My first post in over a year

First things first, I hope this finds everyone who reads this well. My sincere apologies for not posting here. I guess I should explain why I suddenly abandoned my blog.

In my defense, last year was hectic. I was on an Ontario Arts Council jury, judged a literary prize, and co-edited an anthology published last Spring. This year looks just as busy. My creative partner Liz and I are expanding our Medium page to a website and podcast. Our hopes are to have an expansive podcast network and print edition of our website featuring essays, and creative non-fiction from ourselves and guest writers.

We've already registered as a corporation to see this project through. It's a lot of work. Super stressful. If it doesn't work out, I may find myself leaving Ontario for a while to regain my footing.

Also, this Spring the anthology that I edited for Guernica Editions launches. At some point, I want to expand my editing clientele and start a draft of my first novel.

I almost quit writing at the end of last year. When I visited my mom and talked about my worries, she simply told me, "If you need money, just write." I don't think she understands how amazing those words are to me. To have someone in your corner, when you've dedicated so much of your life to something so hapless at times, is always a humbling experience.

So why did I stop writing here? Have you ever heard the saying, "If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything?" That's the position I was left in last year. To be honest, it would benefit me to remain silent, but when this blog was active, I was always pleasantly surprised with how many people read it. Thank you. You guys deserve an explanation.

When the anthology that I co-edited last year was launched, there was, what I thought at the time, a small, minor issue. The publisher neglected to create a page for it on their website. At first, this was not a big deal. Within a month of the launch, I sent an email expecting the issue to be resolved. The issue was not resolved. Instead, it was an harbinger of other issues to follow.

One of the authors sold all of her author copies and tried to purchase additional. However, no one connected to the press replied to her, so she contacted me. I attempted to to contact multiple people from the press and no one responded to me. Eventually, I contacted the distributor to attempt to get author copies directly from them. It was a bad situation.

During all of this, I was offered opportunities to promote the anthology, but I had to say no for a few reasons:

1/ There are a number of smaller media companies that promote books who try to avoid sending their readers/watchers/listeners to corporate websites like Amazon. But, the only places you can order the book online are at corporate retailers, because the publisher is neglecting to promote and sell the book on their own website.

2/ If you wish to purchase the book on a corporate retail website, the book cover displayed isn't the same as the actual book. How could I hold up a book and say, "This is the book, find it on Amazon, if the image on Amazon looks completely different?"

3/ If the publisher refuses to post the book on their website, and also refuses to help contributors of said anthology when they request to BUY copies, what faith do I have that they would amplify the reach of my attempts to promote the project through their social media, etc.?

For my own sanity, I had to walk away from a book that I was very proud of. It's a book that deserved better. The quality of writing is beyond reproach, in my opinion. But it felt like no one in the press, or associated with it, cared about the book. The poets deserved better.

In the publisher's defense, they were going through major changes. The last of the original partners who founded the press has health issues. The lead administrator of the press walked away. However, when you make the decision to invest thousands of dollars to print hundreds of books, no matter the circumstances, you must do the bare minimum so that people involved can fill the voids where needed. The bare minimal was having a web page on their site to buy the book. The minimum was having a plan so that authors could buy author copies. Doing those two things would have had a significantly positive impact on the sales of their books.

I explained the situation to my big brother over the phone this Summer. A vet of the music industry, he's experienced similar with records he's released with labels. "It's like they don't want to make money," I remember him saying.

At the end of the year, the press was sold. I checked their website last week and not only our book has not been given a page, none of the books published during the Fall by them have either.

Oh well. I could have made everyone's year awful by posting about this every month or so, but I decided not to. It's easier to digest here. Also, a lot of people I know died last year. There were some tough moments beyond writing and editing.

Don't get me wrong, I checked out some really cool things last year. I went to my first horse-pull. I also took a swing dance class. I sucked, but it was a fun experience! So many good things happened, but if you know me, you know that I would get stuck on the negative stuff and mope. So instead, I didn't write here.

Well, I'm back. Don't expect me to write here regularly, but every few months something will show up here. If you like my perspective on things and miss my banter check out Liz and my new website and podcast at

Take care everyone

Peace and respect

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