Publishers Weekly advance review of Six Metres of Pavement

The book’s not out yet, but my first review is in! Publisher’s Weekly says:

“Ismail Boxwala, an ultimately good man haunted by a horrible mistake, provides the focal point of Doctor’s moving second novel in which she examines with crystalline clarity the plight of this gentle, middle-aged Indian immigrant living in Toronto. Twenty years ago, Boxwala accidentally left his baby locked in his car, resulting in her death. The tragedy destroys his marriage and induces a long struggle with drink; still, Ismail keeps his job and home and eventually finds himself drawn to Celia Sousa, a 50-year-old Portuguese widow, left penniless by her gambling-addict husband, and currently living with her daughter on Ismail’s street. Doctor (Stealing Nazreen) charts the growing heat between Ismail and Celia and weaves in a sweet secondary story about Ismail’s fatherly friendship with Fatima Kahn, a bisexual Indian college student. Doctor also folds the past into the present throughout, allowing the dead to haunt the living and providing both a realistic portrayal of suffering and a paean to second chances.”

Brockton Writers Series 16

The Brockton Writers Series is a monthly literary series that welcomes established and emerging writers and the people who love to read their work. I have the pleasure of curating it!

This month we are excited to bring to the mic Elisha Lim, Caleb Cohen, Laurie Leclair and Dawn Promislow.

Wednesday February 2, 7-9, at the beautiful and historic St. Anne’s Church, 270 Gladstone Ave, just north of Dundas, in Toronto.

The event is free, but we pass a hat ($3-$5, pwyc suggested donation) to pay the writers. Books for sale. Drinks available by donation to the Jeremiah Community at St. Anne’s church, who provide us with refreshments and the space.

More about the writers:

DAWN Promislow’s debut collection, Jewels and Other Stories, was published by TSAR in October 2010. She has been published in Saturday Night, Maple Tree Literary Supplement ( and TOK: Writing the New Toronto Book 5 . One of the stories in Jewels was shortlisted for UK-based Wasafiri’s New Writing Prize 2009. She is the recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Works in Progress grant. Born and raised in South Africa, she has lived in Toronto since 1987.

LAURIE Leclair was born in Tecumseh, Ontario and moved to Toronto to pursue graduate studies at York University. She has worked as an archaeologist and historian and now runs a small research firm specializing in aboriginal treaty rights and resource use. Her main influences as a creative writer are E. F. Benson and David Sedaris. She lives in Parkdale with her husband Richard and their son Daniel. You can read more of her material on Exquisite Corpse, a blog devoted to serial writing she keeps with two other middle-aged Torontonians @

CALEB Cohen is a recovering academic who currently works at Another Story Bookshop where he sells books instead of writing them. Caleb comes from a family of truck drivers and has spent much of his life on the road, collecting stories and perfecting the art of motion sickness. He recently took a risk and withdrew from grad school to focus on his childhood desire to be an author. This is his first reading and he’s incredibly nervous. Wish him luck.

ELISHA Lim is the author of 100 Butches which is a genderbending comic with a cult following including queer luminaries like Allison Bechdel (Fun Home, Dykes to Watch Out For) and Michelle Tea (Rent Girl, Rose of No Man’s Land). Elisha’s comics have been featured in queer magazines like Diva UK, <> , Curve US, LOTL Australia, Xtra Canada, and nomorepotlucks, and the 100 Butches toured in the spring with the legendary Sister Spit caravan through 28 North American cities. Elisha’s looking forward to collaborating on a new graphic novel with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and to being Allyson Mitchell’s first guest artist at the Feminist Art Gallery, or FAG.

Note to writers: Writers’ networking session starts at 6:30pm. All emerging and established writers welcome to chat about publishing, promotion, craft–anything about the writing life. The session will be facilitated by a writer.

Open mic sign up is at 6:55pm. There are three 5 minute slots.

Limited parking available–choose spots labelled “St. Anne’s Church” or street parking.


Many of us take a moment to reflect on our lives at this time of year and set goals for self improvement. How many of you are vowing to go to the gym more often, eat more vegetables, learn a new language, give up shopping? Resolutions (albeit, set at an arbitrary time of year) can help us focus on what we want for ourselves.

I asked this month’s Brockton Writers Series writers to share their annual writing goals. Mary Frances Coady, Nicole Tanguay, Carlyn Zwarenstein and Janice Goveas all had plans to write more, submit more, and complete projects. Each of them are accomplished poets, playwrights, non-fiction and prose writers. I know they’ll get those stories published, finish their manuscripts, find more time to wordsmith.

I’ve been considering my writing goals for the year ahead, but I have to be careful about setting them. Raised by a workaholic, I tend to set my bars pretty  high all year round and sometimes forget to notice how far I’ve come and how well things are going. As a rule, I aim to write 5-10 pages per week, to spend an hour every day on book promo, and meet nearly all the grant application deadlines. I take the work of writing pretty seriously.

I could come up with even more goals. My second novel will be released in March and I should attempt a few readings each month. I’m working on my third novel and would love to have a draft completed by year’s end. All this will probably happen.

But I think I might need different sorts of resolutions this year, ones that allow me to enjoy my writing life just a little more. Its a privilege to be an artist, and a joy to have my work published and read.

So, this year I resolve to: have tons of fun while touring Six Metres of Pavement, delighting in the travel and the lovely people  I’ll meet along the way. I won’t over-focus on sales statistics. I’ll write as though critics don’t exist. Play and work will collide.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Minty-Fresh™.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 17 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 118 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 18mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 3rd with 27 views. The most popular post that day was Location, location.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for brockton writers series, book readings,, shannon whibbs, and stealing nasreen.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Location, location November 2010
1 comment and 2 Likes on


Contact me & Where to find my books February 2007


Public Appearances/Where I’m READING next… February 2007


REVIEWS February 2007


Brockton Writers Series November 2009