Sunday, May 29, 2016

“Airport Angst,” Kathy Dupuis



Wait for it … wait for it … it’s my favourite part of waiting to board my plane. My blood pressure rises in righteous indignation, but I love it! It is the pre-boarding announcement. I could almost rub my hands together with glee.

Now, I travel a lot for business so I spend a lot of time at airport boarding gates. I settle down as much as one can settle down in those monstrosities that pass for chairs. Scan left … scan right … yup: same cast members every time. There are the nail-biters, comforting themselves with reassuring reports of airline safety records, the kids, jazzed up on sugar and excitement, the newlyweds, dripping honeyed kisses and bits of confetti.

But my favourites are the ones who respond to the pre-boarding call. (I know, I know: how can you board the plane before you board the plane? With apologies to George Carlin, we’ll let that one go for the moment.) The pre-boarding announcement aims to herd all those whining toddlers and limping grannies on board ahead of the rest of us. It allows the flight attendants to assist with rounding up the acting-out little ones and the slow-to-act old ones, and stuffing them into their seats so they’re out of the way. Then  the onslaught of those of us responding to the general boarding call can assault the aisle, and each other, as we battle over prime real estate holdings in the overhead bins.

However, inevitably … wait for it … wait for it … there go the parents with their tiny little … teenagers! Are these people deaf? Are they stupid? I realize that those intercom announcements can be garbled, but seriously? They and the gangly six-foot creatures beside them do not need pre-boarding assistance! 

They aren’t juggling sippy cups and bouncy seats and withered teething biscuits. There are no diaper bags or cute little ‘Grandma Loves Me’ T-shirts. Slouching gum-gnashing adolescents with eco-friendly hydration devices and two-hundred-dollar airlift sneakers just don’t qualify. Giant backpacks and Legalize Pot hoodies won’t cut it. These people simply won’t be allowed to pre-board. At least, that’s what I used to think.

Now I just sit, with my mouth gaping, as the kindly ladies and gentlemen at the boarding desk wave them onto the plane. It’s at this point that my small portion of the universe becomes unhinged. How dare these important airline employees allow these deceitful beings to flaunt the rules which the employees are meant to enforce? 

This simply cannot be allowed to continue! In the little world in my head, where rules are meant to be followed, I would urge the airlines to hire me to oversee the pre-boarding process. I’d sure as hell get it done with both a large dose of efficiency and fairness. I will concede that I might be somewhat lacking in the finesse department but, oh well, we can’t have it all now, can we?

I’d take only a moment to set my machine gun on its tripod, aim it menacingly at any passengers who looked like potential illegal pre-boarders, and smile sweetly as I made the announcement. I think they’d get the point. For the first offence, a small rubber bullet, aimed perhaps at some fleshy part of the anatomy, would probably get the message across, while demonstrating kindness and leniency.

For those passengers demonstrating diminished perceptions of subtlety, enhanced ammunition might need to be brought into play. But once an internationally circulated pre-boarding list was compiled, and the tripods were installed at each boarding gate, I’m fairly certain the problem could be brought under control.

Those trustworthy souls who never committed the crime could, for a small fee, apply for a speed pass. Why, marketing professionals could create ad campaigns, urging upright citizens to turn in neighbourhood offenders! Pre-boarding offender profiles could be supplied to airline personnel at team-building workshops to assure front-line compliance! Oh my, the possibilities are endless! And it would have all been MY idea!

So the next time you consider jumping to the head of the boarding line without the proper qualifications, just banish the thought! Picture the gun, complete with official airline logo, mounted on its matching tripod. Is it worth the risk just for a few more moments of onboard togetherness with your teen?  Well, seriously, is it?

Kathy Dupuis is an English teacher who decided to use some retirement time to try to master the kind of writing assignments she used to give to her students.


See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The long, twisted path to getting a novel published


From idea to published novel, is a long, twisted path, but you can do it. On June 2, HarperCollins will release Hannah McKinnon’s first novel, Time After Time, a heartwarming story of second chances imbued with humour. In a series of blog posts, Hannah tells how she got here…

Feb 26, 2016. Earlier this week I signed a contract with Avon UK (HarperCollins) for my debut novel Time After Time and I am beyond ecstatic.

Within seconds of posting the news on Facebook I had more ‘Likes’ than fingers and toes – and that show of support pretty much sums up my writing journey thus far. People – family, friends, tutors, classmates, acquaintances and even complete strangers have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. Over the next few blog entries I’ll share my writing journey thus far in the hope it’ll inspire other writers to keep going, to never, never, never give up.

So let’s go back around three decades, and start there…

In the beginning…

Like so many aspiring authors I loved writing essays at school and bugged my teachers when I felt too many days had passed without an assignment. I can still hear the groans of despair from some of my classmates. One of them even threw a pen and a glue stick at me. 

But I couldn’t help it. The teacher would give us a sentence or even just a word and that was it – my head would be down for the next hour, my pen moving furiously across my page.

While I loved writing I didn’t make it a priority after I left school. In my twenties I was too focused on studies and then building my career. I joined an IT recruitment company when I was twenty-four and over the next fifteen years climbed to the top of the corporate ladder, got married and had three kids within 16 months – twins the second time around; I'm not some baby-making alien. 

I felt I barely had time to breathe, let alone write. I am in awe of those who rise at 4 am and knock out a few pages before dawn, but I was incapable of formulating an idea for a short story, let alone writing one.

But then things changed … more

Note: everyone (including you) is invited to Hannah’s launch party on June 3 (see here). In the meanwhile, you can pre-order a Kindle copy of Time After Time for just $2 on pretty much all the Amazon sites. Check it out on Amazon.ca here. I’ve already ordered mine ~Brian

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner workshop, Saturday, Sept 10, in Guelph

Secrets of Writing a Page-turner
Saturday, September 10, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Harcourt United Church, 87 Dean Ave, Guelph, Ontario (Map here.)

Ever stayed up all night reading a book?In this workshop, you’ll learn you how to build that kind of tension.  And we'll help you put into practice the techniques professionals use – on every page and in every kind of story – to create drama and tension.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.

Fee: 43.36 + 13% hst = 49 paid in advance by mail or Interac
or 46.90 + 13% hst = 53 if you wait to pay at the door

To reserve a spot now, email: 
brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Free seminar: Writing Query Letters That Get a Yes, Monday, Sept 26, in Kitchener

From Inky Girl
The Canadian Authors Association, Waterloo-Wellington presents…
Writing Query Letters That Get a Yes
Monday, September 26, 2016
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Kitchener, Ontario (Venue to be Announced)

If you want to get the attention of an agent or a publisher, you need to craft a good query letter. Using real life examples, this seminar shows you how to do it. There isn’t just one way to write a successful query, and your query doesn’t have to be perfect; but it does need to persuade an agent that you’ve got a book that they can successfully pitch to a publisher.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get published.
Read reviews of Brian's weekly courses and Saturday workshops see here.

Attendance is free, but please let me know you’re coming so I know how many handouts to bring. Email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

See Brian’s full schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Christopher Rhodes of The Stuart literary agency seeks literary fiction and nonfiction, including connected stories / essays, thrillers, horror, memoir, and more

The Stuart Agency
260 W. 52 St., #25C
New York, NY 10019

I recently attended the Windsor International Writers’ Conference. The writers in attendance enjoyed plenty of face time with agents and editors, plus 20lucky attendees left with irresistible query letters re-written with help from yours truly. While there, I took the opportunity to find out what various agents are looking for right now so I could share this info with you, dear reader, and sometimes also to pitch the agents on behalf of my students who have a manuscript almost ready to go. One of the agents in attendance was Christopher Rhodes of the Stuart Agency. …. ~ Brian

The Stuart Agency was founded in 2002 by Andrew Stuart, who had previously worked as an editor at Random House and Simon & Schuster. The agency has three agents, including... 

Christopher Rhodes has been involved in the publishing business and agenting for years, but only recently joined The Stuart Agency. Prior to that, he was an agent at The James Fitzgerald Agency. Previous to that, he worked at The Carol Mann Agency and in the sales and marketing departments at Simon and Schuster.

Christopher specializes in literary fiction and nonfiction. He’s actively seeking queries in the following areas: literary fiction (including thriller and horror); connected stories/essays (humorous and serious); memoir; creative/narrative nonfiction; history; religion; pop culture; and art & design. 

“What would I dearly like to see right now?” says Christopher. “Horror. I really want to read and advocate for a smart and literary horror novel. I don’t get many submissions in this area. 

You can read an interview with Christopher here.

Query Christopher at: christopher@stuartagency.com
For fiction, include the first 50 pages; for nonfiction, include a proposal. A Word document or a PDF is fine.

Bhavna Chauchan, editor with
Penguin Random House Canada
Brian Henry will lead a Writing for Children & for Young Adults workshop on Sunday, May 29, in Ottawa with acclaimed author Alan Cumyn (see here).

Also, Brian hosts From the Horse's Mouth ~ Strategies for Getting Published on Saturday, June 18, with Barbara Berson of Helen Heller Agency, Michael Mirolla, publisher Guernica Editions, and Bhavna Chauhan, editor, Penguin Random House Canada, at Ryerson University in Toronto (see here).

Other upcoming workshops include  How to Write Great Characters, Saturday, May 14 in Toronto (see here) and Sunday, June 5 in Georgetown (see here), and Writing and Revising, May 28, in Mississauga (see here).

For those who love great food and a beautiful setting with their writing, Brian has two Writer’s Retreats coming up at Arowhon Pines Resort in Algonquin Park: Friday, June 10 – Sunday, June 12 (see here) and Friday, Sept 16 – Sunday, Sept 18 (see here).

For more information or to register, email: brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Canoeing at Arowhon Pines Resort
Finally, this summer, Brian will offer a variety of classes:
“Welcome to Creative Writing,” Tuesday afternoons, Tuesday afternoons, July 5 – Aug 23, in Burlington
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday afternoons, July 6 – Aug 24, in Burlington
“Intensive Creative Writing,” Wednesday evenings, July 6 – Aug 24, in Burlington 
See details of all three classes here. 
To reserve a spot, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca

Read reviews of Brian’s courses and workshops here.
To register or for more information for any class or workshop, email brianhenry@sympatico.ca


Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. Also, if you’re not yet on my newsletter, send me an email, including your locale, to: brianhenry@sympatico.ca ~ Brian

See Brian’s full schedule 
here
, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Love Letters: A Victoria Day story and other tales of where your fellow writers are getting published

Hi, Brian.
Here’s the link to my Victoria Day story in The Globe & Mail. I want to thank Lyanne, Hannah, and Nydia (from the Wednesday afternoon Intensive class) who gave me some very good feedback and recommended that I submit it. 
In order to shrink the piece down to 900 words, as required by the editor, a few funny bits had to be chopped, but I think it still captures the spirit of that Victoria Day evening, ever so many years ago.
Happy long weekend to all, and watch out for kids with sparklers!
Sally B
Read Sally’s story, “The Victoria Day when I stuck a sparkler in my sister’s back,” here.
For information on submitting a “Facts and Arguments” essay to the Globe and Mail, see here.
Note: The next “Intensive Creative Writing” class is starting up in July. See details of all the summer courses here.

Hi, Brian:
Do you remember the story that I wrote in one of your writing classes about returning to my home town in Quebec after over 30 years and finding an unusual memento – my braids?  The story was finally published in the March issue of Our Canada magazine.  
Thank you for everything.  
Kindest regards,
Oksanna Crawley
For information on submitting to Our Canada, see here.


Hi,
My article, Wind Turbine Highlights Unifor’s Hypocrisy On Noise Hazards” is featured on the front page of today's Huffington Post. Check it out here.
I hope you will read it and sign the related petition to help the families in Port Elgin who are suffering from the noise. 
Then, please share the article with your email list, like it on Facebook, and/or tweet it. 
Thanks for your support!
Karen

Hi, Brian.
I hope all is well. I just thought I’d let you know why your ears were burning on Sunday. I attended the Ontario Writers Conference and sang your praises. Writers were jotting down your name, so I hope they sign up for your workshops!
On another note, my short story, “Perfidy" was published today on CommuterLit.
I have a lot to thank you for – so, thank you! I hope to see you soon at another event. I’m writing more short stories and am halfway through writing my next novel (will need to attend your workshop for some feedback on chapters soon). “Love and Terror’s” manuscript was requested by McDermid Agency and I’ve been invited to submit the query to Sam and Olga at The Rights Factory. Fingers crossed that someone takes it one. 
All the best,
Joanne 
Read Joanne’s story hereFor information about submitting to CommuterLit, see here.
For information about submitting to the McDermid Agency, see here, and for information about The Rights Factory, here

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

“My Favourite Book” by Deb Perris

                                                                                                                  
My favourite book was given to my Mom, not me, but she probably never opened it.  My Mom had no interest in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But over the years I’ve come to think of this book as my dear friend, Julia.

It was my Uncle Mike, who lived next door and was a voracious reader, who brought Julia into my life.  My earliest memories include watching Uncle Mike open a brown paper package on a regular basis. Once the paper was removed, he would slit the tape on the brown cardboard that lay inside, then unfold the cardboard to remove a hardcover book.  I thought that it was magical that these books would arrive by mail; he didn’t have to go to the library to find things to read. And only Uncle Mike had books that had hard covers on them. Then, one day, I learned about Book of the Month Club, yesterday’s version of Amazon.

As I learned to read, Uncle Mike would let me peruse the Book of the Month catalogue that came along with the book.  He’d allow me to select a book for myself, and pushed me if I chose something too easy.  My selections ranged from Nancy Drew mysteries to a coffee table book titled The Life and Times of Leonardo DaVinci – I guess I was a bit of a nerd in those days.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking was a Book of the Month Club offering that Uncle Mike bought for my mother as a Christmas gift.  The book remained unopened for many years, and I recall my mother saying to her friend, when showing her the book, “What a waste of money!”

You see, my mother was widowed at age 26, with a two-and-a half year old son and pregnant with me at the time.  Hers was not an easy life.  As well, she is Italian, and learned to cook by my Nona’s side.  She didn’t have to use a cookbook unless she was baking, and the only other cookbook in our house was Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook. So Julia’s cookbook just took up space on our bookshelf.

Many years later, as an adult with my very first home, when I was visiting my mother she asked me if I would like to have the cookbook.  I did want it – not because of the recipes, but because it was a reminder of my Uncle Mike, who had passed away the year before.

I, too, had learned to cook by the sides of my mother and my two grandmothers – one Italian and one Polish.  I didn’t need to look at a recipe to pull together pasta, meatballs, cabbage rolls, pasta e fagioli, perogie and a host of other basic dishes that were part of my cultural heritage.

At home I curled up with the book.  I started with the forward, and browsed through everything from appetizers to dessert.  I had entered a world totally foreign and so sophisticated to me.  Boeuf Bourginion?  Quiche? Onions Glaces a Blanc?  Cassoulet?  In Sault Ste. Marie in the seventies I’m sure that nobody cooked things like that – or if they did, they sure as hell didn’t call it by those names.

But I was willing to try a few of these recipes, and I learned that I needed them.  As my husband’s career burgeoned it was part of learning how to become a corporate wife (I gag whenever that term passes through my mind).  When entertaining his business colleagues, I’d go to Julia to figure out what to put on the table. She never failed me, and as my culinary confidence increased, I learned that I could get away with using Knorr bouillion cubes instead of braising veal knuckles, that I could skip steps without losing flavour, and that a quarter pound of butter in a recipe is just as good as half a pound.

In 2009, Meryl Streep, a versatile actor whom I think is unparalleled in this day and age, played Julia Child in a movie called Julie and Julia.  Julie sets herself on a mission to create all of Julia’s menus from the beginning of this cookbook to the end.  Throughout the movie I kept leaning over to my friend and saying “I’ve made that!”

One day, only a couple of years ago, a close friend dropped by while I was prepping one of Julia’s recipes.  She picked up the cookbook which was sitting on the counter and said, “Do you realize that you have a first edition? You’d better leave this to someone in your will – it’s worth thousands of dollars!”

Or maybe it’s not; my favourite book is well loved, much used and much damaged from wear and tear. Stains abound, and sometimes there are pages that I have to gently pry apart because food has stuck them together. Every time I use the book I remember Uncle Mike’s well-meaning intentions, my mother’s inability to even comprehend creating some of these recipes, and the joy that I experience when I open this book, because it means that I will be pleasing people I care about. I have my mother’s Betty Crocker cook book as well, but I’ve never cracked open the pages.

Who needs Betty when you have Julia?

Deb Perris’s pleasure in life comes from the people in her life: there are ones who have been there forever, those who have been loved and are now gone, those who enter and re-enter time and time again, and those who enter once never to be seen again. She loves telling stories about these people, and how they impact on her life. Now she’s learning to write these stories – without an executive summary!

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops, writing retreats, and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond. 


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Lynda Archer invites you to a Reading from her new book: Tears in the Grass

Hi, Brian: 
The courses I took with you years ago were a great encouragement for my writing. I have been living in BC for the past eight years and still appreciate getting your newsletter. I’m writing because my debut novel, Tears in the Grass, was recently published by Dundurn Press.

Tears in the Grass is a story of three bold and courageous indigenous women, each in her own way, fighting personal demons and the racist attitudes of Canadian society in the late 1960s. 
At ninety years of age, Elinor, an artist and inveterate roll-your-own smoker,  speaks of the child she bore in a Saskatchewan residential school, a child who was taken from her just hours after her birth. Elinor tasks her daughter and granddaughter with finding the child/woman, before she, Elinor, dies. 
While Elinor has never given up her Plains Cree language and culture, her daughter, Louise, ran from the reserve as an adolescent and adopted white ways. Alice, who adores her grandmother, yearns to reclaim her aboriginal heritage.

Tears in the Grass is rich with descriptions of the prairie sky, animals and plants. The bison, revered by Elinor and her people, that once roamed the plains in the millions, is given voice through the character, Big Brown, enshrined in a local museum.

This book will appeal to those who have lost children, culture, language, land, and, to those seeking to achieve a deeper understanding of such hardships.

On a more personal note, I might add that after three decades of work as clinical psychologist, witnessing stories of grief and loss, betrayal, childhood abuse, I continue to marvel at the capacity of the human heart to find peace, kindness and forgiveness. And so it is with the three characters, Elinor, Louise and Alice, in my novel.

Yay, Lynda!
I have two readings coming up in Hamilton and I want to invite all your readers:

Wednesday, May 25
7:00 p.m.
at Bryan Prince Booksellers
1060 King  St, W, Hamilton, Ontario (in Westdale. Map here)
and
Saturday, May 28,
2:00 p.m.
at Concession St. Branch of Hamilton Public Library,
565 Concession St, Hamilton, Ontario (on the Mountain, by Upper Wentworth. Map here)

More information available on my website: www.lyndaarcher.ca

Many thanks for all you do.

Cheers,
Lynda
Lynda A. Archer, Author

Note: If you can't make it to one of Lynda's readings, Tears in the Grass is available from Dundurn Press here or from Amazon.ca here
For information about submitting to Dundurn Press, see here.

See Brian Henry’s schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Alton, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, St. John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.