hill (an illustrated story)"
Kim Clark, "Solitaire"
Cary Fagan, "The Hebrew Sorcerer"
Don McKay, "Gambari"
Tony Tulathimutte, "Brains"
D. W. Wilson, "Valley Echo"
Broken Hill is an anti-war book and a lonely-hearts story: a correspondence between a cavalry officer and a psychiatric nurse, set in a dystopian universe. Really, it's about lies -- the kind we tell and the kind we carry.
I don't normally enter contests but I thought this might be a good way to promote my short story collection (Punishing Ugly Children) coming out in the fall. People often need some kind of endorsement -- whether by way of a blurb from a well-known author, a good review or the writer being an award winner -- before they'll take a chance on a book. I really don't expect to win this; I'm just happy to have achieved my goal of being able to add it to my CV.
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Another positive upon exiting March is that I've just finished editing Punishing Ugly Children, and doing many of the thousand things that come with helping to push a book out, and now the manuscript is back in the mail to the publisher. It's not 'done' -- not by a longshot -- but I'll get a breather before the next round of being too busy to notice Oona-related stains on my clothes.
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Anyway, there's no fear of my getting too comfortable or full of myself, as just the other night C told me, quite matter of factly, that my head is full of poop. I had just finished reading for the night.
"Well that was quick," she said. "What was that, like three pages?"
"My head is full," I said.
"Yes," she said, "full of poop."
Well, that would explain my aversion to flies and the sun then.