I know I need to write a story when it just won't go away. It's kind of like a pesky fly in summer... only it's a good thing, and not pesky in an annoying way.

Last week, when I gothome from Nunavik (that's part of Quebec, in the eastern Arctic), I felt exactly that way. Even though I was supposed to be working on my new book, there was a story brewing inside me that well, just wouldn't go away. And so I spent a couple of days writing it. I wasn't sure I'd be able to sell it, but that didn't stop me. My objective was to release the story, tell it for its own sake.

Well then, guess what happened next? I submitted it to The Gazette (our local paper) which hardly ever publishes short stories... and they bought it. It's a kind of Christmas story and since there won't be a paper on Christmas day, it's going to run on December 24, illustrated with photographs taken by my friend Thomas Kneubuhler, who was with me in Akulivik working on a Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation project called Quebec Roots.

Which goes to show you: follow your instincts. Tell the stories you need to tell, the pesky ones that just won't go away. Hope there's some story flying in your head today!