The magazine is North Bay Nipissing Life and it just hit newsstands in North Bay (a city about four hours north of Toronto, depending how fast you drive). Our company, Metroland North Media, started a weekly community newspaper there almost a year ago called North Bay Nipissing News and it's been doing extremely well. Readers are excited about the comprehensive community news coverage and the casual vibe. Advertisers are starting to realize that it's the paper everyone's reading and are responding accordingly. All in all, things are looking up, which is why Metroland decided to launch a slick quarterly magazine to supplement the News and provide a vehicle for celebrating the people of the area in a more in-depth way.
I designed the magazine, laid it out and made it pretty so I'm proud of it for those reasons but I'm extra pleased to have one of my short stories in the magazine. The caveat is I WORK for the magazine so it's not like the editorial heavens opened up and said, "You are the best writer known to man and we must print your story." No, it was more like I asked the editor if he was interested and he read it and said, yeah, okay. Also, I didn't get paid.
STILL. The editor has very, very strong opinions on certain things. If he didn't like my story, it wouldn't have been published. So I'm hanging on to that knowledge and celebrating it.
Kiosk is a perfect story for NBN Life. Kiosk is a ghost town in that area, about halfway between North Bay and Mattawa. You've heard me blog about it before – Dave and I go there every spring and every fall to do some fishing and camp in Algonquin Park. What used to be a lumber mill town is now nothing but ruins within the park. Which is great if you're an outdoorsy person who loves camping and loves nature, but is heartbreaking if you're one of the people who used to live here.
"Claire" is one of those people. She runs a bakery out of her log home just north of the park. She makes and sells amazing, almost legendary, butter tarts and delicious pies with crust just like my mom's. She also makes jams, jellies and sells coffee to everyone who goes by. Claire (I hope I am spelling her name correctly) grew up in Kiosk. For her the story of its demise is pure sadness. It was with people like her in mind that I wrote the short story Kiosk and year or so ago. The original story is posted here on my blog.
|Gotta love that byline!|
|Second page spread of the story. The old photos are from Kiosk.|
|Last page of the spread. In case you can't see the tiny yet IMPORTANT|
photo of the girl in the blue sweater, I've blown it up bigger for you, below!
|That photo was taken during our honeymoon trip to Newfoundland. I love that place. Yup, chubby bare toes in a mag.|
|The masthead. Look Mom, that's ME! :)|
As an aside, today is a sad day for the people of the Muskoka community. We are mourning the death of Gillian Brunette, a much loved local writer who used to work for the Huntsville Forester and freelanced for many of our other publications. I can't believe cancer managed to claim her. She had such incredible enthusiasm for life, such indomitable energy and she will be missed. Today is her "Celebration of Life" and, in Gillian's case, it is a perfect term because she lived her entire life like it was a celebration. We'll miss you so much, Gillian, and in your own wise words and sunny English accent, "BLOODY HELL."