Blog Posts

the first day of autumn

I woke up Thursday morning to the joyful sound of honking geese wafting through my window. Their “conversation” was filled with impatient exuberance and, as Joni Mitchell once wrote, “the urge for going.” A lone raven that often perches atop one of the spruce trees beside my house barked a string of surly caws to send them on their way. It was the first day of autumn—a time of passing, a time of new beginnings, a time of change. The Witches of New York begins on the cusp between seasons—when the heady, bright days of summer are giving way to

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step right up!

On Monday I posted a six second video teaser of this amazing thing-ma-jig on Facebook and Twitter. The video was shot from the back, where all you could see were the inner workings of the contraption, rather than its swanky facade. I’m pleased to announce that this lovely contraption (designed and constructed by my talented husband, Ian McKay) has now been installed at The Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. As you can see from the placard that graces its front, it’s being used to issue tickets for the upcoming launch of The Witches of New York at

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when it pains you not to speak

I’m reclaiming the word witch. To do so, I’ve got to take things all the way back to its roots…which are, much like the way we regard the word itself—shadowy, misunderstood and not completely clear. Even renowned scholars of etymology can’t quite agree on how it first sprang up, but they all admit its origins are tantalizingly old, stemming from times and places where those labelled with the word witch were revered rather than reviled. Here are just a few of the earliest meanings to be found in the word’s possible origins: One who bends (like a willow,) one who dances and makes mysterious

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Please excuse the mess

We are undergoing some digital renovations at the moment to make the site more accessible to users on various devices. All the content should be available but things may seem a bit disorganized until I can get all the new settings “just so”. Thanks for your patience. Ian Webmaster type person    

ten times round the seasons

During the big rewrite/revision/edit of The Witches of New York an important milestone came and went. I didn’t exactly miss it, I just didn’t have time to stop and acknowledge it, (at least not in any way that felt fitting or right.) Now that the manuscript for Witches has gone into “pages” (the magical process where the story gets arranged by the wonderful crew at Knopf Canada into the actual pages of a book,) I can take some time to yank the weeds from my garden and my brain, and think on all the things I pushed aside while I was immersed in a world

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Meet Matilda

As I head into to the final rounds of edits of The Witches of New York, I’ve been thinking of the bits and pieces that will, for lack of a better word, “bookend” the novel. I’ve had the dedication chosen for a little while as well as a list of people I want to thank in the acknowledgements, but I’ve just now settled on two quotes for the epigraph, and started writing my Author’s Note. Not surprisingly, there’s one woman’s name that will appear in both—Matilda Josyln Gage. Who?  Born in Cicero, New York in 1826, Matilda grew up in

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