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A Tale of Stew, Stories and Shoes

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to become a writer. She wanted to write not simply to see her book on library shelves and to look herself up on the computer at Chapters, but because she wanted to reach people. She wanted to make them laugh, cry, and imagine. She wanted to challenge them, inspire them to stay up late reading just one more page, one more story. Maybe they’d stay up so late that they’d sleep in the next day, miss work. Then they’d get fired from a job they didn’t like, have a massive yard sale, travel to Mongolia and fall in love with a yak-herder. And live happily ever after.

Or maybe they’d recommend the book to a friend, the friend would pick up her own copy, plus a few more as gifts, and before you know it the girl has a bestseller on her hands. Suddenly she can buy herself all the shoes she’s ever wanted, but promises her family that the wealth and fame won’t change her on the inside.

The girl had no idea if any of this would happen. But she wanted to tell stories, and she was willing to take a chance.

So she chucked a bunch of words and ideas into a cooking pot and let it simmer. For many, many years, she’d wake up early in the morning and stay up late at night thinking of more words and ideas to chuck in. Every now and then, she’d pop open the lid, and a story would creep out. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was ridiculous. Sometimes it was both. But if it stuck with her, she’d run spell-check on it, add some spices, drain off some fat, marinate it a little longer, and have it critiqued by her smart friends at Writer’s Group.

Eventually, some of these stories made it off the stove and into a book. The Little Washer of Sorrows is a collection of short fiction that is a slow-cooked labour of love.

And guess what: if you order a copy now, you’ll be reading it before the end of this month. You’ll be that much closer to Mongolia. And I’ll be that much closer to a new pair of shoes.