Sunday, December 19, 2010

Attention, please.

I'm trying to ride out the gloomy come-down from the launch/touring high, the gnawing, "what next?" feeling, by clinging to any review or kind word in reference to Vs. And there have been a few.

First, a very nice review by the talented Jennifer Still in Free Press (my first and last name in the headline!).

Then, a mention in Bookslut, where blogger Colleen Mondor looked at the poems in a YA context, something I'd never really thought about before. She says, "If I had my way, I would be standing on a street corner handing this to every teenage girl, especially those that walk hidden behind walls of hair, dressed in oversized sweatshirts and hunched under overpowering backpacks." And then goes on to: "mostly what I want to say is that it is honest and real and celebrates taking on a tough commitment in a way that should speak to anyone who ever hesitated on the edge of the room and dreamed of taking center stage."

Awww! You can read her full review here (with some scrolling.)

And then, this week, the brilliant Kerry Clare, with whom I am proud to share a name and the table of contents in the most recent TNQ, included Vs. on her list of top 15 books of the year. How lovely! (And what amazing company!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

tour de verse

Thanks to Anvil, and the swell folks who work there, I've been hither and yon the last little while, promoting Vs.. The awesome (albeit non-linear) book tour took me, and the other writers launching with Anvil this fall (Tony, Ed, Salvatore and Bonnie), to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.


Here I am, reading in Toronto at The Garrison. (There was a stage and a green room!) Luckily I was up first, before the front row ruffian was got completely tanked. (Do you call it heckling when someone laughs ridiculously loudly, at Every Single Thing, to the point that it's no longer supportive, just distracting?)

I read, I signed and, even amid the whirlwind, I saw some sights, ate wonderful food (Montreal bread! Wonderful Sri Lankan in Toronto! Bakers market in Vancouver!), and best of all got to spend time with family, far-flung Winnipeg friends, poets I met last year in Banff with whom I workshopped many of the poems, and writers from all over.

It was exciting (the air travel, the hotels) and made me feel like a real writer. But, back home in Winnipeg, all I can think is: "now what?"

Learned on tour:
  • Mont Royal Park is overrun with pushy gangs of pan-handling squirrels. Seriously. It's worse than walking past Portage Place, because of the distinct possibility one will run up the inside of your pant leg.
  • Peter Mansbridge wears a pinky ring. Also, he has a lot more hair than you'd expect (it's on the sides and back).
  • Everything at the Vancouver Airport's Westjet terminal closes at 6pm on Saturday. Even the RELAY. Pack a sandwich.

Seen on tour:
  • Pug eating bacon, wearing vintage aviator goggles, in bicycle sidecar. (I saw plenty of other things as well -- like a crow eating a rat, massive redwoods in Stanley Park, and a gang of skateboarding Santas -- but nothing else really compared to this little guy.)