CBC KW: The Morning Edition (Radio Interview)

I was lucky enough to be on “The Morning Edition,” CBC News Kitchener/Washington with DJ Craig Morris. Here’s a coincidence: I teach Craig’s daughter Abby! Although my heart was pounding before the interview, it was a lot of fun. The staff were welcoming and down to Earth.

CLICK HERE to hear the 5 min. interview — it’s at the bottom of the article.

Jagtar Wins!!

Checkout the New Prairie Fire! Jagtar Kaur Atwal placed first in the Creative Nonfiction category. Once you read her piece, you can go to Invisible Publishing blog and read “Soft Bed,” another creative nonfiction piece that follows the Prairie Fire narrative.

CV2 Poetry Writing Competition

Congratulations Katie McGarry on your honourable mention of the C2 contest.  Click here to see the amazing poem, Self Portrait With Snacks. Entrants only had two days to write, and they had to use the words: pithboricfecklesstranspirecommodiouscoifsrusttub,
frisson and judge

Bookish Radio Interview

Kim Davids Mandar, writer and one of the Bookish Radio hosts, came into my class to interview some of my students. Three of them were published in this year’s  Etch Anthology, (Emily Berry, Sarah Kirkpatrick and Alison Coole) which is produced by the Vocamus Press in Guelph. Emily Berry also placed second, and Sarah Kirkpatrick placed third.  Click here to hear the interview.

Red Confetti

(A flash piece/poem  I wrote that’s based on an experience I had in grade 4)

Slick with cherry chapstick, I leap onto the ice and weave through knots of skaters in lumpy parkas. Muscles pulse, ears sting, hair snaps — I breeze past like a winter gale. My skates, sharp as a falcon’s talon, slick as otters in water,  carve the ice into a lesioned hide.

Then I see her.

Smiling honey, she makes her entrance, one dainty step onto the rink, one liquid stroke in front of the other.  She glides like rain down a sunny window as a gaggle of girls trail behind her.

I dog them, keeping a safe distance. Their heads turn and their lips scrunch to their noses  but I pretend I don’t care and mouth the Madonna tune that’s cracking through the speakers, the same damn one I hear every single morning in the school hallways when I’m trying to read.

“Spaghetti legs!” they call and explode in laughter, high pitched giggles like metal on slate.

When they roll to the far end of the rink I bend down and whisper the secret order to my brother.  He nods in obedience and darts by, pumping his little legs side to side, each stroke like the rasp of a match. He coasts behind her, inches away. Slowly, slowly.

Their blades clang.

She falls hard.

A bundle of denim and black curls slide across the rink and bumps its edge.  As the music booms she rises like a newborn fawn. The ice shavings on her lashes look like dandruff and I want to flick them off. She hacks a kitten cough and spits out a tooth. Red confetti sprays the ice.

I should’ve felt bad.

Five years later I saw her again when I became an only child, when a headline in the town paper read, “Valedictorian of Grade Eight Class Struck by Van.”

In a rumpled dress I wilt by my brother’s closed coffin. On it lays a wreath of rubbery roses and a photo in a silver frame — a carefree boy, a smiling man-child with his first bout of acne. I inhale the honey stench of lilies and then she enters. She eyes the room, spots me, and wends her way through the black dresses and coffee cups. Hugging my limp body she says, “so sorry.”