Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Trip to Banyen Books and Sound, Vancouver British Columbia

Nina alerted me the other day that a quaint little book store in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver has decided to carry “Water is…. “. I was meeting my friend Jackie visiting from Luxembourg that evening for dinner and she was staying in the area so I decided that I would have to check out the book store, Banyan Books and Sound, as I had heard great things about it.

We had hoped to grab some fish and chips at East Spanish Banks and walk along the water but that hope was dashed when we discovered that they had closed four days early as they had run out of supplies. I suspect it was the run of warm sunny fall weather and increased demand that caused the supplies to run out earlier than they expected. We still strolled along the beach and enjoyed the setting sun.

We were on the hunt for dinner but headed to Banyen Books and Sound first. It truly was a wonderful place to be able to look at a book, relax and spend time to really know that a book will be just what you expect. Of course I was on the hunt for “Water” and there it was on the shelf, a chair right there to sit and enjoy a chapter. Jackie also enjoyed perusing the book; unfortunately limited by space in her travel bags it was left on the shelf for now. 

Our stomachs were rumbling as it was almost 7:30. Instead of fish and chips we settled for Greek and a wonderful pie for desert. Nina had told me to try the pies from Aphrodite’s Organic Pie Shop and the pecan pie was a wonderful way to finish off the evening and my visit with Jackie. This shop is across the street from Banyen Books so when your stomach rumbles while checking out the books, relief is moments away.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Fire and Water: Pixl Press Collides with Words and Worlds…

Fire and Water: Pixl Press Collides with Words and Worlds…

Smoky Sun through the Rockies
Several weeks ago, Pixl Press author Nina Munteanu travelled with me through the smoky Rockies to the 8th annual ‘When Words Collide’ writers festival in Calgary, Alberta.

The 8th annual ‘When Words Collide,’ held August 10-12, 2018, brought together just under a thousand readers and writers in multi-genres to attend presentations and panels on writing & publishing. The three-day writers’ festival ran a 10-track program that included informative panels, Blue Pencil CafĂ©, Editors Speed Mingle, pitch sessions with agents and publishers, and challenging workshops.  

Pixl Press books were on sale in the Merchant’s room and there was a lot of interest in The Fiction Writer—particularly after Nina’s talk on world building and character. The ‘world building’ and ‘setting/place’ aspects of Nina’s course at George Brown College on how to write science fiction have been steadily growing into major workshops and presentations. It will make up a new writer’s guidebook (see below).

By the third day, Myth Hawker Travelling Bookstore sold all available copies of Water Is…

Pixl Press associates participated in panels and several presentations and workshops:

  • You Oughta Be in Audio: a discussion between author Nina Munteanu and audiobook narrator and producer Dawn Harvey on the making of the audiobooks for The Splintered Universe—now available in three formats, print, ebook, and audiobook. While paper sales dwindle, audiobooks continue to be the fastest growing segment of the publishing world with sales increasing by 30% year over year for the past decade.
  • World-Building: Your World Is a Character: a presentation by Nina Munteanu on creating a world with meaning. In most science fiction and fantasy, the world that we create is often very different from our own; in speculative fiction it’s often very similar; in contemporary fiction it is virtually the same. In all cases the world you build should embed in your story with layered metaphoric meaning. Nina Munteanu will discuss how to build a world that interacts with character to inform greater meaning in story.

Nina also networked her writing community for world examples to use in her next Alien Guidebook on world building: The Ecology of Story: World as Character. Pixl Press anticipates release of this third guidebook in the Alien Guidebook series in summer of 2019. Cover art and design has already been selected. In keeping with the branding of the series, artist Anne Moody is providing the illustration for the cover of The Ecology of Story and Toronto artist Costi Gurgu will design the cover. Covers for the previous two books were also illustrated by Anne Moody and designed by Costi Gurgu.

Earlier in the summer, Nina and I had travelled north to Anne’s ranch in Vanderhoof to requisition a cover from her for Nina’s book. After days of discussion, “show and tell”, exceptional eating and drinking, and after several pieces of art were tentatively selected, Anne pulled out a piece that stopped our search dead. ‘Everyday Hero’ depicts a lonely firefighter, trudging in the burning forest, tired gaze aimed up to the burning crown of a tree. Considering the subject matter and our world today, I thought this was perfect for Nina’s book. Depicted in shades of blue, charcoal and brilliant red, the cover will contrast and harmonize well with the typology and cover band design by graphic artist Costi Gurgu. It also provides an ideal platform for the material inside, which will present ecological settings and metaphoric links to story.

I think I’m as excited as Nina to see the final book out. Now she needs to get down and research it and write it. So, Nina?...What are you doing?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Launch of "Water Is..." Celebrates Our Connection with Water

Nancy Rowe blesses Mimico Creek (photo K. September)
On June 12th, Councillor Jim Tovey, Mississauga Nation Knowledge Keeper Nancy Rowe, and others helped Nina Munteanu celebrate the launch of her long-awaited book "Water Is..." with a water blessing of Mimico Creek and various water-engaging activities.

The environmental event "celebrated water and our connection with it" at Islington Golf Course in Etobicoke. The 75 people who attended also included the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Ecologos (WaterDocs), Rethink Sustainability Initiatives, poets, writers and artists.

In her powerful and compelling blessing, Nancy Rose said, "Water is life, water is healing, we owe
Water blessing (photo Kevin September)
everything to water." Despite the celebration, Mimico Creek's ironic reality was reflected in the ceremony: "You used to be able to drink this water," Rowe lamented as she used tap water for the water blessing ceremony.

Vince D'Elia of TRCA gave Mimico Creek a failed report card and spoke about the need to educate the public on water and watersheds. Given that Mimico Creek flows some 33 km within a 77 square km watershed that encompasses three jurisdictions (Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto); harmonizing efforts is no easy task.

Councillor Tovey stressed connection of individuals, communities, and jurisdictions to create awareness and action in re-wilding our watersheds and to foster beauty. He highlighted Mississauga's extensive planning and investment into these initiatives, saying that they are setting the precedent for all Canadian cities for sustainability planning.

Jim Tovey, Yasmin Glanville, Travis Belanger, Michelle Stone
(photo Kevin September)
Claire Lawson of LOWaterkeeper proclaimed that, "We are Lake Ontario," referring to us being 70% water and the constant circulation of water on the planet. She gave us the 6 steps to water leadership: 1) know your watermark; 2) orient yourself; 3) get out there; 4) know the rules; 5) participate; and 6) dedicate yourself. She told everyone why sharing your personal watermark was so important and urged participants to share their watermark--a personal story that connects you with a particular waterbody and event--to help promote meaning and protection of waterbodies around the world.

Ro Omrow, with Ecologos (WaterDocs) invited participants to sign a petition to make Toronto a Blue
Community. Initiated by the Council of Canadians, a Blue Community is one that:

  1. recognizes water as a human right
  2. bans the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events
  3. promotes publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services

Local poets and artists read and showed their water-inspired poetry and art, among them Merridy Cox, John Ambury, Liana Di Marco and Tasnim Jivaji. 

A Water Action Station, where Nina's book was for sale, also featured a charity board (Pixl Press has agreed to donate a portion of book sales toward several water charities); and a pledge to Jacques Cousteau's Bill of Rights for Future Generations.

Nina with "Water Is..."
According to Councillor Tovey, Nina's book "Water Is..." bridges the gap from awareness to appreciation, connection and final action. "This book came from a lifetime's dedication to water, humanity and our environment since I was a little girl and felt the planet," Munteanu confided during a press conference in Etobocoke.

For more about the book and Nina Munteanu's writing process, go to TheMeaningOfWater.com. "Water Is..." can be purchased at most Amazon stores and good quality bookstores near you.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Worldwide Release of Nina Munteanu's "Water Is..."

In this fascinating meditation on water, internationally published limnologist Nina Munteanu draws inspiration from some of the world's greatest thinkers, artists and scientists, and a lifetime dedicated to water, into a spectacular gift for hydrophilics.

With a foreword by Emmi Itaranta, author of the award-winning Memory of Water, and input from scientists and futurists such as Bernd Kroeplin, Elmar C. Fuchs, Elisabet Sahtouris, Gerald Pollack, Theodor Schwenk, Rustum Roy, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Philip Ball, Emilio Del Guidice and others, Water Is... part history, part science and part philosophy, combines an intensely personal journey with scientific discovery to explore water's many identities.

Munteanu journeys from history to the latest in theory and bizarre knowledge; from water's ubiquity in space to the hardy tardigrades; and from Emoto's intention-invoked water crystals, the northern Ojibwa water spirits and the Kumbh Mela on the Ganges to the quantum properties of interfacial water. Water Is... the culmination of over twenty-five years of Munteanu's dedication to the study of water and her increasing realization of the great disparity between humanity's use, appreciation and understanding of this sacred resource.

"Water Is..." has been praised around the world."This book emotionally connected me with water," wrote Laura Fres of One Deep Sustainability, Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Kroeplin in Germany calls it "A sumptuous collection of treasures." The Mississauga News in Ontario praises the book and writes, "If you don't want to read all those other books on water, just read this one." German physicist Michael Jacobi writes, "What an astounding journey!" Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris writes, "I am deeply grateful for this book by so highly qualified an author."

You can purchase "Water Is..." in most Amazon stores and a quality bookstore near you.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pixl Press at Literary Fest at Gladstone Hotel in Toronto

Melody Bar of the Gladstone Hotel
PIXL PRESS CANADA is pleased to announce that we will be participating in the Small Press Literary Festival put on by the Toronto Indie Arts Market (TIAM) at the Gladstone Hotel on Sunday May 25th from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

PIXL PRESS was recently featured by TIAM and you can read about us as a FEATURED VENDOR.

PIXL PRESS is described as a small press in British Columbia that features works in the environment, nature, science and science fiction & fantasy.

Cheryl Kirby, co-founder of TIAM
Pixl Press and Vancouver/Toronto author and ecologist Nina Munteanu will showcase her latest eco-fiction, science fiction and fantasy works (which examine the role of evolution and humanity in the context of Nature and technology). Nina teaches writing at the University of Toronto and George Brown College and her guidebooks on how to write (used in colleges and universities throughout North America and Europe) will also be available for sale.

We will be featuring the complete Splintered Universe Trilogy with the recent release of Metaverse this past March.

We will also showcase Toronto author and editor Merridy Cox's latest book on animal care, a charming annotated book on Edwardian pet care: "Edwardian Annotated Pets and How to Keep Them: Part 1 Beasts".

Admission: Pay What You Can with proceeds donated to to the Children's Book Bank.

Venue: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West (Ballroom and 2nd Floor Gallery) admission pwyc

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Third Book in Nina Munteanu's Space Thriller Trilogy Now Out!

Pixl Press is pleased to announce the release of Metaverse, Book 3 of The Splintered Universe Trilogy.  The entire trilogy is now available in print and digital formats through Toronto's premier science fiction bookstore Bakka Phoenix Books, Chapters-Indigo (Canada), Barnes & Noble (United States) and Amazon (the world).

Nina with Vali and Costi Gurgu
Nina celebrated the completion and release of  Metaverse in an exclusive launch party April 24th in The Beaches, Toronto.  Several guests joined Nina and two other authors to celebrate local talent.  Celebrated Romanian author and graphic artist Costi Gurgu, who created Aurora-finalist covers for the trilogy and his wife, Vali Gurgu, who modeled as Rhea Hawke, also made an appearance.

Metaverse concludes the metaphysical journey of detective Rhea Hawke, a complex heroine on a quest of justice in a shape-shifting universe of intrigue and paradox.  Rhea Hawke's unlawful quest throws her into a treacherous storm of politics, conspriacy and self-discovery.  The Splintered Universe is a high-paced thriller with a mystery of cosmic proportions that explores the nature of the universe and the human psyche through paranormal phenomena such as multi-dimensionality, clairvoyance, quantum entanglement, morphic resonance and synchronicity.

The three books of The Splintered Universe Trilogy include: Outer Diverse, Inner Diverse, and Metaverse.  You can buy them in print and digital formats at a major book retailer near you.  You can also get Outer Diverse and Inner Diverse as audiobooks, narrated by Dawn Harvey, through Audible.com.  Discussions are underway to make Metaverse available as an audiobook soon, so the entire trilogy can be heard as well as seen.

For more about the trilogy and how to purchase an autographed box set, visit www.ninamunteanu.com and this site in the near futhre.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nina Munteanu's Natural Selection Compared to Niven's Tales of Known Space

Nina with friend Siko on Vancouver Island, B.C.
Nina Munteanu's short story collection Natural Selection (Pixl Press, 2013), about the evolution of humanity, received high praise recently from David Merchant, English Instructor at Louisiana Tec University.

In his review on Amazon.com, Merchant compared Munteanu's collection of nine interconnected stories to Niven's Tales of Known Space. Niven's collection of  thirteen interconnected stories range from the 20th Century to the 31st and trace Humanity's expansion and colonization throughout the galaxy.

"Like Larry Niven's Tales of Known Space, many of the stories in [Nina's] collection involve the same universe.  Nina's stories tease you, though. I want to know more about this universe of hers. My goodness, but she can write. I just love her writing, her characterizations, her ability to draw you in and leave you wanting more. A beautiful writer. I highly recommend anything she writes."

"By the way," Merchant adds, "she writes books on how to write fiction. Those are also well written."