Saturday, September 25, 2010

Age of Aq-kerry-ious

Here I am, either whistling, or saying "who," during my Soap Box series reading at Aqua this week.

It was a small-but-pleasant crowd at my first official event as Aqua's writer in residence. I read exclusively from Vs., mostly poems I hadn't read in public before, just to try 'em out.

A few garnered finger-snapping (from a big city Yankee in the audience who took part in the open mic portion with some pretty polished spoken word pieces) but otherwise the audience was spookily quiet. Where's Colin Smith when you need him?

I had a couple of positive comments after, but it's always hard to gauge reaction by people's facial expressions during a reading. I imagine at least four people were thinking "when is she going to be done so I can read my poem?" and at least as many: "when is she going to stop talking about boxing, already?"

Of course, even though I was scrambling to fill my 20 minutes, I still managed to forget to thank people for coming, give background info about the book, or announce the date of my launch. Oh well.

This coming Tuesday will be the first meeting of my Writers' Support Group, the other part of my WIR gig. Looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've been fine-tooth-combing galleys this week and it's fun to put my nit-picky nature to good use. It's also ridiculously thrilling to see Vs. looking like a real book.

I'll be reading from Vs. next Tuesday at Aqua. Please come! And yes, that IS right in the middle of Thin Air, on the night the rest of the world will be hearing David Bergen and Ken Finkleman. My event, however, is free. Thanks to Ariel, and her nudge-nudge, wink-wink Free Press connection, for getting my mug in the Tab today. My co-worker clipped it and now it's on the fridge at the office.

I guess I'll have to get used to the tough competition... apparently I booked my launch for the same night cult film legend John Waters is speaking in Winnipeg. Sigh. November 4th, McNally's IS the place to be.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I accidentally spilled a few beans earlier this week. I got some exciting news from a certain wonderful lit mag and I shared it far and wide (read: on facebook and even here, though I promptly deleted the post). Not a big deal, but I won't say any more about it until October.

As a writer I find myself waiting around a lot -- trying to forget I have submissions out there, being judged or, more likely, sitting in stacks of papers on some editor's desk. I check my e-mail a gazillion times a day and open my mailbox with age-8-Christmas-morning anticipation. There's almost never anything there except pizza flyers and coupons from my good friend Diane.

And then, some days there's a letter in the mailbox addressed to me, in my own hand-writing. Which means trouble. Maybe it's just me, but I've never received an acceptance letter in my own SASE. Only bad news comes at my own hand. At least it's mail.

Lately any good news has been coming by e-mail, which makes it all the more surreal. (And fills me with self-doubt: maybe the editor sent the note to the wrong address. Maybe he/she cut and pasted the wrong message, maybe any second now I'll get a second e-mail with the subject line: Disregard Previous Message.)

So when good news comes, I get ridiculously excited. I can't stop grinning. I phone my husband, breathlessly, at work. I whistle for an hour or so. I post it on facebook. (And then re-read the e-mail 6 or 7 times just to make sure it says what I think it does.)

But what surprises me most is how quickly I can absorb that full-on glee and then go back to checking the mailbox or inbox as if it never happened. You'd think the glow would last a while, say 24 hours. But it doesn't. What's up with that? Has my attention span been stunted by too much internet use? Are my expectations for myself ridiculously high? I'm not blase about publishing -- I consider myself very green in this regard and I love seeing my name in print.

Or is it just that good news, a "yes", doesn't feel real until I'm holding it in my hand?

Also does anyone else get hiccups when eating carrots? What's up with that?