Scoop & Scandal

Prepare to Write Dangerously

I have been hired by The Writers’ Community of York Region (Newmarket, Ontario) to host a workshop (which is being offered to participants for free). If you are interested, you do need to register, though, as seating is limited. (CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS OR TO SIGN UP).

Also, for anyone in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, who is interested in joining one of my writing workshops abroad, this is a great opportunity to get a taste for one of my writing adventures, in a three-hour binge-writing gulp.

So, leave your safety nets at home and prepare to write dangerously. We’ll be employing techniques used by method actors on stage, except we’ll be using our pens on the page, in a creative exploration of making nonfiction read like fiction. You’ll be improvising through genres to find the most exciting way to present the truth and your lead character—you. You don’t have to go on an adventure to take your readers on an action-packed head trip, and during this workshop we’ll delve into those head trips.

WCYR get creative with nonfiction


I was interviewed by Dave Fox on The Globejotting Travel Show Expat Radio (France) about hunting for the skeletal remains of ships in the desert (that used to be the Aral Sea) in Kazakhstan. I also raved about salad in Kazakhstan (I don’t normally rave about salad anywhere – it bordered on psychotic raving, but they really do have fabulous salads in Kazakhstan). On the same trip I also got to do one of my favourite things on the planet – photograph kok-boru in Kyrgyzstan, again. That’s the nomad horse game which is a bit like rugby on horseback except they play with a decapitated goat instead of a ball. You can listen to the audio from the show from the host’s website by clicking on the audio link there, plus he has more of my pics and other info in his show notes (CLICK HERE TO LOOK OR LISTEN).

On a ship's deck in the desert of Kazakhstan, formerly the Aral Sea (Photo by Kirsten Koza)
On a ship’s deck in the desert of Kazakhstan, formerly the Aral Sea (Photo by Kirsten Koza)
Kok-boru in Kyrgyzstan (Photo by Kirsten Koza)
Kok-boru in Kyrgyzstan (Photo by Kirsten Koza)

In a land where the Catholic conquistadors conquered and subjugated the native Incas, a small band of Peruvian neo-Nazis have found a way to blame all their troubles on the Jews.

The weirdness started when I ordered the wrong soup in Nazca, Peru. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, except that every two or three years I fly all the way from Toronto to Lima and then rent a 4×4 at the airport to drive to Nazca for a bowl of parihuela at La Encantada. I always tell people that I’m going to Peru for other reasons, for example, this time, the reason was to mountain bike down a 19,872-foot ultra volcano… Click this link to read my full story which was published in Perceptive Travel Magazine.

An accidental backwards swastika, or... (Photo taken by Kirsten Koza in Huambo's bullring, Colca Canyon, Peru)
An accidental backwards swastika, or… (Photo taken by Kirsten Koza in Huambo’s bullring, Colca Canyon, Peru)

I’ve had another adventure travel story published by Perceptive Travel magazine. “The Mud Sucker Curse of Transylvania” (Romania) includes a gypsy curse, an accidental world record, and fleeing a forest fire. I often travel a country by mountain bike before I think about bringing a small group with me in the future for a photography, eating, or writing workshop, so we can avoid the monstrous toilets, gypsy curses, and eat the best food.

screen capture Perceptive MudsuckerThe day this story came out, a doctor in the USA messaged me to say that it was hilarious and he had tears in his eyes. That sort of bravo makes a writer’s day, week, year. You can read the full story on the magazine’s website – click here.

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