Saturday, September 29, 2007

Passport to Where?

At last, I have acquired my passport. It was a long struggle to find someone who was eligible to swear I was 'real' but I did. After submitting all the documents and the outrageous fee to the local office, I was told the passport would arrive in a couple of weeks. In fact it took only ten days to get here. Colour me astonished. I'm totally prepared now for a big lottery win. When that happens I can go anywhere I want, even to Calgary. (I hear the rest of Canada might soon need a passport to enter the Oil Kingdon).

The long process involved in getting the proof which shows world I'm a 'real' Canadian made me wonder how I got this far in life with so little documentation - no drivers licence, no employer card, no picture health card and so on. A few years ago, I didn't even have a social security card, or a birth certificate, thanks to a purse snatcher. Now, in addition to my new passport, I have a picture health card and a few years ago I replaced my SIN card and my birth certificate. I have lots of ID now. It will be all too easy for people to find me when I win the lottery. I'd better make a plan.

Speaking of plans, sometimes all the planning in the world won't prevent weirdness from happening. For instance, my daughter's lawn care company is required to post signs on the day before they use any herbicide/pesticide/product on a lawn. Naturally, she has this done by area, or neighbourhood since that is the most efficient way to do it. Earlier in the week, every posted sign in a certain neighbourhood was removed by person or persons unkown. Everything had to be reposted, jobs had to be rescheduled, time was lost, money was lost, but there's nothing she can do about it and that hurts. I wish I could fix the situation for her, but I can't.

I'd better go fix the story I've been revising, instead.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What are You Reading?

This morning, I read my friend Lori's blog and she mentions Nora Ephron's current book. As it happens, I've dipped into that book too, while at the library. I wonder if it would have been published if it wasn't written by a 'known' writer. It's slight and somewhat amusing in places, but that's all. On the other hand, The Blue Hour of The Day, Lorna Crozier's collected poems, is worth reading more than once. I hated to return it to the library

I'm in the middle of reading Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam. A couple of weeks ago, I read Thirteen by Evanovitch. It was far more entertaining than Ephron's very minor epiphanies.

What are you reading?

Monday, September 10, 2007

What Category are You?

On Saturday, I went to a workshop for writers sponsored by the Toronto chapter of Romance Writers of America.

I had to take the 7:30 a.m. bus. There were a lot of other people on the bus, but only one held any fascination for me. She was in the seat directly in front of me. I'd been looking elsewhere when she sat down and all I could see was the back of her head. An amazing feat of hair architecture. Before seeing that, I'd assumed that teasing hair to such an extent had died and was not mourned. I was wrong. While the bus navigated the bumps on local roads, the hands of the woman in front of me were busy. One held a small mirror and the other one was used to apply makeup. I recognized some of the tools she used but not all of them - there were so many. Thirty-five minutes later she appeared to be finished and all her tools had clinked back into the box. Next came an assortment of pill bottles. She swallowed ten different pills then settled back in her seat, perhaps to gain energy for what would happen next.

As the bus arrived at the terminal, she popped out of her seat like a Jill from a box, and pushed her way to the front door. I never did see her face. Was she going to a job interview, or the film festival, or was she an alien among us? Only the shadow knows.

The workshop itself was good and the presenter was very professional (aside from a few personal digressions that were a tad on the long side) and interesting. Since I arrived after she started to talk, I had to sit at the back of a the room. That usually means that any power point presentations will be impossible for me to read, but her slides were clear, large and readable.

There were about 80 women in the room and one man, who of course received special mention. I didn't have a choice of where to sit and my table companions seemed to know each other very well. They weren't the least bit interested in adding to their list of acquaintances. Too bad.

At lunch time I spoke briefly to the women at the table behind me. They were both working on romance novels and they asked me what I was writing. Mainstream or literary I answered. What's that? What indeed. I tried to explain and probably didn't do a good job because I'm not sure how to define it, except to say that it isn't genre fiction.

It did make me think about the way that books are slotted into categories. Romance has a lot of subdivisions - romance Harlequin style, bodice rippers, erotic romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, fantasy romance (okay, maybe all romance is fantasy to some extent) perhaps there is even science-fiction romance.

When the presenter mentioned one famous writer of horror, Stephen King, and asked how many of us had read his fiction, only about 5 of the people there raised their hands, and I was one of them. That startled me. I do read genre/category/ call-it-what-you-will fiction of many different types as well as reading 'fine' or literary work. I like to think I'm an omnivorous reader, though others might say I'm a print addict. Each to their own addiction.

What category are you?