Tuesday, May 9, 2023

first story published / a new novel

Up there, where someone has painted SCRIBE? That's where I met the editors who published my first story in 1992.

It was an apartment, not an office. Drafty and cold, minimally furnished with sidewalk leavings. I remember cigarette smoke. We sat in the kitchen. Stephen Evans and Keith Marchand had started a magazine called errata. On the masthead they wrote, "An IBM or Macintosh format disk is appreciated." That's how long ago 1992 was. 

I had typed my story, revised it as well as I could, and sent it off into the world with an SASE. How often have I done that since? Only now it's online via Submittable. I keep track of what I've sent where in a little notebook. I'm still using the same notebook. 

I've googled Stephen Evans and Keith Marchand + writing + publishing, and get no hits. Where are they now? I only met them that one time and I don't think errata made it past the first few issues, despite their enthusiasm for keeping it going long enough to be able to get government grants. 

When I go to the Jean Talon market or textile shopping on St. Hubert, and walk home along St. Laurent, of course I glance at the modest building where two guys whom I didn't know, who weren't friends or family, told me I'd written a good story they wanted to publish. Validation from the world, small as it was. That meant my words existed--for real!

How funny that all these years later SCRIBE shouts from the wall. FAVOP too, but I don't know what that means. A name? 

The words weren't there a couple of months ago when I last walked past. What are the chances that someone involved with writing or publishing lives there now? Maybe those brick walls radiate vibes that someone felt should be advertised. They would have needed scaffolding or ropes to do it. 

I've never stopped writing, though I am slow. Life gets in the way. I rewrite more than I write. The public aspect of being a writer in today's world gives me the heebie-jeebies. I have no playlist I want to share publicly. And yet, in my slow fashion, ignoring a heap of rejection letters that should have discouraged anyone sensible, I continue to write since it's what I most love to do. Characters and their stories absorb me.

And so: I will have a new novel coming out with Freehand Books in the fall of 2024. I'm happy. I raise my glasses to SCRIBE.


  1. FANTASTIC news, Alice! Can't wait to read it.

    1. I'm looking forward to getting it out there!

  2. That is wonderful Alice. Looking forward to reading your new book.

  3. The rejection letters are par for the course. The ethos of capitalism permeates cultural production; it's not whether the product is good, but whether it's marketable; the more profound and complex products aren't. People prefer sports and circuses. They require no intellectual effort.

  4. I am so thrilled about this. I love Freehand!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kerry! Their enthusiasm is delightful. I'm really excited about them publishing the novel.

  6. I notice that after FAVOP there is an arrow pointing towards a metal chimney. Perhaps a Santa Claus type indicator?