My writing roots took form in our family bookshop. I was obliged to work in there after school and there was nothing to do but read them. I read Oscar Wilde, Nora Ephron, Mary Shelley, Tom Robbins, Tom Wolf and I generally devoured the endless fiction that came in boxes that people brought to trade. I could tell the good ones because they were dog-eared. I read erotic literature titles to a selection of girlfriends when I was 11. I loved the bookshop, the scent of the books, the promise of them. The bookshop also had possibly the largest philosophy section in the city. From an early age I also loved illustrating and combining visual imagery with words and gags, and was fond of Thurber, The New Yorker cartoonists and the intricate cartoon etchings I found in an crumbling antique collection of Punch Magazines from the turn of the century. I have attended The Kootenay School of Art for Writing, Trent's Writing Certificate Program and the Victoria School of Writing, and hold a Certificate in Expressive Art Facilitation from Haliburton School of Art.
While I love modern humour, I have a fascination with magical realism, as found in the narrative work of Latin American writers. I am also influenced by things such as the Italian Neorealistic film movement. Finally, I am interested in the philosophy of pragmatism and the writing of authors such as Pirsig who describe an adventure designed to also explore a series of philosophical ideas. Other writers that have influenced my writing and thinking include Monique Wittig, Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison, Kathy Acker, Alice Walker, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ursula Pflug, Drew Hayden Taylor, Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende and Jorge Luis Borges. I am also inspired by poets and lyricists such as Octavio Paz, Patti Smith, Nikki Giovanni as well as innumerable contemporary Slam poets and performance artists whose work and words touch my heart.
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