World Building Workshop with Derek Kunsken

This week I had the opportunity to attend a World Building Workshop hosted by The Ottawa Independent Writers at the Hintonburg Community Center.  This two hour workshop given by Author Derek Kunsken had a wealth of valuable points to consider when thinking about how you want to shape the setting of your novel.

While Derek is a successful Science Fiction author, he approached the topic from a All-Genre  angle, referring to World Building as a writer’s core crafting tool rather than something that was only used by genre fiction writers.  Any setting that may require some research has to be built.  And science fiction and fantasy genres were cases of “extreme setting”.  It was refreshing to hear references from Literary Classics, Historical Fiction, and Historical Romance, as well as Science Fiction and Fantasy all used to illustrate story building points throughout the workshop.

Derek is the author of The Quantum Magician due out later in 2018.  Although Derek’s focus is in the science fiction genre, he dabbles in other fields too.  Check out his list of publications.  Derek is also develop longer length writing workshops.  Something to keep an eye out for in the near future.


2018 Conference Calendar -Writing

Dates are set for some great genre Writer/Reader Conferences in Eastern Ontario for this year!

May 26th & 27th Limestone Genre Expo will be held at the Holiday Inn this year, in beautiful downtown Kingston Ontario.  Panels, readings, workshops and pitch sessions available, as well as a special evening with Michael Slade.

August  2nd – 4th  Romancing The Capital will again be held at the Holiday Inn, Kanata Ontario, with a great line up of romance authors to meet and have a great time with.  Panels, dinners and signings – and sooo much SWAG!

October 12th – 14th Can-Con will be at the Sheraton in downtown Ottawa.  It’s always a great time, with incredible programming covering all manner of topics for discussion.

Going to be a great conference year 😀

2018 Conference Calendar – Genealogy

I’m excited to have registered for some of these upcoming Genealogical Conferences coming up in Ottawa!

March 10th,  The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa will be hosting a One-Day program of lectures called “Tracing Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors” being given by Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from The Ulster Historical Foundation.  It will be held at The Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa.  Register for the UHF event soon, limited space, lunch boxes available.

June 1st – 3rd  The Ontario Genealogical Society Annual Conference will be held at the University of  Guelph, in Guelph Ontario this year.  “Upper Canada to Ontario: The Birth of a Nation” , will be complete with tours, workshops, BBQ, Banquet and Marketplace, with two full days of lectures with a long line up of speakers. Registration is open.

September 28th – 30th  The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Annual Conference will be held at The Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa.  This year’s focus is Scottish Family History and Genetic Genealogy.

Membership to each of the Societies isn’t necessary to attend the Events and Conferences, but they do offer discounts to members as well as Member’s Only access to resources on their websites.  The OGS and BIFHSGO have monthly meetings and lectures, as well as Special Interest Groups.





CAN*CON 2017

This year’s CAN*CON returned to the Sheraton Hotel location in Ottawa’s downtown business core, 13-15 October 2017.

As always – the programming was fantastic with at least 5 tracks to choose from, plus signings, readings, Blue Pencil Cafe and Kaffeeklatsches! Author overload!

Friday afternoon kicked off with 4 workshops on offer, of which I attended 2: “Policing 101: How to Get The Law Right In Your Story” with Sgt. Pat Poitevin recently of the RCMP, and “Weather that Works: Worldbuilding for the Serious Writer” with The Weather Network’s Mark Robinson. Both presenters were informative, charismatic, and energetic!  Although, the suggested interpretive dance performance by Sgt. Poitevin would have been highly entertaining!

Some of my favourite panels of the weekend include:

Dealers’ Room:  This year I purchased books from Karen Dales Shadow of Death” and “Thanatos” from The Chosen series, the first of which – Changeling and Angel of Death I had bought at last year’s CAN*CON. I picked up a copy of Editor Dominic Parisien’s The Starlit Wood” anthology for my daughter.  Bundoran Press had a table set up where attendees could chose a complementary book to take home – I chose “Disintegrate” by Neil Godbout.

The panels cut a wide swath of topics from Writing Mechanics and Business to Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction and all inter-related sub-genre topics, preparing for NaNoWriMo through on to Diversity and Inclusivity.  Aside from the great programming, CAN*CON’s other strength is the effort  organizers put into making sure the Convention is welcoming and comfortable to everyone.

As always, I’m already looking forward to CAN*CON 2018! 😀

RTC 2017

I’m way late in blogging post-conference about RTC 2017, which was August 3-5th 2017 at the Kanata Inn & Suites, Kanata Ontario.

It was a great time as usual, I enjoyed the writer workshops Thursday afternoon and the Author readings that evening. Some of my favourite panels involved Barbara Devlin, Debra Cooke and Anna Markland discussing Historical content, which is my real passion. But, again this year, there were so many wonderful authors in attendance, generously giving out books, and bracelet charms and loads of swag – Thanks for all the cool earrings Deb Cooke!.

The dinners were fantastic – the food is always really tasty! My table-mates were author Carey Decevito and her close friend, and some fellow Ottawa writers that are close friends with author Angela Stone who also sat with us when she wasn’t flitting around the dining hall socializing! (If you ever need a sex educator – Angela is the woman for you!  She’s incredibly knowledgeable)

This year, my take home of free books included books from: Zoe York, Katie Ruggle, Eliza Gayle, Anna Markland, Coreene Callahan, and an anthology edited by Jerry L. Wheeler. I missed out on Barbara Devlin’s “Black Morass” give-away, due to the crushing crowd, and my inability to actually find her table in time to get a copy.

I bought 3 books – another by Claire Delacroix, “The Crusader’s Bride” which is the first book of the Templar series, “Triad Blood” by Nathan Burgoine, and an Anthology compiled and signed by all the members of Anna Markland’s writing group for ‘Canada 150’ called “Dreams and Promises”.


Ticket purchase for RTC 2018 has already opened and most of the dinner tickets have sold out, but there is still event space. I finally had the foresight to get in early with ticket purchase and room booking, so I’m excited that for RTC 2018 I’ll be settling in with my closest girlfriends for this awesome event! It’s always a great time –  ORWA member  Eve Langlais and her crew always put so much effort into making sure everyone has a blast!

Check out the RTC facebook page for regular updates.

BIFHSGO 2017 (September Meeting & Conference)


Tomorrow morning, Saturday September 9 2017, BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) will have their first meeting of the Fall session after summer break. Speaker John McConkey’s topic will be “The Sinking of the SS Portsdown” from 10am to 11:30am at the Ben Franklin Place, Ottawa Ontario. There will be a SIG (Special Interest Group) – BIFHSGO Writing Group following the lecture. The Scottish Genealogy Group will be meeting Saturday September 23. Times and locations are on the Meetings page of their website, as well as a listing of other SIGs affiliated with BIFHSGO.

Annual Conference! –

Also coming up this month is the Annual BIFHSGO Conference from 29 September to 1 October, also at the Ben Franklin Center, Ottawa Ontario.

“Learn about English and Welsh family history and genealogy research methodology. Our Marketplace will be open to visitors”

This will be my first time attending and I’m pretty excited about this conference, especially the seminars leading into the conference itself.  Friday will feature a City of Ottawa Archives Tour.

The speakers include: Celia Heritage, David Jeanes, Gillian Leitch, Marnie McCall, Ken McKinlay, Paul Milner, James. F.S. Thomson and Glenn Wright. I’m really looking forward to visiting the Marketplace!