I’ve posted the story “Makeover,” from Some Extremely Boring Drives, to the nifty site Issuu. You can see it on my samples page — have a look!
I was interviewed today by Paul Matwychuk, who is the general manager over at NeWest Press. Take a listen to their latest NeWest Audio podcast to find out more about my stories and even about my short-lived life as a boxer. Or you can go to NeWest Press Audio in iTunes to subscribe and hear interviews with plenty of writers. (I’m Episode 27!)
I long for summer, but this year I could skip right to September because I have a book coming out, which is maybe better than swimming at Bass Lake in Blind River. Maybe. Some Extremely Boring Drives is a collection of short-ish stories that aren’t linked but share a concern with travel and mobility. Soon, I’ll be putting up details of the launch and some readings. In the meantime, here’s the cool cover, by Justine Ma Design.
Mixed emotions today as I finished my tour last night at Drawn & Quarterly bookstore on the Plateau in Montreal, where I co-read with the lovely Natalee Caple (Calamity’s Wake) as part of Wanda O’Connor’s new Residual Reading Series. The crowd was great, as were the staff at D&Q, and Natalee and I even took the time afterwards to ask one another questions about these novels — for which, I dare say, we both had good answers! I only regret that I had to rush out immediately afterwards due to Lewis, who’s been sick. (I offered and then withdrew my offer of a ride to Natalee, realizing that I couldn’t actually give her one. Pretty tacky. I hope she’ll forgive me as she rides back to Peterborough on Via today.) Here are just a few photos of our evening, then goodbye shots of Dolly Pigeon– mother, co-pilot, provider of tour vehicle. Without her help, I’d still be at the Sudbury airport with a stroller and a heavy box of books. Thank you, Mom.
Last night, after an impatience-inducing drive from Peterborough — much summer construction; many dusty students with stop signs — we gathered at Raw Sugar, a cool cafe just a block from where I whiled away my happy university years. I read with three poets: Chris McPherson (My Life in Pictures), Chris Jennings (Occupations) and Shane Rhodes (err, X). As I sat listening to them, I had a very strong feeling that being around poets is the best. It was a very happy event. Here are some pictures.
We pulled into Peterborough on a rainy afternoon and were able to relax at my brother Jean-Claude’s (and partner Alex’s) for a few hours before making our way to the venue, The Spill, for our reading/music show. Jean-Claude and his fellow musician Matt Snell, who perform as The Real Coyotes, started things off with a few of Jean-Claude’s own songs. I read first, then more music, then Matt, a multi-talented guy, read a hilarious new short story — he’s a student of the same UBC MFA program I attended. It was all fun until my mother started dancing between tables (!!!) No. That’s a joke. Seriously, it was great. Thanks to my brother and Matt for keeping the place hopping.
Toronto is still home in many ways. My two readings there were pretty special. The first was in my old neighbourhood, Cabbagetown. A small but committed crowd came out and the reading led to a discussion about whether fiction is the right vehicle for political notions. Then, last night, in Kensington, many family and friends and two very interesting co-readers — Dani Couture and Grace O’Connell, both of whom made everyone want to read their books. It wasn’t easy to keep the camera present — I was too busy talking. So just a couple of shots to commemorate the visit.
Wednesday night I assembled the Sudbury arm of my family to fill many seats at the Sudbury Public Library, where I co-read with Paula Mallea and Mary-Lynn Murphy, both published by Laurence Steven’s Sudbury-based Scrivener Press. Our panel became the inaugural event of the Sudbury Public Library’s Words Ideas Inspiration series — thanks to librarian Michelle Fex. Sudbury’s a more cosmopolitan place than people give it credit for, and we had a full house, lots of questions, good discussion. Here are a few photos.