As an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo, I showed a story I had written to writer-in-residence Gregory Cook. It was called “The Happy Punker Does His Laundry.” Can you guess what happened? A happy punker did his laundry. Also helped a woman in the laundromat give birth and made up a song in his head (“Everybody’s gotta do laundry (laundry!)/ Everyone’s got to get clean./ And everybody’s fat in their own kinda way,/ I think that you know what I mean.”) Greg’s feedback? “Have you ever considered writing for children?”

Happy to say my first children’s book comes out with Groundwood in Spring 2017. Summary in Publishers Weekly Spring Preview: “[Groundwood releases] The Goat by Anne Fleming, in which two children are determined to prove that a goat lives on the rooftop of their New York City apartment building.”

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Vancouver poemw Book Launch

May 18, 7 pm
Our Town Café, Broadway & Kingsway

We’re back at Our Town for the Vancouver launch of poemw. Remember the Gay Dwarves launch? So much fun! This time I’m planning special guest readers, typewriters with poems you can add a line to, a game of Butler Says, homage to a 1970s anthology of Canadian poetry that I loved like crazy, and if we’re lucky, some ukuleles & singing.

Kelowna poemw launch

May 26, 7 pm
Streaming Café, 596 Leon Ave

And then the fun goes to Kelowna. Different special guests! More Butler Says! I am so looking forward to this. Blessed to have two cities, two literary homes.

Look at this gorgeous cover for my book of poems. That is called poemw. Because I was making a little handmade chapbook and typed “poemw” instead of “poems.” Oops. Wait! I like that!

Again I lag, no steady chapter-a-day, alas. But herewith, a long chapter: The Ship.

Chapter XVI: The Ship

Queequeg, for unexplained reasons, wants Ishmael to pick a ship for the both of them. Ishmael settles on the Pequod. This is one of those rare long chapters. Here we are introduced to the two ship owners, Peleg and Bildad, good cop and bad cop, who offer a very low portion of the proceeds of the trip as payment or a ridiculous tiny portion of the proceeds of the trip as payment. Ishmael asks after the ship’s captain, Ahab, and learns that he is sick, or rather, not sick, but disturbed of mind, closeted away from the world, agitated…and that he has lost a leg. “Young man, come nearer to me: it was devoured, chewed up, crunched by the monstrousest parmacetty that ever chipped a boat!” There’s talk of how Ahab is named for a Biblical king, and a nasty one at that. A native woman has said that his name is prophetic. Peleg calls him “a good man—not a pious, good man, like Bildad, but a swearing good man,” only he’s been moody since he lost his leg.

Chapter XIV: Nantucket

“Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it.” It’s a sliver of a sand in the middle of the sea. It is all about the sea. All people who have ever lived in Nantucket are bound up in the sea.

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