Catch my literary readings Aug. 12, 13 at Arts & Words in Davis Bay, BC

I’m delighted to present new literary material, inspired by a painting by Gibsons artist Paula O’Brien, at the inaugural Arts & Words event in Davis Bay on Aug. 12 and 13. My Aug. 12 reading, in the 10:30 to noon time slot, is generously sponsored by Canada Council through the Writers’ Union of Canada. The event features at least a dozen local artists, each teamed up with a different local writer. Come on out to Mission Point House, see an exhibition of original art by our talented locals, and hear the literary works that they inspired.

My Aug. 13 event is part of the 4:30 to 6 pm group time slot. I’ll also be starting the Open Mic event at 4:30 pm on Sunday. My readings will include creative nonfiction regarding my 1990 travels in Kashmir, India under curfew and rocket launcher conditions, and poetry, old and new.

Candace Campo celebrates her Indigenous history, culture and ancestors through Talaysay Tours

I profiled and photographed Candace Campo, co-founder of Talaysay Tours and a shishalh Nation member, for the winter 2022 issue of Sunshine Coast Life Magazine. Each year, her First Nations ecotour company hosts visitors from around the globe, introducing them to Pacific Northwest Indigenous culture, history, ancestors, local flora and fauna, and the spiritual significance of all of them.

Click here to read the feature and see photos.

 

 

 

 

Talaysay Tours photo

Discover what Kashmir under curfew felt like in 1990

Rocket launchers blast through a night sky as clashing rebel groups exchange fire in India’s contentious Kashmir region. My then-partner and I huddle on the bow of a cozy houseboat on Dal Lake. Find out what it was like to be there under curfew in my travel essay Two Realities. It appears in the debut issue of a new online literary anthology published by the Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society. Click here and then scroll down to read.

Zoom reading Sept. 19

Hello Everyone, The Burnaby Writers’ Society is sponsoring me as a featured writer on Zoom, Sunday, Sept. 19, starting at noon. I’ll be reading short excerpts from three sources: my essay “A Slow Good-bye,” a visit to the Taj Mahal from my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket (Guernica Editions 2023), and my picture book Six Stinky Feet and a Sasquatch. Q&A to follow, then open mic to 1:30 p.m.

Email info@bws.bc.ca for the Zoom link. More details at this Facebook page.

Fed. of BC Writers Zoom reading

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT: SUNSHINE COAST — I’ll be one of six authors reading a 10-minute selection on Zoom on Feb. 11, sponsored by the Federation of BC Writers. My excerpt is from the chapter “Assault” in my memoir No Letter in Your Pocket, to be published in 2023 by Guernica Editions. Free event runs from 7 to 8:15 pm. Click here for more details.

Havana weeks before Fidel died: Mafia history still looms

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Author Heather Conn (centre) with friend Merrily Corder and Orlando in Santa Lucia, Cuba

 

 

 

Few people realize how much the Mafia shaped the economy of Havana for more than 30 years. While visiting Cuba’s capital in October-November 2016, I relished the chance to learn more about the country’s illegal past.

My December 9, 2016 travel feature Havana Travel article 2016 (Coast Reporter) reveals some tidbits of Havana’s Mafia history, along with some shocking environmental realities.

A Yukon relic: a novel way to honour a friend’s memory

It wasn’t Sam McGee’s fiery demise in Lake Lebarge, but I knew that Stewart River in the Yukon was the right spot to honour her memory.

Before writer friend Janet Collins died in the summer of 2013, she made an innovative request to those who later attended her memorial.

To find out how I fulfilled her desire to continue travelling the world, see my feature “Travelling with Janet: Remembering a friend on the Stewart River,” published Oct. 30, 2014 in the weekly newspaper What’s Up Yukon.

(Unfortunately, in the online version, a few words are missing on the turn page. It should say: “It was late July, 2014, almost exactly a year after her memorial, or, ‘going away party,’ as she had called it prior to her death.”)

This story later appeared in the Coast Reporter in Sechelt, BC. 

 

New travel memoir highlights India

My newly completed memoir, No Letter in Your Pocket: Twenty Years Healing a Family Secret, provides adventurous tales of my seven months in India in 1990-1991.

This revealing book interweaves denial about a primal family relationship with adventure, romance and spiritual exploration. From its highs—describing a successful climb of the 20,000-foot peak Stok Kangri—to its lows—suffering bacterial dysentery and sexual assaults—this tale carries the reader through a middle-aged woman’s quest for truth, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Excerpts from this yet-unpublished account have appeared in two anthologies, including Emails from India: Women Write Home (Seraphim Editions 2013).

I am currently seeking a literary agent for representation for this and other books.

Travel essay “Bird Sanctuary” appears in anthology Emails from India: Women Write Home

Emails from India cover low-res

 

 

My travel essay “Bird Sanctuary,” which describes World Heritage Site Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, appears in the anthology Emails from India: Women Write Home.

Published in the fall of 2013 by Seraphim Editions in Ontario, this book features the writing of 28 female contributors from across North America, along with several Europeans.

The Georgia Straight, Vancouver, B.C.’s entertainment weekly, recommended Emails from India: Women Write Home in December 2013 as one of its top 10 seasonal gifts for travellers.

Click on this emails from india link to read Bird Sanctuary.

Hemingway’s footsteps retraced during pilgrimage in Pamplona, Spain

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I’m posing at the Hemingway statue
by the Plaza de Toros in Pamplona, Spain.

As a Camino de Santiago pilgrim in Spain in June 2013, I sought out some of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite haunts in Pamplona. As I wrote:

“It was easy to imagine the expatriate writer arm-wrestling over one of the many patio tables or downing too many absinthes or whiskeys in fading Spanish light. . .”

Click on this Seeking Hemingway feature link to read my article “Seeking out Hemingway,” published in the Dec. 20, 2013 issue of The Coast Reporter.

Click here to read my related blog article “Not just bars and bravado” and photos.