Ms. Congeniality April 27, 2016

I’m delighted to say I was named first runner-up today in the Prism International short fiction contest. My congratulations go to winner Taryn Pearcey and to second runner-up, Richard Kelly Kemick, along with all the fine writers on the long and short lists.

Huge thanks to judge Lee Maracle, a wonderful West Coast writer. A First Nations Salish poet and author, Maracle currently lives in Toronto where she teaches at the University of Toronto First Nations House.

Falls---Montreal-RiverMy story, Montreal River, centres on Nora Weston, who drops into a sudden memory of her first love as she runs up the slopes of Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, near where I grew up. Fifteen years ago, Dave Hashimoto was Nora’s classmate and lover in art school. As Nora waited for him to join her on a round-the-world trip, Dave went missing in northern Ontario, last heard from near the town of Montreal River.

The winning stories will be published this summer in Prism.

Here’s a teaser, the first two paragraphs of Montreal River:

Nora might as well have been running inside a bottle, sprinting up the mountain in the early afternoon. A Kelly-green bottle of forest, Douglas fir and cedar. Moisture weighed down the branches, and the needles were so fat and healthy they glistened like glass. Nora’s retriever, Josie, raced ahead of her, sniffing roots and chipmunk burrows, kicking up the last grainy snow of winter before racing back to put her wet nose into Nora’s hand.

Sheen, she thought. Not just the sheen of a bottle, but of a photographic print. It reminded her of a project she’d done in art school, photographing men when she was aroused. Nora had made them strip down and moved them into poses, digging her fingers into their arms, feeling their muscles, smoothing the hair on their heads, chests, thighs. She focused her camera close in on biceps, on erections, and when she was wet, she started to click.