A Seriously Critical Accounting of my Journey into the Heart of The Ormsby Review


So, there I was in the early fall of 2016, writing flash fiction at a furious pace, working (mostly dawdling, to be honest) on the drafts of two novels, waiting for the release of my second book, Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul, you know, just hanging on my every written and hard to pluck word, being a lonely, albeit thoughtful writer, when my friend, author Howard MacDonald Stewart, himself, at the time, feverishly waiting the release of his book, Views of the Salish Sea, referred me to The Ormsby Review, which at the time, was pretty much in its infancy.

Here is how it describes its mandate: The Ormsby Review is a journal service for serious coverage of B.C. books and authors, hosted by Simon Fraser University.

Initially I was hoping to promote my new book but very quickly, the editor, Richard Mackie, a workhorse of an historian, offered me the opportunity to write a review for the latest book by reporter/journalist, Mike McCardell. Though I was leery, I hesitantly accepted the offer, received a copy of None of This Was Planned from the publisher, Harbour Publishing, read it, enjoyed it, and wrote a review.

Since then, I have contributed one essay on Denman Island’s iconic local library, The Dora Drinkwater, and three additional reviews. Two were for Jack Knox’s first and second books, Hard Knox and Opportunity Knox.

The essay, incidentally, was actually a chapter meant to go into my “Confessions” book, but it slipped out of sight of my eagle-eye.

How careless I am with my chapters!

In any case, my latest Ormsby review is for J.G. Toews’ inaugural mystery, Give Out Creek. You might want to give both the novel and the review a read.

Even if you do, I think the point I really want to convey here is that, as pleased as I have been to be a very small part of the Ormsby Review, its value to me, to others, has been its sweep of content, its exploration of books that shine a fascinating light of the big and the smaller moments of BC History.

The books and the reviews hopefully will keep on coming. And we will all benefit, thanks of course to all of the marvelous authors but also to Richard Mackie, Alan Twigg, BC BookLook publisher, and the enduring support of SFU, my university of choice.

I should mention that the Review was named after Margaret Ormsby, a departed historian of significant note.

In closing, I admit that this is a rambling post. Still, it is crammed with data. Thanks for your time.

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