Christopher Ryan Talks with StarkLight Press

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Christopher Broom is an award winning author, freelance fiction editor and host of Writing Without Limits video series available on YouTube. He is well known for his support of other authors on his facebook writer’s page https://www.facebook.com/groups/611602735649133/ where he and collaborates with Brian Paone to mentor and support writers in all different stages of their careers.

You can find Christopher on the Internet at the following locations:

Facebook Page: Facebook.com/ChristopherBroom-Author
Twitter: @Cbroom_Author
Here’s his interview with Virginia Carraway Stark below:

Hi Christopher, thanks for joining us at StarkLight Press!

I understand that you are best known for your mentoring despite the fact that you are a prolific writer yourself. How did you first get involved in the mentoring process?

Thank you for having me! I’ve always loved education. I’ve felt if I can do one thing it would to be help people by educating them. Mentoring the aspiring writers on Facebook through the Fiction Writing page allows me to do just that. My partner Brian and I spend an inordinate amount of time showing new writers not only the structural nuances of writing but also the technical aspects as well. By doing so and watching those writers succeed by finding publication outside of the Fiction Writing page I get a feeling of great pride and it’s that feeling that keeps me going.

What do you feel you get out of the mentoring? Do you learn from it?

I learn from it every day! I get to meet so many amazing writers, I get to understand their process, what makes them tick and why they write what they write. Mentoring is one of the best things I could have done with my life.

Do you ever get frustrated that in assisting other authors it takes away from your own writing time or are you able to find a balance?

You know it’s definitely a balancing act that takes a lot of work to get right. While I love mentoring I do find that it monopolizes my spare time quite a bit. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in my day so I was able to do everything I want to do without having to put something aside but it is what it is.

What is the most common thing you notice about new writers?

So many new writers believe they can write the next big trilogy blockbuster akin to The Hunger Games or Twilight or even a series like Harry Potter. I have to constantly remind them that the narrative has to be worthy of continuing and most books, even famous trilogies and series could have been reigned back in to one or maybe two books. They don’t always listen and firmly believe their books will break the mold. It’s almost heartbreaking to watch them realize their fantastic trilogy simply won’t work.

What is the biggest mistake, in your opinion, that a new writer can make?

Believing they know more than those that have come before or they don’t have to follow standard rules of fiction simply because Stephen King doesn’t. I have to remind them they are not Stephen King or V.C. Andrews or Issac Asimov or any number of famous authors. I can only hope they listen but more often than not they have to fail and learn the hard way.

What is your best advice to new writers?

Read in your genre. Absolutely. So many new writers want to write science fiction, fantasy, romance, historical reinterpretations or any number of genres but they don’t read current or classical works in those genres. How can one write science fiction if they’ve never read anything from Asimov or Bradbury or Updike? The same can be said of any genre. If you want to write, read.

Can you tell us a bit about the ‘Fiction Writing‘ Facebook page and the atmosphere you and Brian have created there?

Fiction Writing came about as a new home for writers who simply enjoy the challenges inherent in writing fiction no matter the genre. When we first came together as a community we simply wanted to support each-other but over the past year we’ve exploded in growth and now we’re both an educational community where Brian and I educate new writers in every facet of writing and we’re also an independent publishing house through Scout Media Publications. Through Scout Media, owned and operated by Brian Paone and supported by me, we highlight the best authors on the Fiction Writing page and publish them into an anthology of short stories every year. Last years A Matter of Words anthology has been well received and several authors have gone on to promising publishing careers. We’re hoping for similar results with A Journey of Words releasing this fall.

How did you and Brian meet? How do you work together?

I met Brian through a similar writing community on Facebook and once we realized we were spending so much time helping others we decided it was something we wanted to continue. When some Facebook drama happened that forced us to create our new page, Fiction Writing, we continued with the lessons we had begun on the previous page. Since then we’ve gone from a scant 350 members to well over 3,000 and growing!

Christopher is well known not only for his mentorship but also for his own fiction, in particular short stories. Below is an excerpt from a short piece:

‘Sometimes, high among the clouds, I forget about the Tick Tock Man and the picture books. Sometimes I simply circle the sky reveling in the gifts of the Splicers. I see my parents from on high. My mother with her powerful legs straining against the weight of the old iron plow. My father, his tail wagging, dances alongside her ever vigilant towards those who may slink or slither by seeking an easy meal. Carnal instincts often overpower good judgement. ‘

-Excerpt from, ‘Mechanical Me, Mechanical You’.

Can you tell us a little bit about, ‘Mechanical Me, Mechanical You’? What inspired it?

I took a fairy tale course during my time at Arizona State University and I was enthralled with the different styles of fairy tale adaptions from well-known current authors. When it was my turn to create my own original tale I wanted to create something visually striking while bending traditional rules of fiction. So I did away with traditional dialogue in favor of something a little more streamlined as well as classical, to adhere to fairy tale conventions. I ended the piece on a dark note because classic fairy tales were not the Disney versions we’re used to and I wanted to stick to tradition as much as I could. When the course ended I took Mechanical Me, Mechanical You and made some subtle changes to its core mechanics and then released it to my blog where it has and continues to receive, rave reviews.

About how many short stories have you published?

Over a twenty-year career I have published nearly one every year. Unfortunately, many of my earlier works have appeared in magazines that are no longer in print, the companies no longer exist so it’s been a challenge to track them down. Currently I have a collection of short fiction available titled, Through the Eyes of Another, available in paperback and eBook. You can also catch one of my stories in the upcoming Scout Media anthology, A Journey of Words to be released this Fall to bookstores everywhere.

Where is the best place to find your fiction? Do you have any anthologies of fiction or plans for anthologies in the future?

My current anthology, Through the Eyes of Another is available in paperback and ebook through Amazon and you’ll find me in the upcoming Scout Media anthology, A Journey of Words this fall. I also have plans for a second full anthology titled Where Light Refuses to Shine to be released hopefully sometime in 2017.

What are some of your favorite pieces of short fiction and why?

So many and you’re making me choose? I suppose my favorite pieces have been ‘For a Breath I Tarry’ which is a science fiction adaptation of the western creationist tale. While it may have religious undertones, and I’m not religious in the least, I felt the story was beautifully penned and you’ll be hard pressed to find better prose. ‘Those Who Walk Away from Omelas’ by Ursula LeGuin is dark and beautiful and makes one think about our own lives and what we sacrifice in order to achieve it. Lastly, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins has to be in my top five favorites. The way Perkins writes about feminine struggles during a time when a woman’s period was thought to be a sign of the devil is something I will never forget about.

Find the rest of Christopher Broom’s short story and more free and more about his other short stories, other writing as well as blogs and reviews at his author page:

http://christopherrbroom.wix.com/author

Christopher Broom’s upcoming ‘God Killer Chronicles’ is his first major novel:

Rian, weary of the road, sighed in relief as the dim lights he had spied earlier, partially hidden by a copse of tress became brighter highlighting his dusty face and the elongated muzzle of his hashuan mount, Wyndameir. Tossing a rope about the beast’s neck and tying the loose ends around a sturdy tree trunk Rian had to pat the animal’s neck as it kicked its six powerful legs into the dirt. Wyndameir continued to whine and protest as Rian pushed against a large wooden door and strode inside the only establishment between the port city of Corvega to the south and the Bashalian controlled lands to the north and beyond.

Mulvars had benefitted greatly from the unification of the four ruling houses of Immur. The House of Automata of Hymbari, The House of the Mystic Craft of Anuar’Bashal, The House of Sovereigns of Sika and The House of the Silver Sword of Corvega. Rian saw the effects of the unification in the patrons of the two-story watering hole. A group of hooded Bashalians mingled openly with three Hymbari hybrids. The Hymbarian women were showing off their implanted automata including limbs that had been replaced with an amalgamation of colored metals, wires and in the joints where the elbow connects the upper and lower arm, a ball of swirling colored energy bounced back and forth in its crystalline enclosure. Their upgrades tripled their strength, Rian overheard one of them say as he passed by and then one of the women grabbed her companions body length polearm and bent the thick metal until it resembled the letter ‘L’ and then she bent it back leaving it as it smooth as it had been before.

In exchange, the Bashalian’s showcased their talents. They began by levitating one of the thick and heavy tomes they carried with them. The books turned their own pages until it settled somewhere in the middle. Of the two Bashalians, a woman whose face was kept partially hidden underneath her thick cowl began to trace her finger along a line in her floating book. She then uttered a series of guttural noises that emanated from deep within her then slowly at first but quickening in pace she began to split apart. Her skin popped and tore but instead of blood or entrails her separation of self brought on three identical images. All four versions of the young woman mimicked the motions of the others much to the delight of the Hymbarian women as well as the rest of the patrons around Mulvars who erupted into a cacophony of applause and shouts.

Soldiers of the Silver Sword, guardians of Corvega, laughed and swallowed large gulps of chilled tipik alongside well-dressed men and women, sovereign bankers of Sika.’

-Excerpt from The Godkiller Chronicles by Christopher Broom


Wow, that’s quite the start to a story. Can you tell us a little bit about the plot of
‘The Godkiller Chronicles’?

So The Godkiller Chronicles follows the tale of Rian Cor’Va’Shar, a lone mercenary travelling the wilds of Immur in search of personal redemption for creating an entirely new race of people. I would say more but hopefully that little teaser and the excerpt will whet your appetites enough.

What was your inspiration for this book?

I take inspiration from everything. But, the stories of Avatar: The Last Airbender and its heavy use of Asian mythology helped me to build the backbone of the Godkiller Chronicles as well as the powers found in the book. I also take inspiration from author R.A. Salvatore and more specifically his Dark Elf series of books.

Why did you decided to make the leap from short stories to novels? How does it feel to be making a novel versus a short story?

Novels are so much harder. I think I’ve written upwards of sixty drafts for The Godkiller Chronicles, I wish I was kidding. Balancing each act and building towards a dramatic climax is something not typically found in shorter works so having to bring those elements, which aren’t something I’m used to, into this new endeavor has been a challenge but I think the results are paying off!

What has been your favorite thing about having the longer medium to write in?

I have so much more room in which to build my characters which is a nice change. I also have more freedom in in the pace of the book. Instead of rushing towards the action in order to come to a respected conclusion like I would in a short story, I can now add in slower scenes that do nothing more than expand on my characters.

When will ‘The Godkiller Chronicles’ be available and how can we buy it?

Hopefully soon! In all seriousness I have been in contact with several agents from DAW Books and they too are anxiously awaiting the final draft.

In addition to mentoring, short stories, interviews, reviews, blogs, you also have a YouTube Channel where you address issues related to writing. Can you tell us about what inspired you to go in front of the camera and start teaching other from what you had learned?

I’m always seeking new ways to reach my students. Whether I’m in front of 30 people in a classroom or 30 million on Youtube, the premise is the same. Educate. The videos have taken a back seat while I shift my focus to more pressing matters, preparing for the final stages of the A Journey of Words Anthology but I have ideas for around ten videos that I hope to record in the next 6 months to a year. Beyond that? I’m currently undecided. I have a Udemy.org course where I will be teaching the basics of story editing beginning in September so maybe after that I’ll return to the video series.

Where can people go to find your channel and subscribe?

Exclusively on Youtube first and then on my professional blog a week later. Simply search for Writing Without Limits on Youtube.

So far, we’ve learned a lot about your writing, but what about you as a person? Who is Christopher Broom away from the keyboard?

A massive gamer and a goofball. I love playing with my kids and my German Shepard, Zelda. I’m also a husband who adores his wife. When I’m not writing, teaching or editing you can find me lost in some digital world or another. One of my favorites lately has been the Witcher series of games which follows the story of Geralt the White Wolf. The games are of course digital adaptations of the Polish novels of the same name. Seems no matter what I do, I can’t escape books.

How do you feel about your real life versus your writing worlds?

My real life is actually pretty normal and unassuming. I work a full time job (not creative related), I spend time with my kids and wife, I take my dog for walks, I listen to music and play video games. Out in public you’d be hard pressed to find anything outrageous about me.

How much do you draw from real life?

Not much to be honest. I find reality to be fairly mundane in the “everyday” aspect.

Do you feel your writing affects how you deal with your personal relationships and your general outlook on the world?

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. There have been several instances in which I would see something on the news or have an argument with my wife or the kids are driving me nuts and would turn to the pen to vent my frustrations in some fictional world through the eyes of some fictitious character. This has led to some interesting conversations with people who assume some stories have been written expressly about them. Even if they were right, I wouldn’t admit to it.

Tell us something that you’ve never told anyone ever before?

I’m massively jealous of people who can dance.

If you had a small duffel bag and had to fill it with everything you would need to live happily on a deserted island with a thriving ecosystem, what would you bring?

A Nintendo 3DS with an everlasting battery and Wifi, a bottle of everlasting scotch, my collection of science fiction (hardcover, 1200 pages), a series of pens and a stack of notebooks.

You’re told in addition to your backpack, at the last minute you’re allowed to bring anyone with you that you want, or 200 lbs of books. Which would you choose? Who would you bring or what would be the top books to start taking up weight (and no, you can’t put them on your kindle ;))

Tough question to answer! If I didn’t say my wife and she read this interview, I think she’d be quite peeved so of course I’m going to say my wife. However, if I couldn’t bring my wife I would take all 200lbs of books simply to preserve my own sanity.

Any final thoughts?

Thank you for having me, it’s been a pleasure. For those aspiring to stand where I’m standing now, keep writing, keep reading, always plug away at your projects and never lose sight of why you’re writing. It isn’t about the money or the fame or the million-dollar movie deals, it’s about the literature.

~Keep writing for writing is sustenance for the soul~

StarkLight’s Christmas Anthology

Introducing a very special, close-deadline short story contest!

StarkLight is putting forth a Christmas anthology of short stories… and our theme is:

Steampunk Holiday Stories!

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As usual, we are looking for stories with a wry, speculative, thought-provoking twist- and this time, with an added shot of Christmas, Solstice and any other winter holiday you think goes well with gears and petticoats.

Minimum word count is 250

Maximum word count is 10 000

Poems and other print media are welcomed.

Deadline is November 20, 2015

Please put your story in .doc, .odt, .pdf format and submit along with contact information to:

starklightdesk@gmail.com

Share with your steampunk-minded friends today!

– Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

A Celebration of Contract

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In light of the recent contractual “flexibility” displayed by DeAndre Jordan of the L.A. Clippers, I feel it an appropriate time to say a word about the plight of the publisher in this regard.

StarkLight Press was founded on the ideal of Collaborative media- multiple authors writing respectfully about a given universe, honoring its creative intricacies and its principles. We have therefore given very free rein to our authors, especially in our StarkLight Anthologies. We welcome authors with diverse and original worldscapes to submit works to us so that their unique worlds may have a first audience in print publication.

The great majority of our contributors have been exemplary with regard to our contracts. Helpful, ready to share interviews and video interviews, happy to share links to their sites, associated media and graphics, etc. We are happy to promote these on starklightpress.com in the hopes that creativity will breed creativity, and we may all enjoy more great stories from more authors as a result.

It is therefore frustrating to find an author who fails to live up to this ideal, especially once a formal contract has been signed and not insubstantial funds put to promotional materials, not just of anthologies, but of their own worlds as well. The idea of reneging on contracts, either verbal ones like Jordan made last Friday, or heaven forbid, on written, signed and sealed ones, is an abhorrent one to the world of business. It is also a source of great shame, as it leaves all associated parties in a tangled mess of delay, extra expense and red tape.

It is for reasons such as this that StarkLight 3 has been delayed in print version. I would like to express my sincerest apologies to not just the plucky contributors who have been waiting patiently so that friends, family and fans may buy copies, but also to the many fans of StarkLight Press Anthologies.

The issues have been handled and forwarded to appropriate channels, and the print version of our third anthology will be out soon.

I am also pleased to announce that, in spite of one bad experience, StarkLight Press is still proud to provide a supportive and welcoming platform to authors of fantasy and science fiction worldscapes- no lengthy contracts, no strings attached, not even after this recent and first imbroglio for our organization. We still offer a springboard for new authors and undiscovered creators to increase their exposure and share their worlds, and we always will.

We thank our many authors who have made it so easy for us to shake off a DeAndre Jordan of an affair, and we thank all our fans for their patience.

Tune in here later this week for the release date for StarkLight 3 in print, and for StarkLight 4’s release in ebook.

July is loaded with release dates, in fact, including the release of the first Galactic Armed Forces adventure, An Incident in El Noor, and the complete second novel from Virginia Carraway Stark, Carnival Fun.

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

Creativity, as Defined by StarkLight Press

People have been asking me quite a bit lately about creativity.

Where do you get yours? What causes it?

People have also been asking me: Is this story, artwork, poem, product, “good enough?”

In response, I ask them if it is creative.

See sentence one. After several evolutions of this discussion a definition of creativity, at least as far as its use as an adjudicator on StarkLight Press Desks is concerned, should be provided.

 

Creativity is a force that has forged our modern world from the flagellae of the amoebas in the oceans, millenia before this day. It is the engine that powers our thought, our transport, our social interaction. It is the flame of our salvation and the vista of our future.

planet creation

Creativity stems from a love of life.

Creativity is not to be confused with plagiarism or derivative construction. Changing a letter or a vowel in a word of Tolkien’s work and calling it your own is not creativity. Picking characters ripped from mass media and clothing them in the trappings of one’s own daily life is not creativity. It is the grasping hand of the drowning man reaching for a piece of solid ground. It is the guttering flame of the soul not quite ready to go gently into that dubiously good night of reality television, organized sport and facebook status updates, but it is not creativity.

Creativity ingests fully the wonder of creation and produces unique creation in response. It is the human mind’s only true perpetual motion machine. It spawns original and wonderful manifestations in response to the wonder that surrounds it; each new creation connected by the thinnest of membranes of similitude, each bound together by the feeling stirred in the breast of any living being who partakes.

In this way, creativity is identical to love.

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If you love your characters, their world and their existences, then it will show in your writing. If you are writing them because of an incomplete connection based on either your own needs and desires or the imposition of the raging maelstrom of media imposed on your brain, then that will show, too.

If you are writing something you could love, or love in a way, but that has been obscured by either your psychology, your drives, your desires, your inputs (please note the resounding possessive pronoun), then you owe it to your creation to silence the ever-present Importance of YourSelf and let the story bloom forth.

You might be surprised how much of You comes forth in such an act of pure creation- if it is actually You that you have set out to display by creating in the first place.

If this is not the case, and you are in fact terrified of letting others view You, then you must quit obscuring YourSelf behind an ink cloud of media influences, pretentious and protected plot and other obfuscations. You must decide why, in fact, you are attempting to create in the first place, if you do not wish to share of yourself with the rest of creation. You must decide, and you must either abandon the fear or abandon the attempt.

And let’s face it, nobody’s going to be impressed if you abandon the attempt.

-Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

Epitaph for a Small Town

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A sight like this is a fairly common occurrence on modern city streets these days, so common that I am sure more than a few of us find little to move us in its pixels. Regrettable accidents and violence have become so much the norm that, if one were to attempt to catalogue all the incidents recorded in a single large cityspace, it would be less an exercise in fraught film noir intensity and more one of beauraucratic detachment.

Nevertheless, I would like to recount the experience of one of many of these incidents in a small town to which I have no small attachment- not just for the fact that it was one of many human tragedies that occurred today, but for the manner of its recounting to me.

Yesterday morning, an elderly lady was struck by a car on the corner of a busy Dawson Creek street. The lady succumbed to her injuries and died. I was just down the street at the time, knowing nothing of the police tape, ambulances or other trappings of tragedy being unrolled blocks away. A brief, half-heard wail from a siren was all the real-time sensory input I received.

Continuing on with my work online, I noticed from a Facebook acquaintance a cryptic comment about “hoping whoever hit  that old lady gets what he deserves.”

The comment was so cryptic, the sirens so common, I failed to connect the two in my mind. I followed the thread and asked the wheres and whens of the situation, learning it was at a laundromat where everyone in town comes to get their coveralls and work clothes cleaned. A common fixture of northern life, drawn into a drama for a day as the methodical wheels of investigation cordoned off its borders.

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The fact I had put off my own work laundry until later that day was not lost on me.

People on the thread chatted about speeders on 8th Street. All of the usual cries for checks, balances, solar-powered speed monitors and other shawls of human comfort abounded. I continued my work, for what else is there to do when only supposition and righteous anger abound.

Their anger is not unfounded- this is a small, farming and foresting town whose population swells to almost ten times its size every winter to accommodate the multitudes of petrochemical workers in brand new, state of the art trucks designed to persevere over the most intensely unforgiving terrain. This little main street can hardly bear the strain of these vehicles, the sand and gravel, liquid calcium and effluent semis that traverse it many times a day.

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I had occasion to be on the overtaxed 8th Street later that day. I was rather surprised to see the flashing LED lights of the RCMP still extant outside the laundromat. Pulling over, I stopped to take these pictures of the dregs of tragedy, the flapping wasp-striped police tape and the deserted parking lot in front of the place that is usually constantly filled with traffic.

The wind had been gusting along with the full moon since the night before, slapping and rushing the buildings and whipping up giant puddles of water where once there had only been snow. My mother told me that winds like that meant that misfortune was in the air- the Wild Hunt would come out at more times than just the top and bottom of the year to race over the landscape and initiate tremors of tragedy.

As I watched the tape billow in the wind, I knew as I always do that she was right. It is true that the seeds of sorrow spread by such winds find fertile ground in a world where people have lost not only their caution and value for life, but have lost the knowledge of the subtle signs of nature to tell them when the ice of reality upon which they tread is thin.

It has long been understood by first responders that, regardless of statistics, the time of the full moon is a ‘hinky’ one. It has been long understood by the natives of every boreal country that the northern lights are connected to spirits and the dead. It has long been understood by humans that the highways and biways are areas of transition and change, a shifting landscape not unlike either the wind that rushes over the melting snow or the auroras themselves.

Yet in the increasing urban rush to attain, suffer and forget the pain of that attainment we have forgotten that we still live in the world and that we can and should try to preserve the life that surrounds us. We can and should try to remember the feel of a wind in our hair and know when it is happy and joyous or troublesome. We can and should remember the physics that taught us how to make our fast machines and recall that one can only arrive at a destination so fast over land- the speeding that costs so greatly can only result in a gain of a few moments for the speeder.

Natural laws of both subtle and empirical nature are forgotten in the overamped, underslept, desperate search for Attainment. In such an avid search, we lose life, we lose connection, we will lose our freedom and will ultimately lose anything that connects us to the world around us. Small towns with landmarks that matter will become faceless urban landscapes, interchangeable and thus dispensable, all the more ready to play the backdrop for whatever tragic loss chaos has to unfold.

So it was that a small town became the backdrop for one of another set of statistics yesterday.

You can read the article pleading for information from the Alaska Highway News here:

http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/dawson-creek/updated-woman-killed-in-alleged-hit-and-run-in-dawson-creek-1.1784331

-Tony Stark.

Randy McCharles Gives StarkLight 3 A Grand Introduction

Here is the awesome foreword written for our latest short story Anthology by Randy McCharles, well-known Calgary author and

writing retreat guru. Many thanks to Randy for his thoughtful, high-energy and excellently penned words!

Congratulations again to all of our winners!

 

Foreword- StarkLight Volume 3
By Randy McCharles
“Katrina, she is death.” So begins the third compendium of quirky short fiction from Starklight Press. Like its predecessors, this issue fully achieves its mission of providing tales that are pertinent, timely and, above all, imaginative. The four words that begin the first of eleven amazing stand-alone stories are indicative of what you, the reader, will find– striking fiction that will wet the pallet, expand the mind, and bring a smile to your lips.
One of the pleasures of such a collection over say, a novel, is that you have little idea of what you will find until you have devoured the book. There is no back cover blurb enlightening you as to what to expect– setting, character, theme, and plot. A collection such as STARKLIGHT offers, instead, a treasure chest of surprises; eleven jewels to pick up and examine, each gem offering its own unique color, sparkle, and appeal. What the stories contained within these pages do have in common, however, is that they provoke thought and will take your imagination to lands and times and feelings you have never seen before.
Where the assembled stories differ is the second pleasure of such a collection. After discovering who Katrina is, why she is death, and why that is important, not only to the characters in the story, but to you the reader, there are still ten additional tales to enjoy, each astonishing in its own way, offering up new and unique experiences. Experiences unexpected, yet always managing to push one or more emotion buttons and resonate with realities in your life that makes each reading experience an intimate adventure between reader and author.
If that is not enough, a third pleasure is that you not only have eleven unique tales to enjoy, but tales from nine exceptional authors, each of whom have their own style and voice for story telling. Let us consider the opening line of our second story, What Has Kenneth Done! by J.M. Duell. “Let’s get a hold’a this fellow about the pamphlets again Fitz, there’s too many mistakes on ‘er.” Duell’s writing style could not be more different from Virginia Carraway Stark’s as enjoyed in Katrina, yet Duell’s story will carry you along just as easily. And what Kenneth did is only one surprise in the story.
It is said that variety is the spice of life, and this saying is no truer than in a compendium of short fiction. The selection of tales that fill these pages by authors no less distinguished than Virginia Carraway Stark, J.M. Duell, Veronica Robbins, Tony Stark, Roxann Alecia Harvey, John J. Higgins, G.W. Renshaw, Van Fleming, and Robert Marquiss, are stories you will wish to savour and share with your friends. So sit back, put up your feet, and prepare yourself to spend the next little while seeing the world in a different light. STARKLIGHT.

Nawican Centre Gets Christmas Care Delivery

A Dawson Creek community institution received a helping hand from StarkLight Press and other businesses during the holiday season.image

 

In in the midst of a crowded Christmas dinner a brigade of helpers unloaded two pickup truck loads of food, toys, clothes and household items. Dinner guests clapped and cheered as the donations filled the administration office to bursting.

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The Nawican Friendship Centre is a small building nestled just west of Dawson Creek’s downtown core. Started in 1967 by local activist Anne House and lawyer Peter Gibb, the Nawican was a nurturing environment for the community. Here local drop ins were welcome, aid was given to those individuals and families in crisis, and friendships between the native and European communities were kindled. Local youth were provided an activity centre to provide a constructive alternative to the sometimes desolate culture of the urban north.

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This history was provided to me by Alex House, son of the late Anne House, while we waited for a magician to finish entertaining the crowd gathered for the celebration. The name Nawican, Mr. House told me, stood for Native White Canadian- symbolizing the founders’ wish for inter-community solidarity.

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Mayor Dale Bumstead, MLA Mike Bernier and Councilman Mark Rogers helped in the unloading and then prepared to serve the multi-course feast to the many friends of the Nawican.

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While the evening began with the large donation, the festivities continued with fellowship, reminiscences and a cornucopia of excellent Yuletide food  made by Rhonda, dedicated chef.

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A local magician who runs a dog sanctuary entertained the guests as the Mayor and local politicians mingled amongst the tables and decorations.image image image