Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book


The public release of Riptides: New Island Fiction went off very well, and thanks for that (and many more thanks for the book itself) go to Terrilee Bulger, owner of The Acorn Press, and Richard Lemm, the editor. An audience of about 100 sat and, in some cases, stood to hear 14 of the 23 contributors read short excerpts. There was variety in approach, topics, and ways of reading. Those who buy the book will find much to think about.

Acorn’s acceptance of my contribution, “A Torch Did Touch His Heart, Briefly,” gave me pleasure in many ways. There was the expected delight of having it accepted; in addition, a more personal matter concluded within me. Years ago, in another province, an earlier version won an award. The person I went to that awards ceremony with whispered, before the prizes had been given out, “You know, it’s not a very good story.” There’s probably no right time for such a remark, but that had to be the worst. Most of the excitement I felt leading up to the announcement died right then, and the relationship between us started down a path that got uglier as time went on. Now that the story is in a good place, alongside the works of others, there’s a validation of its worth, and an internal healing. I’m thankful for those things too.



  Beth wrote @

I feel honoured to have a story in the collection too. I totally agree that our work is in a “good place”, at home with the work of others from the great writing community of PEI.

  Jeff Bursey wrote @

Nicely said, Beth.

  Terrilee wrote @

Wow, someone said that to you? Jealous, maybe?

  Jeff Bursey wrote @

I think so, but there might have been other motives operating. Thanks for the comment, Terrilee.

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