Pink Purim

A brand-new Purim romp, all decked out in pink.

Une poupée Barbie habillée en robe rose et portant une couronne.

« Barbesther in Shushanland », inspired by the Book of Esther, retells the story of the Jewish queen of Persia as if she were in Barbieland. In a world of Toxic Kens and wholesome Mordechallans, how will Barbesther save her people and herself from the evil Haman? With lyrical parodies of songs from Greta Gerwig’s movie, enjoy your best day every day with a good-enough-to-drink Pink Purim.

Script available for free (while donations are encouraged). Chag Sameach!

Free Purim Spiels

A Purim spiel or Purim play is usually a comic dramatization of the Book of Esther, the central text and narrative that describes what transpired on Purim and why it is celebrated as an important Jewish holiday. Jews have long gathered on Purim to tell the story of the Book of Esther in performance. Recently, it has been more and more common to tell the story by parodying well-known music.

In 2024, Purim celebrations begin at sundown on March 23 and end at nightfall on March 24.

Click here for free access to Purim spiel scripts in English, which you may use in your community. Then loop back to tell us how it went!

Poetry Workshop

Last month, I hosted a poetry workshop with participants of the New Horizons program in Ottawa, funded by the government of Canada. After an overview of basic poetry structure and an introduction of a few Jewish Canadian poets, the group hunkered down to compose a poem of its own.
Inspired by the recent massive storm that hit the city, the new poets brainstormed a word cloud (fully in the theme’s spirit), then assembled their poem, which you can read below.
Mazel Tov to Marcia, Jenny, Marcella, Shirli and Merle for their contribution to Canadian Jewish poetry!

Victoria’s Fury


thunderous heaven opens up
winds blow horizontal,
rattling rain

trees destroyed
loss of environment
power of nature
blows me away

like election signs in the wind
roots disconnected
lines disconnected
we are powerless
left at the mercy of nature

loss of voice
telephones down cannot carry it
not in charge
how to recharge?

cooking it up
before freezers thaw
sharing laundry, sharing showers, sharing shelter

sustenance, resilience, gratitude

renewal of friendships,
showering love on neighbours
to bring new growth

Tripping the Tale Fantastic – Must-Read Deaf Lit

I’m thrilled to have a story in Handtype Press’ latest anthology, Tripping the Tale FantasticWeird Fiction by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Writers. This anthology « pushes Deaf Lit… and Science Fiction and Horror and Fantasy in a new direction, and in the world of exploration all new directions are bold ones. » My story, Dreaded Silence, is about music.

I’ve been hard of hearing since childhood, and have worn hearing aids since the age of five. I learned to play basic piano and compose by ear, but I’m still fascinated by people who can read sheet music and hear what’s on the page in their heads – which is what lead to my story.

You can read more about the anthology – and buy yourself a copy – here:

Blue and yellow cover page of the anthology

The haunting call of the orbsong

Photo from

My short story, The Call of the Orbsong, in which the main character is a transparent amphibian named Dafenid, is a modern speculative take on an old fairy tale. Thanks to Luna Station Quarterly, you can read the story now:

Shout out to Ursula K. LeGuin for the spark that led to this story.

Dernières nouvelles / Latest News

J’ai de la chance! I’m very fortunate!

1) La première mondiale de ma pièce de théâtre, Les murs ont des yeux, a lieu à Toronto en fin de semaine, le samedi 5 novembre à 15h, précédée du talentueux Kyris:…

2) The Toronto Writers’ Co-operative is launching the 2016 edition of its anthology, Voices, on Sunday, November 6, 3 p.m., in the Hinton Learning Centre at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., 3rd Floor. I will be one of a dozen or so readers, reading my short story that appears in the anthology. The event is free!

3) My author pal J. Marshall Freeman is launching his book Teetering on Tuesday, November 15, from 7:00–9:00. The event takes place in Toronto at: The Victory Cafe, 581 Markham St., near Bathurst and Bloor. And he’s invited me to read one of my pieces at his launch. Come on over and support us 🙂

4) Puis, deux autres occasions de voir Les murs ont des yeux:

​ le jeudi 17 novembre 2016, 19h30, Cafétéria de l’école Nouvelle-Alliance, 249, rue Anne nord, Barrie (Les billets sont disponibles au:…)

​ le vendredi 18 novembre 2016, 19h30, La Clé d’la baie, 63, rue Main, Penetanguishene (Les billets sont disponibles au:…)

Merci à la troupe qui donne vie aux Murs: Barbara-Audrey Bergeron, Alex Nanot, Genevieve Fontaine, Michèle Tredger et Benoît Trudel, mis en scène par Magalie Rouillard-Bazinet!

Writing on International Dance Day

For International Dance Day, I participated in a Yoga and Writing workshop, to which I was invited through the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada. Following a Terrill Maguire-led half-hour of yoga-inspired movement to get our creative auras active, we did time-constrained writing exercises led by Carol Anderson. One of the writing activities consisted of 3-minute bursts of writing about parts of our body. Here are my unedited (we weren’t allowed) writings:

My Hips

For years, my hips didn’t know they were lonely.

My hips didn’t know they’d enjoy bearing, didn’t know they’d like having tiny hips, hands, arms, feet, legs, face nestled in them.

My hips experienced this once and are sad – just a little – that they haven’t had a chance to be a nest again.

My Feet

My feet are looking forward to the sunshine, to grass, to sand between their toes.

My feet will be glad to dress in sandals and toe rings and paint.

My feet enjoyed their winter cardigans – reds and blues and cats and bows and hearts and stripes,

but they long to breathe and not be cold, for a change.

My hair

My hair is shy, thinning since it was ten years old.

My hair artificially sought body, and it broke, severed under a perm.

My hair is long and I cut it because what’s the difference.

My hair learns, every night, to be curly the next day.

My hair discovers it is happy even when stifled under wigs;

and as my hair gets wispier and wispier, it knows it has in them a replacement.

My spine

My spine woke up a few years ago, no longer curving at the neck – elongating itself, asserting itself, finding a way to lengthen though it is part of only a five-feet-tall frame.

My spine is short, yet mighty.

My heart

My heart skips beats – literally. (Figuratively, that hasn’t happened in years.)

My heart likes to surprise me and worry me with its literal irregularity.

« Don’t worry, it’s normal, » says the doctor.

So, everyone is walking around with their hearts stopping for milliseconds at a time?

It’s a wonder we keep going and don’t stop, for a moment, to feel until our hearts start again.

#TBT The Write Decision

Over twelve years ago, my then-still-new alma mater, Carleton University, featured me and three fellow writers in the cover story of its student and alumni magazine. (You’ll also see an article about Lynn Coady in there.)

A screen capture of the Carleton magazine feature "Making the Write Decision", featuring A.M. Matte.

I am quoted as saying: « If you can’t go through the day without writing, then you’re a writer. » I think I was channeling L.M. Montgomery’s Emily « of New Moon » Starr when I said that.

You can read the full article by following this link.

Ah, youth.

About Genre, from Ursula K. Le Guin

« The Obligatory Bit about Science Fiction, Fantasy and Genre

There are dozens of definitions of what “science fiction” is; few are useful and none is definitive. Variations on the term, such as “speculative fiction,” complicate the discussion more than they clarify it.  …

Genre, a concept which could have served as a useful distinction of various kinds of fiction, has been degraded into a disguise for more value-judgment. The various “genres” are now mainly commercial product-labels to make life easy for lazy readers, lazy critics, and the Sales Department of publishers.

It’s not my job as a writer to make life easy for anybody. Including myself. …

For a writer, there is a genuine difference between fantasy and science fiction, which has nothing to do with the commercial branding of books as “genre” or the categorical imperatives of critics. The difference is in how you write it—what you are doing as a writer. In fantasy you get to make it all up, even the rules of how things work, and then follow your rules absolutely. In science fiction you get to make it up, but you have to follow most of the rules of science, or at least not ignore them. …

If you’re getting bored with this classifying, I’m sorry—I’m doing it to show that the whole vocabulary—“realism” “science fiction” “genre fiction,” and the rest of it—doesn’t give even a remotely adequate description of what I write, Or of what many other serious writers are writing. We need a whole new discourse on fiction. … »

–Ursula K. Le Guin. August 2012

The Unreal and the Real – selected stories of Ursula K. Le Guin