Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

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FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
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In Defense of Fiction: Is It Appropriate to Appropriate?

typewriter-801921_1920During a radio interview with Kate Raphael of KPFA’s Women’s Magazine, she asked me if I worried about being accused of appropriation because I’m writing about cultures/characters that aren’t my own. We were discussing my novel, Curva Peligrosa. Curva is originally from Southern Mexico. Another character, Billie One Eye, is half Blackfoot and half Scottish. They feature prominently in this book.

Why do we need to go back to go forward?

As some of you know, I’ve completed another novel, The Ripening: A Canadian Girl Grows Up, that features Tillie, also the main character in Freefall: A Divine Comedy, the last novel I published. I thought I was finished with Tillie, the main character, but I’m not. Her life has become inextricably intertwined with my own, and I can’t turn my back on her, a family member now. Not only have I created her, but she’s creating me.

Meet-the-author Monday: Welcome to Canadian author Betty Jane Hegerat and her inspiring story!

Betty Jane Hegerat pens stories in the splendid writing community of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where she also teaches, mentors, and offers reading and substantive comment on selective works.

Primarily a writer of fiction, her first love was the short story, and it still is, but she finds herself increasingly drawn to the personal essay. The waves of memory and nostalgia that come with growing older will do that to a person.

She is the author of five books: three novels, a collection of short stories, and a strange hybrid of memoir, fiction, true crime and metafiction that claims to belong to the genre of creative non-fiction.  Currently she is working on short fiction.

Betty Jane was honoured to receive the 2015 Golden Pen Award from the Writers Guild of Alberta.

How are writers like detectives?

I’ve been thinking recently how writers are like detectives. They need to be constantly observant, picking up clues from what people are wearing, how they gesture, the words they speak, the way they interact with others. They study others’ facial expressions and what they suggest, storing away the data in their memory banks or taking notes in a writer’s journal that they’ll refer to later.

Monday Motivation: Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare!

The Ripening: A Canadian Girl Grows Up is a sequel to my novel Freefall: A Divine Comedy (published in 2019). The print copy will be released on October 15 2021. The ebook comes out on November 14, 2021.

Tillie, a zany installation artist, is the main character in Freefall. I so enjoyed interacting with her while I wrote that book that I wanted to better understand her origins. In the follow up, then, I went back to the ‘50s, to a world that flashed green and red lights at women, the era that produced Tillie. Some had begun to challenge the dead ends their futures seemed to hold, and Tillie will end up being one of those girls.

The Perils of Launching a Book for Publication

Though I already had experienced what it was like to publish a book when my poetry collection All This came out in 2011, each work offers its own peculiarities. Partly it’s the difference in publisher, so when Pen-L Publishing wanted to release my first published novel Fling!,  I had to learn what that house wanted of me. But the difference in genre also created a new situation.

Meet-the-author Monday: Sophia Kouidou‐Giles

On my blog today, I’m privileged to introduce my readers  to the bi-cultural Sophia Kouidou-Giles. Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, she tells me about what inspired her to write her memoir Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past, a work that captures family secrets.

How do opposites enlarge our personalities?

The publishing anniversary of my novel, Curva Peligrosa arrives in September, so the narrative is very much on my mind these days. The book’s title, Curva Peligrosa, names its central female character, but a number of peripheral characters also have a big role. One is Billie One Eye, a member of Alberta’s Blackfoot tribe who becomes the tribal chief.

One of Curva’s major characteristics is her adventuresome spirit and willingness to try new things. In the narrative, she spends 20 years on The Old North Trail. Malcolm Campbell, a reviewer of the novel, points out that Curva travels “America’s first ‘superhighway,’ the Old North Trail, that has seen many hooves, bare feet and moccasins traveling between Southern Mexico and Canada over the past 12,500 years.”

Meet the fascinating Bonnie Lee Black, a writer who created the award winning blog THE WOW FACTOR!

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be in conversation with the lovely Bonnie Lee Black, a woman who has been Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, Central Africa, who has conducted an independent economic development project in Mali, West Africa, and who has been a professional writer and editor for over 40 years. She currently lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico,

Here is Bonnie’s bio:

Bonnie Lee Black earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles in June 2007. An honors graduate of Columbia University in New York (BA, Lit./Writing, 1979), she has been a professional writer and editor for more than 40 years and an educator in the U.S. and overseas for over 30 years.

How I Gave Birth to My Novel’s Title!

For writers, titles are tough. There’s no getting around it. Revising a piece we’re working on many times can be the only way we finally find the core of an article, or anything else we’re writing. It is also true for coming up with an appropriate title. Often, it can take many attempts before we finally connect with one that feels right.

Join Guest Author Pat Taub in this interview and meet her muse!

On my blog today I’m talking to Pat Taub, a family therapist, a journalist, a writer/host for the Syracuse NPR station program “Women’s Voices,”a  writer for Key West Magazine, and a writing teacher. Pat explains how her memoir, The Mother of My Invention, helped her make peace with her troubled relationship with her mother.

Giving birth to fictional characters

My novel Curva Peligrosa opens with a tornado that sweeps through the fictional town of Weed, Alberta, and drops a purple outhouse into its center. Drowsing and dreaming inside that structure is its owner, Curva Peligrosa—a curiosity and a marvel, a source of light and heat, a magnet. Adventurous, amorous, fecund, and over six feet tall, she possesses magical powers. She also has the greenest of thumbs, creating a tropical habitat in an arctic clime, and she possesses a wicked trigger finger.

When Curva had ridden into Weed on one of her horses two years earlier, she was like a vision from a surrealistic western with a parrot perched on each shoulder and a goat following. Curva’s glittering gold tooth flashed, and she wore turquoise rings on each finger. A rainbow-striped serape hung from one shoulder. Curva also wore a flat-brimmed black hat and carried a rifle along with six-shooters.

Words of Wisdom from Wise Older Woman: Lily Iona MacKenzie: Forever Learning

I don’t usually send my blog followers links to interviews with me, but I thought some of you might enjoy this one. It deals with my dual role as a writer and teacher which, according to my calculations,  adds up to learner. Let me introduce you here to Bonnie Black’s wonderful blog and the interview.

http://bonnieleeblack.com/blog/lily-iona-mackenzie-forever-learning/#comment-6370

How is a Writing Teacher an Artist?

One thing I discovered when I was teaching rhetoric to college students, and still applies to the creative writing classes I currently teach for older adults, is the similarity between my writing of poetry, fiction, or non-fiction with teaching. Both give me an opportunity to investigate ideas, fears, interests, and obsessions—to ask and answer questions.

The two roles complement each other, writing being a more introverted activity than teaching. When I write, I do the dance of seven veils. I remain relatively hidden while exposing myself, exploring my mind and imagination in public view, trying to tempt the reader. When I teach, I do a similar dance. Some seduction is needed to catch a students’ attention and turn it towards the important art of capturing their thoughts in writing and conveying them to a reader.

How Are Writers Like Travelers?

My husband and I like to travel when we have the time and money. We’ve managed to visit St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, Marrakech, Fes, Rabat, Istanbul, the entire Aegean/Mediterranean coast off Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and many other countries.

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