Sent! Last Sunday I emailed the latest installment of Anne McPhail’s Dangerous Journeys to Arline Chase of Cambridge Books, Maryland. Working title is The Child on the Terrace and it’s set in Europe: Spain, the south of France and Liguria in Italy.
Writers write, but they also market, look for sources of income while waiting for the book to sell, and take courses to further their craft and to meet other writers.
Marketing The Child on the Terrace is next for me, but most of that waits until the book is actually available to buy. In the meantime, I’ve applied for a grant from the Ontario Arts Council for my work-in-progress. Applying is a time-consuming process, involving editing the first forty pages of the novel-to-be into the best it can be at this stage, printing 5 copies, and a synopsis and sending the lot to the office in Toronto. Novelists can also apply for Writers’ Reserve Grant: 10 pages but the applications go to recommenders(publishers) who support(or not) the application.

On October 17th, I’ll drive to Fern Resort for this year’s Turning Leaves writing retreat from Writescape. Always a fun and productive weekend. This year’s guest is Barbara Kyle, writer of historical fiction and crime novels.
Plans for the winter include rewriting several short stories that have yet to be sold or win prizes, work on the as yet untitled new novel, and proofreading The Child on the Terrace.
Recently I attended a tax seminar presented by Gwynn Scheltema of Writescape who, among other careers, was and is an accountant. Very useful and well worth attending when she next offers it through Writescape. Another visit to my own accountant coming up!
I’m off to Toronto for a few days next week to visit an old friend and perhaps the Alex Colville show at the AGO.
Happy Thanksgiving.

The Railway Trail, Lindsay, On.

The Railway Trail, Lindsay, On.

October walk along the Railway Trail, Lindsay, On.

October walk along the Railway Trail, Lindsay, On.

Toronto Taxes

I live in a small town in Ontario, part of a so-called city. The taxes on our home are easily twice that of those homes with similar values in North York, as far as I can determine from real estate listings. So I know about paying taxes and worrying where all the money is going.

I would welcome a KPMG review in my city, especially if it found that yes indeed, all the money was needed and wasn’t being wasted, as apparently the firm found in Toronto.

What is upsetting is listening to the Ford brothers, who seem to planning to turn the city into a gutted version of itself, in order to “save taxpayers money.” Never mind that the taxpayers didn’t elect them to save money, but to eliminate the waste. The citizens seemed to like their city and their services; they just thought, because Rob Ford told them so, that it was riddled with excess.

Today, the news reports that “buy-outs” of police or library workers, will help cut this 10% the mayor is demanding from the budgets of these services. Check out this story in the Globe and Mail for the numbers.

It seems odd to me that first the mayor decided that there should be a 10% cut. I’m not sure why—just a nice round number I suppose—and then all the departments had to find areas to cut cost without cutting service. So I suppose that means that all the workers will have to spend 10% more time at work to make up for their lost co-workers. How likely is that? Or have the extra 10% been bone-idle all this time?

At the same time, if the Fords can find a way to spend money to help the BIG developers, and play Lego with the city—ferris wheel indeed—, then that’s the way they choose, and money be damned. If I were a resident of Toronto I’d be annoyed at having all the money spent to ensure environmentally sound and citizen-friendly development wasted because some junior politician decides that he knows better. And have to pay all that money for environmental assessments again because the plans have been changed.

Did someone elect Doug Ford co-mayor or maybe king of Toronto when I wasn’t looking? How can an official elected by just one area make decisions for the city because he’s brother of the mayor?

It’s too bad the election is so far away. Perhaps the council will decide that the emperor has no clothes in time to save the city.