The writers at Melinda Cochrane International have been super busy this year with book launches, book releases, workshops, speaking and radio shows. Merryl Hammond released her new book Mad Like Me: Travels in Bipolar Country. She will launch this book at Librairie Clio in Pointe Claire Quebec on Sat 7 July, from 11am to 1pm. Steven Fortune launched his third book in Nova Scotia, The Gravity of Ghosts, and was recently on CBC radio talking about his writing and work as well. Daniel W. Bates released a third book called Homeless at Christmas. And a new writer Gary Gurnsey released his first book called Love and Many Other Things. Michael Ellis also received an amazing review from Brian Wrixon, for his book Relay of The of the Blues. Emily Bilman has been busy in Geneva holding workshops and creating more beautiful poetry. Gina Nemo released new books. She is running her own action school. She will also be in Canada at Chapters Indigo books on November 1st, launching her book Carousel here in Canada returning to where she began her acting career many years ago with the original television show 21 Jump Street. Eddie Cousins has also been busy in North Carolina writing music, performing and writing poetry. Lololi Speaks ( Alkema Jackson) is still pushing her words and voice to influence others in Baltimore, while actively pursuing her business aspirations. Sharon Goulding-Collins is active on her writing page but also pursuing to create a new a law in Newfoundland to protect the elderly. Melinda Cochrane is completely her new book, holding writers classes in Montreal, and speaking at several locations next year including the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre here in Montreal and at the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers. Melinda is also setting new writers up with companies of their own as well as teaching individual writing classes. Lindsay Waldron has been busy writing and beginning a new teaching career in Ontario. Melinda Cochrane International has also nominated two writers this year for the Quebec Writer's Federation non-fiction prize and first book- Merryl Hammond for non-fiction and Chelsea Moran for first book. Chelsea Moran has also been busy with her new career and writing this year. There will be much more news soon on everyone but as you can see the writers here have been very busy working toward their goals this year.
Melinda Cochrane will be holding workshops on the importance of our stories at the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre in October. She will speaking in two workshops. The first will be on how book publishing allows us to not only share our own stories but also acts as a way to preserve our history as well. It also opens up the possibility of others understanding and connecting with it as well. The second workshop will be on how blogging can be used to as a tool to preserve history, to understand history and to share our own with the world. For more information, you can go to the following site.
In November, 2018 Melinda Cochrane wil be holding a workshop for eductors on the importance of The Teacher story at the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers' (QPAT) annual convention. For more on this, follow the link below. This year Melinda was invited to attend a meeting with the new teacher's committee at their central office where she spoke of her own story as a teacher and how it motivated her own recovery from Thyroid cancer this year.
Melinda Cochrane International is happy to announce that after planning for a few weeks with stores in Vancouver who were all super helpful while doing this ... that Gina Nemo will be signing her book on
November 1st, 2018 between 6-9pm at
Indigo (Chapters) bookstore at
810 Granville St.
Congratulations Gina Nemo
Melinda Cochrane will be offering an online writing series this summer. It will cover how to get started on writing a book, how to prepare it for publication and how to publish it yourself. It is an easily accessible course with notes provided online as well as video classes.
If interested registered at this link and Melinda will get back to you on fees and details.
Congratulations Steven on your interview and launch today
4:20pm: Interview on CBC Radio's Mainstreet (1140AM or 92.1FM)
7pm: Reading/signing at Sydney library
Melinda Cochrane International will be accepting submissions again in January of 2019. Currently, we are working with members only to release new books in 2018-2019. Workshops, writing classes, events and speaking engagements however will continue- so feel free to use the contact form for this. Please do not send your work via the contact for approval as we are not accepting any books until then. We wish you a great writing summer.
A new apartment is like a new chapter in a diary, a fresh start if you will. What I’m wondering right now though is if the first night in a new apartment is comparable to the first night in prison: so many foreign sounds for the senses to process, so many strangers for social skills to wrap themselves around. What was that sound exactly? Who in here is on my side, or will be on my side in the future, especially if a ‘side’ is required? Will it look and feel so blindingly dark even after my immediate surroundings are painted over with familiarity? I’ve done a lot of moving in my life; every time and everywhere, the first night was a sleepless one.
But it isn’t just inside factors that have me awake this time in spite of a physically gruelling day. I’m living in Sydney now. Not the Sydney with the fancy opera house though. This is Sydney, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia, Canada. About the only thing it has in common with its bigger, more iconic sister-in-namesake is a coast with a harbor. They have an opera house, we have coal mines. Or should I say, we had them. That however is another story for another restless night.
Surely this new hub of mine is a strong contender for the accidental-tourist capital of the planet. Every new year never seems to fail in bringing at least a few wayward folks expecting to walk off their planes onto Australian soil. I laugh internally at the multitude of possible emotions that would manifest themselves under such a circumstance. I also laugh internally at the certainty of amusement not being one of my first reactions were I to be in their shoes. Then again, a lot of these aforementioned semi-visitors admit to not doing adequate research in advance of their travels, so if anyone is mad in this scenario, it’s usually at one’s self. And I’ve never been a thorough researcher either.
Whatever the context, this entire arrangement has sure paved the way for some great concerts over the years.
The most recent example of a major musical act coming this way and performing (at least in their commercial prime) is Snoop Dogg, who found himself onstage at Open Hearth Park a few years ago. Open Hearth is basically our equivalent of Central Park, but shaved down to about a toenail in geographic scope and indelibility as status symbol. Let’s be honest here, it’s on the site of what used to be a toxic waste site, known locally as the Tar Ponds, for many years the one ironic reminder of when industry was real here, and this Sydney’s nickname - The Steel City - made perfect sense.
Aside from Snoop, Rod Stewart stopped in during the late-80s. A young but upstart Metallica played Centre 200 (maximum 6,500 capacity for concerts) not long before that. Bryan Adams has been a regular visitor, with his most recent show coming up this July. But with the exception of the latter, I can’t help but wonder how many of them actually made Snoop’s mistake, as history and habit suggest he surely couldn’t have been the only one. There is one common denominator, again with the exception of Adams: all said they loved it here and hoped to come back when they could. I don’t believe any of them ever have.
I picked up on something today, however, after only a few minutes during a break in moving. My new place is in the downtown area, between two of the main streets. Lying down on my bed for the first time I realized I would be taking in a lot of sounds…a lot of loud sounds. That’s not a problem; I lived in a male dorm for the better part of five years, I’ll get used to any and all manner of sounds. The little epiphany that made the moment significant was that, upon closing one’s eyes in the eye of a so-called city, they all sound the same regardless of size. I say ‘so-called’ not in a negative way but in the sense that Sydney, Australia has a population of around five million; Sydney, Nova Scotia has a population of around 30,000. Yet under the armored umbrella of a definition, both are cities. It reminds me of the scene from Easy Rider where the guy says he’s from the city but it doesn’t matter which one “’cause they’re all the same.” I like that, even though the message in the movie was an ominous one. For whatever reason, when you’re living in The City, you feel a part of something bigger, for better or worse. But the mere possibility of the former is the fuel for The City’s lure; if you want to move on up, you’ll likely have to (at the very least) spend some time in The City to do it.
So for me personally, well, things are looking up for the first time in recent memory. It may be one of the least conspicuous cities in the grand scheme of the country - and one of the least significant in the grand scheme of the world – but I am comfortable with that. I’m not sure that grand-scheme significance is something we covet in this part of the world anyway. In Cape Breton - the island on which our Sydney exists - we tend to let the scenery speak for us. Two words: Cabot Trail.
In the after-hours haze of this writing, it had not occurred to me to mention earlier that our Sydney also happens to be home of what’s officially the world’s largest fiddle. A fiddle, a smaller violin…I knew there was an opera connection in there somewhere! Now to try that sleep thing again.
Gary Gurnsey was born in Newmarket, Ontario. Gary has been writing since a young age; short stories, poetry, and even song writing. Under the pen name, Robert Eliot, Gary has gained numerous followers across social media and continues to do so. Gary resides in Calgary with his three children. Outside of writing his hobbies are photography and hiking. He has worked overseas volunteering and presently works in the real estate industry. This is his first collection of independent poems.