Another gratifying surprise!

A bit of good news showed up in today’s email inbox!

Because this concerns another much-loved piece that’s literally been bouncing around the marketplace for 12 years, I couldn’t resist saying something.

Saskatchewan’s Tisdale Writers’ Group sponsors an annual literary competition. Last year, I entered my (also “market-battered”) creative nonfiction piece, “This Place of My Father’s Heart” – which won Third Place in the 2018 prose competition.

This year I entered a young adult sci-fi story “Crystal Sister”, also very dear to my heart, and which has been making its way around the marketplace ever since 2007. Some of the rejections were near-misses with very favourable editorial comments, but never an acceptance.

So it was especially gratifying today to discover that “Crystal Sister” is also bringing home a Third Place. Another fun coincidence is that a woman in one of my Facebook writing groups, Loretta Polischuk, has just won Second for her short story.

 

 

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A long-awaited publication – “This place of my father’s heart”

Today’s mail brought a dream fulfilled!

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About 15 years ago I wrote a creative nonfiction piece, “This Place of My Father’s Heart”, about my late dad’s connection with his family’s summer cottage during his boyhood – and adding in my own three visits to the Dorset, ON cottage, which was a real privilege to visit twice with my elderly father there as well. The third visit was tough: my role this time was to bury a portion of his ashes on the family property on the shore of Lake of Bays. It was just my (now late) Aunt Hildie Tuthill and me, putting together a home-made funeral and needing to get everything just right to honour my father, Walt Lohans.

This story poured out of my heart and then bounced around the marketplace for a very long time. Kind of tough with those rare pieces that come from deep within. We know at the deepest level that there’s “really something there” – and yet odds are, that the vagaries of the market will toss it off as just one more submission that never quite catches an editor’s fancy. We have to be vulnerable to write things like this, but at the same time need to develop “calluses” to protect those same soft places.

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And then last year it won 3rd place in a writing competition sponsored here in Saskatchewan by the Tisdale Writers’ Group. It was a wonderful validation of everything that had gone into the writing of “This Place of My Father’s Heart”.

Today the published piece arrived in the mail!!! (The cheque was nice to receive as well.) Thank you SO MUCH, Ted Dyck, editor of Transition Magazine! …. I’ll post some “proud mama” photos – after so many years of trying!!

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A couple of reviews of Timefall, including 5 stars on Amazon!

Got well stuck into a beautiful new Saskatchewan-based speculative fiction YA novel by Alison Lohans …  Timefall faces climate apocalypse, teen parenting, and issues of consent with an innocence that can’t help but be engaging.

Jayne Barnard

author of Maddie Hatter Adventures

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
Cathy Durham
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not only for YA
October 1, 2018 – Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a YA book only because the main characters are young adults; I also highly recommend it for adult readers. I found the story to be both fascinating and disturbing as the characters grapple with multiple challenges to their relationships and their world. The characters, both main and peripheral, are multifaceted and complex, the conflicts are realistic, and solutions don’t necessarily result in happily-ever-after endings.
Katie, a single 15-year-old mother, and Lorne, a classmate, fall into a world a thousand years in the future only to discover that their “ancient” world is on the verge of imminent ecological collapse and the future world is dying because there are no children.
As a former teacher, I see many topics for discussion:
• The issue of teen pregnancy/parenthood
• Parent/child relationships
• Bullying
• Ecological issues
• Survival strategies (I loved the fact that they brought a book on midwifery—genius!)
• Blessing/curse of being able to see the future.
As a reader, I wish the author had included a pronunciation guide for some of the names of the people in the future civilization. I was never quite satisfied with my decisions on those, but that didn’t detract from the story, and my discomfort in this matter may have added to the whole atmosphere and uncertainty of that setting.

A great review of Timefall!

A review of Timefall, just in from Cathy, a retired teacher in California – thanks so much, Cathy!!

"I just finished reading Timefall. Wow! Five stars.

Loved the characters, very complex personalities. The plot had lots of significant issues to think about. Reminded me of pioneers, and made me wonder what I would think to take along in a similar circumstance.

The ebook did not include a guide on name pronunciation, and I never was satisfied with my decisions on that.

I think this is one of those books that will stay with me for a long while as I think about the implications of the various issues.

Anyway, well done. You have a very scary imagination."

Trade paper (402 pages): $33.99, ISBN  9781988274461

e-pub: $4.99, ISBN  9781988274478

Timefall is now officially released!

Released this month by Five Rivers Publishing – Timefall!

This omnibus novel (a combination of Collapse of the Veil  and Crossings, both out of print for the past 6 years) was more than 30 years in the making, from the flash of the initial image that spurred the huge “What if….??!!” question in 1984, through countless drafts and edits. My sincere thanks to Five Rivers Publishing for their commitment to bringing this back into work, and to Dr. Robert Runte for his on-target, illuminative editing that brought this work into its new form!

http://fiveriverspublishing.com/?p=3995

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One of my poems “Immigrant, Landed” in 150+ Canada’s History in Poetry

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Every now and then a poem of mine will get published. About ten years ago I was thrilled to be invited to write, and submit, a poem for inclusion in Crossing Lines – Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era (Seraphim Editions, 2008, ed. Allan Briesmaster and Steven Michael Berzensky).

I submitted a poem “Immigrant, Landed” about the very intense feeling of homecoming I experienced upon immigrating to Canada in 1971. It was really great to have that poem included in the collection – particularly since poetry has never been my main genre.

It was an amazing surprise, last year, to receive a request for my poem to be used again in a “Canada 150” project by Acorn Press of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. I very happily agreed. My author copies arrived yesterday – a few months earlier than I’d expected. 150+ Canada’s History in Poetry (edited by Judy Gaudet) is a huge collection of poems documenting Canada’s history from the pre-colonial days when First Nations Peoples were the only residents of this land we now know as Canada, up to and including the 2018 Olympics.

http://acornpresscanada.com/book/150-canadas-history-poems

It’s an incredible honour to have “Immigrant, Landed” included in this collection, which contains work by so many of Canada’s Very Famous Poets, as well as other literary “greats”.

 

Author Copies of Timefall have arrived!

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Greetings from Regina! I’m excited to have just received my author copies of Timefall from Five Rivers Publishing. This prairies-based YA fantasy is available for pre-order in paper and e-format now, but the release date is September 1.

Timefall (402 pages in length) is an omnibus combined edition of two YA fantasy novels – Collapse of the Veil, and Crossings – previously released by another Canadian publisher, but now out of print.

Timefall features Katie, a teen mom in present-day Regina whose baby is the long-sought mythic hero of a society a thousand years in our future. Via psychic powers and time travel, Katie inadvertently crosses paths with Iannik, a young Seer with flawed Sight, last of his line in the dwindling population of Aaurenan. Iannik is desperately seeking the baby who offers their only hope for survival. Can three misfit teens and one baby manage to save at least one of their two very different worlds?

 

The photo below was taken in Victoria Park, downtown Regina, the day the books arrived. This area was destroyed by Regina’s 1912 tornado. Could something similar – only worse – happen in Timefall?

IMG_6650 with Timefall