Culture & Conversation

Posts by Beverly Akerman

Self-Publishing Your Way Beyond Obscurity

I’ve decided to give away the e-version of my award-winning collection of short fiction, The Meaning of Children – well, for a couple of days. The paperback, released in 2011 by Exile Editions, officially sold about 365 copies. At $2 per $19.95 list priced copy, I’ve earned about $730 in royalties from Exile’s publication, which doesn’t include the proceeds from the approximately 200 copies I hawked myself, or the $150 they paid me to publish one of the stories in Exile Quarterly. Somebody else—many somebodies—pocketed the remaining $12 to $18 per copy…or over $6500. The economics of publishing, especially considering the hours put in writing, editing, re-writing, etc. are enough to make a grown writer weep.

l’Affaire Wong, or Post hoc ergo propter hoc

If a mechanic replaces your winter tires and scrimps on tightening the lug nuts, the consequences–a wheel popping off on the highway–can be disastrous. If a doctor leaves a surgical instrument behind, misreads a scan, or overlooks the follow-up a test result, a patient can wind up seriously injured, even dead. So what happens if a career journalist confuses correlation and causation on a sensitive file of national importance? And what if, to compound the error, her editor fails to catch the mistake? And all this takes place during a fast-breaking news story?

Agog about Gollywog

Though decades separate Bonnie Farmer’s two plays, her new Gollywog has the makings of a hit. Born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Farmer came to Montreal at the age of two when her mother took a job as a cook in a convent. The family only lived there a year or so, Farmer explains. “They weren’t expecting a cook with a baby in tow. Our room was right off the kitchen and I kept getting into things. It was dangerous. I remember these beautiful marble floors. I remember seeing the nuns in their pyjamas.”

I Wanna Play Too

At first glance, internet behemoth Google, Esquire magazine, and Cisco Systems don’t have a lot in common – different lines of business, dissimilar in size, and…