Tag Archives: lori hahnel
This is the second part of a series in which Authors who I’ve promoted in the Authors-Readers International series tell Readers what they’ve been doing during these past few months of self-isolating … See the introduction to Part 1 for a further explanation. (All links on the authors’ names will take you to their A-RI promotion.)
Pincher Creek, Alberta, is my home since last summer, as I believe you know. The advantage is that Pincher in Iso is quite a bit like Pincher not in Iso. Have to watch my step only at the post office and Co-op. And strictly avoid Walmart. Two hour walks are frequent—to offset my beer consumption.
Working on a film with Tom Radford. Great fun.
I’ve been reasonably busy during the pandemic. My book about the secret lives of taxi drivers has been delayed due to all of this chaos, but this has given me a chance to add pandemic-related material to the manuscript. I also taught an online class on travel writing at Pandemic University, and one on nonfiction for the Alexandra Writers Centre. I landed a short piece about COVID brides-to-be on the CBC Calgary website and had a personal essay published on May 18th in the CBC Books’ “Transmission” series. All the while, I’ve been pitching COVID-related stories to various magazines. I am also working on a profile for a US-based medical cannabis journal, and a feature story about sex work in Calgary.
I have a new short story collection coming out this fall with Enfield & Wizenty. The book is called Vermin: Stories, and expected pub date at this point is Oct. 22. Here’s a link to the publisher’s page.
I also finally got a new headshot! (credit Jodi O Photography)
Lori Hahnel continues to add posts to her blog and is going to be offering a webinar on writing in June. See her blog for details.
I wish I could say I’ve been spending my covid time learning a new language, or taking piano lessons, or bullfighting classes online. I have finished a draft of a novel though, and am adapting to online yoga classes. Though I was self-isolating more before the pandemic, when everyone left the house in the morning. Now all four of us are here all day, every day. So an adjustment. Playing my monthly poker game via Zoom has been an adjustment as well. And perhaps it’s a good thing that this is the coldest spring in memory (it snowed yesterday) as fewer people are tempted to go out. But it would be nice to at least have the back yard as an option. And the snow may be keeping the murder hornets at bay.
Again thanks for doing this for us – it is so incredibly generous of you. As for me I’m editing the next two books in my series – Rebirth and Tesla’s Dream, as you know, and hoping to get that done by the fall. The coronavirus has slowed down the process since I have my daughters and granddaughters at home, and there are lots of interruptions. However I’m finding bits and pieces of time to do my work and am also okay with giving some of it up since this is a unique and precious time to be with my granddaughters (note: granddaughters) that I won’t have again. (One of Felicity’s granddaughters even wrote me a fan letter!)
I haven’t written anything on the virus but in my books I predict pandemics as part of the effects of climate change. There is a typical tension between the needs of businesses to make money and the working poor who facilitate that. It’s never been very different; those with less resources have always been sacrificed on the altars of the rich.
Again, thank you for all you are doing to promote Canadian/Alberta authors. It is a huge amount of work. I do appreciate all you’ve done to promote my books.
What have I been doing during the pandemic?
My book, Impact Statement, has been published and is now available from Alpine Book Peddlers in Canmore as well as the independent bookstores, Pages, ShelfLife and Owl’s Nest in Calgary. I believe it will be available through Amazon and Indigo as well, but I haven’t any idea just when that will happen.
Frontenac House and I are talking about having some kind of internet launch. No date or time as yet. It may be a ZOOM event, but that hasn’t been settled yet either. Will let you know when all is sorted out. Here’s a link to the book on the publisher’s site.
Of course, I am still a full-time care giver for my wife, Marilyn. Things are going as well as they can, but some of the work has to be done carefully.
As well, I am now into the gardening season. Trying to get my yards and flowerbeds into shape.
Like me, Canadian author Darlene Foster was in her winter home (Spain) when the pandemic disrupted the world, and she has also not been able to travel home to Canada for the summer months.
During the very strict lockdown in Spain, I have kept busy reading, writing, blogging, reviewing, critiquing, editing, and supporting other writers on-line. I’ve finally had time to reduce my towering TBR pile and have read some classics I’ve wanted to read for a long time. One of the best books I´ve read during lockdown was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. Here is my review on Goodreads.
I’m helping other writers with short stories and novels they’re working on and helping promote others who are already published. It’s always important as a writing community to support each other, but especially now during the global pandemic and resulting isolation. Thankfully, technology has kept me in touch with my family, friends and writing community. I hosted a ZOOM meeting for 14 English-speaking writers here in Spain last week and meet via ZOOM with my Canadian critique group on a regular basis. I individually chat with writers on Skype and FaceTime so I have not felt lonely at all. In fact, I´m busier than ever and working on Amanda in France, the ninth book in my Amanda Travels series, writing short stories, and even tried my hand at writing poetry. I was delighted to learn that some parents have been using my books as part of homeschooling. Life is whatever we make it and mine is good!
Stay safe and well. We´ve got this!
A bear sat on my deck. No photographic proof of that other than the calling card she left. I wrote a haiku, but it had one too many syllables. So it’s not a haiku at all. I also adopted my 21 year old nephew, who had a liver transplant when he was 16. He’s much safer here than he would be in Calgary, and he wants to apprentice with Dean as a cook. When it’s safe to go back into the kitchen.
I think of you on Bequia so often, knowing you’ve made the best decision for yourself. Traveling home, when you have a home … and a moat, and cats and all your books. I’m glad you’re there, just like I’m glad we’re pocketed away here in Jasper National Park, in the Canadian Rockies. Although, restaurants are re-opening, and guests will be returning soon. To a different experience, but they’re coming, and I’m worried. Of course.
I was worried, at first, that the gravity of a pandemic would pull all creativity to itself and leave me sitting in the dark. About a week in, however, Betty Jane Hegerat (an A-RI-promoted Author), one of my favourite writers and people, posted an offer of Blue Pencil Sessions: up to eight pages, for a handful of writers who might need a fresh look at a work in progress. I gratefully put up my hand and sent her the synopsis of the novel I’m working on. Anyone who knows Betty Jane knows she is the kind of person, writer, teacher who brings out the best in others. She asked for the first chapter after that, and now that she’s reading the sixth, I find myself not only picking up my pace to keep ahead of her (or is it that she’s generating a wave?), but learning to trust myself and the characters I’ve known, now, for so long. I’ve also taken on some web and business writing for a local mountain cabin resort, helping them to communicate with their staff and guests in these far too interesting times.
As well as the bear, I also have four squirrels and a chipmunk who visit my deck, and have been visited by a pair of bluejays (I thought these parts, like where I’ve lived in BC, would only have the blue-black Stellar’s Jays), assorted woodpeckers, thrush, cheeky little nuthatches and chickadees, and a flock of Juncos. Now that the snow is finally gone, my hiking boots have replaced my winter boots, and my camera and I are going out into the park, looking for and finding spring colours. Spring comes later here than I’m used to, but it’s so ridiculously beautiful that it doesn’t really matter.
Lori Hahnel is the author of two novels, Love Minus Zero and After You’ve Gone , as well as a story collection, Nothing Sacred , which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Her work has been nominated for the Journey Prize three times and has appeared in over forty publications in North America, Australia and the U.K. Her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post. Lori teaches creative writing in Calgary.
Lori Hahnel is another author I met through Betty Jane Hegerat who encouraged me to attend Lori’s launch at Memorial Park Library in Calgary for a new collection of stories, Nothing Sacred, she had published. I also went to see Lori for a writing consultation while she was the Canadian Authors’ Association writer-in-residence in Calgary. I learned A LOT during that all-too-brief session about not only writing short stories but also submitting them for publication in various literary magazines and websites. Lori Hahnel was one of the four authors who took part in the very first literary salon I organized. One aspect of her life Lori did not mention in her brief bio above is her lifelong connection to music: “Descended from a long line of music lovers, Lori Hahnel is the author of three previous fiction collections. During the early days of Calgary’s punk scene, Hahnel was a founding member of The Virgins, a power-pop punk group that carved its place in Calgary rock history as the city’s first all-female band.” (Thistledown Press) Not surprising then that music figures large in Lori Hahnel’s writing. I had purchased and read Hahnels’ most recent book, After You’ve Gone, and had it with me at the trailer in Ontario. When I was in Kincardine one day to go to the library (of course!), I passed a busker on the main street. I applauded when he had finished singing the song then asked if his guitar was a National. “No,” he replied, “It’s a Dobro, an original my father gave to me. But how do you know about Nationals? Do you play guitar?” No, I told him, but I’d read a book written by a friend in Calgary in which a National guitar is part of the plot, and there’s a photo of one on the cover. So the very next time I was in Kincardine, I took my copy of Lori Hahnel’s book with me and asked the busker to pose for a photo I could send back to her. (I also developed an appreciation for the music of Django Reinhardt after reading this novel!)
After You’ve Gone is the story of two generations of musicians, a jazz grandmother and a punk granddaughter, who each struggle with balancing life, love, and art in their respective eras. The novel opens in 2007 with Elsa Taggart and her ex-husband watching their son’s convocation from Seattle University. The events that bring about this everyday moment are unveiled in a series of spirited flashbacks that move convincingly between Elsa and her grandmother. Lita and Elsa’s lives are revealed in a procession of parallel events.
In 1935 Regina, Lita, a young woman of gypsy ancestry, develops a passion for playing the guitar. Encouraged and wide-eyed she joins a Regina jazz combo and begins a life that she couldn’t imagine and didn’t expect. From the first moment that she falls in love with the group’s lead singer, to the dark moment of his death, Lita’s fate is sealed.
In paralleled abandon, Elsa in 1983 has become the lead singer/songwriter and guitarist of Speed Queen, a Regina punk band. Her boyfriend Mark Taggart is also in a punk band. In love with the music scene, with each other, and their new baby, they decide their musical prospects would be better in Seattle than in Regina, a move that will prove to bring about significant changes.
Though fifty years exist between Lita and Elsa, their circumstances reflect and conform to the lives they have chosen. The daunting risks of the musician’s life coupled with the pursuit of intimate relationships lead to the heartache and grief that comes with such adventure. The pain of rejection and betrayal has to be managed, just as the responsibility of commitments must be maintained.
After You’ve Gone vibrates with authenticity: two eras, two young women caught up in the giddy thrall of love and music and feckless men. — Lee Kvern, author of The Matter of Sylvie and Seven Ways to Sunday
What Lori Hahnel is working on now …
I write a lot about music, and about old movies and the people who watch them, and these are both things that interest me. I almost always write about Canadians, although my current project is a historical novel set in 19th century Germany. It’s about Clara Schumann, the composer and pianist who was the wife of Robert Schumann and muse and lover of Johannes Brahms. My love of Schumann and Brahms’ music led me to this story, but I’m also interested in Clara’s life as a woman artist in the 19th century. As well as the love triangle aspect! ~ from an interview with Eda Lee, Writers’ Guild of Alberta, Jan. 9, 2019.
For more information about Lori Hahnel, her books, writing, and teaching, please see her website.
Lori Hahnel was a guest on my Reading Recommendations blog on Oct. 2, 2014.
Over on my other blog, Reading Recommendations, I’ve been busy for almost exactly a year now (I began writing that blog on Nov. 18, 2013!) promoting Authors and their books to Readers.
Some of these Authors have been new-to-me, many are established, and a number of them are long-time friends and colleagues. Not wanting to play favourites, I do encourage readers to look through the complete alphabetical list of 168 Authors I have already promoted during this year.
There are a number of these authors whose writing I’ve had the privilege to read – either as finished books they’re promoting on my blog, earlier published works or, in some cases, as a beta-reader for unpublished manuscripts – and I wrote two posts listing both self-and-traditionally published Authors whose work I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! For those complete posts, including lists and links to Authors, please click on Dylan Hearn’s Pay It Forward for self-published authors … and Traditionally Published Authors on Reading Recommendations.
Since Sept. 4, 2014, when the second list appeared, I have read and IMMENSELY enjoyed books by a number of other Reading Recommendations Authors and, in alphabetical order, I’d like to share those names with you now. (All names are linked to their original RR post.)
I still have a large stack of print and eBooks yet to read that are written by Reading Recommendations Authors. I have no doubt I’ll be creating another list very soon! I do hope you have as much pleasure as I’ve derived from discovering and reading books by the Authors I’ve featured on Reading Recommendations!
Since Nov. 2011, Alberta Books Canada hosted a series of literary salons in Calgary that brought together readers with Alberta authors in the intimate setting of a private home for readings and discussions about books and writing. Now that this series has come to an end, I wanted to recap all the salons and share with everyone a list of the authors who took part.
What made these salons different from the usual readings in bookstores and libraries, besides being held in private homes, is that they were based on the model of music house parties where the audience is charged an admission fee and all money collected is paid to the artists. My intention in setting up the salons in this way was so the authors would receive payment for having entertained us, and the audience would realize they should not expect authors to perform for free. After all, the amount any author receives from the royalties of book sales is a mere pittance. We need to show our appreciation for their work in more ways than just by buying a copy of their book – although that does help. As one author said when asked how much she made from each book: “I’m lucky to see a dollar, if that.” And we all know that a book published in Canada these days is considered as selling well if it passes 500 copies. 200 copies for poetry.
We experimented with Skype at a couple of these salons, with audience members able to attend and participate from a distance. Pearl Luke of Book Club Buddy took an active part during one discussion while still in her Thailand home. I also read from, and sold (through the cooperation of Monkeyshines), my new eBook that was not yet available in print at that time. At one salon, two of the authors showed videos they had created. And we invited two musicians to join the authors at two other salons and play some of their own music.
Thanks to everyone who was involved in this series. To Sue Hill of Monkeyshines Children’s Books for selling books at each of the salons, and to all the hosts who graciously opened their homes to us so we could enjoy these get-togethers in the true fashion of a traditional European artistic salon.
But a special thanks to Anne Sorbie for creating and publishing limited edition chapbooks that offered a commemorative collection of writing by the authors involved in each of the salons.
And a huge THANK YOU to our very dedicated audience (some of you attended every salon we offered!!) for being so attentive, for buying the books, and for reading! And, as well, to all the authors who participated. We could not have done any of this without your fine writing and generosity in sharing that writing with us!
Nov. 29, 2011
Dec. 14, 2011
Jan. 18, 2012 – Current and former Calgary Distinguished Writers’ Program Writers-In-Residence
Mar. 27, 2012 – Self: No longer a four-letter word
June 13, 2012 – New offerings by established authors
Sept. 30, 2012 – Mentors and Mentoring
Nov. 18, 2012 – Working with a publisher’s editor (cosponsored by University of Alberta Press)
From our final salon, Back L-R – Peter Midgley, Kath MacLean, Susan Toy, Geo Takach; Front L-R – Sue Hill (Monkeyshines), Alice Major, Cathie Crooks (UofA Press)
Alberta Books Canada is getting in on the Holiday gift-giving suggestion lists by offering up Part 1 of our recommendations on some GREAT books written by Alberta authors, published by Alberta publishers, or of interest to readers in Alberta. Books written by the following Authors will suit every reader on your list, all ages and interests. So please check out their links and buy these books!
Or … buy a membership to the local library for everyone on your list so they may borrow any of these books themselves!
Several of the Authors listed here also have books published, or that will soon be available, in eBook formats. These will be supported by every type of eReader.
So, no matter how you do it, whether you buy new books as print or in eBook format, or borrow books or eBooks from your library, please consider making this a Reading Holiday for everyone!
List of Authors who write for Adults
Betty Jane Hegerat
Faye Reineberg Holt
Shirlee Smith Matheson
T.B. (Tyler) Perry
Susan M. Toy
List of Authors who write for Children, Tweens and Teens
Shirlee Smith Matheson
Up next: Specific Books and a list of Publishers
From one of the novel’s blurbers and a member of my online writing possee through Humber, here’s Keri Michaud of Mississauga… This is me reading and enjoying, ISLAND IN THE CLOUDS at a cottage at Pickerel Lake, up north near Huntsville in Ontario.
This is from Jenny Ryan, Ottawa, owner of Copper Canary Publishing Services and my book’s most wonderful designer! And also a member of my Ryerson possee. Before and After. Oh Susan, it’s soooo nice and it has new book smell! Before being as an InDesign file on Jenny’s computer and After as the finished product. Thanks for the collaboration, Jenny!
Then, from Carin Makuz, Whitby, ON, the mail she received one day last week. Carin is among my Humber possee. Hey, Susan M Toy… this is what came in the mail today.
And Lori Hahnel, a writing pal from Calgary, as well as an Alberta Books Canada author, receiving delivery of her copy of Islands at a coffee shop.
Hey, Lori! Look how nicely your two kids are playing with mine!!
And finally, a novel blurber, a member of my Humber possee, and someone I can’t thank enough for all her support over the years – Darcie Friesen Hossack! (Take a bow, Darcemeister!) Darcie sent a picture of my novel as soon as it arrived in the mail. Unfortunately for Darcie, T’Abigail had her paws on it first to read!
Here’s a copy of Islands getting to know Darcie’s collection of short stories, Mennonites Don’t Dance.
Darcie has been running a contest in her food column and over at her blogsite, Nice Fat Gurdie and there’s still another day to enter! You’ll win a copy of my book! Go to Darcie’s blogsite – NOW!!
This week I’m recommending books by two Calgary authors. Both Lori Hahnel and Anne Sorbie have published books of fiction (novels and short stories) and have had stories and essays published in literary magazines and anthologies. Anne has had her poetry published in chapbooks and literary magazines. Both women truly represent Calgary and Alberta through their writing. Although neither was born in the city, they have made the place their home for most of their lives. Both women have been teachers and mentors to other writers.
Love Minus Zero
978 0 7780 1331 0
Published by Oberon Press
Published by Thistledown Press