My Meetup Group

For the last few months I had been hopelessly seeking a good writers’ group that would take me into its fold. However, the groups I found were not really suitable for me. They focused too much on critiquing, which usually meant nitpicking. One group asked me to fill out a form that was three pages long. I dutifully filled out all three pages of questions, but after spending an hour in intense boredom doing this, I didn’t feel like going to the actual meeting anymore. On the whole, these groups didn’t seem to be big on carousing — isn’t that what writers’ groups should be about?

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and cast off the shackles of oppression (clearly I’ve been watching too much Spartacus)! I have started my own Meetup group, the Vancouver Independent Writer Group, which has been operating successfully since December 2011. We have some pub nights that are just for socializing and some reading nights where writers get feedback on their work in a supportive and helpful manner. All writers who like a less structured environment are welcome.

You can check it out on the Meetup website:



A Russian/Armenian Christmas

The festive cat

At the tail end of 2011 I took off to Alberta to spend the Christmas season with my parents and various partners in crime. The highlight of the holidays was a visit to an aristocratic/artistic family where we were plied with “Chicken with the Ribbon of St George”  i.e. with bacon strips wrapped around it. After dinner, the lady of the house sang a Russian love song while her mother, a notable pianist and music instructor, accompanied her on the piano. I felt I had been transported into the works of Leo Tolstoy or Jane Austen. Well, now that I have returned to Vancouver and work on Count Morelli is finished, I am getting back to my next novel (it is about dryads, and that’s all I’m willing to divulge so far) which had been begun last summer and is only at about 60 pages.It’s going much quicker now, since the holidays were definitely inspiring. I can still taste the chicken, hear the music…


The chicken