Short Story News

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About a half hour south-west of London, Ontario, surrounded by golden fields, is a little town called Dutton. Every year, the Friends of Dutton-Dunwich sponsor the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award. I entered my story "If Wishes Were Pennies" five years ago, and surprisingly made it to the semi-finals. This year that same story was purchased for the anthology, Canadian Creatures. Every year since, I've meant to enter again, but somehow the deadline always snuck past me.

This year, I remembered to check the date, hoping I would be able to write a story for the contest while on vacation. I discovered the deadline was only two days before my vacation and I had a week to write and mail a story if I wanted to enter. Yikes! But I had a great idea, so I spun the story as quickly as I could and sent it. 

To my surprise, once again, my story made it to the semi-finals. And then to my greater surprise, I received a delightful note letting me know my story was selected as one of three finalists for the $2000 prize. It is such an honour to know there are people out there reading and liking my work and feeling it worthy of a prize. 

So I went to Dutton for the ceremony. I've never been to the London area. It's a three and a half hour drive from my home, but it was made all the more enjoyable by the autumn colours. The evening ceremony included a reading from Galbraith's work by one of his descendants-- clad in the Galbraith tartan. Unfortunately, I didn't come home with the $2000 prize, but I met lots of nice people and I wouldn't mind going next year. 

And in other news, I sold a few short stories recently:

“True Love” appears in the anthology, Alice Unbound, from Exile Editions.

“If Wishes Were Pennies” appears in the anthology, Canadian Creatures.

I have a story in a forthcoming anthology from Dark Dragon Publishing.

And I have story in a forthcoming anthology from Springsong Press.

I made a Katniss cowl


Last year, I had planned to dress up for Halloween as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, but the cowl took a lot longer to make than I'd expected. I threw together a Bat Girl costume, and continued to work on the cowl. 

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I couldn't get the grey-mix yarn I'd wanted when I went shopping, so I opted for a cream yarn, figuring I could wear it out of costume as well. 

I read up on a bunch of different patterns:


And learned the cowl in the movie made by Maria Dora is woven, not knitted or crocheted. This explained why it was so hard to find a pattern.

I settled on mostly following these directions:

I tried to follow a tutorial on using strips of an old t-shirt wrapped in yarn for the neck rings, but couldn't figure it out. I ripped it apart several times before I finally got it the way I wanted-- by weaving the yarn around three separate strips of t-shirt. 

Next, I had to learn to knit the herringbone pattern. This was tricky. I'm still a newbie at knitting-- only ever making scarves and toques, and nothing so much as a sweater-- but fortunately, the cowl required making pieces and sewing them together. So all I really had to do was get the measurements approximate. Sounds easy enough. But the herringbone being new to me, I underestimated casting on, and had to start over three times. I also undersized the triangle section. 


Once all the pieces were made it was just a matter of stitching them together and weaving the ends in (I hate that part.) I guess it turned out all right. 

(I added a mockingjay pin and borrowed my son's leather jacket, which is why it's two sizes too big. Maybe time to get my own.)

If I ever find a nice grey mix wool, I might try making another. 

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