We spent a four-day weekend in Ottawa two weeks ago. We soaked up the ambiance of the architecture, the river, and the canal on the first day. When the wind changed and blanketed the town in thick smoke, we made the next day one to explore many of the city’s fine museums, plus the Canadian Mint. Outside the National Gallery of Canada is a 10-meter-tall sculpture of a mother spider named “Maman.” It’s an imposing presence, but beyond that, it could be an illustration from my short story “Charon,” which is due out in the Gods and Globes anthology in the fall.