Short Stories

Polly’s Lament,” “Cave Drawing,” and “The Glass Coffin,” three drabbles (short stories of exactly 100 words) published in the anthology, Modern Morsels: Selections of Canadian Poetry and Short FictionMcGraw Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 2012
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Mouse,” published in the anthology, Reality Imagined: Stories of Identity and Change, McGraw Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 2011
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Captain Nemo,” published in The Toronto Star, Toronto, July 14, 2002
-Second Prize, 2002 Sunday Star Short Story Contest
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Mirror Image,” published in the anthology, Imprints, Gage Educational Publishers, Toronto, 2001
-Reprinted in Short Stories from Canada, Cornelsen (Germany), 2005 and others.
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Snow and Apples,” published in the anthology, Up All Night, Thistledown Press (Saskatoon, SK), 2001
-Anthology nominated for the 2002 White Pine Award
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About “Mirror Image”

One of the anthologies where “Mirror Image” appears.

“Mirror Image” was very first short story I ever published and it is also the one that has been republished the most times and the one I get the most questions about. Basically, it’s a meditation on identity and body image from the point of view of a teen girl who has had the first ever brain transplant. The story has been republished in Canada, the US and Germany and I’ve even received letters about it from as far away as Bhutan. Now it’s been made into a short film by Ryerson student Fay Eagles called “Alice Was Here.” I went to the first public screening in May 2010 and thought she did a great job!

Mirror Image FAQ

What inspired you to write this story?

It’s a boring answer, but the idea for “Mirror Image” came from a university writing assignment called, “Write About Someone Who’s Had a Brain Transplant.”  At first it was about a grown woman who’d had the operation, and most of the conversations were between her and her husband.  The story explored some interesting ideas, but as a whole, it just didn’t work.  A few years later, when I started writing for young adults, I had the idea to lower the age of the main character, and suddenly the story came together.  Suddenly, what Alice was going through became a metaphor for the identity issues most young adults face at that age, and all her questions—Am I beautiful now and what does that mean?   Why is everyone treating me differently when I feel the same?  Am I the same?  Who am I?—began to resonate on two levels.  Creating the foil of a twin sister was another change I made from the original and one I think really helped to highlight the themes.

Did you name her Alice because of Alice in Wonderland?

Yup.

What is the climax of the story?
What is the point of view?
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These are actual queries I got recently. The writer also asked me to answer by the next day.  My answer? I’m very glad you are reading my story, but please do your own homework.
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Other Short Stories

Other short stories I’ve written have been published in the Toronto Star, where I have twice won second prize in the Sunday Star Short Story competition, and in the White Pine Award nominated collection, Up All Night.