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Hackathon Winners

 

Over the weekend (Oct. 18-19) I participated in Marcato Festival's first Hackathon. I complain a lot about how few women are involved in technology in Cape Breton and, well, everywhere. Then my friend Leah Noble signed up, and I got all inspired, so I signed up, too. I know a bit of code, but I want to know more, and that's exactly why I signed up. To learn, and for the experience (and, ok, maybe the free beer helped to seal the deal).

So Leah, me, and Ardell MacKinnon, who's the software developer at Pure Project Relations, formed a team ahead of time, and decided we'd build an app for the Cape Breton SPCA. We called ourselves Team LOL Cats. Our skills divided up quite nicely--Ardell took the lead on programming, Leah, who's a graphic designer, made the app look good, and I wrangled the data. I got to play around with Petfinder's API and plug in an XML file to the app (an Android app, built in Java). APIs are big in librarianship right now, so I have been really wanting to learn more about them. 

The Hackathon was a competition, but we honestly weren't in it to win. So when they announced our name, we were shocked. Happy, but really surprised. Turns out we were able to build an almost complete app in 2 days, and that really impressed the judges. 

I won't go into too many details, especially since Leah wrote all about the day and our win over at her Dream Big Cape Breton blog. We were also in the Chronicle Herald, and CBC Information Morning interviewed us very early Monday morning. 

Now we have a meeting next week with the CB SPCA and the app may get out into stores and onto phones very soon!

Making a Difference on Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton's CBC Mainstreet has a series called "Making a Difference," about Cape Bretoners who are doing positive things in their communities on the island. Alyce MacLean, CBC's freelance reporter, interviewed me for the series. We talked about writing in New Waterford, east coast stories, working (as a woman) in technology, and revitalizing the economy of the island by supporting local businesses. Here's the link to the interview! http://www.cbc.ca/mainstreetcb/making-a-difference/2014/09/23/making-a-difference-nicole-dixon/

CBC Interview about Alistair MacLeod

I was asked to share a couple of stories about Alistair MacLeod for CBC Cape Breton's Information Morning. The segment aired this morning (April 25) and I remembered to record it. Yup. I had a scotch with Alistair MacLeod. Here's the story!

The M Word Launches in Toronto

I have an essay in The M Word: Conversations about Motherhood called "Babies in a Dangerous Time: On Choosing to Be Child-Free." It's a non-mom essay in an anthology that's very mom-oriented--kinda like non-moms in a very mom-oriented world. Anyway, I'm heading to Toronto for the launch on Tues., April 15, 6 p.m., at Ben McNally Bookstore, 366 Bay St. I'll be reading with other contributors and there'll be a discussion. Gonna represent for the child-free! Woot!

After this I hope I never ever have to explain why I'm not having kids. I know I probably will, but, hey--wouldn't it be nice if I never ever had to ever again? Dreams...

Berton House Writers' Retreat

It's official: I'll be heading to Dawson City, Yukon, next January-March, to be the writer-in-resident at the Pierre Berton House. The promise of 3 months to write and only write would tempt any writer to the Yukon in January...right? For more info about the program, you can read the Writers' Trust's official press release.

The World at Six

After Alice Munro's Nobel win, CBC's The World at Six did a segment on Canadian short story writers and I was mentioned!

I finally got a hold of the clip. Enjoy!

Saudade

Nine is my favourite number! Which is only one reason why I was so stoked when Steven Beattie wrote about my story, "Saudade," for his 31 Days of Stories series. 

All of Dixon’s writing contains a strong feminist streak, and here she has built into her story its very own version of the Bechdel Test. “Sabine didn’t act like women acted at parties,” Dixon writes, “didn’t hate Ingrid just because Ingrid had expressed an opinion which was outside of the things women were supposed to talk about.”

Going West

I've been invited to particiapte in this year's FICTIONista Tour. FICTIONistas is a "collaborative project among independent publishers to bring together Canadian women writers". Several readings are held across the country. I'll be heading to Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg where I will read from HWM. As well, I'll be hosting the tour stop in Montreal. More details re: dates, times and venues are below.

 

Victoria

Monday, May 27th, 2013
7:00pm
Featuring authors Gillian Campbell, Stella Harvey, Nicole Dixon
Hosted by Dede Crane
Beehive Wool Shop
1700 Douglas St.

Vancouver
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
7:30pm
Featuring authors Cathy Ace, Stella Harvey, Gillian Campbell, Nicole Dixon
Hosted by Leanne Prain
People’s Co-op Bookstore
1391 Commercial Drive

Edmonton
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
7:00pm
featuring authors Ali Bryan, Nicole Dixon, Faith Johnston, and Theresa Shea
hosted by Jessica Kluthe
Audreys Books
10702 Jasper Ave NW

Winnipeg
Friday, May 31th, 2013
7:00pm
featuring authors Lisa Bird-Wilson, Nicole Dixon, Dora Dueck, and Faith Johnston
hosted by Charlene Diehl
McNally-Robinson
1120 Grant Ave

Montreal
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
6:00pm – 9:00pm
featuring authors Christine Eddie, Cordelia Strube, Mary Hagey, and Stella Harvey
hosted by Nicole Dixon
Blizzarts
3956 St Laurent Blvd

Salty Interview

Chad Pelley, author of the blog Salty Ink, chatted with yours truly about High-Water Mark, writing novels and short stories, and other writerly things. The interview is up on Salty Ink now. Enjoy!

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