ABT: Always Be Tracking

We’re into the second week of 2019, which means many well-meaning individuals have already given up on their resolutions for the year. And who can blame them? So many resolutions, or at least the narrative around them, are rooted in shame and blame. Who wants to carry that negative energy into a new year? Not I, dear fellow.

Instead of making resolutions, I track my decisions, goals, progress, and setbacks over the year. It’s sort of like keeping on top of your finances throughout the year, instead of doing one big push over a few frenzied days during tax season. I’ve been tracking in one form or another since my mid-teens, so now it is a clearly established part of my routine. Read on to learn how I “track my life” and how you can apply these methods to your writing.

Continue reading “ABT: Always Be Tracking”

Oh, happy day!

Some mornings you step in pet vomit, and other mornings you start off the day on a cleaner better foot. I was delighted to see Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris on the shortlist for the RBC Taylor Prize this week. Kate and the other finalists receive $5,000 each, a leather-bound edition of their book, and frenzied texts from their editors exulting over the news. The winner will be named on March 4, 2018 in Toronto. I acquired and edited this book for Knopf Canada, and it has since become a national bestseller, won a Banff book award, and been sold into numerous territories.

New art book about Homer Watson

A new art book about the Canadian landscape painter Homer Watson is now available from Art Canada Institute. This publication is part of the ACI’s Canadian Online Art Book Project, a series of peer-reviewed and richly illustrated books.

I edited this book, by teacher and curator Brian Foss, for ACI. Check out Homer Watson here. While you’re at it, peruse the full collection…all of the ACI art books are free to read and download.

“Homer Watson’s landscapes were biographical manifestos and philosophical statements, an opportunity to explore nature’s inner life, power, and meaning and to probe the delicate relationship of respect that he believed human beings should establish with the natural world. His dedication to safeguarding the environment was exceptional and far-sighted.”

Brian Foss

Lands of Lost Borders wins at Banff

Woohoo! Great news today for Kate Harris. Her debut memoir, Lands of Lost Borders, won in the Adventure Travel category at the Banff Mountain Book Awards. Kate’s book is now eligible for the Grand Prize, to be announced November 1, 2018.

“In thoughtful, melodic prose, Kate Harris embraces the spirit of adventure in this story about cycling the Silk Road even as she confronts the entangled nature of science and imperialism in the history of exploration. From permits and packaged noodles to sage-speckled horizons, Lands of Lost Borders relates the ordinary, unglamorous details of life on the road alongside moments of beauty and insight. In her travels with Mel, a childhood friend turned cycling companion, Harris also reveals how the shifting contours of a friendship can form new landscapes worth exploring. All the while, Harris maintains a hope in the power of the exchange of ideas to reimagine borders along territories and, perhaps, within the human heart.”

Paula Wright, 2018 Book Competition Jury

Tracking Giants

At the start of June 2018, I started a new writing and exploring project. I’m visiting all 43 Champion trees on the BC Big Tree registry, and writing about them on my blog, Tracking Giants.

The Champion trees are those that been nominated and verified as the largest trees among their species, within provincial boundaries. My blog discusses current issues surrounding land rights and forestry, of course, but also delves into self-doubt, relationships, orthodontics, and all things Amanda Lewis.

This project has already taken me to parks, forests, private residences, logging roads, and the backcountry as I try to find these trees, many of which do not have clear GPS coordinates on the registry. In June and July, I travelled  to Prince Rupert, Terrace, Vanderhoof, and Vancouver Island to track down some of these giants. The wildfires kept me mostly rooted in August, and now that the smoke has mostly cleared I’m heading back into the woods. Follow along on Instagram at @trackinggiants.

Two authors longlisted for Banff Mountain Book Competition

Great news from Banff today: two books I acquired and edited for Penguin Random House Canada are finalists for the Banff Mountain Book Competition. Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris (Knopf Canada) is in the Adventure Travel category, and End of the Rope by Jan Redford (Random House Canada) is in the Mountain Literature (Non-Fiction) category. The shortlists will be announced in October, and the Grand Prize winner on November 1. Congrats, Kate and Jan!