Monday, September 28, 2009

Word On The Street - in the library and in the park

On Saturday morning, Margaret Atwood read at the downtown library. The auditorium was full. Nancy and I watched her on live video in another room. M.A. was witty and enjoyable. I'm not sure if a certain local television personality, who asked her a couple of questions afterward, would agree, but since his tone of voice was somewhat patronizing (we older women are sensitive to those things) he shouldn't have been surprised when she zapped him for being inaccurate. Many of her anecdotes are obviously well-honed but they work well. She also talked about the emergence of CanLit and how little of it there was before 1960.

An acquaintance told me that M.A. signed books for an hour and a half after the reading and was very gracious to everyone who had waited in line.

If you are interested in what writers wear to these events, here's what M.A. had on - a long tunic top, pants, and flat black oxford-type shoes - not memorable, but very comfortable. Since she is on an exhausting multi-city tour to promote her latest book, I'm sure comfort is important.

Sunday afternoon, we went to the Word on the Street event in Victoria Park. The weather was uncertain, which may have kept some people away. But, there was a good crowd and lots of exhibitors. The New Quarterly had a booth and so did Brucedale Press. I was glad to discover that Brucedale Press is doing well, in spite of the current economic downturn. (They publish work about the Bruce Peninsula area, by writers from 'the Bruce' and environs.) There were two booths with information about Islam, and one booth with information and books on creationism. There was an adult authors' tent, and a children's authors tent where writers gave readings. The writers' collective from the library also had a tent where some members read from their work. The local paper, The Record, had a tent too. Reporters and editors answered questions and talked about journalism. That's where Nancy and I spent most of our time, because she wanted more information about the journalism profession.

I collected a couple of freebies. Zoomer magazine is much better than I expected it would be, now that Moses Znaimer is President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Retired People. The slogan: You've aged differently. Now read differently. I think Moses would also like to change CARP's name, and will stand by for that. I also picked up a copy of Grand magazine, a glossy locally-focused mag which has almost 20,000 circulation. It's purty all right, but I wouldn't subscribe to it.

Before we left the park, I bought a new Word on the Street tee-shirt and tote bag. Both for only $10.00, tax included. I'm happy that I could help support WOTS.

There is also a theatre festival going on in town, from Sept 24 to October 3, Impact 09. I didn't know about it until Friday when I was in City Hall and noticed a sign for the 24 hour play writing competition. Several writers were at work in the rotunda. I applaud them for their ability to work in such a public setting, but have no idea how they manage to do it.

As for my own writing, well, I drafted a new story this month and have also revised and sent out a couple of my older stories. So, I've completed part of the list that stares at me from my bulletin board. It's time to get back to work.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back-seat Writers

My daughter and I had a long chat earlier this week. She was in a jokey mood. Imagine if we all lived with you, she said. We could all sit on the chesterfield and watch you write.I laughed but that scared me. Then, I imagined what else she might say and that was worse. It would go something like this:

Before long, we would be asking when we could read the next page. We could offer our opinions. We could chant - is it ready yet? Whenever you gaze into space, or play games, or just generally fart around we could scold you. We would ask you why you have a fetish about putting your submissions in particular mail box and why you check your emails six times a day. We would ask you why you spend so much time on your short stories, when everyone knows almost no one reads short stories anymore, and why you haven't returned to your novel. And - when are you going to write something funny again. We want more silliness.

It was like having a nightmare while awake. Back-seat writers.

As it happens, I have been productive this week, I've drafted a new short story and tuned up an old one and sent it out again. Maybe if I imagine a chorus of back seat writers urging me on, I'll be able to keep up the pace. Then again, maybe not. The muse is fickle and I may have to bribe her. Bribe suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trust Ye Not The Leprechaun

For verily, I say unto you, ye shall be disappointed. Yon wee leprechaun hath disguised himself as ye federal Minister of Finance and calleth himself Flaherty. He hath not the gold that was taken from us. Let it be known to all those present that he hath spent it all, and mountains more. The weaver of fairy tales, for indeed such they are, had prophesied that all would be well in ye True North, that the vassals would suffer not, nor would they have to pay more evil tax. For taxes be an abomination unto him who sayeth he writeth the budget. Though, truth be told 'tis his master, Harper his ownself, who commandeth him.

Let the edict go forth into all the lands. Let the writ be dropped. Elect him again, we shall not.

(I hopeth)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

No Grumbles Day

Today is a no grumbles day. It's important to have one of those, every once in a while. Some good things have happened lately. Herewith, a few of them, in no particular order:

My brother's grueling series of treatments is nearly finished. His courage continues to amaze me.

There were no bills in my mailbox today, and since I pay my bills and The Bear's bills, I'm happy about that.

I found a long-sleeved peach coloured cotton blouse on sale for $10.00, Bargains give me a little thrill.

The Bear's accountant has almost finished the tax return and has suggested another way to save tax dollars next year.

I received a belated birthday present - a Chapters gift certificate, and yes, I used it. I love going to bookstores, especially when I have money.

I finished revising a story this week and hope to get cracking on another one later today.

The weather is perfect today. We have had a lot of rain this summer and now - it is not too hot, not too cold, not too humid, and the sun is shining. Perfect!