Friday, September 12, 2008

Ladyfest Toronto

I'll be reading from works-n-progress at this year's Ladyfest. Hope to see you there!

It's $5, this Tuesday September 16 at 7pm at Beaver Hall on McCaul Street. I'm not sure how the combination of literary readings, spoken word and dance is going to go, but it's sure to be diverse and varied.

Check out the other events at Ladyfest, especially the workshops - some of them sound pretty cool!


Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Summer is almost over. I'm not upset though; usually I hate summer. Toronto is hot and smoggy and I get headaches and the headaches make me angry and resentful and sad. But since I got my wisdom teeth plucked out a year or so ago, I don't get the barometric pressure headaches (worst in summer) anymore, so I'm just glad to have had such a great time this season. I went away a lot, so that certainly helped.


Wolfe Island Literary Festival - a great time! If you ever get the opportunity to read there, do it. Otherwise, go be an audience member. It's fun, the readings are stellar, there's music, food, beer, and wonderful surroundings across the water from Kingston.

Camping - Depot Lake, Long Point, Algonquin. I didn't get eaten by a bear! I'm born-again outdoorsy!

Westport/Montreal - a birthday roadtrip that bookended Wolfe Island.

Tottenham Bluegrass Festival - next year, we're going for the whole thing, and bringing a gang of friends.

Chimeras - playing on the Chimeras in the women's hockey league at Rinx. We kicked ass til the playoffs...

Lake Huron - a week at a cottage on the lake. Reading and eating and drinking.

License - finally getting my G1 so I become a fully licensed driver (sigh, again).

Watch How We Walk - getting another chunk of the novel written. I'll kick it into readable shape soon!

Low Lights:

Getting pink eye.
Pink eye coming back.
Not getting into the Exclaim summer hockey league.
Crappy turnout at the Death Vessel show.
Poorly behaved grown-ups at a family gathering.
Torrential rains while camping at Conestogo.

I'm optimistic about the fall. I'm nearly done a first draft of the novel, and I like rewriting, so hopefully I'll get a workable draft done soon. I'm playing in three different hockey leagues this season: the Bill Bolton womens' league, the Chimeras again, and the Screamin' Unyons. Hopefully the tendon issues won't return on my ankles... I also have some good guests coming up on "In Other Words" on CKLN 88.1FM: Jonathan Bennett in September, tba October, and Kyle Buckley in November. That and a lot of craft shows should keep me busy til xmas.

Oh and I'm reading at Ladyfest this year... more details soon.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm reading at The Central

On Tuesday, August 19 at 8pm I'm reading in the Plasticine Reading Series. Come on out!

I'll be reading from my novel-in-progress Watch How We Walk, and informally launching my new chapbook, which is an excerpt from the manuscript.

Also reading are Jenny Sampirisi, Valentino Assenza, and Mike Lipsius. It's hosted by Michael Fraser, and there will be an open mic.
Tuesday, August 19th at 8pm
The Central - 603 Markham St.
I'm not sure if there is a cover charge, but I don't think so.
I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

One down, two to go

I got the written portion of the driving tests done, so I now have the G1. Hurray! It was easy; the tricky part was getting there. The now-privatized testing is done by a company called DriveTest, and they don't have any centres in downtown Toronto, so I spent two hours on TTC this morning getting to Vic Park to write the bloody thing. I have nothing to say about Victoria and Park and Lawrence.

But I'm excited about getting behind the wheel again; it's been about fifteen years! Pathetic, yes, but I'm rectifying this fuck-up. Next week I'll be at a cottage where I can practise on some country roads, but maybe I'll even get a chance to drive a bit tomorrow before hockey. Look out! Stay inside!

The best part of today's ordeal was starting to read Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden on the bus. I'd heard good things about it, and met him at the Wolfe Island Festival where he read from works-in-progress, a sequel to Three Day Road. I'm only a couple chapters in, but it's good so far - vivid, well-paced, tense, and I like the varying points of view structure. It's working for me so far.

I reckon I'll finish it at the cottage next week and then read Orhan Pamuk's Other Colors. I'm looking forward to that. And some trashy magazines, of the decorating and craft variety - that's my porn. Oh glossy pictures of light fixtures! Oh DIY projects I'll never complete! Oh tasty recipes I'll clip and make someday!

Okay, enough ignoring the open file of the novel chapter in need of revision.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I hate not being able to (legally) drive. I hate relying on others for a ride to hockey. I hate accidentally bashing someone in the head with my hockey stick on a crowded TTC bus (also unacceptable during a game, but then it's more fun). I hate not sharing the driving duties on a roadtrip, although I am a good navigator.

I really need to get my license.

Today I spent the afternoon and evening rereading the drivers' handbook, and quizzing myself, and doing online practise tests. I'm ready. I'm going to do the damn written test this week so I can get my license back.

Yes, back. Long long ago, when I lived in a small town with no 400-highways and only two stoplights, I could legally operate a motor vehicle. But then I moved to Toronto, and kind of forgot to renew it. For years. And years. And now I have to start again, with this laborious graduated licensing system.

Yeah, I suck. It's my most significant adult mistake. I've spent years berating myself for fucking that up, and now it's time to stop putting "Get License Back" on new years' resolution lists, and just deal with it.

I was a nervous, inexperienced driver for the brief year or two that I did drive, so I am literally starting from the beginning. Bring on the College Street traffic! Give me the DVP in rush hour! And um, some driving lessons.

This is a start though - next week I'll be in the country, and what better place to practise the basics than quiet country roads around Wingham. Look out, Alice Munro! Stay inside!

Maybe I'll go write the damn test tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I'm on a new hockey team this summer, called the Chimeras. We have a pretty cool logo and a very skilled and fun team. It's a women's team in the True North league at Rinx, which is a significantly higher level than at Bill Bolton arena, the only other women's league I've been in. That means that our passes don't meander off into nowhere, people play positions properly, and it's way more competitive and challenging. The Chimeras are in the middle of three divisions, and I love it. We're kicking ass too - lots of shutouts and only a couple of losses so far.

Except... I've developed the dreaded "skate bite," for the second time in my four short years of hockey playing. It's so painful! Basically, it's an infammation of the tendon at the front of my ankle, and there's a big angry lump of bruise that reddens and curses me every time I skate. So I've had to skip my two-hour Friday game for a couple weeks, and pad and wrap my ankle for the short Wednesday games. I know that skating on it is probably making it worse, but c'mon, once a week is as infrequent as I can get.

(I just heard a great line from a bluegrass song on the radio: "I don't drink as much as I want too...") Had to share that with you. Mmm this beer is good.

Other than Angry Ankle, playing with the Chimeras this summer has been great. I've had tonnes of assists and even a goal, and the gals on the team are great fun, going for pints afterward and even, I've heard, sneakin' in some j's. Nice moves! There's a certain amount of camaraderie on this team that I haven't always experienced elsewhere...

Other things that rock lately:

The Tottenham Bluegrass Festival
the moose in Algonquin
getting out of Toronto so often
seeing the novel's end in sight
The Wolfe Island Literary Festival
Alexandra moving back to Toronto

Of course, there are a lot of things that suck, but I won't subject you to that today. That list would be too long.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New from wayward armadillo press

First off, sorry I've neglected the blog! Facebook ate my blog, but I'm resurrecting it. I miss it.

Next, I made a new little chapbook type thing. It was published specifically for the Wolfe Island Literary Festival - a rockin' time if ever there was one - and there are copies still to be had.

It's an excerpt from my novel-in-progress, called Watch How We Walk. The novel is about a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, and the chapter I've excerpted is about Ouija boards. And some other stuff. It's a limited edition, handmade, numbered series of thirty copies. I've sewn the contents into covers of Watchtower and Awake! magazines, which, for those of you who don't know (lucky bastards), are the JW propaganda rags. I'm pleased with how they turned out, and they went over well on Wolfe Island, though I had to make it clear that I was not proselytizing, but that the Watchtowers had been appropriately and thoroughly subverted.

Let me know if you'd like to procure one; they're a mere $5!