K.D. Miller – Writer

For years – 35 in fact – I set my alarm for 4 am in order to be showered, dressed and at my desk by 4:30. This gave me ninety precious minutes in which to be a writer. After that, I would have to be an employee, a transit-rider, a grocery-shopper, a cook, a cleaner, a laundress – all the roles that daily life imposes. But as long as I had my ninety minutes of writing, I was, as a poet friend puts it, bullet-proof.

Well, I finally retired from my day job. The alarm button on my bedside clock is set permanently to OFF, and I can sleep as late as I like. Which usually means waking at 5 or 5:30 and wandering to my desk, coffee cup in hand, by 6 or so.

I will always write in the morning. Not because I have to any more. And only in part because I am as rested and clear-headed then as I am likely to be.

The morning is a time of promise and possibility. That moment when the dark begins to lighten never fails to excite me. It reminds me that during the day ahead, anything can happen, on or off the page. An e-mail, a phone call, a letter or a knock on the door could change my life. A character in a story I am writing might take a sudden turn down a street I didn’t even know was there. If I’m wise, I will resist the urge to yank him back onto the main drag. Instead, I will follow him – sometimes into a whole new story.

New day. New story. That’s why I write at dawn.


K.D. Miller was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1951. In 1973 she graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and English from the University of Guelph. In 1978, she graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing.

Her first published story was “Now, Voyager,” which appeared in the May 1981 issue of Flare, and was the first-prize winner of that magazine’s literary contest. Since then, her stories and essays have appeared in Best Canadian Stories – Oberon 2008 and 2009, Maisonneuve Magazine, The Capilano Review, Canadian Forum, The New Quarterly, Prism International and The Journey Prize Anthology. Her work has appeared in several other anthologies, and has been broadcast by the CBC.

K.D. Miller’s first collection of short stories, A Litany in Time of Plague, was published in 1994. Her second collection, Give Me Your Answer, published in 1999, was short-listed for the inaugural Upper Canada Brewing Company’s Writer’s Craft Award.  Holy Writ, a series of personal essays which explore the link between creativity and spirituality, was published in 2001. Her first novel, Brown Dwarf, was published by Biblioasis in 2010. Stonebunny Press published her third collection of stories, The Other Voice, in 2011. Her fourth collection, All Saints, published by Biblioasis in 2014, was short-listed for the 2014 Rogers Writers' Trust Award.

K.D. Miller lives in Toronto.